Author: Sage SK
Date Started: 11/11/15
Date Finished: 11/22/15
Comments: This idea spawned reading Betaruga’s (betaruga.deviantart.com) comic version of mine and Kristen Sharpe’s “They That Walk in Darkness“. Chapters will be short and written on a “as ideas come to me” schedule.
Oh, and go look at Betaruga’s art, because she’s awesome.
“So… your mind’s made up, huh?”
There was a long pause. “It is,” came the gruff response. “I can’t stay here. I don’t see any other option.”
“There’s plenty of options. I’ll… We’ll come up with something.”
“Sorry, Buddy. I have ta’ do this. I just wish I could convince ya’ to come with.”
The former Enforcer sighed. “I can’t. You already know why. I… I just can’t.” Then, he watched his friend walk off as the sun set behind the mountains of scrap metal.
Another cloudy morning, with hints of rain coming soon. Probably a lot more than the previous days. Maybe today he wouldn’t be too busy.
Jake Clawson slid an eye open, stifling a frustrated groan, realizing that he’d once again awoken before his alarm clock. Reaching for his phone, he mentally counted the list of things he had to tackle. Customers, of course, always came first. His personal projects would have to wait. Sliding out of bed, he checked the date on his calendar.
Six months since Chance had left. Six months since his once partner had decided to take up Dark Kat on his offer.
“Six months,” Jake repeated bitterly as he checked his notes. “And, I’m still behind.”
Phone in hand, he made his way down to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. He eyed the three cars waiting in the shop, calculating what each job would take timewise. Not too long, considering two cars were in need of an oil change and one in need of a battery. Jake nodded to himself. He’d be done by noon.
“Might as well get this over with.” And, thus began his morning routine of reading the news, fighting back the inevitable anger and anxiety that came every time he read the headlines.
“Tech Giant Robbed”
“Dark Kat Attacks Refinery”
“Enforcers Apprehend Dark Kat Copycats”
Because Jake knew who was behind it all, at the center, doing his part to ensure Dark Kat laid claim to whatever it was he could get his claws on. The sinister black jet was spotted in every picture, and there was no doubt of who the pilot was.
Jake gritted his teeth and closed out the news app, letting out a soft sigh as he leaned back and looked out the garage entrance. It was going to be another long day.
He then sat up at the sight of a familiar green sedan driving towards the garage and chuckled to himself. “Wonder what else broke?”
Waving, he went to greet a frazzled Callie Briggs once she stepped out of her car.
“Jake, have I told you how much I appreciate you?”
“About a dozen times. Need me to put the Old Girl out of her misery so you can finally get yourself a new one?”
Callie patted the hood of her car. “I still happen to like the ‘Old Girl’, thank you. She just tends to be cranky.”
“Cranky, right. What’s wrong with her this time?”
“Burns through too much gas after I fill it up.”
“Ah. I’m starting to see who’s responsible for the latest hole in the ozone.” Jake grinned as Callie playfully shoved him. “Coffee?”
“I guess I can put up with you over a cup.”
Laughing, Jake guided her inside.
“So, how are things here?” she asked, taking a seat on a nearby stool.
“Eh, the usual. Business has been pretty good, though. It helps that word spreads.”
Callie offered a smile back. “You’ll always have my business.” She paused momentarily to accept her coffee mug, then watched as Jake went to refill his own. “You look like you’ve seen better days. Have you even slept?”
Jake shrugged. “I do. But, you know me. Once I get going, I can’t stop.”
“And, that’s what worries me. Business can’t be that outstanding that it’s keeping you up all night.”
“Naw, I do manage to get about an hour in.”
“I know, I know. It’s just…” The orange kat let out a deep sigh. “I’ve been busy. Just… not on cars.” At her perked brow, he set down his coffee mug. “I need to show you something.”
It was incredible. At first, Callie didn’t know what to expect when Jake guided her towards a hidden trap door in what was loosely referred to as the living room. But, she followed him regardless, trusting her friend’s judgement as she descended down a steel ladder.
And, that’s where she saw what Jake had been exhaustively working on. Blueprints hung on various pegboards next to a work table. Tools were scattered about, piled next to what appeared to be weapons and incomplete modes of transportation. Computers and tablets were online, all of them with even more virtual ideas, some with notes scribbled next to them.
And, the area was big. For all she knew, it stretched across miles beneath the salvage yard.
“All this?” Callie couldn’t stop looking at the endless piles strewn about the underground bunker.
“This is what I’ve been doing for the last six months.” Jake rubbed the back of his neck. “But I’m not even close to finishing. I have all the material I need, but there’s so much left to do.”
Callie’s eyes softened. “All this for…”
“I will get him back.” Jake’s determined expression didn’t falter. “I made you a promise, and I’m keeping it.”
The only sound for a while was the soft hum of the air conditioner above them. Callie then broke the silence after rubbing away at her eyes. “I’m going to help you.”
Jake blinked, making sure he heard right. “I… What?”
“I’m going to help you,” Callie repeated. “You have the material and the know-how, and I have the connections. We’re going to get him back.”
To Be Continued…
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