(Title : Nightshade: Part 1 – Dark World E.R.M.)
(Author: Ryan Kelley)
In the control room of an underground base, a lone kat sat. Her
wavy hair cascaded down to her shoulders. Her green eyes gave her a
striking look. She was dressed in a burgundy and black dress. Her fur
was a darker color.
The base she called E.R.M.. It was her greatest accomplishment.
She gave a smile. “Computer, bring up the files of the SWAT Kats.” the
cat said into thin air. In the dark room, came a voice.
“At once, Mistress Tanaquil. … The SWAT Kats – Pilot: T-Bone,
strong, and seems to rush into things. I.Q. 130. Razor, weak, agile,
seems to think before acting. I.Q. 250. Naiome, medium strength and
agility, personality diagnosis: unknown. I.Q. 100. Known allies:
Felina Feral, strong, forceful. I.Q. 98.258 RaGor, diagnosis: unknown.
Known to have violated the laws of reality altogether. I.Q. 139.8796,
known enemies: scanning… scanning… null.” The computer said.
“Location?” Tanaquil asked
“Roughly .3 meters above out outer proximity.” The computer
announced. Tanaquil stood out of her chair, open mouthed.
“You mean… one false move and we’re exposed?! I thought Megakat
Salvage yard would be the easiest place to put this base! C-Computer,
tell me the history of the salvage yard.”
“At once… Megakat Salvage yard: Created 1980 C.E. Before it was
a salvage yard, it was the most secretive base of the first and second
Megawars. History after… scanning… scanning… null.” The computer
“Then warn the crew!” Tanaquil said. She left the room in a
“At once!” The computer replied.
By: Ryan Kelley
“Get that girder in place! Move it!!” Tanaquil shouted, as her
kat crew hurried to correct the worst mistake Tanaquil had ever
created. She was a nice kat. Working for the MIA (Megakat Intelligence
Agency) and MASA (Megakat Aeronautics and Space Administration) wasn’t
an easy job… and she was always messing up. Because she had an
allergy to the sun, she was forced to take on the hardest assignments
– underground bases designed to improve Megakat security. Tanaquil
sighed. She wasn’t supposed to let ANYKAT know about E.R.M., and sure
enough the SWAT Kats almost found out about this top secret base.
A few feet above the panic, The SWAT Kats were sitting in lounge
chairs, sipping ice tea. “Ah! It was a good idea to quit for the day
Naiome!” Chance said.
“Uh huh! I was getting too tired to see!” Naiome said. “Razor,
see if there’s anything on th- AAAH” The lowest part of the SWAT Kats’
training facility started to quake, and part of the floor caved in.
“DAMMNIT!” Tanaquil roared from below. “I said to be careful!!
Can’t you follow orders?!” Tanaquil was very upset at her crew. THEY
had exposed Operation E.R.M., part of Project Nightshade.
“Huh?” T-Bone wondered walking over to the hole in the floor.
“I didn’t ever know there was another level to this- AAAH” The floor
where T-Bone was standing caved in.
“T-BONE!” Razor yelled. The floor rumbled again, and the
opening was closed by a large sheeting of titanium.
“That really WASN’T part of our hanger now, was it?” Naiome
Razor glared at her.
“Uh… Sorry!” Naiome grimaced.
T-Bone opened his eyes. his head was throbbing. He pushed the
communicate button on his helmet, but where it was supposed to be, was
the socket on where it was supposed to go. T-Bone tried using his claw
to get the button to work. He felt the bite of electricity jerk his
hand away. “Crud!” he grumbled. Then it hit him! He was waiting for
his eyes to tell him where he was, and they weren’t responding. The
world was entirely black. “Maybe I got blinded.” he thought. He
thought he could feel the heat of lights coming from above. As he
tried to move, invisible restraints held him back. For a few minutes
“Ah, I was wondering when you’d come around.” a female voice
“Wha? Who’s there? Where AM I?” T-Bone said. T-Bone looked
around uselessly. He saw nothing. He felt an arm on his shoulder.
“Stop struggling.” the voice commanded. T-Bone stopped and
stared at where the voice was coming from. “Let me introduce myself.
My name is Tanaquil. I’m with the KIA and MASA. Unfourtionately, since
you’ve accidentally stumbled into this secret base, you won’t be able
to return back to the surface. I assume you’d be T-Bone.” Tanaquil
“Well, uh… can’t you untie me?” T-Bone asked.
“Sure!” Tanquil said, pushing a button on the plastic and steel
bonds, “But you can’t go snooping about.”
“I can’t even see!” T-Bone replied.
“You cant?!” Tanaquil said “Uh… I’ll – I’ll see if the
technology department can give you some sort of glasses to fix your
“Impaired vision?!” T-Bone thought.
“Great!” Naiome beamed at the festive look of the garage. There
were streamers, balloons and all sorts of kiddy party decorations
covering the walls. “Chance’s birthday party’s gonna be a smash!”
Naiome beamed. Then it occurred to her again. She had the thought
nagging in her mind as she was setting up for the party “Now what am I
“Maybe T-Bone?” Jake asked, a bit annoyed.
“Oh yeah! Uh… Jake, could you get him please?” Naiome said,
looking at the walls.
“Don’t be an idiot.” Jake said, “He’s not here!!”
“Oh cool! Now it’ll really be a surprise party!” Naiome said,
“You’re a regular blonde!” Jake grumbled.
“Am not! And where do you get off with that! I think you’re
being rude!!” Naiome said.
“He’s been gone for a day now!” Jake said, annoyed. That stupid
titanium won’t budge so we could get down there and go after T-Bone!”
Naiome’s mind lit up. “Oh yeah! I Remember! Now who’s going to
open his gifts for him since he won’t be here. Darn kat’s gotta learn
not to be absent on days like this!” Razor stormed down to try to
blow the titanium in the floor away again cursing under his breath.
“What I say?” Naiome called down to him.
Far below, an unseen scientist was finishing on a pair of
glasses for T-Bone. If T-Bone could see, the scientist looked like a
cross between Dr. Konway and Dr. Greenbox. He was tinkering with a set
of black glasses made out of a shiny black material. “Okay… thy
these now.” he said, carefully putting the glasses in T-Tone’s hand.
T-Bone scanned the room. He could see a dark room with two kats
inside, one the scientist, the other, Tanaquil. He let out a gasp.
“Did it work?” the scientist asked. “Tell me what you see.”
“Everything!” T-Bone said, pleased.
“Great!” Tanaquil beamed. “The glasses look great on you, here,
have a look.” Tanaquil held up a mirror. T-Tone saw himself. The
glasses looked stealthy, and had a polygonal look, but seemed to fit
“Wow. I didn’t know the KIA was even capable of creating stuff
like this.” T-Bone marveled.
“They’re not sold to the public yet. Come, We’re going to have
to sign you in as a new member of Operation E.R.M.” Tanaquil said,
dragging T-Bone out of the room.
“I’ve never herd of an `erm’ before.” T-Bone said.
“E.R.M. stands for Eno-nightshade Radical Megaintelligence.
It’s part of Project Nightshade. Project Nightshade is designed to
create our whole planet as one global nation. We’ve set up an E.R.M.
base in every major city in the entire world, this one being the last
one built. Unfourtionately, we built too close to your hidden hanger.
Since you have even set foot into an E.R.M. base, we can’t let you
leave. This early into the Nightshade project, we can’t afford any
foul-ups. Right now, we’ve got to find out as much about each region
in order to figure out the best way for our attack.” Tanaquil
“You’re causing a war?” T-Bone said.
“Uh… What I meant to say was, Right now, we’ve got to find
out as much about each region in order to figure out the best way for
our future plans for our new nation. I forget, you don’t know any of
the E.R.M. slang.” Tanaquil said. “Come, we’ve got to get you fitted
with the E.R.M. uniform. Let’s see… since you’re an accomplished
pilot, I’ll give you the rank of being second… um… second to
“Your own?” Chance joked.
“Percicely!” Tanaquil said. “Now, come with me before I forget
A considerable time later, T-Bone was equipped with the E.R.M.
uniform. It was entirely shiny black, and seemed to look like plates
of armor was what made up the uniform when in fact, it was easier to
move in than his SK uniform was. In a way, it looked like a cross
between a flight suit, a tuxedo, and T-Bone’s SK uniform. T-Bone
donned on his normal SK helmet.
“Wow! I think you look stunning in that!” Tanaquil marveled,
when he showed it to her. “Oh he’s so handsome!” Tanaquil thought.
“Only… it’s missing something. Ah! I know wait there!” Tanaquil
rushed off, and in an instant, came back with a bucket. “Okay… hold
still.” T-Tone closed his eyes. He felt what seemed to be Tanaquil’s
fingers running across his head.
“What are you doing?” T-Bone asked.
“You’ll see!” Tanaquil said in a way that reminded T-Bone of
Naiome. A second later, T-Bone felt a bunch of liquid cover his nose,
causing him to give a yell. “Oh! You moved!” Some weird fumed flew up
T-Bone’s nose causing him to feel light headed, and then were gone.
“I’m afraid that won’t wash off, but it gives you an indifferent
look.” Tanaquil held up a mirror. T-Bone saw his own reflection. He
looked normal. His skin under his lighter in color fur was beginning
to lose the tan it had when he laid in the sun when he could get
around to doing so. His black nose, black helmet, black glasses, in
correlation with his new outfit seemed to give him a look like you
wouldn’t want to walk in front of him down a dark alley late at night.
He grinned in spite of himself. “I suppose you like it?” Tanaquil
asked, picking her bucket up, which T-Bone saw was half full of black
paint with a brush floating in the middle.
“Yeah.” T-Bone grinned, “You guys have good taste. Who came up
with the uniform design anyway?”
“I- I- I dunno. I guess I forgot.” Tanaquil said.
“Tanaquil, it’s she-kats like you that put the rest of us
behind.” T-Bone mused. Tanaquil got a weird look on her face and
quickly exited the room. T-Bone felt he was a bit rude on her, but
then again, Tanaquil got on his nerves. He liked her, but equally
liked staying away from her. T-Bone thought to himself that he and
Tanaquil would never really be anything more than just an
A week had passed since T-Bone had disappeared. Razor was
staring at the titanium plate in the floor of the hangar. By now, he
had entirely unearthed all of the floor on the bottom of the small
room, in the lowest room. The floor now consisted of scrap metal, dirt
and rock, and a sheet of titanium. Razor’s face was fixed into a
scowl. All of his diamond tipped missiles were in several pieces, and
the silver metal was now so polished it was like looking in a mirror.
Not a dent, but the metal was shiny and cheery. Razor was staring at
the stupid floor. He saw himself scowling at himself.
“You done yet? My iced tea needs refilling!” Naiome said from
nearby. She was sitting in a tight bacchini, empty drink in hand, on
an oversized lounge chair meant for two people, and relaxing under a
great slate green beach umbrella. Naiome was laying on her sode and
motioning Jake to come closer to her. Jake knew that trick, and he was
NOT filling her stupid glass again.
“Look Naiome, why not just go upstairs and continue with
T-Bone’s birthday party?” Jake said, annoyed.
“And ruin my tan! Never!!” Naiome said, horrified.
“We’re a hundred and fifty dang feet underground! How can you
get a tan IN here?” Jake said, glad there wasn’t anything within reach
to throw at her.
“I can dream, can’t I?” Naiome said.
Jake stormed upstairs, his whole body has stiff with rage. He
had a slight feeling that Naiome was beginning to annoy him. He
stormed upstairs cussing under his breath. All of his gadget approved
useless against whatever this metal was. Razor feared for T-Bone’s
safety, and hoped his partner was okay. Since it had already been a
week, Razor was getting extremely on edge.
During the week, Chance had adjusted to his new vision.
Apparently, if he messed with the vision controls, he could see in
infrared and ultraviolet. He thought things looked weird in
ultraviolet. He didn’t know it’s exact purpose, but he was sure there
had to be a reason. Since he was second in command of Operation
E.R.M., he had been given access to every room except for Tanaquil’s
room (which he rather liked) and Lum ‘s room.
Lum was an unusual kat with what seemed to be an E.R.M. base
inside the E.R.M. base. Lum controlled all the activities of the
E.R.M. base, both exterior and interior. Except for this factor, Lum
was third in command. Besides from the extra space in Lum ‘s name,
some of his other weird things about him was basically himself. He was
half a head taller than T-Bone, and wore the same E.R.M Uniform,
except without the helmet that T-Bone alone wore. Lum had very blonde
fur, that made the parts of his fur that wasn’t covered stood out like
a beacon. Lum wore large thick glasses with red rims on them. Lum
walked with an air of importance and almost over inflated self pride,
and he tried to conceal a slight limp. T-Bone just had to wonder about
Lum . Lum didn’t wear shoes, and one of his feet showed a large nasty
scar that looked as if part of his foot had been sliced completely
off. The scar made T-Bone wince just to look at it.
Chance walked down a corridor that lead to the “Observation
Deck”. It seemed to be another of Lum ‘s inventions. Lum had designed
it to be able to show you anything anywhere within the Megakat City
limits. The dim lights around him only gave enough light to see a few
feet in front of him, but his eyes had adjusted to the light… if
they could have adjusted. T-Bone came up to a wall with a rectangular
button that gave off a faint glow in the middle of the wall. T-Bone
pressed the button. A second later, the door slid up into the ceiling.
The room was empty. A few screens had been left on, but had on screen
savers displaying the Nightshade logo, rotating about on the screen.
The Nightshade logo looked like an eye on top of a pyramid, enclosed
inside a circle. At the bottom, rotating along with the rest of the
logo was the words: “New World Order”. Chance thought he recognized
the logo from somewhere. He serched his mind. He knew he saw that
insignia somewhere. Then he r!
bered. It was printed on every dollar bill. T-Bone instinctively hit
the escape key.
The screen cleared and showed the inside of Enforcer H.Q.
Feral’s office, to be precise. Feral was siting at his desk, with his
secretary taking down notes… or at least trying to. Feral appeared
to be doing more flirting than dictating. The whole concept of Feral
in even a halfway decent mood struck T-Bone as funny. T-Bone used the
cursor keys to move out of the room. What was funny about the whole
console system was that it worked like DOOM. It was a first-person 3-D
real-time map of Megakat city and all it’s denizens, all working and
interacting exactly along with the real city. It was almost like
flying an invisible camera around Megakat city. Taking the stairs, the
screen reached the ground level of Enforcer headquarters. It was years
ago when T-Bone could walk about Enforcer H.Q. without anything on his
mind. He wondered why the screen was even focused in on Feral’s office
anyway. The street outside was bright, even with the tall high rises
blocking out much of t!
he sunlight. Kats were walking on the sidewalks scurrying to wherever
they needed to go. T-Bone wandered through the virtual city. Somehow,
this program had more of a Myst atmosphere than a high tech. program
designed to do something T-Bone wasn’t supposed to know.
Eventually, the whole excitement brew boring. The whole thing
was the same. You just walked wherever and had no real goal. What was
the program even used for? T-Bone just left the screen focused in on
the inside of a “Burger Kat” restaurant. T-Bone looked at some of the
other screens. Each were focused in on either the mayor or deputy
mayor’s office. That struck T-Bone as being just a little too odd.
T-Bone moved the screen fixed on Mayor Manx over to the inside of the
nearest “Yo But’s Chinese Laundry World”. He fixed the screen focused
in on deputy mayor Briggs in on “The Yet-Again-Even-Newer-New Robyn
Alexander’s Dance Studio!”. All the other screens were off, and T-Bone
didn’t know how to work a computer for the life of him. He could just
play the games.
T-Bone made his way out of the Observation Deck. The whole
E.R.M. Base was so boring. What was it for? Why all of the security?
And what about Lum ? How come Lum seemed to run everything? What was
Lum hiding? Nothing added up. T-Bone decided to have a talk with Lum
. That was it. He’d see what Lum said about Operation E.R.M. T-Bone
was second in command, and was totally clueless. As T-Bone walked down
the corridor to Lum ‘s room, he pondered about why everything was so
dim. He thought he could feel the hot light coming down from what
seemed to be practically useless lights above. It wasn’t that he ran
into walls or anything. He could easily go from point “A” to point “B”
and not bump into anything. It just seemed like every shadow held a
secret that everyone except T-Bone knew.
T-Bone was about to knock on the metal door to Lum ‘s room when
he heard Lum ‘s unmistakable almost rasping voice talking to someone.
“Our operation is a complete success. Operation E.R.M. has
gathered the three places to attack.” Lum said. T-Bone put his ear to
the door. Who was he talking to?
Someone else in the room responded. The voice was so familiar,
it almost made T-Bone think it was himself talking. He found himself
giddy with adrenaline, and his fur stood on end. The deep voice
growled. “Yes, I anticipated this. Obviously, the E.R.M. Project told
me what I already knew.” T-Bone found the rage inside him cutting of
his breathing making him purr softly.
“Right. Proceeding to Operation D.O.E.S.” Lum said. “I’ll
notify Tanaquil of our success.”
“Eliminate her. She’s blundered enough. Tell the one second in
command to dispose of her.” The other voice said in it’s deep way.
T-Bone broke into a cold sweat. Operation Nightshade wasn’t a peace
project. It was for total unification and Megakat City would be the
capital. A new world order. Hell on Earth. A world of lawlessness, and
T-Bone was second in command of the entire project. When Tanaquil was
gone, Lum would surely eliminate T-Bone too.
Lum spoke again. “Second in command is the SWAT Kat. Don’t
worry, I’ll get rid of them both. This’ll be easy, because the SWAT
Kat is blind. A little product of my hypnotism and laser cannon.”
T-Bone’s purring grew much louder. He found it difficult to breathe.
He was shaking with rage. He had to stop himself from pounding the
“Wait, if he’s blind, then… Eliminate Tanaquil and send the
SWAT Kat directly to me. He’ll tell me what I want to know. Then I’ve
eliminated two problems at once.” the growling voice said.
“What if he doesn’t?” Lum asked.
“Believe me, he will!” the growling voice replied.
“Hail Dark Kat!” Lum said triumphantly. T-Bone heard the
machinery inside Lum ‘s room switch off. T-Bone ducked out of sight.
T-Bone could just imagine Lum with his right arm in the Nazi pose as
he said “Hail Dark Kat!” It was so obvious! The Observation deck
wasn’t a game, it used some sort of radio waves to analyze the city,
and the screens were the focus of there the E.R.M. Base would try to
destroy for their world conquest. This was a world-wide operation to
eliminate all means of justice, except for what Dark Kat wanted-total
anarchy! Lum emerged from his room. Lum was so pre-occupied with
getting ready for Operation D.O.E.S. that he didn’t notice T-Bone’s
growling. One thing was for sure, he’d have to save Tanaquil, and
himself. He’d have to plant a bomb in the- then it hit him! The E.R.M.
base was right underneath his own hangar! Kill the base, and the whole
salvage yard goes with it! One thing was for certain, he’d have to act
To Be Continued…………..
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Disclaimer: SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 1995. All other characters and material within this page are the property of their respective creators.