Title: A Kitten’s Deadly Adventure
Disclaimer: “SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron,” its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission.
Author’s Note: Just something that came to me and wouldn’t let go. Very short and different.
He’d been doing his best to keep his little sister from screaming in terror, comforting her the best a little eight year old could. It was a dark, cold, and tight place they found themselves in. He’d already tried to dig their way out with no success except to pull more dirt on them. That was when he ceased his efforts and huddled with his sister cuddled tightly against his body, his arms tightly wrapped around her to keep her warm.
Thankfully, she was asleep now, too drained to do anymore crying. Tears of his own tracked down his small face, and the terror he hid from Casey earlier shone now in his dark eyes. The only thing he could be thankful for was the breath of fresh air he could feel on his face from somewhere above them. He hoped it meant there was a way to them and that someone would find them soon.
Outside, a small crowd of urgently working adults hurried as fast as they dared to reach the trapped little ones. They would shovel and use their paws, stop and listen then start digging again. The mother was working with them, though blinded by tears and barely able to see what she was doing, but she refused to stop even when the huge tom next to her gently urged her to take a break.
She’d told him, though her voice was choked with tears, “They are my kittens and I will stay right here doing what I must to rescue them.”
He nodded his understanding and went back to digging.
Her mind went back to when this nightmare had begun. Oh, it had been such a nice, warm day… the sun was shining, and she was hanging out the laundry as her kittens played some kind of game in the field where their father was working nearby. She could hear their loud laughter and she smiled.
Then came the loud sounds of explosions. She froze with a shirt in her paws and looked up. A vicious aerial battle was heading their way. A strange black jet was fleeing and being fired upon by a cluster of enforcer choppers as well as a sleek and recognizable jet flying even higher above them all and firing its own brand of missiles at the odd jet.
Though they were high up and still some distance away, the sound of their missiles striking their target, a pair of choppers falling away as they were struck blows and the bright flashes of laser fire could plainly be seen and heard.
Frightened, she dropped the shirt and screamed, “Gerry! Kittens! Danger! Run to me!” Running to the field, she continued screaming her warning.
Her kittens halted their game at their mother’s shrill cry. Frightened by the look on her face as she raced to them, and now hearing the roar of noise above them, the male, after one frightened look above, grabbed his little sister and began to run toward his mother. Their father had also seen the battle and had stopped his tractor, leaped off and ran toward his family.
She would never forget what happened next. The air filled with the sound of a close explosion just as she nearly reached her kittens then the ground shook beneath her feet and a violent rush of air struck her, sending her flying back the way she’d come, landing hard on her back, missing the huge oak tree in their back yard.
For a moment she was stunned, the breath knocked out of her then memory and her kittens spurred her to shove herself to her feet. What greeted her eyes was terrifying.
A chopper had plunged into the ground at the far end of their field and continued to skid across the ground shoving the freshly plowed field before it in a wall of dirt that crushed or buried all in front of it, which included an old tree that was uprooted then buried under tons of dirt. The chopper was half buried as well as it finally came to a halt halfway across the lawn, taking out the clothes line, the chopper more in pieces than whole any longer, its pilot missing.
The poor she-kat stood in shock as she stared at the devastation. Shaking herself, she realized her kittens and husband were missing. Thinking they might have been shoved back like she had, she turned around to look behind her, and there, on the roof of their home, was the crumpled form of her husband. He must have been catapulted there by the violence of the chopper’s crash. But, of her kittens, there was no sign.
Turning back to the crash scene, she moved tentatively forward, looking everywhere. But, as she continued her search with still no sign of her kittens, panic set in and she began to run across the field like a mad thing, screaming their names. A deep furrow showed the path the chopper had taken. She spotted something laying in the untouched part of their fields to the right of her and she put on more speed, running to it only to find it was the pilot of the chopper.
She stared down at him, heaving for breath. The poor tom was ripped apart and most definitely dead. Sobbing, she turned away from him and continued her search. She was so distraught, she didn’t hear another chopper land not far away and an enforcer came running across the field to her side. He tried to get her to leave the area as it was dangerous.
Violently shoving against the tom’s chest she yelled, “My kittens… my kittens were here until your battle made them disappear! They must be here somewhere! I have to find them!”
The enforcer was anguished. This happened far too often in the battle against the omegas, but this was the worst he’d ever been involved in. He didn’t try to restrain her, choosing to let her try to search while he contacted a superior to ask for help and guidance on how to deal with this.
Above, the battle had ended, the mysterious jet vanishing, escaping capture, leaving the defenders angry and upset. Before Feral could recall his flight and summon a clean up team for the mess, he received an urgent call from one of his officers. Dismayed, he turned his chopper back toward the small farm and ordered his remaining flight to follow. The SWAT Kats had been ready to abandon the area when Razor picked up the call.
“Kittens missing… T-Bone, I think we should lend a paw!” Razor called his partner over their radio.
“I agree, turning back now.”
More than six choppers landed as did a large, sleek black jet. Enforcers and two colorful figures ran toward the bewildered mother, who could only stare at all the military arriving and especially the SWAT Kats.
Feral took charge. While he gently questioned the distraught mother, he had sent some of his officers to rescue the father from the roof and take him to the hospital, and sent the rest, including the SWAT Kats, to search the area thoroughly.
After a thorough search of the area turned up no trace of the kittens, Feral didn’t hold much hope they were still alive, but Razor had an idea, told Feral to stand by a little longer and signaled his partner to follow him. Lifting into the air, T-Bone put the jet on VTOL and moved it slowly across the ground until they hovered over the area they suspected the kittens might be and stopped.
Razor used their x-ray device and carefully scanned the ground beneath him. It was a long, nerve wracking ten minutes before he got lucky.
“Bingo! There they are,” he shouted to his partner then changed frequencies to reach Feral. “Commander! Go two feet to your right and four feet forward. The kittens are there some fifteen feet straight down, hiding in an old tree that’s been buried by the dirt and very much alive.”
Feral heaved a sigh of relief. “Excellent! You have anything that will help speed up the digging?” he asked, worried about the kittens air supply.
“Nothing that wouldn’t cause more danger to the kittens, sorry. We’re reduced to just digging, and, since they are alive, there must be some air getting to them,” Razor said. “We’ll be right down to help!”
T-Bone took that as his cue to move away to the field again and landed the jet. They jumped from the cockpit with shovels of their own from their emergency supplies and hurried to join the enforcers digging frantically with whatever they had at paw which, in most cases, were their fingers.
What they’d been able to determine was the crashing chopper had shoved the dirt of the field before it like a huge tractor blade. The fast moving dirt had hit the tree with enough force to topple it over. They could only guess the older kitten had shoved his sister and himself into the hollow tree before it had been uprooted and buried. It was a very smart thing he’d done because it was all that had saved them.
Now it was more than an hour later, and the group of enforcers and the SWAT Kats seemed no closer, but no one gave up. Feral was next to the poor mother, digging with his big paws. She was dirty, her paws bleeding as she dug with her fingers, shoving dirt away like a badger. But, he could see she was faltering from exhaustion. He gently put a huge arm around her waist and gently pulled her away from the site.
She glared and struggled against him, but he was far too strong. He set her down on a small patch of grass and said gently, “You can’t help them if you’re too exhausted to comfort them when they are safe again. Let us do the work now. Please, ma’am. Just sit here and rest. We’ll get them out, I promise.”
Staring at him, she was so wrapped in her anguish and fear she didn’t understand him at first, but as his words finally sunk in and she saw such sincere concern in his eyes, she nodded, her shoulders slumping in defeat. Looking back at the ones working so hard to find her kits, she could see the sense in his words so sank down in a boneless heap.
He gave her a light pat on the back then lumbered back to his spot and began digging like a bulldozer. She rubbed her tired eyes and watched the males dig. It was strange to see the SWAT Kats digging right alongside the enforcers and no one was trading hostile words as they all worked hard to clear the dirt. All of them had sweat running down their faces from the warm day and their exertions. They were covered in dirt, a fine layer of it covered their faces, making some of them sneeze. The SWAT Kats’ masks were thoroughly coated with it.
Inside his wooden shelter, the little male woke to the sound of voices and digging. Feeling with his paws, he found his sister was still sleeping and alive, her head pressed against his chest and the fingers of one paw gripping his shirt, the other paw near her face, a thumb in her mouth as she slept. Sighing in relief that she was alright, he began to shout to those outside their tomb to let them know where they were.
“Help! We’re here! We’re here!”
“Wait! Stop shoveling!” Razor shouted. Everyone froze instantly and stared at him questioningly. “Listen!”
No one moved or made a sound, all ears pricked forward as they strained their hearing for any sound. Faint but clear, they heard the sweet sound of a small voice shouting at them.
“We’re coming! Sit tight and don’t move!” Razor shouted back.
The little male sighed in relief at that shouted assurance and settled down to wait. His sister had begun to cry again because he had startled her with his shout to their rescuers.
“Easy, Casey, they found us… we’ll be out soon… promise,” he murmured, hugging her tightly.
She whimpered but ceased her frightened crying.
Their mother sobbed in relief that her kittens were still alive.
Digging with more speed now that they knew they were on the right track, the adults were anxious to get the kittens free of their imprisonment. Dirt flew through the air, covering everything as they shoved it away rapidly.
Another ten minutes of digging went by when an enforcer some five feet from Feral and the SWAT Kats shouted in excitement as he’d struck something hard with his shovel.
Moving swiftly to his side, everyone concentrated their efforts to uncovering whatever it was he’d found. To their immense relief it was the tree. They split into two groups and began to clear the dirt moving away from each other as they uncovered the tree, each group trying to locate some opening in it to extract the kittens.
Finally, some fifteen minutes later, Feral and the SWAT Kats uncovered the roots, revealing a huge hollow area. Quickly, they pulled the dirt from the opening until it fell away, showing a small cavity.
Feral began to reach in when a small head suddenly popped out to stare up at him. It was the male, and he grinned a brilliantly white smile in a very dirty face at the big tom then raised his arms and shoved a very small form at Feral, who took the female quickly before she could fall then turned and handed her off to T-Bone who was beside him.
A little surprised but reacting quickly, T-Bone took her, bringing her close to his chest to protect her as he turned away from the tree and made for the little one’s mother. Being taken from her brother made her scared, and she began to whimper.
“Shhh, easy, it’s okay. I’m just taking you to your mommy,” T-Bone soothed her as hurriedly made for the mother, who was now standing and waiting anxiously.
She cried with joy as she took her daughter from the SWAT Kat’s arms.
“She looks okay… just dirty,” T-Bone said.
The mother gave him a grateful look. “Thank you so much… but Danny?”
“He’s okay too. The Commander’s getting him, don’t worry,” T-Bone quickly told her.
Back at the tree, Feral helped the gutsy eight year old force his way through the rest of the dirt to escape his wood prison.
Lifting the eight year old into his arms, Feral carried him to his mother. The male was amazed at the strength of the huge tom that held him high above the ground. Awe filled his eyes to know he was being carried by the Chief Enforcer himself.
Feral gently put the little fellow on his feet next to his mother. He could see the small tom was fine, if very dirty.
“That was a very smart and brave thing you did, Danny,” Feral complimented him.
Danny blushed and ducked his head. It felt good to be thought of so highly, especially by someone like the Commander. “There weren’t time to do anything else, sir. All I could think of was to get into that tree.”
“And, it was a brilliant decision. It’s all that saved you and your sister,” Feral said warmly.
Danny grinned. His mother grabbed him and hugged hard, giving him a kiss on the cheek, which made him want to squirm again with a different kind of embarrassment.
“Oh, Danny! Daddy and I are so proud of you,” she said.
It was then that Danny realized his father was no where around. He looked around quickly but saw only enforcers and, wow, the SWAT Kats… but there was no sign of his father.
“Where’s daddy, mommy?” he asked anxiously.
“He was hurt and taken to the hospital,” she said. A worried look started to cross her face as she realized she had no idea what condition her husband was in.
“We can offer you a ride to the hospital, ma’am,” T-Bone interjected at that moment. “The kittens should be checked over anyway.”
Danny’s eyes widened with excitement. “Oh wow, we can ride in the Turbokat?”
“You most certainly can!” Razor said, grinning.
“Good idea, SWAT Kat,” Feral agreed, surprising both vigilantes. “Let’s get them aboard!” he ordered.
The enforcers, relieved and happy at the successful rescue, obeyed quickly, several helping to carry the little family across the field to the jet and loading them aboard. Once the family was settled in jump seats in the cargo hold, Razor closed the cargo door as his partner climbed upward to the cockpit.
“Can I sit up there?” Danny asked before Razor could leave the hold as well.
Razor stopped and eyed the mother for permission. She nodded, holding and rocking her littlest, smiling in amusement at her son’s excitement, glad he hadn’t suffered harm from his brush with death.
“Sure, sport,” Razor said, coming to the kitten’s side and releasing his restraint. “Let’s go,” he said as he took the kitten’s paw and helped him across the cargo floor to the ladder then boosted him nearly to the top.
Danny was impressed by the smaller tom’s great strength. He grabbed the top of the ladder and pulled himself the rest of the way up. He stared around in delight, saw the back of T-Bone and watched as the big tom pressed buttons and flipped switches on a complex console before him.
Razor arrived next to him and guided him into a jump seat beside the weapons seat. Danny could barely contain himself as he looked around. Razor’s console was even more complex than T-Bone’s. He watched as the smaller SWAT Kat clicked his restraint in place then called to his partner over his radio in his helmet and told him they could leave.
Danny squealed involuntarily as the jet engines roared then the whole thing lifted into the sky, straight up. He grinned in delight as he looked out the window and saw the ground recede rapidly then they halted a second before beginning to move just as rapidly forward.
Around them flew the enforcer choppers. He could actually see Commander Feral in the chopper right next to them. The big tom gave him a brief salute, which Danny returned with a huge grin. He turned his gaze to the ground and saw it was flying by at great speed.
As they flew over the city, he saw the clock tower of city hall then the twin towers of the enforcer building. Here was where the choppers peeled off from escorting the jet and made for the high flight line of their headquarters. Before they swept past, Danny was able to see a few of the choppers land with ease before the Turbokat left it behind for Megakat Hospital, which was rapidly coming up before them. Danny could just make out the landing apron with the huge red cross on it as the jet got closer.
He listened as Razor spoke with the emergency room staff over his radio and then they were landing. He was sad the flight was over so soon, but he was thrilled to have had the chance to fly in the jet at all. Wait till he told his friends at school that he had flown in the Turbokat; they would be so jealous.
Being buried underground might have been terrifying, but getting to ride with the SWAT Kats had more than made up for nearly dying. He would never forget this experience and maybe, when he grew up, he would join the enforcers and be a pilot like T-Bone, flying the skies of Megakat City.
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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.