Title: A MEDIEVAL NIGHTMARE
Disclaimer: “SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron,” its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission.
“That’s got it, Arn. Thank you for the help.” T-Bone grunted, holding the repaired nose gear.
“Thee are most welcome, Sir T-Bone. If more thy need, don’t hesitate to come to me,” the blacksmith said with a grin of pleasure.
“I’ll keep that in mind.” T-Bone smiled back and began wheeling the gear back to the jet.
When he arrived back at the Turbokat, he could see Razor had gotten the pieces of broken strut removed and was presently doing something to the landing rails of Feral’s chopper.
His eyes raised, but he didn’t comment as he rolled the wheel back to its proper place.
“Great work, T-Bone,” Razor said as he inspected the strut. “Now, hold it there while I put in new holes,” he said as he reset his laser.
T-Bone steadied the strut and kept his face back out of the way while Razor carefully made new bolt holes.
“There, that should do it. Now, let’s lever it into position,” Razor said as he avoided the hot metal and helped T-Bone raise the strut into position. Once there, Razor slid the bolt through. “Perfect! I’ll leave you to tighten that into place, buddy. I want to finish prepping these rails, then we’ll lever them into position on either side of the strut and tire,” Razor said distractedly as he returned to the rails at their feet.
Minutes later, the two were hefting the rails into position but found them too awkward to hold and install alone.
“Guess we better call for Feral and Lord Ferlin if we want to get this done before dark,” Razor said in annoyance as he looked up at the sky and saw how late it was getting.
“You’re right there… hmmm… hey! You there!” T-Bone shouted toward some teenage kittens hovering close, watching them.
The small group jumped in surprise and a little fear. They walked cautiously up to the jet but didn’t get real close.
“Hey, could some of you go find Sir Feral and Lord Ferlin and tell them we need them here?” T-Bone asked politely.
The kittens nodded their heads and smiled. Turning swiftly, they ran for the castle to fulfill their mission. It took them a little while and asking various servants to finally locate the pair.
Lord Ferlin was in his study, sharing a bottle of sherry with Commander Feral and talking strategy. The leader of the group of kittens knocked on the open door frame to gain their attention.
“Yes?” Ferlin asked.
“Sirs! Sir T-Bone asked that thee both come and aid him and Sir Razor,” he said breathlessly.
“Ahh, looks like they have need of us at last, Sir Feral,” Lord Ferlin said as he rose from his chair. He reached for something at his belt, and, a moment later, he handed coins to the younglings for their help. They grinned happily and took off.
Some minutes later, the pair walked across the castle courtyard and out the gate to the jet. Dusk was near, and Razor had hung a trouble light over his work area. Lord Ferlin blinked at that in fascination.
“So! What do you two need?” Feral asked gruffly.
“We need you two to hold the rails while T-Bone and I bolt them in place,” Razor explained.
Feral went to one end of a rail while Ferlin went to the other. With a grunt of effort they lifted the rail and moved it where Razor indicated. It was exhausting work. It took fifteen minutes per rail, but finally they were in place.
“Well, that’s the best we’re going to get. It should hold up just long enough to let us land just once,” Razor said in satisfaction.
“Great. I’m ready for a bath and food right about now,” T-Bone said, wiping sweat from his brow.
They put away their tools and searched the ground to be sure they hadn’t left anything. Razor closed the cargo hold, and they walked back to the castle just as the light of day vanished.
Reaching the room they shared, they found the Queen had anticipated their needs. A huge tub was sitting in the middle of the floor of their room and servants were just beginning to fill it with hot water. As soon as the tub was filled, they stripped down to underwear and climbed in. The soap was hard and smelled of oat and honey. It was a bit difficult to use, but they weren’t too picky. Finished, they climbed out and used the rough fabric laid out for them.
“Wished they had a dryer,” Razor said ruefully as he tried to dry his long fur.
“Me too!” Feral sighed as he had the same problems with his long fur.
T-Bone just smirked at them as he finished drying his much shorter fur. “That’s probably why they lit the fireplace,” he snorted, going to the table near the bed that held various brushes.
They aided each other brushing out backs, even Feral’s, then they dressed for dinner, feeling much better and cleaner.
Dinner, of course, was more pepperpot stew with hot crusty bread and lots of milk.
“How hast thou work progressed, Sir Razor?” the Queen asked.
“Finished, my Queen. We are as ready as we will be when you are able to send us back,” Razor said politely.
“That is good news. Tomorrow, my people will prepare for a festival. They don’t have many opportunities to enjoy themselves. Thy presence gives them an excuse to have a brief holiday from work and the daily chores of life,” she said, smiling.
“Sounds like fun!” T-Bone said in anticipation. This trip was turning out to be a bit more interesting then all their other too brief forays here.
She bid them a pleasant good night as they went to their beds. They were beat and went to sleep almost before their head hit the feather stuffed pillows.
Next morning shone bright and sunny. The visitors were allowed to rest a little longer than the castle denizens, but they couldn’t really sleep past all the commotion anyway. Tomorrow they would, hopefully, be going home. Today, they would enjoy themselves and perhaps pick up some things to take back.
And, what an interesting day it was. Feral enjoyed a chance to show his prowess in a tournament that consisted of racing on horseback holding a pike and trying to catch a ring onto it while running down a straight course. He was successful at least three times. He was grinning ear from ear with triumph as he held up the ring on his last run. The people cheered.
Razor got his chance to shine in a game of tossing knives at a target. None were able to beat his uncanny accuracy.
T-Bone took a turn, but wasn’t as good, but he did have better luck at throwing hatchets.
After the contests, there were many booths and the smells of wonderful foods on the air. They walked with the Queen and Lord Ferlin and picked up quite a few things to take back and tried many of the different and sometimes odd food. By that evening, they were placed beside the Queen on chairs brought out and placed on the top step of the castle doors to watch dancing and music. They tried some of the local mead as well, though they were careful not to drink to much since it was very potent.
By bedtime, they were replete and tired. Collapsing onto their beds, they had to admit they’d had an incredible day. Privately, Razor was amazed at how well they had gotten along with Feral during this whole thing. When he wasn’t being pressed by the constant emergencies, paperwork, and the aggravations of working with city hall, he was a rather interesting and easy to get along with tom. He wondered vaguely as sleep overcame him how this trip would affect their future interactions with the Commander. Only time would tell.
The day was a little overcast as they spent their last day with the Queen. They loaded the jet with the things they had gotten yesterday, then they spent the day just relaxing. Feral spent a great deal of time talking with Lord Ferlin. Dinner was quiet, each lost in their own thoughts. Finally, it was moonrise, and they walked out to the jet. They spent a few minutes saying goodbye.
Feral stood to the side and spoke with Lord Ferlin, who handed him a present.
“What’s this?” Feral asked as he unwrapped the cloth that covered the object. It was a book with an ornate cover. The words inside were written in gold lettering and many beautiful colored illustrations.
“This is a copy of my family history,” Lord Ferlin said quietly.
“But, why give it to me?” Feral asked, astonished, admiring the craftsmanship of the beautiful gift.
“I feel as Sir Razor does that we be related. Who better to posses this.” He grinned in amusement and pleasure at Feral’s surprise and gentle care of the precious item.
“I… even if I am not, I am deeply honored to receive this. Thank you!” Feral said, shaking the other kat’s paw in farewell.
Nearby, the SWAT Kats were bidding the Queen farewell.
“I’d say we’ll miss you if it weren’t for the fact that Pastmaster has a penchant for sending us here, so, unfortunately, we’ll probably be seeing you again,” Razor said with a rueful smile.
“That is very true, I fear. Sir Razor. A safe journey to thee and to thee, Sir T-Bone,” she said warmly, hugging them both.
Feral walked over to them, and the Queen took his paw. “Though we have only just met, Sir Feral, I am pleased to have made your acquaintance. I too think that thee is a distant descendant of Lord Ferlin. It would be nice if thee would inform me on thy occasional visits here if that was discovered to be true,” she said.
“Sure, if we see you again, we’ll try to have that information on hand,” T-Bone said.
“It has been a pleasure meeting you and getting a chance to see the past. It’s been really fascinating,” Feral said warmly.
“It is time. Please prepare yourselves to leave,” she said quietly.
Feral climbed up on the wing and then down into the hold, securing himself into a jump seat. He chose a seat as close to the ladder as he could and pulled an engine warming pad over him. He didn’t want flying debris from the chopper to hit him if they had a bumpy ride.
T-Bone and Razor hopped in to their seats and closed the canopy.
They watched Queen Callista and Lord Ferlin move back to stand near the main gates of the castle. She raised her arms, and a gleam of light shone between her palms. It got brighter and brighter until they felt themselves being lifted into the air and shot toward the moon.
When they were high enough, T-Bone engaged the engines. A portal opened up, and he guided the jet through it. It was pretty rough; Feral got quite a few things thrown at him, but he remained unharmed when they burst through into their own time once more.
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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.