Title: A WEIRD NIGHT IN CHICAGO
Disclaimer: “SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron,” its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission. “The Dresden Files” belong to Jim Butcher.
A/N: A one-shot that floated into my brain this morning and begged to be written. Enjoy! (The Dresden Files/ SWAT Kats crossover)
I was just making me some warm milk before heading to bed one evening when a loud banging came on my front door.
Frowning, I set my mug aside and hurried on bare feet to my office area. Reaching the door, I peered through the blinds cautiously and sighed in dismay at who I saw there. I dropped my wards on the door and quickly opened it.
“Murphy! What brings you by this late?” I ask, smothering a yawn. It was after midnight after all.
“Get yourself together, Dresden. I’ve gotten a weird call from my boss that dragged my ass out of bed because of the ruckus it caused. Since weirdness is up your alley, I thought I’d drag you along instead of my team to check it out,” my cop friend growled. “Why should they be yanked from bed too for ‘the sky is falling’ kind of call.”
My left eyebrow raised. “Uh… did you say sky is falling?”
“I’ll explain on the way; get moving,” she snapped, obviously not any happier than I to have her night disturbed.
“Sure, got nothing better but sleep in mind,” I quipped. She just scowled even harder at me. I raised my palms up in defense and hurried to get dressed.
In less than five minutes, I was dressed, armed and heading out the door with her. We got into her car and were off.
“So, you said you would explain?”
“A call came in about thirty minutes ago from a lot of people that live around Victory Park… all reporting a bright light that flashed for a moment then vanished. No one went to investigate as their dogs had gone crazy when it happened, and it frightened them.”
“Ahh… I see… so we brave souls are the ones to check it out,” I snorted.
She rolled her eyes. “Can you think of anyone else crazy enough to?”
That didn’t require an answer, and she didn’t expect one. I sighed and watched the scenery whiz by as she filled me in on what little she’d gotten about the call, which was next to nothing.
Not my usual gig, but perhaps a little exercise will help me get to sleep. God knows nothing else had worked tonight. It had been a nasty day, and I was exhausted but, as happens too often, my mind just wouldn’t toss in the towel hence the reason I was still awake, able to hie off on a wild goose chase in the middle of the night.
It only took us twenty minutes to reach the park. It wasn’t a very big place, had a small pond, some benches, trees and a nice cared for lawn. The parking lot was small and was dotted with only two street lamps, making the area quite dark and gloomy, especially with the low laying fog beginning to develop from the pond and creeping over the grass like ghostly fingers.
Finding anything here was going to be a challenge even for my enhanced senses. We climbed out of the car, she turned on a high powered flashlight and I engaged my staff to illuminate our way.
We headed toward the south end of the lake where the so called event had apparently occurred. Everything was quiet except for the crickets, frogs and the occasional barking dog. Neither of us said anything as we stepped apart a short distance to cover more ground.
As we approached the lake, we still hadn’t seen any signs of anything unusual, until…
“Fuck! What the hell is that?” Murphy gasped, stumbling back a few steps from something big laying on the ground.
I hurried to her side and gaped at the impossible figure laying sprawled unconscious in the high grass a short distance from the pond. I’ve seen plenty of odd creatures in my life but all had a basis in mythology, the supernatural, and fairy tales. However, this thing was from none of the above.
It was about the same height as myself, which made it taller than Murphy, and had a slim built like mine. It wore some kind of honest to God flight suit, only this one had some kind of harness affair added. An odd device was on one wrist that I was fairly certain was a weapon of some kind. Its face was masked, and it wore a helmet but those didn’t hide the fact it was most definitely not human or paranormal nor even of this planet.
It looked like a glorified humanoid cat with fur of a cinnamon color, a tail, cat ears sticking out of its helmet and whiskers that stuck out long and clear colored from either side of its muzzle. It had only four fingers on its ‘paws’ and bare feet.
“What the hell is it?” Murphy asked again in a low whisper even though the creature was out of it.
“Well some kind of cat person is all I can tell!” I admitted, squatting by its head to study it closer. “It’s not from this world that’s for certain.”
“No shit! So, what do we do about it?” she snapped, scared and trying not to show it.
That was a good question… wish I had an answer to give her. Frowning, I stood up and began to search the area, trying to see how this cat person had gotten here. But, after a few minutes of searching, there was no sign of anything nearby. It was as if it had appeared like magic but not the kind from our world or I would have sensed it. I looked back at the body and came to a quick decision.
This wasn’t something I liked to do, but before we called in the government, I wanted to be sure this wasn’t something in my line of work. I blinked once then allowed my wizard sight to take over. I scanned the area, which now looked eerily different, but nothing I didn’t recognize. That is, until I look upward and spotted something impossible..
To the right and about ten feet in the air, my wizard’s sight saw a faint glowing slit. It literally looked like a tear in the fabric of our world, quite possibly a dimensional rift. I’ve seen such things as the Fae world called the Nevernever could only be reached through dimension gates, but those were few and located in certain place. This was not one of them and didn’t resemble any gate I was familiar with.
So, where did it come from and where did it lead too? More importantly, did this guy fall through it to here? What were his intentions toward us?
Sighing, I switched my sight back to normal, riding out the waves of disorientation it usually caused me. I had a lot of questions for our mysterious visitor, but unless he woke soon and provided he even spoke our language, I’d not get any answers for awhile. Turning to Murphy, who had wisely kept silent while I did my thing, I noted she had continued to keep him covered with her gun… not a bad idea actually.
“In answer to your question, I have no idea. However, I did find where he may have come through to enter our dimension. Right about here…” I raised my hand to gesture at the rip I’d seen, “…is a kinda of rip in the fabric of our world, and, honestly, that’s the best I can do to describe what I was seeing. It’s only an afterglow of what occurred, but at least it tells us how he got here but not how or why.”
Murphy huffed. “You mean you can see some kind of hole in the sky?” Her voice dripped skepticism for which I could hardly blame her.
She’d done a fair job believing in things that go bump in the night and trusting me to handle them even if it strained her usually more pragmatic mind in believing such things existed in the first place and putting up with the heckling she endured from her fellow cops about her job as Director of the Special Investigations (SI) Unit of the Chicago Police Department.
However, this wasn’t of earth, so she was having even more trouble believing me. But, as she couldn’t deny what her eyes were seeing, neither could she say I wasn’t telling the truth about what I saw.
“Afraid so. It’s possible this poor guy came through by accident…” I said, trailing off in thought as I stared down at our furry guest.
“Or he could be part of an invading army,” Murphy snorted. “Though for an advanced scout, it’s left itself totally defenseless.”
“I don’t think it’s an advanced scout for anything or anyone. I feel strongly that it was an accident,” I said though danged if I knew why I felt that way as there was nothing to tell me what the true state of affairs really was.
Rolling her eyes and shaking her head, Murphy didn’t look convinced and, truthfully, neither did I.
“So, what do we do about this situation? Somehow, I don’t want to make a big military operation about this if it’s an accident, but even if it’s not an invasion, what are we supposed to do about this guy and how do we get him home again?”
“All excellent questions, Murph, but…” I was interrupted by a groan coming from our sleeping guest. Murphy and I jumped back, her holding a gun on it and I, my staff.
The creature raised a paw to its head and groaned again. Must have suffered a whack there by his reaction. Then suddenly it leaped to its feet with the grace and speed of the cat it looked like and held its own weapon on us while looking quickly around it for other dangers.
“What the hell are you and where am I?” the creature demanded, its voice rough and gravelly but speaking perfectly understandable English… what a surprise. That was a relief as it would make getting to the bottom of this mystery that much easier, I hope.
“Easy there, I think it’s you who should identify yourself first as you don’t belong here on our world, we can assure you of that,” I told it carefully.
The creature studied us and its surroundings for a long moment then sighed. “Crud! I am a looong way from home that’s for certain. Look… my name is Razor, and I’m what’s known as a Kat on my world called Aristal. I was fighting a criminal who is capable of opening portals into other dimensions, and I was knocked into one during the battle. So, can you tell me where I am, please?”
Well at least he was polite and, like I figured, it was an accident that had landed him here. That was a relief. I lowered my staff, but Murphy felt more comfortable keeping our guest covered. I had no problem with that; better safe than sorry.
“I’m sorry to hear that. You’re on a place called Earth. We’re called humans, and we came here investigating a report of a strange light appearing in this park, which turns out to have been you landing here, I guess. My name is Dresden, and this is Murphy.”
“Pleased to meet you, I guess,” Razor said, less than enthused and obviously worried about how the hell he was supposed to get home again. I was wondering the same thing.
“Do you have any idea how you can return home?” I asked.
Razor sighed and shook his head. “Unless that creep opens the portal at just the right time and place, there is no way in hell I can ever go home.” There was a lost, anguished sound in his voice that touched Murphy, who decided it was safe enough to put her gun away.
“I’m sorry this happened to you. I’ve no idea what to do about it as you certainly can’t hide among us, but I wouldn’t want you to end up in some government lab somewhere either,” Murphy said.
“If it’s all the same to you, I wouldn’t want to be either,” a hint of fear creeping into his voice.
“Well, I could hide you for a little while in the supernatural side of our world if I could convince one of them to take you in. Though they just might take offense to your appearance or use you. They’re contrary that way, but it’s not as bad as what humans would do to you if they ever saw you,” I mused more to myself than him.
Razor didn’t seemed to like either idea at all. “The supernatural? You believe in that here too?”
“Uh, well… I’m a wizard and Murphy here is a human cop. We work together when my world collides with hers at times. You have a supernatural community too?”
“Well, you might say I’ve been forced to accept there’s one as the Pastmaster is a dead, one-eyed, wizard who comes through portals to try and take us over. Magic was more prevalent in our past than now-a-days. We’re more a technological society and have left that superstition behind us, except it keeps coming back to haunt us frequently of late,” Razor admitted, sourly.
“But, you do believe it exists and deal with it, while here, humans think it is only fantasy and imagination, and my community tries to keep it that way as humans have a bad habit of panicking and killing that which it doesn’t understand,” I explained.
He grimaced, which showed some major fangs. “We have people like that as well. My partner and I do our best to protect them from the nasty things they don’t want to believe or deal with.”
“Seems we’re in the same business then. Should have no problems getting along I think. So, we should go before anyone else sees you…”
“Now wait a minute, Dresden. I can’t just have you take him away with you?” Murphy objected.
“Why not? What are you going to do with him?” I asked, reasonably.
Murphy rubbed her temple and frowned. “I don’t know… okay… I just… hell… perhaps going with you is the best idea… I certainly don’t want him ending up being a bug under a microscope,” she admitted, frustrated with the whole situation.
I nodded and began to walk back to the car when a flash of light sprang into being behind me. I whirled around, staff at the ready. Murphy only a step behind me with her gun out.
A rip in the dark sky marked by a brilliant light, like a doorway, had appeared, exactly where I’d seen the original tear. Razor was running madly for it. Suddenly, half a body appeared, hanging out of the rip. It was a bigger cat than Razor, but it was dressed in the same outfit… his partner, I’m guessing.
The cat looked around then caught sight of his friend. His excited, booming voice reached Murphy and I where we stood in stunned amazement.
“Move it, Razor, we can’t keep this thing open long!”
“Thank God you found me, T-Bone,” Razor shouted in relief as he came under the rip and leaped high into the air, much higher than a human could. The other cat caught his paws easily and pulled him into the bright light, which promptly disappeared as soon as Razor vanished inside.
Murphy and I continued to stand there, gaping where the two aliens had been. No sign of the rip was visible to the human eye. It was as if it had never been there. Even I, who had seen many an amazing and terrifying things, was totally blown away by what I’d just experienced.
“Okay, this has officially been the weirdest night I can ever remember,” I finally managed to say.
“Oh yea… and I’m not even drunk,” Murphy mumbled.
We fell silent again, not sure what to say at this point. We were simply too stunned by the rapidness of the event. There really hadn’t been any time to analyze it nor adjust.
Finally, Murphy sighed and put her gun away. “Let’s get out of here and pretend this never happened. My report will say the same thing, and I can go to bed.”
“Good idea, no one would believe this anyway… Hell, I don’t believe it,” I grunted, following her as we walked back to her car.
As she drove me home, she murmured, “I’m glad the poor guy got lucky and went home. I’d hate to think how unhappy and angry he’d be if he was forced to live here the rest of his life.”
“You got that right. I wasn’t that eager about trying to figure out where to stash a six foot tall, walking, talking cat person,” I snorted.
She chuckled a little at the image of me pleading with my odd friends to take in the alien visitor. It was rather funny, if in a tragic sort of way.
She pulled before my home/office, and I climbed out. “At least I should be able to sleep tonight. See you around, Murphy.”
She smiled and waved before roaring off into the night. Yeah, what a strange night this has been. It never ceases to amaze me the things that go on in the universe. Good thing I have a flexible mind or that might have sent me around the bend.
In a distant galaxy in another dimension…
“Furless people? You’re having me on, Jake,” Chance snorted as the two of them relaxed in their apartment after the traumatic events of the day.
“I swear to you, buddy, they had no fur on their bodies and only hair on their heads, dressed like we do, and spoke our language. The male said he was a wizard and that the female was a cop. He was willing to take me in and protect me while the female was going to keep my existence secret. That was very kind and brave of them, but I’m just glad I didn’t have to take them up on their offer. I would have been horribly lonely.”
“I freaked out when I saw you fall through that damn portal. I guess I scared old Pastie too because he opened the portal for me, though I’m sure the threat to dismember him had something to do with his cooperation,” the tabby snorted.
Jake gaped at him. “Geez, Chance, missed me that much, huh?”
Chance blushed. “Yea, well… how could I be a SWAT Kat without my partner?” he said shrugging. “Anyway, Feral had tried to stop me, but Callie stepped in to make him back off or I would have taken him on as well. I was that mad and scared. It took the Pastmaster some fifteen minutes to locate the right dimension you’d fallen in and grumbled at me that fate must have been on your side because finding you was a million to one chance. That had made my heart skip a beat to know how close I came to losing you forever.”
“God, I’m so grateful we we’re both lucky then. I’d been already resigned to the fact I would never see home again and would have to be on guard for the rest of my life against a people that would always be afraid of me.” Jake shuddered at the thought.
Chance extended an arm and hugged his best friend. “Well, you’re back, and that’s all that matters, buddy.”
Jake smiled broadly. “Thanks, Chance. I’m just glad this weird and dangerous day is finally over. I don’t want to think about it again.”
“I won’t mention it if you don’t.”
Navigate This Author's Stories
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.