“Alright, I’d rather shelf that problem for now, better yet, I’d rather not deal with it at all,” Feral rumbled unhappily. “Instead, let’s discuss what we need to do if that portal shows up again.”
T-Bone sighed and slumped down on the couch. “As I told you before, Commander, you’ll have to do the best you can defense-wise just as you would when the Pastmaster drops in on us. Only, unlike that little gnome, the creatures from my world are much more dangerous,” he warned.
“So we’ve seen so far,” Feral growled.
“Yes, but you needn’t feel completely helpless, you just have to change your tactics. Lasers are worthless, as you’ve already discovered, however, some of the creatures are light sensitive, like the Hoblin I destroyed. Any really bright halogen-style lighting will be able to keep them at bay. To kill them requires cold iron. Unfortunately, we no longer make projectile weapons with iron, so you’re going to have to mass produce some immediately. Both swords and bullets made of iron will kill the Dark Fae. It will also harm me,” he pointed out, grimly.
Razor blinked in confusion. “But, the sword you used was made of iron,” he objected.
“The blade but not the handle; that is why my uncle chose it. The runes on the blade showed it had belonged to one of our people but had been left behind during some past visit. Perhaps given to one of Queen Callista’s knights,” the tabby said, shrugging.
“Okay, so I have to get iron bullets made for my troops and iron missiles, right?” Feral asked to be certain he had understood T-Bone as he made notes of what he needed to do.
“Wait, that won’t work, Feral. I’d suggest resurrecting the shotgun and filling the casings with iron fillings. It would be the simplest and quickest thing you could make. And, you’re right about missiles…. just fill them with iron scrap. Add to that, for the ground troops in one on one battles, get some swords, spears, and maybe dredge up some cannons. Check with Dr. Sinian for those. They fired iron balls. Get your R & D to come up with just about anything that could spray iron dust over the Dark Fae,” Razor rattled off as his mind raced ahead, designing what he needed for his own armaments.
“Come to think of it, iron dust is a great idea that I’ll put in some of my missiles and glovatrix,” he said, speaking his thought aloud.
Feral stared at Razor in amazement. ‘Damn this Kat is a walking, talking, weapon’s designer. No wonder they can take the omegas the way they do; he’s always thinking and planning on his feet,’ he thought. Shaking his head and wishing they had that resource at their command, he said, “Well, you’ve certainly given me a lot more to work with. I think we can get this done quickly and, this time, I don’t think that fool of a Mayor will reject my request for the iron we’ll need,” he said slowly, planning as he was speaking.
The tabby nodded. “Glad to help, Feral. I also suggest you install those high powered-style lights on your choppers, enforcer vehicles, and get some portable ones for all your ground troops.”
Feral nodded, feeling a little better that he wouldn’t be as helpless in this battle as he’d first feared.
“There might be another way to protect us as well ….. Professor Hackle’s robots,” Razor added excitedly.
Feral eyed him nervously. This Kat’s mind worked like an explosive trap. He never knew what that brilliant mind would come up with next, but robots…….?
Seeing Feral’s look of disbelief, Razor quickly hurried on, keeping the tom from saying anything, “No…..hear me out! The professor’s always going on about trying to make life easier for katkind; well, now’s his chance to save katkind. I know he’s a pacifist, but maybe we can convince him this is a war katkind can’t win on its own. T-Bone’s part in this is to take on the King of the Dark Fae but it’s up to you and I, Feral to protect the city the best we can.”
Feral rubbed his face and thought about it for a few minutes then nodded. “Much as I hate to admit it, you may have something there, SWAT Kat. But, aren’t Hackle’s robots made of modern metal?”
“Yeah, they are, but there’s no reason he can’t incorporate iron in their weapons. Hell, they could even get close enough to spray iron fillings or dust over the enemy better than we could, and it would certainly cut down on the casualties. Besides that, the Dark Fae wouldn’t be familiar with that kind of warrior. They’d not realize they weren’t living at first, giving us a significant advantage.”
All Feral could do was shake his head again. ‘Kat’s Alive! If only that Kat wasn’t a vigilante, he could make sure the enforcers never lost so many during battle,’ he thought bitterly. Shoving that thought aside as unproductive right now, he said, “Alright, you’ve sold me. I’m tired of losing so many of my enforcers because of super enemies and lack of more up to date weapons. I want to win this time, and it sounds like you’ve got us on the right track to do it.”
He paused a moment in thought then said, “I suggest you two approach Hackle about this since, I wager, he’ll be more open to the idea coming from you better than me and that you have a closer relationship with him, I’m guessing.” He gave them a knowing look.
They couldn’t help but blush a little at the pointed observation. Feral obviously wasn’t as oblivious to what was going on around him as they had first thought. Better remember that and not underestimate him any longer, they both thought.
“If you do succeed in convincing him, tell him I am in agreement with you on this and that his robots would be under my command and be a part of my enforcers that will be guarding the park where the portal appeared. You could tell him that we aren’t using his robots for anything but protecting the city from the invaders and, once they are done, they’ll be returned to him. Perhaps that will get him past his strong mindset against conflict,” Feral continued then sighed. “If we can keep these creatures from going beyond the park, then half the battle would be won.”
Then he eyed T-Bone pointedly as he asked, “Is there anything else you can come up with that’s from your magical side of this war?”
T-Bone shook his head. “Not at this moment, Commander. I have to wait until I finish the intensive training my uncle has planned for me, which will consist of sword fighting and spell casting. I have no idea how long that will take, so let’s hope the King is kept too busy fighting my mother’s forces to try the portal again for a while longer, but I wouldn’t hope too much on that,” T-Bone grimaced sourly. “He wants me badly. I wish I could speak to my mother and find out how the war is going, but I have no idea how to do that beyond opening the portal, and we definitely don’t want to do that until I’m ready.”
“So, it’s a waiting game,” Feral grunted then nodded. “All we can do is prepare, so get on with what you have to do and I’ll get my defenses as ready as I can.”
“Roger that, Commander. We’ll keep in touch,” Razor said as the two of them rose to their feet and took their leave of Feral.
When the SWAT Kats left, Feral wrote up his notes into a report he could give the Mayor. He needed to handle his request as best he could but wouldn’t back down. There was no way his R & D could get their paws on enough raw iron to do what they needed to quickly.
He didn’t look forward to this briefing. Ms. Briggs was aware of some of the danger but not where it was coming from, T-Bone’s part in it, nor how much of this magical war was going to happen on Megakat City’s turf. He grimaced. He really wasn’t looking forward to briefing the Mayor about this because the fool would panic.
‘Good thing he is such a coward. He’ll leave the dirty work to Ms. Briggs, and she doesn’t shirk her duty to the city; she’ll find a way to get me what I need without all the histrionics,” he thought to himself as he finished up his report and prepared to leave his office.
Meanwhile, the SWAT Kats were winging their way home. T-Bone’s mind was already dwelling on how he would balance his jobs with the training he must do plus get enough rest in there somewhere as well.
He startled when he realized Razor had been calling his name over the radio for some time now.
“What? You say something, buddy?”
“Yeah, at least I’ve been trying to for the last couple of minutes. You’re doing some really deep thinking there, T-Bone. I thought that was my job?” He laughed, lightly.
T-Bone blushed a bit. “Uh, sorry, I was thinking about all the stuff I have to do and not burn out from exhaustion,” he said, mildly sarcastic. “What did you want, buddy?”
“I was trying to tell you, we should go see the Professor right now. We really don’t have a lot of time, and he’s going to need it to build an army of robots.”
“Oh, you’re right. Changing course,” T-Bone acknowledged and turned the nose of the Turbokat toward Hackle’s bayside lab/home.
Feral left his office for the Mayor’s, deciding to walk. By the time he reached the street, he was gritting his teeth. The elevator was still out and the sight of the mess his headquarters was in made him sick. The walk to city hall helped him burn off most of his anger.
When he reached the Mayor’s office, the fat little fool was just grabbing his golf clubs and preparing to leave his office, leaving the lion’s share of the work to Ms. Briggs, as usual. Inside, he felt an evil little smirk fill him at the thought of ruining the worthless Kat’s day.
“I wouldn’t leave yet, your honor,” he said aloud.
Manx gave him a look of annoyance and wary fear. “What brings you here, Feral?”
“It has to do with those things that came out of the strange portal that appeared in Megakat Park. The Fremlins and Hoblin as they were called are from another dimension. One that SWAT Kat named T-Bone is originally from……..” he began and was rudely cut off.
“T-Bone’s from another dimension? What have you been smoking, Commander?” Callie broke in, disbelief dripping from her voice.
Huffing at being interrupted, Feral said flatly, “It’s what he told Dr. Sinian, his partner and me when he defeated the Hoblin. My enforcers were barely able to keep that thing in the park before T-Bone called me and told me to have huge bright spot lights shone on it. It apparently can’t abide that. We kept it caged that way but couldn’t kill or disable it. T-Bone and his partner arrived, and that’s when things got really strange. That tabby had a sword in his paws, and he went to face the Hoblin alone. The creature knew him and pulled a huge sword of his own. I thought for certain that arrogant tom had bit off more than he could chew this time when he shocked all of us by changing into this tall, thin, golden creature with ethereal features and huge wings. He tore into the Hoblin easily, as if he’d been born with a sword in his paw. When it was over, he became just himself again.”
He paused a moment at he stared at the two stunned faces looking at him as if he’d lost his mind.
Ignoring their looks, he plunged on, “The SWAT Kats and I met up at Dr. Sinian’s office, and it was there I got the story of what the heck was going on. T-Bone was left in our dimension when he was a kitten by his mother, who is Queen of the Light Fae. The war they were fighting against the King of the Dark Fae had forced her to send her son away. T-Bone’s father was from Megakat City and was consort to the Queen until he was killed in battle. The SWAT Kat was raised here without any knowledge of who or what he was. All he had of his past was a blanket and a medallion. That medallion turned out to be a learning device. It told him who he is and what he must do, which is kill the King.”
“You mean T-Bone is a prince of another dimension?” Callie blurted out in shocked amazement.
“That’s correct, Ms. Briggs.”
“But, why is he the only one who can kill this king?”
“Because of a prophecy spoken at his birth….. some weirdness that said only the prince who was born of the Queen of Light and raised in another world would be able to defeat him. I think that’s a lot to put on one Kat’s shoulders, and I don’t envy him one bit. It’s a heavy responsibility and one he has no choice but to obey.”
“Oh no! Poor T-Bone!”
“What has this all to do with us?” Mayor Manx asked anxiously.
“Because the prince, which is T-Bone, is here and the King wants him dead to circumvent the prophecy.”
“But…. but…. why doesn’t he just go home and fight them there?” Manx asked fearfully.
Feral scowled at the fool but answered, “Because he has no training and his mother doesn’t want him there until he does. I told you the medallion is a learning tool……it will teach him how to fight with a sword and to cast spells. His first use of that talent was killing the Hoblin and the second was used to get rid of the Fremlins that completely crippled my building and equipment.”
“Oh no, how bad is the damage to your headquarters, Commander? Most of the damage here has already been repaired,” Callie asked urgently, not happy to have been left out of the loop until now.
“Very extensive, Ms. Briggs. It will take us more than forty-eight hours before we’re fully operational and another seventy-two hours to be completely back to normal,” he told her grimly.
“If these things are made of magic then how are we supposed to fight them? I wouldn’t think T-Bone could handle everything by himself. He’s only one Kat after all,” Callie asked worriedly.
“I’ve just come from meeting with the SWAT Kats. T-Bone told me the creatures weaknesses and what we can do to disable and kill them. Razor came up with ideas on how we can convert some of our weapons and on using ancient weapons from the museum to combat these things. That’s why I’m here….. to ask for funds to gather all the iron we can find. Cold iron is their major achilles heel while extreme bright light helps to subdue them,” he explained. “Additionally, Razor suggested we enlist the aid of Professor Hackle. His robot project would protect Kat’s lives better and keep me from losing more of my troops while keeping the fae creatures confined to Megakat Park. I told him to go ahead since the idea was a good one. I only hope he can convince the very pacifist professor that this is not a war we can win without his help.”
“This sounds like a major war. Should we evacuate the citae?” the Mayor asked fearfully.
“NO! That would only cause a panic. What I do need you to do is warn the populace to stay away from Megakat Park. Don’t say anything about the portal. I would suggest that you simply say we suspect Dr. Viper has done something to the park. That should keep everyone away until the danger is gone. I will have the park cordoned off, of course, and, if we get the robots, they will be incorporated as part of the guard. We will also need to ring the park in huge spotlights, so I will need the funds and your intercession with the power company to use them if the enemy shows,” Feral told them.
“Whatever he needs, Callie, see that he gets it! Use the emergency funds if necessary!” Mayor Manx exclaimed, waving his arms and dropping his golf clubs.
Callie grimaced inside but kept a professional face and nodded. “I’ll take care of it, Mayor.”
“I need to get out of here; my nerves are shot. Keep me informed,” Manx muttered, gathering his clubs up and hurrying out the door as if his tail were on fire.
Once he was gone, Callie turned to Feral and sighed. “What he failed to realize is he’s used much of the emergency fund for his many projects. I guess I’ll just have to ‘borrow’ them back,” she said, smirking darkly.
Feral gave her a wolfish smile in return, knowing exactly how she felt. “Thanks, Ms. Briggs. I’ll keep you informed of our progress and whether we get Hackle on board or not.”
“Thank you, Commander,” she said then frowned. “We’re in really hot water, aren’t we?”
“Oh yes, as hot as it gets and I don’t mind saying I hate feeling helpless, but at least with what T-Bone told me, we won’t be completely helpless against magic this time.”
“What about the Pastmaster? Won’t he be attracted to all the magic being used around here right now?”
“Well, that’s the most odd thing about this. Apparently, T-Bone’s type of magic is not compatible with our world’s, so the Pastmaster can’t function here at all not even to appear to look around.”
“Really? Well that’s the first bit of good luck I’ve heard since you walked in. But, what about the other omegas?”
“I have no idea! They aren’t any better against magic than us, and, if they are smart, they will stay under whatever rock they are hiding under at the present until this is over,” Feral said, grimacing in concern. That was the other worry he had, but there really wasn’t anything he could do about it.
“Let’s hope so. Well, good luck, Commander. I’ll make some calls immediately and get you what you need. Do you know where you’ll get the iron from?” she asked as she walked back into her office and he followed.
“I hadn’t had time to check yet.”
“I’ll do it then since I’m the one paying. I know of one place for some of it and that’s the salvage yard. The other will be the iron processing plant on the north side of the city. What about the lights?”
“I know someone I can get them from. You just want me to tell them to bill you for their rental?”
“Yes. Well, I’ve certainly got my work cut out,” she sighed, sitting behind her desk and preparing to make some calls.
“I’ll leave you to it then, Ms. Briggs. I’ve got a lot of work to do as well,” he said, nodding at her then taking his leave as she picked up her phone and dialed.
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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.