As Feral made his way back to his headquarters, the SWAT Kats were explaining what was happening in the city right now to Professor Hackle. T-Bone’s explanation of who and what he was as well as why the creatures were invading from another dimension, was met with stunned surprise and a little disbelief.
“Oh my! You’re not from our dimension?” Hackle said in much the same way Ms. Briggs had responded to Feral saying the same thing.
“Nope, and you aren’t half as shocked as I was when I learned that on top of finding out I’m not only a half-Kat but a bonafide Prince as well!” T-Bone said sarcastically.
Hackle shook his head and stared at T-Bone with new eyes. “So, you’re capable of magic, and this isn’t your true appearance?”
“You got it! I’m presently undergoing training by an image of my uncle. Until I know what the heck I’m doing, poor Feral and his enforcers must do what they can to protect the city from the creatures. To contain the danger, as best he can, he’s set up a cordon around the park where the portal appears. I’ve given him the weaknesses for the creatures and that will help him a little, but until I take out the King, it can only be a defensive battle on Megakat’s part for now,” he explained grimly. “Hopefully, it will never become more than that, if I’m successful.”
“I see. It is a heavy burden your people have placed on your shoulders, my friend,” Hackle said sadly, shaking his head.
“I know. It overwhelmed me at first when my mother’s image told me what I was expected to do based on that prophecy, but I can’t turn my back on my people nor my adopted home, so I have to learn everything I can and do what I’m expected to,” he said, shrugging his shoulders resignedly.
“It seems to me to be unfair to put this responsibility on your shoulders alone, but as you said, you apparently have no choice. Though you do have to train in magic, it is to your benefit that you are a fit warrior already and trained in technological warfare plus have a partner to stand by you. That should count in your favor in the coming battle,” Hackle surmised, thoughtfully.
“Well, yeah! That’s what my uncle says as well. He was very relieved that I wasn’t some couch potato or something….. makes his job of training me much easier, plus my techno knowledge will give me an edge over my own people, who are totally unfamiliar with it.”
“So, why have you come to me? I have no weapons nor abilities against magic either.”
“We know, but hoped you’d be willing to use your robots to assist the enforcers……” Razor answered but was stopped by a shake of older tom’s head.
“No! I’m sorry, but that goes against everything I stand for and believe in. No robot of mine will be involved in a war, especially one that isn’t of our making,” he said firmly.
“Professor, I understand how you feel. You want to use robots to make life easier for Katkind. I get that, but unfortunately, if this war spills out into ours, as it’s looking to do, there won’t be anyone to use the robots because they will either destroy us completely or enslave us,” Razor pleaded with the elderly tom. “And, you did lend us a robot to fight the Pastmaster’s mummies,” he reminded him.
Hackle simply shook his head again. “That was to help you. Our city needs you, and I felt cybertron would be able to ensure you would continue to do so.”
T-Bone sighed in frustration and rubbed his face a moment before trying a different approach. “And, we truly appreciated it! Look! The war is in another dimension, and we’d like to keep it there. By keeping the park surrounded with huge spotlights and enforcers armed with iron, no Fae should be able to escape and create havoc among Katkind. All your robots would be needed for is to help the enforcers maintain that cordon. After all, they don’t need to sleep and are alert 24/7 while enforcers are mortal and will get tired and careless during the night hours the watch must be at its peak,” he explained. “Now, isn’t that what you wanted your robots to do as part of your plan to make life easier for KatKind? Isn’t having them do simple guard and police duties part of that? Or did I get your mission wrong?”
Hackle blinked at T-Bone in surprise. He’d never considered the bigger SWAT Kat to be much of a deep thinker but, he reminded himself, he never really knew T-Bone that well in the first place. He sighed, turning away for a moment to think.
Yes, he had that intention in mind but this trod very close to being involved with killing. He turned around, narrowing his eyes as he responded, “But, I never meant for them to kill for any reason!”
“I understand, and they won’t! We’ll make sure Feral is aware of their limitations and never tries to order them to do that. Just the robots being there with their high powered lights and powerful metal frames will keep the dark fae at bay so the enforcers can either shove the fae back or dispatch them. That alone will make all the difference in keeping kats from dying or allowing the war to invade this dimension,” T-Bone said solemnly.
Hackle eyed him for some minutes before finally coming to a decision. T-Bone was right; this was the kind of mission he had planned for his helper robots. “Alright, under those circumstances and for those reasons only, will I be willing to make robots for this job. You say you need them outfitted with high powered lights……. anything else they need to do their job adequately and how many will you need?”
T-Bone gave Razor a quick glance, showing his relief and that his partner should be the one to tell the Professor what was needed.
Razor nodded his understanding and explained, “I would say at least a thousand would be enough to intermingle with the enforcers and surround the park sufficiently. We need them to be armed with weapons that shoot only iron dust or fillings or both. That is our enemies weakness……it won’t kill them, but it will hurt and discourage them. The enforcers will be armed with the same thing but will also have iron swords and missiles loaded with iron for a more deadly response, if needed.”
Hackle shoulders relaxed immediately. Iron fillings and dust would be harmless to Kats and would only discourage the enemy……. that more than anything they had said, relieved his mind that no killing by his robots would happen except by accident. “Excellent, I’ll get right on it and should have the number you need in about a week. That’s as fast as I can do it.”
“That’s better than I hoped for, Professor. Thank you so much! One more thing though, please insure they can’t be controlled by anyone but Feral and whoever else he wants as his second and third. We don’t need criminals getting a hold of your robots and causing trouble. We’ve seen first hand, courtesy of the Pastmaster, what could happen to us all when the Metallikats did it in an altered future. It was a nightmare,” Razor warned.
A shocked look came over Hackle’s face. “What happened?”
“You used a central matrix setup, and the Pastmaster took the Metallikats to the building you had it in and they took it over. The world was nearly all robotic, and Katkind was dying horribly.”
“Oh no! That’s terrible!” Hackle said, his eyes wide with shock and anguish. “I swear, I will be more careful with their programming. Thank you for warning me since that was the method I intended to use.”
“That’s all I ask, Professor. We’d better go; we’ve lots of work to do. When you’ve finished building them, contact Feral directly to get training on them and to pick them up,” Razor told the older tom.
“Understood! Good luck on your training, T-Bone.”
“Thanks professor, I’m going to need it!” the tabby said, as the two of them took their leave and flew home.
Less than thirty minutes later, after the SWAT Kats had returned to their hangar, Feral was putting a secret communicator away in his pocket. He sighed with relief.
Razor had just informed him that he and T-Bone had managed to convince Hackle to make robots to augment his enforcers. He felt so much better now about their chances of keeping this magical enemy at bay and off Megakat turf. Now all he had to do was obtain the funding he needed to acquire the iron, old weaponry, and covering the loss or damage of weapons borrowed from the museum.
Armed with this information on Hackle and the weapons requirements Razor had given him, he made ready to leave to see the Mayor and Ms. Briggs. He wasn’t looking forward to the meeting. Grabbing his notes, he stepped down from his pedestal desk and made for the coat rack near the door. Pulling his coat on, he stepped out of his office and paused near his secretary.
“Mary, I’ll be at the Mayor’s office if I’m needed. I have my radio!”
He left her and made for the elevator. Within minutes, he was in his hummer and driving to headquarters. In his head, he was composing the best way to present the news of a possible invading army from another dimension, T-Bone’s true status, and what Feral needed to defend the city.
‘This will go over well…… not!’ he grumbled mentally. Managing to find his normal parking spot not having been taken as it usually was, he pulled in, shut the engine and got out. He walked briskly up the broad steps of city hall and across the large lobby for the elevators.
Arriving on the top floor moments later, he stepped out of the car and down the thickly carpeted hallway heading past many offices until he reached the deputy and Mayor’s offices at the end of the hall.
“Good afternoon, Commander,” the mayor’s secretary said brightly.
Feral nodded at her. “The mayor and deputy in? I need to see them.”
She frowned a moment in thought then said, “Just a sec and I’ll check…..” reaching for her intercom to call the Mayor’s inner sanctum. Receiving no answer right away, she pressed a different button and had better luck as a familiar voice drifted out.
“Ms. Briggs, is the Mayor there with you?”
“Yes, he is. What do you need?”
Commander Feral is here to see you both,” Dena reported dutifully.
“Oh, alright, have him go to the Mayor’s office, thanks!” Ms. Briggs responded.
Feral walked past the secretary’s desk without waiting for her to turn back to him and entered the Mayor’s large, richly decorated office.
The Mayor and Ms. Briggs were just entering from her private entrance to his office.
“Well, do you have answers for me on where those strange things came from and why they nearly tore apart my city hall?” the Mayor suddenly demanded without preamble.
He was understandably upset by the sudden attack from creatures no one could see, but the damages were plainly obvious. Though city hall suffered less destruction than the enforcer building, it still had caused much consternation and hit his honor’s pocket book, which was a good way to get his attention, as well as being concerned the creatures could come back again and finish the job.
Feral grimaced at the Mayor’s almost accusatory question but gave his report without making any sarcastic remarks, no matter how badly he wanted to.
“It seems all our problems have originated from another dimension through the portal that had appeared in Megakat Park. There is a war going on between light and dark Fae kingdoms, as they are called there. It spilled into our dimension due to one person……. the SWAT Kat T-Bone,” Feral dropped the bomb.
“What?” Manx blurted, gaping at Feral.
“Commander Feral! You are always trying to blame the SWAT Kats for nearly everything that seems to happen……..” Callie began to rant angrily.
Feral held up his paw to get their attention. “Actually, Ms. Briggs, it truly is his fault but only indirectly. If you would just listen!”
She scowled at him and crossed her arms across her chest. “I’m listening!”
The Mayor huffed but stayed silent and did the same.
“What I was told by T-Bone, himself, was he had been left here as a kitten by his mother, the Queen of the light Fae to keep him safe from the deadly paws of the dark Fae King. T-Bone’s father had already been killed by this enemy and, surprisingly, he was a native Megakat Katizen. Apparently, the light Fae made visits to our dimension from time to time but hadn’t for many centuries until that night when the Queen left her kitten here for safety.
T-Bone grew up not knowing any of this until, recently, the artifacts his mother left him began to contact him in dreams just before the portal appeared. The dark Fae King is looking for T-Bone to slay him because a prophecy at the SWAT Kats’ birth foretold he would bring the King down.
Here’s where we got our first piece of luck. The medallion T-Bone wears is a learning device and it helped him defeat that huge creature that had first come out of the portal hunting him, then it taught him the spells he needed to get rid of those damn Fremlins that made everything break down around us,” Feral told them, pausing to let that sink in.
Both Manx and Briggs could only gape at him.
Shaking her head, Callie said in resignation, “You know, if it weren’t for experiments gone wrong and the insane ingenuity of the omegas, I would have said you’d lost your mind spouting such nonsense, but I know no way could you have made up something like that.”
“What does this mean to us? Are we in danger still?” the Mayor said, beginning to wring his paws in fear.
Feral sighed. Now comes the hard part. “At the moment, the portal is closed. T-Bone did that when he killed the Hoblin. And, we’re still doing repairs of Enforcer Headquarters from the vanquished Fremlins. Unless the omegas come out of hiding and give us trouble, we’re alright for now. But, it won’t last long. Not knowing how the battle is going on the other side of that portal makes it hard to determine when it will open again.”
Callie frowned in concern when she heard ‘repairs to Enforcer Headquarters.’ “I heard those creatures did more damage to you than us. How bad is it?”
“Bad! It will take us more than another two days to be battle ready and four more to be back to normal,” he told her grimly.
“What?.. B-B-But, if the omegas attack now……..?” Mayor Manx stuttered anxiously.
“There’s nothing more I can do about that except to work my crews 24/7 until we’re back up,” Feral growled. “The SWAT Kats will be there to back us up, but I’d rather not count on them too much or T-Bone won’t have time to finish his training and that is more important. There is one piece of good news though……. something about the magic T-Bone uses is incompatible with the one the Pastmaster uses, so he won’t be showing his face at all.”
“Small consolation,” Manx muttered.
Feral could only shrug at that comment.
“Its weird to hear you talk about back up support from the guys when you usually hate their interference,” Callie said, shaking her head in amazement.
Scowling, Feral said, “Only because that damn pilot is our only salvation against what’s trying to come through that portal.”
“It’s still weird!”
Sighing, Feral really couldn’t argue that, so he went back to his briefing. “Anyway, in preparation of the portal’s possible opening, T-Bone told me how I could keep the city from becoming a battle ground. His world can’t handle iron, and the dark Fae are particularly affected by very bright light. As a protective defense, I have surrounded the park with huge spotlights and a ring of enforcers. By themselves, the lights and my enforcers won’t be able to hold any dark Fae off for long. We need weapons that will help keep the dark Fae from leaving the park at all and, hopefully, push them back through the portal or kill them.
To do that we will need iron and lots of it. Razor suggested shotguns loaded with iron bullets, sprayers holding iron filings and dust, bazooka’s loaded with iron debris, old cannons with iron musket balls, and swords of iron. The last two items would have to be borrowed from the museum. What I need from you, Mayor, is the funding to do this asap.
Finally, the SWAT Kats went to see Professor Hackle and prevailed upon him to make robots to circle the park and augment my enforcers. He won’t allow them to be used to kill the enemy, but just being armed with iron filings and dust as well as their strong metal bodies will be enough to keep the dark fae from leaving the park,” Feral finished.
Manx went to his desk and sat down hard in his plush leather chair. Eyeing Feral heavily for a long moment. “We don’t have a choice. Callie, get him what he needs to protect this citae!” he ordered her.
Callie sighed and nodded. “Right away, Mayor,” she said, turning to her own office to start the paperwork Feral would need.
Feral heaved an internal sigh of relief. He had been afraid he would have to argue and plead for the funds. He was very glad that wasn’t the case…… there simply wasn’t time for it. He followed Ms. Briggs and waited.
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