Beads of sweat kept dripping into Chance’s eyes as he wielded the sword in his paws in an upward motion to counter his uncle’s slash at his face. They’d been at this for more than two hours already, and his arms were about ready to fall off. He was strong and worked himself hard with weights and karate with his partner, but this took a different type of strength and skill which was brutal and exhausting.
His Uncle Conall was a harsh taskmaster and expected nothing less than the best from his nephew then expected him to top that. As he told Chance early on, two worlds were depending on him to do the utmost he could to save them from the Dark King.
Only in the dark of night, as he tried to get his exhausted mind and body to sleep, would he allow himself to admit how overwhelmed and afraid he felt having such a heavy responsibility laid on his shoulders.
It had been a month since he’d begun his rigorous training, and he was feeling every moment of it. Conall would alternate sword fighting with knife work then teach him how to use his wings to his advantage when fighting the huge Hoblins and other such evil warriors who were ground bound. To give him a sense of realism, his uncle would conjure up magical constructs of the enemies he would face… now that was just plain scary as the things were worse than anything Viper had ever produced and far deadlier.
Other days, Conall would give him history and magical lessons then work him hard until he could use all the fighting spells his uncle knew as well as the basic simple spells used by the Fae in daily life.
It was a grueling schedule and one that left him no time to help his partner in the garage or fly as a SWAT Kat. But, Jake told him that his job was to learn to be a Fae.
“This enemy is far more deadlier than any of the omegas here, buddy, and according to everything you’ve told us, you are the only one who can defeat the Dark King. Sacrificing the garage work and being a SWAT Kat is nothing compared to what you have to learn to be a Fae warrior. Let me handle our life, and you just concentrate on being the Fae you’re supposed to be,” he said, reassuringly, giving his friend a commiserating slap to the back.
Jake could easily see the toll all the training was taking on his best friend, but he could also see the warrior he was becoming. He’d only seen Chance a few times in his true form, but those glimpses filled him with awe. The tabby looked incredibly and ethereally beautiful.
There was one major worry Jake kept hidden from his partner and that was: would Chance return to Aristal once he’d saved his mother’s world? He was a prince after all, however, if his mother managed to survive to remain ruler, then perhaps Chance would come back to Aristal. But, there were so many variables that could happen in a battle there was just no way to know until it was all over what would happen to the throne.
But, it worried Jake nonetheless. He sighed and shoved it away. There was really no point obsessing about it since he could do nothing to change what was to come and didn’t want Chance distracted from his training by discussing it, so he kept it to himself.
So, he struggled to maintain the work in the garage to keep money in their pockets and pay their bills as well as doing a patrol once a week by himself. Fortunately, the omegas seemed to have chosen to stay hidden or in jail, making the city rather peaceful for the moment. Feral was maintaining the cordon around the park 24/7 and nothing stirred from that quarter, giving the Commander time to repair his headquarters. So, they all got a much needed break from fighting at least.
But, as they moved into the second month, first Viper then Dark Kat decided it was safe enough for them to make a move. Since no word of what had come out of the park had been released to the public, neither omega was aware that a greater threat was hanging over their entire world and not just Megakat City, so they blithely continued with their own grand schemes for taking over the city.
It was Chance that dissuaded them in that arena when he decided to just put them away using his newly acquired skills so he could continue his training. He simply didn’t have the time or patience for their continual interference and single minded attempts at disrupting the peace of the city.
So, when Viper appeared on the scene with his wildly mutated vines crawling up city hall with the apparent plan to kidnap the Mayor and Deputy, he ran into a major and unexpected road block.
Jake had begun to spend every spare moment he had building weapons that he hoped would help in the fight on Alaria. Chance didn’t know it, but Jake fully intended to go with his partner. So, when the call came in on this quiet afternoon, he was annoyed and reluctant to stop since there was no telling when he’d get another moment for his work but knew Callie wouldn’t call unless it was an emergency. He flicked the alarm off and picked up the phone.
“Yes, Ms. Briggs?” he asked, sighing mentally at the interruption.
“Razor… hurry… Viper is trying to kidnap the Mayor…” Callie shouted, then her comm unit went dead.
“Shit!” Jake growled. He reached up and slammed a palm against a different alarm. This one he’d installed in Chance’s training room. It would warn of a major SWAT Kat alert that would require interruption of the tabby’s training session.
By the time Jake had dressed and made for the Turbokat, footsteps behind him told him his partner had arrived to join him.
Chance was sweaty, tired, and annoyed when the alarm went off. Apologizing to his uncle, he hurriedly left the room, saving time by using magic to change his clothes, then running to join his partner. Magic did have some uses, and his uncle wanted him to use it at every opportunity even for the most mundane thing to strengthen his skills. But, it could never replace the feel of the Turbokat as it roared through the hidden tunnel and into the sky. Yeah, having wings was kinda cool, but it couldn’t take the place of this powerful machine he flew. He might be a Prince and Fae, but he would always be a pilot and a SWAT Kat as well.
He flew them at top speed to get to city hall quickly. When they arrived, city hall was surrounded by those thorny vines Viper favored, and the sky was filled with those annoying and dangerous flying plantimals that spit acid plus the huge hornets that shot thorns at their targets.
Instead of diving right in, T-Bone took a high position in the sky and studied the situation for some moments.
“What are you doing, buddy?” Razor asked, confused.
“I don’t have time for a prolonged battle, so I want to see what I can do that will end this quickly,” the tabby told him distractedly, then suddenly took the jet down into the battle, placing them firmly in the center of the action.
The enforcers had arrived by this time and were engaging the hornets and plantimals with predictable results as jets and choppers began to fall from the sky like dead flies due to their weapons not being up to task against the things.
When the Turbokat joined the battle, T-Bone yelled into his radio, “Razor, go ahead and try and clear the sky while I dispose of those vines before they can take off with the Mayor and Callie.”
Not waiting for a response from his partner, T-Bone put the jet on VTOL and set the autopilot to hold their position before opening the canopy.
Meanwhile, Razor fired missiles that he’d developed just for this instance. The new missiles fired a baking soda like powder that covered and filled the mouths of the acid spitters which clogged their throats and caused the acid to back up in their bodies, exploding them. It worked very well as the plantimals popped like grotesque balloons.
Below them, the vines and Viper were already holding the Mayor and Callie in their deadly embrace and were trying to slither away by reversing their trek back down the tall city hall building with their victims.
T-Bone raised his paws, muttered a spell, then fired it at the vines. It struck the main trunk with deadly accuracy and vanished it. Another quickly muttered spell caught the suddenly free-falling Mayor and Callie in an invisible cushion of air that gently lifted them upward and back through the window they’d been pulled through. Viper, however, was allowed to continue falling to the ground. Seconds later, he impacted the unforgiving concrete sidewalk making a rather messy smear.
Feral had been one of the choppers disabled and sent toward the ground, but true to his own form of luck, he survived the crash with only minor bumps and bruises. He had run to the scene of the main battle in time to nearly be crushed by the falling body. He managed to halt his forward motion in time to avoid becoming a casualty although not soon enough to prevent being sprayed with blood and other unmentionable fluids from Viper’s body. He grimaced in disgust at his now filthy uniform.
He looked up and saw the Mayor and Ms. Briggs just disappearing, safely, inside the building. Looking up at the sky, he witnessed the Turbokat being surrounded by Viper’s deadly hornets. The acid spitters were conspicuously missing, which told him Razor must have disposed of them. As he watched, the hornets suddenly stopped their attack and were now falling from the sky from nothing he could visually see. He suspected T-Bone was the one responsible for the hazard heading for him.
“TAKE COVER!” he shouted to his enforcers, causing them to scramble for shelter from the falling insects.
He ducked into a nearby sedan just in time as the heavy bugs crashed down and damaged cars and light poles. Feral stared up at the thing nearly crushing the top of the car he took refuge in.
The whole battle took only fifteen minutes, and now all was silent except for the sound of the black jet still hovering over the scene. Feral no longer had anything left airborne since he’d not bothered to call for backup when he saw the SWAT Kats seemed to have things well in paw.
Now all he and his enforcers had to do was clean up. He could only shake his head in amazement. He knew T-Bone had used magic during the battle because he had felt it in his body. Apparently, after that first time being exposed to it on the enforcer flight line, he was now very sensitive to its use despite it being some distance from him.
As he watched, the Turbokat switched to forward motion and disappeared rapidly back to their hidden hangar. Feral guessed T-Bone was anxious to get back to his training. The rare few times he’d actually seen the SWAT Kat, he could see the difference in the tom. He was definitely becoming a formidable warrior, but he was also thoroughly exhausted. He hoped the tom held up and survived his training.
Sighing, he shook his head, climbed out of the car, then bellowed for his enforcers to begin cleanup. As he stared down at what had been Viper, he felt a small measure of satisfaction. One more omega that would never plague them again.
Sure, they were supposed to arrest and try the omegas, but these guys just never stayed in jail to come to trial. For once, he wasn’t going to say anything about one of them finally meeting his end. He knew T-Bone could have saved him the same way he’d done with the Mayor and Ms. Briggs, but it was obvious, he too, was just fed up with the repetitive fighting and decided to just put an end to it.
Feral could hardly wait to see what the half breed Fae would do to Dark Kat. He almost pitied the megalomaniac… almost. He smiled to himself and returned to work.
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