With two of the major omegas dealt with, Chance was able to focus more on his lessons while Jake continued to develop and build weapons he thought might be useful in the upcoming war on Alaria.
By the time four months had passed, Chance was ready to fight and felt a strong sense of urgency to be gone. He was extremely worried about what kind of condition Alaria was in because the four months would have translated into a couple of years in his home dimension.
There had been a couple of attempts on opening the portal from Alaria during that time, but Chance was now trained enough to sense it happening and easily thwarted the effort, keeping it closed.
Feral, meanwhile, was building up his supply of iron that could be shot from cannons, bazookas, projectile weapons, and even sling shots that fired simple balloons filled with iron fillings… those turned out to be the best and least expensive of his weapons to make. It might have seemed ridiculous, but Feral had learned nothing should be dismissed if it could truly delivery a blow against this powerful enemy with fewer casualties.
So, if a simple balloon fired with a sling shot would more easily send deadly iron fillings at their enemies, then he was all for it. He even planned on placing officers in trees above the portal entry so they could fire at anyone coming through without being immediately spotted. It had been sheer brilliance on the part of a young officer, and Feral gave him a commendation for thinking outside of the box.
With the aid of Callie, he’d also gotten every big beacon light he could buy or borrow to circle the section of park where the portal appeared and mounted smaller, but just as powerful ones, on his choppers and even mini magnesium ones for enforcers to carry on their person. On a side note, the amped up flashlights had an unexpected extra use as one officer found out when he used it to blind a perp with a gun, ending the dangerous situation swiftly and safely. Feral was impressed and had the special flashlight added as a regular part of his enforcers gear and training.
While he made his preparations, a niggling worry haunted him. Since the SWAT Kats were no longer very busy saving the city, Feral didn’t see them at all so was forced to use the communicator they gave him to ask a vital question.
“Razor!” Jake responded while at work at his desk.
“I need to speak with T-Bone for a moment and, yeah, it’s important,” he said, adding the last so he wouldn’t be put off. He knew how busy the tabby was, but this needed answering and T-Bone was the only expert at paw.
“Okay, just a sec, Commander,” Jake said reluctantly.
He hurried down to the training room and called out to Chance that he had an urgent call. He heard Chance call a halt then moments later step from the room in his true form. Jake gaped for a moment then shook himself. “Uh, it’s Feral, and he says it urgent.”
Chance nodded and took the comm from Jake. “Yeah, what’s up?”
“I need to know of the possibility of other portals opening,” Feral said, getting to the point quickly.
“Portals take a lot of energy to open then hold it that way, Feral so, no, the one that opened in the park would be the only one appearing here. I suspect this might even be the same one used by my people all those centuries ago as well,” Chance said, musingly. “Anyway, what you’re doing is fine, so stop worrying about any others.”
Feral sighed in relief. “That’s good to know. Oh, and by the way, Professor Hackle has supplied me with over two hundred robots, more than I asked for, and they are already stationed around the park, which allows my enforcers to be doing their normal duties until they are needed,” he said in satisfaction.
“That’s good news, and I have more for you… I have learned enough to be able to detect if anyone is attempting to open the portal and stop it so you needn’t worry about being on alert until I depart. At that time, I won’t be able to spare the energy to protect it,” Chance warned.
The Commander sighed at that, both in relief and concern, although, he had guessed this would be happening and had planned for it, luckily. “We’ll be ready,” he assured the tabby then cut the connection.
And by four months time, he was ready. With his officers, he’d developed many different simple, but hopefully devastating, strategies to defeat their enemies. He felt confident they were ready for whatever came their way… or so he thought… T-Bone was about to hand him another shock.
Now that Chance had been declared ready for battle, his uncle threw him one more task to be performed before they could leave for Alaria.
“What?” the tabby blurted in dismay, not sure he’d heard right when his uncle told him what he needed him to do.
Eyeing the prince intently, Conall repeated, “You must train Commander Feral on how to use his magic because, despite his army being ready to prevent what might come through the portal, some still might escape his cordon. His being able to use magic can prevent disaster from befalling them. Also, there’s that Pastmaster creature you were worried about. Remember, you will be gone some months in their time, years possibly in ours, so your partner and the Commander must be able to handle most things without you. Teaching Feral to use his magic will be another line of defense for them. Of course, I will have to evaluate him first to determine just how powerful he may or may not be.”
“I should have thought of that!” Chance felt disgusted with himself. “You’re right about the Pastmaster too. Once our influence is gone, he just might want to check things out to find out why he couldn’t come before, and he’s hard enough for Jake and I to handle… I can’t begin to see how Feral will be able to deal with it when only half the SWAT Kats are here… not that Jake couldn’t handle it… but… I’m actually, really worried about Jake too.”
“Well, having Feral able to use magic should allow your partner some breathing room,” his uncle said understandingly.
“Only if Feral can access his magic. Wait! You told me our magic isn’t compatible with theirs, so how could Feral’s magic stop any of our enemies if that’s true?”
“Yes, our powers aren’t compatible with this world, however, that doesn’t mean they are helpless against us. It simply means we make them uncomfortable using our magic around them. If we are attacked by one of their magic users, and in the past it did happen, our abilities are nearly evenly matched. Which meant, only the skills and power of the user would decide the outcome. Needless to say, we kept conflicts to a minimum since things did tend to get rather messy,” his uncle explained.
“Well, Crud! So Feral could fight me despite how uncomfortable my magic makes him feel!” Chance blurted in dismay.
Conall chuckled and shook his head. “The Commander is no match for you, my prince… no one but perhaps the Dark King is in your league now. However, it was that extreme discomfort katkind felt around us that made them so prickly and so willing to fight us in the first place. That certainly isn’t the case now since so few use magic in this century. Feral and perhaps this Ms. Briggs you mentioned will be all this time period will need to protect themselves from any future magical problems,” his uncle suggested. “Anyway, as I said a moment ago, I need to evaluate the Commander’s magical core and Ms. Briggs’ if she is interested, and we need to do this immediately.”
“What? No way would I bring him here nor her…” Chance started to object.
“Of course not, ease yourself, my prince… you are not thinking again,” his uncle chided him.
Chance blinked in confusion then blushed as he realized what his uncle meant. The medallion being portable meant the lessons could be held anywhere, including Feral’s place of work. This was something he still needed working on… thinking first before speaking.
“Uhm… sorry… you’re right. We could set up sessions in his building for the training,” he murmured, contritely.
Conall nodded. He hoped his nephew would learn to curb his tongue soon, or it would certainly get him into serious trouble. “Then, all that’s left is to speak with him, and we should do that soon. You are correct in feeling time is getting away from us and that we must be going soon, but this must be done first. I hope he is a fast learner. And, what about Ms. Briggs?”
“So do I,” Chance said grimly. “And, I don’t know. I’ll have to contact her to ask. I’ll do that on the way, so let’s be off. See you again shortly, Uncle.” He let go his concentration, and his uncle faded away.
Razor had been surprised by what T-Bone had told him, but he was forced to agree that Feral should do this but wasn’t so certain about Callie.
“It isn’t that she is brave enough to do it, it’s how much work she already has on her plate. Is it fair to add this to it?”
“It isn’t my call, though I certainly agree with you,” T-Bone said heavily as he called Callie on her comm.
She was shocked by the request.
“According to the Pastmaster, you’re the descendant of Queen Callista, so the odds are high that you do have a magical core, Ms. Briggs,” T-Bone said quietly.
“Uh… well… I’m not so sure I want to be able to do magic, but if Feral were knocked out, there should be a backup… so whether I like it or not, perhaps I better do this. When do you intend to train Feral?” she asked, her voice tinged with resignation.
T-Bone winced at that tone but knew this was her decision. “Right now, actually. I know it’s short notice, but I need to be gone and I have to get this done first.”
“Wow! That’s certainly short notice, I… wait, you’re already here? Darn, just give me ten minutes please,” she said, flustered as she saw the Turbokat approaching city hall.
“Sure, we’ll be on the roof waiting,” T-Bone told her then cut the connection.
Ten minutes later, after she’d warned the Mayor, who was shocked and unhappy, then put away any sensitive documents on her desk, she grabbed her purse and made for the clock tower stairs.
Razor had jumped down and was waiting to help her aboard. Less than ten minutes later, they were requesting landing from the enforcer tower.
Only minutes later, they stood in Feral’s office, and T-Bone had just explained what was needed and got the predictable response.
“NO! Not a chance!” Feral shouted, both in anger and fear.
“Feral, there really isn’t a choice. I have no time to convince you. Ms. Briggs has agreed to be trained as well, so let’s do this because this city needs to have a magical defense besides the tech one, and I need to be gone,” T-Bone commanded, rather forcefully.
Feral stared at the tabby in consternation. Over the period of four months, the callow young hothead had become a leader who commanded respect and obedience, something his own officers felt about himself. It felt strange responding that same way to T-Bone though.
“I really don’t like it…” he muttered, uncomfortably.
T-Bone sighed and gave Feral a light slap on the back. “In your shoes, I’d feel exactly the same but look at me… I’ve had my face shoved in it, and I can’t walk away… Can you do any less?” he chided gently.
Feral sucked in a breath in outrage but let it go in the next moment as he realized what T-Bone was doing. If he didn’t do this because of fear, he would be shamed, and he couldn’t allow that.
“Fine… let’s do this,” he grimaced unhappily.
“For the record, Ulysses… I don’t like it much either,” Callie agreed with him, an unhappy but resigned look on her face.
“We need a safe place to do this. I would recommend one of your smaller gun range rooms as it would have a heavy cement barrier to keep the magical energy from escaping and causing harm,” T-Bone suggested.
Feral just nodded and led the way. Razor split off from them to return to the Turbokat. T-Bone would recall him when they were ready to leave. The rest of the group followed Feral to the elevator and took it down to the armory in the basement. He used his card to get into the gunnery range, walked up to the officer in charge to ask for the space and to warn everyone away from it while in use.
He grimly stalked back to them then led them down a cement corridor. The sounds of the range being used could be heard, though heavily muffled, as they went past different closed doors. At the end, he opened a heavy door, flicked on the lights then gestured for them to enter.
Once they were inside, he shut the door. It closed with a solid thud. He turned and waited. T-Bone walked to the center of the space and closed his paw around the medallion, concentrating after spilling a little blood on it. Seconds later, the room was transformed, and his uncle appeared.
Gasps greeted the appearance of the winged Fae, who eyed the two strangers intently.
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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.