It took T-Bone and Razor the better part of two hours to repair the Turbokat enough to be able to fly it back to the hangar. Neither said much to the other. T-Bone brooded the whole trip back home.
When they flew into the hangar and waited for the turntable to carry them up to the main floor, their alarm went off.
T-Bone groaned. ‘Oh great, what next?’ he thought unhappily. “Yes, Ms. Briggs?”
“T-Bone, thank goodness this comm works because nothing else does. City hall is basically shut down since everything has gone crazy. The elevators keep opening and shutting their doors then going up and down without stopping, trapping Kats inside. Computers and phones, anything electrical is acting wacky. I was hoping you guys knew what was going on?” she asked, fear and worry in her voice.
‘Oh God! It’s spreading!’ Razor thought, anxiously.
“Sorry, Ms. Briggs, we’re not sure,” T-Bone lied. No way did he want Callie to know that a creature called a Fremlin was probably responsible, not without proof anyway.
Razor raised his eyebrows at T-Bone’s omission but didn’t call him on it; instead he spoke to Callie himself. “We’ve just suffered the same problems. First our cyclotrons then our jet. The same problems afflicted Pumadyne, and Feral was called back to Enforcer Headquarters because the same thing was happening there. We’ve got no answers except that it may have a lot to do with our mysterious magical invaders from last night.”
“Oh, that’s right! Those things were magical and still hadn’t been found,” Callie moaned. “How are we going to deal with this? Feral and I discussed this very thing last night on how we had no defense against magic and he was going to check with Pumadyne and hopefully Dr. Sinian for answers. Obviously, he didn’t get anything at Pumadyne if they came under attack as well,” she said unhappily.
“Well, I guess we’ll just have to do some digging of our own, Ms. Briggs. Get back to you, if we come up with anything,” Razor assured her.
“Thanks, Razor. Good luck! I think we’re all going to need it,” she said, worriedly, then cut her connection.
T-Bone shot the canopy open and jumped down. His shoulders were slumped and he wouldn’t look at his partner.
Razor had wanted to discuss the problem but now he realized it was all too much for his friend right now. The tabby needed space to think, so Razor decided to leave him be for now. He just hoped they had enough time left for his friend to come to terms with what had to be done.
He changed his clothes and headed upstairs. They had work still to do in the garage as well as repair the Turbokat and cyclotrons.
It was late afternoon, when they’d finished the few cars that were in the garage. The owners picked them up within the hour they were called, so they were able to close the yard and garage. They grabbed some take out then went down to the hangar and began to work on the jet.
It was sometime after midnight when the jet and their bikes were in operational order once more. Tired and dirty, they took showers and dropped off to sleep quickly.
Chance had taken to actually wearing the medallion ever since their visit to Dr. Sinian. But, he couldn’t bring himself to submit to the undeniable pull of the medallion calling him. As he slept though, more images of people, places, and creatures poured into his mind.
He whimpered in his sleep but didn’t waken. By morning, his head was filled with information he couldn’t sort out. It was all jumbled and left him grumpy and angry.
Jake eyed him cautiously. His friend did not look good this morning which meant he’d been having those dreams again and probably much more than that now. It solidified his suspicions that the medallion was trying to teach Chance.
Chance shoved some bread in the toaster and grabbed a can of milk. He also snatched the bacon package, pulled some strips out then shoved the package back in the fridge. Putting a towel paper in the microwave, he placed the bacon on it and nuked them. The toast popped up and he blindly ate them without butter. The microwave pinged and the odor of cooked bacon wafted into the air. He ate them straight from the oven and continued to stare in the distance as he fed himself.
Jake didn’t dare say anything so ate his cereal in silence but kept his eyes on Chance. His partner downed the milk, closed the microwave, tossed the can in the trash, washed his paws and stalked out of the room. He never said a word the whole time; it was as if Jake wasn’t there at all. The cinnamon tom quietly got up and put his bowl in the sink and followed his partner.
He found Chance had gone down to the garage and was listening, stonily, to the messages on their answering machine. He wrote down a couple of tows, grabbed the keys for the truck and was out the door. Normally, they went on tows together, but it was obvious his partner needed to be alone.
Sighing, worriedly, Jake decided to test their newly repaired systems on the jet and bikes, just in case they’d been tampered with while they slept. He didn’t know what he would do if those things Chance had told them about had found their secret hangar.
By the time he heard the tow truck returning, Jake had finished his inspection and was very relieved to find things the way they’d left them the night before so he had gone back upstairs and was relaxing with a technical magazine.
Moments later, he was startled by his partner charging into their waiting area in a foul mood.
“They’ve hit everywhere. The city is in chaos. All the traffic lights aren’t working, so traffic is snarled so badly that no one can move anywhere, and Feral has had to have his enforcers back up the police in directing traffic and handling accidents. ATM machines are spitting out money with no one inputting anything, causing riots as people scramble like mad things for the cash. And, that’s only what I could see; the radio wasn’t working because the broadcasting system is down,” he spat out furiously.
Jake gaped at him as his partner told him of the disasters that were befalling the city and he hadn’t been aware of it since he hadn’t turned on the TV or radio.
Chance began to pace back and forth, trying to burn off his anger and helplessness. This wasn’t something they could fight with their superior technology. Feral was barely getting a handle on the sheer chaos going on around him.
“What’s even worse, I heard from a beat cop that the enforcers haven’t a single chopper or jet that works. They’re trying to repair them as fast as they can, but they can’t trust it doesn’t get undone the next time it’s used. It’s a nightmare!” he hissed as he continued to pace.
“It’s that alright. Those creatures are everywhere, but, Chance, we didn’t see that many come out of the portal, so how are they doing all this in such a short time?” Jake asked anxiously.
Chance stopped and heaved for breath, trying to calm himself. “They move swift as the wind and don’t need to rest. Just a group of less than ten can bring an entire army of thousands strong to their knees in ancient times, but the devastation they can wreak on a mechanized city is incalculable,” he said tightly.
Jake was careful not to point out that Chance shouldn’t know that fact so readily. He didn’t want his friend to be even more upset by his new knowledge and how it was acquired. Instead, he asked, “Then how do we stop them before our city is in ruins?”
The tabby threw his paws into the air. “I don’t know! It’s so frustrating……. all these bits and pieces I’m getting and none of it of any use in solving this nightmare,” he snarled.
His friend sat there feeling helpless, wishing he could dare to coax Chance to let the medallion teach him what he needed to know but he could understand the tabby’s reluctance. He wouldn’t want something he didn’t know anything about poking around in his head, so why should Chance.
At Enforcer Headquarters, Feral was frustrated and exhausted. He was forced to believe that burly SWAT Kat knew what he was talking about because there was nothing in their past history that could explain this wave of break downs of everything mechanized in their city.
He’d spent hours coordinating between his enforcers and the various police departments to keep the fear, violence, and chaos to a minimum and that was damn hard when all his equipment was suspect. He had a mega headache and hadn’t time to take anything for it.
Add to their woes, communications were down and they were reduced to using their handheld radios to communicate. He’d had a runner take a radio to the Deputy Mayor just so he could keep her in the loop. The Mayor, of course, had already bailed on them and was hiding in his country estate.
This was the first moment he’d had to catch his breath and he needed to find a way to stop this and the only one he thought could help was Dr. Sinian. Grabbing his coat, he went down the long flight of stairs since the elevators were untrustworthy. It took him over fifteen minutes to get to the ground floor.
Out front his sedan sat parked with a guard walking around it. They were reduced to guarding vehicles to insure they weren’t tampered with, more katpower wasted. He nodded at the guard, who quickly got in beside him while Feral took a circuitous route through the city to try and avoid the blocked intersections. It took much longer to reach the museum than usual.
Once they’d arrived, the enforcer with him took up his guard duty while Feral went inside the museum. He had to take the stairs here as well to reach Dr. Sinian’s second floor offices. After a moment’s search, he found her sequestered in a special storage room for ancient books.
“Commander Feral? Is it as bad as I’ve heard?” the doctor asked when she looked up and saw him striding toward her. She wasn’t surprised that he’d come, though. She’d expected him at some point.
“It’s probably worse than you’d heard, Dr. Sinian. I’m hoping you know why I’m here and are already working on solving our problem?” he asked hopefully.
“Well, not exactly, Commander. The solution may be with one source, but until he tells me it’s alright to let others know, I can’t release his name nor why he’s involved,” she said, wincing when she saw him go red with anger.
“What?” he shouted. “This city is in absolute chaos and by some creatures that SWAT Kat tells me are called Fremlins. But, he couldn’t tell me how to get rid of them. Since I can’t find him, you are our only hope of finding out more on these creatures and how to get rid of them,” he said tightly.
“Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how to rid our city of them either…… wait, Commander. Hear me out,” she said quickly when Feral looked to take her head off again.
“These creatures are not from our world, so we have nothing to go back and check to see how to manage them. Come here and I’ll show you something,” she told him then opened the same book she had shown T-Bone. Since it didn’t say anything about the tom, she felt safe in giving Feral something concrete to deal with.
“Here, you see this…… it shows a race of strange beings called Fae had visited our world during Queen Callista’s time. This person I can’t name is apparently from this place but was abandoned here in our city for reasons no one knows yet. He brought me artifacts to try and identify where he’d come from, and we were investigating that when the portal opened and those creatures came through. This individual only remembers coming through the portal by his mother but hasn’t any knowledge about these things because he was a kitten at the time. I’m trying to help him discover his past. He’s the key to saving our city, but he must be left alone to do it. If we press him, the knowledge could be lost and we’ll be destroyed. So, Commander, as much as it pains me and hurts everyone in the city, we have no choice but to wait and hope he finds what he needs quickly,” she explained.
Feral scowled. It was obvious he wasn’t satisfied with that. “By the time this person decides to do something there may not be a city to save, doctor,” he snapped.
“Please, Commander. He’s a very moral person who couldn’t bear to see others suffer. Trust me! He will do what he can when he can!” she told him, paws spread in supplication.
“I only have your word on this, but since I know you have nothing to gain, I’ll try and keep the city together until this person gets his head together,” he growled unhappily then turned and left.
“Thank you, Commander,” she murmured even though the tom was already gone and couldn’t hear her. ‘T-Bone, please let the medallion help you before it’s far too late for all of us,’ she prayed silently.
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