Title: BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL
Warnings: Language, eventual implied sex.
Disclaimer: “SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron,” its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission.
“If Commander Feral’s suspicions are correct and, who would know better, then we have to find out why. That’s where you come in, Abby,” Callie said to Dr. Sinian in the doctor’s private office at the Museum a day after the event with Feral.
“Won’t Commander Feral be terribly upset that you’ve told me this, Callie?” Abby said, a bit concerned.
“Yes, but this concerns the welfare of the city. That is my number one priority. Outside of you, me and the SWAT Kats, no one else knows, and we need to keep it that way,” Callie agreed while putting the doctor’s concerns to rest.
“Alright, he suspects this demon lord, Nightstalker, to be the cause of the crime wave against Megakat City. Now we know one reason seems to be getting Feral to lose control of his hellkat side, but what is its purpose for doing that?” Abby said, thinking out loud as she went to her extensive library and began to look through her books.
After several minutes of searching, she gave up the bookshelves and went to a locked cabinet. Using a key she kept around her neck, she opened it to reveal some very old tomes. She pulled a thick book with a dark leather cover and gold letters out and carried it to a clear work table.
“Now let’s see…” she murmured softly as she gently turned the pages.
Callie came near and could smell a faint musty odor coming from the book. Staring over Abby’s shoulder, she could see writings in gold ink but not in a language she knew.
“Ah… here we are… demon lords. Let’s see… yes, here is Nightstalker. Oh dear…” Abby said a bit fearfully. “Oh my, Callie, he’s one of the worst of the lords and has caused the most interference with the mortal world than any of the others. He seems to enjoy the mayhem he causes despite the many times he’s punished by Heaven’s angelic defenders. His apparent goal is to rule over all the demon lords, but he doesn’t have enough power to accomplish it. He’s always on the look out for more power in the persons of half bloods. Those he finds, he drives their good side under and coaxes their hell side to join him. Once they do, he turns on them, imprisoning them and absorbing their energy, sort of like a battery, to augment his own power. Until now, he hasn’t been able to find a half blood with enough energy to put him on top. What he has gotten over the centuries has been enough to make the others nervous and/or afraid of him,” she explained as she translated the text and gave Callie the gist of it.
“And, Feral is a half blood,” Callie said unhappily. “Then Nightstalker is doing his usual thing and is trying to coax the hellkat to come to him as he distracts the Commander by all these emergencies around the city and endangering his life every chance he gets, which releases the hellkat thus weakening his defenses even more.”
“I’m afraid you’re right, Callie,” Abby agreed.
“Well, what can be done to stop it?” Callie asked, not willing to just let this happen.
“Uh well, let me see…” Abby said as she looked through the book some more. It took quite a bit longer before she finally seemed to find what she was looking for. “This section deals with half bloods. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be too much here. It simply says they are creatures born from violence. A hellkat rapes an angel, and a half blood results. Most perish at birth, the rest… well, it just doesn’t say anything more about them,” she said in mild frustration.
“The one who does know is Commander Feral, so I guess I will have to speak with him again,” Callie said with a sigh.
“I’ll keep looking anyway. There still might be something here,” Abby said hopefully.
“Sure, couldn’t hurt. You’ve got my cell phone number. Don’t say anything over the phone, though. I’ll come to you to hear what you’ve found. We can’t be too careful,” Callie warned her.
“I understand. You be careful too, Callie,” Abby said, giving her own warning.
Callie nodded and took her leave.
‘No time like the present,’ she thought as she drove uptown to Enforcer Headquarters.
She was fortunate to catch him in his office, especially the way things were lately. The secretary was not at her desk, so Callie just went to Feral’s door and knocked. A brief, ‘Come in,’ came through the door, and she went in as bidden.
He watched her warily as she approached his pedestal desk. “What can I do for you, Ms. Briggs?”
“I have some questions to ask. Do you feel secure enough to answer them here or should we go somewhere more private?” Callie asked him.
His brows raised in puzzlement. “Why would not here be secure enough?”
“The subject is you personally. I need some answers,” Callie said, deliberately being vague.
Now, he looked distinctly uncomfortable. He didn’t answer for a moment. Before he could, Callie added something that made him grit his teeth.
“On second thought, I would strongly suggest we hold this conversation on holy ground.”
Growling unhappily, Feral got up from his seat and went to get his coat. Callie quietly followed him out of his office.
“Separate vehicles? Or together?” he asked as they headed for the elevators.
“Separate,” she said quietly.
He merely nodded, and they made the trip to their cars in silence.
Callie followed Feral as he made his way south and finally stopped at an huge old Catholic church. They walked inside and made their way to a set of stairs that led to the choir loft. Once there, they stood and stared down at the altar for a few minutes.
“I need to know more about half bloods,” Callie broke the silence between them.
Feral turned toward her and frowned. “Why do you need to know that?”
“I might help me to understand why Nightstalker wants you so badly.”
“Huh! Why do you think he’s after me?”
“Because, according to documents on him, he uses half bloods to increase his powers. His ultimate goal is to be ruler over all the demon lords. You’re just a battery for him,” she explained.
“How the heck did you find that out?” he demanded, shocked such information was available to mortals.
“Dr. Sinian…,” she began before the big tom exploded.
“What! You’ve told another mortal about me? I trusted you!” he hissed furiously.
“Look, Feral… the city is my responsibility as much as it is yours. I will use every means at my disposal to ensure it’s safety. Dr. Sinian has a treasure trove of information, and that is how you defeat your enemies is knowing what makes them tick. Information saves lives. You’ve been so distracted by what Nightstalker has been causing you haven’t taken any time to try and find out why. That is what I did. You obviously need help whether you like it or not,” she snapped firmly.
He started to object then snapped his mouth shut. She was right, and he knew it. He could kick himself for not remembering that intel was an enforcer’s main tool. That had been one of the first lessons that had been drummed in his head at the academy and here he was forgetting it and being reminded by the Deputy Mayor. He felt like such an ass. Even bringing the meeting here, showed she realized the importance of keeping his hell side contained and not allowing Nightstalker to listen in.
Sighing, he eyed her with more respect. “You’re right. So, he’s trying to gain my hell side for his own use by overwhelming me with dreams and causing events that threaten my life. Now that we know this, how do you propose we stop him?”
“That’s where knowing more about what makes you so special is important. Dr. Sinian is also doing more research on your kind to see what she can come up with,” Callie said in relief, glad that he was willing to listen now.
“Hmm, I don’t exactly know what would be useful for you to know…” he said hesitantly.
“I don’t either, to be frank, so I thought I’d just ask some questions and see where it takes us.” Callie shrugged, reaching into her purse for a pen and notepad.
Feral shrugged as well and gestured to the seats behind them. They sat close together, and she began to interrogate him.
“Now you’ve already told me that a church will allow you to get rest and that my touch seemed to help rout the hellkat as well. Anything else aid you in doing this?”
He remembered his mother’s message. “My mother said I need to use my angelic powers more and that I needed some kind of emotional tie with others with moral goodness within them.”
“That would be friends and lovers, right?” she asked as she made notes.
“I take it you don’t have any of those right now?” she said with a frown.
He sighed and blushed a little. “No. I’ve been busy building a career and a new life since I left Sanctuary to have to much time to do that.”
“Sanctuary?” Callie asked, her brows raised in puzzlement at the term.
“It’s a place where angels dwell. I was born and raised there,” he explained.
“It’s not in the mortal realm?” she asked, certain it wasn’t.
Feral shook his head.
“Okay, what about wearing a cross? Couldn’t that help you contain it?”
“I would have to believe in it for it to be effective. I never was able to take religion seriously or accept it well,” he said, mildly discomforted by that.
“Could that be your hell side influencing you?”
“I don’t know,” he said in surprise. “I suppose it could have…”
“I doubt we could help you become converted but perhaps being baptized would help?” she asked.
“I’m not sure if that is a wise idea,” he said uneasily. “I will have to ask my mother.”
“Okay. From what I’ve gotten now from you here’s what I think needs to happen to protect you from yourself. Now, on the good side, you already are using an angelic gift… healing, we know you can get much needed rest in a church, and we know my presence helps. So, that leaves you trying to make friends that are willing to stand by you and to find a lover,” Callie said seriously.
“You make it sound like a shopping list,” he said sourly.
“Commander! You already know these are things you have to do so being snide about it isn’t going to change things. You said the SWAT Kats know about you. When did that happen and did it help you?”
He grimaced but answered her honestly by reporting the two incidents that had occurred with the SWAT Kats and the outcomes.
“So, it appears the SWAT Kats could be considered protectors. Dr. Sinian is working on your behalf as am I so that makes three kats that you can consider part of your circle of friends and protectors,” Callie summed it up much to Feral’s dismay.
“We still need to find a way to stop Nightstalker from causing more havoc for Megakat City,” Feral said, trying not to think too hard about the SWAT Kats being allies.
“According to what Dr. Sinian found in those documents, only angelic defenders can punish him. So, why couldn’t you ask for their help?” she asked.
Feral looked at her with distaste. “I left Sanctuary because of the pity being constantly sent my way. It soured me on having anything to do with my angelic brethren.”
“I am hearing your hell side again, Commander,” she said, ruefully shaking her head. “It has really messed with your head already.”
He gaped at her in shock. Was that really the reason he disliked being in Sanctuary so much or was it more to do with his being a halfling?
“I’m not sure that is completely true, Ms. Briggs. I am a product of both sides of my heritage. I can’t simply cut the other one out of me completely. I felt a great restlessness within me that wasn’t happy in Sanctuary. Surprisingly, I like being in the mortal world. I’m challenged all the time and never bored,” he explained thoughtfully.
“Oh, well that’s good to know. It means you can be happy. We just have to find a way to make you more happy and being attached could be the key to that,” she mused.
“I really don’t want you to suddenly become a matchmaker, Ms. Briggs. I don’t think I could really handle that,” he said uncomfortably.
She grinned mischievously. “Of course not, Commander. All I’m saying is that you should pay more attention to those around you now. You’ve reached you career goal, so start looking for a mate or lover to complete you.”
“Easy for you to say,” he sighed with a grimace.
“I wouldn’t say that. My job has been running me so much that relationships are dead in the water before they get started. Anyway, my life isn’t in danger if I don’t have a lover, yours is. Try harder, Commander,” Callie said firmly.
“Oh sure,” he said bleakly, getting up from his seat, preparing to leave.
They walked out of the church into the late afternoon sun. “Do what you can, Commander, and I’ll keep looking on my end.”
“Thanks, Ms. Briggs,” he said to her.
She nodded and smiled then went to her car and left.
Sighing to himself, he stood on the steps of the church for a few minutes longer before finally taking his leave as well.
Watching from an upper window, a pensive face watched the pair split up and go their separate ways. What he’d heard by accident had deeply disturbed him. He would spend some time in meditation to decide what he should do about this, if anything. His robes swishing softly, he moved down the corridor and disappeared.
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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.