Title: “The Origin of Chance and Jake”
E-mail address: email@example.com
Warnings: Use of the name God, some violence near end of story.
Disclaimer: “SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron,” its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission.”
The bus ride to the Enforcer Academy was a long one. Stuck on a bus packed with other nervous kats wasn’t how Chance Furlong and Jake Clawson envisioned their first day at the academy, but things aren’t always what we expect them to be.
Jake and Chance sat side by side as they had for years during school, both unsure what the future might hold. Chance looked over at his best friend who seemed just a little bit nervous. Both were getting out on their own for the first time, but Chance, being raised in a number of foster homes, was used to moving from home to home. Jake, however, wasn’t. He had always lived in the same house on the same street in the same part of Megakat city for 17 years now.
“You ok, buddy?” Chance asked.
Jake replied with a slightly cracked voice: “Yea, yea, I’m fine. ‘Bout you?”
“I’m great. I can’t wait to get there. Can’t wait to fulfill my dream.”
“Me neither,” Jake said, looking at his watch. “It won’t be too much longer now; we should get there in about another 30 minutes.”
Chance grinned. “Yes, I can’t wait.”
The bus pulled up at the Academy’s front gate and stopped. The guard exchanged a few words with the driver and then opened up the gate. The bus then continued onward onto the campus. Chance and Jake could see from their seats the older kats in uniform executing drills. They both stared in awe as the rows of kats marched in unison, left, right, left, right. Then they saw the Memorial garden that sat in the middle of the campus. In the middle of the garden stood a wall with the name of every enforcer who had fallen in the line of duty. Next to the wall there were statues of former cadets who had risen to the head of their class. Among those was a statue of the current Enforcer commander, Commander Ulysses S. Feral.
“Wow!” Chance and Jake both uttered in unison. Both kats were awestruck by the grandeur that stood before them.
“One day, Jake, one day my statue’s gonna be out there. No, OUR statues are gonna be out there,” Chance said, still looking out the window.
“I hope so, Chance. But, I really hope that our names don’t end up on those walls,” Jake replied back.
The bus drove on until it reached the registration tables set up in front of the cadet dormitories. At each table sat a senior cadet who would “help” the newbie kats for the next year at the academy. All of the kats departed the bus and headed for a table.
Chance made his way to a table while Jake stood behind his friend. The senior cadet behind the table looked a Chance and asked, in a rather intimidating voice, “Name?”
“Chance Furlong,” replied Chance.
“Chance Furlong, what?” the senior cadet asked.
“Uhh,” Chance mumbled as he began to blush.
“Chance Furlong, Sir! You got that cadet? You refer to me as sir. When I ask you a question, you say sir. Got it?” the senior kat barked.
“Sir, yes sir,” Chance nervously replied.
“Good. Now, name”
“Chance Furlong, Sir.”
After Chance received his first set of instructions, it was Jake’s turn. Of course Jake had learned from Chance’s mistake, but was still barked at by the older cadets.
An hour passed, and Chance and Jake, after uttering countless “Sir, yes sir’s,” finally received their dorm numbers, their fatigues, uniforms, jumpsuits, and all other articles required for life on campus. Then, after lessons in how to salute and stand at attention, the kats all took the enforcers pledge.
All the kats lined up in rows and stood at attention, while a senior cadet stood in front and conducted the ceremony.
“Raise your right hand and repeat after me,” the older kat said. All of the cadets followed suit. “I, (name), having been appointed an Enforcer cadet in the Megakat City Enforcers, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of Megakat City against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
“So help me God,” Chance and Jake both uttered in unison. They were now officially cadets. For the next four years, they were committed to this school, and to each other.
Over the next few weeks, both Chance and Jake went through *bct or beast. For five weeks, their strength was tested and pushed to its limits. Chanced excelled in the obstacle course and other grueling portions of bct, while Jake excelled in hand-to-hand combat and marksmanship. Both survived the beast, and after the five weeks of torture, finally got a break.
After the first five weeks, every cadet gets a day off to see what enforcer life is like, and, of course, to rest. Both Chance and Jake stayed together that day and talked about how much different the academy is.
“I didn’t know if I was gonna survive all that, Chance,” Jake joked.
“I know how you feel, bud, and this is just the beginning. Tomorrow we start the survival portion of bct. A five-mile hike into the middle of nowhere, then a week of survival training. I can’t wait.”
Jake looked at his friend. “Well, let’s not think about that just yet. We have the whole day off, let’s just relax.”
Both Chance and Jake survived the last leg of bct and began classes together. Luckily for both kats, their schedules were identical. They were both happy to be able to sit next to each other during class and help each other on both class and homework. Jake did most of the helping.
Each cadet was required to participate in sports while at the academy. This helped enforce teamwork in the young cadets. Chance boxed and played football for the academy, much like he did in high school, while Jake participated in swimming and Track. Chance excelled and became the star of the football team and led the “WildKats” to a national championship, a first in school history, and Jake became the fastest kat on the Track team. The other kats on the team said that Jake cut through the air like a “**Razor.”
Then next year at the academy was tougher on the kats. Since Chance wanted to become a pilot, he began taking flight courses while Jake was studying how to design, build, and repair aircraft. Jake, who had always done better in school, was passing his classes with flying colors, but Chance, who had always been in classes with Jake, was struggling with his work.
“I can’t do it!” Chance exclaimed while pounding his fists into his desk. “I just can’t do it.”
“Can’t do what?” Jake asked.
“I can’t do the work. I just don’t get it.”
“Sure you can, Chance. You’ve always done fine in high school. What’s the problem?”
“It’s you, Jake. I mean…it’s not you…it’s that you’re not there.”
“In my classes, you’re not there with me in my classes. I’ve always had you sitting right there next to me in class. You could always explain things to me when no one else could.”
“Well, Chance, do you want me to help you with this stuff?” Jake said while pointing to a pile of papers strewn across Chance’s desk.
“But, how can you? You’re not even in any of my classes anymore,” Chance replied.
“Well, let me take a look.” Jake picked up a page of Chance’s work and read it. He then grabbed a book and thumbed through some pages Chance had been looking at. “Let me see…is this what your having problems with?”
“Yea, I don’t get it, bud.”
“Well, this doesn’t look too difficult, but I can see why you’re having trouble.” Jake sat down with Chance and explained the problems to him as best he could. Jake knew that Chance wasn’t as bright as he was, but Chance was his best friend. He couldn’t let Chance fail at his lifelong dream of becoming a pilot. They sat together for the rest of the night until “lights out” and discussed many things. Some of it was strictly about class work, but some of it wasn’t. That night both Jake and Chance pledged to themselves that they would always be there for one another and that they would never leave the other hanging with no help, no matter the cost.
After that night, Chance began to bring his grades back up, and Jake stood behind his friend and helped him in any way possible. But, Chance wasn’t the only one getting help. Jake had also been having a difficult time with his sports. Even though he dominated on the track and in the water, the daily morning workouts that all the kats had to attend were wearing Jake out. So, Chance and Jake went every night after they had completed their schoolwork and worked out. Chance would act as Jake’s spotter and Jake was Chance’s academic spotter.
The years passed at the academy, and Chance and Jake rose through the ranks of their class. Jake was second in his class, while Chance was somewhere in the teens. Finally, it was time for them to graduate. Chance was now 23, and Jake turned 21 the next month. Four years flew by the young kats, who had both grown into fine adults. Chance had become one of the best pilots that the academy had ever seen. Jake was still second in the class and had also become an expert marksman and was also named Chance’s co-pilot and “***RIO.”
Because they were now both senior cadets, Chance and Jake got the opportunity to induct and inform the new recruits who were arriving at the academy. The day came when both Chance and Jake sat behind the table and barked orders at the new cadets.
”Name?” Chance asked. Chance had remembered what had happened to him on his first day at the academy, and he didn’t plan on making this young kat’s first day any different.
The young kat was nervously sweating buckets as he answered:” John Gato.”
“John Gato, what?” Chance asked the kat, secretly chuckling to himself as he asked.
“John Gato, Sir! You got that cadet? You refer to me as sir. When I ask you a question, you say sir. Got it?” Chance was still laughing deep inside.
“Sir, yes sir!” replied the young kat.
“Good,” Chance said. “Now, name?”
“John Gato, Sir!”
Chance looked over at his friend at the other table. Jake was doing the same thing. Jake glanced over at Chance and winked, then chuckled to himself over how funny this all was. Chance did the same.
On the night before their graduation, Chance and Jake got permission to go back into town and celebrate. This was allowed and all the graduating kats left campus and went back into Megakat City. It was a tradition. Unlike the other kats though Chance and Jake didn’t go out to a bar and get completely drunk. They decided to go and celebrate in their own way.
“Is this the place?” Jake asked, standing in front of the restaurant in his cadet uniform.
“Yep, the best restaurant in Megakat City,” Chance replied as he looked up at the sign of “The Kats Meow” Steak house and Grill.
“How are you two gentlemen tonight?” asked the waitress. “What can I get you to drink?”
“Milk, please,” replied Chance and Jake.
“Alright, and for your entrée?” the waitress asked.
“I’ll have the Filet of Fish, with a baked potato and a salad with ranch,” Jake said.
“And for you?” she asked Chance.
“I’ll have the 30 oz T-bone, well done, with fries, and a salad with thousand island, please.”
The waitress stood for a minute, thinking Chance was joking about the steak. He wasn’t. “Alright, I’ll have that right out for you.”
“30 ounce T-Bone, you mean you can eat that?” Jake asked in awe of his friend’s order.
“Yea. Why?” replied Chance.
“Oh, no reason.”
They both finished their entrées, and much to Jake’s surprise, Chance was still ready for more.
“I don’t believe it. Where did you put that steak, Chance?” asked Jake.
Chance grinned and pointed towards his now bloated stomach and replied: ”Here.”
“Well, I didn’t think you could do it, Mr. Chance ‘****T-Bone’ Furlong.”
“Hmm, ‘T-bone,’ that has a certain ring to it,” Chance replied.
About that time the waitress returned to their table.
“Are you both cadets at the Enforcer Academy?” she asked.
“Yes…why?” Jake wondered.
“Don’t you have your graduation tomorrow?”
“Yes, ma’am,” said Chance.
“Hold on a sec.”
Both kats looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders, not knowing what to expect next.
“Here you go, boys.” The waitress had returned with two enormous pieces of chocolate cake. Both Chance and Jake sat there and drooled at the mountainous confection.
“Thank you ma’am!” the kats both replied.
“Your welcome, and congratulations,” she said as she winked at both kats.
“Wow, can you believe that Chance? She winked at us…Chance?” Jake turned only to see Chance chowing down on his cake.
The cadets both returned to their dorms after their celebration and went to sleep. They both had a busy day ahead of them. They both had dreams of the past four years. Each memory replayed in their heads as they anticipated the next day’s pomp and circumstance.
They awoke the next morning early and donned their dress uniforms. Jake helped Chance straighten all of his medals, and Chance did the same for his friend. They finished polishing each button and buckle and then put on their hats. They were now ready. They both exited their dorm and proceeded into the designated area where all of the other graduating cadets were. There they waited and formed ranks. Somehow it worked out where Chance stood directly behind Jake.
All the cadets then marched out into the academy stadium where thousands of other kats, friends, family, and spectators, all stood and cheered until all of the kats were in their places. When the crowd settled down, everyone in the stadium paused for the Pledge and National Anthem, then they all took their seats. Finally, the ceremony had begun.
After many speeches by the faculty and staff, and also by Commander Feral, the Cadets all received their diplomas. Then from behind the stadium five enforcer jets flew over the Cadets as a salute to the new officers. Then kats then joined in the Alma Mater and, like the many classes before them, threw their hats high into the air and cheered. They had made it. Chance, Jake, and all of the other cadets, were now officially Enforcers. After four long years, they had all made it.
Over the next few years, Chance and Jake became the best pilots in the Enforcers. Until one day. Dark Kat, the evil super-villain, was attacking Megakat City. Chance and Jake followed in pursuit.
“Chance, Jake, let him go – it’s too dangerous!” cried a fellow enforcer over the headset mic.
“Negative. We’re bringing Dark Kat in. You guys get yourselves some donuts,” Chance replied.
“You two are nuts! We’re breakin’ off pursuit!” answered the other enforcers.
“Roger that, leave it to us. We’ll bring this psycho in if it kills us,” Chance answered back.
Dark Kat’s jet streaked through the sky at amazing speeds, but Chance and Jake were hot on his tail.
“Now, I’ll destroy the justice machine that protects Megakat City!” Dark Kat confidently scoffed.
“Chance, he’s locking missiles on the new Enforcer building!” Jake yelled as he watched Dark Kat on the jet’s radar.
“Then we gotta nail him now, Jake!”
“No problemo! Missile deployed!”
The missile slammed into Dark Kat’s jet, damaging the bomb bay.
“No! My missiles won’t fire!” screamed Dark Kat, his plan now officially foiled.
“Knocked out his weapons system! One more shot and Dark Kat is history!” Jake stated as he armed another missile.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, Commander Feral’s jet appeared next to Chance and Jake. “This is Feral. Fall back, you two. I’ll handle Dark Kat,” squawked Feral’s voice over the radio.
“Negative, Commander Feral, we already have our missiles locked! It’s our tag!” answered Chance.
“I’m ordering you to back off!” hissed the commander.
“I repeat, sir, we’ve got a lock!” Chance hissed back.
Suddenly, Feral sped up and slammed into Chance’s wing. The kats’ plane began to spiral out of control toward the Megakat City skyline. Chance tried to regain control, but to no avail.
“We’re outta the game, Chance. We gotta eject!” yelled Jake.
Both kats pulled their ejector handle below their seats. “Foosh!” The canopy flew off. Chance and Jake were rocketed out of the doomed aircraft just in time. The jet slammed into the new Enforcer headquarters and exploded, causing considerable damage to the building. Feral heard the explosion and saw the fireball spew from the new skyscraper.
“Huh? Dark Kat’s gone!” Feral said as he looked around the canopy. “All because of those two young hotshots!”
Outside Enforcer Headquarters, Chance and Jake gazed up at the building as it burned.
“Heck of a loss, Jake,” Chance said, thankful to be alive.
“Monumental disaster, Chance,” answered Jake.
“I’m glad you both agree. Because this is the last act of vandalism you will ever perform on this city,” said the voice behind them. They spun around to face their Commander. Feral was fuming.
“It was our tag, Commander! None of this would have happened if you hadn’t interfered, sir!” Chance replied, trying not to punch Feral in his oversized jaw.
“That’s it! You’re off the force! Both of you!” screamed the commander.
Chance and Jake both threw down their flight helmets.
“Suits us,” replied Jake.
“Who need’s this crud anyway?” retorted Chance.
“Just a minute. I said you’re off the force, but not off the hook. There’s still the matter of paying for this building, and that’s what you two are going to be doing for a long, long time,” answered Feral.
Chance and Jake stood in front of a pile of scrap metal. Their punishment was to work in the Megakat scrap yard until their debt was repaid.
“This can’t be happening! We’re pilots, not junkmen!” yelled Chance as he kicked some scrap.
Jake felt Chance’s pain; he knew that this was the ultimate blow to his friend. Jake began to look around the junkyard. Then, it hit him. This was the main junkyard that the enforcers sent all their scraped planes and other weapons to.
“Hey, y’know, Chance, there’s enough military salvage here to build our own jet,” he declared in hopes of lifting his friend’s spirits.
“And, do what?” Chance angrily yelled back.
“Get back in the air and get back at Dark Kat! And, all the other criminal scum who rear their ugly heads in Megakat City. Only this time, we do it our way!” Jake happily replied.
“Well, what are we waitin’ for, buddy?” Chance asked his friend.
With that, the SWAT Kats were born. Chance (T-Bone) and Jake (Razor) used their nicknames given to them in the academy as aliases. They built the most advanced jet Megakat City had ever seen. They were, from then on, the SWAT Kats, defenders of Megakat City.
*BCT stands for “Basic Cadet Training.” All military academies have some sort of bct program. The one here is based loosely on that of the United States Air Force Academy. The reason for this is because both Chance and Jake are going to be flying/working with planes…so I chose the Air Force Academy to base this Enforcer Academy on.
**I couldn’t resist. I couldn’t think of any other way to come up with Jake’s call sign/alias.
***RIO stands for “Radar Intelligence Officer.”
****I did it again. I couldn’t think of where Chance would come up with a call sign like “T-Bone.”
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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.