I’m Bob Tanner, and I suppose that the questionsraised about my background in “He who looks Death in the Eye” shouldbe answered in full. I was born a very long time ago it seems, but Iwas “gifted” with long life early on. Helps me deal with the factthat Angel, sorry, I suppose y’all would call her AJ, will probablyoutlive me by centuries.
At any rate, I was born back in the 50’s, I’m not entirely surewhat year, thanks to the Organization. They adopted me from anorphanage that I’ve since discovered specialized in obtaining”subjects” for their experiments when needed, and then destroyed allmy records. For the next several years, I was stuck in training as anoperative. Agent R code-named me Poltergeist, in deference to my TKabilities, granted to me by the helmet they made for me. Years wouldpass before anything big happened, as I looked at the people aroundme, mainly a good friend of mine. I started out as one of RonKielmann’s good friends, but saw his insanity creeping up like amalignant disease. And so, I made a deal with the Enforcers while Iwas still let out of the facility. The Faroe Lake Incident is still remembered well by most citizensof Megakat City, and all members of Faroe Lake. Black Squad, mygroup, was sent out to rob a bank. I informed the Enforcers andconcentrated on dropping Dreadnought, Ronald/Jim Kielmann, as quicklyas possible. Afterwards, I and the entire squad was charged withmultiple cases of murder. All but Dreadnought were cleared, and hewas incarcerated in Ronald Kielmann’s own mind. Jim Kielmann wasactually Dreadnought, and Ron hated having anything to do with his”brother”. Ron was put on Ephedril, a medication integral to keepingpeople with DID (dissociative identity disorder) under wraps on ourworld. As Jimmy couldn’t get out, he was effectively under a lifesentence. I always thought that they should have given him some sortof therapy to treat him for it, and destroy Jim Kielmann. The judgedidn’t see it my way. After that, I tended to drift around (havingresigned from the Organization). I’d turned in my helmet, and PhantomKat was a hero around Faroe Lake and Megakat City.
A few years later, I got sick of being vigilante. I’d decided totry the Megakat City Enforcers, where I knew that Commander Feralcould use some help. I got up to the rank of Sergeant when I waspaired with Lieutenant-Commander Steele as a partner. We were givenprotection duty for a club with a somewhat, tarnished, reputation. Steele decided that he liked the looks of one of the wasted girls Iwas cuffing when the argument started. He wanted to let her loose andtake her himself. I wanted to arrest her and let him get his headback on straight. He pulled his nightstick, and landed it on the backof my head. I fell to the floor, out cold. When I woke up, I was inmy own cuffs (which I quickly started to pick the locks on) in adifferent part of the backstage area. When I got loose, Steele wasbusy putting a body (the woman didn’t like his suggestion) out of theway. He had accidently shot her (or so he said, I still don’t thinksilencers were standard), and wasn’t expecting the next lines to everhappen. I slugged him from behind and knocked him back, then did myduty. “Lieutenant-Commander Steele, you are under arrest for violationof part 3. 74 of the Enforcer Code,” (the part that states thatEnforcers must always uphold the law, not consider themselves aboveit), “and the crime of murder. ”
He was not overly amused by this fact. I was getting my othercuffs out when he got up and shot me in the arm. I retaliated in theonly way I had. I picked up a chair and broke it over his head. Istill don’t know why he wasn’t knocked out by that chair. He shot mea couple more times. I fell. I reached for a little gadget I’d nevergotten around to returning to the Organization, a hand-held stuncannon. I fired, he fried. He fell to the ground, better knocked outthan anyone I’d ever seen. I managed to cuff him and get out to thestage so that someone would call the other Enforcers before I blackedout. I woke up in the hospital. My good friend, Commander Feral, waswaiting in the room with his niece, who’d recently come to live withhim after her parents suffered an unfortunate accident. His nieceleft the room when some Enforcers came in to read me my rights. Theytold me that Steele had concocted some BS story about me killing thegirl (I later found out that he’d been considerate enough to use hissilencer, and my gun. And he wore gloves. )
He said that I’d thenattacked him when he came out to arrest me for it. I’d managed toblast him with some sort of gun, and knocked him out, but not beforeI’d been shot by him (in self-defense, of course). I told Feral myside of the story. Unfortunately, Alderman Steele put Feral’s job onthe line. Feral didn’t have any choice (he wouldn’t be able to getany other job, and he had his niece to support). If I hadn’t retired,Feral would have lost his job or have had to court-martial me. I wascharged with murder, and with assaulting an officer. I was cleared ofthe murder charge. I was sentenced to four years for what I did toSteele, that son of a. . . At any rate, he was dishonorably discharged. His father got himmade warden of the prison where I was. Fun, fun. I spent three yearsin solitary, coming out every fourth day when Commander Feral camethrough with his niece (now Lieutenant-Commander Felina Feral) tovisit. I didn’t tell them what happened though, Feral couldn’t doanything about it and I didn’t want to make his ulcers any worse byletting him know about Steele’s treatment of me. He told me about theSwat Kats. It seemed that he secretly admired them, despite how badthey made the Enforcers look. He told me about the Blade project, howthe Enforcers were making their own vig’ to prove that they didn’tneed the help of the countless vigilante’s coming out of the woodwork. Most of the vig’s were killed by criminals early on, with few arrestsmade due to lack of evidence. But the Swat Kats and Blade managed tosurvive through anything, the only team lasting nearly as long beingthe Dangerous Duo (Ariel and AJ). The original two grew to five, andthen more. I got out of prison and met AJ. I suppose I fell in love with AJ at first sight. It was awhirl-wind romance, and we were married three months after I got out. She knew why I’d been in prison, but I never told anyone about BlackSquad. I told her about the years in solitary after I woke up onenight and yelled out my name and old designation number. They wereSteele’s favorite part of putting me through that, sticking me inthere and forcing me to jump up and yell out my name and designationevery hour. He’d seen it on an old movie. Then AJ met CommanderFeral. She was PO’d that I’d never give her a chance to tell him whatshe really thought of him. She had a few choice words for what shethought, ones I didn’t even think she knew when I married her. Suffice it to say, she wasn’t as good a friend of the Ferals as I was. After the incident in “War”, I found out that she’d already explainedto him what she thought of what he’d done, and that I couldn’t changeit. Feral, by that time, knew who the two of us were. He hadn’tknown before then, but the doctors needed to take off my mask andcostume to treat me. He saw me in civvies, and couldn’t help but puttwo and two together. Things were relatively quiet for me until Jimmygot out of Ron’s mental prison. And thereby hangs the tale in “He whoLooks Death in the Eye. . . “
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.