Everyone we allude to here is a kat too.
“Tediusss.” Dr. Viper mumbled when he woke from his bed. He was talking, of course, of his plan to rid himself of the SwatKats. He had just stolen katalysts 192, 193 and 196 last night, plus 194, 195 and 197 the night before. He rose from his bed, which was a thick patch of moss and mutated slimy plants of his own making, and surveyed his lab.
He was in an old abandoned library building in the slums of Megakat City. It was the section of the city which was closed of when a great fire occured months ago. Almost the entire block was consumed. No one ever returned preferring instead to start new lives. Some books still survived and were scattered aroud the room.
It suited Viper just dandy, the feel of decadence, the smell of overflowing sewers and rotting garbage. It was all he really ever wanted to turn the entire city into.
But the SwatKats always got in the way.
He looked out the window to gaze on the trash and filth in the street. Instead he heard a roar of a jet that made him turn his gaze upward. It was the Turbokat. No doubt the Swatkats were on their routine patrol.
Viper approached his closet and grabbed some chemicals with his hands and tail. He went over to his makeshift work table and set them down, his mind already spinning with countless ideas.
“What I need are some asisssstantssss.” He mumbled to himself out of irritation from the time needed to make good his plans. Then it hit him, and he slapped hit forehead. “Of course! Assssistantssss! Why didn’t I think of that before?”
He rememberd when he was still the lowly assistant Purvis working for Dr. Zyme at Megakat Biochemical Labs, and realized how important assistants were. Zyme would never have developed the viper mutagen without his help.
He looked around for something to use. What would make a worthy assistant? He really didn’t have much of a variety to choose from. He had his plants, but the last time they didn’t turn out so well. Then he had the cockroaches. The building he was in was a virtual Shangri-La for cockroaches. He could also use a rat or two from the sewers.
No, a plant would do well enough.
He left the building and worked his way to the botanical garden at the end of the street. Once there he saw it was the same story as the rest of the block. Partially burned walls, a completely absent ceiling, and hardly a plant remaining. Except, he found, one lone bonsai plant.
He exited the building and walked toward the manhole. It was without a cover, so he slithered in and went around. His eyes adjusted to the darkness almost instantly, the smell giving him a natural high. He spotted his new monster a few meters away and bounded toward it. He caught it in one clean swipe.
The rat was squirming in his grasp as he emerged from the sewers and entered the library. He dropped the rat in a jar and proceded to mix the necessary chemicals.
“Soon, little one…” He said, “I only need the proper cerebral enhancement formula and in a matter of hours you will have the pleasure of being my latest creation.” A drop a green fluid here, a dab of an orange fluid there, and just a pinch of powdered katalyst 100, which he always kept stock of.
He opened the jar a little and poured in his concoction, the rat inside licking and slurping it hungrily. “Yesss. Drink up my filthy friend. drink up…” He closed the jar and went back to the closet for some breakfast. He looked in and was a bit dismayed. “That’s the problem of living in a city infested with kats. Nothing to steal but tuna fish.” He took out a can anyway and opened it.
After breakfast he still had about two hours to go before the rat would emerge a killing machine. He usually made them savage, mindless beasts but today he figured on making one actually capable with keeping up with the Swatkats by giving his creature some brains.
He took a test tube and flled it with katalyst 196. He swirled it aroud a bit, admiring it. He then filled a beaker half-way with another reddish fluid. He mixed the two and swirled the resulting formula again. He heated it on top of his stolen bunsen burner for a few minutes then poured it directly on the bonsai plant. “You will soon be my new assistant, and help me destroy the Swatkats. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!”
He stopped himself from laughing too much and began to mix his new formula. This one would take a while to finish, so he got started. Before he knew it it was lunchtime, and he suffered through another can on tuna.
Being bored out of his wits and tired from laughing so many times, Dr. Viper slipped off to sleep while his formula cooled down. He woke to see the glass jar broken, and the rat, though still asleep from the formula, already six feet long and growing. It’s proportions had also changed, becomming, more but not quite, kat-like.
“Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio.” Viper heard from behind him. It had the moderation and feeling of a true and passionate actor. He looked around but saw no one.
Then he heared it again, this time with even more feeling. “Alas poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio. A fellow of infinite jest.” He turned and almost had a stroke from what he saw. The bonsai plant, standing regally in it’s pot, an empty can of tuna held up in one of it’s branches.
“What are you doing!?” Viper screamed at the top of his lungs. The bonsai, startled, turned toward viper. It had grown deep-set, expressive eyes and a mouth.
“May I ask what it is exactly you mean?” it said cordially.
“What are you doing!?” Viper repeated.
“I am practicing my Shakespear, dear sir.”
Viper could only scream again.
“My, my. It seems that someone is rather touchy today. And of very few words.”
“I made you to be my assistant! Why in the world are you reading Shakespear!?” Viper’s eyes were wide.
“Why not?” The bonsai plant’s nonchalant, nature was irritating to Viper. “Shakespear is one of our worlds greatest writers. It is only fitting that I perform his plays. Is there a problem?”
“Oh? Perhaps Samuel Beckett then. Or maybe an Andrew Loyd Webber musical? *ahem* Oh, What a circus! Oh What a show!”
“No! No! No!” Viper was furious.
“No?” The bonsai expanded what would pass as a chest, “Camelot! Camelot! In far of France I hear you call! Camelot! Camelot! To you alone I give my all! I know in my…”
“I know it’s not Webber, but it’s a wonderful play.”
“You’re supposed to be assissssting me in my plans to destroy the Swatkats! Not auditioning for a lead role!”
“And who, pray tell, are these Swatakats?”
“They’re the ones who are always foiling my plans to take over Megakat city!” Viper raised his arms and stared at the bonsai, who bent back a bit.
“Oh, no sir, not me. These branches aren’t for lab work. These branches are for the stage!”
Viper dropped his arms and lowered his head in a pose of failure. He gathered himself and brought his eyes centimeters from the bonsai’s. “You will help me.” He emphasized “will.”
“I will not, dear sir.”
Just as Viper raised his hand he caught the rat stir out of the corner of his eye. He looked it’s way and the rat was getting up. It was terrifying. It stood almost seven feet tall. It’s claws were razor sharp and at least five inches long. It’s fangs were pearl white and sparkled. And to top it all of, he had the look of a drunkard in his round, unfocused eyes.
Viper realized something was wrong and approached his would be Hunter-killer. The rat burped a burp so incredibly foul that Viper staggered back supressing a gag reflex. He stumbled back to the table where the bonsai stood.
“It’s drunk!” Viper declared.
“Big surprise.” The bonsai was sarcastic.
“What could have happened? Where could I have gone wrong?”
“Maybe you should’ve taken a left turn at Albacorquey.”
Viper ignored his irritating visitor and produced a syringe. “I’ll draw some blood. Maybe this condition is treatable.” He cautiously approached the rat and stuck the needle in. It was so drunk it didn’t even notice.
When Viper was done he placed the blood in a petrie dish and proceded to run some tests. The rat had colappsed on the floor and the Bonsai was reciting lines from Henry V.
“Curses!” Viper said, interrupting the bonsai. “This creature produces it’s own alcohol. It’s perpetually drunk! It’s useless to me!” He tossed the petrie dish. The bonsai dodged it.
“I wish my horse had the speed of your tounge.” It quoted Benedict from ‘Much Ado About Nothing’.
“Shut up!” The day wasn’t going as planned. I’m going out for some more specimenssss. You stay here. And when I get back, I want to see you assisting!” With that he stormed out of the buildig.
The bonsai stared at him then fell into thought when Viper was out of sight. He glanced at the formula Viper was letting cool and developed a gleam in his eye.
Viper was not happy, not at all. Normally he’d have a reason to laugh, but he hadn’t laughed since he left the lab a half-hour ago. He returned to the botanical garden to look for some more specimens. No such luck. He decided to swing over to Megakat Fisheries to find something to experiment on. No luck there either, all the boats were out to capitalize on a sudden increase of tuna, which were usually in low numbers this time of year.
As luck would have it on his way back he came across a novelty pet store. He was practically invisible in the darkness of the alley where the back door of the shop was. Once inside he silently slithered about. The owner was outside talking to someone. He moved quickly and noislessly. He poured a few drops of clear liquid on a school of ppirranahs and seconds later the pirranahs sank to the bottom of the aquarium one by one. Viper swiped one and slithered back out. The owner came in, and stared in confusion at the seemingly dead pirranahs. If it were any other fish he would’ve just plucked them out and thrown them a way but he wasn’t taking any chanes with a fish that can strip a skeleton in about five minutes. He went to his counter to call the vet.
Using the sewer system, Viper made it back to his lab in minutes. There was no traffic in a sewer. He walked into the door of the library and immediately looked for the bonsai.
“Back! Back, foul hellspawn!” The bonsai raised it’s branches to Viper as if to push him away. Viper would’ve told it to shut up but it wouldn’t have obeyed anyway.
“Watch it.” He just warned.
“I do say, still touchy?”
Viper ignored it. The rat was still on the floor, drunk as ever. Viper let down his latest haul on the table and looked at the formula he let cool.
He poured the formula into a jar and then dumped in his newly acquired pirranah into it. Then he tore of a handfull of his mutated moss and tossed it in as well. The mixture began to froth and bubble until finally he couldn’t see through it anymore.
The high pitched note came as no surprise to him. Surely it was the bonsai. The acapella that followed was a surprise. This time he was almost sure he would have a coronary. He turned around anyway, and sure enough, it wasn’t just the bonsai on the table. Beside it were half-a-dozen little mushrooms, singing a verse from the Marriage of Figaro.
Viper clutched his chest.
“How do you like my new singing group?” The bonsai asked moving his branches like a conductor. “I whipped up another batch of that stuff you made to make me. I absorbed everything through my roots so I know what that gunk you poured on me was made of.”
Viper hurled a beaker toward the bonsai but it evaded again. The mushrooms were quiet now, huddled in fear near the bonsai.
“Now that was totally uncalled for. If you didn’t like the song, all you needed to do was say so. These fellows are very versatile. They can do Senatra as well.”
Viper needed to lie down and so he did. A few minutes later, the bubbling jar exploded, spewing slippery liquid and glass all around. Where it once stood was an odd looking creature. Not quite a plant and not quite a fish, it had features of both. It moved around on it’s roots, using them as legs. It had leaves which it used as arms, and right in the middle of its flower was a mouth filed with teeth. It had the same hue of a red belly pirranah.
“What are you looking at?” It snapped at Viper.
“Your magnificent!” Viper exclaimed, moving closer to inspect the latest product of his tinkering.
“Magnificent? Me, magnificet? I’m a mess. I don’t know what the heck I am. How can you say I’m magnificent?”
Viper had the gut feeling that this one wasn’t going to go any better than his previous attempts at concocting monsters for his plans.
“Come now, ” The bonsai hopped over to the pirranah plant. “I know you must be feeling down and out, being the only one of your kind and all. But you must realize there are a great many things in this world which can help make you happy. Care to join my singing group?”
“Singing group? No. Music always shifts from one trend to another. It’ll all be useless in three months.”
“No, no, no, dear boy.” The bonsai shook his trunk. “We’ll be doing classical peices. Music which has stood the test of time! You are a barritone, correct? We are in need of a barritone.”
“At thisss rate I’ll never be able to take over the city…” Viper told himself under his breath, but loud enough to be caught by the pirranah plant.
“Take over the city?” it said, “Why bother. In a few hundred years it’ll all crumble to dust anyway.” Viper didn’t bother to reply to that remark. There was no use reasoning with things with that kind of flawed logic. He turned around and headed out the door. It would be night soon, maybe he could find another place to hole up for a while. Maybe his experiments will turn out better in the morning.
“Whatcha watchin, Jake?” Chance asked as he tossed a can of milk to his buddy sprawled out on the couch.
“David Litterbin. You should come see this, he’s got some great guests.” Jake turned up the volume as Chance took his place beside him.
“Tell us about your group.” David Litterbin requested his guest. The bonsai smiled and answered cordially, his branches revealing his prim and propper manner.
“You see, Dave,” It said, “We’re a singing group. We’ve already signed a contract with Loudkat records for a five album deal.”
Chance flipped the switch to go to his favorite cartoon. “That Litterbin has gotten stranger and stranger ever since he guested that crook Ringtail.” He upped the volume.
“Yeah.” Jake got up to get a slice of pizza from the fridge. “But his ratings have never been higher.”
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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.