“The Ancient Memory: Part I”
“The Experiment, Running”
By Bane Keldare
Teaser: An attack on Pumadyne Labs results in the escape of one very important experiment for Dr. Greenbox. The SWAT Kats arrive in time, only to meet this experiment up close, realizing that he is…human… …and he needs help…
RATING: PG (Language mainly)
KEY: ( ) <——–means a character thought.
“C’mon, Derek…you don’t want to miss your first trip to Megakat City, do you?” asked the father of the boy.
“Ok! Coming dad!” said the boy, dropping the leaves he had been collecting for God knows what. The car doors slammed shut, and the man started the engine, accelerating down the road. Young Derek stared out the window in awe, even though they weren’t arriving at Megakat City for another 150 miles or so. He was apparently anxious to go… He had never been in a really big city before.
“Isn’t this exciting, honey? WE won front row tickets to the David Litterbin show! Imagine! Front row!” the mother said, excitedly.
“Yeah, I know. Whaddya think of that, Derek?”
“Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” the boy said, jumping up and down in the backseat.
“Now Derek, put your seatbelt on, you never know when a cop’ll stop by!” his mother scolded.
“Sorry mom…” Derek said, as he settled down and buckled himself in. They drove on in silence for awhile, as the nearest radio station was quite a ways away, and no one really had anything to say.
Amazingly, Derek didn’t even hound his parents with questions about the city. He just sat and stared at the upcoming sign that said “Entering Megakat City Limits.”
“OH BOY! WE’RE HERE!” The boy shouted.
“Yes, yes Derek, we’re here. After we check into the hotel, we’ll take a walk around,” Derek’s mother said.
“Oh boy! Oh boy!” Derek couldn’t contain himself very much longer. The car slowly pulled into the parking lot, and came to a stop as the three entered the hotel lobby. After a short jaunt of getting their room and placing their luggage there, the ill-fated walk began.
“Derek, what are you doing?” Derek’s father asked.
“I’m lookin’ for the camera!” he said, shuffling through his father’s luggage.
“Ok, we’ll be outside walking around the block if you need us,” replied his father. As they walked out, Derek could barely hear his mother ask, “But honey…shouldn’t we be close by? He’s still young, you know!”
“Aww, honey…he’s 10 now, he can take care of himself. Besides, we’ll be only around the block…who’d be stupid enough to try something in broad daylight?” They left, and Derek continued shuffling through the luggage, until he pulled out the small instrument of creating memories, the camera. He held it up above himself in celebration.
“Found it!” he shouted to himself. He didn’t know that his parents had been gone for five minutes already, but he didn’t care. He raced into the elevator, danced around until it landed, and ran outside to find his parents. His parents, however, weren’t as well received. They rounded the corner on the opposite side of the block, when three large kats stepped out.
“Well well…lookee here…you guys sure are different,” one of them said.
“Listen, we’re just passing through. We’re not looking for any trouble…” Derek’s father said, trying to reason.
“Well, what a coincidence! It just so happens that WE’RE lookin’ for money!” He said, brandishing a gun. The two raised their hands, as the other two unarmed thugs searched their belongings and pulled out all they found valuable.
“Ok…you’ve got your money…can we go now?” Derek’s mother pleaded.
“Oh no…I don’t think so…we can’t have your kind contaminating this fine city with…whatever you guys are…”
“We’re HUMAN…” Derek’s father said.
“Oh, really…well this is a city of Kats, bub…no humans…” Derek heard four shots ring out from around the corner.
“…allowed…” the thug said, putting his weapon away and running away with his friends. As they ran, Derek stumbled upon two dead bodies…that of his very own mother and father.
“M-mom…? Dad?!” Derek asked bleakly. He glanced around through tear-stricken eyes to realize how this could have happened…no one was in sight…not one person…not one car.
“HELP ME!!! PLEASE!!!!!” he cried out. That was what alerted the people inside their buildings. It all came in a rush after that. It was hard to remember just how fast it happened, but soon after, the Enforcers had arrived, led by none other than Commander Feral herself. He crouched over and offered to hold the little boy, who had his face hidden within his arms and knees. Derek lifted his face and hugged the strange Kat person in pure desperation. However, Feral was absolutely astonished.
“Get Dr. Greenbox over here now!!! I need to know what this kid..IS!!” he commanded.
“Please…” Derek pleaded, “…help my mommy and daddy…”
“Shh…we’ll do the best we can…” Feral comforted.
Derek never saw his parents’ bodies loaded into the ambulance, or the car of Dr. Greenbox arriving. At the moment, he didn’t really care. He wanted his family right now.
“What IS he, Dr. Greenbox?” Feral asked.
“I don’t mean to sound strange, but in all honesty I believe he may actually be a human!!!” He shouted.
“A…Hyu-man…?” Feral pronounced the name strangely.
“Yes…a human. But…they’ve been missing on this planet for over 20,000 years! This is incredible!” Derek slowly stopped sobbing and looked up at the strange Kat.
“Can YOU help my mommy and daddy?”
“Perhaps. But first, a question. Where do you live?” Derek blinked and sniffled.
“We…don’t really live in one particular place…” he replied, “…we usually just keep drivin’ around ’cause no one likes us…”
“And why is that?”
“…Cause we’re different. We’re not like the cat-people. They say we’re bad ’cause we’re not like them…”
“Oh. Listen Derek, I want you to come with me…”
“To my laboratory…I want to learn more about you, son.”
“But…I don’t know you…and I wanna see mommy and daddy!”
“You will…but first, come with me, please…” Dr. Greenbox opened his passenger door, and Derek entered. After he fastened his seat-belt, Greenbox slammed the door shut. Derek never heard the conversation past that.
“So…what are you going to do with him, Dr. Greenbox?” Feral asked.
“I want to learn more about the Humans…this is a scientific breakthrough, Commander! We need to experiment as much as possible!”
“Dr. Greenbox, I can’t let you do this! It’s wrong!”
“Feral…if I don’t do it, someone else will. You know that.” Commander Feral growled, and nodded.
“Ok…but don’t keep him in there for too long. YOU KNOW what could happen if you do.”
“Don’t worry, Commander. I won’t,” Greenbox said, getting in the car and driving off, with young Derek still sniffling in the passenger side. Feral sighed… wondering if he did the right thing.
MEGAKAT CITY: PUMADYNE RESEARCH LABS
That was nine years ago, and a much older Derek awoke to the room that he so loathed for years. It was a cold, metallic room, surrounded by three very solid walls, and leaving one wall as nothing but glass, but Derek knew what it was for, and he also knew he was under constant observation by the Pumadyne scientists on a daily–almost nightly–basis. A metal door to the right of the mirror hissed, and slid open, revealing the face of the “Good” Dr. Greenbox.
“So…how is the patient doing today?” He asked. Derek wiped the tears from his face and scowled.
“The least you could do is remember my name, Doc. I’ve been in this damn room for over NINE years!” Derek commanded.
“Oh? It’s been so long…tell me, what is your name again?” Dr. Greenbox’s snide remarks screeched.
“My name is Derek Shyfter, Dr. Greenbox.”
“Oh yes, that’s right…I nearly forgot…”
“…No…you just didn’t care. You obviously don’t since I could be out of here living a free existence, but instead you feel it is your God damned DUTY to lock me up and write down this crap on your little notepad!”
“Well, why don’t we discuss that? You haven’t shown this much hostility in a long time…tell me…what’s wrong?”
“You know damn well what’s wrong! My parents died in this very city, and you tricked me into thinking that I could see my parents again…you didn’t even let me go to their funeral!”
“City-funded funerals aren’t that great, Derek.”
“So? They were MY parents! Not yours!” Greenbox scribbled something on his notepad, and looked up again.
“So…what else is troubling you?”
“I’m TROUBLED by the fact that you study me day in and day out, only to realize that I’m exactly like you, only I look slightly different. I still don’t know why you don’t understand that.”
“Oh, but you’re wrong…you’re VERY different in a very strange…and powerful way. You know you’re one of the sole survivors of a very, VERY ancient race?”
“Yes, I do. Now, leave me alone.” Greenbox looked surprised, but stood up and turned towards the door.
“So this is what I get for what I’ve done for you? All the teaching our scientists have given you? You could leave here and to straight to college you know!” Derek ran his fingers through his brown hair in desperation.
“Yeah, but you don’t have any intentions of letting me leave.” Greenbox sighed, and closed the door.
“Derek…you have no idea just how special you are…” While Derek looked at himself in the glass’ reflection, Greenbox booted up the computer in the room outside Derek’s cell. He opened the file on his favored “experiment,” and began to enter the data he retrieved into the computer, when the nearby door beeped and slid open.
“Greenbox, you know you’re going too far with this!” Came a voice. Greenbox peeled his eyes away from the screen with slight hesitation, and looked up to see the face of Professor Hackle glowering at him.
“Professor Hackle… what a nice surprise.”
“Greenbox, you know this is wrong, so why are you continuing to do this to the poor boy?” Hackle asked, stooping over on his oaken cane.
“I’m doing this for all of science! Humanity hasn’t been on this planet for thousands of years, and all of a sudden this one dropped into my lap!”
“And what did you do? You locked him away to take down data, which you KNOW isn’t accurate because he isn’t living in a real environment.”
“Oh, Mr. Hackle…why don’t you go and tinker with your robotic toys awhile and leave me alone.”
“I’m afraid I can’t! I came here to see your data on this kid…”
“…Derek…” Greenbox corrected.
“Wow…so you actually learned his name. Anyways, I must insist that you allow me to view the files on Derek.” To Hackle’s surprise, Greenbox left his chair, and gestured towards it with his hands.
“Be my guest.” Hackle scanned the files carefully, reviewing the data of the past nine years that was collected, and he found out something that angered him to the point of rage.
“All this time…and you concluded that he’s no different in mental capacity than a Kat?!!!”
“Well, yes…that’s what I’ve concluded, but he’s a very bright student…” Greenbox twiddled his fingers.
“So…these nine years of torturing this poor boy meant nothing to you at all?!”
“Not exactly…now I’m going to show you what ELSE I found…” Greenbox grabbed the mouse away, and opened a different folder inside the main one, opening some strange charts and graphs. One of them was marked “Electro-Magnetic Distortions.” The chart showed a bar for normal Kats…which was low. Derek’s however, was almost off the scale.
“Dr. Greenbox…you’re not implying…” Hackle began.
“I’m not finished.” Greenbox then opened a file marked ‘KAT-scans.’ “This is a KAT-scan of that same Kat’s brain when thinking of an activity I had him perform. As you can see, his response is normal…he’s using 10 percent of his brain.”
“Yeah…so?” Hackle grew impatient.
“So, this is DEREK’S brain performing the same activity. Look! An increased use of the brain…he’s using 12 percent!!” Hackle widened his eyes, wiped them, and looked again.
“So…what you’re saying is that…he might be…”
“He might have some kind of mental ability we haven’t seen before! ESP, telekinesis, telepathy, foresight…any one of these or perhaps something…more…” said Greenbox, getting more excited the farther he got into it.
“Incredible! Absolutely incredible! I never knew that YOU could be so… ignorant. Do you KNOW what will happen when his true ability…whatever it is…is discovered? They’ll all want to use him as some kind of weapon! THEN what will you do?”
“I’ll let them do it…” Greenbox grinned. Hackle slowly stood, and walked toward the door.
“Leaving so soon?” Greenbox asked.
“Yes. I finally realized why I didn’t really want to come here in the first place.”
“And why is that?”
“Because you’re a twisted man…” Hackle replied.
“You may have gotten lucky when you were arrested for what Z.E.D. did…back when you refused to let them take him away from you. Yes, you were very lucky you were released. But now…I see that you’re still as sick as ever. Goodbye, Dr. Greenbox. I hope you know just how wrong what you’re doing is.” Hackle slammed the door shut, and his furious footsteps were echoing all the way down to the hallway’s elevator.
“Oh, yeah…right. Like what I’m doing is wrong…” Greenbox scoffed, and turned back to his computer.
What he didn’t notice, was that Derek had his ear up to the glass, and he heard every single word.
MEGAKAT CITY: ENFORCER SALVAGE YARD
“Aw, CRUD!” Jake shouted, banging his head on the hood of the car he was working on.
“Geez, Jake, don’t be so eager to get this done! It’s not like the car’s GOING anywhere…” Chance joked.
“Very funny, Chance, very funny,” Jake rubbed his head.
“C’mon… take a break and let’s watch the news.”
“Oh…alright, hold on a minute,” Jake said, slamming the hood down and rubbing his hands in some water. He walked over, rubbing a white cloth over his hands to dry them, and then proceeded to plop down on the opposite end of the couch as Chance. Chance flicked on the TV, only to discover that the news was in it’s last five minutes or so.
“And finally, we at Kats Eye News encourage all of you to tune in to tonight’s special, ‘Humanity: Fact or Fiction?’ tonight at 8:00 p.m. Dr. Greenbox will be on to discuss just what it’s like to study a real life human in captivity…” Chance turned off the TV.
“Crud…only caught the end.”
“Hey, that humanity thing might be good,” Jake suggested, “If only they didn’t use such harsh terms as ‘in captivity.’ I’m willing to bet that Humans are just as smart as we are.”
“Yeah, but we don’t know that, and besides, it’s not like we can really DO anything about it.” Jake sighed.
“Yeah, you’re right. Well, back to work.” The both stood.
“Yeah, I guess so…” Chance said. Jake got down on his scooter, rolling under the car.
“You look at the engine, I’m gonna work on the oil.” Chance sighed.
“Yeah, yeah, I know.” He reached his arm inside, looking carefully at the engine, but while he was doing that, a familiar alarm sounded from inside, and the garage became filled with a flashing crimson light. Chance banged his head on the hood.
Jake rolled out from under the car, and nimbly leaped over the stacks of junk to reach the small white communicator.
“Yes, Ms. Briggs?”
“SWAT Kats!” Callie’s voice sounded, “Dr. Viper’s after Pumadyne again! He’s after Katalyst-101!”
“We’re on it Ms. Briggs!” Jake said, dashing down the secret entrance to the Turbokat’s hangar. Chance still stood there, rubbing his head.
“C’mon! We need a pilot!” Jake said, popping his head up and zipping back down. Shaking it off, Chance didn’t even use the ladder. He merely jumped down the chute to the hangar, grabbing his uniform on the way. Before long, they were seated comfortably in the cockpit of the Turbokat. The engine purred, no, GROWLED as it started, and while T-Bone started their fated flight towards Pumadyne, Razor checked each and every weapon system he had on board the ship.
“We ready Razor?”
“All set, T-Bone!”
“Let’s rock n’roll!” T-Bone shouted, switching to the afterburners. However, far away, at Pumadyne Labs, Derek was alone in his cell.
MEGAKAT CITY: PUMADYNE RESEARCH LABS
Dr. Greenbox was nowhere to be found, but Derek didn’t care. He was alone. For the first time in a long time, he was alone, and he didn’t care. He didn’t care that the alarms were sounding, he didn’t care about the danger that he was forced to stay locked up in the middle of. He didn’t care that he could very well get injured, or maybe died. He finally realized that he just…he just didn’t care. (Finally…maybe now I might just be able to leave…dead or alive…) Derek thought. He tried the door again, even though he knew it was locked. Apparently the life of this great specimen wasn’t worth saving. Dr. Greenbox obviously was very eager to leave his experiment in order to preserve his own life.
(I wonder if Commander Feral is going to get here soon. Because of HIM I was allowed to be locked up here.) He glanced around, knowing he wasn’t stuck. The glass wasn’t very thick, but Derek never chanced an escape. (No…I’m sure he’s kicking himself for that.) Picking up a metal chair, Derek slammed it through the glass. The force shattering that brittle material in a shower of broken crystal. (Easy enough. Now…to get out of here…) Looking around, he found a rather thin stretch of pipe that was visible around the room. Slamming the same chair into it several times, he was finally able to wrench it free from the joints. About 1 1/2 inches thick, the piece of pipe was about three feet long.
“This should do,” Derek said over the glaring alarm. He opened the exit door slowly, peering out, only to see a guard running frantically towards something at the other end of the hallway. As he passed the door, Derek slammed the pipe into his head. Dropping the pipe, Derek grabbed the guards laser rifle, turning the dial to the setting, “stun.” (That should do…I don’t want to KILL anyone…) Instead of running the direction the guard was coming from, however, Derek decided to run down the hallway to where the guard was headed. The hallway floor was covered in scattered debris, and it was obvious that the intruder was definitely down this hall. Derek crept slowly, holding the gun in a ready position, ever aware that this could be either a defining moment in his life…or the last action that his isolated existence would ever take. At the end, Derek saw a sign above the door that read: “KATALYST STORAGE.” Sounds of struggle echoed as Derek turned the corner. What he saw was horrible. A green striped Kat smashed a nearby guard with his tail, but the guard fell on a broken piece of a beaker, and the jagged end stuck into his back. The guard looked mortified, and gasped in pain, but soon fell still and silent, a small amound of blood trickling from his mouth. Dr. Viper was the one in the laboratory, but Derek didn’t even know his name. He crept up on the creepy Kat in the white lab coat, switching his gun to “lethal” mode in anger of what Viper had done. Viper was unaware, as he searched the small shelf for Katalyst-101.
“Don’t move,” Derek said, pointing a gun to Viper’s head.
“Oh, REALLY…sounds like another stupid guard…” Viper remarked snidely.
“Turn around,” ordered Derek.
Viper turned around, but his face showed one of shock.
“Y-y-you’re that HUMAN boy! You…you ESCAPED!!” Derek’s face remained hard.
“You killed that guard. He died a VERY brutal death.” (I can’t…I just can’t…kill him…) Derek thought.
“He got in the way,” Viper grinned evilly.
“You also didn’t even regret it!”
“Of course not…now why would I do so?!” Rage filled Derek then. It was a rage of more fire than blood, as his face grew flaming hot, his breath coming out almost in heaves.
“DON’T YOU KNOW HOW PERMANENT DEATH IS?!!!!” Derek shouted, aiming the gun at Viper’s left leg and firing.
“AAAH!!!” Viper screamed, “damn you, kid! AARRGH!!” Viper crouched down and grabbed his leg, which was now bleeding profusely. Realizing what he had done, Derek ran out of the lab, and headed toward the nearby stairs. (I can’t go on ground level…too many troops and probably too much commotion. I have to get to the roof.) Derek ascended skyward.
“Razor, look at the SIZE of that thing!” T-Bone said with amazement, pointing at the Pumadyne Labs area.
“Oh my God…that thing’s made of…made of…” Ice. It was a gigantic creature made completely of ice. It destroyed everything in it’s path with it’s hard, huge hands. The sheer weight of the beast left large craters of broken asphault whereever it stepped. The Turbokat approached head on–T-Bone’s preferred approach–and slowly began to pull up, giving Razor an opening with one of his weapons.
“Slicer missles…away!” Razor shouted, pressing the trigger. Two missles darted out of the speedy jet, each one breaking out of their shell to reveal four very sharp, dangerous looking blades, which then seperated a little for maximum damage. They bounced off.
“WHAT?! Those missles were diamond-tipped!!” Razor screamed. The creature screamed with rage, and smashed a large truck, which seemed miniscule to the huge golem. When he stepped on it, however, the gas tank ignited. Upon that sudden burst, the creature shrieked and almost leapt out of the inferno.
“You see that, T-Bone? It hates fire!!”
“You think just a NORMAL missle would work?” T-Bone insinuated.
“Yeah, just pull us around for another pass.” However, as they flew overhead, someone came out of a small door on the roof. It was Derek.
“DAMN!” Derek shouted, running as he saw the creature turn its attention on him. Derek scrambled back towards the shed, but one blow from the mighty hand flattened it instantly, cutting off Derek’s only chance of escape. Derek turned and fired, but to no effect. Instead, the creature picked up the young man, and in shock, Derek dropped the useless blaster. The ice creature held a now helpless Derek in his hands, and Derek appeared to be scared out of his mind.
———- “Razor! DON’T SHOOT!” T-Bone screamed.
“That creature grabbed someone! Don’t shoot! It’ll kill him!” Razor took a good look at his systems.
“Aw, CRUD! T-Bone, keep circling! We’ll find SOME way to get this thing…maybe he’ll let that guy go!”
“Affirmative, Razor! One circle comin’ up!”
(Please…don’t shoot…don’t kill me…) Derek pleaded within his mind. The creature wasn’t paying too much attention to Derek, but he was instead concentrating on using his other hand to swat down some of Feral’s choppers. However, those attacks caused Derek to be thrown about in the giant’s flailing arms. (No…I can’t go now! I didn’t even get to fully live!) Derek watched the strange black and red jet circle around the monster’s head, distracting it, but again, the rapid movements of the monster scared Derek half to death, and made him wonder just when the beast’s hold would slip. (I spent all that time in that cell…NINE YEARS…GONE! I…I want…) A strange light blue glow surrounded Derek’s head.
“I WANT TO LIVE MY LIFE!!!” he screamed. The glow flared up around Derek’s entire body, and scared Derek even more than the giant’s grip on him. Eyes wide in as much terror as wonder, Derek slowly just relaxed and let the energy take him wherever it wanted him to go. Derek’s shape seemed to vaporize from existence.
“Razor! Did you see THAT?! He’s GONE!!!!” T-Bone shouted.
“Yeah, I know. He gave me an opening!” Pressing a few choice buttons, Razor lifted the small latch over the trigger switch.
“Napalm cluster missiles…away!!!” Two small rockets shot out from the belly of the Turbokat, each one smashing into one of the beast’s shoulders. Each one exploded, leaving behind three balls from each missile, to shatter and ignite into a massive amount of flame. The creature writhed as a normal person on fire would have.
“BINGO!” Razor shouted. Slowly, the shoulders melted, and its arms fell to the ground in an earth-shattering clamor. The flames continued their relentless endeavor, mainly because two of the napalm bombs had landed on the creature’s head. The monster dropped to its knees, and eventually died when its head was completely consumed in ice-melting flame.
“We did it, Razor!” T-bone congratulated.
“Yeah, but what about that guy? We should probably help him, he can’t get down.”
“There’s just one problem, buddy. Where is he?”
Razor checked his scopes one last time, and pointed to the roof of Pumadyne Labs.
Derek blinked rapidly when he realized that he was no longer in the clutches of the ice monster…in fact, he was back on the roof, safe and sound.
“What…what happened?” Derek asked himself. Glaring down at his hands, Derek shook his head. Placing his hand on his forehead, he suddenly knew that something was going wrong within him. He fell to his knees, and fell on his face with a loud “THUD.” A silent blackness surrounded him, cutting off all of his senses. Derek never knew what happened after that. He never felt the iron claw of the TurboKat pick him up. He never felt Razor shake him over and over again to wake him up. He never felt the turbulence of the skies, and he never, ever, felt them land. He just didn’t feel anything.
FOREST: BEYOND MEGAKAT CITY LIMITS
Chirping birds and rustling leaves helped Razor’s efforts in awakening the young Derek. He slowly opened his eyes, only to see two Kats in black masks, clad in red and blue jumpsuits.
“Uhhh…what…? Where….?” Derek asked, rubbing his head.
“Relax, kid. You’re safe,” T-Bone replied.
“Yeah, don’t worry,” Razor affirmed. Derek slowly sat up, and glanced around at the serene, sylvan landscape…filled to the brim with lush, green examples of life. Obviously, he was in a forest, but it must have been small, due to the fact that Megakat City was mostly surrounded by desert, and bordered the ocean.
“But…where am I? And….who are you?” Derek asked. Razor offered his hand, and Derek took it to get help standing himself up.
“Call me Razor,” he nodded.
“I’m T-Bone,” the large one said, “and call us the SWAT-Kats.” Derek scratched his head.
“Swat…cats?” He pronounced.
“Yeah. We’re kind of like the guardians of this city. God knows the Enforcers do such a cruddy job,” Razor chuckled. T-Bone laughed, but Derek was already lost in thought.
“What’s your name, kid?” T-bone asked. Derek blinked his mind back into reality.
“Oh. My name’s Derek. Derek Shyfter.”
“Pleasure to meet ya,” Razor said.
“Before I forget…thanks,” nodded Derek.
“Aw, no problem! We were just doing our job…” T-Bone started.
“…No, not for that,” Derek interrupted, “but for…not judging me so quickly.”
“What?” Razor gave a confused look.
“Well, it’s obvious that I’m different from you…and everyone else in that damn city. It’s just that…well…I haven’t seen that much of the world in the past nine years.”
“Why’s that?” T-Bone asked, nervous about asking so many questions.
“Ask Dr. Greenbox. For NINE YEARS, I was his plaything. His great experiment. I’m one of the last remaining Humans on this planet; that much I DO know.” T-Bone and Razor glanced at each other nervously.
“No, don’t worry about it…it’s my problem,” Derek said, shaking his head.
“Yeah, but it’s a pretty serious problem,” Razor commented. Derek nodded sadly, silently.
“So…what are you going to do?” Razor inquired.
“I don’t know…but I think I have a place to stay. There’s this scientist that came in to bother Dr. Greenbox…he was old…and Greenbox mentioned something about robotics or something…”
“Professor Hackle?” Razor and T-Bone simoultaneously asked.
“That’s him!” Derek snapped his fingers.
“Do…do you think that you could give me a lift to his place…?” They nodded.
“Hop in,” T-Bone said, gesturing towards the TurboKat.
PROFESSOR HACKLE’S HOME
T-Bone pounded on the front door as loud as he could.
“Alright…coming!” Came a voice from inside. Several locks unbolted from the inside, and the large door creaked open, revealing Professor Hackle. Razor and T-Bone were standing in front of Derek, hiding him in the back.
“Oh, the SWAT Kats! What can I do for you?” The two stepped away, showing Derek behind them.
“B-b-but I thought…is it you?! Derek?!” Hackle said, adjusting his glasses over and over again.
“Yeah…” Derek said, nervous.
“What happened? I thought you were back in Pumadyne!”
“Dr. Viper attacked Pumadyne today, Professor,” Razor pointed out.
“So he did at that…” The old man replied.
“Derek…I’m actually pretty happy you decided to come to me.”
“Why’s that?” Derek asked.
“Well…honestly, you have some strange power within you that you don’t know about…if Greenbox ever found out how to harness that power…you’d be nothing more than a weapon in the Megakat Arsenal.”
“I…I do…?” Derek looked down at his hands.
“Yes…but come on! Do come inside!” Hackle gestured. Derek walked inside, but the SWAT Kats stayed behind.
“Sorry, professor, we’ve gotta get back,” Razor said.
“Oh, ok. You two take care now!” Razor and T-Bone entered the TurboKat, activated the engines, and took off within a matter of seconds.
“So, Derek…tell me about yourself.” With the conversation started, Derek started to pour out his heart and soul to Hackle. And with that, the front door to Professor Hackle’s home slammed shut.
MEGAKAT CITY: ENFORCER SALVAGE YARD
After a few hours, night fell, and Jake and Chance were seated comfortably on the couch in front of the TV.
“You know, Chance…I’ve been thinking…” Jake said.
“About that Derek kid…”
“What about him?”
“Ever get the feeling that there’s something…more to him…?”
“Whaddya mean, Jake?”
“I mean…it seems that he’s extremely lucky to have broken out of Pumadyne like that.”
“He’s just smart, like you. That’s all.”
“Yeah, I know that. But…I mean…with Dr. Viper attacking and all…and then that strange trick he did…”
“What ARE you getting at, buddy?” Chance asked, annoyed.
Jake stood up and glanced out the window at the night sky. He sighed, and turned back to his partner.
“I don’t think this is the last time we’ll see Derek Shyfter.”
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