Commander Feral stood looking out the massive glass windows of Megakat Biochemical Labs, paws clasped behind his back, staring off into space. He was waiting for a call from Sgt. Brady on the progress of the Super Megavolt 5000, a weapon that Dr. Konway was constructing to combat the bacteria.
Behind him stood Dr. Zyme, staring impassively past Feral and out at the beautiful afternoon sun. Mayor Manx was there as well, in his usual blue business suit, nervously adjusting his toupee and clothing every now and then.
After the chaotic confrontation between the monster and Feral’s Enforcers, the mayor had fled to Megakat Biochemical Labs, figuring it was the safest place to be, seeing as how Feral was there. As for Deputy Mayor Callie Briggs, she had stayed back at City Hall and was currently doing her best to keep things running smoothly in Manx’s absence.
“Now, ah, commander, you’re quite certain we’re safe in here?” Manx asked for the umpteenth time.
Feral rolled his eyes, turning to face him.
“Yes, mayor, as you know, ever since the last incident involving the bacteria monsters, Dr. Zyme has had the structure of the lab strengthened…”
“Ahh, that’s all fine and good, commander, but there’s just one thing I need to know.”
“Where in the blazes did this new monster come from!?” Manx screamed.
“You told me the SWAT Kats had destroyed them all!!”
Feral winced at the mayor’s outburst.
“Well, eh..that’s what Dr. Zyme told me..,” he glanced over at Zyme. “Now..speaking of which, do you mind explaining to me how another one of those creatures managed to suddenly pop up after you told me they were all destroyed?”
Dr. Zyme sighed and stared at his feet.
“I’m afraid I wasn’t entirely honest with you, Commander Feral..” he said.
“That I can see..”
“The three original monsters are all dead.”
“Then where did this one come from!?” Manx demanded.
“I’d found a tissue sample from one of the creatures, and I wanted to study it..but then I noticed that it began to grow, and I realized that it was regenerating, just as normal bacteria do,” Zyme explained.
“Mmm-hmm,” Feral said, stroking his chin. “And..?”
“I worked quickly, and I isolated the clump of cells in a special air-tight container..a container which was stolen from the lab last night,” Zyme said.
Feral and Manx exchanged glances as it became clear to them.
“So..Dr. Viper got his grubby paws on the cell sample!!” Feral roared.
Dr. Zyme nodded slowly.
“Yes…I was a fool to not to have destroyed the sample when I had the chance..”
Feral growled, and walked over to the phone on the writing desk in the corner. Lifting the receiver he quickly dialed a number.
“Get me Sgt. Brady!” he said.
After a moment of silence, Feral was greeted by Brady’s voice.
“Yes commander?” he asked.
“Brady, how is the Super Megavolt 5000 coming..?”
“It’s finished. in fact, I was just about to call and inform you!”
“Good. Now, double-check it and make perfectly sure it’s in working order. Then, have it sent down to the Megakat City warehouse district, in the waterfront area. Captain Rodrigez will be waiting for you.”
“And, once you’ve done that, come and pick me up in my chopper,” Feral grinned. “I’ll want to watch this next fight.”
Enforcer Captain Rodrigez stood, shaking his head as he surveyed the damage done during the bacteria monster’s rampage. After wiping out most of the Enforcer troopers and vehicles down the street from Megakat Biochemical Labs, the monster had gone southward, heading into rural areas, before finally entering the warehouse district along the waterfront.
It hadn’t taken long to evacuate that sparsely populated area, and soon they were certain they had the creature fenced in. But, the danger was still far from over. Rodrigez had long since ditched his squad car and now stood atop a tank, wearing a goggled helmet on his head, looking through a pair of field binoculars. This part of Megakat City stank of fish and fetid seawater, as Megakat Bay was hardly half a mile away. His enemy had many places to hide among the sagging, rotting old buildings.
Behind him were half a dozen other Enforcer troopers, tanks, trucks, and other vehicles. He sighed. Commander Feral had had him personally conduct this part of their plan to destroy the monster since Rodrigez was one of only five Enforcers to survive the earlier massacre. Just then, one of the lower-ranking officers came over to the tank, carrying a walkie-talkie.
Rodrigez lowered the binoculars and looked down from his perch atop the tank.
“I’ve just gotten a call from Commander Feral,” the officer said. “The Super Megavolt 5000 is complete, and is being sent to us as we speak.”
Rodrigez smiled and nodded.
“Good..radio back and tell the commander he can expect only the very best from me!”
“Yes sir,” the officer saluted and then walked off.
Rodrigez turned back and resumed looking around the area with his binoculars, still smiling. Things were definitely looking up.
At that moment, the Katseye News van pulled up and stopped behind the roadblocks the Enforcers had set up. Rodrigez saw this out of the corner of his eye and frowned. He hated reporters. He watched in silent frustration as Ann Gora climbed from the van and approached him, followed by her trusty camerakat Jonny.
“Captain Rodirgez!” she called.
“Ugh..,” he sighed. “What?” She hurried over, and, with a groan, Rodirgez hopped down from the tank.
“Can I have a few words please..?” she practically jammed the microphone in his face.
“Is it true that the Enforcers are constructing a special weapon to combat the monster?”
“Yes, Ann..,” he replied. “Such a weapon was conceived, but it has already been constructed and is on its way here. We’re calling it the Super Megavolt 5000.”
“Amazing..and do you think it will work against the monster?”
“We won’t know until we try will we?” he said with a smirk.
Dr. Viper slipped easily through the narrow opening of the storm drain, dusting himself off. He felt his lab coat pocket and, after assuring himself that the vial of the special formula he had prepared earlier was still there, he smiled. Adjusting his lab coat, he glanced around. He could hear the waves of the ocean crashing against the shores of Megakat Bay nearby. He looked around, seeing he was in a garbage-filled alleyway between two large and very old warehouses. Looking up, he saw that one of the two buildings had a fire escape and, with a grin, he grabbed hold of the ladder and quickly climbed up to the top, hoisting himself onto the roof. The wind picked up, causing his lab coat to billow around him.
“Blassst!!” he hissed, suddenly shivering. “It’sss cold up here…but at leasst I have a good view..”
Squinting, he glanced around from this vantage point and found he did indeed have quite a good view from here. He could see about fifty or so Enforcer troopers and at least a dozen vehicles stationed at the warehouse district’s only real entrance and exit besides the harbor. Then, he caught sight of an all-too familiar purple-colored blob moving steadily towards them and grinned.
“Oh yessss..,” he hissed with glee, licking his lips. “Now..to put my plan into action!”
And with that, Dr. Viper hurried back to the fire escape and clambered down, chuckling to himself. Reaching the bottom, he slithered back into the storm drain.
Captain Rodrigez looked and grinned up as the massive Enforcer cargo chopper began its descent towards the ground. The whirling blades caused everyone’s clothing to billow about wildly. Behind him, Ann Gora struggled to keep her skirt from flying up as Jonny kept his camera trained on the chopper.
“Ahh..good!” Rodrigez said, grinning even wider, “it’s here!!”
When the chopper touched down, a group of workmen climbed out and worked in unison to lower a huge, cannonlike weapon from the interior of the aircraft. Then out hopped Dr. Konway, Enforcer Headquarters’s foremost authority in biochemical and biotechnical things, who was obviously the weapon’s builder. Once everything was unloaded, the chopper took off and Rodrigez ran over and shook Konway’s paw.
“Dr. Konway!” he said. “I’m glad you’ve finally arrived.”
“Well I can’t say I enjoy being this close to the battle..,” Konway admitted. “But, what’s got to be done’s got to be done! Now..let’s get this thing operational!”
“You seem pretty knowledgeable about all this..,” Ann Gora said.
“Yes, usually I’m into biochemicals..but I know a bit about technology..”
With Konway directing them and with Jonny getting it all on tape, the guards began to swiftly assemble the massive cannon, attaching it to a special wheeled platform. To Rodrigez, it looked for all the world like a giant cattle prod. After making last minute checks, Konway, turned to him.
“Now, this is very simple..aim and shoot when that thing comes!” he said. “It’s got a standard triggering mechanism..just point it at the ugly pile of glop and squeeze the trigger..”
“Then what happens, Dr. Konway?” Ann asked.
“A bolt packing about a million megavolts of electricity will shoot out. Then you get about a hundred pounds of deep-fried bacteria!” Konway said. “See, this monster’s sensitive to electrical charges..a big enough amount’ll burn it to a crisp.”
“Good..,” Rodrigez said with a grin. “I’m gonna enjoy this..”
Suddenly, a startled cry from one of the Enforcers stationed as a lookout on the roof of a nearby building caused everyone to turn towards the left.
“It’s coming!” he shouted. “It’s coming!”
Rodrigez turned to Ann, Jonny, and Konway.
“It might be wise if you three got out of here.”
“No way!” Ann said. “I’m staying. You couldn’t drag me away.”
“Yes,” added Konway. “And, I wanted to see first-hand how the Super Megavolt 5000 affects the beast.”
“Alright, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!” Rodrigez said.
The ground began to shake from the thundering of approaching footsteps, and it wasn’t long before the huge creature rounded the corner, glaring and opening its huge mouth and letting out a gurgling bellow as it began to stomp towards the Enforcers. Captain Rodrigez gritted his teeth in grim determination and seized the trigger of the weapon, but didn’t pull it, waiting for the right moment as the monster came closer.
“Kats alive..it’s huge!!” he heard Konway say.
The Enforcer chopper flew low over the buildings in the waterfront district, heading towards the battleground. Sgt. Brady was piloting, with Commander Feral riding shotgun. Seated in the back were Mayor Manx and Dr. Zyme. Feral was grinning as the chopper flew ever closer to where the bacteria monster’s destruction was to hopefully take place, and Feral eagerly prayed he would arrive in time to see.
“We’re approaching the roadblocks, commander!” Brady said.
“Good..” Feral said, grinning even wider. For once, it seemed he’d actually succeed in doing something right!
“Now, ah..you’re absolutely sure this is going to work?” Manx said.
Feral sighed “Zyme,…explain it to him..”
“Well, Mr. Mayor..you see, all bacteria are sensitive to electrical charges…,” Zyme began.
“I just want a clear yes or no answer!!!” Manx yelled, cutting Zyme off.
“YES!!!” Feral and Zyme said together.
From his vantage point from an open kathole, Dr. Viper watched the bacteria creature continue to advance upon the Enforcers as the armed ground troops took up firing positions on the sidewalks, and the tanks moved forward slowly, with Captain Rodrigez, driving the now mobile electrical-gun, taking the lead.
Somewhere deep down inside the creature was Stan’s mind, but it was gone now and nothing could save it. All that remained of Stan was his rather odd mohawk, which still adorned the monster’s head.
The ground shook with each step it took, gobs of purple goo running off its body and splattering onto the asphalt. Viper grinned and slithered free of the kathole as the creature passed him.
“Hey!” he shouted “Down here!”
The creature turned to stare down at Dr. Viper.
“Look what I’ve got for yooou!!” Viper sneered, whipping out the vial of blue liquid he’d mixed together earlier, holding it up for the monster to see.
The monster’s eyes lit up, and it smacked its lips noisily. Viper popped the cap off the vial and mocked a sniffing sound, licking his lips with his forked tongue.
“Sssssssee?” he hissed “Ssssmellss good!!”
The monster’s perpetual grin seemed to widen in delight.
“Doesss daddy’ss little baby want a yum-yum??” Viper cooed.
The bacteria creature nodded feverishly. Viper grinned and reeled back his arm, like a baseball pitcher about to throw.
He threw the open vial directly into the monster’s mouth, and it swallowed it down, container and all, and belched loudly.
Viper grinned evilly.
Meanwhile, the Enforcers had stopped and were staring. Sgt Rodrigez blinked behind his safety goggles. The creature had turned around for apparently no reason at all.
“What the..?” he gawked. “What’s it doing!?”
“I..I well..I don’t know..,” Dr. Konway was forced to admit.
“It’s just standing there!!” an Enforcer shouted.
“Quick..shoot it while it’s distracted!!” Konway yelled.
Growling, Rodrigez squeezed the trigger of the Super Megavolt 5000 tightly. There came a loud humming as the interior generator booted up, and then there was a loud crackle and a bang as a bolt of electricity shot out, hitting the monster square in the back. It stumbled forwards, roaring in anger as electricity surged through its body.
A minute passed..then two minutes..then Rodrigez’s grin vanished.
“Huh?” he gawked “Nothing’s happening!! Darn!! How long is this supposed to take!?”
“It should be dust by now!” Konway blinked. “Hit it again!!”
Rodrigez repeated the process of charging and then firing the Super Megavolt 5000,..but, again, it had no effect.
Well, it did have one effect. It made the monster whirl around angrily, snarling and come stomping towards them. Most of the Enforcers broke and ran, screaming in panic. Ann and Jonny, too, turned and fled, but Dr. Konway remained, staring in disbelief.
Rodrigez yelped, struggling to recharge the machine, but he wasn’t fast enough. The huge beast was upon him in seconds.
“No!” he shouted “Get back!!”
He yelled in horror as the monster’s slimy hands seized him off the Super Megavolt 5000’s bucket seat, and he was lifted up, kicking his feet and screaming at the top of his lungs.
Konway watched, transfixed and horrified, as the creature shoved the still-kicking Rodrigez into its mouth.
Rodrigez, unwilling to die so easily, quickly unhooked a grenade from his utility belt.
“Let’s see how you like your supper spicy, amigo!!!” he said, pulling the pin.
“No, you fool!!” Konway yelled, but it was too late.
The grenade exploded, the blast killing Rodrigez instantly, and, at the same time, blowing the huge creature into two huge sections; one with the mohawk, one without. Gradually, both sections grew the arm and leg they lacked and, in mere minutes, two huge, single-eyed bacteria monsters stood before Konway and the Enforcers.
“Oh no..,” Konway said under his breath.
Then, he turned and fled as the Enforcer ground troops began to open fire on the monsters.
Dr. Viper clapped with joy, jumping up and clicking his heels. The special mixture he fed to the creature made its cells immune to the electrical charges, and now, those Enforcer fools had split the monster! It wouldn’t be long before the two creatures decimated the Enforcers here. Viper rubbed his hands together with glee, and, since he couldn’t resist, he threw back his head and screamed with eerie laughter.
“Oh yesss..,” he hissed in delight
Viper crossed his arms, smirking as he continued to observe the carnage, swishing his thick serpentine tail in fiendish glee.
“Now..my creature isss unsstoppable!” he sneered “Sssoon thiss worthlesss Megakat City..will be desstroyed..and I’ll rebuild with my Megasssswamp City!!!”
The thought of finally achieving his lifelong goal of seeing a beautiful muddy, swampy wasteland filled with his horrible mutants filled Viper with pleasure, and he couldn’t help but hiss again as chills went up and down his spine.
“Now..I’d bessst return home..and watch asss the chaosss unfoldsss on the newss!”
Cackling, Dr. Viper slithered over and dropped back down into the sewer. Everything was going just as he’d planned.
The chopper piloted by Sgt. Brady flew over the warehouse district, and Commander Feral pressed his face against the window, staring in disbelief as he saw not one, but two bacteria monsters trashing his troops! He grabbed his walkie talkie and yelled into it.
“This is Commander Feral!” he said. “Where is Captain Rodrigez!?”
There came only static and muffled sounds of gunfire over the radio.
“I repeat! Where is Captain Rodrigez!?”
Again, no reply came, and, angered, Feral threw his walkie-talkie down onto the floor of the chopper cockpit.. Behind him, Dr. Zyme sighed and hung his head in dismay whilst Mayor Manx nervously twiddled his thumbs.
“Um, Commander..?” Manx said
“What in the blazes has just happened!?”
“I don’t know..,” Feral admitted “But, it seems there’s now..two bacteria monsters instead of one.”
“What!?” Manx wailed. “You said this would work! You lied!”
“Oh..shut up..,” Feral mumbled under his breath.
“What was that..?” Manx said “Come again..?”
“Nothing, mayor..,” Feral sighed.
Feral squeezed his eyes shut, feeling the first pangs of a headache coming on. He was sick of listening to Mayor Manx’s hysterical complaining and was tempted to throw him clear out of the chopper. Opening his eyes, he glanced down at the street, watching his men get destroyed. What had gone wrong..?
Down below, he watched as the first of the two monsters topple a tank, then seize a number of Enforcers and cram them all into its hungry maw, gulping them down. The second creature, the one with the mohawk still, wandered off down the street. Feral realized fighting these things was now futile, and he grabbed his walkie-talkie again.
“This is Commander Feral..to anyone who’s listening..signal the retreat!!”
Then suddenly Sgt. Brady made a small noise.
“Um, Commander..?” he said.
“What now..?” Feral asked, annoyed.
“I think he sees us..”
Feral looked out the windshield. The remaining bacteria monster looked up and glared at the chopper with its one eye and roared, then reached out with its gooey hands to grab the vehicle, now seeming to grin maliciously more than ever.
“Oh no..” Feral said. “Get us out of here!!!”
Sgt. Brady cried out in alarm and pulled up on the steering mechanism, but it was too late, and the monster seized the landing skids of the chopper.
“Aaaagh!” Feral yelled. “Brady get us out of here!!”
“I can’t – he’s too strong!!” Brady said, straining to pull the chopper up.
In the back, Mayor Manx and Dr. Zyme sat huddled in fear. The monster pulled the chopper down from the sky, slamming it onto the concrete, shattering all the glass. The rotor blades slowed to a stop.
“Is everyone okay..?” Feral asked.
“Yes..,” Dr. Zyme said.
Mayor Manx whimpered.
Feral turned and looked out the shattered windshield of the chopper to see the looming, cavernous maw of the bacteria monster. It was going to eat the chopper!
“Everyone out, now!!!” he ordered.
No one needed any persuasion, and Mayor Manx and Sgt. Brady bailed out quickly on the left side of the chopper. The monster seized the downed aircraft and lifted it up. Feral and Zyme were forced to leap out. They hit and rolled, then sat up and watched the beast wolf down the entire chopper.
“Kats alive..what an appetite he’s got!” Zyme said.
The monster burped, then whirled, its single eye glaring down at them.
“Yeah, and I think he wants desert!” Feral said. “Can you run..?”
“Yes..,” Zyme replied.
“Then move!” Feral cried.
Both of them got to their feet and ran down the street, the bacteria monster hot on their heels. The ignored Manx and Brady were able to get away scott free, but poor Feral and Zyme were running for their lives. Their flight brought them to the old docks, where only one rotting pier still stood standing. They suddenly stopped and saw the other bacteria monster standing there with its back to them.
“Oh great..,” Feral moaned. “This just keeps getting better and better.”
At that, the beast whirled to face them, roaring. Its counterpart caught up and soon Feral and Zyme found themselves surrounded.
“The dock!” Zyme pointed “I see a boat!”
“It may be our only chance! Go!” Feral shouted.
They ran onto the old wooden dock and reached the end in no time. The two monsters stood and bellowed angrily at them. Feral jumped into the old motorboat at the end and turned the key, but the engine only gurgled and sputtered.
“It’s not working.. stupid piece of junk!!” he pounded the controls angrily.
They then turned to watch as the monster without the mohawk came forwards, apparently about to come across the dock after them, but the second it set a foot forward, the rotting wood broke away under the creature’s weight and, with a startled roar, it fell into the water. It’s roar soon became a high-pitched scream of anger and pain as, to Feral’s and Zyme’s surprise, it dissolved and melted away.
“Huh..?” Feral blinked.
The other monster snarled and turned, lumbering off down a street and out of their view. Dr. Zyme helped Feral out of the useless boat and the two walked to where the monster had fallen in. Zyme knelt and dipped a finger into the liquid purple goo that coated the surface like oil.
“Hmm..,” he said. “It’s definitely dead.”
“I can see that. But, what killed it?”
“I can’t be sure yet..,” Zyme said.
He reached into the pocket of his pants and took out a small plastic dish, scooping some of the runny gunk into it.
“I’ll have to run some tests…”
“Then let’s get back to Megakat Biochemical Labs!”
Commander Feral stood with his arms folded behind his back, foot tapping impatiently, as he stood in Megakat Biochemical Labs for the third time that day. How long was this going to take? After the bacteria was somehow killed when it fell into the bay, Feral had seen a spark of hope, but now he was growing edgy.
Dr. Zyme was at his worktable, busily mixing chemicals, pouring them from one beaker to another and so forth. He was running all sorts of tests on the sample of the dead bacteria he’d taken from the water earlier, and he’d been at it for nearly two hours. Feral was getting tired of waiting for results.
“Are you through yet, Zyme?” he asked suddenly.
“No, Commander, not yet,” Dr. Zyme replied, annoyed. “You asked me that ten minutes ago.”
“And yet, you still aren’t finished!”
“Biochemistry is a complicated science. Believe me, this is working fast. Under normal circumstances, this procedure would take perhaps days”
“But we haven’t much time…who knows what that thing is doing right now!”
“I know that, Commander, and that’s why I’m working as fast as I can!”
Feral sighed and began to pace back and forth, trying his best to keep his mind off the situation at hand. Every moment they spent trying to figure out what had killed the monster, the remaining one was off somewhere causing destruction, or worse yet, harming the innocent katizens of the city!
Finally, Dr. Zyme turned and grinned at him.
“I’ve got it!” he said.
Feral spun around, smiling, and walked over.
“Well let’s see the results,” he said.
Zyme held up a graduated flask containing a clear liquid, and handed it to Feral, who inspected it closely.
“It’s saltwater,” Zyme said.
Feral raised a brow.
“Sometimes salt can act as a disinfectant,” Zyme continued. “And, as we both know, those creatures are walking blobs of germs”
“So, what you’re saying is…..the saltwater dissolved it?”
“Precisely! By killing off the germs that made up its body,” Zyme said “Think of it in terms of pouring salt onto a slug. As cruel as that act may be, it’s the best comparison I can think of.”
Feral’s grin returned. Now they were talking! Even though he hadn’t been one of those sick types who poured salt onto slugs as a kitten, he got the idea. Handing the flask back to Dr. Zyme, he walked over to the desk and picked up the phone, dialing the number for Enforcer Headquarters.
“This is Commander Feral,” he said into the receiver. “Get me Dr. Konway!”
Dr. Viper paced back and forth angrily in front of his worktable, hissing quietly to himself. Thanks to that foolish Enforcer sergeant, he’d had two bacteria monsters with which to wreak havoc, but now one was killed when it fell into the waters of Megakat Bay. He knew it was the salt in the water that had done it in, and he knew, also, that he could whip up another chemical to make the remaining monster immune to it, just as he had done to make it immune to electricity. But, to do so he needed Katalyst T34, and he didn’t have that particular katalyst in his collection.
“Blassssst!” he snarled and swung his fist, knocking several delicate glass instruments off the tabletop and onto the floor, where they shattered.
“Thisssss is driving me insssssane! The Enforcerssss will surely figure out how to use sssssssssalt against the last giant bacteria, and I don’t have Katalysssst T34 to make the vaccine! Grrrr!”
The mushroom monster sat off to the side, blinking at Viper’s outburst. The mindless creature couldn’t understand why its master was so upset, and it flexed its tentacles in slight agitation. Viper growled again, and then began to think, stroking his chin. He had only one choice. He had to go back to Megakat Biochemical Labs, to steal Katalyst T34.
“It’sssss my only chance!” he said.
He quickly grabbed two vials of Katalyst 23, the other type of chemical needed to make the vaccine, and then turned to the mushroom monster.
“Come! We’ve got work to do”
The chopper touched down on the landing strip at Enforcer Headquarters, and Commander Feral stepped out, followed by Sgt. Brady, who was carrying a tan file folder. The guards at the entrance snapped to attention and saluted as Feral approached, but he merely nodded and went inside, Brady close at his heels. In the folder were Dr. Zyme’s hastily-written notes on the effects of salt on the bacteria. Zyme had chosen to remain at Megakat Biochemical Labs to wrap up his work.
Feral and Brady headed straight to Dr. Konway’s laboratory, where Konway was waiting for them, paws in his lab coat pockets. As they entered, he smiled and approached them.
“Well, Commander,” he said, “Did you bring Dr. Zyme’s notes?”
“Yes,” Feral answered as Sgt. Brady handed the folder to Konway.
Dr. Konway opened the folder and thumbed through the documents, skimming over them.
“Ahh, amazing,” he said. “Using these, I think I can construct a simple but effective weapon to use against the creature.”
“Let’s hope it works better than the Megavolt 5000, doctor,” Feral said.
“That wasn’t my fault! Dr. Viper was there – he must’ve done something to the monster….but this weapon will be totally unexpected by Viper.”
“How long do you think it will take?”
Konway stroked his beard in thought.
“Hmmm.. give me an hour, or an hour and a half at the most. First I have to draw up the plans.”
“Alright,” Feral said, and then turned to Sgt. Brady. “Brady, head up to the control room and tell them I want an update on the bacteria monster’s position.”
“Yes sir,” Brady saluted and hurried out the door.
Feral turned back to Konway, who closed the folder and walked over to his work area, where, using an array of stencils and rulers, he began to draw up the diagram for the weapon he was going to have his team construct.
Feral cracked his neck, and stretched.
“I’ll be in my office – call me once you’re finished.”
“Yes, Commander,” Konway said, without looking up from his calculations.
Feral walked out of the lab and headed for the elevator. He decided he would nap in his office until either Konway or Sgt. Brady called… He certainly needed it.
It was perhaps two hours later that the intercom on Commander Feral’s desk beeped loudly, awakening him from a peaceful slumber. As he opened his eyes, he could tell from looking out the windows of his office it was getting close to evening. The sky outside was a soft pink color. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he sat up and groaned as he reached over and pushed the button on the intercom.
“This is Feral..,” he said.
“Commander, it’s Sgt. Brady.”
“What is it, Brady?”
“The bacteria monster has been sighted, sir! It’s heading back into town, towards City Hall”
At this, Feral sat up. “What?” He thought for a moment. “Meet me down in Konway’s lab on the double!”
Feral took his finger off the button and got up from his desk. He quickly adjusted his rumpled uniform, trying to make himself look marginally presentable. This was a bad day for him. After assuring himself he didn’t look like a total bum, Feral left his office and was down to Dr. Konway’s lab in less than five minutes. Sgt. Brady stood waiting for him, and they walked into the lab together.
“Commander! I was just about to call you” Konway said as they came in, phone in paw. “The weapon has just been finished!”
“Good,” Feral said, suddenly feeling relieved. “Let’s see it.”
Dr. Konway showed them to a table on which a five-foot long device that looked half hypodermic needle, half missile, sat. He patted its silver casing and smiled proudly.
“I call it the Sodiumizer 56,” he said
Feral grumbled. He could care less what it was called. “How does it work?”
Konway gestured to the tip. “The front end is pressure-activated. Once it hits its target, it releases the sodium-chloride within…”
He then noticed that Sgt. Brady was looking a bit confused.
“Salt, I mean,” he continued. “Which will, hopefully, dissolve the creature.”
Feral chose not to say aloud how much the missile’s design reminded him of the failed “antibiotic missile” used against the previous set of bacteria monsters. He only nodded.
“Good! Excellent work, Dr. Konway!”
“Thank you, sir/”
Feral spun to Sgt. Brady.
“Have this thing loaded into my chopper at once!”
“Yes sir!” Brady gently lifted the missile and carried it from the room.
He turned back to Konway and slapped a paw on his shoulder.
“Let’s hope this works…” And, with that, Feral strode from the room.
Dr. Viper popped the kathole lid outside of Megakat Biochemical Labs, but just a bit, glowing eyes darting this way and that in the dimming light, cautiously searching for any signs of danger. After assuring himself that all was clear, he shoved the metal lid aside and hoisted himself free of the sewer and slithered quietly toward the main entrance of the labs, the mushroom monster right behind him.
By Viper’s guess, it was getting close to nine o’clock. By now, everyone in the building, including Dr. Zyme, had left for home. Viper paused as he felt the ground shake slightly and turned just in time to see the bacteria monster round the corner of another building down the street. He grinned.
“Thissss only makesss it esssier,” he hissed.
He was just about walk into the building when suddenly the roar of chopper engines overhead drew his attention.
“Huh!?” he gasped, looking up in time to see a single Enforcer chopper come flying low over the Biochemical Labs and begin to circle the area.
The mushroom monster watched this with amazement in its otherwise blank eyes, nervously keeping close to Viper, while the bacteria merely stood there, seemingly oblivious.
“Curssse thossse Enforcerssss!” Viper snarled. “No matter…they can’t sssstop me now!”
He quickly hurried inside the Biochemical Labs.
In the Enforcer chopper, Sgt. Brady piloted once again, while Commander Feral rode shotgun, only this time, he gripped the weapons controls tightly. He felt himself grin as he spotted the big, lumpy blob down on the street in front of Megakat Biochemical Labs. An easy target. He turned to Brady.
“Fly low,” he said, “but try to stay out of its reach this time.”
“Yes sir,” Brady said, more than a hint of annoyance in his voice.
Feral decided he’d apologize for bringing up that earlier incident, but later since he had bigger things to worry about.
Brady piloted the chopper low, swinging around from the back of the building, and headed straight for the bacteria.
The hulking creature turned to regard the oncoming threat with its single eye, growling.
Feral’s grin widened as he flipped down the targeting visor of his helmet. He had the monster square in his sides when, suddenly, out of the corner of his eye and, turning toward the windows of Megakat Biochemical Labs, thinking he’d seen something, he was just in time to see the glass explode outward, shards pelting the windshield of the chopper.
“Aaagh!” he cried, thankful none of the sharp pieces were able to hit him. “What the..!?
“Huh?” Brady looked over too, just in time to see Dr. Viper launch himself from the hole in the glass, snarling.
The mutant hit the windshield and clung to it by some unseen means. He paused for a moment, his pupiless eyes seeming to dart between Feral and Brady. Feral was too shocked to act when, suddenly, Viper’s tail broke through the window on Brady’s side. Feral realized why Viper had paused; he’d been determining who the pilot was. Brady yelped as Viper’s tail suddenly wrapped around his neck, choking him. He let go of the steering mechanism, grabbing at the scaly appendage, and the chopper veered sideways, uncontrolled.
Feral finally went for his blaster, but too late. He had no time to brace himself for the impact. He was knocked about violently as the chopper hit the window, shattering the glass further, sending a torrent of glass raining down on the streets. Never before had Feral been more thankful for the invention of the seatbelt; both he and Brady were still in their seats, but Dr. Viper had been flung into the far wall of the room.
“Ugh…that crazy lizard..,” Feral groaned.
He looked over at Sgt. Brady, who was motionless in his seat, head slumped forwards. If not for his seatbelt, he’d have fallen out of the seat. Feral leaned over and checked the lieutenant’s pulse, and was relieved to find him alive but unconscious. He unbuckled his seatbelt and kicked open the door, blaster ready, looking around for Viper, but he was nowhere in sight.
“Where’d he go…?” he muttered to himself. He finally turned to get his first good look at the chopper. It was completely turned around, its back end inside the room, the front part sticking out in the open air. It hadn’t fallen out because its sides were wedged between the frames of the window. Feral heard screams and looked outside, seeing that the bacteria monster was stopping traffic and snacking on the hapless motorists. He was running out of time.
“The weapon!” he said aloud, suddenly remembering it. He was just about to climb back into the chopper, when he heard a growl.
Feral whirled to find himself staring at the monstrously ugly, mushroom-kat creature that Viper had with him the previous night. Its glowing red eyes burned with hunger. Its lumpy tentacles reached out for him. He ducked under the grasping appendages and ran past the monster, which howled in anger, and found himself up against the back wall, with nowhere to go. The mushroom monster came charging at an amazing speed for such a bulky, awkward-looking creature. Feral crouched low and, when it was within mere inches of him, he leapt aside. The monster’s eyes widened and it made a sound of surprise, but could not stop itself.
There was a dull thud as the monster slammed into the wall and fell over, unmoving. It had knocked itself out cold. Amazed at how easy that was, Feral once again turned to head for the wreckage of the chopper.
“Not sssssso fassssst!” came a familiar voice.
Feral spun, and from the shadows sprung Viper, again. Feral fired, missed, the bolt connecting with the wall. He cried out as Viper’s nimble form slammed into his, sending them both flying back, right into the open door of the chopper. Feral found himself laying on his back, Viper atop him, in the cargo area. His blaster had fallen down on the floor, just out of his reach.
“Fool!” Viper said with a chuckle. “You can’t sssstop me now! Megakat City will be mine, and you, Feral, are no more!”
He bore his glistening fangs, ready to bite, and Feral knew that Viper’s bite was undoubtedly venomous. He acted quickly. Using all his strength, he shoved the smaller Viper off himself and was on his feet in a flash. So was Viper. Hissing and snarling, the snake-kat lunged at him again. Reeling back his fist, Feral punched him in the face, and was rewarded with the sickening crack of Viper’s nose breaking.
Howling in pain and anger, Viper was sent staggering backward, out of control, and into the cockpit. His foot struck on something and he fell back against the control panel. By sheer luck, or folly on Viper’s part, his elbow hit the red firing mechanism button.
There was a pop followed by a whooshing sound as the missile was fired. It sailed through the air, towards the giant bacteria. With a mouthful of car, the monster, hearing the sound of the oncoming projectile, turned, its single eye widening. For a second, its fixed grin vanished, and it screamed in pain as the missile hit it right in the eye. Feral and Viper, who had recovered, watched as the monster began to convulse and scream, its body turning into a steaming, bubbling mass of swiftly-liquifying brown sludge, slowly melting down into a disgusting puddle, until it was only a fizzing, smoking puddle with strands of green hair sticking up. Then, those too fell away. It seemed that Dr. Konway had come through this time.
“Yes!” shouted Feral, and then he whispered to himself, “I did it…”
And then. he remembered Dr. Viper.
“You!!!” the mutant shrieked with rage, eyes aglow. “You basssstard!! I’ll kill you for thissss!”
Now consumed with mindless rage more than ever. Viper flew at Feral. The Commander leapt back in reflex, losing his footing and falling on his back. As Viper’s airborne form descended on him, he acted quickly, bringing his knees up to his chest. The soles of his booted feet connected with Viper’s chest, abruptly halting his path with a grunt.
For a second, Viper hung there, eyes wide in shock as Feral held him aloft with his feet. With a grunt, Feral put all his might into his feet and pushed up and away, sending Viper flying silently back into the cockpit. This time. he did not hit the controls but, rather, the windshield. The glass in the narrow windshield shattered as Viper, amazingly, flew straight through it. Feral heard Viper scream as he fell out of sight, plummeting fourteen stories.
“Ha!” was the only thing he could think of to say.
He heard a distant thump and stood. Then, he felt the entire vehicle lurch forward. He saw his blaster on the floor slide forwards into the cockpit, and he gasped. The chopper was sliding forward, out of the building! It was going to fall, and he had to get out now! He was about to just leap from the chopper when he remembered Brady. Cursing to himself, Feral darted to the cockpit and, not bothering to try and revive the lieutenant, simply undid his seatbelt as fast as he could. Dragging the unconscious Enforcer behind him, he ran and leapt free of the cargo doors just as the entire thing slid forwards and out of the building.
Feral hit the floor of the lab hard, and heard the crash as the chopper hit the ground below. A plume of oily smoke rose up through the broken window but, thankfully, the chopper didn’t explode. He looked at Brady, then, making sure once again the fellow was still alive. Then, he stood and walked over to the only table not overturned in the crash and sat down, sighing heavily.
And then, he smiled. “I love this job!”
Commander Ulysses Feral was publicly commended by Mayor Manx three days later for single-handedly stopping the monster and Dr. Viper, and saving no doubt the entire city, much to the surprise of Chance Furlong and Jake Clawson, who had been vacationing at Anakata Island during the incident. Sgt. Brady had to be hospitalized for a fractured neck; apparently, Viper’s tail grip had been more powerful than Feral had thought, but he had no doubts his sergeant would pull through and return to active duty.
The Megakat Biochemical Labs, once again, had to undergo massive structural repairs. Feral had made sure that Dr. Zyme got the funding he needed for it, pressuring Manx to sign the forms. After all, it was the least he could do since Zyme had given him the key to destroying the bacteria. Things quickly returned to normal in Megakat City after that.
As for Dr. Viper, his body was never found. He and the mushroom-kat creature were gone when the Enforcers had checked. Feral had assumed the chopper had landed on Viper after the fall, but a thorough search of the wreckage found no trace of the mutant. However, Feral had no doubts that Viper had survived and would be back again sometime soon, to try again to take over the city.
And, when he did, Feral would be ready to do all in his power to prevent that from happening, as always.
Disclaimer: Commander Feral, Dr. Viper, Dr. Zyme, Dr. Konway, the Mushroom Monster, Mayor Manx, Ann Gora, Jonny, and Chance Furlong and Jake Clawson are all (c) Hanna-Barbara studio, and to the Tremblay brothers. The sergeant is, too, I just gave him the name “Brady.” Captain Rodrigez, Stan, Arturo, Billy, and Harold are all (c) me! Mwahahahahah!!! Mine, all mine!!!
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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.