“Couldn’t we just dump her somewhere and be done with it? I’m freezin’ my tail off out here,” a dark figure grunted as he and another shadowy individual drug a body through the snow.
“Hey, between the rats and this cold she’s not long for this world. Besides, the boss wants it to look like an accident.” Letting the body fall, the first one took off his coat and dusted the snow so as to cover his tracks.
What they didn’t realize though was just how many silent alarms they’d tripped.
Jake groaned as he opened one eye and hoped it was just a false alarm, but seeing how many lights were lit he rolled out of bed to see where the problem was.
“It’s probably just that darn raccoon again,” Chance grumbled from the other side of the room.
“Nah,” Jake answered, rubbing his chin in thought, “they came and went through the side gate.”
“Left too?” Chance asked, opening his other eye, “All right, I’m up.”
The woman in question heaved a sigh of relief as she turned her face to the side and listened to the car drive away into the night.
“What did that creep do to me?” she thought groggily, “I can barely keep my eyes open.” Dragging herself up to her hands and knees she reached out and grabbed the fender of the wreck in front of her.
“Good thing I’m not afraid of rats,” she mused, listening to the barely perceptable sounds of sniffing and scuttling. Or at least she used to think that until she saw one crawling out of the hood that was the size of an alley cat.
“Oh…my…God.” she drew out, watching the beast size her up.
“Get down!” a masculine voice called out.
Even Autumn’s drug fogged mind could understand that command. Wrapping an arm around her face and the other over her head, she heard the roar of ignited paint rush over her head and torch a rat as well as the thunderous crash of a metal bat driving vermin into the twisted hulks of the rusted wrecks that were stacked all around them. Screams of pain and nails scraping against steel could be heard all around .
“It’s a bad trip that’s all,” Autumn kept telling herself as she huddled closer into the wheel of the car. “He gave me a hallucinogen so I’d go out of my mind before I died.”
“Clear?” a different masculine voice asked.
“Looks good to me,” the first one answered, sounding very close.
Unwrapping and opening her eyes, Autumn saw a slight, wiry built tomcat crouching in front of her and a burly, barrel chested tom with stripes on his massive arms who regarded her with a wink and a lopsided grin.
“He drugged me,” she muttered, losing her fight to stay awake.
“Stay with me, kitten,” Jake said in half a panic as he gently slapped her cheek. “Who drugged you?”
“Viper,” she mouthed, her head lolling into his palm.
“Chance, we gotta…”
“Way ahead of ya’ buddy,” he answered, quickly scooping her up into his arms and making a run for the garage.
Snagging the bat before falling into step beside his partner, Jake asked, “You smell the exhaust?”
“Yup, she was in the trunk for quite a while.”
Autumn wanted to tell them she could make it on her own, but when she opened her mouth to speak, Chance cut her off, saying, “Hang on babe, we’re almost there.” Then a light hit her square in the eyes as Jake shouldered the doors open. She let out a little whimper and turned her face to snuggle deeper into into Chance’s neck. Then just as quickly, she was being laid down on a couch. The guys stripped off their coats and laid them on to warm her. In what seemed like a split second, they were gone again.
“I hope I’m not letting myself in for even more grief.”
“Me too, kitten,” Jake said with real concern, “Me too.”
Seeing her confused look as he strapped the oxygen mask on her. He smiled and told her what he was doing, adding, “You’re thinking out loud, but that’s okay. Take deep breaths and talk to me. You have to stay awake.”
Autumn nodded her understanding and tried to sit up.
“No no, hon,” he scolded, getting a hand behind her, “I’ll do this.” He deftly removed her jacket but gasped when he saw her arms.
“Hey, I found it!” Chance called out as he trotted in, then stopped dead and muttered, “Cat’s alive! what did he do to her?”
“Ask after I get this into her,” Jake replied as he regained his composure and double checked the syringe.
“I just hope there’s some good veins left,” Chance grumbled as he whipped off his belt and wrapped it around her arm.
“If not, get ready to go for a thigh,” Jake said in all seriousness.
“No,” Autumn whispered, “please, no more.”
Jake felt like a real heel having to do this as he tapped her arm a couple times. “Got one!” he said triumphantly as he expertly slid the needle into the vein. His happiness was short lived as he watched a single tear slide down her cheek.
Chance slipped the belt off and put her arm over her chest before covering her again.
“I’ll take first watch,” he said kindly, putting a reassuring hand on Jake’s shoulder as Autumn slipped into the blessed relief of darkness.
“Feral., the voice on the other end of the line answered groggily.
“Sorry to wake you, Sir, but there’s something down here at the wharf you should see.”
“I’ll be there in ten minutes,” he said crisply and rolled out of bed.
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.