Original SWAT Kats Story

Barbarous Encounters

By David Noble

  • 1 Chapter
  • 7,117 Words

Based on Titanic.

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During a May Day, the ship was preparing to take another of its regular voyages from New York to Liverpool. It was 1915, women’s rights were still not allowed, and WWI was taking place in Europe. Those 1,959 travelers were so little aware that they would become victims of a tragedy. But the Lusitania proudly bore the US and British flags on two of its masses and the crowds, both kat and human were waving to their friends and loved ones.

At the dock appeared a Royal’s Royce auto. An attendant opened the door and helped out a lovely human 20-year-old woman. She was wearing a morning glory ornate dress and her rust color hair was tied like a Grecian courtesan. Her name was Kristen Sharpe, nicknamed “Lilly”, by her pure white skin and kind manner, but within her, the flower was decaying.

Her human fiancee with a moustache, Colonel Matthew who served in the US battalion, followed her out and was pleased with the Lusitania. Lilly wasn’t very impressed.

“The Lusitania is rather an aged, ordinary ship,” she commented.

“Why dear, it’s a grand ship and more stable than the Titanic,” Matt replied, giving orders to the attendant on their luggage placement.

“But Matthew, we are traveling on dangerous waters,” Lilly added.

“Not as dangerous as you think,” Matt’s voice had a depth of little concern for the war or for her fears. “The German embassy assured the congress last week that the German allies would never attack without warning. Therefore set your mind at rest.”

Lilly’s mother, Karen appeared and joined the two. “I’ve heard that this ship carries incomparable speed,” she said, opening her parochial.

“Indeed, 21 knots are best to set our course before the rooster crows. But, its prior 25-knot speed would better. They have to be so concerned about the damn conservation of coal. They can well afford it since, we’re paying these crews one hell of a salary!” Both the ladies gasped at the profane words. “Forgive me, ladies.”

“Please, do remember that you are not with your US soldiers who must curse to display their feelings. We are first class passengers,” Karen said.

Matt nodded and the three were admitted in the ship by the railing. Lilly was miserable about leaving the US. It was her home and her happiness due to her many relationships she made. Lilly sighed with her eyes cast down as she watched the fish swim by, feeling like a captive.

*********************************************************************

In the steerage cabin, Captain William Turner, who was a kat, was overlooking the horizon. “It seems that the waters on the Irish coast will be as calm as they are here.” An officer stepped in.

“Sir, the six boilers were turned off as you ordered!”

“Thanks. And are the passengers all on board?”

“There are still two that need to show up. One of them is a foreigner, third class, sir.” Cap. Turner sighed.

“A German, I suppose? Well, they’d better hurry,” he said grudgingly.

“Don’t worry, sir. The Germans on *this* ship won’t cause any trouble,” the officer said assuringly.

“Well, the waters around Ireland are swarming with German submarines. And I suppose they think we envy them?”

“Rather they envy us, sir. The Cunard Company hopefully has surpassed the ship competition speed of Germany’s ship companies. Please forgive me, sir but I think Germany holds the *Blue Riband* as a most valuable prize.”

“I was afraid you were going to say that,” Turner said irratatedly. “If the *Deutschland* isn’t so fast as they think, than surely the Blue Riband must be for Britain.”

“Hopefully. Well, I’d better round up the security of the doors and set the boilers on.” He gave the captain a salute and left.

*********************************************************************

In the streets of New York, a Chicago tomkat by the name of Charles Furlong, nicknamed Chance was counting the limited currency he had along with a kat buddy named Tim Roecker, who was German-English. They wanted and needed to go to England, but they couldn’t afford even a third class ticket. Chance then saw two Italians arguing; they had two third class tickets and wore fine clothes even though they weren’t first class.

“Why did you have to waste our savings?” the Italian demanded.

“Listen to Mr. *Rich and Famous*!” his partner said, sarcastically.

Chance nudged Tim. “I think we might have to negotiate a little. We might be seeing England after all.”

“I don’t know. I think that’s called bribery,” Tim argued. Chance grinned.

“For a trip that could be worth it? Come on, pal.” Tim sighed.

“No wonder everyone calls you, Chance.” They went over to the Italians.

“What you two want? And if it’s these tickets, go bet on someone else!” one of them spoke and shoved them off like flies.

“You know you lost most of your money.” Chance noticed.

“Because this zanni was so careless! What’s it to you?” he yelled, slapping his partner on the head. His partner pushed him, making him fall.

“Hey, you insisted on going as rich men, but we could have saved our cash for better times,” his partner shot back.

“Hey, you guys. The ship’s about to leave, so if you want money, let’s make a deal,” Tim said, showing twenty-five in cash of his money.

“Tim, what the hell?” Chance cried.

“We’ll bet on the tickets,” Tim said. “I’ve come up with an idea.”

“I don’t know if I like the sound of it, but I guess I got us into this.” Chance admitted, groaning. The Italians thought it over.

“Alright, then. If you lose, we keep the tickets and take your money. If you win, you get our tickets and keep your money.”

“I told you Timothy, I hated this idea!” Chance growled at Timothy.

“Yeah, yeah life’s a bitch! We can’t always be fair, now shut up and let’s get this over with!” the Italian’s partner said, gathering up a set of astrology cards. “Try to find the sign of your birth.” Both Chance and Tim’s eyes bulged wide.

“I know this horoscope is stupid, but good things come when and where you least expect them,” the Italian said. Chance saw the Leo symbol through the sunlight. Chance picked it out and showed it to Tim. Their grins grew into shouts of joy with a high five. Both the Italians jaws dropped.

“Perdoni amichi! Siamo Vittorie!” Chance shouted, slapping Tim on the back. “You’re pretty smart, buddy!”

“Nice chance taking, Chance!” Tim said as he took the tickets from the Italians. Then he and Chance ran off together rejoicing, as they looked on.

“Sancta Maria!” one of them said. “That kat must be Chance as everyone says!”

“I can’t believe he robbed us. The sneak, the jerk, the fool! I hope those double-crossers sink!” shouted the other, throwing down his cap.

Chance and Tim made it in the nick of time and boarded. They set their items down in their third class rooms and raced out the join the passengers waving; especially to the young ladies who were wiping their tears with handkerchiefs.

*********************************************************************

In the first class dining room, Lilly, Matt, and her mom sat with Turner and the Cunard Line owner John Brown for lunch.

“Gentlemen, Captain Matthew was telling me that the speed of this ship could run 25 knots,” Karen pointed out.

“This ship could, but due to some technical difficulties of the parts, this ship broke the record, so the maximum speed was reduced to 21 knots,” John explained, smoking a cigar.

“But not to fear, Mrs. Sharpe, the turbines are brand new along with the four bladed propellers, so her condition is restored to their newer states. We just have to conserve the coal usage,” Turner explained, smoking a cigar as well.

Lilly took a cigar and tried to light, but Karen blew out the little flame. “Lilly, young lady doesn’t smoke cigars.”

“I told her the same thing, but she doesn’t seem to act like herself,” said Matt, taking away her cigar. “You know, Britain builds the best ships. The size is perfect.”

“These white interiors and great windows look heavenly,” said Lilly, thinking how she wished to feel free like the sunrays that shined through the windows. Lilly then walked off.

*********************************************************************

At the bow of the dock, Tim and Chance met people. Tim met a beautiful human American girl named Melinda Lewis. “Hallo! Wie gesen Sie? Die Schiff geht so schooner.”

“Sorry, can’t understand German,” she replied.

“Oh, I see! Well, greetings!”

“Thanks! Same to you.” They both shook hands. “I can see that you’re German. I hear that the Germans are cruel,” she added.

“I’m part German and because the German authority is so stiff doesn’t mean the Germans are,” Tim replied with some hurt and stern emotion.

“Sorry for the remark, honestly.”

“No problem. Well, better go. Tschs.” He went, but looked back at Jennifer who looked sad and felt sorry for his reaction. He found Chance shaking hands with Jason, a brownish tom-kat.

“Are you a mechanic?” asked Jason, looking at Chance’s oil stained clothes. Underneath the coat, there was a shiny gold metal of honor.

“Yeah, I used to assist in building the Edison automobiles. Now my new employment is going to be in Edinburgh with my friend. ” Chance showed a picture himself with his crew builders.

“Wow and a metal, too! You must have gained one hell of a salary, then, huh?”

“Enough to keep me on my feet, yeah.” Chance then looked up and saw an angel like appearance over the first class deck. Tim smiled and waved a paw over Chance’s eyes. Chance just set it down and glued his eyes on her.

Jason laughed and put his paw on Chance’s shoulder. “Forget it, pal! I don’t think those richy-rich babes really pledge to lower societies.” Chance ignored him and looked at her.

Lilly’s blue silks were fluttering in the breezes along with her rust hair that swung as loosely. She gave Chance a glance, he grinned, but Lilly gave him a cool look and returned to her prior stare.

“Ya see?” asked Tim.

“Leave me alone!” retorted Chance as he then saw a mustached man of rank come and took her by the hand and lead her away. Chance sadly turned around. Jason shrugged.

“Yeah, maybe you’re right, Jason. We lowlifes aren’t her type, but I could swear I was that colonel leading her away before he even got there,” Chance said.

*********************************************************************

In the drawing room where Karen and Lilly and a few ladies were seated drinking tea, a recently struck it rich woman by the name of Susan Noble entered. She had a sense of humor in politics, which the ladies didn’t like. They didn’t like her hanging around them either, but she meant very well and would be called “Susan of the seas under siege”.

“Oh dear, here comes that Mrs. Noble! Let’s go quickly!” one of the ladies said.

“What’s this? Am I invading a private congress? Can’t you allow a lady to join you for talk and tea?” Susan asked.

“We were about to take the breezes outside.” Karen said with a look of disapproval.

“Well, would you mind if I join you?” The ladies gave a grunting sound as they left. Susan followed them and one of them turned around.

“Why are you following us?” Susan was shocked and felt dejected. Sadly she left. Lilly frowned at the ladies and walked over to Susan.

“Don’t listen to them, Mrs. Noble. Politics aren’t one of their favorite subjects.” Lilly said, lifting her head up.

“There’s one *real* first lady out of so many here,” said Susan, smiling. Then, supper was announced on the trumpet. “Always like a Calvary charge!” Susan complained. Karen saw Lilly with Susan.

“Lilly, don’t talk to commoners!” Lilly gave her mom a bitter look.

“She’s wealthy and a lady! I was thinking about inviting her to sit with us.”

“I’m sorry Mrs. Noble, but we already have reservations.” Lilly looked at Susan as she left.

Dinner was on the way, but Lilly was not hungry. She wanted to speak with some one, anyone about her lack of socialization. Every one seemed to be either showing off in her dress, drinking, eating, or dancing.

All Lilly got was, “Now is hardly the moment,” or “This is a time for eloquence, not elegy.” She was stunned and rushed up to her room. She looked into the mirror on the wall. She could see a dejected girl with no one who wanted to be with her. She screamed and smashed the mirror with a rouge jar.

*********************************************************************

Lilly ran out in despair, bumping into people. They were shocked at her show of emotion in public. She ran past the kats that were sitting on the benches. Jason saw her and looked at Chance.

“Looks like the lass we met isn’t treated well of her stage either,” he said.

“That’s the girl I saw earlier,” Chance observed. “I’d better go check it out.”

“You go, lover boy!” Jason chuckled.

“Cut it out!” Chance walked over to the stern where Lilly was hanging on the other side. She was sobbing and was about to let go. Chance put up his paw. “Stop! Don’t.”

Lilly turned back and gave him a cold stare. “What do you want? Leave me!”

“I mean you no harm! I want to help you with your problem.” Chance gave his paw out to her. Lilly just stared.

“You don’t know my problem.”

“I do now. You want to die so you can get away from your situation? I can’t help you, but I can befriend you.” Lilly softened.

“What if I jumped?” she asking in a tremulous voice.

“I’d jump in to get you whether you wanted me to or not. Now give me your hand.” Slowly Lilly gave Chance her hand and she climbed up the railing, but she stepped on her silk tress and slipped.

“Oh god! Help me, please!” she creamed. He tightened his grip.

“I’ve got you! Now you need to pull yourself up!”

The ship crew rushed over to the stern and saw Lilly laying on her back with her bare legs showing. They then saw Chance.

“A third class ruffian, eh? Don’t worry miss, we’ll take care of the abuser!” one of them said. Lilly stood frozen with fear.

“Ah crud! Now I’m in for it!” Chance grunted. The other crewman cuffed his hands behind him.

“Now laddy, just keep quiet and we’ll see what the colonel has to say!” Lilly’s eyes popped open.

*********************************************************************

Matt gave Chance an evil look, but Chance closed his eyes. “Don’t play dumb with me, sir! What affair were you going to put my fiancee through? Come, speak up!” Matt demanded, seizing Chance by the arm. He growled.

“Lay off, Mr. Mighty! I was just helping your precious damsel in distress if you don’t mind!” Lilly walked up to Matt.

“Please my dear, it’s true! I was hanging over the stern and I was about to slip and this kat saved me.” Matt was a little suspicious, but he didn’t want matters worse for himself.

“Well Chance, I did you wrong and I apologize.”

“You’d better believe it, buster!” Chance yelled, as the cuffs were being unlocked. Matt started to lead Lilly away.

“Dear, don’t you want to honor your lady more by repaying the one who helped me? Why not invite him to dine with us?” she asked.

“I’m not so sure about it, but tomorrow may we expect you to dine, Chance?” asked Matt. Chance was a little hesitant, but saw how sad Lilly looked and nodded.

“Sure.”

“Good.”

*********************************************************************

Back in her room, Matt looked at Lilly with tender concern. He opened a jewelry box and showed her a flashing emerald pen with a gold frame whose light seemed to shine by the lamp through the room.

“Forgive me if I’ve lacked to show understanding for you. I thought this might make things better.”

“I love it! It’s amazing,” Lilly said, trying it on.

“You know it becomes you, Lilly. It means luck and I am lucky, Lilly. To have a pure, demure, modest creature as yourself.”

Lilly’s heart seemed unmoved by his words. She still felt like a possession instead of a prize. He was still being cruel in his kindness.

*********************************************************************

The next night in the first class dining room, Chance in a tuxedo appeared with Lilly wearing the emerald, as his escort. Matt came in with Karen. Matt smiled and shook Chance’s paw.

“It’s good that you could come, Chance.”

“How could I not,” Chance answered with a faint grin. The Susan in a red dress appeared.

“Hello, Mrs. Noble. I’d like to introduce you to Chance Furlong. He’s third class, but I invited him.” Lilly said.

“Pleased.” Susan shook his hand. Chance kissed it.

“Chance as I heard was part of the Edison Auto Company,” Lilly said.

“Good to hear about it. The Edison pays grand salaries I know.”

“Sufficient to get by on,” said Chance as he led Lilly and Susan.

“I’m impressed that a third class kat acts as well as a gentleman or kat. Even better,” Susan observed, holding a fan.

“Better than Matt,” Lilly said.

“I would like to start conversations with these fine people. You look like a good conversationalist, Mrs. Noble,” Chance said.

“Just call me Sue, I don’t mind. These folks here want to discuss nothing but politics. They like talking about industrial success and high positions, so I would just share what you can about your Edison Company.”

“Thanks.”

*********************************************************************

At the dinner table, when the guests were toasting and eating, Chance shared his piece on the Edison Company. The guests were impressed, except Karen and Matt. They saw him as a dangerous interference with Lilly, but it was ok with her as long as Chance didn’t become too direct.

“Great story, my boy,” replied a gentleman. “Autos and fortunes together can raise a kat or man to better lives as fast as they travel.”

“I got a reward for excellence,” said Chance as he showed his metal of honor.

“Just like I said,” the gentleman replied.

“Where is your place of residence?” asked Karen, sipping her wine.

“It was back in New York, but now I shall try to find a place to stay in Scotland where me and Tim are needed for a new job with another Edison Company.”

“You might someday built ships with Cunard for us, you know,” Susan suggested. The table toasted to the idea. Chance was flattered.

“Maybe.”

Karen wanted to continue asking Chance questions. “Do you drive any of the cars you build?”

“I hope to, but for now I just test them.”

“Surely you could afford to drive with the loot they give you to work at these fancy places.” Susan gave an annoyed look at Karen for the remark.

“I’m sure I can well afford to. I’ve wanted to try driving those for a while and I just might get my chance. Good things come in when and where you least expect them.”

“Good point, Chance,” said Susan.

“Well, gentlemen, I’m off to play billiard if you wish to join me. Chance, would you like to join us, son?” asked the gentleman, patting Chance on his shoulder.

“Thanks, but no. I’d better go back before my coach turns back into a pumpkin.” Chance smiled as he got up and put a note in Lilly’s hand. It said ‘Please meet me at the spiral staircase.’

*********************************************************************

Lilly came and met Chance. He led her to the dock where he led her to the bow. He wrapped his arm around her. She smiled while they looked at the moon and stars.

“I wish I could live a life like yours. Work one time, then be free the next. Like those stars,” Lilly said. Chance looked at her emerald.

“That’s nice.”

“Thanks. My fiancee gave it to me.” Lilly allowed Chance to have a better look at it. Chance was bewitched by its sparkle.

“Green like the Irish lands and your eyes.” Chance started to hold Lilly closer.

“Please let’s not carry this too far, Chance.” Lilly put her hands to stop Chance from any excessive advances.

“You’re scared of your fiancee, aren’t you?” Lilly turned and started to walk away.

“I’ve only known you a few days, we’re hardly best friends and you’re staring to treat me like Matt does.” Chance was confused.

“Wait a minute! I never had intentions of treating you harshly. I only wanted to show I care for you and want for you to be happy.”

Lilly looked at Chance with uncertainty. “How do you know about making me happy?”

“I remember when you wanted to jump from the stern. Do you want to run from the comfort you long for as well? You’re so strange!” Chance turned and shook his head.

“I don’t know what I want and I don’t care anymore. I might as well be dead.” Lilly wept.

Chance was overcome with sympathy. He opened his coat and took out his metal. “Here, would this help? It’s all I can do for you.” Lilly turned around.

“Why Chance, that’s your metal of honor! You must keep it.”

“It’s my sacrifice to you. It’s how I feel about you. Please take it.” Chance pressed it into her hand. Lilly looked at it and smiled.

“Pure gold?! Chance, I never felt I was worth so much…”

“Until now?” Chance put his paw on Lilly’s cheek. Lilly took out her emerald and put it in Chance’s paw.

“Lilly, your fiancee gave that to you!” Chances gasped. Lilly nodded.

“Right, he *gave* it to me. Meaning I have the right to do as I please with it. And I choose to express my devotion with it.” Chance took it with pleasure.

“A fair, yet a shameless exchange.”

“I know. I feel no shame.” Lilly and Chance came closer to each other and their lips met in the moonlight.

********************************************************************* ***

The next morning, Matt and Lilly met in the eating area in his cabin. “I thought you would join me, instead of spending time with that vagabond, Chance.”

“We just talked.” Lilly tried to hide her situation, while she ate her toast.

“Well, I can see that you’re not wearing your emerald. Did you loose it?” Lilly gasped and held her neck. Matt started to look cross-eyed. “You gave it to him, didn’t you? Answer me!”

“Only a token of my a…” Lilly stuttered.

“Affections, you were going to say?” Matt threw the table aside and seized Lilly by her arm. “You lied to me about his rescue. You’re in love with him, aren’t you?”

“Please don’t hurt me! I’ll never see him again if that’s what you want.”

“If I can make sure you don’t see him again, I’ll take that as a promise.” He stormed out, while Lilly buried her face in her hands.

Later that evening, Chance went over to Lilly’s cabin on the first class area and knocked on her door. Someone answered, “Come in, Chance!” Chance opened the door and Matt jumped in front of him with a pistol.

“I’ve caught you now!” Chance put his paws up.

“Ah colonel, what is it now?” he grunted.

“You stole my fiancee’s emerald and her affections from me as well.”

“Boy are you mistaken. She gave those to me!”

“Because you lured her into giving them to you, no doubt.” Matt gave a snap for crewmembers with him to arrest Chance. He set off his claws.

“Go ahead, guys! Make my day.”

“I wouldn’t try anything stupid, Chance! You’re in enough trouble as is.” Matt grabbed Chance, trying to stop his claws. Chance growled and kicked Matt in the crotch. The crewmen seized Chance and cuffed his paws behind him. One of them helped Matt up and after a few minutes, he regained his senses.

“Sorry, but this is one battle you can’t win!” Matt slugged Chance. Chance coughed up blood.

“Don’t worry, sir. We’ll place him in the ship’s cell,” a crewman said as the others dragged Chance away.

*********************************************************************

Later that late afternoon, the ship reached the waters around southern Ireland where artillery submarines were expected. The officer came to Turner.

“Captain, the speed has been reduced to 18 knots. I’ve noted the presence of the Old Head of Kinsale.”

“Good. Now I think we’d better swing out the lifeboats and increase the steam pressure in case we have unexpected visitors. Then we can reduce the speed again to catch the tides at Liverpool tomorrow.”

“Yes sir. But as a suggestion, sir. Don’t you think we ought to travel in the zigzag manner for better safety?” Turner thought for a bit.

“Well, the Cunard Archives did direct it so, but we need to save on the fuel in this ship, so we’ll just keeping sailing straight. Besides, the Germans know there are Americans on this ship and our purpose for this voyage, so they’ll let us pass.”

The officer didn’t like that idea at the moment, but he didn’t want to argue with the captain either. He was one of the few who was concerned about German threat against British shipping in WWI. The officer then remembered the ship’s better earlier years. “Do you still hope for the “Blue Riband” to be yours?”

“We might have to wait, but we’ll get it soon enough. Our English ships are getting better and better with capacity and speed. When the war’s over, John and I will make the necessary repairs. The Germans will give it up.” Turner had a little grin. The officer nodded with smile.

“I hope so. Well. I’d better make the precautions.”

“And if trouble does appear, arm the firing guns and let me know immediately.”

*********************************************************************

Meanwhile, a massive black, yellow, and red German U-20 boat observed the Lusitania. Kapitanleutnant Walther Schweieger looked suspicious. A kat soldier looked into a telescope.

“Herr Schweieger, the Lusitania is entering these waters.” The human captain came and looked.

“Hmm. I have a feeling that the Lusitania is armed and is joining American allies against us,” he grumbled.

“Shall we fire, sir?” The captain thought for a while and remembered something.

“Well, the authorities did say not to attack American ships without warning them. But with the American flag, I have heard from the national authorities that American soldiers are being transported. And I *know* that much artillery is stored on the Lusitania!”

“Attack, sir?” The captain nodded.

“Fire the missile, but only one! Let those meddling Americans and English save their own skins and tails. I always felt the Lusitania wouldn’t last long.” The order was complied.

*********************************************************************

The officers saw the U-20 torpedo heading right for them. “Ring for the Captain now!” they panicked.

Turner, who was in bed, answered the call. “Sir, there’s a torpedo coming!”

“Get out of the steerage room. I’ll alarm the gunners to go on deck!” But before they all could sound the alarms, the torpedo struck the ship and exploded.

*********************************************************************

In the drinking room, the mirrors and vases shook to the violent vibration. Matt threw down is cards. “Damned Germans!” he said.

The crewmen sounded the red alarms. They meant for everyone to get on deck pronto. Karen peaked out of her cabin and saw many others running past her. Many were in their nightclothes. She was in her nightgown and robe. A crewman ran to her.

“Madam, get on deck!”

“But I’m hardly dressed!” she argued.

“Neither are many at this hour! But it doesn’t matter, now go quickly!” he ran out.

“Where’s Lilly?” She ran out calling for Lilly, being ushered on by the kats and people struggling to get on deck. Susan ran out, but she was decently dressed. She ran on deck and found Karen.

“You shouldn’t be out here like that. Put my coat on!” she said. Karen was humiliated but accepted reluctantly.

“You didn’t have to do me the favor. But anyway where’s my daughter? Where’s Matt?”

“I thought they were with you. We’d better get on the lifeboats. They’ll turn up, now come on!”

“Women and children first!” shouted the crew. Susan entered the lifeboat and called for Karen to come. She saw the freighted look on Karen’s face and took a crewman aside.

“See if you can find Karen Sharpe’s daughter and her fiancee. Here are the pictures of them. Here are fifty dollars for your trouble, now hurry!”

“Yes ma’am.” He ran off. Karen smiled and came into the lifeboat to join Susan as it was being lowered.

“Thanks Susan and I’m sorry for everything.”

“You’re forgiven.”

*********************************************************************

The crewman found Matt looking for Lilly and took his hand. “Sir, Karen is waiting for you!”

Matt jerked his hand out of his. “Leave me alone! Let her wait.” Then Lilly appeared and Matt seized her. Lilly screamed.

“Where the devil have you been? Are you stupid to go walking at a time like this?”

“I’m looking for Chance. Where is he?” Lilly demanded.

“I forbid you to look for him. Let him drown. I’ve almost lost you on account of him!” Lilly struggled to get free.

“Let me go, let me go! You lost only a possession, not a value!” She turned to the mate. “Where is he?”

“Ignore her!” Matt dragged Lilly to the door.

“Do you value your luck as you value one who makes you lucky by mistreating her?” Lilly broke loose and pulled out Chance’s metal and pressed it into the mate’s hand.

“For your troubles if you take me to him,” he nodded and began to lead her.

“Looks like the ship’s losing, but I’m gaining.” Matt barred and touched his pistol.

“You love him don’t you? Your pure lilly flower’s really spoiling.”

“I think you’d better get in a lifeboat, sir! Let her go. She’ll be all right,” the crewman said.

“Stay out of my affairs!” Matt yelled.

“What affairs? Commandership and being lucky are your affairs. Mine are being pure and kind. Good bye, Matt.” Lilly gave a cold shoulder and left. Matt ran up to the dock confused and ashamed.

*********************************************************************

Lilly arrived at the cell where Chance was being held at the lower decks. Water was gushing in the floors. The mate had given the keys to Lilly. The ship was tilting quickly.

“Chance, I’m here.”

“Lilly! Good thing, you’re here!” Lilly unlocked the door and let Chance out. He didn’t see the metal he gave.

“By the way, what happened to the metal I gave you?” he asked in worry. He thought Matt or Karen had snatched it out it had fallen out while the ship was tilting.

“I gave it to the crewman to get you out of here!” Chance’s jaw dropped and looked angrily at the crewman. “I did it because I love you, so please don’t be disappointed or jealous.” The crewman felt sorry and put it in Lilly’s hand.

“If it’s love, I have no business in it.” Chance smiled.

“I’m glad someone agrees on it. Thanks pal.”

“Much obliged sir. Now get to a lifeboat!” The three now had to swim across the streams, which were becoming floods.

*********************************************************************

At the top of the decks, there were still so many passengers pushing to get in lifeboats. Many didn’t want to jump in the icy waters. The German passengers including Tim were being barred from entering the remaining lifeboats. “Let us pass! We didn’t do anything! For God’s sake!”

“Only if there is enough room in the last boat!” the crew shouted holding guns to their faces. Jason Miller found Chance and Lilly running on deck all soaked and holding onto rails as the ship tilted more.

“We’ve got to save them. I think they’re being blamed,” Lilly said with horror in her eyes.

“And my buddy, Tim!” Chance added and turned to Jason. “Hey, we might need your help.”

“Sure!” Jason grabbed and the clawed the crew out of the way as the Germans rushed passed. Chance hugged Tim.

“You ok, pal?”

“I think so, but where’s Melinda?” Melinda called out to Tim in a lifeboat.

“I’m here! Come on, there’s room!” Her father seated her down as her waving rocked the boat. Tim ran to it, but a crewman stopped him.

“Where do you think you’re going, crout?” he demanded.

Tim got angry and kicked the man in the crotch. Chance gave a thumb up. Melinda took his paw and helped him in. “I’m glad you could make it.”

“So now *they* think that we Germans are cruel!”

Melinda held him close. “It’s all my fault.” She lowered her face. Tim slowly lifted it up.

“It’s alright. It has nothing to do with you.”

Meanwhile the lifeboats were all gone. Lilly and Chance rushed and climbed to the stern, which was sticking up. Many souls that were still on board and in the ship were screaming and weeping.

They all prayed for salvation if they should die. Lilly’s eyes watered with tears and Chance held her close. “We’ll make this, Lilly. Crying won’t save you. Have hope!”

“I’ll try. I hope God will be with us.”

“Amen.” Chance added. He saw Jason holding on the rail and held his paw.

“Well, it’s nice knowing you, buddy. I hope you make this.”

“You too.” Matt, in a lifeboat, noticed how Chance was holding Lilly and became jealous again. He took a gun and aimed it at Chance. It fired and hit Chance in the stomach.

“Ow!!” cried Chance as he let go of the railing and fell off the stern and plunged headlong into the waters.

“No!!” screamed Lilly as she let go of the railing and jumped after him.

“Lilly are you crazy?” Jason cried. Lilly landed on the water and caught a bloody Chance in her arms. She kissed his face. Jason sighed. “I hope they both survive.”

“My love, speak! Are you dead?” Lilly shook Chance, but he only groaned. At the same time, the Lusitania started sinking with the bow heading down with the cries of 1,198 lives on board; 128 of them being Americans. Some of them jumped off the railings as the ship smoothly disappeared under the Irish waters.

Turner slowly turned away with remorse, too ashamed to see what his determination for the Blue Riband had caused. He felt like a coward, abandoning the other lives, including John Brown. Karen looked with heavy eyes as Matt was being cuffed for murder. The kats and people swam to the lifeboat that had empty spaces and took them. Lilly stayed with Chance who was lying on a floating door. Chance regained his senses.

“Lilly, why didn’t you save yourself?” he asked in a weak voice.

“I’d jump in to get you. Remember?” Chance gave a weak smile.

“I feel that my first of nine lives are over and it looks like Matt got me, but at least he didn’t get this.” Chance pulled out the emerald. She smiled.

“Keep it. I want you to wear it.” Chance coughed up blood. “Chance, don’t die. Please, don’t leave me.”

“You’ll see me living again when you wake up,” he said in crumpled words. Lilly made the sign of the cross on her heart.

“When will that be? Chance, Chance?” Lilly breathed out steam. Chance lay there dumb and spirit depraved. Lilly screeched in pain.

“Why me? Why not me?” Lilly rested her head on Chance’s silent heart. “I’ll remember you, Chance my hero.” Then she wept herself to sleep.

*********************************************************************

Early the next morning, she woke up. Lilly was now Kristen in modern clothes with a life jacket on. A group of kat ship explorers surrounded her and helped her into a boat that took her to the dock.

“Where am I?” she thought was still in 1915, though now it was way in the future.

“Megakat City, Miss. Your speedboat just crashed.” They lifted her onto a stretcher.

“Where’s the Lusitania?”

“A couple hundred feet under where you are. We had just sighted the wreck.” Kristen had felt a bit uneasy about these strange kats.

“Are the Americans going to be in the world war?”

“You must be a bit queasy. Both Megawars ended five decades ago. The Americans won over the Germans. To hell with them.”

“No, don’t say that. Where’s Chance?”

“Who’s Chance.” The kats were confused and offered her a ride to a hospital.

“No, no. I want to find Chance.” Just then, a big orange kat named Chance and a pepper kat named Jake appeared among the crowd.

“Hi, what’s up?” Chance asked. Kristen sprang to her feet and embraced him. Chance pushed her off lightly.

“Easy, girl. We hardly met.”

“You know me, Chance. I’m Lilly and you’re Chance. We are lovers.”

Jake grinned. “This might be your lucky day, buddy.”

Chance didn’t respond. He just nodded with a smile. Kristen noticed a green gem hanging from Chance’s neck.

“That’s the emerald I gave you!”

“Why, I don’t know how it came to be. I remembered the first of my lives, there was a girl named Lilly who gave me her emerald. Do you suppose?”

“It’s true! Good things come when you least expect them. ” Just then, Ann Gora came up to Kristen with a microphone.

“Kristen, do know any information of the Lusitania?”

“Kristen? Oh yes. I was one of the passengers and I think I found a fine piece of value that was on the Lusitania. My lover, Chance.” Kristen kissed Chance on the mouth. Chance blushed.

“Look’s like my pal’s making history,” Jake thought, but he didn’t believe Kristen’s story.

The news kats sighed at the scene even though they also thought she was just acting. The real truth lay in Kristen and Chance’s hearts.

THE END

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