For the Friends She Loves
By David Noble
This is my very first SWAT Kat story. Katarina (Quiver) and Buster are characters owned by Kari Gilmore, from whom I received the permission to use.
Kari Gilmore, a 19-year-old girl, had been a pilot in Feral’s service, but she had been demoted for her overconfidence in criminal air pursuit. She still had the courage to dream of helping save someone or to stop an criminal’s plan. One day at the salvage yard, Kari was getting her brake pads checked out on her red Chevrolet ’95.
“The discs are a bit scratched, but I’ll replace em,” Jake said, unbolting the brake cylinders.
“You know Jake,” suggested Chance standing next to the car, “we could use these old discs like those weapons Xena used to throw at bad guys.” Chance picked up a disc and positioned an aim.
“Hey, you creep! That was supposed to be *my* idea,” Kari teased Chance.
“Sorry,” Chance said. He had a secret admiration for Kari. He was not sure if it was her short dark brown hair that was held in a ponytail or her pretty dark brown eyes that made him crazy for her.
“You sure know about good use of weaponry. You’re quite an inventor,” Kari said.
“Actually, it’s Jake who does the inventing, but I’ll take the compliment,” Chance said, feeling proud.
“I heard you, buster,” said Jake in an annoyed tone, “trying to take credit for my skills?”
“Sorry, pal.” Chance looked at Jake with an innocent gesture.
“It’s ok, Chance. That’s just how Feral feels. That head honcho took away my pilot position and made me just a rookie because of my attitude,” Kari said sadly.
Chance looked her in the eyes. “Don’t be sad, Kari. Feral’s the one with the attitude. Worse has happened to both me and Jake, believe me.”
Jake had finished reinstalling new cylinders and brake pads. He was having trouble reinstalling the tires.
“Chance, get your tail over here and help me with her tires!”
“Whatsa matter buddy? ‘Tired’ out, ha ha!” Chance joked.
“Very funny, cocky! Tire installation first, then chatter.”
“Sorry, gotta go,” Chance said as Jake dragged him by his tail.
Kari didn’t want the tomkats to wear themselves out, so she offered them her help.
Chance was honored, but he knew they could handle the job by themselves so he replied, “Thanks, but we’ll manage.”
“Please. I want to help you,” she insisted.
Jake saw Kari’s disappointed expression, so he told Chance, “She’s a good friend of ours and our writer, so do her a favor and let her offer her assistance.”
“Oh, ok. Come on,” Chance said.
Kari and Chance held the tires in place while Jake bolted them in.
Katarina had overheard that ‘good friend’ while she looked outside the breakroom window. She was jealous of Kari because she was always giving Jake, who was her boyfriend, sweet thanks for good repair work and friendship. To Katarina, these ‘thank yous’ sounded like love sighs. Her light gray fur started to stand on end. After Chance had released the bumperjacks, he tested the braking; it was perfect. He then gave Kari a discount for helping out.
“You both are the best auto mechanics Megakat City has to offer. Maybe being kicked out of the force and being placed here has its advantages,” Kari said.
While Jake shook hands with Kari, he gasped. There was Katarina, whose eyebrows looked stern.
Kari saw Katarina and said calmly, “Hi, Kat. What a pleasant surprise.” She sounded polite, but it got Katarina’s goat more.
“O.K., so you’ve finished your business here, right? You can go now,” Katarina said.
“What? I’m just being thankful for their work. What do you want?” Kari asked.
“I don’t want you to go near Jake. He’s *my* boyfriend,” Katarina sneered.
“I’m just being pals with him. I hope that doesn’t offend you. It shouldn’t.”
“You’d better not get too friendly with him!” Katarina’s blood was starting to boil. Jake couldn’t stand anymore of his girlfriend’s harshness.
He walked over to his girlfriend assuring her, “Really, there is nothing to…”
“I’ll deal with you later,” Katarina interrupted and turned back to Kari “Now, I think you should leave.”
Kari was getting a little tired of her bullying and said, “I don’t see a reason why you should be so jealous.”
“Let’s just say you don’t want to rub my fur the wrong way, and *he* is my fur!”
“You can’t stop us from being friends,” Kari said firmly, but calmly. Katarina’s emerald green eyes were really beginning to flash with anger.
“Watch it, little miss!” she growled, approaching Kari. “Don’t push me into something rash, if you know what I mean!”
“Listen, guys, I’d better go now,” Kari said quickly as she rushed into her car and sped away.
“She sure is pretty,” Chance smiled, touching his heart. Jake, embarrassed by how Chance was acting, elbowed his ribs.
“Knock it off, stupid!” Jake retorted. “She’s just our friend.”
“Ow. Ya didn’t have ta pound it in, pal,” Chance complained, feeling his ribs. Katarina was not convinced.
“Don’t blame my brother, for your mistake, Jacob,” she said, pointing her forefinger at Jake.
Chance protested, “Now, sis, cut the kid some slack, would ya?”
“Stay out of this, Chance!” snapped Katarina.
“Listen, Kat, she’s only our friend, nothing more,” said Jake, trembling.
“That’s what they all say,” huffed Katarina. “Is she the one you *really* want?” Chance became worried.
“No, you’re my girlfriend, honestly,” begged Jake.
“Oh sure, but you go smiling as she sweetly says hi,” scuffed Katarina in a light Scottish accent, fluffing her long black hair and heading back for the garage.
“Please, will you wait? It’s not what you think at all!” Katarina wouldn’t listen, but Chance believed him.
“It’s o.k. Let her go. When she gets upset the first moment, she mellows out the next. Come on, let’s sit down and talk, buddy,” Chance said, taking Jake over to the hood of a paint chipped auto, where they both sat down.
“What does she have against Kari?” Jake asked.
“Nothing, really. My sister is the type who gets jealous at girls who become friends with their boyfriends.”
“How come relationships have to be so hard?” Jake asked.
“Probably ’cause one reacts and judges too fast. A girlfriend just has to realize that being friends with another girl doesn’t really mean being in love.” Jake’s fears were slightly calmed.
“Do you think Katarina would be friends with Kari?” he asked.
“Let’s hope so, Jake,” Chance sighed and said. Then they went back to the garage.
Later that night, Dark Kat landed his Doomsday craft in a secretive area of the enforcer arsenal warehouse. He activated his defense shield over the craft, so none of the spotlight’s beams could hit the ship.
“If that happens,” Dark Kat said cautioning himself to be quiet, “so much for my second chance at my dark day plan.” Dark Kat knew that the spotlights would sound off an alarm if one of them caught a glimpse of his ship.
“I wish I could simultaneously blast all those damned things! They almost make me feel like I’ll fail,” he complained.
Dark Kat disguised himself as a stock employee and headed for the warehouse, but was stopped by a mustached guard.
“What is your business here?”
“I’m an employee for warehouse stock,” Dark Kat said, disguising his voice.
“Do you have a letter of recent hire?”
“Is this good?” Dark Kat submitted a false letter of acceptance with a con-artist signature.
The guard looked at the document, but knew that in order to grant admittance, he would have heard from the front guards.
“I’m sorry, sonny, but I have to have permission to let you in.”
Dark Kat pushed his way past the guard.
“Hey, wait!” shouted the guard running to stop him. “You can’t go in there by yourself.”
“Try and stop me!” Dark Kat shouted giving the Kat a fist in the face and calling over his creeplings.
“Hurry up, my creeplings,” Dark Kat urged, “I don’t want my plans to fail!”
The creeplings flew out of the trapdoor and gathered as much merchandise as they could muster.
When the hourly security round was almost at hand, the creeplings carried the last remains of weaponry to the ship. But when the trapdoor was about to close, two security guards saw Dark Kat, one was about to fire while the other sounded an alarm.
“Caught stealing with your hand in the cookie jar, huh? You can’t fool us!” shouted the guard. He pointed his gun up at Dark Kat.
The villain deceitfully raised his arms while the creeplings flew out to fight. The other guard noticed the empty warehouse and fired at the creeplings.
“Play nice with my pets!” yelled Dark Kat as he shot the weapon out of his hand.
More guards came to the aid, but the doomsday was already flying away.
“Stop, Dark Kat!” the guards shouted. “You’re under arrest!”
“You may find that difficult without your weapons,” laughed Dark Kat.
“We’d better call Commander Feral,” said the kat, who bandaged the other’s wounded hand.
Early in the morning the following day, the enforcer helicopters went circling around with searchlights programmed to instantly sound off for any sight of an intruding aircraft. Ann Gora and Buster Whitetail reported the theft.
“This is Ann Gora, Kat’s Eye News, reporting that last night Dark Kat stealthily snuck his way into the enforcer artillery warehouse and stole every piece of equipment. This is unbelievable, but the enforcers are on the lookout for his ship, known as the Doomsday Express. If anyone catches a glimpse of the Doomsday Express, please report it to either Feral or Kat’s Eye News. Tonight, the enforcers will plan an ambush attack to see if Dark Kat returns to Megakat City. This is Ann Gora, Kat’s Eye News.”
During her report, scenes of the event were being shown on TV. Ann and Buster may have been there safely concealed from sight, recording the scenes.
Dark Kat, furious at being scouted, planned to kidnap her.
“So she thinks she can fool me? I can play better at her game!” he growled as he headed for the city.
The enforcers tried to shoot him down, but he set off his beams shorting out their machine guns. His weapon system carried 100 megawatts against 75 megawatts belonging to the enforcers.
One of the pilots reported the scene.
“Commander Feral here,” sounded a sharp splitting voice. “The issue?”
“Sir, Dark Kat has returned and has knocked out our gunning systems.”
“I’ll be right down! Just keep him in your sight until I arrive. Out!”
Dark Kat confronted Ann.
“So it was you and your cameraman who spied on me! I’ve got another story for you to see, but you will not be able to tell it.”
Then he called to his creeplings, “Get them both!”
Ann and Buster tried to fight back by fisting and kicking them, but some of the creeplings sneaked behind them and knocked them both out with some of the stolen rifles.
“Nobody move, or you can get new news reporters! I expect no one, but the SWAT Kats to surrender to me, at once!” Dark Kat threatened dragging them away as the enforcers stood still.
“Come on, men!” shouted Feral, not at all afraid. “We’ve got to get that stolen property back.”
“But, sir, Dark Kat’s commands were…”
“Is he or am I in command here?” Feral barked.
“Ann and Buster could be killed,” said the enforcer.
Feral then gave into Dark Kat’s will as much as he hated to. He felt he could act against Dark Kat’s orders by giving a signal for the crew behind him to charge a sneak attack. But with two lives at stake, it would be impossible. With that, Dark Kat had left.
Kari, who had still been feeling sad, was attentive, and fortunately with the microphone and the camcorder left behind, she put herself on the air.
“Ladies and gentlemen, don’t be alarmed. The enforcers will reclaim the…”
Feral was angered at her intervention. “Get away from there, young lady. What do you think you are doing?”
“Hey, I may want to help in capturing this mad kat.”
Feral could not believe his ears and burst out in laughter. “You’re too inexperienced to fight criminal scum. No, let me and my enforcers handle him.”
Kari would not take ‘no’ for an answer and replied, “I can do it. The young can defeat evil like David did Goliath.”
Feral didn’t believe her and she was getting fed up with his grey attitude.
“Then maybe the Swat Kats will have a say in this!” Feral groaned heavily.
Chance and Jake had overheard what Kari was saying to Feral on tv.
“Holy kats!” Chance cried, “Kari is going to fight Dark Kat!”
“Not without the Swat Kats, she isn’t!” Jake sternly responded. “This is a foolhardy step she’s taking!”
“What about me? Are you going to let my rival have all the pleasure in capturing criminals?” she asked selfishly.
Jake was tired of her arrogance and spoke firmly. “Katarina, she’s *not* your rival, do you hear me?!” Jake said crossly. “She’s a friend. Be jealous if you wish, but it won’t help us in keeping her safe!”
Chance decided to put a halt to this war between his sister and his buddy.
“Haven’t we got enough trouble on our hands?” groaned Chance, getting a headache from the stress. “We’ve got a friend playing with fire and all you can worry about is your broken heart. Your love and kindness for a kat should not be something to keep just for him. Friendship can be shared with anyone. Trust me. Jake doesn’t get jealous when I give you a hug, does he?”
Katarina felt sorry and softened up. “Well, I’m sorry I got jealous, Jake?”
“I still love you, Kat.”
The two Kats were about to join in a nice reconciliation scene, but Chance cut the flow.
“Hey, hey!” Chance said. “Save that for later, Clora and Damon. We’ve got a friend to help out.”
They headed down to the hangar, suited, and flew off.
Feral was ready to begin his pursuit for Dark Kat. He was determined to do it himself even though his weapon systems were not as good as the Turbokat’s. This truth made him feel jealous. Suddenly the Turbokat and Quiver’s jet appeared from the outskirts of the city.
“Just as I thought!” Feral mumbled, “The SWAT Kats have to come and get in my way.”
Kari, who was sitting in one of the enforcer choppers as an enforcer trainee, gave a look of disapproval of Feral’s comment.
“SWAT Kats, stay back!” Feral commanded, “We’re taking him personally.”
“I believe we’re making fine memories of our earlier enforcer days,” mused T-Bone, “when we had our own little battles of who caught who. Well, it looks like the SWAT Kats are in for another winning score and this time, you may be outvoted by three against one!”
Both the SWAT Kats laughed and put a thumbs up gesture.
Quiver smiled. “That’s my big brother. Boastful and sassy as always.”
Kari seized this moment as a good opportunity to fight crime before the SWAT Kats could pick it out of the rock of Feral’s cockiness.
“Hey, I will go in both Feral’s and your places, guys.” She was worried about her buddies getting hurt or killed. Even if Quiver was jealous, they still meant a lot to her.
“No, Kari, it’s too dangerous for you!” Feral shouted.
“For a brave gal who’s written stories for you guys? Come on, I’ll take care of this. Please, I want to help you out.”
T-Bone, forgetting their known identities began, “Listen, Kari, I said only…”
“T-Bone, shut up,” said Razor worriedly as he noticed Feral’s grabbed attention.
“Sorry,” T-Bone said, trying to hide his embarrassment.
“Please, tell me what you did for them,” Feral asked Kari.
“Nothing at all,” said Kari. “I just helped them repair their jet.”
Feral didn’t buy that, but he let it go.
The SWAT Kats sighed in relief.
Quiver, a bit fearful for Kari and ever loyal to the SWAT Kats, decided to accompany her. “Kari, I’m coming with you.”
Kari was surprised that Quiver who was mad as hell at her before would go with her. “Are you…”
Quiver gave her a sign to be quiet and repeated, “I’m coming with you. You need a ally.”
“But I know how to fight bad guys and I’m ready for this.”
Quiver became stern and said firmly, “The SWAT Kats are my best friends, too, you know. It is my call to help them fight evil and no SWAT Kat or any friend of theirs fights for them without me. Do I make myself clear?”
Kari gave in and said, “O.K. Let’s go, but don’t take all the credit.”
Feral looked at Kari as she boarded Quiver’s plane and wished her luck. He then turned to the SWAT Kats.
“You two had better follow secretly behind them. I don’t want her hurt.”
“Sounds like you care for her,” observed Razor.
Feral was not fond of mushy comments and replied, “Let’s just say I’m giving you clowns the second honor of doing my job in catching Dark Kat.” He and his enforcers then flew off.
T-Bone commented, “Still the same ol crusty commander, eh, buddy?”
“Let’s go, T-Bone,” said Razor, “Time’s awastin.”
Ann and Buster were tied, gagged, and guarded by the creeplings in Dark Kat’s mountain hideaway. Dark Kat was preparing his dark day attack.
“Seems like I’ve already made a conquest of Megakat City. The citizens, starting with these two, will be at my mercy. That is if any are still alive. And this time, no sign of the SWAT Kats,” Dark Kat said, looking at his screen. He then went to another nuclear bomb he had built and applied some of the nuclear fuel rods he picked up during a second robbery at Megakat power plant.
Ann and Buster’s eyes opened with fear.
“I wish the SWAT Kats were here,” Ann thought.
Outside the mountain, Quiver and Kari traveled and founded the doomsday craft parked outside at an entrance.
“That’s what I call a hideout!” Kari exclaimed. “There’s no way anyone could find Dark Kat in there.”
Quiver looked at her detector screen. “The mountain is tunneled with secret passage ways to mislead any investigator in a trap.”
“You SWAT Kats are more impressive than I thought,” Kari said.
“Thanks,” Quiver said, stopping her jet next to the doomsday. Then both of the girls quietly boarded the craft.
“How do we get in?” Kari asked.
“Don’t you know? You’ve written stories about me doing it before.” Quiver ejected her razor sharp nails and slowly cut a square entrance at the top. It was big enough for both of them to enter at the same time.
“Wow, you’ve really got a scratchy attitude in crime!” Kari was amazed at witnessing for herself Quiver’s special ability.
“It’s all in the genes, lass,” said Quiver as Mayor Manx would say. “Though I can’t say T-Bone shares this little gift.”
Getting in the craft, they walked into a storage room crammed with lasers, machine guns, and radioactivity equipment piled high. They all had the enforcer symbol on them.
“He really had his packing cut out for him. Now let’s help him unpack,” Kari said
“Let’s cut the witty phrases and get to work,” Quiver said in an annoyed tone.
“Sorry,” Kari answered, taking out a portable phone.
Quiver’s attention was grabbed by it. “I’ve gotta have one of those things.” She tried to snatch it from Kari.
“You want it? Come and get it,” Kari said.
Just then Quiver realized they had a mission and so Kari tried to call Feral.
Suddenly the creeplings crept in saw the two ladies. They charged at Kari and Quiver who shot some of them with their guns. Quiver used her claws to tear apart some of those prehistoric pests. More of them sneaked up behind them and tied their hands in front of them along with the feet. Finally, Dark Kat showed up.
“So what do we have here, visitors?” Dark Kat took the portable phone from Kari.
“Seems this fancy instrument might come in handy.”
“There are still the SWAT Kats!” Kari said. Dark Kat laughed.
“Do you think those hotshots can stop me when I have all this weaponry?” Then he commanded his creeplings, “Take them to join my other captives.” The creeplings hoisted their new captives in the air and carried them away.
The Turbokat, which had been secretly following behind out of sight, had finally reached the mountain. “Remember this place, Razor?” asked T-Bone smiling.
“This is where we first sighted him, buddy,” Razor replied. “This brings back that moment when we stopped him from the same plan.”
“We’re gonna make this a holiday and build another great memory. Meanwhile, have you spotted Dark Kat?”
“So far, so good. It’s on my scanner screen, but this is no pretty picture. He’s got both of the girls.”
T-Bone growled, “Crud, I knew Kari would be in danger.”
“Then it might have to be two against Dark Kat.”
“I’m so worried about Kari.” T-Bone moaned getting ready to cry. “I have some feelings I want to share with her.”
“Better save the sentimental talk for later, pal. We’ve got a mission to do.”
“Affirmative, Razor. Let’s go!” They parked the Turbokat where Razor had sawed an entrance with his buzz-saw missile.
“Cyclotron away!” Driving out the trapdoor, the SWAT Kats pursued the first crime-fighting mission they had undergone before. But this time, it felt easier for them and they enjoyed it.
Dark Kat now had his four captives tied and guarded. He was about to release his flammable rocket. It had a sensor to detect and drop itself in the first city it would reach, which would be Megakat City. Its airshaft running at 120 m.p.h. would keep it air bound until it had reached its appointed destination.
“Come and watch the spectacle,” Dark Kat humored, “You wouldn’t want to miss it because you’ll be the only Kats and human surviving!” he then laughed haughtily.
“We’d rather see some fighting, Dark Crud! Remember us?” shouted T-Bone and jumped, landing his foot in Dark Kat’s face.
The four captives smiled in relief.
“What took you guys so long?” asked Quiver as Razor untied her and Kari.
“We’ll talk later. Let’s fight now,” Razor said, preparing his glovatrix.
“Creeplings!” yelled Dark Kat, “Get them!” Quiver and Razor blocked the creeplings with nets that had been shot from their glovatrix.
“Bingo!” However the creeplings chewed their way out of the nets. “Crud, I’m gonna have to sew new nets!” Razor complained.
“Don’t worry, Razor,” Quiver said, “this mustard gas should do the trick.” She pulled the pin out with her teeth and shot a grenade that poisoned the creeplings. The creeplings put on gasmasks and charged at them from all sides. Quiver quickly wrapped her arm around Razor and ejected a grappling hook that hoisted them both up. The creeplings ended up crashing into each other.
“Now, that’s a real bingo to shout for,” Razor cheered. “By the way, how the heck did you get that toxic grenade? They’re illegal in Megakat City.”
“Normandy is famous for it’s little Mega War II weapons. The hand grenade was one of their special escape weapons.”
“Just what the enforcers might need, but now the fun’s not over yet. Come on!”
While the other two had dealt with the creeplings, Dark Kat was fighting with T-Bone. He seized T-Bone’s right hand and hoisted him in the air. Taking him to a cliff, he prepared to drop him. Kari seized the toxic rocket and pointed it at Dark Kat’s back.
“Drop him, or I’ll set it off in your back!” Kari ordered.
“No, Kari, don’t!” T-Bone cried as he kicked Dark Kat in face.
Dark Kat grabbed T-Bone by the throat. Kari took out her pair of scissors and cut the wires, thus deactivating the rocket’s explosion systems.
“No!” Dark Kat panicked as he let go of T-Bone and turned to Kari. “You little idiot! You’ll pay for this!”
“Come and catch me!” Kari did a karate kick in Dark Kat’s stomach. He squirmed in pain and Kari clapped her hands. But Dark Kat, recovering, set off a net pinning Kari to the ground. Dark Kat blocked Kari who was trying to cut her way out.
“Game’s over, young enforcer,” Dark Kat said knocking Kari out with a fist in her mouth.
“Hey, you dirty Hell Kat!” shouted Razor, firing a bazooka missile in Dark Kat’s stomach, which knocked him out. Quiver went and untied Buster and Ann when she found them.
“We both owe you SWAT Kats a lot of thanks,” Ann said.
“The credit really goes to a young enforcer named Kari. She personally put the snip on Dark Kat’s plan,” said T-Bone.
“You two hold Dark Crud and we’ll see if Kari is O.K.,” Quiver said as she tied Dark Kat’s hands behind him along with his feet together. T-Bone and Razor both put their right foot on Dark Kat to restrain him.
Kari was awakening by Quiver. She found blood on her uniform and a tooth in Quiver’s paw. She moaned in agony.
Buster said, “This should make quite a story, Ann.” Then he turned to Kari. “You certainly took a great risk, but you’ve got courage in you.” He took a handkerchief to apply to Kari’s mouth. She squirmed as it touched the socket.
“Easy, honey. We’re going to call for the enforcer medicate squadron,” Ann said. Quiver called for Feral on Kari’s portable phone she took out from Dark Kat’s pocket.
“Commander, this is Quiver. We’ve got Dark Kat in his hideaway at Caved Mountain. You’ll see his aircraft at the entrance where we are now.”
“I’ll bring over my enforcers.”
“I suggest you bring over an oral medical chopper as well, Commander.”
Feral groaned, “Oh great!”
At the Megakat oral surgeons, the dentists were able to replace Kari’s lost tooth. She was told not to talk for a while so she used her sign language skills. Jake, Chance, and Katarina came in the room to see her.
Katarina had a look of remorse on her face.
“This has been all my fault. Can you ever forgive me?”
Chance then walked over to Kari.
“You know, Kari, I really like you and I was wondering if you’d like to be my girlfriend?”
They were about to kiss, but she knew she had to wait until the tooth rooted itself back in and pointed to her mouth.
“Oh yeah, I remember,” Chance said, taking her hand in his.
Kat did the same to Jake.
“Friendship is something to share. You were right, Chance. I’m glad Kari and me are buddies,” Kat said to Chance and Jake.
They both agreed. Suddenly Kat’s Eye News sounded on the radio.
“This is Ann Gora, Kat’s Eye News, reporting live that the stolen property has been restored to its entirety. Thanks to the three SWAT Kats, Dark Kat has been brought to justice. But they couldn’t have stopped the outlaw’s evil plan without the help of a very special friend, Kari Gilmore. Yes, folks, Kari has acted beyond her training stage. Commander Feral has restored her to her pilot position and can begin anytime she has recovered. This is Ann Gora, Kat’s Eye News.”
Navigate This Author's Stories
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.