Don Redmond (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We have the usual disclaimers: the main characters aren’t mine and I’m only borrowing them for the purposes of this fanfic.
Felina Feral sat at her table in Han’s Restaurant waiting for her dinner date, who was often late. After dinner they were going to a see “Night on the Galactic Railroad,” which had been strongly recommended to Felina. After the movie, who knew what would happen?
Felina had just finished checking, for the third time, that she had enough money to cover the dinner and the movie when her date finally showed up. She stood up and smiled. She got a wan smile in reply.
“Callie!” Felina hugged her lover and was hugged in return. She stepped back to look at the blond she-kat. “What’s the matter?”
“I’m afraid I’ll have to skip the movie tonight.”
“Someone in the street department wants to talk to me and he wants to see me tonight.”
“That’s pretty weird.”
“Yeah. He just wouldn’t come by during my regular office hours.”
Both kats chuckled at the thought of Callie’s irregular “regular” office hours. As they did so they sat down at the table Felina had picked out and ordered the dinner buffet.
As they ate the she-kats talked about mostly inconsequential things and the time devoted to any one of them was usually rather short until Felina began, “Oh, by the way,” and Callie looked up wondering if Felina was going to casually drop a bomb.
“Did you know that Uncle Ulysses is dating?”
“Dating? Who could put up with him?”
“He’s a very good kat who only occasionally drives me crazy.” Felina sounded a bit hurt.
“I’m sorry. He has been very nice to me, and us, from time to time. It’s just his obsession with the Kats. So who is it? Anybody I’d know?”
“All I know is rumor. Apparently it is someone in the civilian staff in the Purchasing or Records Departments. I’ve heard both. Her name is Janine or Jeanne. It’s not clear exactly and, of course, no one has the temerity to ask him to his face.”
“When you find out for sure, we’ll have to invite him over for dinner. Or we could double date.”
Both kats began to laugh and they almost settled down when Felina made a remark about her uncle making out in the back seat. “Yeah, and we’ll be in the front doing the same!” Finally, the two kats did settle down enough to finish eating.
After the end of the meal they were walking out to their cars as they were planning on going their separate ways. Felina decided to walk with Callie to her car to bid her goodnight when she changed her mind about going her own way. She put her hand on the other kat’s shoulder to stop her. “Callie, could I come with you? Maybe I could speed up the meeting. Besides, even if the movie is out of the picture, I don’t want to miss out on the after-movie entertainment.”
Callie turned to face Felina and saw her lick her lips. Callie smiled knowing full well what kind of entertainment Felina had in mind. “I suppose so, but if he doesn’t want to talk with you around, you will agree to leave us alone, won’t you?”
“I guess so. However, City Hall is almost empty at this time of night, since you’re not working, and I’m just suspicious of a tom-kat wanting a she-kat to visit his office alone.”
“I think I know Bill well enough to know that’s not the case.”
“Okay,” but Felina did not look convinced.
When they got to Callie’s car Felina gave her a quick kiss and then went over to her own car. Felina decided to follow in her car rather than have them come back for it. When they got to the City Hall parking garage Callie parked right near the elevator whereas Felina, if she had been in Enforcer-mode, would have had to park on the other side of the lot. “It’s the Mayor’s attempt to show the Commander who’s boss.”
On the way up the elevator Felina asked who they were going to meet. “His name is Bill Sienkiewicz and he’s the assistant deputy head of the street department. I usually only see him at budget time.”
Felina still wasn’t happy being in the City Hall at night. The place seemed too dead for her tastes. It was all empty space without anyone there. Enforcer Headquarters, on the other hand, always seemed to be busy no matter what time of day it was.
The elevator door opened on the tenth floor and Callie stepped out and looked to the left. Only one office had its lights on and Felina began to get nervous again, but Callie walked toward the light with no signs of unease.
Callie knocked on the office door. “Bill?” There was no answer. Callie knocked again and when there was again no answer she opened the door. No one was in the main office, but the smaller side office had its door open and Callie headed that way.
The light was off and before Felina could stop her Callie entered the room and flicked on the light. Felina was right on her heels and when Callie stopped suddenly Felina bumped into her.
Callie screamed, “Goddess, no!” then turned and vomited up her dinner. Felina looked over Callie’s shoulder and saw a kat sitting in the chair behind the desk with his throat slit from ear to ear. There was blood all over his shirt and the desk in front of him. Felina guided Callie out of the room and took her to the nearest chair in the main office,
“Are you all right?”
“I’m fine, Felina, though my mouth tastes awful. It was the sudden shock of seeing what’s in there when I turned on the light.”
“Okay. I’ll call the Enforcers and you sit tight.”
“Can I go out and get a drink? There should be a water fountain nearby.”
When Callie got back Felina was back in the side office, but before she could enter Felina came to the door and forced her back out of the room. Callie resisted at first, but then let Felina steer her back to the chair. She didn’t sit down, however.
“You don’t need to go in there again. Look, I’m going to be tied up here for awhile and there’s no point you staying.”
“But I’m a witness.”
“I can tell them everything for you and you can make a statement tomorrow. Why don’t you go home and I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Could I stay at your place tonight? We were going to go there originally and I guess I’m a little jumpy.”
Felina smiled and put her arms around Callie. As the two kats stood there in each other’s arms Felina felt Callie begin to shake. She let go and stepped back. Callie looked a little pale and Felina wanted her to sit down, but Callie refused.
“Do you want me to drive you home?”
“No, I can do it. I just need to get out of here.”
Callie leaned over and kissed Felina on the cheek. She then turned and walked out of the office. Felina wanted to go with her, but she knew she had to stay at the crime scene. She would call later to make sure Callie arrived okay.
Soon her mind was on other things as a forensics team arrived and then her uncle.
“Was that the Deputy Mayor’s car I saw below?” Felina nodded. “What does she have to do with this?”
Felina explained. “Also, I think it is supposed to appear a suicide, there’s even a note, but I’m pretty sure it’s murder.”
“Great, just great. Felina, I ….” The Commander just glared at his niece and let it go at that.
When Felina finally got to her apartment at 12:30 in the morning she expected to find Callie in bed, but she found her asleep on the couch, with the TV on, lying on her back with one hand resting on the floor. Callie had obviously fallen asleep watching the tube. Felina turned it off and then knelt next to Callie. She gently shook the sleeping kat.
“Wake up, sleepy head. You’ll be more comfortable in bed.”
Callie stirred and opened her eyes. When she saw it was Felina she smiled and sat up. Felina helped her up and the two kats walked into the bedroom.
It was Friday and Felina had come over to Callie’s for the weekend. It had been two days since the murder, which the Enforcers told the media was a suicide, and though Callie seemed okay Felina wanted to make sure.
Callie was in the kitchen cooking a shrimp casserole and Felina was sitting at the kitchen table to keep her company. The door bell rang and Felina looked up at Callie. Callie shrugged and Felina got up to get the door.
Felina kept the safety latch attached and looked out through the space between the door and the doorframe. It was a she-kat dressed in a KatEx uniform with a clipboard in one hand and a thick manila envelope under the other arm. She held up an ID card and Felina opened the door. The kat from KatEx looked at Felina in mild surprise as Felina was wearing shorts and a T-shirt.
The she-kat looked at her clipboard. “Are you Calico Briggs?”
“No, but I’ll take the package.”
“Sorry, but I need a signature,” Felina reached for the clipboard, “and some ID.” She looked at Felina with an “I’m sorry, but those are the rules” look.
Felina closed the door and went to the kitchen door. “It’s KatEx. They have a package for you and want your signature and an ID. I’ll go get your wallet.”
When the door was opened again, by Callie this time, the KatEx kat got to see another she-kat in shorts and a T-shirt. A little ways behind Callie stood Felina. Callie showed her driver’s license and was allowed to sign for the package. When the she-kat handed her the package she turned and walked away. Callie closed and locked the door.
“What is it?”
“I don’t know.”
Callie went into the living room to her desk to get a letter opener and slit the envelope open. She pulled out the first page and realized it was from Bill. The first page was handwritten, but the rest looked typed or perhaps were computer printouts.
Deputy Mayor Briggs:
If you are reading this, then we must not have met on Wednesday. You probably thought I was a flake and didn’t come. I suppose I can’t blame you, since you don’t know that much about me. The material in this envelope expands on what I was going to tell you. I hope you will think better of me after you read it.
Callie slipped the letter back into the envelope and closed it. “Here.”
“What is it?”
Callie handed it blindly to Felina. “It’s the rest of your case.”
Felina tossed it onto the couch and stepped up behind the blond she-kat. She slipped her arms around her lover and Callie leaned back against Felina to let her hold her up for a few minutes until the timer went off in the kitchen. Callie slipped out of Felina’s arms and headed to the kitchen.
On Tuesday night Callie called Felina at home. “Hi. I have a question. Are the Enforcers tailing me? On both Monday and today I thought I saw a car follow me to and from work.”
“Not as far as I know. Let me call my uncle. I’ll call right back.”
Callie sat by the phone and waited for Felina’s return call. It came ten minutes later.
“According to the commander there are no Enforcers tailing you.”
“I’m probably just imagining things.”
“If you still think you’re being followed by Thursday morning call us and we’ll check it out.”
“Thanks. I love you.”
“Love you, too. Bye.”
As Callie was coming home Thursday she noticed that her tail seemed to have disappeared. They hadn’t been there in the morning either, and so Callie thought that perhaps she had just been imagining things. Still she was relieved when she arrived back at her apartment building.
She took the elevator up because she was tired and didn’t feel like walking up the stairs tonight. When the elevator stopped on the fifth floor she got out and walked down the hall to her apartment. She unlocked her door and then spotted a note on the door. It told her that a big package had come for her and her landlord had it in his apartment for her to pick up. She relocked the door and went to see if the elevator was still on her floor.
She was in luck and it was. She pressed one and went back down. Somewhere between the third and second floors the building shook and Callie was thrown against one of the walls. Since she was not expecting such a thing to happen she was completely off balance and couldn’t brace herself. As a consequence she hit the other wall hard and was knocked out.
When she regained consciousness she saw the elevator door opening and she pulled herself to her feet. As she walked toward her landlord’s office she put her hand to her head because it felt like something had gotten in her fur and noticed that her hand felt sticky. When she looked at her hand she saw it was red and realized she had been bleeding. She couldn’t understand why.
She knocked on her landlord’s door and noticed that there were a lot of voices coming down the stairs. It took a few moments for her landlord to get to the door and when he did he looked at her and looked like he was going to say something about that, but didn’t.
Instead he said, “We have to get out of the building – there is a fire in the upper floors.”
Callie looked at him uncomprehendingly and he guided her out of the building. Outside she joined the kats milling about and soon fire engines appeared followed by a couple of paramedics. Callie’s landlord led her to them for them to take a look at.
“How did you get hurt, ma’am?”
“I don’t know. I was in the elevator and it shook. I woke up lying on the floor when the elevator came down to the first floor.”
“I think we’ll take you to the hospital to check you out. This could be minor or it might not be. It looks like a minor concussion.”
“I don’t need to go to the hospital.”
Callie tried to talk them out of it, but they were insistent. Before long Callie was being checked into MegaKat Memorial. It all seemed somewhat unreal to her much like she was watching the whole thing from a distance.
The next morning Callie woke up and remembered that she was in the hospital. When the nurse appeared Callie asked when she would be released. The nurse said that it would depend on what the doctor said.
“And when will he get here?”
“I can’t say, Deputy Mayor.”
Callie fumed to herself and let the nurse take her temperature and blood pressure. Then she asked Callie the same questions that the nurses previous to her had asked her earlier. It seemed such a waste of time. If she had to stay in bed, at least they could let her do it at home.
The next person to enter her room wasn’t the doctor, but a kat she was happy to see nonetheless. It was Felina. Since she was wearing her uniform Callie assumed Felina was on duty and had just come by for a moment to look in on her.
Felina leaned down to give Callie a kiss. “How are you feeling?”
“Okay. I want to go home.”
Felina got a funny look on her face and Callie began to worry.
“What is it?”
“Your apartment is gone.”
“The fire got it?”
“No. It was a bomb.”
“Someone planted a bomb in your apartment. It’s a good thing you didn’t go in.”
“A bomb?” Callie got a stricken look on her face. “I thought it was just a fire.” She paused again. “Then I must have been followed. Felina!”
Callie reached out for Felina’s hand and for a moment grabbed Felina’s hand like she never was going to let go. Felina was almost going to say something when the pressure lessened and they were back to normal hand holding.
“I guess I’m going to have to look for another apartment. Furnished, I suppose.”
“You could stay with me in the meantime.”
“Both of us indefinitely in your apartment?”
“I don’t hear you complaining when you spend the weekend. Besides my uncle wants you watched after for awhile until we can track this thing down. What better way could you be watched after?” Felina grinned.
Callie looked at Felina for a moment and frowned. “You’re not doing this as a dig at your uncle? I don’t want to be a pawn in your family squabbles any more!”
Felina looked confused and then realized what Callie was saying. “No, I did that once and I’ve been sorry ever since. I checked this out with my uncle and he agreed, albeit reluctantly. You are our family and my true kat.”
Callie closed her eyes for a moment and gave Felina’s hand another squeeze. She felt ashamed to have accused Felina of something she hadn’t done, and so she changed the subject. “Do you think the bombing’s connected with Bill’s murder?”
“Probably. Our guess is that they found out you had gotten the stuff from Sienkiewicz and thought maybe you knew everything.”
Callie was going to say something else when the doctor arrived. He spent a few minutes asking questions and checking Callie’s reactions. Finally, he looked at her and told her she could leave telling her to get in touch right away if she experienced dizziness or vision problems.
Soon the two kats were in Felina’s car on the way to her apartment. Callie was feeling depressed and Felina knew it, but didn’t have an easy solution. She knew that Callie would snap out of it eventually, but it was hard to see her like this.
Callie looked at her rumpled clothes and turned to Felina. “I guess I’ll have to go shopping pretty soon. It’s a good thing I have some clothes at your place or I might have to show up at work in the nude.”
“I bet that would get Manx’s attention, not to mention all the rest of the tom-kats in the building.”
“Lady Godiva rides again!”
Both kats began to laugh heartily.
Three days later neither kat had tried to kill the other and in the evening when Felina got home, later than Callie for a change, she told her roommate that the Enforcers were done with her apartment if she wanted to try and get out whatever was worth retrieving. Callie called up her insurance agent and made an appointment for the next morning.
Callie and Felina showed up at the remains of Callie’s apartment the next morning and at first Callie was reluctant to enter, but finally did and went straight to the kitchen. Felina thought that she’d gone to the kitchen because it might have the most surviving stuff in it, but then realized, as she watched Callie open and close cabinet doors in rapid succession, that it was because this room held the least number of memories for her.
“Hello? Is anyone in?”
Callie stuck her head out of the kitchen and saw her insurance agent, Erin Mau. She was a middle -aged kat with grey fur and stunning yellow eyes. She was dressed in a deep blue business suit and made Callie feel rumpled again. She was carrying her briefcase in one hand and a computer printout in the other.
“Erin! How kind of you to come this early in the morning.” The two kats met at the kitchen door and shook hands. Callie pointed to Felina, who was still standing in the kitchen, “This is Lieutenant Felina Feral.”
The two kats nodded to each other.
As the insurance agent looked around she decided to put the computer printout back in her briefcase. It was obvious that a notebook would suffice to list the things that were salvageable.
Callie began, “In the kitchen,” but was cut off.
“We’ll just assume it’s all lost. How about the living room?”
The three kats prowled through the remains and Callie noticed that the corner where her TV had stood, next to the hallway, was gone. All that seemed to be left of a small entertainment center was the melted shell of the VCR. Nearly everything else was burned or blown up.
Her computer, which held much of her city work, was unsalvageable as well. There was no way that she’d ever be able get any data off of it. She was thankful that she was paranoid enough so that most of this was backed up at work. Still, there were things she would have to do over from scratch.
Right next to the melted down computer was a book of Sufi poetry that somehow had survived relatively undamaged and under it was a picture of Felina that was totally unscathed. Callie felt tears well up in her eyes.
After a few minutes of turning things over and just standing in the middle of the room and looking at the damage Erin spoke to Callie. “This looks totaled, Callie. Shall we move on to the bedroom?”
None of the three kats held out much hope.
In the bedroom there was not much left either. Callie found a few things in the dresser and could have salvaged some clothes from her closet, but decided not to. Erin took even less time to look around in this room. She made a few remarks in her notebook and asked Callie to come outside with her.
Felina stayed in the bedroom while Callie went into the hallway outside the apartment. “I’m going to write it up as a total loss. I noticed you’ve got a few books and other small things. It’s not enough to mention. Will that be acceptable?”
“Sure.” Callie, at this moment, didn’t care. If Erin had said that she’d get nothing, it wouldn’t have mattered.
“I’ll contact you when things are finalized.”
Erin stuck out her hand again and it took Callie a moment to realize what that meant. She shook her head, as if to clear it, and took Erin’s hand. “I’m sorry, this is just overwhelming.”
“I know. No one goes through this easily. I’ll be in touch.”
Callie watched Erin go down the hallway to the stairs before turning back to the apartment and Felina. Felina was looking at something, which she had found in the bedroom. It was another photo. As she got close Callie realized that Felina was smiling.
“What is it?”
Felina smiled at Callie and handed her the photo. It was a picture of the two of them in bikinis on the boardwalk. This was the first picture they’d ever had taken of themselves together.
Callie put it down on the remains of the bed with the other picture and the book. She then put her arms around Felina and pulled the other kat tight against herself. Almost before she knew it she began to cry quietly against Felina’s shoulder. Felina held her and let her cry as long as she wanted.
When they left they had three pictures, two books and a few items of clothing, both hers and Felina’s. As soon as Callie was out the door she didn’t look back. She walked rapidly and a few times Felina had a bit of trouble keeping up with her. Down on the first floor she almost went to see her former landlord, but decided to handle it by phone if she could.
Next Monday when Callie got back to Felina’s apartment she found Felina in the middle of making dinner. She gave her a quick kiss of greeting and went into the bedroom to change clothes. She slipped on her shorts and a T-shirt and went back out to the kitchen to keep Felina company while she fixed dinner and to see if there was anything she could do to help.
Eventually Callie decided to start a conversation if she could. “I was talking with my insurance agent today.”
“What did she have to say? Did they deny your claim because you didn’t have terrorist insurance?”
Both kats chuckled.
“No, it’s going through just fine. That’s what she called about – to tell me that I should have the check by next week. I was glad she called because I had a question for her.”
Callie paused and Felina could see that Callie wanted to turn this into a little game of “Have I got news for you,” but Felina didn’t feel like playing tonight so she went back to working on dinner and waited for the continuation.
When Callie couldn’t get Felina to go along she went on. “I asked her if I could take the claim check and use it as a down payment on a house. She said yes.”
Callie paused again and Felina kept quiet, though she was starting to get interested.
“You’re not being much fun.” Felina smiled beatifically and Callie went on. “Then I have a question for you.” She looked at Felina and thought her question might shake her aloof attitude.
“How would you like to share a house?”
Felina almost dropped the spoon she was stirring the casserole with. This was not what she was expecting. “I don’t know. I hadn’t really thought about it.”
“Aren’t you the one who wanted me to move in with you?”
“Yes, but …” Felina gathered her thoughts and said what had to be said. “Callie, I would love to be housemates with you, but there is a practical problem. The only reason that my uncle tolerates us being together now is that he doesn’t have much choice. If he thought he could find some place else to keep you safe, he’d do it in a minute. I’m surprised we’ve been allowed to be together this long.
“However, being housemates would be too much. He could possibly deny our relationship at this point, but living together in a house, would be way too public for him. Maybe later he’ll mellow a little more or I’ll care a little less what he thinks, but he is my commander, and my uncle, and I still must do what he says.”
“I really wish he’d decide which part of the clan I belong to.” Callie theatrically sighed.
“My side, that’s all I care about, but I’m afraid you’ll have to own the house yourself alone for awhile.”
Callie stood up and slipped behind Felina. She put her arms around the waist of the other kat and rested her head on Felina’s shoulder. “If only this was a romance novel. We could live happily ever after and in our own house.” Callie breathed in Felina’s scent, along with the aroma of the tuna casserole for a few moments. “You will visit, often I hope?”
Callie started to speak, but the timer went off. After the two kats were settled at the kitchen table Callie finally spoke. “Would you at least be willing to help me look for a house?”
“Sure, if I’m free.”
“Thanks. Great dinner, as usual.”
A week later, Felina came home and to her surprise found Callie already home. She was sitting on the couch watching the end of a B science fiction movie. It had something to do with giant grasshoppers.
Felina walked into the kitchen and got a beer out of the refrigerator. When she returned to the living room Callie was just getting up to turn off the TV. “Well, what’s for dinner?” Felina sat down on the couch and sprawled.
“Just a tuna casserole.” Callie stopped in front of Felina and then grinned. “However, I think a little beer flavoring will help it out considerably.” With that she grabbed the bottle from Felina’s hand and walked off into the kitchen.
Felina smiled at the she-kat’s departing back and got up to go into the bedroom to change clothes. When she came back out she went into the kitchen to see if Callie needed any help. She walked up behind Callie, who was mixing some things together, and kissed her on the cheek.
“You know, you make it really hard to be butch.”
“I’ve had to deal with tom-kats much worse than you can ever be.” She turned and smiled at Felina. “You’re a pushover.” She then took Felina’s face in her hands and kissed her. “If you behave, we might have some fun later.”
Both kats laughed and Callie almost forget where she was in the preparations. She turned back to the food preparation and Felina asked if she could help. Callie asked Felina to get a few things and soon the food was on to cook.
While the two kats waited they sat at the dining room table. For a few minutes they sat quietly before Callie broke the silence. “So, how was your day?”
“Today was paperwork day. Very boring as I’m sure you’re aware. However, I did get some news you might be interested in. Brock Snowshoe was arrested for the murder of Bill Sienkiewicz. The Enforcers finally got a match on some fingerprints and a search of his place turned up some further evidence so I think that part of the investigation is over.”
“Unfortunately, yes. The files that Sienkiewicz sent you pointed to corruption in the Street Department and that investigation is now in high gear. Fortunately I’m not closely involved in that, yet, as it mostly consists of sifting through tons of records and other files.
“The bottom of the barrel bad part to this is that both Snowshoe’s involvement and the corruption point to Red Klaw. He’s hidden from us on too many things and I don’t know if we can catch him here.
“So, how was your day?”
“Not too bad until you mentioned Red Klaw. I guess this means I’m not off the hook.”
“I don’t know, Callie. I hope so.” Felina reached out and took one of Callie’s hands in hers.
The two kats sat in silence for the next few minutes until it was time to eat.
Two days later Callie and Felina were asleep in Felina’s bed when Felina was awakened by a noise. It took her a moment to wake up enough to realize that someone was trying to jimmy her front door. She started to get up and in the process woke up Callie. Callie started to speak, but Felina put her hand over Callie’s mouth and shook her head. She slid across the bed to get to the closet and her uniform. There she could get her gun.
She was about a foot from the closet when a kat shouted at her. “That’s far enough, sweetie.”
She turned and saw two tall, burly tom-kats armed with shotguns standing in the bedroom doorway. If she had been alone she might have tried to take the two kats out, but with Callie there also she decided that discretion was called for. Besides, since these kats had broken into her apartment, the alarm was going off in Enforcer Headquarters. She hoped that help would get here soon.
Both of the doorway kats stared at the naked she-kat and a smile grew on the face of one of them. “How soon do we have to be back?” He moved toward the bed and Felina tried to calculate her chances.
“We don’t have time for that, besides the boss wants them in good shape.” He leered at Felina and then cast his eyes toward Callie. “We need the two of you to come with us, now.”
Callie sat up in bed. “Can we get dressed first?”
“I don’t see why not.”
None of the four kats moved. Felina glared at the tom-kat in the doorway. “Do you mind?”
“Not at all. We’ll be glad to watch you get dressed.”
Neither of the she-kats wanted to stay naked in front of these two for very long so they opted to just put on jeans and a T-shirt. Felina was wondering how to stall longer when the kat who’d moved toward the bed now came around and began to roughly frisk Callie. “We don’t want you concealing any weapons, do we?” He seemed to be very concerned that Callie’s breasts weren’t hiding anything.
As soon as Callie was finishing being pawed over the tom-kat went to work on Felina who tried to pretend to not be too upset in hopes that the kat would linger a little longer. Callie went to the dresser and picked up her purse. As soon as she opened it the remaining doorway kat asked, “What are you doing?”
“Can’t a she-kat take her purse?”
“Leave it here! You won’t need it where you’re going.”
Callie pouted and slid the purse back on the dresser top. At the same time she palmed the communicator the SWAT Kats had given her. She hoped she could slide it into a jeans’ pocket without being noticed and was glad that Razor had made it so thin. She stuck both hands in the pants’ pockets and then drew them out. She did a few more gestures that spoke of nervousness one of which was to slap the pocket the communicator was in so as to set off the silent alarm.
She watched in disgust as the tom-kat finished fondling Felina’s breasts and hoped, like Felina, that the Enforcers would be here soon. If not, then the SWAT Kats had been notified. The two armed kats waved at Callie and Felina with their shotguns and the four kats left the bedroom and then the apartment.
In the parking garage of Felina’s apartment building there was a panel truck parked near the stairs with its engine running. The tom-kat in command knocked on the rear door and it opened to reveal another armed kat, this one with a rifle. The first tom-kat climbed in and reached down to grab the she-kats to pull them in. Felina was pulled in first and sent flying when she touched the truck floor. Callie was helped in by the other kat who slid his hand between her thighs to help her up. However, she, too, was sent sprawling once she was inside the truck.
As soon as the second kat was inside the kat who had already been inside yelled up to the driver to get going and he turned back to help tie up the she-kats. Callie and Felina did not know what was going to happen to them, but with the way things had been going it did not bode well.
Chance was having a pleasant dream involving Sami, the she-kat who worked at Dugan’s Auto Parts. Somewhere in the dream there was a loud clanging and shouting. He opened his eyes and was made wide- awake by the realization that it was that it was Callie’s alarm and Jake’s shouting.
Soon both kats were on their way down into the old arsenal that served as the SWAT Kats’ hangar. Jake got there first, but Chance was the first to realize the true import of the alarm: it was the silent alarm.
“Callie’s in personal danger. Let’s get going, Sureshot.”
In just a couple of minutes the SWAT Kats stood before the Turbokat and were ready to get moving. T-Bone fired up the black jet and halfway down to the runway the right engine died. He tried to get it going again, but he couldn’t.
“What? Didn’t we get the jet patched up after that last run in with Viper’s plantimals?”
“I thought so. Take us back up and we’ll see what can be done. I hope Callie isn’t in too much trouble because we can’t help her right now.”
The two kats disgustedly got out of the cockpit and crawled back to the engines. They soon found the problem. It was a spine from one of Viper’s cactimals. It had gone right through the electronics. Swearing like a dockworker T-bone jumped off the jet to hunt down a replacement part. While he searched he flipped on the TV to see if there was any news on what had happened to Callie.
Fixing the engine took longer than the two kats figured, especially when they decided they had to hurry. The first replacement almost blew the engine up and Razor had more work to do while T-Bone went back to work on the part. Then the TV got their attention.
When the phone rang in his house it took Feral a moment to figure out what it was. When he realized it was the phone he hoped whoever was calling had a good reason why they were phoning him at 5:30 am or they wouldn’t have an ear by the time he finished with them. It was Lieutenant Harlan.
“What is it?”
“Someone has broken into Felina’s apartment. I think …”
“I’ll be right there.” With that he hung up and quickly got dressed.
Harlan met Feral at the door to Felina’s apartment and ushered him into the bedroom. He pointed to the bed which had been pulled back on both sides. “I’m afraid it wasn’t just Felina.” Feral didn’t need Harlan to tell him the obvious, but Harlan felt compelled to. “The Deputy Mayor’s purse is on the dresser.”
Feral glared at Harlan. He didn’t need to be reminded of his niece’s personal life. “Did anybody see anything?”
“Someone reported seeing a white panel truck in the parking garage. There was a nondescript kat at the wheel and the witness didn’t think anything about it.”
“Not even that it was there so early?”
“They thought it was a delivery truck.”
“Okay. I’m going to Headquarters. When Forensics gets here leave Williams in charge and come back to Headquarters.”
When the panel truck stopped Callie and Felina were now tied up, blindfolded and gagged. Felina expected Callie to keep calm and not do anything that might endanger them. She also knew that the Enforcers should be out looking for them and assumed that it was only a matter of time before they were found. She just hoped that the two of them would still be alive when they were found.
The two she-kats were roughly taken out of the truck and carried across a floor, that to Felina, felt like concrete. After a minute they were dumped on an expanse of wood. From the feel they were slats, but Felina couldn’t tell for sure. She expected that there were still guns on them, and so the present moment was not a time to try to make an escape.
Trying to get themselves a little more comfortable the two kats bumped into each other and then just moved around to increase the physical contact. At least they had each other’s presence to give them some comfort.
In a room behind a window that looked out on the large warehouse floor space two tom-kats had a view of a large wooden crate that at the moment nothing in it except for two bound she-kats. One of the kats was a light-brown furred fortyish kat who was dressed in a suit that looked like it should have been replaced some time back. He turned to the other kat, a dapper orange furred kat in a tailored suit who was in his late fifties, and spoke.
“There they are boss. What do you want us to do with them?”
“Just as we discussed, Eddie. Tell everyone who’s going to be in the warehouse to put on a hood even if they think they’re going to be out of camera range. Is Tony here?”
“Good. As soon as everybody is ready tell them to get started.”
Eddie walked out into the warehouse and began giving orders for their boss, Red Klaw.
When Feral got to Enforcer Headquarters things were still moving a little slow in the building. It wasn’t quite time for the shifts to change and most of those in the dayshift were still arriving. Also there weren’t the usual non-Enforcer crowd of lawyers and others who had some business here during the day.
When he got to his office he found himself feeling absolutely helpless. Someone had katnapped Felina and he didn’t know who. Since the Deputy Mayor was taken also it was possible that it was out of revenge for the jailing of Brock Snowshoe.
Feral knew that if this was so, then Red Klaw was behind it and there was no telling what that maniac might do. It was doubtful he’d just kill them outright. If he was going to do that he’d have done it at Felina’s apartment. Feral wondered if he was going to try to work some swap.
The Commander of the Enforcers thought through the possibilities and wasn’t coming up with any answers. Knowing who did it didn’t make it any easier to take care of.
Feral was brought out of his gloomy thoughts by someone knocking on his office door.
The kat who entered was Sergeant Wilson, a new Enforcer who was still learning the ropes. “Sir, this arrived for you.” He held out a small box that had no markings on it except for Feral’s title. At his Commander’s reluctance to take the package the kat grinned, until getting the full force of a Feral glare. “Sorry sir. It has been checked thoroughly and only has a videotape in it.”
“What’s on it?”
“Sir, it is addressed to you. No one has looked at it yet.”
“How did it get here?”
“It just appeared. Several Enforcers are out canvassing the area now to see if anybody saw who brought it.”
“Okay.” Feral started to dismiss Wilson, but decided he might need to issue some orders regarding the tape. “Load it into the VCR.”
The sergeant took the tape to the machine and loaded it up. The two kats watched as the short message played out on the tape. Wilson was afraid of what his Commander might do in response to it and was somewhat surprised at his calm demeanor.
“Sergeant have a copy of this tape made and taken to the press room. Alert the media that there will be a press conference in fifteen minutes. Take the original to Conference Room 1. Tell Lieutenant Harlan, if he’s back by now, to gather those familiar with Red Klaw and check out the tape for clues. I’ll be in the press room.”
The sergeant hurried to do as he was told and Ulysses Feral hoped he would be doing the right thing with what he had in mind. After the sergeant left Feral sat back down at his desk for a moment to prepare his remarks for the press.
“This is Ann Gora, Kat’s Eye News. We are at Enforcer Headquarters where we have been informed that Commander Feral will be addressing the media on some, as yet unknown, matter. Here is the Commander now.”
The room was silent as the Commander walked into the room. Another Enforcer came in with him and put a tape into the projection VCR. He was done by the time Feral had walked to the podium.
Feral stared at the mediakats for a moment. “A crime was committed this morning and the Enforcers received a tape to explain it. Sergeant?”
The room lights dimmed and the large projection screen to the left of the podium lit up. There was some white noise and then the picture came back to reveal two tied up she-kats in a large wooden crate. Behind the crate was an enormous sheet of cloth so that nothing beyond the crate could easily be seen. “Before you are the Deputy Mayor and one of MegaKat City’s finest who I believe is the niece of the Commander. We have a demand to make of the Commander. If you don’t release Brock Snowshoe within the hour, these two fine she-kats will be swimming with the tuna.” The voice went silent and then several hooded kats lifted the remaining side of the crate in place and nailed it shut. “One hour.” The picture went blank.
“Get your tail in gear, buddy, we’ve got two she-kats to save!”
“Almost done here.”
The TV spoke up again. It was Ann, off camera. “It looks as if Commander Feral is about ready to answer questions.”
“Commander, what is your reaction?”
“It is simple. We do not negotiate with terrorists. And you can put that in caps.”
“But Commander, they have the Deputy Mayor. Have you talked with the Mayor?”
“Why? The demand was made of me and I have rejected it.”
“Your niece …”
“Same answer as above. They could have you,” the big brown tom-kat pointed at the reporter, “and the answer would be the same. There is nothing more to say. I have work to return to.”
The TV showed the back of Commander Ulysses Feral as he left the briefing room and disappeared into the bowels of Enforcer Headquarters. Two of the TV’s viewers wanted to throw things at the set.
“Damn him, why didn’t he play for time. If we lose those two she- kats, I’ll have his head.” T-Bone threw his wrench to the ground and growled.
“Take it easy buddy, we still have time. I don’t think they’ll do anything for awhile yet. Whoever made the tape will no doubt assume that Feral was all bluff. My guess is that Feral and the other Enforcers are scouring the maps of the warehouse area. Hopefully we’ll be able to track down Callie and Felina.”
In a couple of minutes the Turbokat was roaring to life and was soon in the air over MegaKat City. Razor got the tracking equipment in order and focused in on Callie’s frequency. It was dim from their side of the city, but it was there.
“Got her. Go north, uh, five degrees east.”
“Well, have you found them yet?”
The large kat stood over his fellow Enforcers in the large conference room and one could almost see them shrink back in fear. They had never seen their commander with this much pent up rage and they were afraid to say anything lest they be the subject of his wrath.
“Commander?” One kat began somewhat quietly and Feral turned to glare at him. “If we continue to assume that this is connected to Red Klaw, then we should consider his shipping connections. We know his stronghold is on the docks, so we start there.”
Feral stared at this lieutenant for a moment. “Can’t you narrow it down more than that?”
“Well, ah, I noticed on the tape that in one upper corner there was a broken window. If we assume that this took place in a warehouse, then that was probably one of the windows in the top of the walls.”
“Time, Lieutenant, we don’t have that much time!”
The intercom interrupted their discussion. “Commander Feral?”
“We have a transmission from the, ah, um, SWAT Kats.”
“What?!” Feral paused for a moment. He knew that he had to remain calm or risk losing his niece. “Patch it through.”
“This is T-Bone.”
“I know who you are vigilante!” Feral growled.
“Look, I don’t like you either, but we are tracking the Deputy Mayor, and presumably Lieutenant Feral as well. At the moment we have their location at around Fifth and Taylor. If memory serves there are several warehouses out that way. We’ll meet you there. T-Bone out.”
“The Enforcers will …” Feral stopped realizing that T-Bone had already broken the connection. He turned to the others in the conference room. “What are you waiting for? Get out there!”
There was a chorus of “yes, sirs!” of departing kats and for a moment Feral was alone in the large room. “Felina I swear that I will get you back. As much as I hate your mother I do not want to tell her that I could not save you.” Feral left the room and hurried out to the helipad.
As the Turbokat closed in on the location Razor noticed that Callie was moving again. “Crud! T-Bone, she’s on the move.”
“Just a minute.” Razor watched the blip make a few small movements and then a direction was evident. “To the docks. They’re going to dump Callie and Felina in the bay!”
T-Bone changed direction and then opened the channel to the Enforcers. “Razor tell Feral where to go. We don’t want him getting lost.”
Razor could almost feel T-Bone spit when he mentioned Feral’s name. “Commander Feral. This is …”
“Get off this frequency!”
“You make it really hard to help. They’re going down Fourth toward the docks and the bay. Get your tails in gear!”
Soon the Turbokat was coming in over the docks. Ahead they saw a lot of commotion with the loading equipment. One of the cranes was laden with a large wooden crate, but it looked like some of the cranes were also in operation.
“Which way? Can you pinpoint it? We’re only getting one shot.”
The two she-kats knew they were hanging in the air, but they did not know where exactly they were. They had felt the crate they were in being lifted and transported somewhere. Suddenly gravity disappeared for an instant and then they bounced around the crate when it hit something solid. Soon it became clear what they had hit as water began to rapidly seep through the slats that made up the crate. One of the last things they heard before the water took them underwater was the roar of a jet.
Only moments passed before Razor told T-Bone that the crate that was suddenly being dropped into the bay was the one. “Swing me by the point where the crate went in and I’ll go after the she-kats. You can handle the bad guys.”
“Roger that! This will be one time I will be happy to have control over the weapons.”
The Turbokat hovered over the bay’s cold water for a moment as Razor clambered down to the bomb bay. He had his glovatrix and a couple of extra rebreathers. These would give a kat about five minutes of rebreathable air and Razor hoped, as he hit the cold water, that it didn’t take him that long. Before he got too far below the surface he heard a couple of explosions and smiled.
As soon as Razor hit the water T-Bone turned his attention to the criminals on the dock. They were obviously surprised to have the Turbokat to show up and all they could do was fire at it with their pistols. This had little effect on the jet and even when someone tried a machine gun T-Bone just laughed it off.
He used the cement machine guns and a couple of missiles to get them to back off. He was chagrined to realize that he couldn’t really capture all of the kats who were here though they could hold him at bay.
However, the match-head missiles did come in handy to keep the kats bottled up on the dock and T-Bone was almost relieved to hear the sound of helicopters. This was one time he didn’t mind the Enforcers showing up.
T-Bone landed the Turbokat on the dock as the helicopters began to settle in and as he did so he saw Enforcer vehicles coming up as well. Obviously Feral had called out everyone for this operation.
Almost as soon as T-Bone set foot on the ground he was being yelled at by Feral. “Where’s Felina?”
“In the drink. Razor went down to rescue them.” T-Bone paused for a moment and then saw someone running into one of the warehouses. “Feral! Red Klaw is trying to escape.”
Feral turned toward where T-Bone pointed. Several Enforcers gave chase, but were driven back as a car came roaring out of the warehouse. Feral screamed out orders and the Enforcers giving chase fired at the car. They proved, once again, that despite what one saw in the movies, tires on a moving car were very hard to shoot.
T-Bone had put on his glovatrix out of habit and was glad he had. He fired a missile in front of the speeding car, while the Enforcers continued to shoot from behind, and caused the car to come to a halt as it crashed into an Enforcer car as it tried to avoid the newly formed pothole.
Feral took off on a dead run toward the car and T-Bone had to admit he’d never seen Feral run that fast. By the time Red Klaw staggered from the car Feral was on him. Before he could even think about anything the Commander of Enforcers hit the orange kat in the jaw sending him sprawling back against the car.
Several armed Enforcers appeared to round up Red Klaw and car’s driver and they were marched off to join the rest of the prisoners. Feral turned back to look in T-Bone’s direction and T- Bone realized it was not him he was looking at, but instead he was looking at the end of the dock.
Both kats saw a hand reach over the edge of the dock and they ran to it as fast as they could. T-Bone was the first one there, but Feral was hot on his heels. T-Bone looked over the edge and saw that it was Felina climbing up one of the dock’s ladders. He reached down to help her up and Feral grabbed the other hand. The two kats pulled.
Razor swam downward as fast as he could, following the rising bubbles. He knew he wouldn’t have to go too far since the water wasn’t that deep right up against the docks, but if he couldn’t free Callie and Felina the water might as well be two feet deep.
When he reached the crate it hadn’t hit the bottom, but it was close. It was so murky because of algae growth that Razor had a hard time figuring out where to attack even with the aid of his light. He didn’t want to wait for it to hit the bottom, and so he attacked it with the grappling hook on the glovatrix. When the crate hit the bottom Razor was shaken free and he had to start over.
Razor hoped that there was some air trapped in the crate as he reattached the grappling hook to one of the crate’s sides. Slowly he began to pull one side to pull one side away from the crate and as soon as it was wide enough for him to get in he slid into the crate hoping not to see two dead kats floating in the water.
Fortunately there was a little air trapped at the top of the crate and both she-kats were trying to breathe it as well as try to get out of their bonds. He swam up to the kats and got their attention. He pulled out a knife and cut the gags first and shoved a rebreather into each of the kats’ mouths. They struggled at first until they found they could breathe again. After he was sure they were able to breathe (he did have to help Callie a little) he grabbed one kat, to hold her still, and cut her bonds and did the same to the other.
He pointed the light toward the opening he had created and then back to himself as he motioned them to go. He then turned the light back on the opening as he watched them slid out. As soon as they were out he followed them and was glad that neither of the kats had panicked and tried to zoom up to the surface.
Outside the crate the three kats swam up together with Razor in the middle to provide help to both kats as necessary. He tried to keep them close to the dock pylons so that they wouldn’t end up too far away from the way out of the water since he wasn’t sure how exhausted they were.
Razor pointed to the ladder on the pier and the three kats swam for it. They could hear some sirens, but there did not seem to be any fighting going on. Razor hoped that T-Bone hadn’t been incapacitated and the gang was in charge. If that had happened, he and the two she-kats would probably fare better if they stayed in the water.
When Razor thought he saw T-Bone on the pier’s edge he indicated that they should go up the ladder. Felina was the first up and near the top she was almost pulled up the rest of the way by some kat. The same thing happened to both Callie and Razor.
When Razor made it up he recognized the familiar arms of his partner. He looked around and saw Felina in the arms of her uncle. Callie stood near T-Bone shivering and this reminded Razor that he too was cold. But he almost forgot that when he saw Feral do the unusual and take off his great coat and put it around his niece.
T-Bone looked at the other two wet kats. “Commander, can we get some blankets here?”
“Murphy! Get a couple of blankets from the paramedics.”
While they waited Felina came over to Callie and extended the coat around her.
Razor saw the Turbokat sitting a ways off near the Enforcer helicopters and he looked at his partner. “So, what happened up here while I was down below?”
“Red Klaw was not expecting us and a couple of missiles put them out of business. Then the Enforcers arrived and picked up the pieces. On the whole it was one of the shortest battles I’ve ever been engaged in. Not much satisfaction either. Feral’s the one who actually caught Red Klaw. I think he broke Red’s jaw. It was a lovely sight.”
Blankets arrived. Feral asked if any of the kats who’d gone swimming wanted to go to the hospital, but no one did. He offered the she-kats a ride back to Felina’s apartment. “You can take the next few days off, Lieutenant.”
“Thank you, uncle.”
The three kats walked off toward the Commander’s helicopter, but Feral suddenly turned and walked toward the Turbokat. The SWAT Kats were getting into the black jet when he got there.
“I know we seldom get along, but I want to thank you for saving Felina’s, and the Deputy Mayor’s, lives. We might have gotten Red Klaw, but it would have meant nothing without my niece.” Feral stopped talking though it looked like he might want to say more. Instead he turned and walked back to his helicopter.
“Did he just thank us?”
“Yeah, what’s the world coming to?”
Both tom-kats laughed as T-Bone got the Turbokat’s engines going. The vertical takeoff lifted the Turbokat up from its ring of Enforcer helicopters as soon as they were high enough T-Bone cranked the engines up and the sleek jet roared out over MegaKat Bay.
Callie finally got home from a hard day at work. She had been writing and rewriting this speech for Manx and she just couldn’t please him. After the third trip up to his office she just stayed there until he was satisfied.
Then there was all the chaos in the Street Department. Callie was more directly involved in the running and reorganization than she wanted to be, but there didn’t seem to be much else she could do. Felina had told her that the Enforcer’s corruption investigation was coming to a close, but the department still needed someone to run it day to day, for the present, and to interview those who would be running it in the future.
The only saving grace for today was that the trial of Red Klaw and his gang was over and she did not have to attend anymore. Unfortunately all they could pin on him was armed resisting arrest and conspiracy, not katnapping. Still he’d be put away for awhile.
When she walked in her front door she marveled at having her own house. It had been easy to move in as she had left most of her stuff that had been at Felina’s knowing that she would be staying at Felina’s again. She had been thankful that Jake and Chance had been kind enough to help her when she’d gone furniture shopping. Not that she’d bought much, but what she had bought had been heavy for the most part.
She was also grateful to the Enforcers who, on Feral’s orders, had put in various security measures. She had audible and silent alarms of various kinds. The first few days after she started living in her new home she had to call the special number the Enforcers had given here to ensure them that she was all right and the alarms going off was merely an accident.
This day after she had walked in the door she headed straight for the bedroom. Across the hall from the bedroom was her home office and her briefcase was expertly tossed onto the desk while she continued to walk into the bedroom.
Here she had to resist the urge to strip off her clothes and either take a bath and fall asleep. There she would eventually get cold, wake up and go to bed. Or she could just go to bed. In either case she’d wake up around 3 in the morning starving, but not wanting to get up and fix anything. So she reluctantly put on shorts and a T-shirt and headed back to the kitchen.
After rummaging around in her refrigerator she found that she had chicken and vegetables so she could do a stir-fry. It wouldn’t take too much effort on her part, and so she decided to go that route.
She was chopping up some vegetables when her door bell rang. She assumed it was one of her neighbors trying to be friendly. They had been very kind to her when she had finally started to move in. In fact, the day most of the furniture was moved in several of them helped move the furniture and cook for the crew. Jake and Chance had been thrilled.
Callie opened the door and began her speech, “I’m sorry, but I’m awfully …,” then she recognized her caller as Felina, still in Enforcer uniform. “Felina!” Callie practically pulled her into the house and gave her a big hug, which, as soon as the surprise ended, was reciprocated.
When Callie finally let go Felina was able to talk. “Sorry I haven’t been by earlier, but corruption takes a long time to root out. I finally got my chance today.”
Callie kissed Felina again. “Have you had dinner yet?” Felina shook her head. “I was just cutting stuff for a chicken stir fry, will that be okay?”
“If you cook it, I’ll love it.”
“Want a tour of the house? You haven’t seen it since I’ve furnished it.”
Callie tried to use her best tour guide voice. “In the living room we have the couch, coffee table on one side and on the other side we have the entertainment center of TV and VCR/DVD and CD players.
“That room is the kitchen which you’ll see soon enough. That little room on the other side of the kitchen is the laundry room.”
“You have your own washer and dryer?” Felina spoke with awe in her voice. “You don’t have to use the laundry room and listen to all those lame tom-kat pick up lines?”
“Nope. Nor do I have to put up with older she-kats who have a son or nephew who is perfectly eligible.”
Both kats laughed.
Callie steered Felina toward the rest of the house. Callie reached into the doorway just down the hallway from the living room and to the right and flicked a light switch. “Here is my home office, such as it is. There is a desk to work at, a computer desk and over on the other wall is a file cabinet.” She chuckled to herself.
“What is it?”
“I was just remembering the fun Jake and Chance had moving the desks into this room, especially getting them through the door.
“At the end of the hallway is the bathroom with a large tub/shower set up. The other room is the bedroom.” Callie turned toward Felina and got a serious look on her face. “I would like your expert opinion on the bed sometime.”
“I’ll see if I can fit you into my schedule, Ms. Briggs.”
Both kats burst into laughter as they continued to look at each other.
Finally, Callie stopped laughing long enough to get back to dinner preparations. “If you’ll finish chopping up the vegetables, I’ll start cooking the chicken.”
Callie took Felina’s hand in hers and the two kats walked back to the kitchen.
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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.