Author’s Note: I am so pleased with myself that I was able to get this one up in a timely fashion. A big thank you to Peri of the Elves for her wondrous editing skills and Ulyferal for just talking to me and helping my creativity flow. Chapter 12 is on the drafting board now and, hopefully, I’ll get that up in a week or so like I did this chapter. Thanx again, guys, for your patience. Hope you enjoy!
Until chapter 12.
Feral actually felt sick to his stomach once Felina had finished removing his bonds and he had to look into T-Bone and Razor’s enraged faces. He never envisioned having to tell them like this, under these terms. He could only imagine what they were feeling then. Disbelief, betrayal, justifiable rage?
“Uncle, tell me they were lying…” Felina’s voice shook, “…tell me that none of it is true.”
Feral closed his eyes and exhaled shakily as he let his head fall to his chest.
“Commander….” Razor persisted, trying not to let his varying emotions influence the tone of his already wavering voice.
Feral opened his eyes slowly and leaned his head back against the wall. He looked directly at Razor, Callie, Felina, before finally coming to a stop at T-Bone before replying. “I had no choice,” came his unreadable reply.
The room lay silent for several tense moments. It was an appalled silence that soon turned into an atmosphere of icy abhorrence, accompanied by poisonous loathing waiting to overtake anyone who would allow it.
“You had… no choice?” T-Bone repeated slowly, his face darkening.
“So, what they said is true then?” Razor questioned incredulously, “You set us up?”
“Uncle?!” Felina cried.
Feral breathed in deeply. “Like I said, I had no choice.”
T-Bone jumped to his feet, his paws balled into trembling fists.
Feral looked up into T-Bone’s dark, enraged face. The past had been awakened, and it was coming with a full vengeance that was not to be doubted.
“You and Dark Kat? You two all along… this whole time?” he growled menacingly as he glared directly into Feral’s face.
Razor shook his head as he stood up and walked closer to T-Bone. “So… our lives were pretty much ruined for no reason…we did nothing wrong, yet we’re paying for everything?!”
Felina stood up in between Feral and the two furious Swat Kats. “Please just wait ‘til he can explain himself….” Felina pleaded with them both.
“Wait!?” T-Bone roared, “Are you kidding me? My entire family refuses to acknowledge my existence because of what he accused us of!”
“Mine too,” Razor growled scathingly.
“Please…” Felina put her paws gently against T-Bone’s chest, only for them to be pushed away.
“Fine! Come on, Feral! What is your excuse? We’re all just dying to know!”
Feral stood up slowly and grabbed an upset Felina by her arm and pulled her back next to him. “I did it to protect Felina,” came his firm reply.
“What?” Razor’s eyes narrowed as he looked from Feral to Felina.
“My brother Xavier, her father, was a very successful business man. He owned more than half of the buildings and businesses in MegaKat City. Over time, he became greedy, and it corrupted him. He became involved with the Russian mafia, made some bad decisions and was soon dragged into the middle of their disputes. In their opinion, he knew too much to be kept alive.”
Felina looked up at her uncle in utter disbelief. “My parents were killed in a car accident,” she stated, incapable of showing any emotion.
“A car bomb,” Feral corrected her softly as he squeezed her arm gently. “I wrote it off as an accident, a hit and run. They had thought that Felina had been in the car, but once they found out she was still alive, I feared for her life. I didn’t know who to go to for help. In desperation, I went to Dark Kat, the only kat the mafia truly feared.”
“He was responsible for all those deaths; he assassinated the entire mafia. Nobody could figure out who took them out,” Razor recalled one of MegaKat City’s most infamous homicide cases.
Feral nodded. “In return for his services, I had to help him get past Pumadyne security.”
“And, we kept Dark Kat from getting what he needed; we always managed to chase him off before he could even get in,” Razor added.
“Yes. I didn’t expect for you two to be so successful. It was after that third time that Dark Kat demanded one last thing from me before our transaction was done for good. He wanted you two out of the picture.”
“So, you two staged that bombing of Enforcer Headquarters. You counted on us not backing down.”
“You cannot image how hard it was for me to go through with it. I had been planning for you two to hit some other building, and I was just going to suspend you for a couple of weeks… but when your jet smashed into Headquarters, I… I couldn’t just write it off with a two week suspension. I had no other choice.”
T-Bone and Razor’s rage had subsided by the time Feral was done with his explanation. Now, they couldn’t feel anything at all.
“That’s it then?” T-Bone asked no one in particular, his voice hushed.
“Chance…” Felina whispered as she took step forward, her paw outstretched towards him. T-Bone stepped back, holding up his hands in defense. The pain was evident in his eyes as he looked into Felina’s. “No… not right now… I just need to…” With that, T-Bone turned, walked across the room and out the door.
Razor looked from Feral to Felina with sadness written all over his face before he turned and followed after his friend.
Callie, who had been silent for the entire confrontation, jumped up and ran after them. “Wait, Razor!”
Both Razor and T-Bone turned back to look at Callie, impatient to be on their way. “I know your guy’s hangar isn’t close to here, and I know you’re exhausted. Just find a safe place for the jet and stay at my place tonight. Besides, I really don’t want to be by myself tonight.”
T-Bone and Razor glanced at each other briefly before nodding.
After several moments passed, Felina finally spoke. “Why didn’t you tell me the truth?” Her voice was shaky and breaking with various emotions.
“You were too young when it happened. And then, I couldn’t bring myself to tell you later… I… I wanted you to remember your father with love, not hate.”
Felina closed her eyes, sending tears to silently trace down her face. “I don’t know what to think anymore,” came her wavering reply as she stared at the door. “I don’t know what to say to him.”
Feral placed his arm around her shoulders and pulled her into a hug. “Don’t worry… I’ll fix this,” came his determined reply.
Ann’s eyes twinkled as her grip on the microphone tightened. The firefighter chief stood before them, arms folded across his chest as he revealed to an eager Ann the information Feral had told him to keep silent.
“Do you think it’s a possibility that the Swat Kats started the Salvage Yard fire?”
The fire chief looked at her with an angry betrayal evident in his expression. “Do I think? You know, my answer to that question in the past would have been no, but after what they did today, yes. I actually believe that they started that fire. As to why, I don’t know.”
Ann nodded. “And, what are your thoughts as to the attack of downtown today?”
The fire chief shook his head. “My kids look up to those guys you know, and I admired them for what they stood for, for what they did. But now, after they betrayed the city like this, I’m just angry, shocked, but angry. I never thought this day would come.”
Ann forced a reassuring smile on her face. “Thank you, Fire Chief, for your time. Do we have your permission to share this in the morning news?”
“The information, yes, but I do not want anyone to know that it came from me. I want to keep my family safe.”
“I understand. Thank you again, sir.”
Ann and Johnny walked out of the Fire Station into the devastated streets of a vacant downtown MegaKat city. Johnny opened the back of the news van to put his camera in its case while Ann got in the front passenger side seat. Ann was deep in thought when Johnny finally got into the driver’s seat and started up the van. As Johnny pulled out into the street, Ann began to shake her head.
“What we’ve just learned is the makings of an excellent story, but it doesn’t seem right. There is no reason why they’d be doing this. It wasn’t even 2 days ago that they nearly killed themselves trying to kill that T-Rex.”
Johnny shook his head as he drove the van down the vacant main street of downtown. “I don’t know, Ann. Maybe they’re just tired of being the good guys, you know.”
“Right, Johnny, like that makes sense. Remember that one time Dark Kat and Hard Drive hijacked their jet and set them up?”
“What if that’s the case this time? What if they’re being framed?”
“Then they are sure taking their sweet time in fixing the problem then.”
“Another question is why isn’t Feral on a rampage trying to capture them? Something is up, and he knows what it is,” Ann continued her line of thought, totally ignoring Johnny’s previous statement. Her eyebrows furrowed in concentration, she fell quiet as they drove down the road in silence.
With a sudden screech of tires the van slid to an abrupt stop, jerking Ann back to reality. “Johnny! What in the world!?” Ann hissed.
“Look! Isn’t that one of the Swat Kats motorcycles?” Johnny pointed towards the alleyway alongside of the museum, where a partially visible cyclotron sat parked in the shadows of the building.
Ann’s eyes grew wide. “Turn off the van and grab your camcorder, quick!” she ordered as she opened her door and stepped out onto the sidewalk. Unable to grab his usual camera, Johnny grabbed his smaller camcorder alongside his seat and ran to catch up with Ann.
“Ann!!” Johnny groaned as they slowly walked past the cyclotron and towards a side door that was still opened. Ann, ignoring her friend, slowly opened the door and peeked around to see a dark, empty hallway. Motioning for Johnny to follow, she tiptoed inside and stood up against the wall. For a moment, they stood there as the sound of irritable voices faintly echoed throughout the massive hallways. After Johnny turned on the camcorder, they crept down the hallway toward the source of the voices. As the voices get louder, Ann realized that their owners were standing inside the Egyptian room. “What is it about that Egyptian room?” she thought to herself as she and Johnny crouched behind a display desk only a couple of feet away from the occupied room. Johnny slowly stretched his arm out around from their hiding place until they could both see the intruders on the small video screen.
“Razor and the Pastmaster?” Ann whispered in disbelief as Johnny looked at her in equal shock. The Pastmaster was standing in front of a large, gilded mirror while a very angry Razor vented.
“What do you mean you’re not going to send us back?” Razor growled dangerously.
“Plans change, mortal. After we dispose of the Swat Kats of this dimension, there are others we need to visit and correct.”
“No. That was not our agreement. Once we’re done here, you are going to send us back.”
“You want to go back to that terrible dimension? What for? There is nothing left for you there; this dimension is so much more desirable.”
“No! This isn’t my life, my home!”
“You have no home, let alone a life! If you do as I say, you will have those things once again.”
“How do I know that those plans won’t change as well? You seem to change everything as you see fit!” Razor spat viciously as he glared at the Pastmaster distrustfully.
“I do not have the time to deal with your baseless suspicions, Swat Kat. Now, go back to base and wait for my further instructions.”
A seething growl rumbled in Razor’s throat as he abruptly turned and stormed out of the room, too angry to notice the small red light following him until he disappeared around the bend of the hallway.
“Quickly, go back to the Pastmaster!” Ann hissed urgently.
Johnny was just able to catch the Pastmaster stepping into a liquefied mirror surface, and as soon as he vanished, the mirror promptly turned back to its original state, leaving Ann and Johnny stunned as they slowly stood from their hiding place.
Meanwhile, in the upscale suburbs of MegaKat City…
T-Bone had managed to hide the TurboKat in the couple of acres of woods between the houses in the suburb, while Razor parked his modified cyclotron in Callie’s garage…
Callie glanced at her wrist watch while she rubbed Jake’s back with her other paw, trying to get him to relax somewhat. Chance was sitting on the edge of the hearth next to the blazing fire, his head in his paws as he stared down at the carpet. Jake was leaning forward, staring at the coffee table before looking up into the fire across from him. The living room was silent except for the sound of the crackling fire and the steady tick of the mantel clock.
Callie sighed as she laid her head back against the back of the couch, looking at the back of Jake’s head. “It’ll turn out, guys, I promise,” she stated comfortingly, trying to lighten the despairing mood.
“You’re so sure, huh?” Jake sighed dejectedly, not taking his gaze away from the fire.
“You don’t believe me?” Callie teased gently.
“It’s kind of hard to.”
Chance chuckled darkly. “We’re screwed; there is no way around it. Our weapon supply is limited, we can’t trust anyone, present company excluded of course, and everyone in the city is convinced that we’re the bad guys. It’s over… we’re done.”
The doorbell suddenly rang, making Jake and Chance to look up abruptly in the direction of the door.
Callie’s eyes narrowed as she slowly got up. “I’ll be right back.”
The boys watched her walk off and run down the stairs to answer the door. It wasn’t long before Callie returned with Feral and Felina following after her.
Chance and Jake watched Feral sit in the armchair that was in between the hearth and the couch, while Felina sat down on the couch on the other side of Jake. Silence was absolute for a long moment before Feral finally cleared his throat and took the initiative.
“Under any other normal circumstance, I would give you guys your space and some more time to think, but we don’t have that luxury right now.”
Feral looked from Jake to Chance expectantly, but soon realized that neither one of them had anything yet to say.
“I am not going to sugarcoat this because I know that this was a part of their plan, to divide all of us. I just want you both to consider for a moment as to why your alternates are the way they are. My alternate probably dealt with the mafia the same way I did, and it resulted with them being kicked off the force. But, the difference is that they found out early on before they became the Swat Kats and they let themselves be consumed with hate, and instead of being the good guys, they became the bad guys to get back at me. Can you see how that could of happened?”
Jake and Chance looked at each other for a brief moment before Jake spoke up. “I hate to say this, but yes, I can see how that became a possibility.”
Chance shook his head. “How could they let it get that far? I mean, see how they treat each other? I couldn’t imagine treating you like that, let alone taking out my anger on everyone in this city.”
“Everyone has a little bit of darkness within them, some more then others, but never the less it’s there. The difference between you guys and them is that you didn’t let your hate take over; you continued to do good even after that injustice. However, the question is what are you two going to do from here?”
Another long moment of silence befell the room before Chance stood up and looked directly at Feral. “At first, I did hate you for what you did to us. For a while it blinded me to the reason why you did what you did, but now… I can’t hate you because you did it to protect someone you love and that was your only reason.” Chance stopped and looked over at Felina. “And, if it had been me, I would of done everything in my power to protect her as well.”
Jake nodded in agreement. “I’m with Chance. We’re nothing like our alternates and we never will be. You have nothing to worry about, Commander.”
Feral couldn’t help but smile slightly as Felina stood up and walked up to Chance to hug him, and he hugged her back.
“We need to figure out what our next move is going to be before they can do anymore damage,” Jake stated as he stood up from the couch.
“Yes we do.” Feral sighed as he pulled out his ringing cell phone from his pocket. He raised an eyebrow as he looked at the caller ID in surprise.
“Who is it?” Felina asked after seeing his reaction.
“It’s coming from the museum, from Dr. Sinian’s private line.”
“She would still be there at this hour?” Callie asked in surprise.
Feral opened his phone and cleared his throat. “This is Feral… How can I help you, Dr. Sinian?”
Everyone watched Feral intently as his expression remained surprised. “What makes you think that they would be with me? … Ann Gora has what?!”
Everyone exchanged glances curiously, wishing that they could hear what Abi was saying.
“…Yes… yes, I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Feral hung up and looked up from his phone. “Chance, I need you to get back into your flight suit and to come with me and Felina. Jake, could you stay here with Ms. Briggs, just in case?”
“Yeah sure, but what is going on?”
“The silent alarm went off at the museum, and Dr. Sinian went over to check it out. She found the night guards knocked out and inside the museum she found Ann Gora and her cameraman. Apparently, they caught Razor and the Pastmaster fighting on tape and, afterwards, the Pastmaster vanishing into a mirror in the Egyptian room.”
“Are you kidding me?” Chance groaned.
“I wish I was.” Feral sighed.
“So, that’s how they got here; the Pastmaster used mirrors to get them here,” Jake concluded.
“He can still do that even though Pagane is dead and the amulet is gone?” Chance asked, trying to piece it all together.
Jake shook his head. “Obviously he can; he must have found a way around that with his watch.”
“Can you meet us at the museum?” Feral asked Chance as he pulled out his car keys.
“Yeah, I’ll take the cyclotron.”
20 minutes later… at the museum
Ann Gora and Johnny couldn’t help but watch T-Bone warily as he walked into Abi’s office.
“Hey, T-Bone.” Abi smiled.
“Hey.” T-Bone smiled gratefully at her as he walked up to her desk, where Feral and Felina were already standing.
Ann looked back at the camcorder Johnny was holding in his paw before looking at the four that were looking at her expectantly.
“I must say, Commander, it seems to me that you are protecting the Swat Kats…” Ann looked directly at T-Bone before looking back at Feral, “…and I want to know why, especially after what happened today.”
“Show me that recording first and then I’ll tell you,” came his patient reply.
Ann held out her paw for Johnny to give her the camcorder and then handed it to Feral. Feral turned it on and opened up the screen to see that Johnny had already re-wound the recording. He pushed play and watched it with Felina and T-Bone on either side.
“We can use this to our advantage.” T-Bone was the first one to speak after the recording was finished.
“Yes, yes we can,” Feral agreed as he closed the screen and turned off the camcorder.
“Well?” Ann looked at them expectantly.
“Miss Gora, do you remember that time Hard Drive and Dark Kat hijacked our jet?” T-Bone asked.
Ann looked back at Johnny and then back at T-Bone with a subtle smile on her face. “Yes, I remember that incident quite clearly.”
Back at Callie’s house…
Callie was watching Jake closely as he paced her living room. She fought to keep a scowl from her face as she pulled out her cell phone and started to text. Jake sighed as he stopped mid step and looked over at Callie, sitting back relaxed on her couch as her fingers flew across the keys of her phone.
“What are you doing?” Jake asked, a little surprised to see Callie texting this late at night.
An easy smile spread across Callie’s face and she laid the Blackberry on the coffee table and looked back up at him. “Oh, I’m just texting my assistant. I’ve decided not to go into work tomorrow.”
Callie shrugged, the smile still lingering. “I’ve had a reasonably rough week and by the way things are heading it’s going to be an even tougher couple of days. Tomorrow is going to be a crazy day.”
“Yeah… right, it probably will be,” Jake agreed as he looked back at the fire.
Callie pulled her legs up underneath her as she patted the couch cushion with her paw. “Come here, sit with me,” she purred. Her expression didn’t change when Jake sat beside her, oblivious. “You need to relax,” she coaxed as she started to rub his back.
“I know. I’m just trying to see past all of this,” he muttered, rubbing his face with his paws.
Callie studied him for a moment before she got up from the couch. “I’m going to go make us some tea, okay… I’ll be right back.”
“You don’t need to… I’m fine.”
“No, you need a good cup of tea.”
Jake smiled gently as he watched Callie walk out of the room. He was so thankful that he had her through this mess. His eyes fell upon her Blackberry, still laying on the coffee table, and couldn’t help but think that it was odd that she had been texting someone this late. But, then again, a lot had been going on; she had a lot of things she needed to keep quiet. Jake looked back towards the entry of the kitchen where he heard the sink being turned on. Still, she wasn’t acting like herself, something was off and he couldn’t place it.
Callie grabbed the kettle and filled it up with water from the faucet, but left the water running while she put the kettle back on the stove. Looking over her shoulder briefly to make sure he wasn’t there, she reached for her purse that was on the counter, opened it and pulled out a small syringe filled with a clear liquid. Looking back at the entryway, she put the syringe into the front pouch of her sweatshirt before she reached over and turned off the water.
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.