Author’s Note: Hey guys! Sorry it’s taken me so long to write this. I had to do a lot of research on alternate dimensions and the symbolism of mirrors. I had to condense a lot of it so this chapter wouldn’t sound like some sci fi thesis paper. LOL. I would also like to thank LondonUnited, TigerKat, Ladyisme and my other fellows on the SK forum. Their opinions and insight on this topic were really helpful and encouraging. Thanx guys:D
Anyways. I hope you like this chapter. I apologize if it’s a little melancholy. Happy Reading!
“Thanks for inviting me over, Chance, I had a blast.” Felina smiled as she walked with Chance out to her car.
Chance returned her smile as he looked over at her. “I’m glad that you came.”
“What’s the name of that card game again?” Felina asked as she opened her car door and threw her jacket inside. She then turned around to face Chance while leaning against the frame of her car and resting her right arm over the door.
“Phase 10.” He grinned. “I was really surprised that you caught on to it so fast. It’s kind of a complicated game until you’ve played it a couple of times.”
Felina laughed lightly while she shrugged carelessly. “My uncle and I play cards a lot. I’m used to learning new games fast so that I can beat him.”
Chance laughed. “Aaaahhhaaaa. That explains a lot. But, it doesn’t explain why you and Callie ganged up on me and skipped me whenever you got a skip card. Jake was the one who was constantly getting good hands and going out before anyone else could.”
“Oh, poor baby. We’ll get Jake next time,” Felina cooed in mock sympathy.
“You’d better.” Chance pretended to pout, making Felina laugh more.
“Well I’d better get home.” Felina sighed as she dragged her hand along the top of her car door.
“Okay,” Chance spoke softly as he gazed at her with a smile on his face.
They gazed at each other for a moment before he slowly brought his face down towards hers. Felina’s smile grew bigger as she placed a paw gently on his cheek and met his lips with hers. As the seconds passed by, his arms slid slowly down from her shoulders to her lower back, pulling her closer to him as she wrapped both her arms around his neck and returned his kiss. After a minute had passed, they slowly pulled away from each other, both with smiles on their faces.
“Goodnight,” Felina whispered in his ear as he pulled her into a warm embrace.
“Goodnight,” he returned as he let go of her and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek.
She bit her bottom lip shyly as she got in her car, allowing him to shut the car door for her.
Chance stood there and watched her drive off before turning back towards the garage with a huge grin on his face. “Man oh man,” he sighed to himself as he started to walk back to the house with a merry jaunt in his step as he hummed an upbeat tune he didn’t even know the words to.
Out on the road outside the salvage yard’s wire fence stood a figure beside his car. He watched Felina drive off through a pair of binoculars before turning his gaze on Chance, who was walking towards the garage/house. The figure’s bright golden eyes were teeming with mixed emotions as he slowly lowered the binoculars, his jaw set firm and resolute.
He had been afraid that something like this was going to happen eventually. It had been inevitable. He shook his head as he leaned against his car, slouching in defeat.
“What do I do now?” he asked himself as he stared down at his feet. His grip was so tight that his knuckles were white. The only answer he received was the cold whisper of the night breeze.
Meanwhile, in Another Dimension…
The lights abruptly snapped on, revealing an almost completed TurboKat, partially built missiles, weapons, and a dirty hangar that was perhaps even filthier than upstairs.
Callie wrinkled her nose in disgust as she followed the two grumpy mechanics down the ladder. “You’ve done wonders with this place,” she remarked sarcastically as she stood by the ladder with her paws on her hips.
“Shut up,” Chance snarled as he pushed some trash off of a chair and sat down.
Jake was leaning against his worktable across from Chance with his arms crossed over his chest. He glanced over at Callie suspiciously as the Pastmaster stepped off the last rung of the ladder and stood beside her.
“Yes.” The tiny sorcerer grinned impishly as he stepped off the concrete platform by the ladder and stood in the space between the two mechanics. “Yes, this will most certainly do.”
Jake’s mouth curled up into a distrusting sneer. “You said you were going to tell us what was going on?”
Callie smirked as she stepped down from the platform as well. “Patience, Jake. The Pastmaster will explain everything to you.”
Jake snorted disbelievingly. “Or he’ll tell us only what he wants us to know.”
The Pastmaster snapped his head in Jake’s direction and his one good eye bore into the unflinching mechanic, who, in return, was glaring back. A smile played at the corner of the sorcerer’s mouth and he started to chuckle quietly. “You’re a smart kat. A fearless one at that.” The Pastmaster turned his whole body to face Jake. “Are you familiar with the concept of the ‘Parallel Universes’?” he queried.
“I’ve heard of it,” Jake replied bluntly.
“Have you?” the Pastmaster turned his attention over to Chance.
The big, tiger striped tom snorted. “Yeah, it’s a bunch of bogus science fiction crud.”
The Pastmaster sniffed as if offended by Chance’s comment. “I assure you, mortal, Parallel Universes are a reality. How do you think those other Swat Kats got here?”
“Simple. They were two Swat Kat wannabe’s that decided to make a fool out of us,” Chance shot back stubbornly.
“And, they so happened to look like you and knew things that only you two would know?” Callie returned challengingly, smirking at the stumped look on Chance’s face.
The Pastmaster held up a paw for silence, and the three kats amazingly complied.
“Once you have an idea of what a‘parallel universe’ or alternate dimension is, you will know how the other Swat Kats managed to get here, never the less exist in the like manner of your lives. However, I cannot explain this to you all unless you prepare yourself to sit quietly and listen.”
He waited until he got a complying nod from the three of them before he spoke again. “A parallel universe or alternate reality is an independent reality that coexists with your own reality; a variant of the world you know, as it were. These self-contained universes all originate with one universe, and when an event occurs that can have several outcomes depending on the decision made, they branch off, following those different decisions and the consequences of those decisions change the history of that original universe. Every possibility for every event will bring forth another universe or dimension.”
“So, these two ‘Swat Kats’ are from a different dimension that is in existence because they did something different than what we did in the past,” Chance summed it up in his own words as he gave Jake a skeptical look. “That just doesn’t seem possible. That would mean that there are a bunch of us in different dimensions who so happened to go about life differently.”
“Sometimes the truth can be overwhelming. But, I assure you, I am not lying,” the Pastmaster coldly assured him.
“Do you know how they got into this dimension then?” Callie asked, her curiosity along with Jake’s and Chance’s was peaked to an all time high.
The Pastmaster rubbed the thin orange fur on his chin with a bony claw. “From what I could gather, they were testing a dimensional radar when their jet was struck with lightning, and they were transported through that radar into this dimension. Just goes to show that there are many unknown methods of time travel.”
“The dimensional radar, huh?” Jake mused as he eyed a piece of unfinished equipment on the worktable across from him. “I haven’t been able to finish ours,” he muttered to himself.
“How are you planning on getting us into their dimension?” Chance asked with a bored tone. He didn’t want to admit that he found this new information interesting.
The Pastmaster smirked at the tabby’s question. “Get me a mirror and I shall show you.”
“A mirror?” Chance sneered incrediously.
“Just get him the mirror, numbskull,” Jake snapped, thoroughly irritated with Chance’s doubt.
“Watch it, Scuzball,” Chance growled in return as he stomped over to their beat up lockers and picked up a dirty mirror that was leaning up against the wall. He brought it over and put it on the workbench, leaning it against a greasy toolbox so that it was standing up for them to see into.
The Pastmaster walked up to it and pulled out a golden pocket watch from the crimson folds of his cloak. He grasped it tightly in his paw and raised it up so that it was directly in front of the mirror. The watch began to glow as the seconds passed, and the surface of the mirror seemed to melt into a hoary pool of thick liquid. Chance, Jake and Callie watched in silent astonishment as the flowy surface of the mirror began to churn as if it had been disturbed by a strong breeze. The silver surface became alive with incoherent hues of color which slowly turned into a clear image of a hangar; the exact replica of their own hangar. However, the hangar they were looking upon was amazingly clean and organized; hardly a piece of equipment was out of its place. A newly painted TurboKat sat on its cooling pad with its bombay doors open as it was being reloaded by its creators.
“This is crazy,” Chance muttered as he watched ‘himself’ gently place a slicer missile in its slot.
The Pastmaster grinned wickedly at their reactions. “Mirrors are exceedingly diverse in their uses, and when properly ‘turned on’ they can become time portals. Right now, I am using this mirror to look on upon your alternate beings through the mirror they have hanging up in their hangar.” The Pastmaster momentarily looked back at Jake with a knowing sneer on his taunt face. “In fact, mirrors and parallel universes are closely knitted together in a complex web. Once you know of the makeup of this web and what keeps it balanced and what can disturb it, the mysteries of the universe will have their answers.”
He turned his attention back to the mirror as they continued to watch their alternate beings continue their work. Jake shook his head in continual disbelief as his alternate self started to speak, and they all listened intently to hear what was being said.
“Of course Callie doesn’t know how to drive a manual, she’s accustomed to driving her Park Avenue.” Chance laughed in response of Jake’s comment.
Jake nodded. “I know, that’s why I’m going to take her on a drive in the Laser. Everyone should know how to drive a manual, it’s practical knowledge.”
Chance continued to chuckle as he continued to load up the missiles that Jake was handing him. “That’s gonna be one memorable experience, if not a frightening one. But, I guess it’s a good thing to have your appreciation of life renewed every once in a while.”
“Ha ha. If I can handle flying with you, I think I’m qualified to handle anything,” Jake smirked.
Chance jumped out of the Turbokat and got out of the way of the closing doors. “Touché, my witty friend.”
They both stood there, momentarily in their own thoughts. Although the silence was broken by the soft snickers of the big tabby who was shaking his head while he tried to control his laughter.
“What is so funny?” Jake asked as he eyed his friend suspiciously.
“Driving lessons? I know you have something more planned than just driving lessons, you mischievous little imp you,” Chance snickered while giving Jake a playful smirk.
Jake’s eyes grew wide in surprise at Chance’s accusations as he fought to keep his face from turning red. “You have a disturbing, dirty mind. I was planning no such thing.”
“Ahuh, sure. Sorry, I forgot. There is a fine line between planning and hoping,” Chance teased, giving Jake a playful nudge.
Jake’s expression became devious as he looked over at his friend. “Look who’s talking, Romeo. I’m sure that you giving Felina lessons in the flight simulator is nothing but a generous outpour of your talent to a fellow pilot.”
It was now Chance’s turn to fight the urge to blush. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Jake burst out laughing. “Aha! You’re pulling a Jake! You have been caught red faced! Guilty as charged!”
“You know what…,” Chance growled as he managed to jump at Jake and to get his friend in a head lock. “You’ve been aching for your noogie treatment. You’re just getting too smart for your britches.”
“Ack!” Jake struggled to free himself from Chance’s powerful grip. “Okay Okay! You can stop now!”
“Does the flesh burn?” Chance teased as he rubbed his knuckles faster and harder into his friend’s head.
The four undetected onlookers watched Jake flip Chance over his head onto the floor.
“Alright! That’s it!” Jake laughed as he body slammed Chance.
The Pastmaster looked back to a misty eyed Jake and Chance as they watched their alternate selves play fight. Thinking that it was perhaps the perfect time to turn off the mirror, he lowered his watch, breaking its contact with the mirror. Callie, Jake and Chance broke out of their thoughts as the scene on the mirror subsided until its surface returned to its previous, dirty appearance.
“Now that I have proved myself to you, what will it be?” the Pastmaster asked as he turned around to face them.
Jake glanced over at Chance to see if he could see his partner’s decision in his expression.
The big tabby shrugged as he shoved his paws into his pant pockets. “Why not,” he growled gruffly.
Jake looked back at the mirror, still a little disconcerted with what he had just watched. The Pastmaster, Callie, and Chance could sense the smaller tom’s hesitation.
“What’s the matter, Jake? Are you scared?” Callie sneered as she gave him a calculating look.
Jake looked up at her defensively. “No,” he growled. He gave them all a challenging glare. “I’m in.”
An Hour Later…
The first mirror came into existence when some unknown kat looked at their self in the reflection of a still body of water. It was thought at that time that in the surface of the water, the being’s soul was reflected. Thus, mirrors became symbols of self-discovery, self-knowledge, contemplation, and of reflection. Mirrors, the eternal symbol of the principle ‘know thyself’.
I have always had a keen interest in such topics of the other worlds or dimensions that may exist somewhere in our vast universe. Theories of their existence were a comfort for me, either it was because it gave me a good reason to believe that there was something more to life than what I was living in this reality or it gave me something to think about, to take apart and to reason with my thinking ability. But now, that keen curiosity that I once had of this scientific fantasy has turned into a disturbing puzzle that is too overwhelming and intricate for me to solve.
I take in a deep breath of the cool night air that is flowing in through my open bedroom window in attempt to clear my mind from all of my troubles. Such attempts I know are in vain, I can no longer remember a time that was at ease. I slowly sit up in my bed and throw the comforter off of me. I swing my legs out of my bed and rest my feet onto the carpeted floor as I let my head drop to my chest.
As I raise my head along with my gaze, I find myself staring at my reflection in the body length mirror directly in front of me. I take in every detail of my restless appearance; my reddish brown fur is messy and uneven, hardly covering the scars that cover my lean body. My ruddy face is also scarred and tense with the suspicion and anger that I have grown accustomed to. My torn, ragged ears are stiff and erect, almost flat against my head because of some unfelt anger nagging my numb conscience. I have been angry for so long, it’s a second nature to me now, it’s some element that is now fissured permanently in my being. It’s usually hard to pinpoint the source of this anger, since I’m angry at everything now a days, but tonight, after what I’ve seen… well, I’m feeling something that I haven’t felt since who knows when.
My amber eyes slit in frustration as I stare deeper and deeper into my reflection, as if expecting to see the true nature of myself, to see the ugly appearance of the monster that I have become. What the Pastmaster showed us tonight has no doubt brought back to life a part of me that I thought had been suffocated a long time ago, countless memories are now remembered, old wounds are once again ripped open.
My alternate self was the living embodiment of what I used to be and of what I have lost these past years. He was the reminder that I used to love life; I used to be happy; I used to laugh and to joke around; I had dreams and goals; I had standards; I expected things of myself; I had a friend that was closer than my own brother; I had my secret love that I would of done anything for….
…..that was a long time ago…..or so it seems….
How did I become this thing that I used to pity and despise? That thought makes my stomach turn. I have become my worst fear; I am the empty shell of some long deceased being; a ghost existing for the sole purpose of revenge, feeding off of fear and hate; the blackest plagues ever to taint katkind.
His eyes were as vibrant as fierce fire feeding off his happiness, his contentedness, his enjoyment of life. My eyes are dull, completely void of any glow or spark that would give evidence that my previous self is deep down inside of me and that despite it all, it is still fighting to free itself and to save me before it is too late….
…. But, there is nothing there…and these thoughts are too unbearable…
I don’t remember getting to my feet, nor do I remember slamming my fist into the surface of my mirror. As I stand here, breathing heavily and trembling before a pile of silver shards, I cannot feel my clenched, gashed paw trembling at my side as droplets of my blood drip from the cuts onto my floor.
Faint prisms of light glisten off of the sharp sides of the shards and snake out across the whitewashed wall and carpeted floor. I can’t feel the tears coursing down my cheeks, but I can see them fall down and shatter as they hit the broken, bloodied glass shards.
I have nothing left… it is too late for me… there is no turning back. I passed that point a long time ago. I’m too far gone.
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