Feral watched T-Bone mentally beat himself up for his stupidity as he stood rooted to the spot Felina had left him.
Feral himself didn’t know what to make of this valuable information he had just overheard. Ever since that day the Swat Kats had appeared, making him look like an incapable fool on live television, discovering their true identities and putting their tails in prison was the dream he relived over and over, and he had savored every moment of that daydream.
He shook his head and leaned against the balcony railing. The answer to it all had been directly under his nose this whole time. His two best pilots that he kicked off his squadron, Furlong and Clawson, were in fact the Swat Kats. He couldn’t believe he didn’t realize it earlier; it was so painfully obvious. But now, as he watched T-Bone sit back on the stone bench with his head in his paws, his dream of sweet revenge didn’t seem all that satisfying anymore. Unconsciously, he had grown used to their aid… he was even thankful for it at times… even though you’d never hear him confess that to anyone. And, now that Felina’s emotions were now involved….
He massaged his temples wearily and closed his eyes. For the first time in his life, he didn’t know where to go from this point… he didn’t know what to do.
And then, a horrified scream shattered the still night air, its origin somewhere within the castle. Feral’s previous thoughts were abruptly interrupted as he automatically ran through his room, out his door and down the corridor to where the scream seemed to came from.
T-Bone jumped to his feet immediately when he heard the scream and dashed off towards the castle, completely unaware that Feral had been watching him.
Razor and Callista were slowly making their way along the ramparts that encircled the castle grounds. Callista held her paws clasped in front of her as she looked directly ahead, waiting patiently for Razor to give her a reply.
Razor was lost in deep thought as he slowly churned what Callista had said over and over in his mind.
Sensing his hesitation, she smiled as she looked over at him. “Some things are better left unsaid, but I entreat you to meditate on what I have told you tonight.”
Razor nodded, still looking down at the stone walkway before him.
Callista’s smile slowly melted off her face as her steps became smaller.
Razor stopped and looked back at her curiously. “What’s wrong?”
Instead of answering him, she sharply turned her head back towards her castle behind them. “Something’s not right,” she informed him, her vibrant blue eyes a sparking fire. Callista then turned sharply and started to walk quickly back towards the castle, with Razor following immediately behind her.
When they were more than a couple yards away from the castle, they heard the terrified scream that had alerted the others. Callista, abandoning her royal air, broke into a run along with Razor into the castle.
At that same moment…
“Abi,” Felina breathed, as she heard the scream shatter the silence around her. She broke into a run into the rooming area they had been given to stay.
She burst through the corridor’s doors and took a sharp right to where Abi’s room was. As she was running down the corridor, with Abi’s room only a few more feet away, her uncle emerged from the other corner opposite of her. Felina wrenched the door’s handle down, pushed it open and rushed inside with her uncle close behind.
“Abi!” Felina called out frantically, when she saw the vacant room laid out before her.
Hurried footsteps echoed down the hall, and soon T-Bone rushed into the room and stood beside Feral.
“She’s gone,” Feral growled needlessly as T-Bone closed his eyes and let his head drop to his chest.
Felina walked around the room, noticing the signs that there had been a struggle. Felina looked up, while her uncle and T-Bone turned around to see Callista and Razor enter the room.
Callista’s eyes scanned the room as she walked up to Felina. “I was afraid of this. Whoever took Dr. Sinian was very proficient in the magical arts because they managed to break through the security barrier I placed on this room.”
“But who?” Felina asked, looking over at her uncle and the Swat Kats.
“I’ll give you one guess,” Razor growled.
Felina’s eyes grew wide as the image of the Pastmaster’s accomplice appeared in her mind. “Crud. Why would they want Abi?”
“To get us to give them the amulet, I’d imagine,” Feral spoke up.
“But, why didn’t we see one of Pastie’s time vortexes if he came here to abduct Abi?” T-Bone asked.
“A very good question, Sir T-Bone. If you’d all follow me, I’ll show you the answer to that question,” Callista answered as she walked past them all back into the massive hallway of the corridor.
In Queen Callista’s castle tower………
Queen Callista let the amulet slip out of its soft leather bag into her waiting paw.
“Did you place a guardian spell over the amulet as well as our rooms?” Felina asked as she watched the queen walk up to a huge silver wrought mirror that was similar to that of the Pastmaster’s in the cathedral library.
“Yes. Along with that I put a cloaking enchantment on it so they would not be able to detect its presence.” Callista turned to face the four of them. “And, to answer Sir T-Bone’s question regarding why we didn’t detect one of the Pastmaster’s time vortexes is because he traveled through his magic mirror that enables him to travel through time virtually undetected.”
The four of them looked at each other. “Then, how did he get back with Abi if his magic mirror is in the library of the cathedral?” Felina asked.
“Either the Pastmaster or his accomplice kept the time portal open so that one of them could abduct Abi and go back through the bedroom mirror,” Callista explained.
“But, how could they pass through into Abi’s room from the mirror if you placed your spell on the whole room?” asked Razor, somewhat uncomfortable that the Pastmaster could travel through mirrors.
Callista shook her head. “That is what troubles me. As I said, whoever broke through my barrier is an even mightier magician than the Pastmaster.”
The room grew silent. “Could it be his accomplice?” T-Bone asked, looking from Razor over to Callista.
“That very well could be,” answered the queen.
“But then, why would this mighty sorcerer be taking orders from the Pastmaster when he could easily overpower him?” T-Bone asked, asking the thought they all shared.
Callista put the amulet on and then walked over to one of the huge bookcases that took up a good part of the tower’s stone wall. “What did he look like?” she asked as she scanned over the titles of the old dusty volumes.
“He wore this black cloak, dress thing that covered his face, and he had really white fur.” T-Bone tried to describe the image of the ethereal sorcerer. “Why?”
Without answering him, Callista pulled a huge, stained, volume and brought over to her table. Without even blowing off the dust, she opened it and began leafing through its delicate pages quickly. They walked over to the end opposite of her and watched her flip through the pages. Suddenly, she stopped at a certain page that was elegantly embellished with perfectly written cursive writing and brightly colored illustrations. Yet, the illustration of this certain page was not by any means pleasant or breathtakingly beautiful. Instead, it was a rather disturbing scene that portrayed a blacked cloaked sorcerer with glowing scarlet eyes and snow white fur.
“Uncanny resemblance, reminds me of an albino ferret,” T-Bone mused as he studied the image on the page.
Callista’s eyes grew misty and her complexion pale as she looked over at her mirror. “This is very disturbing news indeed,” she whispered faintly.
“What’s wrong, my Queen?” Razor asked worriedly as he walked over to her.
Callista cast her eyes back down to the sorcerer, whose drawn image with its glittering scarlet eyes cast a cold fear over the observer’s heart. “That is Pagane, the evil brother of Caedmon the wise who made the covenant with the gods, and the eternal wielder of the amulet.”
Felina groaned and leaned against the table while Feral just shook his head. “This just keeps getting better and better!” he snarled in anger.
Callista, her beautiful face now set hard with determination walked away from Razor’s side and up to the mirror, and set her icy blue eyes intently on the mirror’s surface. All they could see was her reflection, but the queen seemed to look past it and even deeper into the mirror’s unknown mystical depths.
“Is something wrong, my Queen?” Razor finally broke the uneasy silence, somewhat nervous by the blank, ghost like complexion that now made her face look like a porcelain doll’s.
“In order for me to explain what you need to do and to take you where you need to go, you all need to put aside all resentment and anger you hold amongst yourselves and focus on the task at hand,” was her blunt reply, her voice sharp and brisk.
T-Bone stole a guilty glance in Felina’s direction and watched her take in a sharp breath. Feral looked at T-Bone from the side, making T-Bone look over at him, and their gazes met, revealing to them both the secrets they had previously hidden deep within their hearts. T-Bone’s stare was so intense that Feral had to look away over to Razor. Razor, who had watched the whole thing, tried to keep his complexion from turning pale.
“Is everything resolved?” they heard Callista inquire, breaking the icy atmosphere that had started to close tightly around them.
“I’m ready if you three are,” Feral announced as he stepped forward behind the seemly entranced queen, taking Felina and the Swat Kats completely off guard.
“I’m ready too,” Felina breathed, stepping alongside her uncle, while looking expectantly back at a stunned Razor and T-Bone.
T-Bone shrugged and stepped forward beside Felina and was immediately joined by Razor. “Let’s do this,” he stated, this time his voice dead serious.
“Good,” was Callista’s simple reply. With that, she slowly raised her paw in front of her. The mirror started to glow a vibrant white gold hue, and emitted from the palm of Callista’s paw was a subtle breeze that made the mirror’s surface ripple as if someone was breathing softly upon it. Callista then slowly put her hand through the hoary liquid and pushed through, and a blinding ray of golden light seared through, completely engulfing the queen from their sight.
Feral, without a second thought, followed pursuit and disappeared in a like manner, with Felina and T-Bone in close pursuit.
Soon, Razor was by himself, standing in front of the mystic mirror. Slowly, he brought his paw up to the shimmery surface and gently touched it. It was refreshingly cool to the touch, yet his paw didn’t feel wet even though it was now completely submerged in the mirror’s liquefied silver contents. And then, taking a deep breath he pushed through, and in a blinding flash of light he disappeared into the mirror face. As soon as he was gone, the mirror’s surface swirled back and transformed into its usual hard reflective surface, and the room grew deathly silent, as if they had never been there at all.
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