The evening after the museum incident…..
“I don’t think I’ll ever look at a mummy the same way again,” Chance grumbled, as he switched the channel from the Egypt special that was being showed on the Discovery Channel.
Jake laughed as he poured a glass of milk for the both of them.
“Oh, and why don’t we have NORMAL bad guys in this city? We always get the ghosts, giant bugs, dinosaurs, mutants, the living dead, robots, psychotic freaks from the asylum, geeks…… Geez, I could go on,” Chance rambled as he channel surfed.
Jake rolled his eyes as he sat down on the couch, placing Chance’s glass of milk on the coffee table in front of them. “Would it astound you if I said that I don’t know?” he asked, teasing sarcasm evident in his mockingly serious tone.
“Yes, it would,” Chance teased back, throwing a pillow at his friend.
Jake ducked, but the milk managed to splash on his Carrhartt’s as the pillow hit his glass. “Hey! I want to drink my milk, not wash my pants with it.”
“It’s not my fault you’re a slob.” Chance sniffed as he put the channel on HBO where Jurassic Park was being played.
“Ohhhh… this is fitting,” Jake mused as he settled in on the couch.
“I hate dinosaurs,” Chance growled as he watched the T-Rex bite into the top of an explorer.
Jake shrugged. “You shouldn’t; you and that T-Rex have a lot in common.”
Chance looked over at Jake suspiciously. “Like what?”
Jake smiled to himself as he finished off his milk. With a nonchalant shrug, he looked over at Chance. “You both have the same atrocious table manners.” He snickered as he nodded over at the TV, where the T-Rex had car parts hanging from his mouth.
Jake threw himself to the floor as a larger pillow flew over his head and hit a lamp that went crashing to the floor.
“Thank you for tonight, Paul, I had a wonderful time.” Callie smiled as she let Paul lead her out of the movie theater.
“I’m glad I was able to brighten your evening, Callie.” Paul grinned down at her.
Callie smiled and looked ahead as they walked down the sidewalk. They walked a ways in silence before Paul slipped his paw into hers. “If you wouldn’t mind, I would like to take you on a walk through the central park… It’s beautiful this time of night. It’ll help you sort through all of that confusion I know is bothering you,” Paul consoled her, pulling her closer to him and putting his arm around her shoulders.
Callie looked up at Paul, a bashful smile playing with her lips. “I’d like that.”
The trees were painted with leaves of crimson, gold, and russet, and they glistened with dew as the bright city lights illuminated the darkness of the night. The bitter autumn breeze rustled the trees teasingly, sending the detached leaves into a silent blizzard of rich color as they cascaded onto the beaten path that stretched out before the couple that made their way through the silent park. Callie looked into the pond of reflective obsidian, its tiny waves lapping the shore of rich earth.
“I’ve never walked in the park at night before.” Callie sighed, breathing in the crisp air of the seasonal wind.
“Never?” Paul inquired, looking down at the tired blonde nestled against him.
Callie looked up at him dreamily. “Never.”
Paul looked back up. “Well, now you have.”
They walked on until they reached the shadowy forest that took up several acres of the city’s park.
“Should we be heading back?” Callie yawned, “It’s getting late.”
“I want to show you one more thing, and then we’ll head back, I promise,” Paul promised as he tightened his hold on Callie, who didn’t seem to mind.
They walked on through the naked birch trees on the gravel path, their crunching footsteps echoing through the dense forest. Paul led her over an old stone bridge that crossed a deep creek that wound its way like a glistening black road that eventually emptied out into the sea.
As more time passed, Callie began to feel uneasy, for the city was about 2 miles away on either side…. They were in the heart of the woods. “Paul, we should really….” she began to say, but Paul cut her off abruptly,
“What? You don’t trust me, my dear?” he smiled, dropping his arm from her shoulders.
Callie stopped and looked at Paul in confusion. “What? Of course I trust you, Paul. It’s just that it’s late, and we should be heading back; I have to work tomorrow.”
Paul stood with his back to her. “I sorry to say this, Callie, but you’re not going to make it to work tomorrow.”
Callie felt a cold lump appear in her throat. “Excuse me?”
Paul turned back to her, his face expressionless. “You heard me.”
Callie tried to control her breathing as she started to walk backwards, towards the way they had come.
Paul laughed, shaking his head as he looked up at the clearing of tree tops that allowed him to see the sky. “Master told me that it might be difficult to lure you here… He told me that you have a hard time trusting people, especially tomkats.”
“What?” Callie breathed, her voice shaking noticeably in fear.
Paul didn’t seem to notice that she had spoken. “But, do not fear for I shall not harm you… The key must be presented before the master alive so the door may be unlocked.” As he spoke, his appearance became blurry as a sheer veil of light covered him, and he vanished slowly into air until he was no longer there.
Callie cursed herself mentally for allowing this to happen as she looked about her for Paul. The hairs prickled on the back of her neck as she suddenly felt hot breath against her neck. She whirled around to find the black robed sorcerer from the night before.
“I was supposed to take you last night along with the amulet, but your…. friends…. prevented me from doing so,” the figure spoke as it approached Callie slowly. Its white paws raised up and pulled back its hood, revealing a face that resembled Paul except for the snowy white fur and glittering pink eyes. Callie gasped as she stumbled back away from him. She turned and darted into the dark dense woods. She crashed through the thick, rigid branches that raked her skin, with Paul’s ghostly laughter echoing about her on the bitter wind.
“You think you can run from me, Callie?” Paul chuckled as he materialized directly in front of her.
Callie skidded to a stop and darted off to the side. As she stumbled through the forest, she frantically felt around in her purse. Her communicator finally fell into her grasp, and without a second thought she pressed the button and held it up close to her face.
A menacing chuckle followed unnervingly close behind her, making her look over her shoulder to see a gray cloud of mist snake its way through the trees and branches at an amazing speed. As it drew closer to her, it materialized into Paul’s hooded form. Callie pushed herself faster through the woods as she held a vise like grip onto the communicator, hoping that the Swat Kats would answer quickly.
Chance winced, bringing the popcorn bowl closer to him as he watched the T-Rex on the screen finish off a hapless kat on the screen. “That is so disturbing,” he mumbled as he ate more popcorn, his emerald eyes staring at the screen.
Jake laughed, looking over at Chance with an amused expression.
Just then, the alarm went off. In a matter of seconds, they were gone, leaving the TV on with the popcorn littering the floor as the bowl rolled along the living room floor.
Chance slid down the ladder and raced over to the speaker, answering it. “Yes Ms. Briggs, what’s the problem?”
As Jake raced up behind his partner, they heard frantic breathing.
“Guys, I’m in serious trouble,” Callie barely managed to say as she ran through the woods. “I was so stupid; I let him take me to the park woods.”
Jake and Chance looked at each other in alarm.
“Who, Ms. Briggs?” Jake demanded, his voice full of anxious alarm.
“I know who the sorcerer is,” Callie scarcely breathed, “It’s P…..ahhhhhhh.”
A resounding thud completed Callie’s sentence, followed by a deafening static.
“Callie!” they both screamed. They quickly threw on their flight suits and donned their bandanas and helmets. T-Bone fired up the TurboKat as Razor firmly fixed his glovatrix to his paw, his face grim and angered.
They thundered out of the hanger and into the clear night sky.
“I have her position fixed at mile 2.8 east of the parks forest,” Razor informed.
“Got it,” T-Bone growled as he guided the TurboKat towards Razor’s ordered destination.
It seemed like an eternity for the both of them to get there, but they finally touched down in the wood’s central clearing. They both leaped out of the TurboKat into a fighting stance, glovatrixes raised and ready.
“Do you have her communicator tracked?” T-Bone asked as he scanned the woods about them.
“She’s a mile due east of here,” Razor directed. “Keep your eyes peeled.”
They both ran off into the woods, Razor leading the way.
The red dot indicating the last reported spot of Callie’s communicator blinked faster and faster as they approached it.
“It’s over this rock,” Razor reported as a large gray rock emerged between the dark trees.
They leaped over it and landed crouched, glovatrixes still raised. The small clearing was deserted.
“Crud,” T-Bone cursed as kicked the ground. “We’re too late.”
Razor, breathing heavily, looked around him. At the bottom of the gray boulder, he saw a dripping black streak that stained its surface. His throat tightened as he kneeled down to inspect it. He placed a finger to the still wet substance and pulled it back. His fur was now matted with a sticky crimson matter….. It was blood.
He looked down at his feet, which were at the base of the boulder, and saw the shattered remains of her communicator. His slitted eyes of ocher flames looked back up at the streak of blood.
He didn’t even acknowledge T-Bone kneeling beside him. His paws were now clenched and shaking in suppressed fury.
“We’ll get her back and pummel the guy who did this to her,” T-Bone seethed as he stood up abruptly.
“It was that sorcerer,” Razor growled, his tone that of icy malice. He placed his hand upon the boulder and slowly stood up, his burning eyes still transfixed on the same spot. “Let’s get back to the jet; there’s a lot to do.”
Felina stirred uncomfortably in her bed. She cracked her eyes open towards her window, only to see the bloodless full moon that stared at her from its low dwelling in the sky. She sighed and closed her eyes again, practically feeling the moon’s beams covering her with their unearthly glow. The wind wisped in through the small opening of her bedroom window, disturbing her long white drapes that fluttered in the breeze gracefully in delicate folds.
She felt an abrupt cold fall upon her as she laid there. Stirring further down into her blankets, she slowly opened her eyes, her heart immediately freezing with terror at what greeted her. Instead of a clear view of the moon, a dark shadow loomed over her with glowing jade eyes.
“Heeeellllllmmmmmmmpppphhhhhhh!” she tried to scream, but a huge hand covered her mouth, muffling her cry. She struggled viciously against the shadowed intruder. He pushed her head fully into her pillow and restrained her by forcing her arms over her head.
“Ssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhh! Don’t scream, it’s me, T-Bone,” the figure consoled her, his voice warm and soothing.
Felina slowly controlled her ragged breathing and thumping heart as T-Bone slowly removed his paw from her mouth.
“Kat’s Alive! What are you doing here?” she hissed as she sat up in bed, pulling her comforter up to her scantly clothed chest.
Razor switched on her lamp.
“Callie’s been katnapped,” he informed her bluntly, his arms folded across his chest.
“What?” Felina hissed incredulously, staring at the both of them in disbelief.
“Do you know who she was with this evening?” T-Bone asked her, stepping back beside Razor.
“Uhhhh, she was with Lieutenant Paul Cummings,” she stuttered as she dragged her comforter from her bed and wrapped it around her.
“Before she was cut off, she said that she let HIM take her into the park woods, and that she knew who that sorcerer guy was from the museum,” Razor informed her, his voice still icy in tone.
“You think Lt. Cummings katnapped her?” she inquired as she walked into her walk-in closet, halfway shutting the door.
“Yes,” T-Bone answered bluntly.
Felina emerged from her closet with an enforcer sweatshirt on with a pair of worn jeans. “When did this happen?” she growled as she sat on her bed and pulled on her socks.
“Not even 20 minutes ago,” Razor answered angrily. “We couldn’t even reach her in time.”
Felina quickly tied her sneakers and stood up. “Well, let’s not waste time; we should go get my uncle now,” she ordered as she grabbed her blaster and its holder that she snapped on her waist.
“We’ll take you in the TurboKat,” T-Bone offered as he opened the window.
Felina stood in front of the window, with her hands on her hips as she watched Razor zip up towards the roof as his grappler pulled him up.
T-Bone offered her his paw as soon as his grappler was lodged firmly on the roof.
Felina took a hold of his paw and held on to his neck. “I can’t believe you’re so willing to get my Uncle involved,” she mumbled in T-Bone’s ear as they were pulled up towards the roof.
Within seconds, they reached the roof, and Razor helped her up from the ledge.
“This isn’t a time to let rivalry to get in the way,” T-Bone growled as he jumped up into the cockpit and fired up the TurboKat.
Felina was in shock; she’d never seen T-Bone or Razor so dead serious before.
“There’s something you’re not telling me,” she demanded as she joined Razor in his seat.
They shot off into the air before the canopy could even shut.
“We found her blood splattered on a boulder in the park,” Razor choked as he massaged the pressure point in-between his eyes.
Felina sat back against Razor’s shoulder in shock. “Was there anything else?” she managed to speak after a moment of uneasy silence.
Wordlessly, T-Bone handed back Callie’s ripped red scarf that was covered in big stains of crimson.
Feral quickly unlocked his office and turned on his light, with Felina and the Swat Kats following immediately behind.
“I don’t believe this!” he seethed as he grabbed his phone and dialed for the sergeant on duty. “I want every available patrol car, chopper and officer out to sweep the city for Lt. Paul Cummings now! He is armed and extremely dangerous; he has in his custody Deputy Mayor Calico Briggs, who is presumably injured; proceed with all caution. I want this to be accomplished in no less than a few minutes, Sergeant; I’ll be down shortly to join in the search, so have my chopper ready.” He slammed the phone down on its receiver, and leaned heavily upon his desk with his hugs paws. He looked up at the T-Bone and Razor expectantly. “You’ll be joining to search I take it?” he presumed.
“Yes,” Razor answered firmly.
Feral nodded in acceptance. “I thought so. What area will you be searching?”
“Whatever area that you need covered,” Razor informed him.
Feral pulled out a map from a desk drawer and spread it out on his desk. “Here’s the plan…”
10:30 p.m Enforcer Headquarters.
A young lieutenant walked in to Feral’s office and saluted. “Sir, the Swat Kats and Lt. Feral are here for their report.”
Feral rubbed his blood shot eyes. “Send them in.”
A clearly tired, yet stubborn Razor, T-Bone, and Felina walked in.
“Find anything?” Feral growled as he stood up from his desk.
“No Uncle, we scanned over our designated areas several times but there was no sign of her or Cummings.”
Feral’s growl grew deep and menacing as he rubbed his head wearily. “Oh, this is just brilliant. Over 26 hours have passed since her abduction, and we haven’t even got a ransom.”
Felina sat down in one of the office chairs while Razor wandered over to Feral’s huge office window while T-Bone leaned against the back of the other office chair.
“Well, we know for sure that Cummings isn’t planning on returning to his residence due to the fact that his house is completely deprived of his belongings,” Felina mused as she tried to work over the few facts they had, trying to make a connection that would lead to a bigger clue.
“It was undoubtedly premeditated,” T-Bone added, staring unfocused at the floor.
No one spoke for a couple of seemingly lengthened minutes as they were all lost in their individual thoughts.
Razor continued to stare out of the window at the city night life with unseeing eyes as his mind tirelessly played over the events of the last 24 hours. Everything around him grew blurry and distant as he drifted farther back far into his unconsciousness. Scenes of the forest flashed across his sight, and the last desperate words Callie had spoken to them echoed hauntingly in his mind. Then the memory of their encounter at the museum came into play like a silent black and white movie. The sorcerer… the amulet….. Callie……. His rich amber eyes grew wide with sudden realization.
“The amulet……” he mused loudly, making Feral, Felina and T-Bone to look over at him in surprise.
“What about it?” Feral asked, curious to what Razor was talking about.
Razor looked over at them sharply. “The sorcerer was after the amulet that night and tried to capture Ms. Briggs with one of the pterodactyls. Dr. Sinian said that that amulet has incomprehensible powers that it would grant its wielder the powers of the Egyptian gods. Callie, before she was cut off, said she knew who the sorcerer was. The sorcerer could very well be Cummings. And, if we find out what the history is behind the amulet…”
“It might help us figure out what Cummings would want with Callie and the amulet together,” Felina finished his thought, smiling.
T-Bone stood up straight, stretching out his back, “I’m surprised that didn’t come to us sooner.”
MegaKat Museum of History.
“Aha! Here it is,” Abi announced as she pulled out an ancient book from a shelf. She brought it over to the desk and blew off its dusty cover, revealing worn images of gold paint, silver and leather of prehistoric hieroglyphics written long ago before the pharaohs.
T-Bone and Razor, along with Feral and Felina, gathered around Abi as she carefully opened the book, revealing tainted, time worn pages filled with the elaborate yet, little known hieroglyphics.
“From what I have been able to decipher, this book describes the beginning of time, when the gods came into existence and were given their various appointments and powers. To make a long story short, each god, in its own right, possessed a power greater than the other and so an embittered suspicion of each other provoked wars and unrest. It is said that a young, yet wise kat was elected by all of the tribes to represent their plea for unity and peace. This young kat approached the gods with respect and humility. He shrewdly addressed the pleas of katkind to the gods and listened to their angered reputes they conducted among themselves. Acknowledging this ancient problem, he advised that a covenant should be made among them, and amazingly, the gods complied. As a result, a pure stone of flawless beauty from the earth was chosen to conceal small yet powerful portions of power from each god, which allowed a harmonious balance between the gods and their peoples. Thus, the powerful nation of Egypt was born. As time passed, the high priest of the temple was anointed with the safekeeping of the amulet, for if it fell into the wrong hands, the gods would be awakened from their slumber, and their embittered hatred for one another renewed, which would result…..”
“…In the destruction of the world as we know it?” T-Bone finished as he looked at Abi quizzically.
“Why yes, how did you know?” Abi inquired as she flipped through the book’s pages.
T-Bone shrugged. “I didn’t, but that always seems to be the case.”
“But, not just any normal kat could resurface these powers unless they knew the language of the gods,” Razor commented, looking from the amulet that lay on the table back over to the open book.
“Yes, that’s right, no trace at all has been found of the language… The Egyptians viewed the language as sacred and saw speaking it as an unforgivable sin. If it was spoken by anyone not appointed by the gods themselves, they would be placed in an eternal Egyptian predestination.”
“Is that where a spirit cannot enter into ‘heaven’ or into ‘hell’; they just kind of float about on the earth?” Felina asked, trying to remember if her memory on the beliefs of the different world religions was correct.
“Yes, exactly, they wouldn’t enter into the afterlife; they would be a cursed spirit for all of eternity.”
“Now that sorcerer was able to command the amulet, so all of those spells he was yelling out were spoken in that forbidden language of the gods?” T-Bone queried, still trying to make some sense of it all.
“Yes, they were,” Abi answered worriedly.
“But, how would anyone from this century learn to speak this language if no trace of it has been found?” Felina wondered out loud.
Razor shook his head as he looked again at the amulet. “He had help, that’s how. He had help from the Pastmaster.”
“How can you be sure it’s the Pastmaster?” Felina asked, looking from Razor, to Abi.
“He’s the only guy we know that is crooked enough to do something like this, let alone able to speak this language. He could have traveled back into time and learned the language of the gods himself, and then could have taught his accomplice,” Razor explained.
“But, why would they trouble with katnapping Callie if all they needed was the amulet?” Feral spoke up.
“Maybe because old Pastie is going to try to get her to marry him again or maybe he’s using her for leverage to get the amulet, who knows?” T-Bone reasoned.
Abi flipped through the book eagerly, as if she were looking for something. “I think the answer for Callie’s abduction might be here. Aha! Here it is.”
Abi placed the book once again on the table and pointed out a passage that was decorated with curious images of a huge gate that seemed to shut out the swirling celestial bodies of the universe that were decorated with sapphire blue ink and silver stars and spirals. “It is said here that the amulet can open the gates of the universe, or in other words, grant the wielder of the amulet with the power of the gods, with an additional sacrifice or key.”
All five of them looked at each other in alarm as everything fell into place.
“Callie’s the key,” Razor barely managed to breathe.
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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.