Title: Last Life
Warnings: Brief mentions of blood.
Disclaimer:SWAT Kats belong to Hanna-Barbera, and Joanna belongs to me.
There’s an old legend that says a cat has nine lives. But, is it true for kats? Do they really have nine lives? Most kats don’t live long enough to figure out that they really do have nine lives. But, others, they live life to the full and live each life protecting and saving the ones they care for. One question remains, what happens when you’re on your last life?
Dark gray rain clouds brought a promise of rain for the scorched city. Already there was a fresh, cool smelling breeze blowing through the air. Yet, the air felt like danger, like lightning.
A sleek black and red jet soared through the air with Hard Drive hot on its tail. His blue and gray jet was firing missiles nonstop at the TurboKat. It had been years since Hard Drive had tried taking out the SWAT Kats in his own jet, and he was having success. One of the engines on the SWAT Kats’ jet was smoking, and the glass over the canopy was broken.
“Razor, nothing will respond!” T-Bone shouted as another missile struck their jet.
Razor cringed at what was happening. It seemed he could hear Hard Drive cackling in his scarred ears. Clouds started to turn into buildings as they lost altitude. Quickly thinking, he pushed in a code, hoping it would work.
“Bingo!” Razor yowled in triumph as everything in the jet came back to life and it leveled out.
The two had escaped death once again. Hard Drive still stayed hot on their tails, still firing missiles. His jet shook as an Octopus Missile struck the wing. He was now losing altitude and heading straight towards MegaKat Park.
Lightning cracked through the air. The sky lit up with an eerie glow as more lightning split the clouds. Thunder clapped loudly and shook the ground. Another mighty strike of lightning escaped from the clouds and struck the TurboKat.
“Razor, we’re going down!” T-Bone screeched as the jet instantly went into a nose dive.
That sickening feeling returned as thunder seemed to laugh as the TurboKat dove towards a building. Razor ducked his head, hoping to get some protection from the impact.
The side of the building shattered. An electrical wire showered sparks everywhere. Small flames started to lick at the side of the building. Many barrels of gas sat in a corner. The flames started to creep closer. A deafening explosion sounded throughout the burning building as a single flame hit the barrels and lit them up like sparklers.
Both SWAT Kats were thrown from the jet on impact. Razor had landed against some large metal beams stacked on top of each other. T-Bone had been thrown against a pile of cement bags.
Razor barely opened his eyes. Quickly, his eyes darted back and forth, looking for T-Bone. Painfully, he tried to move himself forward but found he couldn’t. His shoulder had a huge cut over it and was bleeding very badly. The smoke started to thicken, but the fire stayed close to the open side of the building. Coughing, Razor yelled.
But, the sounds of fire crackling drowned out his voice.
T-Bone moaned. His ears twitched then he lifted his head. Thick smoke made it almost impossible to see. The burly tom kat pushed himself up and growled as stinging pain shot through his right arm. He leaned up against the cement bags and yelled into the smoke.
“Razor! Where are ya, bud?!”
But, just like Razor’s yell, it was lost in the smoke.
Razor heard crackling above his head. He looked up and saw that the beams were being chewed by the fire. A beam cracked and started to fall. The small tom kat shielded his head and face as the beam came crashing down. Pain shot all up his back and then the world went black.
T-Bone looked up at the beams that were starting to fall. Crackling came from the beam above him, and it started to fall. He ducked his head and raised his left arm to help protect himself. A dead weight landed on his back, and everything went black.
Razor blinked open his eyes. He was no longer in the burning warehouse. It was nothing like he’d ever seen. The sky was covered with pure white clouds, and the dirt below him was so soft and fine. The air smelled sweet and crisp like mint, and the faint sound of a babbling stream just added to the beauty.
“Where in the world am I?” Razor asked himself quietly as he pushed himself up off of the soft ground.
“Heaven? No. Once you’re dead you’re dead. No heaven or hell. Then where in the world am I?” T-Bone quietly asked himself these questions as he wondered around the quiet meadow.
“T-Bone?” Razor walked up beside the burly tom kat.
“Razor, where in the world are we?” T-Bone whispered quietly.
“You’re in my world,” a soft voice answered.
Both tom kats turned around. There a tall, lean she-kat stood. Her fur was snow white. Stripes black as night wrapped around her torso, arms, and legs. A black stripe ran from her nose almost to the tip of her tufted tail. A silver and bronze ring separated the smooth fur on her tail and the tuft at the end. The tufted end looked like it had been dipped in ink black as a crow’s feather. Her ears had long tufts, resembling a lynx’s, that were blacker than a raven’s eye. Long, silver and black hair reached down to her waist. Her eyes were a silvery blue-green color while her nose was pink as a salmon. The she-kat’s clothes resembled different cultures. Her short white and gold skirt was Egyptian while her short top was Indian. The silver and bronze jewelry she wore around her upper arms, forearms, tail, and ankles were Chinese. The bronze head piece she wore that had a black feather trailing down to her nose was Native American.
“Where are we?” Razor asked the she-kat.
“Like I said, you’re in my world.” The she-kat walked forward. “I’m the one who gives all kats their nine lives. You may call me Joanna.”
“What are we doing here?” T-Bone questioned, though not raising his voice.
“It pains me to tell you that you two have just lost your eighth life.” Joanna lowered her head. “When a kat loses their eighth life, they come to my world so I can inform them of it. But, sadly, very few kats ever make it to their eighth life. But others,” Joanna lifted her head with a smile on her face, “they live life to the full. They don’t get sick, and they don’t grow old.”
“Well, the growing old thing’s not really our fault,” Razor admitted. “After we took care of Zed, the Pastmaster showed up and goofed something up, and then we realized that it’d be impossible for us to grow old.”
“Yes, I know,” Joanna purred. “You two are worthy of being able to never age and never die. But, you two didn’t take that for granted. You lived every day in your life protecting Felinus.” Joanna smiled at T-Bone. “And, other worlds. Other universes even.”
“I guess it’s in our blood to protect,” T-Bone answered.
“And, you two should live ‘til the end of time protecting the ones you love and the many others,” Joanna’s face darkened. “But, you two are on your ninth life now. If you get killed, you’re dead for good.”
Both SWAT Kats were silent. They now understood why they lived through so many things. But now, they were on their last life and would have to be extra careful.
“When you wake up back in the warehouse, the wounds that killed you two will be gone and your burns will be gone.” Joanna turned and walked into the dark forest.
Razor opened his eyes and realized that he was back in the warehouse. Flames were still licking at the ceiling. Thick smoke made the air dark and hard to breathe. Then he heard the faint but distinctive sound of fire trucks. A sigh of relief escaped his lips when he heard firefighters start to break through the rubble. But, the thought of being on his last life lingered in the back of his mind.
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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.