CHAPTER : 1
The rain falls down in tremendous waves, threatening to flood the city completely. The occasional car drives down the street, but a single woman runs though the rain, carrying a newspaper over her head as she hurries along.
Tippity-tippity-tap…. tippity-tap tippity-tap.
“Stupid stinking weather!” she grumbled.
I lisssten to the rain fall down.
“Stupid stinking rain!” The woman grumbled as she looked both ways down the street before bolting across the road. “I hate it. I just hate—!”
I lisssten to the people — running like the ratsss they are.
As the woman crossed the street, a rather large and overweight rat scampered out from under the nearby sewer cover and right in front of her; the quick movement of it startled her so that she jumped back…..
“What the–?!” she cried out.
…And slipped in a puddle, falling right over.
“Oww!” she cried out as she hit the ground.
They all fall down.
She just lay there, in the water, fuming with rage, her papers scattered beside her along with her purse, her clothes now completely soaking wet.
“Stinking rat,” she hissed, slowly getting up. She looked over to see the rat sitting there, watching her, almost as if it were laughing at her misfortune. Growling, she reached into her bag for her pocket knife. “Come here, you little shit!” she hissed, crawling forward.
She gasped as she felt something grab her foot. She spun around to see what looked like a green scaly paw holding onto her foot. She slashed at it with her knife, but did nothing to affect it. She was pulled, screaming and clawing into the sewer hole. After she disappeared, the paw reached up and pulled the lid back into place, leaving only a handbag as evidence she was ever there.
KRACK – A – DOOOOOOOOM!!!!
They are ssso ssstrange, the onesss that live up there. Look at thisss one, with — her funny cllothesss and sssweet sssmell.
In the darkness of the sewers, the she-kat stirred; she had been knocked out, but was now coming to.
I don’t remember how — they do that, make themssselvesss sssmell like that — like —-
The she-kat looked around, taking in the darkness of the damp, smelly sewers. She sniffed the air, and wrinkled her nose in disgust as she took in the smell of rats, month old food rotting somewhere near, mixed in with urine and feces. She covered her nose with her jacket. The stench was overpowering.
Perfume. I think that’sss what they call it. A masssk in a bottle. Not a very good — masssk.
The she kat heard the splashing of water and turned her ears in their direction. “W-who’s there?” she called out.
Ssshe’sss jussst like all of them up there — underneath the sssweet sssmell isss a — ssstink worssse than mine — But, oh, how they like to pretend they’re better than me.
The She-kat then saw the figure in the darkness, approaching her. “Who’s—?” she started to say, but was cut off.
It’s becaussse of them — that I have to hide down here.
“Oh, my god!” she whispered.
Them — and their funny clothesss and their sssweet sssmellsss.
The figure stepped into the light. It was a cross between a kat and a lizard with dagger-like white teeth.
“My name isss Viper!” he said as he reached out with his scaly claws.
Hehheh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.
The room is dark, forbidding, and contains a musty old smell, like an abandoned attic that you finally decided to visit.
….and time again…..
Walking up those old creaking steps, one step at a time, not too sure you should be doing this.
….I am denied.
You open that old, wooden trap door and courteously peer inside.
You flick on the light, and reveal the room to your eyes. It’s old — very old — and it smells of mothballs. The only window to the attic is covered over with an inch layer of dust that does not let light into the room.
It’s so unfair.
When you finally discover there’s a light switch, you turn it on, revealing the whole room in wonderful light. And you realize, it’s not so scary.
The figure in the small purple cap slowly looks into the mirror, at his own face.
Then, you spy something that shouldn’t be there — and you scream.
The figure looked at his own skull-like face. One eye with decaying skin, free of fur, and dagger like teeth. He looked at his face for a few moments before scrunching up his fists, and, with a yell, smashed the mirror.
The Pastmaster scowls as he turns around and walks away, into another room. The room he walks into is huge, like the inside of a pyramid, with countless torches lining the edges of the room. Titanic pillars reach up to the ceiling, casting long shadows over the room. In the center of the room, is a raised platform with four torches in each corner and a throne in the center. The Pastmaster crosses the room and climbs into his chair and slumps down.
Can I ever know true happiness?
He sits there, his mind floating back to an age of happiness, an age of warfare, an age of long ago.
“Adrian?!” He looked up from his digging to see a she-kat racing towards him. She was about 5.9 with light tan fur, blond hair, and a quiet little dimple in her right cheek. She wore a pink dress that hardly showed her lovely feet.
“Calista!” he cried out. She smiled and waved at him. He dropped the shovel and ran towards her, catching her in his arms. “Calista, my love,” he cried out, as he encircled her waist with his arms and lifted her of the ground. “What brings you here?”
She leaned down and kissed him on the lips, not breaking for five seconds.
“Do I need an excuse to see you, my love?” she said, encircling his neck with her paws to play with his long blond hair.
“Well,” he said, “you after all, next in line for the throne, aren’t you?” He paused, then slowly pronounced it. “Queen Calista?”
She smiled back at him. “Not yet,” she said, “not while my father is still on the throne. I’m Princess, thank you.”
He nosed at her nose, making her giggle. “You’ll always be my princess, Calista,” he said, lowering her to the ground, “always.”
The Pastmaster sighed and looked over at the other side of the room where a huge fifteen foot tall painting of Calista hung. He looked over at it, or rather, at her her stunning beauty, her beautiful hair, and that devilishly soft tail.
The Pastmaster turned away, a single tear slowly trickling down his left cheek.
MEGAKAT CITY CEMETERY…..
A small crowd was gathered around a dark black coffin that was slick with rain. All the kats around it were dressed in black, holding umbrellas. The priest had a small portable beach umbrella over him as he spoke.
“The lord giveth, and the lord taketh away. We are here today to bid farewell to Enforcer Sergeant Adam Townshead, who has unfortunately had his life taken away by those unknown to God.”
Chance looked over at the weeping she-kat who was resting her head on the shoulder of her brother, his best friend, Jake Clawson. Jake had a forlorn expression on his face also. Chance looked to his left to see Commander Feral standing there as well, without his stone granite look. Chance frowned as he looked over at Feral, standing there, and realized that, for the first time he’d seen him, Feral looked like a normal person.
What a waste.
Chance turned back to look at the photograph on top of the coffin, of Adam, dressed in full Enforcer uniform, smiling cheerfully without a care in the world. Now, he would never show that smile — to anyone –again. Chance lowered his gaze to his feet and scrunched up his face.
Why did it have to be Adam?
Adam wasn’t exactly the typical husband. Sometimes, he’d heard Kathy say that he loved the Enforcers more than her, and he also had a bad gambling problem. But, when he tired, he could be a damn good husband and everybody knew that.
Why must the innocent suffer?
Chance looked up and Jake, wondering what he was thinking. The same thing probably. Chance then turned back to the coffin and tuned out the priest, the rain, and the crying and waited for the ceremony to finish.
The ceremony finished about an hour and a half later, with everybody offering their condolences to Kathy before leaving. Chance watched the last of the guest leave before he turned back to Jake and Kathy, standing beside the grave as the diggers were placing dirt into the hole. Kathy had finally stopped crying, but she was still leaning against Jake’s shoulder.
“Will you be all right to get home, Kathy?” Jake asked.
Kathy nodded. “I’ll be *sniff* all right, Jake,” she said. “I just want to be alone with Adam for a while.”
Jake nodded and let go of her and turned to walk away. “If you need anything, Chance and I will be here for you.”
She nodded, and Jake headed over to Chance.
“How’s she doing?” Chance asked the moment Jake was beside him.
“Okay,” he said. “She’s taking this pretty hard though. I just don’t like to leave her alone at this point in time.”
Chance placed a paw on his friend’s shoulder.
“Cheer up man,” he said, “Kathy’s a big girl now, she can handle herself.”
Jake turned back to Kathy standing there by the grave.
“I guess you’re right, buddy, but — I -i-i-i—” Jake screwed up his fists in frustration before he just let them down by his side and breathed a sigh of frustration. “I don’t know Chance,” he said in annoyance. “This isn’t fair; Adam shouldn’t be here…”
Chance held up his paw to silence Jake.
“Jake, we all loved Adam, but there’s nothing we could do about it. He was my friend, he was your brother in law. But, Adam knew what he was doing when he joined the Enforcers, heck, so did we!”
They started walking again.
“But you can’t change the past – what’s done is done,” he lowered his voice, speaking softer, “and we’ll just have to try and live with it.”
They both walked in silence towards the tow truck.
His face! Ugly! Lord save me! Don’t look! Mommy, why is his face–! Don’t look! My God! Hideous!
The inky blackness of the sewers hides many things —
Scarred! Disfigured! Horrible! Tortured!
—- however, some things stick out from others.
“Sssilence!” Yellow eyes glowed in the darkness, white teeth illuminated with a horrible eerie shine. A snake-like tongue constantly flickering, along with a thick green scaly tail. Sharp black claws tapped on the cold concert floor.
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick!
The figure hissed before turning back to his table, where there were a number of multi-colored bottles with all kinds of chemicals in them.
His Face! His face! HIS FACE! His face!
“I sssaid, Sssilence!” Viper growled once more, whipping around, glaring at the dozen or so captives all trapped behind him. They were all covered in some sort of fungi, which was clinging to the walls and ceiling. The kats trapped inside them were barely conscious, giving off slight movements of their heads and paws.
My God! How horrible! Terrifying!
“Ssstop it!” Viper hissed. “Why? Why do you curssse me?! All I want is your sssilence. I could kill you all if I choossse!”
“We haven’t said a word,” a voice moaned.
Viper spun around to see a she-kat and her child pinned against the wall, the child more awake than the mother.
“Liar!” Viper hissed in her face. “Look at me and tell me what you see!” He reached for her face, but she spun away.
“No!” she cried out. “I can’t look, please, don’t —” Viper grabbed her face, and spun it around to face him. She gave out a soft moan.
“Mom?” The child asked. Viper let go of her face, and scoffed at her.
“You make me sssick!” He hissed.
“Please, don’t hurt my child,” the she-kat moaned.
Viper ignored her.
“You think you’re ssso good, don’t you, with your sssmellsss, and your clothesss, and your — appearancessss. That’sss why I must eliminate you, and your kind!”
“I haven’t… said… a… word,” she moaned.
“I?” Viper hissed with laughter. “Sssuch a pity. You look like an angel.” His grin turned into a sneer, revealing more of his sharp white teeth. He reached out and clamped his scaly claws over her face. Her eyes widened with terror, staring right at him. “Oh? Now, you can look me in the face,” Viper hissed. “Can you see the truth?”
“Mmmngh!” she managed.
Viper hissed with laughter. “No!” With that, he jerked her head to the right so sharply, that the sewers echoed with the crack that followed. “Your kind isss alwaysss blind! Hypocrite! I only pray that if HE doesss exissst, that he forgivesss you too.” He then pushed the head deep into the slime-like moss that covered the wall and turned to the kitten.
Viper saw the child was looking directly into his eyes.
“Your mother isss in a better place now!” Viper hissed. “But you – you looked directly at me! You aren’t afraid of me! Maybe there’s hope for your ssspeciesss yet.” Viper reached up and sliced away at the fungi, cutting the child lose and cradling him in his arms.
“I want my mom,” the child whispered.
“Husssh, little one,” Viper crooned, “Forget your passst, and embrasssss your future.” He hugged the child close to his chest. The child did not resist.
“Do you believe in God?”
“I don’t know, Calista. I mean, there’s gotta be something out there, beyond the heavens. I just don’t know.”
“Do you think he’s watching us? At this very moment?”
“If he is, let’s give him something to watch.” Adrian leaned over at kissed Calista deeply, rolling over on his side so that he could cradle her chin.
“Adrian…” she whispered as he broke away. “I love you….”
The Pastmaster sighed as he slumped in his chair.
…I love you too.
The Pastmaster cradled his watch in one paw, looking at it.
“Why Adrian, why?!”
Adrian smiled as he held up the watch.
“Because, my dear,” he said, “It was the only way you could become Queen!”
Calista reared back in shock. “BY KILLING MY FATHER??!!!!”
“Yes! By killing that old fool, you can take what rightfully belongs to you, my dear, and you and I can both rule this land together.”
“Adrian — h-how could you!!!”
“It was simple, my dear. I just stabbed the old goat in his heart, and blood loss did the rest.”
“Adrian! That watch has changed you! I-I can’t marry a murderer!”
The Pastmaster growled in frustration as he clasped the watch in his paws.
“You can marry me, Calista – you must!” He grabbed Calista by both her arms and brought her to his lips.
Calista spat in his face, and raised both her paws. They glowed bright red before Adrian was blasted away from her and went flying into a tree.
“GET AWAY FROM ME, ADRIAN!!!!” she cried out.
Adrian slowly clambered to his feet and wiped a trickle of blood away from his mouth.
“You can’t kill me, Calista,” Adrian said with a smile, “So why don’t you just marry me!”
Calista sighed, and lowered her gaze. “My Adrian is already dead,” she said softly. “You — I don’t know who you are. You’re just a murdering savage.”
“You can’t escape me, Calista! You will be mine!”
Calista raised her amulet, and the whole world glowed around him.
“I hereby banish you to the furthermost edges of the realm. Good-bye, Adrian.”
The Pastmaster blinked away another tear. He’d had it all – happiness, a future wife, and a possible role as a prince. Now, here he was, with nothing. Nothing. He got up out of his chair and walked over to the painting and walked right up to it.
He placed a single paw on it.
He lowered his gaze to the floor and pounded on the painting with frustration.
The sins of the past never die.
MEGAKAT CITY SALVAGE YARD…..
Chance and Jake both sat around the breakfast table, both still in their black suits. Chance had his head resting in his paws, while Jake had covered his eyes with both his paws, resting his elbows on the table.
I can’t believe that Adam’s really gone.
Jake wasn’t moving and didn’t show any sings of moving for quite a while.
“Jake, I’m gonna watch some TV, you wanna come?”
Jake just shook his head. “No thanks, you go ahead.”
Chance nodded and, taking off his black jacket and tie, he sat down on the couch and turned on the TV.
“…was the end result,” Ann just finished whatever she was saying before. “Our top story tonight, forty-five kats have been reported missing all over the city. These kats seem to have nothing in common, although they lived rather close to the areas of the kidnaping. Commander Feral, who was attending the funeral of former Enforcer Adam Townshead, made no comment over this issue, and stated that Enforcers were doing all they could to find the missing people….”
“…Five are dead after a semi-trailer slammed into a bus carrying fifteen people heading for a soccer match at Megakat City park. The driver of the semi-trailer was reported to have been drunk while he was driving…..”
“…..The dollar slid another five points today. The treasurer made no comment on the issue, saying that the government was trying its best to help the dollar regain its strength….”
Chance lowered the remote and sighed.
This just seems to be a bad news day.
Monster! Cruel! Evil! Ugly! Face! His face!
“SSSTOP! Ssstop it!” Viper clamped his paws over his ears, trying to ignore the sounds coming from the walls and ceiling. “Why? Why won’t they stop cursing me?!”
“No!” Viper cried out and swung his tail at the kat who’d said that. It connected with a wet slap. The kat was silent. “It isss YOU who are evil. You who choossse not to sssee me for who I am.” He held up a glass tube in one paw, and looked at its purple liquid contents. “But, all that will change. Onccce I have acquired all the chemicalsss I need, I will no longer be afraid of you.”
Viper turned back to his lab table, where the child sat. “What isss it, my child?”
“My face feels funny….”
Viper stroked the boy’s hair. “Hussh, child,” he said, “It’sss all for the better. Trussst me, you’ll be a new kat in no time.” The boy raised his paw to his face, but Viper lowered it again. “Don’t,” he said. “It’ll only make it worse.”
Viper hissed, low and long, and spun around to face the rest stuck to the wall. “You are all failures. You have not been the successes I have hoped for.” He grabbed a few papers and stuffed them into a brown faded backpack. “Come, my child, we must leave this place.” He then slung the pack over his shoulder and grabbed the kid off the table. “We must leave, find a new lair, to begin again. Hopefully, we’ll be sssuccesssssful this time.” He looked back at the kats, all trapped there. “Maybe we can create a better world – one that will erase the sins of the past.”
As he reached the door, he pulled out two test tubes. One contained a red colored liquid, the other was blue.
He shook both of them up and threw them back into his lab.
They smashed open on the floor to where the chemicals were mixed together.
They then began to bubble and hiss, and pop.
My G —-
CHAPTER : 2
“What’s the body count?”
“Twelve, sir. Another fifteen are still alive — but all are disfigured badly.”
“Do we know how many are unaccounted for?”
“Not yet. Be another six to seven hours till we sift through this garbage.”
Steel sat on the car bonnet, eating a pizza. Behind him, Feral just stood there, an angry glare on his face as he stood looking at the blazing hole in the road. All around people stood with Enforcers, fire department, and news crews.
Steel continued. “Some of the victims are giving information. Seems that this is the work of our old friend, Dr. Viper.”
Feral just shook his head. “Do they know where he went?”
Steel shook his head, and took another bite out of his pizza. “Took some kid with him and took off.” He swallowed that mouthful. “Well, that’s what the junkie said.”
“God, how many sickos are there in this city?”
Steel put down a slice and looked at the burning fire. “Way too many, sir,” he said.
Feral just snorted. “Lucky us, huh?”
Steel nodded. “These psycho’s are getting way too far out of our league.”
Feral nodded. “Where’re the so-called heroes – the SWAT Kats? Too scared to come out and help clean up this mess they made.”
Steel took another bite out of his pizza. “Seems everyone’s a flaming lunatic these days!”
The rain poured down on the city from the heavens, threatening to wash it away. Lightning flashed and thunder roared.
KRACK A —
A bolt of purple lightning flashed and exploded on a rooftop, sending sparks everywhere.
The Pastmaster stood there, in the rain, cloak billowing around him, water running down his skull-like face.
The Pastmaster looked around and spied what he came here for.
He looked in the window at the she-kat that sat at the table there.
He watched as Callie got up and walked over to her phone.
He leaned closer, staring at her. He knew she wasn’t Calista, but she was her ancestor, and that was Calista to him. He then saw her reach into her purse and pull out a triangular looking device and press a button on it.
Suddenly, she looked out the window, directly at HIM.
“NO!!” he cried out and quickly ducked out of sight. He stood behind a chimney, breathing heavily. “No, she mustn’t see me. Not yet.”
Chance was busy working on the Turbo-kat engine, when the alarm went off. He slammed the bonnet closed and jumped down from the jet. He walked over to the phone and picked it up.
“What’s the problem, Ms. Briggs.” There was no answer. “Ms. Briggs?” Still no answer. “Ms. Briggs? Are you there?”
“What?! Oh, sorry, T Bone, I just — was distracted by something.” Callie said.
“So, what’s up?”
“I just got a call from Commander Feral – it seems that they’ve found all those missing people.”
“Oh yeah, I heard about that on the news,” Chance said.
“There’s a problem, T Bone.” Callie said. “Twelve are dead, the remaining fifteen are seriously wounded, but….” She trailed off.
“But?” Chance asked.
“They’ve been scarred, but they don’t think that it was the explosion.”
“Then what?” Chance asked.
“They’ve been mutated.”
Chance’s face twisted into a snarl. “Viper,” he growled.
“Looks like it,” Callie said. “That’s what Commander Feral said.”
“Don’t worry, Ms. Briggs,” Chance said. “We’ll bring him in!” He then hung up and climbed the ladder to get Jake.
Jake was still sitting at the table when Chance came up. “What is it?” he asked as Chance burst into the kitchen.
Chance tossed him his Razor uniform.
“Viper,” he said. “He’s gone on a killing spree. So far, there’s twelve dead.”
“What?!” Jake cried out. “Why?!”
Chance shrugged. “It’s Viper – do you really need to ask?”
They both got dressed, and headed down to the hanger, where they boarded the Turbo-kat and blasted off into the night sky.
With his one good eye, the Pastmaster watched as Callie left her apartment and hailed a cab.
Once, you were mine forever and ever….
The Pastmaster watched her there, trying to hail a cab that ignored her.
….and now, never more.
Down on the street, Callie looked through the rain and saw a cab.
“TAXI!!” she called out. “Taxi!!” The car came closer. “Tax—!”
“URRGGH!!” She was soaked from head to toe in water as the cab drove through a puddle. “Jerk!” she called out. “I guess I’m walking.” She then started to head off down the street, with a newspaper above her head, looking for any signs of a cab.
“Oooo, I think I’m gonna die! I never seen anyone in a shirt that tight!”
Callie looked around to see two macho looking kats standing under a bus shelter. They both wore jogging gear and had their eyes on Callie.
“Yeah,” the other one agreed, “And that blond hair! Hey tight shirt — come and show us your blond hair!”
Callie frowned at them. “There’s an old Latin phrase that applies perfectly to this situation.” Callie said. “…Maybe you’ve heard it —” She then raised her fist with a single middle finger pointing towards the heavens. “GET STUFFED!!!”
The kats both frowned.
Now, that was smart.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CITY….
Joey Xander was the biggest street snitch you could find. He’d sing for hours if you paid him enough.
“All right! All right!” he said, holding the test tube up to his nose. “Come to daddy, you beautiful Speed you. Show me how to feel good. C’mon now, here we go!” He giggled to himself as he placed one finger over his nose and raised the tube to his open nostril.
“Planing on having some fun, Joe?”
Joey looked up, and saw a SWAT Kat standing right in front of him. He looked around and saw his apartment window wide open.
“H-how did y—”
T Bone picked him up and slammed him against the wall.
“I want answers, Joey,” he said, snatching the tube away from him. “And, I want them now!”
Joey reached for the tube with all his might, but couldn’t get it.
“Gimme my Speed man, come on, I need it!”
T Bone shook his head. “What you give me determines whether or not I give this back to you.”
Joey looked on in horror as T Bone slowly began to tilt the tube over so it would fall out.
“Now, here’s the plan – everyone’s pointed us in your direction tonight. They say that you’ve recently done some deliveries for Doc Viper and might know where he’s holed up.” He leaned closer to Xander. “I don’t like the word ‘might’ Xander.” He then walked over to the windowsill. “So, if you tell me what I need to know, there’s a good chance you can have some dessert.” He began to tilt it out the window. “Now, be a good little boy.”
Xander watched as his Speed was about to go out the window. He’d paid top dollar for that stuff, and he wasn’t gonna see it go to waste.
“Okay, okay!” he cried out. “I’ll tell, I’ll tell, just don’t spill any of that stuff. It’s expensive, ya know.”
ONE QUICK CONFESSION LATER……
T Bone smiled as he let Xander fall to the ground.
“Thanks for the info,” he said. Then, raised his Gloveatrix and fired a burst of cement slugs at Xander’s feet. Xander tugged at them, but couldn’t move. “They’ll break down in an hour or two,” T Bone said, as he headed over for the window again.
He then poured the Speed out onto the windowsill the moment he and Razor were outside. It collected into a nice neat little pile. “After time runs out, you’re free to gather up your drugs.” He then smiled at Xander. “In the meantime, I suggest you don’t sneeze.” Then, he was gone.
Xander tried to reach for the pile, but couldn’t reach it. Suddenly, the wind picked up and began to blow it away.
“Hey, hey!” he cried out. “The wind, man! You forgot about the wind!” He watched, wide-eyed with horror as the wind swept his Speed away. “WHAT KIND OF MONSTER ARE YOU?!!!”
Up on the roof, T Bone jumped back into the cockpit to see Razor just staring out into the rain.
“Jake,” T Bone said, “I know that you’re bothered about Adam’s death, but you’ve gotta put it aside.”
Razor just sighed, and shook his head. “It’s not like that, Chance.” He said. “I mean, I’ve been thinking, about all of this.” He waved his arms around him. “Being the SWAT Kats.”
“What about it?” T Bone asked.
“Adam dead, all of those innocent civilians, dead. They all had families, Chance – every single one of them. Their families, their brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers will never see them again. And, for what reason?! They were in the wrong place at the wrong time!” Razor pounded his fist on the dashboard. “And, what can we do about it?! We just knock ’em off the streets only for a few months before they’re back out there killing and taking more innocent lives. What’s the point of being hero’s if we can’t prevent innocents from dying!!”
“Whoa, calm down Jake,” T Bone said.
“I can’t, Chance,” Razor cried out, “I mean, I know what it’s like to have a loved one cut down in the prime of their life for doing nothing whatsoever. It’s worse than sick, Chance, it’s disgusting!”
“What do you suggest we do about it?”
“Stop it from happening, ever again.”
It took a few seconds for that to stink in. T Bone spun around to blink at Razor.
“WHOA! Are you suggesting that we ice Viper?!”
Razor’s face melted into a sneer. “Yes.”
T Bone was shocked. “Whoa, Jake, this is definitely NOT you talking. Maybe you should go home.”
Razor shook his head. “No, Chance, I’m staying.”
“If you’re staying, then you’ve gotta get that vengeance mode outta your mind if I’m to let you tackle Viper! You understand me?!”
Razor didn’t say anything.
“Look, Jake, if you go after Viper with an attitude like that, you’ll end up doing something you’re going to regret! Remember what it was like when you thought you injured those civilians?”
“That was different,” Razor said.
“Like hell!” T Bone said. “You were all moping about, and you nearly got us BOTH killed.” T Bone leaned closer to Razor. “I know you, Jake Clawson, and you could never bring yourself to kill anyone, not even Viper!”
Razor never said anything.
“I’ll take that as your answer that you’re not going to do anything stupid?”
Razor sighed, and nodded.
“Good,” T Bone said and fired up the jet.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CITY….
Keep walking Callie. Don’t look back. Shut off your mind. Shut off your ears.
Callie keep walking down the street, trying to ignore the two kats who were following her.
You don’t hear their sneakers slapping the puddles. You don’t hear them giggling like chimps in heat.
Callie kept walking, but suddenly something inside her broke.
Oh, yes I do!
She then broke into a run, sprinting off down the street.
I’m outta here.
As she ran, she ran over a manhole cover, as did the two punks. A few moments after they left, it opened. Yellow eyes glared out.
Callie was in pretty good shape, and probably could’ve outrun them, but only if she hadn’t been wearing high-heeled shoes. They caught here in no time flat.
“Gotcha!!” the kat that grabbed Callie by the arm cried.
They’re ssscared. I can sssmell it. But, what are they ssscared of? Each other? NO — Sssomething elssse. I can smell it.
The one that caught Callie roughly shoved her against the brick wall.
“Okay, Ms. Blond hair, tight skirt! You’d better –”
“Hey–” One of the kats said. “What’s up with you?”
— my God!
Both kats turned around and came face to face with Viper.
“My god!” one of them whispered. Viper hissed angrily and bared his teeth.
“SSSTOP IT!!!” he cried out, and lashed out with his tail, connecting with the punk on the right. The punk was thrown into the brick wall, face first, with a sickening crunch. He slid down the wall, leaving a red smear mark. The other kat tried to run, but Viper leapt on him, hissing and snarling, and biting.
Callie could only turn away in disgust as the kat started screaming. Even when his screams turned into bloody gurgles, she refused to look. She just crouched there in the rain, feeling it soaking her to the skin.
“Look at me.”
Callie slowly looked up, at Viper who seemed to be towering over her.
“P-please,” she stammered, “Don’t kill me.” Viper traced the outline of her face with a single claw.
“You looked at me,” Viper said. He smiled, a huge toothy smile. “You’ll do.” He then grabbed Callie and slung her over his shoulder and raced back down the manhole.
Up above, on the rooftop, the Pastmaster watched with rage.
His fists balled, his teeth beard. His one eye narrowed.
No! Not again.
He then climbed down the building, and hurried to the manhole.
He then scurried down the ladder and into the sewer darkness.
MUCH TIME LATER….
In his new sewer lab, Viper looked up at the unconscious form of Callie, sticking to the walls of his slimy lab. Bookcases lined the walls with all sorts of slime covered books. Old wooden tables covered in fungi with dirty looking beakers and test tubes covered the table along with paper notes with some kind of arcane formula on them.
“I’m ssso glad that you were a sssucesss, my child,” Viper said to the kid. “You’ll be the Adam of your kind – a new breed of kats – one that will be free of hate, greed, lust, and desire.”
The kid nodded. “Yes, Doctor.”
Viper smiled, and ruffled his check fur. “Onccce I’m finissshed with you, you will be free of all those petty dissseasssesss that have plagued katkind for countlesssss centuriesss.” He then turned around to pick up a test tube of bubbling liquid off a wooden table.
Unknown to him, two shadows were lurking in the darkness.
“Soon, all of katkind will be saved!”
“Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all before.”
Viper spun around, eyes glowing. “Who daresss?!” he hissed.
The SWAT Kats stood before him, the one called T Bone cradled the kid.
“Listen up Viper,” Razor said, “I’m getting sick and tired of you sicko’s using innocent people to get at me! You’ve got a problem, then deal with me directly. Filth like you hiding behind children… killing randomly —” Razor threw his paws into the air. “WHERE DOES IT END???!!!!!”
“YOU!!!” Viper roared. “You two are the worse of them ALL!!!!” He lowered himself to all fours, his tail raised in the air, lashing like a whip and his jaws opened wide, showing all of his dagger like teeth. “You can look me in the face, and yet, you are the ones who curse me the most!!”
Razor’s’ face was plastered in shock. “What?!” he cried out. “Lord, did you even listen to a word I’ve said?!”
T Bone pushed the kid behind him, preparing to fight with Viper.
“Doctor! Help me!” the kid cried out.
Viper growled. “LEAVE HIM ALONE!!!!” He screamed as he leapt at them, snarling and bearing his claws.
“KID!!!” T Bone shouted as he shoved the kid aside. “MOVE IT!!!”
Razor kicked out with his right leg and sent Viper flying into a table.
“Viper! Are you nuts?!” Razor cried out, looking from him to the kid, who was sprawled in the dirt.
T Bone rolled his eyes. “Dumb question.”
Both of the SWAT Kats then leapt at Viper, tackling him to the ground.
“I’m not gonna waste a bad joke on you.” Razor said as he landed a smashing blow to Viper’s chin. “You’ve gone too far this time!”
“You hurt me!” Viper cried out. “You two are ALWAYSSS HURTING ME!!!” Viper lashed out with both claws and grabbed T Bone and Razor, banging their heads together. Then, skittering backwards, he swung his tail at both of them, sending them flying. “Now, I’ll make YOU hurt!”
Viper then charged towards them on all fours, snarling like a raving lunatic.
The SWAT Kats both raised their gloveatrixes.
They both turned to see the kid.
Viper tackled both of them, snarling at them.
“STOP!!!!” the kid practically roared.
Viper stopped and turned to the kid.
“Please, don’t hurt him, SWAT Kats. He hasn’t done any harm,” the kid said. “He’s trying to do good.” The kid walked out into the light.
“God no!” T Bone gasped. The right side of his face was all scaly with his eye gone yellow with a slit of black in the middle. Some of his hair had fallen out, and the part that infected his mouth was filled with dagger teeth, just like Viper.
“What have you done, Viper?” Razor gasped. “Didn’t you kill enough already!?! Are you that sick that you’d maim an innocent child’s face?!”
Besides,” the kid said, “me and Doctor Viper are now best buddies.” The kid smiled a strange smile. “He loves me.”
Viper hissed with laughter. “My creation is imperviousss to your liesss – you can’t hurt him.” He turned to the kid. “Child, tell them where your allegianccce liesss.”
“It’s okay, SWAT Kats,” the kid said, “Doctor Viper is my friend, he’s only trying to get rid of all the bad people and help the good.” He smiled again. “He sent my mommy to heaven.”
Just outside the room, the Pastmaster ran towards the door leading towards the lab. His face was twisted and he kept running as he raised his watch, and fired.
KAZZZZ — ZOOOWW!!!!!
CHAPTER : 3
All heads spun as the door at the far end of the lab exploded in a flash of purple. When the smoke cleared, the Pastmaster stood there, breathing heavily.
The Pastmaster growled. “I’m glad you remember, Viper, but I’m not here for a friendly chat.” He raised his watch, and fired a bolt of purple energy at Viper.
“Watch it kid!” Razor cried out as he grabbed the kid and leapt out of harm’s way. Viper was hit by the bolt and sent flying into the slimy wall.
The Pastmaster walked towards Viper.
“Because of you, fourteen people are dead, and you mean to add another to your demented list – the life of my beloved Calista!”
“Callie?” T Bone asked.
The Pastmaster pointed to the far wall. “Yes! Her!”
The SWAT Kats followed his finger and gasped when they saw Callie hanging there.
“CALLIE!!!” they both cried out.
The Pastmaster growled silently.
“Get her out of here,” he said, then lowered his voice, “She dose not need to be caught up in this.”
“NO!!!” Viper roared, baring his fangs. “Ssshe is needed for my perfect raccce; you CAN NOT have her!”
“Tell it to Lucifer!” the Pastmaster yelled as he fired another bolt of energy at Viper, sending him flying once more. He then turned to the SWAT Kats. “What are you waiting for? Get her out of here!”
T Bone shook his head as he leapt for Callie. “The Pastmaster? Helping us?”
Razor chuckled at that too before he turned back to the kid. “Kid, are you all right? Does it hurt?”
The kid turned towards Viper. “Please, SWAT Kat, you’ve gotta help Doctor Viper. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone. He’s our friend.”
“I’ve dealt with your kind before,” Viper hissed, gathering up some test tubes, “Alwaysss cursssing me, hurting me, alwaysss humiliating me! Now, you will HURT!!!”
“Your insanity will not help you Viper,” the Pastmaster growled. “Your move.”
Viper narrowed his eyes and leapt at the Pastmaster, baring his teeth and claws. “You are about to find out why many dissslike taking on Dr. Viper, HEAD ON!!!” he screamed.
The Pastmaster just narrowed his eyes.
“Come on.” He said. Then, the Pastmaster raised his watch, and blasted Viper — in the face — point blank.
“ARRRRGGGHH!!!” Viper cried out, as he sailed over the Pastmaster’s head, to land in a heap on the floor.
T Bone watched as he cut Callie down from the wall with his mini Buzz Saw. Razor shook his head.
“This is getting way out of control, If I don’t do something, fast, we could all die.” He turned back to the kid. “Kid, whatever you do, don’t move! I’m about to help our friends.” Viper hissed, and reached into his coat, to pull out some of the tubes he grabbed.
“My body is not my only ssstrong point, demon,” Viper hissed, “My mind isss asss ssstrong asss ever, enough to create weaponsss to take care of the likesss of you!” He then hurled the tubes in the Pastsmaster’s direction, creating a number of explosions. “Biology versssusss Mythology,” Viper hissed, “Quite a ssshowdown, don’t you think?” The Pastmaster — who’d drawn his cloak around him — let it fly, as he stood there, un-scathed.
“Quite.” He agreed.
“I don’t think so!” Razor cried out, as he leapt towards Viper, delivering a smashing blow, sending Viper sprawling.
“Stand aside, Hero!” The Pastmaster raised his watch, and fired another bolt at Viper, who managed to leap out of the way.
“Hey! Watch it, you moron!” Razor cried out, as the blast missed him by inches. Viper leapt to the slimy walls, where he used his claws to stay where he was. He hissed at them from his position on the wall.
“Listen Pastmaster,” Razor said, “I know that you’re concerned about Callie, but this isn’t your fight, T Bone and I, are the ones he’s after, not you, I don’t need you causing me a headache!”
“You aren’t the only one with power, SWAT Kat.” The Pastmaster said. “Dr. Viper has far more resources than you will ever know. If you keep at him in your present state, you’ll be killed.”
“Thanks for your concern, Pasty, but there’s a little boy caught in the middle of all this.”
Viper snapped his head around. “The child?” His eyes scanned the room, but found no sign of the boy.
Razor turned to T Bone who was holding Callie. T Bone shrugged.
“You have the child!!” Viper yelled, leaping for the Pastmaster. “Never! Never will you dessstroy the boy, my creation. He isss the next generation, YOU CANT DESSSTROY THE FUTURE!!!”
“You’ve got that right!” The Pastmaster hissed. Viper leapt at the Pastmaster, tackling him to the ground.
“WHERE IS THE CHILD!?!?!?!” Viper lifted the Pastmaster high above his head, then threw him into the wall. Viper then threw some more tubes at the Pastmaster. The explosions did not kill the Pastmaster.
“You’re psycho, Viper!” Razor cried, as debris rained down on him. “You’ll kill us all if you don’t stop! This cavern can’t take this!”
“Where isss the boy, demon!?!” Viper shouted, slapping the Pastmaster with his tail. “WHERE!?!” Razor sighed.
“Is anybody even listening to me?” He then turned to find the kid.
“Where isss the CHILD!?!” Viper screamed. “I SSSSWEAR I’LL KILL YOU, DEMON!!!!”
“You don’t scare me, mutant.”
“Kid? Kid, where are ya?” Razor cried out. He saw some movement in the shadows, and sighed with relief when he saw the boy. “Kid, it’s time to get outta here, and I mean fast.” He turned over to T Bone. “T Bone, get Callie outta here, I’ll be right behind ya.”
“Are you sure you can handle these two?” T Bone called out.
“Just go!” Razor cried out. T Bone nodded, and then rushed for the nearest exit, Callie slung over his shoulder.
“Where is the Doctor?” The kid cried out. “I want him to come too.” Razor looked over, to see Viper throw the last of his tubes at the Pastmaster.
“DIE, DEMON!!!” The tubes hit him head on, creating one huge explosion.
“LOOK OUT!!!” Razor screamed as he grabbed the kid and leapt out of the way before tons of stone rubble from the roof landed on the floor and nearly buried them. Razor looked over at the spot where the Pastmaster had stood.
When the smoke clear, he was still standing there, unscathed.
“Fool,” the Pastmaster said. “Nothing can stop me. I am immortal!”
Razor cocked his head to one side. “That would explain a few things.”
“WRONG!!! WRONG!!! WRONG!!!” Viper roared. “All thingsss can be dessstroyed! Nothing lassstsss forever!!” He then reached over to a nearby table, grabbing a whole handful of test tubes and hurling them at the Pastmaster.
“Listen, kid — say what’s your name?”
Razor’s eyes went wide. “How appropriate,” he said, silently groaning. “Listen, Adam, stay here, and DON’T do anything stupid. I’m gonna take the offensive over there, so just stay put.” He turned around and leapt for Viper. “I’ll be back when I’m finished with this mess.”
Viper snarled as both the Pastmaster and Razor charged him. He growled, baring his sharp fangs, and let a mighty roar.
“FOOLSSS!!! YOU’RE ALL FOOLSSS!!!” He swung his tail at them, sending them both flying. “AND, YOU WILL ALL DIE!!!!” He grabbed another handful of tubes and hurled them in the direction of the Pastmaster and Razor.
Razor leapt and jumped out of harm’s way, dodging all the explosions.
“Give it up, Viper!” Razor said. “You can’t beat us!”
Viper growled softly. “He’sss right, two againssst one isss unfair.” He turned to Adam. “Come. child, it’sss time we must leave, leave to find another placcce of sssanctuary, where no one will be afraid to ever look at usss.”
Razor gulped. “On second thought, forget what I said, Adam, RUN, RUN!!!!”
“Dr. Viper, STOP!!!” Adam cried out.
Viper shook his head. “I’m sssorry, child, but we can never ssstop — our misssssion will forever be challenged. We cannot let our mindsss and bodiesss be weakened. Enduranccce — and faith.” Viper drew his claw-like fingers through the boy’s hair. “They ssshall guide usss to a better life. A better world. Your mother would be ssso proud of you — uh —”
“Adam,” he said.
“Adam? Of courssse,” Viper said, picking up the child, and hugging him. “If you can here me, father, thank you, thank you for delivering me my one true hope. Adam, let’sss go make a new garden. Where all thingsss good ssshall dwell and people will live forever.”
“That’s where you sent mommy, right?”
“You mother wasss not one of usss, child.” Viper said, patting his head. “Let usss pray that God sssendsss her there.”
Meanwhile, the Pastmaster had been approaching Viper and raised his watch. Razor’s eyes widened as he saw the watch crackle with energy.
“No. NO!!!” he screamed. “Pastmaster!! He has the boy! You’re going to kill ’em! Can’t you see, HE HAS THE BOY!?!?!?!”
His words were unheard as the Pastmaster fired.
KAZZZZ — ZOOOWW!!!!!
God save him.
Viper was hit in the back, and sent flying.
So was the boy.
Razor leapt into the air and reached for Adam.
— not again!
Razor grabbed Adam in mid flight and came crashing down — hard. Razor got up off the ground and looked at Adam. His nose was bleeding and he had a black eye, with a few dozen scratches.
“Adam?” he asked in a shaky voice.
” — Mommy —” he said weakly.
Razor breathed a huge sigh of relief.
“Now, mortal scum!” the Pastmaster hissed, standing above the battered form of Viper. “DIE!!!”
Suddenly, he was sent flying, as something tight wrapped around him, knocking him to the floor. When he looked up, he saw that he’d been tied up with a bola missile.
“BACK OFF, PASTMASTER!!!!” Razor cried out. “Viper’s out cold; he ain’t getting up!” Razor then pointed an angry finger at him. “You make one move and you’re going to have to go through me! Can’t you see what’s happening? WE’RE supposed to be the HEROES! Do you understand? We save the innocent at any cost.” He pointed down at Adam’s shaking frame.
“NOT cost the INNOCENT during a save! You were so blinded by your love for Callie and preventing it from happening to anyone else that you FORGOT who it was you were protecting.”
The Pastmaster growled silently.
“You’re good, Pasty, but you’re NOT THAT good! If you want to be a hero, then you’ve got to learn the responsibilities that you are given! Yeah, it’s our job to stop scum like Viper, BUT, our main goal — our main concern, is to protect —” He pointed back to Adam. “—the Adams of this world.” He calmed down, and stood up from his hunched over position. “He’s gonna need medical help.”
“Then find it, SWAT Kat,” the Pastmaster said. “But someday, Viper won’t have you there to save him.” He narrowed his eye. “Then, I will have my vengeance.” He turned around, and began to walk away. Before he left, he turned back one more time.
“This isn’t the first time I’ve let my feeling rule my mind. Many centuries ago, I made another mistake. I sold my soul for ultimate power, and I betrayed the one I loved – all because I wanted to keep my love alive for ever.” He lowered his gaze to the floor. “However, I never realized the evil I would inherit with this power. But what good is love, if you can’t enjoy it?”
He looked back up at the SWAT Kat. “You have no idea, what it’s like. Never again to feel the warm embrace of your lover against you, to never again, hear kind words of love, of peace, of happiness to know it’s all there, so close — and yet, so far away.”
“I have never been good at making the right decisions, SWAT Kat.” He lowered his voice again. “Maybe it’ll be I who’ll be unlucky not to have you around to save me.” He then turned around to leave. “Good-bye —- hero.”
Then he was gone.
Razor bent down and picked up Adam and began to carry him outside, dragging Viper by the tail behind him.
“He doesn’t get it. Playing super-hero isn’t a game. It’s fate. We choose to do good. Choose to do bad. We had a choice.” He looked down at the unconscious Adam. “But, you didn’t have a choice, did you Adam? Your mom is gone. I hope we can find your dad, put your life back together.” Razor smiled as he headed for the surface. “Maybe, he can help you wash away the sins of your past.”
Life for a life.
He smiled down at Adam.
Adam for an Adam.
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.