Original SWAT Kats Story

The SWAT Kats Return

By Glenn Battilana

  • 2 Chapters
  • 27,520 Words

A generation has passed since the SWAT Kats hung up their costumes, and not all is well. With the sudden reappearance of two old enemies, the aging heroes are forced out of retirement and into the superhero game once more, for what they both intend to be their final battle. However, things have changed, and so have our heroes as they fight not only their enemies, but divorces, injuries, and old age.

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Chapter 1

Now twenty years have passed away,

Since I here bid farewell

To woods, and fields, and scenes of play

And school-mates loved so well.

 

Where many were, how few remain

Of old familiar things!

But seeing these to mind again

The lost and absent brings.

 

The friends I left that parting day –

How changed, as time has sped!

Young childhood grown, strong manhood gray,

And half of all are dead.

-ABRAHAM LINCOLN

“My childhood Home I See Again.”

(1846), stanzas 6-8

“THE SWAT KATS RETURN” Part 1 Glen Battilana

So, this is the bright and shiny future Pop Perkins predicted for me….” – T Bone (Chance Furlong.)

MEGAKAT CITY : PRESENT…..

KA-BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!

T Bone covered his face with his left arm, as another gas tank went up. He looked at the spreading flames as they slowly began to consume what was left of Dark Kat’s hideout. He mopped his brow and turned back to Felina.

“Jesse,” he panted, “This is getting way too out of hand!”

Felina nodded as she gripped her right arm, which was bleeding. “I know, Chance!” she gasped as the smoke began to drift their way. “We’ve gotta do something, fast!”

T Bone looked around, and spotted an exit. “Come on, Felina! This way!” he shouted as he picked her up in his arms and leapt though the fire, and out the door. Once outside the lab, T Bone put Felina down and felt the scars on his forehead.

“Hold still,” Felina said as she took off her right glove, “you’re on fire.” She then batted out the flames on T Bone’s back before putting the glove back on.

“Thanks, Felina,” T Bone said. He then looked at his right paw, and wished to God that Dark Kat hadn’t destroyed Jake’s and his glovatrixes. “How’s your arm?” T Bone asked, looking at the bloodstain on Felina’s arm.

“I’ve had worse, Chance,” she said, getting up, “but, there’s no time to think about that now – we’ve gotta find Dark Kat!”

“I don’t know where to begin looking, Felina,” T Bone said. “I don’t know where he’s gone!”

Felina smiled. “But I do, Chance.” She grinned at him. “I overheard him saying he was going to finish us off once and for all, and the only way he can do that is too….”

“Set off the bomb!” they both cried out at the same time.

Chance kissed Felina on the cheek. “You’re a genius.”

They both got up, and Felina helped Chance as he limped down the hallway.

At the launching site, Dark Kat checked up on the final preparations as he prepared to launch the weapon. He took a moment to glance at all the dead creeplings lying around him, then over at the unconscious form of Razor lying in a corner with blood streaking his muzzle.

“Such a pity you will not be around to witness my long elusive victory, Mr. Clawson,” Dark Kat said as he closed the panel on the bomb. “You and your friend have been the bane of my existence all these three years. Now, you lie helpless before me, able to do nothing as I destroy the very city you worked so hard to protect from me.”

Jake slowly moaned as he rolled over, just starting to return to reality. Dark Kat chuckled. He walked over to the control panel and picked up the small gray and red box with the blue button on it.

“Now,” Dark Kat said, rubbing his chin, “How does that line go again….. Ahh yes — Good-bye, Megakat City. From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee!”

BLAMM!!!

“ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGHH!!!!” Dark Kat dropped the box and clutched at the now bleeding stump that used to be his right paw. On the wall next to him lay chunks of red meat that were slowly rolling down the dull metallic walls of the hideout.

“Dark Kat!”

He slowly turned to see T Bone and Felina Feral.

Felina was holding a pump-action shotgun that had a smoking barrel. “You’re under arrest.”

“Ahh, Mr. Furlong, and Ms. Feral, so nice of you both to join us.”

“Don’t try anything funny, Dark Kat!” T Bone said.

Dark Kat smiled. “My dear boy, I don’t have too,” he said, “I left my first funny idea outside.” Both T Bone and Felina were confused — until the creeplings dropped on top of them, from outside the door.

“What the—?!” T Bone cried out as a creepling clawed his back. He cried out and grabbed it by the head, then brought it over and slammed it into the ground, breaking its back. Purple blood spurted from its mouth as it twisted and writhed on the ground.

Felina let out a scream as one landed in her hair. She just raised her shotgun and fired three shots until the fourth ended in a dull wet smack and purple blood trickled down her face.

“That’s far enough!” Dark Kat hissed, as he brought out his lightning gun and aimed it directly at Felina. “One wrong move, Furlong, and her death will be on YOUR head.”

T Bone let out a low growl. “This is between you and me, Dark Crud,” T Bone hissed. “Leave Felina outta this. You want me, here I am!”

“What, do you think I’m stupid?!” Dark Kat cried out, almost laughing. “You think I’m gonna fall for that old trick!?” He rolled his eyes. “Please, I didn’t go though all these three years with you just so that you could get the drop on me. You sacrifice yourself so that your she-kat can escape and bring help?! What kind of fool do you think I am?! I haven’t gone though all this trouble for nothing, you know. I’ve thought of everything!”

“RRRAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHH!” Dark Kat’s head snapped right at the sound of Razor leaping though the air. Razor tackled him to the ground and delivered a blow to Dark Kat’s head with such force that it produced one hell of a crack.

“You filthy murderer!” Razor growled as he clamped his paws around Dark Kat’s neck. “You think you can just get away with what you DID?!!!” He raised his fist and brought it down again, sending blood flying from Dark Kat.

“Felina!” Chance cried out as he leapt onto Dark Kat. “Go, get outta here!”

“No, Chance, I’m not lea—-!”

Chance turned around to face her, one last time. “FELINA!!!” he screamed. “Get outta here!!! NOW!!!!”

“But—”

“DON’T ARGUE!!!! JUST GO!!!!!”

Felina watched as the two SWAT Kats wrestled with Dark Kat, landing blows to his head.

“Okay,” she whispered as she turned around and ran. But, instead of leaving, she headed for the communication room. “This is Felina Feral, I’m at the old volcano in Megakat National Park. Bring me chopper back-up. Lots of it, too.”

Back in the launching room, Dark Kat was thrown into a wall, then grabbed by Razor and thrown into another. He was then joined by T Bone in a double punch to the face. Dark Kat grabbed his nose, which was now bleeding.

“You’re finished Dark Kat,” Razor hissed, looming over the criminal. “It’s over!” T Bone picked up some nearby rope, and walked towards Dark Kat. “This time, Dark Crud, you’re gonna stand trial and get the death penalty.”

Dark Kat lowered his paw from his bleeding face and smiled.

“I don’t think so,” he said. With a flash, he reached into his cloak and pulled out two little darts. He hurled them at the SWAT Kats and struck them both.

They both cried out. as electricity sparked all over them. They fell to the ground writhing.

“Hah ha!” Dark Kat laughed as he stood up and looked down at them. “You were right, Mr Clawson,” he chuckled as he walked over to the bomb. “This IS going to be our final battle.”

Razor growled, glaring right into the back of Dark Kat’s skull.

“You know, I might even give you both the opportunity of watching your precious city go up in flames.”

Razor glared right past him, to the highly flammable gas tanks on the far wall.

“What do you say to that, Mr. Clawson?”

Razor pulled out his dart, and propped himself up with one arm. “Shut up and die, Dark Kat!”

Then, he hurled the dart at the gas tanks.

“Huh?!” Dark Kat turned around just in time to see the dart fly past him. Everything seemed to flow in slow motion, as the sharp end of the dart punched the gas tank. Dark Kat tried to scream when the electrical sparking ignited the gas inside and blew up.

KA-BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!

MEGAKAT CITY : 20 YEARS LATER……

“…. Ended up with only five points, while the East Townsville team managed to score a maximum of twelve points, thus winning the match.

In other news today, local mob boss David Lynch was found, brutally slashed to death in his own home on the upper side of Megakat City. His death marks the fifth crime boss to meet an unfortunate end this past month.

Enforcers are baffled as to how the assassin manages to slip past all the security these five men have put up without setting off at least one alarm. Commander Steel made no comment on the killings, saying ‘Why should we bother? It’s probably just a gang war, and they’ll end up killing each other.’ Mayor Stewert Blane warned the Commander if he didn’t do anything, he’d lose his badge.

Well, that’s all we have time for tonight. Join us tomorrow at nine o’clock for the news. Here’s a preview of tomorrow’s top stories, so until then, I’m Chance Furlong, and goodnight.”

“Annnnnnnd —- We’re off!!!” somebody shouted back stage.

Chance sighed heavily as he leaned back into the announcer’s chair.

“Good job, Chance,” Johnny called out from offstage, “We’ll see ya tomorrow.”

Chance nodded, and reached for his cane. Leaning against he, he managed to stand and began to hobble for the exit door.

“I want to make sure that all that equipment is packed up and put back where you all GOT IT!!” Johnny called out to all the kats packing up the sound and visual equipment. “I don’t want to have to run another check and find half of it down in the weather room again!”

“You okay, Chance?”

Chance turned to face the voice and smiled. “I’m fine, Ann,” he said. “I’m fine. How have you been?”

Ann Gora returned the smile and cocked her head to one side. “Me?! Terrible!” She rolled her eyes. “The board wants to make some more budget cuts and almost threatened to cut ME!!”

Chance scoffed. “What happened?”

Ann smiled. “I just told them I’d release to the humble employees of this establishment where exactly all the petty cash went last year —” she grinned. “— and they quickly moved on.”

Chance laughed softly. “You’ve still got it, haven’t you Ann?”

Ann nodded. “Yep, to bad they took me away from my reporting job. I still like the thrill of chasing a story, now—” She dropped off, and they both were silent for a few seconds.

Ann had been promoted and taken off the reporting team because she was too old. The higher ups wanted a reporter with SEX appeal, and it’s hard to do that when you’re nearing 45. She knew it, Johnny knew it, Chance knew it, hell, nearly everyone who knew Ann personally knew that. The heads thought that she’d take the money and the position without realizing it, but she wasn’t that dumb. She took it anyway because of the money, but was still bitter at the reason.

“Man, I’d do anything to have your job,” Chance quickly said, breaking the silence, “all the money, and a cushy office…”

“It’s okay, Chance,” Ann said, holding up her paw. “It’s been six years – I’ve gotten over it —” She then lowered her voice, so no one else could hear, “—just like you and Jake have.”

Chance nodded. “Well, I’ll see you tomorrow, Ann,” he said, turning around to leave. Then, Chance called out his farewell to the rest of the news room staff. He got a few replies before he exited the room. He caught the elevator to the ground level and hopped into his car.

The evening sky outside was beginning to darken with pitch black clouds and the occasional flash of lighting. Following with a low rumbling of thunder. Chance hated summer.

He drove though the city until he reached the courthouse. He pulled into the underground parking and caught the elevator to the seventh floor. He exited and hobbled down to the door with a number ‘231’ above it. He ignored the sign that read ‘court in session’ as he opened the door and quietly took a seat.

“….No further questions, your honor.” The man sat down, allowing the prosecution to stand. The she-kat stood up, and approached the bench.

“Kane, are you sure that’s exactly what happened?” she asked.

The kat behind the stand nodded. “Yes, ma’am. That’s everything.”

The lawyer turned to face the crowd. “Everything?”

“Everything.” She then walked over to her table, and began to sort though some files on her desk. She smiled when she found the file she was looking for and approached the Judge.

“Then, in that case, I’ll have you know, that this is a copy of the building’s electric bill.” She placed it in front of the judge. “As you can see, it clearly shows that there was no electrical use of any sort during the time period of 5:04 PM and 6:45 PM, WHICH was exactly the time you said you where there minding your own business!”

There were a few murmurs from the crowd. The kat at the bench looked nervous.

“In which you claimed you watched Family Ties, WHICH runs from exactly from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. So, Mr. Tylor, how could you be watching TV when there was no power usage?!”

“I…. Err…. Umm…”

She leaned closer to him. “Yeeeeeeeeess?”

He just gave up and threw up his arms.

“all right! All right!” he cried out. “I was there, I DID make those phone calls, I DID break into her apartment, and I robbed her!”

The lawyer smiled, and walked back to her desk. “NO further questions, your honor.”

The defense lawyer was just shaking his head. Chance was smiling. The rest of the court session went very badly for whoever it was up on the bench. The court case ended with him being lead away in cuffs.

Chance grinned as he got up and began to walk down to the lawyer at the table where she was busy packing up her things.

“Hey quite!” he said. She looked up, shocked, but the shock soon vanished when she saw who it was.

“Oh, hi Chance,” Felina said.

Chance looked at her. “Hi Chance?” he said. “Is that all you have to say?”

Felina quickly gathered up all her things. “Not now, Chance.” She said, quickly exiting. Chance followed her as best as his crock leg could. “In private.” He followed her out of the courtroom and into the elevator. “Now,” she said, once the door closed. “What is it?”

“Can’t I just come and talk to you and say hello without it turning into Mega War 3?”

Felina scoffed. “Hello, Chance,” she said. “There, it’s done. Now, will you please leave?”

Chance frowned. “Felina, why are you always like this whenever I try to be nice to you?”

Felina spun around to face him. “Why, Chance?! It’s because of you, you and your — OTHER!!”

“T Bone.”

“Yes,” Felina said. She gave a quick glance at Chance’s finger. “I see you’re still wearing that old thing. What has it been, six, seven?”

“It’s been eleven years, Felina,” Chance corrected. “You can’t remember that we’ve….”

“Just drop it, Chance, just drop it at that. I don’t want to speak about it anymore.”

“It’s because you’re afraid of what will happen if I ever put that damn thing back on,” Chance said. Felina didn’t say a word. “Why, Felina? It’s been twenty years since I hung up the costume, so did Jake. We’ve grown up, we’re past that phase, we’re mature adults now.”

Felina continued to looked at the ground.

“I’ve sworn never to pick up that dirty old thing, EVER. Playing a super-hero was fun, but it nearly cost me a leg and almost my life. Hell, Jake got it worse than me.” Chance caught a quick glance from Felina at him. “You were there, Felina, you saw what happened. You were there when Jake and I made the vow. Now, Felina, I’m though with being a SWAT Kat – just as you were through as an Enforcer. We’ve both got comfortable jobs, and I’m more than ready to start living.”

“But for how long, Chance?” Felina asked. “How long? We’re both in our mid forties now. I mean, the old days are old – a generation has passed since then, Chance. However, you’re still capable of putting that ‘damned thing’ on. What if Viper or Hard Drive suddenly return?” She looked him right in the eyes. “DO you still love me? Would you be crazy enough to go out there? Saying that you’re the only one who can stop them?”

Chance stared at her for five seconds.

“No, Felina,” he said. “I wouldn’t. The Enforcers are strong enough to handle things like that, now. Besides, I’m too old to put that thing on again. It’s been twenty-years, and my reflexes are shot. I’m not a quick as I used to be, and besides,” he looked down at his cane, “I’m not physically fit to be a SWAT Kat anymore.” He looked her directly in the eyes. “I still love you, Felina Furlong.”

Felina didn’t move.

DING!!

“I-I’ve gotta go,” Felina quickly said as the doors slid open. She exited the lift and headed for her car. Chance was left standing in the elevator as the door slid shut.

NEW CENTRAL CITY : THE NEXT DAY…..

Jake Clawson parked his special bicycle at a stand on the edge of the campus — which looked like a series of apartment blocks rather than a proper university — chained it in place, grabbed his briefcase from the jumpseat, and hurried along to his classroom.

He got more and more students every semester. The majority of them were native to the city, but still, there where quite a few from Megakat City. That particular city held quite a lot of memories for Jake Clawson. He looked down at the left sleeve that was pinned to the shoulder pad of his white coat. Being a super-hero had paid a heavy toll on his life. During the final battle between the SWAT Kats and their arch enemy, Dark Kat, T Bone and Razor were caught up in an explosion. T Bone took a blast in the back, which severed some chords, giving Chance a permanent limp, but Jake had taken the worst of the blast.

He’d lost his left arm.

But now, he’d moved away from Megakat City, away from the salvage yard — or what was left of it — and away from the SWAT Kats. He was happily married, with two daughters and a decent paying job, which he liked. There were times when he was tempted to put back on the costume just to see how he looked after so long, but he reminded himself that if he put it on, he might be tempted to pick it up again, and he reminded himself constantly what being a SWAT Kat had cost him.

His arm — and Callie.

The students were chattering among themselves when he walked into the hall. They all quieted down in respect for the professor.

“Today,” he called out, “we shall continue to examine the effects of last weeks experiment in which we all made our own sensor movement robot.” There were a few murmurs from the audience. Jake suspected that some of them hadn’t quite finished or hadn’t got theirs working. “Now, I’ll tell you all, I don’t care if you’ve finished or not. Just make sure you have it ready by the end of this week. For all those who haven’t done anything, this is your chance to do something, fast.”

“What’ll we be doing today, Professor?” one student called out.

“You’ll just be working on your robots today,” Jake said.

“Dose this mean we have a free session?” another student asked.

“Yes,” Jake said, “But if I were you, I’d use this time wisely to finish your assignment for this class. Now, if any of you need help on your project, just let me know, and I’ll help you any in way possible —” he paused for a few seconds, then smiling, added, “— without doing your assignment for you.” There were a few chitters of laughter and a few mock moans of misery.

Jake watched as the students headed of for the lab where their projects lay waiting for them to complete them.

He waited for them all to leave before he pulled a few things out from his desk and headed for the exit.

“That didn’t take long,” Jake spun around at the familiar voice and smiled.

“Kathin?!” he said. “What are you doing here?! Aren’t you supposed to be at work?”

She shrugged her shoulders. “Yes, supposed to,” she said, walking towards him, “But the meeting we were SUPPOSED to have got cancelled, so I decided to come over and see if you were doing anything.” She came within inches of his nose. “Hmmmmm?”

“Not me, not now,” he said with a sly smile on his lips. “You wanna go have lunch somewhere?”

She lightly tapped him on his left shoulder. “You got it, handsome.”

Jake took her right paw in his, and, together, they both walked off.

Jake and Kathin had been married for nearly nineteen years. Well, it was actually eighteen and three quarters, but who really cares. After he’d hung up the SWAT Kat uniform, he’d taken his belongings, his right arm, and what money he had, and moved to New Central City to start a new life.

His skill as an inventor didn’t land him many jobs, but it did land him a job at the university teaching Robotics 1A. Three months after taking the job, he’d meet Kathin Thibult. Her last name was pronounced T – Bow, which started the meeting off rather humorously, and, another three months later, they made their vows, and went off on a honeymoon.

The wedding had been the last time he’d seen Chance, his partner, and best friend. They hadn’t spoken to each other in nearly nineteen years.

Though Jake had to wonder, did Kathin marry him for Jake Clawson or Razor? One month into their relationship, Jake had told her his secret past, and she fell head over heels for his super-hero identity. I mean, the SWAT Kats were still popular back then, and people were still wondering whether they truly were still alive or not.

Now, Jake was happy not bothering to EVER have anything to do with his disastrous past as a vigilante. He was married and had two daughters, Callie and Ellen Clawson. Callie was seventeen and Ellen was nineteen.

Neither one of them knew of their father’s secret past.

And, as far as Jake and Kathin where concerned, they intended to keep it that way, or at least until they where older.

ELSEWHERE…..

In the dark caverns, a lone figure sits in a throne of purple rock. In fact, the whole cavern is made of purple rock. Purple stalagmites jut from the floors and ceiling. In the middle of it all, the figure sits on the throne, fingers locked together covering his mouth.

The yellow eyes glow with a life of their own. His shoulders heave up and down as he breaths heavily. Occasionally, the darkness is disturbed by the occasional fluttering of wings.

Purple wings.

The yellow demon-like eyes stare at the purple rock pool in front of him. The cause of his existence. His life, his meaning, his purpose.

The eyes narrow as the creature’s mind floats back to a time long ago……

BAW — WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMM!!!!!!

The Colonel shot a nervous glance to the ceiling as some plaster dust rained down on him. He waited for it to finish before he started his pacing again. Russian artillery boomed northeast of Port Arthur, flinging shells towards the Japanese assault positions. Still, a lot came from the Japanese as well, hammering at the Russian defense line. Distantly, the reports reverberated even in the command H.Q. Listening to them, Colonel Robert Darkson made a sour face.

“The Japanese grow bolder every day, comrade Darkson,” Captain Demetri Krakoff said, looking up at the ceiling as it shuddered.

“How soon can the Navel forces from St. Petersburg get here?” Darkson asked.

“Soon, Colonel,” Krakoff replied. “And, as soon as that happens, we’ll remind the Japanese just WHO the superior nation is.”

Darkson didn’t scoff at that. “Yes, but when?” he demanded. “These so-called military experts have been telling me that the Japanese would be a pushover and this war would be over within a month, yet here we are, still fighting this war — and we’re losing — with no sign of victory around for months.” He sighed and shook his head. “If only our navy hadn’t been destroyed, we could be shelling Tokyo harbor instead of fighting for our lives outside of Port Arthur.” He looked out the window and frowned.

“Do you think we can hold out until the navy arrives, comrade?”

Darkson sighed and shook his head. “I truly don’t know, Krakoff, I truly don’t.” He turned back to face him, “However, if our navy doesn’t arrive and provide the necessary firepower — we’ll lose for sure.”

“They can’t seem to break though our defenses, Comrade Colonel,” Krakoff quickly piped up, “Those Maxim guns we purchased for the cities defense were a good investment, were they not?” Darkson smiled.

“Yes, I must admit, they are, but — as I always put it — for how long?! We can’t keep up a siege forever, not even Mother Russia is that invincible.

Just then, his train of thought was interrupted by the shriek of an incoming shell. His eyes went wide as he turned to face the whole room. “GET DOWN!!!” Darkson shouted as he dropped to the ground.

BAW — WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMM!!!!!!

A window was blown inwards, showering glass everywhere. A high pitched scream echoed within the room, telling the tale that someone hadn’t been quick enough.

Darkson lifted his head off the floor and looked around. The whole floor was littered with glass, and there was a large hole where a window had been. A kat in a corporal’s uniform was lying on the ground, moaning and rocking back and forth on his left side. His leg was streaked with blood.

“Oh dear God!” Krakoff whispered. “Sergei!” The young corporal writhed in agony on the floor, as a few others gathered around, to help him. Krakoff turned to face Darkson. “I knew his wife,” he said. “She is going to have a kitten.”

“Nyet,” Darkson whispered, lowering his gaze to the floor. “Nyet.”

Neyt.

Dark Kat lowered his gaze to the floor of the cavern.

What are these images that I constantly receive? Nightmares? Windows to a past? What?! Krakoff. Sergei. All these names are familiar to me — but I don’t know!

His eyes narrowed.

WHY can’t I know. WHY?!?!

He looked over at the purple pool.

Was it something that happened?! Something that changed me, from Darkson, to Dark Kat?!

He slammed his fist on the arm of the throne.

“WHAT IS IT?!?!” He looked around and realized he’d shouted that. He then looked down at his own paws.

What horrible event caused this?!

Suddenly, his eyes narrowed to slits.

It’s them. The SWAT Kats!

He clenched his fists.

They must die!

MEGAKAT BIOCHEMICAL……

“I’m telling you, for the last time, you can’t pull the treatment on block six, Eric!”

“And I’m telling you for the last time, Monica, sorry, but you’ve left me little choice.” Professor Eric Schwinner turned to face Dr. Monica Staphos. “Your reaction to my decision proves two things to me, doctor — One : the SSD is simply not ready for usage and you’re trying to RAM it through the system, as usual—”

“Even though the patient is terminal already?” Dr. Staphos shot back, glaring at him.

“—And two,” Professor Schwinner continued, ignoring her, “You must not like your job very much if you’re going to argue THIS loudly with me outside of closed doors!”

Dr. Staphos growled, then spun around on her heels and stormed off.

When she was out of hearing range, she hurried down to Block 6. Waiting for her was her partner, Mike Davies.

“You looked pissed,” he said. She didn’t answer as she stormed past him. “Hey!” he cried out, running after her. “It was just a joke!” She slowed down a bit, so he could catch up with her. “What’s eatin’ you, anyway?”

“I don’t care what Eric says; I’m not watching sixteen years of research go down the drain —” She flashed her ID badge to the guard present and continued down the dimly lit hall. “—Because he’s worried about risking the life of some convict who’s terminal to begin with!”

“Going against the Professor’s orders — living life a little dangerously, are we?”

“Shut it, Advise!” she snapped at him. “I’ve got more important things to worry about.” She continued to look sour as she passed the last security check. “There has to be some way to get the Synthetic Skin Derivative to work on the patient! And, the only way to figure the problem out is through applied experimentation.”

“You know, Doc,” Davies said, “That is against the rules…”

“Screw the rules, Davies, and screw you too!” she shouted at him as she stormed off on her own, leaving him behind. “You want to work on this project, that’s fine by me. If you want to FAKE out, that’s just fine also – just DON’T go dumping all your worries and problems on ME!!!” She flew off down the corridor.

“Bitch,” Davies grumbled under his breath.

“Dr. Staphos?”

The doctor turned to face the man who’d just spoken up. Chief of security, Calvin Falconer. He was a huge kat, of 6.3 with jet black fur and a clean cut mustache, like Commander Feral’s. He wore a bullet proof vest with the dark blue guard’s uniform underneath.

“Yes, Mr. Falconer?” she asked.

He looked around to make sure no one could her him. “We’re having a bit of problem with a patient in block 6.”

She narrowed her eyes. “Which one?”

“Purvis.”

She growled.

“Let’s go.”

They hurried down the hallway to one particular door that had two heavily armed guards outside.

“You know, Calvin, that look on your face worries me.”

Falconer didn’t even look at her. “Then, you must be worried every time you see me, Monica.”

“Did he react negatively to the SSD?”

Falconer shrugged. “You tell me,” he said, “You’re the doc.” They stopped at the door. “At ease,” Falconer said, as the two guards stood aside.

As Monica approached the door, she could hear hissing like a rattlesnake. She reached for the eye slot and slid it across.

The light from outside the room shone in not catching the figure in the dark corner of the room. The two, yellow eyes glowed back at her, the gleaming dagger like teeth shone with an eerie glow. The rest of his body was hidden by a dull gray straight jacket.

“Dr. Purvis?”

“Sssssssssssssssssssss!” came the reply.

“Dr. Purvis? Are you all right?!”

The jaws dropped ever so slightly, closed, then re-opened again as the figure spoke.

“It tinglesss, Monica,” came the reply. “It burnsss.”

“I know, Purvis,” Monica replied, “But, we need to see if it works….”

“Worksss?!” he shouted. “Come in here, and I’ll tell you if it worksss!” He let his voice trail off in a low, menacing hiss. “It hurtsss, you fucking bitch! I’ve had to endure five hoursss, twenty eight minutesss, and forty-two sssecondsss of pure pain!”

“Shut it, Purvis!” Calvin roared, slamming the door with his fist. “We’re trying to save your life!”

“And, patent a multi-million dollar ssskin graft at the sssame time, right?”

Monica smiled. “You know, Purvis, you’re right!” She leaned closer to the slot. “Just like you’ve experimented on kats for the last four years, I’m experimenting on you to see if I can create MY perfect formula. An unpleasant turn of events, wouldn’t you say so, doctor?”

“RRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHH!!!” Viper roared, and snapped his teeth. “I am Doctor Viper, terror to millionsss and enemy to kat kind. I do the experimentation, NOT be experimented on!”

“You should have thought about that before you were covered in that stuff you and Zyme both made, and now, you’re paying the price for your evil ways and greed!”

Viper closed his jaws and hissed in disgust.

Sixteen years ago, Dr. Viper suddenly began to realize that his reptilian form had only been PART of his mutation. Even to this day, he was still mutating. The mutations had begun to effect not only his psychical appearance, but also his mind. After he began to change, he went berserk and tried in vain to find a way to reverse his condition, but it was far to late to reverse anything since his mutation was permanent. When he tried to patent a reversal, he got sloppy and was caught by the Enforcers, NOT the SWAT Kats, who had vanished four years earlier.

His fur had been replaced by scales. His body was becoming more and more mutated. He even started to acquire venom in his fangs. But, that was not all. The mutation was fighting a constant battle with his immune system. In other words, the feline body was NOT meant to undergo such a transformation. Purvis had been infected by some sort of cancer that was incurable, and, to make matters worse, it was affecting his scale-like skin, causing it to become infected and withered. It was turning from its sickly green colour to a dull battleship gray.

“When I get out of here, Monica, I’m gonna rip out your ssspin and barbecue it for LUNCH!!!”

“Sure, Purvis,” Monica teased. “And maybe, I’ll marry you!” She laughed at him one more time before leaving him alone.

THE NEXT DAY…..

My father was the macho Enforcer inspector, never forgave my mother for spawning a girl. They split for good when I was six months old.

The courts, Solomon-like, split custody as well. Dad got my big brother, Brian. Mom got me.

Mom was thrilled. She had sworn off men in general and Enforcers in particular.

Her resolve lasted four years before she upped and married Inspector Stepenwolff James Feral. Mom became Julie Marry Feral, dropping her old married name. But, I didn’t.

I adored my step-dad, and the feeling was mutual. Stepenwolff loved being an Enforcer, just like his brother. And, he made me love it too. In fact, I even dropped MY last name and adopted my step-dads. On that day, I became Felina Louis Feral.

I don’t know how she managed to live with it. Jumping when the phone rang. Shrinking from a knock at the door.

Waiting to hear her husband was dead.

No, I just heard about the excitement, the gray knight in armor. And, when I started wearing a little badge he brought me home, I thought mom would shoot him herself.

But, we all knew it was inevitable. After all, my very gender had lost me any approval from my natural father. Getting my step-dad’s approval was everything to me now.

Deep down, I suppose, I wanted to be daddy’s little girl.

The day I graduated the academy and earned my shield, Stepenwolff didn’t crack a smile. Yet, I could tell he was flying as I was. Mom naturally cried in the bathroom for two days.

Dad…Stepenwolff then introduced me to his brother, my Uncle, Ulysses Feral. He was the commander of the Enforcers in Megakat City, one of the toughest places for an Enforcer to be. Naturally, I took the job.

For Mom, it was the final straw. She left him, there and then, blamed both my father and my Uncle, but more blame went to Uncle Ulysses, mainly because he let me join.

Uncle Ulysses is like Dad – he kept pushing me, and I, craving his approval, pushed just as hard.

I shot through the ranks. I had a truck full of commendations when I got my captaincy. When I related the news of my reaching the rank of Lt. Commander to Dad, I thought he’d have a stroke.

Instead, he just nodded. Didn’t crack a smile or anything when I told him of the news. But, I knew he was proud. I also knew then why he didn’t smile much at my achievements. He wants me to be the first female Commander and he knows that the only way to get there is if you’re totally driven. So, he’s withholding the smile until that day.

I’ll get that smile out of him yet. Both him, and Uncle Ulysses.

“Why am I doing this?” Felina grumbled as she stepped out of her car and locked the door. She sighed as she walked up the steps of the apartment building. She waited for the elevator to arrive before taking it to the tenth floor.

Why? Because you feel sorry for him. That’s why.

Felina shrugged her shoulders as she exited the lift and headed for the door with the number 34 on it. She knocked on the door.

“Come in,” replied a gruff voice.

She took out her spare key card and swiped it in the slot by the door. When the light flashed green, she pushed open the door and stepped inside.

The place was still a mess, despite her helping to clean it up. She sighed and dropped her suitcase. Why did she even bother? Beer bottles lay scattered over the floor. Empty pizza boxes and Burger King wrappers lay perched on arm chairs and furniture. Clothes lay here and there, even a pair of underwear was hanging from a picture on the wall.

She took a deep breath and called out. “Uncle, where are you now!”

“I’m coming, Felina,” he replied. Feral wheeled his wheelchair down the ramp from the kitchen into the living room to where Felina was waiting. The cigarette that hung from his lips told the story.

“God, this place is a mess!” Felina said, looking about the apartment.

“Oh, for God’s sake, stop bitching, Felina,” Feral said. “It’s just the way I like it.”

“So, you like living like pig, do you?”

Feral nodded. “Yep,” he said, wheeling over to her. “So, let’s skip this pointless conversation and get right onto the hello’s?”

Felina nodded. She hated seeing her uncle living like this. The once proud leader of the Enforcers, now a crippled drunk.

“Hello, Uncle,” she said, giving him a kiss on the cheek. She could smell the Sherry. But, she knew better than to say something. Voicing her thoughts only brought violent verbal outbursts from her Uncle. “Are you looking after yourself?”

She knew he damn well wasn’t.

Yes, dear,” he said, “I’m in better shape than I ever was.”

Felina shook her head, as he turned away. Truth be told, he was in worse shape than he’d ever been. In fact, he looked better a few months ago.

“I don’t know why I ever got out of the Enforcers sooner – it was the best thing I ever did.”

“I’m sure it was, Uncle,” Felina said, sitting down. “I’m sure it was.”

“How’s your mother?” Feral asked, wheeling his chair next to Felina.

“Mom’s much calmer now. She talks to me more these days, probably because I’m a lawyer. She said she always wanted me to become one.”

“That’s good to hear….”

“And, Stepenwolff says hello,” she quickly added.

Feral lost his cheerful smile and melted his face into a dark frown.

“Dose he?” he said in a low voice.

Felina nodded. “He misses you, terribly.”

Feral snorted. “Well, I don’t!”

Felina couldn’t stand it any more. “Oh, for the love of God, Uncle, he’s your own brother!”

“Some brother,” Feral grunted. “Can’t he respect my decision?! Can’t he get off my back?!”

“He’s not on your back, Uncle. He just wants to say hello! For Christ’s sake, Uncle, he’s stopped hassling you about your decision for four years now. He just wants to see you again.”

“Bullshit.”

Felina just gave up. “Oh, of all the…. You inconsiderate bastard!”

Feral was taken back.

“I bust my ass, three times a week, to clean this place up, and do I get any thanks for it? What do I get? Why’d you do that, Felina?”

“Felina, why ar…”

“Don’t you Felina me, you fucking prick!” she yelled at him. “For god’s sake, LOOK AT YOUR SELF!!!! You used to be the pride of the Enforcers. Now, you’re just a crippled drunk, who’s living in the shadows of his own past!”

Feral looked stunned.

“But, I…”

His words were cut off as Felina slapped him across the face.

“I gave up my life for you!” Felina shouted. “Eleven years down the fucking drain because I wanted to look after you. Do you know — do you KNOW, what I could have done with those eleven years? DO YOU?!!! I could have had a life, Uncle. A LIFE!!!!”

Feral’s eyes just widened. “Felina, I — I never knew.”

“Of course you never knew – you were too busy indulging in your self pity, your imaginary enemies, and your hatred for your OWN brother.” Feral just hung his head. “It’s been eleven years, Uncle,” Felina said, calming down. “You’re no longer an Enforcer, no longer forced to protect this city. For once in your life, you’re free to do whatever you want.” She paused for a moment. “For once in your life, live.”

“How?” Feral said. Felina shrugged.

“I don’t know, it’s your life, not mine. You’re sixty-five in three weeks Uncle, so you decide what you want to do. You can continue to hang around this stuffy apartment and act like a complete asshole or — you can go out and enjoy life for once. Enjoy your life while you can, Uncle. There’s plenty of time for being dead.”

LATER…….

“I’m very disappointed in you, Monica,” Schwinner said as he crossed his arms. He glared down at Monica with narrow eyes.

“You too, Calvin.” Monica was not to be outdone.

“What would you have me do, Eric,” she said, “Just watch my patient die without trying to help him?”

“I told you that your synthetic skin derivative wasn’t ready for application and these test results prove I was right!” He picked up the folder marked ‘CONFIDENTIAL.’ He quickly flipped though it before tossing it in front of Monica. “This afternoon, Purvis quite nearly—-”

“Died, Eric?!!” Monica snapped. “A whole week earlier than he will anyway?”

Schwinner slammed his fist down on the table, silencing Monica. “We DO NOT play god here, Monica!” he shouted, louder than Monica could ever hope to be. “Part of becoming a successful researcher is learning to deal with failure!” He calmed down and straightened back up. “I knew Purvis, long before he had his accident. I always told him he’d learn the harshest lesson of all if he didn’t straighten up. He was impatient, rude, and often went behind people’s backs, Monica. Just like you.” He turned to leave. “You go behind my back like this again, Doctor, and I assure you…… You’ll learn that lesson — by LOSING YOUR JOB!!!”

Monica just pulled a face. “Oh, believe what you want to, Mr. dear Professor,” she said, a small grin creeping over her face. “I’ve don’t need to perform tests on Purvis anymore. Very soon, It’ll be YOU who’ll be losing their job.”

BLOCK SIX…….

Dr. Viper rocked back and forth in his cell, muttering to himself. He looked up as he heard the sound of the door opening. “Monica?” he hissed.

“No, Viper.” The huge shadowy figure filled the room. “I’m not the good doctor.”

“Dark Kat?” he hissed in surprise.

The yellow eyes bobbed up and down to answer in a yes.

“I haven’t ssseen you in…. Uhh…. in…. in —-”

“It’s been twenty years, Viper,” Dark Kat said. “Twenty years since we were ALL defeated by the SWAT Kats.”

“Hah,” Viper said. “Hasss it been that long?” He shook his head and let his tongue fall out. “Twenty yearsss, a generation. How long have I been in thisss hole?”

“Only sixteen.”

One of Viper’s eyebrows went up. Then, he lowered his head. “Ssseems like an eternity.”

“It almost looks like an eternity, Viper,” Dark Kat said. “In twenty years, I have hardly aged, and yet you…. you are withered with age… Look at you.”

Viper growled.

“How old are you, Viper? Forty-five? Fifty-four?”

“I’m Sssixty-one!” He roared.

“You look like one-hundred and six,” Dark Kat said. “Yet, you could die, any day now, couldn’t you?” Dark Kat approached Viper. “Listen, Viper, I’m here because I need you, I need to know what’s going on!”

“What are you talking about?!”

“What am I talking about?!” Dark Kat cried out. “I’ll tell you what I’m talking about! Twenty years ago, I took the full brunt of an explosion, and you know what happened, Viper?! I died! That’s what happened. I was killed, my charred and burnt body was recovered by the Enforcers. I was dead, Viper, stiff as a board, pushing up daises.” He paused.

“If you died, then how come you are ssstill here?!”

“That’s what I need to know!” Dark Kat yelled. “After I was killed in that explosion, I woke up, in the morgue! My body was burnt, no fur, and naked with a toe tag, stuffed in a body bag, and into an oversized filing cabinet!”

“Okay, ssso you woke up in a morgue, what nexxxt?”

“I wondered out of there, dazed and confused. I left and hid in the sewers and lived among the homeless, the drunk, the very rejects of katkind. I stole whatever clothes I could get my paws on, so no one would see how hideous I looked. For seven years, I roamed the sewers of this city, never knowing who I was, until….” He breathed deeply, then continued. “….Until, I saw an old newspaper with my picture on it. I was this monster I’d heard so many times about, from the homeless bums on the street, from the hookers working the brothels, the urban legend of the infamous criminal madman, Dark Kat.”

“Ssso, you found out you were Dark Kat, whoopty – fucking – doo.” Viper narrowed his eyes. “Why come to me?”

“You know everything about chemicals, Viper,” Dark Kat said. “I have something, in my possession that I need analyzed, need explained, and I can’t do it myself.” He paused for a moment. “Even though you’re insane, you’re the only one who can verify a mystery for me.”

“I would be more than happy to help you, Dark Kat,” Viper hissed. “If I could get out of thisss blasssted….”

SHRRRR —- IIIIIIIPP!!!

Viper blinked as Dark Kat’s paw shot out. The next second, he was holding the shredded remains of Viper’s straight jacket. Viper smiled and flexed his arms. Something he’d not done in sixteen years.

“Free!” Viper cackled, as he stood, up. “Thanksss for busssting me out, sssucker,” he said, “Now, if you’ll excussse me, I have to go kill sssome people.” He wobbled a few paces before collapsing in pain.

“You’re in no condition to do anything, Viper,” Dark Kat said, looking down at the doctor, rolling around on the padded cell floor. “That’s why we need each other.” Viper looked up as Dark Kat held out his paw. “I need you, and you need me.”

Viper glared at his paw.

“Do we have a deal?”

“Like the lassst time?”

Dark Kat chuckled. “Oh, so you still remember that, eh?” He scratched his chin. “It seems not all of your memory has left you. However, let me put it to you this way, Viper — come with me, and you’ll live or suffer the wrath of Dr. Monica Staphos. So, do we have a deal?”

Viper clenched his stomach as the pain lanced his insides. Shakily, he reached out and grabbed Dark Kat’s paw. “Deal,” he muttered.

Dark Kat smiled.

“Excellent,” he said. Then, he clicked his fingers. Four creeplings fluttered in and picked up the writhing Dr. Viper and carried him out.

THE NEXT MORNING……

KLICK!!

As the radio clock turned from six-fifty nine to seven o’clock, it automatically turned on the radio.

“……Good morning all of you out there in radio land……” Chance just rolled over and swore at the clock.

“Mmmmmm —- goaway!” He then picked up his pillow and clamped it down over his head.

“…..It’s a beautiful day today, with the sun shining, and the weather forecasters predict no rain for at least five days, so what are you doing in bed, you lazy bachelors. Go out there and find the perfect woman for yourselves!”

“Tried that,” Chance moaned as he realized he wasn’t getting back to sleep. So, he lifted his head from underneath the pillow and laid it back on his pillow. “She doesn’t want me.”

“….Join us for the news at o’five, but first, here’s the latest song from the ‘Lords of the Underworld’ : Timmy!” Chance threw off the covers and grabbed a shirt. He turned up the volume as he headed for the bathroom to shower and get ready. Chance sang along with the song. When it finished, he grabbed the shampoo bottle and started to wash his hair.

“….For all those who are planning to go to work via the Manx Expressway are doomed to disappointment. It seems that there’s been a ten car crash, and traffic’s backed up as far as the Megakat Museum of Natural History. All other roads are being taken, jamming them up as well, so if I were you, I’d catch a train.”

Chance laughed at all those people who had to go to work today. For him, it was his day off. As another song started up, Chance started up singing again as he rinsed his hair out.. He shut off the water and shook himself dry.

“The king called up his jet fighters… He said you better earn your pay…,” Chance hummed to himself. He stood in front of the sink and brushed his teeth, humming the whole time. His short fur was fluffed and damp from the shower. His tail wagged happily and his head bobbed to the sides as he brushed. He spat into the sink and grabbed a dry towel. “Rocking the Casbah… Rocking the Casbah…” Chance pretended he was playing on a guitar, “Neh Neh Neh Neh Neh Neh Neh Neh Neh!”

Chance tied the towel around his waist as he exited the bathroom and headed to his cupboard. As he opened the door, the music that introduced the 7:05 news opened up. Chance pulled on a short sleeve shirt as the anchor kat started speaking.

“Good morning, everyone – I’m your host, Greg Litterbin. Today, our top story – Enforcers have just released the following statement: During some unknown time last night, the infamous criminal madman, Dr. Viper, has escaped from his holding cell at Megakat Asylum…..”

Chance dropped his pants and spun around to face the radio. His eyes were wide and his mouth was hanging open.

“…Still unknown how Viper could have managed to escape though all the security. Commander Steel made this comment….”

Chance didn’t hear what Steel had to say. He just collapsed on the bed. For a split second, he was contemplating running to the hanger. But, it wasn’t here, in fact, it didn’t even exist anymore. He looked up at his top shelf, in his cupboard.

Should he?

“….Should consider Viper, armed and dangerous. He is also criminally insane, and has a kill count record of one-hundred and ten…..”

After all this time? He took a step towards the cupboard. He reached out for the top shelf, but retreated, covering his mouth with the paw he reached out with. It would be so easy.

Chance?! Are you home?!

Chance sat down on the bed again as his mind floated back to that fateful day…..

“Chance?!”

Chance’s voice floated in from outside.

“Yeah, I’m here Felina,” he called out, “Jake’s out here as well.”

Felina exited the charred and burnt building and headed around the side of the garage.

“What are you guys doing out here?” As she rounded a corner and saw Jake and Chance out by the huge water pool, surrounded by two large packing boxes.

“Saying good-bye to a few things,” Jake said as he dumped something blue and red into the box. Felina looked over his shoulder and saw his SWAT Kat uniform.

“W-what are you guys doing?” she asked.

Chance dropped his into the other box.

“Growing up,” Chance said, “Finally.”

Felina looked into both boxes. They contained helmets, glovatrixes, uniforms, some ammo for the glovatrixes, and even some old newspaper clippings of the SWAT Kats.

“We contemplated burning the lot,” Jake said, “But, it holds far too many memories. So, we’ve decided to keep some of it.”

“You’re giving up the SWAT Kats?” Felina asked.

They both nodded.

“Take a look over there, Felina,” Jake said, pointing to the smoking charred remains of the garage. “The hanger, all our equipment, and the TurboKat are gone and so is our home. We’ve defeated all of our major enemies, and Dark Kat is finally dead. There’s no way in hell Viper could have gotten out.”

“In other words, Felina,” Chance said, “It’s finally over. There’s no need to be the SWAT Kats anymore. That explosion made both of us look at ourselves, and both Jake and I weren’t particularly happy with what we saw.”

“Two guys running around in flight suits, catching criminals,” Jake said. “This time, we were lucky.” He looked down at the sleeve pinned to his shoulder. “I just lost an arm, and Chance’s got a permanent limp. Neither of us are in any condition to be heroes anymore.”

Chance cut a ribbon of sticky tape and sealed his box, then handed the roll to Jake, who did the same thing. “It’s high time we both put away the toys of our youth —” He turned towards Felina to look her in the eyes. “—and assume our real responsibilities!”

“Then, get rid of it!” Felina said. “All of it, burn it, throw it into the ocean!”

“I-I can’t!” Chance said. “It’s a part of me – it’s who I am! T Bone existed because of me. I can’t destroy all of this – it’d be like destroying a part of me!”

“Chance,” Felina pleaded, “If you don’t get rid of it, you might one day be tempted to put it back on. And then, who knows – you’ll then realize how much you missed being a costumed crimefighter and continue being a SWAT Kat. And then — you could really die!”

Chance shook his head. “I won’t, Felina,” he said. “But I can’t destroy all this. It’s me – it’s who I am.”

It’s who I am.

It’d been that decision that had cost him Felina. She didn’t want to stay married him as long as he kept his box with its sins of the past buried within, just waiting for him to open it and let it take over his life. After she’d left the Enforcers, she didn’t want anything dangerous in their lives.

Nine years of marriage and eleven years of hell. After Felina left the Enforcers, the arguing started. She wanted Chance to get rid of his SWAT Kat box, but he refused. A few months later, she filed for divorce. She couldn’t live with the knowledge that, someday, he would put the uniform back on.

“…..Viper is suffering from an unknown type of cancer. What researchers have found out is that it cannot infect a normal kat, that it only seems to effect only Viper. This virus seems to make him extremely weak and hardly a threat. If you see him, he probably will not be able to hurt you much, but please, no heroics, just contact the Enforcers and we’ll come and pick him up….”

Chance smiled. Steel may be a corrupt fool, but he was a smart corrupt fool. The Enforcers can easily handle this. Just like they did last time.

Throwing the thought aside, Chance got back up of the bed and headed out to his kitchen for breakfast.

DING – DONG!!

Chance frowned at the sound of the doorbell ringing. He wasn’t expecting anyone today. He walked over to the door and opened it.

“Hello Chance.”

Chance nearly had a heart attack. “Felina?!” He cried, fully opening the door. “W-what are you doing here?!” He stood aside to let her in. She entered his apartment and looked around.

“We need to talk.”

“I’ve been suggesting that for the past eleven years, why start now?”

She sighed, and sat down. “I had a —- little discussion — with my Uncle the other day.”

Chance nodded. “How is he?”

“Oh, he’s fine,” she said, “But after talking with him, I began to realize what you’ve always told me.” She looked him in the eyes. “About being too old to put back on your SWAT Kat uniform.” She lowered her gaze to the floor. “I’ve been doing some thinking about it — and I’ve decided,” she sighed and looked back into his eyes. “You’re right — about never putting it back on again.”

Chance just nodded. “It’s gone, T Bone was only in my life for three years. It’s over, and I want to start living.”

She moved closer to him. “I know.” She encircled his waist and kissed him on the lips. They kissed for what seemed like an eternity. As they finally broke, Felina whispered one last time. “I know.”

THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN…..

Ulysses Feral was working on some of his bills. His desk was perhaps the only thing in his apartment that was clean of garbage. He brought the pen down to the dotted line to sign his name. Outside the window, an Enforcer jet screamed past..

“Shit!” Feral swore as the jet shot past, scaring him enough that he sent a pen line straight across the page, tearing it in the process. He blinked down at the torn page and looked out the window, the view of the city distorted from the water that was trickling down the slick glass surface.

Feral sighed heavily and stared at his own paws, shaking ever so slightly. He let lose a heavy sigh as he placed his head in his paws. He then rubbed the sleep from his eyes and looked at himself in the mirror.

“I’ve gotta get some sleep,” he said as he picked up his coffee mug and raised it to his lips.

Empty.

Feral lowered the mug and peered into it. The black stained bottom and the brown stained ring that rested near the edge of the mug showed where Feral always filled it up to. Just then, he caught sight of the light spilling in though the window blinds.

Huh?

He placed the mug down and held his watch under the window light.

07:23 AM

Christ. He’d started this at nine o’clock last night. He looked at the photo on his desk. It was of him, Felina, and her parents. It had been taken about twenty-five years ago. He picked up the picture and stared at it, or rather, at Felina.

It’s your fault, Ulysses!

Feral groaned as the words played over in his head. He placed the photo down, but didn’t tip it over so that it lay face down. He should have. He just turned and looked out the window.

It’s all your fault my daughter is in the Enforcers!

Stepenwolff Feral, his brother, was an Enforcer just like him, although why Julie ever married Stepenwolff shall forever remain a mystery to him. Her first husband had been an Enforcer, and she hated his job, just like she hated the fact that her only daughter wanted to follow in the footsteps of both her fathers and uncle.

She’s going to end up DEAD!!!

How many a night had she screamed those very words into Feral’s ears over the phone. Nearly every time he either saw her or spoke to her. She never let him off. She blamed Stepenwolff a lot, but she rested most of the blame on Ulysses, probably because he allowed her to join his Enforcer department.

I HATE you Ulysses, you and your damned brother, for ever getting her involved in the Enforcers in the first place!

Of course, Julie and Stepenwolff had been divorced for nearly four years now. Felina came to the Enforcers before that happened. Maybe she knew it or not, but it may have been that decision that caused the split between her parents.

Christ!

Feral banged his fists on the desk and stared at his right paw. He was holding a whisky flask. He swished the flask around to discover it was half empty.

I could have had a life, Uncle. A LIFE!!!! Oh, for God’s sake, stop bitching, Felina!

Feral covered his face with his paws.

You’re sixty-five in three weeks Uncle, so you decide what you want to do. You can continue to hang around this stuffy apartment and act like a complete asshole, or — you can go out and enjoy life for once. Enjoy your life while you can, Uncle. There’s plenty of time for being dead!

He wheeled himself away from the desk, towards his bed. He needed some sleep. As he pulled himself alongside the bed, he spied the photo beside his bed. He stared at it for quite some time.

It was the picture of him when he had made Commander.

He closed his eyes and sighed. Then, without another glance, he pulled himself into bed and closed the blinds.

Why, God, why?

Every time he went to bed he always asked that same question. Every time he went to bed, he always got no reply. He always asked God why his life had resulted in such a tragedy.

Why must it be this way?

Eleven years ago, Feral was in the worst helicopter crash ever. He’d been in quite a few of them, but, this time, he wasn’t lucky. He’d lived life too dangerously, and, after the crash, he was paralyzed from the waist down.

After his accident, it was decided that Feral wasn’t capable of leading the Enforcers anymore. So, the leadership of the Enforcers went to the two leading candidates.

Felina, and Steel.

It should have gone to Felina. It SHOULD have. Instead, it went to Steel. Feral should have known that Steel’s family was too powerful. Steel just had to call the right people, and he was the new Commander. Felina couldn’t stand working under Steel. He was too corrupt, and his family was just too powerful.

After Steel made Commander, Felina handed in her resignation, and went to law school. After that decision, Felina’s mother began to speak to her daughter more and even to Ulysses himself. However, his brother, hadn’t taken the decision too well. He had criticized Ulysses about not caring for her enough. Ulysses took that as the biggest insult ever and cut off all communication with his brother. He hadn’t spoken with him in nearly eleven years.

Feral sighed and closed his eyes. He went to sleep almost straight away.

LATER THAT DAY……

“Chance?”

“Yeah?”

“Why did we ever get married in the first place?”

Chance shrugged. “Beats me, honey.” He took a puff on his cigarette. “Guess you just felt sorry for me.”

Felina chuckled and reached over.

“I guess so,” she said, plucking the cigarette from his lips and tossing it into the ash try by the bed. “Look at you, Chance – I leave you alone for eleven years and already you’re back into your old dirty habits.”

Chance blew a small smoke ring. “Sorry,” he said. “After you left, my life needed direction.”

Felina just shook her head. “You still kept that ring?”

Chance brought his paw from behind his head and looked at his wedding ring. “Yep,” he said.

“Why?”

Chance shrugged. “Reminded me of you, that’s why,” he said. “I guess I didn’t want to marry anyone else.”

Felina smiled. She then reached over to her pants beside the bed and fished out her ring from her pocket.

“That’s maybe why I kept mine as well,” she said, placing it back on her finger. Chance smiled, and clasped her paw in his, their rings in pure view. “You always knew how to make me feel good, Chance Furlong.” She purred, twirling his chest fur around with her free fingers.

“And, you always knew how to make me feel special, Felina Furlong.”

Felina didn’t bother to correct him like she always used too. She giggled slightly and smiled. So did Chance, and they looked into each others eyes.

“Why didn’t I ever come to this conclusion earlier?”

“Guess you were still pretty steamed at me for not throwing away the old clothes.”

Felina leaned back and stared at the ceiling. “God, where have all the years gone?” she asked.

Chance shrugged. “Beats me. Though there are still times when I miss flying around up there……”

Felina placed a paw on his mouth. “Uh-uh,” she said. “Don’t go there, we don’t have to anymore. T Bone’s gone, and it’s just me and you.” She snuggled closer to him. “No more Enforcers, no more SWAT Kats, no more danger, no more risking our lives, just husband, and wife.”

Chance grinned and curled an arm around her.

“You mean that?” he asked, with hopeful eyes.

Felina just grinned back.

“What do you think, lover?” Felina rolled on top of him and kissed him deeply, playing with his tongue.

SOMEWHERE UNDER THE CITY…….

Viper slowly opened his eyes.

Purple.

That was his first impression. The whole cavern was purple. The rock was purple, even the huge purple throne in the center of the room. He tried to move his arm.

That’s when he noticed it.

He was strapped into some sort of metallic wheelchair. It was a gray wheelchair with a metal covering across the leg rest, showing only the top half of his body. There were controls along the arm rest, as well as an oxygen tank strapped to the back of the chair. A gas mask was strapped around his muzzle, feeding him oxygen from the tank.

He was feeling much better.

“Dark Kat?” he asked. His voice sounded hollow. Perhaps because of this breathing apparatus.

“I’m here, Viper,” Dark Kat’s voice echoed, from somewhere in the cavern.

Viper caught a faint flicker of movement out of the left corner of his eye. He spun to see a creepling, fluttering towards him.

“Ughh, disssgusssting creature!” he growled and swiped at it. It screeched and jumped back, but not before trying to unplug Viper’s oxygen tank.

“Back!” Dark Kat bellowed. The creepling skittered off. Dark Kat walked up to Viper. Once beside him, he glared at the creepling, causing it to whimper before vanishing into the darkness.

“Dark Kat?” Viper hissed. “What isss thisss placcce?” Viper hissed, looking around the cavern.

“I’m not sure of that myself, Viper.” Dark Kat said, looking around. “All I know is that I had to come here. After I found out I was Dark Kat, I was compelled to come here, I was drawn to this place, like metal to a magnet.” He then began to walk away from Viper. “But, most of all —-” He walked towards something shimmering in the darkness. “—This!”

Viper pushed the control stick forward and the chair lurched forward. As he got closer, Viper saw what it was. He gasped.

“W-what isss it?”

Dark Kat shook his head. “That’s what I’ve been trying to find out.” He lowered himself down and dipped his paw into the purple liquid of the rock pool. He swirled his paw around before lifting it out and glaring at the purple liquid dripping from his fingers. “When I first returned here, the first thing I found was this rock pool. I don’t know what it was about it, but I was compelled to drink from it.” He shook his paw free. “When I took my first drink, I felt strong, powerful, like I could take on this city single-handily. I began to remember past encounters with the SWAT Kats. The more I drank, the more of my past was revealed to me. I learnt of my battles with the SWAT Kats, and my hatred for them.” His eyes narrowed. “But then, I began recall other images. Memories from long ago, and they were all mine. They go back as far as the Russo-Japanese war.”

“The Russssso-Japanessse war?!” Viper cried out. “That ended in 1904!”

Dark Kat nodded.

“I know when it ended, Viper!” he growled. “That’s the part the troubles me. I was starting to get worried when I received memories going back as far as the first world war, but, as of a few days ago, I recently received that flashback from the war.” He looked at his fists. “Something happened to me, long ago, that changed me into — this!” He turned to Viper. “That’s what I need you for,” he said. “This pool has brought me back all these images, except the ones of how I became Dark Kat.”

“But why ssshould I help?” Viper hissed. “Asss far asss I can tell, you’re jussst about assss ssscrewed asss I am!”

Dark Kat turned and walked to a curtain that Viper hadn’t noticed. “Because I have nearly every chemical known to katkind here. If you help me, I’ll let you find a cure for your fatal disease.”

Viper’s eyes lit up. “Truth?”

Dark Kat nodded. “Truth,” he said. “So, do we have a deal?”

Viper pushed the chair forward and eyed all the chemicals before him. He grinned his strange toothy grin and turned to face Dark Kat.

“Deal!” he said, holding out his paw.

Dark Kat chuckled. “You won’t regret this, Viper,” he said as he grasped Viper’s paw and shook it.

CHANCE FURLONG’S APARTMENT : 09:45 PM…….

BRRRRINGG!!! BRRRRINGG!!! BRRRRINGG!!! BRRRRINGG!!!

Chance grumbled something rather unpleasant and grabbed the phone. Propping himself up, he lifted the phone up to his ear.

“Mmmm — Hullo–?” he mumbled into the phone.

“Chance? It’s me, Johnny!”

Chance’s eyes widened. “Johnny?” he said. “What the hell are you ringing me now for? Do you have any idea what time it is?”

“Yeah, I do!” Johnny said. “In fact, I had to tell you this right now.”

“What?” Chance grumbled.

“Turn onto channel twelve.”

Chance pulled a face, and got out of bed, careful not to disturb Felina, who was sleeping beside him. He shuffled his way down the hall and into the living room and turned on the TV.

“Okay, okay, I’m on channel twelve, what’s so damned impor—–?” His words dropped off as he saw what was being broadcast.

“—-has confirmed that the supposedly deceased criminal madman, known to the world as Dark Kat, has returned. Earlier this morning, a Megakat Biochemical security caught this shocking footage of the criminal himself….”

Chance’s jaw dropped as he saw the fuzzy footage of Dark Kat walking around with creeplings fluttering about. Chance stared long and hard at the TV. No doubt about it.

That really was Dark Kat.

“…..Dark Kat was a known enemy of the legendary heroes the SWAT Kats, who mysteriously vanished, twenty years ago after they had supposedly killed Dark Kat in their final battle……”

“Chance? Hello, Chance, are you there?!”

Chance realized he’d left Johnny hanging. “Yeah, pal, I’m here!” he said.

“Do you think that’s Dark Kat?”

Chance was silent for a few seconds. “Yes,” he said. “I recognize that guy anywhere.”

“I just thought you’d like to know — with what you and Jake have been through with that guy.”

Chance nodded. “I understand, Johnny, thanks for telling me.”

“But, don’t worry, Chance,” Johnny said. “Commander Steel’s ordered full priority on this one. The Enforcers will have this wrapped up in no time flat.”

“Thanks again, Johnny, bye,” Chance said. Johnny said good-bye, and hung up. Chance couldn’t believe it. After all this time. How?! How did he survive? It was impossible. He was dead; they saw the body. He dropped to his knees and practically hugged the TV.

“…All citizens should consider Dark Kat armed and dangerous. Do not, repeat, do not approach this kat under any circumstances. If seen, it should be reported straight away to the Enforcers….”

Shit! First Viper, now Dark Kat. This is too strange.

“…Commander Steel recommends that everyone…”

KLICK!!!

Chance turned off the TV. He didn’t care what Steel had to say. Viper he could handle, but Dark Kat? He didn’t have a hope in hell. Chance practically ran back to his bed room.

Felina was still sleeping there.

She looked like a goddess, lying there in the moonlight. She had divorced him because she was afraid he’d put the costume back on. Now, he was going to do it, for real. He looked back from her at the cupboard. Would she understand? Would she see this the way he saw it? He looked back to Felina, then back to the cupboard.

What do I do?!

Why, Chance?! It’s because of you, you and your — OTHER!!

Chance looked back to the cupboard.

…..Tomorrow, Megakat City becomes Dark Kat city!

He looked back to Felina.

If you don’t get rid of it, you might one day be tempted to put it back on, and then… Who knows – you’ll then realize how much you missed being a costumed crimefighter, and continue being a SWAT Kat. And then — you could really die!

He turned back to the cupboard.

You know, I might even give you both the opportunity of watching your precious city go up in flames!

He threw his arms up in frustration. He turned back to Felina. “I’m sorry, honey. I truly am.” He then turned and headed for the cupboard. He opened the doors and reached into the very back of the cupboard, an area he’d not been through in a long time.

All the noise he was making woke up Felina.

“What is it?” Felina moaned.

Chance looked back at her and continued to rummage through the top shelf. “It’s Dark Kat,” Chance said, “He’s somehow returned.”

Felina sat bolt up right. “What?!” she cried out. “How?!”

“I don’t know,” Chance said as he found what he was looking for, “But, remember how his body disappeared from the morgue?” He pulled out the dusty old box.

Felina gasped. “No….” she said. “Chance— NO!” She saw Chance rip open the twenty-year old sticky tape and open the dust-covered box. “You lied to me.”

“I am sorry, honey — I am….” Chance said as he pulled out the black bandanna, “….but I have no choice!”

Felina grabbed the bedcovers and pulled them around her. “Yes, you do!” she growled. “This just proves that I’m right! You would put it back on!”

“That’s because I thought Dark Kat was dead.” Chance said, as he pulled the mask on. “Dark Kat’s a monster, Felina. You know it, I know it. The kat’s a killer, Felina! A MURDERER!!!! He belongs in jail.”

“Then, let the Enforcers handle it,” Felina pleaded.

Chance shook his head as he pulled on his flight suit. “They can’t stop Dark Kat, Felina. Even you should know that!” He stopped dressing to look at Felina, who had her face buried in her paws. “I’m doing this so that I never have to put this thing on again. Ever!” Felina didn’t reply. “I’m not just doing this for the city, but for us. For you!”

“Don’t use ME, as an excuse, Chance!” Felina shot back, bearing her teeth. “IF it were really about me, then you wouldn’t be putting that MASK on again!” She lost her savage look and replaced it with one of pleading. “Chance, please, don’t do this. You’re in no condition to face him. You’re out of practice…. your reflexes have lost their sharpness…. You can’t walk properly….” She lowered her voice. “….and you’re missing a partner.”

Chance lowered his gaze to the floor. In his paw he held his glovatrix. He looked from it to Felina crying on the bed.

It was his choice.

“I’m sorry, Felina….” he said, putting it on. “But, I’ve got no choice. Everything you say is true….” He turned and headed for the fire escape and opened the window.

“….BUT, I’M STILL A SWAT KAT!!!!”

And, with those words, he vanished out into the night.

TO BE CONTINUED………

Next Chapter

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