Original SWAT Kats Story

Finality and Creeplings

By James L. King

  • 3 Chapters
  • 15,770 Words

A temporal loop, an alternate dimension, Dark Kat’s final victory and defeat. Completed. Rated M for violence.

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Author's Notes:

Finality and Creeplings: Part 1 By James L. King

Summary: A Temporal loop, an alternate Dimension, Dark Kat’s final victory and defeat. Part one of three(planned). Rated R for Violence.

Author’s notes: Just because Finality is in the name doesn’t mean that it’s my last fiction, it just means Dark Kat’s gonna be gone for good. I have at least twenty more years to play with before I pass the torch to Jake and Chance’s kittens.

Legal Department: SWAT Kats, MKC, Etc. ad nauseum are owned and/or copyrighted by Hanna/Barbera.

Table of contents.

Prologue

Chapter 1: A New Day

Chapter 2: Revalations

Chapter 3: Dark Omens

Chapter 4: Time, and Time again Epilogue

Chapter 1

Prologue November 12, 1995 9:33 PM He paced while the Creeplings were building his latest creation, thoughts racing through his mind.

He vaguely remembers when he had been summoned as a powerful demon, nearly immortal, and how the spell went awry, giving him a corporeal form, and how when the summoner was banished, how most of his powers and his immortality were stripped from him. He remembers that the same magical surge that stripped him of his power had also knocked the mortal Kats in the room unconscious.

He looked around at the unconscious forms, then at himself, just before an old mage teleported in.

He looked at the old mage, then at the SWAT Kats, especially T-Bone, then at the mage again. ‘I, I, am… You are!!!’ he hears in his mind, as the memory replays, the memory of his banishment to the future by the SWAT Kat T-Bone.

‘You are banished!’ He held a Tome of Time, ‘Hear the words of this mortal Mage, send this Kat to a future age!’

‘NO!!!!’ he screams as a small Time Vortex opens up, and starts pulling him into it. He immediately tries summoning a Demon, but the best he can do is an imp. The Imp flies toward the Mage, who grabs it and throws it back at him, knocking him through the Vortex.

He then remembers his next encounter with the SWAT Kats, back when they were still Enforcers. Listening to the Comm channels of the pursuing jets he hears, ‘Chance, Jake, let him go, it’s too dangerous!’

‘Negative, we’re bringing Dark Kat in, go get yourselves some donuts.’

‘You two are nuts! We’re breaking off pursuit.’

‘Roger that. Leave it to us, we’ll bring this psycho in even if it kills us.’

‘Chance, he’s locking missiles on the new Enforcer building!’

‘Gotta nail ‘im now, Jake.’

‘No problemo. Missile away!’

He heard the missile impact, and his systems shut down, rendering the targeting systems inoperable, and shorting out the comm. It was all he could do to fly away. He continues running through all the times he had been thwarted by the SWAT Kats.

Sensing his preoccupation, the Creeplings stop working for a moment, and chitter amongst themselves, then return to their work, doubling their speed. Dark Kat continues to pace the floor, scheming, plotting, and remembering.

He mutters to himself, “This time SWAT Kats, you will not escape, you will not win, and you will be bent to my will…”

* * *

September 16, 1999

A Time Vortex opens over Professor Hackle’s house, and Professor Hackle goes to his front door. A lone robed figure can be seen coming out of the Vortex, and floats down to in front of Hackle. A grin appears on Hackle’s face as he goes out his front door.

The figure lands softly as the vortex closes, then throws back his hood, and smiles back at Hackle as he runs at him, “Jake!”

“Chance! It’s been too long, buddy! Come in, come in.” Hackle shouts, hobbling to his partner as fast as he can.

“Jake!” the old mage bear hugs his partner, “Jake, bro, I missed ya, I missed ya so much. I have alot to tell ya, and we both got work to do.”

“Ok, put me down now, you can put me down now, Chance.” Hackle wheezes as he feels like his chest is being crushed by his partner’s bear hug.

Eugene stops and puts him down, then says, “Sorry. I just haven’t seen ya in so long, I couldn’t help myself.”

“That’s ok, Chance.”

“So you made the TurboKat II replica that I asked ya to?”

“Yes, and the MetalliKats are now melted down. The original TurboKat II, as you know, has been destroyed.”

“No it wasn’t.”

A second Time Vortex starts to form, and Eugene turns to face it, raising his staff.

“It wasn’t?”

“Holdon a sec.”

The vortex stabilizes, and as Hackle sees a black speck appear in it, a blueish bolt of energy comes from Eugene’s Ironwood Staff, enveloping the speck. The speck grows larger and finally Hackle can make out the distinct form of the TurboKat II.

Eugene contiues to guide it in until it actually touches the ground.

“No Jake, there she is. Now lets get us out of there, I think we’re pretty badly injured. I’ll explain while we’re transporting us.”

“No hospitals yet, however, I do keep some medical supplies here.”

“I forgot, they won’t have a hospital up for a while, will they?”

As the Turbokat II touches the ground, the smell of burning hydraulic fluid reaches them. Eugene leaps onto the TurboKat II, then breaks the cockpit canopy with his staff.

He activates the canopy release, and it slides back. He presses the release on T-Bone’s harness, picks up his mostly-conscious self, he leaps down, and lets Hackle guide him away. He leaps back up and frees Razor, and picks him up, and is just about to leap when the fuel explodes. He senses this half a second beforehand and teleports with Razor behind the cover of Hackle’s truck, where Hackle and T-Bone are at already.

The shockwave from the explosion flattens all of them. Fragments of metal embed themselves into the truck. Noticing Eugene and Razor, Hackle looks at Eugene and yells at him, “You scared me! In both ways!”

“Ahh, the fun of being a Mage. Although, now the TurboKat II has been destroyed.” Eugene says with half a smile.

“Be quiet, and help me get them inside and patch them up.” Hackle looks annoyed with Eugene.

T-Bone asks, “What, where?”

“September 16, 1999, and your past selves have just freed MegaKat City from the MetalliKats only two weeks ago.” Hackle says, as he helps the burly tom to his feet.

“What?” Razor asks, before he blacks out.

“Three years?” T-Bone asks.

“Just about, Chance, just about. Now you’re gonna get bandaged up and get some sleep before we call your wives.” Eugene says.

Chapter 1: A New Day

Nov 13, 1995

Shortly after dawn, Jake wakes up on Callie’s sofa, with Callie still asleep next to him, purring happily. As was becoming common with them, the TV is still on, because they had fallen asleep watching it together.

He yawns, stretches, and gets up, which in turn wakes Callie up.

“We really gotta stop falling asleep here.” she says sleepily. Jake disappears into the kitchen to make breakfast, and she gets up. The realization hits her, “It’s Monday.” She sits back down on the sofa, her head throbbing, “I don’t want to go to work today. I’m still tired from yesterday’s adventure.”

“What was that?” Jake asks from the kitchen.

“I said I’m still tired from yesterday, and I don’t want to go to work.”

“Oh. I wish I could call out and spend the day with you, but Chance would probably skin me alive.”

“He probably wants to take the day off too.”

“I’ll call and see.”

She hears Jake dial out, and a muted conversation as he’s talking on the phone. He comes back out a minute later, “I have to work today. I wish I didn’t, I’d like to spend the day with you.”

“I may as well go to work then. Is the coffee ready?”

“Yeah, Enforcer-strength coffee, greasy eggs, and half-burnt toast.” he declares matter-of-factly, as he returns to the kitchen.

“Better make it SWAT Kat-strength coffee.” she replies drolly. “Don’t tell the Commander this, but, the Enforcers are a little weak compared.”

His chuckle can be heard from the kitchen as she gets up again and heads into the kitchen for breakfast. “There’s only three things wrong with the Enforcers, your boss the Mayor, Feral needs prunes, and the quality of the training, and trainees.” he says with mirth as she enters.

“Thats four, Jake, but in a few years, I can take care of the one problem.” She says as she walks up to him.

“I know you will.” He replies, as he takes her in his arms and kisses her softly.

* * *

Some of his Creeplings inform him that they can’t finish on his device, Dark Kat ponders his next moves, and realizes that he will need extra equipment to complete his device. He decides to pay Professor Hackle a visit.

Several hours later, he’s standing over the unconscious form of the elderly professor, while his Creeplings raid the lab.

Chittering, a Creepling brings him the head of Mac Mange, and an evil smile slowly spreads on his face. He orders the creeplings to gather all the parts of the MetalliKats, and place them in his Fear ship with everything else he was stealing. Moments later, he leaves with a sizeable stash of munitions, supplies, and the remains of the MetalliKats.

* * *

Jake shows up at the Salvage yard, and both toms get to work on the few remaining cars in the backlog. It’s only an hour or so later that they get a call.

“Hello?” Jake answers the phone, after wiping his paws on a rag.

He hears Professor Hackle, sounding very weak, “Lads, someone has broken in and stolen alot of my equipment, and the MetalliKats, I think it was Dark Kat. I saw a Creepling, then everything went black.”

“We’ll be there as soon as possible.”

“I’m calling the Enforcers, too.”

“What was all that about?” Chance asks as Jake hangs up.

Jake replies, “Someone stole the MetalliKats from the Professor.”

A look of shock plays across Chance’s face. The next moment, he is down the hatch, while Jake turns the ‘Open’ signs to ‘Closed’. Jake quickly closes and locks the garage, and goes down the hatch to find T-Bone already powering up the Turbokat. He gets changed, then gets in.

A few seconds later, they are on their way to Professor Hackle’s house. They see an Enforcer Chopper already there.

“Well, looks like Feral’s improving, he actually beat us.” Razor says.

“Yeah, lets put down and go see if he’s ok.”

“Roger that. If Feral’s here already he probably needs to be tranquilized.”

“I was talking about Feral.”

“Him too.”

Chapter 2: Revalations

They land the Turbokat and rush inside, and find Professor Hackle giving a statement to the Enforcers. Feral turns and sees the two vigilantes, and says, “There’s nothing to destroy here, you two, now leave.”

“Nice to see you too, Commander.” T-Bone says.

“One moment, Commander, I called them here, because the MetalliKats are a major threat to them personally.” Hackle says. “That, and I must tell them something privately.”

“We’ll just stay to the side, here, Commander, and not get in your way.” Razor says.

“That’s a welcome change.” Feral replies, with a hint of a smile.

T-Bone grunts non-commitally. Outside, Felina flies her chopper in, and lands it near the TurboKat. She and Callie get out, and head inside. T-Bone smiles as he sees Felina, but continues to stand there. Razor and Callie lock eyes for a moment, then look away from each other, Callie smiling slightly, and a big goofy grin all across Razor’s face. T-Bone notices and elbows Razor, who stops grinning for a moment, and looks at T-Bone. T-Bone shoots him a quick look that means ‘Don’t grin like that.’

As the evidence Kats go over the place for clues, Paramedics and the press all arrive at once. The Enforcers outside block off the area to keep the press away. The Paramedics come in and check Professor Hackle’s injuries. They treat him, as he refused multiple times to go to a hospital, and leave.

The Commander and the Deputy Mayor talk for a short time, leaving Felina with little or nothing to do, so she walks over to the two SWAT Kats, and leans against the wall between them. She and T-Bone discreetly hold paws, and Razor whispers, “T-Bone, ya gonna let this She-Kat get in between us?”

Felina shoots Razor a dirty look, as T-Bone laughs softly. He then whispers back, “Yeah, Razor, I’m letting this She-Kat come in between us.”

“That’s what I thought.” Razor replies in a whisper. T-Bone can’t resist and busts out laughing, releasing Felina’s paw. Felina looks confused, while Razor chuckles.

“What is so funny?” Feral asks aloud, startled by the laughter.

“Private joke, Commander.” Razor says.

“Care to share it?” Feral asks.

“No, the Lieutenant doesn’t even get it, yet, so I doubt you would. When she does get it, she can tell ya.” Razor says, while laughing.

Felina punches Razor in the shoulder, which causes T-Bone to laugh even more. Callie looks at the three of them like they’re afflicted. Hackle glances at Callie, and immediately wishes he hadn’t. It was all he could do to sit there, and not look at her.

The Enforcers look at Razor holding his shoulder while laughing, T-Bone laughing hysterically, and Lt. Feral looking angry. She stalks away, and stands near the Deputy Mayor and Commander Feral. She talks to the Deputy Mayor in soft tones, then the Deputy Mayor stifles a giggle.

Everyone then hears the Lieutenant’s next statement, “What, all three of you all think it’s funny?”

Professor Hackle’s voice rings out at this point, “Shh, child, leave them to their laughter. Laughter is what makes life liveable, even when you suffer the most.”

Felina simply stares at the Professor, who meets her gaze with calm amber eyes. He addresses her directly, “Felina. Yes, I know your name.” he says at her shocked look, then continues, “Felina, grief comes too often, and laughter, not often enough. I have suffered my share of sadness, and would love to be able to laugh again, however, it is not fated to be that way, yet. You have to learn to laugh, and learn to love.”

Everyone is quiet at this point. Felina looks at the old scientist, and as she sees the sadness that is now evident in his amber eyes, the anger drains from her. She just stands next to her Uncle, who is looking at her inquisitively. She ignores his look, and alternately concentrates her look on T-Bone, Razor and the Professor.

Finally, she walks over to Razor, says, “I’m sorry.” then hugs him. He responds, “What would your boyfriend think?”

T-Bone says enigmatically, “Yeah, what would your boyfriend think?”

At this Felina starts laughing. Feral simply groans.

When the Evidence Kats had left, and Feral, along with Felina and Callie, had gone outside to make a statement to the press, Hackle takes them into his lab.

He walks over to a small closet, unlocks it, and looks inside while keeping the contents out of sight of the two SWAT Kats. “I have good news, and bad news. The good news is, I erased the memories of when they found out who you are.” He sighs and closes the door to the closet, locking it. “The bad news is, that they will probably try to hunt the SWAT Kats down, and might find you out, again. You must return to your Hangar quickly, and get some rest. Much awaits you.”

Chapter 3: Dark Omens

Dark Kat spent the better part of the night sorting out the MetalliKat’s body pieces, and starts working on putting them back together. Like his Creeplings on his other device, and on the bomb, he works tirelessly on repairing the damage to the two robots.

Finally, in the middle of the next day, they are put back together, but he doesn’t activate them. He records a message for them, and sets a small beacon to activate them if it loses a radio signal from his Fear ship. He checks on the progress of his Creeplings on both the bomb, and on the device.

* * *

T-Bone and Razor, meanwhile, are loading extra missiles into the Turbokat and the TurboKat II. After doing so, they finish their backlogged car, and call it’s owner. After the owner picked up the car, they closed shop for the rest of the day, and sat ready for a call. They had sat for almost an hour when the alarm went off.

“We’re here, Callie.” Jake says in a kind of subdued voice.

“Guys, Dark Kat’s flying towards Enforcer HQ again.”

“Say no more, we’re heading out.”

As Jake hangs up, Chance asks, “Dark Kat?”

“Yeah, lets go. Which you takin’?”

“I’ll take the two.” Chance states.

“Roger that.”

The both get suited up as fast as possible, and Razor launches first. A moment later, T-Bone’s in the air, and both TurboKats are flying as fast as possible toward Enforcer HQ.

* * *

“Carefully, my Creeplings, carefully. We don’t want to damage this, my masterpiece. Secure it in the cargo hold, then load the bomb. We’ll go about this the usual way, so the SWAT Kats can watch their futures end in a flash and fire, even if I don’t drop the bomb! Hahahahaha!!!”

The Creeplings chitter exitedly as they finish loading the device into the Fear ship, then load the bomb.

Dark Kat activates the beacon, then takes off, setting a course for MegaKat City. Upon his approach, he activates his force-field, and a radar cloaking device. He tracks two TurboKats, and the Enforcers.

Upon sighting him, one of the TurboKats, although visible, disappears from his radar. Dark Kat pushes his engines to afterburn, leaving the Enforcers far behind, but the two TurboKats keep up. He scans the comm frequencies, and finds the one they are using.

“…up, Razor, I’ll take point, and any missiles he fires.”

“Roger that, buddy. Arming a Scrambler, just in case he has a force-field.”

“Baby-boomers away!”

One of the two TurboKats fire missiles, which impact on his force-field. This TurboKat peels off, and the other one fires it’s missiles at him. His force-field wavers, but doesn’t shut down.

* * *

“I got him locked, T-Bone. Shoot, I lost it, switching to manual aiming systems.”

“Force-field up, Razor, I’ll take point, and any missiles he fires.”

“Roger that, buddy. Arming Scramblers, just in case he has a force-field.”

“Baby-boomers away!”

T-Bone fires his missiles, and peels off just as they impact a force-field. Razor fires a scrambler, but to no real effect.

T-Bone lines up for a second shot just as Dark Kat fires his heat beam at Razor. It shears off his right wing, and Razor struggles against the stick.

“Razor, get outta here! I’ll handle it!”

“Negative, I can control her, it’s not that bad.”

Razor locks on all of his scrambler missiles, and fires them. They impact and overload the force-field. T-Bone pilots the TurboKat II to a place right in between Dark Kat and Razor, and fires two baby-boomer missiles at Dark Kat just as Dark Kat fires his heat beam on full intensity at Razor, just as Razor peels off, and T-Bone gets in the way.

T-Bone’s missiles take out two of Dark Kat’s engines, but his own force-field shuts down from getting between Dark Kat and Razor. They both get a message from Dark Kat.

“Well done SWAT Kats, but you still lose. I’m going to change your past, and make you my servants, hahaha!”

The transmission terminates just as a glow starts eminating from Dark Kat’s smoking ship, then it disappears with a brilliant flash, a smoke trail the only indicator that he was even there at all.

“NOOOOO!!!” T-Bone yells.

Chapter 4: Time, and Time again

They fly back to the Hangar at top speed, and Razor is pleading with him while trying to pilot a damaged jet.

“T-Bone, listen, if we’re still the good guys, then he hasn’t turned us bad!”

“He will if I don’t stop him.”

“T-Bone!”

T-Bone lands in the Hangar, and Razor lands in the Salvage yard itself, out of sight of the garage. Razor rushes into the garage, only to be bowled over by T-Bone, carrying the Tome of Time.

“Hear the words of this mortal, send me back through a portal!”

“T-Bone, no!” Razor scrambles to his feet and tries to tackle T-Bone, just as T-Bone lifts off the ground toward the Vortex that is forming. Razor gets caught in the magical pull as well, and a maelstrom of magical power overloads his mind as he touches T-Bone. His vision grows dark, and he loses consciousness.

T-Bone tries to grab his unconscious partner as they enter the Vortex, but Razor drifts away from him, and disappears as he is thrown into the past. He drifts in shock for a while, and a Vortex opens lazily over a huge forest.

He touches down on the ground, looks around, then starts walking, pondering his actions. He is suddenly set upon by several rough looking Kats.

“Hold, thou art being waylaid by the Arsenal. Drop thy weapons and surrender thy gold, and thou shalt die a quick, painless death.”

“Screw you!” T-Bone shouts, as he leaps aside. He feels weak as he lands and aims his glovatrix, launching several missiles. An arrow resides where he just stood, and he sees where it came from. He launches a net at the kat just as an arrow glances off his helmet. He fires more missiles at the remaining Kats, killing them, but the one in the net had freed himself, and rushed T-Bone, claws unsheathed.

T-Bone meets the Kat’s rush, and is rewarded by the painful scrape of three claws down his face. He grabs the Kat, and throws him over-shoulder, against a tree. The Kat hits the tree with a sickening crunch, and lies still. T-Bone uses his mask to staunch the bleeding from his face, not knowing yet that he had lost his eye. He rummages through a few packs and finds some gold, then takes an undamaged pack and places the Tome of Time in it. He takes extra clothes he finds in one of the packs and puts them on, placing his G-suit in the pack with the Tome. Shortly, he sets off again, still holding his mask against his eye.

He stumbles across a small hut, and the Kat inside helps him as much as possible. As he passes a looking-glass, he gasps, for he had seemingly aged over fifty years. He recognizes himself as being the ‘crazy old mage’ that had helped them only a day before.

“I can take thee to a healer, but I think thou hast lost thy eye, old one. What is thy name?”

He thinks for a moment, then responds, “Eugene, Eugene Long. Tell me, what news in these parts?”

“The PastMaster hath been defeated not but a fortnight ago, by two Heroes in a flying machine.”

“The DragonSword Legend.”

“Yea verily, how hast thou known of this? ‘Tis but a Legend in this country only.”

“I have been here twice before, and have heard of this Legend. I didn’t know it had been fulfilled yet.”

They leave the hut, and head toward a nearby village. They talk until they arrive at the village, then part ways. Chance makes his way to the healer, where he can get his injury tended.

* * *

Pain, thirst, heat, darkness.

He wakes up in a hospital, an IV in his arm, and a grey tabby dressed as a doctor standing nearby.

Seeing the patient’s return to conciousness, he declares, “I’m Dr. Drake. You were very lucky. You were found in the desert near the Salvage Yard, severely dehydrated, and would have died had you not been seen by a truck driver.”

“Where am I, and what’s today’s date?” the patient asks.

“December 7, 1966, and you’re in MegaKat General Hospital. Now, tell me, what’s your name?”

“My.” he stops, trying to think, “I–I don’t know.” he looks at the doctor in confusion, “I have no memory of who I am.”

He only has a vague memory of a swirling vortex, falling slowly, and taking off a mask, helmet, flight suit, and glove-thing before stumbling toward a City. He decides not to tell this to the doctor, as the doctor may think him insane.

“Hmm. I’ll run a paw-print check, and see if we can identify you.”

Several hours later, the doctor comes back, with a lieutenant in the Enforcers, and lab-coated scientist.

Dr. Drake says, “This is Lieutenant Feral, and Doctor Longclaw. Your pawprints are on no known file, but you bear a striking resemblance to a Professor Isaac Hackle, an engineering scientist Pumadyne was expecting to show up last week.” Turning to the scientist he asks, “Is he this Professor Hackle?”

“I’m not entirely sure, we only recieved word from our Abyssinia research labs that he was coming here, but he never showed up. I think though that he probably is Professor Hackle. We will have to wait and see, after we send his picture to the Abyssinia labs.” Dr. Longclaw declares.

“I’m a scientist? What kind of research?”

“General weaponry, robotics, and jet propulsion.”

“Ahh, ok. Weapons researcher, huh?”

“Yes.” Dr. Longclaw says.

The medical doctor continues, “Lieutenant Feral is assigned to be your guard, apparently someone left you for dead in the desert.”

“Ok, I’m a scientist someone wants dead, and I have no memory of what happened to me. In fact, I have no memory, period.”

“That isn’t good. At least Abyssinia sent copies of your notes on your latest project ahead of you.” Turning to Dr. Drake he asks, “If we verify that he is Hackle, when can he start back on his research?”

“In a week, give or take a day or two.”

“I can have verification day after tomorrow.”

Epilogue

September 16, 1999

Chance awakes, his wounds bandaged, in a bed. He feels his right paw being held in two very familiar paws. Felina smiles at him as she sees him waking up, then bursts into tears. He looks at the bed next to him, and sees Callie sitting next to Jake, tears in her eyes, holding one of his paws against the side of her face.

He tries to sit up, and feels his entire body ache like he had been stabbed with knives all over. Pushing the pain from his mind, he tries again, and succeeds, then reaches out and pulls Felina against him, holding her as she starts weeping.

“I love you.” he manages to say, “I love you, Felina.”

He sees a tiger-striped tom-kitten, and a peach colored she-kitten, peeking around the edge of the door at them, then hears Professor Hackle’s voice, “Come, children, leave your mommys alone for a while, and we can play hide and go seek.”

The kittens don’t move away, and actually come in the room, instead of standing behind the door looking in. The tom-kitten comes to Felina, and tugs at her bullet-proof vest, while the peach heads to Callie, and climbs in her lap.

Hackle hobbles in, “Oh, well. I tried to keep them occupied, but I’m too old to keep up with them.”

Chance asks Felina, “Is he? I–I know you were six months pregnant when all this happened.”

“He is, Chance, he is. I’ve named him Jacob Chance Furlong.”

Chance pulls away from her, and ignoring the pain, he tries to pick up the kitten, who backs away, unsheathes his claws, and looks warily at him.

“Tiger, he won’t hurt you, he’s your daddy.”

Still looking warily at Chance, he edges over to Felina, then wraps himself around Felina’s leg.

“Great, leech.” she says.

“Tiger?”

“It’s a nickname that Uncle Ulysses gave him when he clawed at him as a newborn.”

“That’s my boy!” Chance exclaims.

They hear Jake groan, “Ohh, crud.” They look over, and see Jake wake up. Callie whispers “Jake!”

“Callie, wha–ouch, I feel like I’ve been through a meat grinder.”

He looks around, and sees the kitten in Callie’s lap.

“Don’t tell me that you were pregnant when this happened.”

“I was, although I was only about one month along.”

“I’m so sorry, Callie. I’m sorry I wasn’t there.”

“Don’t be, Jake. It’s not your fault.”

“I can’t help but feel that it is.” He pauses, and looks at the kitten, “Do ya think she’ll let me hold her?”

“I don’t know, Jake.”

“What’s her name?”

“Julie.”

After a few tries, he sits up, and holds his arms out.

“Hello, Julie, how are you?”

The she-kitten cowers in Callie’s lap. Jake looks dejected, and lowers his arms. After a few moments, the she-kitten, apparently deciding that he wasn’t going to hurt her, cautiously climbs onto the bed, then into his lap, then proceeds to look him over.

While the kitten is looking Jake over, he looks the kitten over.

“She looks like you, Callie. Peach fur, blonde hair, emerald green eyes. She’s a little jewel.”

Looking confused, Callie says, “That’s a nickname the Professor gave her.”

Julie tries pulling on his sideburns and whiskers, then moves on to looking at and tugging on his ears. Suddenly she finds herself being held close by the strange tom, and feels him purring to her. She starts to cry out, but settles into his arms and purrs back.

Callie says, “I think she’ll eventually take to you, Jake, you purr exactly like the professor, and that’s something he’d always do to comfort her, from when she was a newborn. He would have made a good father, if he would’ve ever had kittens.”

Hackle smiles, and leaves the room. He picks up a backpack, and leaves the house, where he was met by Eugene. They walk away from the house, toward the beach.

Eugene asks Hackle, as they walk away from the house, “Jake, do ya remember what led to all of this?”

“Yes, I do.” Hackle’s voice shows a little bit of anger.

“Dark Kat went to the alternate dimension’s past, not ours. There he changed those SWAT Kats, made them bad. They were never supposed to be.”

“So all this was for nothing.”

“No. If you knew half of what I know, you’d know that it wasn’t for nothing. I have something difficult to ask, and if you refuse, I’ll take on that job myself.”

“What’s that?”

“To be Professor Hackle again.”

At this Hackle falls completely silent. Eugene looks at him, and notes the unreadable expression on his face.

They walk in silence for some time, when Eugene, growing impatient, asks, “So, will you? Or do I?”

“What exactly does, ‘Be Professor Hackle’ entail? Creating the MetalliKats again, so I can live this hell a second time?”

“Yes, no, yes, no, ahh shoot. The MetalliKats killed Dark Kat in that dimension, Jake.”

“They also killed our doubles.”

“Once again, no they didn’t.”

“What? We were told so by that Commander Feral.”

“Let’s just say that I tricked everyone there into thinking they are dead. I haven’t actually done it yet, but it’s been done already, if you catch my meaning.”

“So, I make the MetalliKats, who kill Dark Kat, and the bad SWAT Kats kill the MetalliKats, is that it?”

“Basically.”

“Three wrongs, or two for that matter, does not make a right, Chance.”

“I’ll ask only one more time, Jake, will you or won’t you? If yes, I’ll magically wipe your memories again, restore your youth, then send you back in that dimension. If not, I’ll wipe your memories of being Hackle, restore your youth, and send you back to just after this all started. Then, I’ll restore my youth, get into all the files and databases, and change the pertinent info about Hackle to myself, then play out Isaac Hackle in that dimension.”

“Major problems with that, Chance. For starters, you don’t look like me or Hackle, Tanya Briggs apparently was Hackle’s lover before she met Leonard Briggs in 1960. I came in 1966, only seven months before I was born. When I met her in 1982, she knew I wasn’t the real Professor Hackle, and told me so. I told her about my amnesia, and told her what little I remember before I woke up in the hospital. We both did research and found out later that year that the real Professor Hackle was a spy for the Russians. We then cross-referenced my pawprint and found out that I was Jake Clawson. That is why she was always so wary of me, and the basis of her scientist jokes toward me when I, as Jake Clawson, was dating Callie. I did not however, regain my memories until August, 1994, which, if you remember, is when I gave us the Cybertron.” He sighs, then says, “I’ll do it, on one condition. After all this is done, I want no memory of being either Professor Hackle, ever again.”

“I can do that, Jake. Whenever you’re ready we can start.”

“Let’s get it over with.”

“Very well.” He pages through a spellbook, then rhymes a spell, “Hear my spell, O words on page, restore this Kat to his proper age!”

To be Continued…

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