Authors Notes: Don’t mind me, I tend to ramble on a bit… This is my very first completed SK story, flames/comments welcome. I was originally going to have this be two separate stories, but the more I thought both of the plots through, I couldn’t really separate them. Anyway, this story happens a few months after the ‘Curse of Kataluna’ (the unfinished episode also known as ‘Succubus’, thank G-d for all the sites that had the episode info). Thanks to a few Air Force buddies, who will remain nameless for now, for getting me the proper jet fuel designations. I don’t agree with the Enforcers being completely helpless, like the T.V. show portrayed them to be, or with Chance/T-Bone being a lazy moron, interested in only Scaredy Kat, flying, and she-Kats, always leaving Jake/Razor to do all the work on the TurboKat, Etc., so I’ve taken a small amount of liberty with them, to improve the storylines and the characters. I’ll rate it PG-13, well, make that an R, for the one scene at the end.
Psuedo-Legalese crap: SWAT Kats, MegaKat City, Etc. are owned/copyrighted by Hanna-Barbera. Hoagieville is MKC’s version of our Subway(TM). If there is a real place/sub shop named Hoagieville, I’ll put a trademark on it, or try to come up with a different name. MetalliKa, Metallica, whatever, same band, different Universes. You know who owns the name I’m sure. The nightmare I originally gave Chance is very close to the one that Worthy gave him in ‘Thoughts on the Ones of Darkness,’ so I’m giving her all the credit for the idea of Chance having nightmares about his alternate dimension double. The Enforcer Charity Ball is a quick nod to Jade Callan. Without her works I wouldn’t have started on this mess. (No one crashes this party though…) Dodge is owned by DaimlerChrysler. Commander (Capt.)Cheryl Michelle Blake and Sergeant (Lt.)Calvin Robert Micheals are borrowed from a science fiction series that I have written, but never published. The other introduced Characters are exclusive to the SK universe.
Table of contents:
Chapter 1: Red-Hot Chili Peppers
Chapter 2: Moving Troubles
Chapter 3: A Chance Meeting
Chapter 4: Nervous as a Kat
Chapter 5: MetalliKat Amusement Park
Chapter 6: Decisions
Chapter 7: Having a Ball Epilogue
Chapter 1: Red-Hot Chili Peppers
Thursday, May 25th, 1995 CE. Callie drives to the Salvage Yard, and pulls up to the garage. Jake walks out and asks her, “Having car problems again, Ms. Briggs?”
“No Jake, this old crate is fine for now.” she responds.
“Ok, then why are you here?” a bewildered Jake asks.
She pauses, then says, “I want to ask you two if you can help me out with moving into my new house.”
“I guess so, I’ll have to ask Chance when he gets back from getting parts for someone’s car.” he responds, wiping his paws on a rag. He then continues, “If you want you can wait here for him, we have some milk if you want some.”
“Thanks, Jake, I can.”
He escorts her into the living room, and hands her the T.V. remote, goes over to the fridge, and gets a can of milk out. Schooling the expression on his face, as he’s trying not to hyperventilate at the prospect of a beautiful She-Kat in his house, he walks back over to her, and hands the can of milk to her. He starts to walk back into the garage to work on a car there. Chance walks in. Jake says, “Ms. Briggs wants to know if we can help her move into her new house.”
“Someone’s gotta work on the cars, we got too much of a backlog already. What day will you need us?”
“This Saturday.” she responds.
“We’ll argue who gets to go, and who works on the backlog. Be right back.” Chance says, as he grabs Jake by the scruff of his neck and hauls him to the garage office. “CHANCE!” Jake cries out as he gets dragged off. Chance closes the door, and they start arguing.
She turns the T.V. on, then sneaks out and listens to them.
“Let’s both go then, please?” Jake asks in a pleading voice.
“I like her, but I don’t like moving things, I’m stayin’ here. You can go, though.” Chance states, matter-of factly.
Jake says, “No way! And leave me alone with Callie? You know how I feel about her, and how nervous I get around her! I ain’t going alone!”
Chance growls, “I hate moving things more than working on cars, I’ll stay, you go.”
“No! You’re stronger, I’m better at fixing things, you go, I’ll stay.” Jake sounds panicky.
“It looks like we decide the usual way.”
“Aww, Chance.” She hears Chance get out of a chair, and runs back to the living room, where she had left the T.V. on. She sits down and looks like she’s watching it. She watches Chance walk through, and asks him, “Decided yet?”
“No, Ms. Briggs, it’s come down to a contest of wills.” he says as he gets a rather large bowl and walks over to the fridge. She watches him fill the bowl with something, then set the bowl down as he gets two pair of rubber gloves, then walk back out with the bowl and gloves.
She sneaks back out to the garage and listens.
She hears Chance say, “Loser goes. Pepper number one.”
“I see your pepper and raise you this.”
“Oh, tough Kat, I also see your five peppers, and raise you five.”
“Not this time, buddy, I see your ten, and raise you three.”
“Ha, I can handle more Gees and more peppers. I see your thirteen and raise you two.”
“I see your fifteen and raise you two.” she hears Jake pant.
She hears crunching then what sounds like Jake gagging. “Ha! Loser!” she hears Chance roar in victory as she dashes back to the couch. She barely manages to keep a slightly worried look instead of a highly amused look on her face, as Jake runs out and grabs a whole six-pack of milk from the fridge and starts to down it can by can. Chance walks in with the bowl and a ‘Who’s da Kat’ look on his face, empties the bowl’s contents back into the fridge, and grabs a can of milk off of the six-pack that Jake is chugging on.
“Looks like Jake gets to go with you on Saturday then.” turning to Jake he jokes, “Enjoy your date with her furniture.”
“Very–funny–Chance.” Jake manages to get out between gulps of milk.
“Thanks guys. I’ll pick you up at seven-thirty on Saturday, Jake.”
Walking out to her car she thinks, ‘That is the weirdest contest I’ve ever heard of.’ She get in her car, starts it up, and drives to her apartment, to finish packing things.
Chapter 2: Moving Troubles
Saturday morning, Jake wakes up early at six-thirty, gets changed into jeans, and a t-shirt. He sees Chance watching Scaredy-Kat. As he leaps over the railing and lands softly, Chance ducks. Chance hazards a look around as he doesn’t see, hear, or feel Jake flying over him. He sees Jake’s tail disappear around the corner into the kitchen, then he hears Jake rummaging around the fridge and come out, with a piece of pizza and a can of milk.
“What, no pounce this morning, Jake? I’m starting to feel unwanted.”
“Every Saturday, I try to pounce you, and you always duck. Then we get in a scuffle which usually ends with me getting a five minute noogie.”
They hear a car horn outside. “Callie’s here, Jake, hurry up.” Chance says, then continues, “Enjoy your date with a moving van.”
“Haha, very funny, Chance.”
Jake downs the rest of the can of milk, and then stuffs the pizza in his mouth as he runs up to his room for his wallet and his set of house/garage keys, then Chance’s room for Chance’s cellphone. He dashes outside to find Callie waiting. He looks at her and notices she’s dressed in pink sweat pants and a navy blue t-shirt with an upside down red triangle on it, it reads, ‘I love the SWAT Kats’. He mutters ‘If only you knew.’ upon seeing it.
“Sorry I’m a little early, I couldn’t sleep. Now what did you say?”
“Nothing, Ms. Briggs, nothing at all.”
“Jake, you can call me Callie. Now what did you say?” she gets insistent.
“Ok, fine, do you really love the SWAT Kats?” he asks as he thinks, ‘If only you knew.’
“Yes, but not romantically. They’ve saved my life more than a few times.” she says.
‘If only you knew.’ he thinks, as he says, “Oh.”
They drive to MegaKat Moving Van Rentals and rent a van for the weekend. She leads him to her apartment, and he helps her start moving things down the stairwells. After an hour and a half, they have filled the van with quite a few large, heavy things. He gets in the van, starts it up, and follows her car to her new house. They have the van unloaded in an hour’s time, and start moving things to where she wants them. They get done putting everything in place, and she notices that it’s almost eleven, so she asks him, “Jake, would you like a sub?”
“Uhh, sure, what sub shop?” he asks.
“Hoagieville.” she responds.
“Ok, I’ll take a Poultry delight, with hot peppers and no cheese.”
She responds into the phone, “Mmhmm, that’s a FisherKat’s special, no cheese and light mayo, and a Poultry delight with hot peppers and no cheese.” She hands Jake some money with the keys to her car. He gets there and waits a few minutes for the subs, pays for them and leaves. He drives back to her new house and she has set up a small card table. They eat their lunches, and he says, “Thanks for paying for this, Callie.”
“No problem, it’s the least I can do for you, Jake.”
They finish their lunches and get in the van to get more things from her apartment. Jake and Callie load the remaining furniture, as well as a lot of her trinkets and knick-knacks, then drive back and unload everything into her house, and put the furniture in place. They go back to her apartment for the last time, and load the last of her things, mostly clothing and the such. She starts clean the place, and while he vacuums the carpeting, then she turns the apartment keys in to the building manager. They leave and get back to her house, and unload everything into the rooms that it all will end up in. She orders a pizza for them. They eat, then he helps her unpack a lot of things, and put them away. She notices that it’s almost time for the eleven o’clock news. He goes out to the living room and plugs in the T.V. and gets it hooked up to the cable. He turns it on and changes channels. He walks over to the couch and collapses, muttering, “I hate moving furniture.” Callie walks out, hearing the T.V. and sits down next to Jake. Half-way through she realizes he’s not commenting on the news anymore. She looks at him and sees he’s fast asleep. She turns off the lights and the T.V. then sits down next to him, she kisses him on the cheek, and wraps her arms around him, and snuggles up close to him. Pretty soon she feels him starting to purr, she thinks, ‘He must really like me.’ She climbs in his lap, so he’s holding her, and puts her head on his shoulder, while wrapping her arms around him. She falls asleep, listening to his purring.
The next morning, Jake wakes up to feel a warm, soft, audibly vibrating something in his lap. He opens his eyes, and sees that the something is Callie, and that she has her arms wrapped around him, with her head on his shoulder, purring.
‘The only other time I’ve ever heard purring was when Lee was a kitten.’ He thinks as he remembers nine years before, when his four year old niece had fallen asleep in his lap while he was holding her, then she started purring, which had surprised her parents.
Mike had said to him, ‘I’ve never heard her purr like that except when she falls asleep with Lauren or I.’
Jake shrugged and said, ‘I am her favorite uncle, remember, Mickey?’
Lee stirred as her father picked her up, but she remained asleep. Her father took her to her room, and put her in bed.
He looks down as Callie stops purring and wakes up. “You stopped purring, Jake.”
“Only because your purring woke me up.”
“I wasn’t purring, was I, Jake?” she asks sleepily.
“Yes, I’m afraid you were, Callie. I do have feelings for you, so I probably did purr a lot last night. But I woke up to feel and hear you purring, too.” he tries to extricate himself from her arms.
She feels him moving to get up, and holds him tighter, as she looks in his face and sees him getting very nervous, with a mix of emotions evident in his amber eyes. He looks at her and sees a look of concern on her face.
“I wonder what my parents would say.” he finally says.
“The Clawsons? Why? What would they say?”
“I’ll tell you then. My parents told me I was to become a lawyer, and marry Darlene Steele. I never could stand her, I would have married one of my sisters before I would have married her. Anyway, I determined that my parents were not going to rule my life. So I joined the Enforcers. When I joined the Enforcers, my parents weren’t happy, but they were proud of me when I ranked an overall fifth in my class. When I got kicked off of the Enforcers, they all disowned me, except my younger twin sister Claire. Now, she and I don’t even talk anymore. Chance has it way better than I do, his family still talks to him, even though they fight like Alley-Kats.” He sighs, and tries to get up, so he can go home. She puts her head back on his shoulder and pleads, “Please stay.”
He stops and looks at her, “Why?”
“I want to tell you more about myself.” she says.
“Ok.” he stops squirming. She starts by saying, “In all honesty, the very first time I saw you, I fell for you. A few times after that first time, I got the impression and was told that you were a stuck-up snotty-muzzled rich brat.” He looks at her with a hurt expression on his face. She half-giggles as she continues, “As a newcomer in town and in that school, I wanted to make friends with anyone, and get a boyfriend. Anyway, as the school year progressed, I noticed that you would look at me with a quiet, dreamy kind of way, if you thought I wasn’t looking, and when you thought I was looking, you’d bury your muzzle in a book again, usually some science book or another. Fact of the matter is, I wanted to be your girlfriend, even though you were a freshkat and I was a senior.”
“Really? I–I didn’t know.”
“Yes, Jake, I loved you then, and still love you, even though you are a Clawson.” She pulls his head down to hers and kisses him.
After she stops kissing him, he responds, “Was a Clawson, now I’m a nobody mechanic on the edge of town.” He tries to get up, but fails.
“You’re my ‘nobody mechanic on the edge of town’, please stay?” she pleads.
He looks at her for a minute. “I–I can’t,” he finally says.
“Yes, you can, Jake.” She kisses him again, holding him even tighter in her arms.
When she stops kissing him, he says, “I just can’t stay, I–” He tries to get up again, and succeeds as he decides to pick her up with him.
“Please, Jake? Please stay?” she asks as she feels him pick her up as he stands.
He tries to put her down and succeeds, but can’t extricate himself from her embrace. “I–I gotta go, I can’t stay. Besides, we have to return the van this morning.”
She kisses him one last time, and then lets him go, an extremely sad look on her face and in her eyes. “Ok. Bye, Jake.” She sighs and turns around, tail and ears drooping. She walks to the bedroom and closes the door. He hears her start to cry.
“Crud. Why me? Why do I always ruin things?” he mutters as he grabs the keys. He takes the van back to the rental company, fills out the paperwork and calls Chance using Chance’s cell phone. Chance stops by, and picks up Jake.
He sees that Jake is depressed. “Wha’sa matter, buddy?”
Jake explains what went on last night, and that morning.
‘There go any chances I ever would have had with Callie.’ thinks Chance as he says, “Buddy, you should have stayed. She needed you, she wanted you.”
Jake glares at Chance for a minute. “I know, I just got too uncomfortable there.” he pauses, then continues, as he starts blushing, “I don’t want to, well, you know, not before marriage at least.”
“It’s ok, Jake, I know how ya feel. Your influence, no doubt. I tell ya what, ya wanna come with me to visit my family this morning, just to keep your mind off of her?” Chance asks, with a hopeful look on his face.
“I dunno, I get the impression they don’t like me.” Jake still looks depressed.
“Nah, just my Ma, Dad likes ya, and we’ll probably get ta see another fight where the fur and claws are a flyin’. Chance starts grinning.
Something occurs to Jake, and he asks with a kitten-like innocence on his face, “Is that a pun on our last names and our *other* job?”
“N– that’s a bad one, Jake.” Chance quickly glares at his partner.
“That almost makes up for not pouncing you yesterday.” Jake laughs at him. “Sure, I’ll go.”
Chapter 3: A Chance Meeting
Felina wakes up, and as she gets dressed in civvies, she grumbles because it’s her day off. “I’d rather be flying a patrol.” she mutters as she thinks about what she has to do that day. She gets her not-often used purse, and walks down to her car, in the Enforcer building’s garage. She gets in her car and drives off to a mall, so she can try and act like a civilian. She spends a few hours window-shopping, not something she even really enjoyed doing, as it was one of her mother’s favorite pastimes. She also buys a music CD, one with a jet black cover and barely distinguishable marks on it, as well as a portable player and tape adapter for her car. She goes out and hooks all the stuff up, and tries to start her car. It won’t. Disgusted, she pulls out her car phone and calls MegaKat Auto Club, who promise to send a towtruck right away.
Jake answers the phone, and is informed that there is a car he can tow at the nearby Mall. He calls Chance, and they load into the towtruck. They drive to MegaKat Eastside Mall, and they spot Felina’s car. They get out and recognize Felina.
“‘Li–er, Felina, hi.” Jake says, trying not to use her nickname.
“Huh, oh, hi, Jakey, you’re my tow, hmm?”
“You can thank your uncle for us then.” Chance says. Turning to Jake he says, “Jakey? That’s a new one, Sureshot!”
“Yeah, Chance, she and I were friends in school and the Academy, and I was assigned to be her gunner in Katscratch City, before I was shipped back here to be your gunner.”
“Yeah, I had heard what had happened to you, Jakey, and I’m sorry about my Uncle.”
“Don’t be, more good has come out of it than you might think, Lieutenant.” Jake responds.
“Since when did I become ‘Lieutenant’ to you? You can always call me ‘Lina.” she responds.
“‘Lina, that sounds pretty.” Chance responds, before Jake can say anything.
“Yeah, well, ‘Lieutenant’ to you, Furlong.”
“Call me Chance, please? You sound too much like your uncle when you say that.” he grimaces.
Jake is already under the hood of her car, and tries to start it, nothing. He hooks up jumper cables, and tries again, nothing. “Look, we’ll have to tow you, we’ll fix it cheaply, if it is what I think might be the problem. Care to wait while we fix it?”
“I’m off today, I can’t see wasting anymore time trying to act like a civilian. Beside, maybe we can catch up on old times, Jakey.”
“Maybe, but first lets get you there.”
Jake and Chance hook her car up, and they all three pile into the cab, and drive to the Salvage Yard. Chance takes one of his shortcuts.
“AWWW CHANCE!!!” Jake yells.
At the Salvage Yard, Chance and Jake are working under the hood of her car. Jake says, “I think that this ballast resistor is the problem, they have been known to go at any time.”
“I dunno, a simple little ballast resistor?”
“The K.I.S.S. engineering principle, or Keep It Simple Stupid, that also applies to fixing things, like engines, computers, even…” Jake gets out from under the ‘Cuda’s hood and he points downward, half-whispering “The items relating to our other job.” Jake pokes his head back underneath the hood, “Anyway, the simple things cause the most problems. Like a ballast resistor. Besides, these old Dodges are prone to blowing them, for any reason, or no reason. The ones most prone, though, are ones like this that have an aftermarket distributor on them. The aftermarket units still use the factory ballast resistor.” Jake says from underneath the hood.
“So that why ya always check the small piddly things first. Huh.”
“Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s the small piddly things that failed.” He finally gets the ballast resistor out of it’s socket. “Bingo, just as I thought, a ten dollar ballast resistor killed the car.” Jake pulls the piece out and shows it to Chance. “I’ll be back in a few minutes, that is, if MKAPA still stocks them.”
Jake climbs into the towtruck and drives away. Chance walks into the living room, where Felina is disinterestedly watching the T.V. “Jake found the problem, he’ll be back with a new ballast resistor, and a spare, we’ll show ya where it is, and how to put it in. Those old Dodges are prone to blow the little things, at least, that what he said.”
“What do like to watch on T.V. , Lieutenant?”
“I don’t know, I don’t watch it much anymore. I used to like Litterbin, but my shift changes so much, I can’t even watch TV a lot.”
“Litterbin, huh, so who got who watching that, you or Jake?”
“We both liked Litterbin already, and that about the only thing that we both enjoyed doing together, besides flying that is.”
“You like Scaredy-Kat?”
“No, I can watch it, but it’s not that funny.”
They sit for a minute, watching the T.V. in silence. The phone rings and he answers it. “Hello, MegaKat Salvage Yard, Chance speaking–oh hi, Ms. Briggs–no Jake ain’t here, he’s gettin’ parts for Lieutenant Feral’s car–yes, I’ll tell him ya called–uhuh–ok, bye Ms. Briggs.”
“The Deputy Mayor?” Felina asks.
“The one and only.” he responds as he hangs up the phone. “He knew of her in school.”
“I knew him in school, he’s cute, but he was arranged to be married to a Steele.”
“Well, I know that already, but ya liked him?”
“We became pretty good friends in school, two years difference and all, and same in the Academy. Don’t tell him this, but when he graduated the Academy, I was the one who pushed to get him the same assignment I got, and to be his partner. I never told him how I felt for him.”
“Felt, you mean ya don’t feel the same for him anymore?”
“No, I’ve basically given up on him, he’s never loved me, we’ve only ever been friends. Nowadays I can’t even get a date with a decent Kat. To the other Enforcers, I’m a ticket to a promotion, some Kats are scared of me because I’m an Enforcer, and others want a shot at the Feral inheritance.” She starts looking depressed.
“I’m not scared of ya, just of what ya might think of me if I asked ya out. I come from a middle class family, and ya might also think that I’m trying to get my old job back. So I’m not going to ask if we can go on a date, or anything. I’m only gonna ask if we can be friends, despite your uncle. Other than Jake, and maybe Callie, I don’t really have any friends anymore.” He says, his green eyes meeting hers.
She looks at him, and says, “Well, since you won’t ask me out, I’ll ask you, wanna go out on a date tonight?”
He looks surprised, but says firmly, “Yes, only if I pay, and that I expect nothing from ya, not even a goodnight kiss.” she starts to say something, and he cuts her off, “I mean it, no goodnight kiss, and I pay for dinner. I don’t wanna be like everyone else and use ya for my own purposes and ends. I want to be a real friend to ya, not a money-grubbin’ no-good tom-Kat.”
“You’re putting too many restrictions on…”
“I only asked for a friend, not a lover. Bein’ a lover can wait a bit. I will go out with ya, but I developed a real bad reputation in my younger days. So I wanna start this relationship right. I don’t want it physical, not yet at least, because, I barely know ya. I wanna be a true friend.”
She looks back at him and sees how serious he is. Jake walks in, “I bought the last three they had, come on out, I’ll show you how to put it in, and give you a spare. We’ll keep the third one, just in case.”
He show Felina how to put the ballast resistor in, and then starts up her car. He puts the other one in her glove-box, and she tries to pay him. “No, ‘Lina, cost of parts only, we go back too far as friends for me to feel right about charging you.”
“I insist, Jakey, you barely make a living out here.”
“Just give me the amount for the two resistors, and we’re even, ok?”
She grumbles, but pays him the $20.00 anyway. Chance tells her that he’ll be at HQ in an hour. She drives off, listening to her new MetalliKa CD.
“Hey, Jake, Callie called, wants to talk to ya.”
“Uh oh, about what?”
“I dunno, she just said to call her back.” Chance heads upstairs to take a shower and start getting ready for his date.
Chapter 4: Nervous as a Kat
Jake wanders around the garage for at least half an hour, trying to work up the nerve to call Callie.
“Ok, I can do this, I can call her and ask what she wants, I will not get nervous talking to her.” he repeats over and over. Jake walks over to the phone and picks it up, “I can do this.” he said out loud, as he dials the number. “I won’t get nervous.” he says as it rings. He gets the answering machine, “Umm, hi, uh, Callie, it’s Jake, I called back, but you’re apparently not there, I’ll call ya back later. Bye.”
Just as he hangs up the phone he hears, “Of course I’m not there, I came here. I’ve been watching you for the last five minutes, Jake. I didn’t know I made you that nervous.”
He turns around and sees Callie. “Yeah, umm, you do, I mean, I–you–I…” He starts looking panicky. He sighs and tries to find the words, “Y–you’re more than just beautiful, you’re a–a *goddess*, and I’m just a–a *nobody* now.”
“You’re not a ‘nobody’, you’re somebody, and I love you, so that makes you my somebody. I want to say I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to push you this morning, it’s just that I thought you might feel the same, since we had slept in each other’s arms all night.”
“I just got scared, that’s all. I still am a virgin and want to stay that way until I’m married.” He looks slightly less nervous.
She changes the subject, “I wanted to ask you if you would escort me to a Charity dinner at Enforcer HQ on Tuesday. Please say you’ll come?”
His nervousness seemingly disappears as he laughs, then says “Yeah, I mean, yes, Ms. Briggs, it would be a pleasure to escort you.”
“Callie, you can still call me Callie.”
“OK, what time do you want me to show up at your place?”
“Six-thirty, tuxedo kind of deal, you know.” they both grimace.
“What you two frownin’ at?” Chance asks as he walks out, dressed in a suit and tie.
“Rich Kats, that’s what. Now what are you dressed so spiffy for?” Jake asks.
“A date with Felina Feral.”
“Don’t touch her, or Commander Feral would put you in AlKatrez and leave me all alone to pay for the Enforcer Building.” Jake says, laughing.
“Very funny, Jake. I’ll see the both of you later.”
“Enjoy your date.” Jake says as Chance commandeers the towtruck and speeds off.
“You bet, buddy.” Chance hollers as he drives off.
Chance pulls up and fills a parking meter with coins. He walks over to where Felina is waiting and gets in her car.
“Good evening, Felina. Where are we headed, or do I get to choose where we go?”
“Hi Chance, anywhere you want.”
“Hmm, lets see, how about the Grand Palais, I hear they’re pretty good.”
“Isn’t that a bit expensive for you, Chance?”
“Yeah, but I figure, lets make the first date a special one.” He looks at her, and sees the look on her face. “I mean what I said earlier, I pay for dinner, including tip, and no goodnight kiss, or any kissing at all.”
“Chance, lets just go to the FisherKat’s Wharf, the food is good, the service is excellent, and you don’t have to pay ten dollars for a glass of water.”
“No buts, Chance, it’s too expensive, a dinner for two usually costs $300 or more at the Grand.”
“Aww, ok, fine, since you’ve decided anyway.” He looks out the window as she pulls into traffic and sees a dark jet landing on top of HQ. “What? Hold it, I thought I saw the TurboKat land on the roof of HQ.”
“You sure, Chance? I better check the radio.” She turns on her radio and listens. ‘…nder, this is Sgt. Micheals, the SWAT Kat’s jet just landed here, and…Sir, there’s only one SWAT Kat and he’s helping the Deputy Mayor out of the jet, I recommend you get up here, Sir.’
“What…one SWAT Kat? Which one? And why does he have Ms. Briggs?” Felina asks out loud, not expecting an answer.
“It’s Razor, although he musta…” he starts, but is interrupted.
“How do you know its Razor?” she demands.
“I–well, I,” he grunts, then mutters at a barely audible level, ‘Why not? What have you got to lose, Chance, you’ve already spilled it,’ he squares his shoulders and states, “Because I’m T-Bone.”
“You’re T-Bone. Right, and Jakey is Razor, then.” she replies, her voice dripping sarcasm. “Next you’ll tell me that you have MegaKat bridge for sale.”
“Yeah, well, who better to build a jet and be vigilantes than a couple of Enforcer pilots turned junkyard mechanics, who just happen to run a *Military* Salvage Yard?”
She pulls into a parking space, “Now that you mention it, it does make sense.” she thinks about it for a second.
He holds his paws towards her, “You can arrest me if you want. I’ll go willingly.”
“Put your paws down, I don’t have many friends, and I’m not about to arrest my newest friend, simply because of my Uncle’s jealousy.”
She pulls into traffic again, and just as she makes a turn, she hears her uncle’s voice on the radio. “Lieutenant Feral, bring Chance Furlong, and report to HQ on the double.”
“Crud, now what?” Chance says.
“I don’t know, lets see, then get on with our date.”
“If we can.” he says, dreading what might happen.
Chapter 5: MetalliKat Amusement Park
Chance drives off, and Callie says to Jake, “That crack about paying for the Enforcer Building…”
“Is entirely true, technically Chance and I are still Lieutenants, but our Enforcer salaries go to paying the City back for the damage from the Enforcer Jet we crashed into the Enforcer Building. We are also restricted from any active service whatsoever.”
“So, you’re saying that you are still an Enforcer?”
“Basically, and the only thing Chance or I can do in the Enforcers is to work as mechanics. So Commander Feral has us running the Salvage Yard for him. We figured we would work on other Kat’s cars so we could bring in some money.”
“So that’s how you ended up here. I tried to find out, but I couldn’t find any records of you getting kicked off of the Enforcers.”
“Can we continue this over some cold Pizza and Milk? I’m kinda hungry.”
Before she can respond, The MetalliKat Express careens into the Yard.
“The MetalliKats!” she gasps.
“Crud, follow me, Callie. I don’t have a choice.” Jake runs into the garage, into the office. He moves a small rug and opens a trap door. He jumps down into the darkness. A second later she sees a light, and climbs down. When she gets down to the bottom she’s shocked to see the TurboKat, and Jake tripping all over himself to get changed into Razor. “Get in the jet, gunner’s seat.” he yells as he zips up his G-suit. Razor grabs his remaining equipment , then opens T-Bone’s locker and grabs his stuff, he then runs over to the TurboKat and helps Callie in. He powers up, and activates the lift. “Holy Kats, protect us, I ain’t a pilot, I’m a gunner.” He throttles up and activates the hangar door. The TurboKat flies off. He turns on the Katscanners. “They’re tracking us, I’m gonna try to lead them away, I’m heading to the desert. You buckled in?”
“Good, time for Speed of Heat. Deploying Heatshields, Ramjet Boosters–online.” he pulls the Speed of Heat lever. The jet deploys heat shielding over the cockpit and four ramjets pop out of the fuselage. A second later, the TurboKat is doing Mach 2.5, and is gaining speed at a frightening rate. He holds the top speed he can handle for twenty seconds, the powers down the Ramjets. As soon as they have dropped below Mach 1.5, he disables the Heatshielding. He banks towards the City, sets the Autopilot, and finishes getting his things on.
“Razor, no, Jake…”
“Either one will do right now, Callie.”
“If you want to turn me in when we get to Enforcer HQ, you can do so, I’ll not hold it against you.” He looks at her in the mirror, sadness evident in his amber eyes.
“That’s the last thing I’d do to the Kat I love, and to one of the two heroes I publicly endorse.”
“Part of my nervousness about our having a relationship is that I knew that this was coming, I just didn’t know how, or when. I certainly didn’t expect to have to reveal my identity to you before our first date.” he looks down, as if he’s studying the controls.
“Jake…” she starts, then stops, because she finds she doesn’t know what to say.
The MetalliKats are on their way to the Salvage Yard.
“After we get rid of those pesky SWAT Kats, we get rid of the Deputy Mayor, then lets trash this town!” Mac says as he careens around the corner and into the yard. He ignores her ‘You are the worst driver in the world.’ as he sideswipes a pile of junked cars with the hovertank. They see the Deputy Mayor and the smaller mechanic/SWAT Kat stand there for a second, then run inside.
“Well, Mac, it looks like two for the price of one, we get the SWAT Kats and the Deputy Mayor at the same time.” Molly says, with the closest to a smile her metallic face can manage.
Mac pulls to a stop, and they put on their blasters and get out. The MetalliKats make their way inside, looking for anyone. Just as they find the trapdoor, they hear the sound of the TurboKat launching.
“Crud, but they ain’t gettin’ away.” They run back out to the MetalliKat Express. Mac turns it around and drives out of the Salvage Yard, while Molly is trying to get a radar fix on the TurboKat.
“I got ’em now, Mac, they’re heading for the desert.”
The see a flash of light from the TurboKat, and lose it on Radar, as it rapidly moves off. A few seconds later they get hit hard by a sonic boom. “What the…”
“Sonic boom, Mac, it looks like they went hypersonic.”
“Mach 5, bolt-brain.”
“Now we got ’em on the run, let’s tear the City apart like a scratching post!” Mac and Molly start laughing as he turns the MetalliKat Express around and heads for the City.
As the TurboKat approaches the City, Razor disables the Autopilot. He flies toward Enforcer HQ, and when they get there he lands the TurboKat. He opens the canopy, extends the wing ladder, then helps Callie out of the TurboKat. He jumps out and walks with her to the Enforcer standing there. Commander Feral comes out. “What are you doing here, and where’s your partner?”
“He saved my life from the MetalliKats, Commander.” Callie says defensively.
“T-Bone has the night off, Commander, he had already left when the MetalliKats arrived, I had no choice but to evacuate Callie through our hangar.” Razor adds.
Feral turns to the Sergeant, “Dismissed, Micheals. I want you to resume your post here fifteen minutes. I am also ordering you to forget what you’ve heard already.”
“Sir, yes, Sir.” The sergeant walks through the door, and into the nearest elevator. They watch the elevator tick downward, to the seventh floor, where the break room is. Feral turns back to them, “So you found out who they are, Ms. Briggs. I could have told you after the first few times they appeared.”
Razor’s jaw drops open, “You know? But, you’re always saying if you find out who we are, that we’d spend the rest of our nine lives in prison.”
“Yes, Clawson, I know who you are, and believe it or not, I appreciate the help you two have been over the last two years. But, as an Enforcer Commander, I cannot publicly endorse or support you two. That’s why I always say that.” he points a claw towards Razor.
“Commander, if you know, then why all of the charades?” Callie asks while gesturing at Razor.
“Look at the crime rate of this City, since the SWAT Kats have appeared, crime has gone down, the SWAT Kats handle the big bad guys, like Dark Kat, while we keep the streets safe from murderers, rapists, thieves, and the such.”
“Commander, I know you won’t like it, but Chance is on a date with ‘Lina, call her back here, I need T-Bone. If I didn’t shake them off my tail, the MetalliKats are probably on their way here already.”
“Call Felina and Chance, get them here!” Razor yells as he runs over to the TurboKat, gets in and checks the missile loadout. “Baby-boomers and Scramblers, that’s what I need, Baby-boomers and Scr…bingo. One baby-boomer and four Scramblers, now lets see, anything else? Only twelve turboblades, one Octopus, and a two Matchheads. Hmm, not a good loadout. The cargo bay is almost empty, I must have forgot to load some more missiles. How about the MegaLaser, ok, it’s operational, but I don’t have enough battery power for more than two shots.”
Chance and Felina make it back to HQ, Commander Feral meets them in front of the building. “Furlong, do you have a spare G-suit?”
“Umm, Commander, I don’t…”
“Can it Furlong, I know, I’ve known since the first time I saw you.” Feral points to the roof.
“No, the only one I have is in the Hangar.”
“Come with me.” Feral runs inside the building. Felina and Chance follow him in.
“So much for our date.” he grumbles.
Feral takes them to the elevator, and they take it to the roof. “So, you two are dating now, eh?”
“Actually, Commander, this was our first date.” Chance replies.
“I don’t like it Felina, but you’re not a kitten anymore, I can’t tell you what to do on your spare time.” Feral stares at Chance.
“Thanks Uncle.” Felina stands on her tiptoes and kisses Feral on his cheek.
“Commander, what’s the problem, why did ya bring me here?”
“The MetalliKats ambushed Clawson and Ms. Briggs at the Salvage Yard, they escaped, but the MetalliKats are probably on their way here right now.”
“I’ll meet with you two later, we have a lot to discuss. Just take care of the MetalliKats.”
“Wilco, Commander.” he turns to Felina and sighs, “Sorry about our first date, we’ll have to reschedule it.”
“No problem, Chance.” Felina says.
The elevator door opens and Chance dashes out, to the TurboKat.
He sees Razor already in the gunner’s seat. “I grabbed your G-suit buddy, I knew I might need ya.”
“Felina knows, Razor.”
“So does Callie, and Feral figured it out years ago. Get dressed.”
Chance changes, and gets in the TurboKat. He throttles up and takes off.
“This time it’s serious payback, they ruined my first date with Felina.”
“Then ask her if you can take her to the Enforcer Charity Ball on Tuesday night, Callie has me as her escort.”
“I forgot to reload from the last time we went out, I don’t have a lot of ordinance, and the Megalaser has only two shots left.”
“Make every shot count, buddy.”
“I’ll try. Activating Katscanners, lets see if we can fin–bingo. They’re heading straight for City Hall.”
“Lets Rock and Roll!”
T-Bone swoops in, and Razor fires a Baby-Boomer. It hits the back of the hovertank, and leaves a scorch-mark, but no apparent damage. “Crud, they must be using a Mega-alloy armor! Lets see if we can fry their computers though.” He fires a Scrambler, to some effect, as the MetalliKat Express’ hover unit fails and it hits the pavement, leaving a trail of sparks and smoke. However the effect doesn’t last long, as the MKE’s hover unit powers back up and they are driving off again.
“Crud, Razor, they must have some kind of system to absorb the shock.”
“Then lets hit them with all of them.” Razor starts looking angry.
“I hope its not that heat-seeker.”
“Unfortunately, Razor it is, I’m climbing, prep for plan Z.”
“Not again, please, not again.” Razor grits his teeth and tries to keep from blacking out as T-Bone climbs.
“We’re at thirty-thousand, shutting down.”
“I don’t have a decoy, firing Matchhead missile, I hope it’s hot enough.”
He presses a few buttons, arming and firing a Matchhead missile, which apparently was not hot enough, as the heat seeker is still tracking their rapidly cooling engines. “Engage Speed of Heat, lets outrun this thing.” Razor shouts. T-Bone pushes the lever, the Speed of Heat ramjets popping out of the fuselage, and the heatshields deploying. They are pushed back in their seats hard by the acceleration, and they quickly lose the missile. T-Bone counts off ten seconds, then powers down, reactivating the regular engines. They fly back towards the city, still tracking the MetalliKat Express.
“Now lets get them.” Razor says, with a fierceness rarely seen.
He presses several buttons, and arms the remaining Scramblers. He fires them when he gets within range. “Scrambler missiles, deployed!” The three missiles hit the MetalliKat Express and it apparently overloads and shuts down. “Deploying Magnetic Grapple. T-Bone, lets grab them and drop them off a cliff in the desert.”
“Sounds like fun, Razor.” T-Bone flies down low and the grapple attaches itself to the hovertank. He then flies up and off towards the desert at top speed. He climbs to five thousand feet, then says, “Razor, bombs away.”
“My pleasure, T-Bone, dropping one MetalliKat-bomb.” he snickers as he sees the MetalliKat Express drop like a rock. They dive past it, though, not a hard, fast one, just enough to see if the MetalliKats survive impact. They level off and hover a short distance away from where the hovertank will impact. The explosion shakes the TurboKat, and they land when the smoke clears. They put on their Glovatrixes, then load and arm Mini-Scramblers and Mini-Megatons. They get out and start inspecting the still smoking wreckage. They find the MetalliKats bodies in the wreckage, with their heads still attached. They get them out of the MetalliKat Express, and take them to Professor Hackle.
“My, they are heavily damaged.” he says to them.
“Whatever you do, professor, please wipe their memories before you re-activate them.” T-Bone says. “We can’t have them always after us and the Deputy Mayor.”
“If I decide to reactivate them. They have been nothing but trouble to me, and to this city. I may decide to completely scrap them, and start over.” Professor Hackle replies.
“It’s your call professor, we decided that they are your invention, and it would be a waste to destroy them if they can be reprogrammed.” Razor says.
“I might, thank you.”
“No problem, professor.” T-Bone says.
Chapter 6: Decisions
T-Bone and Razor jump into the TurboKat and fly back to Enforcer HQ. Feral shows T-Bone a place where he can change back into Chance without being seen, then Chance drives the towtruck to the Salvage Yard, with Commander Feral following. They are met there by Felina Feral, Jake, and Callie.
“You two now have a choice.” Commander Feral tells them. “You can either turn in all of your technology, have your debt canceled, and become Enforcer Pilots again, flying in craft created by your own technology, or you can stay here, buying the Salvage yard, instead of paying off the Enforcer building, and remain SWAT Kats.”
“Which way will our identities remain secret?” Jake asks him.
“Either way.” Feral responds, as he thinks ‘I don’t necessarily want them back on the force, and it would be much harder to keep their identities secret, if that’s what they decide.’
“We’ll have ta think about it, Commander. I enjoy flyin’ the TurboKat, it’s my baby.” Chance looks at Jake.
Jake turns to Commander Feral “I’ll stay, because we are never done upgrading the TurboKat. If you want, I can give you the blueprints and technical specifications for the TurboKat as she is now. Ninety-nine percent of our equipment is based on Enforcer equipment that has been heavily modified. Right now she has a Pumadyne M-20 Mega-thruster, with about a ten percent higher thrust to fuel burn ratio for the central engine, and two modified General Dynamics J-18s with about a twenty percent higher thrust to fuel burn ratio, apiece. We are using an agrecite/titanium alloy for our fuselage, wings, and armoring.”
“Uncle, the J-18s are the same kind of engines in our jets.” Felina looks genuinely surprised.
“The engine modifications can be done in about fourteen hours time. The armoring should provide a ten percent weight savings, at a thirty percent extra cost, for fifty percent better armoring potential at the same thicknesses.” Jake comments, off-pawedly.
Feral looks at Chance, “Well, how about you, Furlong?”
“Well I’ll stay, I have those Mega-thrusters I’ve been working on, and like I said, the TurboKat is my baby.” Chance replies.
“Very well, I’ll meet you at headquarters, Felina.” Feral walks over to his car and drives off.
“Hey, guys, may I see the Hangar?” Felina asks.
“Sure, how ’bout you, Callie?” Chance asks.
“Yes, I only got to spend a minute down there, not exactly the grand tour.”
Jake heads to the trapdoor and opens it, he jumps down and turns on the lights. Chance jumps down after him, and both She-Kats climb down after them. Chance asks, “Do ya want the tour, or do ya want to wander around?”
“The tour, please.” Callie half-giggles as she says.
“Ok, well, this was an old Mega War 2 underground base that was partially bombed out, we have cleared out most of the servicing bays, two of the access hatches, one ramp and two of the three lifts.” Jake starts.
Chance continues, “We spent a month clearing the space and modernizing some of the equipment, then another three months building the original TurboKat.”
“The original TurboKat?” Felina asks.
“It was destroyed when Callie was captured by Dark Kat, Dr. Viper, and the MetalliKats.” Jake says.
“We pulled a lot of the equipment off of it, and rigged it to be flown remotely. We then rescued Callie and Mayor Manx by sneaking up in the sub or, uh, what did you call it?” Chance asks.
“I didn’t get to naming it, he calls it ‘The Sub’, I guess we could call it the SubKat. Anyway, we had the second TurboKat,” Jake gestures towards the TurboKat, “built in a month, and flight operational only a week before you transferred here, Felina. We started that,” He points to a half-finished TurboKat airframe, “after Zed nearly trashed the TurboKat. We’re building that one so we won’t be out of the air for a month next time we have to do major repairs to, or rebuild the TurboKat.”
“Chance said something about a new Mega-thruster.” Callie asks Jake.
“You’ll have to ask him. He took the SubKat out a few days after Turmoil’s ship went down, and came back with two new Mega-thrusters. He’s been secretive about them, and what model they are.” Jake responds.
“Chance, what model is your new Mega-thruster?” Callie asks him directly.
“Umm, a new model, that’s what.” Chance tries being evasive.
Felina walks over to the Mega-thrusters and inspects the one. “I don’t recognize it, it looks like a Pumadyne model, but I’ve never seen it before.”
“Ok, fine, I got it from Turmoil’s air-carrier, she had perfected, or so she said, the M-24 Megathruster.” Chance says.
“The M-24? That hasn’t gotten past the pen and paper stage yet!” Felina looks surprised.
Jake stands there, dumbfounded.
“Turmoil had it running, but these run on JP7, not the JP8 that we use. I’ve spent time modifying them to run on our fuel.” Chance continues.
“Buddy, you’re telling us that we have technology that doesn’t even exist yet?” Jake sounds stupefied.
“Yup, I figured I’d salvage some of the equipment before Pumadyne got a hold of it. I found only two M-24s, and grabbed them.”
“Talk about beating the competition.” Jake replies.
“Climb in the TurboKat, Felina, it’s a lot like an Enforcer jet, as far as controls.” Chance says. Chance starts going over the control systems for the TurboKat, while Jake shows Callie around the hangar, and shows her some of the equipment, and a half-finished TurboKat airframe.
Jake stops and looks at her, then says, “Callie–Calico, do you love me for me, or for Razor?”
She looks back at him and smiles, “I’ve loved you since high school and I barely knew Razor, so I couldn’t love him as much as you, now that I know that you and he are the same, all of the love I had for him gets focused on you, making me love you even more.” she walks up to him and takes his paws in hers.
“Do you still want me to go with you on Tuesday?” he asks.
“Yes, silly.” she leans toward him and kisses him.
Chance glances at Jake and Callie, then asks Felina, “Jake told me that there is some kind of Charity Ball or something on Tuesday night, may I take you?”
“Umm, sure, but it’s at HQ, you won’t need to pick me up, I’ll already be there.”
“Thank you, it’ll make up for not having our first date tonight.”
“How did Jakey know?”
“Callie asked him to escort her there.”
Jake, with Callie following closely, walks over to a computer, and he starts printing out a diagram of and the specifications for the TurboKat. As soon as he is finished, he walks over to the TurboKat, and leaps on the wing. He hands the blueprints to Felina, who has just gotten out of the cockpit. Felina thanks them both, then goes upstairs and leaves. Chance informs Jake that he’s gonna work on the new engines for a while, as Jake and Callie go upstairs. Callie kisses Jake and leaves. Jake goes to bed. Chance comes up and goes to bed a few hours later.
Chapter 7: Having a Ball
On Tuesday night, Jake and Chance stop by Callie’s house, dressed in rented tuxedos. Callie opens the door, dressed in a black evening gown, her blonde hair done up in an elegant, but not ostentatious, style. They get in Callie’s car. Chance drives them there, and drops them off, and parks. He comes in a moment later, and is greeted by Felina, who looks stunning in a low, but not too low-cut red dress, (Thanks, Jade.) her black hair done in a bun, with her white streaks accenting the look. He crooks his arms towards her, and she takes it. They walk in and see Jake seated with Callie right next to the Mayor and his wife He seats Felina, then takes a seat next to her. Mayor Manx makes a long, boring speech, and he applauds when everyone else does. When the dinner was being served, Chance tried to remember all the etiquette that Jake crammed down his throat in two days, and does a very good job of it. The only mess up he had was when Felina had to tell him which fork it was to use for the salad.(That’s my problem, I can never remember that…) Chance enjoyed being able to talk and reminisce with old friends and comrades from the days he was still an Enforcer pilot, and even got a grudging respect from some of the Enforcers that never liked him, simply because Felina didn’t rip off his ears when he asked her out. He didn’t enjoy, though, the incessant questions from the clueless rich Kats seated around them. He saw that Jake was visited by a couple of Kats that had similar coloring to his, and assumed that they must have been Jake’s family. He also saw Major David Steele, with a She-Kat that looked a lot like him trying to talk to Jake and Callie. Jake seemed completely disinterested in the She-Kat, who was trying to flirt with Jake. Chance tells Felina that he would like to speak with her Uncle, then excuses himself from the table. Felina follows him, and catches up with him.
“You’re not going to talk to him alone.” she says, as she takes his arm.
They walk up to Commander Feral, who is with an Abyssinian She-Kat that has dark brown hair. “You look stunning, Felina.” he comments.
“Thanks Uncle. I didn’t know you knew Commander Blake.”
“We were partners, Lieutenant Feral, just like you and Lieutenant Clawson.” Commander Blake says.
“Well, Furlong, are you enjoying yourself?” Feral asks.
Chance gets the feeling that this is a loaded question. “Yes sir, I am. You’ve checked over what we sent you?”
“I’ve ordered the modifications based on your documentation.”
Chance lowers his voice to a whisper, “Are Jake and I still independent of the Enforcers?”
“Yes, partially, but I’ll explain later, Furlong.”
Commander Blake looks at Chance, then asks Felina, “Is that the hotshot pilot that Lieutenant Clawson was transferred to be gunner for?”
“Yes, Commander, he is, or was, they had an accident, and crashed into the roof of this building, my Uncle ordered them to the Salvage yard, where they both work as mechanics.”
“I just heard them say something about documents and modifications, do you know anything about this?” Commander Blake lowers her voice to an almost whisper.
“Because they run the salvage yard, and have access to a lot of military equipment, they have come up with modifications for our jet’s engines that will improve speed and range.”
“How much improvement?”
“I’m not sure, but you can ask Jakey.”
“Ask Jake what?” Chance asks.
“I told her that because you two work in a military salvage yard, that you have come up with modifications for the J-18s in our jets that will improve speed and range.”
“Oh, yeah, each one will take about fourteen hours to modify, and what Jake has estimated improvements at is a twenty percent higher thrust to fuel burn ratio.”
“Really? Ulysses, you’ll have to get me a copy of the documentation.”
“I will Cheryl, as soon as I’ve verified that the modifications work, and are cost effective.” Feral looks at Chance.
“We never tested it, but you know how much of an engineer that Jake is. He should work for Pumadyne. Then the SWAT Kats could never match the Enforcers.” Chance says, with a slight smile.
Commander Feral grunts, and give Chance a strange look. Commander Blake says, “I have yet to see these infamous vigilantes of yours, Ulysses.”
“Stay for a few days, you’ll get to see them.” he replies.
“You know I have the Katscratch Enforcers to command, and I can’t stay away for long.”
Commanders Feral and Blake excuse themselves, as music starts, and dancing begins. Chance asks Felina, “Jake had to teach me, but I can ballroom dance, so, umm, may I have this dance?”
“I never liked that kind of dancing much, but I will go once with you.” She allows herself to be escorted on the floor, where he expertly and artfully dances with her. Jake winks at him as they pass where he’s dancing with Callie. Chance makes it seem almost fun, and Felina starts getting the feeling she might actually like it. Then she sees David Steele, who is approaching their position. “Don’t look now, Chance, but twit at one o’clock, I would like to stop dancing now, before he gets here.”
“As you wish, Felina.” they stop dancing and he bows slightly at the waist, the crooks his arm for her to take, as he straightens up. He escorts her off the dance floor, and seats her at her spot. As he sits down, he sees Steele out of the corner of his eye, he is still approaching them. “Twit alert, he’s still a comin’.” he half whispers, with a smile on his face.
Steele walks up to them and asks, “May I have this dance, Miss Feral?”
“Thanks, but no, Major, I don’t have the stomach for a lot of ballroom dancing, I actually prefer a mosh pit at a MetalliKa concert.”
“Mosh pit, you mean slam-dancing?” Steele looks extremely shocked.
“Hey, don’t bash it till ya try it.” Chance says with a mocking grin on his muzzle, a grin usually reserved for T-Bone. “Of course, bashing is part of it, it’s like a barroom brawl, only everyone’s hitting for the fun of it.”
“Chance.” Felina says warningly, then turns to Steele, “Major, I’m sorry, but I’m actually very tired, I’ve had a long day flying patrols, and then getting ready for this ball. I still have to take him home, then come back.”
“Ok, I’ll just have to ask someone else.” Steele glares at Chance, just before he turns and walks away.
“If you’re really that tired, I’ll go home now.”
“I’ll drive, so you can rest a bit from having to do anything.”
“Thank you, Chance.”
They make their way down to the garage with a minimum of hassle, get in her car and drive off. By the time they get to the Salvage yard, he notices that she had fallen asleep. He wakes her up, “I’ll sleep on the sofa tonight, if you want to sleep in my bed, you’re too tired to drive back, in my opinion.”
“No, I’m fine, I can…” She says sleepily, as she tries to get in the driver’s seat.
He stops her and says, “I’m not taking no for an answer. You are way too tired to drive back. You sleep on my bed, I’ll sleep on the couch.”
“Ok, Chance, but I have to be to HQ by seven, so I can get ready for my shift.”
He takes her to his room, and quickly clears the stuff on the floor so she can get to the bed, then clears off his bed. He takes off the tux, and puts it in the garment bag it came in. He takes a pillow and a blanket, then leaves the room, dressed in his boxers and a t-shirt. Felina closes the door, takes off the dress, sets Chance’s alarm clock, which looks like it had been the victim of a MetalliKa mosh pit, and gets in his bed, which, although heavily worn, is very comfortable. She falls asleep right away.
Jake escorts Callie in the building, and they walk to the ballroom. The mayor gestures Callie and Jake over to the head table. Jake seats her next to the Mayor, and takes the seat next to hers. The Mayor starts his speech, and he sees Callie mouthing the words to the speech. He asks Callie in a whisper, “So you wrote this one too, eh?”
“Yes, now shh.” she responds.
The mayor finishes his speech, and quite a few Enforcers dressed as waiters start serving everyone. He looks around and sees the entire Clawson family sitting two tables away. He tries his best to ignore them. After a while, almost thirty minutes, his brother, Mike, walks up.
“Well, who is this I see? You should call more often, Jacob.” Mike crosses his arms.
“As memory serves me, it was the family who disowned me, not I who disowned the family.” Jake says with a highly restrained fury.
“Yes, well, let’s save that discussion for later, hmm? Why are you here?”
Callie pipes up, “I had no one else who would take me on short notice. I asked him and he accepted.”
Jake notices a teen-aged she-Kat with Mike’s coloring and sandy brown hair approaching, “Is that Lee, Mickey?”
Mike turns around, “Leona, go back to your seat.”
“Not when I see my favorite Uncle.” she responds. “Hi, Uncle Jake, it’s been a while.”
“Yeah, it has been Lee, you’re growing into a beautiful young She-Kat.”
“Leona…” Mike starts.
“No, daddy, I will not go back to my seat. I am going to speak to my favorite uncle, whether or not you like it.” She gets a look on her face like she’ll shred him if he tries to stop her.
“Lee, you shouldn’t talk to your father that way.” Jake says just before Mike leaves and goes back to his table.
“After the way they treated you for all those years, and the way they talk badly about you now, I’ll talk to any of them that way if I want to.” she responds, fire still evident in her voice.
“Well, don’t get disowned on my account.”
“I won’t, not yet at least. So what are you doing here?” Lee asks.
“Escorting the Deputy Mayor, she couldn’t find anyone else on short notice.” Jake says.
“Well, we have had a little relationship growing for the past couple of years.” Callie responds.
“Yeah, one ‘Bye Jake’ when Chance was puttin’ the moves on ya, and the countless times Chance and I had to help you out with the latest forty foot monster problem.” Jake comments to Callie.
“Forty foot monster problem?” Lee asks.
“Her car gets smashed at least once a month by another forty foot monster that the SWAT Kats usually end up getting rid of.”
“Oh, I thought you might say that you were a SWAT Kat, Uncle Jake.”
Callie glances at Jake and nervously laughs. “No, I wasn’t going to say that.” he says as he starts chuckling with an impish grin on his face.
“Oh.” She sees two tan colored Kats approaching them. One was Major Steele, and the other was his sister, Darlene, “Uh oh, the Steeles.”
“Huh, which ones?” he asks.
“David and Darlene.”
“Aww, crud, not Darlene, she’s still after me, I’m sure, and David has always been after ‘Lina.”
“I’m gonna go, I don’t want to tear them apart when they start bothering you.”
“Lefties forever, Lee.”
She laughs, “Lefties forever, Uncle Jake.”
“Lee and I are both left-pawed.”
Just then they hear two voices, one saying, “Good evening, Deputy Mayor.” and the other saying, “Well, hello, Jacob.”
Jake mutters something unintelligible, gets a ‘please kill me’ expression on his face, then says, “Hello, Darlene, how are you doing?” in an extremely bored voice.
Callie looks at the masculine voice, and identifies Major Steele, “Hello, Major, how are you doing?”
“Quite well, Deputy Mayor, I just came because Darlene wanted to speak to him.”
“Oh, I see. Do they know each other?” she asks, even though she had heard Jake’s comments about them.
“Yes, they do, they’re arranged to be married.”
“Oh, so that’s Darlene, Jake has already told me all about it.”
“Yes, well, I’m sure that he told you a good story, but they are still arranged, according to both of our families.”
“Don’t tell him that. He’ll get angry.”
Meanwhile, Darlene responds, “I’m doing very well, Jacob.” She pauses, then purrs demurely, “I’m still available, if you want to go on a date sometime.”
“Thanks, but no, it cost me almost everything I had saved up to rent this tux, and to give money to the Charity Fund.” He says, trying to get this heat-seeker off his exhaust trail.
“I’m quite modern, I do not mind paying for my date,” she says, smoothly, “I know your resources are limited.”
“Sorry, the way I see it is, the Tom pays to be in the company of a She-Kat. So I won’t let you pay, even if I did go on a date with you.” he responds, hoping to finally shake her off his six.
“Well, I am sure David would not mind lending you money.” she continues in a half-purr.
“Sorry, but no, I may give to Charity, but I won’t accept it.” he starts showing subtle signs of anger.
Callie notices that Jake is starting to get a look she usually associates with Razor. She decides to run interference, and looks at Darlene. She notices that Darlene’s light brown hair is done up in a very gaudy style, and that her dress is a tawny color, “So, how are you doing, Ms. Steele.”
“I’m doing fine, Ms. Briggs,” she responds smoothly, her eyes raking Callie up and down. “It’s nice to see that serving in public office hasn’t totally *repressed* your feminine side.”
Jake shoots a ‘thank you’ look at Callie. He then looks at Major Steele, “How are things going in the Enforcers, Major?”
“Oh, quite well, Clawson, except for the SWAT Kats, we haven’t had much trouble in the past month.”
“The SWAT Kats, I thought they were vigilantes, not criminals.”
“They are criminals in my opinion, but I can’t seem to get that through Commander Feral’s head.”
“Commander Feral can be thick-skulled at times. He is though, all in all, a good Kat.”
“So, Jacob, are you going to marry Darlene, or are you going to continue the charades, and leave her at the altar.”
“I’ll marry who I wish, not who my family wishes. So, yes, I’ll continue the charades, and leave her there, for the rest of her life.”
“Well, I hope you are happy tearing your family apart.”
“They disowned me, not the other way around, so *they* tore the family apart, and yes, I am *quite* happy being a junkyard mechanic.”
Callie ignores Darlene’s comment and asks her, “Are you here with Major Steele tonight?”
“Of course. You’re here with Jacob?” Darlene looks down on the Deputy Mayor with a superior disdain.
“He’s my mechanic, I had no one else who would take me on short notice, so I asked him, and he accepted.” Callie says, off-pawedly.
“What about his partner? Couldn’t he have taken you?” Darlene narrows her eyes slightly.
“No, he’s already here, as Lieutenant Feral’s escort.” Callie points Chance and Felina out to her.
“I see.” Darlene sees a rather burly Tom, seated next to Felina getting up, and walking over to Commander Feral. Felina follows him. Darlene smoothly says, “She is, however, already arranged to marry David.”
“Jake tells me that you were arranged to be married?” Callie asks, knowing she’s opening a can of worms, but also knowing that she is running out of conversational options.
“Are arranged,” she replies smugly.
“What’s the reasons, or the reasoning?”
“Money, of course, my dear. Why else?”
“Ahh, Darlene, the music is going to start in a few minutes, may I have the pleasure of the first dance with you?” Major Steele asks.
Jake half gags at hearing ‘Darlene’ and ‘pleasure’ in the same sentence. Callie rests her paw on his arm. “You ok?”
He watches the Steeles walk away. “I will be in a minute, when the idea of her being pleasurable is gone.”
“I can see why you don’t want to marry her, what a witch.” Callie gets a disgusted look on her face.
“Well, let’s forget them, may I have this dance, Calico?”
“My pleasure, Jacob.”
“You’re my idea of pleasurable.” he says with a wry smile on his face, as they get up from the table and join the couples on the floor.
“I’ll warn you, I never learned how to ballroom dance.” she says.
“I know how, I can teach you. Besides, I taught Chance.” he takes her paw, and starts to guide her.
“What?” she asks, surprised, as she is led around.
“If there was a camera, it would have made Funniest Home Videos.” He winks at Chance as they pass by.
“He’s that bad, huh?”
“Not anymore, just look, he’s really being graceful.”
She looks at Chance, who with a smile on his face, is expertly guiding Felina around the floor. She feels a tap on her shoulder, and hears a “May I have the pleasure of this dance?” She turns and sees Commander Feral standing there. “Yes, you may, Commander.” Jake asks his former Commander if she would like this dance with him, and she accepts. As they start dancing, Cheryl asks him, “How have you been, Clawson?”
“I’ve been fine, Sir, tired lately, but fine.”
“You can call me Cheryl, for this dance.”
“Then you can call me Jake, or Jacob, whichever suits your fancy.”
He deftly guides her around another couple, and she asks him, “I heard about what happened, I can get you reinstated, even though it has been two years.”
“Sorry, Comm-er, Cheryl, it was our tag, but we did swipe at Commander Feral’s wingtip with our wingtip, so it was our fault we crashed. I’m surprised he didn’t court-martial us for that, or send us to AlKatrez.” He knows he’s lying, it was Commander Feral that swiped at them, and that was why they weren’t court-martialed.
“So, it’s his fault that you lost Dark Kat, but yours that you crashed.”
“I saw you and the Deputy Mayor talking to the Steeles, are they the same Steeles you and ‘Lina joined the Enforcers to get away from?”
“Yes, they are, I’d rather marry one of my sisters than Darlene, and well, just ask ‘Lina her thoughts on David. She once said she’d rather date Dark Kat than him.”
“I met your partner with ‘Lina earlier, they really seem to like each other.”
“That they do.”
He sees his niece dancing with a Tom that looks like he’s in his early twenties. “I’d like to dance with my niece, Cheryl, outside of tonight, I haven’t seen her since my last year at the Academy.”
They dance over to the couple, and trade partners. “So, Lee, who is our illustrious and all-knowing family going to marry you off to in five years?”
“Mayor Manx’s grand-nephew, John.”
“Is he a decent Kat?”
“He’s spoiled rotten, more than anyone else I know.”
“Maybe Darlene Steele should look at him.” he chuckles.
“I can’t dance with you for long, Uncle Jake.”
“It’s ok, Lee.”
“I want to ask what you really meant by forty-foot monster problem.”
“I told you what I meant.”
“Don’t lie to me Uncle Jake, you never have before, you are a SWAT Kat aren’t you?” she whispers.
“I would never do that to you Lee. Do this and you will have your answer, take a color picture of me, and a color picture of the SWAT Kats, and see if one matches my fur coloring, eye color, height, build and pawedness.” he whispers back.
“I’ll do that, I gotta go, I love you Uncle Jake, lefties forever.”
“I love you too Lee, lefties.”
He bows out, and lets another Kat cut in. He returns to his place at the table, and sits down. Callie joins him a few minutes later.
“Lets go, I don’t have the stomach to stay here anymore tonight.” she says.
They say their goodbyes, and after forty-five minutes, finally make it out of the door. They find where Chance had parked and he drives her home. He walks her to the door, and kisses her goodnight.
He leaves and drives off in the towtruck. When he gets there he sees Felina’s car sitting outside. He walks in, and sees Chance trying to sleep on the couch.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you up.” Jake looks at his partner.
“I can’t sleep here.” Chance growls.
“Where’s Felina?” Jake asks.
“My room, she was too tired to drive back, so I offered my bed and told her I’d stay down here.” he pulls the blanket over his head.
“So she’s sleeping in your room?” he asks.
“As far as I know.” he hears Chance from under the blanket.
“I’m gonna reload and refuel the TurboKat, I’ll be to bed in an hour or so, get some sleep.”
“I’ll try, buddy.”
“Good.” Jake says as he walks upstairs, and comes back down a few minutes later in a pair of overalls. Jake goes down the hatch, and starts working. Chance tries to fall asleep, and finally succeeds. However it doesn’t last long, he starts having a nightmare. He wakes up with an almost screaming shout, “NO!!!”
Felina is woken up from a nightmare herself by Chance’s shout. She rushes down the stairs, “Are you ok, Chance?” she asks, as she nears him.
He looks at her, and sees her half-nude. He takes off his t-shirt, and paws it to her. “Put this on, I can see you.” he turns his head and looks away.
She takes the shirt, and puts it on, although she has to hold it so it doesn’t slide off of her shoulders. “Your night vision is that good?” she asks. “It’s almost pitch black in here.”
“Yeah, but unlike most Kats that have that good a nightsight, I’m not colorblind in the least.” he says, looking back at her. “I was told when I was a kitten that I am a genetic aberration where that is concerned, but normal in every other way.”
“I heard you yell, what’s wrong?” she sits down next to him.
“A nightmare.” he responds.
“You too?” she asks, worriedly.
“Yeah, you tell me your nightmare first, then I’ll tell ya mine.” he says, shaking slightly.
“Just what happened with Kataluna and my Uncle, I was reliving it in my dreams. I was at the part where Kataluna turned into a harpy when you woke me up.” She looks scared.
“Mine was,” he pauses and shakes his head, shoulders slumping, “Well, Jake and I were testing a new tracking system called the dimensional radar, and we got hit by lightning and crossed dimensions. We met up with ourselves from that dimension, they were both criminals, and when I saw that Jake, his ears were half-ripped off.” Chance gets a mournful look on his face.
“Did this really happen?” Felina asks in horror.
“Yeah, and a second later, I saw me, well, my double that is, and he punched me before I could punch him. The reason I didn’t punch him was I saw in my mind, as if I were reading a memory, images of me and Jake fightin’.” Chance stops. He takes a deep breath and says, “What I saw was Jake leaping at me, and clawing at my right ear, tearing it. I became so enraged that I extended my claws and clawed his right ear half off, then grabbed him around the throat and clawed the other ear pretty badly. I threw him against the nearest wall, and before I could approach him, he got up and ran. I followed and I found him a minute later, curled up in a ball, crying, and looking at me with fear in his eyes, a fear for his life. I grabbed him by the throat again, and told him that I would kill him outright if he ever attacked me again. I dropped him and walked off.” Chance starts fighting tears, and continues, “The damn shame of it is, when I stopped seeing the images, I landed on Razor, both of him, and grabbed one around the throat. I picked him up in the air and threw him against the wall. It was my Razor, not his double that I did that to, as both of our doubles fired on us at that moment. I apologized and picked up my dazed partner, and ran. I have been reliving that entire ordeal in my dreams.”
“Chance, you never told me that. You only told me that you’ve been having nightmares about what happened that night.” Jake says, from the doorway. “I heard your shout, and decided to see what was wrong.”
“That’s still entirely true, everything that happened that night. I’m sorry I didn’t tell ya what I saw, I didn’t wanna give ya nightmares that ya didn’t need.”
“That’s perfectly ok, buddy, I can understand, and it wasn’t really a secret, it was just something you didn’t wanna say.”
“That night also made me think that there might be more to that aberration bit than I was told.”
Felina sits down next to Chance and wraps her arms around him, leaning against him. Jake stands there for a second. “Do you two want to be alone for a while?” he asks.
“No, Jake, you’ve rubbed off on me too much, I’m not gonna do anything like that with Felina, you can stay.” Chance replies. “Go ahead and get some sleep, Felina,” he tells Felina.
“You sure, Chance?” she asks.
“Yeah, I’m sure,” he says.
Felina gets up and heads up the stairs to Chance’s room, then closes his door. Jake says, “I’ll finish up down there, then I’ll keep ya company for a bit, if ya want.”
“Thanks Jake. ‘preciate it.” Chance lies back down on the sofa.
“No problemo, buddy. Be up in about twenty minutes,” Jake says, then heads back down to the hangar.
By the time Jake gets back up, Chance is already asleep. He heads to his room and tries to sleep, but it will not come. He thinks about the nightmare that Chance had described. Several hours later, he hears Chance’s alarm go off, then Felina moving around, and getting dressed. He gets up, and gathers a few things so he can shower. On his way to the shower, he looks down into the living room and sees Felina kissing Chance on the cheek, softly. Chance stirs a little, but remains asleep. Jake takes a shower, and prepares for a long, tiring day.
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