Notes: I apologize for any mistake in details I have in this story. Whenever I watch the SK, I pay more attention to the story than the small picture. Also, I do not mean any offense when I mention “Oriental” in the story. I use the term only to differ Mr. Young and associates from the rest of the inhabitants of Megakat City. I myself am part Chinese. Lastly, I am only an amateur writer, so my work might not be very good. Sorry. Legal notes: I mean no harm in “borrowing” the characters from Hanna-Barbera’s SWAT Kats. They are owned by the mentioned company and are under their copyright, 1994-’95. Glossary Notes: Buneko* – The term bushi, meaning “warrior”, in Japanese is made up by “bu”, meaning “military”, and “shi”, meaning “man”. To fit this selection, I made up the kat version of the word, replacing “shi” with “neko”, meaning “cat”. Tachi** – Everyone knows that the katana is a Japanese sword. A tachi, however, is a Japanese longsowrd. Gaijin*** – Japanese for “outsider”.
“This is Ann Gora, Kat’s Eye News, here at the new city hall-sponsored commercial complex, the Megakat City Megamall. Built as a giant department store, this gargantuan structure promises great amounts of funding for Megakat City from all sorts of investors.”
“Ms. Briggs, tell us about this latest civic project.” Ann turned around to face Calico Briggs, Deputy Mayor of Megakat City.
Callie was used to interviews with Ann and the media, but she was uncomfortable with the situation. She stood inside the Megamall, a harebrained scheme of Mayor Manx to pull in more investors into Megakat City. The first scheme, the Megakat Towers, ended in disaster after Dr. Viper tried using the place to conquer Megakat City and turn it into a jungle by releasing spores from the roof. The place was repaired, but was later invaded by the radioactivity-eating alien bugs, who hatched their eggs there.
Then, there was the planned industrial complex just offshore from Megakat City. During the groundbreaking ceremonies, they accidentally released a demon living inside the island’s volcano. Were it not for the SWAT Kats, the giant would have destroyed the Megakat Nuclear Power Facility, whose explosion would rain deadly fallout all around the area. Were it not for the SWAT Kats, Dr. Viper would have succeeded into turning the place into a real jungle. Were it not for the SWAT Kats, the Cin-kata would have devoured katkind.
In the end though, Megakat towers was abandoned, causing millions of dollars worth of losses. It was made up only by the fact that the island-industrial-complex scheme worked, though not as originally planned since the place was converted into a resort and theme park.
She bit her lip remembering all this, but quickly returned from her reverie.
“Well, Ann, the Megamall is designed to house the largest number of tenants, franchises and stores possible in single complex. We project that we can also raise tourism in the city through our proposed indoor theme park. We’ve already made deals with contractors and…”
“Hey Jake, pass me a milk, willya?” Chance stood in front of the TV, manually switching it on. Jake opened up the ‘fridge and tossed a can to Chance. He grabbed it in midair and used his paws to deliver two punctures into the can.
Jake walked over to the TV. “Hey, looks like Manx has another scheme up his sleeve,” he said noting the news report.
Chance chuckled. “Yeah. Remember Megakat Towers, buddy?”
“Sure. How can I forget? We fought two major bad guys there, Viper and those bug aliens.” Wistfully, he remembered the past dangerous, yet glorious exploits, then turned from his reverie. “Wait. How about when we had to fight Volcanus, the demon of the volcano?”
“Ha! Of course I remember that!,” answered Chance. The fact that Razor almost perished in the fight left a big bookmark in his mind about that adventure, but he smiled. An adventure to cherish forever.
Both began to watch the news broadcast, chuckling, reminiscing about the past memories.
“…Speaking of which, he comes Mayor Manx and Mr. Young and associates,” said Callie to the cameraman of Kat’s Eye News, looking over shoulder to catch a glimpse of the magnificent white limo stopping by the main driveway. A chauffeur appeared and quickly rushed over to open the door for the waiting gentlemen inside.
Mayor Manx appeared, flanked by Mr. Young. Behind Mr. Young were two oriental Kats.
“Wrong,” Callie thought. “Three associates.”
A new face appeared. A young oriental, handsome, with slick black hair, and a graceful build came out of the limousine. He wore an immaculate white suit with a black necktie, and lithely marched alongside the elder businessmen.
“Mayor Manx, do you have anything to say regarding the new complex?” Ann rushed over to the Manx and the investors, hoping to catch something important they had to say. It was a tactic she frequently used, suddenly surprising her prey and quickly and efficiently flushing out any necessary answer to her question. Usually, the surprised interviewee would be caught off-guard and have to answer or at least make a clumsy statement.
But Manx kept his cool as he faced the reporter and her cameraman. “It’s going to be a glorious day, once I get Young and Associates to sign up a good contract,” he thought. He was very happy today. Manx knew that the accommodations of the place might allow him to pry a big amount of funds from the rich investors.
“All I can say is that this new commercial complex will boost up Megakat City’s economy and will be beneficial to all,” he grinned, his accent as thick as cream. “Excuse me, but I have to give our friends here a tour of the grounds. Good day.”
The band marched off into the complex. Ann turned to face her cameraman to wrap up the story. “As of today, many are showing high hopes for the Megamall complex. Reporting live here from the Megamall commercial center, this is Ann Gora.”
The cameraman turned his camera down. “That’s a wrap!” Ann approached Callie to thank her for the exclusive rights to cover the story.
“Another job well done, Ann,” Callie commented.
“As long as we get the exclusive,” replied Ann.
“And we get the good PR,” smiled Callie.
“Ah, Callie, mah girl. Please join us as I give Mr. Young and his partners a tour of the place,” Manx said as Callie approached the touring group. They were already about a quarter mile from the entrance where Ann was filming the news coverage, and it took Callie some time to reach them. Good thing she worked out frequently (mostly due to adventures with the SWAT Kats) or else she would’ve been panting and sweating trying to catch up. As it was, she wasn’t even breaking a sweat.
“Of course, Mayor. Our latest project cost us quite a bit and it’s best if we make it a success,” she curtly answered. Her attention was locked on the newcomer of the group, the handsome young kat that was associate to Young. As the group realized who she was staring at, she blushed, and tried to cover up her embarrassment.
“I’m sorry, Ms. Briggs,” Mr. Young apologized. “I see you haven’t met my nephew, Thomas Betan.” The newly introduced kat stepped forward to greet her.
“Good afternoon, Ms. Briggs. It is an honor to meet a as lovely a lady as you,” he greeted, courteously bowing towards Callie. His oriental manners and charm seemed to make Callie feel young again, like when she was still in high school.
Embarrassed, Callie blushed again.
“Well, that ends our tour for today,” Manx announced. The group had taken three hours in excursion of the place, and they walked towards the limo, tired. Manx, however, could still smile as he saw just how pleased Young and Associates were. He smiled on the outside, but most especially the inside. Realizations came clear into his head: “A raise in pay, and better popularity. This will raise jobs in Megakat City, and will get me reelected. Heh, heh, I already have the world’s record for longest period in office…”
Trailing behind were Tom and Callie, who were conversing with each other. They were talking about the Megamall complex, though Tom had other plans…
Tom suddenly changed the topic in their chat. “I know of this certain restaurant here in your fine city. It is an elegant place for dining.” He paused, as if cautiously considering his next words. “Will you be free for dinner?”
Callie was entering the white limo when he said that. The statement caught her by surprise, and she bumped her head against the ceiling of the car’s doorway.
“What? Can you repeat that?” she asked, her infatuation as obvious as a black kat’s presence.
“Can you come out with me tonight?” he asked, smiling the way he-kats do when trying to charm members of the opposite gender.
Clumsily, Callie replied, “Uh, sure… Why not?”
“Good. We’ll meet at my uncle’s kondominium. Seven ‘o’ clock, sharp.”
The other kats, even the chauffeur, could only smile at the happenings.
And when Callie realized this, she blushed again.
Mr. Young abruptly broke the silence. “Ah, Tom. Will you be coming with us? You earlier mentioned that you wanted to see the Oriental Exhibit at the Megakat Museum.”
“Uncle, I shall just catch up with you all later, at your kondominium.” He waved a reassuring goodbye. The door closed and the limo went off.
Tom waved a taxi over.
“Megakat Metropolitan Museum. As soon as possible,” he told the cab driver.
“Sure, pal. But it’s lunch time. I’m sorry, but it might take a while with the midday rush hour,” the driver apologized.
Tom suddenly threw him a thick wad of cash. It landed squarely, if not perfectly, on the dashboard. The driver’s eyes widened as he saw the number of digits on each bill. He then straightened into the driver’s position, and began to accelerate the cab.
“You got it. We’ll be there in two minutes,” the cabbie smiled.
But internally, Tom grinned the sly smirk of conspirators and evil schemers: “Smile all you want. Money’s no object. At least, not with the plans I have for this city. And for my empress-to-be…”
“Hey, buddy! Pass me a milk, willya?”
Jake was still watching the news report. Chance had gone back to the garage to check up on Callie’s car, newly fixed.
“A milk, Jake. One for me.”
Jake came back with the two cans, and both quickly punctured the top to drink.
“Katnip, it doesn’t get any better than this,” Chance began and continued, “We’re ace mechanics who get to fix the car of Megakat City’s pretty deputy mayor…”
Jake had just finished gulping down a mouthful, but caught on: “…while saving this city in our own way, not taking orders from some ambitious hotshot, like Feral.” Both remembered their Enforcer days and what led to the birth of the SWAT Kats. Both took deep swallows from their milk.
“Every week we fight super-powerful baddies like Dr. Viper, Dark Kat, the Metallikats, and the Pastmaster. We face incredible odds and yet always manage to make these kats cough up hairballs,” chuckled Chance on remembering their exploits. Jake was quietly daydreaming as he spoke: “We’ve saved this city. We’ve saved its people. We’ve saved…”
His words were cut short as a white limo drove into the driveway of the salvage yard. A door opened and Calico Briggs stepped out. The car then drove away.
Chance, upon seeing Callie, gulped. He immediately took of his cap, smoothened his hair, replaced the cap tidily, and fixed his overalls. “We saved Ms. Briggs.”
Callie met Chance just outside of the office of the salvage yard. “So Chance, is my car fixed up already?” Jake was suddenly surprised by the change of oration.
“For you, of course it’s fixed, Ms. Briggs. Jake’s getting it out of the garage right now.” He pointed with his thumb over his shoulder. Turning to a distracted Jake, “Here. Drive Ms. Briggs’ car outta the garage, willya.” A surprised Jake caught a pair of car keys, almost dropping his can of milk.
“And so, how was your day?” He was playing the slick routine he used whenever Callie was around again.
“We just came out of the Mayor’s latest popularity project, the Megamall,” she said, smiling. It was a smile that could melt hearts.
“We saw you on TV. Say, how’d you like some milk?” Chance asked slyly, grinning at the moment. Jake was getting her car out and they were together to talk, alone. Chance could only smile.
“No thanks. I’ve got a date tonight.” Chance’s ears drooped instantly and felt a rain cloud shower his hope. He thought glumly, “I can almost never get a date with anyone. Ms. Briggs is always busy, and Felina only knows me as T-Bone. Crud.”
“Well, gotta go. See you guys some other time,” she said standing up as Jake parked the car on the driveway.
“Have a good day. Ms. Briggs,” greeted Jake, opening the door like some gentlekat.
“Thanks, Jake. ‘Bye, Jake.” She waved as she went off, her voice sweet and tender.
Chance could only feel his hopes of romance totally fade away.
“Dr. Sinian! Dr. Sinian!”
Abi Sinian looked around to see the approaching security guard. The guard’s expression meant something was wrong again. She was almost used to it.
“Gene, what’s wrong?” She turned to face the huffing kat.
“Doctor, one of the Oriental artifacts is missing!”
“Which one?” she asked calmly. “Perhaps it’s only a minor theft,” she worried. “I’ve had enough of little undead sorcerers, ghosts and the like. Maybe just some bandit who simply plans on selling the item for a few million dollars.”
“Ma’am, the Sword of the Dragon’s Klaw is gone. The guard on duty in that area was knocked out when we found him. The alarms weren’t even tripped! He claims to have seen someone in a black jumpsuit, but the guy moved too fast for him. He then just found himself blacking out…”
Abi was even more worried: “No. Not the Dragon’s Klaw. That sword is supposed to have magical powers, not just an incredible monetary value as an archeological artifact.
No. I’m… I’m worrying too much. It doesn’t appear to be the Pastmaster, so it must be theft just for the sake of money…”
Abi calmed herself and followed the guard to the scene of the crime.
Tom quickly pulled his white business suit up over his black outfit. He smiled, knowing he now possessed it, but took care no one notice him.
“Tonight, I have a date with destiny.”
He could only smile again.
Callie pulled her car over to the kondominium owned by Mr. Young. Tom was waiting right outside the luxurious building. Tom walked over to the driver’s window.
“Ah, Ms. Briggs. You tire yourself that way. Let my chauffeur drive your vehicle to the parking lot, as I drive you to a wonderful evening,” he charmed, coolly walking over to the driver’s seat and opening it for Callie. Immediately, a waiting chauffeur replaced Callie as she got out.
Callie could almost not show how impressed she was. She never realized how courteous, refined and charming Oriental kats were. Calm yourself, Callie.
Tom smiled. Not because he had charmed a new lady friend of his, but because everything was going according to his plan.
“Why are we driving up to the Megamall?” Callie asked as Tom drove up into the parking lot.
“I have something to show you,” Tom replied, his grin beginning to look a little evil in the dark.
Both got of the car. Tom led Callie to the entrance of the Megamall. Behind him, he could feel the weight of the bundle he was carrying, hidden from Callie’s sight.
He began to speak once they were inside. “When we toured this majestic place this morning, I thought it was simply magnificent. Large, spacious, though those are not the ideals of my countrymen.” He paused, slyly considering his words. “You did not need to give us a full briefing of the place to convince us. We were impressed.”
He looked at Callie the way a kat looked at a piece of tuna. “But your charm, your wit… Your intelligence! I was enchanted by you, Ms. Calico Briggs!”
Callie began to feel nervous. “This isn’t what I had in mind…”
“So, I offer you the chance of a lifetime! I will soon conquer your grand city…” He revealed the bundle he had been concealing. “… And the rest of the world! I accept your offer…” His delicate paws began to unwrap the rolled up cloth. “… and decide that your magnificent Megamall will be the place where my capital, my fortress, my imperial palace shall stand!”
He waved a magnificent Oriental sword above his head. It was carved intricately, with a jade dragon design being its main feature. The hilt was shaped like a dragon’s neck, the pommel being the fanged jaw. The blade had a large claw design on it. Coldly, it gleamed in the electric lights of the Megamall.
Slowly, his gaze fell from the sword to Callie.
“And you, my dear, shall be my Empress standing beside me!”
He raised the sword even higher, and an emerald beam alighted from the end of the blade. It was great and burned brightly, illuminating the entire area, almost totally lighting up the giant Megamall.
Callie watched as great stone walls rose around the entire complex, and the design of the place changed to that of an Oriental palace. Jade fixtures, statues and carvings rose from the ground to replace the original interior design. The new structure was even more impressive than the original Megamall complex. Outside, buildings shook as the foundation of the entire Megamall changed. Callie could’ve sworn she heard a neighboring building collapse.
Before Callie stood the root of it all: Tom, covered in a black-green light.
“Definitely not what I had in mind!” Callie reached for her communicator and pressed the red button.
Chance and Jake were watching Scaredy Kat in the makeshift living room of the garage. Both were laughing hysterically when the klaxon sounded.
Almost instantly, both were downstairs at the underground hanger. Chance punched the input button of the receiver. “Yes, Ms. Briggs? Is there a problem?” Though Chance had been watching Scaredy Kat earlier, his voice now assumed the tough, serious tone of T-Bone.
“There’s something bad brewing here at the Megamall complex…” The communication suddenly went dead.
Both a surprised and worried Jake and Chance looked at each other in fear.
“Let’s kick tail!”
Seconds later, the roar of jets could be heard…
Callie was floating up in the air. She had dropped her communicator when she felt something grab her.
Looking around, she saw that she was being held by a beam being emitted by the sword Tom was holding. It glowed menacingly with greenish light tingling up and down the blade and hilt. She transferred her view to Tom.
Tom had changed. His immaculate white suit was replaced by a shiny black coat of Oriental armor with jade trimmings all around it. It wasn’t the dark armor itself that made him look sinister, but the expression on his face: totally twisted and malign. He looked larger, more muscular, more threatening. All his charm was gone; only malice remained. Before Callie was an ominous samurai bent on world conquest, not anymore a charming, handsome young kat.
“An empress should not wear a commoner’s clothing. You will look more beautiful in these,” he said, an evil resonance resounding from his voice. The light holding Callie up suddenly flashed. She watched as her pink business suit flowed and altered its original shape. Soon, she felt totally alien as it changed into a grand kimono, the kind only worn by the Oriental royalty.
“Let me go! You’ll regret this!” Callie did her best to intimidate the kat who was Tom. “The SWAT Kats and the Enforcers will stop you!
“Ha! The buneko* of this city are futile! No warrior here can stop me! You see, my empress,” It irritated Callie to hear that word. “This tachi** once belonged to an ancient warlord and sorcerer in my homeland! This sword contains the essence of a powerful dragon he bound to his service! By using this tachi, he conquered my homeland. He was defeated only by old age, so he hid the sword before his demise. However, your accursed archeologists found it before my people did! But now, I have it! And with it, conquest of the world!” His laughter was dark and chilling; it made Callie’s fur stand on end. The laughter echoed around the Megamall…
“ETA in forty seconds, T-Bone.”
“Affirmative, Razor!” T-Bone answered curtly. “I can almost see the place. Kat’s alive, whatta light show.”
“It’s some sort of energy field, buddy. The X-ray Scope’s almost being overwhelmed by it. The readings are almost off the scale.” Razor muttered something like “crud” silently as he examined the results of the scanner’s analysis.
“Yeah, well it takes more than a light show to scare me. Time to rock and roll!” T-Bone kicked the jet into overdrive.
The Turbokat sped off, afterburners blazing. Before it, a massive energy blast illuminated most of Megakat City.
Outside, Enforcers had already assembled. Tanks and choppers stood by, with dozens of Megakat’s finest waiting with weapons ready down below.
Feral stood before the massive police force. His crop was held casually in one paw, while his other paw clutched a megaphone before his mouth. He marched regally towards the complex, then raised the megaphone.
“Whoever you are, get out of the Megamall Complex! You are charged with trespassing, destruction of public property…” Feral began to talk over the loudspeaker when a bolt of energy suddenly ruptured the force field and slammed into his patrol car. Feral quickly dodged as the car was crushed instantly, wheels and chunks of metal flying in all directions.
“Very well,” he announced, “You’re asking for it. Enforcers! Prepare to en…” His command was stopped short. His niece, Lt. Commander Felina Feral, had pulled his megaphone away from her uncle.
“Uncle, Deputy Mayor Briggs was seen entering the premises only half an hour ago, accompanied by someone,” she warned.
Feral groaned. “Great. Now, we might endanger the deputy mayor’s life.” He paused to consider his options. “No choice. We’ll have to raid the complex and grab Ms. Briggs from whoever’s inside. Our scientists have said that the energy field is relatively harmless…”
“No buts, Felina! Don’t tell me how to run my Enforcers! Furthermore, you stay here!” He quickly turned and marched into an awaiting chopper.
“Who does he think I am? A kitten?” Felina asked herself, as a plot hatched in her mind.
“Bad news, T-Bone. Callie’s in the complex!” Razor announced after listening in on the police band.
“Crud! Is this the date she was talking about?” T-Bone hissed through clenched, frustrated teeth.
“Well, we do live in Megakat City, T-Bone,” Razor remarked bitterly. He too was worried about Callie’s welfare.
“Roger that, buddy. ETA in ten seconds.”
The Enforcer tanks opened up from their primary cannons and auxiliary missile racks. In a conflagration of rock and fire, the heavy stone wall protecting the palace collapsed into scorched rocks and ash, clouds of dust standing in their wake.
Feral signaled the waiting Enforcer units, sounding like a proud military commander. “Let’s move in!”
Tanks began to move into the large gaps in the walls, as choppers, led by Feral, hovered forward. The machines went into the energy field, like a gentle finger piercing a bubble.
“So, the fools dare my wrath..” Tom whispered. Inside the complex, he could see the tanks pile in and the choppers begin their assault. He hoisted the sword above him.
“Well, let’s see how they like fighting this. They’ve always been fighting petty criminals and mad scientists. Perhaps its time they fought…”
Callie widened her eyes in horror as he mentioned one word.
Before Feral, the wall of the palace collapsed like a building made of playing cards. He led the assault on the complex, starting off with a missile. The scanners in the chopper allowed him to aim for an area that was not in very close proximity to the Deputy Mayor, so as to ensure her safety in the raid, but still allow him a good shot at the perpetrator. As a hole in the wall appeared, Feral got a good look at the dark samurai inside. His alertness, as well as the rangefinders in the chopper allowed him to look at the exposed face. He quickly recognized Tom as one of the associates of Mr. Young.
“So, its one of Manx’s investors… I’d better run an interrogation on all of them…”
Breaking away from the mental note, he launched a threat through the chopper’s loudspeakers. “Mr. Thomas Betan, you’re under arrest for trespassing, resisting arrest…”
Feral narrowly dodged a beam fired off from the Dragon’s Klaw. As Feral followed the blast, he noticed that the beam curved downwards into the ground some distance behind him. Ignoring it, he turned to resume his arrest of Tom.
It was interrupted by a rumbling from the ground. Feral traced the noise, loud and fearsome, to its source.
And was shocked.
The ground where the beam hit split apart. A wide gap opened, smoke, ominous and dark, rising up.
And a great clawed paw appeared at the edge of the crack.
It was followed by a large, serpentine body, seemingly made of hard rock and jade. Its head was menacing, displaying great whiskers and immense fangs. Soon, a huge Oriental dragon appeared, flowing out of the crevasse and into the night sky. The body was large, almost overshadowing the Enforcer tanks and choppers.
Feral decisively answered to the dragon’s appearance: “Enforcers, fire at will!”
“Kat’s alive!” T-Bone could hardly recover from the shocking sight before him. A huge jade dragon had risen from the ground and was beginning its fearsome attack on the Enforcer units. “That thing’s tearing Feral’s units like a poor scratching post!”
“Affirmative, T-Bone. Crud!” Razor cursed. The two had fought bad enough things before, but a dragon?
“This is Feral! Give me chopper back-up!” Feral’s piloting skills narrowly allowed him to escape another claw from the dragon. He was already firing everything the chopper had, even the other Enforcers were doing the same, but it was futile. Everything was bouncing off the rocky body of the dragon, and several units had already bitten the dust.
Feral barely had the time to brace himself as a claw struck home. It instantly crushed the chopper’s rotor blades and grasped the vehicle menacingly like a toy. Feral watched as the chopper began to collapse on him in the grip of the creature…
He suddenly heard a reptilian scream piercing the air. He had to cover his ears, but he noted that the collapse seemed to slow down. Using the situation to his advantage, he and his copilot quickly threw out the rope ladder and abandoned the chopper. Upon reaching a short distance to the ground, both jumped off and bolted. As he ran, he saw the Turbokat fly by, afterburners flaming up the air, the jet tilted the one side. It passed by the dragon in blinding speed and turned just as quickly.
“Oh no, not those vigilantes!”
As he heard a Matchhead Missile explode on the dragon, a low flying Enforcer chopper caught his attention. It hovered near the battle’s site, firing directly into the dragon. It didn’t retreat and Feral recognized the pilot.
“Felina! You never obey me, do you, niece?”
Feral understood that she was attempting to grab as many downed Enforcers as possible. He and the other Enforcers bolted for the door of the chopper.
However, the dragon seemed to notice the rescue. It turned and released a river of green fire from its mouth, aimed directly for Felina’s chopper.
Feral quickly grabbed the hanging rope ladder as Felina began to pull away. Feral could feel the noxious heat behind him, but held on. The chopper swiftly retreated.
“Feral and the other Enforcers are safe,” announced Razor. He was watching the footage caught by the Turbokat’s X-Ray Scope.
“Roger that, buddy. Found a way to crack that thing?” T-Bone was worried because the dragon began to turn its eye towards them.
“Affirmative. I’ve got a plan. X-Ray Scope’s revealed that the thing’s made of a crystal-like substance similar to jade. I’ve also picked up concentrations of energy in the thing.”
T-Bone understood. “What do you need to aim for, sure-shot?”
“Just get me a bead on its head.”
The Turbokat quickly swerved from its run. It turned around and began its dive on the dragon. The dragon pivoted to face the SWAT Kat war machine, claws and fangs ready to tear it apart.
But before the Dragon could make a move, the Turbokat greeted its face with a pair of Matchhead Missiles. It writhed in agony as its head was covered in flames.
Razor quickly reacted. “Launch Banshee Missiles***!”
Two screaming AA projectiles were catapulted from the SWAT Kat jet. They whizzed around the pained dragon, yelling their lethal, insane song. Chips and pieces fell from the dragon’s head, as the sound of cracking added to the missiles’ cacophony.
“Now to put him out!” Razor triggered the release of two more missiles. The warhead cover popped open on both, revealing diamond-tipped drills.
The cry of “Bingo!” was heard loudly inside the Turbokat’s cockpit as the missiles struck home, smashing into the jade dragon’s skull. The thing splintered apart in flames, chips and large, jagged pieces. Flames from the Matchhead Missiles consumed it entirely, covering the entire body, spreading in pace with the cracking and breaking apart of the monster. It fell, and shattered to even more pieces on the ground, burning in red flames.
Enforcer units were celebrating. Feral began a fresh attack, with confident Enforcers following.
But that was not the end the dragon.
To everyone’s surprise, the flames suddenly turned green, jade. A large shape began to form from the fires, and suddenly, a new dragon rose.
It was made of green fire and looked as mean as ever.
“Kat’s alive! What in blazes?…” T-Bone could barely contain his surprise. He turned to Razor and sardonically asked him, “What happened, sure-shot?”
Razor also was in surprise. The Turbokat’s sensors did not reveal anything optimistic.
“Crud! Somehow it got stronger! It’s pure energy now…”
Razor fired a Slicer Missile at the thing to see if he could something to the energy creature. The dragon didn’t even move out of the way.
“Kat’s alive, T-Bone! The missile passed straight through it! It even melted!”
The Dragon turned towards the two kats who brought its previous fall. It looked at them with glowing, red eyes of hate.
With a fierce bellow, it fired off twin crimson beams. The speed and surprise of the attack caught even T-Bone off-guard, and the Turbokat was enveloped in ravaging energy.
“Ha! You honorless curs! You fight, but have no claws!” Tom laughed and laughed, watching his summoned Dragon fighting ferociously, despite its fall.
“You can’t win! The SWAT Kats and Enforcers will get you!” Callie was as defiant as ever. She was always this tough around villains like Tom.
“Then why are your precious SWAT Kats losing?” He turned, looked outside and grinned a sadistic grin. He looked back angrily.
“I tire of your empty threats and taunts.” He blasted Callie with the sword. Callie closed her eyes as energy enveloped her, and opened them when it was over. Her mouth was covered with fine silk to muffle her, and gold chains held her to the wall.
“Much better…” Tom smiled.
T-Bone pulled out every trick he learned in flying. The blast was slowly roasting the Turbokat. He even pleaded with the jet. “C’mon… Break free…”
The Turbokat escaped from the energy blast. It was smoking all over, and had barely survived being blown apart.
“Razor! Damage report!” T-Bone fought to keep the jet in control. All over the plane and inside the cockpit, circuits were frying with energy, as the Turbokat seemed overwhelmed by the blast.
Razor was surrounded by sparking control panels and red-hot circuits. His jumbled readout revealed a dire fear.
“T-Bone! Our weapon systems are overloaded! The blast is frying the Turbokat even up to now! All our missiles’ engines have somehow been rendered unstable and are about to blow! We have to get away to jettison all our missiles, or we’ll blow like a volcano…”
“…and go down like an old scratching post. Crud!” T-Bone spat. He couldn’t leave the fight since Callie and Enforcers’ lives were at stake, but he had no choice. The electrically overloaded Turbokat swung around and headed away.
“Those cowards…” Feral’s thoughts hissed. He quickly turned his attention back to the Dragon.
“And how do we deal with this?” He twisted his crop in frustration. The Enforcers had already retreated outside the energy dome; the dragon didn’t follow. He surveyed his forces and saw damaged choppers, trashed car and half-melted tanks. Many Enforcers had been injured.
He threw his broken crop down and snarled angrily. A sudden tap on his shoulder drew his attention away from his exasperation.
It was Felina. He instantly calmed down and listened to her.
“Uncle, Dr. Sinian from the museum’s here.” The facial expression of Felina was that of desperation, but sparkled a little of hope.
“The curator? What does she have to do with this?” He marched off, led by his niece.
“T-Bone, we got overload in ten seconds…”
T-Bone was putting everything into the jet’s flight. He had to dispose the Turbokat’s arsenal far away from the populated areas of the city innocent civilians, but could he make it?
Sweat ran down T-Bone’s brow. He could feel it, too large a drop to be soaked up by his cloth mask. He also knew Razor felt exactly the same way. “C’mon baby…” he urged the Turbokat.
Despondence ran amok in both their hearts, but both pushed it quickly aside. This was no time to panic. Innocent lives (as well as their own) were at stake. “Just a little faster…”
Then, T-Bone saw hope. Before him was Megakat City Bay. He kicked the Turbokat into the fastest speed it could reach, sensing the inertia press into both him and Razor. “A little… more…”
“Two seconds! Jettisoning now!” Razor pressed into a switch and released the payload into the waters. T-Bone swiftly swerved the jet to escape any debris and shrapnel.
Speeding away, both saw the Turbokat’s missiles explode as they touched the water, a glowing furnace capable of demolishing a city block. Steam rose from the spot, thick and vast.
Flying back, T-Bone wondered what they could do to defeat the Dragon after releasing all their missiles. “Razor, we got no claws, right?” His voice was filled with trepidation but he knew they could still kick tail.
“Negative, T-Bone. We still have the Cement Gun (as if it could do something to the dragon) and a few Megavolt Missiles,” said Razor absent-mindedly as he scanned the Turbokat for damage from the dragon.
“Waitaminit! Buddy, how did those things survive if those are energy based? The dragon overloaded us with so much energy…”
“Simple, T-Bone. The Megavolt Missiles are insulated until they’re launched. That way, we don’t get fried as we fire…” Razor turned away from the damage report, hit by an inspiration. “Bingo! Of course! T-Bone, the dragon’s pure energy! If we hit it with a few Megavolt Missiles, it might overload and explode! That dragon may have whacked us, but it gave us the method to defeat it!”
The Turbokat launched itself into overdrive, carrying the hope to save the city once more.
“Are you telling me, Doctor, that to defeat the kat behind all this is to have him defeat his relative?”
“That’s right, Commander Feral,” Abi replied. “The legend goes that the maker of the sword realized the its destructive capabilities. Their was a prophesy that the sword would one day bring great harm. As a safety precaution, he enchanted it to weaken if any of his descendants ever get defeated by the sword. He realized that only his descendants could use it for evil since only they knew where it was being kept or of its true nature.”
Bitterly, Feral smiled. “Wonderful. Does this kat have any cousins in our city?”
“Perhaps an uncle.”
Feral turned to see Mayor Manx usher in Mr. Young. Mr. Young, usually calm and collected looked nervous and dismal. “I am his uncle. I always thought that the sword was only a legend and that his fascination in it a childhood fantasy. I was raised in a modern city in my country, where traditions do not rule anymore.”
Abi quickly revealed a small, elongated chest, decorated and painted in an Oriental style. She opened it to reveal an Oriental broadsword, a katana, gleaming in shining beauty.
Mr. Young was quite shocked at the sight. “Please, I do not wish to fight him. Never in my life did I train as a warrior, as he did, only as a merchant. If I fight him and lose, I…” There was pain in his face, “…could also lose my life.”
“Mr. Young, you have to. Megakat City is at stake here, and so is the world!” Feral could barely contain himself since many had already been hurt. Mr. Young could only stay quiet.
Felina quickly interrupted him. “The problem is, uncle, how to get him inside to face his nephew. The dragon’s still there, on guard duty.” Things looked grim.
The sudden roar of jets brought spirit back into everyone.
“T-Bone, I have a comm from Feral. Patching it into the speaker systems.” Razor turned on a switch.
“SWAT Kats,” he said with a little contempt, “we need help. We’ve figured out how to defeat the kat behind all this, but we can’t get through the Dragon.”
T-Bone and Razor smiled. Feral actually asking help from the SWAT Kats?
Grinning like a bandit, T-Bone simply replied, “We’re on it!”
Feral urged his tank forward. Hopefully, this plan would work. The SWAT Kats revealed that the dragon was already bloated with energy and that feeding it more could destroy it. The tank he rode in was specially designed for that; Feral had Enforcer mechanics to replace the twin cannons with a single energy projector “acquired” from Pumadyne Research Laboratories. Beside him raced Felina with an armed Mr. Young in a patrol car. Above, he heard the roar of jets, as the Turbokat passed by.
The dragon took notice of the assault force as soon as it passed the boundary of the energy dome. The thing reached for the patrol car since it was speeding up ahead of the rest. A loud sizzle of steam fizzled in the night air and the dragon reared back in pain. Feral smiled. First blood belonged to him.
Tom looked on, wondering what the Enforcers were up to. Why were they attacking only with the SWAT Kats jet, a modified tank and a patrol car?
“A patrol car isn’t even armored… Nothing special… Wait…”
Tom scrutinized the approaching car. It had only two occupants. “An Enforcer… And…”
Tom’s eyes widened up in revelation of the Enforcer’s plan. He launched a mental command to the dragon to stop the car at all costs…
The dragon was in pain, but it was commanded to attack the car, despite the fact that it possessed the least threat. It turned its back on the tank and Turbokat and reached to fry the small speedy vehicle in its powerful grasp.
It was stopped by a beam from the tank, and an electrical explosion from a missile. Rearing in pain, it failed to grasp the car which got even closer to its objective.
Forgetting its order, the dragon fired eye-beams once more. Feral saw it coming and he and his driver hopped out the tank before the beam collided. As they ran away, the tank was frying with electrical discharges wrapping it up like fireworks. Seconds later, the two Enforcers were knocked flat from the force of the explosion.
Turning to face an attacking Turbokat, the dragon readied itself. Razor launched three Megavolt Missiles. But before they could connect, the dragon swerved out of the way, the missiles instead smashing into the damaged palace.
However, that distraction provided Felina enough time to deposit her passenger. The patrol car sped away from the scene as the Dragon took notice of it. Felina would have stayed to help Mr. Young fight, but the dragon had spotted her and she couldn’t get out of the car in time. She was now being chased by a giant energy dragon, beams of energy barely missing her…
Tom smiled as he watched his uncle cautiously enter the palace. He smiled to see now clumsy his uncle was holding the katana, how nervous his gait went… It was very amusing.
“Tom, I wish not to battle with you. I… I believe there is a reasonable solution to all this…” Mr. Young’s uneasiness was as obvious as a dirty tail.
“Ah, good uncle, I agree. But remember all your teachings and talks? That when an opportunity arises, catch it and never let it go?” He smiled, stalking his own uncle with the Dragon’s Klaw.
“Not… Not this way. Come, nephew, we can talk… We can…”
Tom’s smile vanished. “I refuse to let a doddering old fool be an obstacle to my plans!” He launched himself, bounding over meters of distance towards his uncle, despite the suit of armor he wore. Mr. Young could only hold up his sword.
Down below, T-Bone and Razor watched as the dragon played a kat-and-mouse game, Felina being the mouse. The beams were getting close… too close.
Razor looked back at his screen. “Crud!. T-Bone, we’re almost out of missiles. The dragon was ready for us and still is.”
“I know, buddy, but we have no choice. Get ready, sure-shot!”
Mr. Young was fighting a losing battle. He could only parry and dodge, but could not attack for fear of a countermove. The sword in his paws shook violently whenever it met the Dragon’s Klaw; he almost let it go once.
“Ha! Uncle, for forsaking the old ways, you now find yourself being punished for it!” The sarcastic quality in Tom’s voice did not help Mr. Young’s confidence.
Or did it?
Those very words struck something in Mr. Young. Did he really forsake the traditional ways? Even if he did not practice swordplay like the others, its tenets were still part of him. He remembered the Oriental business school he studied in.
The methods there were for the modern battlefield of the office, but they used the teachings of the warriors. Did he really forsake the old way? They used the teachings of the samurai in training the young businessmen for corporate life. He remembered the two were very similar.
No, he didn’t forsake the old ways. He simply embraced a more modern form.
Suddenly, he was filled with courage. The fact he wasn’t a warrior wasn’t true anymore. Everyday, a duel is always set in the board meeting of a major corporation, and he had been fighting those fights with the teachings of ancient samurai. He had worked hard and bloodily to make sure of his company’s welfare. He suddenly remembered the work of one samurai…
At that moment, Mr. Young suddenly went on the offensive. He caught Tom off guard and began swinging the sword, though like a golf club, true and well. Tom was forced to step back. Mr. Young realized he was a warrior, not just a merchant.
Razor triggered the release of the former of the last two Megavolts. It hit the dragon squarely on the back of the head, causing it much pain. At that instant, Felina drove away, towards the outside. Quickly stopping, she picked up Commander Feral and another Enforcer and escaped.
The dragon reared its head to face the Turbokat. Its hatred was obvious and the glow from its eyes meant that it was ready to punish the SWAT Kats. The glow was much stronger than before…
“Massive gathering of energy, T-bone. Looks like it’s ready to force us into our next lives. Also, only one missile left!”
“Then it’s now or never!” T-Bone began a dive straight for the dragon. “Razor, hit it!”
Razor fired off the last Megavolt Missile. Just as the dragon appeared to be ready to fry T-Bone and Razor, it was hit right between the glowing eyes. The Megavolt Missile released its payload…
The dragon glowed and flashed. Lightning-like beams erupted everywhere on the dragon’s body. A thunderous roar filled the air and the dragon disappeared.
Sparks flew as Mr. Young’s katana connected with the Dragon’s Klaw. Tom was being pushed back and back until he was almost next to a wall.
He did not expect his uncle to fighting so fiercely. Though those were the swings of an amateur, he was being driven back. Tom was getting desperate.
He then remembered he was not only samurai, but also ninja. He smiled, quietly reaching for a pouch in his armor.
He suddenly threw dust into his uncle’s eyes. Mr. Young had removed his glasses in anticipation of the fight, and now they were unprotected. He let out a painful cry as the dust blinded him. He kept swinging, hoping to catch Tom and protect himself.
Tom seized the advantage and swept his uncle’s footing from underneath him. At that moment, Mr. Young released his sword, and fell to the ground.
When he regained his eyesight, he didn’t like what he saw. Tom hovered above him, smiling menacingly. The Dragon’s Klaw was positioned at his throat.
“You put up a good fight, uncle. At least you have honor, not like these other kats.” He looked around at the distant Enforcers, then turned back to his uncle. “Now, you die like a warrior.” He raised the Dragon’s Klaw above his head, ready to deal the final blow to his uncle.
“Freeze, chrome dome!” Tom quickly turned to see the T-Bone and Razor behind him. They were armed with their glovatrixes, which were aimed directly at him.
“Honorless gaijin***” Tom moved at the speed of thought. He pointed the sword at the SWAT Kats. An energy beam smashed into the two, knocking them down.
Mr. Young was dismayed to see the heroes of the city fall down unconscious from the blast. Their smoking bodies collapsed to the ground and he heard Calico Briggs whimper at the sight.
He felt hopeless. The SWAT Kats were unconscious and he had blown the chance to defeat Tom.
Despite the fact Mr. Young wasn’t wearing his glasses, he noticed something about the Dragon’s Klaw. Vaguely (he still needed his glasses), he noticed that the jade dragon’s claw design was… Cracking?
He realized that the safety spell had taken effect. All he had to do was smash the claw icon…
But Tom turned. His eyes glowed with a vermilion fire and once again raised the Dragon’s Klaw to execute his uncle. Mr. Young saw that his sword was some feet away from him. He realized he would never be able to grab it in time to hit Tom with it, much less parry. He felt hopeless…
The sound of low-velocity projectiles sung through the air. Mr. Young watched as Tom’s arms and paws, as well as the hilt of the Dragon’s Klaw, got covered with something like plaster. The moldings immediately hardened, encasing Tom’s armored arms into a living statue. Mr. Young looked behind Tom and saw two dazed, but very much alive, vigilantes, armed with mini-cement launchers.
“Now, Mr. Young!”
Mr. Young watched as the casing began to crackle. Tom’s strong, armored form began to exert pressure, and the cast began to break.
He reached for his katana, just as the cast broke. Tom swung downward.
The jade claw broke. Mr. Young had swiftly smashed into the icon, breaking the blade right where it met the hilt. Sparks, fire and energy erupted from the broken sword.
As Tom, horrified, watched, the sword began to shatter everywhere. It’s blade broke up into pieces which in turn were pulverized even more. The energy of the blade totally consumed it, burning it up and turning the entire sword to ash in Tom’s paws. He felt it turn soft and weak…
Everything changed. Suddenly, the grassy courtyard outside was once again an empty, blasted parking lot. To the bewildered eyes of the Enforcers, the palace wall simply vanished. The palace melted and suddenly became a blasted, damaged and cracking Megamall.
Tom suddenly was a young businessman, without any armor and wielding a broken sword. Ms. Briggs was freed of her bonds and her kimono was suddenly replaced with her business suit, which she was thankful for.
The two dizzy SWAT Kats watched as the Megamall reverted to its old self. However, what was not originally part of the interior and exterior design were the large amounts of damage that usually came with battle…
Mr. Young simply took out and wore his glasses. He sat down and breathed a sigh of relief.
“Well, Ms. Briggs. You’ve had another adventure with us again,” T-bone said as he and Razor were accompanied by Callie back to the jet.
“Yeah. Well, that’s the last date I’ll ever have with people I don’t know much about,” she replied, rubbing the parts of her arms were the chains held her.
“In that case, Ms. Briggs we can never be your dates,” Razor slyly replied. The vigilantes and the deputy mayor laughed.
Callie watched as the SWAT Kats’ Turbokat rose and flew off into the night. She turned to watch the scene happening behind her.
Tom was handcuffed and being led by Feral and Felina to a patrol car. Feral was reading him his rights, as Felina opened the door for them.
But what really caught her attention was Mayor Manx pleading with Mr. Young and his associates.
“Please, it doesn’t look that bad…” Mayor Manx was literally on his knees. He looked around, as if he was trying to rationalize that the damage sustained by the Megamall was minimal. It was not.
Mr. Young was smiling. As he walked towards his limo, he faced Mayor Manx. “Mayor, today reminded me that I am in my own way, a warrior. I remember something from my business school…”
“Yes, yes…” Mayor Manx was beaming and hopeful that he would still say “yes”.
“Do not strike when the time is not right. The time is definitely not right,” he gestured towards the ruined Megamall. Mayor Manx was weeping on the ground as Mr. Young walked away.
Before entering his limo, Mr. Young approached Dr. Abi Sinian and Callie. “Arigato. You reminded me of who I really was despite the many changes of the times.” He bowed gracefully and then entered the limo.
Callie turned to Abi. “Another adventure, eh, Abi?”
“Yes, Callie. But I think I’m having too many of them.” She smiled smugly. “Still, Ms. Briggs, there something interesting about all this.”
“What’s that, Abi?”
“Along with the prophesy that the sword would be stolen by a ninja, there’s another prediction. That two other brave and noble ninja would come to help defeat him.” Abi slowly smirked at the accuracy of it.
Callie also smiled.
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Disclaimer: SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 1995. All other characters and material within this page are the property of their respective creators.