Original SWAT Kats Story

SWAT Kats: The New Partner

By Jayme Scholtes

  • 4 Chapters
  • 21,015 Words

When Panther Chartroux arrives in MegaKat City, she finds a lot more than she bargained for, one longlost, and apparently quite famous, sister and a wealth of other surprises. Co-authored by Cassie Davis.

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Author's Notes:

Title: SWAT Kats: The New Partner
Authors: Jayme Scholtes and Cassie Davis
E-mail: UniGirl1979@aol.com
Rating: G
Disclaimer: “SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron,” its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission. All original characters belong to the authors.
Author’s Notes: Panther Chartroux, a character of my own creation & Tabby Temminck, also known as Tabby Steelclaw (she lost her real claws in a childhood incident), meet when Panther returns to MegaKat City & they discover that they are sisters. If anyone with any comments would please type “Panther” in the subject box, I’d be grateful. I hope everyone likes this story. Bye for now!

Chapter 1

Panther Chartroux gathered her stuff as the bus pulled into Mega Kat Bus Station. Standing on the sidewalk, she closed her eyes and listened to the quiet sounds of early morning. She was back!

Suddenly, the silence was broken by the roar of jets. Panther looked up. Two jets, one red, yellow and black, the other blue and black flew overhead. Those jets are awful low, she thought. She was even more surprised when both landed nearby in an abandoned parking lot.

The canopy of the first jet slid open and two kats jumped out. One was tall and stocky, tannish color with two light brown stripes on both arms, one above and below the elbow. The other was a little shorter and thinner and brownish in color.

The first spoke as he walked over to the other jet. “Ha! T-Bone and Razor, best kats in the sky!”

It was then that the other jet’s canopy popped open. A slim gray kat with black hair jumped out. Like the tan kat, she had stripes on her arms, but these being black and doubled on each arm.

“First and only time you’ll beat me at laser tag, T-Bone,” she said.  “I’ve never known a trainee to be better than the trainer.”

They continued to talk, but Panther didn’t bother to listen. She had many errands to run, and the day was just beginning.

—————————————————————————–

“Jake, hand me a screwdriver.”

“You got it.”

A brown hand reached down and placed a small screwdriver in the waiting hand of another. Curious, Jake jumped down from his perch at the top of a set of shelves and sat down on the floor beside Tabby. Her stripes hidden now by a long sleeved jumpsuit, she looked like nothing more than a mechanic, although she was a lot more. She concentrated on the saw blade in front of her, dimly aware of the brown kat at her side.

“What’s this?” he asked.

“Remember the air flow hand bomb I showed you? This is it. Ouch!” Tabby looked at the accidental cut on her finger.

Jake jumped up and ran to the medicine cabinet. After washing the cut, he placed a small bandage on it. When he spoke, his voice was gentle.  “I’d kiss it and make it better but I don’t think you’d like that.”

Tabby laughed and looked at him in the eyes. They sat in silence for a few minutes as he held her hand.

“Are you guys going to put that stuff away or are you going to let this kat coming towards the garage see it?”

Tabby jumped up and looked sheepishly at a tall, tan colored kat also in a mechanics jumpsuit. Quickly, she began to put her stuff in a hidden compartment. She had just closed the door when a red colored car pulled in the driveway. She glanced over at the tan kat and mumbled a quiet, “Sorry, Chance.”

Panther glanced around the salvage yard around her and then back at the garage in front of her. ‘So, this is the place Callie recommended. I hope it is as good as she says.’ Getting out, Panther studied the three kats in front of her, her eyes resting on the gray she kat “Have I seen you before?”

Tabby looked at this black she kat. Boldly, she stepped forward.  “You may have seen me on TV.” When Panther looked puzzled, Tabby took her hand and shook it.  “My name is General Tabby Steelclaw.”

Panther’s jaw dropped “Why aren’t you at work?”

Tabby waved her hand “On days off I come here and work with my buddies.”

Chance walked over and stood beside Tabby.  “Your wires are fraying,” he said.  “Give us a day and it can be fixed. I have to go to town to get them.”

Panther looked at him and was struck by his handsome looks.

Tabby stepped forward, breaking her train of thought. “I’ll take you into town if you wish. I have to pick up some papers from home and while I’m out I’ll pick up those wires.”

————————————————————————————————————

“So, where can I drop you off?” Tabby glanced over at Panther.

“Just drop me off at the library. I have some research to do.”

Tabby nodded “I’ll pick you up after I finish my errands.”

————————————————————————————————————

Panther strode into the library. The stillness was a contrast to the bustling noise of the city outside the door. She had planned on looking up info on Enforcer jets. But, the librarian said that that section was closed. Instead, she decided to look in the Mega Kat Times to see if her parents had put in a birth notice when she was born. The librarian pointed to the cabinet of papers from twenty-seven years ago. She started to walk over there when a thought made her turn to the librarian.

“What do you know about General Tabby Steelclaw?” she asked.

The librarian looked up and stared at her.  “Who doesn’t know about General Steelclaw?” she said.

Panther growled to herself.   “I don’t,” she said.

The librarian sighed and motioned for Panther to sit down. “This may take awhile,” she said, “First of all, Tabby’s real name is Tabby Temminck.”

“Then why is she called Steelclaw?” Panther asked.

“That will come later. She was born twenty-seven years ago, one of three. When Tabby was born she and her sister, Charity, were alike, pattern-wise anyways. Tabby was gray with black stripes, and Charity was creme with ginger stripes.”

“What about their sister?” Panther said.

“Will you let me finish?! Their sister was black, a rare color in those days. The Temmincks did not want a black kitten, and another family offered to take her.”

“Tabby and Charity grew up fast. They were fast learners with a high level of intelligence. They went through twelve years of learning in eight years. Although the Temmincks wanted their children to be doctors and lawyers the pair wanted to fly. The Temmincks finally gave in and sent them to flight school. They were brilliant pilots, accomplishing in two years what takes most kats five. At nineteen they became General and Lt. General. They taught flight school for five years at Tiger Hill and then moved back here.”

“But, you never told me why they call her Steelclaw,” Panther said.

“Oh yes. When Charity and Tabby were young, Tabby was climbing a tree when she slipped and fell. She grabbed hold of a limb with only her claws. She fell anyway, leaving her claws in the tree. The doctors couldn’t put them back in, but they replaced them with metallic alloy claws that never dull.”

————————————————————————————————————

The courthouse sat next to the library, so Panther knew this wouldn’t take long. Silently, she filed through an endless sea of papers. Then she found what she had been looking for. Hurriedly, she copied it and rushed out of the courthouse. This was news! Wait till she hears this!

Chapter Two

“Jake, hand me down that jug of used oil.”

“Coming down.”

Jake stood on top of a wooden support beam, taking one the jugs of used oil down. Just as he started to hand it to Chance a horn beeped.

“Hold on a second, Jake,” said Chance. He turned and watched as Panther’s red car pulled into the garage. Then he turned back to Jake.  “Okay, now hand down the oil.”

Jake hooked his back claws into the beam and leaned over. Slowly, he lowered the jug into Chance’s hands. Suddenly, he tipped and fell over the edge. By twisting quickly, he managed to grab onto the beam.

“Crud!” Jake looked down at Chance. His whole jumpsuit was covered in black oil. Jake dropped down to the floor.

Chance exploded “Jake! I have one more clean jumpsuit! What happened to your balance sureshot?!”

Panther sat surprised for a moment. ‘I hope I never get him mad.’

Suddenly, the oil-covered Chance turned to her.  “So, what do you need?”

Panther chuckled and motioned to her car “This is going to sound funny, but the oil needs changing along with the radiator fluid.”

“Jake will start on it.” With that, Chance stormed into the office.

“Go sit on the bench,” said Jake “I’ll fix that problem in no time.” He started with the radiator fluid, glancing from time to time at Panther. Her impatience finally got to her, and she began wandering throughout the garage when something caught her eye. A shimmery bit of metal. ‘I wonder what it is.’ Slowly, she took the cloth that was draped over it off.

“Don’t touch that!” Jake yelled.

Startled, Panther jumped, slicing her hand on the metal. Jake rolled his eyes. “There’s a bathroom beside the office,” he said “Inside is a first aid kit. Go clean up.”

Sheepishly, Panther walked past the office towards the bathroom. As she passed, she glanced through the window.

Chance stood with his back towards the window, his clean jumper half on. ‘How muscular he looks,’ she thought. He picked up a clean shirt and started to put it over his head. That’s when Panther caught a glimpse of the stripes on his arms. Without another thought she slipped into the bathroom.

Chapter Three

It was dark as Panther made her way home. Her arms were filled with groceries meant for dinner that night. Four months ago when Tabby had found out that Panther was her sister, she invited her to stay with her at her apartment. They had decided to alternate days of whom was to make dinner. Tonight was Panther’s night, and she planned to make fried herring, Tabby’s favorite. She was so preoccupied with her thoughts that she did not notice the dark shadows that seemed to be following her. Suddenly, a cold metal hand covered her mouth and pulled her into an alleyway. All that was left were the groceries on the concrete.

————————————————————————————————————

“Have you guys seen Panther?”

Jake and Chance turned at the worried voice of Tabby.

“No we haven’t seen her today, is something wrong?”

Tabby scrunched her eyebrows “I saw her leave to go to the store a few hours ago. I haven’t seen her since, and I know she should be home by now. I’ve looked everywhere.”

Jake took his hat off and ran his fingers through his hair, a sure sign that he was thinking. Chance and Tabby waited patiently. “Let’s get the Nightkat and take a look around Mega Kat City. The Turbokat doesn’t have all the equipment the Nightkat does. If Panther has been katnapped, then we don’t want to alarm the scum who did this by flying the Turbokat. The Nightkat has silent running and a cloaking device, so we won’t show up on radar.”

Suddenly, Tabby gasped.

Chance and Jake turned to see Panther on TV. She was bound and gagged. Jake grabbed the remote and turned up the volume. The voice of Molly Mange reached their ears.

“Attention, General Steelclaw, if you want your sister back alive, you must turn in your badge and surrender to the MetalliKats, or you will never see this kat alive again.”

————————————————————————————————————

Commander Feral looked up from his desk as Tabby walked into his office.  “Good evening, General. What can I do for you?”

“Spare the pleasantries, Feral, I’ve got a problem. I need you to keep my badge for safekeeping and for you to give me a form of resignation signed and stamped but not logged.”

Slowly, Feral opened a drawer and pulled out a yellow packet and handed it to Tabby.

“What’s this?”

Feral smiled. “I saw the announcement and I had a feeling you were coming.”

Tabby bowed. “Thank you Commander.” Slowly, she walked towards the door and then turned around.  “Keep that badge polished, Commander, I’ll be needing it back soon.” Quietly, she shut the door.

Feral sat for a few minutes, then reached into his desk and got out the polish.

————————————————————————————————————

Tabby crept silently through the shadows. She had on her blue and black jumpsuit, something she had rarely worn since Charity died. A black mask covered her eyes, a blue helmet completed the outfit. In the darkness, she could hear the dim voice of Molly as she talked to Panther.

————————————————————————————————————

“Well, Panther, it’s almost midnight. Where’s your sister now? I hope you weren’t trusting your life to her. Once I get rid of you, I’ll get rid of her. Then the Swat Kats will be easy to eliminate, just like I eliminated Charity.”

Suddenly, a pile of metal crashed to the floor. Stunned, Molly turned to see Tabby standing on top of a pile of crates.

“I hope you weren’t trusting me to actually turn myself in, Molly.”

Angry, Molly turned to shoot Panther.

“Don’t do it Molly or you’ll end up like Mac.”

Molly spun around “Where’s Mac?”

Tabby pointed to the pile of metal “Right there with the help of an air flow bomb.” Suddenly, Tabby was knocked into a pile of crates. She flipped over and reached back to slash her attacker. She stopped in surprise “Razor?”

Razor smiled.  “No thanks, Tabby, I don’t think I could take your claws a second time.”

“Why did you tackle me?”

“If I hadn’t tackled you, you would have had your tail blown off.”

“Is T-Bone here too?”

“Yes ma’am.”

Tabby reached up and pressed the radio button on Razor’s helmet and leaned in close so she could speak into his mike.

“T-Bone, you there?”

“Affirmative, Blade, what do you need?”

“Get Panther while Razor and I distract Molly.”

————————————————————————————————————

T-Bone ran from shadow to shadow, keeping hidden as he approached Panther. Molly had her back to him, but he was still going to be careful. ‘I have to get to her before a stray bullet hits her!’

Suddenly, Molly turned around. But, that was her mistake. An air flow bomb hit her in the back. T-Bone ran in front of Panther with his shield out. Shards of metal just bounced off the shield.

Panther watched as T-Bone pulled out a small knife from his pocket and tested the ropes. They were too tight for him to cut. He put the knife back in his pocket and reached over to pick her up. As he did, Panther saw the stripes on his arms. A memory came back of the day she saw Chance and the stripes on his arms. T-Bone’s voice pulled her out of her thoughts.

“You okay?”

That voice was just like Chance’s! This was Chance!

T-Bone glanced at Panther. Why is she staring at me that way? Suddenly, Panther fainted in his arms.

Chapter Four

Panther opened her eyes. Where was she? What happened? Memories of last night came flooding back. She screamed.

Tabby had been dozing in her favorite easy chair. Startled out of her sleep, she ran over to Panther. Panther, who had never stuttered in her life, was spitting and sputtering. Tabby stood over her with a confused look on her face, then ran to get a glass of milk. After gulping down a glass of milk, Panther was able to speak. She shouted “Chance is T-Bone!” She looked at Tabby who wore an expression somewhere between shock and surprise.

“What are you talking about?” Tabby’s voice was accusing.

Panther looked at Tabby “Is there something I don’t know?” she asked.

Tabby shook her head “That’s not possible, I don’t believe you.”

This angered Panther “Oh really? Go ask him to show you his stripes and listen to his voice! They’re identical to T-Bone’s!”

Tabby got up and went to the door of her room “I’ll think about it.” With that, she slammed her door.

Panther waited a while. ‘What is she doing in there?’ As she neared the door, she could hear Tabby muttering to herself. Time to find out what about.

————————————————————————————————————

Tabby shut her door and moved quickly to the foot of her bed. Reaching under, she pulled out a small radio. She set it on her desk and turned it on.

“Chance, Jake you guys there?”

“We’re here Tabby. What’s up?”

“I’m afraid Panther has found out our secret.”

“What?!”

“Well-”

Just then Panther burst through the door. “I knew it. I was right.”

“Guys, we’ve got a problem.”

————————————————————————————————————

You never know how bumpy a road is unless you are bound and gagged and laying in the backseat of a car unable to move. Panther found out just how bumpy the road from Tabby’s house to the apartment was.

Panther’s first mistake was bursting through the door. Tabby finished a quick conversation with the kats on the other line and then Panther found herself on her back on the floor. Her second mistake was trying to fight Tabby. She had Panther pinned in such a way that there was no way she could get free. Within minutes, she was bound and gagged.

When the car pulled into the garage Tabby got out without bothering to shut the door. She could hear her talking with the other two, but she could not hear what they said. Suddenly, an angry voice shouted “Oh crud!”

Panther flinched. Well so much for never making Chance mad. She heard footsteps and closed her eyes. Tight. She didn’t want to know what came next!

When she opened her eyes again, she found herself sitting on a strange couch in a strange living room. She sat silently as Jake untied her gag. There was an uncomfortable silence as each tried to think of what to say. Tabby was the first to speak.

“All right Panther. All I want to know is how.”

Through a great deal of stuttering and questioning, short tempers, and fierce words the whole story finally came out. Throughout it all Panther cringed, almost involuntarily. She hated to get yelled at, but yet here were three very angry kats screaming at her. They finally seemed to cool down a little, and only stormed around the room. Panther finally built up the courage to speak.

“I know your secret identities, and that can’t be changed. But perhaps I could join your group. I’m a fast learner. Tabby could train me.” She looked over at Tabby for reassurance, but was stopped short by the look on her face. She was staring at Panther with a mixture of hurt and shock on her face. Suddenly, she got up and hurried out of the room.

Panther curled back up on the couch and stared at the two kats above her.

Jake sighed. “I guess I’d better go talk to her.”

After he left, Chance walked behind the couch. Panther shivered when he touched her. “Don’t worry,” he growled as he cut through her ropes. “I won’t hurt you. Yet.”

Panther continued to crouch as he paced the room. She could tell by the look on his face that he wanted to explode but for some reason he was holding back. Finally, he turned to her.  “I want to know just who you seem to think you are! I should have known that a she kat would be the first to discover our secret identities! You come shouting that you know our secret identities and you expect us to be happy! And, worse, you ask to be a kat! And, you want Tabby to train you. The last time there was a partner she kat she lost half of herself. That she kat was her sister!”

“Well, I’m sorry, but what does that have to do with anything?”

“Tabby and Charity were a team. They often said a rope of two strands is stronger than a rope of one. But, in this case, that rope of two turned to four.” Chance sighed, his voice a little calmer.  “In fact, we were planning to marry that fall. So, were Jake and Tabby. The night she died all four of us were at dinner. We had an argument and Charity went out to fly her Mini-Kat. She crashed in a nearby field. In the autopsy they found that someone had put poison in her milk. Tabby was so heartbroken she called off the wedding.”

————————————————————————————————————

Jake walked into a small bedroom. ‘So this is where she went. Into Charity’s room.’  He walked over to where she sat on the bed and sat down beside her.  “She reminds you of Charity, doesn’t she?”

Tabby sat in silence for a minute or two staring at the floor. “She wants me to train her, but I can’t. It would be too painful for me. If I get attached, she might die also.”

Jake sighed.  “But, that’s a chance anyone is going to take. Since she died, you haven’t let anyone get close to you. You shut me and Chance out until just recently. Whatever happened to the four strand rope?”

“One of the strands disappeared.”

“And what, you decided to cut the other two?”

Tabby growled, and her claws extended. Angrily, she turned to Jake “That kat was my sister and the best friend I ever had! When she died, it was as if I had lost an arm or a leg! It was the worst thing that could have happened to me!”

Now Jake was on his feet.  “Do you think we didn’t hurt?! Look at Chance! He was going to marry her, and the last time he talked to her was during an argument! You’re not the only one who was hurting!”

Tabby sighed, “You’re right. I’m sorry. But, I still don’t know what to do.”

“If anything, just train her. She doesn’t have to be your partner. Just train her.” Jake reached over to hug her, then thought better of it and simply patted her on the shoulder.

“No,” she said, turning to him.

He pulled his hand away.

“No,” she said again, “I think a hug would be more appropriate.”

Happily, he reached over and hugged her tightly.

“O.K,” she said, “I’ll train her.”

————————————————————————————————————

Chapter Five

“For the hundredth time, don’t twist the stick so much.”

Panther gritted her teeth at the sound of Tabby’s voice.

“If you were in a real jet, you would be drowning in Mega Kat Bay. Thank goodness I haven’t put you up yet.”

Angrily, Panther shut off the simulator and slid open the canopy. She jumped out and stormed over to the door. She was about to yell when a sight caught her gaze. Chance, Jake and Tabby stood in a corner talking quietly. She saw Tabby’s ear twitch and knew she’d heard her. Tabby turned and walked over.

“I think you need a rest from schooling. We’re going to take you out to dinner and then into the skies to show you some real flying.”

————————————————————————————————————

Panther put down her menu as the waiter left the table. Dessert would be here shortly.

After much debate, the foursome decided to try the new restaurant Kat Kaboodle. So far, dinner had gone good. They sat in a square booth. Tabby and Panther sat on one side. Jake sat across from Tabby and Chance sat across from Panther. Panther glanced over at them and wrinkled her nose.

“How can you guys eat that crud?”

Tabby glanced at her as she stuffed another piece of fried herring in her mouth. She and Jake had ordered a large plate of fried herring and fries and they were rushing to finish it before dessert came.

“Oi don oo ow you coud eath thuna.”

Chance burst out laughing. Panther looked over at him and demanded “What?”

“General Manners here is talking with her mouth full.”

Panther chuckled and looked over at Tabby. ‘If looks could kill, the kats here would have to scrape Chance off the wall. I’ve never seen Tabby glare like that!’

Chance seemed to realize he was in trouble and didn’t say another word during dinner. Tabby and Jake finished dinner just as dessert came.

————————————————————————————————————

The ride back to the garage was silent. After flight suits were donned, the four stood in front of the jets.

“I know that it seems like I’m taking your partner,” Tabby said as she and Chance discussed the coming flight, “But, I would like this to be more of a training session for Panther than a battle of wits.”

Chance simply shrugged his shoulders, “Suits me. Her flying with me will just give her better aim.”

Panther felt excited as the jets lowered onto the runway. “I’ve never been in the Turbokat. This is exciting!”

T-Bone chuckled “Just don’t put dinner on Razor’s seat.”

Panther’s eyes widened “What do you mean?”

“Let’s just say Tabby has been going easy on you so she won’t have to clean up the Nightkat everyday.”

Panther didn’t have to wait long to find out what he meant. As soon as they were out of the runway, T-Bone went straight up for one thousand feet.

“Don’t let the G’s konk you out.”

————————————————————————————————————

“I hope we don’t have to clean up your seat when we’re done, Razor. I haven’t flown the way T-Bone is flying with Panther.” Tabby watched as T-Bone took the Turbokat in three loops before finally leveling out. “He seems to be having fun.”

Razor looked at the weapons panel.  “Switching to cold laser for one awesome game of Laser Tag.”

Tabby eased the Nightkat in behind the Turbokat.

“We’re locked and loaded.” Razor grinned as he pressed the release button.

“The game begins.”

Suddenly, the Nightkat began to spin out of control.

“What are you doing?” Razor looked at Tabby.

She was slumped in her seat.

————————————————————————————————————

“Something’s wrong,” T-Bone stared out of the cockpit of the Turbokat.  “She’d never let the jet spin out of control.”

They watched as the jet leveled off.

Suddenly, Razor’s voice came over the radio.  “Tabby’s passed out! I don’t think it’s the G’s because the G alarm won’t wake her up. I’m taking her to Mega Kat Memorial. Meet you on the roof in T minus ten minutes.”

T-Bone turned the Turbokat around and put the thrusters to max. Razor had forgotten to turn off the radio, and they could hear him talking.

“Don’t die on me Tabby. Please you’ve got to live, keep on breathing!”

Razor ran into the hospital and laid Tabby on a couch in the waiting room.

“Go get Doctor Iromote!” he yelled at a passing nurse.

Within minutes, Doctor Iromote ran into the almost empty room.  “What’s wrong?”

Razor looked up at the white kat. “She passed out a half an hour ago. She’s still breathing.”

When T-Bone and Panther arrived, they found Razor sitting in the waiting room alone. His ears drooped and he barely moved when they came in.

T-Bone rushed over to him “Where is she?”

Razor looked up “They took her out. The doc is going to come in in a minute and tell me what’s wrong.”

Just then, Dr. Iromote walked in.

All three stood up.

He sighed and spoke “She was given a large dose of Kataline, a drug that with a small dose induces sleep. When given the large dose that she was given, coma sets in and then death within five hours of intake. I gave her a counteracting drug, and she seems to be doing fine. I wish to keep her overnight for observation. And, when she goes home tomorrow, I would advise you to watch her too.”

Angrily, Razor spoke up “She would never intentionally take something like that! And, I know because I’ve been with her since ten o’clock today!”

Dr. Iromote was silent for a moment.   “Then, I guess she must have been poisoned.”

————————————————————————————————————

Tabby opened her eyes and sat up in bed. She looked up around the dark room. Where am I? Suddenly a voice made her jump.

“You’re awake! How are you feeling?”

Tabby squinted, she could just make out the form of Razor.

“I’m fine. Where am I? What happened?”

Quickly, Razor related to her what had happened.

“Great,” she said, “I have to sleep in a hospital bed. What better to do.”

Razor smiled and kissed her on the cheek. She was definitely feeling better. “Don’t worry. I’ll be sleeping in that chair over there. Now try to get some rest so you can go home early tomorrow.”

————————————————————————————————————

“Breakfast!” Razor opened his eyes.

T-Bone and Panther stood at the door. In their hands were a few packages.

T-Bone walked over and set the stuff on a shelf.   “Compliments of the chef, Panther Char-”  Suddenly, he stopped and stared at Tabby. “She’s purring!”

Tabby was lying in a curled ball, her purr loud and clear. Suddenly, the purring stopped, and she opened her eyes. “Something smells good.” she said “Kind of like biscuits, muffins and milk.”

Panther smiled and handed her a biscuit “Eat up.”

Chapter Six

The following evening Tabby woke up early in the morning. She heard Panther moving around in the other bedroom and wondered if she had been up all night. She pulled out her long white bathrobe and padded down the hall to Panther’s room. She walked into the room and saw Panther sitting on the floor scribbling down a note on a pad. As she sat down beside her sister, Panther quickly stopped writing and closed the pad. It was not before Tabby very clearly saw the first seven sentences on the page. They read:

Dear Chance,
Hi! It’s me Panther. Listen, I have to let you
know right now or you might never find out. I like
you very much as a friend and would like to be
more. I don’t know if you like me, but if you do
please call me at Tabby’s beach house. Maybe we
can…

That was all Tabby saw of the note. She asked, “Panther, is that why you made such a big deal out of Chance and T-Bone being the same kat?”

Panther nodded.  “Yes. I’ve always liked T-Bone because he’s so brave and handsome and daring. Plus, he’s the best pilot I’ve ever seen. When I found out Chance was him, I couldn’t believe it. When he’s himself, he doesn’t act anything like he does when he’s T-Bone.”

“That’s because if Commander Feral ever found out he’s a Swat Kat he’d have him and Jake arrested.” Tabby looked at her wristwatch and said, “Well we’d better get to bed. We’ve got a long flight ahead of us in the morning.”

Panther hugged her sister tightly and said, “Good night, Tabby.

Tabby returned the hug and answered, “Good night Panther.” and shut off the light and quietly left the room.

————————————————————————————————————

Chance and Jake crouched at the end of the dark hallway.

“SHHH!!” Jake whispered to Chance. “I think I hear a key in the lock.”

Tabby opened the door and walked in, stopping just beside the door. She motioned for Panther to do the same. The two she kats knelt and pulled off their boots. She motioned for Panther to jump up and hang from the roof.

————————————————————————————————————

“Ready, partner?” Chance asked, grinning evilly.

“Ready Chance!” Jake acknowledged, grinning back at Chance.

They crouched and jumped.   “SURPRISE!!” they yelled.

“Huh?” Chance asked, “Jake, where ar-”

Suddenly, Panther and Tabby dropped down on them, yelling, “SURPRISE! GOTCHA!”

A few minutes later, the foursome was situated in the living room, laughing at how Jake and Chance’s plan to ambush Panther and Tabby had backfired.

————————————————————————————————————

A few days later, Tabby and Panther discovered two attic bedrooms, each as big as one half of the house.

The next day Tabby was in the kitchen with Jake fixing dinner. Chance was talking to Panther in her room. It had been quiet for a long while, and the two kats were more than a little curious. Suddenly, there was a loud THUMP and the sounds of a struggle.

————————————————————————————————————

“What on earth is going on here?!” Tabby exclaimed.

She and Jake had run upstairs at the crash to see what was wrong. The two kats laughed when they saw Chance pinned on the floor on his back. Panther was on top of him with her knees on his elbows and her hands on his shoulders.

She grinned evilly first at them then at him.  “Give up?” she asked playfully.

Chance nodded, “Yeah, I give up.”

Panther rewarded him with a quick kiss on the forehead and then she jumped up.  “We were wrestling,” she explained, grinning sheepishly at Jake. “Over there,” she said, pointing at the window seat on the sunny side of the house.  “We got kind of carried away and we rolled off. I remembered you showing me how to pin someone like you did when I first tried to fight you, and I used the move. It worked like a charm. By the way, Chance, you lost our bet, you owe me ten dollars by next Friday.”

Jake asked, “What did you bet her pal?”

Chance answered, “I bet her she couldn’t pin me two out of three times. She bet me she could. I had to give her five dollars for each time she pinned me.”

Tabby sighed and laughed, “Well, it seems you two have been having fun. But, why didn’t we hear the first time she pinned you?”

Panther replied, “All that padding on the window seat over there that’s why.”

————————————————————————————————————

Chapter Seven

“Eeek!” Panther yelped and snuggled more closely against Chance as if in fear.

He chuckled and hugged her protectively. They were watching a scary movie. Panther had already seen it and was pretending to be scared so she would have a reason for snuggling so closely against Chance.

Tabby looked over and saw the contented smile on Panther’s face and nudged Jake gently with her elbow. He looked over and laughed at how Panther and Chance were snuggled together.

————————————————————————————————————

The next morning Tabby was jerked from her sleep by the sound of the Klaxon on going off. She leaped up, waking Jake who fell out off the couch and woke Panther and Chance.

“Hey!” they exclaimed, “What’s going on?”

They jumped into action at the sound of the Wild Kat’s engine. The three kats ran upstairs and slid down the secret passage in the air conditioning vent that lead to the hanger.

“Hurry up!” Tabby yelled from the cockpit of the Wild Kat.

Moments later, the morning stillness was torn apart by the roar of their jets engines.

————————————————————————————————————

“I can’t believe it!” Tabby exclaimed angrily, “Blackout couldn’t possibly have escaped and gotten all the way to Mega Kat City without being seen.”

The four kats had been chasing Blackout all morning without success.

As the two jets landed in the street, Commander Feral walked up.

“Oh perfect!” T-Bone growled.  “What did we do, Feral?”

Commander Feral answered, “Nothing, just listen. The Swat Kats, Wild Kats and Enforcers have been chasing Blackout all morning without catching him. I say we make a truce and work together to catch him. What do you say?”

T-Bone growled again.  “No w-”

Panther jumped in.  “No way we’re going to catch him otherwise,” she finished for him, elbowing him in the ribs.

He started to protest and then covered it up with a cough.

Two and a half hours later, they caught Blackout and he was on his way to Alkatraz Island to be placed under maximum-security solitary confinement. In addition, a satellite atop the prison wired to a video camera would be sending a constant signal to a television in Commander Feral’s office.

“For your assistance to the Enforcers I would like to thank you and to offer a small reward. What do you say to a thank you speech from Mayor Manx on Katseye news tonight?”

————————————————————————————————————

That evening Tabby and Jake sat on the couch in the living room, watching television. Panther and Chance were at the grocery store buying ingredients for homemade pizza. The foursome had argued for a short time about what to put on it until Panther went and got a pencil and a pad and wrote down what they wanted. She and Chance then left.

————————————————————————————————————

The next day Chance, Panther, Jake and Tabby went to the beach. Jake and Tabby sat on the sand and laughed as they watched Chance try to teach Panther to surf. She kept slipping and wiping out. Finally, after six or seven tries she got it right.

“That was fun,” she said sarcastically.  “All that trouble just to end up wet.”

Chapter Eight

Tabby and Panther were in Panther’s attic bedroom hanging her collection of crystal sun catchers from the roof above the window seat. She had a pretty good sized collection. There was a heart, a Unisys in flight, a falcon, a phoenix, a unicorn, a Pegasus and two dragons.

‘I bet Tabby really likes that dragon, and I have it’s mate and another set here somewhere. Where are they?’  Panther stood and walked to her bed, looking for the other two dragons. Spying the boxes, she thought, ‘There you are!’  Out loud she said, “Tabby, I have a gift for you.”

Tabby looked at her and asked what it was. Panther told her to hold out her hands with her eyes closed. Tabby did it and, after checking to make sure she had a male and a female, handed the boxes to Tabby.

“Ok, open your eyes.”

Tabby opened her eyes and opened one of the boxes.

“Oh how beautiful!”

Then the other.

“They’re gorgeous, Panther, thank you!”

In her hands was the male dragon figure. It was clear, lead crystal with a twenty-four karat gold collar with a small onyx in it on its neck and two small rubies for the eyes. The female was the same except her eyes were two aquamarines and her collar had an amethyst in it.

Tabby placed them back in their boxes and leaped up and gave Panther a big hug and said, “Thank you again sis.”

“You’re welcome,” Panther said.  “My set is exactly like yours, but I’ve had mine longer. I knew you’d like them. Where’s Chance?”

Tabby replied, “I think he went with Jake to the store. Why do you ask?” she asked, eyeing her sister curiously.

Panther walked over to her window seat and sat down.  “Well I’d like to have at least one day for us to spend together just the two of us. Maybe we could have a picnic or something. Because once he goes back to the city he’ll go back to being both a mechanic and a Swat Kat. It worries…”  Suddenly, she burst into tears. “What if he gets hurt or killed one day? I love him so much! Do you think he loves me?” she asked.

“I think he has since the first time he saw you. That, I think, is why he was so hurt and angry when he found out you knew he was Swat Kat. Hurt because you reminded him of Charity and angry cause well, no one is supposed to know the Swat Kats secret identities. It would put him, Jake and the other person in danger. I tell you what, I’ll make plans to do something with Jake just the two of us so you and Chance can be alone together. Talk to him.  If he loves you as much as I think he does, he’ll tell you. Just do what I suggested, O.K.?” Tabby asked.

“O.K., I really don’t know why I freaked out like that,” Panther said, drying her eyes.

“I don’t know either but I think you’ll be fine,” Tabby said, relieved that her sister was O.K. again. She reached over, pulled her close and hugged her reassuringly.

————————————————————————————————————

That night, Panther knocked quietly on the door of the guest bedroom Chance had been staying in.

“Who’s there?” Chance called from inside.

“It’s me, Panther. May I come in?” she answered. She had started worrying and crying again just before she went to bed.

“Yeah, it’s unlocked.”

Panther opened the door and saw Chance stretched out on his side, watching David Litterbin on t.v. He took one look at her and knew something was wrong. He stood up, “What’s wrong? Have you been crying?” he asked.

“I need to talk to you. Can I sit down?” Panther asked.

“Yeah, go ahead.”

Panther sat down on the end of the bed and Chance sat next to her.

“I was talking to Tabby and we began talking about you. I got upset because we have to go back and I told her that I think…”  She paused, thinking about how to word the next part.

“Think what?” Chance asked, looking puzzled.

“I told her I think I’m in love with you and I had to know if you felt the same way about me.” Panther sighed and was silent, waiting and hoping he loved her.

“Well, from the first time I saw you I knew we were meant for each other,” Chance answered, looking over at Panther. Her head was bowed but she looked hopeful. “Look at me, Panther.” She turned toward him, and he gently lifted her head up.  “And yes, I do love you.”

Then, they were kissing. It was true, he did love her, his kiss proved it.

“But, what about when we go back to the city? We’ll hardly see each other,” she said.

“Don’t worry, we’ll see each other often enough. I think Tabby’s going to ask you to be her partner. We’ll make time to see each other,” Chance said. “I’m glad I know we feel the same way about each other. Oh! Tabby and Jake are making plans to do something tomorrow just the two of them. Why don’t we do the same?” Panther asked.

“Sure. How about working on your surfing at the beach?” Chance replied.

“O.K..” Panther yawned “I’m going to bed before I fall asleep on my feet. Love you, T-Bone!” she said, starting to get up to go.

Chance stopped her.  “Wait. Stay here? Please? I promise nothing will happen. O.K.?” he asked, taking her hand in his.

Panther thought for a moment, “But Tabby…” she started to say, but Chance cut her off, “Isn’t your boss. She doesn’t have to know.”

Panther fidgeted nervously and then said, “O.K.. I don’t think I’d have made it back to my room anyway.” She stood, stretched and waited silently as Chance pulled the blanket back.

“Go ahead, lay down,” Chance urged gently.

Panther laid down on her side with her back to Chance. She felt very nervous as he stretched out behind her and then moved a little closer and put a hand on her side. She shivered partly from cold, partly from nervousness.

“You cold?” Chance asked.

Panther answered, “Yes, a little.”

Chance pulled her against him and put an arm around her waist.  “Feel better?” he asked.

Panther nodded, and Chance leaned over and kissed her gently on the cheek. She began purring first softly, then loudly as she started to fall asleep.

The last thing she heard that night was Chance’s purr answering hers.

————————————————————————————————————

In Tabby’s bedroom, she and Jake were talking quietly about what to do tomorrow. She had told Jake about her and Panther’s talk earlier.

“Do you think Chance is in love with Panther?” she asked Jake.

He laughed out loud, “Do I?! She’s all he’s talked about since he met her. It’s always Panther this, Panther that. Yeah, I’d say he’s in love with her.”

Tabby looked relieved, “Well, I wonder if she can wait until morning to find out.”

Jake yawned, “Probably not I’ll bet. Let’s go to sleep, I’m beat.”

He and Tabby lay down side by side and were soon fast asleep.

Chapter Nine

The next morning when Panther woke up she had no idea where she was or who. How had she gotten wherever she was? She tried to get up and couldn’t. She tried again. No luck. That did it! She screamed.

————————————————————————————————————

Tabby awoke with a start at Panther’s scream. So did Jake.

“What was that?” he asked looking puzzled. “It sounded like my sister. In Chance’s room? Why?” She and Jake ran for Chance’s room.

————————————————————————————————————

Panther’s scream jerked Chance out of a deep sleep. “Panther? What’s wrong?” he asked.

Panther merely stared blankly at him.  “Who’s Panther? Who am I? Where am I? Who are you?”

Chance scowled, “Aw crud! You’ve got amnesia! But how?”

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door, and Tabby called from outside, “Chance? Is Panther in there with you? Is she O.K.?”

Chance growled in frustration and then answered, “I don’t know. Come in and take a look.”

Jake and Tabby came in, and Tabby asked, “What’s wrong with Panther?”

“She’s got amnesia. I don’t know how though,” Chance answered, looking worried.

“Panther, it’s me Jake. You’ve got to listen to me. Your name is Panther. You are at your sister Tabby’s beach house. I’m Jake, her boyfriend. This is Chance, your boyfriend. Do you understand me? If yes, repeat what I just said.”

Panther nodded and repeated what Jake had said word for word. Suddenly, she shook her head and blinked. She looked around, “Jake, Tabby what are you doing in here? What happened?”

Chance answered, “You had amnesia. Did you hit your head last night?”

Panther replied, “I don’t know. I just woke up and couldn’t remember where I was. It scared me.”

Chance came over and gave her a big hug, “Well you’re O.K. now, and I’m glad.”

Tabby came over and hugged her too. So did Jake.

Tabby said, “Well, I don’t know about you guys, but Jake and I are going to go get dressed and go out to breakfast.”

“Chance, I’m going to go get dressed. What do you want for breakfast?” Panther asked.

“Don’t worry about breakfast, I’ll fix it. How about some oatmeal with honey on it and toast and orange juice?” Chance asked.

“Sounds great. I’ll be back in a few minutes,” Panther answered. She stood up and kissed him on the cheek then left.

—————————————————————————–

In her room, Panther selected a purple bathing suit and a pair of jean shorts. She dressed quickly and got out her hairbrush, brushed her hair, grabbed a matching hair scrunchie, leaned over and pulled her hair into a ponytail. She found her sandals and a beach bag and a couple of towels. She added a beach umbrella as well. She walked out of the room and headed for the kitchen. Tabby and Jake had already left. She got to the kitchen and sat the bag down next to the door.

“Mmm! Something smells wonderful!” Panther’s stomach growled at the smell of food being cooked.

“We’re out of bread and we don’t have any oatmeal so I’m making some chocolate chip and some blueberry muffins. O.K.?” Chance asked.

“Fine with me.” Panther answered as she got up and went to a cabinet and got some plates and glasses out. She then got out some silverware. She set the table and then got out some napkins.

Chance looked in the refrigerator and got out the orange juice. The two of them then sat down and ate breakfast. Soon, they were on their way to the beach. Once they arrived, they spread out a blanket that Chance had grabbed before leaving the house and sat down for a while and listened to the radio.

“Ready Panther?” Chance asked.

“I’m ready. Let’s go.”

Chance picked up the surfboards and they headed for the water.

Panther tested it with her foot.  “Brr! That’s cold!”

Chance tested it.  “Are you crazy? That’s not cold.”

The two kats walked into the water up to their waists, lay down on their boards and paddled farther out.

“O.K. Panther here comes a big wave. Stand up slowly. There you go.”

Somehow, Panther managed to keep her balance for nearly five minutes and rode the wave out. They went back to the blanket and dried off and lay down on the blanket. They talked for a while and finally decided to go get some lunch and then come back and try again. Afterward, they would go home and change and maybe go to the movies. After packing their stuff, they went to a beachside restaurant, had lunch and decided to skip the second attempt at surfing. Then they went home and showered off. They went to see a new movie called “The Revenge of The Scorpion People From Saturn”. They had a lot of fun and, when they got home, were content to listen to the radio and snuggle on the couch.

————————————————————————————————————

When Tabby and Jake arrived at home that afternoon they found Chance and Panther sleeping on the couch together.

“Wake up you two,” Tabby said, gently shaking Panther’s shoulder.

“We brought home dinner for everyone. Tuna subs for you guys and fried herring sandwiches for us,” Jake said.

Both kats sat up and stretched. “Did you say tuna subs?” they both asked.

Chapter Ten

The next morning, the four kats headed reluctantly back to Mega Kat City. Later on, at the garage, Panther and Tabby were trying to think up a codename for Panther. Tabby had asked her to be her partner on the way back, and Panther had happily agreed. They had come up with four possible codenames so far: Storm, Rogue, Smoke and Onyx. Chance and Panther both liked Onyx. Jake was at the store. Tabby liked Smoke. When Jake got back she showed him the list of names. He liked Onyx the most. They took a vote and the codename Onyx was given to Panther.

————————————————————————————————————

That evening at Tabby and Panther’s apartment Tabby was showing Panther what would be her Wild Kats uniform.

“Go ahead and try it on. That way I can see if it needs any altering. I’ll have to ask Jake to teach you how to operate the weapons panel on the jet. Nobody flies the NightKat but me. Understand? Though in case something happens to me you’ll need to know how to control the jet. T-Bone will handle that,” Tabby told her.

“I’ll be right back,” Panther told her sister as she left the room.

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door.

“Who is it?” Tabby called.

“It’s Jake and Chance, can we come in?”

“Yeah sure. It’s open,” Tabby answered.

Panther walked into the room just then wearing Charity’s old flight jumper. Chance looked at her and was obviously impressed but also a little bit hurt.

“Chance?” Panther asked, “Are you O.K.?”

At the sound of her voice, the hurt on his face went away.  “Yeah. You just looked a lot like Charity just then. That’s all.”

“Can I talk to you for a minute in private, Tabby?” Jake asked.

“O.K., I’ll be back in a few minutes, Panther,” Tabby answered.

They left the room.

Chance came over to Panther and said, “Panther, I love you very much and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” He went down on one knee, at the same time pulling out a small velvet box and opening it. He took out a diamond ring and placed it on Panther’s left middle finger, gazed into her eyes and asked, “Panther, will you marry me?”

Panther’s mouth dropped open, her eyes went as wide as they could get and she tried to answer but couldn’t. She shook her head and answered, “Yes, Chance, I will marry you. I love you!”

Chance stood up, picked her up and hugged her as though he’d never let her go, “I love you too, Panther!”

They kissed and when they pulled apart there were tears of joy in Panther’s eyes.

“You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to hear you ask me that. It means so much to me.”

————————————————————————————————————

In the other room a similar conversation was taking place.

“Tabby, I’ve asked you this once already, but I have to ask it again,” Jake said to Tabby. He pulled out a ring and, going down on one knee, asked, “Will you marry me, Tabby?” as he placed the ring on Tabby’s left middle finger.

“Yes, I will marry you, Jake.”

They hugged and kissed, and Tabby added, “Finally.”
They went into the living room and Panther and Tabby excitedly exchanged the news. Chance and Jake stayed over, and the four kats were up all night planning the wedding.

“What do you guys think of having the wedding at the beach house? That way we’ll have plenty of room for the guests,” Panther said.

At two in the morning the double wedding was fully planned.

Chapter Eleven

Exactly one month later, at Panther and Tabby’s beach house, the double wedding took place. Tabby and Panther had everything exactly the same. Panther’s birth parents came to see their third daughter married and her adopted parents were there as well. Tabby and Panther both cried as they said their vows and placed the wedding rings upon their husband’s fingers.

After the ceremony and the dances with fathers and bride and groom dances, the Temmincks came over and asked to speak with Panther.

Her mother said, “Panther, I know we were wrong to give you up for adoption just because we didn’t want a black kitten. That was very wrong of us.”

Her father added, “Yes. We realize now that we made a very serious mistake by casting you out like that. We want you to know that we never stopped loving you and we would like to say how sorry we are. Can you find it in your heart to forgive us?”

Panther listened closely to both of her parent’s words and knew they meant what they said. “Of course I can forgive you. But, I don’t want any explanations. I just want to get to know the parents I never knew.”

Her mother and father gladly agreed and made plans to meet again at the beach house in two weeks to discuss whatever they didn’t get to discuss that day. Panther hugged both of her parents and then was warmly congratulated by both sets of her parents and then was called over to meet Chance’s parents and then Jake’s parents.

As she and Chance cut their cake and watched Jake and Tabby cut theirs and then opened their gifts, she felt happier, safer and more loved than she had ever felt before. She was in Chance’s arms where she belonged and she would stay there forever.

Tabby, Jake and Chance all felt the same way.

Happy.

————————————————————————————————————

The End

Original Concept By:
Jayme Scholtes
&
Cassie Davis
A.K.A.
Panther Furlong
&
Tabby Clawson

Final Manuscript By:
Jayme Scholtes
A.K.A
Panther Furlong

Next Chapter

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