Just thought I’d tell you readers a little about me and what I plan on doing later in the series.
I’m a white female in my teens. For the sake of anonymity, that’s as far as I’ll describe what I look like.
I have no strong religious beliefs, so you’ll see very little mention of religion, if any, in my writing.
I take aikido and you’ll see a little of that thrown in sometimes. (Aikido is a form of martial arts. You see Steven Segal using it in most of his movies. It’s a passive art, defensive rather than aggressive. When you watch Segal do his movies and he throws a punch or kick, it’s not aikido.)
I’m a hopeless romantic and adventure freak. There, I admit it. You’ll see as much of both that I can throw in without it getting either sappy or never letting the characters take a breath.
I live down in the deep South, so any y’alls and other Southern words must be excused. ________________________________________________________________
I think that’s enough about me for now.
YOURS ETC……………..CHELLA Feb. 17, 1997
BOOK ONE: KATAREENA PERKINS
“Hey, Jake! Hop to it, buddy! Cat’s Eye On You is starting!”
“Chance,” Jake said as he slid in place on the battered couch, “Every week it’s the same thing: movie star plugs new movie, Ann Gora gets that ‘look’ and asks about someone, movie star gets miffed and starts cutting down the mentioned kat, Ann looks like she’s trying to calm down the star – who only gets more talkative. Ann Gora gets her scoop on the rest of the entertainment shows.”
“Not this week. Ann’s interviewing Katareena Perkins!”
“Oh. Her.” Jake glanced meaningfully at the video shelf – every other video starred Katareena Perkins. The dig was lost on the oblivious Chance, the show had started.
Ann Gora’s familiar voice said the now familiar greeting (This is Cat’s Eye On You, with me, Ann Gora. This week we’ll be…) while pictures of the upcoming guests flashed across the screen.
As the camera closed in from the rafters to the ‘cozy’ sitting area, a white by-line reminded the viewers that the show was previously recorded. The sitting area was in front of a huge window with a fabulous view of the Megakat City business area. Ann Gora perched on the red couch, while the blue was empty. She went into her little gossip spiel on who’s who in Megakat City. By the time commercial break was over and the guest portion of the show came, Chance was sitting on the edge of his seat.
Jake was by now used to this, so he ignored his mesmerized friend. He couldn’t resist saying, “You won’t miss her interview if you blink.” Chance didn’t even grunt a reply.
The show resumed. Ann Gora wore the look she always wore when the guest was on by popular demand – not because they could sling some trash. “Our first guest today is Miss Katareena Perkins.”
Lovely young Katareena walked to the area in front of the windows. She bestowed her trade-mark smile to the home audience via the camera and sat down.
Jake watched, almost as rapt as his love-sick friend. There had to be something he could use to at least stem this Katareena-Mania Chance had!
She wore a very attractive green sweater with black tights. The sweater fell almost to her knees, which only emphasized her terrific legs. Her honey-blonde hair was simply curled. She wore no make-up other than some colored lip gloss.
“So…tell us about your new movie, Katareena,” Ann Gora invited.
“Well, it’s in theaters tomorrow-” “Another Enforcer movie?” Ann asked sweetly.
Katareena smiled stiffly, but nodded. Katareena Perkins was well known for her Enforcer movies. They all did well in the box-office and were all different. Other than she was a female air officer, she never did a movie that was even remotely similar.
“My character, Natalie McFurrson, quits her airline job to be an Enforcer. One of her unit (male of course) decides he doesn’t like it and sets a time bomb to explode on her ‘copter. He (nice kat that he is) tells her about it while she’s flying over Megakat City-”
Ann interrupted her, “Megakat City! I didn’t know you filmed a scene of the movie here!”
Katareena leaned back in her chair and smiled. “Of course not! What if something went wrong way up there? And the cost of filming *anywhere* on location!”
She waved her paws off-handedly – yet expressively.
Ann announced a commercial break by saying, “When we come back – how they filmed the Megakat City scene and…is it wedding bells for Katareena?”
<Oh no!> Jake said silently as he jerked to see the look on Chance’s face.
To Jake’s surprise, Chance was smiling smugly. “Katareena’s not engaged,” Chance announced.
“Oh?” Jake asked weakly.
“Nope! No ring!” He wiggled his right paw, pointing at his ring finger. Ann Gora’s voice came on again and Jake was saved from any comment.
Katareena described the scale model of the city and how they used a process called ‘green screening’ to make her seem to fly over Megakat City. She looked out the window and said to Ann, “It happened somewhere over there, if I’m not mistaken.”
“I’m sure you’re not,” Ann said distractedly. “Now, tell me if the rumors are true about you and-”
“Me and whom? Arnold Swartzenlitter? Slyvester Malone?” Katareena’s blue eyes blazed and her chin was set at an angle that indicated anger.
Ann looked a little taken aback by Katareena’s vehemence, but continued. “Sources tell me you and Jean Pawed Van Damme will be married next fall!”
“This source goes by the name of Leo Verne, my agent? I tell him time and time again-”
A loud sound drowned out her words. “Aw, crud! It’s that air chase we were in earlier!” Jake moaned.
Ann Gora waited for the first jet to go by (the bad guy’s) before continuing. “I take it that there is no wedding.”
“No, no! Of course not! If there was, Leo’d be putting up billboards and selling reporters tickets!” Katareena said with a small grin.
Ann looked a little disappointed that she hadn’t scooped anyone on a wedding story. “Well, are you currently working on another movie? Any fall plans?”
The squawking of the Enforcer’s loudspeakers drowned out anything she might have said. But she wasn’t looking at Ann Gora anymore. Katareena Perkins was gazing out the window to see what all the fuss was about.
The Enforcers were flying in a well executed ‘V’ formation through the corridor between the skyscrapers. They were following the first jet. Seconds after, the TurboKat breezed past the Enforcers to pursue the criminal.
The noise died down and Katareena turned back. She opened her mouth to speak, closed it, and opened it again.
“My new movie? Well, it doesn’t start production for six months. It’s a-” She broke off to wrinkle her nose, “…romance called “The Flame Within”. It’s written by a *wonderful* kat named Tom Nallubt.”
“Any plans for the fall?” Ann asked again.
Katareena bit her bottom lip. “Leo’s going to kill me…”
Ann leaned forward excitedly and pressed her, “For what, dear?”
“Well…” Katareena sat up straighter as if finally deciding. Jake knew she had decided before she had even opened her mouth. “I’m taking my six months free time between films. I’m taking a hiatus right here in Megakat City!”
Ann leaned forward as Jake leaned back. He tried to remember when he had last bought aspirin, he already felt the headache coming on.
In the middle of asking Katareena what she was going to do while in the city, Ann glanced at the window, something catching her eye. She did a classic double-take when she noticed two jets speeding for the building they were filming in.
Ann Gora jumped from her seat and looked offstage as if deciding whether to make a run for it or to get it on film. Her reporter’s instincts won out as she prompted the camerakat to tape it.
All this happened in a matter of seconds. Katareena moved as if compelled – not to the door, but to the huge glass windows. The effect was some sort of strange art. A she-kat’s back to the viewer as two jets sped for the window over Megakat City, the sun setting in the background.
The TurboKat used the grappling arm to grab the other jet. Together, the two jets flew almost vertically up the side of the Cat’s Eye News Building.
From off-screen, Ann Gora declared, “And once again, the SWAT Kats save Megakat City!”
Ann never did get to the other guests, she was too busy getting the story to the newsroom before some other station did.
Jake had seen kats freeze up in the sight of danger. A few times he’d seen kats walk trance-like *into* danger, like a moth to a flame. Katareena did neither. She was fascinated, as if she were trying to learn from the pilots of the jets.
Chance was estatic. “She’s doing a new movie, she’s staying in the city for *six* *months*, she’s *not* getting married, *and* she saw me fly!”
Jake rolled his eyes. “No. She saw *T-Bone* fly.” Chance ignored him. He would have continued to rave about his ‘sweetheart’ if they hadn’t gotten a call from Deputy Mayor Briggs.
“Come in guys! It’s an emergency!” she said. __________s____________w_______________a____________t______________
They jumped into their flight gear and got into the TurboKat. T-Bone fired up the engine and jetted them into the skies above Megakat City.
Both the SWAT Kats searched the air for any unusual flight. Callie Briggs didn’t have much information on what had happened. All she could tell them, so far, was that a penthouse party had been robbed.
T-Bone spotted a small two-engine plane with a strange flight pattern. In minutes, they had closed in. The call they had been waiting for came.
“Come in, guys – I’ve got it!” Callie said.
“Go ahead, Miss Briggs,” T-Bone said.
“A passenger plane did a fly-by over the Skirise Appartment Building, dropping off three gunkats. The gunkats stole money and jewelry from the high society party-goers. They took one of them hostage and escaped by jumping to the next roof – Megakat Memorial Hospital. The plane threw open its doors as it passed over the roof. The gunkats threw the hostage inside before they jumped in.”
“Do you have any description of the plane, Miss Briggs?” T-Bone asked, keeping the passenger plane just in front of him.
“Silver with the numbers: 080380 on the wings.”
“Thanks, Miss Briggs. We have that plane in front of us. SWAT Kats out.”
They were opening the canopy so Razor could jump onto the plane, when it started to lose altitude.
Razor closed the cockpit and said, “I wonder if they think they can trick you and out-fly you. Impossible and they should know it!”
“How true! How true!” T-Bone joked.
To their surprise, the plane did land. It was a smooth landing in an open field of the city park. T-Bone shrugged and landed too.
As soon as the cockpit had opened, T-Bone and Razor were out. They forced the door open and scrambled inside. The sight that greeted them was astounding.
Katareena Perkins was rising from the pilot’s seat. There were three kats in the back, out cold. The other was lying near the control area. The unshakable SWAT Kats were struck dumb.
Katareena smiled. “You two should see the looks on your faces!”
“Miss Perkins…we didn’t expect…this,” Razor said, sweeping his arms to include everything on the plane.
She grinned recklessly, her blue eyes sparkling with merriment. “*They* didn’t either! Can you believe,” she said as she walked to them, “that one of these kats actually said, ‘Better make a grudging surrender, Miss Perkins, you’re coming with us’? Like I was the heroine of one of my movies!”
T-Bone finally spoke, “They did that to you?” He lightly touched her cheek where a dark bruise was forming.
She absently brought her paw to her face. “Yes, one of these goons got off a lucky shot.”
The kat by the pilot’s seat suddenly came alive, grabbing Katareena with one arm around her neck. He held a gun on the SWAT Kats.
“Witch” he hissed in her ear. “I’m going to leave now. No tricks!” He edged towards the open plane doors.
“For heaven sakes!” Katareena growled, then brought her weight forward, throwing her attacker over her shoulder.
He landed hard, knocking the gun from his paw and the air from his lungs. T-Bone stepped on the kat’s chest with one foot and leaned onto him.
“And *don’t* get up,” he ground out between clenched teeth. He glared at the terrified kat before getting off and getting out of the plane.
The Enforcers showed up then. While Razor watched the kat-nappers, T-Bone helped Katareena from the plane. Her attention was drawn to the ‘copter Commander and Lietenant Ferral were exiting from. Other officers streamed by them and onto the plane. By the time Feral and his niece reached where they were standing, Razor was with T-Bone and Katareena.
Commander Feral opened his mouth to do his usual verbal assault. Katareena neatly stopped this by speaking. “Aren’t they *wonderful*, Commander Feral? And to think – if they hadn’t been there I’d either be long-gone or dead!”
Both Razor’s and T-Bone’s mouths dropped somewhere around their knees at what she said. She turned her head and shot them a warning look. The closed their mouths on the protests they were going to make.
She continued to pacify Feral, “I think you’ve got to see the crime scene – the plane.” She gave him a little push. “You go ahead. I don’t know a *thing* about evidence and I wouldn’t set foot on a plane like that again for the world!” Katareena gave a little shudder.
Commander Feral walked a few steps then turned and said, “Come on, Lieutenant!” His niece smiled at the SWAT Kats and then at the actress before following her uncle.
“What do you think, T-Bone? Do you think if *I* said, ‘I don’t know a thing about evidence’ and gave Feral a shove, he’d walk away without saying anything?” Razor asked. T-Bone smiled; Katareena laughed.
She stepped closer to them and lowered her voice. “Hardly anyone thinks I can actually do some of the things I do in the movies. If this happens again, I’d like to be able to surprise them…” she hinted.
“Got it!” T-Bone said. He pulled and imaginary zipper across his mouth and saluted. She smiled, satisfied. Then her blue gaze zeroed in on the TurboKat. “Where’d you get her?”
The two looked at each other. T-Bone shrugged. “We made her from scratch,” Razor announced proudly.
“Can I see her?”
“Of course!” They escorted her directly to the TurboKat, through the crowd of Enforcers – whose only job seemed to be to run from the plane to their ‘copter.
Katareena passed her paw lightly over the nose and looked at the canopy. “She’s beautiful. Who flies her, you?” She looked over at T-Bone who smiled and nodded mutely. Razor didn’t leave it there. He’d decided he liked the actress and wanted T-Bone to have her respect.
“He’s the best pilot in Megakat City! As far as I know, he’s the best – ever!”
T-Bone blushed. “Modest, is he? I *like* that!” She glanced over T-Bone’s shoulder. “Oh, *crud*! Ann Gora!”
The teasing and excitement was wiped away in an instant, replaced by a look of fear and nervousness. The look was almost chilling based on what they already knew about her. She turned her face away from the approaching reporter and camera crew to wink at the SWAT Kats.
“This is Ann Gora on the scene *live* where the actress Katareena Perkins was rescued by the SWAT Kats from a kidnapping attempt!” Ann thrust her microphone in Katareena’s face. “What happened?”
“Well…I was having a *marvelous* time at the party when three kats with guns took our money and jewelry! They took me hostage and threw me onto the plane. They were saying how they’d outsmarted everyone when the SWAT Kats pulled up on our tail. The gunmen freaked and somehow banged themselves into the walls of the plane! The pilot knew he couldn’t out fly the SWAT Kats and landed here. He grabbed the loot, the gun, and me and tried to make a run for it,” she widened her eyes and continued. “I guess he tripped, because the next thing I know, he’s over my shoulder and on the ground! The SWAT Kats and the Enforcers took care of the rest!”
Ann Gora’s sharp eyes gleamed at the news potential and she fired off her next question. “How’d you get that bruise?”
“One of them *hit* me!” she said as if wondering why on earth they would do such a thing. Razor nearly laughed. “I’d like to thank the SWAT Kats for being so brave and saving me!” She hugged Razor, then stood on her tip-toes to kiss T-Bone on the cheek. “Later,” she whispered into his ear.
“I really must go and thank Commander Feral!” She led the reporter and camera crew to Feral, chattering all the way.
T-Bone gazed after her, his paw to the cheek she had kissed him on. Razor elbowed him. “Come on, buddy. Time to go.” Silently, T-Bone got into the jet after Razor. He flew them back to the hangar.
While Razor changed into normal clothes, T-Bone went to the weight room. When he didn’t come for dinner or even his favorite TV show, Scardy Kat, Jake went down to check on him. T-Bone was staring into space, doing seventy pound curl-ups with dumb-bells. Jake left him alone.
He wandered past the video shelf, stopped, and turned back. He decided to see just what Miss Perkins was all about. Jake took the first movie from the shelf – it was the first one she’d ever done. Looking at the row of videos, he realized the twenty-odd movies were arranged chronologically, not one missing.
Jake sat in front of the TV and popped the first video in. _________s____________w ________________a_____________ t____________
Over the next week, Jake saw every movie Katareena Perkins had ever made. He didn’t even put up a token protest when Chance wanted to see her new movie.
He also read every magazine and newspaper article on her that he could find. He didn’t have to look very far – Chance had most of them.
Jake was reading this big article that told of how Katareena had actually thrown a screen writer out of her apartment when he’d shown her a script telling of how she was a pilot who hated the SWAT Kats. He looked at the date on the article. It was the day before they had actually met her. He looked up to see Chance sitting down at the table for breakfast.
“What’cha reading, buddy?” Chance asked.
“Now, don’t go all weird on me like you did last week…” Chance raised an eyebrow as if he had no idea what the kat in front of him was talking about. “…but I’m checking up on your girlfriend.”
“Isn’t she great? I know what you’re doin’. You can’t find anything on her other than she has an agent who’s two steps above sleazy, right?”
“Right. And the only bad thing Leo Vernes does is leak false information to reporters to keep Katreena in the papers and on the public’s mind.”
Chance chattered happily about this merit and that while Jake ate his cereal. <At least he’s talking again,> Jake thought. _________s_____________w______________a____________t_______________
At eleven thirty, they started their weekly obstacle course. Jake was in the lead. He raced over the pile of scrap metal, through the tire lane, and past the she-kat with dark Kat-Bans.
“What?!?” Jake exclaimed as he skidded to a stop. Chance crashed into him. A girlish giggle came from above. She helped them both up.
“You guys work here.” This was not a question, but they both nodded.
“I came here to get scrap metal to weld into beautiful works of art,” she announced. Even through the dark glasses, Jake felt her look down her nose at them – though they were both taller than she. “I’m famous for my work, you know.”
She slung her two long braids behind her and reached for the work gloves stuck in the back pocket of her jeans. “Raw art. Interesting bits of metal and machinery that would contrast with stone walls beautifully,” she expanded, as if that would help them any further.
Jake shrugged and said, “Looks like our obstacle course is over for today, Chance.” ____________s_____________w_____________a_____________t____________ The one called Jake gave her the prices while the one called Chance went for a wheelbarrow. Katareena felt she had chosen her disguise carefully and wisely. Who’d suspect someone like her character trying to build a jet to rival the TurboKat?
She wasn’t even lying. She *was* going to weld the scrap metal into a beautiful work of art – her plane, the Phoenix. And she *was* famous for her work – her acting. And most machinery *would* look great against stone walls – you could go into any modern art museum to see that! ___________s________________w_____________a___________t____________ Three wheelbarrows of scrap metal went into the back of the beat-up pick-up truck she drove. Two wheelbarrows of machinery were added to the load. Several of them caught Jake’s attention.
He stopped her while she was loading the last things. He pointed to things while talking. “Did you know that these things are old bombs?”
“*What?*” Her eyebrows were lost in her blonde bangs. “They won’t go off while I’m driving, will they?” She was twisting her work gloves and staring at the mentioned machinery as if she could see a timer counting down.
Jake smiled. “No, you’re missing a few parts and the gunpowder or chemicals needed.” He didn’t mention the parts could be bought at a hardware store or that the gunpowder or chemicals were easy to make or buy. He didn’t know she already knew this.
“*That’s* what I’ll do!” she leaned into the back and grabbed a handful of bolts. “I’ll weld these to the shape of a jet with this in the middle…”
She was off talking about how buyers would love this and rave over that. It wasn’t interesting and made little sense to him. He was glad when she paid and left.
Chance was the lucky one. He got to sit inside and watch TV while *he* got stuck outside listening to the crazy welding artist! _____________s______________w______________a_____________t_________
Katareena’d made sure to make herself annoying enough that Jake wanted to be rid of her. The nice kat that he was, it took longer than she’d thought.
Katareena had even surprised herself today. Reena had thought she wouldn’t look twice at a guy that wasn’t a ‘fly boy’, but that Chance guy caught her eye and stayed there. He was muscled – she liked that – but wasn’t overly muscled like some of the kats she worked with. Chance reminded her of – she squashed that thought. She didn’t want to think about *him* right now. Not while she had to do some work.
She turned the pick-up truck onto the road that led to the air hangar she had bought earlier that month. It was where she was going to build her Phoenix. ____________s_____________w_____________a_____________t____________ It took her almost all of her six months to build just the framework. It was okay with her. The Phoenix had to be the best.
When she had made arrangements to buy the hangar at the edge of Megakat City, she made sure nobody would think twice about the purchase. She bought an old Enforcer helicopter – free of weapons, of course – and enrolled in flying lessons. Ann Gora even came to video her ‘first’ solo flight.
Katareena didn’t need them though. Her father was an Enforcer and she learned all she needed to from him. Being an Enforcer was in the blood. Her mother’s father and her father’s father were Enforcers too. Most of the male members of both sides of her family were.
That’s why she was so upset when she was told she couldn’t join.
On the last day of her six month hiatus, Reena stood by the hangar doors, looking at her creation. She was in an old oil-stained pair of coveralls and there was grease on her paws and on her nose.
Her new movie was set to start production tomorrow. Normally, she was excited. Even the few and far between romance movies she did excited her – this one being the best scripted.
Reena felt almost superstitiously afraid to turn off the hanger lights. As if turning them off would stop her from working on her Phoenix until after the movie. That was silly, of course. The movie would be filmed right here in Megakat City.
She sighed and flipped the switch.
Next Book: Enter Dark Kat
Navigate This Author's Stories
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.