Part-title: Callie – Messages in Dreams
Author: KS Claw
Disclaimer: “SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron,” its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc. and are used without permission.
A/N: Here’s next chapter, seen from Callie’s POV.
*I can still hear the exploding sounds of bullets hammer against the mutated face of what was once Steele… In a mass of shrieks and blood the clawed hand releases its grip around my ankle and sinks slowly into the murky waters. My heart races a hundred miles per second as I cling to Jake who pulls me away from the dangerous waters. Looking upwards, we see a she-kat and a kitten, both with a rifle over their shoulder and uzi’s with smoking barrels. The she-kat smoothly strides down the root Jake and I are safely huddled up on and stops by the edge of the water, glaring with a disgusted expression at the golden Mutaxin… She then turns her head and looks to us.
“You OK? Did it infect you?”
We both numbly shake our heads no. The kitten comes rushing down when the she-kat signals to him, and he starts tending to my ankle. Despite looking so young, he seems very skillful in the medical ways. Only a short while later, my ankle is fully wrapped up in bandages.
“I’m Kathy. This is my son, David,” the she-kat says calmly.
The kitten lifts a hand shortly to greet us with a single “hi”.
“I’m Jake Clawson, this is Deputy-mayor Callie Briggs,” Jake responds, taking the initiative as he stands up. He and Kathy are about the same height I vaguely notice, just watching things as they happen.
“Former deputy-mayor, you mean,” Kathy says calmly. “What good is a title in a place like this?”*
I wake up with a jerk. Gasping, I sit up and look around. Everything is dark, but that’s no surprise as the heavy drapes Kathy found in a closet have been hung up for the windows so that plantimals won’t get the idea of looking inside. Slowly, I crawl out of my sleeping-bag, feeling hunger gnaw at my insides like an animal in a cage…
I grimace at the thought. Animals… have we been become that? No… I shake my head grimly. If we had become animals, we would all have lost our minds long ago, not to mention that we perhaps would start acting like our ancestors, the great sabertooth beasts….
“You’re up early,” a voice says out of the dark, and I spin around in shock. Then I relax, seeing David.
The kitten sits in a chair, legs curled up below him as he is cleaning a rifle. I say nothing. Instead, I turn to the supply bag to find a little that can soothe my hunger.
“Mom said we should cut our rations to one meal at a day,” David says calmly, keeping his eyes on the rifle.
I sigh in response and stop rummaging. If I kept going, he’d probably start scolding me like a mother scolds its child for taking cookies before dinner.
“It’s OK,” David adds as if reading my thoughts. “It shouldn’t be too long. Then we can eat.”
I say nothing. I walk away from the bag and settle in a worn armchair next to what used to be a TV. There, I huddle up and hug my knees to my chest, staring blankly into the half-darkness of the room.
“You can help me clean some of the rifles if you like,” the kitten says, looking at me with his bright green eyes. “It’s not too difficult and it’s done faster with two persons.”
I shake my head slowly.
“No…it wouldn’t…I can handle a rifle, but I can’t figure out how to clean it…” I sigh.
David shrugs before returning to the rifle in his hands. He knows I could easily learn it, but after an incident with a plantimal I had trying to handle my gun while it was jammed, both Kathy and I decided it was best we let those who can figure it out better handle it…. Then I suddenly remember that the room was empty when I woke up.
“Where’s Kathy and Jake?” I look to David, frowning worriedly. “They weren’t there when I woke up…”
“Mom is out looking for food. Jake is overlooking the raft for damages and such.” David responds, looking into the barrel of his rifle while lighting down in it with a flash-light. I nod slowly and sigh. He looks up at me and frowns. “Callie, it’s not like mom doesn’t think you can’t handle it…” I shake my head and sigh again.
“I know David…it’s just…” I cross my arms over my knees and stare out in the dark again.
“You’re worried you’ll meet him, aren’t you?” he asks quietly.
I know who is he talking about, and I nod with a painful look on my face. Neither of us say anything the rest of the time. I don’t know how much time has gone, but, suddenly, the drapes are pulled aside and Kathy comes in with a leather bag over her shoulder, grinning big.
“I got jackpot!” she exclaims in triumph, showing the bag. “I found several cans in an empty apartment not far from here. Beans, corn, peas, and lots more! I took what I could carry, but there’s more.”
David and I both nod, and, while David looks excited, I just like the thought of getting something to sate my hunger with. When Jake joins us about half an hour later, after he has made a few repairs and modifications, we finally settle down to eat. I don’t know why, but I’m hungry like a wolf! None of the others say anything until Jake asks Kathy if we are going to move anytime soon. Kathy shakes her head.
“No,” she says calmly after she has swallowed a bit of some canned pineapple. “We will stay a few more days. Then we go to the apartment where I found all those cans and gather as much as we can have with us and move on.”
We all nod. Deep inside all of us, I know we’re glad that Kathy is our leader. She’s the strongest of us….
*I have somehow gotten away from the others, and, even though I look for what seems like hours, I can’t find them anywhere… In the end, I curl up on a root and hope they will find me before something else does…
“Callie…” I look up and I gasp at the sight. T-bone..Chance..is opposite on me, on another root, his G-suit ripped and torn. His mask is off, and I can clearly see the sorrow and regret in his eyes.
“CHANCE!” I call out. I jump out into the water, not caring what might be there. I just know that I *have* to be with him. It’s been too long……Chance watches me as I swim towards him, and, when I get close enough, he reaches out, and pulls me out of the water. Tears of happiness erupt from my eyes as I feel his strong arms around me and I hug him tightly, burying my nose into his chest.
“Chance..oh Chance…I’ve missed you so much..” I hear myself weep, hugging him tightly. He gently brushes his claws through my hair and kiss my forehead as he holds me close. I know he’s crying too, but I can’t judge if it’s of sorrow or happiness like myself.
“I’ve missed you too, Callie..” he whispers softly, brushing the backside of his hand against my cheek.
“Chance….how did you..how did you become..normal?” I whisper to him, looking questioningy into his eyes. He closes his eyes and shakes his head. “I barely know myself…” he utters.
“I only hope…that you can forgive me…”
“For this…” he sighs, motioning to our surroundings. “For failing MegaKat City…the SWAT Kats….”
“Chance..” I utter softly, holding his face in my hands. “You haven’t failed…you couldn’t help what happened…”
He gently takes my hands and holds them gently and delicately between his own strong palms.
“Callie…you don’t understand. I failed when I could have done something… Instead, I let a small thing like my fear of swimming get in the way. I almost drowned, and a leech bit me, turning me into a monster…”
“No Callie..” he says softly, letting go of my hands and turning his back on me. “It’s no use…I failed everything and everyone…every thing I ever believed in died for me that fatal night..” He turns his head, looking at me sadly.
“And, most of all, I failed you….”
I open my mouth to say something, but instead a scream escapes me. The water below us has started to bubble furiously, and the roots we’re standing on are shaking around furiously, as if something is ripping into it. I feel myself trip and I fall backwards, screaming out his name…
He jumps to grab me, reaching out for me. But, he doesn’t succeed. Instead, I fall and fall and fall, hearing him call my name again and again…
“CALLIE! CALLIE!! CAALLIIIIIEEEE!!!!!!!”*
I sit up with a jerk, feeling my body being shaked wildly. Jake is by my side, a gun in his hand, the other one having a grip on my shoulder.
“J-Jake? What-?” I gasp, putting on my glasses.
Jake only frowns darkly and nods to the others, who are swiftly packing their bags.
“We gotta get out of here. *Now*!”
“What is it!? What’s wrong!?”
Kathy looks over at me, an expression much darker than Jake’s upon her face. “There’s no time to explain. Just get up, pack all you can carry and let’s get out of here!”
All I can do is nod and do as she says.
A few minutes later, we are outside, clinging to the vines. Kathy is staring out in the darkness, listening. I don’t know what’s going on, but I have only been in a situation like this once before…
A/N: MWAHAHA!! Cliffhanger!!!!
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.