Part-title: David – Emotional Spices
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: David’s POV, anything not seen in SK:TRS belongs to me etc. etc.
Mom once told me, that a person’s emotions are like a spice. Each with different tastes and each with different sensations.
Especially the strong ones. Rage, hate, and fear.
She told me something more, but at this moment and in this situation, I can’t remember it, the icy feeling in my gut keeping me from thinking clear. Part of me is screaming to run, run away from the danger approaching, to anywhere that’s safer than here….
Then I see it. It’s yellow eyes poke out of the water, blinking once…twice…then it dives again. I watch anxiously as the large mutated frog swims underneath the water, getting closer…closer…then passing….passing on….and heading off.
Tension is high between us all as we watch the frog swim off, disappearing around a corner. It feels like minutes have turned into hours before I hear my mom say the ever so calming words….
“Alright…it’s gone. We’re safe for now…”
For now, she says…I know only too well what she means. We’ve been through this for so long none of us have a reason to argue against her. Slowly, almost feeling like flies in thick, melted caramel, we head back inside the apartment and start to pack the restoring supplies we would have left behind, had the frog decided to attack us.
I help mom pack some of the food we got, and Callie and Jake help each other with some of the weapons. None of us talk as we have no reason to. Once, I would have asked hundreds of questions about all this….
Why did the frog come?
Why hadn’t it noticed us?
Why hadn’t it eaten us?
Mom looks at me as I pack, as if reading what I’m thinking. Then, without a warning, she reaches out and pulls me close, hugging me. I feel my fingers dig into her back as I return the embrace, which has always made me feel so warm and safe, despite our surroundings and our situation. Then the tears come as the late shock sets in. It comes as no surprise really, seeing as we’ve had similar kinds of emotional aftershocks like this the past few years, and more than once too….
Fear is the most powerful of the shock…then comes grief… You feel so miserable, you don’t know what to do. That’s when I’m grateful I got mom… and she’s grateful she has me. We’re all there for each other, which is important for us. If not, neither of us would be alive.
It’s my turn to watch tonight. I sit with a can of Kitty Cola from a twelve-pack we found in the apartment, looking out of the window, a rifle across my lap. The caffeine in the soda keeps me awake and makes me stay alert as well. I turn my head, hearing the sound of the door, and Jake comes out. He smiles to me and I nod to him before he settles in a chair across from me.
“Hey..” he utters quietly before placing his own rifle over his knees. I only nod in response, standing up and going to the window to see if we are getting any uninvited guests. “Any trouble so far?” Jake asks, carefully checking his rifle through to make sure it functions well. It has happened that when you find a weapon, the water of the swamp has easily made it defective by rusting the metal, washing away the oil or ruining the bullets. Energy rifles are even harder to cope with as they are impossible to reload. I slowly shake my head, my hair being long enough to be in a ponytail, gently wavering from side to side.
“Nothing new from the west-front.”
I know Jake smiles a little at that one. A title from an old movie based on the horrors of MegaWar 2. Not too comforting to watch, but still well-made enough to be enjoyed.
“Good.” He sighs, leaning back in the chair. He’s not showing it, but I can tell that his leg still hurts.
“Do you ever think we’ll get out of here?” I ask quietly, looking out at the swamp atmosphere of the night. In one deep breathe, I feel it as if I have taken everything in…the smells of fresh or rotting plants, the sounds of the beasts that haunt the leftovers of this city, the deep and dark-green colors of the dark and poison-green fogs and orange waters…. Even though I was 5 years old when all this began, I still remember the fresh, green and blue colors of the sky, the sweet smell of freshly bloomed flowers or cookies, and the sounds of birds singing, bees humming, other kids laughing and playing and the honks of horns from cars, their passengers listening to radios and complaining about the rush-hour…
“Hmm? Sorry, didn’t hear the last bit..” I say, turning my head to look at Jake. He shrugs, thoughtfully biting into his thumb-claw, a habit he has gotten lately which is a sign of him showing he’s thinking.
“I said: The best we can do, is not to loose faith in ourselves…” he then says, looking at me seriously with his calm, amber eyes.
I just nod and settle back into the chair again, sipping my Kitty Cola. The sticky, sugary liquid easily goes down my throat and into my stomach, where it’ll later head for my bladder, getting cleansed into urine… Blah. The mere thought of the anatomic lessons I read about in a biology book I found makes me put the sodac an on the floor. But, it’s unavoidable. In this environment, all one can do is to be prepared…. A wound from a plantimal can mean so many things…
Fleshwound, death or mutation. The last one definately not recommended.
We both look up sharply as short sobbing cry turns into a shriek of despair. One of Callie’s nightmares again. I remember how angry mom got the first time this happened, until Jake told her what was wrong. Soon enough, it has all quieted down to a quiet sobbing. Mom is no doubt taking care of Callie now, making sure she’ll calm down enough to sleep again. And, without dreams this time.
“Do you think she’ll ever be OK?” Jake asks quietly.
I frown slightly… Granted, the past 5 years have matured me to beyond my regular age, but it’s still odd to receive questions that are better for a wiser adult to answer. Still, I breathe a heavy sigh and shrug slightly before continuing the inspection of my rifle.
“I honestly don’t know, Jake… Mom is getting worried about her. I suggested sleeping-pills, but you know…”
Jake only nods and casts a tired glance at the door before he returns to his own rifle.
I can’t help but feel pity for him. I don’t know why… I have never met T- bone/Chance in his non-mutated form, but, from what Jake told me, he sounds like a pretty nice guy. A good pilot and a good fighter… Big shame that he’s on the wrong side in this case. We need all the fighters we can gather… to fight against the monsters in this place…. for our freedom…. and against my father.
I have always kinda known that Dr. Viper and my dad were the same person in one… Mom always seem gibby when mentioning Viper, and I can’t say I blame her! I’d feel bad too if I had been married to a psycho, and no body but I knew that the same psycho had caused all this trouble… When I was little, I always kinda prayed to God that he would end all this… make things the way they were before the whole Mutation City thing… That way, mom would still have dad, T-bone would still be Chance, and Callie wouldn’t be such a wreck…
But, God stopped listening long ago.
“You should get some sleep,” Jake says calmly, and I look to him before brushing hair out of my eyes.
“It’s not necessary,” I respond. “I’ve only just started on my watch. You, on the other hand..” I frown, disapprovingly at the shadows under his eyes and his weary look.
Tiredly, Jake manages to half-smirk at me. “You’re almost worse than your mother..” he chuckles, slowly getting up from the chair he was seated in.
“Almost.” I only smirk back. “As long as you get some sleep, then you can be more fresh and alert for your watch,” I say, watching him as he heads back to the bedroom. He just sends a half-smile at me and shrugs before going in through the door and closing it.
The moon has gone down now, and everything is so quiet, I swear I could cut the silence right out of the air with my claw, like a cube of Jell-o out of a bowl. Nothing has happened on my watch, except that I’ve seen one or two cabbage-head plantimals or a few giant mosquitoes. But, none of them have come close enough to notice me, and I haven’t attacked them either. One of the first things mom taught me for survival. If they aren’t attacking, you have no reason to do it either.
I’m feeling more or less tired and know it’s best if I go wake up mom. My watch is done when the moon was gone, she told me. I yawn, almost yawning my jaws apart when I hear a sound from the room that used to be a kitchen. Quietly, I stand up and sneak towards the door, knowing that we have all our food there. If it’s a plantimal munching out on our supplies, I might as well take it down. It could take ages for us to find new supplies.
As I get close to the door, I see mom open the door to the bedroom. I quickly motion for her to be quiet and she stops, listening. Then she too sneaks closer, a magnum in her right hand and a powerful flashlight in the other. For a moment, we stand completely still, listening to the sounds in the dark. Then we *jump* in through the door and mom aims the powerful ray of light against the dark, huddled figure kneeling by our supply-bags. The figure gives a surprised yelp and scrambles backwards, hitting the wall with a thud, the cans in the supply-bag scrambling out on the floor, making enough noise to wake up a bear out of its winter-sleep.
The noise has alerted the others, and Callie and Jake come running, both ready with their guns.
“What happened!?” Callie asks, looking at mom, who frowns darkly.
“We got an intruder,” I respond calmly.
“Don’t shoot! I am unarmed!!” the figure pleads.
I can tell by the voice it’s a female. A kat like us. A lone survivor who probably thought the supply-bags were free for the taking.
Jake frowns and squints in the dark before he takes the flashlight from Kathy. Turning it on, he gasps in recognition.
Ooh whatya think is gonna happen now, now that we got everyones most loved and hated female villain in the cast? *g* Wait for next chapter to find out!
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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.