A/N: I am SO sorry, I had trouble with a round of stupid writers block. Just recently I got the idea for this chapter! Hope you forgive me!
Night had fallen over MegaSwamp City once more after a long day where few survivors struggled to live through just to get their next meal, and creatures had hunted for the flesh of these leftovers of the Katkind that had once ruled the mighty metropolis. The mutated insects shrilled with their night-song through the air that was completely enveloped in a thick, poison-green fog that wouldn’t disappear until morning.
Inside the large behemoth of a mutated mixture of various trees and vines that had once been MegaKat Towers was the home of Doctor Viper. But, not just that. Also the creatures he spawned to do special services for him, like the recently turned Felina Feral, had their nests and places for the nocturnal ones of the creatures to rest in the daytime. But, it was night, and so the nocturnal plantimals were out, hunting for anything edible to eat, mating with whatever of their own strange species created they could find or searching for new territories.
The creator of all this, Doctor Viper, felt satisfied. He had accomplished this in a single night, and had kept a grip on his swamp through five successful years. One day, he thought, he would perhaps even succeed in not just taking over an entire city, but the whole world would become his pandemonium, his playground, all in his image of a wonderful, beautiful swamp, where no one was suffering, where there were no diseases, no hunger, no wars. Just the plain, raw, laws of nature.
Somewhere, a creature screamed as it was being devoured by a giant Venus Flytrap. Viper smirked.
Eat or be eaten. The strongest is the one to live, the weakest is the one to perish.
Turning away from the balcony he had viewed the swamp from, he regarded his surroundings. What had once been a conference room had been changed into his private bedrooms, a large bed of various soft leaves and plants and vines in the midst, large enough for five people to lay in, side by side. A low hiss escaped Viper as he headed inside, his long, elastic tail swaying slowly behind him, ready to be used as a weapon should something surprise him. But no, there were no threats. Viper chuckled to himself at the mere thought.
He remembered how he, exactly six years ago, had been betrayed by Dark Kat. The purple-furred behemoth had lied to him as well as the Metallikats in order to achieve his own goals of his private Dark Kat City. Viper had been furious when he had overheard the purple kat brag about his plans to his creeplings.
Stepping out from his private chambers and heading down the corridor, he absentmindedly stroked his hand over the various plants and mosses growing on the wall. A door emerged out of the wall, and he calmly stepped through it, his golden eyes narrowing with a cold gleam as he regarded the residents of the chamber.
Dark Kat was tied to the wall, looking as miserable as ever. Lack of proper food and excercize, not to mention the torture Viper had put him through, had left him in a very sad state. His clothes had been ripped to pieces long ago, only leaving enough to cover his shoulders and around his waist in a simple loincloth. He shivered with fever and managed a weak, tired gaze at Viper before dropping his head once more, the once fiercely orange-glowing eyes held nothing but a weak flicker. Two years the mighty megalomaniac had managed to survive in the Swamp Metropolis, and only three years ago he had been captured by Viper’s plantimals and brought to their master. Oh, what fun it had been for the reptilian scientist to laugh and taunt at Dark Kat while the megalomaniac had threatened him with all the plagues and horrors of torture in the world.
And here, Dark Kat was now, reduced to nothing but a weak, scarred shell. Viper smirked grimly. That was about to change soon.
At the other end of the room was the Pastmaster, imprisoned in a cage made of various plants and vines growing from the ceiling and floor connecting with one another, trapping him completely. As he was immortal, he had no need for food or water, and his magic abilities made him immune to Viper’s experiments. Viper, however, had found other uses for him. Without his watch, the Pastmaster could do nothing, and so Viper kept the watch locked away somewhere in his private chambers. On occasion Viper would catch another survivor who had yet to get under Viper’s ‘special treatment’, and Viper would have the Pastmaster read the kat’s thoughts in search of one particular she-kat. One time, he had caught a glimpse of her, but the she-kat had disappeared from that place she had been at long ago, and was thus nowhere to be found.
The kat who had told him of this had been served as frog dinner.
Viper was looking for this particular she-kat for a special reason. A part of him knew that she-kat from somewhere, but how he had somehow long forgotten. But, he knew her name, her past, what they had together and what good she could do for him.
After all, any ruler of a kingdom would need an heir, correct?
And, this was the reason he was in this chamber now, pulling out a syringe with a purple-green liquid inside it, pulling off the safety cap. He grinned mischieviously at Dark Kat, who roared out in pain as the reptillian scientist jammed the syringe into his chest and into his heart, emptying the syringe to its fullest before pulling it out and stepping back with a cold grin as he watched his serum take effect.
Snarling, Dark Kat pulled, twisted and thrashed around in the vines that held him captured, his eyes once again with their fierce orange glow like they had always had in the days before MegaSwamp City. His veins and muscles seemed to grow in tremendous size, pulsing like writhing snakes below his skin and fur, which was turning into a sickening color of grey-brown and black-green, his skeletal mouth opening in a bloodcurling howl!
Viper stepped back, but only to give space for the transformation. His eyes narrowed with a vicious glow, and he laughed and laughed and laughed……
Kathy jerked awake with a hoarse gasp, sitting up straight. She blinked a few times before checking her surroundings. A feeling like icy claws trailed over her skin, and she rubbed her arms and shoulders and sides to get rid of the sensation, shivering. Not in fear, not in anger, but anxiety.
She didn’t know what was wrong, but somehow she knew that something terrible would be coming soon…
Neither of her companions had been disturbed by her restless movements. Jake and Callie lay sleeping close together, and David was near Kathy’s as well. Turmoil had the watch at the moment. Slowly, Kathy got out of bed, on the way grabbing onto her Desert Eagle. The sensation of the cold, heavy steel in her hand gave her a sense of comfort she was satisfied with, and the shivering, icy-clawed sensation disappeared.
As Turmoil acknowledged her presence, she turned where she sat with an AK- 47 Kalashinikova assault rifle in her lab. Kathy only nodded to her and settled next to her, silent and thoughtful. Turmoil could sense she was in no mood to talk and left her be, continuing with polishing the weapon. Kathy was satisfied enough with this. After a few days’ travel with the Russian female, Turmoil had turned out to be a worthy companion. Jake and Callie still didn’t trust her, and both Kathy and David were on their guard. But, unlike the former SWAT Kat and deputy mayor, they were much better at hiding it.
What mattered was not who was who’s enemy. What mattered was survival, and getting out of this cursed metropolis.
‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,’ Kathy thought to herself.. Her gaze wandered off absently at the horizon as she looked over the plant-covered skyscrapers and listened to the sounds of the various creatures doing their best to survive, or their struggle to do so.
Were there any other survivors out there? she wondered; if so, where were they? And, did they have a desire to be found at all?
Only time would tell.
If they had any time left at all.
In the grand building that had once been MegaKat Hospital, plantlife had taken over completely. Vines writhed and snaked in and out across floors, walls and door openings, making exit and entrance impossible.
Which was perfect in Viper’s opinion.
He had arrived at the hospital late at night, his trusted fungus-creature carrying a large, concealed cage, from which you could hear a vicious snarling like that from a Tasmanian devil trapped in a corner.
“Perfect…” Viper hissed, satisfied, tapping his fingers against each other. As they arrived at one of the large windows of the old hospital, he motioned to the fungus-creature to set down the cage. In only a few minutes, the plants would wither and die, giving the prisonor of the cage free access to the outside world. A perfect watchdog for Viper’s many chemicals he had stored here. A sinister grin crossed Viper’s lips as he watched the process of the creature’s escape unfold.
It snarled and roared as it finally escaped its prison, then it turned and bellowed a roar at Viper, its orange-golden eyes flaming viciously as it bared a maw with daggered fangs. Viper bared his own fangs and snapped with his tail, a clear crack like from a whip sounding through the night air. The creature stopped its threatening attitude and cowered, whimpering in a subdued manner. Viper narrowed his eyes in satisfaction and pointed to the darkness behind the beast.
“Go. Guard thisss place. Kill any intrudersss unless they ssserve me. You will know if they do.”
The beast did not hesitate and set off into the dark with a malicious sneer.
Viper grinned. “Like I told you once before, my dear Dark Kat…. Doctor Viper playssss second fiddle to no one. They play sssssecond fiddle to me!”
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.