Original SWAT Kats Story

When Nightmares Come True

By KS Claw

  • 1 Chapter
  • 12,112 Words

Elrod Purvis’s worst nightmare comes true when his son David is involved with the Vipermutagen #368.

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Author's Notes:

E-mail: fantasygirl47@hotmail.com

Rating: PG

Warnings: some violence

Disclaimer: “SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron,” its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission.

Half of it is inspired by a sci-fi-novel I once read, and half of it is based on many ideas that I have been going through for a long time now. And then I am amazed that this is gonna be my first long story, since my Marekat-trilogy. Hope you´ll like the story.

PROLOGUE

“Daddy? Why is grandma sad?” David asked as he was laying a puzzle, while his dad was drinking coffee and reading the newspaper.

“Grandpa is sick. He´s at the hospital,” Elrod said. He sighed and put his cup down. Crud, how was he going to explain it to David?

“Why is grandpa sick? Will he be OK again?” David asked quietly.

Elrod bit his lower lip. “I don´t know, David. He….has a pain in his chest….which won´t go away,” he said and looked down sadly.

David frowned and returned to his puzzle. He could see that his dad was sad and didn´t want to talk much about it.

Jodie, David’s second grandmother, came out from the kitchen, carrying a tray with cookies.

“Who wants cookies?” she asked cheerfully.

David beamed and jumped down from his chair and ran over to her. Even though she wasn´t his real grandmother, he still loved her. His dad had told him once about how David’s real grandmother, Miranda Purvis, the real mother of Elrod, had died in a car accident when his dad was nine years old. David was of course too young to understand it completely. To him, everything was a happy world with all the people that he loved.

Elrod knew his young son wouldn´t accept that his grandfather was going to die.

“Which is why it’s best not to tell him….yet…,” Elrod thought with a small sigh and took a sip of his coffee.

Jodie noted his expression, then smiled at David.

“Here, David, here’s some cookies. Now, why don´t you go out in the garden and see how my roses are doing?” she asked him.

David nodded then ran off and out the door.

Jodie put the tray of cookies on the table and sat down in front of Elrod.

“I can tell you are thinking about something darkly,” she said.

Elrod sighed, and nodded a little at that. “I….was thinking about Eric…..”

Jodie nodded.

“I still think… that if we hadn´t had that fight…. David wouldn´t be without a grandfather…,” Elrod muttered, then looked up as his stepmother placed her paw on his.

“Don´t torment yourself with those kinds of thoughts…. What has happened has happened. And, there is nothing to do about it. You know it.”

Elrod looked away.

“Eighteen…I was no more than eighteen….. and we had a fight about something as stupid as my choice of career….” He sighed, then rested his elbows on the table, his head resting in his paws.

Jodie nodded softly. “And, he couldn´t take it that you where growing up, I guess… and the same with Samantha. We all went through a hard time when Eric hit the bottle….”

Elrod closed his eyes and bit his lower lip, memories flashing in his mind…..

“….And, you still got that scar from one of the earlier fights,” Jodie sighed.

Elrod nodded. “That’s one thing Sharrakus didn´t remove when he turned me back…,” he murmured, recalling how he had been dying after that fight with Syphon and how the old, mysterious kat had saved his life. “Why, I don´t know….perhaps as a reminder…,” he muttered and stroked a zigzagged scar on his left arm, right on the elbow. His dad had smashed a bottle and tried to cut him with it, but he had just managed to protect his face with his arm, resulting in the scar he had now.

So many years……

“With so many painful memories…”

“What was that?” Jodie asked as she looked up, being in deep thoughts herself.

“Nothing…nothing at all,” Elrod responded, waving with his paw. “Just thinking outloud, that’s all.” He sighed as he got up, then looked on his watch.

“I better get to the lab….thanks for the coffee,” the golden-furred tomkat said.

Jodie nodded. “Take care of yourself,” she said gently.

Elrod smiled. “I will. If anything happens, call me.”

Jodie nodded, and Elrod left.

—————————————-

CHAPTER 1: THE TOUR

Dr. Johnson and Dr. Kennys were already in full gear, working on a new science-project. Johnson looked up as Elrod came in.

“Sorry I´m late. Stuck in midday traffic,” Elrod muttered, taking his place beside Kennys.

“As long as you are here, then there’s no worries,” Johnson replied dryly and returned to the microscope.

Elrod took a place at his side of the table and began to take notes and analyze chemicals.

As the hours went by, Elrod found himself not thinking about anything but working with the many chemicals. Unlike before he had mutated into Dr. Viper. Back then, he had been lazy, snappy, and showed no respect for his headmaster. It was a different deal with Dr. Johnson. He was a man who was worthy to give respect to.

“Purvis, could you please store these files in the archive?” Johnson asked.

Elrod nodded. “Yes sir.” He picked up the box with the files and left the laboratory, walking down a corridor, down some stairs and down into the basement. Also the place where some of the more dangerous chemicals where kept.

The golden-furred tomkat sighed as his gaze passed the shelves. He recalled when he had helped Zyme create that cursed Viper mutagen that had changed his life. He shuddered at the thought.

“Thank the Lord that I ain´t into that anymore….,” he thought to himself as he stored the box with files. As he walked back, he groaned, feeling a minor headache all of a sudden.

“Uch….been working too much lately,” he muttered, rubbing his forehead.

“Oh well….just some paperwork, some analysis and I´m off….”

———————

“Now, children, stay close together and do not walk far away from each other. Biff, stay in the line!” Ms. Mason snapped at Biff Cartle, who scowled, but went back into line.

David sighed and shook his head. Biff was always such a moron.

David patiently followed the long line of all the other kittens and the teacher, while Biff kept on walking around here and there. As they walked, the teacher told about how the MegaKat Bio-Chemical Laboratory worked.

“Here in the laboratory, they examine important and dangerous chemicals, used for experiments, medicine and much more, which it would take ages to tell about… Now, can anyone tell me…”

“There’s my dad! HI! DAD!!” David shouted as he waved.

Elrod blinked and looked up, and then grinned as he saw his son in the group of kittens. He nodded a polite hello to the teacher of the group.

“Ms. Mason, I presume. I am Dr. Elrod Purvis. I was informed about your visit today. I am here to escort you through the laboratories.”

Ms. Mason nodded and shook hands with Elrod. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Dr. Purvis. Both the children and I have been looking forward to coming here…Biff! I told you to stay!! Excuse me a moment, doctor….”

While Ms. Mason chased Biff, who had gotten an idea about sneaking into one of the labs, Elrod looked over the group.

“As you already know, I am Dr. Elrod Purvis… and, as you have been informed, also the father of David.” He sent a smile to David, who just beamed. Then, he looked back at the group of kittens.

“Now, before we start the tour around in the lab, I must inform you about certain things. And, please, listen carefully: You must not go into the laboratories if the lamp above the door isn´t flashing green. If it’s red, then it means there is an important experiment going on, and even a small unimportant thing like a yell from a kitten can be quite disturbing. Along with that, stay with everyone here in this group. You must never wander off alone because the whole lab itself is a true maze for someone who hasn´t been here before, and I am quite positive that none of you have….”

As Elrod kept telling the rules of the tour, the kittens listened intensely. David knew the many rules though… He had visited the lab before, and he knew his way around, from his dad’s office to the main hall.

Ms. Mason returned with Biff, and Elrod repeated the rules in a very stern tone to Biff who pouted. Then, Biff smirked.

“Hey, doctor! Weren´t you the psycho Dr. Viper!!??”

Elrod stiffened.

Ms. Mason looked shocked. “Biff, that’s not a question you just as-…” She was surprised when Elrod cut her off with a nod and an expression saying “I´ll be fine.” Then, he kneeled down and looked straight into Biff’s eyes.

“Just how do you know who I have been?” he asked calmly in a low voice.

Biff crossed his arms. “My daddy is an Enforcer! He knows a lot about ya!”

Elrod nodded calmly. “I see….well, has your daddy informed you about how I have done what I do best, which is working here and taking care of my family?”?

Biff blinked. “…no….,” he murmured, uncomfortable because of Elrod’s calm gaze.

“Then, now you know….so just before you claim someone to be a insane psychopathic mutant… make sure you haven´t read too many comics or asked your daddy stupid questions. Have I made myself clear?”

“Yes sir….,” Biff muttered, looking down at his feet.

Elrod nodded. “Very well…Alright, children, let’s go. And, remember the rules!” he then called, and they walked off.

—————————–

David looked around amused as the group walked, barely listening to what his dad was telling about the laboratory. Then, when looking in through a giant window, where he could see two kats in protection suits examining some extra dangerous chemicals, he noted something in the reflection… it was Biff sneaking off, towards the basement….

“Hmmm…..I´d better see what he´s up to….,” David thought and sneaked away from the group.

Biff walked down the stairs and into the basement, where he looked around at the many shelves. He grinned as he noted all the different labels… Toxic…flammable… poisonous… acidic….

He picked one special one down… One with some sorta greenish-yellow liquid….

“Put that back!!” a voice sounded behind him.

Biff turned around and growled as he spotted his “archenemy” David Purvis.

“Ohhh, look who we have here! Daddy’s boy!!” he growled, dashing with his tail.

David narrowed his eyes. “I said put that bottle back!!” David repeated, his own tail twitching, more from anger than from being anxious…he was not afraid of Biff, even though the other kitten was big for his age, and twice as heavy.

Biff grinned. “You want it this bad!? CATCH!!” He threw the bottle.

David gasped and tried to catch it, but with no success, since Biff took the chance to sprint forward and punch the kitten hard in his stomach, sending him hard into a wall. David gasped for breath, just as the bottle crashed right above his head….

David coughed and gagged as the liquid poured down, soaking his fur and running into his mouth. He coughed as he swallowed the nasty stuff and shakily got up. Biff had run off… David looked at the mess and whimpered… His dad was not gonna be happy if he saw this mess….

The kitten quickly picked up the glass pieces and threw them in a container nearby that was for leftover chemicals, then washed his fur as much as he could with some water and dried himself with some spare labcoats, then quickly went upstairs to rejoin the group.

But, had he looked closer, he would have noted the label on the floor that read:

“Viper Mutagen #368.”

CHAPTER 2: THE PAIN

“David, supper is ready!” Elrod called up the stairs.

“I´m coming, daddy!” David called back, and Elrod chuckled as he heard his son’s excited footsteps bounce down the stairs.

After the tour at the laboratory, David had seemed much more bouncy and energetic for some odd reason that Elrod couldn´t point out.

The kitten bounced down the stairs and beamed at his dad, and Elrod smiled back. Together, they walked into the kitchen where Kathy had put supper on the table and settled down.

David looked around at the food that his mom had cooked as his father blessed the meal. Then, he cringed slightly as he felt a pain in his stomach…. not the normal kinda tummy-ache you get when you’re hungry…. it was more… as if there was a nest of snakes down in his stomach, the snakes biting and hissing.

“…Amen…” his dad finished quietly.

David bit his lower lip, then hesitantly took a piece of bread and bit into it. It felt like ages before he swallowed the bread, and the pain felt worse.

The kitten let out a small whimper, putting the bread down on his plate and hugging himself.

Elrod noted this and frowned. “David, is something wrong?” he asked, concerned.

David quivered all over his little body, whimpering. “D..daddy..m..my tummy h…hurts…,” he sniffled, choking in sobs.

Elrod got up from his chair and then kneeled down, carefully feeling on the kitten’s stomach. David cringed from his dad’s touch, which suddenly seemed so… different.. so savage….

His mom watched in concern, then she too kneeled down and gently hugged her little son.

“Did you eat something bad?” Elrod asked with a frown.

David shook his head mutely. He didn´t know what was wrong…

“I..it hurts, daddy…make it stop…” The kitten began to cry.

Elrod carefully hugged him close as he lifted him up.

“I think you are a little tired…let’s get you up to bed….if you feel better later, we’ll warm you some soup…OK champ?” he whispered softly as he went up the stairs and down the corridor which led to David’s room.

The kitten sobbed and nodded, clinging to his dad’s t-shirt.

Elrod carried David into his room and tucked him in carefully, giving him a little water to drink.

“Would you like me to stay?” he asked softly.

David whimpered and nodded. “I…it hurts, daddy!” he sobbed.

Elrod gently caressed the kitten’s face with one paw. “I know it hurts… Everything will be OK, champ…I promise…”

David sobbed and soon fell asleep. When Elrod had made sure the kitten was fully asleep, he got up from his chair and closed the door behind him.

Kathy looked at him concerned. “Can you figure what it is that’s wrong?” she asked.

Elrod shook his head. “I don´t know what it is, Kath…. One part of me says he’s overtired, another says he’s getting the flu… I´m tempted to believe that last one most…”

Kathy frowned, as she could see he had more to say.

“There’s more, right?” she said quietly.

He looked at her, a little confused. “What do you mean?”

“Don´t pull that on me, Elrod Purvis! You know exactly what I mean!!” she responded with a snap, her green eyes sparkling angrily.

Elrod looked at her a second, then sighed and lowered his gaze to the floor. “Yes….there’s more…,” he muttered. “But, it’s best that I don´t tell it here in front of David’s door… He might hear us…”

With that, the couple went downstairs to talk, unknowing about what was happening to their son that very moment…..

CHAPTER 3: MUTATION

David writhed and rolled around on the bed, the pain in his stomach growing every second. He sobbed and clenched his teeth till it hurt and curled up into a tight ball.

What was happening to him?

He desperately wanted to call for his mom and dad, but everytime he opened his mouth, only a hiss of pain escaped through his lips. For some odd reason he looked at his hand, his eyes widening as he saw something unbelievable…. The fur on his paw and arm was vanishing and turning into green scales, the same kind of colored scales you would find on a lizard or a snake…..

David wanted to scream…badly….

The scales began to go further…down his arm…up to his shoulder….down his chest and stomach, the pain growing more and more powerful…. He squinched his eyes shut, clenching his teeth and whimpering…

He felt like he was being ripped apart and put back together…just like with that puzzle or a piece of clay he had been playing with at grandma Josie’s place….

“D…Daddy…,” he whispered, feeling something happen to his tail…a thing that scared him greatly…

He opened his mouth…

“SSSSSSSSS………”

———————

Elrod didn´t know what to say…. He closed his eyes to escape the gaze from his wife…the same gaze from those emerald green eyes that always seemed to dig through him whenever he had trouble talking about something….

“Come on, Elrod… David can´t hear us now….what is it?” Kathy said softly.

Elrod sighed. “I….I´m afraid of what might happen to him…. Remember how Mike, Samantha’s husband, wanted to check David through that evening when David was born?”

She nodded. “Yes…you were furious about how he wanted to check our baby as if he was a science project…” she muttered.

Elrod nodded, his eyes still closed. “Well…. what he said… made me worried… So, one day, I went to where Mike works, taking David with me…”

“What happened?”

“They took a blood sample from David and from me and analyzed them…and…” He paused.

How would she react to his answer?

“Elrod.. please tell me what happened…,” Kathy whispered softly, laying a paw on his arm.

“They… they found traces… of the Viper mutagen #368, in both David’s and my own DNA structure…”

Kathy’s eyes widened.

“What? Elrod…why didn´t you tell me….”

“I didn´t want to worry you!!” Elrod told her, looking at her, his eyes seeming to glow with sadness and love.

“We both had a feeling something like this could happen…we both agreed not to tell David about it, until he was old enough… but sometimes…. I´m just so scared….,” he said, his last words in a whisper as he looked down.

“Scared of what?” Kathy whispered back.

“Remember that time I was haunted badly by those nightmares? Sometimes….I feel like… that the Viper mutagen won´t just be MY nemesis…but also Dav-”

*CRASH!!!*

They both jumped up at the sound of glass crashing, looking up the stairs.

“It came from David’s room!” Kathy gasped.

Elrod frowned and jumped up the stairs, followed quickly by Kathy. He grabbed the door handle on the door into David’s room and turned it, but it was stuck…

“DAVID!! OPEN THE DOOR!!” Elrod shouted. When there was no response, Elrod took a short step back and kicked it open….

What they saw, they didn´t believe… they didn´t WANT to believe….

The window was smashed completely as if struck with great force, and on the glass-shards was some kind of liquid…

Elrod examined it quickly…

“Green blood…..,” he muttered.

“ELROD!” Kathy shouted, looking out of the window.

Elrod ran over to her and gasped.

At a kathole down on the street was a reptilian figure…

It looked up and saw Elrod and Kathy, its golden pupilless eyes shining in the dark like a pair of lanterns….

Then, it swiftly dived into the kathole, pulling the cover over it with a dry *clank*…

“DAVID!!!!!” Elrod shouted.

CHAPTER 4: RUNNING AWAY

Elrod couldn´t believe what he had just seen….that…thing…at the kathole..

Had been David….

He didn´t know how long he and Kathy stood at the window, paralyzed with shock from what they had just seen. He only knew he nearly jumped through the roof when the phone rang.

He swiftly went over, trying the best he could to keep his voice under control as he picked up the phone.

“Hello?” he said as calmly as possible.

“Purvis, there’s something here at the lab you have got to come and see…,” Dr. Johnson’s voice sounded from the other end.

Elrod frowned at the tone Johnson had…it sounded worried and concerned. He turned and looked at Kathy, who was shivering in the cold wind from the window.

“I’ll be right there…,” he muttered, and hung up. He then went over and hugged Kathy close. “I have to go to the labs… Johnson sounded like it was something very serious…” He sighed. “I´m sorry, Kath….even in this kind of situation…”

He was interrupted as Kath put a finger on his lips.

“Go….just…just go….I´ll contact Samantha, John and Mike…. It’s best they get to know about this…”

“Don´t forget..you know…,” Elrod added.

She nodded in response. “And, I remember the signal…. Even though it’s been some time since you taught it to me.”

He nodded. “Right….take care and page me if anything happens….”

With that, he left, Kathy watching worried as he drove off….

————————-

In the sewers of MegaKat City, a creature roamed around…it had been doing that for the past seven years since its master had disappeared. Between its master and the creature itself there was a special bond. Whenever the master called, the creature would come and obey his every command.

For seven years, the bond had seemed to have vanished…but now it had returned.

And, the Fungus plantimal would find out where its master was…

————————-

David didn´t know what had happened.

One minute, he had been watching himself becoming a monster… and the next he had been running through the sewers of Megakat City. He had a bad cut on his leg, and he was tired. It didn´t help either that his stomach was hurting badly. He sniffled as he was now sitting on the slimy rocks, looking down into the dark, dirty waters of the sewer… The water was quiet, showing reflections…his reflection….

“Why…why has this happened to me?” he whispered, staring blankly at himself. He reached up, touching his now alligator-like muzzle… His fur had turned into scales with the exception of the tufts at his ears, and the ears…. He squeezed his eyes shut. He didn´t like his reflection… It scared him…. He didn´t want to look like this or be in the sewers for that matter… He wanted to be home… home with his mommy and daddy….

“MOOOMMYYYY!!! DAAADDYYY!!!” he screamed unhappily, then buried his face in his hands.

The snake-kitten whimpered and sobbed, his tears flowing down his cheeks and into the dirty waters of the sewers….

He was there for a long time….for how long, he didn´t know. But, he somehow fell asleep, curled up with his now long and elastic reptilian tail… Somehow, it felt comfortable for him. Even though he missed his toy-dog Softie.

He didn´t know how long he slept… only that he was awakened by a strange noise. Sounding like the cross between a slurping and a splashing. He sat up and looked around, his tiny body shivering.

“H…Hello?” he whispered. “A…anyone there?”

No answer, but the spooky sound of whatever it was that was out there. Then, he saw it… a pair of reddish eyes and the forms of twisting and writhing tentacles and a large open mouth.

A growl sounded from the large beast.

David screamed. CHAPTER 5: UNEXPECTED

The fungus monster was confused. It had found its master, but, for some reason, its master had screamed and ran off at the sight of it.

Naturally, the enormous plantimal had followed after its master, going as fast as it could. Its enormous body locomoted after the snakekat, who ran with the speed of lightning to then vanish into a pipe. When the fungus- monster had tried to follow, it had gotten hopelessly stuck and wailed as it had seen its master vanish in the dark.

—————————————-

David didn´t know how long he had been there…. He only knew he had been running from that…that….whatever it was for what seemed eternity. Even though it was big, it was fast, but not too smart. He had escaped from it when he had crawled through a small pipe, just big enough for him to get through. He had cowered in a corner to catch his breath and rest. It felt as if his lungs where burning.

Tiredly, he had curled up and had fallen asleep. For how long he didn´t know, but daylight was showing through the small squares in a Kathole cover, telling him it was morning. He carefully peeked out and saw he was near a large building, recognizing it as the Mayor’s office. His dad had told him how the mayor went there every day to make decisions that would be good for the future of every kat in MegaKat City.

A growl from his stomach sounded. He realised he hadn´t had anything to eat since yesterday and looked around to make sure no one would see him. He didn´t want anyone to begin to chase him, or worse. He crawled up from the sewers and found an open window that lead into the basement of the Mayor’s office. He looked around, and then crawled down there.

It was dark and warm in the basement. David looked around, his golden pupilless eyes shining in the dark, though he didn´t really note it. He saw some stairs and figured that maybe he could find something to eat if he went that way, so he carefully crawled up the stairs.

Anxiously, he opened the door and looked around the large hall. Luckily, it was lunchtime, and there was no one. A guard had gone off to get some coffee, and at his chair was a box of donuts. David licked his lips, but quickly stopped since he hadn´t gotten used to how his tongue now had gone forked. Looking around, he quickly skitted across the floor and over to the desk, and picked up the box with donuts. He quickly hid as he heard a slight “ding” coming from the elevators, and one of the elevators opened.

Afraid, yet curious, David sneaked a peek at who it was. And, he was surprised to see that it was none other than Mayor Callie Briggs Clawson!

He remembered how he had seen her on TV once, giving a speech after she had been elected as Mayor, since the old Mayor, George Manx, had retired due to old age. David crept into hiding but didn´t notice how he hadn´t gotten the tip of his tail pulled to him.

Callie had absently looked around in the hall, due to old habit and saw the green tip of a familiar tail. She blinked.

<No…It can´t be!> she thought and decided to pretend that she left. She walked in through a door, but kept it open to see what would happen.

Her eyes widened as she saw Dr. Viper creep out of hiding with a box of donuts under his arm. He looked around and then quickly ran over to a door that she knew led to the basement of the Mayor’s office.

“I´d better call the SWATKATS….,” she muttered and pulled out her com- link.

———————————————–

The Pastmaster’s lonely eye skimmed absently across the page in the ancient spell book, his skeleton-like finger following the lines in the book.

He sighed, frustrated as he couldn´t concentrate on reading, especially after what had happened yesterday.

He had been relaxing for the first time in many years, thinking of how he had been trying to make Queen Callista his bride. Only now, he had realised it was no use… he could love her or her descendants, but they could never love him…. He had learned that eight years ago, when he had helped Dr. Viper in defeating a Marekat. He recalled the conversation Viper had had with his sister Samantha about their father*(1) who had committed suicide when Viper was no more than eighteen.

Surprisingly, Viper had somehow gotten re-mutated back into Elrod Purvis a year and a half later and had gotten married to the love of his life, Kathy Peterson. They had both had a wonderful son named David, who the Pastmaster had found likeable from the moment he first saw Elrod’s son as a baby.

Then, it had happened…The ancient sorcerer had told Elrod and his wife about a special signal which would alert the Pastmaster if anything unnatural should happen, and they should need his help. The signal hadn´t been needed until just last night…

The night when David had somehow mutated.

————————————————–

Felina F. Furlong yawned as she woke up. She stretched and got out of bed, smiling down at her baby daughter, Alicia, who was snoozing peacefully.

“Mommy, are you awake yet?” a small voice called.

Felina looked up and smiled as she saw a small face, looking like a true copy of her husband, Chance Furlong, except for the raven-black hair and slightly tanned fur.

Jason Furlong bounced in through the door and hugged his mom, beaming.

“Am I going with you today, mommy?” he asked, dashing with his tail.

Felina chuckled and picked up her son. “Yes, Jason, you’re coming with me today.”

“YAY!!” Jason cheered and hugged his mom around her neck. He had been pleading for weeks to come along with her to Enforcer Headquarters.

“But, you know the rules. If there’s an alert, then you are staying back!!” she warned.

Jason nodded eagerly and bounced around his mom as she put him down, getting suited up.

“What about daddy? What will he do?” Jason then asked.

Felina looked thoughtful a second. “He will stay here at home, helping your uncle Jake with all the cars,” she then said with a smile.

Jason beamed and bounced off the bed. He had been looking forward to this for a long time now, and the excitement went through his whole body. He could barely eat any breakfast from excitement, but, in the end, Felina made him eat some toast and drink some milk, while she had cereal herself.

“I´m leaving now, Chance!” she called out in the garage.

Jason’s dad, Chance Furlong came in, rubbing his paws on a piece of cloth.

“Alright then. Tiger, you be good to your mom and don´t go drive anyone but Lt. Steele insane!” he said and sent his son a toothy grin.

Jason giggled and waved goodbye to his dad as he and his mom went out in the car and drove off.

Jake rolled out from under a car and got up beside Chance, who was looking after the vanishing car.

“Is it me or are things going fast?” he said. “It seems only yesterday that we where kicked out of the enforcers. And, look at us now! We’re the SWATKATS, Felina is your wife and you have two wonderful kittens….”

“Callie and you are married and Callie is the mayor, and you got yourself a wonderful kitten ya’self…,” Chance joined in. “I agree with ya’, Jake. Things have gone pretty fast….and all the crime seems to have lowered. No one has seen Viper for seven years, Dark Kat and his daughter Nightlady haven´t been trying to nuke the city for seven months, and everything else is just pretty easy to handle….”

Jake nodded. “Yeah…heh, to be frank, I kinda miss fighting Viper’s creatures! Remember how he took over MegaKat Tower that one time?”

Chance laughed. “Ooh, do I remember! We kicked Viper and his ugly pod right off the tower!!”

The two mechanics laughed and high-foured, and began extending memories of former battles, while they worked on the car, when the alarm suddenly went off.

Chance jumped over and grabbed the klaxon. “Yeah?”

“T-bone, I think it’s best you or Razor get down here to the Mayor’s office right away!” Callie’s voice said, sounding worried.

“What’s wrong?” Jake asked, frowning.

“You guys may not believe me, but I just saw none other than Dr. Viper running down into the basement of the Mayor’s office!!”

———————————-

David had eaten hungrily of the donuts, getting his hunger satisfied. It was then he heard the sirens from Enforcer patrol cars. He blinked and peeked out from his hiding place in a closet in the basement. He could hear how orders where given out, and it felt as if ice was creeping down his spine when he heard the voice belonging to Commander Feral bellow:

“SURROUND THE BUILDING! BLOCK ALL EXITS SO THAT REPTILE CAN’T ESCAPE!!”

He knew exactly who the reptile was.

That reptile was him.

He gasped as he heard the sound of a motorcycle right outside of the basement window and quickly hid inside the closet once more.

He hugged his tail close to his chest and let out choked sobs, tears of fear running down his cheeks as he heard boot-clad feet come running down the stairs.

—————————

Felina led the small squad down into the basement and let out a soft sigh as she saw T-bone standing there. He was staring intensely at a small door, and, lifting a paw, he told them to be quiet. Felina motioned to her men to be silent and sneaked forward.

“What is it?” she whispered.

“Listen,” was T-bone’s response. “Can you hear it?”

Felina listened and nodded. “Yeah…is that Viper?”

T-bone responded with a nod.

“Odd….sounds more like a kitten to me….,” Felina whispered.

T-bone nodded again.

“Something is wrong here….,” Felina then whispered. “I´ll go check it out…” She felt his paw on her shoulder.

“Be careful.”

“I will, Tiger….”

Felina crept forward towards the small door, motioning to her men to have their guns ready if necessary. She reached out and snapped the door open, aiming her blaster.

“FREEZE!!…huh!?” She stiffened at the sight she saw.

In front of her was a small kitten-snakekat, curled up and sobbing. He looked up on her with fear in his golden pupilless eyes.

“P..pleasssse…,” he whimpered.

“Don´t hurt me.”

One thing was certain. This was not Viper!

CHAPTER 6: SAFE EMBRACE

T-bone stood stiff as he saw the small snake-kat. Like Felina, he was just as surprised. This couldn´t be Viper! Could it?

“P..pleasssse….d…don´t hurt me…,” the tiny creature sobbed and hid his face, quivering and sobbing.

T-bone frowned. “He´s….he´s just a kitten….,” he whispered, realization striking him like a bolt of lightning. He carefully stepped forward and shot a glance at Felina who nodded and backed away. T-bone crouched down and looked at the kitten.

“Hey there…,” he said softly. The kitten looked up at him, quivering and sobbing, tears running down his cheeks.

“H…hello…,” he squeaked weakly.

“What’s your name?” T-bone asked gently.

“D..D..David…”

“Hello, David…my name is T-bone… Do you know what I am?”

The kitten nodded. “U…uhu….y..you’re a Sss…SSSWATKAT…”

“Do you know who the others are?”

Another nod. “E..Enforcerssss…..”

T-bone nodded.

“W…will they hurt me?” the kitten whispered.

T-bone frowned a little at that. The kitten was quite obviously scared.

“No… they won´t hurt you,” Felina said, crawling forward.

David looked at her, now more quivering from the cold in the basement than fear.

“My name is Felina Feral Furlong, and, yes, I know my name sounds silly…,” Felina said and rolled her eyes a little.

A slight giggle from the kitten was heard.

T-bone smiled gently and carefully reached his large gloved paw out.

“Want to come out? I won´t hurt you…no one will hurt you.”

David looked around, unsure.

“T…then why are they ssstanding with all thosssse gunssss and riflessss?”

Felina quickly explained. “They thought it was something very bad…like Dark Kat, the Metallikats, or….”

“The Boogieman!” T-bone interrupted. “He´s one of the most wanted criminals in the city!”

David blinked and looked with huge curious eyes at T-bone. “He…he issss?”

T-bone nodded. “Ooooh yeah. Wanted for scaring the life out of kittens and making them wet their bed! Now, THAT is just rude!!”

The disgusted expression T-bone had made the kitten giggle even more. Quite obviously, he was a young admirer of the two vigilantes. Who wasn´t?

Felina smiled at the sight as T-bone fired off more funny comments about “the boogieman,” making the kitten trust him even more. Waving a paw, she made her troops leave the basement and eventually left shortly after herself.

“I leave it to you here, Tiger,” she thought, looking down the stairs at T-bone, who was now talking with the kitten about what the kitten liked in general, like comics and toys….

She smiled and then went up and out of the door.

———————————

“So, David, ….if you don´t mind me asking…. how did this happen to you?” T-bone asked.

David stiffened. He looked quite uncomfortable with the question, and the large SWATKAT wondered if he had asked the wrong question.

“I…it’s all Biff’sss fault…,” the kitten whimpered, looking down at the floor.

T-bone blinked. “Biff? Biff who?” he asked.

“Biff Cartle… a kid from my classsss….. We were on a tour to the Biolabsssss and I ssssaw him sssneak off…I followed him, and he was about to ssssmash sssome bottles with some green stuff…. I told him to put them back and he punched me… right here…”

David pointed to his stomach, then rubbed it with a small whimper. “T…then, it began to hurt…and…and…and…” His breathing turned into slight hiccups which shortly turned into large, heartbreaking sobs.

T-bone didn´t hesitate, but reached out and hugged the kitten, gently stroking his neck and back as the kitten cried into his chest, wetting his suit and the fur beneath it.

“Shhh…shhh…there there, kiddo…. I’s gonna be OK….,” he murmured.

The kitten sobbed unhappily, quivering all over. “I..I want my daddy…,” he whimpered, huggling close to the SWATKAT.

“Shhh don´t worry….I promise you, I´ll get you home to your daddy…,” T-bone said softly, picking the kitten up in his strong arms.

David snuggled close to T-bone’s chest. He was so warm and comfortable to be with that it made the snake-kitten sleepy…

T-bone stroked the kittens’ back gently, then felt the kitten go limp in his arms. He smiled as he saw the kitten had fallen asleep.

“Poor little guy… he must have been out for a lot!” With that, he went up the stairs and out in the light. The kitten stayed asleep in his embrace as he followed with Commander Feral and Felina out to an Enforcer cruiser, then they drove off towards the salvage-yard.

“That meatloaf who calls himself your husband is good with kittens, right?” Feral scowled, keeping his eyes on the road.

Felina huffed a sigh and nodded. “Yes, uncle, he is. And, he is *not* a meatloaf!”

“She´s right about that!” T-bone added, then grinned. “What’s the matter, Feral? They were outta donuts in the store?”

Feral scowled and took a sharp turn at the salvage-yard, causing T-bone to bump into the car door.

“Don´t get snappy with me, SWATKAT!” Feral growled as T-bone and Felina got out of the car. “I´m keeping an eye on you *and* your partner!!” With that, he drove off.

“Finally, he´s gone!!” Felina sighed, and looked at the kitten that snoozed softly in T-bone arms.

“Will he be OK here?” she then asked.

T-bone nodded. “I´m quite sure about that, ‘Lina…he may be small and scared right now, but I can tell that right under that surface he´s a strong little champ. One a father can be really proud of.”

Felina nodded. “I´ll check out the files at Enforcer HQ to see if anyone is missing a kitten… One may never know…Viper may be out with his games again…”

“Even though we haven´t heard from him the past seven years, I know,” T-bone said and huffed a sigh. “Crud, I hate when stuff like this happens.”

Felina chuckled and kissed him gently. “Don´t we all?”

CHAPTER 7: A SLUMBERING DRAGON HAS AWOKEN A/N: Dun dun dun duuuunnnnnn!!! A old enemy arrives!!!

——————-

There were flashes of different things.

Shekats he had mated with… shekats he had killed…. sons and daughters he had spawned and raised….

And trained to be Marekats.

Syphon the MareKat was in a deep sleep. He was naked and curled up into a ball, floating in a bubble-prison of crystal.

Dreaming.

He was with his loved one, Milai, once again. His true mate. The Gods had created them in a way so female Marekats couldn´t get children. So, Syphon had to do it in other ways.

He would trick a she-kat into mating with him and keep her captured for the nine months a pregnancy takes. Then kill her the second the child was born.

In the Dark Ages, it had been easy to say that the “poor darling” had died from the birth. But, as time went by, things got tougher. The mortals invented new machines. And, most of them could help tell the reason for the death of a person, so Syphon had to work in secret.

Then, he had met her, Samantha. It had been easy to trick her. Later, they had “married” as the mortals called it. And, everything seemed to go perfect as the foolish shekat had gotten pregnant. But, he had underestimated her. She had grown up knowing about fantasy-creatures as Syphon’s kind was called. She had fled along with her brother, to seek help from….

Viper

The name itself made Syphon turn in his sleep. The reptilian kat had, at first, not been anything serious to worry about. That was….. until Viper contacted the Pastmaster, an old enemy of the Master of Past and Present.

The 800 year old sorcerer had helped Viper protect the she-kat, and it hadn´t gone better when he told the mortals how to protect themselves. Milai had gone to stop them from getting the Colbratech sword…

And, it had been fatal for her.

When she had been away too long, Syphon had gone to seek after her and had found that Viper had killed her with the sword. Burning with anger and revenge, he had gotten another chance from his old master to get the child Samantha Purvis had given birth to. Viper had to be taken care of it, and, since he was an enemy of the so-called SWATKATS, it had been easy to fool the two into getting the child from Viper. Especially since the larger one, T-bone, seemed to have a score to settle with Viper.

Everything had gone fine with the ceremony until Viper had shown up. The snakekat had gotten the child away from Syphon and managed to escape with the help from the ghosts of his departed family members. When the clock struck midnight, it was too late to get the child, and Syphon had to return to his own realm.

Destiny took care of some things through years which were seconds for a creature of Syphon’s kind. Three years, and Samantha Purvis, her husband and her brother (sadly not Viper) crashed in what among the mortals was known as the Bermuda Triangle, leaving Viper to take care of child…. For six years Syphon watched the child grow, and he too grew more and more frustrated…. that was, until he met Shadow-whip. The form-changer was a servant of Aquilla, the ancient god of chaos and destruction, who was in need of an Avatar, a shelter for him to stay in when he entered the mortal realm. And, since Syphon wanted revenge and Aquilla a body, Shadow-whip gave Syphon the offer of being able to handle both.

It had been a piece of cake. The ceremony that would connect Viper and Aquilla went successfully until Syphon’s old master, the Master of Past and Present, broke in and smashed Aquilla’s old home, an orb, seeming to have ended the ceremony… though the mage was wrong. The ceremony had gone perfectly, and Aquilla had come to the mortal world.

After the child that called itself Viper’s nephew had killed Aquilla, Viper had come to the realm of Nightmares… Syphon’s realm… Syphon’s domain.

The Marekat had attacked, but hadn´t counted on Viper having that cursed Colbratech Sword on him, but, thanks to his agility and speed, Syphon had dodged the sword everytime the pathetic mortal had tried to attack.

Then, the shantu had come. The panther-creature was sent by the Master of Past and Present to kill Syphon. And, it had almost seemed like it…. but another god had come as Syphon had been dying.

The god’s name was Hei Ying*(2)… and she was of the ancient ones. One of the true gods. Not some mortal that years ago had done a spell so powerful that he or she had gotten their powers raised to a god-like status…..

Hei Ying had followed Syphon’s moves for a long time, and she had found him a worthy servant. She promised him the necessary healing and the true gift of revenge if he would become her servant.

He had agreed at once.

And now, here he was, asleep and on his way to his health being fully restored. Hei Ying had even given him back his missing eye, that he had lost many years ago, when he had been young and naive in the eyes of a God, and ancient and dangerous in the eyes of a mortal.

The memories flashed past him in his mind, over and over and over again…..

Then, he heard her voice.

“My servant…the time has come,” the silky and gentle voice with a sharp poisonous undertone awakened Syphon. He opened his eyes slightly and stretched out in the crystal bubble he was in. Hei Ying’s voice sounded once more. “Break out of your prison… become free….. and seek your revenge.”

The blood-red colored nightmare-creature flexed his muscles, stretched, and the bubble broke with a crash that echoed around in the empty darkness that surrounded him.

He roared in bloodthirst and triumph. Bloodthirst after Viper’s blood… triumph that he had beaten death once more. He grinned and looked at his extended claws.

“You will see, Viper!! It takes more than a Shantu to beat me! I am coming to get you! And, revenge will be sweet as ambrosia!!” He reared back his head and laughed.

Syphon the Marekat was back in action!!

——————-

In the mortal world, four kats were being tormented in their sleep.

Elrod writhed as he in dreams was Viper once again, caught in chains as a dark form was laughing and taunting him, scratching and scarring his body with razor-sharp claws, his green blood trickling down from his wounds and to the floor beneath him, and slowly creeping over the edge of the platform he was chained to. He tried to scream, but the darkness around him only caught the sound and sent it back in his face, as if mocking him in his agony.

***************************************

Samantha, Elrod’s sister was whimpering in her sleep, running through some dark corridors with a bundle clutched to her chest. A distant whimpering from the bundle told her it was a baby that was frightened. Whatever it was that was following her, it was slowing down, and she kept running. Running in order to get her baby to safety.

Upon rushing around a corner she stopped, gasping for breath. The gasping turned into a horrified scream as she saw the face of Syphon instead of a baby’s grinning at her.

“Why so afraid, Samantha? Its only your son’s father!” And, Syphon pounced.

***************************************

Nicky, Samantha’s six year old son was afraid. He was trying to run away from a grey mass of clouds which seemed to chase him. Black-colored tentacles reached out to get him, but he managed to dodge them. He screeched as he saw his uncle Elrod being tormented by some red-furred kat which he somehow knew was his real father, who laughed as he turned and looked at Nicky.

“Greetings, my son! Why don´t you join the fun?” Instead of doing what the kat said, Nicky ran once more, falling over the edge of a cliff in the process, screaming all the way.

***************************************

David couldn´t move. He was trapped in some tar-like substance and it kept pulling him down and down and down… He screamed and cried for help, tears blinding his eyes. But, no matter what, he couldn´t get free….a cruel laughter rang in his ears, and looking up, he saw a red-furred kat stand with his dad in one outstretched hand. The red kat laughed evilly, as David’s father didn´t move. The kat snarled with laughter as David’s father turned into the same kind of creature David had been transformed into because of the stuff in that bottle…. Elrod lifted his gaze a second and looked at David with a mournful expression, then went limp once again in the red kat’s grip. The kat laughed evilly, the sound seeming to scratch in David’s ears.

“Pathetic piece of mortal dirt! At last my revenge will be fulfilled!!” With that, he let go of the limp form of Elrod Purvis, who tumbled downwards into a dark vortex far below.

“DADDYYYYYYYY!!!!” David shrieked.

——————-

Callie came running into the room where David was asleep. The kitten was screaming in his sleep, tears wetting his face. She shook him to wake him up, but he kept screaming and screaming until he sat straight up, eyes wide and glowing in the dark. He looked around wildly, then began to cry. Callie hugged him gently, soothing him the same way she did when her own kitten had a bad dream.

“Sshhh…shhh…its alright…everything will be fine…,” she whispered gently to him. She looked up, hearing running steps, and saw Felina and Chance.

“What happened? We heard screaming,” Felina said, her face a mask of worry and confusion.

Callie shook her head and looked at the sobbing kitten. “David was screaming… apparently from a nightmare… You go back to sleep. I´ll be there when he´s calm, OK?”

The two nodded.

Callie sighed. If only Jake had been along with her, but he was out on patrol on his Cyclotron in the city. He wouldn´t return until dawn. She soothed the kitten softly, gently humming to him.

“It’s going to be alright, David… Everything will be fine…”

“D…daddy…I want m…m…my daddy….,” David whimpered, soaking Callie’s nightgown with his tears.

She stroked his neck and soothed him softly, slowly making him calm down enough so that he didn´t cry anymore.

“Want me to stay with you?” she asked gently as she hugged David. The snake-kitten nodded mutely and snuggled close to her as she crawled under the blanket. He hadn´t known her for long, only a few hours, but she was still as caring and like another mother to him.

“I miss my mommy and daddy….” he murmured sleepily as Callie stroked his cheek.

She smiled gently at him. “I know you do…. We’ll find a cure for you, and then we’ll find your mommy and daddy.”

David smiled weakly at her in gratitude, then fell asleep.

CHAPTER 8: REACH A FINGER TO A DEMON…..

David couldn´t sleep. He had awakened a few minutes after Callie had dozed off, and now he just couldn´t get to sleep again! He knew something bad would happen to his dad, but not what!

And, it scared him. It was not because he didn´t LIKE being here with Mr. Furlong and his wife, and their kid Jason had turned out to be a good playmate. Where David lived, there weren´t many kids his age, and the few friends he had at school lived too far away for him to go to their places. The snake-kitten sighed as he laid, snuggled up into a ball. He hated this… Why did this have to happen to him? Just a few days ago, he had been a happy normal kid, going to school like everyone else, playing with other kids like a normal kid, doing homework, getting a bedtime story read…. getting tucked into bed by his dad like a normal kid…..

Tears welled up in the kitten’s eyes as he mentally saw a picture of his dad’s face. Would he ever see him again? Would he ever be able to get a hug from him, a bedtime story read, or just even watch TV with him? And, who would help his daddy with his nightmares? Why did this have to happen to him? Why!? Why?? WHY!!!

“Your father has been lying to you, child….” a voice sounded in the room.

David bolted up, eyes wide, and looked around. Where had THAT come from?! He looked around in slight fear. The voice he had heard had that kind of tone that would make your skin crawl, and cause pieces of ice to form in your stomach.

“M…Mrs. Clawson-Briggs! Mrs. Clawson-Briggs! The…there’s someone here…” the kitten whispered as he shook the grown shekat by his side. She didn´t respond to his shaking and kept on sleeping peacefully, not so much as twitching as the kitten began to shake more and more wildly in slight panic.

“Mrs. Briggs! Please wake up! Please!!” David whimpered.

“Calm down, child. She is only under a sleep-spell. She is not harmed…. The same goes for everyone else in this house… They are all asleep…. Can´t have someone busting in while I´m trying to tell you the truth…..”

“T…the truth? Wh…who are you? Where are you? I can´t see you….,” David whispered, looking around in the dark room. Then he blinked as a slight white-blue light appeared, lighting up the room and encircling the person who was standing in the middle of the room, next to the bed.

Judging from the form that the light showed and the voice that had sounded before, it was a female. Her whole body was black except for the skin between the bones in her outstretched wings, that seemed to fill the entire room. They were midnight black with odd sparkles which seemed to have a hypnotising effect on David. All he could do was stare at the creature in front of him, her golden eyes with a black slit for a pupil holding his own locked. Though only her eyes seemed visible in her black face, and the rest could be more called a smooth obsidian surface, he had the feeling that she was smiling… not in a cruel way but gently… like a mother at a kitten who has awakened from a horrible nightmare. A smooth, black paw reached out and gently cupped the kitten’s chin as the wings were folded in a way so they worked as a cape for the dark creature in front of David. The woman’s eyes had a gentle glow as she sat down on the bed next to the kitten.

“Poor child….so frustrated and alone….being lied to, by everyone….” Her voice was quiet and soft as velvet as she watched the kitten’s eyes glow slightly in the darkness of the room, as she had lowered the glow from her wings when she folded them.

“L…lied to?” David whispered as he hugged his tail, staring with frightened eyes at the owner of the hand which was cupping his chin ever so gently.

The black lady nodded. “Yes…lied to… I am Hei Ying, goddess of the night. I have kept an eye on you for quite some time, young David Purvis,” she whispered to him, eyes glowing like his own in the darkness of the room.

“H..how do you know m..my name?” David whispered.

Hei Ying’s eyes glistened as if amused by the question. “I am a goddess, child. I know every name of each and every creature that walks, flies, swims, breathes through lungs or gills. As simple as that.”

The kitten nodded, obviously fascinated by what the black kat in front of him was talking about.

“But, enough about that…..you really like your father, child?” Hei Ying asked, pity and a scent of curiosity in her voice.

David blinked and nodded. “Y…Yes ma’am….b…bu…”

“But, you are afraid he will despise you as the monster you have become?” Hei Ying asked.

David bit his lower lip and nodded mutely, feeling tears sting in his eyes. The hand which had been cupping his chin slowly went and now cupped his cheek, making him look up on Hei Ying.

“You are certainly no monster… unlike your father,” Hei Ying said.

David’s eyes widened at the thought of his father being a monster, and the mere

thought of this kind of accusation made his blood boil.

“My daddy ain´t no monster!” he squeaked furiously, and without any other thought, he slammed his tail towards the black kat’s chest.

She swiftly grabbed it and squeezed it in a painful way, making David yelp in pain. Hei Ying waited until David had calmed from his small fit of anger-burst and then let go of his tail. The kitten curled up with a small whimper, quivering.

“I am not angry if that is what you think, child,” Hei Ying said calmly. “But, I DO want you to see the truth about your father…. Will you listen and not try to attack me?”

David nodded hesitantly. “Y..yes ma’am….”

Hei Ying smiled and with a flick of her wrist, a glowing, black orb appeared, images zipping back and forth like flies in a bottle. David blinked as he saw the images, but soon had to look away, because the constant movement in the orb made his eyes hurt.

“Place your hands on the orb, child… Don´t worry, it will not hurt you,” Hei Ying purred.

David lifted his hands… and slowly placed them on the orb. The pain sizzled through him like a bolt of lightning, but it was not really the pain that caused him to scream. It was the images from the orb….

And, Hei Ying began to speak….. David listened….

———————————————-

The stars and the moon shined and glimmered in the sky. Around in the city, people where peacefully asleep, children dreaming of the adventures of the new day to come, older people dreaming about old memories and the adventures they had been through in their youth. Everyone was at peace.

Everyone except Elrod Purvis.

After that horrible nightmare he had, he had awoken and had called Samantha.

“Sammi? It’s me,” he muttered tiredly.

Samantha’s voice didn´t sound surprised. “You had a bad dream too?”

Elrod sighed. “Yeah. What was yours about?”

“It doesn´t matter… John called me before you did and asked about the nightmare… Nicky had one too.”

“You think they got a connection?”

“I don´t know, little bro. I don´t know. How’s David? Found him?”

“No, far from it. But, we’re looking. *sigh* I pray that he´s alright.”

“I´ll call if I see him, OK?”

“Yeah sure thing, sis.”

“Bye…and try to get some sleep.”

“Yeah, you too… though I´m not sure if that’s possible anymore… It was so…realistic…”

“Tell me about it…. How’s Kathy taking this?”

“I don´t know, she´s not awake yet.”

“Well, I´ll see you bro. Bye.”

“Yeah, bye.”

*click*

Elrod sighed as he hung up. He tiredly leaned against the wall, looking down on his hands. The more he thought about the nightmare, the more he thought of it as some sort of sign….

“But, for what? That I should have told David about what I was in the beginning? Or because of me being such an idiot with waiting until he would be old enough!?” He sighed. He heard movement behind him and felt Kathy’s arms wrap around him from behind, her slim body against his back and her cheek resting against his shoulder.

“How long have you been awake?” she whispered.

“I dunno…. Two to three hours, perhaps more,” he murmured and tiredly leaned back, his head resting against Kathy’s shoulder.

“*Sigh* Elrod, it’s 4 AM, and you’re not a night raven. You’re a normal person who needs some proper sleep,” Kathy said softly, her hands brushing gently across his chest.

“I couldn´t sleep…. It was that nightmare…. It was just…too realistic…” Elrod whispered.

Kathy frowned upon hearing that. “What was it about? Please, honey..tell me….” she whispered.

Elrod closed his eyes and sighed. “Remember what I told you…. about when I was… in a ritual that would make me the Avatar for a god?”

Kathy nodded. “Yes, I remember that….”

“Well…. it felt like it was like that again…except I was being ripped apart…. I don´t know who it is, but someone keeps attacking me while I am chained up, unable to move at all… The more I try to get free, the more the chains tighten and the more it hurts…. I can see my own blood, streaming from the wounds in my body…. as I get too exhausted to fight anymore because of blood loss, loss of energy from struggling or maybe both, my blood floats over the edge of the platform that I´m chained to…. and then… that.. that laughter… so… so painfully real…. I feel like I´m getting strangled… I can´t breathe! I… I…”

“Elrod! Elrod get to your senses!!”

Elrod felt himself being shaken wildly, and he opened his eyes, staring into Kathy’s. First now, he heard his own panicked heartbeat and he saw claw-marks on Kathy’s shoulders.

“W..w..what happened!?” he stuttered, quivering all over.

“You panicked… when you were in the middle of telling about your nightmare, you suddenly panicked!” Kathy said. Then she hugged him close as he began to whimper, tears escaping from his eyes.

“It… it seemed like… I was dreaming again… I pictured everything….” he whispered, quivering despite the heat in the room.

Kathy gently stroked his hair, soothing him. “Sshhh…..shhh….. It’s OK, baby… It’s OK….” she whispered. Gently, she lifted up Elrod’s chin and kissed him softly, wanting to make him feel better.

He jittered a second, then kissed back, holding her close. Just the feeling of her touch made him feel safe and comfortable…

“Kathy…” he whispered as he gently kissed her neck, making her purr his name.

“Please…. don´t let me be alone tonight….”

“I won´t…” she whispered as she kissed him deeply.

Softly, he leaned her back on the bed, his hands exploring each curve of her body.

As the night faded and dawn neared, two souls became one.

——————————————————————

Callie yawned and stretched as the morning light shone into her face. She sat up in bed and looked around. Where was David?! She frowned, seeing a note on the table and picked it up, then got her glasses to read more clearly. Her eyes widened slightly as she read through the note.

Dear Mrs. Clawson-Briggs,

Thank you for being nice to me, but I can´t stay.

I’m sorry, but I got other things to do, and people don´t really like me because of what I look like.

Goodbye Mrs. Clawson-Briggs. Maybe we will see each other again.

David Purvis

Callie looked at the note. Then, she jumped out of bed to tell the others what had happened.

————————————————————————

Hei Ying leaned back on her obsidian throne, looking at the orb in her hand. Inside the orb, she saw a picture of the snake-kitten she had been talking with running on a path in MegaKat Swamp. He ran fast, not stopping until, from the top of a hill, he saw a huge mutated tree.

To some, this would seem like a horrifying place, created by a mind filled with hatred towards katkind.

Here, Morbulous had become the Giant Bacteria.

Here, a giant fungus-creature had been created, along with so many other so-called plantimals.

Here, Dr. Viper had lived and ruled his domain in the swamp.

And, the new generation, Viper’s son, would continue it from here.

Hei Ying smiled. A few hours in the mortal world was years in her dimension. One single minute could be counted as a century. She had trained the kitten, and he had grown into a fine-looking specimen of his kind. His father had been none too muscular, but that had been changed. The snake-kat had grown from kitten to grownup, and he had a new name. Hei Ying had let him chose it himself by the time he had turned sixteen in her world.

As the snake-kat calmly walked into the laboratories that had belonged to his father, plantimal appeared out of nowhere to attack this intruder. They stopped in their tracks when they saw the face of the intruder. The snake-kat smirked as he reached out and stroked one of them. The plantimal screeched slightly as it recognised the touch of its true master, and a slimy tongue slithered out from its hideous mouth and licked its master’s palm. The snake-kat smirked calmly, then looked at the plantimal in front of him.

“Yessss, my petsssss…… Obey your massster’sss orderssss…..” With a dismissive wave of his hand, the plantimal scattered. Calmly, the snake-kat made his way up the stairs of the lab and was soon at the top, having a view of the city. He narrowed his eyes as the sun sent its rays across the city, the light shining on the metal and glass of the many buildings. He bared his fangs and hissed.

“You will sssee, MegaKat City! You will learn to fear the name of Nexus!!”

Nexus clenched his fist and laughed, the sound echoing through the swamp.

TO BE CONTINUED…..

*(1) see Claws of the Marekat , Chapter 5: Painful Memories and Powerful Spells.

*(2) Hei Ying means “Black Shadow” in Chinese.

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