Original SWAT Kats Story

The Vigilante

By Michael Christman

  • 1 Chapter
  • 7,750 Words

A new vigilante, more concerned with blowing crime’s head off then stopping it, appears in Megakat City — and the SWAT Kats have to stop them before they ruin the vigilante public image.

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Author's Notes:

Title: The Vigilante Author: Michael Christman Author’s note: This is my second eagerly anticipated SWAT Kats fan fiction story. Thanks to everyone who e-mailed (both of you). Comments appreciated at christman.26@osu.edu

A young she-kat walked hurriedly along a deserted litter strewn street in Megakat City’s little Bangkat Megakat City’s worst neighborhood. What had once been the old docks had turned into had turned into a pseudo Sodom and Gomorrah and was an embarrassment to the city and to its resident builder Leslie Steele III both of which would like nothing more than to level the area and build luxury apartments. So the city simply abandoned the area hoping that property values would slide enough to force the sale of the land. For now however it was what it was a community of immigrants most of whom did not like the major attractions of the area that catered to Megakat City’s baser instincts.

It was these attractions that paid the she-kat’s bills. She was a dancer in a club that catered to lonely out of town businesskats many of whom often got a little too liquored up. It was bad enough having to deal with them but when it was all over she had to traverse these mean streets which was almost too much to ask. However the money was good and she needed it to support herself and her kitten so she would continue to make this commute for the time being.

Several of the streetlights had burned out creating numerous hiding places for the bums, katnip dealers and other assorted feline debris that tended to lurk in the area. An Enforcer patrol car that cruised down the street. The Enforcers were of no help in this part of town they didn’t even get out of their patrol cars until after the shooting stopped. They didn’t like the idea of being in the dark streets anymore than the residents did.

She looked to the north at the massive 300 story Megakat tower that was still under construction. Behind it stood the 150 story Steele building surrounding them was a phalanx of smaller buildings some of which stood over 100 stories themselves. All were lit up with a warm friendly glow to welcome foreign investors to the city. She longed to have a job working in one of them away from what she had gotten herself into.

She increased her brisk pace attempting to make herself as invulnerable a target as possible. Sensing impending danger she placed her keys between her claws in an attempt to make a weapon. Her ears perked at the sound of bottles smashing and her eyes caught the sight of three toughs emerging out from an alley.

“Hey pussy out late tonight aren’t ya.” The leather clad leader said as the three blocked her forward progress. The two other kats laughed menacingly all three reeked of alcohol.

The dancer stepped back. “Aw don’cha like us?” The leader asked as the other two moved to flank her.

She stepped back again, “Please leave me alone.” She hoped that they would tire of harassing her and let her go.

“I don’t think so bitch. You’re on our territory and you have ta pay the toll.” The leader became more belligerent.

“Take my money, just leave me alone please.” The dancer begged, her sense of fear and frustration only feed the drunk toughs.

“That’s not what we want doll.” The leader spoke as the two other kats grabbed her arms and dragged her into a dark alley. The dancer screamed for help even though she knew it would be futile.

Across the street, hidden in the shadows a figure watched as the situation unfolded itself. Cloaked in a trench coat and fedora the figure made its way across the deserted streets to the alley entrance unseen by anyone. The figure aimed a pistol at the leader firing a single shot. The bullet passed through the thug’s body piercing his heart and exited in a spray of blood. The dancer screamed and the other two kats let her go backing up with their paws raised. The figure shot both of them in turn then turned and walked out of the alley and down the street.

The wind picked up a bit scattering some bits of discarded newspaper around, one landed on the body of the now deceased leader sticking to the blood. The headline read “Gold Sold” its sub-headline read “USA to sell part of gold stock to PRS.”

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

“Gold will be transported via armored train from the depository in Katstack, Nevada to Megakat City, where it will be loaded onto a Siamese warship.” Mac Mange read aloud from the newspaper to his wife Molly. “Think of it Molly enough gold to satiate even us, for a while.”

“And how are we going to do that walk up and ask nicely. Or have you forgotten we’ve been short in the weapons department sense that time you turned into a food processor.” Molly scolded him reminding him of the time he was absorbed into ‘ZED.’

“Just leave that to me.”

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

Out side the alley was a scene of mass confusion. Enforcer patrol cars’ lightbars whirling gave the predawn streetscape an eerie glow. The Katseye Newsteam and several rivals were already on the story attempting to get the pictures of the dead bodies for the viewing public. It wasn’t every day that Megakat City had a triple homicide and this was too good to pass up on.

Commander Feral did not appreciate the attention as he stepped out of his patrol car. He deftly ignored the multitudes of cameras and reporters to get a report from an officer on the scene.

“What we have here is a case of attempted rape, resulting in the deaths of those attempting the rape. Each by a single shot, either a .380 or a 9MM if I was just to guess at the gun. Both are relatively common weapons but the shots were professional.” The officer on the scene said as he picked out a cigarette and lit it.

“Did the victim do it?” Asked Commander Feral.

“No, the victim was as shocked as the preps. She said it was someone in a trench coat and a fedora, but she couldn’t see a face because of the shadows. Not that she would turn this kat in anyway, white knights like that are rare in this part of town.” The officer puffed on the cigarette then continued, “The perps had a rap sheet a mile long so I’d chalk it up as a good riddance case.” The officer inhaled the last of the cigarette tossed it on the ground and squashed under his boot while watching as the bodies were loaded into an ambulance. “It looks like we have a vigilante on our paws.”

Commander Feral was disgusted by the officer’s lack of tact in dealing with a serious issue like death but few kats would mourn the loss of these three. In any case it was time to do the part he hated the most, greeting the media. He straitened his tie and coat and prepared to step into the spotlight.

“Commander, Sid Mauser Megakat Tribune. What exactly is the nature of this crime?”

“It appears to be an attempted rape that was stopped by the actions of an individual gunkat. All three perpetrators were killed by a single shot so we expect that the killer is a professional.”

“Thomas Suddes with the Times, you said this was probably done by a professional. Do you think there was organized crime involved?”

“We haven’t ruled anything out yet but the leaving of a witness tends to rule out the mob. Right now evidence points to a vigilante of some kind.”

“Ann Gora Katseye News. Commander did you say a vigilante?”

“Yes Ann”

“What would have been the motivation for a kat to do such a thing?”

“A vigilante can have any number of reasons for committing his crimes. Righteous anger at societal decay, having had past crimes committed against them, an over inflated desire to right wrongs and others too numerous to name. All of that is pushed along by positive portrayals of vigilantes in the media especially the SWAT Kats.” Commander Feral spit out the SWAT Kats part.

“Surely you’re not saying that the SWAT Kats are indirectly involved in this, are you commander?” Asked Ann Gora.

“The SWAT Kats have been making the Enforcers look like fools giving the impression that we can’t control crime in this city. That sends a message to every kat in that you can do as you please without consequence. That spawns vigilantes. That is why the SWAT Kats should be behind bars!” Commander Feral’s voice became louder with each point he made.

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

“We make the Enforcers look bad! The only one who can do that is Feral and he’s doing a bang up job of it.” Chance yelled at the TV that was showing the interview with commander Feral. The cyron ‘taped earlier’ was in the lower right paw corner of the TV.

Jake emerged from the garage’s kitchen reading the Megakat Times article on the vigilante. “Calm down buddy we’re never going to be on Feral’s Christmas card list so let it drop. Besides I don’t want to have to search this junkyard for another TV.” Jake changed the channel here you can watch something that won’t make you mad, The Megakat Group.

“Aw c’mon Jake all that they do on this show is yell at each other and accomplish nothing.” On the TV Ann Gora and three other reporters were having a debate that looked more like a shouting match and the moderator looked like he was trying to promote the conflict rather than abate it.

“Exit question, is Representative Bob Feral right in opposing selling gold to the red Siamese? Ann.”

“Of course he is everyone knows that Bob Feral has been opposed to these kinds of sales for twenty years and. . .” Ann Gora was cut off by the other kats who started screaming.

“This is why we should support public television.” Jake said to more to himself than Chance.

“I’m more worried about that gold shipment. You just know that’s going to be a target.” Chance mumbled still angry about Feral’s comments.

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

Commander Feral sat at his desk staring at the balance sheets that the finance department brought in to him, clearly upset. The vigilante case would be an added expense to his already meager resources. Finding out that the Megakat City Enforcers would be charged with guarding the gold train as well, was not a pleasant surprise. He hoped that he would have enough money to keep the Enforcers running to the end of the fiscal year at the end of September.

“I guess I got back just in time to see some action, uncle.” Felina Feral walked into the commander’s office holding a copy of the Megakat Tribune the vigilante story receiving top billing.

Commander Feral’s expression brightened, “Felina welcome back. How was Washingtom for the fourth?”

“The real fireworks were on the hill not the mall, uncle.” Felina began, “It looked like they were going to kill each other over that gold sale. They couldn’t even keep order in the house. They had to adjourn till things calmed down. It’s no wonder the Speaker announced that he’d resign after the end of this term.” When that happens daddy’s going to be Speaker of the House. If he’s reelected and the Republikats hold on to their majority, of course.”

“The idea of your father losing his house seat is only slightly less likely than the Republikats losing control of Congress.” Commander feral snorted. Felina laughed she knew that her uncle always claimed to be an independent. “I just wish he could have stopped this gold shipment. The extra money that I have to spend for overtime is going to kill the budget. Having to assign extra Enforcers to this vigilante case isn’t going to help matters either.”

Commander Feral’s intercom buzzed and his secretary ‘s voice announced that Deputy Mayor Briggs was here to see him. “Thank you Robin send the Deputy Mayor in.” Commander Feral answered.

Deputy Mayor Briggs was fit to be tied as she entered Commander Feral’s office. Felina excused herself having seen enough fireworks for the year. When Felina had left Callie unloaded on the commander. “After all the SWAT Kats have done for this city you have the gall to attack them like this!” She held up a copy of the Megakat Times several stories ran under the main headline the one Commander Feral assumed Callie was talking about was titled ‘Feral blames SWAT Kats for attack.’

“If you’re referring to the article on my blaming the SWAT Kats it’s quite simple. Vigilantism breeds more vigilantism we may now have a wave of copykats who are going to come out of the woodwork. I intend to cut it out at the roots.” Commander Feral replied gruffly.

“If you did your job properly the SWAT Kats wouldn’t need to be out there.” Callie chided.

“And if you did your job we’d have the money to make sure the SWAT Kats wouldn’t have to do theirs.” Commander Feral answered back.

Callie was speechless; Commander Feral normally did not push a point like this. “I’ll see what I can do about getting you some more money commander.” Callie changed the subject then walked out the door.

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

A week later commander Feral’s prediction was beginning to come true. The Enforcers were arresting vigilantes that ran the gamut from absurd like the kat who dressed in a lime green suit and yellow cape whose main weapon seemed to be causing the villains to laugh too hard to run away; to the dangerous such as the kat who decided to run around carrying two fully automatic AK-47s. Unfortunately for the Enforcers the progenitor of this mayhem was not caught in the dragnet.

Vigilante Prime surveyed the silliness that was going on with mild satisfaction. The more confused the Enforcers were the better. The vigilante loaded the Pistol’s magazines then loaded one of the magazines into the Pistol. Putting on the trench coat the vigilante hoped the night would be cool, it was bad enough to be wearing a coat like this in the summer without having to run around working up a sweat. Fortunately he-kats found this getup a halfway decent disguise when venturing into little Bangkat’s various clubs, massage parlors, and such so it was a pretty good cover. The vigilante placed the pistol in the coat’s pocket picked up the fedora and headed out the door. ********************************************************************* ***

“The vigilante strikes again.” An Enforcer captain shouted as he walked into the main break room at the Enforcer Headquarters building. The break room that had moments ago bustled with activity fell silent save for a few groans and the sound of one vending machine being rocked violently. When the rocking stopped the captain continued, “Same MO, same style, same weapon, same everything this is the kat were looking for.”

“Who was it this time, katnip dealer?” Asked one Enforcer more interested in the media reaction than the welfare of the victim.

“Purse snatcher,” The captain started, “what’s worse is that he was in here begging for protection. He claimed that the vigilante was stalking him.”

“Oh that’s just great, the media is going to have a field day when that gets out.” Mentioned Felina changing the channel of the break room’s TV set to get a newscast.

The news story pertained to congress’ authorization for the gold sale over Majority leader Feral’s vehement objections to selling unimproved resources to other countries.

“Your dad’s quite the xenophobe Lieutenant Feral.” Said the Enforcer who had previously been rocking the vending machine. Felina did not respond to him.

“Speaking of the gold shipment. Because we’re are so short staffed right now Commander Feral has given permission for Enforcers pulling desk duty and patrol to volunteer to guard the train. Are there any takers?”

Several Enforcers present volunteered. Felina was already on the vigilante case and ineligible to take the assignment walked out of the break room. It promised to be another long day of fruitless investigation.

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

That afternoon the Metalikats made an unauthorized withdrawal from Megakat National Bank. Holding several sacks bulging with currency. They had arrived by sewer so that they would not be noticed but that route offered no means of escape when carrying several bags of money in a hurry. The Metalikats decided to ‘borrow’ a car from a citizen to make their getaway Mac ripped off the drivers side door then placed one of his metallic claws into the car’s ignition switch overriding the car’s anti-theft devices. Molly showed more tact, simply breaking the window and unlocking the door.

“A couple more heists like this and we’ll have enough to buy our own army!” Mac shouted overjoyed at the amount of loot that they had collected. “And a clean getaway to boot.”

Callie watched the Metalikats as they pulled away from the curb in the stolen car. She searched in her purse for the SWAT Kat communicator after all the Enforcers had so far proved that they were unable to handle the Metalikats without the SWAT Kats help.

“What is it Ms. Briggs?” Jake spoke into the telephone receiver that served as the SWAT Kat end of the two-way communicator.

“Razor, the Metalikats just robbed Megakat National Bank and are now heading south on Katalina Boulevard.”

“We’re there Ms. Briggs”

The SWAT Kats found the Metalikats car speeding down Katalina Boulevard and gave chase. After all they tended to leave a pretty noticeable trail of debris wherever they went. The trail included wrecked Enforcer and civilian vehicles, geysering fireplugs, and bent over streetlights. The gray sedan the Metalikats stole was now badly damaged steam was rising out from its radiator a tire was flat and it had lost several more body panels but the Metalikats were still fleeing south.

“Looks like business is going to be pretty good for the Body shop for the next couple of weeks huh Jake.” T-Bone said as he observed the wake of the Metalikats run.

“No time to worry about that buddy. I see our catch of the day right ahead.” Jake monitored the fleeing felons.

“Mac we’ve got to ditch this thing, we’ll never get away this badly damaged.”

Don’t worry I have a plan we’ll stop the car under that freeway overpass then make our escape on foot.” Mac indicated to the bridge over the road

Razor watched as the Metalikat’s car drove under the bridge. “As soon as they come out the other side I’ve got them.” But the Metalikats didn’t emerge. “Crud they’re still under the bridge. T-Bone I’m going to use the Cyclotron to . . .”

“SWAT Kats you’re under arrest!” Commander Feral’s unmistakable voice boomed over the radio.

“Oh no, not Feral now.” Razor said disappointed. The Metalikats would have to wait survival was what was important now.

“What are you arresting us for Feral, parking tickets?” T-Bone shoot back.

“Far worse you two, You are under suspicion of being the vigilante that is killing kats in this town. You’re surrounded, now land and surrender.”

T-Bone looked around and saw that there were Enforcer helicopters surrounding the Turbokat. “Sorry Feral you have the wrong kats. We’d love to help you find him but we’ve got bigger fish to fry.” T-Bone pulled back on the stick and made a steep climb.

“Shoot them out of the sky!” Feral yelled then realized that most of the helicopters were in a circle. “No. . . Wait. . . Stop!” it was too late the helicopters were blowing each other out of the sky. Feral dropped his head and shook it.

“Talk about your certain ethnic firing squads.” T-Bone joked to Razor.

“Really, unfortunately the Metalikats got away.”

“Don’t worry we’ll get ’em next time.” ********************************************************************* ***

The vigilante had better luck in finding the Metalikats. That evening the Metalikats attacked and looted another bank and unwittingly allowed the vigilante to follow them to their hideout an abandoned warehouse near the abandoned docks. While there the vigilante overheard Mac tell Molly about the weapons dealer and when he would have the goods.

“He’ll have the weapons tomorrow night. Enough firepower to blow open that train no matter how many guards they have.”

“We’ll have to move fast then that train is coming into Megakat City at 9:00 AM the very next morning. We can set up at 6:00 in the canyon, here. We can park the car on the tracks here. If the train is coming at the normal speed for that track it will take exactly this long to come to a complete stop.” Molly traced a line on the topographical map.

The vigilante eyed the two robots listening in on their conversation, wondering what in the world two robots would want with a trainload of gold anyway. That question was not important now, what was was finding this arms merchant, after all regular bullets would not stop the Metalikats, really heavy artillery would be needed.

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

“It appears that ‘vigilante prime’ has taken a vacation Chance.” Jake said looking over the morning paper. “The past few nights have not seen a killing like the originals.”

“Good, one less thing to worry about I’m more concerned about the Metalikats anyway. They have been pretty active lately with all the bank robberies.” Remarked Chance turning on the TV that now showed a repeat of the Megakat group.

“I think this vigilante is a problem for us Chance. After all Feral is turning this into an indictment of all vigilantes including us. Look at how we’ve dropped in the polls.” Jake pointed to an inside story.

Chance took the paper looked at the chart and said, “Approval 68% disapproval 22%. What’s the big deal?”

“We dropped four points since last week.”

“Jake, I think your reading too much into this at 68% we exceed; Deputy mayor Callie Briggs at 59%, Mayor Manx at 52%, President Goldberg at 56%, Representative Bob Feral at 56%, Commander Feral 45%,” Chance chuckled to himself, “Congress at 32%, the vigilante at 31% and Lieutenant Commander Steele at 10%. Our image is secure.”

“You forgot the three point margin of error.”

“I’m not going to talk about this further. It’s insane to fixate on such a small drop when there are more important matters to worry about.” Chance’s rebuke was cut off by the sound of a large truck approaching. “On no, it’s Burke and Murry.”

Burke and Murry were driving a car carrier that had three wrecked Enforcer patrol cars. Though they were in some way a little less wrecked than the ones that made the six o’clock news. They backed the car carrier up to Jake and Chance’s garage and set the brake. Both of the kats exited the truck giggling their usual stupid laugh.

“What’s the matter guys down in the dumps.” With that Burke and Murry broke into uproarious laughter that only enraged Jake and Chance.

“Can it you two cretins.” Chance hissed in their direction and they stopped laughing and Murry prepared to fight.

“Take it easy Chance they’re not worth it.” Jake restrained his partner

“Hey they started it.”

Jake sighed fighting with dumber and dumbest was not his idea of a good time. To his surprise Burke put an end to his partners willingness to duke it out.

“Unload those patrol cars and don’t smash them up anymore than they are!” He turned to Chance and Jake holding the release forms for the cars out. “Here, Commander Feral wants these cars fixed as soon as possible.”

“Fixed, why doesn’t he just buy some new ones?” Jake asked seeing that some of the cars were nearly totaled.

“Rumor has it that the City is having budget problems and the Enforcers are getting hit hard. Listen I’d love to Stay and chat but we’ve got a bunch more of these things to bring to you.” Burke separated the papers and tossed Jake’s copy back to him.

“Well he was unusually helpful. I didn’t have to clean Murry’s clock.” Chance said as the truck left the salvage yard.

“You know Chance,” Jake started, “I think he was just eager to get us more work.” Jake took a long look at the wrecked Enforcer patrol cars.

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

“Oh c’mon have a heart.” Mac pleaded with the slick arms dealer who was not budging from the high prices he was charging for stolen weapons. Mac’s dream of buying an army were fading rapidly.

“I thought you said you could get some real weapons” Molly looked like she wanted to kill Mac and the sleazy merchant

“Sorry Mac, I have bills to pay so I am required to sell at this price.” The arms dealer lied as he ran a paw over the Hackle Neuro-Neutralizer. His ace in the hole for keeping the powerful robots at bay. Most of his weapons were stolen prototypes or sold by corrupt Enforcers.

The vigilante watched the Metalikats bargain with the arms dealer. Mac and Molly weren’t on the winning end of the negotiations being unable to talk the merchant too far off his original prices. The merchant himself kept the Hackle Neuro-Neutralizer at a close proximity to keep the two robots at bay. The negotiations continued for over a half-hour with the Metalikats looking all the more impotent as the evening progressed. The Metalikats eventually settled on some lower powered blasters and rockets. They left Molly berating Mac’s lack of ability to get better weapons despite his admonishment to leave it to him.

The vigilante watched the Metalikats exit. Getting up from a seated position the vigilante switched the safety switch from safe to fire and advanced on the arms dealer. Unfortunately the vigilante’s movement upset an unbalanced packing crate. It crashed onto the floor echoing throughout the warehouse.

The arms dealer picked up the Neuro-Neutralizer and looked around, fortunately for the vigilante the shadows in the building provided sufficient cover. “Mac, Molly is that you?” the dealer asked into the darkness. “I made this deal fair and square don’t be trying to go back on it.”

The stupid fool thinks it was the Metalikats. The vigilante thought, now is the time to strike. The vigilante moved from the shadows as the dealer calmed himself. His calm was short lived as a bullet passed through his heart killing him instantly. The vigilante walked over to the dealer’s assortment of weaponry picking out weapons that would pierce the Metalikats super alloy armor. This might come in handy, the vigilante thought picking up the Neuro-Neutralizer from the paw of the now deceased kat. Tomorrow I will destroy the Metalikats once and for all. ********************************************************************* ***

The sun beat down over an open stretch of desert indicating that the day was going to be another scorcher. The heat of day however was no match for how hot under the collar Molly was. The light gray sedan they were driving was damaged all over imbedded in its grille was the decapitated head of a lawn jockey.

“Mac you are absolutely the most atrocious driver that there ever has been or ever will be.”

“So I can’t help it if we got lost. What did you want me to do ask for directions?” Mac bitterly retorted.

“You could have at least stayed on the road so we wouldn’t have gotten lost in the first place. Look it’s nearly 7:00 and we still have to set up. Do you think you can get the car over to the tracks?”

“Do you think you can get the car over to the tracks?” Mac repeated sarcastically. “Yeah if you quit your yammering.”

“I hope these toy store rejects will do the job. These don’t look like they could open a walnut much less an armored train.”

“They’ll do the job now let’s get to the target point before that train arrives.” Mac said as he finished parking the car on the rails. The two robots walked down the tracks to the sniper’s nest they set up above the tracks. ********************************************************************* **********

Commander Feral watched the featureless landscape go by from the locomotive of the armored train. He liked working during the night but this particular job was incredibly boring. The train was traveling at 56 kilometers per hour up a full 8 kph from the normal speed a heavy train like this would be allowed to travel because he lobbied to have an extra hour shaved off the trip from Katstack in order to save an extra hour in overtime expenses. Frankly this trip was making him see red ink at the worst possible time, the end of the fiscal year. Behind him were some of the best-trained and best-paid Enforcers in the force and the train bristled with weapons and armor plating. In effect it was a rolling impenetrable fortress. Theoretically, but every fortress had its weakness and Commander Feral knew not to under estimate the criminal masterminds that seemed to plague Megakat City.

As the train neared Megakat City the topography changed. Flat desert changed to hillocks and canyons. The change in scenery did not change Commander Feral’s sullen mood. However the arrival of Katrina with some coffee promised to make the morning a little more bearable. Two enterprising Enforcers had brought some coffee making equipment with them and were now selling coffee to their fellow workers.

“I wish they had invested in some lids for these things. I nearly burned my paw getting into the engine.” Katrina said as she set the hot drinks on the table.

“Let’s see two coffees black and one Swiss Mocha cappuccino.”

“That’s mine,” said the engineer, “thanks”

“And one of these is mine.” Commander Feral rubbed his paws with anticipation.

“That’ll be a buck.”

“What! I gave you a dollar to get it in the first place.”

“They raised the prices. Apparently supplies are low and demand is increasing.” Commander Feral dug in his pocket found a dollar coin and flipped it to Katrina who caught the silver coin in mid air. “What are you so mad about the idea of them raising their prices or that they’re selling drinks?” she asked.

“No, it’s the fact that I didn’t think of it first. We could really use the money to offset the expenses incurred on this trip.”

Oh no, not the budget again, Katrina thought.

Her thoughts were cut off by the sound of the locomotive’s air horn blast. The engineer slammed on the train’s emergency brakes causing sparks to fly as the wheels of the train locked up and let out a piercing squeal.

The Metalikats were putting their weapons together and arguing over the tardiness of their arrival when the sound of an air horn pierced the morning. “What was that?” Mac asked knowing full well what it was.

“The train, it’s early.” Molly answered him, “I hope these weapons work we haven’t even had a chance to test them.”

The sound of the train’s horn woke the vigilante from a light slumber. Cursing, the vigilante grabbed the gun taken from the gunrunner last night. It was a special heavy rifle that fired armor piercing shells tough enough to go through concrete and steel walls. The vigilante figured it would also go through the Metalikats. Loading the rifle the vigilante prepared to sight them in.

The train that had been screeching down the tracks hit the Metalikats car it crumpled under the weight that the locomotive brought to bear on it. The car slid along the rails creating even more sparks and dug into the ballast scattering rocks ahead of the slowing train. As it entered the area that Molly had expected it to stop Mac locked the rocket onto the locomotive and prepared to fire. Unfortunately for him Commander Feral’s insistence on speeding up the mission caused the train to pass out of Mac’s line of sight.

“I thought you said it would stop over there.” Mac shouted at his wife.

“So the train was going a little bit faster than I had anticipated. How was I supposed to know?” She snapped, “Now do you think you can still hit it?”

Mac took aim with the rocket launcher aiming it directly at the train’s locomotive that was revving its diesel engines in an attempt to escape. He fired. The rocket sailed into the side of the locomotive exploding on contact. The locomotive toppled over snapping electrical power lines that now lay around it crackling with electricity. A big hole now occupied its side the motors and generators wrecked.

“So much for them running for it.” said Mac with a laugh, “Now let’s turn our attention to the gold.” The Metalikats both started blasting the freight car with the gold with their weapons.

The Enforcers on the train began to fire on the Metalikats but their super-alloy bodies made any damage very slight. Mac was making short work of the freight car door with the rocket launcher Molly was shooting out the heavy weapons on the train.

Sooner or later they were bound to wake up the Enforcers, the vigilante thought. The Metalikats movement from their sniper’s nest down a protected trail forced the vigilante to wait till they reappeared. When they did the vigilante then aimed the rifle at Mac.

Firing the heavy rifle turned out to be a world of difference from a handgun. The shot went off its mark hitting the ground in front of Mac throwing up sand and gravel and alerting the Metalikats to the vigilante’s presence.

Commander Feral clawed for his radio, “This is Feral. What’s going on out there?”

The voice of one of the Enforcers answered back, “Commander we have a confirmed sighting of the Metalikats. We’re engaging them as we speak but we’re taking a pretty good beating sir.” The radio faded out then the officer’s voice came back, “Commander we have just confirmed that the vigilante has appeared and has taken some shots at the Metalikats and us.”

“Have you called out for help?”

“Sorry sir but both of our radios are busted we can’t call out”

“We’ve got to get out there Major. Let’s break down this door.” He motioned to the door leading to the locomotive’s engine room.

“That won’t do any good sir.” Katrina said.

“Why not?”

“Because the door opens just fine but once you’re inside you have to figure out a way to transport yourself through a diesel engine.” She opened the door to show him.

“Well we can’t crawl through the windshield there are live electric wires down all over.” Commander Feral grabbed for the train’s radio to call for help.

“Hey you have to be a Teamster to use that.” The engineer protested.

“Shut up!” Feral barked at the engineer, “This is Feral bring me chopper backup. We are about 65 kilometers outside of Megakat City on the American Pacific railroad. There are confirmed sightings of both the Metalikats and the vigilante.” Commander Feral tossed the microphone to the engineer. “Here you can have it back” ********************************************************************* **

The SWAT Kats were forced to keep their distance from the train. They had no desire to create another situation with Commander Feral who obviously was not having a good week. The Turbokat remained high above the desert out of sight of the Enforcers. They could not see the train because of some scattered clouds but they were monitoring radio transmissions and the railroad tracks were plainly visible on the desert surface so finding the train would not be too difficult. So far the trip was uneventful and T-Bone and Razor were more than happy to let it remain that way till the end of the trip in Megakat City. The receipt of the emergency radio calls informed them that their services would be needed after all.

“Did you hear that Razor, sounds like Feral is up to his neck in trouble.”

“Yeah T-Bone we’d better check it out it’s going to be awhile before the rest of the Enforcers get here.”

“Roger that buddy.” T-Bone swung the Turbokat into action.

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

“Boost me up.” Commander Feral ordered Major Walker all the while looking at the side door of the locomotives control room.

“You’ve got to be kidding. You’re too heavy.” She answered him.

“That’s an order Major.” Commander Feral growled. The Major interlocked her claws and crouched down creating a step. Commander Feral stepped into this step and she boosted him up to where he could unlatch the door. With a mighty shove the door swung open landing on the train’s side with a thud. Feral steadied himself by placing his paws on the door jams and pulling himself up some taking some of his weight off of Katrina.

As commander Feral stuck his head out of the door the SWAT Kats flew directly over the train very close to the ground. The commander momentarily panicked and lost his grip. “Grab hold of my legs, quick!” He shouted down to Katrina who dutifully obeyed. Feral continued to slip, “Grab hold tighter I’m falling!” She squeezed as tight as she could to steady the commander who had slipped down a little further than she had expected.

“Not there! Not there!” Feral shouted his voice a few notes higher. Katrina let go and Commander Feral fell on top of her. The engineer rolled his eyes and shook his head.

“Is this sexual harassment?” She asked.

“For you or me?”

“Cover me Molly.” Mac had finally succeeded in breaking down the heavy armored door and approached the gold cache. Inside the car were several pallets of gold and a squadron of Enforcers. Mac ignored the Enforcers taking the pallet that was closest to him and began to walk back toward his wife. “C’mon let’s get out of here.”

“What about the rest of the gold?” Molly was not thrilled at the turn of events.

“Forget it. We’ve got bigger problems that nut case has some kind of big ass gun that can do some damage to us and now the SWAT Kats are here.”

“Next time I do the planning”

The SWAT Kats began to make another run at the Metalikats T-Bone lined up the Turbokat and Razor readied two octopus missiles. Razor locked on to the two metallic hoods and fired. When missiles struck their targets the pallet Mac was carrying spilled its golden contents onto the desert floor. The Metalikats themselves were now stuck to a rock wall.

Commander Feral and Major Walker were again attempting to get out of the locomotive. This time the commander had boosted the major up to the door that was now serving as a skylight. Katrina poked her head out only to nearly have it cut off by the SWAT Kats missiles. The surprise attack caught her off guard and she like Commander Feral lost her balance and fell on top of him.

The vigilante was all set to line up shot at Mac but he was pushed out of sight by the SWAT Kats octopus missile. It would be necessary to go down to get them and that would mean going up against the Enforcers. The vigilante decided that survival was the better part of valor and prepared to make an escape. The SWAT Kats were landing their jet nearby presumably to check on their capture. The vigilante decided to fly off in their jet and let the SWAT Kats deal with Feral and the Enforcers.

“Halt, drop your weapons!” One of the Enforcers on the scene ordered the vigilante. The vigilante complied dropping the Neuro-Neutralizer but she brought the rifle to bear on the lone Enforcer that was approaching her. The Enforcer anticipated the vigilante’s action and rolled out of the way firing at and hitting the vigilante. The vigilante’s shot struck the already damaged locomotive shocking both Feral and Katrina and giving them a new doorway to escape by. The other Enforcers began to shoot at the vigilante who was cut down in a hail of bullets.

The SWAT Kats and the Enforcers approached the body of the vigilante cautiously worried that he might still be alive and dangerous.

“Hold it right there you two your under arrest.” The mornings events had taken the bombast out of Commander Feral’s voice.

“For what commander? If its suspicion of being the killer vigilante there he is right there.” T-Bone pointed to the dead kat.

“Let’s see who he is.” Commander Feral cast an angry eye toward the lifeless form before him. Kicking off the fedora reveled the truth to the Enforcers the vigilante was a she-kat. Removal of the trench coat revealed the gray of an Enforcer uniform. Several Enforcers removed their hats or helmets almost all looked shocked. In the distance the trumping sounds of helicopters indicated that the Enforcer backup was finally arriving.

“Well this was unexpected but at least we still have the. . . Aw Crud they’re gone.” Razor saw that the Metalikats had unlodged the octopus missiles from the rock wall and had escaped in the confusion.

The sounds of the approaching helicopters gave T-Bone and Razor another reason not to stick around. They returned to the Turbokat and flew home.

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

Later that afternoon Commander Feral sat at his desk looking over more financial reports. Callie at least kept her word and managed to get the city to cover at least part of the gold transport debacle. “Lieutenant Commander Steele is here with the reports you wanted sir.” Commander Feral’s secretary informed him over the intercom in his office.

Commander Feral sighed then pressed the talk button. “Thank you robin send him in please.”

The Lieutenant Commander walked in holding the file that contained the records of the former Enforcer. “Her name was Kathy Obetz, she was hired about three years ago when we still had the money for new hires. She had an excellent record several high profile busts. She was cut from the force last year because of the last hired first fired contingency in the contract with the rank and file.” Steele stopped reading and looked up at Commander Feral “Another victim of the budget.”

“Any family to notify?”

“War orphan, we couldn’t find anything not even on the original entrance applications.” Lieutenant Steele left the report on Commander Feral’s desk.

“Thank you Lieutenant. You are dismissed.” Commander Feral said as he stared at the report. Steele left.

Feral looked out the window at the Megakat Tower that was being repaired again for its grand reopening. He wondered why the city had the money to continually fix up that behemoth but not enough to pay for protection for it. Had the city given him half the resources spent on the tower good Enforcers like Kathy Obetz and countless others would still be on the job. Commander Feral thought of his statement made a week ago to Ann Gora about the motivations of a vigilante especially the part about past crimes being committed against them and wondered. Was the crime perpetrated against her one that you could find on the books or was it a more sinister plot? If that was the case then he felt he was a part of it. Commander Feral looked at the copy of the report that sat on his desk then picked it up and tossed it into the trash.

Based on SWAT Kats characters owned by Hanna Barbara. Independent characters are the property of Christman Enterprises Group.

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