“We have to move quickly,” Razor said in a whisper as the two approached the office building from the rear.
They had luckily avoided the swarm of Shriekman that had gone to the front to investigate the mess left by Callie’s surprise attack with liquid nitrogen.
“Even though it’s unfinished, he could still cause a lot of damage,” Razor continued.
“With what?” Callie whispered in return. The two reached the rear of the building where a shattered window awaited them.
Razor approached it cautiously, standing on his tip-toes to peer inside. Seemingly satisfied, he brushed aside any remaining pieces of glass with his forearm sleeve and turned to Callie.
“It’s a new device I was getting ready to test. It’s why we were in the Felidae Ergs and not our usual spot outside Megakat Springs,” Razor said as he pulled himself up through the window. “I call it the Mega-Disperser.”
“What’s it do?” Callie asked as Razor reached back from the inside to help her climb up and in.
“I was inspired by old Cold War ICBMs, where the missile is launched, but before impact, the warhead splits apart and splatters a large area simultaneously,” Razor said, both of them now in the room. “I realized that instead of a nuclear payload, you could do the same thing with an anti-mutagen chemical agent.”
“Like the kind you used to combat Dr. Viper when he flooded the city?” Callie asked as she took in the surroundings. Several overturned desks, a few old pieces of paperwork and the stain of old, dried liquids littered the floor.
“Exactly,” Razor said. “If we’d had it back then, we could’ve just instantly blanketed the city in the anti-mutagen with the push of a button.”
Callie marveled at the idea, but then a horrible thought came to mind.
“But…you could put something other than anti-mutagen in this thing, couldn’t you?” Callie asked, and knew from Razor’s sullen expression that she was right.
“Yeah, you could,” Razor said. “Once Viper had us captured, he immediately put me to work disabling the self-destruct charges in this place. While I was at it, he took the time to examine the Turbokat’s payload. Once he realized what was in there, he had me modifying it to use his bio-chemical weapon payload.”
Callie frowned as they began walking as quietly as possible, Razor leading the way. He paused at the entryway that lead into the main hallway, going flush against the side to peer around the corner.
How could he do that? Didn’t he know Viper could kill thousands, maybe even millions, with a weapon like that?
She sighed, and tried to dismiss those thoughts.
You don’t know what you would do if someone you cared about was in danger, Callie. I mean, just look where you are now…
“I know what you’re thinking,” Razor said. “And, I’ve been mad at myself for days thinking that I should’ve just refused, no matter the consequences to myself or T-Bone.”
Callie didn’t reply as Razor crept out into the hallway. She followed after.
“But, I thought I could stall for time, look for opportunities to sabotage. Hope for a rescue. Something. Those monitoring stations were out there, after all.” Razor said.
“Those monitoring stations didn’t alert the Enforcers,” Callie said with a defeated sigh. “They only alerted Puma Dyne, and their team was massacred by Viper.”
As if to accentuate her point, the two abruptly came across the remnants of the Puma Dyne force. Razor accidentally kicked an empty, bloodied helmet. It rolled for a brief distance before coming to a stop.
“I see, literally,” Razor said, looking across the hall. He reached down and picked up a discarded weapon on the floor. “MP5 sub machine gun. Still good.”
“You know how to use that?” Callie asked, watching her step, the bottoms of her now worn tennis shoes sticking to the floor that was encrusted with a mixture of dried liquids.
“Oh yeah,” Razor said as he inserted a magazine and cocked the action on the firearm. “It’s like riding a bicycle.”
Callie wondered what Razor meant by that, but didn’t give it much consideration as the now armed SWAT Kat quickened his pace, moving down the hallway. Callie kept up, and within moments they arrived.
“That’s the room,” Callie said, pointing at a familiar discarded item. “And that’s the lieutenant’s backpack.”
Razor rushed forward, and after looking both ways, and apparently not seeing anything, he lightly tapped on the door.
“Hey buddy, you in there?” Razor asked, speaking as loudly as he dared.
“No, it’s some other guy Viper chained up,” the muffled voice of T-Bone replied.
“Razor, I’ve got some stuff in my bag out there that can get us out of here,” the familiar voice of Lt. Felina Feral said quickly thereafter.
Callie grabbed the straps of the rucksack and dragged it across the floor over to Razor. The contents were much heavier than she expected. The attached rocket launcher bumped into every piece of debris on the floor as she pulled.
“I could use that SMAW, but I don’t think you’d survive that, lieutenant,” Razor said as he reached down to open the bag.
Everyone here knows what all these things are. It’s like they were all in the same club or something.
“There’s detcord in there,” Felina said. “Along with a detonator.”
Razor rummaged around and withdrew a small spool of cable that was white with black stripes.
“Here, hold this,” Razor said as he passed the weapon he was carrying into Callie’s hands.
“Sure, I’ll just hang onto this,” Callie said, clumsily holding the gun.
Maybe I should add coatrack to my resume’s experience section.
Razor unspooled the cable and stuck it in a loose rectangle around the secured, steel-reinforced door, an adhesive already on the cable keeping it in place. The SWAT Kat then connected a small box with electrical wires to the end of the cable and took several steps back, connecting them to the detonator.
Callie did the same, getting into a crouch behind Razor who was as flush to the wall as he could get.
“Stay clear!” he shouted, and waited a few seconds. “Fire in the hole!”
Razor pushed down on a lever-triggered button. In an instant, Callie felt in her gut, more than heard, the thud of the concussive force. Dust began to rain from the ceiling as everything that was rotted by years of neglect in the hallway was jostled.
Callie coughed as her vision was obscured by the dust, but moved forward as Razor grabbed her by the shoulder.
“I’m pretty sure everyone heard that,” Callie said, her ears ringing slightly.
“I bet they did, so that means we have to move quickly,” Razor said as the two raced back to examine the results.
The door to the makeshift cell was blown clean off its hinges, and was lying inward on the floor. Inside, T-Bone was still in place, covered in dust, coughing as well, the chains still keeping him in place. Otherwise, he appeared unharmed. Lt. Feral was emerging from one of the corners.
“Think you used enough?” the lieutenant asked as she shook some of the lingering particles out of her hair.
“Well, I didn’t want to have to redo it,” Razor said with a small smile, and then turned his attention to T-Bone. “You two watch the door while I work on getting these chains off.”
“Right,” Felina said and turned her attention to Callie, taking note of the gun she was still carrying. “Accessorizing?”
“Not exactly,” Callie said as the two went into the hallway just beyond the entrance to the room. The dust was starting to settle, and as it did, the view in either direction came into better view. Callie almost wished it hadn’t, as several silhouettes could be seen emerging from the cloud.
“It’s them!” the lieutenant shouted, and as if to confirm her alert, several loud screeches came from both directions.
The hairs on the back of Callie’s neck stood on end, seeing the Shriekmen were packed into the hallway, slowly advancing from both sides, shoulder-to-shoulder. Before Callie could ask what to do, orders came spewing from the lieutenant.
“Don’t just stand there,” Felina said as she took aim with her M16 and opened fire. “Shoot them!”
In the narrow quarters each of Felina’s gunshot was like a small explosion in-between Callie’s temples. She took the lieutenant’s not so subtle advice and brought the machine gun to bear, took aim and pulled the trigger.
Like a small writhing animal, the gun shook in her grip, the hot fire spewed from the barrel illuminated each of the Shriekman like a strobe in a dance club, though the only music here was the report of the gunfire. In moments, Callie found her shots arcing upward and into the ceiling, the recoil from the weapon’s automatic fire making it difficult to aim. Almost immediately, it clicked empty, the rapid fire emptying the magazine.
The monsters were undeterred.
I missed all of them! How could I miss all of them?
Callie looked over her shoulder and saw the lieutenant was faring much better. Several of the monsters Felina had shot were lying on the floor, with the still advancing ones behind them tripping over the corpses.
“I’m out!” Callie shouted as she began to step back, the monsters on her side steadily getting closer. She bumped into the lieutenant, the two now back-to-back with the entrance to the cell where Razor was freeing T-Bone to their side.
“How much longer?” Felina called over her shoulder as she did a 180 degree turn and put down several of the creatures on Callie’s side.
“Just a few more seconds!” Razor shouted.
Callie glanced and saw that the SWAT Kat was using what was left of the detcord and putting it in the anchors that held T-Bone’s chains.
“Great!” Felina shouted as her rifle clicked once loudly and refused to fire. “I’m out of ammo!”
Callie noticed the bag of the lieutenant’s was still resting on the floor nearby. The rocket launcher rested with it.
“I never thought I’d have to do this,” Felina said, perspiration building on her forehead. She quickly reached into her boot and took out a knife. Callie quickly realized it wasn’t a knife, but a bayonet. The lieutenant attached it to the end of the empty rifle’s barrel.
“What are we going to do?” Callie asked as she threw the now useless gun she held at the nearest Shriekman as hard as she could. It collided with its forehead harmlessly.
Felina didn’t say anything as she yelled at the top of her lungs and lunged at the nearest creature, stabbing it squarely in its torso, using the rifle like a spear. It gave a long guttural sigh as if it were a balloon seeping air and it collapsed to the ground. Felina tore the lance back and slashed at another that moved in to take its place.
A small thud could be felt and Callie saw that Razor had freed T-Bone using what remained of the explosives, and the two SWAT Kats came into the hallway.
“That way!” T-Bone shouted, quickly taking in the situation. He ran forward to the lieutenant and reached at her waist, grabbing the handle of her sidearm that was still in the holster. With great proficiency he aimed the gun and shot several of the advancing Shriekmen.
“Forget you had this?” T-Bone asked, gritting his teeth as he took aim again.
“Got caught up in the moment,” Felina said as she used the butt of her rifle’s stock to hit another monster in the side of its head. “You use one of those before, I take it?”
“Just like riding a bicycle,” T-Bone said as he fired two more times.
That was the second time Callie heard a SWAT Kat say that, and quickly realized something that now seemed obvious in hindsight.
The SWAT Kats are Enforcers. Or at least, they were…
“This way Ms. Briggs!” Razor shouted as he advanced to the area that T-Bone and Felina had cleared, and he rammed his shoulder into a now accessible door. It splintered open on its hinges, worn down by time and poor upkeep.
Callie didn’t hesitate to chase after as the advancing Shriekmen from behind nearly grabbed her hair, somehow managing to grab the strap of the lieutenant’s discarded backpack and drag it along with her. She made her way into the new room, which looked like it hand once been a break room of some kind. Ancient looking vending machines occupied a corner, some of them containing several brands of cigarettes.
Razor was already trying to push one of them to block the door. Callie dropped the bag and rushed over to help. The vending machine screeched along the dirtied floor, and just as it began to block the broken doorway the lieutenant and T-Bone rushed inside.
The heavy vending machine was knocked on from behind and began to rock slightly as it was slid into place, blocking the way in.
“That wont hold them long,” Razor said as he took a moment to catch his breath.
“Please tell me you managed to hijack the self-destruct on this place,” T-Bone said as he walked over to a window that overlooked the outside of the building, the rows of cylinders outside within view. None of the creatures could be seen.
Callie and the lieutenant both looked at Razor, wondering what T-Bone could mean.
“Well, I wouldn’t be much of a SWAT Kat if I didn’t, would I?” Razor said with a wry grin and produced a remote control with a single button on it. “Just because I disabled Puma Dyne’s remote detonation abilities didn’t mean I completely disabled them.”
Well, there’s some good news after all.
“Good, so now all we have to do is escape this place with our lives and then we can turn it into a real tomb,” Felina said as she too walked up to the window and pointed. “Down that row, then along the edge of the perimeter are the stairs.”
“Sounds like a plan,” T-Bone said as he ejected the magazine of the lieutenant’s Glock 17 and checked the number of bullets remaining. “Never figured you for a nine millimeter user.”
“I like being able to pull the trigger more times,” Felina said as she brought the M16 up and smashed the window open loudly and hopped to the outside.
T-Bone gave a knowing shrug of concession and re-inserted the magazine, though Callie wasn’t really sure what they were talking about. All she knew was the road ahead appeared clear, and she didn’t want to waste anymore time.
“I just hope those things behind us don’t figure out we’re leaving the building,” Callie said.
Razor grabbed the bag that Callie had dragged in and then gestured to the window like a bellhop welcoming a patron to a hotel room.
“After you, Deputy Mayor,” he said.
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Disclaimer: SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 1995. All other characters and material within this page are the property of their respective creators.