Retroactive Note added November 2016: I admittedly wrote myself into a hole on this one. Let this be a lesson to all writers: outline your stories BEFORE you start writing them 🙂 My apologies to Kris for never finishing this (even though I said I would 15 years ago).
“Every beginning must have an end, at some time or another,” Professor Hackle explained. He stood behind an oversized podium on stage in front of a crowd of fellow scientists. Hackle continued. “The reverse is true as well. If something has no end, then how can it have a beginning?” he said, pressing a button on the podium and changing the image on the projector. It clicked and revealed a picture of the Pumadyne complex.
“Ask yourselves, what if back in 1949 the government hadn’t approved the Pumadyne project? What would we all be doing right now? Not this, I can assure you. Our very existence at this point in our lives would never be taking place. Everything in this universe is intertwined with everything else,” Hackle said.
“You mean a paradox,” someone in the crowd said.
Hackle smiled. At least he hadn’t put the entire crowd to sleep. “Exactly. Here’s one of the most commonly mentioned paradoxes. I go back in time to kill your father before you were born, you cease to exist, but so then did the reason to go back and kill your father. Why then would I then go back in time to kill him? Not only do people and material objects get affected by paradoxes, but ideas and concepts as well.” He changed the slide on the projector again, showing a complicated diagram on the screen.
“It is because of paradoxes that time travel was deemed impossible. The whole fabric of the universe prevents it. But, I have developed a ‘loop hole’ to this prospect. What if the fabric of time is not the same in other dimensions? Certainly this would allow a person to travel through time if he or she could partially merge with one of these dimensions. Not entirely, but just enough not to be affected by any changes in this dimension’s space time continuum,” Hackle finished.
Just then, a flash of light interrupted his seminar, and a baseball sized mechanical sphere appeared on the floor of the stage. The crowd gasped as their curiosity was perked.
“Don’t be alarmed. Perhaps you are wondering what this is?” Hackle said and then withdrew an identical sphere from his labcoat. “In the future, about thirty seconds from now, I sent this back in time,” Hackle said. He now had their full and undivided attention. “Please save the questions for later – right now I have to meet a deadline.” Hackle pressed a few buttons on the sphere and, with a similar result, it disappeared in a bright flash of light. He stepped out from behind the podium and picked up the sphere that had materialized earlier.
“What happened to it?” someone asked.
“I’m holding it right now. You see, I sent it into the past, and, as you saw, it made its destination.”
Hands were now raised as the crowd had now developed many questions.
“How does it work?” an eager scientist asked.
“About a year ago, I discovered an alternate dimension where absolutely nothing exists. I therefore deemed it worthy of time travel use. By using this device, which I call IDTD, an Interdimensional Timetravel Device, a person can partially merge with this void dimension, allowing for time travel. Since I cannot guess the effects of this device on other dimensions I recommend that only the void one be used.”
“You say that a person has to ‘merge’ with this dimension. What happens if say, I go back into the past and am not merged with it?”
“Nothing, but if you accidently change something in the past and you are not merged, then what is changed in the past will now alter you and your memories accordingly. If you are merged, you can do whatever you want in the past and not be affected. However, that means that you would still have to be merged, even in your return to the present.”
“How would someone merge into the dimension?”
“I’m glad you asked. First of all, let me tell you about the IDTD itself. The IDTD is what takes you back in time or forward. It alone cannot protect the traveler from a paradox. You must wear one of these armbands that is programmed with the current history of events and so on in the current timeline. It then generates a time bubble, from the void dimension, of its own to protect the physical and mental parameters of the traveler.”
“Thank you, Doctor Hackle,” Senior Scientist and Supervisor Dean Johnson said. “I’m sure that we all still have questions, but we must make sure that this invention of yours is kept safe. So, we will continue with your presentation at a later date. In the meantime, I want you to have your IDTD and all its research relocated to the main labs for further analysis. I want you to head up the research.”
“I’d be glad to. Who knows what destruction could occur should this device fall into the wrong hands.”
Later that night, after being horded by questions and congratulations, Professor Hackle had finally found a moment of solitude in his laboratory. He sat back in his brown leather bound chair and decided to rest his eyes. It had, after all, been a long day, Hackle thought. Maybe I’ll get a Nobel Prize for this, Hackle pondered. The discovery of the void itself could be enough. As he slowly began to lose consciousness, the silence in the room was disturbed by a slight breeze.
He looked around the room to see if someone had left a window open, and finding none, he checked the air conditioner. It was turned off as it was a cool sixty degrees already. Shrugging, he sat back down. As soon as he did, he could sense the breeze again. He looked around the room to see if anything unusual stood out. He ran over to a nearby desk and withdrew what looked like a pair of binoculars with the lenses replaced with a boxy mechanical sensor. Infrared goggles, Hackle thought as he donned them. His suspicions were proven when three glowing red body signatures filled his vision.
“Who are you!” Hackle shouted, taking a step back toward the security alarm. The three figures stopped whatever they were doing and came after Hackle. He pressed the alarm only to have nothing happen. They must’ve disabled it already when they first came in.
“Easy there, Professor. We don’t want to hurt you,” one of the mysterious entities said.
“Then, show yourselves!” Hackle said, still a little on edge. Through the infrared goggles Hackle could see the closer red silhouette press something on his wrist. The air in front of him shimmered like a TV picture just coming into focus.
“What are you?” Hackle asked as he looked on in amazement. The being was dressed in a black body armor suit that was covered in some kind of techno-mesh. Status lights could be seen blinking on and off randomly. He wore some kind of backpack as well; Hackle could only guess the contents. Finally, the figure wore a compact helmet on his head with some kind of HUD (heads up display) device attached to it.
“I am Commander Jason McGrath. I am from what you would call the future,” the figure said.
“The future?” Hackle responded, still feeling a little dumbfounded.
“Approximately fifty years from now,” McGrath said. “You’re probably wondering what I’m doing here in 1978, aren’t you?”
Hackle nodded his head as his curiosity rose.
“In the year 2025, the world is in a great deal of turmoil and unrest. In the east, a coalition has been formed from the major superpowers of Russia and China.”
“Don’t you mean the KGB?” Hackle asked.
“The KGB fell apart in the early 1990’s. The United States had become the newly formed Russia’s allies and provided them with financial support. For once, things in the world seemed to be going right. A period of peace that lasted for two decades began. Then, war broke out.”
“Mega War III?” Hackle interrupted yet again.
“Some called it that, others called it the War That Would End all Wars. But, regardless of what you called it, it was a horrible atrocity. A man calling himself the Unitor allied China and Russia. The Russians felt that democracy wasn’t working and they fell into communism yet again, alongside China. This man, Unitor, turned the Eastern Nations against the UN and US. The UK was the first to be destroyed as nuclear weapons left over from the Cold War were put into action, obliterating the entire country. With England gone, only the US and Australia posed a threat to the coalition. The United States was quick to launch a counter attack, with some success. Moscow, Tokyo, Hong Kong – all were gone overnight. This angered Unitor, and he launched a combined offensive against North America. You name it, it was wiped out, gone, obliterated by the next day. The President survived, and at Norad he commanded the remaining forces. Nuclear submarines were all that was left at his disposal, and he used them. With nothing to lose he ordered them to deploy the remaining missiles, just enough to wipe the whole eastern side of the earth off the face of the planet.”
Hackle sat down in a nearby chair, too shocked to make a remark.
“But,” McGrath shrugged. “You’ll be dead by then, so don’t worry.”
“Why?” was all the Hackle could manage.
“Because of one kat a world was destroyed.” McGrath replied.
“No, if what you say is true, why come back here and now?”
“After nuclear winter fell upon the few hundred survivors, we began to salvage whatever we could. The president ordered us to infiltrate old military store houses that had survived. In it we found these.” He pulled out a computer disk and inserted it into a nearby computer. A picture of an FBI most wanted mugshot popped up. The picture was one of a kat of unusually large build, probably almost seven feet tall. He wore a large black cloak that covered most of his features. But, the strange thing was that his fur was an unusual shade of purple.
“A terrorist, calling himself DARK KAT, was a major problem during the mid 1990’s to around 2002. He specialized in holding entire cities hostage for outrageous ransoms in both the US and other countries. His real name is unknown, as are his origins.”
“What does this Dark Kat have to do with anything?” Hackle asked.
McGrath withdrew another disc from his pocket and inserted it into the computer.
“This is the Unitor, real name unknown. Came into public view around 2021. Made it his lifelong goal to unite Eastern Nations into a totalitarian dictatorship. Succeeded in 2023. started World War II and began the Age of Evil as he called it.” A picture of Unitor came up, with the CIA “TERMINATE IF POSSIBLE” written above it. To Hackle’s surprise, the picture was identical to the one of Dark Kat shown earlier.
“Oh my god, you mean that these two are…”
“One and the same, yes,” McGrath said.
“But, if that’s true, then this one would have to have aged an incredible amount, but he looks exactly the same in both photographs. How can that be…oh no,” Hackle said as realization dawned. “My IDTD.”
“Yes, after we found this file on Dark Kat we kept digging around and found records of a device that was developed that would allow a person or persons the ability to travel in time. It was fully developed in 1996, but the initial concept and construction took place on March 14th, 1978, today at Pumadyne Labs.”
“It all makes sense now, the dangers of time travel as even I pointed out, have all come to pass. But, that means that…” Hackle stopped. “That means that you have come to stop the further development of the IDTD.”
“Not just stop the development, but erase its existence altogether,” McGrath said as he donned his helmet and removed the disks from the computer. “I apologize for the deception, but during our conversation my partners have been destroying all data related to the time travel project. You’ll notice that the hard drives have been wiped, your personal notes have been disintegrated, and momentarily the only working prototype will be destroyed.”
“Then, you aren’t going to kill me, are you?” Hackle asked, a little distressed.
“No, Professor, a death in the past would pose an irreversible paradox, and we can’t have that. Instead, we are going to erase your memory of this project,” McGrath said as he withdrew a helmet-like device that was attached to a small laptop computer via electrical cord. “The whole process would be much easier if I had your cooperation, Professor.”
“Seeing as I have no choice with the future of katkind at stake, I’ll cooperate.”
“I thought you would. Now, put this on,” McGrath said, handing Hackle the head piece. “After the procedure has ended, you will feel no different – this will end quickly as within the first five minutes you will not remember anything of your IDTD, nothing of World War III, nothing of our little conversation. After five minutes of losing your memories, you will lose consciousness and awaken as if nothing happened.”
“Alright, let’s get this over with then,” Hackle said reluctantly, putting on the headpiece. As soon as he did, McGrath pressed a button on the computer. A bright white light flashed in Hackle’s vision and disappeared.
“That’s it?” he asked, taking off the headpiece.
“That’s it. You might want to get into a comfortable spot. Don’t want you conking your head when you pass out,” McGrath said as he put the device back into his backpack.
As soon as he did, he was met with massive burst of blinding light, forcing him to cover his eyes.
“What the hell,” he said.
“Well, Commander McGrath, what a pleasant surprise how we manage to keep on running into each other so often,” a deep thunderous voice boomed.
“Unitor!” McGrath shouted as he pulled out what looked like a pistol. As soon as he did, a small, unnatural flying creature that stood about two feet tall came out of nowhere and snatched the pistol away.
“You forgot about my creeplings, Commander? They do make such a useful tool.” Unitor laughed. He stopped abruptly as the creepling was grabbed out of midair by an unknown force and had its head snapped backward.
“And, you forget that I never travel alone,” McGrath said as one of his officers, still invisible was killing creeplings left and right.
Unitor smiled as he pulled a weapon from under his cloak. He pulled the trigger, causing an electrical bolt to fire. It connected with the invisible force, causing it to sizzle out and fall to the floor. McGrath could see the charred fur of his partner and knew that he was dead.
“Don’t underestimate me, Commander. Others have done so and have perished for it,” Unitor said.
In another corner of the room, a dozen creeplings had swarmed around another invisible presence. One of them bit it, and caused sparks to fly as another of McGrath’s officers became visible. As he tried to fight them off, Unitor shot him with the energy weapon, resulting in a similar effect.
McGrath slumped as the last member of his team died. Here it was, the end, he thought. World War III, Nuclear winter, all of it would come to pass, unless… He looked at Hackle, still sitting in his chair, terrified. Good, his memory still hasn’t failed. He made eye contact with him and motioned for him to pick up the pistol that had been snatched away from him.
“I hope that you are prepared to die, Commander,” Unitor said as he raised his weapon toward the fallen McGrath’s direction.
“Hold it right there,” Hackle said in a shaky voice as he pointed the pistol at Unitor.
Unitor froze and slowly turned to face Hackle.
“Ah, Professor Hackle. I suppose that I should thank you. It was your invention after all that made my rise to power possible,” Unitor said with a grin.
“My invention?” Hackle said.
Great, McGrath thought. The memory wipe is starting to take effect. Just a few minutes till he loses consciousness.
“Hackle, don’t listen to him. Concentrate on me and what we talked about earlier. Remember Unitor, World War III, Nuclear holocaust,” McGrath said as he tried to stand up.
“Don’t listen to him, Hackle – he’s trying to deceive you. I’m the one you should trust,” Unitor said as he walked slowly toward Hackle.
The Professor looked confused as he was trying to decide what to do. He didn’t have to think for long as his eyes rolled back in his head and he fell to the ground.
Unitor smiled as he picked up the pistol and once again confronted McGrath.
“You know, Commander, your persistence reminds me of a pair of self righteous fools that tried to stop me. I will now prove to you as I did to them that you can’t stop Unitor,” he said raising the gun once again.
Well, here it is, I only hope that Sanchez managed to get the temporal explosives in place. He flipped a switch on his wrist control, catching the eyes of Unitor. His face turned to that of horror as he shouted at him to stop. He pulled the trigger of the weapon as the world around McGrath turned dark. He hoped at least that the prototype would be taken out with him.
The sound of sirens awoke the unconscious Professor Hackle as his eyes opened. He moaned in agony as he felt the pain of broken bones throughout his entire body.
“Where am I?” he asked to no one in particular.
“Whoa, take it easy there, buddy. You’re in an ambulance headed for Megakat Memorial right now,” a nearby EMT told him.
“What happened?” Hackle asked as he lay back on the stretcher.
“No one knows anything for sure right now, but they think that some kind of terrorist attack took place back at the labs. Took out half the complex, it’s a miracle that you’re even alive. Not everyone else was so lucky.”
Hackle was silent after hearing this. Some of those people at the complex were some of his best friends.
“I’m real sorry about all this. I guess it was just their time,” the EMT said.
“Yeah, I guess,” Hackle said, not really paying attention. But then, something the EMT said caught his attention. What was it about time that stirred something in his mind? He thought for a while, but couldn’t quite place it. Oh well, I’ll have more important things to worry about, he thought as he quickly forgot the notion.
The sirens continued to wail as the ambulance continued on toward Megakat Memorial.
Twenty-two years later…
“5…4…3…2…1…Happy New Year!!!” a gigantic crowd all yelled out in unison as the large hand on the clock on the side of City Hall pointed to the twelve. Fireworks exploded in the midnight sky as the mass of people that had gathered all rejoiced and made noise with their numerous noise makers.
“So much for that,” Jake Clawson said as he tried to make his way through the crowd. “Chance!” he called out in search of his friend. He had left his side for one second and now he had disappeared. “Chance!”
“Jake! Hey, over here!” the familiar voice called back. Chance was busy flirting with a couple of attractive felines near the City Hall parking lot.
“Chance, what are you doing?” Jake asked, but he already knew what.
“Jake, don’t be rude. Say hello to Kimmy and Lisa,” Chance said, gesturing to the two females.
“Hi,” they both said. Jake could tell by the expressions on their faces that Chance had already tried some of his lame pick up lines on them.
“So,” Chance said. “You two need a ride home?”
“Ah, no thank you,” the one named Kimmy said.
“I’m sure that we’ll manage,” Lisa said as they both walked off.
As soon as the two left, Jake hit Chance in the back of the head.
“Owww, what was that for?” Chance said, rubbing the back of his head.
“I wanted to see if I could knock the stupid out of you,” Jake said. With a closer look he could see that Chance’s attention was a little diverted. “I think you’re a little intoxicated.”
“I’m not intoxi, atoxa, whatever you said.” Chance said indignantly as he took another sip of beer from his cup. “What were you saying?”
Jake snatched it away and tossed it on the ground.
“Alright, I think you’ve had enough partying for one New Years,” Jake said as he led Chance away from the gathering. Easier said than done Jake thought as he led the burly kat through the masses, trying to get to where he parked the tow truck. And, to think that I thought Y2K was going to be the big problem tonight.
A shrill ringing noise reached Chance’s ears as he rolled over in bed to turn off his alarm clock. As he did, he noticed that it read seven O’clock.
Aww man, he thought as he clutched his forehead, expecting an overwhelming hangover to reach his senses. I’m glad I only do this once a year or I wouldn’t last a week, Chance thought, still expecting to have a massive headache to come out of nowhere. To his surprise, and delight, none came.
Resisting the temptation to fall back asleep, he dragged himself out of bed to see if Jake was awake yet. He peered through his door to find him still sound asleep.
He walked over to the kitchen and poured himself a bowl of cereal and sat down to consume his breakfast, when something strange caught his attention. The newspaper on the table; it had yesterday’s date on it. Oh well, Jake probably just forgot to throw it away, Chance thought as he tossed it into the trash.
“Wonder what’s on the news,” he said as he picked up the nearby remote and turned on the TV.
“This is Ann Gora with the Kat’s Eye News morning edition. As many of you know, today is the last day of 1999 and many kats around the city are trying to make the most of it,” Ann said on the TV.
Chance paused for a moment, still not fully awake, as he continued to watch the news.
“Twenty-four hour a day parties have been held at many homes during the past week as anticipation for the year 2000 takes its hold on everyone. Many are wondering about the mysterious Y2K bug that is expected to cause some computers around the country to crash. Here with us to talk about the problem is Professor Hackle, former scientist of Pumadyne labs, Professor?” she asked, gesturing to the aging kat.
Hackle seemed a little caught off guard as the lights came on, illuminating the spot next to Ann, just off camera.
“What the?” he said. “What am I doing here?”
“Um, Professor, you’re here to tell the viewers about the Y2K bug, remember?” Ann said, trying not to let her concern for a failed segment show.
“What do you mean Y2K? I was in here yesterday telling everyone about it,” Hackle said as he stood up.
“Um, we’ll be right back after this break,” Ann said as the station quickly switched to a commercial.
Chance dropped his bowl of cereal and ran to look at the nearby calendar hanging on the wall. It read December 30th, 1999.
“Hey, happy new year,” Jake said from down the hall as he yawned.
“Jake,” Chance said urgently. “What day is it?”
Jake gave him a puzzled look as he said, “It’s January 1st, why?”
“Look,” Chance said, pointing to the calendar.
Jake looked and laughed. “I must’ve forgotten to mark that day off. Is that what’s got you all worked up?”
“That’s not all – look,” Chance said, turning up the volume on the television set.
“Well, if you’re just now getting up, Kat’s Eye News wants to wish you a Happy New Years Eve as thousands prepare for the huge celebration planned later on at Megakat Square, right next to City Hall,” Ann Gora said.
“What the… It’s gotta be a rerun or something,” Jake said.
“A rerun of the news? When has that ever happened?” Chance said as he ran to look out the window. Sure enough, hundreds of cars packed the streets as they all traveled to get a good spot at the celebration downtown.
“What’s going on?” Jake asked as he looked outside.
“I don’t know, pal,” Chance said as he looked on.
“What’ssssss happened?” a slithery voice said aloud. Dr. Viper, evil biochemist and criminal genius, stood in his hidden lair deep inside Megakat swamp.
One of the many unnatural creations of his was running loose in the swamp. What’ssssss that plantimal doing? Viper thought to himself. As he moved over to the plantimal, he noticed that it was carrying something in its maw. With a closer examination, Viper could see that it was a metallic sphere with many lights blinking on and off at random points.
“What’ssssss thissssss?” Viper said to no one in particular as he took the object from his pet. Small print on the sphere could be seen. It read “PUMADYNE LABS, PROJECT T-1.”
His thoughts were interrupted as the plantimal reared on its back, almost defensively, Viper thought. He placed the metal sphere on his lab table and turned his attention to the entrance of his lair. A tall, shadowy figure was approaching through the mist, many smaller silhouettes could be seen following around him as well.
“Dr. Viper, I hope that I didn’t catch you at a bad time?” a large deep voice said.
“Ah, Dark Kat. What an unpleasssssant ssssssurprise,” Viper said, not all to thrilled with being visited by the megalomaniac. “What brings you to this side of the swamp?”
“I thought since you haven’t been seen by the general public lately that you might have died or something,” Dark Kat said.
“Thanksssssss for the concern, but, as you can see, I am alive and well – not that you give a damn either way,” Viper said sharply.
Dark Kat smiled as he entered the mutant’s domain. “I was thinking about attacking the city again, maybe with nuclear weapons, maybe neurotoxins, and maybe an alliance of Megakat City’s most wanted.”
“Don’t try to pull that on me again. The last time we tried that, you turned on us and tried to take all the glory for yourssssself,” Viper slithered. It had been only six years ago when they had allied themselves together in an attempt to control the city by ransoming the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
“I am not asking for your assistance, Viper, only the promise that you will remain unseen in Megakat as you have for the last year,” Dark Kat said.
“What do you mean?” Viper snapped.
“I’m working on something big, and I don’t want you interfering,” Dark Kat replied harshly.
“And what if I don’t want to sssssstay underground?”
Dark Kat smiled as he answered his question.
“Then, I suppose that I’ll have to do to you to what I did to your pet,” the criminal mastermind said as his creeplings brought in a dead plantimal that had been guarding the entrance to Viper’s lair.
“Fine, Dark Kat, have it your way. I wasn’t planning on doing anything for the next couple of weekssssss anyway,” Viper said, a little perturbed by the display of power. “What is it that you have planned anyway?”
“If I did that, then it wouldn’t be a surprise,” Dark Kat said as he left Viper’s residence.
As he was about to exit back into the swamp, he stopped. One of his creeplings had found something on Viper’s laboratory table.
“Get away from there!” Viper shouted at the creepling as he slapped it away with his tail. The creepling was knocked away by the impact, but still managed to retrieve something.
“Well, my creepling, what have you found?” Dark Kat said as he picked up the metallic sphere that the creature had taken.
“One of my plantimals found that out in the swamp just before you arrived. I haven’t figured out what it issss yet,” Viper said.
Dark Kat stared at the object for a few moments before speaking up again.
“What day is it, Viper?” he asked.
“Itsssss December 30th of courssssssse,” Viper responded. “Why?”
The tall hooded kat grinned. “No reason, just remember, stay out of my way.”
Dark Kat left, taking the sphere with him.
The roar of jet engines blared over the skies of Megakat City as the familiar black jet of the Swat Kats cruised overhead. Jake and Chance had decided that the only way to figure out what was going on was to take the Turbokat and fly over to Professor Hackle’s place.
“What if what we thought happened was only some kind of dream or something?” T-Bone, Chance’s call sign, said from the pilot’s seat.
“I doubt it,” Razor, Jake’s call sign, said. “Besides what are the odds of us each having identical dreams with identical consequences happening?”
T-bone shrugged as he brought the Turbokat on a course for the Professor’s.
A bright flash of light filled both kat’s vision as day suddenly turned into night.
“What the… ?!” T-Bone shouted as he yanked the flight stick sharply to the left to avoid colliding with a nearby skyscraper. “What was that?” he asked as he corrected the Turbokat’s trajectory.
“I don’t know, but it looks like when you passed by the power plant, day turned to night,” Razor replied. He worked frantically to adjust the dimensional radar for night flight. “Switching to dimensional radar.”
T-bone gave a sigh of relief as the familiar green picture of the outside world filled his screen.
“This is strange,” Razor said to himself.
“What?” T-Bone asked.
“It’s 11:59 PM. Last I checked it was 10:36 AM.”
“How could an entire day pass us by like that?” T-Bone asked.
“I don’t know. We should keep heading for the Professor’s though. Maybe he can tell us what’s going on,” Razor said.
The Turbokat soared over the city toward the Professor’s coastal residence in search of answers.
The streets were crowded with hundreds of people as the pre-celebrating began. Music blared loudly in Megakat Central Park as tourists and residents alike had gathered to party all day and night long.
Hard Drive sat in the shadows in an alley across from the park, contemplating the events of the last twenty-four hours. What the hell is going on, he thought. This already happened. I went over to the nearby jewelry store, caused a power outage and stole all the jewels to grift on the black market. Then, some off duty enforcer snuck up behind me and hit me over the head with a glass bottle. I woke up in the jail house and fell asleep just as the watchman had declared lights out. Now I’m here, again, and the off duty enforcer is still there, oblivious to what happened.
“Interesting, isn’t it?” a large booming voice said from behind Hard Drive.
“Dark Kat!” he shouted with a little bit of fear. “Um, what are you doing here?”
Dark Kat laughed at Hard Drive as he came closer, out from the shadows.
“I just wanted to ask. What day is it today?” he asked.
“What do you mean? I know it looks like yesterday, but I swear that it’s January first,” Hard Drive said, desperate to convince someone that he wasn’t insane.
Dark Kat merely frowned at hearing this. “January first, how can you know that?” Dark Kat said incredulously. He then pulled out a gun from his cloak.
“Whoa, Dark Kat, take it easy,” Hard Drive said as he powered up his surge coat. If I can keep him distracted, then maybe I can get a clear shot, he thought.
“Please, don’t mock my intelligence,” Dark Kat said as he fired the weapon. No bullet came out, but a surge of electricity. The surge coat reacted with this, automatically electrocuting Hard Drive. He let out a brief scream of agony and soon fell unconscious, twitching, on the ground.
The noise had attracted the off duty enforcer and he came running into the alley. He was surprised to find an unconscious criminal, seemingly left at his feet. He searched the alley and found no one else.
Within minutes, a squad car arrived, taking Hard Drive away. As consciousness returned to him, Hard Drive cursed out loud as he found himself in the predicament he remembered from the night before.
A mysterious figure dressed in a trench coat peered out found around the corner of a building, just in time to see an unconscious kat being hauled away in a squad car. The figure, seemingly satisfied with what had happened, withdrew some kind of futuristic technological device from his coat pocket. Pressing a few buttons on it, the figure flashed with a bright white light and vanished into thin air.
“I hope that the Professor didn’t decide to hit the sack early,” T-bone said as he landed the Turbokat outside of Hackle’s house.
The duo jumped from the cockpit and were relieved to find the Professor’s lights still on. They were, however, surprised to see him standing a few yards away, staring out at the ocean.
“Professor Hackle,” Razor called out. The Professor turned and found two familiar masked kats approaching him.
“Ah, how nice to see you. I hope that you’re here to wish me a happy new year,” Hackle said.
“We came to see if you know anything about these strange lapses in time that have been going on,” Razor replied.
Hackle’s eyes lit up in an expression of relief.
“So, I’m not the only one who’s experienced one then?” Hackle asked.
“Nope, right when we left it was just before noon and now it’s past midnight,” T-bone said.
“Follow me, there’s something I have to show you two,” Hackle said as he entered his house.
The Swat Kats followed, once again having to stay out of the way of the numerous robots that Hackle had working about. He led them into a back room, which was full of all kinds of technical machinery.
“Quite a few years ago, when I was still working at Pumadyne, we started experimenting with temporal manipulation,” Hackle said.
T-bone made a face of confusion as Razor spoke up.
“Time travel, buddy.”
“Oh, right. I knew that,” T-bone said quickly.
“After a few years research, we hypothesized that time travel would be impossible because of the paradox factor. However, we came up with a theory that if you could enter another dimension briefly and then reenter ours you would be protected from any danger,” Hackle continued.
“So, how does this pertain to our situation?” Razor asked.
“Someone could be using this technology based upon our research, therefore causing these disruptions. We also theorized that if a time traveler uses the device incorrectly it could cause the paradox factor to reemerge and disrupt the normal timeline, for instance, jumping from noon to midnight,” Hackle finished.
“Where are any of these devices you mentioned?” Razor asked.
“Well, that’s the thing. Back in ’78, during the prime of our temporal research, the complex was attacked by terrorists and leveled to the ground. Most of the staff was killed, including those on the temporal research department. I barely lived with over twenty broken bones and severe head trauma. After half a years recovery, I was reassigned to advanced robotic design. Never dealt with time travel again.”
“So, no working model was made?” Razor persisted.
“None, all the research was destroyed, except for this,” Hackle said as he dug out some kind of device from one of the shelves lining the room. “Before the incident, we did manage to make a temporal variance detector so that we could monitor any time disruptions. This thing went off and wouldn’t stop a few years ago when the Pastmaster was around.” He handed it to Razor. “It should be able to find anything out of place or that shouldn’t be here.”
“Thanks, professor,” Razor said, putting the rectangular object in his jumpsuit pocket. “We’ll see if we can find out what’s causing this.”
The two kats then left Hackle and lifted off in the Turbokat and flew out of sight.
“How nice to see you again, Professor,” a voice said from behind Hackle. He spun around to find a kat in the shadows of his house wearing a trenchcoat.
“I’m sorry. I don’t believe that we’ve met,” Hackle said as he approached the stranger.
“Oh, we have, Professor. You just don’t know it,” the figure said as he too approached Hackle. “My name is Jason McGrath.”
Hackle stood and thought for a moment before replying.
“Sorry, I still don’t remember ever meeting you.”
McGrath motioned for the Professor to sit down as he did the same.
“Professor, we have a lot to talk about.”
Razor installed the temporal detection device in his console and was feverishly trying to get it to work. He gave a sigh of relief as the same type of readings appeared on his console as those on the device.
“All right, we’re online,” Razor said as he activated the scanning mode. An overview of the city came up, showing the Turbokat’s position and that of something else.
“Find anything?” T-Bone asked.
“Yeah, about half a clik north,” Razor said. As soon as he finished, a bright flash of light caught his attention. After they both rubbed their eyes, they were shocked to see a familiar scene.
“That better not be what I think it is!” T-bone shouted as he yanked the joystick to the side to avoid colliding with a squadron of alien fighters.
“I’m afraid so, buddy,” Razor said as he looked at the temporal detector. It was beeping erratically as it showed the whole area within a radius of five miles marked as a something that wasn’t supposed to be there.
“I need some weapons right now!” T-Bone said as he dodged the laser fire from one of the fighters.
“Those fighters aren’t gonna be our biggest problem, pal,” Razor said, gesturing to the funnels of water that were being sucked up into a hovering spacecraft. The all too familiar spacecraft of the long dead Mutilor.
To be continued…
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