Original SWAT Kats Story

Vive Le Starlis

By Nikkitrina Feral

  • 7 Chapters
  • 27,725 Words

(Unfinished) A tiny she-kitten is lost in a strange world full of large shiny animals, tall leafless trees, and strangers with small hearts. Her parents gone, dead, and barely a memory, she is forced to accept her fate and do what is expected of her in the orphanage she was raised in. But the owner, intending to be unkind, twists the kitten’s fate around for better, and she learns to depend on no one but herself to survive.

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Chapter 1

Prologue: 1984

The tiny she-kitten wriggled and purred in her mother’s arms, oblivious to any care in the world.  She knew her parents and the other three adults were restless, but she thought that was simply because of her, and her tendency to ‘want’, like any other kitten, of any species.  So she went on purring and squeaking, and taking in the peaceful world around her.

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The adults were restless.  But, unlike the kitten thought, they had a more logical, and life threatening, reason to worry.  Ever since their species’ fall from the hierarchy of the food chain, Tabbies, an egotistical and selfish species, second only to them, had taken over. The Tabbies took over not only the food chain, but also civilized life, and the government, military, and business carriers that went with the running of huge spread out cities, swallowing all lesser life in their path.  Before, life could spread equally, with no other species ‘swallowing’ another, and Tabbies were pushed down to their rightful spots at the bottom of society, down to the slums, doing their jobs of making the slums even ‘slummier’.  And now stupidity reigned in society, which even shouldn’t be called social, or civil, in fact, chaos summed it up very nicely.

The worse came when the final strong hold, of the merely 6 adults was found.  Because of the species’ slightly different appearance from Tabbies, the idiots who found them promptly declared them ‘Aliens’, (which actually wasn’t far from the truth, and wasn’t a problem except the ‘idiots’ found them a threat) and became determined to kill them and sell their bodies to science for, as one put it,

“Nuff dough ta’ choke a cow!”  They didn’t get a chance to achieve their original goal, because while they went back out to their truck to get their guns, the 6 adults made a hasty escape into the woods.  The hicks wouldn’t give up though, and decided to track them the next day.

During the night, tragedy and a final triumph occurred.  One of the females died from the Great Disease, which caused the fall of the species 150 years ago, and was still killing.  The Great Disease was almost the only thing that could single out that specific species, and kill one in less than a month.  The only way the species could survive, was if the last adults’ kittens were immune to the Disease. This was the single thing Tabbies were good for.  The 1860-70’s were a social and sexual boost for Tabbies.  In the craze to ‘shag’ as many of the opposite sex as possible, they spelled their own doom, with the development of AIDS.  Luckily, the adults’ species had so many ‘killer T-cells’ (they were in fact nothing like the t-cells in Tabbies, but more like little germs with brains, to put it simply) that they were able to infect their kittens with. AIDS, and chemically boost the reaction of the T-cells, so that they didn’t totally destroy the virus, but harness it to fight the Great Disease. Luckily, the Great Disease was not immune to AIDS used in that fashion, and was easily killed off if it entered the body. This was proven successful with the last three kittens.  The final triumph for the adults came with the newest and final kitten.  She was named Starlis.  Her mother, oddly enough, was her sister at the same time. Her father’s mate died of the Great Disease, and his only option to increase the number of surviving kittens, was to mate with his only daughter, and kitten.  She was old enough, and not infected with AIDS, therefore not immune to the Great Disease.  She also knew the outcome. The kitten would be female, and would be the new Supreme Being.  The closest any creature would get to a God while still ‘alive’.  Their species was the Supreme Species, because they were the oldest, they were the most powerful, and they were the most adaptive of any other species in their space-time-dimension.  The Supreme Being was called Starlis Mageto, after the name of the planet, and its moon, which the species originated from.

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Now, in the peaceful forest, Starlis was oblivious of any cares.  She suddenly decided she was hungry, and tugged on her mother’s fur, reaching up as far as she could and squeaking loudly. But her mother ignored her, and put her paw over Starlis’s mouth to silence her.

“Honey,” her mother whispered, “You make me proud.  You get a job in the government and get our place in life back.  You survive and do that for me.  You find your cousin, she’ll help you.  Use all the skills from our ancestors to survive, you survive for me now, don’t you dare die on me.” Ears and eyes directed forwards sharply, intent on the now silent forest before them, her mother slowly crouched down, and put Starlis on the forest floor, between a rock and a tree root, motioned for her to be perfectly quiet, and covered her with leaves and twigs.  The birds had stopped singing, the crickets stopped strumming, and the only sound that loudly echoed through the forest, was the casual click of a shot gun’s safety latch being pushed away.  The adults dashed in the opposite direction.  Starlis, dazed and confused, instinctively froze in her spot as her parents charged like a whisper away, and three strange kats stomped after them, long shiny sticks in their paws.

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Starlis never saw her parents or any of the adults again. Unbeknown to her, they were all killed, and taken to a place called MASA Space Labs for UFO Studies. Strangely enough, three tom-kats were charged with mass Murder in the 1st degree, and given the death sentence, the exact same week.

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For many days and nights, (a day old kitten can’t tell time very well) Starlis stayed alive on odd bugs that crawled into her hiding place, and dew that formed on her fur during the cool morning hours.  When she decided it was safe, almost weeks after her parent’s disappearance, she crawled out of her hole, and explored the area around the tree and rock.  Before long though, she decided to go back to her hiding place and take a nap. Once again, it was weeks before she emerged.  Her shiny white fur was now dull and grey.  Her soft black wisps of head fur were knotted and dirty.  Her little muzzle was stained with the blood of her larger meals of reptiles and bigger bugs.  She felt helpless, and alone.  The ache the loss of her family caused made the ache for companionship, for love, worse.  She cried out in the only way she knew.  She squeaked, loud and mournfully.

Merely yards away, a camping family of Tabbies heard the noise.  The younger ones went to investigate, while the mother yelled after them, insisting that it was just a bird.  The oldest of the kittens, about twelve years old, arrived at Starlis’s little hole first.  She pulled away the rotting leaves and twigs, and jumped back when the thing decided to hiss at her.

The other kitten, an eight year old, hollered, “Oh yea! A snake!”  He rushed up to the hole.

“It’s not a snake Jeremy, it’s a kitten,” his sister informed him.  They peered down at Starlis, curled up in her hole, shivering and doing her best to growl.  The she-kitten picked Starlis up, and carried her towards the camp.  Starlis didn’t know what to do to defend herself, so she froze, and went dead limp, to, she hoped, deter the predator.  The she-kitten showed her mother her discovery.

“Ahhhh! Tammy! Drop that filthy thing! It might give you rabies!” the she-kat shrieked.  Tammy looked annoyed.

“Oh mother! It’s not a filthy animal, it’s a kitten.  We should help it,” Tammy insisted.  Starlis kept a weary eye on the large tom-kat that was approaching.

“Glen, let Tammy take care of it, how much trouble could it be?” the tom-kat reasoned.

“More trouble than Tammy and Jeremy were, times two! It’s a wild thing,” the mother complained.  Tammy was determined to help in some way.

“How about we put it in that orphanage thing on Wayview Lane, they’ll take care of him,” Tammy suggested, while she petted Starlis on the head, a bit too hard.

“Fine,” the she-kat quickly settled it, “Now go put it in the camper till we get home tomorrow.”

Starlis was placed in a stuffy little box with a blanket and some cat food.  The lid was closed and Starlis could hear the muffled voice of the she-kitten outside.

“It’s the best I could do, but it’s better than the cold woods.”  Footsteps leading away, then silence.  Starlis took her little claws and tried her best to cut a way out of the box.  The best she could do was small holes.  They let in light and fresh air though, which would save her from suffocation in the end.  With nothing else to do, and the rancid cat food bothering her senses, Starlis decided to take a long nap.  She curled up in the blanket, and buried her nose between it, and her tail.  During her nap, Starlis had vague dreams of loving kats, hushed promised, lonely futures, and three large kats with long, shiny sticks.

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The box top opened.  Starlis jumped and hissed, clawing madly into the blinding light.

“Argh!” a tom-kat cursed, dropping the box, and spilling Starlis out onto hard, rough ground.  The cat food flew everywhere and the blanket fell on top of her as she struggled to run.  As her sight came back, and her senses began to function, she caught sight of the tom-kat from the other day walking hurriedly towards a strange shiny animal.  He called back as he got in the animal.

“I don’t care what happens, just you be careful, it’s a wild animal.”  Starlis looked behind her.  A wrinkled and crabby looking she-kat stood over her.  She bent over and roughly picked Starlis up. The old she-kat untangled the blanket from Starlis’s legs, and carried her into a huge, funny looking cave.  The cave entrance shut behind them and the old she-kat put Starlis in a little cave inside the big one.  It had a bed, some funny looking trees, and some fur that was supposed to go over Starlis’s fur.  The old she-kat put some of the other fur on Starlis and set her on the bed.

“This is your new home,” she wheezed, “You be a good little kitten or auntie Belice will beat your cute little ass!” She stormed out of the cave cursing the whole way, even after the cave entrance closed.

“Not another one.  You’d think they could grow a bit faster so they’d be useful sooner.  But no! They have to be little and helpless and waste my time and not show anything for it but a nice little shitty mess.  What the hell’s wrong with this one anyway, never seen a funnier looking one in my life, even the retard ones look nicer…” Her wretched, grating voice finally faded.  Starlis looked around. She then realized that she wasn’t in a cave because the walls looked like wood, and she could see through a hole, which were rare in caves. She must be in a hollowed out tree.  Yes, that’s it.  With that settled, she looked for some food.  A dead cockroach next to the hole in the wall looked appetizing.  She scooted over and picked it up.

‘Hmmm, a little dead too long,’ she concluded, after chewing it up a bit.  She swallowed anyway.  ‘A little dead too long’ food was better than none.

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Chapter One; A New Beginning: 1992

“You make me proud.  You get a job in the government and get our place in life back. You survive…survive…don’t you die on me…”

“Nikki!!” Belice screamed through the hallway, “Nikki! Get out of that bed and get your lazy ass in here now! How the hell is breakfast going to get done if just sits in the cupboards and grows dust!” Nikki jumped, the hellish voice bringing her back to reality. She rolled her eyes as she pulled her ragged pants on.

“You could make it yourself, you old bat,” she cursed Belice to herself.  She glanced at an old beaten clock.

‘It’s 5:42 AM, and the bitch wants breakfast.  I suppose that’ll be poached eggs, ham, and bagels with honey for your royal hine-ass, and mushy shit for your loyal servants who deserve more than you,’ Nikki walked unhurried down the hall to the kitchen, her unspoken thoughts floating carelessly through her conscious mind. Other kittens made their way more speedily, in case Belice decided to vent her rage on them.  Enough kittens were making breakfast so Belice decided to go around and make an odd little snot do a useless chore till a good one could be found.  She saw Nikki watching an older kitten stir oatmeal in a pot.

“Nikki!” Belice hollered, even though she was smiling inside. She hated that smart mouthed she-kitten from the start.  Her funny looks caused her to despise her more.

“What do you think you are doing?” she scolded, “You do something useful!” Belice thought of a perfect way to bother her, “You go get a job so we can have more money for food and clothes! Don’t you look at me like that! Go out there and get a job!  Just lie and they’ll let you work. No go on!” Nikki didn’t feel like arguing.  She obediently walked out the Orphanage doors and down the walk.  She decided to head left down Wayview Lane, where a little store was located.  Maybe they would hire a poor orphan she-kitten.  Most likely not.

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The store clerk saw the she-kitten coming and quickly pushed over a small sign on the desk.  He could tell that she was from the orphanage down the street, ‘they should bulldoze that place’, he thought. She was wearing ragged and stained jeans that were much too big for her, and a large, baggy, moth-eaten sweater, which too, almost swallowed her whole.  She was a dirty greyish-brownish color, and her long, matted hair was a dusty charcoal color.  She wore no shoes, her feet looked too long for that anyway, and she walked on the balls of her feet, up so high she was almost doing point (ballet).  Her tiny little paws were scared with labor, and her fingers were long and skinny.  Her tail topped off her strange appearance nicely. It was so long that she had to carry it in the same fashion as a squirrel carries his tail when he’s sitting down, curled over her head as if to use it for shade.  The little she-kat walked slowly into the store. She approached the clerk at the desk and gave him her best set of puppy eyes.

“How may I help you,” the clerk said, more demanding than questioning.

“I need to get a job.  Belice told me that if I didn’t get a job today, she’d beat me.”  Nikki was half lying.  Belice never said anything about a beating, but she probably would bring one up if Nikki came home without a job.  The clerk said nothing for a good while, he just stared down at Nikki, his curiosity getting the better of him.

“And you are how old?” he finally asked.  Nikki swallowed hard.

‘Great, am I eight, or am I eighteen,’ she questioned herself. She looked up at the clerk, who by now was looking impatient.

“I’m, I’m, eight, sir,” she whispered.  The clerk nodded.

“Well, I’m sorry.  We’re not looking for work right now, and if we were, you would need a job license, an education, and be sixteen or older.  Thank you for stopping by anyway,” he gave Nikki a sleazy smile.  Nikki walked out of the store, heart-broken.

‘Well, that place isn’t the only store, or only place to get a job around here.  I’ll just try again, and again, if necessary,’ she encouraged herself, and it helped.  Nikki caught sight of a row of stores and ran across the busy street.  The clerk watched her go.  He waited till she was out of sight across the street and down the sidewalk till he lifted the sign back up.  He scooted it around till it was in the right position on the counter.  The sign said, in big bold letters ‘Help Wanted’.

The clerk sniggered to himself, ‘What a joke.  An ugly little orphan trying to get a job in my nice clean store.’

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The whole day went by without a single bit of luck to show for it.  It was beginning to get dark, so Nikki headed back towards Wayview Lane.  The only thing she had to show for her hard day, was 75 cents that she had found on sidewalks, in gutters, and on streets. It was an assorted pawful of money, with two quarters, one dime, two nickels, and five pennies.  Nikki began to have fun with the money in her paws.

‘Hmmm, two quarters, two’s an even number.  One dime, ten’s an even number, and one is the mother of all numbers, it’s the beginning. Five is a logical middle, it’s the middle of all multiples of ten. Like ten, middle is 15, 20, middle is 25, 100, middle is 150, or it could be 105, because it has one, and the one’s middle is five because it’s the beginning of the first set of ten.  This looks almost like a pay you’d get in a store.  Very logical and all that stuff.’ Then it hit her.  She could lie to Belice, and say that she did get a job. The 75 cents she held in her paws would be her first pay.  All she had to worry about was finding enough money to show as pay and giving an excuse when she couldn’t find any.

‘Today’s the best day of my life!’ she sniggered.

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She got back to the orphanage at 9:00.  Belice was a little mad when Nikki got in, because she was late.  She couldn’t wait to hear the pitiful excuse to cover the reason Nikki couldn’t get a job.

“Well, how’d it go!” she demanded.

“Wonderful!” Nikki answered in an excited whisper.  Belice was confused.

“Did you get a job?” she asked, more quietly.  Nikki nodded happily.

“Oh yes, and I got it early in the day, so they let me work some.  I got my first pay today, too.”  By now the little corridor leading to the entrance was jam packed with kittens, wanting to see the action, and hear about Nikki’s new job.

“So what do you do then!” Belice pushed on.

“I work at a little convince store, a while away, and I get to put the supplies on the shelves, and put the little price stickers on the merchandise,” Nikki heard gasps of wonder from the crowd, but continued, “But someone more experienced works there too, and he’s faster than me.  We get paid for how much we can do.  Today I did 75 items, so I got paid 75 cents.”  Gasps went up in full again. Nikki held out her paws full with the precious coins.  Belice quickly snatched them away.

“Well, good job Nikki.  But I want to see more money!  Get more than 75 cents tomorrow!” Belice waited for the response.

“But sometimes they don’t get any new supplies in.  So there’s nothing for me to do, or get paid for,” Nikki was calm and persuasive. Belice thought it over, then got a mean streak.

“That’s no excuse for laziness!” and she stormed off.

‘Laziness? That makes no sense at all.  What does that have to do with ‘no supplies’? Oh well, off to bed.’  Nikki walked down the hall towards her room.  She opened the door, shut it behind her, and pulled her bed covers back.  A spider greeted her at her pillow.  It dashed, frightened, in the wrong direction.  Nikki, luckily for it, was a smart kitten, and knew better the laws of big and small in the wild.  She laid her paw down in front of the tiny creature.  With her other paw, she led it onto her out stretched one.  She put it on the window seal above her bed.  She then stripped down, and climbed onto the covers.  She reached for the small lamp on her bed-side table and turned it off.  Darkness enveloped the room, but Nikki’s eyes adjusted quickly to the dark.  She looked around the room, her head still on the pillow.  The ancient, dusty room, seemed to be alive with movement.  The little spider and Nikki weren’t the only life forms sharing the room.  The floor teemed with cockroaches, and the leaky window let in moths, flies and mosquitoes.  Nikki was used to it, and knew that none of them could, or would hurt her.  She didn’t know why, but when the kittens would play outside, and Nikki would play along with them, the others were covered in bug bites, but Nikki had none. It was like every bug, every life form respected her, except for those who were above her.  And almost everyone else was above her in her eyes.  She was ugly, and useless in her eyes and theirs.  But this didn’t discourage her from living.  She would fulfil her dream someday, she would get a good job, in the government, and find her real family.  She knew she was an orphan, what’s more, she knew that she wasn’t always like that.  She had a family somewhere, all she had to do was look, hard.  With her future floating in her little mind, Nikki drifted off to join it in a restful sleep.

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The next few days were basically the same.  She would go out and wander the streets, picking up change along the way.  Eventually, she developed a method to steal some if she was having trouble finding some herself.  She would bump into people and quickly tear a small hole with her claws in their jeans where the change pockets were. She would apologize greatly, and then the person would walk away, with change leaking out onto the sidewalk.  When the person rounded the corner, Nikki would collect her winnings, (which reached almost two dollars at one time) and wander some more till it got dark and she had to go home.

Everything was perfect for her.  So long as the cash flow remained, Nikki had a home. But the next week, there was no change on the streets, and everyone she ‘bumped’ into had no change either.  It was like some other force had sucked it all up before she could get the little she needed.  Had she been older, and more able to keep from panicking, she would have noticed all of the large jars filled with change in store windows, and the small message that went with them.

“Give change to help build a new home for justice, Enforcer Headquarters.”

The first few days it happened, Nikki was saved by her excuse that there were no new supplies.  But the third day was hopeless.  She walked towards the orphanage, and then it hit her.

‘Why even go back there?  If you do, you’ll get beaten, then thrown out.  Why not just never return?  That would work just fine.’ With that matter setteled, she turned around, and looked for a place to sleep for the night.  She found an empty alley a few blocks down the street and sheltered behind a stack of bricks, infested with spiders and beetles.

‘What fortune!’ she realized, ‘A brick house for me to sleep in, and my own little pets to guard it for me.’  Once again her conscious mind floated off to join her dreams, and Nikki fell asleep.

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****************************************************–====================98 7654321_0==_ Content-Type: text/plain; name=”(2)dreams.txt” Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=”(2)dreams.txt”  Chapter Two; To Achieve Your Dreams Nikkitrina Feral  1995

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For three years, Nikki planned for her move into civilized life.  She formulated night and day, going to public libraries to read up on encyclopedias.   When she finished them, she read things that interested her, or things she needed to read in order to successfully operate her plan.  She read about computers, hospitals, law enforcement, colleges, schools, and most of all, dictionaries.  She knew as much as a college grad, even more, when the third year rolled around.  That was exactly how she planned it.  During her time on the streets, she got chances to clean herself off, and discovered that she was actually pure white, with shiny jet-black hair.  She was also maturing.  Hints of gold started appearing on her paws, her chest and down her long tail. When she turned eleven, her gold coloration was complete.  She had stripes on her chest, her tail and her arms; and her paws, ears and tear marks were gold.  She also became less lanky, and more filled out.  Anyone from the orphanage would never be able to guess it was her.  She also came up with a new name for herself. Nikkitrina, a spin off on Nikki.

With her ID changed in her mind, she had to change it for real. She had no time for school, so she decided to pretend that she had gone to school.  She was too young for a job, so she pretended she was 26.  She had no Degrees or Majors, so she made some fake ones.

She became an expert at secrecy.  She could sneak in and out of any building with ease, and use whatever was in that building for her own purposes.  For example, she found a printing shop.  They printed Majors and Degrees for the three local colleges, (which just happened to be the ones Nikki ‘went’ to), so she booted up the computers after dark, and made her own.

Now she was ready.  The final strike was all she required.  She had to get into a small hospital, and make herself a birth certificate, and personal information.  She had the perfect hospital in her sights.  It was a small, locally owned hole in the wall that operated only 18 hours a day.  Its expertise was kitten birth, therefore it had a link into the files Nikki needed to get to.  They no doubt had it under a password, but cameras were a stretch.  It was too small to have something like that, and it even had to ‘rent’ enforcers as guards, because it couldn’t afford to hire one itself.  When Nikki went in through the air ducts to survey the situation one night, she found that she was correct.  No cameras, and one guard, who made one hour rounds.  Nikki decided to stay and carry out her operation the following day and night.  She curled up in the duct, and waited till morning.

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Morning came loud and angry.  A new born kitten screamed and wailed, its high pitched voice echoing through the building.

‘This is it,’ Nikki thought excitedly, ‘Now all I have to do is watch and try and figure out what the password is.’  A nurse came in and sat at the computer.  She quickly typed in six keys, which made a squeaky sound when she hit them.  Nikki watched as she made a new file for the certificate, and printed it out for the parents.  When she left and closed the door behind her, Nikki jumped down, out of the duct, to find the squeaky keys.  She tested a letter, dull thud sound.  She tried a number on the pad, dull thud.  She tried a number on the strip above the letters, squeak.  Nikki smiled.

‘Six numbers or symbols, now, which ones?’ she made a mental note.  She crawled back into the duct at an angle so she could see the keyboard.  Just in time, another nurse came in as Nikki was getting comfortable.  Nikki watched her sit at the computer.  The first thing she typed was  two.  No shift, so it was the number two.  After a few more nurses came in, Nikki saw the next number was five, then eleven, which was two numbers.  Nikki thought it over for a second.

‘2,5,11…Of course! Every other prime!  How stupid, I could have come up with that myself without all this silly spying.  251117. That’s the code.’

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Finally the hospital closed and the guard went around and locked all of the doors.  Nikki jumped down from the duct.  She had one hour to get it all done.  She booted up the computer and made a new file.

‘Name: Nikkitrina, Current Age: 26, Birthdate: 2/17/69,Weight: 1 lb 8oz’ Nikki went on changing all of her past. She finished with 20 minutes to spare.  She left the Hospital through the vent ducts and headed towards a clothing store.  She needed something nice to wear for her interview tomorrow.

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“Hello?” Commander Feral’s voice buzzed through the phone. Nikki listened, and could tell he was not in a good mood.  She was standing decked in her new finery at a phone booth not far from the old Enforcer Building, the phone to her ear.

“Hello, Commander Feral?” Nikki asked, even though she knew it was him.

“Yes, what do you want?” his voice giving hint to his dwindling patience.

“You know of me I’m sure, I’m Nikkitrina.  Enforcer Academy’s Highest Honor Graduating Student.  Then again, you might not know of me, I tend to keep to myself,” Nikki calmly laid it on thick.

“Go on, what do you want,” a slightly more interested Feral insisted.

“I heard that you have an opening in the MechSquad.  I was wondering if I could apply for that job?”

“Commander of the MechSquad? You want to be a Commander?”

“Yes, that is what I said.”

“You’re going to have to talk to some of my superiors too.”

“I know, but I was told that I had to talk to you first.”

“Fine, what time is good for you?”

“Any time today.  I’m busy the rest of the week.”

“Lunch, at Merimals. Is one ok?”

“That’s just perfect Commander.  See you at one.”  The phone clicked.  Nikki smiled a smile of pure triumph and put the phone back on the hook.  Nothing could spoil her mood now.

“Off to Merimals to meet my destiny!” Nikki skipped down the street at the fastest pace her new high heels would allow.

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Nikki sat at her table in Merimals, anxiously watching the clock on the other side of the restaurant.  At one o’ clock, she began to watch the door.  Finally, a TALL tom-kat in a grey coat with the enforcer emblim on the shoulder walked in the door way, a tall dark haired female enforcer following him.

‘That has got to be the Commander,’ Nikki thought.  She waved at him and stood up.  The Commander spotted her and walked over.

“I suppose you are Nikkitrina,” he held his paw out.  He looked her over quickly, taking in her slightly strange appearance, and tight black dress.

“And you are Commander Feral, nice to meet you,” Nikki responded, taking his huge paw and giving it one firm shake, “Who’s this?” Nikki pointed to the tall she-kat.

“I’m Lieutenant Felina Feral,” Felina met eyes with Nikki.

“Felina is my niece,” Commander Feral added as he took his seat.  Nikki followed suit, and not long after, a waiter introduced himself.  After they ordered, Feral started the conversation.

“What do you have in your folder there,” he pointed to a green folder on the floor, “Your Majors I hope.”

“Yes sir I have them with me,” Nikki leaned over and picked the folder up, and handed it across the table to the Commander.  He opened it up and scanned it quickly.

“Impressive, Nikkitrina,” he complemented her, but he noticed something strange, “None of these have a last name for you on them, and you never mentioned one.  Why not?”

“I’m an orphan, technically.  I did have a home, but I’m selling it now that I’m going to be an Enforcer.  It’s just no one adopted me.  My parents did leave me a good bit of money, although I preferred not to keep the name.  I simply forget it now, and that’s how I planned it.”

The food arrived, and silence prevailed as the three ate. After they finished, Feral handed Nikki an address on a sheet of paper.

“This is where you go to sign up for the tests.  To become a MechCommander, you have to compete against every other kat on the squad.  Keep in mind that you are starting late and more than half of the squad will easily be able to beat you.  The simulators at Enforcer Academy are nothing like the real thing, so you can basically drop everything you learned up to this point.”

Nikki nodded and took the paper.

“Oh, and whatever was on your schedule for the next three months will have to be dropped.  You need to start tomorrow, it’s the last day for sign up.”

“That’s OK, there’s nothing going on.  My time being full was just an excuse, I didn’t feel like waiting any longer.”

Feral smiled as Nikki left.  He was beginning to like her already.

“Felina, the penthouse apartment has three bedrooms right?” he asked his niece.

“No, it has four,” she responded.

“Even better.  I want you to offer her to stay with you there.”

“That’s fine with me.”  Felina had a few questions for Nikki anyway.

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“Hey Nikkitrina!” Felina hollered down the street at the departing she-kat.  Nikki stopped and turned around.  Felina caught up with her.

“You going back to that house your selling?” she asked.

“No, I was going to this address,” she pointed to the sheet the Commander had given her.

“Well it’s not open today.  I have to go there tomorrow for the tests, we can go together.  If you go get everything you need, you can move in with me.  I live in the penthouse on top of the old Enforcer Quarters building, it used to be Enforcer Headquarters.  It used to be my Uncle’s, but he gave it to me when he moved into the new HQ,” Felina explained, pointing to the skyline and a large building with a runway sticking out of its side.  Next door was a smaller building with a helicopter pad.

“We got jets so we needed a runway,” Felina smiled as Nikki surveyed the two buildings, nodding.

“Ok, I’ll meet you at the steps in one hour, I have very little material possessions,” Nikki turned away and began to walk down the street again.

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

Behind her stack of bricks, Nikki packed up her meager pile of clothes, and her even smaller stack of books.  With it all tied into a nice bundle and placed in a small duffel bag, Nikki got to her feet and said good bye to the place which had been her home for the past three years.  She was finally moving on, but it was still hard to say good bye.

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

Felina waited patiently on the steps of the Enforcer Quarters Building.  Finally, just as Nikki had said, she appeared one hour later.  Together they walked through the lobby and towards the elevator.  Kats stopped what they were doing and watched the strange little she-kat trot behind the larger one.  When the pair entered the elevator, the lobby returned to normal.  When the elevator car finally stopped, and the doors opened, Nikki and Felina stepped into a small hallway with two doors.  Felina pointed at the far doors.

“That’s the stairs.  They have a lock, and only I have the key. We could also prevent the elevator from coming up here with that switch,” Felina pointed back at the elevator and a small switch next to it, under lock, “Only I have the key for that too.”  Felina began to walk to the other door.

“And this is out home,” she took out a bundle of keys, selected one, and put it in the key slot.  The lock clicked when she turned it and a slot opened.  She took out a card from another pocket, and placed the keys back.  She then swiped the card through the slot and the door opened.  They walked in, and Felina closed the door.  It clicked, automatically locking.

“You can stick your stuff there for now,” Felina pointed to a small chair, “Now let’s go on a small tour.” Felina led Nikki around the right half apartment, flipping on lights as she went.  The whole mood of things seemed to have a sense of homeliness to it, and Nikki finally felt like she belonged. They eventually got back to the place they started at, and Felina led Nikki down the hall to the immediate left.  Even without the added hall, the apartment was the size of a middle class home.

“Now the first thing you’ll see here is the computer room slash guest room to your right,” Felina did a Vanna White impression in front of the door, “No, your not sleeping here, this is where we play on the computer.  And the next stop is one of the bathrooms, to your left.  Opposite it, in the corner here,” Felina pointed once more, “is where you will be sleeping.  The next room on the right is another guestroom, and at the end of the hall is my room. Any questions?” Nikki shook her head and set to exploring her new home by herself.

“I have to go on afternoon duty at three o’clock.  I’ll be back by nine.  Make yourself comfortable, eat, sleep, take a shower, you know.  Bye.” Felina waved as she snatched up her equipment and swept out of the door.  Nikki waved absent-mindedly back and continued her inspection of her room.  By eight, she was satisfied with the arrangement, and got dressed for bed.

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

When Felina got home, the first thing she did, was check on Nikki.  Like she suspected, she found her in bed.

“Well, little girl, you have some explaining to do, and so do I.  I’ll let you sleep though.  You can explain on the way to the Mech Registration building.”  Felina left the room silently and cracked the door.  She walked to her own room and setteled in for bed.

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****************************************************–====================98 7654321_0==_ Content-Type: text/plain; name=”(3)mechin.txt” Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=”(3)mechin.txt”  Chapter Three; Mech-in’ It Nikkitrina Feral  The next day.

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“Hey, Nikki,” Felina whispered.  The silent bundle in the bed remained unmoving.  Felina evilly wound an alarm clock, and pulled out the alarm button.  Felina tiptoed over to the bed and put the alarm clock, ready to ring at any moment, right next to Nikki’s ear. Just as planned, the alarm went off, and a screaming Nikki jumped for the ceiling, landing back on the bed at just the right spot to roll off of it, and onto the floor.  Felina never laughed so much in her life.

“Come on, you have fifteen minuets to get ready, or you’ll be late,” Felina tossed a bundle at the bed, “I got a uniform for you to wear, I hope it fits. I got it cut at my proportions, just much smaller.”  Nikki, still dazed, got off of the floor and flopped on to the bed.  She grunted in response.  Felina, satisfied her point had been taken, walked off to the kitchen to get breakfast.  Nikki quickly pulled the baggy uniform on over her boxers and tank top.

‘What, no gun?’ she asked herself jokingly. The uniform basically fit, it was just a bit long in the legs, and shoulders.

‘Oh well, it’s just temporary,’ she reasoned as she slowly made her way to the kitchen.

“Do I need shoes?” she asked Felina when she entered the room.

“Why?” Felina looked up from her coffee.

“The ones you gave me were too short,” to emphasize, Nikki lifted up an elongated foot for Felina to see.

“Nah, I guess you don’t need any right now.  We’ll worry about that later.”  Nikki nodded and sat on the floor in front of the cereal cabinet.  She pulled out a box of Cheerios and began munching.

“Coffee?” Felina offered.

“No thanks, never drink the stuff,” Nikki waved a paw.  Felina gave her a funny look and put the pot back down after filling her own mug, again.

“Well, better get going.  There’s some stuff I need to ask you on the way, and some stuff I need to tell you.  We’re taking a taxi, we’ll have our privacy.”  Nikki stopped chewing long enough to nod, then swallow.

“Kay, let’s go then,” Nikki agreed, and put the box away.

Nikki watched Felina unlock the door, and they followed the same path as the other day.  Amazingly, no one stopped and looked at Nikki as she crossed the lobby.

‘I guess I kinda blend in with the uniform,’ she thought, though it seemed a little silly.  They headed down the front steps and Felina called a cab.  One of the yellow cars stopped in no time, and Nikki and Felina climbed in.

“Where to?” the cabby asked.

“MechSquad Headquarters, Desert Drive,” Felina ordered.

“It’ll cost ya,” the cabby warned.

“I brought a hundred, will that cover it?” she retorted.

The cabby snorted in approval, and the taxi pulled away from the curb.

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

After five minuets, the cabby closed off the back seats from the front and Felina began her questions.

“Are you really 26, or are you eleven, almost twelve, or something like that.”

Nikki, startled that someone might know of her lie, quickly responded, “Don’t be ridiculous, I’m 26.”

“But look at you, I know these things, you have to be a Maylana!” Felina demanded.

“A what?”

“Not just a Maylana, but a Starlis Mageto.  You are!  You look just like one!  The gold stripes, the long tail, the long feet, your size, and your weight, they point right at it!”

“Hold on! Just explain how the hell you reasoned all this shit!” Nikki yelled.

Felina took a deep breath, “I can summarize your past, Nikki.  Your parents were killed, you became on orphan, you lived on the streets or in a shelter.  You are smart, so you eventually came up with this,” she waved a paw in a circle around her, indicating the city, “You found out a way to trick anyone you needed to in order to get a job where you wanted.  Your real name isn’t Nikkitrina, it’s Starlis.  You are not 26, you’re eleven.  You are not strange at all, you were supposed to look like this.  Maylanas are masters at genetic engineering.  They know just how to manipulate genes to get what they want out of a kitten.  I don’t even understand the whole of it, but your mom was also your sister through your dad.  Your dad and your mom’s mom weren’t even related.  Some how the Maylana gene pool is diverse enough to achieve this, but specific recessive genes caused the mutations in you.  You were, well, are made of nothing but recessive genes.  Our ancestors, before Maylanas even came to earth, came up with this chain.  I’m surprised that all this inbreeding hasn’t been the downfall of our species, but its main strength, which is why Maylanas are the Supreme Species, and you, Nikki, Starlis, are the Supreme Being.” Felina paused to take a breath, and would have gone on, had she not seen the look in Nikki’s eyes.  She knew now, she remembered now.  Felina put her paw on Nikki’s shoulder.  Nikki smiled.

“I remember everything.  I understand. I think we’re here,” Nikki pointed out of the window.  A huge machine, running across a field to their right, kicking up dirt in its path caught Nikki’s attention.  It was huge.  It must have been 30 feet high, at least, with massive weapons adorning its shoulders and arms.

“That’s a Kodiak, only instructors from the government can use those during tests like this.  You’ll most likely be in a Timberwolf, it’s smaller, but faster,” Felina explained.  Nikki just nodded still amazed.

“That’ll be 96 dollars and 50 cents,” the cabby reminded Felina.

She handed him the hundred, “Keep the change.”

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

Instead of heading into the main entrance to the building, Felina led Nikki around the back.  They came to a small desk with a plastic three ring binder on it.  Behind the desk was a grey tom-kat.

“Hullo there Felina,” the tom-kat greeted them, “Who’s your little friend?”

“This is Nikkitrina.  She’s shooting for the Commander’s chair,” Felina introduced Nikki.

“Gimmie your full name, and I’ll sign you up,” he explained.

“Nikkitrina,” Nikki said, “N, I, K, K, I, T, R, I, N, A.” There was a long pause.

“Last name too dearie,” the tom-kat reminded.

“I don’t have one,” Nikki told him.

He nodded, but asked anyway, “Why not?”

“I’m an orphan, technically.”  He left it at that and pointed towards the MechHanger.  Felina and Nikki walked over and got assigned their Mechs.  One of the engineers explained the controls to Nikki when she finished fastening herself in.

“The stick effects your movement.  Side to side turns you, up and down moves just the torso, so you can get better views.  Flip the switch and the stick slides along the rail. That turns the torso left and right.  Just so you know, the seat moves with it, and just a little will do to turn you a lot.  The blue buttons effect your speed. The percents start with zero, or stop.  It goes up by tens.  Fire main weapon, like lasers, or machine guns is the little red button on the stick.  Rockets and  other stuff is the big red button under the speed toggle.  The rest is self explanatory, you can also give the computer manual orders, which is best during a group fight.  Like if you order the computer to ‘fan out’ the Mechs in your group will scatter in a fan shape around the enemy.  Good luck, scream if you get killed, but we’d much rather you use the ejection lever.” The engineer jumped down onto the ladder and the hatch to the cockpit closed.  Nikki heard the ladder pull away from the Mech.

‘Great, how do I turn it on? Oh, that would work,’ Nikki spotted a big green panel with a start-up button and instructions. She read them over.

Suddenly, the radio crackled, “All ready? Good, start-up and meet at Nav Alpha for warm ups.  For you green horns out there, that’s the little green button.”

Nikki pushed the button and switched on and off whatever the instructions told her to.  Not long after she heard the computer voice chime, “Reactor online, Sensors online, Weapons online, all systems nominal.” Nikki pressed the ‘Select Nav Point’ button and selected Nav Alpha, which was listed at the bottom left side of the HUD display.  It took her just a few minuets to reach it, and she stopped her Mech when she heard the Computer. “Nav Alpha reached.” The rest of the group reached the spot about the same time and the instructor gave out orders.

“Travel your assigned Nav Sequence, destroying any enemies you find along the way.  Remember, every time you stop at a repair station costs you time and points.  Do not engage with friendly Mechs, and do not help them.  You’ll get to kill each other later.  Now get going, you have thirty minutes to reach Nav Omega.  No bonus points for getting there first, but you get disqualified if you are late, so watch your time.”  The radio silenced and Nikki punched full speed on her Mech, auto piloting to the next Nav point.

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

“Did you see her go?” the grey tom-kat commented to the Commander pointing out of the window in the control tower at Nikki’s dissappearing Mech.

“Yes, she was out of sight while many Mechs were still cycling through the Nav Point sequence.”

“She’ll get Commander’s Chair easy if she fights as fast as she runs.”  They both began to laugh a little.

“I had no doubt she would grasp this easily.  She’ll move up in rank fast.”

The grey kat snorted good-naturedly, “As fast as the water level in a river during Monsoon season.”

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

Nikki was almost to the Nav point, but she didn’t see any enemies yet.  500 meters to go, and still no bogies.  Finally the computer interrupted the silence, “Enemy Power-up Detected”.  The computer repeated this two more times.

‘Three turrets, nothing but medium lasers,’ she realized, as green bolts of light shot out of the immobile enemies.  Nikki slowly backed her Mech out of the laser’s range, and destroyed one after the other with her large laser.  She took her time, making sure her heat levels stayed in the green range.  In a little over a minute, the turrets were destroyed, and Nikki moved on to the next Nav point.

The same thing happened for the next five stops.  The only difference being the number of turrets rose by one each time.  On the sixth Nav point Nikki spotted only one bogey on her radar, and the Mech detected only one power-up.  Nikki used her zoom option and saw another Mech patrolling the area. It was a Kodiak.

‘That isn’t right.  Only instructors are allowed in Kodiaks. Maybe I’m just done and he’s meeting me there.  The radar’s just screwed up, that’s all.’ Nikki reasoned, and decided to report it over the radio band.  She put it on the open frequency, because she didn’t know the one for HQ.

“Headquarters, this is Nikkitrina, I’m at my last Nav Point and have identified the enemy as a Kodiak.  So far he has not made any attempts to attack, but I’m pretty sure he knows I’m here, he looks like he’s watching me.”

The radio crackled, “This is the Kodiak in front of you Nikkitrina.  I’m damaged a bit aren’t I?”

Nikki looked at the small screen displaying the stats for the Mech, “Yea,” she responded.

“Well, the other ‘test-ees’ did that, and you are supposed to kill me.  Not literally, but the last three Mechs to come through here have had their pilots ejected out of them.  It’s a rush really.” The radio went silent.  Nikki wasted no time and ran.  She flipped the little switch the engineer showed her, and sharply turned her Mech’s torso to face the enemy again.  She flipped the switch back, locking the torso at a 90-degree angle to its original position.  She ran circles around the larger, but slower mech. It managed to hit her very little.  The even more confusing thing she did was stop and go. Every now and then, lasers would fly behind, and in front of her, but almost never hit her.  At the same time, she hit the Kodiak with everything she had.  Still watching her heat.  The last thing she needed to do was shut down.  After five minutes, Nikki’s ammo was running low, but lasers never run out of ammo, so long as she stayed in one piece.

Nikki’s entire Mech was damaged in some way and every part of it showed up yellow on the stats skeleton on the HUD.  Luckily, the same thing was true to the Kodiak. Suddenly, Nikki got a burst of inspiration.

‘Go for the legs, if he looses one, he’ll fall over flat on his face.’  She lowered the scope till it was even with the Kodiak’s left leg.  She opened fire.  The leg turned red on the display, and when the smoke cleared, Nikki could see the hole she made in the leg, and the charred wires inside.  Nikki fired a single medium laser, and the entire Mech began to light up red.  The left leg bent, and buckled and the Mech went down.

“Can you get out of there?” she asked the radio.

“Working on it!” the radio crackled.  The canopy popped open and the ejector seat flew out, with the MechInstructor in it.  Nikki headed for the final Nav Point, with ten minutes to spare.

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

Nikki got back later than everyone else.  Most of them passed up the last Nav point, and got their score cut up a bit.  Nikki went to the little desk where she met the grey tom-kat, and picked up her score.  They listed the competitors in order of score.  Nikki was second.  The name above hers was Kris Faska.  He got 20 points more than her, because he destroyed the turrets faster, and actually engaged the Kodiak.  He didn’t kill the Kodiak though, but it didn’t loose him points, it just didn’t give him any more. Nikki scanned the list again.  NAME — POINTS — POINTS MISSED Faska, Kris — 3453456 — 46544 Nikkitrina — 3453436 — 46564 Feral, Felina — 3453398 — 46602 Crathe, Stacey — 3443320 — 56680 Crat, Mathew — 3441328 — 58672 Stevinson, Eric — 3421890 —78110 Macke, Michelle — 2439190 —1060810 Steele, David — -456 — 3500456*  Total Possible Points: 3500000

* – still on course

Nikki looked at the time.

‘If this Steele guy is going to stay on the team, he has to make it back in 5 min.’ Just as she was thinking this, a horribly damaged Mech came into view.  It was going extremely slow and had both of its arms blown off at the seams.  Commander Feral, whom Nikki just noticed surveying the scene from the corner, walked up to the Mech to join its pilot on the ladder.  Nikki watched who she thought must be Steele half crawl, half stumble out of his smoldering Mech.  Feral, not so gently helped him to his feet, then promptly threw him down the ladder.  Steele grappled for the railing but still ended up landing in a heap, snorting dusty dirt out of his nose.

“Steele! What the hell happened!” the Commander thundered.

“I’m s-sorry sir,” the weasely tom-kat sniveled, “My Mech ran into some, uh, technical difficulties,” he stopped when he realized that he had already used that excuse too many times before.

“That’s not going to work this time.  You have one more chance to prove to me you might be some worth to the Squad, as a decoy if nothing else.  Did turrets do this to your Mech, by the way?” Feral hissed down his throat.

Steele scrambled, “Well, uh, no, of course not sir,” then he spotted a funny little she-kat watching with delight from a distance. He pointed at her, “She attacked my Mech when my guidance systems went crazy and I got off course and I must have stumbled upon one of her Nav Points.”  He smiled inwardly, that had to work. Nikki pointed at herself and mouthed ‘me?’, looking behind herself afterwards.

“Steele, she’s a newbie.  We always keep newbies under watch on their first mission.  The only Mech she came close to was the Kodiak at Nav Sigma.”  Steele swallowed hard.

“It must have been someone else?” he tried.

“Get out of my sight,” the Commander hissed again.  Steele ran off towards the main building.  Nikki snapped at him when he ran by. He gave her a frightened stare, and Nikki showed her fangs, sending him running again.

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

“Your next mission is to kill as many of your opponents as possible in ten minutes.  No playing allies, no ganging up on one Mech.  If someone is already engaged, go after someone else.  You will have three opponents.  You will be given points based on your hit percentage, and theirs.  The less hits you take, the better.” Nikki listened to the radio.  She reviewed her new Mech’s controls. There were no start up instructions, so she was lucky that she remembered them.  On the cue, she started her Mech, and scanned her radar.  The combatants were in a square shaped field.  A few trees, even fewer hills mostly flat dirt separated her from the enemies.  Nikki had a plan already.  She ran out of her corner of the one-kilometer enclosure and right in front of all three Mechs.  They all opened fire at the same time, breaking a rule and costing them points. Nikki sniggered as they all cursed at her over the radio.  She then shot forward at full speed, acting like she was going to ram the opposite Mech and one of the others followed her.  At the last second she switched to jets, lifted off, and flew backwards all at the same time. Cleared the enemy Mech’s head, and watched the idiot behind her ram into the other.  They began to focus on just each other, so Nikki had to go after the other Mech, circling the fight.  He didn’t notice her chasing him because he was focusing on the other fight, sure that the third Mech was behind the fighting Mechs, after all, that was where he last saw her.  Nikki wasted no time and aimed for an already yellow leg.  She toggled group fire on, and blasted the leg away.  It crumbled under the force of the close impact and the stress of running.  He cursed at her as explosions ran up his Mech and he was forced to eject.  Nikki then waited for the winner of the fight.  She sat on top of a hill, and aimed for the red leg of the least damaged Mech.  Finally, one Mech fell, showing that Nikki had chosen the right Mech, and he turned to look for her.  As the red leg came into view, Nikki let loose with a volley of rockets, ripping the leg out from under the Mech, and flipping the wounded machine on to its head.  The pilot ejected, and Nikki heard a voice over the radio.

“Well, done Nikkitrina,” it was the grey kat from that morning, “You earned yourself a place at the top of the final list. There’s only four kats there, you, Kris, Felina, and Mat.  The final trial will be in four weeks, till then, you get to try out different Mechs on each other.  Dock at the Hangar and meet the rest of them in the lunch room on the fifteenth floor.”  The radio faded to silence and Nikki dumbly steered her Mech towards her starting point.

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

The lunchroom didn’t look like your average lunchroom.  It had a richly atmosphere about it, with cushioned seats, couches, a television with remote control and VCR in each corner, a stack of personal CD players, a CD library, and a row of shelves filled with books. You could see the kitchen doors, and smell the fine foods being cooked there.  There were even menus, complete with a waitress. Nikki walked cautiously over to a table for four where the waitress was serving three other kats.  Only when Nikki recognized one of them as Felina, did she dare sit down.  Felina spotted her and waved her towards the seat across from her.  Nikki slowly sat down, eyeing the other two kats.

“You sure took your sweet time getting up here,” Felina told her.

“I guess I took a while to suit down, that’s all,” Nikki said, then buried her nose in a menu.

“You’re a newbie aren’t you,” one of the tom-kats ventured. He had dark brown fur, with black ears.  His nose was small and his muzzle was long, all in all, giving him the appearance of a fox. Nikki just nodded, and went back behind the menu.  He quickly plucked the menu from her paws, folded it, and placed it in front of himself.

“Shy?” he asked her, grinning.  Nikki growled at him, snatched her menu back, and buried her nose in it again.

“Was that a yes?” the same tom-kat pressed.  Nikki was getting annoyed.  It’s bad enough to feel like you don’t belong, it’s even worse when the kats you don’t belong with, keep trying to squeeze a conversation out of you.

“Just leave me alone,” she whispered.  The tom-kat leaned over to her some.

“Kris, just leave her alone,” the other tom-kat mouthed across the table.  Kris didn’t care and he went on anyway.

“What was that?  It’s kinda hard to hear a whisper,” he tugged at the menu again.  Felina winced, she knew what was going to happen. Nikki slammed the helpless booklet on the table, slugged Kris in the face, knocking him out of his seat, and growled through her fangs at him,

“Leave me the hell alone!”  Kris recovered easily, sat in his chair again, and wiped the blood off of his nose.  By now Nikki had gone off to sit by herself on a couch.  She had a set of earphones on, with a CD player next to her.  Felina grabbed Kris by the shoulder as he tried to rise.

“She’ll knock your brains out next time,” she warned him. Kris waved her off and went and sat next to Nikki.

“He is asking for trouble!” Mat whispered loudly to Felina.

“And he’s gonna get it too,” Felina watched Nikki’s expression.

Kris picked up the CD jewel case next to Nikki and pretended to read.  He watched her carefully, weary of her fists.  He looked down at the CD case for a second.

‘Hmm, never heard of this band before,’ he thought, turning the case on the back.  When he looked back up, he met eyes with Nikki’s.  She was glaring at him.

“What the hell do you want!?” she demanded hitting him across the head with the earphones.

“Idunno,” he responded.

“Then leave me alone,” she told him, her tone stressed with the attempt to calm down.

“Don’t you wanna talk or anything?” he asked.

“No!”

“Why not?  You not like kats or something?”

“No, it’s not that.  I just want to be left alone.”

“But ya see, that’s not exactly easy for me,” he told her, smiling.

“Ok, I had a rough day, a hell of a lot has happened, and I don’t feel like I deserve one bit of the reward,” she held up her finger in front of his nose to emphasize ‘one’.  He grabbed her finger and pulled her paw into his.

“You beat that Kodiak today.  I was one of the three before you who tried, and so were they,” he thumbed towards Felina and Mat, “That is one of the main reasons we’re here now.  We were willing to try against all odds, and with our combined, though scattered efforts, we brought the enemy down.  Though it was more like ‘you’ brought the enemy down.”  Nikki smiled a little.  Kris grinned back at her.

“That helped a bit, thanks,” Nikki whispered, then yanked her paw away from his, and sat back at the table.  Kris followed her. The drinks they ordered had arrived and the waitress was taking food orders.

Kris was getting a hilariously evil idea, as he looked Nikki over, ‘A little bet never hurt friendly competition.’

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

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Some legalities:  Mech, MechWarrior, BattleMech, and all other Mech related material are copyright 1996 Activision Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

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