Title: Dirty Bombs
Author(s): Nyte Kat
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: May 15, 2005
Warnings: Some foul language, explosions/violence, mild innuendo
Disclaimer: “Swat Kats” is a registered trademark of Hanna Barbara, I don’t own or profit from said cartoon… etc. etc. etc.
Summary: Someone is stealing radioactive materials. Will the Swat Kats be able to figure out who before the city goes up in a giant mushroom cloud?
Jake dragged his weary body into his dark bedroom. He didn’t bother to turn on the light. If he did, it would mean facing the mess he hadn’t had time for. Instead he carefully felt his way over to the fan in the window, turned it on medium and collapsed onto his bed. A sharp gasp of pain escaped his lips. His entire body hurt.
An Hour Earlier…
Razor was rappelling down the side of MegaKat Towers. Slowly. His timing had to be just right. He stopped short of the 15th story and opened a strategically placed black box. Inside was a tangled mess of wires and a timing device, counting down until the explosion that would send Megakat Towers toppling with hostages inside.
“No pressure.” Razor re-assured himself as he carefully studied the mechanics of the bomb.
There was no question. This new villain had a brain coupled with a passion for blowing up things. This one was easy, though. For Razor, anyway. He knew what he was doing.
The timer stopped. He took a short breath and began to dismantle it just in case he missed anything. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his ride. The Turbokat was approaching. T-Bone was going to level himself with the building and raise up underneath Razor, so that he could easily slide into the jet. But that was as long as there were no mishaps. And a mishap was fast approaching in the form of a rather large blade.
Razor looked up sharply, hearing something hiss through the air. Something that looked like a boomerang made out of a lawnmower blade swooped through the air.
“Crud!” Razor gasped just as his line was cut. “T-Bone!” he shouted into his headset.
T-Bone’s eyes widened as he closed the gap between himself and his partner. “Shit!” he cursed as Razor’s body connected with the wing with a loud “SMACK”. Slowly, he lowered the jet to where he could use the VTOL engines and pull his partner into the jet.
“Razor?” he called his partner’s name, receiving a moan in response. “Well, at least you’re alive. Feral can finish this.”
In a moment, all that was left behind were fumes from the engines.
In the Hangar
Chance tossed off his helmet and mask, throwing them onto the floor. Then he pulled off Jake’s.
“Buddy!” He shook Jake. “Wake up!”
Jake hissed loudly and tried to curl up into a ball, but the pain in his ribs prevented him from doing so. At least his eyes were open.
“Jake, I swear to God, jump like that again and I’ll kill you myself!” Chance exclaimed, helping Jake out of his flight suit.
“I didn’t jump. That jackass cut my line.” Jake said just above a whisper.
“Well, we can’t do anything now.” Chance said. “You think anything’s broken?”
“My ribs…” Jake said, wincing as he tried to sit up. “Definitely my ribs.”
“Well that we don’t have to make up an excuse for the emergency room. I can wrap that up for you.” Chance began fishing around for the emergency med kit. “What about your head? You got knocked out pretty hard.”
“Maybe a mild concussion. I’ll just take some aspirin.” Jake let his eyes droop shut for a moment.
Chance turned around sharply, hearing a loud bang. “Mild concussion my tail!” He picked Jake up. “Wake up!” Chance gave him a quick slap across the face.
“Wha…” Jake winced. “What the hell?”
“You passed out on me.” Chance gave him a hard look.
Jake brought his paw to his head and winced. “I think I need to lay down for a minute.” He felt dizzy.
Chance flipped on the light to Jake’s room. It had been a couple of hours since Jake went to bed. He needed to wake him up for a few minutes. Just in case. Chance didn’t think concussions were a big deal. But hospitals were too much of a risk to take chances. Jake was sprawled out on his stomach. He’d barely made it on the bed, not bothering to crawl under the covers.
“Jake.” Chance sat on the edge of the bed and gave his best friend a gentle shake.
Jake groaned lightly and blinked. “What?”
“Can you sit up?” Chance asked.
“No.” Jake whispered.
“Well just try, ok?”
Jake sighed. Chance worried too much about him. Sure, without his weapons spec, he was pretty much screwed. And, without his best friend, the garage would be pretty boring. But, right now, Jake just wanted to sleep. So, he forced himself up, pain etching itself across his features.
“Happy?” Jake whimpered.
“Not really.” Chance almost chuckled.
“It’s not funny.” Jake frowned.
“No, it isn’t.” Chance agreed, forcing a serious look onto his face.
Jake looked around his room slowly and frowned deeper. “You couldn’t have left the light off.”
“Does it hurt your head?” Chance asked.
“No, but seeing this mess does.” Jake sighed.
Chance quirked an ear and looked around. There were a couple articles of clothing thrown on the floor and a sketchbook with its pages flopping in front of the fan. Other than that, the room was spotless and meticulously organized. “Right, would you feel better in my room? Because compared to it, yours is more sterile than a hospital.”
“You’re a slob,” Jake stated dully.
“I know.” Chance smiled. “So, you think this kat’ll pop up again?”
“I know he will,” Jake said, staring vacantly at the closet door. “He enjoys what he does too much to stay hidden for too long. We aren’t dealing with an overzealous megalomaniac this time. We’ve got a real psycho on our paws.”
“How do you figure?” Chance leaned against the wall, throwing his feet up on Jake’s bed.
Jake gave a disgusted look at Chance’s dirty feet and sighed. “His bomb. I’ve disarmed too many to count and his was just so… perfect. You could almost taste how much satisfaction came out of making it.” He slouched. “He definitely enjoys blowing things up. But more than that, he loves set ups. We need to tread carefully. I think he knew I was going to dismantle that one. He was waiting for me to finish to cut my line. And he knew you’d catch me.” Jake rubbed his temples. “He’s probably not even losing sleep over this.”
Jake started to get up, then clutched his head. “Crud!” He hissed. “Hand me that sketchbook.”
Chance frowned, “I don’t think you need to be worrying about what he’ll do next right now.”
Jake heaved a deep sigh. “Chance we’re dealing with a bloodthirsty criminal. We need to be ready.”
“How do you know so much about this kat?” Chance crossed his arms over his chest, waiting for a good reason to let Jake stay up and work on this.
“When we were in the academy, I was working on a couple of projects in the weapons department. You know that huge plasma extractor ray they premiered at Pumadyne a few weeks ago?”
“Yeah?” Chance replied.
“I laid the groundwork for that project. Plasma weapons require a specific molecular compound. They pulled it right out from underneath me as soon as I got the equations right.”
“What’s that got to do with this?” Chance grew impatient. Jake had a bad habit of losing him when he started talking about some of his projects.
“Well, I wasn’t the only one working on this. There was this other kat. I can’t remember what his name is, but he was an explosives technician. Loved his job. Was always coming up with these advanced detonation devices. He taught me everything I know about blowing things up.” Jake gave half a smile, but it faded quickly. “Some of his ideas were more than gruesome and the Enforcers were afraid of the repercussions of using his devices. So they pulled the plug on him.” Jake chewed his bottom lip. “This looks like his work. And no one loved his job more than him… ” Jake stopped, his eyes widening. “Rahl. His name was Rahl Bengal. They’d brought him from Serbia to get an inside visual of the mechanics of guerilla terrorism. And ended up giving him a position training Enforcer weapons specialists.”
“Then he’s gotta be our kat.” Chance said, still not handing over the sketchbook.
“Well, not necessarily.” Jake said softly, a deep look of thought on his face.
“What do you mean?” Chance sat back down on the bed.
Jake gave him an annoyed look. “This attack was specifically targeted at us. It doesn’t make sense. If it was Rahl, then I’m sure the attack would have targeted Feral, for firing him. And it would have been sooner. The handiwork is his. But the motive isn’t. If he’s involved, someone is using his services.”
“Then what can we do?” Chance asked.
“Nothing. We’ll have to bide our time until he resurfaces.” Jake sighed, realizing there was nothing he could do except get a good night’s sleep and worry about it later.
The Next Day
“In other news, Enforcers are investigating the theft of several density gauges from the department of transportation. A density gauge is used to test the compaction of recently compacted roads. It contains nuclear material and with the rise of crime in the city, officials are worried about the appearance of dirty bombs.” Jake turned up the television, just barely catching the newscast.
“Great.” Jake said softly. “Chance!” He yelled down into the garage.
“What?” Chance put down the blowtorch he was using, mild agitation on his face from being interrupted.
“You think you could give me a ride to the library?” Jake asked with a pleading smile.
“Why can’t you go?” Chance asked, irritated.
“Because you’re fixing my car and you need the tow truck in case someone calls.” Jake reasoned.
“Can you wait like… an hour?” Chance wiped sweat off his forehead, smearing grease across his blonde fur.
“Yeah, that’s fine.” Jake walked away while he was talking.
Chance barely heard the “yeah” and sighed, returning to his work.
Jake began compiling a research list. The amount of nuclear materials in a density gauge was enough to cause a scare, possibly close off sections of the city and warrant evacuations. It wouldn’t cause any severe radioactive poisoning. This was a scare tactic. There had to be something else. Why go through all the trouble to scare katizens? After a few moments of thought, he swiftly created a list of books.
Chance waited impatiently in the truck. Jake said he’d be only a few minutes. But that of course had turned into 30 minutes. He sighed.
“Come on already!” Chance groaned. Jake was like a kitten in a candy store when it came to books.
A few minutes later, Jake came out of the library with a heavy stack of books and a serious look on his face.
Chance leaned over and opened the door, a half smile on his face. “Need any help?” He chuckled.
“Actually, yeah.” Jake handed the books over to Chance and slowly pulled himself into the cab of the truck. He quickly fastened his seatbelt and set the books on the floor between his feet.
“What took so long?” Chance asked.
“Well, surprisingly, there’s quite a selection of literature on nuclear devices and ‘cookbooks’ so-to-speak. How-to’s on making bombs. And even more surprisingly, you have to register to check out these books.”
“So they are keeping tabs on you now?” Chance gave a nervous look.
“Yes and no.” Jake gave a half smile. “I listed my apartment as my address.”
“Your apartment?” Chance quirked an ear.
“When I was in the academy, I had an apartment. Some shitty little rat-hole in the west-end. The place is condemned now. And I didn’t give my real name either.” Jake slouched a little. “Do me a favor and skip the shortcuts. My ribs are killing me.”
“I should take one anyway, after how you made me wait” Chance muttered but took the ‘long way’ despite how he felt.
Jake spent the next four hours in the hangar brainstorming and researching. After reviewing some basic chemistry and articles on terrorism, pieces began to come together. He swiveled his chair around and turned on the computer he’d built from scraps. After it slowly booted up, he connected to the internet and began to research local mining facilities.
“Dr. Greenbox…” he muttered recalling the events with Rex Shard some time ago. “Gamma Rays use concentrated isotopes of Cobalt 60.” Cobalt 60 left a powder residue when used to cut through rare stones such as diamonds. In fact, some of Jake’s weapons, like his diamond blades, were manufactured using gamma ray devices. He narrowed his green eyes and sighed. “Shit.” He grabbed some of his paperwork and went upstairs.
“Come up with anything?” Chance said around a mouthful of cheese puffs, eyes glued to the television.
“Maybe.” Jake grabbed the phone and disappeared into the bedroom. Deciding against risking his identity, he brought the phone back into the living room. “I think I’m going to pay Professor Hackle a visit.”
“Why?” Chance diverted his attention for just a moment.
“Well, I think he might be able to help me with this. He’s the one with the technology I used to create my diamond saw blade missiles.” Jake said, his tone rapid. “I’m taking the cyclotron; if anything happens, just page me I guess.”
“Be careful.” Chance said dully, turning his attention back to Scaredy Kat. Whenever Jake got involved in a project, it was best to just let him do what he wanted and not bother asking too many questions, unless you wanted to get lost. “He needs to get laid.” Chance said to himself, shaking his head.
Razor zipped the red and black motorcycle through a downtown tunnel. In no time, he’d passed the city limits and was flying down a dirt road, millions of thoughts and hypotheses running through his mind. It was a 20 minute trip to Professor Hackle’s country home, if you did the speed limit. Razor did 120 the whole way. One of the many reasons Chance never let him drive.
He parked the bike and was about to knock on the door when it opened.
“Razor. I’ve been expecting you.” The elderly professor said, his polish accent thick.
“Oh?” Razor narrowed his eyes.
Hackle invited him in.
“I was positive you were keeping track of the possibility of a nuclear threat in the city.” Hackle talked as he led Razor into his basement laboratory. “There are three gamma rays in Megakat city.”
“You, Pumadyne, and Megakat Mining Facility.” Razor said. “One’s missing.”
“Megakat Mining Facility had their Gamma Ray revoked after the incident with Rex Shard.” Hackle said. “It was given to Pumadyne for their weapons department. A few weeks ago, it disappeared. I know this because I’m involved in creating a way to counteract a nuclear attack. The Enforcer involvement is strictly upper rank and specialists. I’m sure if Feral wasn’t so against what the SWAT Kats do, he’d find some way of involving you. But you’re already involved.”
“I’ll wager he knows, but doesn’t want to embarrass himself by admitting it.” Razor said. “I have an idea of who we’re dealing with. At least, the kat behind the devices. He’s an accomplice, none the less.”
“You need information.” Hackle said, knowingly.
“Yes. Rahl Bengal.” Razor said. “I’m sure you’ve heard of him.”
“He’s been working under the table for certain… individuals at Pumadyne.” Hackle replied. “Commander Feral is working on a list of people related to Bengal. He’s going to pull them in for questioning.”
Razor quirked an ear. “How far back are they going?”
“Probably interviewing any one with anything against the city all the way back to other Serbs, and enforcers he worked with until he was dismissed.” Hackle listed several organizations Bengal worked with. Razor took mental notes. After a few hours he decided he had enough information to eliminate Professor Hackle’s involvement.
“Thanks for your help.” Razor said quietly before revving up the cyclotron.
Jake sighed as he paced around the kitchen. He’d taken all the books he checked out back to the library after Hackle informed him that the Enforcers were pulling kats in for questioning. There was no doubt in his mind that he’d be pulled in. In fact, Feral probably saw him as a prime candidate. Any of his projects were safely stored away in the hangar. Jake, in his state of mind, had scrubbed their home from top to bottom, with the exception of Chance’s bedroom. And was now biding his time. He pulled an apple out of the refrigerator and walked down into the garage. He hated to admit it, but when it came to fixing cars, Jake was kind of a slacker. He hated it. It was tedious and boring. For the most part, Chance found solace in fixing alternators.
“Hey, there’s the lady of the house.” Chance teased.
“Har har.” Jake rolled his eyes and sat down at the desk to organize their paperwork and part orders.
“You know, maybe we’ll get busy again someday and you’ll actually have to pick up a wrench.”
Jake tossed the apple core into the trash, and was just about to make a rude comeback when a shiny black sedan with dark tinted windows pulled into the yard, dust forming a heavy cloud behind it.
“Hey Chance, how old you say that she-kat was last week?” Jake asked nervously, bracing himself.
“Twenty-one. Why?” Chance looked up. “Crud.” He muttered as three expensively suited kats exited the vehicle. “Can I help you?” Chance asked suspiciously.
“Is there a Jacob Clawson here?” The black furred kat wearing a Gucci wool suit asked.
Jake stood up. “That would be me.”
“We need you to come with us.” A caramel furred kat wearing a similar suit only a different color said.
“What for?” Jake attempted to study their features, but the dark glasses they all wore prevented him from getting anything.
“I’m afraid we cannot discuss that here.” The third kat, also caramel furred, stated. “All I can tell you is that we need to ask you a few questions regarding your time spent as an Enforcer.”
“You can’t do that here?” Jake asked nervously. The thought of being escorted downtown made him nervous. “I mean, Chance was an enforcer too, I’m sure there isn’t anything you need to know from me that he doesn’t already know.”
“I’m afraid that isn’t possible.” The black furred kat said. “You’ll have to come with us. If not willingly, then by force.”
Jake gave Chance an uneasy look.
“Hey, you didn’t do anything, right?” Chance asked.
“No.” Jake replied.
“Then don’t worry about it. Just give me a call when they’re done with you and I’ll come pick you up.” Chance frowned reading Jake’s nervous expression, making a mental note to look at what Jake had been working on in the hangar.
Jake sighed and allowed the three kats to escort him to their car.
Chance watched the sedan leave the yard and then closed up shop, immediately heading downstairs. At the table with the computer were several notebooks and stacks of paper. He thumbed through it all finding schematics for nuclear devices, several pages of chemical compounds and isotopes that he didn’t understand, and a list of several names. At the top of the list was a url. Jake had printed this off the enforcer database. He’d hacked the system.
“Crud, Jake, don’t tell me you’re getting arrested for hacking a federal website.” Chance read over the names, beside them were dates. Beside Jake’s name was today’s date. “He knew they were coming.” He said aloud.
Jake sat with both paws on the black table top. His legs spasmed underneath and his eyes darted anxiously around the room. There was a huge mirror covering the entire wall across from him. There was no doubt it was a two way mirror. The door opened and in walked Commander Feral holding a file. Jake rehearsed in his head what he was going to say, the answers to the questions Feral was going to ask. He licked his lips.
“Clawson.” The commander sat stoically across from him. Without his mask and glovatrix, Jake felt so small and helpless.
“Commander.” Jake replied quietly.
“Quite the reading list you’ve checked out of the library recently.” Feral said.
Jake’s eyes widened. How did he find out? Jake was positive he’d covered his tracks fairly well.
“You know what your greatest flaw as an Enforcer was?” Feral asked. “Common sense.”
Jake thought hard and couldn’t hold back the look of failure on his face when he realised he’d used his own library card to check out those books. “Right.”
“What interest do you have in terrorism?” Feral stared hard into Jake’s eyes.
“Nothing more than curiosity.” Jake replied.
“Then why go to all the trouble to list a fake name and address?” Feral asked.
“Listen, I know this thing with the bomb is a big deal. I really didn’t want to look suspicious. But I saw a challenge. I wanted to figure it out.” Jake said honestly. It was true. He did want to figure it out, but not out of boredom.
“You don’t have a criminal record. It doesn’t make any sense for you to list an invalid address.” Feral’s voice was steady. Jake had only ever really been on the receiving end of anger and yelling.
“I got nervous I guess. I mean, it isn’t really my place to be sticking my nose in this.” Jake sighed.
Outside Enforcer Headquarters
“It’s time.” A figure watching the building from across the street laid down the binoculars they were holding and picked up a remote control. “Phase Two.”
“Commander, do you really think I’d decide to blow up the city because I made a mistake in combat?” Jake was getting impatient. “I’m not a vindictive person. And furthermore, I accept the fact that I screwed up. I think being stuck away in some salvage yard is a lot better than getting court-martialed.” Jake slouched.
Feral opened up his mouth to reply when the building shook violently. Jake grabbed ahold of the table. The door burst open.
“Commander, there’s been explosion in the north wing.” Felina shouted urgently.
“Well, begin evacuating the north wing.” Feral hissed.
Just as the words left his mouth another explosion rocked the building this time shattering the two way mirror and collapsing the ceiling in the observation room.
“Commander, I think we need to leave.” She insisted
Feral gave a hearty snarl and started barking orders. “Lt, take Clawson and begin evacuating the building.”
Jake stood up quickly.
Felina gave him a disgusted look. “Follow me, and move it!” She ordered.
Jake followed. “Does this mean I’m off the hook?”
“Just keep your mouth shut.” Felina snapped, her brain in work mode.
Jake followed her to the stairwell. He knew where they were going. To search for any victims and to evacuate any kats on the upper levels. The building shook and groaned as debris collapsed and settled. Felina opened the door to be greeted with smoke and dust.
“Do you have something to cover your face with incase the smoke gets too think?” She asked.
“I’ll just use my shirt.” Jake replied.
Chance jerked his head around, hearing the news bulletin. “Shit. Jake’s down there!” He turned off the TV and headed for his locker. “Guess I’m goin’ solo.” Chance pulled on his mask.
Jake coughed, having inhaled some of the thick black smoke. “Lieutenant!” Jake called. “Over here!” He moved a piece of drywall off a she-kat. Kneeling down, he felt for a pulse. “She’s still alive!”
Felina knelt down. “Can you carry her?” Jake nodded. “Be careful, she might have internal injuries.”
Jake carefully put her in a fireman’s carry, and they continued searching.
T-Bone flew the Turbokat around the area. There wasn’t anything he could do. So, he landed on a nearby roof and listened to the enforcer band.
The floor groaned under Felina’s weight. She stopped and looked around. “Go back!” She shouted.
Jake turned to go when the floor gave a loud creak and then gave out underneath him. It was only an 8 foot drop to the floor below him, but his feet landed on a chair, which rolled into a piece of debris and sent him face first to the floor.
Felina carefully dropped to the floor below.
Jake coughed from the dust and fiberglass. “Shit.” He hissed.
The she-kat he’d dropped when he fell moaned.
“Miss, are you okay?” Jake slid beside her.
She tried to talk, but could only cough.
Jake bit his lip and helped her sit up. Something sticky dripped through his claws. He frowned and looked at her back. A large piece of glass was stuck right through her. She coughed again, and Jake pulled her into his lap so that she wasn’t leaning back on the glass.
“Are you alright?” Felina knelt beside him.
“I’m fine. But I don’t think she is.”
As if on cue, the she-kat coughed again, splattering blood on Jake’s face. Her body jerked and spasmed.
Jake tried to talk to her in a soothing voice, trying to relax her but nothing he said seemed to do it. Her eyes opened wide and she took a sharp breath. “Miss?” She stopped moving. Shaking, Jake felt for a pulse again and shook his head. He closed her eyes. “Is there anyone else on this floor?”
Felina shook her head. “I don’t know.” She stood up. “We should keep moving.”
Jake nodded and pulled the limp body into his arms.
T-Bone scanned the evacuated kats, looking for Jake. Not seeing him, he sighed and drummed his claws anxiously. “There’s gotta be something I can do!”
It seemed like hours later when Felina and Jake found the stairwell. They had found a couple of enforcers trapped in an office. Other than shaken up, they were fine.
“You know the way out?” Felina asked Jake.
“Yeah.” Jake replied.
“Get them out of here.” She ordered.
“What about you?” Jake looked around. “Someone has to stay with you.”
“I’ll be fine. You’re not an enforcer anymore. If something happens to you, I’m responsible. So get out!”
Jake sighed, nodding. “Fine. I’ll send someone in for you.”
He turned around and led the two enforcers down the stairs. Jake switched the body to his other shoulder. He’d pulled the glass out of her back. Blood had dripped on to him, but he ignored it. Just as he opened the door leading to the next flight of stairs, another explosion rocked the building. Jake tried to hold on to the railing but lost his grip and fell down the stairs, smacking his head on the way down.
The two enforcers held out until the shaking stopped. “Oh my god.” Petty Officer Lyger gasped seeing the smear of blood on the steps were Jake had smashed his head. The red trail followed Jake down. Sgt. Tigera hurried down the steps and shook Jake.
He groaned and sat up, feeling around his head. “Crud,” he said feeling the open wound. The two enforcers helped him up and he leaned against the wall. “Get the girl.” He said weakly. “We need to get out of here.”
Lyger nodded and threw the she-kat’s body over his shoulder. Tigera helped Jake up.
Felina kept going, checking every floor for survivors. She found several. Once she reached the 8th floor, a large piece of burning ceiling collapsed, blocking the way down.
“We’ll have to make it to the roof!” She ordered, praying that a helicopter would be able to get to them.
Jake leaned against the wall, two more floors to go. He felt light headed. The blood trickled down his neck, sending a cold chill through his body.
“Come on.” He pushed himself forward.
It felt like hours before they came into the lobby. Pushing the enforcers in front of them, he followed them to the door. Stopping suddenly and sniffing, Jake looked around sharply. He smelt gas fumes. Then he heard a clicking and popping. Like electricity. “GO!” He shouted pushing them forward. The blast came just as they opened the glass doors, sending all four bodies flying to the pavement outside.
T-Bone jerked up, feeling the shock of the explosion where he was. The smoke cleared and he saw four bodies being pulled away from the entrance. “Jake.” He snarled. “You better be okay or I’m so kicking your ass!”
A few minutes after the explosion, his eyes caught movement on the roof. Several kats had made it on top of the building. T-Bone took that as his cue.
A few hours later, Chance went running through the crowded hospital. He was told Jake was on this floor. Hearing a familiar cry, he skidded to a halt. “Jake!”
Jake was being held still by two orderlies while they plucked the shards of glass out of his flesh. He was sitting up.
Chance took a sharp breath as he walked towards Jake. “Shit…”
Jake’s back was burned and bleeding. His body was covered in drywall dust and soot.
“Is he gonna be alright?” Chance asked one of the nurses.
“Well, his back will have scars, and he’ll be in some pain. But he’ll be alright.” She said. “Right now, my concern is this head injury.”
Jake gave another whimper as they pulled out the final shard of glass before passing out.
“Get him on his side so I can stitch this up.” She directed.
Chance stood back and watched, wincing at the size of the wound on the back of his head.
First he felt a sharp pain, and then overwhelming dizziness. Feeling daring, Jake cracked open his eyes. Wincing as the light felt like daggers being driven into his skull. More painful than the light, was his back. He’d been sunburned once, so bad he couldn’t sleep. This felt worse. Far worse. Jake could feel the pain all the way through to his chest. His eyes jerked open after taking a deep breath sent a shockwave of pain through his body.
Chance had just walked in to see Jake’s eyes open sharply. “Hey buddy.”
Jake swallowed, his eyes darting around trying to find something to focus on.
Jake shook his head. “… hurts…” It was all he could say.
“I know. You want to try and sit up? Maybe it will help some.” Chance offered cautiously. Jake had been in and out of consciousness for the past few days though incoherent.
Jake nodded. Chance gently helped Jake sit up.
Jake gasped, feeling his head reel. He felt nauseas. He threw out his hand pushing Chance backwards.
“Jake…” Chance stood back, watching the color drain from his friend’s face. “Should I get the nurse?”
Jake nodded weakly, licking his lips as Chance left the room.
Chance ran down to the nurse’s station. “Um, is there someone that can help me? Jake’s awake.”
One of the nurses on staff set down her paperwork and followed Chance back to the room.
Jake had vomited almost as soon as Chance had walked out the door. He was dry heaving when the nurse got there. “I’m sorry… I couldn’t…”
“Shh, it’s okay.” She said sweetly. “Let’s get you cleaned up and have a look at your back.”
Chance waited outside, nervously chewing on his claw.
After a moment, the nurse stepped outside, telling him he could come back in the room.
“I’m going to get something for the pain. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” She said.
Jake was leaning weakly against the pillows. Opening and closing his eyes tiredly. “They get the kat?”
Chance shook his head.
“Yeah I know; I went through your work.”
“Don’t worry, I put everything back where I found it. But I needed to find out what was going on.”
Jake swallowed. His throat was dry. “Felina.. did she get out?”
Chance nodded. “Yeah… um… one of the Swat Kats got her off the roof.” He smiled.
Jake gave a soft chuckle, followed by a wince.
As if on cue, the nurse returned with a needle. “Alright, Jake. You’ll be feeling great in about 5 minutes.”
“Thank God…” Jake said.
One Week Later
Jake rubbed his eyes after he studied the information from the attack. Three bombs, strategically placed at major support points in the building. Remote detonated. There were several buildings with a perfect view of Enforcer headquarters. But, how did they get the bombs installed without being suspected? They weren’t nuclear. Just regular homemade bombs.
“Jake, why don’t you just let it go for now?” Chance suggested.
“Because the sooner someone figures out who’s doing this, the sooner it will stop.” Jake looked up tiredly.
“You’re exhausted.” Chance said. “You’re in pain too. You need to just relax. Watch some TV or something. Just let this go until you feel better.”
Jake just sighed and shook his head.
Chance half laughed and pulled the bottle of painkillers out of his pocket. “I believe these are yours.”
“Thanks.” Jake gave a weak smile.
“Just pop a couple of these and get some sleep and worry about this later.” Chance said.
“You got a girl coming over or something?” Jake asked.
“You’re trying to sedate me.”
“Like I’d invite a girl over here. And make you jealous?” Chance laughed. “No. You just look beat.”
“I feel beat.” Jake sighed. “And, I hate fire. I’d take anything over being burned.”
Jake stayed up until the pain pills made it too hard for him to keep his eyes open. “I guess I could call it a night.” He put away all the papers and notes and curled up on his side.
A Few Days Later
Jake walked out of the hospital after having his burns looked at again. They still hurt badly, but there was nothing he could do unless he wanted to be so screwed up with pain pills he couldn’t do anything. He and Chance were walking back to the truck when a she kat in a long black coat bumped into Jake.
“Hey!” He winced. “Jeez, when did people get so nice?”
Jake rubbed his shoulder and then cocked his head. “It’s like 90 degrees out here. Awful hot to be wearing a coat like that.”
Chance turned around. “Looks like one of those goth freaks.”
Jake shrugged. “Let’s get out of here. Something feels off.”
“I think you’re the one that’s off.” Chance teased.
“For the past 3 months, crime has been on the rise in Megakat City. Dozen’s of businesses have been robbed. But this morning, a hospital was robbed.” Ann Gora said.
“What?” Jake turned up the TV. Chance had turned him into a couch potato since there wasn’t a lot he could do right now.
“Officials aren’t sure exactly how it happened. But one of the chemo-therapy machines was stolen right out of the cancer treatment ward.”
“I don’t know what this kat is building, but it’s going to get messy.” Jake sighed.
“Hospital officials have declined to comment on the lack of security.”
“I would think so,” Jake muttered.
He lay on his stomach, turning the TV off. Then he began to think. There were thousands of tools that used nuclear energy. Mostly for scientific reasons. Which one was the most powerful, next to strait up hitting a nuclear power plant? He thought back to when he was in high school and his advanced sciences class did a study on how nuclear power was important to the safety of society. There are machines with radioactive cores that are used to kill bacteria and disease in raw meat before it’s packaged and sent to stores.
“That’s gotta be it.” Jake said to himself. “If someone touches just one of those cores, they’re going to die in, like, a week.” He mused for a second. “They wouldn’t even have to take the whole machine, just swipe a couple of the cores. If they have a way to carry them without subjecting themselves to the radioactivity. A lead tube or something.” But there weren’t any meat packaging facilities in Megakat City. “If a rod goes missing, then it needs to be reported to the Department Of Nuclear Safety. Meaning Feral would know about it.”
Jake jumped up off the couch, a move that brought tears to his eyes. “Crud.” He winced. “Shake it off.” Jake ordered himself and dusted off the radio he’d been working on a month or so ago. Then he went to his bedroom and pulled a couple of screwdrivers out of the nightstand.
Twenty minutes later, he turned it on. Then he adjusted the channels, finding the Enforcer band. If one was stolen, or about to be stolen he would hear about it. Then he pulled a notebook out from under the couch and began to put together a nuclear bomb that would use all the stolen nuclear components.
An hour later, Chance came up for a bite to eat. “You don’t give up, do you?” He said shaking his head.
“No. I don’t.” Jake replied softly, his mind focused on what he was doing. Chance sat down in the living room, quirking an ear at the radio. “Spying on Feral, are we?”
“Actually, yes.” Jake said. “You remember I said something about that girl at the hospital this morning?”
“Well, this morning, someone stole a chemo machine out of radiology.” Jake said, shaking his head and erasing something on his notebook. “Well, it seems like this person is just working his or her way up to the most powerful nuclear device. Outside of a nuclear power plant… around here it’s a device used to kill bacteria and disease in meat before it’s packaged. Just one rod’s enough to give you a lethal dose of radiation poisoning.”
“So you’re listening to see if one gets reported stolen?” Chance frowned.
“Uh huh.” Jake said.
“Then what’s with the notebook?” Chance asked.
“I’m building a bomb.” Jake said, erasing something again. “In theory of course, but that’s how it all starts. With a theory. I imagine I could build one as good as any professional. And, it gives us an idea of what we’re looking for and how to disarm it.”
“We? Jake if something comes up, we can’t afford you getting a worse injury.” Chance narrowed his eyes.
“Can you disarm a nuclear bomb?” Jake looked up, meeting Chance’s eyes. There was a silent pause between them, enough to hear an order on the radio.
“I need two units to follow me to Banders Farms on route 409 just outside of the city. We’ve got a report of missing nuclear components.” Feral’s voice barked over the radio.
“Their kat’s already gone. It will be put together in no time, then most likely placed somewhere in the center of the city. An ultimatum will be issued with a time limit… ” Jake stopped. “This guy knows we’ll show up once it hits the news. We need to be there before then. We need to be waiting.” He looked back down at his work, realising he’d built the bomb. “We’ll have to split up on this one. You take above ground, I go below.”
“Can you handle it?” Chance asked softly, worry evident in his voice.
“Yes.” Jake nodded firmly.
“Then let me go make sure everything’s closed up.”
In the Air
T-Bone was doing a couple of flybys above the city, scoping it out. Razor had said to look for a place where a bomb would cause the most destruction. “Okay, they’ve hit Megakat Towers and Enforcer Headquarters.” T-Bone thought for a minute. “City Hall.” He drew a line in the air with his claw from Megakat Towers to Enforcer Headquarters, then to City Hall. It was a straight shot. “Razor” T-Bone pressed the button on his headset.
“Copy,” Razor responded.
“I think City Hall is our target.”
“The whole city.” Razor replied. “Keep an eye on City Hall. If you see something suspicious, activate trace lock and send an anonymous bomb threat. They will have to listen and evacuate.”
“Copy that.” T-Bone nodded and watched.
Beneath the City
Razor zipped around until he was underneath City Hall. He looked around and up, seeing an entrance into the building from the tunnel. A rope ladder hung from the trap door. “T-Bone I found an entrance. I’m going in.”
“Radio contact at all times.” T-Bone ordered.
“Copy.” Razor replied, gripping the thick rope, wincing as he pulled himself up, feeling something wet trickle down his back. He pushed open the door a little, enough to see he was at the basement. Hearing a noise below him, he jumped down, pushed the cyclotron into a nearby tunnel and climbed back up into the basement.
Inside the building, he used his flashlight to find a good place to hide. “I think he’s here.” Razor said softly. He watched, body completely still, breathing slow and steady.
The door opened and a light stick was thrown into the basement. The red glow filled a great deal of area with light. Razor made sure none of it revealed his location. Next came a very large contraption, much like something Jake had drawn earlier. Then, in climbed the she-kat he’d bumped into at the hospital. He watched her carefully set up the bomb and set the timer for an hour. After making sure everything was set up correctly, she set the light stick beside the bomb and dropped back down the ladder. Razor waited, making sure she didn’t come back. When he was satisfied she’d left he pressed the button on his helmet.
“Give the bomb threat, T-Bone.” Razor said flipping on his flashlight. “It’s here.”
“Crud.” T-Bone hissed.
“Do you remember what that girl looked like from the hospital?” Razor asked.
“Good, then you have a description of our bomber.” Razor studied the mechanics of the bomb. “We’ve got just under an hour.”
In the Air
T-Bone pressed a couple of buttons, one that covered his tracks so they couldn’t trace where the transmission was coming from, and one that disguised his voice. “911.”
“There’s a bomb in City Hall.” He said forcefully.
“Are you certain?” The dispatcher asked.
“Yes I’m certain. You need to have the building evacuated.”
“Please hold on the line.”
“Sorry, lady I can’t do that.” T-Bone disconnected himself and landed the jet on a nearby roof.
“Razor, is there anything I can do?”
“No.” Razor said quietly.
City Hall Basement
Razor worked diligently, studying the structure of the bomb. The timing mechanism, the detonation device. He shook his head. “Okay… here’s were all my hard work pays off.”
“I don’t think so.”
Razor whipped around. “Crud.”
“I’m not about to let you ruin all my hard work.” The she-kat pointed a very large gun at Razor. “Now step away from the bomb.”
“You can’t shoot me, you’d set off the bomb and then it would kill both of us.” Razor tried to reason with her.
“A good captain is willing to go down with the ship, Razor,” she said calmly.
She wasn’t afraid to die. Razor saw it in her eyes. He stared defiantly at her, until she cocked her weapon. He sighed and moved out of the way. Attempting to catch her off guard, Razor gave a swift kick to her paw, knocking the weapon across the basement, somewhere in the dark away from the bomb.
She snarled. “You think you’re so smart. Figuring this out, getting one step ahead of me. But how long did it take? How many lives were lost? How many will be?” She faked a swing at his jaw and then kicked him right where it would hurt the most.
Razor grunted and dropped to his knees. “Son of a bitch…” He hissed, before forcing himself up. Then he gave a hard round house kick to her temple. Sending her flying to the ground. Razor allowed himself only a moment of satisfaction before she was back up. A connection with the backs of his knees sent him down and she dropped an elbow to his back. Razor’s eyes burst open, pain rippling through his body. For a moment he thought he couldn’t move, and then he found himself driving his fist into her jaw. He followed it with a powerful left hook, sending blood and saliva flying from her mouth.
“How’s it coming, buddy.” Razor heard T-Bone’s voice in his ear.
“Uh… not so good.” Razor dodged a kick. “I’ll have to get back to you.” The she-kat’s foot connected with his chin. “Damn it!” Razor cursed, falling on his back. Then, as she was over top of him, Razor fired a bolo missile.
She gasped as the thick ropes wrapped around her tightly.
Razor wiped the sweat from his brow and began to disarm the bomb. With 10 minutes to spare, he radioed T-Bone. “It’s disarmed. And the suspect is apprehended.”
“Why the hell aren’t the Enforcers here yet?” Razor asked.
“They’re still looking for the bomb.” T-Bone chuckled.
Razor shook his head. “I’m on my way up. Meet me at the south end of the tunnel.”
Razor dropped down to the cyclotron and hopped on. Then he broke through to the enforcer band. “It’s in the basement, and it’s disarmed. Your suspect is there too. Anything else you want me to do for you?”
He could hear Feral grumbling and snarling just before breaking contact and getting as far away from the crime scene as possible.
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Disclaimer: SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 1995. All other characters and material within this page are the property of their respective creators.