Original SWAT Kats Story

X-Kat: The Mutant Squadron

By RogueFanKC

  • 10 Chapters
  • 87,417 Words

Set in Red Witch’s Misfit-verse! The X-Men are trapped in Megakat City, and their only hope lies in the lonely and bitter Razor. Read and enjoy the fight for Megakat City as the X-Men and SWAT Kats team up against evil. (10 Chapters – Complete) Rated M for Violence and Mild Innuendo (Individual ratings on each chapter indicate content).

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Author's Notes:

Title: X-Kat: The Mutant Squadron
Author(s): RogueFanKC
E-mail address: I do not like giving my e-mail address link available on the Internet. If you truly wish to e-mail me, go to my author profile at Fanfiction.net and you can view a picture of my e-mail there or review my story there (this story is also found on fanfiction.net under the “X-Men: Evolution” section of Cartoons).  The link is http://www.fanfiction.net/u/249987
Date: April 17, 2005
Rating: T
Warnings: Violence and mild swearing
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of “X-Men: Evolution” for they are the respective property of Marvel Comics.  “SWAT Kats: the Radical Squadron” in this cross-over fanfic is owned by the company, Hanna-Barbara.
Summary: Trapped in a whole new dimension, the X-Men try to search for a way home, but unfortunately, they run into the Enforcers who think the X-Men are hostile life-forms.  In a fierce battle, Sam and Amara are wounded, but the X-Men’s only hope for safety lies in an enigmatic stranger.  Question is: is this stranger friend or foe?
Author’s Comments/Notes: None

Chapter 2

A Whole New World…Literally

“So now what do we do?” Sam asked worriedly as the X-Men were getting over their shock and fear of being in a new environment.

“I am not sure of that myself, young Samuel,” Professor X said in a worried tone, submissive to giving up to the pressure of panicking.  Meanwhile, some of the X-Men were angrily arguing with each other and pointing fingers at whom was responsible for this entire fiasco.

“This is all your fault, Forge!” yelled Rogue angrily, “If we ever get back home, I’m gonna use whatever’s left of your troublemakin’ carcass to trash your lab to the ground before I salt the earth where I burned it!!”

“Hey, if you’re going to kill anyone around here, kill Ray!!  He’s the one who caused my alternator to malfunction in the first place!!” Forge snapped in defense.

“Thanks a lot, Ray!” Roberto growled.

“You wanna try something with me, punk?!” answered back Bezerker as his hands began to glow in electricity again, “And don’t go pinning this one on me, Forge!!  If anything, it was Lockheed’s fault for using me as his personal toilet!!  If Kitty just faced the fact that her dragon is Satan incarnate and actually disciplined that overgrown lizard, we wouldn’t even be in this mess in the first place!”

“Hey!” protested Kitty, her brown eyes flashing angrily.

“Oh come off it, Kitty!  Ray’s got a point!!” snapped Remy who shot the purple dragon in her arms with a fierce glare, “That lizard’s the one who had to anger Ray and fly in front of that dumb alternator, just like how he’s always giving us hommes a hard time with his destructive habits and such!!  You just saw that stupid lizard laughing earlier!  He was enjoying this, and he doesn’t care what he does or who he screws over cause you femmes let that reject of a pet get away with everything!  If you kept that dumb dragon in control, Lockheed wouldn’t be such damn pest and we’d all still be back home!!”

“I vote we try making a dragon popsicle!” snapped Bobby as he readied his hand.

“Try it, and I’ll beat the crap out of you first!!” Kitty yelled dangerously, her muscles tense and ready to spring.

“Leave Lockheed alone, Bobby!” Amara shouted, “He didn’t know what he was doing, and you’re not helping things by blaming him or Kitty!!”

“Oh please!” retorted Bobby angrily, “If Kitty didn’t take in that stupid winged monster, we’d all be better off, just like how we’re all better off that she finally made up her dumb mind and stopped stringing Lance along and went with Peter instead!!”  At this, Kitty burst into tears, sobbing and surprising everyone around her.  Apparently, it was still a very, very sore and painful subject for the valley girl, and immediately, Bobby felt even lower than the proverbial first-class heel.  He didn’t mean to say it; it just came out because of his anger.  Piotr’s eyes immediately glowed red-hot as he bared his teeth at the ice-mutant before him, incensed and immediately protective.

“Happy now?!” the Russian shot back in disgust as he gave Bobby as hard shove, pushing him back.

“Stop this!  All of you!!  Stop this at once!!  Shame on you!!” commanded Storm sternly, her hands on her hips and the air actually trembling all around the group.  Immediately, the quarreling group fell silent, a bit embarrassed of themselves.

Storm then turned to Forge and Professor Xavier, asking, “Charles, Forge, can this be fixed?  Is there a possible way we can come back to our home dimension, wherever it is?”

Forge then spoke in a hopeful voice, “Well, actually…yeah, it can.  It’s really possible that I can fix the coordinates of the alternator to go back home.  Unfortunately, there’s one problem…”

Forge held up the smoking, charred mechanism high above his head in a dramatic fashion, making it clearly evident to everyone that it was badly damaged from Ray’s electric blast and couldn’t possibly create another rift as a gateway back home.  With the alternator broken, the X-Men were stuck.

“Can’t you just fix it up again, make it brand new?  You’ve always been able to patch up old things without even blinking,” Ray asked, his anger to Lockheed temporarily forgotten.

Forge shook his head miserably, saying, “I can’t though, Ray!  Some of the parts are so damaged that not even my mechanical instruments I carry in my mechanical arm can repair them!  But I can create some new parts, especially the vital ones we need to get the alternator working again!  Unfortunately, I’m gonna need some fresh raw materials to build them, like bismuth metal, semiconductors, some new wiring, standard cells and substrates and crystallized beryllium for starters!  If I can get some of those and a few more components, I think there’s a good chance we’ll be able to go back home again!”

“You ‘think’??” Kurt asked, deadpanned and dubious.

“Hey, it’s worth a shot!” Forge shot back in defense.

Hank then sighed, “Despite the situation, we are however fortunate enough to be in a dimension with such a mammoth and metropolitan civilization.  We may be lucky enough to find a simple electronics store or a research facility that may have some of the equipment we’re in dire need of.  I guess this means we’ll have to do a little searching expedition in this city if we want to have any chance of going back home.”

“You mean what’s left of it, Mr. McCoy,” Amara said as she grimaced at the destruction all around them, “I mean, this looks like it was a total war-zone!  And there doesn’t seem to be anybody around!”

Logan said gruffly, “It might be better for us then, kid.  With the streets deserted like this, we have a less likely chance of running into people and scaring them, especially if this dimension doesn’t even have mutants and humans.”

“Should we like spilt up, then?” Kitty asked Scott and Professor Xavier, wiping away her tearstains with the back of her hand furiously, “We might be able to cover more ground for sure and help Forge find what he’s looking for.”

“Are you nuts?!” Kurt cried, “Don’t you ever watch any horror movies, die Freundin?!!  Splitting up is one of the stupidest decisions ever made that always results in someone getting killed!  Just like other stupid decisions like building your dream house over an ancient burial ground or like staying the night at a supposedly haunted house!”

“Kurt, this isn’t a horror movie,” Ororo said as she tiredly rolled her eyes.

“I agree with Kurt though,” Scott answered almost immediately, “Kitty, being separated in a strange dimension is almost a guarantee that something can go wrong, and if Forge fixes the alternator, we’d have a tougher time regrouping before getting back home.  It would be awful if we managed to get back home, but then realized we accidentally left one of the X-Men behind.”

“And it would be safer to travel as a group, Kitty.  Whatever had caused this destruction might still be around, and if they had enough firepower to achieve this kind of damage, it may take all the full efforts of the X-Men combined to ensure we don’t fall victim to the same fate.”

It was settled then, and though it was certainly nerve-wracking, the group started walking down the crackled roads and dusty rubble of the abandoned downtown, with Jean pushing the Professor’s wheelchair and Lockheed flying softly over Kitty’s head like an obedient watchdog.  However, the further they walked, the more horrifying the carnage became to the X-Men.  The lower levels of the surrounding skyscrapers were charred with the foundations stripped off, revealing smoking, charred beams of steel and metal.  Fragments and shards of bloodied glass were strewn everywhere, glittering under the setting sun like diamonds.  The air was thick with the noxious fumes of smoke and burnt asbestos, mixed with dusty particles of plaster and grime.  Thick, monstrous green vines, slimy with layers of gore and muck, were snaked all over the buildings, burrowing deep into the walls and floors, uprooting everything in sight and giving the terrain a rather rough and chaotic surface, filling the ground of bumps and small hills.  Lampposts were bent as easily as taffy, buses and automobiles were horrifically crushed like tin cans…and throughout the streets, the X-Men were shocked upon seeing corpses, lying facedown in the streets like garbage, surrounded with dried, cracked circles of blood and rock.  Some were wearing bulletproof vests and uniforms similar to those of policemen, some were ordinary civilians with causal wear, one or two were wearing spiff, starched business uniforms like those found in an office environment, and there was a small one of a child, his baseball cap still worn backwards on what was left of the creature’s head.  Even though the X-Men could have noticed that the bodies were not remotely human, with pointed ears and furry skin, the mutant team was too much in repulsed shock to even comprehend anything.

“Professor…are there…are there..?” but Jean could not finish the sentence.

Xavier shook his head as he opened his eyes, sensing for any active brainwaves with his telepathy, sadly stating, “I’m sorry, Jean, but I cannot sense any survivors.  They’re all dead.”

“Oh my God,” murmured Rogue, white underneath her makeup, as Remy held her hand soothingly, trying to avert her attention.

Tabitha looked lost as she commented, “If this alternate dimension is supposed to be similar to our Bayville, then I hope what happened here doesn’t happen back home.”

Roberto then said in a convinced tone, “If it does, we’ll be ready for it then.”

“Hey, look up ahead!  I think we’re approaching another part of the city!  One that isn’t completely destroyed!!” exclaimed Piotr.  Sure enough, they saw that the road up ahead was less damaged and the X-Men could see the definite contrast of pristine, undamaged buildings up ahead compared to the wasteland they were earlier in.

“Uh…doesn’t anybody find it a little odd that there’s still no sign of any people around, even in this part of the city?” Sam asked as they all headed forward.

“I guess even though the battle happened in one area, they must have still evacuated the entire joint for everyone’s safety, Sammy,” Tabitha replied, though she too had a sinking feeling that all was not right.

Logan frowned, his nose twitching from the overwhelming force of…cat hair.  It was overpowering, almost as if there was a whole group waiting for them…

“At least in this part, there’s a better chance that we might be able to find some parts for the alternator,” Forge said eagerly.

HALT!!  Stay where you are, you freaks!!!” roared a bass voice through a megaphone.  The X-Men’s heads snapped up as Logan cursed inwardly.

Standing up ahead in an effective barricade was a huge army of anthropomorphic cat beings, clearly sentient and human-like with upright positions and varying each in size, looks, build and fur color.  Unfortunately, they did not appear to be the least bit friendly.  All of them were dressed in black riot gear, complete with black, bulletproof vests, black helmets with clear, protective face-guards and a simple cache of weaponry and batons lashed to their belts.  Some where holding up clear, plastic shields, all with the label “Enforcers” painted upon them while others were in kneeling stances, aiming their guns and rifles directly at all of the mutants.  A back-line of additional cat officers was behind the front row, ducking behind the protective blockades of their Enforcer cars, aiming several very-nasty looking bazookas at the X-Men.  And Beast and Storm then noticed upon the roofs of the surrounding buildings were trained snipers, aiming their targeting, red, telltale lasers from their deadly, military sniper rifles at the students, pelting them with the red dots of possible death.  And to top it all off, in the sky, hovering noisily, were five metal, high-tech Blackhawk helicopters, their turrets loaded with armor-piercing machine guns, rocket pods and Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, all of the pilots trained directly upon Xavier and his family.

The X-Men were directly face-to-face with an arsenal of cat soldiers.

“Oh no,” muttered Bobby, his eyes wide.

“We’re in trouble,” whimpered Jamie as he held to Hank tightly.

“Oh my gosh!” Forge marveled, “This world doesn’t have humans!  It’s filled with…cats!!  It’s cats!!  Cats must have been evolved as the dominant species of this dimension instead of humans!!!  Oh wow, how groovy is this?!!  My alternator really has some surprises!!”

Scott then snapped angrily and sarcastically at the inventor, “Forgive me if I fail to share your enthusiasm when we’re about to be fired upon, Forge!!!”

Meanwhile, the leader of the army, a tall, impressively muscled, dark-brown cat with a square jaw and black moustache yelled his order at the mutant teams through the megaphone in his hand.  He was wearing a light-blue trench-coat over his plainclothes cop apparel.


“Charles…” Ororo murmured worriedly.

Professor Xavier (bless him), tried to reason as he called back to the cat as loudly as he could, “Please!  We mean no harm -!!”

“Enforcers, OPEN FIRE!!!” barked the leader, now immediately springing into action as he saw that Xavier wasn’t going to comply with his demands.  Upon cue, the air was torn asunder as thousands upon thousands of bullets ripped through the serenity.  Jean managed to quickly place a telekinetic force-field again all around the  X-Men, but unfortunately, she was not able to do it fast enough.

“AAAAA!!” screamed Sam and Amara as the snipers’ bullets managed to go through and strike the both of them before Jean could halt their trajectory.  Sam felt the blood run down his arm almost immediately as the bullet went right through his shoulder, leaving a bloody exit wound.  Amara was crying in pain as she collapsed on her side, her left thigh now growing a rose of red through her pant leg; the bullet, unable to come out, was now embedded into her hip bone, and the agony was excruciating, leaving the mutant teen unable to stand.

“Sammy!” Tabitha cried out in worry as Beast hurriedly picked up Amara protectively.  Now the helicopters joined in on the fracas as they each fired a single homing rocket directly upon the bubble, the explosions and searing heat rocking the very ground they were standing on, obliterating the pavement into fiery charcoal and ash, but Jean thankfully managed to keep up the barrier, though barely.

“I…can’t…keep this up!” she hissed in pain as the assault began to intensify, the projectiles bouncing off the orb of force.

Cyclops immediately went into full X-Man mode as he readied his glasses and shot down a section of a nearby building, causing it to slightly collapse from the beam of optic energy.  The snipers close-by immediately backed off as the roof began to quiver and crumble, fearful of falling as some of the Enforcers below immediately ceased firing as they scattered, avoiding the rainfall of crushing rock and stone.

“X-Men: Deflect and Sabotage!” he ordered as the X-Men leader did the same to the other buildings where the snipers resided.

Shadowcat and Lockheed immediately held on to Nightcrawler as he teleported all three of them in a plume of black, smoky brimstone.  With another poof, both of the X-Men and the dragon teleported and appeared directly inside the cockpit of one of the helicopters, and immediately at the sight, the cat quivered in fear as he futilely shielded his body with his hands, cowering and pleading, “Get away from me!”

Wordlessly, Shadowcat phased her hand through the control panel of the helicopter, and immediately, the electronic guiding and weapon systems sparked and shorted out madly, leaving the complete, complex circuitry of the helicopter in a useless, smoking heap.  Now the helicopter could not fire its weapons upon the X-Men.  Kurt grabbed Lockheed and Kitty as he teleported to the next helicopter, and they repeated the process until all five Blackhawks were safely out of commission with no harm to the pilots (and with Lockheed actually toasting the controls of the last chopper and setting it ablaze).  Finished, Nightcrawler teleported back down inside the bubble.

Storm meanwhile managed to summon a sudden windstorm of Fangston and hail, the winds and air dropping to artic temperatures and howling speeds as the Enforcers immediately were subjected to the harsh winds of sleet and ice, the sudden change immediately catching some off-guard and causing a very noticeable distraction.  With the ice and Fangston blowing painfully against their faces, many of the officers could not even manage to look ahead to aim and fire their firearms as they ceased their attack and tried to protect themselves from the pounding of the freakish weather change.

Amara, despite her injuries, then managed to weakly summon an underground well of lava directly beneath the streets where the cat army was standing, and to the kats’ horrors, the floor underneath them began to quake and shake madly with moderate tremors as pools of molten, red rock began spewing out of the cracked pavement, sending many of them into a panic as they nimbly avoided from getting burned.  Now the army was all too busy trying to avoid the attacks, much less able to shoot at the X-Men.  Professor Xavier then noticed the lull, and Logan, seizing the opportunity, ordered everyone as loudly as he could.

EVERYONE, RUN!!!  RUN BACK!!!”  Storm took rein of guiding the Professor’s wheelchair as Piotr carried the injured Sam in his arms, and as fast as they could, the X-Men ran for their lives, knowing that they couldn’t willingly take on the army with two seriously injured.

“After them!!” bellowed the leader as he shot at the X-Men with his .45, but luckily, the bullets bounced off of Piotr’s metal skin as he invoked his mutant armor.  However, despite the head-start, the cats still chased after them with a vengeance, their weapons drawn and ready to fire.

“They’re following us!!” gasped Tabitha.

“This’ll stop them!!” Bobby cried with inspiration as he used his powers to create a solid wall of ice behind them, directly crystallizing in front of the Enforcers’ paths.  Unfortunately…

“Enforcers, use flamethrowers!!” ordered the brown cat, and without much delay, the ice wall melted and collapsed from the searing heat of the portable fire-weapons the officers carried, and before a minute even passed, the Enforcers ensued in the chase again.  None of the X-Men spotted Feral taking a strange gun out of his trench-coat pocket before firing upon Beast.

“Yikes!  I didn’t realize they’d be so prepared!” moaned Bobby.

“Now what do we do?!  They’re gaining!  And not all of us are bulletproof!!” cried Roberto as he went into power-mode, absorbing the sunlight dying around him as his body became covered with the outline of black and yellow sunspots and solar energy, flying all the meanwhile next to the Professor.

Suddenly, a voice called out, ringing strongly, “Slicer missiles…AWAY!”

To the X-Men amazement, several miniature rockets flew above them in the sky before magnificently deploying into bladed, buzzing chainsaws, propelled directly into the power lines behind them and in front of the stampeding Enforcers.  With a bright flash and smoking array of dangerous, electrical discharge, the power lines disconnected and fell upon the Enforcers.  With a cry, the cats managed to avoid electrocution, but to their dismayed rage, the crackling power lines were draped all over the area, effectively imprisoning the Enforcers chasing the X-Men and successfully halting them.  With so many of the black, thick wires cut down, there wasn’t a safe place for the officers to get a foothold or leap clear of their temporary incarceration.  The chief of the army roared and cursed in fuming wrath as he shook his fist at the retreating forms of the X-Men disappearing out of sight.

The X-Men, in the meantime, were completely befuddled.

“Where…where did those missiles come from?!” gasped Remy, trying hard to ignore the painful hitch in his side from running so hard.

“And now where do we go?!  We can’t stay here forever without being spotted!!” commented Ray worriedly.

“I can help you,” a voice said, and immediately, the X-Men jumped in automatic defense as he turned to the source of the voice.  It was an unknown figure, wearing a tattered, threadbare cloak and cape made out of rough fabric.  Though the cloak managed to hide the figure’s face from view via a large hood, the X-Men could notice underneath the apparel that the figure was wearing a dirty red-and-blue flight suit, similar to that of a jet pilot.  Still, the fact that they could not see the person’s face made the X-Men all the more suspicious.

“Who the hell are you, homme?” Gambit steely asked as he readied a card.

The figure didn’t seem at all threatened as he repeated, “I said I can help you.  I know a place where you can hide with me, where you can rest and tend to your wounded.”

“Why should we trust you?” Scott asked with narrowed eyes.

“Because I saved you from the Enforcers just now; those were my slicer-missiles that cut down the power lines.  And if I was going to hurt you, I wouldn’t even have saved you from the soldiers.  And three, if you don’t trust me, you will all be killed by Feral and his kats once they find a way out of those electrical wires.”

“I don’t sense anything negative from his mind,” Professor X said aloud to his students and staff, “And apparently, what choice do we have, X-Men?  We will go, stranger.  We will trust you.  And thank you.”

The hooded savior gave a quick nod before dashing through the city with the X-Men following close behind.  Over and over through the buildings, the group was led through twists and turns until they finally reached an abandoned parking lot with a large manhole cover leading directly to the sewers in the middle of the blacktop.  Nearby was a man-made reservoir and channel, guiding a torrent of dirty water into and through the city.  Before any of the X-Men could ask, the male held up a hand in warning, revealing to the mutant teens that it was really a furry paw with black claws.

“Wait!  Hold still!” the male figure commanded as he brought out a strange contraption attached to his right wrist and forepaw, aiming it directly at Hank who was still carrying the wounded Amara in his arms.  It was a strange, black glove with a metal, square apparatus on top, riddled with complex machinery.  Thinking the helper was about to shoot Beast, Wolverine’s claws immediately flashed and stopped short at the figure’s throat, only a mere centimeter for severing his windpipe.  To Logan’s surprise (and slight admiration), the hooded unknown didn’t even flinch from the sharp edge of the adamantium blades nudging into his neck.

“Drop the gun, bub,” Logan snarled.

“Look, I’m not going to shoot them!” the figure snapped heatedly, his heart pounding but still remaining a calm façade, “If you don’t let me help your teammates, those Enforcer kats will be able to track you down!  Trust me on this!”

Logan looked like he’d rather jump off a cliff than take that advice, but Storm placed a hand on Logan’s shoulder before saying, “Do whatever you need to.”

Without another moment of hesitation, the figure pointed his glove-weapon at Beast and let loose a huge, high-pitched burst of acoustic pulses, the invisible waves dousing Beast and Amara’s bodies with invisible yet powerful energy.  Though the sonar was too high for most of the students to pick up, Logan was immediately wincing at the unbearable noise and sonar due to his sensitive hearing.  Almost immediately, something on Beast’s back let loose a dying fzzzzt as it short-circuited into several white, hot sparks and fell off the mutant’s blue fur and onto the ground.  It was a small, flat metal disc with a miniature biconic antennae on its sides along with the insignia of the Enforcers posted on the surface.

“What?!” gasped Jean in shock.

“It’s a tracking sensor,” the mysterious maverick muttered, close to swearing an oath as he picked it up and showed it to the X-Men, “I somehow expected Feral to be resourceful and cunning enough for this.  With my glovatrix, I was able to locate it and cause it to malfunction temporarily.  But we’re not out of the woods yet!  Can someone throw this into the river next to us?”

Rogue immediately snatched the tracer bug from the enigmatic figure’s hand before, with a grunt, tossing it with all of her strength into the concrete reservoir nearby, the sensor barely making a sound as it dropped into the rushing water, immediately being swept away downstream away from their position.  Judging from the speeds of the churning river, the tracer would be well onto the other side of the city in a matter of minutes.  Satisfied, the strange rescuer then pried open the manhole cover, indicating to the X-Men to get down below and into the sewer system.

“Hurry!  We need to get out of sight before we’re spotted by the chopper reinforcements!  I know of a safe place where we can rest!”

The X-Men had no choice but to follow, with Rogue carrying Professor Xavier with her superhuman strength, gently cradling her mentor in her arms, as she and the rest of the mutant team and Lockheed flew into the tunnels with their guide jumping in last, closing the manhole behind him quickly and discreetly.  Without a word, the figure took out a flashlight before guiding the X-Men through the steel maze of pipes.

For about half-hour, the X-Men trudged through the tunnels of waste and dirty, smelly grime until they came to a darkened dead-end leading to a brick wall.  Or at least it appeared to be a dead-end…until the maverick managed to pry open a section, pulling it inward like a door and revealing a partially lit cavern.  Quickly, the X-Men were led in before the stranger closed the brick-door behind him, hiding them for a temporary but welcome respite.  Professor Xavier looked around.  It was a large, spacious, underground room, square and cold with lichen-covered brick walls.  The floor was clear and dusty, free of debris and impressively stocked with supplies on nearby shelves, laden with food, water, kerosene, blankets, and a book or two.  And overhead were several ventilation shafts, bringing in cold yet fresh air from the outside world up above.  It may not have been the cleanest place, but it was dry and safe, and that was all the X-Men could ask for now.

“What…whatever is this place?” Ororo wondered aloud, shivering.  Being in such a cold, brick-and-concrete chamber underneath the surface and connected to the sewers was hardly comforting, especially since it brutally touched on her claustrophobia.  It also reminded her of her failure with helping Evan when he left the X-Men to join the Morlocks in the Bayville.

The secretive kat lit a kerosene lantern with a match as he answered calmly next to the warm glow, “This used to be the basement of the old Enforcer headquarters, an underground stronghold or haven, if you will.  The Enforcers were trained that if any innocent civilians or kats unable to defend themselves were caught within the building during a huge attack, they could be herded into here for safety and lockdown, away from any harm.  I managed to build a temporary refuge here while I was running away from the Enforcers and located the walls in the sewer leading to this location.  With several tools, I managed to hack my way through the barriers and set this basement up as a place to hide.”

“You mean we’re in the basement of an old police station??” Ray asked incredulously.

The figure’s cloaked head cocked to the left in confusion, confessing a bit, “Police?  I’m not familiar with that term…uh, whoever you are.”

Ray then explained, “I guess the best way to put it is that ‘police’ is a term for our version of the Enforcers.  Y’know, from our world.”

The figure’s eyes narrowed a bit in suspicion, but he sighed, nodding in response to Ray’s first question.  Apparently, he wasn’t really in the mood for lengthy question-and-answer sessions.

“But, comrade…if we’re under an Enforcer building, won’t we be in danger of being found out?  What if someone up above on the surface hears us?” Piotr asked in disbelief.

The hooded stranger then shook his head, saying, “There’s not really any possibility of that.  This building was condemned a long time ago and reduced to rubble when the new Enforcer building was finished, and as a result, the entire lot has been fenced off and abandoned.  Since the plot hadn’t been cleared yet of all the remnants of the old Enforcer headquarters, we’re literally underneath heavy stone, brick, and rubble, stuff that would literally take weeks to clear out, and as such, no work had ever been assigned to accomplish it.  And with the rubble on top, it deters any curious kats away from this area and will muffle any sounds we make from here.  So right now, it’s safe.”

Logan was starting to get a bit irritated, and considering he was being nearly driven crazy by the overwhelming odor of cat hair, he naturally took out his anger on the stranger.

“Care to explain why you’re helping us?” he growled, “I don’t exactly like the fact that we’re practically lost in some strange land with some cloaked hermit who doesn’t have the guts to show his face as our only way out of this hellhole.”

It was pretty clear that Logan didn’t trust the hero who aided them.  Though several such as Scott and Jean did agree with the sentiment to not throw cautions to the winds, many of the other X-Men were annoyed at Wolverine’s harshness.

“If you don’t trust me, you’re more than welcome to leave, you know,” the figure hissed, baring his fangs before throwing off his tattered cloak and exposing himself to the light of the lantern, “and if you want to know my true identity, I guess it’s safe to say that I have nothing else I could damn well lose.  After all, I doubt you’d want to rat me out to Feral.”

All the X-Men, despite their brief excursion in the city, were shocked as they now fully observed their protective marauder.  It was a male, anthropomorphic cat, with reddish-brown fur covering his entire body, tufted cheeks, a black nose, and brown eyes glaring at Wolverine hatefully, resentfully.  He was slim, yet it was apparent underneath the torn blue and red G-suit, his body was strong, agile, and had enough lean muscle to ensure that he would do well in hand-to-hand combat.  However, he wasn’t extraordinarily tall; at best, he was about the same height at Cyclops, and Wolverine and Storm lorded over the kat a bit by a head.  The kat had oversized paws as hands and feet, each with five clawed fingers or toes, and Hank was able to notice that the stranger’s forepaws were callused with faint black, grease marks, a sure sign that the kat recently worked with motors and engines.  However, lacerations and burns, red and cracked with black, dried blood, were all over the kat’s body.  There was even a piece of flesh taken out of his right ear, giving it a slight roughhousing look, like a fighter.  Yet it was his eyes that Xavier noticed the most as disturbing; they were haunted, sleep-deprived, and so full of untold misery.

There was only a brief silence as the X-Men gaped at the revealed kat.  Even Logan was taken aback.  The male cat-figure just irately crossed his arms and gave the X-Men elder a poisonous glare, his teeth grit and showing dangerously.

“You’re a…you’re a…a cat,” remarked Kitty dumbly.

The vigilante gave Kitty a very irate frown, pointing out, “You know, it’s not exactly easy for me to converse with alien life forms too.  Ever think about that?!”

“But we’re not aliens, mon ami!  We’re human!” Remy protested.

“Hu…man??”  The kat frowned at the word as he tried the sound with his tongue.

Rogue gave a groan, snapping at her boyfriend, “How dense can ya’ be, swamp rat?!  To him, we’re aliens and weirdoes!  It’s pretty apparent that in this dimension and world, humans don’t exist, just like how cats aren’t the dominant species back home!  So of course we’d be different and strange to him, just like how he’s different and strange to us!!”

“So why did you help us?” Scott asked, “How do we know you’re not a bad guy?”

The brown cat retorted, “You don’t, just like how I don’t know if you aliens are the bad guys…but to answer why I decided to help you…I’m just going with my gut.  But…it wouldn’t have been right to not help you, considering you obviously didn’t mean to cause any danger.  If you were truly trying to destroy the city like several kats believe, I don’t think even you’d be low enough to drag kids into this war over Megakat City and bring them into the crossfire.  And despite what I’ve seen of what you…‘humans’ can do with those strange powers and abilities you have, I could tell you weren’t trying to attack with malicious intent.  You were simply trying to defend yourselves with the least amount of violence possible.  I mean, even with those powers of yours, I could tell that not a single Enforcer was wiped out in battle.  If you were on the wrong side, you wouldn’t even have given a damn about the innocent kats you’d hurt and kill in the city.  But then again, I can’t say I’d care much even if you were trying to reduce this city to rubble.  As long as you give Feral and his Enforcers grief, it’s fine and dandy with me.”

“Feral?  Who’s Feral??” Jean asked, raising an eyebrow.

“That was the kat who was leading the Enforcer squad that was shooting at you.  He’s the brown loud-mouth in the trench-coat with the megaphone with the soldiers that tried to shoot you.”

“You don’t like him very much, do you?” Kurt dryly observed and commented.

The kat’s eyes were cold ice as he snarled murderously, “Bingo.”

Logan frowned as he grunted, “So is that why you’re helping us, bub?  Plannin’ to win us over and fight some sort of dirty war against Feral and the Enforcers for your own selfishness?!”

“Logan!!” gasped Ororo.

“Hey, he saved us!” Tabitha stood up angrily, outraged, “If it wasn’t for him, a good chunk of us would have been dead!”

The kat just ignored the side commentary as he snapped at Logan, “You know what?!  The more I talk with you, the more I wish you were the one with the bullets wounds!  At least then I wouldn’t be listening you shoot off that big mouth of yours, old man!!”

Logan immediately bristled at this insult, snarling and releasing his adamantium claws from his hand with a sharp snikt.

“I may be old, but I’m strong enough to teach a little punk like you some manners, hairball!”

The brown-furred vigilante snarled as he readied his clawed hands into a martial stance, undaunted, “I’ll back up anything I say with my fists anytime, you freak!!”

STOP THIS!  Professor X was telepathically roaring this command into both Logan and the stranger’s heads, causing the both of them to wince and clutch their temples painfully.  The brown kat now glared at Xavier with a mixture of outrage and pure, confused astonishment.

“How…how’d you…?” he stammered, unsure what had just happened.

“We have many gifts and abilities, my friend,” Professor X explained in a tired voice, “I am sorry I had to startle you like that, but I did not wish for either you or Logan to be brawling and fighting amongst each other when we have more important matters to think about such as returning back to our world and dimension.  And coincidentally, I also wished to thank you for what you did.  You rescued us and protected my students, even though you yourself had no reason to trust us and are obviously in hiding.  As such, you also may have been caught…but you still managed to risk your safety for us.  So thank you for that.  And please…do not take what Logan has said personally.  He is simply irritated and agitated due to the situation and he is extremely vexed about our students, just like the rest of us are.  So I apologize for his behalf.”

The brown kat simply glared at Logan, wordlessly, while the grizzled X-Man just returned a glower just as coldly.  It was apparent that the two obviously didn’t like each other.

“He sure has a funny way of showing gratitude,” the kat retorted snidely.

“Hard to be grateful to some obnoxious punk who’s getting way too big for his britches,” Logan shot back.

“For your information, I’m twenty-eight years of age,” the kat snapped back, “I’m hardly one of your ‘students’, so don’t go patronizing me like I’m some dumb teenager!”

Jean’s jaw dropped in shock as she repeated incredulously, “You’re…you’re twenty-eight??!  But…but you look so young!  And you’re about the same height as I am!  I mean, it would be so easy to peg you as a college student!”

“I guess my kind’s physiology is different from your kind’s physiology,” the kat replied back emotionlessly as he turned away from Logan, his arms crossed over his chest and G-suit.  Bobby then decided to ask the furred outcast a question.

“Um…Mr. Cat, sir?  How do you know so much about those…‘Enforcers’?” Bobby asked hesitantly, nearly stumbling on the foreign term.

“I used to be one, before Feral kicked me and…”

At this, the kat choked, hot tears threatening to leak out of his eyes and gaining a slight stranglehold on his throat and windpipe, filled to the brim with coursing, angry rage and grief.  Jean and Professor Xavier looked on with twinges of pity and sadness as they could sense the turmoil and anguish in the creature’s mind, and it made the both of them feel all the more touched and pained at their savior.

“…before Feral kicked me and Chance off the team and sent us to be junkyard kats at the salvage yard.”

“Chance?  Who’s Chance??” Roberto piped up, curious at that additional tidbit of information.

The kat’s eyes hardened defensively as he hissed abruptly, “None of your damn business!”

Roberto was troubled at the look of killing rage, and some of the X-Men grew even more wary of the stranger now.

Jamie’s eyes then widened as the pieces fell into place.  Holy schamoley, it all made sense now!  Megakat City, the Enforcers, Feral, Chance…the young Multiple then knew, without any doubt, who the kat was in front of them.

“Oh my God!” Jamie gasped out loud as he stared at the cat in awe, “I thought I recognized you!!  You’re Jake Clawson, also known as ‘Razor’ of the SWAT Kats!!”

Next Chapter

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