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: 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: Things are not going well in Megakat City as Dark Kat and the renewed Invincible Alliance of Evil plot.  In the meantime, Callie and Commander Feral come to a heated argument as Feral then delivers a devastating blow to Callie Brigg’s life.  And, it’s hardly a field day for reporter Ann Gora and her camera-kat, Johnny K., as Johnny says words to Ann that needed to be said.
Author’s Comments/Notes: None

Chapter 4

Side Developments

Dark Kat was strangely unsettled and tense as he wildly paced along the main base on his private isle, meticulously searching for any flaws and inspecting every single plan, android, and weapon to the exact minute detail.  Yet he maniacally smiled despite his nervousness.  His plan was nearing completion, and very soon, none of the Enforcers or any other kat within the entire world would ever be able to stop him from unleashing the glorious force of his master upon the world.

His Alliance of Evil was now reformed and stronger than ever.  An unstoppable force, one that would bring any civilization and militia down on their knees, begging for mercy in surrender.  His master was right.  This would be the ultimate success, the one true task of glory and power that would declare him ruler of Megakat City and indeed, the entire planet.  After all, the SWAT Kats were broken and as good as dead, the Enforcers were powerless, and every single kat in the metropolis was quivering in fear of the future war and the final, bloody battle.  No one would stop him and the alliance.  After all, who would dare stand up and be more of a match for the Metallikats, the Pastmaster, Dr. Viper, Hard Drive, and his massive army of creeplings?

The operation was certainly going to be sweet, the fruit almost too tantalizing to picture.  With the artifacts from ancient Egypt the Pastmaster was able to provide for him, Dark Kat, along with his ingenuity, was able to perfect his secret weapon, the one trump card.  And true to his promise, Dark Kat requested the energy core provided by his master to energize and animate the mummy behemoths under the Pastmaster’s control.  The Pastmaster was thrilled that due to the newly acquired power source, his zombie armies were stronger than ever, completely unfazed by the firepower and missiles and weaponry of the Enforcers and the SWAT Kats combined.  Hard Drive and his use of the newly updated Vertigo Beam kept any pilot at bay, preventing aerial attacks, and the new ability blessed to the thief was more than enough to ensure Hard Drive’s undying loyalty to Dark Kat and his cause.  With the help of Dr. Viper’s Katalyst-X mutagen, Dark Kat’s creeplings were genetically re-engineered to be stronger, swifter, and deadlier.  Not only did the catalyst enzymes increase the creeplings’ brain capacities and hardened their tough, leathery hides from bullets, the mini-demons now had the ability to absorb energy of any type, making each one practically a miniature yet powerful battery.  With such gifts, the creeplings could withstand electricity, heat, nuclear radiation, anything, only to have it strengthen their bodies with endless strength and vitality.  Add the creeplings along with the Black Widow robots, powered and strengthened by the nanotechnology integrated into their circuits, Dark Kat was practically invincible.  The nanotechnology was truly unique in its entirety; scientists could have spent decades studying a simple motherboard built with it, and yet Dark Kat, eager for the alien mechanisms, gladly used it in all of his weaponry and androids, along with giving it to the Metallikats, making them stronger and sturdier by more than ten-fold.  Dark Kat also knew how to play his cards right; when the time came, Dark Kat told Mac and Molly Mange that they were free to exact their revenge on the citizens of Megakat City, starting first with the Deputy Mayor, Callie Briggs.  The Metallikats naturally accepted.  And with Dr. Viper now strengthened by his vast supply of Katalyst formulas and mutagens, some of which were made of materials not found on Earth, the mad scientist could complete his plans of flora domination of the city and across the globe.  And Hard Drive was naturally complacent thanks to the new additions the master had bequeathed him.

Of course, Dark Kat was also no fool.  The criminal mastermind and terrorist knew that there was no love and loyalty between any of them.  He had already learned from his spies that the Metallikats were planning to betray him with Dr. Viper once Mac and Molly satisfied their vengeance upon the city.  And he also knew the Pastmaster and Dr. Viper had planned to murder everyone in the alliance and rule Megakat City by themselves with a side-unity.  Of course, that agreement was also made with the proverbial handshake whilst hiding the daggers behind their backs.  Dr. Viper and the Pastmaster would surely betray each other the moment it was no longer useful, but Dark Kat had every intention to still be standing while those two killed each other.  Hard Drive, surprisingly, was loyal to Dark Kat and his master.  It was he who spied upon the other four members and dutifully reported his findings to Dark Kat and his creeplings, imploring that he wanted nothing more than to serve the master with all of his mind and soul.  Such devotion.  Such awe-inspiring honor.  Too bad the fool will die alongside the rest of them.  Not even Dark Kat’s creeplings would be spared.  Such is necessary for the sacrifice.

After all, there was another reason Dark Kat recreated the Invincible Alliance of Evil.  Without those vain, silly pawns even realizing it, it was not about Dark Kat anymore.  Those bumbling, mindless soldiers could backstab, plot and fight amongst each other all they liked, but it would be too late when they would finally realized the true plan, their true use for the master.  And Dark Kat would be the one kat to have the last laugh.

“Can you not feel it, Master?” Dark Kat gloated in his deep voice, his yellow eyes gleaming with anticipation underneath his red and black cloak, “The time is nearly here.  By dawn tomorrow, Megakat City shall crumble and the final revelation shall be made when you come in full glory, displaying your true power for this pitiful world to see!!”

Unheard from anyone outside, a voice echoed deep in Dark Kat’s mind, its tone riddled with evil and superior darkness.

Yes, my ever faithful servant.  I can sense the time and plan near completion.  You have served me well, Dark Kat, and soon, you shall be my right paw as I shape this world and all of inhabitants into the true vision of the future and evolution I have pictured it to be.  Remember, Dark Kat…you will be king and ruler of a new era, a new world!  And all shall tremble at the sound of my name, at our names!

Both Dark Kat and the mysterious voice cackled in wicked glee, their voices harmonious in their laughter of the insane…and of the damned.

 

 

You can’t be serious!!!” Callie Briggs demanded furiously as Commander Feral off-handedly circumvented her and walked out of his office towards the Enforcers main station, with the furious she-kat following behind in protest, her mauve high-heels clicking against the hard-wood floor.  The other Enforcers, with Lieutenants Steele, Felina Feral, and Sergeant Fangston leading the multitude of multitasking operations for the city, were trying very hard to ignore the quarrel by putting on the appearance that they were all engrossed in their work.  Yet it was impossible.  The inevitable explosion was too good to miss out on.

“Believe me, Ms. Briggs, I’m deadly serious.  I will not humor your ridiculous notions of retracting the bounty on that malignant little felon, and I will not rest until Dark Kat and his evil alliance are put under maximum security at Alkatraz where they belong.  And I will personally see to it that Jake Clawson shall be publicly tried and executed for his crimes against the city,” Feral replied steely without even turning to face Callie, his attention to the numerous paper reports that had avalanched throughout the Enforcers’ headquarters.

“How blind could you possibly be?!” Callie raged, her glasses slightly tilted from the anger causing her body to tremble, “You’re treating Jake as if he was a criminal, as if he did something wrong!!  He would never do anything to endanger this town!!  Jake could help us, help the Enforcers, help the citizens!  He’s loyal!!  Call off the bounty and stop hunting him down!!  Haven’t you done enough to him?!  He just lost his best friend, a kat he cared for like a brother!  A kat he grew up with and worked alongside with for years!!  And you took that away from him!!!  What’s wrong with you Feral?!!  Don’t you have any remorse of what you did?!!”

“No, I don’t,” Feral commented coolly, almost impassively, without even looking up from the papers, “Unless you show me that it is against the law to apprehend vigilantes and mavericks who do not abide by the laws and rules of the system, I still stand by what I have done…nor do I regret it.  You expect me to shed a tear over that foolhardy trouble-maker?  Don’t hold your breath.  If I had a second chance, I would have done it all over again, and Furlong’s death doesn’t change things at all.”

How dare you!!  If the tables were turned, Chance Furlong would have done the exact opposite!  He would have done anything to make sure the situation wouldn’t result in forfeiting your life!!”

Feral’s voice became even colder and more acidic, as if the bile in his mouth was lacing every word, as he said, “I would advise you to not be so presumptuous around my character if I were you, Ms. Briggs.  You think that just because the SWAT Kats have aided the Enforcers on several occasions and have actually been somewhat helpful in dealing with those villains, I would idly turn a blind eye on all the damage and trouble those two kats have caused?  You think that just because the SWAT Kats are viewed as heroes, they should be allowed to do whatever they want, whenever they want, and think that they are above the law?  Keep in mind, Ms. Briggs, that in this matter, it all comes down to who is for the law and who is against it!  And Clawson and Furlong were certainly not for the law while I and my Enforcers are dedicated to uphold it!  In short: we’re in the right, and the SWAT Kats are not.”

Callie now has angry tears in her eyes as she spat viciously, “Chance is more of an Enforcer than you ever will be!!!”

Feral then arched his back straight like a steel rod as he shot of piercing scowl so intense, it would have melted Fangston instantly.  If there was anything Feral hated the most, it was kats taking cheap shots at his pride, of compromising his integrity.  The other Enforcers watching this visibly gulped, and Felina, recognizing the warning signs, stepped forward, trying to break up the confrontation.

“Callie, Uncle, please stop this!  Fighting and pointing fingers isn’t going to make things any better -”

“Lieutenant, SHUT UP!!  That’s an order!!!” Feral barked, and the female Enforcer was now staring at her Uncle in an entirely new way, as if she was starting to see a completely different kat rather than the Commander she used to remember.  Feral then stared hatefully at Callie as she continued, his voice surprisingly calm despite the sharpened steel underneath.

“Commander Feral, I will request one more time for you to stop trying to prosecute Razor and to grant him refuge and amnesty from this charade of an investigation.  Leave him alone, or so help me, I’ll do whatever it takes to go over your head and take charge of this particular mess myself.”

Feral then had a small smirk of triumph dance across his face.  He said his next sentence slowly, clearly enjoying delivering the final blow to the she-kat.

“I don’t think you’re in any position to make threats, Ms. Briggs, especially since I have just personally seen to it that you no longer hold your position as Deputy Mayor of Megakat City.”

“Uncle!!” gasped Felina angrily upon hearing this, her eyes wide with shocked outrage on Callie’s behalf.  Even with the warning glare Ulysses gave her, the Lieutenant was already promising herself that she would do anything to revoke that decision.  She knew he wasn’t bluffing; Feral never made idle threats.

“What?”  Now the color of Callie’s face drained away into shocked white, her blood running cold in her veins, not a single muscle in her body twitching due to the force of the Commander’s words.  She just stood there, her body so still, it was as if she was carved out of ice, as the burly officer clarified again without mercy.

“Do you want me to repeat myself, Ms. Briggs?” Feral said, “I have just said that as of now, you are no longer the Deputy Mayor of Megakat City.  All your authority and standings and responsibilities for this city and how it is to deal with Dark Kat and his alliance are now to be made by me, the Commander of the Enforcers.  You are hereby suspended from your position, Ms. Briggs…indefinitely.”

Cold fire flared in Callie’s eyes as she growled huskily with her teeth bared, trying her best not to weep, “You can’t do this.”

Feral’s yellow eyes were equally frigid as he shot back in his bass voice with a touch of smugness, “Looks like I just did, and probably all for the better I daresay.  After all the times you let those two trouble-making vigilantes shirk away from all the destruction and chaos they caused from their meddling and interference, you deserve a hell of a lot more than being impeached from the city office!  Be grateful I went easy on you, Ms. Briggs!  It wasn’t hard to convince the Council that you were a danger to the Enforcers’ investigations, especially since my kats discovered the communicator the SWAT Kats bequeathed to you in your office!  You remember, don’t you?  The one you used to contact Clawson and Furlong whenever trouble reared its ugly head, to have them come running around and flying like careless clowns, like your own pathetic pets?!”

“You searched my office?!  That was private property!!  You had no right to investigate me!!” Callie snapped, shaking slightly.

“I was granted a warrant, and everything was perfectly legal in the matter, Ms. Briggs,” Feral stated self-righteously, “And believe me, I had every right to expose you, you hypocrite!  You were in league with the SWAT Kats all this time, Ms. Briggs, and as such, the Council found it unlikely that you would be able to neutrally maintain your authority in this matter and have found you incompetent of your duties.  For if anything, you’re just as responsible for the destruction of Megakat City as those two pathetic excuses of ex-Enforcers were!  You supported and encouraged such lawlessness and disregard to everything Megakat City and the Enforcers stood for!  As such, I had to do anything to make sure this stops now!  You’re finished here, Ms. Briggs!  Permanently.  Now remove yourself from the Enforcer premises immediately.  You are no longer welcome in my office or with any of the Megakat City Council.”

“You’ve sunk to a new low, Feral!  You had no right to do this!  And the Megakat City Council would never agree to do this!  They would never turn their backs on the SWAT Kats, not after everything Razor and T-Bone did for this city!!”

“Believe me, Ms. Briggs, I have every right to do this!” Feral rumbled as he leaned over close to Callie, carrying on stubbornly, “And your so-called ‘political allies’ have all but deserted you…well, except for that old fool, Mayor Manx, but he was but the sole minority when the Council voted for your termination.  After all the deaths and loss Dark Kat caused, you think they would foolishly leave the city’s fate into the hands of one, lone ex-Enforcer?  A kat who didn’t even have enough guts to last as an officer of the law and who still owes the taxpayers millions of dollars for his role in the destruction of the old Enforcers’ headquarters?!  A coward?!  Give it up, Briggs!  The Council knows its only hope to save this city is through me and my team, and as such, they were willing to trust us!  And I will see to it that none of the Enforcers will ever give them any reason to doubt them!  But it’s no surprise the SWAT Kats were able to convince you to join their little fan-club!  A pretty she-kat with absolute authority and power in the city, able to turn things around with her little claw?  Is that how it works, Mr. Briggs?  You help them do a few favors of protecting the city with their little ‘heroic’ racket by notifying them, and in return, they get to help you look good in front of the public and Council?  Not to mention the side benefit of having two little kats to bounce back and forth in your little private harem?  I guess I should have guessed it earlier since you’ve probably laid on your back multiple times to get whatever you – !”

POW!

There was a dead silence as the neighboring Enforcers just stood or sat there, staring in slack-jawed, gaping, wide-eyed silence.  The stillness was so intense, you could have sworn that time had virtually stopped in the room.  Felina Feral just cursed under her breath.

“Did Ms. Briggs just…?!” gaped a stupefied Lieutenant Steele, his mouth wide open like a goldfish, still unwilling to believe it.

“…punch the Commander of the Enforcers directly in the face?  Yep,” Fangston answered, wincing at the thought of how much uglier things were going to be.

Feral shot a look of murderous daggers at the slim, female in front of him while nursing his jaw with one hand.  He ran his tongue over his teeth only to taste the familiar coppery taste of blood.  Damn, the she-kat was a lot stronger than she looked.  Callie had one hell of a right hook.  The ex-Deputy Mayor was now glaring at Feral with absolute hate and anger, not even feeling the numbness in her bruised fist.  Commander Feral then turned to his Lieutenant niece, uttering a short order.

“Throw her out.”

Callie looked like she was going to punch Feral again, and she might have too if the strong Felina didn’t tightly grab Callie by the arm and half-dragged, half-walked the former Deputy Mayor out towards the front door, with Feral glaring at her retreating back silently.  Callie’s face was contorted with indignation, blushing from the humiliation of being knocked off her political standing and left to crash and burn.  She could still feel the eyes of every kat in the building watching her as she was led out by Felina.  Yet to her slight surprise, the Lieutenant still walked with her, gently, as they went out the exit and a bit off the distance, crossing the street, into the nearby park.  Callie collapsed numbly on the stone bench, her hands balled into fists on her knees.

She kept telling herself, I will not cry, I will not cry, I will not cry…

“Callie!  Lieutenant Feral!” called out an Scottish voice, and Felina looked up to see a haggard, red-faced Mayor Manx running up to them as fast as he could, despite his portly size and his grizzled, whiskered face turning red from the exertion.  Manx must have already gotten out of the emergency meetings with the city council early.  Manx, panting, stopped before Felina and Callie, but upon seeing the look on Callie’s devastated face, his face fell in sorrow.

Manx turned to Felina, asking hesitantly, “Does she…does she know?”

Felina nodded sadly, saying, “The commander just told her before kicking her out of the headquarters.”

Manx closed his eyes and just mourned silently.  Even though Callie was in league with the SWAT Kats and was ruined lawfully, Mayor Manx would have given anything to veto the verdict.  Callie had helped him with his job multiple times, covering his rear for every careless act or cowardly phase to doing half of his responsibilities alongside her own duties.  As much as he would have hated to admit it, Callie was more of the Mayor for this town than he ever was.  Strange how quickly his priorities changed after the siege from the Invincible Alliance of Evil, but after seeing so many innocent lives lost, Manx matured enough to decide that the welfare of the city was more important than his political image.

“Callie…I…I’m sorry, I tried.  I really did,” Manx said sorrowfully, sincerely, before carrying on with outrage, “I tried to tell off those blarney-faced fools, but they’re all too stubborn and stupid to leave Feral’s shadow!  They can’t do this!  I’ll turn in my resignation as well!  I’ll resign as Mayor and give you the job, Callie!  It was practically yours anyway!  Callie, please, we’ll fix this!  We’ll get Clawson the help he needs!”

“The problem is, we have other difficulties to face off against as well, Mayor Manx,” Felina said in a tired voice before she knelt down to the ex-Deputy Mayor and laid a strong paw on Callie’s shoulder

“It’s not all lost, yet, Callie.  We can still fight against all this, and not all the Enforcers think like my Uncle.  If…no, when Jake comes back, I’ll see that I can do whatever I can to ensure the Commander doesn’t take Jake to Alkatraz.  And we’re not finished yet!  Not by a long shot!  We still have the Enforcers and many willing civilians who volunteered to help bring down Dark Kat and those other scum-balls as much as we can.  Dark Kat will see we’re not going to just sit down and let him walk all over us!  We’re gonna fight for this city, for our home!  If we go down, we’ll go down fighting!  Don’t give up, all right?  It’s not as bleak as it looks.  And Jake Clawson will come back to help us; he’s too noble to turn a deaf ear on all this.”

Callie was now sobbing, holding her elbows so tightly, her knuckles were turning white underneath her fur.

“Oh!  Oh!  Oh!  Felina, what if we’re wrong?!  What if Jake never comes back?!!  What if we’re not strong enough to stop Dark Kat?!!  Megakat City then doesn’t stand a chance!!!  And I just want Chance to come back!  I just want Jake to come back!!  They don’t deserve to be hurt like this!!  I just…I just want this to stop!!  I just wish this never happened, that Jake didn’t lose Chance, that everything was back to normal again!  Oh!  Oh!”

Callie continued to bawl her grief out as Felina and Manx just looked at her grimly, at a loss for words.  As much as they both understood the reasons behind Callie’s wishful thinking, it was just that.  Wishful thinking.

 

 

This is Ann Gora, Kat’s Eye News,” a pretty brunette kat with shoulder length hair, make-up, and pale, beige fur reported with a microphone, “reporting live from Enforcers headquarters of Megakat City.  With the destruction of over half of the metropolis due to the forces of Dark Kat and his ‘Alliance of Evil’ and the threat of future attacks being imminent, the Enforcers are having difficulty resolving this tense conflict of good and evil and their plans in protecting what is left of the city.  The President announced today at a Senate hearing in the nation’s capital that the government has now sent direct orders regarding that all stand-by reserves of the military, naval fleets, and the Air Force are now to make their way towards Megakat City in hopes of helping Feral stop this united force of darkness once and for all.  However, the additional forces may be also due to another hidden agenda, one that requires anything being done in order to stop Dark Kat…including wiping Megakat City to the ground in an intense war-zone.  The President has conceded to the possibility that should there be no other way, as a last resort, it is better to lose one city than to have the entire world bow down to the likelihood that Dark Kat should ever grow big enough of a threat to rule the entire world through his war and forces.  The Senate also has released this statement, saying, ‘We have no choice but to view this show-down as the final stand between all kats and the Alliance of Evil.  We beg for forgiveness of all those affected by this tragedy for what we must do if there is no choice, for if we cannot destroy Dark Kat as of now, he will never be stopped until he has achieved world domination.  And that is something we can never allow…even if it means at the expense of millions of innocent lives’.  It is also exceptionally bleak in the city as well.  With the bridges destroyed by the Pastmaster’s armies and all roads and highways leading out to safety being blocked by Dr. Viper’s mutated flora, all kats are trapped with no where else to run.  Should the Enforcers and the nation’s military fail, the city shall surely be wiped out along with all the cornered, innocent he-kats, she-kats, and kittens that reside here in fear.

Ann then continued with a serious look on her face as she stared at the camera Johnny K. was filming her with.  Johnny was Ann Gora’s most faithful and devoted camerakat, never leaving her side as they both sought hot leads and story after story.  Johnny just stood there, his orange fur blowing softly in the wind against his purple sweater and khaki shorts as he continued filming the live report as direct feed to the news-van.

Commander Feral has recently increased the bounty of Jake Clawson, the infamous ex-Enforcer who had recently been revealed as ‘Razor’ of the SWAT Kats, much to the delight of many hunters and lawmen and mavericks, kats eager to capture the vigilante and take part of the biggest reward ever offered in the history of the nation.  Feral has warned the public that if they acknowledge any whereabouts of Clawson, they are to notify the Enforcers immediately, and to be wary for Clawson has been described as unstable, armed, and extremely dangerous.  With the death of his partner, the SWAT Kat ‘T-Bone’ (a.k.a Chance Furlong, another ex-Enforcer) killed by Dark Kat’s hand, Feral warned that it is apparent that Clawson, insane from his grief, has joined forces with Dark Kat in order to seek vengeance on the Enforcers.  Feral has been quoted as describing Clawson as ‘a hot-headed yet brilliant mechanic with a mind for engineering and mathematics, and as such, it is no wonder that he would use his genius to aid Dark Kat in trying to take control of the city and turning his back on upholding the law, just as he and Furlong had always done before’.

It also has not helped the gravity of this situation that there have been no leads or headway to the mysterious sightings of the strange alien creatures that had a run-in with the Enforcers earlier today.  These strange life-forms, heard to refer themselves as ‘the X-Men’, have been declared a threat to national security, hypothesized by Feral as genetic soldiers created by Dark Kat and his alliance in order to reduce the city to rubble as an additional arsenal.  Already, the Enforcers are fearful of the incoming battles to come, for it has been witnessed by many that these aliens are not only trained in battle but that they have strange powers beyond any comprehension.  Some can vanish in strange clouds of smoke, others can shoot off energy blasts and deflect bullets and missiles with ease and fly, and one was witnessed to have turned into solid steel.  It is apparent that what we are dealing with is a new danger that could possibly further jeopardize Megakat City and Feral has already declared this gathering of life-forms to be working directly for Clawson, for he was last seen aiding these strange abominations, helping them to escape from the Enforcers’ pursuit.  Feral has directly branded Jake ‘Razor’ Clawson a traitor to the city and the law, and from this, it will appear that the city will have to agree.  Razor is now no longer the fabled SWAT Kat hero before, but now, a mad maverick bent on helping Dark Kat destroy everything we hold dear…and Feral has made it clear that the Enforcers shall not give in to this evil, not without a fight.  Reporting live from Megakat City, this is Ann Gora…Kat’s Eye news.

Ann was breathless as soon as she went off the air, and the excitement of her story being seen across the country from coast to coast was thoroughly exhilarating.  Already, Kat’s Eye News had gotten very generous offers from other news networks in other provinces and countries overseas in order to broadcast the SWAT Kats and the apparent breakthrough over their true identities.  It was like a sickness; every minute detail of Jake Clawson and Chance Furlong’s lives were gobbled up by the public in sick obsession, leaving them wanting more and more.  The SWAT Kats were plastered, paraded and discussed about everywhere, in every periodical, in every tabloid, in every TV and radio debate, with most of the morbidly curious public really just fixating on Razor and T-Bone as celebrity mania rather than respected, noble heroes.  And, like any celebrity could always predict, if the public ever enjoyed reading about heroes, it paled in comparison to the vindictiveness of watching them fall from grace even more.  And, thanks to her news flash, Ann also was recently offered a prime spot as a news reporter on the highly-acclaimed network, KNN, one of, if not the most, prominent news media in the entire world.  Thanks to her exposé on the SWAT Kats, Ann now had a very promising and classy breakthrough…one that could shoot her off to new heights she only dared dream about.

“OK, that’s a wrap!!  Be sure to come back here for the next segment for the live coverage we’ll be doing for the evening news at eleven, all right, Johnny?” she said in a rush, giddy with the exhilaration of the hot story.  Johnny’s dark eyes narrowed as he indignantly pushed his dark shades over his brow, leaving them to rest on his furrowed forehead.

“Why?  After all, you’re just gonna spout off some more of that bullshit and just continue to make the SWAT Kats look bad as always, Ms. Gora,” he said with barbed resentment.  Ever since the terror Dark Kat had done to destroy parts of the city and upon discovering the secret identities of the SWAT Kats, Commander Feral had put a constitutional Enforcer ban on all media in Megakat City, threatening a gag order and immediate arrest if any news outlet ever tried praising or defending the vigilante Razor.  Commander Feral was not going to take the chance of making things more difficult by having the mass public turn against the paramilitary unit, especially since in such a crucial time, the city needed to stand united.  Ann and the staff of Kat’s Eye News certainly didn’t put up much of a fight, and neither did any of the other stations and tabloids.  Already, there had been disgusting stories of slander and libel of Jake spreading like wildfire, ranging anywhere from Jake recently robbing banks and committing arson to having a secret wife and illegitimate son who would be expected to grow up in his father’s tradition of vigilantism to Jake being a secret spy for Dark Kat for years even before he and Chance had been expelled from the Enforcers to how Chance and Jake had secretly been lovers and fired by a jealous Feral in some weird, intense love-triangle.  It had gotten to the point where Johnny K. was even ashamed to view himself as a part of the media.  Not that it mattered much to Ann.  Upon hearing this, the female kat shot Johnny a dirty look.

“If you have a problem, go right ahead and say it, Johnny!” Ann snapped curtly, flicking her bangs out of her eyes, “What in the nine lives is the matter with you?!  What’s your problem?!!”

The camerakat’s eyes flashed at the sizing up, the daring challenge, and he exploded at the reporter, “What’s my problem?!  What’s my problem??!!!  Gee, Ann, I dunno!  Other than the fact that you’re being Feral’s lackey in trying to bring down the SWAT Kats and dragging their names through the mud like some sick, propaganda trash-heap, everything is fine and hunky-dory with me!!”

The male-kat was a bit satisfied in seeing that little shaft hit home as Ann winced, yet she immediately put on a façade of impersonal, stony denial.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Ann replied roughly.

“The hell you don’t!”  Now the anger, the outrage, the injustice of it all was surging even more over his self-control as Johnny’s fur bristled as he literally yelled at Ann directly in her face, their noses just mere inches apart.

Johnny continued, “You know damn well what I’m talking about!!  What in hellkats is wrong with you?!!  Thanks to you, the public is now turned against Razor!  Thanks to you and your damn propaganda, you’re just being Feral’s pathetic excuse of a rally in order to help him look good while you turn Megakat City against Jake!!”

“That’s life as a celebrity, Johnny,” Ann sputtered in defense lividly, “One minute, the public can adore you, but then do one thing wrong, and the very same kats can turn a complete turn around and hate you for your screw-ups!”

“Oh and I suppose you being a high-and-mighty representative of Kat’s Eye News gives you the right to tear Razor apart like this with all your mud-slinging?!  Get off your damn high horse, Gora!!!  Razor didn’t make any kind of mistake other than not preventing T-Bone from getting killed and helping this city of ingrates!  Feral’s just being a biased ass-hole like he always was!!  You know as well as I do that Feral is relishing in this glory since it was his one chance to make the SWAT Kats look bad in front of the Enforcers, and you’re helping him!!!”

“I’m a news reporter, Johnny, and in case you’ve forgotten, it’s my job to report the truth, the truth every kat in the country has a right to know!!”

“The truth, yes, not slanderous hype,” Johnny clarified, his voice now hard, “and from what I can see, you’re no better than Dark Kat and his henchkats!  How could you do this to Razor, Ann?!  How could you do this to T-Bone as well?!  They helped protect this city more times than I can count on my paws, they rescued us from being shot into space when we were being attacked by the Ci-Kat-A, and let’s also not forget the SWAT Kats personally went down Tiger Conklin’s mines to save us from the scorpion monsters!!  If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t even be here, and neither would this city!!  And look at how you’re repaying them!!!  This is how you’re honoring the dedicated work and heroism they did for all of us?!!  Trashing their names and reputations, turning the public against them, and siding with Commander Feral of all kats!!  God Gora, you’re making things worse for Jake!!  Can’t you see that?!  You’re ruining his life, his credibility!!!  Jake can never live a normal life now!!  He’ll forever be hounded because of this!!  And all because you don’t want to miss out on the chance to make yourself look classy and go on the breakthrough of all news reports in the history of Megakat City!!!”

Ann now had her face flushed with a brilliant crimson color as she heatedly shot back sharply, “Hey, wake up and smell the catnip, Johnny!!  If I didn’t get to that news story first, some other kat reporter would have done it anyway!!  And besides, how do we know Razor hasn’t joined with Dark Kat anyway?!  You’ve read the testimonies by the Enforcers and Feral on how furious Jake was when Chance was killed, how he’d do anything to get back at Feral since he blames him for T-Bone’s death!!  You’ve even read the reports on how he lead those X-Men away to safety after they attacked the Enforcers and were trying to storm through the blockade Feral set up against any invaders!!  Those Enforcers were lucky to escape with their lives!!  For all we know, Razor really did betray us to the ‘Invincible Alliance of Evil’!!!”

Johnny’s face, twisted in fury and anger, leaned in closer to Ann’s, hissing dangerously, as if the female reporter had crossed a very big line.

That is a load of crap…and you know it.  Jake Clawson did nothing to deserve this.”

“I am not walking away from the biggest story of the city, of this nation!!”

“I swear, I don’t even know who you are anymore,” Johnny growled with disgust.

Ann just smoothly sidelined the barb as she coldly said to Johnny, “This discussion’s over, and from where I see, you have two choices: you can either take your tail off Kat’s Eye News and find yourself another job as a low-level camera lackey, or you can take this tape over to Nick in editing for the later segment tonight back at the station.  It’s your call, and until then…get back to the news van where you belong.”

Ann turned her back to Johnny abruptly so that she wouldn’t see the look of hurt and shocked resentment in her camerakat’s eyes nor would Johnny be able to see the glint of the tears welling up in hers.  Johnny threw the reporter a final glare before stomping off heatedly to the news van.  With him walking away sulkily, it was just Ann by herself, standing lifelessly next to the Enforcers’ headquarters and crying softly, running her make-up and mascara down her face and whiskers.

As outraged and insulted as she was from Johnny’s outburst, Ann wept because, deep down, she knew he was right.

She was no better than Dark Kat.

Next Chapter

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