“Damnit! What in god’s name do you think your doing soldier!”
“Sorry sir, I lost control.”
“Well you can just forget about any hopes you had in this army son! Get your fuckin tail back to the bunker and pack up! Your on the next train out of here!”
“Yes sir.” Konobei turned tail and headed toward the soldier barracks. It was just as well, coming here was a mistake. No kat deserved to be treated in such a manner, not even one of lowest social rank should have to undergo the abuse trainee’s suffered here.
Konobei packed up what little possessions he had and, throwing his bag over his shoulder, turned for the door only to pause when Maya blocked his path. “Konobei, what’s wrong?”
“Maya, I’m leaving.”
“What?” She paused, “This is not because of me is it?”
“No, its my fault. I shouldn’t have lost my temper with the sergeant.”
“Konobei, tell me what happened.”
“When I yelled at him for not seeing to getting you medical attention right away the son of a bitch beat the shit out of me.”
“Shh, don’t worry. Its for the best. This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for my future. When I looked for a ninja training camp and found this one I jumped at the chance only to find it to be…”
“I know, they are no ninja here.” She sighed, “Like you, I came in hopes of such training but only found misery.” Maya pulled her bag out from behind her back where she had been hiding it. “I’m leaving too, this is no ninja training camp, this is hell.”
Konobei placed a gentle paw on her shoulder, “Are you sure?”
“Yes.” A saddened look came to her eyes, “I tried to talk some sense into my friends but they only laughed. Like everyone else they have fallen for the false illusion of this place. Lets leave before we loose the opportunity.”
Konobei wrapped a arm about Maya’s shoulders “All right. Lets go and see if we can’t find a real ninja school.”
“I’m with you all the way.”
Konobei and Maya walked off into the night leaving behind the false school of ninja. The others may have been fooled but they had seen through the curtains of deceptivness.
As they started down the lonely road for the train station both allowed hopeful thoughts to fill there heads, hopeful visions of the future for each of them.
“What? Are you sure?”
“Yes, they were both killed by shuriken.”
Tania frowned, “Jake, is it possible for me to get a look at those weapons?”
Jake nodded, “I think so. If worse comes to worse I can…persuade Feral to allow it.”
“Thanks Jake, see you in an hour then.” Tania’s image faded to be replaced by the city logo.
Jake turned away from the comm, “Good, we have definitely got their help.”
Chance smiled with approval. “Nice work Jake. I guess its a good thing your old friends were still around. How far back did you say you went?”
“Farther back than I can remember. I never did see much of them though they always seemed to be just within reach.”
“Strange, oh well. I guess we better get going.” Chance headed for the door, “This case has really gotten under my fur.”
“I’ll say, tow kats killed by some ancient weapon in the midst of one of our missions. Being the Swat Kats never seems to fail to throw some excitement into our lives.”
“If we were not Swat Kats then I don’t know how long I would live without being behind the flight stick.
“Well, how’s a wheel for now?”
“Very funny.” Chance slipped into the driver’s seat, pushing the key in and turning on the ignition. “Lets get going before Feral changes his mind.”
Konobei and Maya stepped off the train, their eyes watering from the sudden heat of exhaust steam. “Damn, lets get out of..(cough)..here.”
“Good..(Cough)..idea.” Maya took Konobei’s paw and dashed out of the way as the train chugged of toward the mountains. “Now what?”
“We find a place to stay for the night.”
“I don’t know. I’ll ask inside.” Konobei and Maya made way into the station and stopped at the front office, “Hello?” There was no answer, “Hello!”
Maya gasped, eyes growing wide as she froze to the spot. “Konobei, look.”
Konobei glanced up, “Oh god! This place has been shut down for five years.”
Maya grabbed his paw, “Let’s get out of here. I hate old places, they give me the creeps.”
Both kats made a hasty exit and started off into the town only to find it deserted. Maya swallowed, “A ghost town.”
“Yes, lets get out of here.” Konobei led Maya into the forest away from the old city, “Now, I wonder where we are.”
“Don’t look at me. I’ve no idea.”
“Well, I guess we find a safe place for the night and camp out until morning.”
Maya shivered as a gust of cold wind whisked by, sending a icy feeling up her spine. “I’m scared, Konobei.”
“Shh, don’t be. I wont let any harm come to you.” He tucked her up against his side and started up a trail that lead toward the woods edge and what appeared to be a roadway in the distance. “I think I see a road ahead, we can follow it and try to find some help.”
Jake and Chance pulled up in front of Enforcer head quarters where Felina Feral stool waiting at the front door. Beside her were tow others, Timothy and Tania.
Tania appeared quite small next to her mate who stood a good four inches higher. She appeared slender and quite agile with her light skin and dark brown hair. Though humanoid in appearance a hint of feline influence could be picked up in her form by an very observant viewer through her deep ice blue eyes the were definitely those of a kat and just the way she moved, a natural grace in every movement.
Timothy, on the other hand, was just the opposite with his well muscled, yet not stocky, build. Definitely a kat with his deep ice blue eyes and dark brown, almost but not quite black, fur, many a observer would not take him to be anything else but a kat. As a result of his appearance the general impression upon other’s was ‘not to mess with this kat’ though in truth he was quite nice and gentle, most of the time.
Felina smiled as they approached, “Nice to see you again. Its been quite a while.”
Chance nodded, “Indeed it has, perhaps just a bit too long.”
“I trust all is well with you these days Lieutenant?” Jake glanced at Timothy and Tania then back at Felina.
“Yes, for the most part things are quite smooth accept for the occasional strange occurrence such as this recent incident.” Felina said, turning toward the entrance which lay just beyond them. “Come on, my uncle’s waiting and I have a feeling he’s been growing impatient.”
“It is a road, but no one seems to be around.” Maya glanced to the right and left then back to the right.
“Perhaps we need only wait a while.”
“I dobught it, the area is completely deserted.”
“Then we may as well follow it a bit to see where it leads.”
“That seems to be the only choice we have at the moment.” Maya grasped Konobei’s paw and started down the road.
As time passed the road widened slightly and became more smooth, changing from dirt to gravel then cement. On the far off horizon glimpses of what appeared to be lights from a city became more and more frequent. Toward the end of tow hours a few cars even passed by though no kat stopped to offer a ride to Maya and Konobei.
With weary legs and feet, empty stomachs, and tiered minds Maya and Konobei finally set foot in the city limits. Before them extended a great metropolis with skyscrapers that seemed to reach up into infinity as well as more humble apartment complex’s and stores. In the twilight of evening all the streets and sidewalks glowed with light from street lights set along sidewalk edges.
Nearly no kats or vehicles were seen on the streets as it was growing late and everyone was heading home. Maya and Konobei were left on there own in the strange surroundings to search for shelter and food. No one had offered any help at all which seemed rather strange to both of them.
Konobei shrugged, “I don’t know what is with everyone. Its as if they don’t see us, like…”
“We don’t exist.” Maya finished, “That is strange. Oh well, lets find a place to stay and some dinner.”
“That looks like some sort of inn over there.” Konobei pointed toward a building a few feet away.
“Ok, but be careful, it looks a bit rough to me.” Maya hesitated.
“Don’t worry, it’ll be fine.” Konobei lead Maya to the inn, pushing the door open when they reached its front door. They made their way to the front where the keeper stood behind a bar. “Excuse me sir.”
The keeper looked up, shrugged, and returned to pouring the drink. He walked away and placed it before the waiting customer.
“Hey! Didn’t you hear me!?” No response came.
Maya and Konobei looked into each others eyes and for the first time realized what was wrong. They were dead. The time in the forest had seemed to be quite a while and at one point they had paused after a strange feeling had overtaken them both, a feeling of misplacement. Something in that dark forest had taken their lives without them knowing, resulting in their spirits wandering about with no knowledge of passing out of physical existence.
Timothy replaced the photos on Feral’s desk. “This is to strange. These kat’s were not just unfortunate casualties, they died of fright much like Maya and Konobei. Fear must have welled up in them as they were caught in the midst of the fray to such a degree that their spirits left them from the shock.”
Feral leaned forward, “Who are Maya and Konobei?”
“There the tow mentioned in a legend, a Shinobi (Pronounced Sheenobee, the Japanese word for ninja) legend of old, It simply tells the story of tow would be Shinobi students who were deceived into going to a false training camp for ninja. When they discovered the truth they left after Maya was injured and the sergeant refused to help her. Konobei, her lover, became angered and got thrown out of the camp after being beaten. They rode a train out of the area and discovered a ghost town when they searched for help. Finally when they wandered into a near by forest there fear had subcontiously welled up and exploded, killing them both. Legend has it their spirits wandered to a city and eventually discovered the truth after asking for help and continually being ignored by all the kats they had confronted. Its a strange tale told to all ninja warriors to show them the importance of fear control. It seems these tow kats died in the same way Maya and Konobei died.” Timothy explained.
“So you are saying these tow died of fear?” Feral drummed his fingers on the desk top.
“Yes.” Timothy sat down by Tania again and looked Feral square in the face.
Feral leaned forward, his chair groaning in protest. “Then what about…”
“The shuriken are a mystery and may well be part of a larger puzzle. You said several kats have mysteriously died over the last few months?” Tania said.
“Correct.” Felina replied,
“Then it is highly possible their death’s may be linked to these tow. Feral, I’m afraid you have a case on your hands where we are on little or no help. You have been told all we know, now it is up to you.” Timothy turned to Jake and Chance, “Thank you for calling us. I’m only sorry we could not help out any more than we did.” Timothy and Tania stood, “We must leave now. Good day to you all.” With that they turned and left.
Feral sat back, “Well, I’m closing the book on this one. I have no leads what so ever and do not intend to waist my time. No shuriken or similar evidence turned up in the other cases so I see no connection.” He shut the folder on his desk.
Felina nodded, “Neither do I.” She turned to Chance and Jake, “Thank you for coming down. I am sorry this was a waste of time.”
“No need for that, and it wasn’t a waist of time. We learned that this was just a fluke, this meeting prevented an unnecessary investigation. We will be leaving now.” Jake said as he and Chance stood to leave.
“Good by then.” Feral said, not looking up from the papers before him.
Jake and Chance made their way back to the truck and hoped in. Chance powered it up and headed back toward the salvage yard, “Jake, what you said back there…”
“Was a lie, I think. There has to be more to this. You saw how fast Timothy and Tania left.”
“Yes, I thought that a bit strange. I haven’t known them as long as you but I have known them long enough to say that something was bothering them.”
“I’ll contact them later when we get back. Perhaps I can dig up some sort of explanation…”
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.