“I don’t know about this, guys,” Tai said as he donned his bandanna and helmet, becoming Blaze.
“What did we just talk about?” T-bone replied with a stern tone as he pulled on his gloves. “You’re going, period!”
“Don’t worry,” Razor responded. “You’re gonna be fine. And if you mess up, we’ll look after you.”
Yeah, but you shouldn’t have to, Blaze thought as he put his overalls into his locker. He browsed through it and found his laser gun and its holster. He quickly strapped the blaster to his leg and pulled the pant leg over it, concealing the weapon. As he stood up, he noticed his poc-com sitting in the locker.
Do I need this? Blaze thought as he looked at the device. Better safe than sorry.
“Hey, T-bone. Do we even know what the flower looks like?” Razor asked.
“Damn! I forgot to ask,” T-bone answered, hitting his forehead with his hand.
“The Achilles blossom,” Blaze stated, reading off his computer, “a rare flower once thought to have gone extinct. Its name comes from the fact that the flower concentrates most of its internal heating in its roots. When the roots cool, the flower dies.”
T-bone and Razor looked at Blaze, a bit dumbfounded.
“Callie said it came from MegaKat Swamp, so I did a search,” Blaze explained.
“Well, we know where it is and what it looks like,” Razor said with a smile as he turned. “What are we waiting for?”
He, T-bone, and Blaze belted for the Turbokat. T-bone and Razor leapt up into the cockpit while Blaze opened the bomb bay doors and braced himself in the corner of the storage room. The floor lowered into the runway, and that’s when T-bone pushed the thrusters up. With a deafening roar, the jet rushed across the runway and out of the yard, ripping through the sky as it flew toward the swamps outside the city.
“Finally! Some action,” T-bone said with a grin. “Just what I needed today.”
“T-bone, we just had a pest control battle two hours ago,” Razor stated.
“Yeah, well some action with out the creepy crawlies,” T-bone responded, baring his teeth at the thought of more giant bugs.
Razor rolled his eyes and pressed a button on his Glovatrix, turning on the communicator setting. Blaze, in the storage room, heard a buzzing sound on his glove and pressed a flashing button, turning his communicator on.
“How you holding up, kid?” Razor’s voice asked.
“I’m fine Razor, don’t worry about me,” Blaze responded with an unintentional harsh tone. “The sooner we get there, the sooner we can find that flower and make a cure.”
“Ok, jeez,” Razor replied.
“I’m sorry,” Blaze said. “I’m just nervous. I can’t help but worry; it’s my first mission after all.”
“Don’t worry about it, little buddy,” T-bone replied, joining the conversation. “You’re with us. Nothin’s gonna happen.”
Blaze let out a small laugh, feeling better from the reassurance. “I hope you’re right.”
In MegaKat Swamp, Feral had already beaten the SWAT Kats to the place with three four-kat platoons.
“Ok, men!” Feral announced. “We are here to look for a very special flower. Keep your eyes peeled for dry, warm areas, places where the flower can thrive. It is green with purple outlining. I want a sweep of the area and for you to return in thirty minutes. Dismissed!”
The three groups spread out, fanning the swamp. However, one of the groups had a soldier that shouldn’t have been there. As the four walked through a thick patch of trees, three of them turned on the fourth.
“It’s safe now, lieutenant,” a grey furred enforcer announced. The one he spoke to removed the pilot helmet that covered its face to reveal Felina Feral.
“Thanks guys,” Felina said with a smile of gratitude. “My uncle never lets me on missions like this.”
“Are you sure this is ok?” an orange furred enforcer asked. “We could get in serious trouble for this.”
“Don’t worry; the lieutenant will just sweet talk the commander like always,” the black furred enforcer answered.
“Ha ha. Very funny,” Felina responded as she walked ahead of the three. “We have to get looking.”
“What’s so special about the flower?” the grey Enforcer asked as he and the others followed her.
“Didn’t you hear the announcement on the news?” the black enforcer asked. “There’s a virus in the water. The whole city will die if we don’t find it.”
“Man, I don’t know if we can,” the orange enforcer commented as he looked around.
As they passed through more dense vegetation, the group came upon a large wet spot. The water was four to five feet off the ground and small trees and shrubs poked out from the liquid.
“We should go back; there’s not much dry land here,” the orange one continued.
Felina ignored him and continued forward, trudging through the small pond and ignoring the feeling of wetness. “Come on, guys. We have to look everywhere we can. It might be close,” Felina stated.
With a bit of reluctance, the three followed her through the water, not seeing the small ripples caused by movement beneath the surface. The grey enforcer looked around as he walked and noticed the ripples speeding towards them. He stopped as the other three continued onward and watched it curiously. Felina looked back and noticed this, stopping with the other two.
“Hey. What….” She stopped when the ripples vanished.
Suddenly, the water burst upwards, showering all the enforcers. When the water cleared, the grey enforcer was gone.
“GET TOGETHER!!” Felina ordered, making them huddle back to back, looking in all directions.
“What was that?” the orange enforcer asked with a panicked tone.
As if to answer him, a creature emerged from the water. It was a large, grey cobra like snake. It straitened in the air to about 18 feet, not including the amount underwater, and was 3 feet wide. In its mouth was the missing enforcer, his watered down blood dripping fast down the serpent’s jaw from the sharp fangs that killed him. The snake shifted the kat in its mouth so he was looking strait down the throat. The creature’s muscles began to expand in contract as it devoured the enforcer like a rat, making a large lump appear in its body.
Felina and the two enforcers watched the consumption of their member with fear and disgust, not even being able to move after it was done. The snake then lurched its head down, tongue flicking out and catching the scent of the group. With the thought of food on its mind, the serpent sank back into the water to get ready for another attack.
“MOVE!!” Felina shouted as she and the two remaining enforcers ran for their lives through the water.
“How the hell are there snakes that big?!” the black furred enforcer shouted.
“I don’t know, and I’m not waiting around to ask,” Felina answered as the three were coming close to land.
As they passed some underwater growth, the orange enforcer hit the roots of a small tree with his boot. The kat fell into the water with a splash. Felina and the other enforcer turned to go back for him, but the orange enforcer shouted for them to go on. Just as he did, the gray snake shot out from the water, killing the kat with its fangs to the feline’s head. Felina and the last enforcer continued forward, making it to dry land.
Felina immediately felt around her uniform and found a small communicator. She hit a grey button and said, “Uncle! We have a situation!”
“Felina? What are you doing on this frequency?” Feral’s voice boomed.
“I’m in the swamp with platoon three,” the lieutenant answered. “We have a major problem! Two of our group were just eaten alive by a giant snake!”
“A snake?” Feral responded. “Kats alive! Viper must have booby-trapped the place. Felina, get out of there.”
“Sorry, uncle, but we have to keep looking,” Felina replied as she turned off the mini radio and pocked it.
“You sure we should keep going?” the black furred enforcer asked, still disturbed from seeing his partners eaten.
“Yeah. We have to find it. It’s our only way of curing the virus,” Felina answered.
A loud noise diverted their attention skywards to see a familiar black jet.
The SWAT Kats!! Felina thought, a spark of hope igniting within her.
The Turbokat sailed over MegaKat Swamp, seeing Enforcer boats along the beaches.
“Hey, looks like Feral beat us here,” T-bone said.
“It’d probably be easier if we don’t get mixed up with them,” Razor replied. He switched to his dimensional radar and looked at the formation of the swamp. “There’s waterways that cut through the whole swamp,” Razor stated. “If we can travel across those, we can search the area faster.”
“You thinkin’ what I’m thinking, buddy?”
“Yep, the Cycloskis,” Razor answered.
“Guys, what’s the Cycloskis?” Blaze’s voice asked over the radio.
Razor and T-bone grinned at the question.
“We’ll show ya,” T-bone answered.
A moment later, the Turbokat landed alongside the beach, a good distance away from the Enforcers. The bomb bay doors of the jet opened and shot out two projectiles just above the water. The shell casing slipped away, showing two jet skis with the three vigilantes on them. Razor was riding ahead, alone on his while T-bone and Blaze shared one.
“Jeez kid, you’re gonna make me barf if you squeeze any harder,” T-bone complained, feeling the grip Blaze had on the tabby’s waist loosen.
“Sorry, T-bone, I’ve never ridden one of these before,” Blaze replied.
“Follow me, guys,” Razor said as he led them to a small stream cutting into the swamp.
The three breezed through the water, looking around for the Achilles blossom.
“Wouldn’t it be better to go by foot?” Blaze asked the brown kat.
“I kinda have to agree with the kid on this, buddy,” T-bone added, his eyes darting back and forth from the water.
“Sorry, guys, but this is the fastest way we can look,” Razor replied. “Besides, T-bone, it’s not easy to fall off these babies.”
“Why worry? It’s just water,” Blaze questioned, looking up at T-bone.
“I don’t like to get wet,” T-bone replied, trying not to look back at Blaze.
As the three pushed through the water, they came upon the small lake where Felina and the enforcer were.
“No way! They’re here too,” the enforcer said.
“Yeah, this is more serious than I thought,” Felina responded. The she kat looked at the craft T-bone and Blaze were on and noticed the third. What? Another one?, she thought.
“Lieutenant! Look!” the enforcer shouted, pointing to the water. Felina followed his finger and saw the ripples from before rushed towards the SWAT Kats. Felina jumped from the brush cover and shouted, “Look out!”
“Felina?” T-bone asked, stopping.
The water started going faster and faster towards the two. With a burst of water, the grey snake leapt from the water and slammed itself into the Cycloski, knocking it and its passengers into the air. The Cycloski flew into the trees, crashing and slamming itself against the wood while T-bone and Blaze fell into the water. Razor was already on the next waterway when he heard the noise, looking back and seeing the grey snake fall back into the water.
“Kats alive!” he said as he turned the watercraft, trying to get back to his partners.
T-bone emerged from the water, splashing and gasping for air.
“Razor! Blaze! Get me outta here!” he shouted at the top of his lungs. The tiger felt something grab underneath his arms and hoist him up. T-bone looked back and saw the masked red kat that fell in with him.
“You can stand up; it’s not too deep,” Blaze stated.
T-bone, with an embarrassed look on his face, stood up with the water just barely getting up to his neck.
“Don’t like to get wet, huh?” Blaze said with a smirk. “You don’t know how to swim, do you?”
“Hey! I fly, not swim!” T-bone replied with a scowl.
Felina watched the water and saw the snake charging for another bit. With another, “look out,” the two SWAT Kats stopped their dispute and dove, dodging another strike.
“We’re sitting ducks out here!” T-bone said.
The two watched the waters and saw the snake charging for another attack. Blaze, out of pure instinct, grabbed T-bone around the torso and pointed his Glovatrix, shooting out the grappling hook and catching the branches of a nearby tree. The grappling hook hoisted the two into the air, dodging another snake attack and setting them on dry land.
The snake looked for its prey when it felt vibrations on the water. It looked around and smelt the air, only to have a bola missile seal its mouth shut. Razor came bursting into the small lake, aiming his microwave laser at the serpent.
Felina, seeing that her platoon’s killer was wide open, whipped out her laser gun along with the enforcer. The three blasted the snake at the same time, tearing into its skin with hot light and killing it. The snake fell into the water, darkening it with its blood.
“Darn, that would have made one hell of a belt,” the enforcer soldier said as he and Felina walked along the shore to Blaze and T-bone.
Razor turned on the water and parked next to the four.
“Good aim, lieutenant,” Razor said.” Thanks.”
“No problem; that thing killed two of our platoon,” Felina replied.
Blaze felt something slam on his back and looked, seeing it was T-bone’s large paw.
“That was some quick thinking there, kid,” the masked tiger said with a smile.
“Actually, I didn’t think at all,” Blaze replied. “It was weird; I kinda just went with it.”
“See. We told you not to worry,” Razor stated, joining the conversation.
Blaze beamed with pride, only to have it disappear when he saw Felina and the Enforcer looking at him.
“So, you guys have a new guy?” Felina asked.
“Yep, his name’s Blaze,” T-bone answered, pushing Blaze forward.
Felina sized up the red kat and put out her hand. “I’m Lieutenant Felina Feral. Good to meet you Blaze,” the she kat said with a smile.
Blaze froze, unable to think or move. He then broke out of it and took Felina’s hand, shaking it slowly. “Pleased… pleased to meet you… lieutenant,” he stuttered.
T-bone and Razor laughed quietly, seeing their new partner wasn’t good with meeting women.
“So, what are you guys doing here?” Felina asked.
“Same as you, looking for that flower,” Razor answered.
“Well, I hope you can fit three on that thing,” the soldier said, pointing into the woods.
The four looked and saw the lost Cycloski. The steering wheel was dangling from its post and the engine was hanging out.
“Crud, we’ll have to go on foot,” Razor complained.
Felina nodded and turned to the soldier. “I need you to go back and tell the Commander that we haven’t found it and I’m going to continue,” the lieutenant ordered.
“Ok, will do,” the soldier replied, breaking away from the group and disappearing into the swamp.
“You’re not going back?” Blaze questioned.
“No. I’m going to keep looking with you guys,” Felina answered.
”Well, that flower’s not going to find itself,” T-bone stated as he went ahead, Felina, Blaze, and Razor following him.
The four wondered through the dense forest, keeping an eye out for the flower and any more danger. As they looked, T-bone slowed down and walked next to Blaze, whispering to him.
“Not good with the ladies, are you?” the tabby said with a smirk.
“I’m not good at meeting anyone new,” Blaze whispered back. “Remember when I met you two for the first time?”
“Well don’t worry, little buddy. Stick with me and you’ll be a ladies kat in no time,” T-bone responded.
Razor, overhearing them, rolled his eyes. Great, another Chance, the brown kat thought.
As they passed through another mass of vegetation, they stopped. Before them was a huge tree.
Viper watched his monitor in his lab, flipping through the security cameras he placed around the whole swamp. Many of the enforcers had fell to his traps, while the others wandered around aimlessly.
“Thossse foolsss,” Viper hissed. “Do they think I’m ssstupid? I’m not going to leave the cure where they can get their handsss on it.” As he scrolled through the channels, he stopped at the camera positioned right outside his hideout and saw the four emerge from the woods.
“Ssso, thesse meddling ssSWAT Katsss are here,” the villain stated. “I sssuppossse I’ll be a good hossst and give them a warm welcome.”
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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.