The four kats stared at the marvel. Before them was a massive, garland looking tree. It towered out of the soil and went into three sections. The main part sprung from the ground while the other two grew from its back, pointing skywards. A large limb stuck out from the wood, traveling down to the ground and piercing the earth. Surrounding the tree was what looked like a small forest of small, thorned, green trees.
“Whoa! Look at the size of that thing!” T-bone said as he gazed at it.
“The irrigation that flows into this place hasn’t been here near enough to make trees that big,” Felina commented. “You would see something this size in the Amazon.”
Blaze looked at it curiously. “It doesn’t seem natural,” he said. “It kinda looks like a building.”
While the other three were in discussion, Razor left the cover of the swamp and felt the soil before the thorned forest. The soil was moist and warm in his paw, probably from the lack of tree cover.
“The soil’s perfect for the flower to grow,” the brown SWAT Kat announced. “Our best bet is to look here.”
“You got it, buddy,” T-bone replied as he, Felina, and Blaze joined Razor. The group moved through the mass of spiked trees, making sure to look everywhere without getting pricked. “We’re getting nowhere,” T-bone complained after their third search.
“Yeah, there might not be any left,” Blaze replied, a depressed look on his face.
“There has to be. This place use to be a breeding ground for them,” Razor stated, trying to clear the air of uncertainty.
Felina nodded and was about to speak, when a sound caught her attention. The she kat closed her eyes and concentrated, a faint buzzing sound reaching her ears.
“Do you guys hear that?” she asked.
“Hear what?” T-bone replied.
“Listen,” Felina ordered.
The three SWAT Kats closed their eyes and listened, hearing the buzzing as well. It was steadily growing louder and louder by the second.
“Yeah, I hear it,” T-bone announced.
“What is it?” Blaze asked.
“T-bone. You’re not going to like this,” Razor said as he pointed skyward.
The three followed his finger and saw an army of giant bees, flying strait for them.
“You just had to ask,” T-bone said to Blaze with a leer.
Blaze just gave a small, nervous laugh in reply.
“We need to get back to the swamp,” Felina said as she walked away from the SK’s. “These trees won’t give us any cover.”
“Right Felin….,” Razor stopped when he saw one of the trees begin to move. As Felina came close to it, it pointed its thick limbs upwards, getting ready to send it crashing down on her. “Look Out!” Razor shouted as he bolted for the enforcer.
With a mighty leap, the brown SWAT Kat tackled Felina just as the plant attacked, dodging the swing by a hair. Felina looked at the brown kat on top of her and was about to shout, when she saw the tree lift its arms again for another attack. Grabbing Razor, the enforcer rolled, saving both from a bone-crushing blow.
“Razor! Felina!” Blaze shouted as he moved to go after them, only to be held back by T-bone’s paw.
“I hate to say it, but we gotta worry about ourselves right now, kid,” the masked tiger said as he took a defensive stance.
The trees around the two began to move as well, getting ready to pound the vigilantes. T-bone pressed a button on his glovatrix, making a buzz saw extend out. As one of the plants swung at them, T-bone slashed, ripping off the limbs and making them fall harmlessly to the ground. Blaze copied T-bone and made his blade appear, hacking at the branches as they came close as well.
“What the heck’s going on?” Razor shouted.
“Uncle said that Viper may have put traps all over the swamp,” Felina replied, pulling out her laser and blasting some of the trees to splinters.
“Guess the old snake doesn’t want us looking around,” Razor joked.
Some of the bees had left the pack and made their way towards Felina and Razor, extending their stingers forward to impale the two. Razor aimed his glove at the attackers and fired, sending them to the ground in a net.
“We’re gonna be killed if we don’t get out of here!” Blaze shouted.
Three more trees leapt at T-bone, meeting his blade and falling to the ground. But, as the big kat chopped them into pieces, he noticed something. Where the three were standing before the assault was a long wooden ladder that reached up into the Amazon sized tree. The gears in T-bone’s head began to turn, coming up with a plan.
“Everyone! This way!” the masked kat shouted as he began to climb.
Blaze, hearing his partner’s command, ran through the sea of spiked trees and joined him in the climb. Felina and Razor went to join them, blasting and hacking the plants as they went. In the sky, however, the swarm had arrived. Just as Felina got to the ladder, Razor trailing behind her, the battalion of the insects rushed towards her.
“Keep going!” Razor ordered, making the she-kat continue her ascent. The brown SWAT Kat turned to his opponents and aimed his glove. They’re bugs, so it should work, Razor thought as he waited for a better shot. Just as the bees came close to Felina, Razor fired. A missile flew into the insect’s ranks and exploded, sending waves of smoke everywhere. The swarm immediately dissipated, broken apart from the confusion and the black fog.
“Bingo!” Razor announced in triumph. “Homemade smoke bombs, never leave home without them.” The brown kat started his climb while the flying insects were broken, joining his group at what looked like a doorway. The four were in what looked like a hallway into the tree, the only doors being the one he just entered and one at the end.
“This doesn’t make any sense,” Blaze stated. “How is it that this thing is here? Also, wouldn’t it be easier to run back into the swamp?”
“I’m just as confused as you are, Blaze,” Felina said.
“Well think about it,” T-bone replied. “If Viper did booby-trap this swamp, why did he go more out of his way to guard this place?”
“Yeah, even the snake was weak compared to it,” Razor responded. “But, I guess we’ll find out if we keep going.”
The brown SWAT Kat continued down, closely followed by the other three when they passed through the next door. Where they came out was a platform out looking a large lab. The wooden walls had a purple coloring to them, with circular windows carved into them to help the lighting. A series of ladders connected the platform they were on to one below it and then to the floor of the lab. The four moved in silence down the steps into the room. Pillars of wood rose to the ceiling to act as support beams, each arising in a different spot. Small holes by their bases contained various bottles, many of different shapes and colored liquids. In the center of the room was a long table, covered from end to end with boiling liquids, jars of serums, test tubes, beakers, Bunsen burners, and other scientific equipment.
“What is this place?” Blaze questioned.
“Isn’t it obvious?” T-bone replied. “This is the doc’s hidden lair.”
“No wonder we haven’t been able to find him,” Felina said as she strolled over to the lab table, browsing what it displayed. “This place was perfectly camouflaged. No one would have thought of looking for a hollowed out tree in a swamp.”
“We’ll be able to get the cure and take Viper down,” Razor announced. “Hitting two birds with one stone.”
“Small problem, buddy. We need to find the cure first,” T-bone said. “I haven’t seen anything that looks like a flower here yet.”
“Guys, over here,” Blaze called. The three joined Blaze a few steps away, seeing what looked like a stairway before them. “There might be another lab down here. It could have the cure there,” Blaze said with a smile, the hope of finding the cure burning brighter in him.
“Ok, but we need to be careful,” Razor announced.
“Yeah, who knows where that snake is?” T-bone continued. “We’ll go first while you and the lieutenant bring up the rear, got it?”
“Yes sir!” Blaze joked, putting his paw to his helmet in salute.
T-bone smirked, starting his descent down the stairs with Razor at his side. Blaze and Felina walked behind them into the pitch darkness of the stairs. T-bone and Razor dug into their flight suits and pulled out their flashlights, shinning them down and cutting some of the darkness away.
“I’m getting a bad feeling about this,” Felina said, her hand on her blaster in case she was right.
“Well, this place isn’t exactly giving me the warm and fuzzys ether,” T-bone replied.
The four reached the bottom, feeling cold concrete under their feet. The SWAT Kats shined the lights through the room, getting a visual on it piece by piece. Long tables covered with test tubes, beakers, Bunsen burners, and vials sat one behind the next, taking a good 30 feet. Behind those, five large tankers of colored liquids bubbled and churned.
“So, this is where he keeps most of his mutagens,” Razor said.
T-bone shined his light as the group slowly moved through the lab. When the light fell on a cage, the burly kat jumped back, seeing a massive black fly in one of the cages.
“Bugs. Why can’t it be giant lizards like in the swamp?” T-bone moaned, looking at the disgusting insect.
Razor rolled his eyes at the tabby and shined his light around, catching something interesting. Where his light fell was a table covered with plotted plants. They reached up a good 12 inches. Their pedals were a bright neo green with a strip of dark purple on their edges.
“Guys, I think I found what we’re looking for,” the brown kat said, pointing in their direction and keeping his light on them.
“Great, look how many there are,” Felina responded, going over to the plants. “There’s enough here to make a cure and to use for Megakat biochem to use for research.”
“Well, first things first,” T-bone stated. “We need to grab as much as we can and scram, before the snake shows up.”
“That’ss very harssh, Ssswat Kat!!” a voice sounded.
T-bone and Razor shined their lights around, and caught the form of Dr.Viper.
“Viper!!” T-bone and Razor shouted in recognition.
“Welcome to my humble home, ssSwat Katsss,” the doctor said with a sinister tone. “It wasss rather sssmart of you to dissscover it. Not many would think of a hollowed out tree in the ssswamp.”
Blaze couldn’t help but feel repulsed from the doctor’s form. His green and sea green stripped scales, black claws, long overlapping fangs, and tail completely threw the new SK.
“Viper! You’re going down this time,” T-bone shouted.
Doctor Viper smirked at the burly kat’s words and started to laugh, a raspy chuckle that sent tingles down the group’s spine. “Do you honessstly think I would let you waltz in here and take the cure to my beautiful virusss?” he hissed. “I have more than 1 kind of lizard here.”
With those words, the darkness of the room was banished when the lab’s lights burst on, making the good guys shield their eyes as they adjusted. When they were able to look a second later, the SK’s and Felina saw five massive dragon like lizards surrounded them. They stood seven feet tall with a 12-foot length. The tops of their bodies were covered with small spikes and colored a black and tan while their underbellies were just a tan color. The lizard’s heads were large and short snout with three horns coming out at the top. The creatures’ tails whipped back and forth behind them as they licked their lips, seeing the kats as a fresh meal and waiting for their master’s orders.
“Why did you ask for lizards T-bone?” Razor moaned.
“Well, it still beats bugs,” T-bone replied with a grunt.
“Now my petsss, devour them and leave no trace!” Viper commanded, pointing at the good guys.
The horned lizards obeyed his command and leapt forth. Three went towards T-bone and Razor while the other two went towards Felina and Blaze. One lizard shot out his tongue, catching Razor.
“Razor!” T-bone shouted, about to run to his friend’s aid when two blocked his path.
Razor struggled against the sticky tongue as it receded quickly back into the monster’s throat, getting his glovatrix free.
“Sorry, no free meals,” Razor mocked, making his buzz saw come out and cut the tongue, making the dragon drop the kat to the ground. Razor landed on his feet and quickly aimed at the horned lizard, distracted as it bled from the mouth.
“Mini-scramblers, deploy,” the brown kat shouted, firing two missiles. The tips of the projectiles broke off to reveal electrified conductors, which knocked the monster unconscious with 2000 volts when they hit.
“You ok, buddy?” T-bone called as he fired a bola at one of the lizards attacking him, binding its legs and sending it to the ground.
“Yeah, just a bit wet,” Razor replied, flinging off some of the saliva that was on him.
“Well, help me with these,” T-bone responded.
Meanwhile, Blaze and Felina had their hands tied trying to defeat the two horned lizards they attracted. The two flicked their tongues in and out, trying their hardest to catch a kat for their meal. Felina aimed her laser as they dodged and fired, hitting the tough top skin and not doing any damage.
“We need to come up with a plan, quick,” Blaze shouted, jumping over a pink tongue. As he was in the air, the monster quickly turned around, whipping the red kat to the ground with its tail.
“Blaze!” Felina shouted, stopping as she did. A sticky pink tongue wrapped itself around her feet and hoisted the she kat into the air, pulling her towards the monster’s mouth. The lieutenant quickly aimed her laser and fired, blasting the inside of the horned lizard’s mouth and cutting it open. The monster dropped the she kat to the ground, roaring in pain as it stamped around. Blaze got up and fired two bolas at the creature, binding its legs and sending it to the ground.
“One down, one to go,” the red kat said, looking at the second lizard.
Felina and Blaze aimed at the same time and fired, combining the force of a laser blast and a missile. The two hit the soft underbelly of the horned lizard, sending it to the ground with a bleeding gash.
While the battle was going on, Viper made a quick dash to the sewer entrance of the lab. The serpent knew he would be no match if all four ganged on him and he would be better off with an escape, even if it meant sacrificing his lab.
Razor noticed this while T-bone hit the last horned lizard with mini-scramblers, bringing it down.
“Guys, he’s getting away!” the brown kat shouted.
“Ssso long, ssSWAT Katsss!” Doctor Viper mocked as he entered the pipe. “I may have losst my lab, but you haven’t sseen the lasst of me!” The villain quickly vanished into the sewer.
“Come on, we have to catch him!” Felina shouted, starting her run to the pipe when T-bone stopped her.
“Sorry, lieutenant, but we have to get these to Miss Briggs,” T-bone stated. “Besides, we’re not gonna be seeing him for a while.”
Felina glared at the burly kat, but decided he was right.
“Ok, we should gather as much as we can,” Razor instructed, walking over to the plants.
The group began picking through the plants, getting two dozen of the rare flowers.
“You guys go and deliver them,” Felina said. “I’m gonna stay here and radio my uncle. He might be angry that you guys got the cure, but he’ll feel better when I tell him we found Viper’s base.
“Roger,” T-bone replied, starting for the stairs.
“It was good meeting you, Felina,” Blaze said as he followed T-bone and Razor.
“It was good meeting you too, Blaze,” Felina called back.
Blaze couldn’t help but blush, lucky that his mask concealed it.
I probably shouldn’t tell the commander there’s a new SWAT Kat, Felina thought to herself as the SWAT Kats vanished. He would definitely have a heart attack.
Calico Briggs stared down at the paper work she had to do. These were important to the city, but her mind was elsewhere.
It’s been over two hours and no report on the Achilles blossom, the she kat thought, feeling herself go into depression. If we don’t get it soon, we might have to…
Her thoughts were interrupted when she heard a low roar outside her office. The she kat looked to her window, and nearly fell out of her chair when she saw the Turbokat hovering outside her window. Callie quickly sprang out of her chair and onto her feet, rushing to the window and opening it. The canopy of the jet slid back in response, showing the strong faces of the SWAT Kats.
“What are you guys up to?” the she-kat asked.
“We’ve got a delivery to make,” Razor answered, pulling out the flowers, now bound together with a band. He tossed them to Callie, who caught them.
“Two dozen rare Achilles blossoms,” T-bone stated. “They’d look good on your desk. Enjoy.”
The canopy slid back over and, with a deafening roar, the jet blasted off over the city.
Callie looked down at the flowers and then to her desk, knowing she had an important call to make.
“And so, with special help from the SWAT Kats and the scientists of Megakat Biochemical, the city’s water supply is now clean and safe,” Ann Gora’s voice spoke from the TV.
Chance and Jake watched the news program, smiling from a job well done. The two looked over to see Tai come in and sit on the ground, water logged from drinking so much.
“Well, beat another disaster,” Jake said with a cheerful tone.
“Yeah, but they’ll be plenty more,” Chance stated.
“I can’t wait!” Tai shouted. “That was so awesome!”
Chance and Jake looked at each other and laughed, happy to see the red kat’s enthusiasm.
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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.