SWAT Kats is a trademark of Hanna-Barbera, and other characters that pop up are owned by their respective trademarks. Leo the Patriotic Lion is my character.
T-Bone high-fived his partner as the dynamic duo of Megakat City climbed out of the Turbokat and walked over to the wall where several skull-and-crossbones marks were captured. They were keeping score of how many times they had brought criminals to justice, and they just took care of Dr. Viper’s latest scheme. T-Bone made the mark, then noticed the count.
“Hey, buddy!” he called. “We’ve just scored our 1,500th victory!”
“Hey, that’s pretty sweet!” Razor replied. “This calls for a celebration!”
“Oh, you bet, buddy,” T-Bone smiled as the duo made their way up to the main floor of the junkyard and donned their normal identities of Chance Furlong (T-Bone) and Jake Clawson (Razor). “Can you believe we’ve put 1,500 crimes to rest?”
“It’s hard to believe,” said Jake. “Eventually, I’m going to lose count and not even notice we reached 5,000 or something like that.” Jake went to the refrigerator to grab a can of milk. “Wonder how our rivals are doing? Haven’t been able to do a rock-and-roll show for a while because of all these crimes.”
“Sure, the public forgives us, buddy,” Chance replied. “They adore them as much as us. Sonic JAM hasn’t been to the top of the charts lately since the Martian Freedom Fighters topped with ‘Gunning the Engines;’ I think that’s what it’s called. Still, our hit, ‘Draggin’ the Crime,’ is at #2 for the sixth week in a row. I know for a fact our latest album is the top selling new release in Megakat City, but what about our neighbor, Wildcat City? Seems all the action happens there.”
“Probably because of that Leo the Patriotic Lion character that’s been in the news. His speeches are still effective today, and he’s continuing to keep the peace when the police can’t, in addition to all those other crimefighting legends from that town.”
“That must be it. I’m sure we are soon to enter the hall of fame, if there is one.”
“If not, let’s keep up the good work anyway.”
“No doubt about that.”
Chance flipped on the TV. “Let’s see if we made the six o’clock news.”
Kat’s Eye News did show the SWAT Kats as the headline, but unlike most cases, Ann Gora was in the studio. “Our top story this evening is the SWAT Kats’ victory against Dr. Viper. Viper’s latest thefts of KatalystX-81 had been leading to more mutant creatures than ever before, giving him the world record for most henchmen used in a single crime wave. Under normal circumstances, Viper only uses a handful, but this time is different. Commander Ulysses Feral had plenty of praise to give on the SWAT Kats.”
The camera switched to Feral’s commentary. “I wish I had never doubted those SWAT Kats in the first place. As much as I thought they made us look incompetent, they haven’t. We couldn’t have done it without them. They really are the greatest thing that’s happened ever since the rise and fall of Dark Kat. And, by fall, I’m referring to when Dark Kat used that ancient war drum of Megalith City, which you can now see in the Megakat Museum of History. SWAT Kats, keep doing what you’re doing, and do it with pride! The Enforcers and I salute you!” He made the appropriate gesture.
“Feral’s 10th anniversary as commander of the Enforcers is tomorrow, but he says he doesn’t want anything big planned, so the city isn’t planning anything special. We’ll keep you up to date on any other Enforcer victories or SWAT Kats victories to come, but first, let’s go to Josh Hancock with a look at the weather.”
Chance hit the MUTE button. “That’s the first time I’ve seen Commander Feral happy about us and preaching it ever since he publicly apologized on camera.”
“Yeah,” said Jake. “Feral’s image is turning for the better. I think the public likes him better this way.”
Just then, the sound of an electric guitar could be hear from a short while away after a voice counted to himself, “One, two.”
“Sounds like Grimalken,” Chance smiled.
“Good,” said Jake. “Let’s go see what he wants.”
The two kats walked outside to find it was Captain Grimalken, in his rock star clothing and all, letting it loose on the guitar. He was improvising, of course, but with him on guitar, nothing sounded improvised. (This is a good thing in rock music.)
“Hey, Captain,” Chance greeted when Grimalken finished his solo. “How you doin’ today?”
“As always, energized,” Grimalken grinned, playing an A chord. “I feel empowered whenever I got the guitar in my possession. I just wanted to congratulate you on that last victory against that Viper freak. That sicko never stops trying, does he?”
“No, he doesn’t.” Jake shook his head. “Get this. We’ve been keeping score of our victories, you know. This one’s a big one: 1,500!”
“1,500? Whoo!” Grimalken shouted, striking another A chord. “Bang it to me, bros!” Chance and Jake banged Grimalken’s right hand’s knuckles. “Forgive me, but I’m hyper today. I’ve been dying to rock for the masses again, but then again, sometimes studio recording is more profitable.”
“So are we. But, there’s hope. You know that neighbor metropolis of ours, Wildcat City? Too many marching bands there, but that’s why they’re so famous. Rock music has a bigger influence on that town, and their annual rock festival, ‘Rockapalooza,’ is coming up soon. Chance and I thought we’d give Feral a heads-up, because he’s part of the band and he does the best job at informing the others.”
“Mind if I join you?”
“Oh, not at all.”
“Excellent.” Grimalken paused for a minute to cool down after striking several more chords, then put his guitar away in the back of his car.
The three drove on towards Enforcer HQ, where Feral and Felina were just leaving to eat dinner.
Feral noticed them first. “Hang on, one second, Felina,” he said to his niece. “The SWAT Kats approach us now, and the Captain’s with them.” (Feral had previously discovered their identities but had sworn to secrecy, as did Felina, the Sergeant, and the rest of the rock band members, now including Donald Darvino, their new pianist.)
“Maybe they’re going somewhere to celebrate that last victory against Viper.”
Chance drove the truck up to the base of the HQ, where Feral’s sedan was located. Grimalken pulled up behind them.
After making sure Chance didn’t rear-end it, Jake pulled down his window. “Hey, Commander,” he called.
“Hello there, Clawson. Furlong.” It was customary of Feral to use last names of kats unrelated to him (except his Sergeant, whom he just referred to by the ranking). “Heard you scored another one.”
“Yep, and get this: it’s our 1,500th victory!”
“1,500?” Felina exclaimed. “That’s quite an accomplishment if you ask me.”
“Glad to hear that, soldiers,” Feral congratulated, continuing his habits. “I continue to regret the day you were expelled from the Enforcers, but it turned out for the better. I guess kats like you who get that master status of ‘superhero’ became instant legends, never to be forgotten. That’s quoting Leo the Patriotic Lion word-for-word, of course, but you know where I’m going with this.”
“We do,” said Jake. “We actually came here to give you an update. As we just told Captain Grimalken a moment ago, Rockapalooza, Wildcat City’s premiere rock festival, is coming up soon, and we’re booked to perform with Sonic JAM, the Martian Freedom Fighters, and some others. Uh, who’s that werewolf performer?”
“The one that’s always looking like the wolf part? That’s David Satterfield. Is he on the list?”
“This is the first big festival he’s part of, and I’ve been looking forward to it. I’ve never seen him perform in person, so I’m excited for it.”
“Oh, I’m sure. If you’d like to join us, Felina and I are headed over to that new Mexican restaurant just down the street, El Gato.”
“You okay with that, Chance?”
“That’s fine. Haven’t eaten Mexican in a while.”
“El Gato it is.” Jake rolled up the window as Feral walked over to Grimalken’s car.
“Ah, Captain,” he greeted after Grimalken rolled down his window. “Felina and I, and now the SWAT Kats, are headed over to that new Mexican restaurant. You coming?”
“I got no reason not to,” Grimalken smiled. “I was so excited I dragged out my guitar and did a little improv for the SWAT Kats. Got all the hyperness out of me.”
“You do tend to be hyper when on stage, but that’s a good thing,” Feral replied. “As my police detective Lenny Ringtail once said, ‘You’ve got to take caution! Give that Captain a guitar and a microphone, and watch out! He’s Supercat!’ Must be the reputation you have for being the world’s mightiest guitar hero.”
“Yep. I have yet to actually go into combat armed with the guitar. Sometimes, I play so loud it drives people insane. All those people don’t understand, do they?”
“Nope.” Feral shook his head. “See you there.”
Everyone drove over to the restaurant.
When they got there, Jake asked, “Where’s your Sergeant?”
“He’s on duty,” Feral replied. “You know the Sergeant. The battlefield’s like a second home to him. He never was really the chatty-type, was he?”
“Not that I recall,” Chance spoke up. “No disrespect to you or anyone else, but I do believe he qualifies for ‘Most Patriotic Lawcat’ in Leo the Patriotic Lion’s opinion.”
“He does love that kind of music. According to Ringtail, he’s ‘way too patriotic to rock and roll. It’d ruin his image.’”
Everyone walked into the restaurant. It was a great time to relax and celebrate 1,500 wins for the SWAT Kats. And, you can be rest assured there were many more to come.
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