SWAT Kats is a trademark of Hanna-Barbera. “The Color of Money” is a British television game show and is owned by its respective trademarks; I just attempted to Americanize it by slightly changing the format of the game. Also, I just felt obligated to mention it to make the point that it offered cash, and cash has its evil side.
“The Color of Money” had a reputation for being the most stressful game show on mega-television. 20 ATM cards. 20 ATM machines, each with a different amount from $10,000 to $200,000. No two machines had the same amount, and all amounts were randomly placed by a third-party. The idea was to bank an amount of greater or equal value to the ATM card’s limit. With each $10,000 increment withdrawal, a player could bank that money or continue. Overdrafting a machine meant one lost all the money in that machine and risked losing the game. No wonder Megakat City was always on the edge of their seats whenever someone tried to conquer the ATMs.
Each ATM had a different color, hence the show’s title, and after 10 machines were played, the player was offered 1/10 of the total amount they had banked if they felt they didn’t bank enough money. If they rejected the offer and found out they had not banked enough, they went home with nothing. If they banked enough money, they won it all. Because the amount of money banked was doubled if the contestant banked the exact amount the ATM had to offer, they became an instant winner if, during the course of the game, their total amount banked reach $1 million.
But, the show itself was enough to convince the typical villains of the city to slither up a scheme; that’s the reason I mentioned this in the first place. Cash was a temptation enough. But, since Dark Kat was doing time, Dr. Viper was dead (from a mutagen accident), and Madkat’s spirit was in hell, many had to be content with all these new criminals. The recent crime wave was proof enough. Bank after bank and ATM after ATM became clean as a kitchen floor after mopping it.
“Who could this new villain possibly be?” the citizens of Megakat City asked one another.
T-Bone and Razor asked this question to themselves one day while on patrol.
“Hey, buddy,” T-Bone began. “You heard all about those bank robberies, haven’t you?”
“Yes, I have, T-Bone,” said Razor. “If my memory serves me correctly, that new game show, ‘The Color of Money,’ explains the robberies. Whoever is doing the robbing apparently was one of that show’s staffers gone bad. Fortunately, it wasn’t the host of the game, Dick Mashtino.”
“Wonder if he knows anything about the crime wave?”
“We could ask. Besides, I’m getting a radar signal, and it’s acting up.” The radar on Razor’s screen pinpointed Mashtino’s house.“Let’s investigate.”
“Roger!” T-Bone flew the jet towards where Mashtino’s home, where Mashtino seemed to be at the mercy of a pistol.
The criminal holding the gun had him pinned to the front door and was heard to say in his mafia-like voice, “This is your last chance, Mashtino. Your money, your job, or your life! Tell me what that safe of yours is, or you’ll be sorry.”
“No!” Mashtino yelled. “I’ll never tell! I’ll never give you the combination!”
“All right, if you say so!” The criminal prepared himself, put his finger on the trigger, and was about to fire when the sound of the Turbokat distracted him. “Who dares disturb such an intriguing moment?” he shouted.
T-Bone landed the Turbokat in the streets, opened the cockpit, then front-flipped out with Razor onto the ground. With their gloveatrixes aimed like guns, the SWAT Kats made their march over to the front porch.
“Stop, in the name of the law!”
“Okay, what’s with the get-up, Morelli?” the criminal sneered, aiming his comment at Razor and mistaking him for someone else.
“My name is not Morelli!” Razor shouted. “It’s Razor!”
“And, mine is T-Bone!” T-Bone growled. “We’re the SWAT Kats, and we demand to know why you are killing the host of ‘The Color of Money!’”
“I told you, Morelli, this is my territory!” the criminal sneered again, blowing smoke out of his cigar. “Since you didn’t listen, I’m going to rub you out. See? Yeah. Out. See? Out. See? Out!” He continued to blow smoke, but Razor was prepared with his oxygen mask.
This was just enough time for T-Bone to grab Mashtino and get him to safety.
“Good thing Konway taught me judo,” Razor said to himself. “I’ll try it!” He proceeded to do a black-belt move in judo, grabbed the criminal, and threw him towards T-Bone, who grabbed him, twirled him in the air, and threw him on the ground.
Just then, Commander Feral pulled up. “What’s going on here?” he bellowed.
“Ah, Commander.” T-Bone snapped to attention just as if a drill sergeant called for it. “We caught this mafia gangster attempting to kill Mr. Mashtino here. You may recognize him as the host of ‘The Color of Money.’”
“I do,” the commander nodded. “Take him over to H.Q. and imprison him while I get the facts from Mr. Mashtino here.”
“Yes, sir!” said the SWAT Kats with a salute.
They got back in their jet, tied the criminal to a rope that was hanging from the bottom of the jet, and flew over to Enforcer H.Q., where Lt. Feral was waiting for them. She captured him from a free-fall while the Sergeant watched with intensity. Later, she found a cell for him and locked him in.
Meanwhile, back at Mashtino’s house, Feral was doing his duties by asking some questions. “What was that guy doing to you by holding you at gunpoint?”
With tears in his eyes, Mashtino replied, “It was because of my show. He wanted my job, but I beat him to it, and the public didn’t like his opinions he used to place in the Megakat City Times, so he turned to crime and wanted revenge on me. His name is John Clay.”
“John Clay, you say?” replied Commander Feral in shock. “He’s wanted in all 50 states across the country! Apparently, he’s robbed enough banks in 20 states to where he’s racked up $6.42 trillion; the other 30 just automatically placed him on their wanted lists. Can you tell me anything specific about your show that helped him plot his strategy?”
“I’m not sure if our show was entirely the reason, but I know for a fact he used a color code. Each of our 20 ATMs is a different color, and each holds a randomly-placed $10,000 increment up to $200,000, and no two ATMs have the same amount. Not even I know which amount is in which ATM. If the fact each is a different color was enough to get him to color-code the states, then it all makes sense. In fact, here’s a list I was given by my producer, Josh P. Ondick, that has the color for each state.”
“Let me see that for a second.” The commander looked at the list. It was a true story indeed that only 20 states had been robbed. It read as follows:
* Red = Arizona
* Orange = Missouri
* Yellow = New York
* Green = Maine
* Blue = California
* Purple = Alabama
* Pink = Georgia
* Brown = Kentucky
* Black = New Jersey
* White = Oregon
* Gold = Tennessee
* Amber = West Virginia
* Silver = South Carolina
* Gray = North Dakota
* Cyan = South Dakota
* Navy = Rhode Island
* Emerald = Oklahoma
* Magenta = Kansas
* Robin’s egg blue = Arkansas
* Chartreuse = Washington (state)
“Yep,” said Commander Feral. “That’s 20 states whose banks have been cleared of everything, even the cobwebs from spiders. What motivated him to rob these banks as it is while acting like someone from the mafia?”
“He’s had behavior problems all his life,” said Mashtino, “and I think he’s really a modern-day Don Quixote. He can’t distinguish between fantasy and reality.”
“Well, for a Don Quixote, he certainly can rob banks of all their worth. My two comrades, the SWAT Kats, whom you have to thank for saving your life, have him in prison, and my Sergeant is on guard duty. You don’t have to worry for a while.”
“Thank you.” Mashtino walked back inside his house, locked the door, and went to his room to lay down for a while.
Commander Feral got back inside his sedan and drove to H.Q. to do his duties there.
As for the SWAT Kats, they celebrated their latest apprehension by going over to their favorite hamburger place, Burger Bop, but not before T-Bone, as mild-mannered Chance, stopped by Papa Perkin’s Comic Stop to pick up the latest issue of the Kat Kommandos.
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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.