Title: A SHRUNKEN ENFORCER
Disclaimer: “SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron,” its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission.
Hard Drive was snickering to himself as he sped away from Pumadyne. On the seat, wrapped in a blanket, was the experimental weapon he had stolen. He’d jumped into Pumadyne by phone line but had snuck out on foot because he hadn’t wanted to scramble the delicate circuits of the weapon.
“The fools don’t even know I’ve taken their new toy. This will fetch a fortune on the black market.” He laughed out loud as he hurried through the morning traffic.
Meanwhile, at Pumadyne, an alert security guard had already notified the enforcers about the theft, and Feral was quickly driving to the scene when he spotted Hard Drive going past him in the other direction. Barking orders to his officers on his radio, he executed a squealing U-turn and sped after the high tech criminal, siren screaming.
“Curses, it’s Feral! Someone must have seen me after all. Well, no matter. I’ll just lead them on a merry chase til I can find a spot to halt and take care of my pursuit. Permanently!” Hard Drive muttered. He continued to drive wildly as he sought a more protected spot to stop. He had one paw on the steering wheel and the other quickly unwrapping the weapon.
“Chance! Get your tail in gear. Hard Drive’s stolen from Pumadyne again, and Feral’s in pursuit. It just came over the enforcer band,” Jake shouted at his partner, who was just coming downstairs to the garage.
Both kats ran for the secret hatch to their hangar. Dressing quickly, they jumped aboard the Turbokat and were off to join the chase in progress.
Feral had been joined by Felina and other enforcers as they raced after the fugitive. He was closing the gap and looking ahead to find a way to cut off Hard Drive when the creep ducked into a side street suddenly. Screeching his tires, Feral barely managed to swing into the turn, followed close behind by Felina. The other enforcers were directed to block both ends of this street.
Hard Drive found what he was looking for, a dead-end alley. He turned sharply into it and shut down his engine. Using the car as a shield, he pulled the weapon out and began aiming at Feral’s oncoming vehicle.
Overhead, the SWAT Kats had just arrived on the scene.
“Looks like Feral’s got Hard Drive trapped, Razor,” T-Bone said as he put the jet in hover mode.
“Yeah, let’s just wait and see if we’re needed, buddy,” Razor responded.
Moments later, they witnessed Hard Drive pointing an odd weapon at Feral’s car, and, before they could react, the creep fired. Feral couldn’t get out of the way and was hit by the orange beam.
Suddenly, the world looked strangely different. It happened so fast he hadn’t registered what was wrong at first. It seemed as if Hard Drive had disappeared, but when he glanced around then up, he saw something weird. He stamped on the brakes and stopped then climbed out of his vehicle. He heard sirens and looked behind him and that’s when he discovered he had changed and the odd thing above him was actually the underside of Hard Drive’s vehicle. Horrified, he watched as Felina’s now huge looking car raced down the alley toward him then came to a sudden stop, her siren still wailing.
Felina cut the siren as she stared in bewilderment at the spot where her uncle’s car had been a moment ago.
Above, the SWAT Kats gaped in shock. “What the heck was that and what happened to Feral?” T-Bone shouted.
“I don’t know, but we better not let him try it on anyone else. Octopus Missile away,” Razor gritted back as he fired at Hard Drive.
The missile hit dead on, slamming Hard Drive into the alley wall, causing him to drop the weapon. Felina sighed with relief. She quickly climbed out of her car and ran up to Hard Drive.
“What did you do to Commander Feral?” she demanded
“Shrunk him! You probably ran over him,” Hard Drive snarled triumphantly and smirked even as he winced in pain from the metal claws holding him to the wall which had shorted out his suit.
“Shrunk him???” Felina echoed in horror. As she stood in shock, the SWAT Kats landed on a nearby roof and rappelled down to her side.
“Hey, Lieutenant, what happened to Feral?” Razor was the first to ask.
“This creep says he shrunk him. He may be here somewhere but real small. Everyone watch their feet and look around,” Felina said, angry and afraid for her uncle’s safety.
Seeing that Hard Drive had been taken care of and that it was safe to come out, Feral walked out from under the criminal’s car.
“I’m down here!” he shouted then grimaced when his voice came out sounding high and squeaky.
“Hey look! There he is!” Razor shouted as he squatted down to Feral’s level. “Are you alright?”
“Do I look alright?” he shouted angrily.
Everyone tried hard not to laugh at Feral’s weird voice, but it was a losing battle. T-Bone started it, and very soon everyone nearby was laughing helplessly. Feral could only stand there with his arms tightly crossed over his chest and fume at his predicament.
Felina recovered first and apologized. “I’m sorry, Uncle, but you sound really strange. Let me pick you up, and we’ll see how we can get you back to normal.” She reached down carefully and gently picked up her Barbie-sized uncle.
Razor had gone over to where the weapon had landed and picked it up. He was studying it as Felina with Feral and T-Bone walked up.
“Well, how’s it look, Razor?” T-Bone asked his partner.
“Not good, T-Bone. It’s a pretty complicated device, and it’s taken some damage. I’m sure Pumadyne could get it fixed, but they may take a long time to get it done. They have a habit of getting distracted when they work on something experimental especially when it’s their own device. I guess I could give it a go. It might help to have Professor Hackle’s help. He’s good with stuff like this,” Razor said thoughtfully.
“That sounds like the best option to me, Razor. I’m certain my uncle doesn’t want to wait too long to get back to normal,” Felina concurred.
“You got that right!” Feral squeaked in agreement, causing the others to snicker.
“Okay, I’ll get right on it. I warn you though, it still may take a while. I really can’t say how long until I have a good look at it,” Razor said as he and T-Bone got ready to rappel back up to the roof.
“Just do what you can as fast as you can and keep in touch,” Felina said as she turned to get into her car. She carefully placed her uncle on the seat beside her and heard the Turbokat take off.
At Professor Hackle’s laboratory, a little while later…
“What do you think, Professor?” Razor asked as he watched Hackle poke around the innards of the shrinking device.
“It doesn’t look too bad, but it will have to be handled very delicately. I’m almost afraid it might go off while we are working on it,” Professor Hackle said in some concern.
“Whoah! We sure don’t want to end up like Feral, so you two better be real careful,” T-Bone said anxiously and eyed the weapon warily.
“Okay, Professor, what would you like me to do?” Razor said as he prepared to assist.
Professor Hackle sighed, and the two of them put their heads together to try and repair the thing while T-Bone stayed out of their way by watching TV.
Felina carefully carried her shrunken uncle up to his office without anyone else seeing him. She sighed in relief when they reached his office undetected. She gently set him down on his desk and sat in his chair so they could talk comfortably.
“Well, what now, Uncle?” Felina asked, keeping her voice low so as not to deafen him.
“Since the only thing I can do in this condition is paperwork, I suggest you read the reports to me, and I’ll give you my response. That way my work won’t be backed up at least,” Feral said, disgruntled by his limitation.
“Sounds like a plan. Don’t worry, Uncle; Razor will come through, you’ll see.” Felina tried to comfort him.
“Don’t have much choice, do I?” Feral snorted and directed Felina to the reports on the right hand side of the desk. “Let’s get to work.”
For the next hour, they got through the pile of reports waiting his attention. The main difficulty was getting his signature. Holding a pen that was nearly as big as him made it impossible to manage. Felina figured out that by cutting the pen in half, her uncle could, after a fashion, sign his name. It still wasn’t easy since he had to stand to write. In the end, his signature looked odd and stilted, but it couldn’t be helped.
She hid her amusement as she watched her uncle laboriously write each letter of his name on the document. It took him some ten minutes to get it done, and his arms ached after each signature. By the time they finished the reports, Feral was exhausted, thirsty, and hungry.
“I’ll go get us something to eat, Uncle. Here, let me see what we can use for water or would you prefer coffee?” she asked as she searched her uncle’s desk for something that might work as a cup.
“Water’s fine for now. Those creamer containers might work,” he suggested.
The little paper creamer containers sat next to the coffee pot. Felina took one, pulled the lid off, poured out the cream and rinsed it then filled it with water.
“Here you go, Uncle,” she said as she carefully placed it in front of him. It still resembled a huge bucket to him, and it was a little undignified to have to lean over and lap up the water because he couldn’t lift the container. Felina found a clean handkerchief in a drawer and folded it to make a comfortable resting area for Feral.
“There you go, Uncle. Please be careful, and I’ll be back as quick as I can,” she said as she turned to leave. “I’ll lock the door so no one can accidentally come in.” Then, she left.
He sighed, leaned carefully over to get a drink then walked over to the makeshift bed. He took off his boots and used his coat as a blanket. He was so tired that it wasn’t long before he fell asleep.
Feral jerked awake, heart pounding, when a loud buzzing came close. Staring around wildly, he barely had time to roll to the side as a mosquito as large as his head came at him. He grabbed his coat and swung it at the dive bombing insect, knocking it aside. Surging to his feet, he looked around frantically for some kind of weapon. There wasn’t much on his desk but some papers, the cup of water and the pen that he had used. Then, he spotted the shards of plastic that had broken off the pen when Felina had cut it in half.
Rushing across the desk, he used his coat to wave off yet another attack by the mosquito as he quickly reached down for the shard of plastic. Then, holding his coat in one paw and gripping the shard in the other, he faced the attacking insect. Acting as a matador, Feral waved his coat to attract the thing, hoping to get it in the right position to stab. For the next few harrowing minutes, he danced and parried, trying to get the insect into the right position. He was tiring quickly when his moment finally came. Just as the mosquito zeroed in on him, he swayed to one side and stabbed it in the body, bringing it down. It flopped and buzzed furiously. Feral ran to the handkerchief and dragged it to the madly flapping thing and pulled it over it, preventing it from trying to escape and harm him further.
Panting in exhaustion, Feral walked over to his water and took a drink. He watched the handkerchief bounce a little and prayed Felina would return soon. To his relief, there was the sound of his door being unlocked, and Felina strode in with their lunch.
“Hi, Uncle. Did you have a nice rest?” Felina said quietly as she deposited their lunch on the desk. Then she saw the handkerchief and looked at her uncle in puzzlement.
“I had an uninvited guest, Felina. There’s a mosquito under that. Could you please get rid of it?” Feral said tiredly.
Her eyes wide in shock, Felina reached for the handkerchief, squeezing the ends to keep the thing trapped, took it to the bathroom and opened it. She was astonished to see that the mosquito had something sticking in it. She quickly killed it and threw it in the trash.
“Oh, Uncle! I’m soo sorry that happened. Glad you are alright! That must have been a terrifying experience,” Felina said apologetically as she got their lunch out.
“I could have done without the excitement. What’s for lunch?” Feral sighed, putting the incident behind him.
“It’s a roasted tuna sandwich, Uncle. Here let me cut it into small pieces for you,” Felina said.
Sighing, Feral sat cross-legged on the desk as Felina served him his lunch. It tasted delicious. He hoped the SWAT Kats would fix that device quickly. He didn’t know how more he could stand being this small.
They spent the next hour and a half taking care of other projects. It was late when the SWAT Kats finally showed up.
“Took you long enough!” Feral groused.
“Sorry! We had a little accident ourselves, and I can safely say we understand exactly what you are going through, believe me!” Razor said, sharing a meaningful look with T-Bone.
“Ran into problems?” Felina asked, curious.
“Nothing we couldn’t handle,” T-Bone said, not wanting to discuss it.
“Well, you better put the Commander on the floor, Felina, and let’s do this,” Razor said as he prepared to fire the device.
Felina gently placed her uncle on the floor and moved back. Razor fired a quick burst at Feral. Seconds later, Commander Feral was back to normal. He looked around and sighed, very glad he was indeed back to normal.
“Thank you!” Feral said with heartfelt gratitude. “That device is going under very tight security. It’s far too dangerous in the wrong hands.”
“You’ll get no argument from us, Commander,” T-Bone said, glad to be rid of the thing. Razor laid it carefully on Feral’s desk. They said their farewells and left.
“We’ll get this thing locked up tight here and transport it to a safer, stronger place tomorrow. I’m far too tired to deal with it today,” Feral told Felina as he picked up the weapon. With her keeping anyone from getting close and opening doors, he carried it to a secured storage area in the bowels of the Enforcer building. Satisfied it would be safe for the night, he said goodnight to Felina and dragged his tired body home. It had been a truly strange day, and he was very glad it was over.
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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.