Feral and Callie stared in awe at the ethereally beautiful male before them. T-Bone rolled his eyes a little behind his mask as he made the introductions. He couldn’t really blame them; his kind did look rather stunning, but he was far too used to it now to be amazed or awed any longer.
“Uncle, may I introduce Commander Ulysses Feral and Deputy Mayor Calico Briggs. Guys, this is a simulacrum of my Uncle Conall.”
Feral blinked in confusion, “He’s a what?” He turned his head to ask T-Bone.
“I’m a spell form of the real Conall, good sir,” Conall explained, politely, inclining his head in a small bow.
“Uh… okay… a pleasure, I guess…” Feral said, growing uncomfortable in the Fae’s presence, shifting his shoulders because they were feeling tight and breathing a little faster than normal.
“Be at ease, Sir Feral. Try to relax yourself and breathe slower. It is my presence as well as my nephew’s that is causing you to be tense and uneasy,” Conall said smoothly, aware of the Commander’s rising tension.
T-Bone blinked in surprise as he looked at Feral more closely. He could see nothing unusual about his behavior, but his uncle had clearly picked up on the tom’s rising tension. He’d have to ask Conall how he did that when they were alone again.
“Oh, so that’s why I feel so uneasy all of a sudden,” Callie spoke for the first time, rubbing her paws up and down her arms and looking uncomfortable.
“Yes, milady. I do apologize for that. Our magic is not compatible with yours, so it causes unintended discomfort. We are sorry that we can’t do anything about that and ask that you try your best to ignore your fight or flight instinct. It will grow stronger the longer we interact, and you must recognize it for what it is or become unreasonably bad tempered or frightened enough to want to escape,” Conall warned them calmly.
“Oh joy!” Feral muttered, unhappily.
Conall ignored the comment and turned to his nephew. “Please drop your glamour, my prince, then we will begin.”
T-Bone nodded, closed his eyes a moment and in seconds a stunningly golden winged warrior stood there. Callie could only gape in amazement, this being the first time she had seen his true form. Feral frankly stared. The show was still stunning enough this second time to hold his attention. Kats with wings and huge tri-colored eyes were just too weird for him to ignore easily.
“Oh my! You are soo…” she breathed, unable to finish what she was trying to say.
T-Bone just gave her a smirk and a shrug. “Yeah, ain’t I just.”
That small cocky grin and arrogant statement made Callie snap out of her trance and give him a pained look. “Think a lot of yourself, eh, handsome?” she asked, snorting.
“No, but it did help snap you out of that ridiculous gobsmacked moment,” he said cheekily.
Her face blushed hotly. “Well, yeah… uh… thanks for that. You both are rather overwhelmingly stunning in appearance.”
“Yeah, I know. Glad I haven’t paraded my true self in public. I’m afraid I’ll either freak people out or end up having tons of smitten she-kats after my tail. Neither option is something I want to experience anytime soon,” T-Bone chuckled ruefully.
“If I may have your attention please, time is of the essence here,” his uncle interrupted mildly.
It was T-Bone’s turn to blush a little as he said contritely, “Sorry, Uncle, you’re right.”
Over the next four hours, the pair of Fae put Feral and Briggs through a grueling training session that left them sweating, trembling and with some serious headaches. By the time Conall called a halt to the session, Feral was very close to wanting to beat the crap out of him. He was rigid with tension and the need to attack sang through his blood.
Sensing this, Conall manifested a bucket of very cold water over Feral’s head and dumped it. The huge tom yowled in shock.
“What the hell did you do that for?” Feral roared, absolutely furious as he tried to shake the water out of his face.
“To cool your rising ire, my dear Commander. You were very close to losing control,” Conall said coolly.
Feral flushed with embarrassment, not responding verbally as what Conall had said was very true. He had felt unreasoning hatred and wanted to attack the Fae, only the male’s quick action prevented him from shaming himself. Callie, meanwhile, was wanting to escape the room as fast as her feet could take her, and she hated that feeling.
“Please do not distress yourself, milady. It is not your fault for your body’s response. We still need more training time, but you have reached your limit of tolerating our presence any longer. Expect to be extremely tired. Do not ignore your bodies’ need for rest and food. Do not return to work as you’ll only collapse at an inappropriate moment. We will continue the lessons tomorrow afternoon. I wish to convey my approval to you both. You’ve managed to learn many spells in an obscenely short period of time when it normally takes several months. If you keep up this level of dedication, by the end of tomorrow’s lessons you should be ready to deal with whatever magical danger comes your way,” he told the tired pair honestly then turned to T-Bone and ordered, “Nephew, end the session now and I will see you in the morning as, you too, need rest after such a session. Good night. all.”
T-Bone ended the spell and engaged his glamour once more. Feral was scowling and unhappy at his wet condition. The tabby raised a paw and made a casual gesture, and, in seconds, Feral was dry.
The Commander gaped at him in surprise. “Uh, thanks SWAT Kat,” he finally managed to say.
“No problem. But listen… my uncle wasn’t kidding… you both will be feeling much worse really soon, so I urge you to go straight home, eat quickly then crash,” he warned them. “I’ll summon Razor, and we’ll get you back to city hall quickly, Ms. Briggs.”
“Sure, thanks, T-Bone. While we wait, I’m dying for a cold glass of water,” Callie said wanly, her body already beginning to feel like lead.
Feral nodded and turned to open the door, gesturing them out then closing it behind him. He led the way back to the elevators. Minutes later, they were back in Feral’s office, and Sgt. Fallon was bringing them bottles of water while T-Bone summoned his partner for a pickup.
“Ohhh, water never tasted this sweet,” Callie sighed, relieved as she downed nearly half her bottle in one go.
Feral couldn’t agree more as he downed his water completely. His body was exhausted and all he wanted to do was lie down, preferably soon. T-Bone hadn’t been kidding.
A roar outside the windows told them of the arrival of the Turbokat. Their eyes went immediately toward the wall of glass and just saw the sleek jet come in over the flight line and go to VTOL as he glided the jet across then finally set down.
“Well, there’s our ride. See you tomorrow, Commander,” T-Bone said as he helped Callie to her feet from the couch she’d collapsed on.
It was really hard to walk as she’d stiffened up a lot during their wait. Grimacing, she doggedly pushed herself to walk on her own two feet and follow T-Bone. At the jet, the tabby wrapped an arm around her waist and jumped the two of them up onto the wing. Razor smiled at her as he took hold of her and heaved her over into the cockpit and into the seat next to him.
T-Bone jumped into his own seat and strapped in. Moments later, they were airborne again. Only ten minutes later, they were setting down on the city hall’s chopper pad. Razor took her to the ground in one smooth leap, said goodbye then hopped back aboard.
“Remember, Ms. Briggs… get home quickly,” T-Bone said by way of farewell.
She nodded, waved goodbye and turned to enter the clock tower. Once she was safely behind the door, only then did T-Bone raise the jet then wing their way home again.
“How did it go, buddy?” Razor asked as they flew over the city.
“They both did better than hoped and learned a lot of spells in a short amount of time but they, like me, are going to be sleeping the sleep of the dead. Order something quick for me, Razor, because I won’t be on my feet long,” T-Bone said, exhaustion beginning to seep into his voice.
“Gotcha, but if you want it, there is some left over pizza in the fridge. I’ll handle things at the garage. We’ve been lucky; it’s been a quiet day and I’ve already finished the four cars we received and sent them on their way. I’ll probably work on some of my projects before calling it a night,” Razor said agreeably.
T-Bone could only grunt in response as he expertly flew the jet down its hidden hangar runway and onto its turntable. Shutting down the engines, he relaxed as it rose to the main hangar floor above.
When the jet stopped moving, he shot the canopy back and leaped down. Nearly dragging his tail on the ground, he headed for the lockers and stripped mechanically. He could use magic to change, but he was far too tired to expend the energy.
Once changed, he went upstairs and grabbed the pizza Jake had mentioned and a can of milk. He ate standing up, not daring to sit down when he was this tired.
He stared at the far wall as he ate without tasting his food. Jake came in behind him and grabbed a milk then went to order more pizza for his dinner. He eyed his tired partner, gave him a commiserating pat on the back before leaving him alone to go in the living room to wait for his pizza.
If Feral and Callie were learning as quick as Chance said, then it meant he would be leaving for Alaria within another day or so. Jake needed to be ready to leave with his partner. He was relieved to be finished with his major upgrades to the jet and just needed to do some last tweaking of his new weapons on their glovatrixes.
Moments later, his partner came out of the kitchen and headed for the bedrooms. Shaking his head, Jake sighed and surfed the channels, looking for something interesting to watch.
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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.