Despite taking a nap, Chance still felt tired, but at least the dreams had left him alone. He went down to the garage and found Jake trying to handle the garage. Instead of the two cars that had been waiting repair there were now six.
Sighing, he quickly pitched in, much to Jake’s relief. They worked diligently throughout the day and succeeded in getting their work done by closing. It was a relief not to have an emergency pull them away.
Jake locked up the garage as Chance filed the last of their paperwork. They decided to go catch a bite in town. It had been awhile, and they could use the break. They took quick showers and dressed casually.
“Where you want to go eat, buddy?” Chance asked as he climbed into the driver’s side of their tow truck.
“Hmm, how about that new Chinese place over on Tagger Ave?”
“Okay, sounds good to me.”
Chance drove through the gates of the salvage yard, and they headed to town. They were nearly at their destination when something flashed across their path. He stamped on the brakes, bringing them to a jolting stop.
“Wha…..” Jake blurted in shock. “What the heck, Chance! Why did you stop like that?” he asked, looking around to see if there was anything in front of them, but he could see nothing but ordinary traffic. Fortunately, there were no cars in their lane.
Shaking his head in confusion, Chance quickly began to drive again. “I swear I saw something, Jake. It flew past really fast, so I didn’t get a good look at it, but I swear something was there.”
The cinnamon tom just shook his head. “Well, I certainly didn’t see anything. Hope you’re not starting to see things besides the dreams you’ve been having,” he said in concern.
Chance scowled. “I know I saw something.”
“Okay.” Jake knew better than to push his partner when he got like this, but it didn’t stop him from being concerned.
They finally reached the restaurant and got to eat a really nice meal. When they left, Chance was in a better mood, and the incident was forgotten or, at least, it wasn’t mentioned again.
Dusk was falling as they drove home. Chance pulled into the yard and parked. They got out and went up to their apartment.
Chance stretched and flicked on the TV as he dropped onto their ratty looking couch. Jake sighed and grabbed a magazine he’d been reading and settled into the nearby overstuffed chair.
It was peaceful for more than an hour until their alarm went off. Jumping to their feet, they practically flew down the stairs.
Chance grabbed the phone.
“Yes, Ms. Briggs?”
“T-Bone, I was just leaving city hall when I heard screams coming from across the street. I saw a couple of patrol kats run into Megakat Park, but, seconds later, they came out screaming, and they were followed by this weird looking creature. I think you’d better get down here and have a look. It’s trashing cars, so it’s no weakling,” Callie shouted in concern. Behind her voice, he could hear the screams and crashes.
“Be right there, Ms. Briggs,” Chance said quickly then hung up. “You heard?”
“Yeah. Let’s hustle,” Jake said grimly as he turned and made for their hidden hatch to the hangar below.
They were dressed and in the air less than ten minutes after Ms. Briggs’ call.
Meanwhile, Calico Briggs had taken refuge within the lobby of city hall. She stared at the nasty creature that hadn’t left its location. It stood about seven feet tall, had thick muscular arms that reached nearly to its knees, its face was a hideous caricature of a kat with super long fangs hanging out either side of its mouth. It had ears that were really long, legs that were thick and muscular, and it was nearly hairless; only sprouts of growth spread over its entire body and its skin was a nearly greenish black color.
Sirens wailed and the enforcers screeched to a halt in front of the thing. Feral’s cruiser came up fast and slammed to an abrupt halt in front of city hall. He climbed out of his vehicle and began to shout orders. His enforcers quickly blocked the street at both ends.
‘He’d obviously ordered them to fire at the creature,’ Callie thought, because as soon as they got out of their vehicles they began firing their lasers.
Unfortunately, the ugly looking creature reacted hardly at all, so Feral had gas grenades fired as well as a missile he himself fired from a bazooka. Absolutely nothing affected the thing; it shrugged off everything as if the munitions were nothing more than bothersome flies.
Feral looked like he was calling for backup as he had his radio to his mouth, but she couldn’t hear what he was saying. Suddenly, a roar filled the air and a familiar missile shot down, spreading a special netting. The SWAT Kats had arrived.
“Crud! What the heck is that?” T-Bone shouted as he pulled the Turbokat around for another pass. “Your spider chain net had no effect. It just shredded it.”
“I know. I’m going to try something else,” Razor growled distractedly. “Tarpedo away!” he barked as he fired with deadly accuracy a new missile at the creature.
It hit the thing’s face and plastered it with tar. The creature simply raised a paw and passed it over its face. The tar vanished.
“Did you see that?” T-Bone blurted in shock.
“Magic!” Razor snarled angrily. “It’s using magic. We don’t have anything that can affect that.”
“Magic?” T-Bone asked uneasily. “But, there’s no sign of the Pastmaster, and we know it’s not Mad Kat again. This isn’t his call mark.”
“I don’t know, buddy, but we’re in trouble here. Strange, though……. that thing isn’t doing anything but standing there…… it’s as if it were guarding something…..” Razor muttered thoughtfully. “T-Bone, fly over the park near where that thing is standing. Let’s see if it is protecting something there.”
T-Bone sent the jet in a slow turn and came back over the park from the rear of the big creature. Dusk was already falling, but they could just make out the surrounding area fairly well.
“There! What’s that?” Razor shouted, commenting on a strange light emanating some twenty feet from the thing.
T-Bone didn’t say anything as he maneuvered the jet over the spot then lowered them by VTOL enough to see the phenomenon more closely.
It looked like a glowing door almost, like the ones the Pastmaster’s watch created whenever he was trying to escape them. He didn’t always use a tornado though most thought he did. Admittedly, he did prefer that method, but they had seen him use a portal similar to this a couple of times.
“It looks like a method the Pastmaster has used, but somehow I don’t think so,” Razor said, frowning.
As they watched, several dark things slid through the portal and moved swiftly away from the thing guarding the portal and into the park. The portal snapped shut and vanished. Almost immediately, they caught sight of the odd guardian also making a run into the park with enforcers hot on his trail.
The SWAT Kats turned about swiftly and followed, using bright spot lights to illuminate the area better, but to their shock, the things had simply vanished. The park in this area was not heavily treed, mostly lawns and such until one went deeper into it; nonetheless, the things were no longer visible.
T-Bone halted the jet again in consternation. Searching in the dark would be pointless since they had no idea where to start looking, and the things blended too well in the dark to be seen. They could see Feral beginning a more meticulous search.
“We’d better let him do the search. Nothing we can do until they spot something,” Razor said heavily.
“Want we should stay around?” T-Bone asked.
“Yeah…… just in case they do find it; though I’m not sure what we’d be able to do against magic,” Razor said sourly.
T-Bone grunted in response and continued to hover over the searching enforcers, shedding as much light as he could over the area to aid their search as did some of Feral’s choppers that he’d called in.
Some two hours later and the search was called off. No trace of the mysterious creatures could be found. They heard Feral order a cordon on the park just in case. He headed back to city hall and his vehicle but halted when Ms. Briggs hailed him.
She had waited in her car and did paperwork, waiting to see what the search would find, if anything. When Feral reappeared walking to his sedan, she got out of her car to speak with him.
“They vanished. We could find no trace of that thing and whatever else might have come through that strange portal we saw. I’ve ordered my enforcers to cordon off the park for now. I would like you to hold a press conference tomorrow and have the Katizens stay away from the park for now,” Feral said unhappily.
“Alright. Keep me informed. That didn’t look like anything of the Pastmaster’s,” she commented with a frown.
“No, it didn’t feel like him either,” Feral rumbled, looking uneasy. “It used magic; that’s all we know. How we’re going to fight it when everything we have just runs off it like water is something I’m going to have to discuss with my R&D personnel and the eggheads at Pumadyne.”
“Good idea. I’d also suggest you check with Dr. Sinian. She might have something in those old books of hers that describes that thing,” Callie said thoughtfully.
“Hmm, worth a shot.” Feral sighed and nodded. He frowned and stared back at the park. “We have enough trouble around here without something new showing up. Especially magic.” He growled irritably. “Go home, Ms. Briggs. Tomorrow is going to be a hectic day.”
She snorted but agreed that was a good assessment of what she would be dealing with when she told the Mayor about this and the press tomorrow morning. She waved farewell at him and went back to her car.
Feral headed to his sedan and looked up as he heard the sound of the SWAT Kats’ jet leaving the area. Normally, he’d be pissed about them interfering, but magic made him nervous and tense ever since that time he was Mad Kat’s prisoner. Right now, he wouldn’t refuse any help. This was not going to be as easy as taking out their other omegas. He had a bad feeling this was just the beginning of something really nasty.
Sighing unhappily, he climbed into his car and left for Enforcer Headquarters.
Back at their hangar, Razor was echoing Feral’s feelings about something truly bad coming down on the city.
“I don’t like it, Chance. My fur is bristling just thinking about some new magical enemy. We’ve never been anything but lucky taking out the only two magical omegas we’ve dealt with. I’ve never been happy about my inability to invent something that would work against it,” Jake growled unhappily as he and his partner changed clothes.
“I know. It gives me the creeps,” Chance said, but there was a strange look on his face as well.
“What’s up, Chance?” Jake asked curiously.
Chance just shook his head. “Nothing.” Refusing to discuss the odd feeling he got when he thought about that strange creature. For some reason, it looked familiar to him.
Mentally, he shuddered. ‘Crud! This stuff is giving me the heebeejeebees…… first my dreams, now this.’ He quickly shoved the whole thing to the back of his mind. He really didn’t want to deal with it now.
Later that night……. Megakat Park……. near the more wilder section……
In the dark and silent park, a small group of creatures gathered around one very large one. Their black eyes could see in the dark as if it were daylight.
“You know what to do! Get busy and return before daylight to this shelter,” the huge shadow rumbled like rocks in a grinder.
Small hideous giggling sounds were heard then the smaller creatures ran off toward the city hall entrance of the park.
The huge figure turned and ducked into a cave hidden among some thick brush, vanishing from sight.
The small creatures hurried to the edge of the park, going invisible just before they reached the enforcer cordon then silently slipping by the oblivious Kats. Crossing the street, one group went up the stairs of city hall while another group went racing down the street to fulfill their unknown mission.
Sometime after midnight……… salvage yard apartment………
Chance woke up with tears on his face, an inexplicable feeling of loss in his heart and the word mother on his lips. Now awake, all he could remember was that thing in the park chasing someone holding him, as a kitten, tightly against their chest.
The female was terrified, and it made him scared as well. His ears could hear that thing roaring with other nasty and giggling sounds following them. Suddenly, there was a bright light then blessed silence.
The female sobbed in relief and dropped to her knees still holding him. For a long moment they stayed that way then she kissed his face tenderly as tears fell from her cheeks to dampen his fur. Then she did something that frightened him even more. She laid him under a thick bush, whispered goodbye and disappeared. That feeling of terrible loss was what sent him crying awake.
He wiped his face and stared unseeingly out his window.
‘What is going on? Am I going mad?’ he thought fearfully. No answers came to him in the dark of his room.
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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.