The next morning, Chance came down groggy and depressed. Jake came in from the living room with his cereal bowl and froze as he got a good look at his partner.
“Chance? Buddy, what’s wrong?”
The tabby looked at him then turned away as he mindlessly rummaged in the cupboard but wasn’t really seeing what he was doing.
Jake put his bowl in the sink then reached out to his friend, touching his arm and making Chance look at him.
“Chance?” he begged softly, extremely worried now.
The tabby’s shoulders slumped, and he gave up looking in the cupboard. He wasn’t hungry anyway. He took a seat at the table and put his head in his paws.
“Remember those dreams………” he said heavily without looking up.
Jake sat down next to his buddy. “Yeah…….”
“Well, last night I dreamed of a beautiful she-kat running for her life carrying a kitten tightly in her arms. Something hideous was chasing her then suddenly she seemed to step through a glowing portal and she was here……. in Megakat Park. She hugged the kitten and dropped to her knees and cried. After a long moment, she kissed the kitten and whispered goodbye then left it under a bush and vanished in the night,” Chance said, his voice thick with pain. He looked up, and there were tears in his eyes. “It was me, Jake. It was me she left there, and I cried in terror when she left. It woke me up. I’m almost afraid I’m losing my mind.”
Jake stared at him in shocked dismay. He was silent for some minutes before saying, “Chance, you told me you were found in Megakat Park under a bush. You’re not crazy. It sounds like your subconscious mind has remembered this little bit of your past.”
Chance stared at him in anguish. “Then she abandoned me. She didn’t want to…… I know she didn’t, but whatever it was chasing her, it wasn’t safe for me to be with her. Gods, I wonder if she’s still alive.”
“I don’t know, buddy. I hope she is. She did a brave thing giving up her kitten in hopes he would be safe, and she was right,” Jake said comfortingly.
“But, why didn’t she come back? Why was I left here to grow up not knowing who I am?” Chance demanded angrily.
Jake sighed and shook his head. “I don’t know, buddy. But, perhaps the answer can be found in the things she left you. I really think you should see Dr. Sinian.”
The tabby rubbed his face in indecision. His friend was right. He needed answers, and there was no one to ask. Something else bothered him as well.
“I……. Jake….. that glowing door looked like the one my mother came through and the monster we saw…… I….. I don’t know why…… but it feels familiar to me.”
Jake frowned. ‘Okay, this is getting really weird and with magic involved.. crud…. what does it all mean and what’s Chance’s part in it?’ he wondered to himself. He looked at his friend.
“Chance, this has me really concerned. I don’t like the fact we have some kind of magical enemy that might be from where you came from, stepping into our world. I’ve got a bad feeling we’re heading for trouble worse than all our omegas combined. And, all we’ve got to go on is what’s in your head and the artifacts left with you.”
Chance growled and put his paws to both sides of his head. “I don’t like this! Somewhere in here is the answer, but I don’t like those hypnosis guys.”
“And, I don’t suggest we go that route either. We have secrets we can’t let an outsider know about,” Jake agreed. “So, our only choice is to take those artifacts to Dr. Sinian today. Those creatures are up to something, and we’re going to know it soon enough so we have little time to find out what we can,” he said firmly.
“Okay, I agree we’ve got to have an answer, but do we go as the SWAT Kats or as ourselves?” Chance asked, sighing in resignation.
Jake paused and thought about that. “Damn. Now that’s a problem. You were Chance when you were left, but T-Bone is the one who has to fight these things.” He paused, then after thinking a little more, he came to a decision. “We’ll go as the SWAT Kats. We just tell Sinian you were left as a kitten. No more should be necessary to find out about what we need to know.” ‘I hope!’ he thought to himself.
Checking the time, Jake noted the Museum should be opening soon. They needed to catch Dr. Sinian before she got too busy with her day. Putting up a note that said they were gone on a tow, they went down into the hangar and very soon were on their way by cyclotrons. They decided they needed to maintain a low profile so left the Turbokat.
They didn’t know it, but that had been a good decision.
Arriving at the Museum, they parked the bikes out of sight among some heavy shrubbery next to the main building and set their security. Using his glovatrix, Razor got them into a side entrance. They slipped past the single guard, who was just going off duty, and headed for the offices on the second floor.
They lucked out, finding Dr. Sinian enjoying a cup of coffee and checking her mail at her desk in her spacious office. They slipped in and closed the door behind them.
“SWAT Kats! What are you doing here this morning?” she asked in surprise.
They walked to her desk. T-Bone pulled the precious bundles from his G-suit.
“I need your help, Dr. Sinian. These artifacts I’m holding are all that’s left of a heritage that has to do with my past. I was abandoned as a kitten in Megakat Park under strange circumstances,” T-Bone began. He explained his dreams, especially the one last night.
Razor told her of the strange creatures now roaming Megakat City and their concern for what they might be up to and a suspicion that something in T-Bone’s past might be a link to it.
Abby Sinian leaned back in her chair and stared at them both for a long moment.
“What are these artifacts, T-Bone?” she finally asked.
T-Bone opened the first bag with the unusual blanket and laid it on the doctor’s desk.
Abby leaned forward and carefully picked it up. “Ohh….. how beautiful,” she said as she noted how soft it was. “I’ve never seen cloth like this before. This symbol is very unusual. Strange…….. I think I may have seen it before,” she murmured thoughtfully, studying the symbol more closely. “Hmm, let me see the other item you have,” she said, laying the blanket down carefully.
T-Bone gently poured the necklace out into his palm from the second bag. She began to reach for it, and he immediately closed his fist over it.
“I’m sorry. It’s an automatic reaction of mine to never let anyone else touch this. I really can’t say why,” he said, blushing a bit in embarrassment but still not allowing her to touch as he opened his palm again, letting her take a closer look.
Abby, eyed T-Bone a moment, a thoughtful look on her face before turning her attention to the necklace. It too was something too unusual to be from this world, and that sparked the memory she’d been trying to dredge up from her mind.
“Yes…… I think I’ve seen this before….. just a moment……” She got up from her seat and hurried over to a locked cabinet full of very old books and parchments. She unlocked it and carefully pulled out a book bound in black leather and a scroll tied with a red ribbon.
She took the items over to a cleared table, pulled out some special gloves and gently began to turn the pages of the book.
“This was from Queen Callista’s time. It’s been handed down through generations until it ended up here,” she told them absently as she continued to search for something.
Time slipped past, but neither SWAT Kat hurried the doctor. They had moved to her side and were staring down at the illuminated text and gold leafed pages. Drawings still held their colors after all this time and were beautiful to look at.
She’d slowly gone through nearly the entire book before she halted. “Yes, here it is. Hmm….. it’s a report by a court seneschal about some visitors to the Queen. He says they were very fair…. meaning beautiful but had a dangerous air about them….. not certain what he means by that … they called themselves the Fae and told Queen Callista they were from another realm. They were visiting because they were bored and were interested in seeing other places and people. Queen Callista welcomed them and soon a budding friendship began……” Dr. Sinian flipped pages again “……..here it says after the Queen’s death, the Fae came no more and gave no explanation as to why. Here’s a rendition of what one of them looked like…..” she said, pointing at an image of a male.
T-Bone and Razor leaned closer and stared at the image. The tabby felt a shiver of recognition sweep over him. The male was lean, had golden fur, piercing blue eyes and flowing silvery hair cascading down his back. He wore rich clothing of silver and blue with jewels and precious metals. He was ethereally beautiful, resembling nothing like Kats of their world. His eyes were far too big and had rings of color rather than one. In his case, a core of deep blue circled by two lighter rings of differing colors of blue. But, his most outstanding feature were his huge silvery wings. He also carried a thin rapier type sword in a richly jeweled sheathe at his side.
“Wow! There’s no such creatures living here, that’s for certain,” Razor breathed in awe.
“No, not here….. but in a realm of incomparable beauty and light as well as places of darkness and evil.,” T-Bone murmured distantly.
Razor and Dr. Sinian stared at T-Bone in shocked surprise. The tabby’s face had a faraway look on it as if he were remembering something.
“T-Bone?” Razor asked softly.
His partner shook his head in distraction. He frowned as if puzzled. “What?” he asked, confused.
“You spoke just now. You described a place as if you knew it,” Razor said carefully.
T-Bone looked at his partner in surprise. “I did?”
“Yes, but I wonder if it has something to do with that necklace you’re clutching so tightly?” Dr. Sinian asked.
Everyone looked down at T-Bone’s paw. Razor hissed in shock……. his buddy’s paw was bleeding.
“T-Bone…..” he cried, reaching for his friend’s paw.
The tabby raised it up as if seeing it for the first time. He slowly opened his fist that he’d been holding tight. Blood slowly seeped from a cut made by the sharp edges of the medallion.
Razor tried to grab hold of him to see the wound better, but T-Bone pulled away.
“No, it’s alright, just a scratch. Didn’t know I was holding it so tightly,” he said, wondering why he’d done such a thing.
“T-Bone, what do you feel when you hold that?” Dr. Sinian asked, slowly.
“Uh…. I don’t know.”
“Close your eyes and picture it in your mind and just feel for a moment. It’s important,” she said with a small smile when she saw him wanting to refuse.
Thinking it was silly, T-Bone tried to do as she asked. At first, all he could feel was the small pain in his palm, but then he began to feel a warmth that increased and an image of a beautiful female invaded his mind for just a moment then was gone when he gasped and broke his concentration.
“What did you feel?” Abby asked again.
“It……. at first it was just cool then it got warmer and suddenly an image came into my head. It was my mother……. she’s beautiful and has those same strange eyes as that guy in the book except hers were different shades of green,” he said, badly shaken.
Razor stared at his friend as if he was seeing him for the first time. Dr. Sinian just nodded her head.
“I think it is safe to say this necklace is from the visitors to Queen Callista’s court. The certainty is in this picture…….” She picked up the scroll and unrolled it carefully. “See, the last seneschal at the time of the Queen’s death drew this medallion that he’d seen on the last visitor to come to Megalith City,” she said solemnly.
The two toms stared down at the image and then back at the necklace in T-Bone’s paw….. they were a perfect match.
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