“We have only one option I can see,” Feral finally said after thinking of all the other options he’d rather use but none that would work. “There’s a new jet that hasn’t finished its testing yet, but it’s flyable, waiting at Pumadyne. What makes it special is its ability to go higher than any of our jets presently. That means we should be able to reach the upper atmosphere where we think Turmoil’s airship is. With our magical abilities, if the jet fails in any way, we can escape, but if it does what it’s supposed to, it will get us up to where she is and stop this war.”
She grimaced unhappily but nodded. “Okay, if that’s all we’ve got, let’s get going. You got a location in your head?” She meant to go there by magic but one had to have been there first to get there safely.
Feral nodded. “Fortunately, I was just there a few days ago looking at it.” Before he reached out for Callie to take her along with him he turned and left orders. “Steele, all we have left is distraction. Use running tactics to keep the enemy occupied and keep firing the cannons until we can get up there and stop this.”
Steele swallowed his fear and nodded. He couldn’t fail at this as they would all die before this was over if he didn’t hold up his end of things. He ran out and barked orders as behind him the one hope for their survival vanished in a glowing burst of light.
Pumadyne was caught off guard when two people suddenly appeared in the secured area of the new jet. Feral barked at the nearby scientists, cutting them off before they could ask questions or argue with him.
“Is that ready to fly?”
“Well, yes, but it’s not been tested, you know that,” the lead scientist objected.
“There’s no time. Turmoil is attacking the city, and it’s about to fall. This is the only thing we have left that might save us. Is it fueled?” Feral demanded.
“No . . . ”
Feral raised his paw and sent a burst of magic to the jet. “Now it is. Open the doors and get clear. I’m taking off immediately.” Without any more words wasted, he tugged Callie along with him and they ran to the jet. He helped her aboard, got her into the weapon’s officer’s seat then he took the pilot’s and got the jet preflighted as fast as he could. Thankfully, he’d been given a full showing of the jet’s capabilities and had sat here at the controls before, so he wasn’t thrown by some of the changes.
He soon had them rolling out the doors and turning into a small taxi lane. Within moments, he was racing it down a test flight line and getting airborne. So far, nothing rattled and no alarms went off, much to his relief.
Since Pumadyne was on the edge of town, they were far enough from the main attack force to manage climbing upward without being noticed. It was rather disconcerting and uncomfortable for Callie to take the high g’s Feral pushed the jet to as they climbed rapidly upward. In deference to her he kept asking if she was alright.
“I’ll manage if you don’t go too much more,” she bravely managed to say even though she was barely able to stay conscious nor hang onto her stomach that was rebelling from the hard buffeting the jet was taking as it flew through the storm.
He smiled a little to himself. She was one tough she-kat, he thought. Not many could handle something like this without training.
Twenty minutes later, he burst through the thick cloud cover into clear skies and the sight of a huge airship some miles ahead of them.
“There she is. Guess I was right; it was Turmoil doing this. Hang on, Briggs!”
“Do we need to get any closer?” she voiced suddenly.
He paused in his motion to send the jet speeding faster toward the airship. She was right, as long as they could see it they could do something to it, but what?
“No, we don’t need to get close but what should we do to it, besides stopping her, that is?” he asked, thinking aloud more than asking her opinion.
Before she could speak, a very familiar jet appeared through the thick clouds and just ahead of them. “Is that who I think it is?” she blurted in shock.
“I’ll be damned! They’re back!” Feral shouted then sent his jet to join the Turbokat. “SWAT Kats!” he shouted in his radio.
“Hello, Commander. Seems we returned in time, eh?” came the long unheard cocky voice of the pilot.
“Oh, T-Bone, it’s so good to hear your voice again. Yeah, Turmoil has done a lot of damage, and we thought to come up here and take her out but hadn’t decided how yet,” Callie explained hurriedly.
“Hmm . . . well there’s quite a few ways we can do this, but what would be best?” T-Bone mused more to himself then them.
“I was about to suggest we cut her down to size. Since she’s so enamored of being the biggest power out here, how about we shrink her down to size . . . that’s if we’re able to do that?” Callie asked innocently.
Feral choked at the suggestion, Razor burst into laughter and so did T-Bone.
“Great idea,” the tabby managed to say. “You are one wicked she-kat. No, you aren’t capable of that, but I sure am. Hang back and let me take care of this.”
Feral held the jet back as asked and watched as the Turbokat came to a VTOL halt then the canopy opened. A bright glow burst forth and reached out to the airship, enveloping it with a nimbus of power. It looked like it was disappearing, but, when he looked harder, he realized it was shrinking. As it was going down in size, it was also being tugged closer to the SWAT Kats as if on a fishing line. Soon, he couldn’t even see the ship any longer, but it was obvious the vigilantes had something because moments later their canopy closed.
“Okay, we’ve got her, and I’ve enclosed her ship in a bubble as she’s mad and still firing her weapons at us. They sting a bit even though small,” T-Bone said, ruefully, shaking his paw from a zap from a laser before he enclosed the ship. “So, let’s go down and take care of her jets, shall we?”
“How do you propose we do that? I have no weapons as this is an experimental jet,” Feral asked.
“Wow! That’s some risk you took there, Commander. Hmm, okay, here’s what we do. We both send out nets to capture as many jets as we can then drag them down to a field where you pin them there, leaving the net around them. Sound good?”
“Briggs?” Feral asked. He couldn’t fire and fly, so it would be up to Callie to do the capture work.
“I can do it; just get us in sight of them,” she said firmly.
“Roger. Let’s clean house!” T-Bone said, then sent the Turbokat into a dive.
The two jets burst through the heavy cloud cover and into the storm that still hadn’t let up and spilt up.
“Yuck! What a mess!” Razor muttered. The jet suddenly rocked hard. “Crud! They found us first. Four o’clock position, T-Bone!”
“Got them; take control of the jet, buddy!” T-Bone said, opening the canopy and getting wetted before he managed a rain cover for them both.
“I have control; go for it, T-Bone,” Razor said, now flying the jet toward their targets that were heading for them at the same time.
With seeming ease, T-Bone cast magical nets and managed to gather at least four of the small jets into his bright, glowing net. “Gotcha! Find us somewhere to take these guys, Razor!”
“Roger.” Searching his scanners since it was too rainy to see anything, he soon located a huge field that should work. “Hang on, I’ve found a place.”
He flew the jet to the location, and T-Bone deposited his catch there then they were on their way again.
Razor notified Feral where the enemy was being set down then headed for another group of fighters.
“We’ve got bogies coming at us, Briggs!” Feral barked.
“I see them!” she said, her paws up and ready with a spell. She managed to snag three.
For the next few minutes, they waged a counter war and were winning. Feral whipped the test jet here and there while Callie swept up batches of the enemy. Razor and T-Bone did the same at a higher altitude than them.
In about twenty minutes, the field was filled with enemy jets. Once the enemy realized they were in trouble, they tried to make a run for it, but Razor and T-Bone stayed on their tails, and, soon, all the enemy that could be found were caught and deposited on the field.
By the time the last had been caught, the storm was finally blowing itself out with a little encouragement from T-Bone. He didn’t dare do more than make it move off a bit as he didn’t want to disrupt the weather pattern too badly.
The Turbokat could land near the corral, but the test jet couldn’t so Feral flew it back to Pumadyne then he and Callie sent themselves back to the field.
“So, I assume you’ve won the war and your home is safe again?” he asked the tabby as they walked up to the pair as they guarded the jets.
“Yeah, we kicked tail, but there’s a lot of healing to be done before my home looks as it once did,” T-Bone said soberly.
Feral nodded his head in understanding. “Good for you. Glad you arrived when you did. Though Ms. Briggs and I were going to try something daring when you appeared.”
“Yeah, it looked like it, but I’m glad we did come along before you got into too much trouble. I’m guessing this is the first major problem you had to deal with since we left?” T-Bone asked as they studied their prisoners.
“We did deal with the Pastmaster much more easily than we could have hoped, and, after that, it was indeed very quiet,” Feral admitted.
“Wow, can’t wait to hear that story. Well, let’s take care of this mess, eh. We can have a nice reunion later,” T-Bone said, getting to business, which Feral found rather surprising.
The gathering of prisoners, restoring Turmoil and her ship to normal size and taking her captive took several hours. Then there was the mess the city was in. It was horrific the damage Turmoil had managed to do before being stopped. It was much more than Dark Kat’s last rampage.
“My poor citae,” Mayor Manx moaned as he stared at all the damage reports coming into his office.
“I know,” Callie sighed, tossing yet another report to her littered desk.
“We don’t have enough money to repair all this,” Manx said worriedly.
“I could perhaps help with some of that,” came a familiar voice from the Mayor’s door.
“T-Bone!” Callie blinked in surprise. When they’d parted at Enforcer Headquarters a few hours ago, she thought the pair would go home, but here they were.
“Well, I couldn’t just leave you hanging like this. I’m very powerful, but I need help. Though our magic isn’t compatible, we can still do a bit of healing if you and Feral can handle being near me long enough to get it done,” T-Bone suggested seriously.
“I don’t know. It would leave us very weak too, wouldn’t it?” Callie asked cautiously.
“Yes, but there wouldn’t be as much work to do either,” he reminded her.
“That’s true. Well, we should ask Feral . . . ” she said as she moved to her desk and called the Commander.
His answer was quick.
“Though I don’t like leaving so many things undone, I have to admit his idea is a good one. There is far too much damage and too many people will suffer if we don’t do something. Let me leave orders for while I’m gone, and I’ll be there in about ten minutes,” Feral said.
“Alright, see you soon.” Callie hung up the phone. “He’ll do it but needs a few minutes to leave orders first.”
Just under the ten minute mark, Feral appeared in Callie’s office, making Manx squeak with fear.
He fanned himself. “I’ll never get used to you two doing that,” he complained.
They ignored him. “So, how do we do this?” Feral asked gruffly. He knew he wasn’t going to like this as he hadn’t forgotten what it felt like being near T-Bone and his magic.
“Just stand on either side of me and grasp my paws. Try to do your best to breathe easily and let me do the work while you feed me as much energy as you can spare. Do not over extend yourself. If you feel like you’re about to lose consciousness, stop the flow immediately. Got it?” T-Bone warned firmly.
Feral and Callie nodded gravely then took their places on either side of the tom.
“Alright, build your energy first then take my paws only when I tell you to,” T-Bone ordered as he closed his eyes and concentrated.
Feral gritted his teeth at the feel of the foreign energy near him as he worked to build his energy levels as high as he dared. Then he heard T-Bone bark out, “Take my paw,” and he did so quickly. It was like touching his paw to an electrical circuit. He couldn’t hold back his sharp cry of pain, but he didn’t let go. He barely heard Callie cry out as well then all his focus was on pouring power into that painful contact.
He was starting to see stars, and the world was getting dark when he was forced to shut down his part of the power circuit. His numb paw let go, and he felt his body begin to fall.
Razor and Manx watched anxiously as the three burned with bright light that made it hard to see them. The power flowed outward from them for about thirty minutes before Callie gave a soft cry and let go of T-Bone.
Razor quickly reached out and caught her before she could hit the floor. He laid her gently down and moved hurriedly to Feral’s side. But, the tom was still gripping T-Bone’s paw with grim determination, though his face was a rictus of pain. However, the end came another thirty minutes later when he groaned, let go and fell like a huge tree. Razor grunted as he caught the big tom and lowered him to the floor.
Manx had gone to Callie’s side and knelt by her to insure she was alright. She regained consciousness by the time Feral collapsed. Manx made her sit and not get up yet while he went and got her some water.
Meanwhile, T-Bone continued to stand tall, brightly glowing and pouring power outward for another hour before he swayed and cut the power off. Razor was there to help his partner to a chair where he could sit and recover. By now, Feral had woken up and was sitting in a chair and drinking tea as was Callie.
The phone began ringing, and Manx found himself listening and calming those calling in to report was what going on. When he finally managed to hang up after the twentieth caller, he had a tired smile on his face.
“You did it. The reports I’m getting are the miraculous repair of all the major buildings, clearing of streets, and the restoring of most everything back to normal. Amazing!” he said, shaking his head. “You all deserve medals for this!”
“Thanks, but I think all I want is to sleep for a week,” Feral said thickly, his head and body feeling like lead.
“I ditto that suggestion,” Callie said, barely able to hold her head up.
“By all means, take the time off. With the city repaired, you can be missed,” Manx said expansively.
Callie rolled her eyes at Feral, who smirked back.
“Want me to send you all home?” T-Bone asked, tired but able to do this last thing for them.
“You sure you can?” Feral asked, frowning. The tabby just nodded. “Then, yeah, I can’t get up at all,” he admitted.
T-Bone just smiled understandingly then made a gesture, and Feral was gone.
Then he eyed Callie questioningly. She smiled and nodded, then she was gone too.
“Okay, enough. Let me get you home, buddy,” Razor said, both worried and concerned.
“I certainly won’t argue with that,” T-Bone sighed, getting to his feet only with his partner’s help.
Shaking his head, he realized things between them were going to be very different from now on.
When the excitement died down about the attack, the city quieted again and things got back to normal. It took several weeks before the SWAT Kats got their lives back in order. They decided not to revive the garage after all.
Since they had been gone a year, the letter Razor had left with Dr. Sinian had been given to Feral. He’d been shocked and angry but got over it quickly. The two had done too much to save two separate worlds for him to be upset.
When things had quieted down, he went to speak with the pair. He drove into the quiet yard and noted the garage was closed. Parking his hummer, he knocked on the salvage yard door.
Jake answered it and stared at Feral questioningly. “Need to talk to you both,” Feral said.
Jake had forgotten about the package he’d left so didn’t know what the Commander wanted. Frowning, he let the tom in and led him upstairs to their apartment.
Looking around, Feral saw a neat, tidy place that obviously had bachelors in it. He casually took one of the old overstuffed chairs and waited for Chance to join them.
Chance came in from their bedroom and also gave Feral a quizzical look. “What’s up, Commander? You never come out here to see us.”
Feral pulled out a packet from his coat and tossed it to the coffee table. Jake stared, then eyes widened. He sank down on the couch but didn’t touch the envelope as he looked up into the big tom’s eyes to see what Feral would say about this.
“You left me a present that I only just looked at a month ago. I was shocked as I’m sure you knew I’d be, but I’ve had enough time to deal with it since then,” Feral said easily.
“Could someone clue me in on what we’re talking about?” Chance demanded, annoyed as he sat next to his friend and scowled at Feral.
“I left instructions with Dr. Sinian of what to do with our belongings if we should be gone more than a year, buddy. She was to hand this package over to Feral, which she obviously did,” Jake explained.
The light dawned on Chance’s face. “Oh . . . ”
“Yeah, oh. Well, let me set your minds at ease. I have no intention of arresting you. You’ve done too much to save this city, so I’m willing to just overlook your extracurricular activities,” Feral smiled grimly.
Both toms sighed in relief.
“That’s good. But, let me bring you up to date on what we’re doing now,” Jake said. “We’ve decided not to reopen our garage, however, we will continue to maintain the facade of managing the salvage yard while going out and doing our own things now, perhaps even starting families.” Jake flashed a brief smile on that. “The hangar is beneath us, as you know now, so we can’t vacate the yard anyway. But, as most of our main enemies are now gone, things are peaceful, so we’re going to do other things. Chance has his own wealth, and I have a way of acquiring it that’s legal so we’ll pay off our debt within about a month.”
“Really? That’s good to know. I’m assuming Furlong’s wealth is from being a Prince?” Feral smirked at that when Chance just nodded. “I won’t pry into how you’re acquiring your own funds,” he said looking at Jake, ” . . . but I’m glad you’ve not suffered from being gone so long. I think we can let things go as they have been, and it’s nice you’re going to pay the debt off, which you know means you don’t have to stay here if you do change your mind later. So, with that out of the way, I’ll leave you two to pick up your lives again and welcome home,” Feral said politely, rising to his feet and shaking each tom’s paw to their amazed surprise.
When Feral drove away, the pair of toms could just look at each other.
“Well, how do you like that?” Chance finally said.
“He’s mellowed a lot,” Jake said, shrugging. “Anyway, that’s a lot off my mind. Now we can focus on what we want to do.”
“Hell, yes. I want to go out on the town and enjoy myself. What do you say?”
“I say you got a great idea there! Let’s enjoy life at last!” Jake said, grinning. Life was definitely going to be good from now on, he thought.
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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.