Early the next morning, Commander Feral woke up before his alarm and rose to meet the day. He showered, shaved, and actually stopped long enough to eat breakfast. To his surprise, he’d awakened ravenous, which wasn’t usual for him. He got dressed and left for his office, ready to start his day.
Across the city, Ms. Briggs was taking a more leisurely time getting up. She too felt unusually hungry and made herself a rather large breakfast. As she got dressed, she paused and noticed that her fur seemed to have thickened. She frowned in her mirror in puzzlement.
‘Am I just imagining that my fur looks denser and longer somehow? And, what are those darker hairs on the tips of my fur?’ she wondered, a small worry niggling her.
She sighed and shook her head. Maybe she’d have her hairdresser take a look and give her an opinion on it, but for now, getting ready for work was more important. She had a lot to do today, so shoving the unwanted concern from her mind, she grabbed her purse and briefcase and departed her apartment for city hall.
Steele and Felina lived in quarters within Enforcer Headquarters, and they both were already up and leaving for duty. Both appeared at the cafeteria getting substantial breakfasts.
Felina made a point of taking a seat with some of her team mates so as not to be bothered by the second in command who seemed to think she was a way for him to climb the ranks faster. Mentally, she snorted at that and quickly made short work of her food.
She would have been surprised if she had known Steele had no thought of her this morning. He was starving and focused his entire attention in putting away a large amount of food.
Later that morning, after a trying meeting with his honor over the city budget, Callie felt a little warm and went to the restroom to wash her face. It was empty when she stepped in and went to one of the sinks. Looking in the mirror, she stopped and stared in shock.
Her face was definitely furrier and parts of it were getting darker and her hair was getting shorter. Before she could panic, that warm feeling she’d been having got stronger then her body began to shudder violently. Suddenly, she was on all fours on the floor and her body was twisting and stretching. After several long torturous minutes, what once had been the Deputy Mayor was now a feline that hadn’t walked the planet since ancient times.
Her body was powerful, long, and sleek. She had long retractable claws, her body fur was thick, tawny colored with black tips. Her tail was sleek with a black tip, black was also on the back of her unusually long ears with black furry tassels on each. Her face was lined with striking black markings, offsetting huge green eyes that now searched around its environment with fright. It didn’t like the smells in this place and wanted out. Roaring anxiously, the primitive creature raced around the small room, looking for an escape.
Hearing a commotion and the loud roaring, employees called security. A pair of guards arrived and made for the knot of nervous office workers and the Mayor standing not far from the female’s rest room.
“I don’t know what that is, but you get it out of here!” Mayor Manx shouted.
“Yes sir!” one of the guards said grimly.
The pair cautiously pushed opened the restroom door and were promptly knocked down by the wild feline when it saw an escape at last. It leaped into the hall, causing everyone to scatter screaming, including the Mayor who raced to his office and hid under his desk.
The feline didn’t like the loud screaming and tried to find a way to escape. It raced down a hall then found the stairs that led up to the clock tower.
At Enforcer Headquarters, Commander Feral had just finished a string of meetings and was trying to clear his desk of work. At nearly lunch time, he was called down to handle a problem with a VIP in lockup. By the time he’d finished that bit of nuisance, he was making for the elevator when he felt odd. Frowning, he stepped into the waiting elevator and spent the ride up to his office trying to figure out what was wrong. He reached his office but couldn’t shake the feeling of something not right.
His body felt tight and strange, a feeling of warmth that was getting stronger washed over him.
As the Commander was trying to deal with his problem, elsewhere two other officers were feeling strange.
Lt. Commander Steele was finishing up the gopher work his Commander had given him this morning. He gathered the reports up, getting ready to take it to the secretarial pool for typing, when the world seemed to tilt oddly and a hot sensation washed over him.
In the ready room for pilots, Felina was pulling her flight suit on. She was alone because the rest of her patrol team had already gotten ready and were waiting for her on the flight line. Her uncle had asked her to run an errand first, which had made her late going on patrol. As she hurriedly undressed, she swayed suddenly against her locker. She reached out with her paws to steady herself and stared in shock. Her paws were changing; heat raced through her body followed by sudden pain. She howled as her body twisted into a new shape.
In Steele’s office, a small, powerful feline searched frantically for a way to escape the confines of this enclosed space. It roared and battered the door where it smelled fresh air.
In the Commander’s office a huge, powerful creature that looked like a saber-tooth tiger paced around the room, looking for a way to escape. It had already tried the windows without much success. It had just discovered the smell of fresher air under the door leading out of the office, but the door was very heavy and solid and it couldn’t make it budge at first.
Alarms went off everywhere in Enforcer Headquarters as reports of huge primitive felines roaming the building and creating havoc came in. The creatures were fast, deadly and cunning. So far they hadn’t been able to gas, net, or corner them. At least ten enforcers had been severely clawed so far.
If that wasn’t bad enough, they had received a report of another feline loose in city hall, causing untold damage and terror.
Across the city at the Megakat City Salvage Yard, Jake was retrieving parts from an old car in the yard for use on a vehicle under repair. He’d just stepped into the garage again when the enforcer radio blasted out urgent calls about the problems at headquarters. Jake stood there and blinked in shock. He jerked into action when he heard city hall was having problems of their own with one of the creatures.
He set the part down on the bench and yelled for his partner. Chance had been upstairs and was just coming down when he heard his partner holler.
“What’s the panic?” he asked as he hurried down and met Jake.
“Some kind of primitive cats are loose in Enforcer Headquarters, and there’s one in city hall. Both places are in a panic. Added to that, no one can seem to find Feral,” Jake said hurriedly.
“Crud! Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s get going,” Chance said urgently as he helped close the garage then made for their secret hangar.
“I suggest we go to city hall first. The enforcers have enough people and equipment to try and deal with the ones in their building,” Jake said as he quickly dressed.
Chance just grunted in agreement as he finished dressing and ran to the jet followed by his friend. As the jet zoomed toward city hall, Razor tried to raise Callie on her communicator.
“That’s odd! I can’t get Callie. She should have contacted us by now with what’s going on, but even though I can see her communicator is at city hall, there’s no response. I don’t like this buddy,” he said worriedly.
“Doesn’t sound good to me either. At least we’re here now and can find out what’s going on,” T-Bone said tightly as he set the Turbokat down on the clock tower landing pad. The pair jumped down and were immediately set upon by a fast moving shape with long claws and fangs.
“Look out!” Razor shouted as the two of them split apart to avoid the creature’s assault.
T-Bone rolled to one side and fired his glovatrix at the creature. The gas grenade hit but took several minutes to work. The odd cat seemed to resist its effects better than a normal Kat could.
They had to avoid its charges until it finally collapsed on its side with a whine. The pair approached the creature cautiously.
“Wow! This creature has been extinct for centuries. I wonder if the Pastmaster is responsible for this,” Razor said, studying the feline.
“But, there’s been no sign of a storm signaling his arrival,” T-Bone objected with a frown.
“Yeah, I know, but how do you explain this?” Razor said, waving at the cat at his feet.
“We should probably find someone that can explain what’s going on… Dr. Sinian perhaps?” T-Bone asked his partner.
“She might be good for a start, but first we need to question everyone that saw this thing,” Razor said, frowning. “Let’s load it aboard the jet then go down and see if we can find Callie. We have to hurry before the gas wears off.”
T-Bone nodded, and the pair of them carefully hauled the cat into the cargo bay of the jet. Razor secured the creature in a net so that it wouldn’t try to escape if it woke up while they were gone.
They secured the cargo hold and made their way to the Mayor’s office. Mayor Manx was still hiding under his desk.
Razor went around the big desk and leaned down. “Mayor Manx?”
The frightened Mayor pulled his paws down from over his face and looked up. His face showed relief as he moved to climb out from under his hiding place.
“SWAT Kats! What a relief. There’s a big cat roaming the halls and…” the Mayor began.
“We’ve caught it, Mayor. But, where is Ms. Briggs?” T-Bone asked, cutting the Mayor off.
“Callie? I-I-I don’t know. She was in her office the last time I saw her,” Manx said, confused as to why they would be asking.
Razor and T-Bone hurried to Callie’s office and found her purse still in her desk. They went out and asked other workers if they had seen the Deputy Mayor. It took more than fifteen minutes to discover the last time she had been seen was entering the restroom then loud roars had been heard coming from the room shortly after and when security came to check it out, a large feline charged out.
A suspicion began to form in Razor’s mind. They entered the restroom and found pieces of Callie’s clothing scattered around the room. The smaller SWAT Kat felt a stab of fear.
“Oh my God! That cat is Callie!” he hissed at his partner.
“What?!” T-Bone blurted.
“What other explanation can you give for finding her clothing shredded, her being the only one going in here then a strange primitive cat coming out?” Razor said tightly.
“Ah Crud! How could this have happened?” T-Bone said worriedly.
“I don’t know, buddy, but we’re the only ones who suspect what’s happened. We better get to Enforcer Headquarters. If what happened to Callie happened to Feral…” Razor said in concern.
“What a mess. We’d better hurry then,” T-Bone said as the pair hurried out and made for the their jet on the roof.
Fortunately, the cat in the cargo hold was still out, much to Razor’s relief when he quickly checked before getting into his seat. The Turbokat raced toward Enforcer Headquarters.
T-Bone brought their jet to a hover near the flight line but didn’t land.
“Clear out, SWAT Kats!” came an angry voice from the control tower.
“Look! We think we know who those cats are you have running around your building. At least we’re pretty sure who one of them is,” T-Bone said. He quickly explained about finding Ms. Briggs. “If you go look where Feral was last, I bet you’ll find his ripped clothes. We’ll wait until you verify,” T-Bone told them, continuing to hold his position.
The tower didn’t respond but did report what the SWAT Kat had told them to the third person in charge, a Major Westland. It took only minutes for Westland to receive verification from Feral’s personal aid, Sergeant Fallon, that Feral’s clothes were indeed shredded on his office floor, that the door to his office had huge claw marks on it and had been ripped off its hinges. Adding to that were reports of a huge cat escaping from the Commander’s office.
The next voice the SWAT Kats heard on their radio was Major Westland. “You are cleared to land, SWAT Kats. I understand you have one of these primitive cats aboard your jet and think it’s the Deputy Mayor?” he asked.
“Yes, with as much certainty as you have Feral is one of the ones running around headquarters,” T-Bone said flatly as he put the jet down gently on the flight line.
“Stay aboard, I’ll come to you,” Major Westland ordered then cut the connection.
A few minutes later, a tall, well built orange tom, came striding toward them with a small group of enforcers behind him.
The SWAT Kats opened their canopy and jumped down to meet him.
“Let me see this other cat,” he demanded with a frown of worry.
T-Bone just nodded as Razor opened the cargo doors. The group walked around to the rear of the jet and up the ramp. Major Westland stared down at the strange cat lying in a net on the floor.
He shook his head. “What is going on?” he asked no one in particular.
“It’s apparently not the Pastmaster since there’s been no sign of him,” Razor said grimly. “Right now, it’s unknown what could have happened to these guys. Have you been able to capture the ones loose in your building?”
“Only one of the beggars. They are smart, cunning and very deadly. The one that must be the Commander is a huge saber tooth. The other is dark furred, about the size of a panther, it’s type unknown,” the major said grimly.
“Okay, who’s missing?” T-Bone asked.
Frowning, Major Westland said hesitantly, “We’re not certain, but since no one seems able to find Lt. Commander Steele, we have to assume he’s one of them.”
“What about Lt. Feral? Is she around?” T-Bone suddenly asked, getting a bad feeling.
Westland’s eyes widened as a he realized why the tabby was asking. He reached for his radio. “Dispatch, has Lt Feral gone out on patrol yet?” he asked.
“Just a moment, sir…” There was a brief pause as the dispatcher checked, “…No sir… her crew reports that she failed to show though she had been seen in the building so is here somewhere,” the dispatch reported.
“Crap! She must be that dark furred one we’ve been seeing,” the major said angrily.
Suddenly, one of the enforcers ran up. “Sir, the saber tooth has been cornered on the fourth floor,” he said breathlessly.
“Let us help you! My gas is probably stronger than yours and our net missiles might capture him without hurting him,” Razor hurriedly interrupted.
“Fine, come on!” the Major said, making a snap decision. They were probably right, and too many enforcers had already been injured for him not to take whatever help he could get.
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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.