Chance and Jake were just finishing their meal and preparing to watch a little TV when they heard the enforcer radio go off in the shop downstairs. They jumped from the couch and raced downstairs.
The message was being repeated by the dispatcher. “Attention, SWAT Kats, meet Major Westland at the Enforcer Headquarters asap.”
“Great, I wonder what’s happened now?” Chance said as he and Jake ran to the ladder leading down to the hangar.
“Guess we’ll find out,” Jake said as he quickly changed his clothes.
Less than ten minutes later, they were setting down on the Enforcer flightline. Major Westland was stalking up to them, his face grim.
They jumped down from the cockpit and waited for him.
“SWAT Kats! Some fool or criminal has released our altered enforcers, and they are now prowling the streets of the city,” he said flatly.
“Aw crud! That’s just great,” T-Bone growled in annoyance.
“Wish we had the foresight to put trackers on those buggers. Would make finding them a lot easier,” Razor grumbled.
“That would indeed have been a good idea. Perhaps we should do that when we catch the damn cats,” Westland agreed grimly. “Anyway, you two take Megakat Park north while my enforcers take the other parts. Commander Feral was seen going that way, so odds are good the others may have gone where they would feel more comfortable. At least, that’s what the zoo director suggested when I rousted him from bed.”
T-Bone shrugged. “As good a guess as any. We’re off then. What channel you want us to be on?”
“Channel 11,” Westland barked as he turned and made for his chopper that was waiting for him.
The SWAT Kats took off ahead of the squadron of choppers. Reaching the park in very little time, Razor engaged the spotlight and the search was on.
Searching in the dark isn’t a picnic, but the Razor had a way to look that cut their search time down. His infrared scanner allowed him to see if there were any large warm bodies in the part of the park they were searching.
At first, his scanner picked up very small heat signatures, most likely squirrels or birds, then he caught a larger paint on his screen.
“Hold up, T-Bone!” he called out.
T-Bone brought the jet to hover mode and waited. Razor pinpointed the moving target.
“Whatever it is, it’s moving below us at a slow prowl. I think it’s one of our cats because it’s low to the ground,” he said thoughtfully.
“How do you want to do this, Razor?” his partner asked, not able to see the target at all for the trees.
“There’s no choice. We have to go down to it. If I were to fire a net missile, I wouldn’t know if there were trees in the way to ruin the shot. I have a mini scanner on my glovatrix. Let’s leave the Turbokat on autopilot and go down,” Razor decided.
Moments later, the pair were rappelling slowly to the ground since there were trees in the way. Razor opted to landing in a huge tree rather than straight to the ground. T-Bone followed his lead.
Using his scanner, he tracked the large heat signal. “It’s just twenty feet ahead of us, buddy,” Razor whispered, then began to descend to the ground.
Frowning in concern, T-Bone carefully followed his partner while keeping his eyes and ears open for any sound or sign of the cats they were hunting.
Razor focused on his scanner while T-Bone kept watch as they closed in on the target. A sudden roar caused them to freeze in their tracks then scattered to the right and left when a huge shadow charged from some bushes right at them.
The huge saber-tooth was irritable and hungry. When its targets changed direction, he instantly picked one and went for it, in this case, T-Bone was the unlucky one. He had turned and fired a tarpedo, but the damn cat had side stepped at the last second and was nearly on him when a spider missile swept over its body. T-Bone hurriedly rolled out of the way of the screeching and rolling body of the tiger. Its movements entangled it more tightly in the nylon ropes of the missile.
“Crud, Razor! That was close,” T-Bone said, catching his breath then something flickered in the corner of his eye. “Look Out!” he shouted, firing a spider missile at the small form leaping down from the tree they had been standing under.
Though he got it in the net perfectly, unfortunately, gravity still sent the snarling and now netted cat right on top of T-Bone.
The claws got him a couple of times before he could shove it off him.
“T-Bone! Are you alright?” Razor asked anxiously, while keeping an eye for the other two missing cats.
“Crap…..that hurt….” T-Bone hissed in pain. He’d taken deep claw wounds in his left arm and chest.
“The other two have to be around here somewhere. For whatever reason, they seem to be keeping together,” Razor said tightly, wishing he could see to his partner’s wounds but didn’t dare take his attention off the trees around them. He backed up so that he protected his injured partner. To his relief, T-Bone wasn’t too badly hurt as he held his own glovatrix out and was searching.
The pair of cats on the ground were making a lot of noise, growling, roaring and screaming. An answering scream came from their left, and both SWAT Kats turned to point their weapons in that direction.
Out of the dark came a nearly invisible cat. Its eyes were the only thing they could see, that is until it opened its mouth to snarl, revealing white fangs.
This time, T-Bone managed to fire a bolo missile, wrapping the primitive black panther’s legs up. It was nearly getting out of it when Razor ran up and injected it with a tranquilizer.
“One more to go!” Razor said tightly as he moved to the other cats to inject them as T-Bone stayed alert for the final cat. Looking at the cats they’d taken, Razor frowned in thought. “I think the missing one is Steele, buddy.”
“Joy! Too bad he isn’t cowardly in this form. From what I heard, he’s actually pretty cunning,” T-Bone grumbled.
Finished with his task, Razor once more checked his scanner.
Huffing in annoyance, he looked around with his eyes. “My scanner isn’t picking up anything near us now. Wherever Steele is, he’s not around here.”
T-Bone grunted and hissed in pain. “Well let’s holler for help and then go looking some more.”
“I’ll take care of those as soon as I call the Major,” Razor promised as he opened the frequency the Major had given them. After relaying the information about the capture, he rappelled back up to the jet while T-Bone guarded the cats. Razor found a clear space to land the jet and carefully maneuvered it there. Landing, he grabbed the first aid kit then opened the canopy and jumped down. He ran back to T-Bone’s location and, using his helmet light, began to treat his friend’s wounds.
The enforcers arrived as he was treating the nasty cuts on T-Bone’s chest. Major Westland hurried up to them and grimaced in sympathy when he saw the big tom’s wounds.
“Ouch! Got too close?” he commented.
“When it happens to land on you, yeah!” T-Bone grumbled caustically.
The Major looked down at the sleeping cats and frowned. “One’s missing.”
“Yeah, we know. We think it’s Steele. My scanner doesn’t show him anywhere around here. Now that T-Bone’s fixed up, we’ll leave you with transporting these cats and go hunting the last one. Hopefully, its not left this area,” Razor said grimly as he and his partner left for the jet.
The Major sighed and signaled his troops to begin loading the cats aboard a transport. He hoped they’d find the last cat soon. This time, he would have that small SWAT Kat tag them with trackers like he’d suggested earlier. He didn’t want a repeat of this.
It took another half hour before Razor’s scanner finally picked up the last primitive cat. Steele was near the small pond at the center of the park. When it startled by the sound of the jet’s engines, they chased it for some ten minutes before it ran into the open for a space, allowing Razor to fire a spider missile and take it down.
While T-Bone had the jet hover low, Razor rappelled down and injected the cat then had it winched aboard their cargo hold. Calling the Major, Razor told him the last cat had been caught and that they were transporting it to the zoo.
The Major gave a sigh of relief and thanked them for the fast work and that he’d see them at the zoo when they arrived.
When they landed and the last cat was off loaded, Major Westland made his request.
“Yeah, you’re right. Let me get back to the hangar and make some up. Tell the director I’ll be back quickly to tag each of those guys before they wake up,” Razor agreed.
“Right, that will be one thing off my mind. Wish we knew who had let them out in the first place but the security cam was blitzed for those few minutes it took to break the lock and open the gate. Deliberately we’re sure.” The Major scowled. “And, we still don’t have a clue as to the location of that fool scientist, Jenler. I’m not certain what we should do about his demands, but at least he made a stupid mistake and didn’t give a deadline.”
“Only break we’ve gotten!” T-Bone grunted.
“Maybe I can track his signal. Let me get the tracking devices done and put on our wayward cats then I’ll work on trying to find where Jenler’s broadcast came from.” Razor sighed, prepared to not get any sleep since dawn was now appearing over the horizon.
Major Westland grimaced unhappily. “My communication’s guys are still trying to do that, but I certainly won’t stop you from trying too. Obviously, let me know immediately if you locate it!” he warned before turning away from them and heading for his own vehicle.
Sighing tiredly, the SWAT Kats headed for the Turbokat and flew home.
T-Bone winced as he removed his G-suit and glovatrix. “Crud, she really got me good,” he said ruefully as he noted his bandages were soiled and needed changing.
“Yeah, she sure did. I have a feeling it’s going to look real nasty when we can actually see the damage. Go take a shower and use the antiseptic. Holler down to me when you’re ready for me to bandage it,” Jake said then turned toward his work bench to begin work on the tracking devices.
Chance sighed and made his way up to their apartment. Jake was going to be really worn out, and no matter how badly they needed to find this guy, Jenler, he was going to make sure his partner took a short nap before tackling the frequency search. With that in mind, he stripped and showered.
More than two hours later, Chance turned off the TV and went down to the hangar. He’d heard a cyclotron arrive.
“How’d it go?” he asked when he saw his partner stripping his G-suit off.
“Smooth as silk. All four are now tagged. I just hope they don’t get away again. Major Westland put a squad of guards on their cage,” Jake said, rubbing his fingers into his tight neck muscles.
“Come on, buddy. I know you promised to look for Jenler’s broadcast, but you gotta crash for a bit. No argument,” Chance said firmly when he saw the look of protest in his partner’s eyes.
Jake sighed and capitulated. Some four hours later, he was working hard trying to find the signal. His partner had been right; a few hours sleep had done him wonders. Chance was still sleeping, and the garage remained closed for the day.
He had the enforcer band radio on in case anything about Jenler came up, and it wasn’t until nearly three in the afternoon when an urgent call came over it.
“Attention all units! A crowd of protestors have gathered at city hall. All units report for crowd control,” the dispatcher said urgently.
Jake frowned in confusion. “What the……”
Chance suddenly came down the ladder and shouted, “Hey, buddy! The news says there’s a large crowd of angry Kats at city hall. Seems they are demanding the Mayor give Jenler what he wants.”
“Huh? Why the heck would they want that?”
“Because of what he said about being able to correct genetic defects. A lot of the crowd have handicaps, and they want a chance to have these problems prevented before they happen. Though I can sympathize with them, Jenler went about his research the wrong way and needs to be punished,” Chance said, shaking his head.
“I agree with you, buddy, but I’m worried what will happen if we or the enforcers actually manage to capture Jenler. If the public is upset now, when he’s in custody……” Jake shuddered, unable to finish the thought.
Chance rubbed his neck. “But, what can we do? He’s harmed four important Katizens. He can’t just be allowed to get away with that.”
Jake grimaced. “It’s not our call, buddy. All we do is enforce the law. It’s up to the Mayor and the courts to decide.”
“Yeah, you’re right, but I can see a real mess for the Mayor and Feral, if he’s normal by that time.”
“Feral’s going to be furious. He’d better not be allowed to approach those people. That would be like pouring gasoline on a fire,” Jake said worriedly.
“That’s for certain,” the tabby said unhappily. “There’s nothing we can do about that, so how are you coming on finding this guy?”
“Not good! The city is saturated with signals, and finding that particular one is like a needle in a haystack,” Jake growled.
Before Chance could make a comment, the enforcer radio spat out a new message.
“All units, all units. Subject Jenler has appeared on the city hall steps. Do not approach…… I repeat……Do Not Approach the suspect. Major Westland is on his way. Keep the crowd calm and contained …….. Await further orders,” the dispatcher warned.
“Aw Crud! I’m wondering what will happen if the enforcers actually arrest this guy!” Chance said, worried.
“We could be faced with a riot. Think we’d better go and see if we’re needed. I have that foam bomb that can quell the crowd if needed. It won’t harm anyone, but it will dampen their anger,” Jake said tightly as he made for his locker.
They were soon on their way to city hall. Meanwhile, Major Westland arrived on scene and carefully entered from the rear of the building so that he could talk to Mayor Manx privately and discuss how to deal with this new situation.
Out front, Jenler was grinning in triumph and answering questions fired at him by the Katizens below him and the press. This was what he’d hoped for. Even if those fools at the academy didn’t want to reinstate him, the public wanted what he was offering and perhaps a private company might be interested in funding him and his project.
At the edge of the crowd were the enforcers, but he wasn’t worried. The crowd could turn ugly if they tried to interfere. It tickled him to see how helpless they were.
This was his moment……his dreams seemed to be coming to fruition at last after all his long years of hard work. As he answered yet another question, he was interrupted by a dark shadow falling over the crowd.
He looked up in consternation and anger. ‘Who dared to try and interrupt the finest moment of his life?’
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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.