“How can we be sure they hadn’t tried that as well?” Feral demanded after a stunned silence.
Razor grimaced. “Because it’s not something we as a technological society would think of. It’s only logical to assume this might be the one thing left that might work against our enemy,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “I really can’t think of anything else that they hadn’t already tried.”
Feral frowned, not really convinced but willing to listen. “Alright, for the sake of argument, say that’s what he was going to tell us, just how do we utilize something we no longer believe in or use? As you said, we don’t practice magic any longer.”
“That’s not completely true, Commander. Yes, most of society doesn’t do magic, but there is a small minority that is descended from those ancient wizards and still believe and practice those arts,” Razor pointed out.
Feral rolled his eyes, but Felina had a more thoughtful look on her face.
“You’re right, Razor. I remember reading about a small clan in the mountains north of here that a reporter did a story on. They claimed to be descended from the wizards and witches of medieval times.”
Razor nodded. “There may be others as well, Lieutenant. I’m sure if we have Dr. Sinian do some genealogical research, she might find other families who have the trait for magic,” he said then added. “It’s suspected, at least the Pastmaster is certain of it, that Ms. Briggs is descended from Queen Callista herself, who was a very powerful wizard.”
Feral blinked in surprise at that. “Wherever did you get that idea and how do you know this Queen was a wizard?” he asked, frowning.
“When the Pastmaster sent us in the past that one time, remember? We met Queen Callista, and she is the spitting image of Ms. Briggs. Also, the Pastmaster had mentioned it once when he captured her on his last visit here,” T-Bone told him.
The Commander eyed them both for a moment in amazement then sighed. He looked over at his future self, who had not regained consciousness during their discussion.
“I think we’re really reaching here, but we don’t seem to have any choice until he wakes again. Might as well use the time doing something, even if it sounds totally outlandish to me. But, I intend to get with the scientific community and see if there is anything else they can come up with now that we have more information and time to work on it,” he decided.
“I certainly agree with that. Just sitting around waiting would drive me crazy right now,” T-Bone grumbled tensely. “So, how do you want to get started on this, Razor?”
“Wait!” Feral broke in before Razor could answer. “Everyone we need to work with to solve this problem must be required to maintain a high level of secrecy and news blackout. We do not want a panic among the populace. We keep the number of those in the know as few as possible. Agreed?”
Trading significant glances, the SWAT Kats nodded to each other then turned to Feral again.
“I agree that would be wise. I happen to know a couple of people who belong to a coven. T-Bone and I will get in contact with them and see if they will help us connect with others. Do you want us to brief Dr. Sinian?” Razor asked.
Feral paused before he answered. It didn’t set well with him that he was allowing the SWAT Kats to be part of this operation, but he quickly shoved that irritation away. Their antagonism had no place in this emergency. It was obvious they had already combined forces in the future; they were just going to do it much sooner.
Straightening his shoulders, he eyed them both. “We are under a state of emergency as of this moment. Because of this, you are part of the task force to save our world. That being said, I require you to keep in constant contact with me directly so that we don’t work at cross purposes nor duplicate efforts.” He paused to see how they were taking this unusual step by him. Both tom’s body language told him he had surprised them.
“I admit, I’m amazed by your willingness to set aside our differences, but knowing what we face only a short time in the future, I would have been more surprised if you had continued your animosity. That being said, we’re with you one hundred percent. The hatchet is buried until this emergency is over,” Razor said solemnly.
T-Bone nodded his agreement to that statement.
Nodding grimly at their willingness, Feral pressed on with the things that needed to be done. “I’m glad we understand each other. Upper level officers will be briefed on the emergency and your status so you will not be hampered in your job. Now here’s the plan: yes… go ahead and brief Dr. Sinian. I’ll send a detachment to assist her in her research. My assistant, Sgt. Fallon, will act as liaison and runner from all parties to me so no phones will be used to pass this information. I will create a small task force made up of you, scientists, wizards, and my own officers with me as the focal point for all the information everyone gathers. We’ll sift through the data quickly and devise a new plan of attack. Any thing I missed?” he asked, anxious to get the ball rolling. The feeling of time hurrying by making him tense.
Still a little stunned by Feral’s willingness to work together, Razor did have one more addition to Feral’s, admittedly, thorough plan. “Yes, contact Professor Hackle. His robots apparently were helpful. Now that we have enough time, he should receive help to produce as many robots he can for use in defense and evacuating the populace if it’s needed so that your enforcers can be utilized in other ways. But, one proviso! He must insure the robots can’t be corrupted by anyone. We were forced to endure a world with the Metallikats in charge with robots ruling the city. It was hideous and nearly as bad as the threat we face now,” he said firmly.
Feral blinked in shock at that information. The pair had never spoken about that trip to the future. He’d only heard it was the future when the Pastmaster shouted it when he stole them away but had heard no more about it. The thought of a world ruled by robots sent a shudder down his spine.
“Noted. I’ll make sure he knows that and, you’re right, those robots of his could give us the edge we needed at the beginning rather than too late as happened before,” he said grimly. “Anything else?”
“My only concern is our omega problem. If they act up while we’re trying to save the world, it would seriously prevent us from getting ready in time,” T-Bone suddenly interjected.
The room went still as everyone realized they might have to do something else they never dreamed of.
“It wasn’t until the war was being lost that they willingly helped. They won’t believe us right now,” Felina said.
“You’re right about that.” Feral grimaced unhappily. “I hate to say it, but we’ll have to just do the best we can and pray those idiots don’t bother us for awhile.”
“Yeah, good luck with that,” T-Bone said gloomily.
Feral could only shrug his shoulders. There was really nothing they could do on that front at the moment.
“Hey! Perhaps, we do have a way to stop them!” Razor said suddenly, his face reflecting excitement. “Learning to use magic and the Professor’s robots might help us bring down the omegas so that we can focus on saving our world. Also, if we somehow manage to convince them of the danger, they might be willing to aid us. There is no doubt Dark Kat is brilliant if insane as is Dr. Viper and don’t forget Hard Drive’s ability. Apparently, he’s not completely unredeemable since he did give his life to save his world.”
The others stared at him in amazement.
Feral was the first to speak. “That’s reaching, even for you. But, I have to admit, it could work. Well, we’ll just have to see when we’ve managed to gather all the info we can and if they show up.”
“At least you didn’t throw the idea out instantly.” Razor snorted in mild amusement.
“Knowing what we face, I can hardly be that stupid. Obviously, anything is fair game no matter how far fetched it is. Our world’s survival depends on our checking out absolutely everything, no matter how outrageous, so believe me, I’m going to be very open minded,” Feral said sardonically.
“Good mindset to have and, with that, we better scoot and get this show on the road,” Razor said, turning to the door.
T-Bone was on his heels.
“Would you wait for me outside, Sgt Fallon?” Feral requested of his assistant.
“Of course, sir,” the sturdy, older enforcer said briskly and went out the door, letting it close behind him softly.
“Felina, I need you to stay here. If he has anything new to give us, get it to me through Sgt. Fallon. Just call and say you need a pickup when you call me, and I’ll send him to collect. You’ll be his guard as well, and I’ll send a pair of enforcers to guard outside the door as well. I need to instruct the staff to limit who knows about him and to maintain secrecy,” he ordered her. He looked down at himself for a moment longer then said more softly. “I know this will be hard for you, but I don’t want him to be alone, and it’s obvious he draws comfort from you.”
“I understand uncle. It’s… I just feel really odd about this, but I understand the need,” she said quietly, gently caressing the older tom’s paw.
“Thank you,” Feral murmured then did something unusual for him. He went to her and gave her another warm hug. She gasped in surprise but hugged him back, then when he pulled away, she eyed him questioningly.
“I just wanted you to know, I’ll do everything in my power to prevent that from happening to me,” he said softly then turned and left the room quickly.
She stared at the door for a long moment before pulling a chair to the side of the bed and taking up her post.
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