Next day… six a.m…
Morning shone bright and clear as Feral rose to get ready for another long day. Once all the players were in place and working on the problem, his part of it should ease off for a while. He’d only have to keep tabs on their progress and prod when things slowed down. He would have to make sure he set a part of his day aside to look over what had been accomplished and send a report to his peers in the rest of the world.
Yawning, he stretched and headed for the shower. He needed to be ready for the morning conference call. He hoped the ones he needed to speak to this morning had taken the time to listen to the tapes made of the night call and the minutes or time would not be wasted by all.
Elsewhere in the city… seven a.m…
At Megakat General Hospital, a carefully guarded patient woke slowly to the warmth of the early morning sun on his face. It had been so long since he been able to even see the sun. They’d been confined underground in the SWAT Kats’ hangar for more than a year.
He blinked his eyes and turned his head slowly until the warmth covered his face. The sun felt so good.
“How are you feeling this morning?” a beloved voice said warmly, a gentle paw touching his cheek.
He turned his head and stared into Felina’s concerned face. “I’m as well as I can be. Was enjoying the feel of the sunshine on my face. I missed it so,” future Feral murmured softly, smiling at her.
Felina frowned unhappily at that information. It meant the survivors had been confined below ground for a very long time. She turned away and poured him an electrolyte drink and helped him take a sip or two of it.
“I have to inform the doctor you’re awake,” she said then smiled at his grimace. “Yes, I know you hate that, but it’s necessary. I also need to contact… uh… my uncle here,” she said uncomfortably.
“I understand,” he smiled gently. “This must be really unsettling to you as much as it is for me.”
She gave him a wane smile. “Yeah, you could say that. Anyway, rest… I’ll be back soon.” Then she left the room.
He sighed and returned his face to the warm sun and brought his thoughts in order for the questioning he knew he would be getting from his past self very soon.
Feral was getting ready for the conference call, which was to begin in about an hour, when he received the call from his niece. His heart leapt painfully in his chest as his mind came up with all the things the call could mean… the worst being his future self had died.
Grabbing the phone, he barked, “Yes, Felina?”
“He’s awake, Uncle.”
He sighed with relief then groaned as he realized how little time he had. However, the questions he needed answered really couldn’t wait.
“I’ll be right there!” he told her then hung up and punched his intercom to tell his secretary to summon Sgt. Fallon.
Fallon hurried into the office minutes later as Feral was pulling on his coat. “My future self is conscious. I’ve got to go see him. If it takes too long, then go ahead and start the meeting. Take roll and mark it on my list of leaders then ask them if they’ve reviewed the tapes and minutes. If some haven’t, then suggest they do it immediately so, when the meeting truly begins, we won’t be held up by needless questions already answered last night,” he briefed his assistant.
“When they ask for me, you can tell them I’m interviewing our source and will be back with, hopefully, more updated information.” When Fallon nodded his understanding of his orders, Feral hurried out the door.
Megakat General Hospital… seven-fifteen a.m…
Feral waited nervously for the elevator to take him to the floor his future self was being kept. It was really unsettling see his own face so ravaged and the body so weak. It made him sick inside and only made him more determined to ensure this future never happened.
The elevator dinged, startling him from his rather morbid thoughts. He stepped from the car and went down the hall. The two guards he’d left gave him a respectful nod as he passed by them and entered the room.
He breathed through his mouth so he wouldn’t have to deal with the strong scent of sickness and hovering death that filled the room. His future self was partially elevated and being examined by the doctor. Future Feral looked a little better after having gotten some much needed rest.
The worn visage saw him come in and nodded his head weakly as Feral came to his side. The doctor looked up at him dourly.
“Please try not to stress him out too much, Commander. He is doing as well as can be expected for his condition, and I’d like to keep it that way,” he told Feral sternly.
“I completely understand, doctor, and I wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t necessary,” Feral murmured quietly.
The doctor looked a little surprised by the Commander’s more quiet manner but then, when the patient was a double of you, he guessed the big tom was a little unnerved… he knew he would be in the same situation. “Good! Glad we understand one another. Breaks every ten minutes, Lieutenant, and give the electrolyte fluid.”
“Yes, doctor,” Felina promised.
The doctor sighed and left them alone.
“You know I’d rather let you rest, but…” Feral began.
“I understand completely, so let’s get to it. I’m sorry, but I’ve forgotten where I left off…” his future self muttered, a little annoyed by his sluggish brain.
“Not a problem. You had told us how Hard Drive had gotten some important information that could help win this war maybe before it even has a chance to start. You also said Dr. Viper had told you there were no more survivors and the enemy was closing in,” present Feral quickly recapped.
“Aaaahhh, yes,” future Feral hummed to himself as he dragged up the memory he wanted. “Besides learning that Hard Drive could disrupt the bodies of the soldiers sent against us, he brought back data that told us these aliens are totally unfamiliar with magic. We didn’t realize that at first, though. All he was able to tell us was that they were very familiar with our form of weapons and fighting, so that was why it was so easy for them to defeat us. It was Dr. Sinian and, surprisingly, Razor, that came up with the guess that in all the data no where was there any form of magic mentioned. They extrapolated that it was because they simply didn’t know anything about it,” the weak tom said then paused, gesturing to Felina for a drink.
As anxious as he was, Feral held himself still and remained patient as the weaker tom got a drink. His dry throat assuaged, future Feral continued..
“Anyway, that guess didn’t help us at first because we had no idea how to make use of it or prove it would really work, that is, until the Pastmaster suddenly appeared. We found out about it on the monitors Razor had set up to pick up what was going on around the city. Before we were stuck beneath the ground, he and Dark Kat went around the city in a fifty mile radius of the hangar and placed minute but powerful cameras that would allow us to at least see what our enemy was doing. For a while, before many of them were destroyed, it allowed us to see the destruction of our city and the types of weapons they were using,” he said thickly, then paused again to rest, closing his eyes and taking deep breaths.
After about five minutes, he began again. “The Pastmaster’s vortex appeared one day and, out of it, that ugly gnome came flying on the back of a dragon. Immediately, the enemy attacked him. We could see the shock on his face at the devastation and the strange non-Kat enemies. Before he turned around to leave, he managed to deal a sharp blow to the enemy with his magical pocket watch. He didn’t just knock them out of the air, though, he actually killed them. It caused momentary panic among the creatures, but, before they could gather more troops and spaceships to attack him, the Pastmaster slipped back into his portal and vanished. We were stunned and elated. At last we’d found their weakness,” he said, a hint of that elation still lingering in his voice.
“But, honestly, we didn’t know what to do with that information. However, Razor, Dark Kat, and Dr. Sinian strongly suggested we try to somehow get this information to ourselves in the past. I was frankly skeptical, but Dark Kat and Razor with Professor Hackle worked it out and found a way to get me here to tell you magic is possibly our only salvation. Now it’s up to you to figure out how to do that. I don’t think the Pastmaster will be of much help since he cares nothing for anyone but himself,” he finished at last, relaxing back into his pillow.
Felina quickly gave him more to drink.
Feral stood there, gathering all he’d heard and assembling it into a form he could brief as soon as he got back. A sense of profound relief filled him that Razor’s hunch was right and that they had already pursued that avenue. Now he had more hope they would succeed in saving their world.
He reached out and gently squeezed the tom’s upper arm. The tired tom looked up at him questioningly.
“Thank you for confirming Razor’s guess. When you passed out, he came up with the option as being the only one left. We used that premise and have been gathering all the magic users we can find.”
Future Feral gave a wane smile of triumph. “That tom is worth his weight in gold. Because of him, we now have a chance,” he said with certainty.
“I’m forced to agree with you,” present Feral said ruefully.
Future Feral reached out a shaky paw and present Feral took it. “When this is over and we’ve won, see that he and his partner are rewarded. They may be vigilantes, but they are heroes and deserve to be treated as such, for without their help and radical thinking, all our efforts would be for nothing,” he said solemnly.
Present Feral nodded gravely as he covered the tom’s paw with his other paw and clasped it tightly as a sign of unity. “I will! I promise. Now I must go. I have a meeting with the rest of the world’s military leaders. Rest! I’ll make sure Felina comes to visit and keep you updated on our progress. But, right now, I need to steal her away.”
“I understand. I am a little hungry and watching TV and resting sounds good to me right now,” future Feral sighed willingly.
Felina gave him a gentle kiss as her present uncle released the paw he was holding and laid it on the other’s lap. Bidding him farewell, the two left hurriedly.
Across the city… eight a.m…
At the salvage yard, Jake was already up, which wasn’t unusual as he was always an early riser. He made breakfast for both of them and used the time to get his report set in his mind for the meeting later that morning. He would soon learn his guess was more accurate than he could have hoped. They were going to be very busy… very soon… and not as vigilantes but as defenders of their world in the battle to come. Right now, though, the mundane needs of daily life had to be attended to.
Chance came stumbling down the stairs some thirty minutes later, sniffing the air.
“Hmm, fixing breakfast? What’s the occasion?” he rumbled, sitting down in his seat.
“We have that meeting this morning at ten, remember? And, we have over four cars we need to get done before then,” Jake said, serving them bacon, toast, and eggs with cold glasses of milk.
“Oh, yeah… that’s right,” his partner grumbled but set about eating quickly.
They were soon working busily in the garage as the sun rose higher in the sky.
Enforcer Headquarters… eight-thirty a.m…
Feral and Felina rushed through the lobby and onto an arriving elevator, each lost in their own thoughts. When it decanted them on his office floor, she hurried after him as he lead the way to his conference room. The two guards outside nodded to him and one opened the door to allow them entry.
Sitting at the table was Sgt, Fallon and, before him, was a very large video phone screen. Feral could see the sergeant was struggling to hold his temper and maintain his professional calm. On the screen were tiny images of all the military leaders from this part of the world. One of them was speaking in an angry, argumentative tone. Feral sighed to himself, took off his coat and draped it over a chair then signaled the sergeant that he would take over.
Sgt. Fallon had only just realized his Commander had arrived and was extremely relieved, though he was careful to keep his relief off his face.
“Excuse me, General Rudnor, but Commander Feral has returned. He will now take over this meeting,” he said politely but firmly then quickly got out of the seat as if his tail was on fire. With his back to the screen, he muttered quickly, “Sir, all have reviewed the tapes, but some still have doubts.”
Feral simply nodded then took his place before the screen and started the long laborious process of convincing another group of leaders.
It took yet another two hours of arguing, cajoling and pleading before he finally managed to get the same agreements from these leaders as he had the more distant ones last night. Representatives from the countries on this morning’s conference call would be arriving within the week. Unfortunately, none of these leaders had any magic users among them. After thanking them for their cooperation and with prayers for success from them, he finally ended the call. His head was pounding and his stomach was complaining.
He looked up when a cup, aspirin, and some crackers appeared near his arm. He looked up to see Felina giving him a commiserating look.
“At least you’re done with that, Uncle. Now it’s just waiting for all parties to come together and get to work,” she said quietly, coaxing him to drink and take the aspirin.
Feral gave her a wane smile as he downed the pills and drank the herbal tea. He was surprised it wasn’t coffee, but when the tea soothed his throat, he was grateful for her thoughtful choice.
“Unfortunately, we still have another meeting which is… damn… already supposed to start,” he grumbled, getting to his feet hurriedly after downing the rest of the tea.
“Easy, Uncle. Sgt. Fallon is already seeing to them and taking roll to ensure all have arrived. You have a moment to compose yourself and the tea was to ease your dry throat. I’m going to make some more to go with the water Fallon already has on the table,” she told him soothingly.
He flashed her a relieved smile. “Thank you both. This makes things a little easier for me to get through all this. I feel like I’m on a constant roller coaster at the moment.”
“I can well understand that, Uncle. We’ve all been thrown by what’s happened over the past twelve hours. We’ve had no time to catch our breath, but after this last meeting, you should get a break.”
“Yeah, I was just thinking about that when I got up this morning. Well, let’s get to this last meeting,” he said, heading for his more secure conference room located in the crisis room in the basement of the building.
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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.