Title: SWAT KATS MEET THE FANTASTIC FOUR
Warnings: Mild profanity.
Disclaimer: “SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron,” its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission.
“You will cease to interfere with me ever again, SWAT Kats,” the Pastmaster snarled, aiming his watch at the pair, who split up instantly and ducked.
The beam missed them as it shot past where they both had been. However, they hadn’t got away scot free.
From the entrance to the Medieval Exhibit at the Megakat Natural History Museum where the Pastmaster had appeared just fifteen minutes ago, Feral ran in with his enforcers at his back. He’d just crossed the area where the beam had passed. Unfortunately for them all, the beam struck an ancient mirror across the room and rebounded back.
By freak chance, the thing split into six beams. Three hit other artifacts in the room and made them disappear while the last three struck Feral, T-Bone and Razor. They didn’t even have time to yell before they vanished.
The Pastmaster gaped at where they stood for a second then cackled with glee. Keeping the rest of the enforcers away was kitten’s play as he casually went for the jewel he was after, then used his pocket watch to form another time portal and leaped away, laughing the whole time until the portal vanished.
The enforcers were left staring in dismay. Their commander was gone, the Pastmaster had escaped with ease, and the SWAT Kats weren’t there to put things right again.
The three missing Kats tumbled through the odd vortex and shot out the other end, sliding across a white tiled floor and fetching up against a far wall less than gracefully. They were stunned, their heads spinning still from the violent trip.
“Damn, Reed! What the hell are those and where did they come from?” a deep gravely voice asked.
“I don’t know, Ben. My dimensional portal wasn’t programmed or even turned on when they came through it. Wherever they came from had to be responsible for sending them,” another voice, this time a pleasant tenor, answered.
“Huh. Don’t it just figure. Everyone and their brother always seems to chose our headquarters as their own dumping ground,” the gruff voice groused, irritable. Heavy footsteps approached the three still sprawled on the floor. “Well, are ya good or bad guys?”
The three stared up at the most gruesome thing they’d ever seen in their lives and that was saying something when one considers the kinds of creatures that cropped up in their beleaguered city.
The ‘person’ was huge, had rock-like skin, no fur, was orange, and had, of all things, blue eyes. Oddly enough, it was wearing a wife beater tan tee shirt and scruffy blue jeans, with enormous tennis shoes on its feet.
Another face appeared staring down at them. This person was very thin, furless, had brown hair with odd white hair on the sides and brown eyes. This person was wearing an odd looking outfit that was blue and white with a number four in a circle on his chest and black form fitting boots.
Unnerved, Feral sat up and began to push upward to stand when a huge paw halted him.
“Uh.. uh.. uhhh… first you tell us who you are and if you’re the good guys… then I’ll let you up… maybe.”
“No way, Reed. I’ve had enough surprises this week, so let me handle this my way,” the big guy, named Ben, snapped.
The thin guy, Reed, sighed and waited, rolling his eyes a little but not interfering.
The SWAT Kats had sat up too but didn’t make any other move after Feral was warned. They carefully looked around the place they found themselves in. The room was filled wall to ceiling with high tech equipment. A bay of windows on another wall showed them a skyline that looked not too dissimilar to Megakat City.
Feral spoke up for all of them. “I’m Commander Ulysses Feral, these are the SWAT Kats. We’re from a city called Megakat and a world named Aristal. We were fighting an enemy of our city called the Pastmaster when a stray beam from his magical pocket watch sent us here… wherever here is.”
Ben blinked then shook his head. “Alright, stand up. A story that crazy has to be true.”
Feral and the SWAT Kats carefully got to their feet.
“Where are we?” Feral asked.
The one named Reed answered. “You’re on a planet we call Earth, we’re humans, and this is our city called New York in a country called the United States. You’ve managed to land in our headquarters. We’re called the Fantastic Four and we’re defenders of humankind.”
“Okay, so we’re both defenders… that’s a relief. Now, would it be possible for you to get us home again?” Razor asked.
Reed rubbed his chin, a thoughtful look on his face. “It should be possible. I’ll have to track your trajectory to pinpoint where and what dimension you came from…” As he talked, he headed for one of the many machines in the room.
Razor followed, listening closely. Within minutes, the two were jabbering away in technobabble.
T-Bone stood beside Feral and sighed. “This might take a while. Anything we can do to ease the boredom of waiting? Once my partner gets a hold of a problem, there’s no prying him away until he’s solved it,” he said with a good natured snort.
“Reed’s the same way… always glued to one project or another. His wife has to resort to all kinds of diversions to get him to relax,” Ben said, warming up to T-Bone.
It was positively weird talking to an intelligent cat person, but it was no weirder than some of the other creatures he’d met in his life as a member of the FF. His girlfriend, Alicia, though, would flip as she was positively batty about cats.
“So, let’s just see what they say then… if it’s going to be awhile, I got some video games, a pool table, some brew and pizza we can chow on to pass the time.”
“Sounds great, and I’m just blown away that you have pizza and beer like us,” T-Bone said, shaking his head at the weird similarity.
“Ain’t that unusual… turns out, there are a lot of worlds that share the same things as ours,” Ben said, shrugging.
T-Bone’s eyes widened at that admission. “You’ve been off world?”
“Off world, other dimensions, you name it… and hated every moment of it too.”
“Crud! I wouldn’t care for it much either. Sounds like your enemies are really tough dudes. Wouldn’t want to run into them.”
“Well, it is what it is. Some of them are dead while others… let’s just say we have an uneasy peace with them and, yeah, too many of them are so omnipotent it scares me down to my shoes. Just glad there are other really high powered super hero types around that take them on.”
“There are more of you?” Feral asked, dumbfounded.
“Oh yeah, more than a couple hundred super heroes with a wide range of abilities and strange powers. Sometimes, we clash, but, mostly, we try not to encroach on each others’ turf.”
Feral could only shake his head and hoped they got out of here fast before they got an unwanted introduction to another world’s deadly enemies or so called friends.
“Hey, Reed! You guys gonna be able to solve this in the next few minutes or what?” Ben yelled out, deafening the Kats, who folded their ears in self defense.
Distracted, Reed Richards interrupted himself with Razor to give his best friend his attention. “Sorry, it looks like it might take some time to determine their point of origin.”
“Okay, then I’m going to be the nice host and take our other guests here down to the game room. Look for us there.”
“Oh, good idea. Thanks, Ben.” Reed turned back to Razor and got wrapped up again.
“Eh… let’s go guys.”
Feral eyed the pair of eggheads a moment then sighed and followed T-Bone and the huge orange person. They entered an elevator that took them to another floor. When the door popped open, a very nicely appointed and large area was revealed. It was like a bar and living room combined. In a corner near the door was the huge bar with fridge and microwave. Near a bay of windows was a comfortable couch area with TV, coffee table, some kind of game controllers laying on it with a game halted on the screen. Across from this was a pool table.
“Wow! Nice set up you have here,” T-Bone said appreciatively.
“We like it. Keeps us sane. I’ll order some pies from my favorite place. Anything you want on them or can’t have on them?”
“Uh, we’re meat eaters, so anything with meat will be good. Is it possible to get tuna on it?” T-Bone asked.
“Tuna! Uhh… nope, sorry, but I think we got tuna in a can around here somewhere…”
“Naw, that’s okay. Whatever you get should be fine with us,” T-Bone assured him.
“That okay with you, there, Commander?” Ben asked, not wanting it to seem he was just favoriting T-Bone even though he didn’t get any friendly vibes off the imposing Kat in the uniform.
“No, I’m good with whatever you want to order,” Feral said politely then wandered around the room and over to the window to look out at the city.
“Right… I’ll just be a minute. Beer is in the fridge; feel free to looked around.” Ben moved off to a wall that had a panel filled with various electronic buttons plus a phone that hung there. He was soon speaking to someone he was obviously friendly with.
T-Bone wandered over to the TV area and studied the gaming system. Feral, meanwhile, felt totally out of his depth. He’d never experienced time travel nor dimensional travel, but it seemed to him the SWAT Kats might have by their more easy acceptance of the odd situation they were in. He wasn’t ashamed to admit he was terrified but kept it hidden and prayed they would get home really soon.
“Hey, Commander… come on over and play.” T-Bone drew Feral from his worries. Though he didn’t care for the tom at all, he wasn’t that unfeeling and could see the Commander was tense and afraid. He needed to be distracted, and this sweet looking system looked to be the way to do it.
Feral flicked his eyes at the SWAT Kat in mild surprise. T-Bone wasn’t smirking, his body language relaxed, a paw was up waving at him to come over. He wished he could see the tom’s eyes so he could get an idea what he was up to, but, since they were all in the same boat, he was willing to believe his antagonist only meant to ease his fears and have him be distracted for a while. He had to admit that was a good idea and would pass the time faster.
Sighing, he walked over to the couch area and sat uneasily a short distance from T-Bone. For the next few minutes, T-Bone explained what he’d learned, and the two of them began to play the game already on the screen.
When Ben rejoined them, carrying three bottles of beer, the two were deeply involved and vying against each other with cries of ‘I got you now’ and ‘no, you haven’t… eat space dust’… Ben grinned, pleased his idea was helping the two put their fears aside for a bit.
“Well, you sure learned that game really well… have something similar at home?” he asked, setting two of the beers on the table.
“Hell, no, we have nothing like this. The games we have are just pinball types, and these were just being developed and marketed but are too pricey for my pocketbook,” T-Bone grunted, zapping one of Feral’s ships. “Hah! Gotcha!”
“I never have time to play,” Feral grunted, whipping his ships around T-Bone’s to try and come up from below and above.
“Might have a spare one of these around here, I think. Could let you have it to take back. Can’t let a fellow hero be bored on their down times.”
“Wow! That would be radical.” T-Bone gave Ben a quick grin full of sharp canines before turning back to his game.
Ben just grinned and drank his beer while watching how these two fought. He could see they were evenly matched and highly competitive. He had a suspicion they were not on the same side as was often the case for the costumed variety of hero. Feral would be the legitimate authority while the SWAT Kats were probably considered vigilantes. Their relationship had that adversarial feel to it that he’d seen far too often. But, at the moment, the two antagonists were enjoying fighting against each other through the game. It showed Ben that Feral wasn’t a complete enemy of the pair… possibly tolerated them when he needed to because they were good at what they did.
He snorted at himself. Johnny would laugh if he saw him analyzing their guests this way, but Alicia would say he wasn’t as stupid as he let people believe and had a knack for seeing into others’ hearts and minds. He scoffed at her when she told him that some time ago, but he knew it was true and why he was still alive considering how many wanted him and his friends dead. Knowing your enemy from the few clues they gave away was how to stay alive, and he’d learned that lesson very well.
A buzzing filled the room, making both Kats startle and leap to their feet.
“Easy, guys… that’s just the delivery guy. I’ve gotta go down and meet him… Be right back.” Ben got up from the couch, leaving his drink on the table, then ambled to the elevator, disappearing moments later.
The two relaxed and returned to their game. They had been playing for about five minutes when a voice shouted in surprise, immediately followed by a threat.
“Who the heck are you? Get to your feet and put your hands up!”
Feral and T-Bone carefully laid their controllers down and stood up as ordered. Turning around carefully and raising their paws, they saw a young human on fire. They could only gape in shock, wondering if this was normal for him or if they should be looking for a fire extinguisher.
“Hey! What the hell are you doing, Johnny? Douse those flames, you idgit, and stop scaring our guests!” Ben’s booming voice came from the direction of the elevator. He was carrying a stack of pizza boxes in one huge hand.
“Huh? Guests?” Johnny blinked in shocked surprise as he let his flames disappear.
They could see he was wearing the same kind of outfit as Reed. Letting out a soft sigh of relief, the two lowered their arms.
“Yeah, guests for whom I ordered these pies for. What are you doing here? I thought you had a date?” Ben walked into the room and set the pies on the bar.
Still a bit leery of the strange young man, the two Kats walked up to the bar but gave Johnny a wide berth.
“This here is Commander Feral and that dere is T-Bone. They dropped through Reed’s dimensional portal by accident. This guy’s partner is with Reed now trying to figure out how to send them home. I’m just being the good host.”
“You… a good host?” Johnny nearly choked with laughter.
Ben made a feint toward the irreverent kid and Johnny danced back. “Angela was recalled to work, so I came home,” the young man answered Ben’s earlier question, still smirking and avoiding the big man’s arms.
“Well, don’t think I have to entertain you…” Ben grumbled, grabbed a box and took it toward the couch, ignoring the kid.
The two Kats realized the two weren’t enemies but friends who picked on each other like siblings do. Relieved, they filled plates with pizza and returned to their seats.
Sighing, Johnny grabbed a soda from the fridge, took a couple of slices and went to sit far from Ben and across from their odd guests in an overstuffed chair.
“Well, I must admit it’s nice to have drop ins that aren’t trying to take over the world or kill us,” Johnny said, taking a healthy bite of his pizza.
“Amen to that,” Ben grunted.
“Glad we aren’t either,” T-Bone said genially. “Hmm, great pizza… never tasted anything like this before.”
Feral had to agree as he finished his second pizza and drank some truly great beer.
“So, where you guys from?” Johnny asked.
For the next hour, the pair were asked dozens of questions and got to ask a lot of their own. It passed the time. It was rather eye-opening for Feral and T-Bone though to learn about so many different kinds of powers there were on and off this world. They also learned the fourth member of this group was a female who could turn invisible and make force bubbles with her mind.
‘Crud! What a creepy place!’ T-Bone thought, drinking his beer and listening to Johnny tell them about one of their more dangerous missions.
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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.