Megakat City was going through the worst heat waves it’s had in years. At noonthe sun was directly above the city, turning the concrete and asphalt scoldinghot. The humidity made it even worst. Some people in this city say tempersrise with the temperature. The sun was finally down, and the temperature seemedto drop only a couple degrees. The heat didn’t really matter to the Metalickatsas they drove down the street and parked next to a boarded up seven storytenement.
“Hey, Mac,” Molly said getting out of the car, “I think your driving’s gettingbetter. You only hit three cars on the way over here.
“Ha ha. Quit your yammering, Molly.” They both walked through the door of thebuilding. .
“Let’s hope this Larcen guy isn’t wasting our time.”They made their way up to the fifth-floor and walked down the corridor untilthey met up with two kats armed with Uzis. They were standing on either side ofthe meeting room door.
“We’re here to see Larcen.” Mac said. The guard on his left turn and knockedon the door.
“The Metalickats are here.” he called. A few seconds later the door opened.They all stepped into a room that was about as messy as the rest of thebuilding. In the center of the room was a table and behind it was a dark-brownfurred kat dressed in a navy blue silk shirt, black tie, and black pants. Therewere three others in the room with him armed with pump action shotguns. Nowthere were five including the guards that just stepped in. Those two were nowstanding by the door inside the room. Kain stood at Larcen’s side, Crazy Edleaned against a radiator, and Sydney took a position in front of a crackedwindow. The Metalickats stood about four feet away from Larcen.
“Well,” Larcen said coolly, “Mac and Molly Mange, glad you could make it.
“Enough of that,” Mac said taking a step forward, “just tell us why you calledus here.
“Alright, alright, here’s the deal,” Larcen continued, “I called you here totalk about a partnership. We combine our forces and split the profits rightdown the middle. Each of us does our part and together we can own this city.”Mac and Molly looked at each other and back at Larcen. .
“Well?” Larcen said.
“Well,” Mac replied, “we can care less about your partnership.
“Yeah,” Molly said, “we’d much rather do it ourselves.” As they were talking,Sydney could sense something wasn’t right. It wasn’t the Metalickats, it wassomething else. He turned around and looked out of the window but saw nothing.He was just about to turn back around when he saw three little red spots crawlacross the window frame and onto his chest. His first thought was that theremust be a sniper. He immediatly whipped around to face Larcen.
“Larcen….” was all he could say before a blue and white blast torn throughhim, exploding his chest and spraying blood across the room. Everyone turned tosee Sydney fall to the ground. Some of his blood had splashed on Molly’s faceand chest. Larcen stood up and pulled out his 9mm he had tucked in the back ofhis pants.
“What the hell was that?!” Molly exclaimed wipping the blood off her face.
“Someone’s out there!” Kain said running towards the window.
“Who!” Mac said.
“I don’t know.” Kain kicked out the boards nailed in the next window and leanedout. .
“But who ever he is he’s….”That’s all he said until he was pulled out with his legs kicking wildly. Theyheard him scream madly, then silent. By now everyone in the room had thereweapons ready. Mac grabbed Larcen by the tie and pointed his hand cannon in hisface.
“We’re five freakin’ floors up!” Mac srceamed, “Who the hell is out there?!.
“I don’t know!” he screamed back. Then a thought struck him. .
“Maybe it’s theSWAT Kats!” Mac let go of his tie and pushed him away.
“To hell with the SWAT Kats!” Mac sai.
“Good idea!” Molly said raising her gun, “Ready?” Everyone aimed at the window.
“Fire!”The Metalickats, Larcen, and the last three of his men opened fire. Woodshredded, plaster flew, and glass shattered. Round after round of large-caliberammo emptied into the wall. Almost a minute and a half went by before theirfiring ceased. When the smoke clear all that was left was a huge hole where thetwo windows had once been. They could see the skyline of Megakat City throughit.
“Beauty.” Mac said. Larcen’s men looked at each other and reloaded. Larcen wasabout to step forward and survey the damage when Mac’s hand on his shoulderstopped him. .
“Now, about that partnership….
“Oh, my God,” Mac heard him whisper. Mac thought it was strange for him to beimmpressed by a big hole in the wall. Then he saw what he was staring at.It looked like a hand holding onto the bricks. At first there was a bigyellowish hand with long black finger nails, then a blue flicker of faintsparks, and the hand was gone with just a shimmering in the hot air.
“What the….,” Mac said as the hand reappeared. As he looked at it he figuredit was much bigger than his own. Then he realized it wasn’t a kat.
“Son of a….,” Molly said as the shadowy figure came into view, “Cut himdown!” She aimed and fired her gun.About seven blocks away the TurboKat soared through the air. Razor staredquietly down at the city.
“Pretty boring day, huh?” T-Bone said trying to create conversation. When Razordidn’t answer he glanced over his shoulder to see him gazing blankly at thecity. He looked out of the cockpit to see if he was staring at anything inpaticular. .
“What’s wrong, buddy?” T-Bone said when he didn’t see anything.
“I don’t know,” Razor replied, “it’s like the city doesn’t feel right.
“That’s kinda’ like saying Dr. Viper doesn’t look right.
“I know,” Razor said, “but didn’t it sound like thunder a few minutes ago?
“You’re probably just hearing things.
“No, it sounded like gun fire,” Razor said, “but who’d fire that much at once?”Just before T-Bone could respond the radio crackled.
“All Enforcer units in vicinity respond, shots fired on corner of 2nd andSheldon, use caution, Metalickats suspected.
“Just hearing things, huh?” Razor said.Lt. Felina Feral got out of her car and walked toward the building. She wasabout to go in when another Enforcer stopped her. .
“I’m sorry, Lt., I’ve gotorders to keep the building clear until Commander Feral arrives.” Felina lookedup at the building and saw the huge hole in the side.
“Whoa,” she said, “What was it, a bomb?
“Nope,” the Enforcer replied, “just a lot of shots.
“Are you sure?
“Not really, but we did hear shots.”Felina looked up at the sound of a jet. The SWAT Kats were now hovering abovethem. Below they saw about five Enforcer patrol cars parked near the tenement.Then they noticed a chunk of brick wall that had been blown out. .
“I guess wemissed the party.” T-Bone said. Just then a body was thrown through the holeand crashed on top of the patrol car Felina had been driving, sending glass inall directions.
“I don’t think so.” Razor said. They landed atop the roof and disembarked.They went ignored by the Enforcers who were staring at the fallen body of MollyMange on top of the car. She was severely beaten and damaged. Suddenly a fewshots were fired and followed by a blood curdling scream, then fell silent.The SWAT Kats walked down the fire escape to the fifth floor. As they walkeddown the corridor they could hear loud shouts and thumps. The hallway wasfilled with gunsmoke and they could smell it in the air. The shouts and thumpsfinally stopped. .
“Sounds like they stopped.” T-Bone said when they got to thedoor of the room. He leaned against the bullet hole covered wall and Razorstood in front of the door.
“Yeah,” Razor said holding his Glovatrix at the ready, “Cover me.” Just then hekicked open the door and jumped in. T-Bone only heard him take a couple stepsand stop. All he could hear now was a dripping sound like someone left a sinkrunning. T-Bone cursed quietly to himself.
“Razor?” he called. No response. He spun around, Glovatrix ready, ran in, andfroze. Nothing could have prepared them both for what they saw in that room.They stood silently for about half a minute until Razor finally said.
“My God.”The four bodies swung slowly in the breeze as big puddles of blood collected onthe floor. All were hanging by their ankles which were tied to a joist in theceiling. It was obvious what had happend to them, but T-Bone said it anyway.
“They’ve been skinned.”Razor nodded. .
“These look like Larcen’s men, and that one right there isLarcen himself.” he said pointing at one of the bodies. T-Bone could feelhimself getting sicker and sicker. He felt like vomiting right there but hetried his hardest not to.He took a deep breath and said.
“These guys didn’t go out without a fight. Imean look at all the cartridge casings.” The casings were everywhere, coveredin blood, even the guns. .
“Wha…what in God’s name could have done this?”Suddenly they heard a strange moan. It was coming from the corner of the room.Razor and T-Bone raised their Glovatrixs once again and took aim. The figurerose up from the rubble slowly. When it finally got to its feet and they sawits glowing red eyes, they knew who it was.
“Mac?” T-Bone asked wonderingly. Mac looked around and saw both SWAT Kats.They could see that he was also badly damaged and missing his right arm.
“Well, well, well,” Mac said, “If it isn’t the SWAT Kats,” Mac looked over atthe swinging bodies, “I’ve seen you guys pull off some wierd stuff before, butman, I’m impressed.
“Get real, Mac.” T-Bone said, “We didn’t do this….
“Didn’t you see who did?” Razor asked cutting T-Bone off.
“All I saw was some punk in a Halloween mask come through the window, bust meup, and ripped these guys appart.” Suddenly realization came to his face.
“Molly! Where is she!.
“She’s outside waiting in the car.” T-Bone said pointing towards the window.Mac walked over and looked out. He saw Molly still lying on the squad car. Hewhipped his head around to the SWAT Kats and they saw anger in his face.
“You son of a BITCH!” he yelled as he quickly reached down and picked up an Uziand fired. They both fell and rolled for cover. When he ceased fire they heardhim curse loudly when he realized the gun was empty. Then they heard footstepsas he started running out of the room. Razor was up and in hot pursuit. Afterthey left T-Bone got up and looked down the corridor to see Razor chasing Mac.When he finally caught up with Razor he was standing on the fire escape. Machad already jumped out the window and dodged three Enforcers that were assignedto guard that alley. They didn’t even leave their post to pursue.
“Crud! He got away!” T-Bone said.
“Don’t worry,” Razor said, “we’ll find him.” He turned back to the buildingand froze. He saw some sort of shimmering in the hall, like heat vapor. Itdisappeared after a few seconds.
“What?” T-Bone asked.Razor stood there a couple seconds and shook his head. .
“Nothing.”As they walked back down the corridor they heard an all too familiar voice.
“Seal it up!” They looked at each other with expressions of resignation. .
“Allof it!” Feral continued, “Seal everything! Nobody gets in here!” A group ofblue and grey clad men burst out of the stairwell, rifles ready. Feral walkedin last. He looked down the hall and saw the SWAT Kats. He glared for amoment, stepped forward, and growled.
“You two really stepped in it this time. Iordered for no one to go in, that includes you. I heard shots and if I find outyou fired any of them I want a convincing story of why.
“Hey,” T-Bone said, “did you see those bodies in that room?
“So there’s a couple dead punks.
“No, Feral,” Razor said, “it was a massacre.
“Gangs play rough….
“Play rough!” T-Bone said, “You take a good look in there and tell me who orwhat can do that kind of damage.”Faral stared at them both, “Now you listen to me. I don’t give a damn what’sin there, that’s not the point, the point is I told you two to keep out and youdidn’t. Now you two get out of my sight before I change my mind and have youarrested. Got it?”They didn’t answer. T-Bone put his hand on Razor’s shoulder. .
“Come on,Razor.” They walked to the fire escape and climbed to the roof.
“Do you think he’s hiding something?” Razor asked climbing into the cockpit.
“From us, possibly.” T-Bone closed the canopy and fired up the engine, “Butwhatever it is, most likely it’s not gonna stay hid.” As they lifted off theroof and headed back to the hangar, a shimmering figure watched them depart.
“Yes?” said the voice on the other end of the phone.
“This is Commander Feral, I need to talk to General Westlake.
“Hold please.”Feral sat in his office which was dimmly lit with a desk lamp. A moment latera new voice said, “Westlake.
“It’s Feral.” he said, “You were right, there was an attack.
“How bad was it?” Westlake sai.
“Very bad,” Feral replied, “Seven dead, including one of the Metalickats whowas thrown out of the window, four of them were skinned and hung upside downfrom the ceiling on the fifth floor, and we found the other two on the nextfloor mangled and decapitated.
“Who were they?” Westlake aske.
“Mark Larcen and his gang and Molly Mange, we’re still looking for Mac Mange.
“Were they armed?
“Heavily.” Feral replied.
“That fits.”Feral sat quietly for a few seconds and then said, “General, I’d like to knowwhat’s going on.
“It’s a federal matter,” Westlake said, “I can’t tell you that.
“Well are there going to be more attacks?” Feral asked.
“You mean you don’t know?” Feral said getting out of his seat.
“No Commander, we don’t.” Westlake said, “I can’t explain it, but it’s amiracle that we spotted….that we got a hint this was going to happen inMegakat City. You’re job is to keep everyone away and keep it quiet, and I sureas hell don’t want the media involved.” Feral sat back down in his seat, “I’llbe coming up there tonight with my people to conduct an investigation. Keepyour men clear.
“Yes sir.” Feral said uneasily. He hung up and sat back. He didn’t like beingordered around, but Westlake was the Army, and his instruction to listen to himcame from Mayor Manx, who was out of town. At first he thought this was somekind of drug bust, but then he saw what was in the room of the tenement. TheArmy didn’t do that, nor would the SWAT Kats. The Metalickats could have, ifthey had enough time and weren’t so damaged. But what could have thrown Mollyout like that? And what could have taken out seven heavily armed individualswithout putting any bullets in them? They fired off thousands of rounds andthey were all killed with blades. Before forensics was chased out of there bythe feds they said one of them had still been alive when he was skinned.Westlake contacted Feral a day before and told him there might be a couplevicious murders that would probably happen somewhere that was not air-conditioned, the victims would be armed, and it would happen above street level.Feral was confused. How did Westlake know? Why here in Megakat city? Whycouldn’t Westlake give him one clue or one hint about why he….it was inMegakat City?The next night, half a dozen Enforcers were on the firing range shootingtargets and talking whenever the noise dropped. Lt. Steele walked down the halluntroubled by the heat. He had a hot date tonight with an hour to kill. He sawsomething in the corridor ahead of him that seemed to shimmer, but he figured itwas just the heat and paid no attention. He walked through the swinging glassdoor and waved to Melvin Knox who was running the register. He didn’t noticethat the door took a little longer to close than usual.
“How’s it going, Mel?” Steele said taking off his coat revealing a .45 in ashoulder holster. .
“I’ve got a date tonight, just thought I’d get a littlepractice in before then.” Steele drew his gun and layed it on the counter.Mel smiled, “You could use it.”Steele glanced at the doors to the range just in time to see them shatter.Suddenly the firing stopped as everyone on the range turn to see what happened.
“Wha….” was all Steele could say before a shrill scream filled the air.Then blood sprayed across the room and landed on the carpeted floor. Knoxgrabbed a rifle from under the counter and ran through the door. But just afterhe stepped into the room, two blades suddenly went through his stomach and cameout of his back. Steele stepped back in shock as Knox was pulled into the room.All he could hear was lots of shots, more screams, and loud thumping. He wantedto see what was happening but he couldn’t get a clear view. Most of the lightsin the room had gone out suddenly. He had his gun and many other weapons in thecabinet behind the counter. He could have picked one and charged through thedoor, but he thought about what happened to Knox and reconsidered. All the menon the range had guns, most of them were trained professionals, and someone wastaking them out. Instead he grabbed the phone to call security. As he wasdialing, the shooting, screaming, and thumping stopped. He looked at the doorexpecting someone to walk out. He turned his head away from the door when heheard someone answer the phone.
“Security.” a female voice said. Steele didn’t respond because heard thecrunching of broken glass behind him. He slowly turned around and froze.
“Jesus Chri…” he began, but didn’t finish. Because a fist caught him squarein the chest, instantly knocking the wind out of him. It also sent him flyingback and smashing into the outer doors, shattering the glass into little pieces.He slammed against the wall and collasped on the floor unconscious.The next thing he heard was a voice over him shouting.
“Hey, this one’s alive!”He could feel his chest aching from the sudden impact. They told him to liestill until the paramedics came. He tried to ask them who was dead, who wasalive, who was hurt, and who wasn’t, but they wouldn’t give him a straightanswer. .
“This one’s alive!” is what the man had said. He waited for thosewords to be repeated, but they weren’t. Then he heard a man saying in shockedtones.
“Oh, my God.” as he walked out of the range.Chance relaxed on his couch watching Scaredy Kat cartoons while sipping hismilk and thinking about what happened the other day. Like Feral, he couldn’tfigure it out. He wondered why Feral, a man so desperate to throw them in jail,would let them leave the scene like that? He figured Feral really was hidingsomething. Not much was going on now. The reception on the T.V. was lousy,like it had been for the last two days. Jake was down in the hagar making a fewadjustments on the TurboKat. Chance gave up messing around with the antenna onthe T.V. and decided to check up on him. As he climbed down te steps he couldhear the whirring of Jake’s tools. Jake climbed out from under the jet when heheard Chances footsteps. Jake could see the look on Chance’s face.
“What’s wrong, buddy?” Jake said whipping the oil off his hands.Chance looked down torwards his feet, “The room in that building.
“I know,” Jake threw the towel on the ground next to his tools, “it was likesomething out of a nightmare or something. Do you think Mac and Molly couldhave done all that?
“I wouldn’t doubt it,” Chance said, “but what the hell happened to them. Theweapons that gang had couldn’t have done that much damage.” Just then an alarmwent off.
“It’s Callie.” Jake said running beside Chance towards the siren. Chance hit abutton on the commlink.
“Yes, Ms. Briggs,” Chance said.
“T-Bone,” Callie said, “It happened again. Same thing as the building onSheldon.”Jake and Chance looked at each other. .
“Looks like it wasn’t the Metalickats.”Jake saidChance turned back to the commlink.
“Where?” he asked.
“You’re not gonna believe this,” Callie said, “over at Enforcer Headquarters.”They both looked at each other again with expressions of shock on their faces.A few minutes after the call, Felina Feral marched over the yellow tape. .
“Lt.,the Commander’s gonna suspend you if you….” one of the Enforcers standing bythe door of the gunsmithing room began.
“Good,” Felina interrupted, “I need a vacation.”As she walked through the room, she noticed the glass display cases werebusted. There were about two or three forensics men with cameras and tweezersdressed in civilian clothing. She didn’t know if they were Enforcers or feds.
“No bodies?” she said.One of the forensics men looked up.
“There in the shooting range.” he saidpointing towards the door, “Enforcers mostly, we had one survivor, Lt. DavidSteele, he had some busted ribs and a concussion.” Felina nodded and walkedtowards the door. The carpet at the entrance was covered with broken glass andblood. The lights were still out inside. She grabbed the flashlight off herbelt and peered into the room. About seven bodies hung from the ceilinggirders, skinned and dripping blood here and there. She aimed the flashlightdown at the floor and saw dozens of firearms and cartridges laying in a hugepool of blood.
“I guess all that hardware didn’t do them much good.” Felina said to herself.She gasped when she got a better look at some of their faces. She knew some ofthem. She recognized Knox because she had been to the firing range many timesbefore. She turned away when she felt herself getting nauseous. When sheturned she saw the SWAT Kats standing by the outer doors.
“Razor! T-Bone!” she said, “What are you doing here?
“We came as soon as we heard.” T-Bone said stepping over the yellow tape, justto be stopped by the Enforcer guarding the door. She told him they were okayand he let them pass. .
“What happened here?” T-Bone asked.
“It’s awful.” she replied, “The same thing that happened to Larcen’s gang.Look.” she said pointing to the door. T-Bone didn’t think he could handleanother sight like that again.
“I’ll take your word for it.” T-Bone said. When he was an Enforcer he used togo to the firing range many times as well, so he didn’t feel like looking intothat room and seeing any familiar faces. Then a sound caught their attention.They turned their head to see four kats stepping in the gunsmithing room.
“Uh oh,” Razor muttered when he saw one of the kats was Feral, “we’re introuble now.
“What the….,” Feral said noticing the SWAT Kats, “What the hell are you twodoing here?” Feral marched up and stood in front of them, “Who let you in here?
“I did, uncle.” Felina answered.Feral turned his head and glared at Felina. .
“And who let you in? I told youthis was a federal matter.
“Come on, uncle,” Felina said angerly, “that’s not a drug gang in there, thoseare Enforcers, our own damn people!.
“That’s enough, Felina!” Feral said. Then he turn his attention back over tothe SWAT Kats. .
“I want these two removed from the building immediately!” heyelled.Then a voice from behind the commander said, “Wait, not yet.”Feral turned, “Why not?”A gray-furred kat in an army uniform and a cigarette in his fingers steppedforward, “These are the SWAT Kats?
“Yeah,” T-Bone said, “that’s us.
“Interesting.” He said taking a puff off his cigarette. Razor and T-Bonelooked at each other in confusion, “The only thing left here to do is clean up.You think your janitors can handle that, Commander?
“Yes, sir.” Feral said reluctantly. Both SWAT Kats were slightly amazed.They’ve never really seen Commander Feral take orders from anyone but the mayor.T-Bone looked at the man’s cap and noticed the two stars on it. Then he lookeddown at the name on his shirt. Westlake.
“Come on you two,” Westlake said nodding towards the door, “we have to talk.
“We do?” Razor said.Westlake nodded and started walking out of the room. The SWAT Kats followed.They all walked down the corridor and out of the building. When they got nearthe TurboKat, Westlake dropped his cigarette on the ground and stepped on itwith his boot.
“Look,” Westlake said, “I know Feral’s being a jerk about this, but I was theone that told him to keep you out of this.
“And just who are you supposed to be?” Razor asked.
“Who I am is unimportant.” He replied, “I don’t know how smart you guys are,but you’re not stupid. There are some things you’re better off not knowing.
“Things like what?” T-Bone said. Westlake didn’t reply. Instead he lookeddown at the ground.
“Well?” Razor said.
“Listen, this conversation is off the record,” Westlake said looking up atthem, “I’m not here, you never saw me, all that crud. But I’m telling you, justback away from this one.
“No way!” Razor said, “You saw that shooting range. We’re gonna find the onesthat did that.
“You have to drop this! Understand?
“No,” T-Bone said, “we don’t understand any of this.
“You know who’s been doing these killings,” Razor said, “don’t you?” AgainWestlake didn’t answer. .
“Who is he? What does he want in Megakat City?
“I can’t tell you.” Westlake turned around and started walking back to EnforcerHeadquarters, “Just drop it!.
“Well what can you tell us?” Razor said.Westlake stopped, hesitated, and turned back around. .
“They like the heat, andthey want the sport. Just leave them be and they’ll be gone in a couple weeks.”He continued to walk up to the building. .
“It has to be this way!” he calledfrom the doorway. Then he was gone.Razor and T-Bone looked at each other and boarded their jet. .
“It has to bethis way my tail.” T-Bone muttered closing the canopy.
“What do you think he meant when he said they like the heat and want thesport?” Razor asked.
“I don’t know,” T-Bone said, “but we better find out before this happensagain.
“Yeah, and I know just where to go to get a few answers.
“Where?” T-Bone said.
“The building on Sheldon.” Razor said.
“What?” T-Bone exclaimed, “The Enforcers probably went over that place withtweezers by now.
“I know, but it’s the only shot we’ve got.
“Alright,” T-Bone said, “heading over there now.”T-Bone landed the TurboKat on the street in front of tenement jumped out. .
“Youstay here,” Razor said, “I’ll check it out.” T-Bone watched Razor go up to thedoor and walk on through. He went directly up to the room where the corpses hadonce been. The puddles of blood were now dried to a dark brown. As he lookedaround he noticed a couple of holes in the walls that just weren’t right. Therewere hundereds of smaller bullet holes which were obviously made by the uzis,some made with the shotguns, even a few bigger holes made by the Metalickatsweapons, but there were a couple of the holes that just didn’t look right.For instance they were slightly bigger than Razor’s head. One of them was acouple inches higher than him. He also noticed that they went through the wall,so he went into the other room to see the hole from the other side. But whilehe was in that room he saw another hole in the opposite wall, but it was justbelow the first. When he went back into the first room he lined up the holesand figured that the blast was aimed downward. The edges of them were burned.Razor began to sense something. As if someone or something was in the room withhim. He whipped his head around but saw nothing. He turned his attention backto the hole, but he still felt as if something was watching him. He turnedaround completely and froze. It was right there about three feet away. It washuge, almost eight feet tall and wearing some sort of metal mask and a bandaround it’s chest which had a few small skulls hanging from it. One of them wasa kat skull. Razor raised his Glovatrix and took aim it at the intruder.
“Whoa, pal,” Razor said trying to distract it, “I didn’t expect you to show uphere.” Razor didn’t think the distraction was working since the creatureresponded by backhanding him across the face, sending him slamming against thewall. Razor could feel his mouth and nose spurting blood. When he looked up hesaw the thing standing over him. He gathered all the strength he could andthrew his leg up, hoping to catch it in the stomach or crotch. But before hecould cover half the distance, its black talons locked around his ankle, liftedhim off the ground, and flung him aside, slamming him into another wall. Hefelt his Glovatrix slip off of his hand.He could hear it walking towards him as he lay on the floor, trying his bestnot to pass out. Then its hand closed around his neck and pinned him to thewall and turned his head to the side to expose his neck. Razor tried with allhis might to free himself but it did no good. Suddenly he felt something biteinto his neck below his left ear. Razor screamed in pain, it felt like he wasjust stabbed in the neck with three red hot nails. Razor’s hand felt around andfound Larcen’s chair. His anger gave him the strength he needed. He broughtthe chair up and caught it in the side of the head, smashing the chair andtwisting its mask to the side. When it reach up to straighted it, Razor decidedto go for it first. He reached out and grabbed the mask, then the thing pushedhim away, but he held his grip and the mask came off. Suddenly he was staringat the true face of the killer. Baleful eyes, fang-rimmed mouth that worked inlayers, and framed in long, black dreadlocks. Razor’s back was facing towardsthe blown out wall. The outer ring of its fangs flexed and opened, then thething spoke.
“Cut him down!” it said in Molly’s voice, with amplified volume. Razor took acouple steps back, unable to believe his eyes and ears.
“Man, you are one ugly motherf….,” Razor began before he stepped on somethinghard, something that went out from under him. As he tumbled backward out of thehole in the wall, he realized he tripped over his Glovatrix. T-Bone wasstanding outside on the sidewalk when he heard screaming. He looked up to seeRazor falling from the fifth floor. He had to react quickly or see his partnersplatter on the street. So he fired a grappling hook at the building adjacentto the tenement and hoped Razor would catch it, and he did. Unfortunatly Razordidn’t have the strength to hold on for long. He tried to think of somethingelse to do but it was too late. Razor crashed onto the wing of the jet androlled off and landed on the pavement. T-Bone released the line and rushed toRazor’s side.
“Razor!” T-Bone called, “Are you alright?! Razor!” Razor just grunted andcoughed up some blood. .
“What the hell happened up there?!” Razor’s onlyresponse was more coughing and moaning. Then he noticed Razor was clutchingsomething in his hand.
“What’s this?” He said reaching for it.Razor released the mask and said, “I stole….his mask.” then past out. T-Boneexamined the mask. It was metal and way too big to fit an average kat, and theinside was filled with strange gadgetry. He looked up at the hole Razor hadfallen through and thought about charging up there, but he didn’t want to leaveRazor lying on the street unconcious and gargling blood.T-Bone couldn’t risk taking Razor to a hospital. For one thing they might findout Razor’s true identity and report it to Feral. Then Feral might find outwhere they had been and then they’d never hear the end of it. So T-Bone pickedRazor up and put him in the jet. Their next stop was the hagar.Chance stripped Jake out of his flight suit and helmet and layed him down inhis bed. While he was bandaging him up he noticed a lump of metal about thesize of a nickle embedded in his neck. He didn’t think he got it in the fall.He tried to take it out but all it did was leak fresh blood onto the pillow. Hefigured it may be attached to a vein or artery, and if he tried to tear it offit might kill him. He definitely needed an expert opinion on this. And he knewjust who to talk to. He ran over to the phone and started dialing. The phonerang twice before it was answered by the voice of an old man.
“Professor Hackle here.” the voice said.
“Professor, it’s me, T-Bone. Listen, I need your help.” T-Bone continued.
“Razor’s hurt bad and he has something stuck in his neck. Do you think you cantake a look at him?
“Of course, although medicine is not my main field, but I do know someone thatcan help.” Hackle replied.
“Great,” T-Bone said, “I’ll bring him right over.”About a half hour later, they finally arrived at Hackle’s house. He, T-Bone,and Dr. Collins, the doctor-friend that Hackle had called, helped Razor out ofthe jet and carried him into the lab. There were enough bandages on his facethat he wouldn’t be recognized. T-Bone explained what happened as they layedhim down on an examination table. It took Hackle a few minutes to convinceT-Bone to wait in the other room while they performed the tests. T-Bonereluctantly stepped into the room. He paced back and forth for several minuteswondering what was going on with Razor. When he saw the T.V. he decided to seeif anyone was covering the incident over at the shooting range. He grabbed theremote and flipped through the channels. Not one station mentioned the shootingrange or the tenement. Plus the reception was worst here than at the hagar. Heturned off the T.V. and remembered what Westlake had said then thought aboutwhat happened to Razor. .
“They want the sport,” is what he said. What did thatmean? Was it the killer that had beaten him and put that thing in his neck?And what was that thing for? As he pondered these questions, Hackle steppedinto the room.
“Well?” T-Bone asked.
“He’s doing fine,” He replied, “he’s still sleeping.” T-Bone breathed a sigh ofrelief.
“Unfortunatly,” Collins continued, “the device in his neck has these barbedclaws dug into the carotid artery, any attempt to remove it will cause them tochew up the blood vessles and he’ll bleed to death.” T-Bone’s jaw dropped indisgust, “Another test showed that it’s emitting some type of signal, like ahoming signal. Would you mind telling me where this thing came from?
“Honestly, Doc,” T-Bone said, “I have no idea.” Then he remembered, “Wait aminute, I have to show you something else.” He ran outside and retrieved themask from the jet. Then he ran back into the lab and handed it to Hackle. .
“Ithink Razor took this from the killer before he fell out of the window.
“What is it?” he asked.
“Razor said it was his mask.”Hackle looked at him with a confused look on his face, “Mask? But the size andproportions are all wrong. What kind of kat would were a mask like this?
“Something that’s definitly not a kat.” a voice said from the door way. Theyturned around to see Razor leaning against the door frame. The only things thatcovered him were the bandages on his face and the blanket wrapped around hiswaist.
“Razor?” T-Bone said, “You should be in bed, what the hell are you doing up?”Razor responded with a brief coughing fit. T-Bone and Collins walked up and ledRazor back to the bed, but he refused to go to sleep. So he raised the bed sohe could sit up.
“I’m gonna find the ugly sucker that did this to me.” Razor said followed bymore coughing.
“Easy, buddy,” T-Bone said sitting beside the bed, “you’re in no contition todo that just yet.
“I am gonna get him.
“You mean WE’RE gonna get him.” T-Bone corrected him. Razor started coughing alittle more. After his coughing ceased, a trickle of blood oozed from the thingon his neck. T-Bone wiped the blood away with a towel and looked at Collins.
“Doc, is there any way you can get that thing off before it kills him?
“I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do.
“What do you think it’s for?” T-Bone asked.
“Well,” Razor said, “if it’s like the doctor said and it’s puting out a homingsignal, them I guess I’ve been tagged.
“Yeah, but why would it do that? Why didn’t it kill you when it had thechance?”Razor turned his head away, “I guess it likes me.”Patrick Weiss walked down the empty streets. He had a great buzz from samplingthe latest shipment of catnip. The night sky was filled with smog and heat, buthe felt too good to let it worry him. Word around the campfire was that Larcenand his gang and Molly Mange were dead. That meant there was room to move up,and Weiss intended to be on top.Then something flickered over his head, leaping from one building to the next.He looked up but saw nothing. Just a bit of hot air he told himself, but justto be safe he pulled out his .38 and checked if it was loaded. As he strolledon he looked at the rooftops, but in one spot in particular where it seemed toshimmer. It was like something was there but he could see through it. Maybethat catnip gave him X-ray vision or something. He didn’t want to let it botherhim. He fired three shots at it and it disappeared. But then he heard a loudthump behind him. He turned around and saw the shimmering figure again. Hestarted thinking the people that sold him that catnip must have cut it withsomething weird.Suddenly the figure moved and something slashed Weiss’s chest. When he lookeddown he saw two red slits in his shirt and he realized he’d been cut. He wastoo drugged up to feel the pain, but he could see it and feel it. He raised hisgun and fired the last three shots but didn’t hit anything. When he turned tolook for his attacker, a pair of blades plunged into his back and came out hisstomach. As he was lifted into the air he flexed once and then slumped and hunglimply.About a half hour later Officier Bronze watched the headless body being wheeledaway in a body bag. He looked over at his partner. .
“Think we should tell thefeds about this one?
“What for?” Macklin said.
“They wanted to know about any strange killings,” Bronze said, “I mean this guyhad his head pulled off.
“The feds are way too busy with our shooting range, too busy poking their nosesinto our business for us to bother them with ever detail.” Macklin walkedtowards his car, “Let’s just bag him and tag him.”Bronze nodded and got in the car with him.
“So, what do we do now?” T-Bone asked.Razor was about to say something when Hackle stepped into the room holding themask. .
“Feeling better?” He asked.
“Yeah.” Razor replied, “Where’s Collins? I didn’t get a chance to thank him.
“He left already. I thanked him for you.
“Good.” Razor noticed he had the mask, “So did you find out anything about themask.
“Not too much. The metal it’s made of is unknown to me. Here,” he saidhanding it to T-Bone, “look through the eyes holes.”T-Bone took the mask and held it up to his face. When he looked at Hacklethrough the mask he was awash in shades of orange, red, white. He looked aroundthe room which was colored in black and blue. Then lowered the mask and turnedto Hackle.
“Infrared?” T-Bone said.
“It appears so.” Hackle walked over to the window, “There’s also something elseyou should see.” he said pointing towards the sky. T-Bone walked over, held upthe mask, and looked out the window. What he saw astonished him.He saw a ship hovering over the city. When he lowered the mask it vanished andreappeared when he raised the mask again. He guessed that was why the T.V.reception was so bad. Once again he lower the mask and turned to Razor.
“I think we may have a slight problem, buddy.
“Thanks for all your help, Doc.” Razor said walking torwards the Turbokat.
“Anytime,” Hackle said, “If you need more help you know where to find me.” Hewalked back into his house and shut the door. Razor joined T-Bone in theTurbokat.
“I’ll bet you anything that’s the killer’s ship.” Razor said closing thecanopy.
“What do you think we should do?
“Well, instead of chasing after it, let’s have it come after us.” Razor saidpatting the device on his neck.
“You mean….” T-Bone began.
“Roger,” Razor said, “let it know we know it’s there.
“Wait a minute,” T-Bone said while the jet lifted off the ground, “you want usto engage a space ship from another world with a killer alien on board?
“Why not,” Razor said,”we’ve done it before, remember?
“Good point.” T-Bone said after a few seconds of thinking, “Head over therenow?
“Negative. Let’s swing by the hagar first, I have to pick up a few things.
“Alright,” T-Bone said, “heading over there now.
“What are you looking for?” T-Bone asked as Razor dug though an old trunk.
“Oh, nothin’,” Razor responded, then turned around holding a large gun, “justthe old full-auto shotgun I bought I our old Enforcer days.”T-Bone cocked an eyebrow, “Why do I suddenly have a bad feeling about this?
“Don’t worry, I’ve got a plan,” Razor said slinging the shotgun over hisshoulder and walking to the jet, “I’m gonna try to use a Scrambler Missle onthat ship, it might short circuit its invisibility screen.” They both hoppedinto the jet, “Then when it becomes visible we head over to Anakata Island andhope it follows.
“HOPE it follows?” T-Bone said.
“Yeah, if we tried to fight this thing in the city with this kind of hardware,”Razor said patting the shotgun, “more people may get hurt.
“Kinda’ makes me wonder.
“Wonder what?” Razor asked.
“Who’s hunting who.” T-Bone closed the canopy, started the engine, and took offinto the sky.
“I see it.” Razor said holding the mask up to his face, “Dead ahead.
“Can you lock onto it?” T-Bone asked.
“Yeah, just keep the jet steady.” Razor moved the control stick around whilelooking through the mask, trying to estimate exactly where it was, “Okay, I’vegot it,” Razor said, “Scrambler Missle, deployed!” The missle spat out from thejet leaving a trail of smoke behind it. Finally the missle found its target.Razor and T-Bone looked at the outline of the ship flickering above the streetsin a shower of blue sparks, then finally becoming visible. An oily black stainon the white hull on the side of the ship marked where the missle had hit.T-Bone banked left and sped towards Anakata Island. Razor looked at the radarand saw that the ship was now in pursuit. .
“Uh oh, it’s gaining on us.
“I think we got its attention.” Suddenly something flashed behind them. Then ablue and white fireball zoomed by them. It was shooting at them. A secondblast came and skimmed the top of the wing.
“Whoa!” Razor said, “That was too close.
“Just hang on, we’re almost to the island.” T-Bone flew as fast as he couldwhile dodging fire. Razor was still looking at his radar when they finallyreached the island. Suddenly the ship disappeared off the screen.
“It’s gone.” He sai.
“Never mind,” T-Bone said setting the jet down, “we’re here, now grab thatcrowd pleaser and lets go.” When the canopy opened they disembarked and headedinto the jungle.They ran for about a half a mile when suddenly Razor jerked his head sidewaysand cluthed the thing on his neck. I wasn’t grinding the artery, just causinglots of pain. He nearly lost his balance as he was running. T-Bone lookedbehind him to see Razor lagging behind with his hand on his neck.
“You okay, buddy?” T-Bone sai.
“It’s the device.” Razor said pointing at his neck.
“What’s it doing?
“Hurting like hell.” Then Razor figured it out, “I think it’s trying to get myattention. It must be close.” Dispite the pain Razor raised the shotgun andscanned the jungle. T-Bone raised his Glovatrix and did the same.
“Can you see it?” Razor asked.
“Negative.” Then out of nowhere a blue-white blast tore though a tree next tothem. They quickly ducked for cover behind a boulder. It fired again, thistime it hit the boulder and sent tons of sparks flying everywhere.
“That’s it!” Razor yelled. He sprung up and opened fire at the crotch of atree where he figured the fireballs had come from. The rounds tore through thegreenery sending wood chips and leafs flying everwhere. He stopped firing andducked back behind the boulder.
“Did you get it?” T-Bone asked.
“I don’t know,” Razor said, “let’s check it out.” They both got up from theboulder simultaneously. Just then something slammed Razor in the chest sendinghim flying backwards and making him drop his gun. T-Bone couldn’t see what hithim even though it was a few feet away. It was as if he could see right throughit. He took aim at the shimmering figure with his Glovatrix and fired hismini-octopus missle. The thing dodged it easyly and it hit a tree instead. Hescanned around the jungle, then he saw blue sparks flickering about 10 feetaway. Razor got up slightly dazed and saw the sparks, too. Suddenly the sparksdisappeared and there it was, the thing he had fought in the tenement. He alsosaw some sort of green glowing liquid dripping from it’s arm. Blood, Razorthought. He must have hit it with the shotgun. As the thing walked torwardsT-Bone, two blades popped out of it’s wrist. It didn’t take a guiness to figureout what he planned to do with that.As it brought the blades up, T-Bone popped a shield out of his Glovatrix. Theblades clashed against the metal shield. T-Bone tried his best to stay on hisfeet as it repeatedly slashed at him. Razor knew he couldn’t just stand around.He aimed his Glovatrix up at the tree and fired a grappling hook. He ran asfast as he could, jumped up, and swung torwards the creature. It turned aroundin time to see Razor kick him in the chest, sending him smacking into a tree.Razor released the line and ran up to T-Bone.
“What now?” Razor asked.T-Bone looked at the creature who was now trying to get up.
“Run!”They both took off running into the jungle. The thing finally got to it’sfeet, looked around for the two kats, and ran in the same direction they hadgone. Razor and T-Bone dodged trees and vines trying to get as far away as theycould. The only reason they stopped was because they had reached a cliff thatwas about 75 feet down.
“Crud!” Razor yelled.They looked behind them and saw the creature runningtorwards them at full speed. T-Bone looked back at the cliff and then to Razor.
“Delta Packs!” T-Bone said. Razor nodded. They jumped off the cliff andT-Bone yelled.
“Deploy!” Then hang-gliders open up from their packs and theysoared away from the cliff.
“Razor! Look out!” T-Bone screamed. Suddenly Razor felt something very heavytug on his leg. He looked down and saw it. It had jumped from the cliff andcaught Razor’s leg. The weight was too great and it was pulling them down fast.Razor kicked with all his might but it’s hold was too strong. There was onlyone thing he could think of to do.A saw blade popped out of his Glovatrix, “Let go of me, NOW!!!” He swung theblade down and sliced off the hand that held onto him. It screamed and howledas it fell through the air, then stopped when it hit the rocks on the bottom ofthe cliff. Razor and T-Bone landed near the body that lay across a boulder witha huge puddle of that glowing liquid around it. They stepped up to it almostexpecting it to jump up and keep fighting. They stood there silently for amoment until T-Bone finally spoke.
“I’ll be damned, look at its belt.” Razor looked at the band around its chestand saw three kat skulls. One of them was very unusual. It wasn’t bone, it wasmetal.
“Well,” Razor said, “no wonder they couldn’t find Mac.
“Think it’s over?” He said. Razor turned to look at him, and his expressionwent from relief to shock.
“I don’t think he was alone.” Razor said staring at T-Bone’s chest. He lookeddown to see what he was staring at. He saw three small red dots creep acrosshis chest. He looked back up to see where they were coming form. Suddenly theybecame visible. Their were four of them standing in a circle around them, allhad their lasers aimed directly at them. One of them had grayer dreadlocks andtusks pertruding from his lower jaw, the left tusk was broken off. Their lasersdeactivated after the kats dropped their Glovatrixes.Two of them walked up to the body of their fallen comrade. The one with thebroken tusk turned to the other and nodded. It nodded back and walked up toRazor. They figured he must be the leader. It reached out a clawed hand in asubtle and complex motion, then picked the homing device from his neck. Razorscreamed and clutched the wound. The blood was seeping, not spouting, the arteryhad not been cut. The two by the body picked him up and walked into the jungle.The one that took out the device followed them. The broken tusk turned to leavebut stopped and turned back around to the SWAT Kats. He then pulled out an oldsword, like a rapier, and tossed it to Razor.
“Take it.” It said in a loud, growling voice. Razor looked at the sword alittle closer. He saw a name and date near the base. He could bearly make outthe name but the date was readable.
“1725?” Razor said. The broken tusk turned around again and walked into thejungle. He seemed to become the jungle as he activated his invisibility gadget.The shimmering figure finally disappeared. Razor and T-Bone picked up theirGlovatrixes and walked back to the Turbokat. As they were walking they saw aflash of light in the sky, then a small white ship speed out of the atmosphereuntil it finally vanished. When they finally came out of the jungle, they sawthree choppers landing near the jet. A bunch of soldiers jumped out and headedinto the jungle, ignoring the two bruised and bleeding kats. A gray furred katjumped out and scanned around. When he saw the SWAT Kats he stormed up to them.
“What the hell happened here?!” Westlake bellowed, “I thought I told you tokeep out of this!.
“Relax, General,” Razor said, “they’re gone.”Westlake glared at them and said, “What do you mean they’re gone?
“We mean just what we said, they’re gone.” T-Bone said, “Hunting season isover.
“I guess their sport got out of hand.” Razor said with a smile.
“Listen General,” T-Bone said, “as you can see we’re in no mood to answer yourquestions.
“Fine, later then, we have to figure out a convincing story as to what happenedhere anyway.” They nodded and the two kats walked to the jet.
“See ya later, General.” Razor called boarding the jet.
“You can bet on it.” He called back. The Turbokat hovered off the ground andtook off into the air, towards the city.
“Goodbye, SWAT Kats,” Westlake said to himself, “See you next year.”
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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.