Title: “SWAT Kats: T-Bone’s Fall. Part 1”
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Warnings: Violence, Use of name of God, Prayer
Disclaimer: “ ‘SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron,’ its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission.”
Author’s Comments/Notes: This story has been in the works for several months. I wanted to make sure it was good before I posted it. Hopefully, there will be a follow-up to this story soon!
The Turbokat sped through the skyline of Megakat City, replying to the deputy mayor’s distress call. The glossy, black fuselage created what looked like an ebony line as it shot past office windows. T-Bone pushed the advanced fighter jet to its limits in order to get to Callie’s office. He could hear the distress in her voice.
Razor scanned the skies from his position behind T-bone, his radar showing nothing “unusual” for Megakat city. “T-Bone, be careful, we don’t wanna hit a building,” Razor nervously cried from his seat.
“Don’t worry, Razor. Cool yer jets. We’ll get there in one piece, I promise,” grinned T-Bone. He had flown these skies a million times and knew every shortcut and turn he could make to get to Megakat Towers. Of course, it was hard to miss the 300-story building that had been target to countless terrorist attacks over the years. Still, T-Bone complied with his comrade’s request and tried to watch what he was doing a little more closely. T-Bone had a habit of turning awfully close to a building and causing Razor to nearly wet his flight-suit on several occasions. Razor knew deep down that T-bone was the best pilot that Megakat city had ever seen and that T-bone would never let anything happen to him, but that still didn’t seem to settle Razor’s constant worry.
T-Bone switched the Turbokat into VTOL mode and looked through the canopy into Callie’s office. Everything looked like Callie had just stepped out for a minute, but T-bone knew something was up. He floated the jet to the top of Megakat Tower and parked her there. He slid back the canopy while Razor checked his glovatrix. T-bone then grabbed his and slid it on. “You ready?” he asked Razor.
“Whenever you are, bud,” Razor replied. He looked down at his arm to check the tracking device signal coming from Callie’s communicator. “Looks like Ms. Briggs is 3 floors down. I’m picking up all kinds of plant life, must be Viper.”
“Good ole’ Dr. Viper,” said T-Bone. “Well, let’s get going; we got a damsel in distress to save.”
“Age before beauty,” retorted Razor.
T-Bone chuckled: “Pearls before swine.”
Both kats worked their way through the twisted, killer-plant infested, interior of the tower. Razor, being the smaller of the two, crawled through the ventilation system, while T-Bone, in his Rambo-ish style, scratched and clawed through the murderous foliage until he reached the door from which Callie’s signal was coming from. “I hope she’s in here,” he whispered to himself as he prepared to open the door. He readied his mini-cement machine gun for anything that Viper might have waiting for him. “Well, here goes…”he said as he busted through the door.
“What took ya so long,” shouted Razor as he fought off Dr. Viper’s mutations. T-Bone joined the fray and pried a vine off of his friend’s neck. “T-Bone, watch-out,” said the smaller kat as Viper swung his slimy, green tail at T-Bone. Smack! The tail nailed its target, and T-bone went down. “I told ya to watch-out,” said Razor as he fired a volley of mini-missiles from his glovatrix at the super-villain.
T-Bone stood up and jumped at Viper and tackled him to the ground. Both rolled across the floor, trying to get the upper hand on the other. T-bone won. Viper was successfully pinned to the floor while T-Bone cuffed the former scientist. “Never knew that you scientists were so strong,” grumbled T-bone.
“Blassssst you Ssssswat Katsssss,” hissed the green kat. “Ssssssomehow, I will return your hossssspitality. You wait and ssssssssee.”
“Yea, yea, you always say that,” joked Razor.
T-Bone rushed over to the deputy mayor and untied her. “Are you alright, Ms Briggs?”
She wrapped her arms around T-Bone’s neck and squeezed. “I’m. .. I’m fine; thank you Swat Kats. That madman was trying to take over the city…again.”
They all looked at Viper who was struggling on the floor. “Don’t even try, Scumbag. Even you can’t break those cuffs; they were designed specifically for you,” said Razor, proud of his newest invention.
“You forget, Sssssswat Kat, that I was a sssscientist before I wassssss a criminal massssstermind,” declared the still struggling kat. Suddenly, Viper stood up and snapped the cuffs in two. “Maybe I couldn’t break them, but my acid could!” he said, holding a now empty vial in his green claws.
Both kats tried to capture the mad scientist again, but to no avail. Viper was too quick and slimy to get a good grip on. He slithered out the door and up the flight of stairs towards the roof, but T-Bone and Razor were in hot pursuit. Viper reached the roof before the two Swat Kats, but the kats caught up and burst through the roof access door.
“Stop right there!” screamed T-bone as he ran toward Viper. The super-villain spun around only to receive a swift right-hook to the jaw. Viper was stunned but not out of the fight. He returned the punch that T-Bone gave him with a kick to the SWAT Kat’s chest.
“Ouff!” exclaimed the SWAT Kat as he flew back and slammed into the door that lead to the roof. His head hit first. Snap! went several unknown bones in T-Bone’s now limp body. Jake fired a few cement slugs into Viper’s face and stopped the mutant kat in his tracks. Viper was down for the count, but so was T-Bone.
Razor rushed over to his friend who was slumped against the door. T-bone was unconscious, and was gasping for breath. “T-bone! T-bone, are you alright? Speak to me,” cried Razor.
T-Bone woke up, but could barely lift his head. Razor looked into his partner’s eyes and saw fear. T-bone was hurt, bad. Razor rushed back to the Turbokat and hauled out the stretcher that was kept there for any kind of emergency. Just then, Callie burst through the roof doorway and saw Razor, then she turned to see T-Bone.
“Oh my God! T-bone! Razor is he alright?” cried Callie.
“No, he’s not, Ms. Briggs. I need to get him to a hospital. If not…”replied the nervous SWAT Kat. “I’ve got a plan, but I must show you something Ms. Briggs. But, this is a secret; you can’t let anyone know.”
“I won’t,” she replied. At that, Razor took off his helmet and his mask, revealing himself as Jake Clawson, one of Callie’s mechanics. “Jake? But, if you’re Razor, then…”she couldn’t finish her thought as suddenly it hit her. Chance Furlong and Jake Clawson were the SWAT Kats.
“I’ll explain later, but right now I need your help,” said Razor.
They carefully loaded Chance onto the stretcher and rolled him back to the Turbokat. Jake cut off Chance’s flight suit and slowly removed his helmet and mask and strapped Chance down in the cargo hold. Then, tried to stabilize the big kat’s head and neck as best he could. Chance looked at his friend and tried to speak, but couldn’t muster up enough strength to get any words out.
“Don’t worry, buddy, it’s gonna be ok…,” Jake uttered, trying to fight back the tears.
Chance saw the glimmer of tear drops in his friend’s eyes and, suddenly, large drops began to run from his eyes and down the side of his fur-covered cheek.
Jake placed an oxygen mask on Chance’s face: “Try to take deep breaths, buddy. Big deep breaths. I’m gonna get you to the hospital.”
Chance tried to mouth some words to his friend, but couldn’t get them to come out. Callie climbed onboard and stayed with Chance as Razor once again donned his black mask and flight helmet. He left Viper for the enforcers to deal with; he wasn’t going anywhere.
Razor jumped into the cockpit of the jet and lifted off, heading toward Megakat General Hospital. Callie grabbed her cell phone from her purse and called the hospital to tell them what was going on. She said that Chance had fallen off of a ladder while the SWAT Kats were battling Viper and that Razor was bringing him in. The lie worked. Razor set the Turbokat down on the helipad on the roof right as a med-team was rushing out to get Chance. The kats unloaded Chance from the cargo hold while Razor switched the jet off and jumped out of the canopy. “How is he, doc?” asked Razor.
“It looks as though he’s got a bad cervical injury, and his leg looks bad too, but I can’t be sure until I get some x-rays!” exclaimed the doctor.
The team rushed Chance into the ER while Razor and Callie looked on. He turned to Callie and said: “I gotta go get out of this disguise, but I’ll be right back. I don’t wanna leave him…” but he couldn’t finish, the tears now streaming from his eyes.
“Go on. He’ll understand. Just get back here quick, he’s gonna need you,” said Callie as she grabbed the sobbing SWAT Kat. Razor cleared the tears from his eyes and jumped back into the jet. He waved to Callie, and then the black jet was gone.
The Turbokat rocketed towards the salvage yard. Razor flew as fast as he could, trying to get back quickly. The entryway into the hangar slid open, and Razor flew the plane into its underground hide-away. As soon as the plane stopped moving, he rushed out of the cockpit and into the locker room. He stripped off his flight suit and threw on some spare clothes. He ran back upstairs and jumped into the tow truck as he sped toward the hospital once again.
“Please God, please let Chance be ok…” he prayed as he left the yard.
The doctors got Chance into the ER and started to work immediately. Chance was still struggling to breath, gasping for air. The doctors looked at him saying: “Don’t worry, Mr. Furlong. Relax, we’re gonna take care of you, alright?”
Chance tried his best to utter an“Ok” but still couldn’t get the words to come out.
The doctor tried to explain to him everything they were doing. “Mr. Furlong, we’re gonna help you breath, ok. We’re gonna put a tube down your throat that’s gonna breath for you. Just stay calm, we’re gonna put you to sleep first, alright.”
The last thing Chance saw was a clear plastic mask being put over his face, and with that he was out.
Callie rushed after the med-team to the ER. As she reached the receptionist, she stopped to catch her breath. “Running in high heels can really take it out of you,” she thought. She asked the receptionist at the desk if there was any news on Chance.
The lady replied: “No, ma’am, I’m sorry. They are still working with him. Just sit down, relax, and I’ll come and get you when he’s in a room.”
“Thank you,” said Callie. She went and sat in one of the vacant chairs in the waiting room. She looked around and found herself alone. “Must not be a very busy night,” she thought.
As she sat in the waiting room waiting on Jake, all of the memories of both he and Chance hit her. She realized how much alike the SWAT Kats were to her friends. “Why didn’t I ever see it before?” she asked herself. “It’s so obvious now.” Then she realized that Chance was really hurt. She had heard the doctors talking about a broken vertebra or something like that. She had known someone who had broken their neck before, and they were now in a wheelchair. “Oh, no!” she said aloud, not realizing that she had even said anything. She thought to herself, “He may never walk again, never fly again. He…” and with that she broke down and began to weep.
Jake pulled into the parking lot of the Hospital and rushed into the ER. There was Callie, sobbing quietly to herself. “Callie? Callie, are you alright?” he asked.
“Yes, I’m…I’m fine, Jake” she uttered through the tears.
Jake walked over to her and put his arm around her. She looked into his big, blue eyes, they were filled with worry and fear.
“Any word on Chance yet?” he asked her as they sat together.
“No, nothing yet. The lady behind the desk said she would come and get me when they had him in a room,” she replied. “Jake, do you think he’ll be alright?”
“I think so, Ms. Briggs…”
“Please, call me Callie,” she interrupted.
“Ok, Callie. I think he’ll be ok, I hope so. Chance is a tough kat. He’s a fighter, always has been one. He won’t give up without a fight.” Jake remembered Chance when he was back at the Enforcer Academy. “He was so strong, so happy there. He never really complained about it. He was so happy…” with that Jake began to cry. The memories of his best friend and the uncertainty of the situation at hand had become too much for him. He leaned forward and began to sob into his hands. He suddenly sat up and tried to compose himself, but there was no use. He looked towards Callie, and she was crying again. He leaned over to her, put his arms around her and they both began to weep and pray over their friend.
An hour had passed with no word. Jake was now pacing across the room while Callie sat in her chair in deep thought. The time for mourning was over for the moment. Now they looked for hope.
Jake remembered he hadn’t had anything to eat since breakfast. His stomach began to growl. “Callie, I’m gonna go to the snack room and get a bite to eat, do you want to join me?”
She broke from her thoughts and looked at him. “Sure, I could get something to eat.”
They walked together to the snack bar.
Jake looked in the vending machine for something he liked. “Hmm…” he mumbled. He inserted his change, pressed the corresponding buttons and down fell a chocolate bar. He picked it up and looked at Callie. “What would you like, Callie?”
“I’m not to sure.” She walked over to the machine and picked a bag of potato chips. She followed the same procedure that Jake had done, and there fell a yellow bag of chips. They both bought a drink and headed back to the waiting room, hoping to hear some news, hopefully something good. When they reached the desk, Jake looked over the counter to see the little old lady sitting there reading a cheesy romance novel.
“Um, Ma’am, is there any news on Chance Furlong?” he asked.
“No, sir, he’s in surgery now.”
“Surgery! What happened, what’s wrong?”
“Now, now calm down,” she said in a gentle voice. “The doctors had to perform emergency surgery on his leg. The bones had to be re-aligned. He did a lot more damage in that *fall than what the doctors suspected. He should be out soon.”
“Thank you,” said Jake. The news wasn’t what he wanted to hear. He and Callie returned to their seats and talked for a few minutes.
“So, what caused you and Chance to become pilots in the first place?” asked Callie.
Jake began to explain to Callie how they were former Enforcers and what happened to cause them to be forced to become mechanics. “All Chance and I ever wanted to do was fly. When we were kicked off the force, we thought we never would again. Luckily for us though, Feral sent us to the right salvage yard. All of the Enforcers old jets and tanks and such are sent there. So, Chance and I began building our own jet. Worked out pretty well.”
“So, that’s why you two became the SWAT Kats,” she said.
“Yea. Some luck we got. Our dreams were shattered, but now we’re even happier,” replied Jake.
Callie kind of laughed in agreement. They had been sitting and waiting for 5 hours, and still no other news.
Jake looked at his watch and saw the time. This was usually when he and Chance would go on patrol over the city. “Callie, I don’t want to, but I gotta go and do patrols. Gotta make sure no other criminals are destroying the city. Please call me on the communicator if anything changes.”
“I will, but be careful, Jake. The city needs the SWAT Kats, but most of all, Chance needs you, and I need you. Hurry back,” she said.
“I will…and I’ll be careful, Callie,” he said as he walked out the doors of the hospital. “I hate to leave Chance like this, but the city might need me. Please God, keep your hands on Chance.”
Jake rushed back to the hangar and prepped the Turbokat for takeoff. He suited up, alone and worried. He grabbed his communicator, his only link to Callie and Chance, and slipped it into his front pocket. He jumped into the plane and started up the pre-flight procedures. “This is usually Chance’s job, but I guess I’ll have to fill his shoes until he’s better. I hope nothing happens to him. I hope nothing happens to the city while he’s out of commission.” With that, he fired up the engines and the Turbokat shot forward out of the hangar.
Razor flew the regular patrols and checked each of the usual locations for any signs of things going wrong. “Let’s see, Megakat Nuclear Power, normal. Megakat Towers, the same as I left it earlier. The chemical plant… nope, normal.” He continued down the list and found each location was fine. “Thank God. That’s a big relief.” He double checked each locale and made sure nothing was wrong, then, with a big sigh of relief, headed back towards the salvage yard.
Callie was nearly asleep in her chair when the receptionist came and tapped her on the shoulder. “Ma’am, your friend is out of surgery and is in the ICU. You can go back and see him, but it will be a few more minutes before the doctors are completely done. If you’ll wait here, I’ll come back and get you when it’s time.”
“Thank you so much,” replied a very grateful Callie. The old kat smiled at her and returned to her place behind the desk. Callie stepped outside, pulled out her communicator and called Jake. She knew that no matter where he was she could get him and tell him the good news.
“Razor here, what’s happened, Callie?” asked Razor over the comm.
“Razor, Chance is out of surgery. Hurry back, they said we can go back to see him.”
“I’m on my way, just parking the Turbokat. Razor Out.” And, with that he was gone.
The receptionist walked over to where Callie was sitting. “You can go back now, if you like,” she said. She was smiling, trying to make Callie feel better.
“Umm, my friend was going to go back with me, but he had to go take care of some business. Could I wait until he gets back?” asked Callie. “He’s on his way.”
“Of course you can wait, sweetheart. Just come and see me when you’re ready, and I’ll take you both back there,” she answered.
“Thank you so much. You don’t know how much of a blessing you’ve been tonight. Thank you again,” said Callie.
“You’re quite welcome,” answered the older kat, and then she turned and went back to her desk.
Jake pulled up to the hospital and parked the tow truck. He walked quickly towards the hospital doors, hoping he could still go back and see his friend. He stepped into the doors and spotted Callie. As he walked to her, she stood up and looked at him saying: “We can go on back. I waited for you to get back.”
He nodded a thank you, and together they walked to the front desk.
“My friend’s arrived, can we still go back?” asked Callie.
“Yes, ma’am. Follow me,” said the little old lady. They followed her into a hallway with rooms on either side. “Your friend is at the end of this hallway. Right this way.” She walked toward the far back room.
Both Callie and Jake saw Chance lying on a bed, his left leg suspended from the top of the bed. As they got closer, they saw that he was also in a neck brace and was connected to a ventilator. They both approached their friend’s room and looked upon his broken and bruised body. Jake stood at the end of Chance’s bed and began to tear up while Callie went around to the other side of the bed. She carefully picked up his hand and began to gently rub it. Jake walked around the bed to where Callie was sitting. Callie stood up and let Jake sit.
“Chance, please be ok. Please, please be ok,” pleaded Jake as he picked up the big tabby’s hand. “Please…please…” Jake squeezed his hand, and felt something. Chance squeezed back. Jake looked up and saw Chance’s groggy eyes looking right back at him. Jake let go of his hand and stood up, and Chance’s eyes followed him. Jake stood and watched his best friend give him a “thumbs up.” “Chance, you’re awake? You’re awake!”
“He’s been awake for a while now, but we try not to wake them unless we have to. We just let them sleep,” said the old lady. She had been standing in the doorway the entire time.
Jake wiped the tears from his eyes and looked at his friend again. He sat down and grabbed his hand again. “Everything’s gonna be alright. Chance, I’m so happy to see you awake. I thought I’d lost you earlier.”
Chance looked back at his friend and started to get misty eyed. A tear ran down the big kat’s cheek.
“Don’t you worry, Chance. I’ll take care of everything; you just rest and get better,” said Jake. The sight of Chance crying caused Jake to cry.
Callie stood back and watched as the two kats wept, Jake aloud and Chance in forced silence. As she turned around, she saw a taller kat in a white lab coat talking to the receptionist.
Jake again wiped the tears from his eyes as he turned and faced the taller kat.
“Hello, I’m Dr. Katson. I’m Mr. Furlong’s doctor. I was there when we took him out of that jet.”
Jake stood and shook the doctor’s hand. “I’m Jake Clawson. Chance and I live and work together.”
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Clawson. And, we’ve already met, but not properly,” said the doctor as he looked at Callie.
“Yes, we were not properly introduced. I’m Deputy Mayor Calico Briggs. I’m a friend of both Mr. Clawson and Mr. Furlong.”
“Well, it’s nice to meet you again.” Dr. Katson then turned to Jake with a quite serious look on his face. “Mr. Clawson, may I talk to you in private, please?”
“Of course, I’ll be right back, Chance. I’ll just be a minute” Jake grabbed Chance’s hand again a squeezed, and Chance squeezed back. Jake followed the doctor out into the hallway outside of earshot of Callie and Chance. “What is it, Doctor? How’s Chance doing?”
“Well,” began the doctor, “your friend has some broken ribs and a collapsed lung. That’s why he couldn’t breathe. He also fractured his ankle, but the break doesn’t look as if it happened in a fall. Its almost like he was slammed into something hard, like a wall or something. Also, the broken ribs aren’t typical of a fall either. It looks as though he was kicked pretty hard in the chest.”
Jake became a little nervous. “Does the doctor suspect something about me and Chance?” he wondered.
“Well, I don’t know how it happened. That doesn’t matter now.” Jake breathed a sigh of relief. “What I am concerned with is his neck,” said the doctor.
“Well, what’s wrong, doctor?” inquired Jake.
“I hate to bring you more bad news like this, you’ve been through a lot today. Your friend’s vertebrae nicked his spinal cord. It did some interesting damage. We’re not sure, but it looks like he won’t be able to walk again.”
Jake’s heart sank. What would he do now, if Chance couldn’t walk? He wasn’t nearly as good of a pilot as Chance. He felt as if Dr. Viper had kicked him in the chest, not Chance.
“Are… are you sure he won’t walk again?” asked Jake.
“No, he may, but he may not. As I said, we can’t be 100% sure of either outcome,” said the doctor. Jake was still in shock from the doctors previous statement. “But, I will say this. It’s gonna be a long road to recovery for him, and he’s gonna need all the help he can get, and I don’t mean just from the hospital here. He’s gonna need the support of his friends and his family. Now, does Mr. Furlong have any family that needs to be contacted?”
“No, no. I’m all the family he’s got. Well, Callie and I are all he’s got,” answered Jake, still not recovered from what the doctor said.
“Alright. Well, right now he’s stable, so we’re not too worried about him. But, that could change; he’s not out of the woods yet, but right now he looks a lot better than he did this afternoon,” said the doctor.
“Thank you, doctor. Oh, one more thing. I can’t be here all the time, and I know Callie can’t. Could you call one of us if anything happens to him when we’re not here?”
“Of course,” answered the doctor.
“Thank you so much, Dr. Katson.”
The doctor nodded and then was off, doing his evening rounds.
Jake returned to his friend’s room. It was silent except for the sounds of the heart monitor and the ventilator as it forced air into Chance’s lungs. Jake could see his friend’s chest slowly rise and fall in rhythm with the machine. Callie sat in the chair beside Chance’s bed and stroked Chance’s hand as he drifted in and out of sleep. Callie began to give her seat back to Jake, but Jake stopped her.
“No, no, you’re fine. Go ahead and sit.”
Callie returned to her seat and again began to stroke the big tabby’s extra large paw.
“What did the doctor say? Is he gonna be all right?” asked Callie.
Jake stepped close and whispered in Callie’s ear: “Ask me that on the way back home.”
She looked up into Jake’s eyes, and understood. She nodded a slow yes. She knew that Jake didn’t want Chance to find out all the details in his current condition. Jake grabbed a chair from outside and both kats sat by their friend’s side for a good half hour until the receptionist came back into the room.
“I’m sorry to do this, but the visiting hours are over for tonight. I’m sorry, but he needs his rest,” she said.
“That’s ok. We understand,” said Callie as she stood up from her seat. She leaned over Chance and gave him a gentle kiss on the forehead. “Good night, Chance, get some rest.”
Jake went around to where Callie had been standing and took his friend’s hand. Chance opened his eyes and looked at his partner. “Get better, Big Guy. Good Night. I’ll be back first thing in the morning. Ok?” and with that Jake gave Chance’s hand a good squeeze. Chance squeezed back. “Bye, buddy.” Then Chance drifted back into a deep sleep.
“So, what did the doctor say?” asked Callie as she and Jake headed for home.
Jake took a deep breath and sighed. “Dr. Katson said that he might not walk again.”
Callie looked at Jake; she looked as though a great weight had been put upon her. “But if… if Chance can’t walk, then who’ll…”
Jake looked at her and shook his head. “I don’t know, Callie. I don’t know. I can fly the Turbokat, that’s not a problem. But, as for all the baddies, I don’t know,” answered Jake. “What’s worse, how am I gonna fake like there are two SWAT Kats whenever I go out in the jet? People will eventually put 2 and 2 together. They’ll notice how there’s no T-Bone.”
“And, what if something big attacks the city?” asked Callie.
“Well, we’ll just burn that bridge when we get to it.”
Jake and Callie rode on in deep thought. Their minds filled with “What if’s.” “What if he can’t walk?” “What if he can’t fly again?” “What if something goes wrong and he doesn’t make it?” They last question was put as far from their minds as possible. Neither kat would even consider that option.
Jake pulled up to the front of Callie’s apartment building. Callie got out of the truck and turned to Jake. “Are you gonna be alright at the salvage yard alone?”
“I think so…,”responded Jake. He wasn’t really sure how it would be to be alone like that. Ever since the Academy, he had always slept under the same roof as Chance.
“Well, why don’t you just stay here tonight? It’s closer to the hospital than the junkyard, and besides it’s already really late. You can have my bed, and I’ll take the couch,” responded Callie. She really didn’t want Jake to be alone tonight.
“Nah, I couldn’t run you out of your bed. It wouldn’t be right. I’ll be fine, Callie. Don’t worry about me,” answered Jake.
“Well, I could stay with you at the junkyard. I don’t mean to invite myself, but at least there would be two people there instead of one. You wouldn’t be as lonely.”
“What about your work tomorrow?” asked Jake.
“I’ll call in sick, I’ve got a few sick days built up. How ‘bout it?”
“Alright, I guess. Are you sure you want to sleep at the junkyard?”
“Yea, that doesn’t bother me. I just didn’t want you to be alone,” she said as she climbed back into the truck’s cab.
“Alright, I guess you can have my bed. I’d let you sleep in Chance’s room, but… I think it’s a little messy,” he said as they drove away.
The tow truck pulled into the garage, and Callie and Jake climbed out. Jake unlocked the door to the office, and he and Callie walked in. Jake led Callie thru the office into the hangar where he and Chance slept. He showed her his room and gave her one of Chance’s shirts to sleep in.
“Thank you, Jake. I’ll see you tomorrow morning. G’night,” ,he said as she walked into his room.
“G’night Callie, see you in the morning,” Jake replied. Callie closed the door to Jake’s room and Jake headed toward Chance’s room. As he opened the door, he looked and saw the room as Chance had left it. It wasn’t as bad as he had thought. It was actually cleaner than his. “Well, I guess all those years at the academy did teach him something,” joked Jake. He turned down the covers of the bed and found Chance’s old Enforcer issue blanket and sheets. “Hmm, I see he still kept these stupid sheets. He wanted to be an Enforcer so bad. Bad enough that he even kept the sheets.” Jake had disposed of his Enforcer blanket and sheets a long time ago. He had always hated them, too hot and itchy.
Jake took off his shirt and pants and knelt by Chance’s bed and began to pray. “Heavenly Father, I come to you tonight to ask you to be with Chance. Please touch his body and heal him if it be your will. I thank you for all you’ve done for him and me, and I pray that you continue to touch us. We thank you and praise you for all you’ve done, and for all that you are going to do. I ask all of these things in you precious, holy name. Amen”
Jake stood up after his prayer and climbed into Chance’s bed. It still smelled of his cheap cologne. “I gotta get him something better for his birthday, or something. This stuff is terrible.” Jake laid his head on Chance’s pillow and quickly fell asleep.
Jake found himself in a black room. “Chance? Chance, where are you,” he asked to the darkness. He looked around for a light switch, but only felt bare wall. “Chance, are you out there?” Jake felt a wave of fear pass over his body; something wasn’t right.
He continued to walk around in the dark room until suddenly he fell into a deep hole.
“Ahhhhhh!” he screamed as he tumbled to the bottom. Jake hit and stood up to look around. He was in the ground. He climbed out and looked down into the hole. It couldn’t have been more that about 4 to 5 feet deep. “What’s this doing here?” he asked himself as suddenly the room gave way into an open field. It was still dark, but there was just enough light for him to see the hole better. At one end of the hole was placed a headstone.
“What in the…” he said as he walked toward the headstone. He wiped off the dust and dirt which clung to the face of the stone, then he read the inscription aloud. “Here Lies ‘CHANCE FURLONG,’ may he ever fly in heaven’s kingdom.
“No, it can’t be. No, it’s not true. No! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
“NO!” Jake sat straight up in panic as he woke up. He had had a nightmare. All he could see was Chance’s grave standing before him with those words engraved into the marble of the headstone. Jake wiped the cold sweat from his brow as he tried to catch his breath. “Oh, man. That was one bad dream.” He looked over at Chance’s clock. It read 3:15 a.m. “I hope I can still get some sleep.”
He laid his head back down, but only tossed and turned as visions of Chance and the whole accident flashed through his head. He finally gave up sleeping and got out of Chance’s bed, grabbed his pants and went to watch some T.V.
“Maybe there will be a good movie on or something.” He walked out of his room and found Callie sitting on the couch, watching the television. “What are you doing up, Callie?” he asked.
“Couldn’t sleep. I kept seeing Chance lying there in that bed with all the tubes and hoses. You?” she asked him.
“Same thing, figured I’d get up and do something to keep my mind occupied,” he answered. He didn’t want to tell Callie what his dream was really about. He didn’t want to believe it himself.
They sat on the couch and talked about different things, most of them revolved around Chance in some way or another. Eventually, sleep crept over both of the kats and they both fell asleep on the couch, Jake with his arm around Callie, and Callie with her head up against Jake’s chest.
Days went by. Chance was slowly getting better. He still relied on the ventilator, and no telling whether he would walk again, but all the broken bones were healing nicely. Jake went to visit his friend everyday, and only left when he had to go and run patrols, or when visiting hours were over. For some unknown reason, the city had been unusually quiet ever since the accident. No major criminals, no ungodly mutations, no intergalactic overlords trying to destroy the city, nothing. Jake was surprised by all of this, but thankful, nonetheless.
Jake would sit with Chance for hours at a time. He would talk to him on occasion, but mostly, he would just sit with him. Jake would watch as Chance’s chest would rise and fall with the ventilator. Jake remembered when Chance was at the academy and would play football. Chance would often come back from practice winded. Jake thought to himself how ironic it was; Chance had been the star player on the academy football team, and now he couldn’t even breathe on his own.
Sometimes, the memories of his friend would hit Jake, and he would loose control of his emotions. He remembered how strong Chance had been and how well he flew the Turbokat, but now he may never fly again. Jake tried to fight back the tears as thoughts of what might be appeared in his mind. He could see Chance in a wheelchair waving as Jake would fly off to save the city once again.
Jake broke down. His emotions had gotten the best of him. He wept silently while Chance slept. He cried for what seemed like an eternity when suddenly he felt a gentle hand on his shoulder. As he looked up, he saw Callie standing over him.
“Oh, Callie, it’s you,” he said. “You surprised me.”
“Are you alright?” asked Callie. “Do you wanna talk about anything…”
“No, no, I’m fine. Just kinda lost it there for a minute,” he said, wiping tears from his eyes.
She smiled and sat down next to him. She took his Jake’s hand and looked on as Chance slept.
“He looks so peaceful. Like a baby sleeping in their mother’s arms. Have the doctors said anything else?” she asked as she held his caramel-colored hand.
“No, they haven’t said anything yet. I was waiting to go out on patrol until I spoke to Dr. Katson, but he still hasn’t come and I really need to go,” said Jake.
“Well, go on and run your patrols, and I’ll wait here on any news. If the doctor comes, I’ll call you on the communicator.”
“No, I’ll just wait a little longer. Besides, I could use a little company. Chance has been asleep all morning, and our conversations get kinda one-sided,” joked Jake. He knew his friend needed his rest, but it would have been nice to see his eyes open for a minute or two. Jake missed having his best friend to talk too. He now confided in Callie, until Chance could at least talk again.
“Alright, I’ll stay with you then, until the doctor comes,” she said.
They waited a long time for the doctor to show up. Thirty minutes passed, and still no sign of Dr. Katson. Jake knew he had to go. He looked at Callie who was still stroking his hand.
“I really have to go, Callie. Call me if the doctor comes in and tell me everything. Alright?” he asked.
“Of course, Jake, you know I will,” she said.
Jake nodded and went over to Chance. “Bye, buddy. I’ve gotta go do my…our patrols. I’ll be back as soon as possible. You hear me?” Chance opened his eyes long enough to let Jake know that he heard him. Jake smiled as Chance drifted back into sleep.
Ray, the security guard, silently walked the halls of Megakat Tower; only the sounds of his footsteps were heard as he patrolled the top floors. Days had passed since Dr. Viper had attacked the tower, but there was still a sense of unease throughout the building. As Ray walked the long corridors, he would shine his trusty flashlight to see if anything was there. As Ray turned the corner, he heard a sound. A low, barely audible “hisssss.”
“Who’s there?” Ray nervously asked the darkness as he swept the halls with his flashlight. He didn’t see anyone, no sign of footprints, only the “hiss.” “Hmm, must have been the pipes,” he said, trying to calm his nerves. Ray continued patrolling the halls searching every corner, still no signs of anyone.
“Hisssssss,” went the noise again, this time from directly behind him. He turned around to look. His flashlight suddenly died, and he was engulfed in darkness.
“Hisssss-hssssss-hsssss.” The sound was now more like laughter.
Ray looked for any sign of light, only to be greeted by two glowing, yellow eyes.
“Ahhhhhh!” he screamed. He struggled against the shadowy form. He was thrown to the ground. The figure grabbed him by the throat and began to squeeze. “Please…no…I gotta wife and kids…please…” he pleaded, but the figure showed no mercy; it only squeezed harder, crushing the guard’s trachea.
Ray gasped for air. He was dizzy from lack of oxygen. He closed his eyes and tried to gasp for one last breath. All he could hear was the fading sound of claws tapping on the floor, then only silence as he drew in his last breath.
Razor flew once again around Megakat city. He had become used to being the only kat in the cockpit, but still preferred having his partner with him. Razor scanned the city as he had done the many nights before. He once again went over the checklist of possible hot spots. The city had been so quiet since Chance’s accident that Razor was beginning to hope something would happen.
He scanned over the power plant. Nothing there. The Megakat Dam. Just water. He searched for a good hour before he got to the Megakat Tower. He began to scan it with the Turbokat’s array of sensors, but tonight his screen picked up something.
“Huh, what’s that?” he asked himself. He brought the black jet closer to the enormous skyscraper and scanned it again. “Plant-like life form. That sounds like one of Viper’s creatures, but he should be in Enforcer custody. Feral must be slacking off.”
Razor switched the jet into VTOL mode and headed for the roof. “Man, last time we did this, Chance nearly got killed. Hope that doesn’t happen tonight.” He landed the jet on the roof and switched off the engines. He jumped out of the cockpit and headed once again for the door, but when he reached it he stopped. He looked over to where Chance had landed and could almost see his friend lying there again, still gasping for breath.
“Snap out of it, Razor, you’ve got a job to do,” he said as he shook his head. “Chance is counting on you. You’ve gotta do this.” He looked at the door and pulled at the handle. “Crud, it’s locked. Good thing I installed that lock picker in my glovatrix.” He inserted the slender piece of metal into the lock’s keyhole and began to turn. “Come on, come on. There we go,” he said as the lock sprung open.
Razor silently crept into building and shut the door behind him. All went black around him as he quietly shut the door. He pulled down the visor on his helmet and switched on the night vision option. Suddenly, the room was illuminated before his eyes. He could see the long hallways that stretched out before him.
“Now, let’s see where Viper’s hiding.” As he pressed a button on his glovatrix, a HUD appeared on his visor. It scanned the area for any signs of life. A large blip appeared on the screen. “That must be Viper. Now, where’s he at?” he whispered to himself. The screen suddenly turned into a wire-frame map of the building and showed Razor the exact location of the mad scientist. “So, he’s in the mayor’s office. Must be playing ‘Ruler of the City’ again.” Razor looked around for possible threats, but didn’t find any that were close. “Hmm, I could get the upper hand on Viper if I go through the air ducts…again.” He popped off the closest vent cover and began his trek to the mayor’s office.
Razor reached the office and looked through the vent to see what Dr. Viper was up to.
“Yessssss, everything is going according to my plan. Ssssssoon, my creation will awaken, and I, Dr. Viper, will rule Megakat city. Hssss-hsssss-hsssss,” laughed the evil, green kat.
“What’s he talking about?” thought Razor. He scanned the room and found what looked one of the security guards, but there was something wrong with him. Razor scanned the guard again and found that he wasn’t all kat. Over 75% of the guard’s body had been converted into a vegetative matter. “Oh my God,” thought Razor, “what did that psycho do to that poor kat?”
Callie sat next to Chance’s bed. She watched his chest slowly rise and fall as she waited for the Doctor to come by and check Chance’s progress, if there was any. Callie continued to stroke Chance’s big paw while the kat slept.
“Poor, Chance. Please get better soon. Jake’s just not the same when you’re not around. It’s like a part of him is missing. He needs you, Chance. And, well, I need you.” Callie took Chance’s hand and put it up to her face. “Chance, I don’t know if you can hear me, and I’m not so sure I know how to say this, but…Chance… I’ve always had feeling for both you and Jake. But, you’re different, Chance; there’s something special about you. I can’t explain it. I think… that… I love you, Chance.”
Callie felt Chance move his hand. She looked at him and saw that his eyes were open. He had heard every word. He put his hand on her cheek and rubbed. Callie took his hand and held it at her cheek, her eyes filling with tears. She looked again into his eyes. She saw something in them, something she knew. She saw love. Chance wiped a single tear from the beautiful she-kat’s face.
“Chance, I love you,” she sobbed. She stood and leaned over the big tabby’s face and gently kissed him on the cheek. Chance looked at her again as she stood over him. He took his hand and brought it to his lips and touched them, as if kissing them, and then reached up and touched Callie’s lips.
“I love you, too Callie,” thought Chance, “I just wish I could actually tell you.” He had felt the same way for so long now.
Callie smiled at him, and Chance tried his best to smile back. Callie sat back down beside him. She once again took his hand, but now, instead of just stroking it, she interlaced her fingers between his and held his hand. Chance squeezed her small hand, and smiled. ]
They held hands in silence until Chance drifted back to sleep.
Razor continued to watch Viper from the air duct. Viper was still working on his new creation, adding the final touches.
“Yesssssss, yessssss. Everything is perfect. Sssssssssssoon my mutant ssssssssporessss will have grown to optimal sssssize.”
“Spores? What spores?” Razor again looked at the body of the guard and saw how bloated it had become. “Wait a minute, he’s growing those spores in other kats. That sick freak, but how is he doing it?”
Viper returned to the guard’s body with a hypodermic needle in his hand. He forced the needle into the dead kat’s body and drew out a thick, green fluid. “When thesssssssse ssssssssspores have matured, they will burst out of their fleshy sssssac and sssspread all over Megakat city, infecting every kat in town. Then those infected katssssss will become the host for a new breed of ssssporess, and when thossssse ssssporessss grow, those katssss will die, leaving me to control the city.” Viper laughed. He had tried to pull off a plan like this before, but never had he used other kats as his lab rats. Razor had had enough.
“Not while I’m around, Viper!” he screamed as he dropped from the air duct.
“I wasssss wondering when you would sssshow up, Sssswat Kat; I’ve been waiting for you,” hissed the mad scientist. “Now, here’sssss a little sssuprise for you. Attack him, my child.”
The guard’s limp body began to move. He stood up and opened his eyes as Razor stared on in horror.
“Now, my creature, attack!” screamed Viper.
The guard leapt for Razor and tackled him to the ground. Razor kicked the zombie kat off of him and into one of the lab tables which Viper had set up. The zombie knocked over several bottles which Viper has strewn around the table, breaking them open. Suddenly, there was an explosion as the bottles’ contents reacted with each other. The entire room was now on fire. The zombie kat stood up and jumped again at Razor, but the SWAT Kat was too swift for the mutant this time. Razor knocked the guard’s body to the ground and went for Viper, but the zombie guard once again stood and threw Razor against a wall. Razor’s body landed in the midst of some unopened canisters.
“What are these?” he asked as he read the label. “Warning: Highly Flammable. Do Not Expose To Open Flames,” he read. “Maybe I can use this.” Razor grabbed a canister as the zombie guard rushed toward him once again. “Here, Catch!” Razor threw the canister at the guard.
The kat caught it and looked up at Razor.
“Sorry buddy, hate to do this,” said Razor as he fired a mini-missile from his Glovatrix.
The missile hit the canister and detonated, setting the zombie kat on fire. The guard ran around the room screaming, then collapsed under the extreme heat.
“Now, what Viper?” asked Razor.
“I sssuppose I’ll jusssst take you out mysssself!” exclaimed the scientist, “much like I took care of your pathetic friend. Still at Megakat General? I know who he is Razor, or sssssshould I sssssay Jake Clawson.”
Razor felt a wave of anger sweep over his body. He wouldn’t let this evil madman get away with what he had done to Chance.
“By the way, how isss he? I hope he’sssss doing poorly. That way if he diessss, I’ll have one lessss Ssssswat kat to deal with.”
Razor lost control. He wouldn’t just stand there while Viper talked about his friend like that.
“Drop dead!” screamed Razor as he leapt on top of the mutant scientist. He began beating Viper’s face with his fists. Blood began to ooze from the gashes in Viper’s face, but the evil doctor was stronger than Razor thought. He picked Razor up with his tail and threw him across the room. Razor looked up in time to see Viper’s body hurtling through the air at him. Razor reacted the only way he knew how. He fired a slug from his mini-cement machine gun into Viper’s chest. The scientist winced as the slug hit him, and he dropped to the ground. Razor walked over to Dr. Viper’s body. Razor grabbed him by the throat and began to squeeze. “You nearly killed my best friend. I should do what’s right and put you out of your misery.”
“Do it. Go ahead. Kill me Sssssswat Kat,” taunted Viper.
“No, then I’d be no better than you. I won’t kill you, yet,” said Razor. He lifted up the cruel doctor’s head and, with all his strength, decked Viper.
The mutant kat went limp, but was still breathing. Razor hadn’t killed him, even though he had wanted to. Razor looked around the room and saw that the room was completely engulfed in flames. He ran out of the room and left Viper lying on the floor.
“He’ll get out some ho…,”said Razor as he was knocked down by the force of the explosion. The fire had hit the remaining canisters and exploded. Razor looked behind him to see a large fire-ball coming his way. “Run Razor, Run,” he screamed to himself as they came closer. He ran for the roof access door as fast as his legs would carry him. He ran out of the door just as the fire-ball caught up to him. Razor stood up and saw that the entire top floor of the building was on fire. “Better get out of here,” he said as he fired up the Turbokat’s engines. The plane leapt from the roof and rocketed away to safety as a third and final explosion took out the top four stories of the tower.
Jake again walked into his friend’s hospital room. Days had passed since the explosion which claimed the life of one of the Swat Kats worst enemies. Chance had been moved out of ICU and into a regular room. He still wore the neck brace, but could breath on his own.
“Hey Jake, long time, no talk,” said Chance in a rough, raspy voice. The ventilator had irritated his throat and left the big kat kind of hoarse.
“Hey, Chance, they told me you’d been moved outta ICU. It’s good to hear your voice again,” said Jake. “Have they told you any other news?”
“Nah, not really,” replied Chance. “How’ve you been, buddy?”
“I’m fine, but I’m really glad to see that you’re doing a lot better,” Jake said. “Umm, Chance, did the doctors tell you everything…?” asked Jake.
“You mean about my neck and not being able to walk. Yea, they told me,” replied Chance. Jake sat on the edge of his friend’s bed while Chance sighed. “I don’t believe ‘em. I don’t believe em’, Jake. I’ll walk. It may not be for a while, but I’m gonna walk again.”
Jake looked at his friend and smiled.“I know you will, Chance, and I’m gonna help you, in anyway I can.”
“Thanks, bud,” said Chance.
To be continued.
* The “fall” refers to the story that Callie and Jake/Razor told the doctors and hospital staff as a cover up for what really happened.
** For those readers who may have a background in medical-sciences, please forgive me if any of the terminology or procedures are off. I was just going by what I have seen and heard.
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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.