Original SWAT Kats Story

Moral Meltdown

By Yury Varaksa

  • 1 Chapter
  • 6,440 Words

For an unknown reason, the city began to fall into attacks of various emotions. The deepest despair, the beastly anger, the absolute joy. How to fight an enemy that is impossible to be seen? (Complete – Oneshot)

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Author's Notes:

Title: Moral Meltdown.
Author: Yury Varaksa.
E-mail address: woronetz@bk.ru (used for anything not related to work).
Date: 30 March 2020.
Rating: K+.
Warnings: Deaths of minor characters without any disturbing details.
Disclaimer: The characters and concepts are taken from the show “SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron” being copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission.

Author’s notes: Some elements of the story were taken from the novel of Alexander Belyaev “The lord of the world” (not translated to English).

Having finished her work, Callie Briggs was about to go home. She was in a good temper since in recent times everything was going clockwork. Perhaps tomorrow she would finally finish the quarterly tax report for Mayor Manx.

The shades of evening began to descend. Callie stopped near the window, contemplating the city panorama, the briefcase in her hand. She exhaled: – Ah, what a peaceful evening.

Having given a turn to a key in the lock, Callie went towards the elevator. The door to the mayor’s office was opened, and she saw its owner filling out some paperwork. That was a rare time he was working and not polishing up his golf technique.

– Have a nice evening, Mister Manx!

– Uhm, yes, thank you, Callie, – he didn’t look up from the document.

The deputy mayor almost entered the cabin when she heard her chief swearing furiously:

– This darned bunch of villains! They will pay out every penny of damage they brought to my city! I… I declare an open war to them!… Callie!

He didn’t need to call her. She came back herself, surprised by this fit of determination.

– Mister Manx, why are you…

– No time to chat, Callie! Call right now to MBC. I am going to address the citizens. I don’t want to hide disreputably behind others anymore.

Manx stood up and paced the floor. His face was very nervous and even scary to look at.

– Mister Manx! What happened to you? What do you want this demarche for? The city security is under control; there is no need to scare the population…

Manx didn’t listen to her. Lightened by the sunset he was mumbling:

– Yes, impose a curfew… And place machine guns on roofs… And…

Callie stepped back with a mad dash to find what to do. Call a doctor? Or simply go for a watchman on the ground floor? The thoughts started flighting… What if Manx was right? What if now, when the city finally recovered, it was time to attack and not to defend? Surprisingly for herself, she rattled off:

– You are right, Mister Manx! And… we have to impose the state of emergency – Callie continued, switching face. – Since we dispose of the forces, we have to act quickly and walk in the criminals!

– State of emergency? – Manx nodded in approval. – Such a good idea. I am calling Commander Feral.

– Hurry up, I have a feeling we are running out of time! – the deputy mayor was not talking, she was practically shouting.

Manx’s hand was on the phone when he suddenly limped. His face went blank. He raised his frightened eyes to Callie.

– Why were you yelling about running out of time? Did something happen?

– I… I don’t know. – Callie blushed. – And, you were talking something about placing machine guns on roofs.

– Maybe I’ve overworked – Manx sighed and left hold of the paper still in his hand. That was a crossword puzzle. – Better go home.

Both the mayor and his deputy left the office without saying a word about the sudden psychosis.

– Not bad. But, some adjustment is required. Now try it over there…

– Yes.

Meanwhile, in Green Street, not far from the city hall, a mob of kats was filing out of the Multiplex discussing aloud the plot and sharing their opinions. Among them were the two with opposite facial expressions. It was expectable Jake would find this comedy too simple and dim while Chance still was chuckling.

– Man, what a day! – he said. – I’m so content we finally managed to get out for a walk. And, that film was a cherry on the cake.

– Yeah, it was. – mumbled Jake tolerantly. After that comedy, he changed his opinion about the Scaredy-Kat for the better.

The friends were going slowly down the street. The lights lit, the wind died down. After numerous fights in recent times, this warm atmosphere of an unhurried promenade seemed to be the best recompense. It was not for long, however.

– We are doomed! – an old kat lady threw her handbag away and started squealing on the other side of the crossroad. – Oh, holy kats, why are we abandoned?

Was she mentally disordered?

– Forsaken! The city is forsaken! It’s all over, Katrine! – a young couple near the lady cuddled up together and cried. And, they were disordered too?

More and more kats walking on the other side of the road were losing countenance and starting crying as if having passed some invisible line. That was unnatural. Dozens of bystanders without any pretext fell into the worst despair.

– From now on life is meaningless. – some clerk was repeating the same phrase again and again with a thousand-yard stare.

Jake and Chance stopped, looking at the mass rampage. Their path was in another direction, but still, they thought about giving some aid. No idea. They were fighters and not psychiatrists. Finally, Jake decided to approach someone and offer solace. Chance insisted it was not their affair, but Jake refused.

– It won’t take much, will it? And, we will earn one more point to the karma. – he tried to joke with a concerned look.

– Go if you want, and I will wait for ya here.

Jake decisively entered the pedestrian crossing, but, as he was approaching the other side of the street, he found his mood fading away. For a moment, Jake turned his head backward. Chance leaned against the wall, hands in pockets, and was gazing phlegmatically after him.

Fear, Jake felt fear. For no reason, he nervously gulped. He didn’t reach the crowd as that old lady ran towards him.

– Oh, young man! I’m so sorry for you! – she seized Jake by the collar.

Chance frowned though his companion didn’t perceive it.

– The world is coming to its end and you are… you were so young! – she cried with renewed energy.

– The fate is very unjust, – answered a disheartened Jake. Looking around, he shared the common ambiance and realized how pathetic, how dull the things he did were. Sorrow whelmed his soul.

– That’s enough, mister counselor. – an annoyed Chance ripped his friend from the mad woman’s hands and grabbed him quickly back on their side of the road. – Jake, what’s wrong with you? Are you so sensitive that a bunch of weepers thrown you out of your stride?

Jake didn’t answer. He was still astounded and only heaved a groan.

– Jake, are you hearing me? Jake! – Chance shook him a bit, trying to bring him back to senses.

The interesting detail was that the old lady went back to the main crowd of desperate kats without following Jake. They clustered together on a small parcel of the pavement.

– You’re overloading the system.

– I hired you not to lecture me.

Beep-beep-beep. Sound of the shutdown.

– You croaked it!

The panic abrupted in no time. The bystanders were drying tears and getting cleaned up with unintelligent expressions. Nobody was able to say how this emotional scene started. The old lady lifted her bag and crossed the road towards our two.

– I don’t know exactly what happened – she said – but my behavior was such a shame from my part. I apologize, young men. – Having finished, she went quickly away.

– I give you time to repair it until the morning. Don’t worry about the compensation.

– What to calibrate next?

– Wrath once again. It seemed the girl in the city hall had panic instead of it.

Sometime later at the salvage yard, Jake was sitting on the sofa alone and revolving something in his mind. His face was serious but not saddened as during the panic attack. He had a sneaking feeling the situation had some external cause. But, which one?

Chance entered the room, yawning. He smiled a bit to the kat copying the Thinker by Rodin.

– Time to sleep, buddy. We have a lot of work tomorrow.

– Chance, why all the worriers were gathered only on the corner of Green and Bridge streets? – Jake raised his eyes. – I mean, bystanders on our side were calm and didn’t show any anxiety.

– Ah, who knows. – he shrugged. – Perhaps there was a charismatic scaremonger. Forget it.

Jake stood up and directed out of the room. Putting out the light, he observed:

– When I was near you, I was calm. But, approaching the crowd, I sank in fear for no reason…

– Relax and keep in mind how cool this holiday was…

– Victory or death! May the war begin! Death to our enemies!

The morning brought even weirder insanity to the Megakat City. An organized group of protesters was going to the Municipal Park, shouting slogans or singing discordantly the national hymn. This time not the single pavement but the whole street was unanimous in the desire to go and kill an unknown adversary.

– Look! It’s a foreign spy! – cried a young woman, directed toward the small elder kat with glasses approaching the park from the other side. – Catch him!

Some others who heard her appeal detached from the crowd and ran with her towards the probable battering victim. As soon as the poor kat saw their fierce faces, he fled for his life away from the main concurrence.

– This is Ann Gora of Kat’s Eye News live from the site of an unreasonable mass paroxysm of militarism. – she was reporting from the helicopter. – Without any pretext, the citizens felt the need to go to the front, though for more than sixty years we haven’t been at war with any country.

All the slogans gave place to only two of them pronounced now by the whole crowd, all the choir. They barely reached the park:

– Long live the war!

– Down with the enemies!

The forces were unequal and the distance between the chasers and “spy” was shortening. Luckily for him, the further they were from the manifestation, the less decisive the woman and her accomplices were. Finally, they stopped and zonked out. After such a warm welcome, this kat would never again visit the Megakat City.

– Land the helicopter – Ann said to Al. – I’m going to question them. – Johnny, we’re coming!

Callie reached the protests as soon as she was informed about them. She was pressing countless times the button of the SWAT Kats communicator, but it seemed like it didn’t transmit the signal.

– Dang!

Chance was watching the news report a bit tensely. In the case of civil disturbances, the city would be in great danger. But, what could they do against the mass of distracted civilians? Jake entered and without any words joined the watching.

– I started sharing your suspicions, – Chance muttered. – If someone grows apart from the crowd, they don’t come back.

– Their column is so regular in form. I bet there is something screwy about the matter.

– Better check this out on our own… Hey, look at Ann!

– We’ve almost neared the protesters and are going to ask them the reasons they have gathered here. – Ann Gora continued reporting on the run.

The crowd reached the park, and a mussy skinny kat got up the monument of Manx.

– Are you ready to sacrifice your lives?

– Yes, we are!

– The enemies must perish! – someone shouted.

– We will wipe their cities off the map! – cried a young she-kat in cyan costume and rose beads. Ann Gora had joined the common rampage. She turned, with the look of decision, to the cameraman and once said to all viewers:

– All to the front! Long live the war!

Some kats started smashing everything that was at the park without leaving its territory.

– Why don’t all of them proceed to action?

– It depends on their psychic stability.

The Enforcers technique reached the park. One of the tanks had loudspeakers. Everyone heard the compelling low voice:

– This is Feral. Finish this unauthorized rally immediately!

The nearest citizens looked at the tanks angrily:

– The enemies reached our city!

The commotion was gaining the crowd. No one was ready to attack. But, following his sixth sense, Feral preferred not to quit the tank, for now. In her turn, Callie was chanting with others at the top of her voice, completely forgetting about the nonworking communicator…

– They cannot impede us. Continue the transmission.

– As you wish.

The Turbokat was flying high above the protesters with the pilots trying to get hold of what was happening. This time, none of the pair was joking since they were accustomed to fighting apparent criminals, not simply civilians. And, no one paid attention to them. Firstly.

– Did you find something special, Razor?

– Nothing yet. Could we go down?

– I admit we will also fall under the influence. I think yesterday you had the same.

– Sounds logical, T-Bone. – He was glad his partner didn’t hold him as so sentimental.

– Look! That’s a bomber! – someone pointed at the Turbokat.

– The darned enemies reached our city!

– They sent the air support!

The crowd buzzed with new forces.

– T-Bone, there is a car with an antenna in the lane.

– And?

– There are two gunmen.

– It’s still risky. If we make a mistake, we will join those psychos in the park.

– Time for some deduction method. We have restricted zones of mass psychosis, we have a weird car with an antenna and two gunmen who don’t share the common patriotism.

Given that the aircraft was leaving the park too far, it turned backward.

– You mean the citizens received something from that antenna? It sounds odd.

– We haven’t any other explanations. So, let’s land somewhere on a roof. But, we should protect ourselves from these signals.

– Tinfoil hat, pal? – finally T-Bone smiled.

– Something like that. We have had much more awkward situations. Let’s place some metal leaves in the helmets…

– We’ve got more guests!

– Hm? Forget about anyone. Stick to business! Calibrate it to the pure blood-lust, erase any fear.

Having left the Turbokat on a roof of a building near the lane, the two kats went via rooftops to the necessary turn and softly landed on the bottom of this dark and nasty passage near the mysterious car. They were awaited.

– Fire!

Without a meaningless question like “Who are you?” the guards of the car shot to kill. The SWAT Kats barely managed to hide behind the wall. Like in cheap movies, a few brick fragments hit their faces.

– War!… War!… War!… – a weak voice was repeating the same word in T-Bone’s head like an earworm.

– Razor, do you hear something? – he turned to him.

– I will finish them off as the last dogs! – the first gunman stepped forward.

– Hey, what words! Keep protecting the car. It’s almost over. Soon, they will be harmless puppets like others…

– Besides the bark from the shots I… I hear the word “war”. – Razor was listening to the gut. – It’s very annoying. Guess the metal leaves reflect the main part of the signal.

– I hope so. It’s uncomfortable to wear, you know.

– That’s it. Prepare Bola missiles. The left guy is yours.

– Roger that.

– You, listen! If these meatheads get too close to the car, then pedal to the metal. We cannot lose the equipment.

Razor bounced out first from around the corner and fired the missile. His target fell on the ground and swore. The second one approached him trying to untie him. Alongside he cried:

– James, get out of here!

T-Bone also came out and made a shot. That was too easy to target a motionless rival. Before getting tied, the second guard made a random shot. The lucky kat dodged, but the bullet damaged the glovatrix on his hand. The car went away squealing. It all happened in a second.

– Crud!

– Are you OK?

– Yes, but my tool is out of the game.

– How could I hire such pathetic fools?!

– Why don’t these two fall into the influence?

– They’re now near my gunmen with personal radio silencers.

– But before?

– You ask a lot of questions. – Someone punched the metal surface. – Finish the performance. Despite these pests, I’m satisfied.

The SWAT Kats approached the gunmen. The weird voice repeating “war” shut up. The defeated foes didn’t say a word and only were looking angrily.

– Bunch of creeps. – at least one of them said between teeth.

– Hey, that’s not polite. – T-Bone said.

The second one husked and stopped moving. Razor took his pulse. Nothing to take. He passed away.

– Hey, he’s dead! – Razor said.

– Take this! – The sound of broken glass shrieked in the mouth of the last gunman, and he spat out the shards of an ampulla. After short convulsions, he quieted.

Razor looked distrustfully at T-Bone. If the death was better than custody? The plot was serious and commented:

– What fidelity. And, what’s this, how do you think?

He detached a little rectangle gadget from the body’s outfit and showed it to Razor. The same thing was in the second suicider’s clothes too.

– This is Enforcers! Walk out with your hands up!

The familiar commander’s voice, defigured a bit with a loudspeaker, was approaching to the alley with every next word.

– Let’s check it at the base. And now, go back. Grab on to me!

As T-Bone’s glovatrix was out, they mounted the roof together with the Razor’s one. The situation started clearing up.

In the park, kats were walking around senselessly. Some were surprised to find a piece of a swing or a bench board in their hands. Some skinny tom was clinging to a monument afraid to come down. Disheveled, Ann Gora entered the helicopter. Al looked at her a bit frightened:

– Ann, what was that?

– Please don’t ask me anything. – She tried to unwrinkle her costume. – You see, despite the agitation, Johnny did his work. He filmed my speech and the whole city saw me as a mad, violent trollop.

Johnny joined; his glasses were broken.

– Hey, Al, why you didn’t lose sanity like us? – the helicopter was ascending.

– I have no idea. But, even being a spectator was enough for me.

– Joy.

– Can I have a little more detail?

– Heavenly delight, pure exaltation. We are entering the final phase of conquering the Megakat City.

While some sinister judge was about to pronounce his sentence to the mentally disoriented city, at the salvage yard the vigilantes were mapping out a course of action. Yet changed to an ordinary mechanic, Jake put one of the gunmen’s gadgets near the radio receiver:

– Tomorrow the shh… weather will khh… consist…. of… khh with periods of shh…

The radio turned to grey noise.

Jake triumphantly hummed.

– Yep, that was a silencer. Luckily for us, we’ve got two working ones.

– I’m going to repair my glovatrix…

– I admit our current villain is very original. Kats-receivers.

– Have I told you it sounds odd? – Chance turned to his partner from the workbench. This time it was a try to cut the tension, not kidding.

– But, we’ve lost the track. We just have to wait for a new case. Don’t forget to take some taps.

– Roger that.

The mechanics continued preparations, trying not to forget about anything. Both of them were feeling some sense of heaviness.

Chance babbled:

– Why didn’t Miss Briggs call us at the beginning of the protests?

Callie Briggs was driving home, exhausted after that crazy day. She was ashamed of herself as for the second time for no reason she was not right in her head.

– Nah, that’s weird. I have to get a good night’s sleep.

In one of the darkened streets, her car stopped as one of the tires was punctured. What, the trouble isn’t over? She exited the car. In two runs, someone walked behind her and closed her mouth with a hand.

Callie tried to pull away, but it was in vain:

– Shh… don’t panic. Our boss would like to talk to you…

Very soon, the street once again became empty with the only Callie’s opened car. The bag with the communicator rested on the forward seat.

Jake put the screwdriver down.

– Chance, let’s check if she’s OK. We still need an informant.

– You don’t have other reasons, do ya?

– Just shut it, buddy.

– OK, OK.

– All emotions are calibrated.

– Excellent.

The trigger pulled back.

– Wait!

– Farewell, Mister Gorbedan.

– Please…

The shot. The groan. Something heavy fell to the floor.

– Creeplings, take it away.

The Cyclotron reached quickly the street located by the communicator. This feedback didn’t bring any good news for the vigilantes. The opened car, the punctured tire and the street with broken lights spoke for themselves.

– Oh no, Miss Briggs. – Razor lowered his ears.

T-Bone darkened, approached the car and took the communicator. Then he closed the car and went back to the bike.

– Why not take the car to the yard? – Razor asked. – Here it can be robbed.

– That would reveal our identities. How could we know about the incident?

The street was left behind.

– I hope the punctured tire is her biggest problem. – T-Bone finished.

– Happiness! Joy! How life is wonderful!

A young she-kat was hugging a tree as if it was her significant other.

– My dear plant! You give the air we breathe. Thank you! Thank you!

A wealthy businessman was brightening, confessing to some old homeless:

– What a coincidence! I found you. You remind me of my lost father. – They hugged. – Father, is that you?

A police officer let the robber go away.

– What for to waste life in prison. Be free!

The touched criminal didn’t use his chance, but instead slipped off a flower and gave it to the officer.

– Enough delinquency! Take this symbol of peace between us.

– A thousand thanks. – He smelled the flower. – It’s so good to forgive and to love. Let’s sing.

A jeweler was throwing his merchandise on the street:

– Take everything you want! May there be neither rich nor poor!

It seemed the villain was kidding with the city. Instead of provoking havoc and chaos, he endowed everyone with the purest cloud nine. And, this time, no one was arguing. This time the city was reluctant to break free.

The Turbokat appeared very quickly as the SWAT Kats were patrolling the city since the morning. Finally, their rival made a new move in this chess game. As they had the silencers attached to their clothes they didn’t fear losing self-control. But, however much they were looking, they couldn’t find the car. Feral was commenting to Ann Gora when he fell under the influence. He noticed the aircraft and broke into a smile:

– Turn the camera to the sky and show my beloved vigilantes! They saved us so many times! Oh, my dearest SWAT Kats!

– Time to start! Bring me my cane. After so many attempts, I’m finally becoming the lord of this affluent city.

In a blink, all TVs and radios transmitted the voice of the arch-nemesis of the ex-Enforcers, Dark Kat.

– Citizens of the Megakat City! I’m addressing you as your new governor.

The concurrences were applauding.

– Don’t fear, my dependents. The fear is gone. From now till doomsday we will live in permanent happiness. No crimes, no inequality. Only pure contemplation.

He made a bad try to smile friendly.

– Long live Dark Kat!

Perhaps only T-Bone and Razor were not sharing the general mood.

– We have to fight him, but how? – the pilot asked. – This time nobody is going to help us.

– Even more, we don’t know where to find him.

That was not a mystery since Dark Kat reached them himself via transmission. His face wasn’t attempting to smile anymore; as usual, he looked threatening and grim.

– You’ve lost, SWAT Kats.

A short pause.

– But, we have something to discuss in person. Come to the Megakat refinery immediately if you want to find your girl alive.

The camera showed Callie bounded by creeplings and the transmission abruptly ended.

Under the jet the whole city was chanting:

– Long live Dark Kat! Long live Dark Kat!

– Looks like we have a problem, pal.

– We have no choice. I wonder how he will meet us.

– If he’s also under his signal, then very friendly, I guess.

Both of them were worried about the deputy mayor.

T-Bone and Razor were driving as quickly as they could. Approaching the refinery, they saw a heliport deck surrounded by armed Kommando-kats. The screen lightened once again.

– Your delay brings the death of the Deputy Mayor closer. Land on the deck and leave your weapons. Just don’t be silly!

The situation was getting worse with every new turn. There were no breaches in Dark Kat’s strategy for the moment.

– You can leave the silencers with you. Let it be the sign of my… sincerity. – He snorted.

The aircraft landed. The Kommando-kats approached her.

– Exit slowly with hands up. – now the voice was heard from the loudspeakers of the building.

There was nothing else to do.

– Sure, you can try to fight against my followers, and I will send Miss Briggs to sink into the oil. Such an agonizing death, isn’t it?

After the kats were looked for weapons, two Kommandos lead them to the entrance.

– The big one still hides some blades. Don’t joke with me!

Angry, T-Bone gave up his Turboblades.

They entered a big workshop full of some machinery and huge tanks with oil. The Komandos went out and closed the gate. A hush fell over the room. There were three kats: with cinnamon, cream and violet furs.

– Here we are, Dark Kat. But first, where is Miss Briggs? – Razor broke the silence.

– Ah, yes. Let me show the countdown. No bombs this time. – The new so-called mayor gave a sign. The back wall withdrew.

– Oh, crud!

Above one of the tanks, a metal beam was situated. Callie Briggs was making one step to the abyss every several seconds. Her face was serene as if she wasn’t able to fall off at any time.

– Miss Briggs! – T-Bone shouted. – Miss Briggs!

– She doesn’t hear you, SWAT Kat. – The Dark Kat answered. – In three minutes, she will be history. Every five seconds, she makes a step. That’s your countdown to accept my proposal.

– Leave her alive. You need us, not an innocent girl. – Razor looked back to the nemesis.

– I presume from your reaction she’s a working argument. Now listen.

One more step.

– With my mental programming satellite, I can control the city without any violence. However…

One more step. Dark Kat was speaking slowly on purpose.

– I receive the city’s resources and the citizens live in their permanent delusional paradise. Both the kats have eaten much…

One more step.

– And, the mice have not been touched! So, surrender. Leave your Turbokat to me and go wherever you want. The Megakat City won’t have any crimes since I bent to my will even the worst of the worst scum.

One more step.

– My city doesn’t need someone like you.

Seems like some rustle happened near the workshop.

– That’s hard to say, but… – T-Bone started.

He looked at Razor. His companion nodded.

– But, as you say, if we lose, everyone loses! – and he attacked Dark Kat.

– Get rid of her! – the villain shouted and fought off the hit with his cane.

With a battle cry, Razor assailed Dark Kat from behind. Without any hesitation, Callie stepped sideways and fell in the deeps of the tank.

– You will pay for this! – he spat.

– Kommandos! I need support!

Furious, T-Bone grabbed the handgrip and snatched the cane from Dark Kat’s hands since he was trying with his second hand to hit Razor. The villain came down squat on the floor.

– Kommandos!

But, nobody came.

– You cannot imagine how I dream of curbing the darned cane in your face. – T-Bone was looking down his nose at the defeated enemy. Having found a chain, the SWAT Kats bent his hands back.

– Lucky you that we vowed not to cross some line of violence.

Both vigilantes had a menacing air and only their eyes were saddened. Callie Briggs, their closest ally among civilians, died for nothing, slowly suffocating in the swampy, toxic substance. While T-Bone went to the tank looking for a body, Razor was guarding their captive.

– Probably you’ll break a poisoned ampulla as your gunmen did?

– Don’t hope so, idiot. Even if this battle is over, – Dark Kat coughed. – I will be coming back again and again, again and again. – Cough. – Till I obtain what I want.

The violet kat tried to break the chains.

– Two amateur fools cannot ruin my plans all the time. One day, I’ll win.

T-Bone went upstairs, but didn’t see anything reminding of the blond she-kat.

– Because so many kats are working for me. And, every one of them is devoted to me as blind as you love this doomed city. I am its doom.

Dark Kat laughed. Razor was listening to him with a heavy heart. This was a Pyrrhic victory. Besides, they needed to prepare to fight with the Kommandos outside and destroy the satellite.

T-Bone went back without saying a word. Once again, he looked grimly at Dark Kat and sighed.

– As the Enforcers are still under control, we have to find the satellite and screw it up.

– What a pity, buddy. – Razor said quietly. – Poor Miss Briggs.

T-Bone laid a hand on his shoulder.

– I have the same pain, pal. But, we have to finish this madness. Otherwise, her… death would be for nothing.

– I’m highly impressed by your moral quality, SWAT Kats.

– Feral?!

Astonished, they turned to the commander approaching them with a settled face.

– I was wondering if you were going to appropriate the equipment of Dark Kat.

– I told you they wouldn’t.

Callie Briggs with some oil splashes on her clothes came from behind the tank with two Enforcer soldiers. The heroes stood as punch-drunk.

– You’re alive?

– But how?

Callie smiled guiltily:

– Well, after the militarist protests, I told Commander Feral about a sudden psychosis in the city hall that I and Mayor Manx suffered. Since we both were at the park, we revealed we had the same repeating unreasonable thoughts. Moreover, the commander saw a suspicious car with an antenna running away and two bodies in the lane.

– They were bound with your missiles, gentlemen. – Feral interfered. – That meant that, first, that you found the way to resist the influence somehow. And, second, you were on the city’s side and the Enforcers could trust you. This time. – In his final words, he tried to take a stern look.

To this moment the SWAT Kats revealed from shock that Feral was lauding them.

– Take him away into the most protected separated cell. – Feral told the gunmen.

– The war isn’t over, you worms. – Dark Kat solemnly said his brief closing speech and went without compulsion. – At least, I know how precious you are for these masquerade amateurs, Miss Briggs. – He threw a chilling look on the Deputy Mayor, and she felt a desire to hide behind the SWAT Kats’ backs but resisted.

As the convoy was reaching the gate, Razor noticed:

– Are they informed there is a bunch of Dark Kat’s henchmen?

– They are neutralized. – Feral responded.

The gate slammed.

– As my wire-free communication was not working, we put two and two together and realized there was some kind of thought transmitting machine. Because of this, we made quickly improvised micro silencers.

– You were going the same path as we did. – T-Bone replied. – But, we used the gadgets these two gunmen had on their outfit.

All four kats were adding missing puzzle pieces to each other’s general view of the story. This mystery was nearly over.

– Finally, we saw on a street camera that Miss Briggs was kidnapped by a Kommando-Kat and understood who was the leading violinist in this play.

– Or even villaininist. – Miss Briggs worked a joke.

– While he was arrogantly preparing to meet you, my best soldiers equipped with silencers surrounded the building and removed its guards. Finally, one of them got access to the satellite. To avoid suspicion, we had to give Miss Briggs’ command once again to walk on the beam… Let’s go to that remoted room. You will see the system yourselves.

The company was crossing the workshop and continued the discussion.

– I put an air-cushion myself in the tank so that Miss Briggs fell softly and didn’t get hurt. I gave her the silencer, and the rest was done by you.

– Wow. – That was the only thing Razor said.

In a cluttered storage room, they saw a portable laptop connected to a little antenna with a bunch of wires and a large TV-screen. Obviously, everything was turned off.

– Any questions? I would like to finish my first and the last report to you, SWAT Kats.

T-Bone asked:

– Do you mean, Feral, you complimented us in live broadcast yourself and not because of the influence?

Silence hangs over a second. Feral quickly found out what to say, though the SWAT Kats were smiling like a brewer’s horse.

– I just wanted to seem convincing. Don’t get too excited.

Melting into tears, Miss Briggs put a period on this scene.

– You all saved my life. I am in debt to each kat who is here now.

After doing their job both as mechanics and heroes, Jake and Chance were watching one of the numerous episodes of the Scaredy-Kat. The plot was always the same, but the bigger kat was laughing heartily. Eating chips, Jake was occasionally stealing glances at him and feeling some homely pleasure. He was happy with his life exactly as it was. The daily routine was not a problem since they had the opportunity to stretch their bones and they were together. Two closest friends with a common secret and uncommon lifepath.

Jake stood up and said to a drowsy Chance:

– I’ll be right back.

He went out to contemplate the last rays of the sunset. He was touched by such things though trying not to show it. He exhaled:

– Ah, what a peaceful evening.


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