"SwatKats Unmasked?" Pt. III

From: Andy Hill <chance_at_unix.infoserve.net>
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 1995 06:47:27 -0700 (PDT)

     I just watched all that crap on TV regarding the terrorist bombing.
If that's how human beings treat each other, I'd sooner be a 'KAT. I
just hope the law-enforcement equivalents of Razor and T-Bone catch up
with the scum responsible before the Mayor Manx's start waffling about
diplomatic sensitivities and such. For this, someone pays big.


     Feral had always loved just two things in his life, his job, and his
car. He was the fifth generation of Feral to hold the highest Enforcer
post in the city, and had gotten there through a combination of
discipline, integrity and courage - three things sadly lacking in the
person of Lt. Steel, now cowering before him.

        "Steel, what happened to my car..."

     While Steel fought for the words, Feral recalled that the car had
been the first one ever issued to him as Commander-in-Chief of the
Enforcers. He kept the vehicle long after it was supposed to be turned
in, and modified it as needed to keep pace with the technological
advances standard on the newer machines. He would've even taken it with
him while he was out of town, if it weren't for the need to drive the
vehicle he was demonstrating to the press. He'd miss that car.

        "Steel...what happened to my car?"

     He'd been met at the outskirts of town by Mayor Manx and Callie
Briggs, who'd informed him as to the circumstances regarding the
vehicle's loss, and Steel's astonishing incompetence during the
stampede. He now wanted to hear the explanation from Steel himself.
Feral appreciated honesty, and was prepared to help Steel deal with his
errors, providing he admitted them.

        "Steel...I'm waiting..."

     Feral's habit of drumming his fingers on the desk didn't help
Steel's thought process any, and his answer reflected his growing anxiety.

        "Um, well...you see sir, it was all the SWATKATS fault - they um...
         deliberately dropped your car, sir - and they, er...something
         has to be done about those vigilantes, sir!"

     Steel felt that the best defense was a good offense, but Feral
wasn't having any of it. Steel nevertheless seized the opportunity, and
continued the attack.

        "I've come up with a plan, sir!.." his voice becoming squeaky,
        "...you see, we attach a homing transmitter to their plane sir,
         and we track them back to wherev...."

             "THAT'S ENOUGH, STEEL! Mister, you're incompetence nearly cost the
         lives of the very same citizens you swore to protect, the
         SWATKATS are the least of your worries. Maybe a little refresher
         course at Enforcer Academy will give you a better perspective;
         two weeks - without pay."

     Steel had never openly acknowledged making a mistake to anyone, he
wasn't about to now.

        "But sir, what about my plan? We could get the SWATKATS out of
         the picture for good..."

        "Lieutenant - you, and your plan, had better be out of my office by
         the count of three. If you so much as mention it in my presence
         again, you'll be reading Parking Meters for the rest of your career..
         now get...OUT!"

     Feral couldn't help but wonder what would've happened had the
TurboKat not shown up when it did. Undisciplined vigilantes had no place
among the ranks of the Enforcers, but Feral was beginning to realize that
they did indeed have a place somewhere in the scheme of things.


        "Hey Razor..." began T-Bone, still giggling from the episode with
Feral's car, "...didja see the look on Steel's face when the cable

        "Yeah. I saw it alright, and you can bet that Feral will be
         wearing a similar one when he finds out who dropped it."

        "Aw, Razor - ya gotta learn to lighten up a little - it was an
         accident! A hilarious accident...but it's not like we planned
         it that way, though I doubt we could have done any better if
         we had...you need a hand?"

     T-Bone's "wing-waggle" not only percipitated the loss of Feral's
car, but also managed to jam the remains of the cable in the door of the
weapons bay, which Razor was now struggling to free. Though Razor was
perfectly able of solving most problems dumped in his lap, T-Bone had the
strength advantage and managed to free the cable with a single effortless
tug. Razor had never been jealous of T-Bone in this regard, their
partnership had always taken into account the strengths and weaknesses of
each. Their only bouts of rivalry occurred in the company of Callie
Briggs, though even this never amounted to more than good-natured ribbing.

        "Thanks T-Bone. You gonna hang around and help me fix the damage,
         or go further ruin your mind with 'Scaredy Kat' ?"

     T-Bone tossed the rag he was using square onto the bridge of Razor's
nose, and beamed at the accuracy of his aim.

        "Looks like you're not the only sure-shot, Sure-Shot! Lemme grab
         a couple cans of milk first..."

     Given the choice between an evening with "Scaredy" and an evening
with Razor, T-Bone would always pick Razor - if for no other reason than
Jake was usually more laughs, and had less repeats.

        "While you're up there, see if we made the news - just don't trash
         the TV again if you see Feral; you break 'em faster than Katsui
         can make 'em..."

     Razor often wondered where they'd have been now had they not ended
up together at the Salvage Yard after being drummed out of the Enforcers
by Feral. He could've gone on to do countless different things, but he
couldn't imagine any other occupation where T-Bone would "fit". Jake
appreciated Chance's sense of humour and loyalty, but knew full well that
such attributes had little market value in the Corporate World. People
like T-Bone always stuck out like a sore thumb, but Jake couldn't think
of anyone he'd rather have watching his back, in or out of the TurboKat.
T-Bone soon reappeared at the bottom of the ladder, signalling that the
TV had indeed survived the newscast. He lobbed a can of milk toward
Razor, who deftly opened it with a single claw movement.

        "What'd the news have to say?" asked Razor, between gulps of milk.

        "Aw, the usual stuff...they had a cool shot of Feral's car turning
         into a metal pancake..."

     Razor couldn't help but giggle, causing the mouthful of milk to run
down the side of his face, giving him the appearance of a half-drowned
rat. He wiped the milk away with his arm, then shook his head to rid
himself of the remainder.

        "No comment from Feral...that's odd."

        "Well, we still have a TV don't we? No, Feral was on alright, but
         even when Ann played back the footage with the TurboKat, all he
         could say was 'No Comment'...I thought Feral had a comment on

             "What about Steel? Hear anything out of him, or was he too busy
         trying to glue Feral's car back together..."

     It was T-Bone's turn to laugh, and he managed to spray Razor with
milk from the astonishing distance of several feet.

        "Nah. Feral just said he'd been 'temporarily reassigned', probably
         means a trip back to the academy..."

        "Gee, I don't know who I feel more sorry for, Steel or the Academy...
         c'mon, lets get started. Once we replace the cable, we can get
         going on the wireless throttle upgrade and try it out in the Canyon
         tomorrow...I've hidden some new targets."

        "Right.." said T-Bone, "...as long as there's somethin' for me to
         do besides drive the bus, I hate sightseein'..."

        "Hah! The way you fly? You'll be lucky if you get through the run
         without parachute practice..."

        "Hey..." humphed T-Bone, in mock indignation, "...what's wrong with
         the way I fly?"

        "Dunno. Why don't you go ask Feral's car?"

     Razor quickly ducked the empty can of milk that came hurtling in his
direction, which bounced harmlessly off the TurboKat and into the garbage
can. T-Bone was indeed glad he'd elected to stay and help Razor, though
he did manage to ensure "Scaredy" was a rerun while waiting for the news!

     Lt. Steel had many friends at the Enforcer Academy, in fact, he had
many friends practically everywhere. What loyalty couldn't achieve,
money could buy - and Lt. Steel's family had more than enough to go
around. Steel had never actually had to work for anything, his rapid
progress through the ranks of the Enforcers had far more to do with being
the son of Manx's sister than it did with his own particular talent for
law-enforcement. His friends at the Academy would help him carry out his
plan to expose the SwatKats, and perhaps even get him Feral's job in the

     The plan was actually painfully simple, and Steel wondered why Feral
hadn't thought of something similar much earlier. The SwatKats always
used the same practice run on the outskirts of MegaKat City, and always
practiced after carrying out any kind of repairs - such as would be
necessary after the unfortunate incident in town. Steel had the "where"
part of his plan, he even had the "how", now all he needed was the...


        "You heard me, I need a tracking device, and one that's powerful
         enough to let me track the SwatKats jet to wherever they hide it.
         I'm going to need some way of attaching it to the plane in flight,
         and it's going to have to stay put regardless of how fast they

        "Feral green-light this?", asked Dr. Alley, in charge of Academy
         Weapons R&D, "you're asking me to come up with some pretty
         expensive gear here..."

        "Ah, let's just say I'm 'exercising my initiative' and leave it
         at that.." said Steel, exposing a thick wad of money from his
         inside uniform pocket.

        "Fine by me, just so long as you're signing all the paperwork and
         paying the bills, you can 'exercise' all you want. What you
         need here is a version of what we use to track the movement of our
         own Enforcer jumpers, just far more powerful. The only drawback
         to such a device is that the increased output may disrupt any
         fly-by-wire and radio systems on the target vehicle, and..."

     Steel was hoping the good doctor would give him the short version...

        "...so they can't listen to their favourite station. My heart
         bleeds. Could we hurry this up..."

     Steel had little grasp of things electronic, as every modern
convenience money could buy was still helplessly flashing "12:00"
throughout his house. He was, however, a crack shot, and would have no
trouble hitting the TurboKat with the delivery system Dr. Alley was in
the midst of demonstrating.

        "Just follow the approach of the jet in the viewfinder, when the
         launcher gets the range information you'll see 'Lock' in the top
         left corner. Simply pull the trigger, and voila - the device will
         launch, attach itself to the plane, and self-activate shortly after

        "Okay...then what?" asked Steel, who could already taste the cigars
         that came with Feral's office, "..what do I do after that?"

     Dr. Alley presented Steel with a device that resembled one of those
cheap LCD kids games he'd always given nephews at Christmas - the only
difference being that this device had compass directions labelled on it
in place of the familiar poorly drawn cartoon characters. Dr. Alley
activated the tracking device, and the screen in Steel's hands came to
life, showing a blip near the cross-hairs in the center. He explained
that as Steel approached the source of the blip, it would move closer to
the center - enabling him to trace the whereabouts of the SwatKats, or at
least their jet.

     Steel's plan was beginning to take form, as he practised looking
through the launcher in the midst of the Weapons lab. Dr. Alley would be
well rewarded for his efforts, just as the SwatKats would also get
exactly what they deserved. Tomorrow would be a big day.




Received on Thu Apr 20 1995 - 09:45:44 PDT

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