Title: Sins of the Father
Summary: Jake's father comes to Megakat City to work out a business deal, but ends up
making a deal with the devil.
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em. Don't know who does. If you really want to sue me for this, you
probably have no time on your hands. But call me up; I'll give all both pennies I have left.
Author's Notes: This is my first endeavor into the Swat Kats realm, so bear with me. I started
this a couple of months ago and haven't been able to do much with it. Enjoy, and please
review. I need the feedback.
Sins of the Father
"Hey, Chance, hand me the three-quarters, would ya?"
Jake Clawson held out a hand expectantly from under the car he was presently working
on. He waited for several seconds longer than he normally would, his mind busy on his task,
before he realized that he still didn't have the wrench. Frowning, Jake called out to his friend.
Something cool and metallic slipped into his waiting hand. "Thanks, buddy," Jake said,
bringing the wrench up to the underbelly of the car.
Jake froze at the sound of the voice. It wasn't the voice of his best friend and partner,
Chance Furlong. It was a voice that Jake hadn't heard in a long time. A voice he had been
hoping he would never hear again.
Tense, but resigning himself to his fate, Jake pushed himself out from underneath the car
and stood, wiping his hands on a nearby rag already saturated with grease. He avoided the
eyes of the tall kat before him, focusing instead on the smartly polished black shoes and bottom
cuffs of a gray and obviously expensive suit.
The kat before him shifted, his suit rasping unusually loud in the tense silence. "I was
told I could find you here."
Jake chanced a look up at his father. Christopher Clawson's cool, dark eyes were
studying his son intently, as if taking inventory of the lost years by what he saw. Jake could just
imagine what his father was thinking of him, standing before him in greasy coveralls, his hat on
backwards, caramel fur disheveled from working on his back, and smelling of engine oil. If
anything, Jake was the epitome of everything his father, rich and successful, couldn't stand.
Jake glanced around the garage, looking for Chance. While his relationship with his
father was something of a mystery to his best friend, Chance at least knew to warn Jake that he
had a visitor.
"You're . . . friend is out running an errand," Clawson replied. "I thought it would be
best if we meet in private."
Jake glared down at his feet. "Why are you here? You made your feelings about me
quite obvious the last time we saw each other."
"I'm in town on some important business for a new client," Clawson told him. "I
thought I'd come by and see what sort of shambles you've made of your life since you were
kicked out of the Enforcers."
Jake felt his entire body tense up, but bit his tongue. The last thing he wanted was to
have a confrontation with his father when they were alone, in a place where Jake usually felt
He should have known that he couldn't feel that way for long.
"What I can't understand is why you've decided to be some sort of greasekat,"
Clawson continued. "You're so much smarter than this, Jake. You could be doing whatever
you want. You could be working for me. Why are you throwing it all away?"
"We've been over this already, Dad," Jake said angrily. "I am doing what I want. I'm
perfectly happy working with Chance. Besides, working for you isn't something I'd wish on my
"Watch that tongue, Jacob," his father warned quietly. "It's gotten you into trouble in
the past. Don't think it won't now."
The temperature seemed to drop several degrees at the veiled threat. Jake lifted his
head and simply stared coldly at his father, trying to will him away.
Father and son continued to stare at one another for a long time before they heard the
sound of the tow truck as it drove closer and drifted to a stop several yards away, a beaten car
attached to the cable behind it. The door opened and shut, and Jake's best friend stepped
around the truck and approached the pair.
"Jake, is everything all right?" Chance asked, sensing the hostility in the air. He tensed,
ready to help his friend should the taller kat decide to attack him.
Jake was grateful for Chance's return, and decided to overlook the overprotective
attitude evident in his voice. "Everything's cool. We're just finishing up here. Isn't that right?"
This last he directed towards his father.
Clawson straightened and smoothed his business suit. "I see you haven't changed. I
can't tell you how disappointed I am."
"Yeah, I know just how big a disappointment I am to you," Jake replied icily.
Chance bristled. Jake was his best friend, but Chance often thought of the younger kat
as a little brother. He stepped up to the pair, trying his best to situate himself in between the
two. "I think you should leave now."
Clawson's eyes briefly flickered over Chance's shoulder at Jake, then looked at this
new threat. "Very well. I have someplace else to be, anyhow. We'll talk again, Jake."
"Don't count on it," Chance answered for his friend.
Clawson held Chance's gaze for a moment longer, then turned and walked out of the
garage. Chance waited until he heard the sound of a car start up and drive away before turning
to Jake. "You okay, buddy?"
Jake was staring after Clawson with a look of hatred in his eyes. "I'm fine. Where did
"I got a call to pick up a wreck," Chance answered distantly, his mind still on the
mysterious encounter. "Jake, who was that? How do you know him?"
Jake settled back on the flatbed roller and pushed himself back underneath the car he'd
been working on before the incident. "Nobody," came his cold voice. "He's nobody."
Chance was bursting at the seams to question his friend until he had the answers he
wanted, but he recognized Jake's need to forget about what had just occurred. He was about
to return to the truck and take care of the newest addition to the junkyard when Jake's voice
caused him to pause in his tracks. He looked down at his friend's feet. "Yeah?"
"Could you hand me the Phillips head screwdriver?" came Jake's voice, distorted from
beneath the car.
Chance rooted through the toolbox and placed the needed tool in Jake's hand. "Hey,
man, if you need to talk . . ."
There was absolute silence coming from beneath the car for several seconds, then Jake
went back to work. "Thanks, buddy," he said quietly.
Chance didn't respond. He watched his friend tinker under the car before returning to
his own work.
Christopher Clawson guided his car through the traffic of Megakat City, shaking his
head as he mentally reviewed his conversation with his son. Why did Jake have to be so
difficult? Couldn't he see that he was throwing his life away by working at the junkyard, for
crying out loud? Jake had always been so intelligent and talented in the math and science fields.
He could have been an inventor, he could have been as rich as Clawson himself by now.
Instead, even after the Enforcers had kicked him out, he had decided to work in a junkyard.
Clawson shuddered at the thought. His own son . . . a lowly mechanic. If his business
associates ever found out . . . they thought Jake was out of the country working in another
branch of Clawson's own telecommunications enterprise.
The large building that held almost every lab in the city loomed ahead. Clawson drove
his car into the parking lot, claimed the nearest one to the entrance, and entered the building.
Clawson was met with a rush of cold air as soon as he stepped inside. Glancing
around, he found himself in a large lobby furnished with upholstered leather chairs, rugs, and
tapestries. A long desk curved around the far wall, where there sat a female kat with perfectly
coifed fur the color of chocolate. She looked up and smiled coolly as Clawson approached
"I'm Christopher Clawson," he announced. "I have an appointment with T.K. Karda."
The receptionist typed several commands into her computer, then nodded. "Yes, Mr.
Karda is expecting you. Head on into the elevator, go to the thirty-first floor. It's the office at
the end of the hall."
Without so much as a thank you, Clawson breezed past the female kat and entered the
elevator. The ride up thirty-one floors was quick and smooth. The doors parted only minutes
later, revealing a long corridor lined with doors. At the very end of the hall was another door,
identical to the others, complete with a golden nameplate. Clawson approached the last door
and knocked confidently.
Clawson pushed the door open to reveal a large office. A fireplace stood on one end
of the room, closed due to the heat of the summer weather. A throw rug the color of the ocean
lay in front of it, and was surrounded by three overstuffed armchairs that looked as though they
had rolled off of the assembly line after the chairs in the lobby. The wall directly across from
him was gone, replaced with floor to ceiling windows, giving the occupant a broad view of most
of Megakat City. A long oak desk sat on the other end of the room, with another armchair
across from it. The occupant of the office currently stood near the desk, looking out at the city,
his hands clasped behind his back.
"Mr. Karda, we spoke over the phone," Clawson stated. "My name is-."
"Christopher Clawson, founder and president of TeleKat Communications Inc.," the
man, Karda, finished for him. He remained facing his expansive window. "I know. I make it a
point to know all of my potential business partners."
Clawson's ears perked up at the statement. T.K. Karda was a very influential kat with
many contacts all over the world. It seemed he had a claw in every form of business. Clawson
had been hoping to get his own claws into Karda's business.
"I'm pleased to see that you're considering joining our expanding clientele," Clawson
stated, remaining only several steps into the office. "If there is anything I could help you
understand my company better, please don't hesitate to ask."
Karda lifted a hand and began to examine his claws, still not looking at Clawson. "I
have extensively researched your 'company', and I see no reason not to agree to this merge."
Clawson began to grin. "Wonderful! We can get the contract drawn up-."
Karda held up a hand, palm facing Clawson, effectively halting Clawson's speech.
"There is one condition I must have met."
"Anything," Clawson replied immediately, thinking only of all of the money this
transaction would bring him.
Karda finally turned to look at him, his hands once more clasped behind his back. "It's
about your son, Jake."
Clawson's face clouded over in anger and embarrassment. "I know, and I'm sorry
about him. He won't listen to reason, no matter how much I've tried to make him."
Karda held up his hand again, silencing Clawson once more. "On the contrary. I've
reviewed his records, and he strikes me as a bright young man with a lot of potential. If you
agree to have him work for me as Chief Designer and Engineer, then I will agree to our
Clawson frowned, but quickly replaced it with a smile. He'd find a way to make Jake
listen to him. He extended a hand, which Karda grasped.
"Consider it done."
Chance stood in the doorway to the living room, quietly observing his best friend as
Jake struggled to repair several pieces of broken equipment from their TurboKat. Ever since
the strange kat had left that afternoon, Jake had been distant. He had been repairing not only
cars and parts around the garage, but had gotten around to working on projects for the SWAT
Kats' own equipment that he'd been putting off for months. Chance knew that the situation was
serious when Jake had turned down dinner out in town, opting to continue to repair their
grappling missiles. He had parked himself on their couch, surrounded by several items from
their private hanger, and hadn't budged. That had been over five hours ago. Whatever had
happened, it was really bothering him.
And if Jake was upset, so was Chance.
Chance wasn't really sure when he began to think of Jake in terms of family. Sure,
they'd been best friends for just about forever; had been partners in the Enforcers, then decided
to defend the city with their alternate personas. Somewhere along the line, Jake had become
the little brother Chance had always dreamed of having. He rarely ever saw Jake so troubled,
and wasn't quite sure what to do to help him.
"You know, if you're going to be hovering over me, you could at least help me out,"
Jake stated without turning his head to look at Chance.
Chance smiled sheepishly and moved over to the couch. Clearing a space for himself,
he sat beside Jake, eyeing him thoughtfully. "You've been awfully quiet since that jerk came by
this afternoon. You finally gonna tell me what it was all about?"
Jake was silent was a long while, still fiddling with the Glovatrix in his hands. Just when
Chance had made up his mind that Jake wasn't going to tell him, Jake sighed and set the glove
down. He kept his eyes focused on his hands, as if afraid to look up at Chance.
"He's my father," came the soft reply.
Chance was stunned at the revelation. His father? Jake had never talked about his
father, or the rest of his family, for that matter. And he'd just called him a jerk.
"I-I didn't mean jerk, per se," Chance stammered. "I, uh, meant that, well . . ."
He trailed off at the wry smile appearing on Jake's face. "Actually, I'd say jerk is a
fairly accurate description."
Chance waited for Jake to continue. When he didn't, he cleared his throat. "What did
he have to say?"
"The usual." Jake fiddled some more with the weapon in his lap before giving up
altogether. "He came by to let me know just how much of a disappointment I am to the family
because I decided to do what I wanted rather than follow in my father's footsteps and take up
the family business."
"Which is?" Chance prodded.
"Making more money than they know what to do with," Jake replied bitterly. "My dad
owns TeleKat Communications, Inc."
Chances' eyes widened in recognition of the worldwide incorporation that controlled
communication via telephones, computers, radios, and television. If Jake's father owned the
company, then that meant . . .
"You mean to tell me that you're worth over fifty billion dollars?" he exclaimed,
Jake scowled, and Chance knew that he'd said the wrong thing. "No, my father is
worth over fifty billion dollars. I, on the other hand, judge my worth on something a bit more
important than money."
"I'm sorry, Jake," Chance said. "I didn't mean it that way. I just . . . why didn't you
tell me any of this?"
"Mostly for the reason you just did what you did," Jake told him. "If everyone knew
who my father was, they'd all treat me differently. I wouldn't know who was being sincere,
who would like me for who I was rather than how much money my father makes. I couldn't
stand it growing up, and decided to do everything I could to stay away from my father and his
"But . . . your name . . . surely people would make the connection," Chance protested.
"That's just it," Jake said. "No one would ever suspect that the son of a multi-
billionaire works in a junkyard putting cars back together. Besides, he just tells everyone that
I'm out of the country. Since we don't talk, his associates have no reason to doubt him."
Chance was silent for several minutes, processing all of this new information. "Why did
he come here, though? He must have had a reason."
Jake finally looked up at Chance, and Chance was shocked at the depth of the pain
evident in the younger kat's eyes.
"I told you," Jake said. "All he wanted to do was come down here and prove to me,
and himself, that he was right. I am a disappointment. I'm not a success like he is, I don't
make as much money as he does, and I've wasted my life away. I'm his only child, and I've
failed him. And he just came down here to rub my face in it."
Chance was shocked. Was Jake's father so callous that he would destroy his only
child? Looking into Jake's hurt eyes, Chance knew the answer.
"Jake, you're not a failure," he said. "Just because you don't do what he does doesn't
mean you aren't successful. Sure, you don't make as much money as he does, and you're not
as widely known, but you're doing what you want to do with your life. You've decided that
who you are is more important to you than how much you make. And not only that, you are
fully half of the best partnership that goes around the city saving the life of every single citizen in
it. Those people certainly don't see you as a disappointment, and, well, I personally think that
makes you more successful than your father. And the next time you see him, you should tell him
where to stick his accusations, because I think they're a load of crud."
Jake was staring down at his hands once more, blushing furiously at Chance's
impassionate speech. "Thanks, buddy," he mumbled.
Chance clapped Jake on the back and drew him into a one-armed hug. "Don't listen to
him, all right? Although, you certainly have been productive today . . ."
Jake let out a sharp bark of laughter and shoved Chance to the other side of the couch.
"Don't even think about it. If we're this far ahead, then I might just take tomorrow off."
"That depends on whether or not duty calls," Chance shot back, throwing the pillow
that sat on the couch at Jake.
Jake grunted and grabbed another pillow, and soon the two of them were involved in a
violent pillow fight. Chance, glad to have pulled Jake out of his somber mood, laughed as he
nailed him in the head with his pillow. Jake feinted left, dove to the right, swung around and
swept Chance's feet out from under him. Chance let out a startled breath of air as he hit the
ground and looked up at Jake's triumphant smiling face.
"You cheated!" he accused playfully.
"You should know better than to mess with a SWAT Kat," Jake taunted.
Chance rolled backwards and leapt to his feet. Seizing Jake's arm, he swung the
younger kat around until he was holding Jake in a half nelson. "I think that goes double for you,
pal." He began to rub his knuckles against the top of Jake's head, his massive arms holding the
thinner kat still as he squirmed.
"Ah! No! Lemme go! Chance!"
"Who's the tougher kat?" Chance taunted.
"I am, of course. Ow! Hey!" Jake cried out.
"Tell me what I want to hear and I'll let you go," Chance sing-songed.
Instead, Jake placed his left foot behind Chance, twisted sharply to the right, snagged
Chance's right arm, and swung him down to the ground. It all happened so quickly that, before
Chance knew it, he was lying on his stomach on the floor, Jake pressing a knee lightly into his
"I said I was the best, and I meant it," Jake crowed.
Chance spun onto his back, grabbed Jake's knee, and swung him down onto the
ground, pinning him there. "Fine. I call a tie. Let's just clean up this mess you made and call it
a night. I'm beat."
He stood and extended a hand down to Jake, who accepted it and stood. "You're
getting old, Chance."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever," Chance said good-naturedly. "It's a full time job just keeping
you in line. That's enough to wear anybody out."
Laughing, the two friends gathered the weapons and other assorted object from the
living room, stowed them in the hangar to be taken care of later, and went their separate ways
to find peace in their slumber.
Under the cover of night, the figure in the large office switched on his computer and
typed in a command. The soft glow from the machine lit his features as it worked to obey its
master's wishes. T.K. Karda sat back comfortably in his chair as the information he requested
"If that self-indulged, pompous old fool does as he's told, then my plan will be on its
way to fruition," he muttered to himself. He paged through the information on the computer
screen until he came across the profile he was looking for.
"Such a promising young kat," he said. "Once I have him under my control, nothing can
stop me from taking over Megakat City!"
Maniacal laughter, soft at first, filled the office until it crescendoed out into the hall.
Christopher Clawson guided his car back along the vaguely familiar path back to the
salvage yard where his son worked the following morning. He would have to be careful in his
conversation if he wanted to convince Jake to work for this newest associate of his. Clawson
scowled, his face becoming dark. This would be one investment Jake wouldn't screw up.
Clawson would see to it that nothing stood in the way of this new deal.
He parked his car out of sight of the garage and softly padded over to where the sounds
of metal clanking and loud conversations could be heard. He watched in silence, unwilling to
give away his presence until absolutely necessary. He used the time wisely to study his son,
now so foreign to him, and the bigger kat Jake called a friend.
"C'mon, Chance, quit clowning around!" Jake called out from beneath a blue pickup
truck. "We have to get this done before noon if we want Mr. Talson to pay us!"
"Aw, relax, Jake!" the larger kat, Chance, shot back. "You busted your tail all day
yesterday. Take a break. It's not gonna kill ya. Besides; it's seven o'clock in the morning!
We have plenty of time!"
Jake slid out from beneath the truck to glower at his friend good-naturedly. "Chance,
the last time you said that, we ended up with three weeks of back-orders and lost a lot of
business with disgruntled customers!"
Chance shrugged. "Hey, how was I to know that the Metallikats and Dr. Viper were
going to wreak havoc on the city?" He visibly shuddered. "Boy, can those two do a lot of
damage . . ." He trailed off at the look of surprise, annoyance, and anger on his friend's face.
"Jake? What's wrong, buddy?"
He followed Jake's gaze to find Clawson standing, almost hidden, behind him.
Remembering Jake's words and the look of despair on Jake's face the night before, Chance
bristled and moved in between the two kats.
"Look, mister, we don't want any trouble, so you better leave now," he warned.
Clawson ignored him. "Good morning, Jake."
Jake said nothing.
Clawson took a step forward. "I want to speak with you." He finally looked at
"Anything you have to say to Jake, you can say to me," Chance answered for his best
friend confidently. Jake still said nothing.
Clawson stared at Chance silently, hoping to win the stalemate by sheer stubborn pride,
but Chance refused to back down. Sighing, Clawson gave in.
"I have an offer for you . . ." he began.
Jake was so soft-spoken that at first Clawson wasn't sure he'd spoken. He continued
as though he hadn't.
"It seems as though this new client of mine is aware of your talent, and he would like to
offer you a very respectable position in his company," he stated. "This is a once in a lifetime
offer, Jake. You'd have to be an idiot to let this one get away."
"Then call me an idiot," Jake replied sharply, standing. "I already told you that I don't
want to work for you. I don't want to be a part of that world. I never did. Why don't you just
accept that and leave me alone? It would make both of our lives much easier."
Clawson tried to step closer to his son, but Chance quickly blocked the path, fixing the
older kat with a warning glare. Clawson tossed him an annoyed look, then turned back to his
son. "Jake, I'm not going to let you throw your life away like this. Whether you want it or not,
the job is yours. I agreed to that in the contract."
Chance's jaw dropped in shock. His surprise allowed Clawson to push past him and
storm over to his son, grabbing him by the arm. "You are going to work for T.K. Karda, and
you are going over there right now."
Jake was too stunned to pull free. "You sold me? You sold your only child to the
closest bidder? I can't believe you, Dad! This is a new low, even for you!"
Clawson tightened his grip on Jake's arm painfully and shook him. "Don't embarrass
me, Jacob! I am your father, and you will do as I say! I won't lose this deal because of your
"My selfishness?" Jake echoed, incredulous.
Anger got the better of Clawson, and he backhanded Jake as hard as he could. His
thick gold ring on his free right hand sliced along Jake's cheek, leaving a crimson line of blood in
Before either father or son could react, Clawson felt a large hand grab a handful of his
suit at the nape of his neck and haul him to the tips of his toes. Still gripping Jake's arm,
Clawson turned his head to stare at one of the most frightening things he had ever seen in his life.
Chance Furlong's face was mere inches from his. His normally soft and playful eyes
were cold and hard with murderous fury. His teeth were bared, and Clawson could see each
and every canine as the furious kat spoke only three words.
"Let . . . him . . . go."
More from reaction than conscious thought, Clawson released his son. Jake staggered
away from the two and, with barely a look at his father, turned and ran into his home.
Chance traded his grip on the back of Clawson's suit for another tight handhold of his
lapels and brought the older kat nose-to-nose.
"If I ever see your miserable face around here or anywhere near my best buddy again, I
will kick your tail all the way back to your headquarters," he hissed. "Do I make myself clear?"
Clawson nodded, shocked at the sheer force behind Chance's words. Chance held
him for a moment longer as if to drive his point home, then shoved Clawson back in the
direction of his car. Clawson stumbled, but quickly recovered and backed away from Chance.
"This isn't over!" he shouted. "Not by a long shot!"
Chance folded his arms and waited until he saw Clawson enter his car and leave the
salvage yard before turning and heading after Jake.
He found the younger kat in sitting in his hammock in his room, staring blankly at the
wall. He didn't make any move to acknowledge Chance as he entered,
"Hey, buddy," Chance said softly. "You okay?"
Jake slowly closed his eyes and looked down at his lap. "I thought it was over," he
whispered. "I mean, I thought that, once I left home, it would all be over. I wouldn't have to
put up with him anymore. And now he's back, and it's like I'm a kid all over again."
"Did . . . did he do stuff like that before?" Chance asked gently, not quite sure he
wanted to know the answer.
Jake shrugged, still not looking up. "Not all the time. Usually, he'd just ground me, or
send me to my room, or do something he knew would hurt me. He only did the physical stuff
when he knew there was nothing else he could do to hurt me. It only happened once or twice
that I can remember."
He let out an exasperated huff and jumped to his feet, pacing his room with long strides.
"What is wrong with this picture? I'm a SWAT Kat, for crying out loud! I've faced down
Dark Kat, the Metallikats, Dr. Viper, tons of other bad guys! I'm a trained Enforcer, too!
And I still can't stand up to my own father! What is wrong with me?"
"Nothing is wrong with you," Chance argued. "This is your father, buddy, and I use
that term loosely. This guy knows you better than those other villains, which makes it personal.
And there's nothing scarier than having to face down a personal demon. But you don't have to
do it alone. I'm not letting that creep get within fifty feet of you."
Jake smiled faintly. "Thanks," he mumbled.
Chance stood and slapped Jake on the back. "What're friends for? Now let's go get
that cut taken care of. Can't have you bleeding all over Mr. Talson's Frontier, now can we?"
Jake's smile widened the tiniest bit, and he allowed himself to be led to the kitchen
table, where Chance pushed him into a chair. As his friend rummaged through the medicine
cabinet in the bathroom for first aid supplies, Jake's mind wandered back to the first part of his
conversation with his father.
* Whether you want it or not, the job is yours. I agreed to that in the contract. *
Had his father really sold him? Did Jake mean so little to Clawson that the older kat
wouldn't think twice about giving his son away to the quickest bidder?
And who was T.K. Karda? Jake couldn't remember ever hearing the name before. As
Chance returned with disinfectant and a bandage, he looked up at the older kat and asked,
"Chance? Have you ever heard of T.K. Karda?"
Chance frowned as he shook some disinfectant onto a cloth and began to lightly dab at
the cut on Jake's cheek. "It isn't ringing any bells. Why do you ask?"
Jake winced as the cut stung from the medication. "Dad said that he signed me over to
him, and he only partners up with the richest men in the world. You would think that there
would have been some mention of Karda somewhere, wouldn't you?"
Chance set the disinfectant down and unwrapped the bandage. As he placed it over
Jake's cut, he replied, "Maybe he's so rich that he's managed to keep his name from being
known by just anybody. I wouldn't worry about it too much, pal. As soon as your old man
realizes that you don't want anything to do with him, he'll be gone."
Jake appreciated Chance's words, but deep down, he knew that his problem with his
father was far from over.
It was just beginning.
Clawson drove through the streets of Megakat City, his anger with his son clouding all
other thoughts from his mind. Each time he thought about Jake's reaction, as well as Jake's
friend, a fresh wave of anger rolled through him.
How dare they? Christopher Clawson was far richer and well known than those two . .
. nobodies. How dare they treat him with such disrespect? He would teach them. Jake would
do as he said. He would see to that.
He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn't notice small dark creatures flying over his
car until one landed directly on top of his hood. Startled, Clawson swerved his car into the
tunnel directly ahead, smashing into the wall. As he shook the cobwebs out of his head,
Clawson heard the creatures tittering around him, and he locked his doors. A glance out the
window told him that the city was infested with hundreds of the tiny creatures, all wreaking
havoc on other hapless citizens. Clawson shrunk low in his seat, hoping none of the creatures
would try to get into the car and at him.
"Where's help when you need it?" he muttered to himself.
The sound of the alarm in their hangar broke through the playful banter that had settled
upon the two kats after Clawson had left. The two raced to the hangar to answer the call that
was coming from Callie Briggs, the city's deputy mayor.
"Yes, Miss Briggs?" Chance answered, affecting the voice of his counterpart, T-Bone.
"Swat Kats!" Briggs' voice cried out over the comm link. "Dark Kat's creeplings are
loose in the city! We need your help!"
"Dark Kat!" Jake, or Razor, exclaimed. "What's he up to now?"
"That's just it," Briggs told them. "There's been no sign of him. He hasn't called up to
gloat, there's been no threats, nothing! It's almost as if the creeplings are acting on their own!"
"I wouldn't write off Dark Kat just yet," T-Bone growled. "We're on our way, Miss
Briggs." Switching off the communication link, he turned to Razor and grinned ferally.
"Let's hit it!" he exclaimed.
Within minutes, the roar of the Turbokat's engines could be heard in the skies over
Megakat City. The sleek custom-designed jet soared gracefully above, scanning the city and
deciding where best to start.
"Crud!" T-Bone cried out. "They're all over the place! Where do you want to start,
Razor switched on his targeting radar and scanned the city below them. "Let's start
with city hall. There seems to be more of them there together than anywhere else."
"You got it." T-Bone expertly guided the jet toward the tall city building, weaving
around other skyscrapers in order to get close enough for Razor to shoot.
Pulling up his inventory, Razor selected a missile most likely to neutralize the threat
without destroying the building in the process. Taking careful aim, he cried out, "Cement
The missiles soared through the sky, heading directly for the large group of creeplings
clinging to the walls of the tall building. With precision aiming, the missiles struck their target,
covering the creeplings in the gooey cement and affixing them to the wall.
"Bingo!" Razor yelled.
"Way to go, Sureshot!" T-Bone called back, grinning. "Where to next?"
Razor scanned the city, not liking what he saw. "There's too many of them for both of
us to do any good from up here. We're going to have to split up."
T-Bone nodded grimly. "All right. Maintain radio contact at all times. Good luck,
"You too," Razor replied as he left the copilot seat behind T-Bone and moved back
into the jet. T-Bone counted to three, and right on time, came Razor's call.
T-Bone watched the descent of the motorcycle until it hit the ground and began to
speed along the road, weaving in and out of obstacles thrown into his path. More or less
certain that his partner was all right, T-Bone pulled up and headed in the opposite direction from
"I'm heading toward Enforcer headquarters," T-Bone stated. "I'm reading a lot of
creepling activity over there."
"Say hello to Feral for me while you're at it," Razor replied.
"Roger," T-Bone grinned.
Razor guided the cyclotron down the street, dodging the creeplings as they darted out in
front of him. As they became aware of his presence, they tried to stop him. Razor effortlessly
subdued and dodged them as he continued toward Megakat tunnel, where a group of creeplings
was registering on his radar.
Just as Razor entered the tunnel, one creepling appeared out of nowhere and attached
itself to Razor, covering his eyes. Razor cried out and swerved, trying to dislodge the creature.
The creepling leapt off of Razor in time for Razor to see a vaguely familiar car directly in front of
him. Razor didn't have time to even yell as the cyclotron crashed into the car, sending the small
kat over the car to land on the ground several feet away. Razor groaned, feeling pain radiate
throughout his entire body, mostly in his left arm. A sound coming from the car caused him to
push aside his pain and leap to his feet, prepared to fight.
A head appeared from beneath the window inside the car, looking away from Razor at
the cyclotron. Razor's jaw dropped when he recognized his father. Recovering quickly, he
aimed his Glovatrix at the group of creeplings swarming around the car and cyclotron.
"Cement launchers away!" he cried.
The missiles ejected from the glove, striking the creatures and covering them in the
cement from the missiles. Clawson's head whipped around and stared in shock at the strangely
clothed vigilante who had just rescued him from the unusual creeplings.
"Who the hell are you?" he demanded, fighting to extricate himself from his car, as most
of it was covered with cement and unconscious creeplings. "Look at what you did to my car!
You'll pay for this! Do you have any idea who I am?"
Razor chose to ignore him and went to check on his cyclotron. Luckily, the damage
wasn't too bad. A crumpled wheel, some surface damage, nothing that couldn't be fixed in a
day or two. His father's car, on the other hand, suffered from the impact from the reinforced
steel Razor had built the cyclotron out of. Most of the side of the car was dented in badly, and
would need to be pounded out before any other examination could be done.
Clawson stormed up to the quiet kat and, gripping his arm, spun the kat around to face
him. "Listen, you little-." His eyes widened, his voice trailing off as he saw the small, indistinct
bandage on the kat's right cheek. His eyes traveled up to the kat's mask, eyes glowing as they
hid his shock and fear.
"Oh my God . . ." Clawson muttered.
The strange kat wrenched his arm free and backed away from Clawson, his gaze
narrowed and distant. He turned his back on Clawson and moved to pick up his cyclotron
when Clawson's voice sent cold shivers up his spine.
"Jake, what in the hell do you think you're doing? Dressed in such a ridiculous getup
like that? Oh, God, does anyone else know you do this?"
Razor felt panic seep into his bones at the discovery of his alternate identity. After
disguising himself so that no one else in the city knew who he was, his cover, as well as T-
Bone's, was blown. Hoping to salvage some dignity, he pretended not to understand.
"I don't know what you're talking about," he replied sharply, straightening the
cyclotron. "My name is Razor. Are you always this thankful when someone saves your life?"
Clawson's expression hardened. "Don't lie to me. Oh, God, this will humiliate me if
my associates find out! Jacob, I forbid you from dressing and behaving like an idiot!"
Razor let out a humorless laugh, knowing by now there would be nothing he could say
that would convince Clawson that he wasn't his son. "You forbid me? Like you sold me to
your business partner. Sorry, but you lost the right to tell me what to do when you stopped
treating me like your son and started acting like I was your property."
"I refuse to argue with you over this," Clawson stated. "You are my son, and you will
The two were so wrapped up in arguing with one another that they failed to see more
creeplings sneaking into the tunnel and surrounding them until it was too late. Razor whirled
around, bringing his Glovatrix up to aim at several of them when they jumped on him, biting and
tearing him. Razor cried out in pain, trying to shake them off, but there were too many of them.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a tall, dark figure emerge from the shadows, aiming a
weapon at him. The figure squeezed the trigger, and a long wire leapt out and attached to
Razor's suit, clamping into his skin. Razor let out a loud howl as he felt volts of electricity surge
through his body without relenting. The last thing he remembered before sinking into darkness
was the face of his attacker.
Minutes before, T-Bone swept across the sky over Enforcers Headquarters, shooting
out octopus missiles, having long since run out of cement launchers. He let another whoop as
his missiles hit more creeplings. He wasn't anywhere near the marksman Razor was, but he
was still better than most.
"Swat Kats, you are under arrest for interfering in Enforcer matters!" Commander
Feral, head of the Enforcers, boomed over T-Bone's radio.
"Give it a rest, Feral," T-Bone shot back. "When are you going to realize we're on the
Hearing Feral sputter on the other end of the line brought a grin to T-Bone's face. He
sent off the last missile, finishing off the last of the creeplings, and flew high into the air.
"They're all yours now, Feral," T-Bone called to him as a farewell.
Ignoring Feral's demands of surrender, T-Bone homed in on Razor's signal and pointed
the jet towards him.
"Hey, Razor, buddy, come in," he said. "I'm heading towards you to pick you up."
T-Bone frowned. "Razor? Do you copy?"
T-Bone gritted his teeth and urged the jet to go faster. A million and one scenarios
played through his mind as to what could possibly have happened to keep Razor from
responding, none of them good. His worry grew the nearer he drew to Razor's signal.
When he flew over the Megakat tunnel, he saw that he had overshot the signal.
Realizing that Razor was in the tunnel, T-Bone put the jet on standby and moved to the rear.
Attaching the winch and cable to his belt, T-Bone opened the hatch and lowered himself to the
ground just out of sight from anyone who might be in the tunnel with his partner. He had just
detached the cable and sent the Turbokat to a safe hideout via remote control when he heard a
scream of excruciating pain. A cold wind blew through T-Bone when he recognized the voice
as belonging to Razor.
Forgoing any thought of his own safety, he rushed into the tunnel and found Razor on
the ground, not out cold but still reacting to whatever the cable attached to him was doing. On
the other end of the cable was Dark Kat, laughing maniacally. Next to him, in shock, stood
"Hey! Dark Crud! How about you pick on somebody who can fight back?" T-Bone
Dark Kat turned to face his new adversary, but kept the cable attached to Razor. "Ah,
the other one. I was expecting you."
He finally pushed a button on his gun, retracting the cable. With a slight whimper from
the unconscious kat, Razor fell limp. This enraged T-Bone, and he fell into a defensive crouch.
"Creeplings!" Dark Kat shouted. "Attack!"
T-Bone saw them coming and quickly disabled several using missiles from his Glovatrix.
Seeing more coming for him, he dove into a low roll and came up next to the cyclotron.
Mounting the cycle, T-Bone activated the net missile Razor had recently installed. The rest of
the creeplings fell into a heap, trapped underneath the net. T-Bone moved away from the
cyclotron and turned to see Dark Kat hovering over Razor. Anger boiled over in T-Bone's
blood, and he aimed his Glovatrix at the tall kat.
"Get away from my partner," he growled, his voice so cold it even startled himself.
Dark Kat paused and sneered at T-Bone. "What do you plan on doing to me if I
T-Bone's eyes narrowed. As Dark Kat reached a hand down to Razor's still form, T-
Bone fired octopus missiles at him. The missiles struck Dark Kat, sending him flying back to the
ground several feet away. As he fought to untangle himself, T-Bone walked slowly up to the
trapped kat, placing himself between Razor and the threat.
"You're finished, Dark Crud," he stated icily. "Give it up."
"I don't think so, Swat Kat," Dark Kat replied, all too calmly. In his hand, he held up a
tiny ball. Before T-Bone could react, Dark Kat threw it at T-Bone's feet. Smoke and an acrid
stench burst from the tiny ball, causing T-Bone to stumble back, choking. Moving protectively
to Razor's side, T-Bone found his oxygen mask and put it on. Doing the same for Razor, T-
Bone finally looked up to where Dark Kat had been. All that remained were parts from the
octopus missiles that had held Dark Kat captive.
Another sound drew T-Bone's attention away from his partner. Clawson was on his
knees by his car, choking on the gas Dark Kat had released. His eyes narrowed; he wanted
nothing more than to deal with the other kat for hurting his friend, but his concern for Razor
overrode his own desires. Razor hadn't moved or made a sound since being released from
Dark Kat's weapon. The smoke gradually clearing, T-Bone scooped Razor into his arms and
carried him to the cyclotron. Sitting carefully on the cycle, T-Bone arranged Razor comfortably
in front of him.
A hand clamped down on his arm, bringing T-Bone's fighting instincts to the fore. His
head whipped around to glare at the new threat to him and his hapless partner.
Clawson released T-Bone's arm and stumbled back several steps. Recovering, he
straightened and tried to affect a look of dignity.
"Where do you think you're going?" he demanded.
T-Bone snarled at the older kat. "My partner's hurt. I'm taking him to get help."
"My son doesn't need help!" Clawson shouted, outraged. "He'll be fine! I'm the one
who needs help! Look at my car!"
T-Bone's eyes narrowed. "Your son? You don't sound anything like his father, more
concerned for your own safety than his. I'm leaving, and taking Razor with me."
"You're not just going to leave me here, are you?" Clawson demanded.
T-Bone gunned the engine and took off from the tunnel, leaving Clawson sputtering
behind him. He looked down at Razor as he guided the cyclotron towards where he had
hidden the Turbokat. Now that the threats had been neutralized, T-Bone was free to worry
over his partner.
Razor moaned lightly and shifted restlessly in T-Bone's arms. His fur seemed duller
than normal, somehow more pale. His face was twisted in a grimace, and his body seemed
"Hang in there, buddy," T-Bone muttered as he picked up some speed. "We'll be
back home in no time. Just hang on."
T.K. Karda stormed into his office, furious. He slammed his door shut and stalked over
to the windows on the other side of his office.
He'd had the chance to recruit a new member into his organization. One just as smart
as Jake Clawson, if not more so. Unfortunately, other . . . matters . . . had interfered, and the
candidate had slipped through his fingers.
No matter. The second candidate wasn't very reliable. Besides; he still had Jake
Clawson, just as soon as his father sent him his way. Jake would be all he needed to finish his
plan to take over Megakat City.
White-hot pain was the first thing to welcome Jake's return to consciousness. He
moaned involuntarily when a slight movement of his head sent thin fingers of pain through his
"Hey, you're awake! Don't move, you're probably still feeling the energy weapon
Dark Crud shot you with."
Jake opened his eyes to slits, squinting through the bright light shining overhead. As his
eyes adjusted, he could make out the form of Chance's relieved face hovering over him.
"Chance . . .?"
Chance sighed, glad that Jake was finally awake. He had been beside himself with
worry when he refused to respond, despite everything Chance had tried to get him to awaken.
"You really had me worried there, buddy. How do you feel?"
Jake winced as he forced himself to sit up, finding himself in his hammock. "Lousy," he
rasped. Gratefully accepting the glass of water Chance offered him, he gulped the contents
down quickly. "What happened? How did I get here?"
Chance sat down on the hammock beside Jake's hip. "I was kind of hoping you could
help me out there. I got to the tunnel just as Dark Crud hit you with that energy weapon of his.
I almost had him, but he got away. Er . . . your dad knows it's you. How?"
Jake scowled. "I know. I think he saw the bandage on my face and recognized it was
me. Good thing for us, it humiliates him that I'm a Swat Kat, so I think our identities are safe."
He raised his left arm to rub his head, but winced at the pain it sent through him. Chance
immediately became concerned.
"What is it?" he demanded.
Jake shook his head. "Nothing. I think I twisted up my arm when I fell of the cyclotron
. . ." His voice trailed off, his eyes widening. "Crud! The cyclotron! I've got to get it fixed
He cut himself off as he tried to stand, but winced at the residual pain still lingering.
Chance tried to stop him, but Jake pushed him back with his left hand.
Jake let out a cry he couldn't hold back and clutched at his left arm, sinking back onto
the hammock. Chance stood and gently pushed him onto his back, the concern never leaving
"Jake, you're in no condition to go anywhere or do anything," he said. "Don't worry
about the cyclotron. It just needed a new wheel and some buffing. I took care of it yesterday
after I took care of you. Just rest."
Jake's brow furrowed. "Yesterday?"
Chance nodded. "That's why I was so worried. You were so out of it that I couldn't
wake you up. Which is why you aren't even going to think about leaving your bed until I say
so. Understood? And if that arm doesn't feel better by then, I am taking you to the hospital."
Jake scowled, but deep down, he felt warmed by his friend's concern for him. Closing
his eyes, he allowed himself to drift back to a more comfortable sleep.
Clawson paced about his suite in the luxury hotel where he was staying while in town.
He had had his car towed, and he had to be brought back to his suite while his car was being
fixed. His mind was spinning with all of the new information he'd received that day.
His son, the masked vigilante.
A strange man with a familiar voice, attacking his son.
Another masked vigilante, coming to his son's rescue. Was he the same kat Jake
worked with at the salvage yard?
Clawson shook his head. No matter what the situation, the bottom line remained the
same. He needed to get Jake to Karda to work, regardless of the method. The last time he
saw his son, he was injured. If he could find some way to get the larger kat out of the garage,
then it would be easy to get his son out and to Karda. He would just need a little help.
Coming to a decision, Clawson crossed the room and picked up the phone. Dialing a
number he used on occasion, he waited for the other person to pick up.
"Research and Resources, Inc. How may I help you?"
"Put me through to Switch, please," Clawson said.
Clawson waited several moments before he heard a tomkat's voice on the other end
"I've got another job for you."
"Ten thousand up front, another five when the job is done. Cash."
Clawson smiled grimly. "I need you to help me persuade someone to work for me.
Can you do it?"
"Chance and Jake's Salvage, Megakat City," Clawson answered promptly.
"Meet you there at ten tomorrow morning." With that, the line was severed.
Clawson put down his phone and took a deep breath. He used Switch for several
business ventures, but never before for family problems. Brushing aside his concerns, Clawson
went to his desk and began leafing through papers. Now he needed to figure out how to get
Jake alone, and where to bring him.
"Chance, knock it off, I'm fine!"
"Jake, you shouldn't be out of bed yet! You were out cold for twenty-four hours, and
you're still obviously in pain. Get your tail back in bed before I put you back in there myself."
Two pairs of eyes met each other steadily as the two kats faced off, standing in the
garage. Jake stubbornly refused to move, feeling that staying in bed for all of yesterday was
more than sufficient. He tried to straighten his posture and dropped his hand from his left arm,
hoping to show Chance that he wasn't in as much pain as he was. However, he couldn't seem
to relax his expression.
Chance stood and moved over to Jake's side. "How would you stop me?"
Jake stepped back, but Chance was faster. He quickly jumped forward and scooped
Jake into a fireman's carry, and carried Jake into the house.
"Chance! Put me down!" Jake yelled.
Chance ignored him as he moved through the house to the living room and placed Jake
carefully on the couch. Throwing a blanket over the younger kat's head, he handed him the TV
remote and folded his arms.
"I already told you twice," he stated. "You aren't going to be doing any work today.
Your arm is still bothering you, and you are still feeling Dark Crud's weapon. I don't think it's
such a good idea for you to be anywhere near heavy machines or electrical appliances. Now
you are going to sit there and get better. Don't make me tie you down, because I will if I have
Jake scowled up at him. "Mother hen. I told you, I'm fine. I don't need to rest."
Chance sighed. "Look, Jake, you didn't wake up after I got you back here the other
day. I couldn't figure out what to do, or what was wrong with you. No matter what I did, you
still didn't get better. You wouldn't wake up. Put yourself in my place. How would you feel?"
Jake frowned down at his hands clasped in his lap. When put that way, he understood
where Chance was coming from. That still didn't make things any easier for him.
"Just do me a favor and sit here and get better," Chance pleaded softly. "It'll make me
The phone rang, temporarily cutting off the conversation. Chance went to answer it.
After a short discussion, he hung up and returned to Jake's side.
"Look, I gotta go to Enforcer Headquarters," he said. "It seems as though they lost
some paperwork about our last payment, and they need me to go straighten it out. I want you
to promise me that you aren't going to get up and try to tinker with anything in the garage. All
"Chance-," Jake tried again.
"Promise me, or I will tie you down," Chance threatened playfully.
Jake huffed, exasperated. "Fine. I promise."
Chance ruffled Jake's fur on the top of his head, laughing as Jake swatted him away.
"I'll be back within the hour. Try not to get into any trouble while I'm gone, all right?"
Jake ignored him and settled under the blanket. He heard the door shut and Chance
drive off, and decided to see if he could find anything decent on television. He had just decided
on a talk show about juvenile delinquents when he heard a car pull into the garage. At first he
thought it was Chance, but then he heard two doors shut.
"Great," Jake muttered, climbing unsteadily to his feet. "We would get customers after
he leaves. Oh well. At least I can get up and move around."
He had just reached the middle of the living room when the door to the garage burst
open, revealing Clawson and three other kats much larger and bulkier than Jake. Jake backed
away from them, his eyes darting to each face.
"What's going on here? What are you doing here?" he demanded.
"I'm sorry, Jake," Clawson said insincerely. "I gave you several chances to come along
quietly. Now I'm going to have to take you by force."
Jake turned disbelieving eyes on his father. "What? You're kidnapping me?"
The three other kats surged into the room, reaching for him. Jake pushed aside all
feelings of weakness and flipped back out of their reach. Using the couch, he managed to guide
his last flip to the other side, creating a barrier between himself and the intruders.
The intruders spread out, trying to come at Jake from all sides. Jake tipped the coffee
table over and pushed it in the path of one of the kats, causing him to trip. Seizing the nearest
object, which happened to be a wrench, Jake launched it at the second kat. The tool
connected with his head, and he slumped to the floor on top of the first kat, out cold.
The third kat managed to grab a hold of Jake's sleeve, but Jake dropped down and
whirled around, sweeping his foot out. The third kat fell to the ground hard. Jake tried to put
distance between himself and the kat, but the third kat caught hold of Jake's ankle, causing Jake
to fall to the ground. He writhed against the grip, trying to free himself, but to no avail. The
third kat crawled closer, still gripping Jake's ankle. As he knelt over the young kat, he grabbed
his arms and turned him onto his back. Jake let out a howl of pain as the kat tightened his grip
on his left arm.
Jake could dimly hear his father's voice in the background as the blood rushed through
his ears. "Jake, you're only making this harder on yourself. If you'd just come along quietly, it
would be so much easier on you."
Jake's eyes were screwed shut, his breathing harsh. "You mean . . . easier on you," he
managed to pant out.
The kat holding him took his left arm and wrenched it, eliciting a sharp cry from Jake.
"I just want you to do something productive with your life, Jacob," Clawson told him.
"This isn't it."
Knowing how much pain his next actions would cause him, Jake took a deep breath
and held it. In one swift move, he flipped his assailant onto his back, twisted free of his grip,
and leapt to his feet. He avoided the third kat's outstretched slashing hands as he spun away,
heading for the door.
A loud bang filled Jake's ears, followed by searing pain in his lower right calf. He fell to
the ground just a few feet shy of the door. Looking down, he saw a red stain blossoming on his
sweatpants. He found the source of the bang in the form of a smoking gun in Clawson's hand.
Clawson tucked the gun back into his jacket pocket and approached his son on the ground.
"I'm sorry, son," he said, kneeling by Jake. "But this is for your own good."
Breathing hard in pain and fear, Jake tried to move away. Clawson held him down on
the ground and waited for the third kat to approach the two, holding a syringe filled with an
orange fluid. Jake struggled harder, but it was useless. The third kat knelt down and plunged
the needle into Jake's neck, emptying the contents into him. Jake's breathing sped up in fear
and pain, and he tried once more to work his way free, but in the end the fluid won. Within
minutes, he sank down into the depths of oblivion.
Chance stormed back into the pickup truck parked outside of Enforcer Headquarters
and slammed the door shut. He'd driven all the way into the city only to find out that there
wasn't any problem with his and Jake's financial records. Whoever had called him had
obviously meant it as a prank, but why? Chance certainly couldn't find the humor in the act.
He mulled over the phone call as he drove back to the garage. As he parked the truck
and shut it off, his hairs began to stand on end. Something was wrong. Chance couldn't explain
what, or how he knew, but the feeling was the same.
Something was very wrong.
Chance hurried into the garage and through the door to his home, hoping to find Jake
where he'd left him. Watching TV, still feeling he was well enough to work. The sight that
greeted him was enough to scare him out of two of his lives.
The couch was moved out of its usual spot, and the coffee table was on its end. A
wrench was on the floor, with a couple spots of blood next to it. Next to the door was a much
larger stain of blood, along with an empty syringe. Chance ran through the house, praying that
Jake was still somewhere nearby, but a quick search of the hangar confirmed what he already
Jake was gone.
Who had taken him? Chance had only been gone for about half an hour. Whoever had
taken him had to have known that Chance was nowhere near enough to save his friend.
Suddenly, the prank call made perfect sense.
Someone had lured Chance away from the garage, and had waited until the coast was
clear before coming into the garage. With Jake still not fully recovered from the last battle
against Dark Kat, the intruders would have had no problem subduing Jake and taking him with
them. Jake had put up a good fight, but Chance was almost certain that the large bloodstain
belonged to him. Whoever had taken Jake had hurt him.
Fury began to build deep in the pit of Chance's stomach. He knew that there was only
one person who would dare hurt Jake like this.
His mind made up, Chance raced to the hangar to change into his Swat Kat persona.
It was time to settle the situation with Jake's father, once and for all.
Clawson stared directly ahead as Switch drove the car into the dark warehouse where
they were to meet Karda. The other two kats, after having been revived, had already left to
return to wherever Switch had found them. Jake was still out cold in the backseat, wrapped up
in a blanket in case anyone should see him and decide to call the Enforcers.
Once they were all the way into the warehouse, Switch stopped the car and turned it
off. Clawson opened the door and exited the car, searching the building for Karda. "Hello? Is
A tall figure stepped out of the shadows. Clawson could barely make out Karda's
form. "Do you have him?"
Clawson nodded. "Do we have a deal?"
"We do," Karda replied. "Place him in the cart on your right, get in your car, and
Clawson nodded again, and went to the backseat. Carefully, he lifted Jake into his
arms. Part of the blanket fell away, and Clawson could see the look of peace on his son's face,
not unlike when he was a kitten. He carried his son to the cart and gently set him down,
adjusting the blanket around him. He was almost back to the car when he paused. Looking at
Karda, he said, "Will he be all right?"
"I think it's a little late to be worrying about that now, isn't it?" Karda responded. "Get
in the car and leave, or the deal's off."
With only the slightest hesitation, Clawson climbed back into the car and uttered a sharp
command to Switch. The car started up, and was gone in seconds.
Karda hit the control to shut the door to the warehouse, then approached the still form
on the cart. A fit of laughter bubbled out of Karda, echoing in the large building.
Jake moaned and opened his eyes. He saw a tall kat standing over him he had never
seen before, and drew back. "Who are you?"
"Your father calls me Karda," the tall kat replied. "I've read all about you. You're a
bright young kat. You tell me who I am. My alias is T.K. Karda."
Jake frowned, his mind still muddled by the drug he'd been given. T.K. Karda? The
man his father had sold him to? Why did that name bother him so much?
Realization hit him like a bolt of lightning. T.K. Karda was an anagram.
"Dark Kat!" he cried out.
Karda, or Dark Kat, laughed loudly and pulled the mask from his face. "Very good,
Jake. Let's hope you're as bright when I put you to work."
Jake glared at him. "What makes you think I'm going to work for you?"
Dark Kat leaned so close that Jake could feel his hot breath on his face. "Because,
Jacob, if you do not, I will kill you."
Clawson entered his suite and shut and locked the door behind him. He had just given
Switch the rest of his payment, and decided that now was as good a time as any to return home.
Something about what he'd just done was bothering him, but for the life of him, he couldn't
figure out what, or why.
Tossing his gun and keys onto the bed, Clawson moved to the bar. He needed a drink.
A slight breeze from the window drew his attention before he got that far. Hadn't he
shut and locked that window before leaving?
Shrugging, Clawson shut and locked the window. He turned to resume his trek to the
bar when he came face-to-face with one very angry Swat Kat. Startled, Clawson yelled and
fell backwards against the window.
The Swat Kat moved closer until he was inches from Clawson, grabbed the kat by the
lapels of his suit, and held him up against the window. Clawson winced as the act sent pain
through his head.
"Where's my partner?" the Swat Kat snarled.
"I-I don't know wh-what you're talking about," Clawson stammered.
Without answering, T-Bone held Clawson up to the side with one hand, using the other
to unlock and open the window, then pushed Clawson outside the opening so he dangled over
fifty stories high.
"Maybe you didn't understand me," T-Bone said. "Where's . . . my . . . partner?"
"You can't do this!" Clawson yelled shrilly. "This is murder!"
T-Bone leaned close. "They won't be able to prove anything. Trust me. What did you
do with my partner?"
He pretended to release Clawson out the window, but caught him in time. Clawson
cried out in fear.
"No! No! I took him to Karda! I took him to Karda!"
T-Bone hauled him back into the room and brought him nose to nose. "What did you
do to him?"
T-Bone moved to push him back out the window when Clawson let out another yelp.
"No, I'll tell! I'll tell!"
"Talk fast," T-Bone ordered.
Clawson found that he couldn't look into the kat's eyes. "He wouldn't come with me.
I had to make him. If he'd just done as I said, it wouldn't have happened. He brought it on
T-Bone's eyes narrowed. "What did you do?"
Clawson's eyes fell on the gun still on his bed. T-Bone followed his gaze. When he
saw the weapon, he let out a cry of rage and slammed Clawson against the nearest wall.
"He's fine!" Clawson yelled, terrified. "He's okay! I just shot him in the leg! He's
"As far as you know!" T-Bone yelled. "What about this?"
He thrust the syringe into Clawson's face, making him blanch.
"Just a sedative," he replied weakly. "He wasn't going to go quietly."
"Where is he?" T-Bone demanded.
"I left him with Karda at the old car factory warehouse on Sickle Street," Clawson
answered. "If you hurry, you might get there before they leave."
T-Bone snarled at the older kat. "I should throw you out the window right now."
"I want you to pack up and leave town," T-Bone continued. "You will never come
back to Megakat City again. All business transactions will be done from your office back
where you came from. I never want to see you anywhere near Jake again. If I do, you won't
live to regret it. Understood?"
Clawson nodded breathlessly, grateful that he would escape this encounter intact. T-
Bone threw him across the room, then jumped onto the windowsill. Raising his right hand, he
fired grappling hooks, then was hoisted up towards the roof of the building. Clawson ran over
to the window, shut and locked it, then hurried to pack his clothes.
It was time to leave Megakat City.
Jake let out a muffled oomph as Dark Kat dropped him onto the ground in a small
room. The walls were lined with computers and other machines, all blinking and beeping at the
newcomers. Several creeplings were flitting about the room, making noises back at the
machines. Dark Kat swept around Jake to stand in front of him, his gaze taking a quick
inventory of the room.
"What you see in here is the culmination of several months of research and hard work,"
Dark Kat explained to his captive audience. "My previous plans to take over Megakat City
were ingenious, but always thwarted by those infernal Swat Kats. I tried to capture one to help
me, or least keep him from interfering, but my newest plan will succeed regardless."
Jake frowned. Dark Kat had tried to abduct one of them? Was that why he'd been
shot with the energy weapon? He shuddered. If T-Bone hadn't arrived when he had . . .
"I have developed a computer program that is designed to infiltrate other computers in
the city, transferring all power and authority to me," Dark Kat continued. "No one will be able
to withdraw money, buy food, or even survive without my permission."
"That's insane!" Jake cried. "If you infect all of the computers in the city, our economy
and order will fail! There'll be panic in the streets!"
Dark Kat grinned maliciously. "That's the idea. And you are going to make it all
At Jake's bewildered look, Dark Kat continued. "My previous . . . assistant has
encountered a most unfortunate incident that prevents him from being here. But you, little one,
are a much better prize. My last assistant was unable to comprehend or appreciate the genius
behind my plan, and was expendable. You, on the other hand, I'm sure will be able to fix my
"Sounds like you've got it all figured out to me," Jake retorted icily.
Dark Kat lashed out at Jake, his paw striking the injured kat across the face, leaving
behind fresh claw marks leaking blood. "Your insolence will only get you into trouble, little one.
Keep your mouth shut, and you might just live through this thing."
The taller kat whirled around and began to type on one of the computers. "There
seems to be a little snag in the program I have been developing. It's the only thing that stands in
the way of my ruling Megakat City. You are going to fix that for me."
After bringing the program up on the computer, Dark Kat turned and approached Jake.
Grabbing him by the scruff of his neck, he lifted the small kat into the air and dropped him down
onto a chair in front of the screen. Leaning close, Dark Kat grinned evilly.
"And don't try anything funny," he said. "I'll know if you aren't doing your job. You
may be a bright kat, but there are others I could get to help me."
Jake stared into Dark Kat's eyes, trying not to look away from the harshness he saw in
there. A small snick drew his eyes down to his right foot.
A creepling, chattering nonsensically, backed away. Around Jake's ankle was a shiny
silver cuff, chained to the floor under the console he was sitting at. A rough hand grabbed him
under his chin and forced his head back up.
"A little insurance, in case you decide to wander away," Dark Kat told him. Squeezing
Jake's chin a little harder, he released him and, without another word, left the room. The door
swung shut with a loud clank behind him. The creeplings left behind in the room scampered
about, typing on other consoles and speaking to one another in gibberish.
Jake examined the computer in front of him and began to type in some commands,
hoping to see just how much leeway Dark Kat trusted him with. Hopefully, Chance would
back and out in the Turbokat looking for him.
T-Bone guided the Turbokat towards the building that Clawson had indicated. He
gritted his teeth in anger at the thought of his best buddy's no-good father. Tamping down his
fury, T-Bone forced himself to get in control. His anger would not help him here. Jake was hurt
and needed him to be focused.
A beeping sound on his controls jerked his attention back to reality. Callie? Not now!
He was so close . . .
"Yes, Ms. Briggs?" T-Bone answered the call.
"Guess again, buddy."
T-Bone's eyes widened in surprise and relief. "Jake? Are you all right? Did Dark
Crud hurt you? I'm on my way, just hang in there."
"Look, buddy, I don't have much time," came Jake's voice. He sounded strained, and
the thought urged T-Bone to push the Turbokat a little faster. "Dark Crud wants me to fix a
problem in his computer so he can take over Megakat city. The sooner you get here, the
better. Where are you?"
"I'm flying towards the factory your father," T-Bone spit out the word, "said he left
you. ETA six minutes. Hang in there, okay?"
"Not much else I can-." Jake's voice was cut off by the sound of a crash and other
"Jake? Buddy! Are you there!" T-Bone yelled.
Jake didn't answer, but the voice T-Bone did hear sent cold chills up his spine.
"I'll teach you to disobey me!" Crash!
"Jake! Answer me, buddy!" T-Bone felt completely helpless when the communication
link suddenly went dead. Switching off the link on his end, T-Bone pushed the 'Kat even faster.
The jet whined under the intense pressure being put upon it, but T-Bone continued.
"Dark Crud, if you've done anything to him, so help me I'll kill you with my bare
hands," he vowed as the factory appeared in sight.
Jake moaned as he regained consciousness. Opening heavy eyelids, he started when he
saw Dark Kat standing over him, a look of fury on his face. He instinctively began to back
away, stopping when he felt the tug of the cuff around his ankle holding him still. Glancing
around, Jake saw that he was still in the computer room.
Dark Kat leaned down and seized Jake by the front of his shirt and held him so that he
was only inches away.
"You disappoint me, little one," Dark Kat growled. "Disobeying me the minute I leave
the room. You made me break one of my computers."
Jake had the briefest flash of memory of him flying into the computer screen as Dark
Kat flung him aside, but the image was quickly swept away.
"Of course, what else could I expect?" Dark Kat continued. "After all, I just put a
technological genius in a room filled with computers and left him alone. Rest assured, I will not
make that mistake again."
Dropping Jake onto his chair, Dark Kat took hold of Jake's still very tender left arm
with both paws and twisted as hard as he could. Jake let out a yell of pain as he felt the bone
snap like a twig. As Dark Kat released his arm, Jake cradled it and curled into a ball, fighting
back the waves of nausea rolling over him.
"You will not get a second chance," Dark Kat said in a low, threatening voice. "Get to
Folding his arms, Dark Kat remained behind Jake's chair. Swallowing heavily, Jake
forced himself to uncurl and, keeping his broken arm pressed tightly to his stomach, began to
hunt and peck out the keys before him. It only took him five minutes to uncover the problem,
and another ten to figure out how to correct it, but Jake didn't let on his discovery. He needed
to buy time until T-Bone arrived.
"You've made a real mess of this system," Jake commented, not quite keeping the
anger from his voice. "It's gonna take a long time to clean this all up."
"For your sake, it better not," Dark Kat threatened.
Jake ignored him and continued to type, leaving more mistakes in his wake. By the time
he was done with Dark Kat's program, he'd never get it up off of the ground.
T-Bone set the Turbokat as gently as possible down on the roof of the factory and slid
to the ground. Fear for his friend's safety put wings on his feet, and he hurried down into the
building and began to search around.
Holding his Glovatrix up, he activated the heat sensors Razor had installed and slowly
turned in a circle, scanning his surroundings. Seeing that there was nothing big enough to be his
partner or his partner's captors, T-Bone moved deeper into the building.
Several close calls with creeplings later, T-Bone could hear the sound of someone
typing away at a keyboard. Moving his sensor toward the sound, T-Bone saw two large
shapes, and several smaller ones.
"Bingo," T-Bone muttered, retracting the sensor and bringing up the inventory of his
weapons. As stealthy as a panther, T-Bone made his way to the door and peered inside.
Dark Kat loomed in the center of the room, examining the images flashing on one of the
screens on the wall. Another screen was broken, its spider webs extending from a single large
crack in the center. T-Bone couldn't see Jake anywhere, but the clacking of keys told him that
his friend was in the room.
T-Bone tried to move back silently, but the door he was looking around moved
forward, creaking loudly in the near silence. Dark Kat whirled around to face the intruder,
revealing Jake hunched over the keyboard, obviously favoring an injured limb.
"The Swat Kats!" Dark Kat cried out. "Get them!"
T-Bone raised his Glovatrix and aimed at Dark Kat. "Cement launchers away!"
The named missiles shot out of the glove and connected with their intended target.
Dark Kat flew back against the computer, trapped against the screen by the cement.
T-Bone turned his attention to the creeplings that were beginning to swarm around him.
"C'mon, Jake! Let's get out of here!"
Jake tried to stand, but the loss of blood caused him to sag back into his chair. A
rattling reminded him of his cuff.
"I can't!" Jake called out. "I'm stuck!"
Tossing a creepling into the wall, T-Bone glanced over to Dark Kat and saw that he
had almost worked his way free. Taking careful aim, T-Bone shouted out, "Turbo blades
True to his aim, the blades sliced through the chains holding Jake captive, slicing them
neatly in half. Jake stumbled to his feet and limped over to the Swat Kat.
"How're you doing?" T-Bone asked, tossing aside the last of the creeplings.
"Never better," Jake gasped, fighting back the pain. "Let's get out of here."
T-Bone examined Jake's condition and knew he would never make it out on his own
two feet. Bracing himself for the argument he knew his action would cause, T-Bone grabbed
Jake and swung him over his shoulder before high-tailing it toward the roof.
"T-Bone! What do you think you're doing?" Jake yelled.
"Getting us out of here as fast as possible!" T-Bone shot back. "Hang on!"
T-Bone raced up stairs and turned numerous corners before he found himself back on
the roof with the Turbokat. Before he could take another step, Dark Kat appeared before
them, blocking the way.
"You won't leave this building alive, Swat Kat," he growled menacingly.
"Watch me, Dark Crud," T-Bone replied, baring his teeth.
"Creeplings! Attack!" Dark Kat ordered.
T-Bone gently set Jake on the ground and turned to face the oncoming attack. The
creeplings swarmed forward, all clawing and biting T-Bone. Unnoticed, Jake inched back
around a ventilation duct and out of sight.
He had to find some way to help T-Bone. While he could take on his share of
creeplings, there was also Dark Kat to consider. T-Bone needed his partner.
Standing on shaky legs, Jake snuck around the battle to the other side of the Turbokat,
and inside. Quickly finding a spare suit in the cargo hold, along with another Glovatrix, Jake
dressed and snuck back out to make an appearance in the battle.
Meanwhile, T-Bone had been wrestled to the ground by the creeplings and was fighting
to right himself. Dark Kat hovered over him, a triumphant grin spread over his face.
"Where's that useless partner of yours now, Swat Kat?" he gloated.
"Right behind you."
Dark Kat spun around in time to be swallowed by a giant net. Razor stood behind him,
his Glovatrix arm still raised.
"You're finished, Dark Kat," Razor stated, glaring at the tall kat.
With renewed strength, T-Bone surged to his feet, the creeplings falling away and
scattering. Seeing that he was outnumbered, Dark Kat reached into his cloak.
"Not quite, Swat Kats." Faster than either kat could react, Dark Kat sliced the net
open and leapt to his feet. "We'll meet again. Count on that." He threw something at his feet,
which exploded in a burst of smoke. Both Swat Kats doubled over, choking and gasping for
air. When the smoke cleared, the Swat Kats were alone.
"Crud!" Razor shouted. "He got away again!"
"Yeah," T-Bone agreed. "But at least he got away empty-handed. C'mon, buddy.
We need to make a stop at the hospital on our way home."
He walked over to Razor and slung Razor's uninjured arm over his shoulder.
"I don't suppose I could talk you out of it," Razor said, half-joking as they began to
walk back to the 'Kat.
"I don't suppose you'll be able to stay put and rest till you heal up," T-Bone shot back.
Razor groaned. "T-Bone . . ."
"Don't mess with me, buddy. I'm a Swat Kat."
"But I'm still tougher."