Author: Kristen Sharpe
Date: September 13, 2017
Disclaimer: SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron, its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission.
Author's Note: Just a little short written as it's around the anniversary of SWAT Kats' first airdate.
"There's enough military salvage here to build our own jet. To get back in the air and back at Dark Kat. And, all the other criminal scum who rear their ugly heads in MegaKat City."
With his best friend's brilliant, impossible scheme dancing in his head, Chance Furlong felt fired up for the first time in days. For the first time since Feral tossed them out of the Enforcers and into this trash pile.
"Then, let's see what we have to work with," he said, snatching the keys from Jake and turning toward what was apparently the salvage yard's office. And, their new jobsite.
The two story block building had clearly once been a garage. It had also clearly seen better days. Paint and old wood were peeling. Metal fixtures were rusting. And, when he finally shouldered the jammed door open with brute force, the smell that greeted him was nothing but rot and horror.
Chance gagged and stumbled back.
Jake peered around him and took in the smell, the mold, and the narrow path that was the only access through mountains of takeout boxes and other trash.
"Did the guys that used to run this place live in here?"
"That or something died in here," Chance growled, trying to breathe through his mouth. "What this place needs is gas and a match."
"It's not that bad," said Jake. "Where's that enthusiasm you had a minute ago?"
"It just died, along with my nose and my will to live."
"That was fast." Unperturbed, Jake threaded his way into the mess. "Hey, the old lift's still here," he said, peering through the filthy glass window of an office area to see the garage bay.
"Be still my heart." As Jake started moving a stack of boxes that were blocking the door into the garage, Chance surveyed the space. Garage, office, and a breakroom area with a small kitchen, couch, and TV. All jammed full of garbage.
The tip of his tail twitched irritably. When were they going to find the time to build a jet with all the work this place needed?
A roach crawled over his shoe, and he kicked it off. The swing stubbed his foot up against something hard and heavy. Frowning, Chance looked down and nudged an over-filled box of ancient auto parts. It slid back to reveal a hatch made of dark, industrial steel rising an inch from the floor.
"Hey, Jake," he called. "Found something weird."
It took both of them and a makeshift pry bar scavenged from the scrap outside, but they got the hatch open. Darkness greeted them with only the first rung of a steel ladder built into the wall glinting in the weak light.
Jake pulled a flashlight out of his pocket.
"Let's see what we've got," he said, shining it into the cavern below.
"Probably a water-logged basement," Chance groused.
The light revealed more rungs. "Huh." Squatting, Jake stuck his head into the darkness. "No water. And, is that—?"
Sighing, Chance grabbed Jake's belt as his friend leaned even farther, threatening to topple into the hole. "What's got you so excited?"
Jake pulled his head out, grinning wide. "You remember the underground hangars they built during MegaWar III? The ones with the launch tunnels?"
"Of course!" If it involved aircraft, Chance had studied it. Including all of the weird, experimental tech to come out of the last MegaWar. His mind ground to a halt. "No way."
Jake's grin grew bigger. "I think I know where to put our new jet."
Suddenly, the job ahead didn't seem quite so insurmountable.
Note: I went with MegaWar III as a WWII equivalent since the planes we see attributed to MegaWar II, as well as the Red Lynx's obvious parallel to the Red Baron, seemed more WWI.