Hello everyone! AkaneKitty here, back with a brand new story (after an extremely long absence) called Mad Love!
When Madkat obtains a new host, Lieutenant Felina Feral becomes the target of his twisted love. Will the SWAT Kats and Commander Feral be able to stop him?
Author's Note: This story started years ago, just because I wanted to write something featuring my villain, Madkat. I loved that he evened out the field for both the SWAT Kats and the Enforcers, where he negated or reversed everything they threw at him. I also wanted to play around Madkat possible acquiring a new host, with new powers and weakness. This is the result.
Special thanks to Kooshmeister and Ericobard for helping me formulate the plot from its meager beginnings and letting me bounce ideas off them. Also thanks to ulyferal for betaing my piece and making it look good.
I enjoy reviews and critiques, so shoot them my way. This will not be a long chapter series. It stops at chapter 4 (maybe 5).
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The kat-in-the-box groaned to himself. That infernal shopkeeper was humming to himself again, and it was just enough to drive him mad!
He watched as Katzmer dusted his shop. If he ever was restored to his former glory, Katzmer would be the first on his hit list. But who was he kidding? He had no real power anymore, just barely enough to teleport around the shop to keep the old fool on his toes.
What was he thinking when he went for revenge so long ago? While hunting down the king, queen, knight, and jester proved sweet, it wouldn't have been enough to keep him connected to the physical world. He needed something more tangible. More concrete.
Like the love of the Knight's Daughter.
The kat in the box felt butterflies in what remained of his soul. She was so sweet and kind. Beautiful too. She even stood against the royal court for him...but all for naught.
Was her spirit out there somewhere? If he could find her, and marry her, he would be forever tied to the physical world, and be free of the accursed box he was trapped in.
But where could she be?
oOo oOo oOo
"So, Lieutenant, how's your love life?"
Lieutenant Felina Feral swallowed her cup of tea in one gulp.
Sitting in Major Emma York's office, the major in charge of Enforcer investigations, Felina willed herself to place her teacup back onto its saucer. It was a fair question...with a complicated answer.
Major York, true to her reputation, pulled no punches. As Felina's advisor, it was her duty to root out any potential issues, and as Felina's confidante she kept them private unless it hindered Enforcer business. Hailing from the Commonwealth City State of Saxton, the petite reddish blonde shorthair also held the title Lady York of Daventry as she was a part of their royal family. And as the major with the most seniority, she was the one who took over if Commander Feral was ever incapacitated. After a couple of coup attempts Feral made Lieutenant Commander Steele his XO.
York also held regular teatimes for those she advised unless she was overseeing a critical case or out in the field. Which is why Felina was sitting in her office now. York almost ordered her to tea since she skipped the last one.
York calmly refilled Felina's teacup. "Did I hit a sore spot, ducky?"
"Want to skip it?'
"No. I was just thinking about how best to answer it." Felina sighed, placing her cup and saucer onto York's table.
Felina reached for a biscuit. "Ever try dating in a city where everything you did could get back to your commanding officer? And he could know things before you did?"
York slightly smiled. "I have a Queen who likes to know everything about her royal family, so I understand."
"It's not just about my love life, or lack thereof. It's a family issue as well. If I wasn't forced by my father into joining the Enforcers, it wouldn't be as bad."
"This still bothers you?"
"Uncle and I only agreed to do this because the infighting was starting to wear down my grandmother." Felina absentmindedly nibbled on her biscuit. "And my problems pale in comparison to my uncle's. He has to make sure he's not accused of nepotism or favoritism when he deals with me as it relates to the rest of his troops."
"True. But you still didn't answer the question."
"How's your love life?"
York made sympathetic noises. Felina continued.
"And for some irritating reason I'm a bridesmaid. Again." Felina continued. "Apparently I give great bachelorette parties."
"That's right. Sergeant Monroe is getting married."
"And I'm responsible for getting her 'something old'. Guess what I'm doing after my shift ends?"
"You know, Ducky," York placed her teacup back on its saucer, "there's nothing wrong with being dissatisfied with a part of your nine lives. But it is up to you to correct it."
"By getting out there and not caring what the Commander thinks."
"Easier said than done."
York put down her saucer and reached over to pat Felina on the shoulder. "Oh, I think the Commander will be a little too distracted lately to care about your love life."
"Oh?" Felina suddenly remembered York was a very good investigator. "What's going on?"
York smiled. "Off the record, but you do know he's dealing with ADA Kincaid and her defense counterpart Devon over this Ringtail case..."
Megakat City's latest acquisitions Executive Assistant District Attorney Gabrielle Kincaid and defense council Regina Devon were two of her uncle's exes. Kincaid, a statuesque white furred she-kat, was a feisty supporter of the Enforcers and frequently butted heads with City Hall over how to prosecute cases. Her and her uncle met at his first post in Ailuros. Devon, a petite grey she-kat, was a former JAG officer who became a defense attorney when she returned to civilian life. And while her uncle ended things amicably with both she-kats he was being dragged into his exes' upcoming court battle.
Felina smirked. "So he's too busy preventing Megawar 3 from erupting to care what I'm doing?"
"You could say that."
York's office door suddenly opened and both she-kats stood at attention. There was only one tom who could enter any Enforcer controlled space without knocking.
Commander Ulysses Feral strode into York's office, clearing the space between the door and her sitting area with a few steps. He looked a bit haggard, and Felina realized he had to be arguing with Kincaid and Devon again.
Both she-kats saluted as Feral stopped before them. "York, I have a letter from the Saxon Embassy for…" Feral let his words trail off after noticing where he was. Felina's teatimes with York was a safe space for his niece, and he hated to interrupt them. Being the niece of the Commander was hard enough, and York was pretty much the only she-kat Felina would talk to about it. He cleared his throat. "Sorry. Was I interrupting?"
"No sir." Felina shifted into a parade rest stance. "We were just finishing up."
York gave Felina a "we will finish this later" look before she turned her attention to Feral. "Did you have something for me sir?"
"A letter from the Saxton Embassy." Feral handed it over. "It was in the diplomatic parcel."
"Well," Felina began inching her way toward the door, "I'd better get back to my…"
"Hold it Lieutenant!"
Felina immediately froze at her uncle's tone of voice. She waited until Feral walked and stood before her. "Sir?"
"I need a favor."
Visions of receiving new munitions to attach to her chopper danced in Felina's head. "What kind of favor?"
"Pumadyne is hosting a dinner for some investors coming in from out of the city. They requested an Enforcer representative." Feral replied. "York usually does this, but she has business at the Saxton Embassy. I would do it, but I'm committed to attend the Megakat City Bar Association Gala."
Felina grinned. "Did you commit before or after Devon blew into town for her case?"
"...Before." Feral stifled a groan. "It's like one of my worst nightmares coming to life!"
"Am I right to assume Dr. Birman is around the corner?"
"Don't even say that!"
Felina chuckled before returning to the previous subject. "So what are you asking me to do?"
"I'm asking you to go to the Pumadyne dinner in our place. Everyone else is tied up."
Felina grimaced. She hated those types of affairs. Too stuffy and boring. Feral looked conciliatory.
"I know you don't like doing them but if you ever want to be promoted past Lieutenant Grade Two I'd seriously consider doing more of these types of things. And more administrative work."
"The majors do love seeing initiative, Ducky." York added.
Felina sighed. She didn't want to but her uncle owing her a favor could reap great benefits. "All right, I'll do it. I'll just add buying a formal gown to my off-duty shopping list."
"Thank you." Feral turned to leave before turning his attention back to Felina. "And when you get there please take a picture of yourself. Your grandmother's been asking for pictures of you at formal events for a while now."
oOo oOo oOo
Unused Enforcer building's rooftop
Sean Reed, photographer of stars and various important kats and she-kats, brought up his camera to view his latest handiwork. Illuminated in the screen was a crystal-clear shot of Lieutenant Felina Feral drinking tea. The tall, athletic looking black kat smirked. It was tricky getting the right angle and using the right lens to capture the shot of the lieutenant while she was in one of the Enforcer HQ offices, but he got it! The tabloids would give him a lot of money for the photograph.
Or he could keep it for himself. He did like her.
She was pretty hot.
Reed packed up his equipment and hurried toward the rooftop access door. Katizens were not allowed to get so close to HQ unless they went through proper channels, so he needed to get out fast. Plus, there was the little issue of him picking the lock to gain access to the building and the roof in the first place. The Commander already held a dim view of paparazzi, and he didn't want to risk a night in jail.
He existed the building and ran for the chain link fence symbolizing Enforcer controlled and Megacity City property. If his observations were correct the shift change was about to happen, and everyone would be too busy going on or off duty to care about the black kat blending back into pedestrian traffic.
Reed cleared the fence and slowed down, joining the rest of the kats on the street trying to get where they needed to go. He smirked again. Another clean getaway, and no one was the wiser.
His cellphone vibrated. He kept it on silence since he didn't want to risk an Enforcer patrol finding where he was. He plucked it from his pocket and answered it. "Go for Reed."
"You done stalking the Lieutenant yet?" Reed recognized the voice belonging to one of his colleagues working at the Megakat City Post, the city's most talked about tabloid. He rolled his eyes.
"I am not stalking the lieutenant. I just acquired a one in a million shot of her," Reed retorted.
"Are you going to actually sell this one to us or keep it like you usually do?"
"You'll get it when I file my expense report." Reed growled.
Reed hated it when his peers called his photographing of Lieutenant Feral an obsession. Was it so wrong to admire and keep some of his own handiwork? The photos he did sell to the Post always spiked their readership totals.
Everyone loved to read about the Commander's niece. A bona fide attractive bachelorette.
Reed adjusted his phone, "What do you want?"
"The boss has a job for ya. But first he wanted me to tell you he loved the photos of that secret beach wedding at Megakat Springs. Other tabloids are going to pay through the nose to get copies of it."
Acquiring photos of the wedding was some of Reed's best work. Zoom lenses and calibrated cameras to catch the perfect sunset wedding. He sighed happily. Maybe one day he'd have a beach wedding of his own.
"...You still there?"
Reed pulled himself out of his thoughts, "What does the boss want?"
"You remember the buzz when Lenny Ringtail busted out of the asylum?"
"He has a competency hearing coming up soon. He's got a lawyer wanting to get him released, but the District Attorney's office still wants to keep him monitored."
"So Ringtail went on a tear throughout the city as this creepy jester called Madkat. The boss wants a picture of the kat-in-the-box who turned Ringtail into the being." His colleague said. "A tom named Katzmer has it."
"That's it?" Reed was incredulous. "You want a picture of a toy?"
"Get it and the boss will pay you triple your fee plus give you some interesting information about a rumor regarding Lieutenant Feral making a public appearance."
At the mention of Lieutenant Feral Reed found himself smirking again. He slowed his hurried walk to a casual stroll.
"Really? Do go on. I'm all ears."
oOo oOo oOo
"...The leading story today is the upcoming competency hearing for Lenny Ringtail. Ringtail terrorized the city as Madkat and was found unfit to stand trial at the time. If found competent the District Attorney's office is pushing toward continued monitoring while Ringtail's attorney feels he should receive credit for time he served in the Megakat City Asylum. In other news..."
Jake Clawson and Chance Furlong barely registered Ann Gora's voice as they worked on their latest batch of cars to hit the salvage yard. Chance was particularly being a tad rough with his repairs. A recent visit from Burke and Murray tended to do that.
"Watch it Chance!" Jake stopped his work when he heard a loud clank from Chance's direction. "If you cause more damage it's more work for us!"
"I know, I know. It's just that Burke and Murray make me so mad! Going on and on about how they were going to get some swag from this Pumadyne dinner. "
"You know they're probably lying."
"I know, but I'd love to have something to rub in their faces." Chance suddenly brightened. "Hey, why don't we crash the dinner?"
"What?" Jake blinked at his friend in confusion. "Why?"
"We can swipe something from the dinner! Then when our two idiots stop by we can show them up!"
"And have them report it back to the Enforcers?"
"We won't take something blatantly Pumadyne. Just something to make them shut up!"
Jake sighed. "I don't know..."
"C'mon buddy. We haven't donned the masks in a while. It'll be a good way to get back in the swing of things." Chance smirked. "Besides, I know you're dying to try out some of the new upgrades you installed on the Cyclotron."
Jake crossed his arms. He did want to test out the new upgrades he installed on the Cyclotron. But he didn't want to deal with a pile of cars when they returned "Okay, we'll crash the dinner. But in the meantime, we finish these cars. Got it?"
Chance returned happily to his car while Jake returned to his.
oOo oOo oOo
Later that evening...
Felina pulled away from Kilkenny's, a high-end shop nestled in the heart of Megakat City's shopping district, in her sporty coupe loaded with shopping bags. She got carried away with her shopping. She went in to select her dress for the Pumadyne dinner, but instead she left with half the store.
Despite outward appearances and expectations, she loved to shop. It helped her unwind after long and frustrating shifts on patrol. And since her uncle had given her access to the family's black card Felina was giddy with excitement. Now she got that pair of Pumas heels she had her eyes on for a week. It also matched her dress.
Stopping at a red light Felina took note of her surroundings outside of her car. Shoppers were out and about, along with quite a few couples. Immediately a pang of envy shot through her, which she quickly had to squelch. Why was her singledom bothering her now of all times?
Felina shook her head, chasing away any lingering negative feelings. This was no time to dwell on that. She still had business to take care of.
She still had to obtain something old. One of her fellow officers gave her directions to Katzmer's Curios, an antique shop not too far from where she was. All she had to was to find something worthy of her sergeant in the place.
Driving for few more minutes Felina pulled onto the side street where the Curios shop resided. She peered at it through her windshield. It looked abandoned, but she didn't think this place got a lot of casual foot traffic. Parking her car, she stepped out and closed the door behind her, pausing to smooth her clothing.
Time to get this over with so she could catch the late showing at the theater. Hard Tank Five was playing.
oOo oOo oOo
The kat-in-the-box heard the front door bell jingle as it was opened. He groaned again. Some silly customer of the old fool. He was about to teleport back into his safe spot in the back of the shop when he felt a very familiar…and warm…energy. Could it be…?
"Hello?" A feminine voice called out. "I'm here to buy something old for a bride."
"Then you've come to the right place my dear." Katzmer replied. "I have a very beautiful gem which would fit that role in the back of the shop. Could you wait here a moment?""
The kat in the box heard Katzmer shuffle to the back of the shop and willed itself to teleport to a high perch where he could view everything. There, among the rows of junk, was the most beautiful she-kat he'd ever seen.
It was her! The Knight's Daughter!
The kat in the box found himself bouncing up and down. She was the one he was destined to marry, and she is going to marry him. He'd be forever tied to the physical world, making the infernal place a truly wondrously wacky and maddening place.
But he had to be sure she was the one. The Knight's Daughter was always kind to him. And he knew exactly how to find out.
oOo oOo oOo
Felina stifled a sneeze as she browsed through the rows and rows of antiques. Shopping for antiques was a favorite of her mother's, and the chance to find a rare find always excited her. But the curios shop seemed to deal with the arcane and weird instead of just plain old.
Something thumped behind her, and Felina turned toward the sound. Lying on its side was a multicolored box she swore she didn't see before. She frowned. Maybe it fell off a high shelf? She reached out to pick up the box when she found herself nearly jerking her paw back out of instinct. The box, instead of feeling cool to the touch, felt warm. Odd.
Ignoring it Felina righted the box and leaned forward to get a good look at it. Just exactly what was this box? The multicolored motif looked reminded her of kat-in-the-boxes kittens played with. But it didn't look like any antique she'd seen before…
The kat-in-the-box suddenly popped open, causing Felina to involuntarily yelp and take a few steps back. Taking a few breaths to calm down she found herself narrowing her eyes. The kat-in-the-box didn't appear to have any mechanism to cause it to open, so why did it suddenly do so?
It continued to bounce up and down on its spring, its harlequin smile looking more and more lifelike. "You're a very happy kat in the box," Felina noted to herself out loud. "I wonder if you belonged to anyone?"
Felina blinked and scratched her ears. Did this thing just talk to her? She shook her head. Nonsense. Toys can't talk. And it was time to get fitted for another helmet.
Katzmer rounded the corner to head up the aisle Felina was standing in. "Miss! I found the jewel for you!"
"Oh, thank you so much." Felina said. "I must say I like your store. It's quite unusual."
"Well it wouldn't be a curios shop if it was just normal." Katzmer replied, stopping in front of her with a velvet pouch in paw. "See anything else you like?"
"Well, I did admire this kat-in-the-box. It almost seemed out of place in a shop like this."
"Yes. It was just…" Felina turned back toward the shelf the kat in the box was sitting on, but it was no longer there. "Odd, I could have sworn that kat-in-the-box was sitting right here."
Katzmer paled and practically shoved the velvet pouch into Felina's paws. "Please take this jewel with my compliments."
Felina blinked at his change in demeanor. "Really? Are you sure?"
"Of course, it's for a lovely bride. Now if you excuse me, I need to close the shop. Sorry to be so abrupt."
Still puzzled Felina exited the shop and lingered a bit as Katzmer hurriedly locked up the shop. Nothing seemed to be out of sorts, so Felina returned to her car. Maybe he wanted to call it a night?
Shrugging to herself she opened the door and slid behind the wheel of her car, tossing the pouch onto the passenger seat. She was happy she would be able to make the late show, but something still nagged at her.
Where did the kat-in-the-box go?
oOo oOo oOo
Katzmer watched as Commander Feral's niece left the vicinity of the shop. That prickling sensation along the back of his neck and the back of his head confirmed the sudden trickery of the jester; She was linked to him. And from the legends, that meant only one thing.
She was the Knight's Daughter of this time.
A direct descendant? Reincarnation? Both were possibilities, but they didn't distract from the immediate problem.
He double checked all his doors and windows. He could hear the jester laughing maniacally from his hiding spot. Katzmer hoped she wouldn't return. Her mere presence was enough to energize the spirit and maybe even give him a small bit of power. He also hoped no one else stopped by his shop.
The kat-in-the-box had a unique way to pull out the desires of its host and capitalize on them. If, spirits forbid, someone came in attuned to the jester's own lusts, Madkat would terrorize the city again in a new manifestation. One that played by new rules and had new powers.
Katzmer retreated to his living space in the back of the small antiques shop, feeling the prickling sensation in the back of his head sharpen to tiny stings. The old kat stifled a groan. Worse. This time could be so much worse.
He wasn't sure how and why he knew these things. He could feel magical energies down to the bone, and with that came the innate knowledge of the unknown. Maybe his talents came from his own bloodline. One of his ancestors was a rumored to be a powerful magician, but whatever skills he had seemed to disappear in subsequent generations, leaving only what Katzmer could feel and know.
There was no time to mourn over lost powers. Not with the kat-in-the-box's laughter ringing in his ears.
Hidden from view was a wall safe and he quickly reached for an item stowed away inside. It might be safe, but Katzmer could not leave it to chance. Not now. He tucked it, box and all, into the pocket of his trousers and ran for the door. Madkat could never find it, and there was one destination that might obfuscate it even from the jester's sensitive sight.
oOo oOo oOo
A Few nights later...
Felina breezed into Feral's office, dressed for her night at the Pumadyne dinner. Since the dinner was formal she opted to wear a fitted black mermaid dress with a sheer overlay. It had a deep v-neckline and a high slit over her leg. Though she wasn't a frequent makeup wearer she decided to do a light application and pinned her hair back. Her recent Puma purchase completed the look.
Feral, who was adjusting his own dress uniform, looked exasperated as she walked up to him. "Can you at least knock?"
"Why?" Felina retorted. "We're off duty!"
"And I'm still your commanding officer!"
"Duly noted, but can't you just be my uncle right now please?"
Feral sighed but took the time to give her a once over. "You look lovely Felina."
"Thank you, It's one of my better looks." Felina did a small spin. "By the way, can I borrow your backup gun?"
Feral looked confused. "Why?"
"My regular weapon is too bulky for this dress. Your gun has similar firepower but has a smaller profile."
"And you had to ask this now?" Feral grumbled, but he reached down, pulled up his pant leg, and retrieved his backup from its holster. He handed it off to Felina. "Here."
Felina did a quick check of the gun before making it disappear under her dress. "You ready for the gala?"
"...No." Feral straightened and smoothed the sleeves of his overcoat. "I'll have to deal with my exes. Not my idea of a fun night."
"At least they're not the SWAT Kats."
"I'd almost want to deal with them than go to the gala!"
"You'll be fine." Felina chuckled. "I better go. I have a car waiting for me."
"Remember as the highest-ranking Enforcer at the dinner you have the authority to act on my behalf." Feral said. "So..."
"Watch for any shady under the table deals. Got it."
"If we survive tonight I'll get you a fish burger. I still owe you one. Deal?"
"Deal." Felina leaned forward to give Feral a peck on the cheek before turning to walk out of his office. "See you later!"
oOo oOo oOo
Reed checked the alley behind the Curios shop. Clear. Keeping to the shadows he swiftly moved to the shop's backdoor and pulled out the best tools for the job: his lockpicking kit.
It had been hard to pin down when the old tom would leave his shop open for investigation. He opened at odd hours, kept odd hours and even slept at odd hours. But tonight, he finally closed the shop early enough for Reed to make his move.
Too bad it had to be on night of the Pumadyne Investors Dinner.
Since the Commander couldn't make the engagement he earmarked Felina to take his place. And that meant she had to be out of uniform. Hopefully in a dress.
The tighter the better.
Reed grinned at the mental image as he made short work of the old lock. As soon as he got the photo of the kat-in-the-box he could make is way over to the venue. And the picture he took of her would have a place of honor in his collection.
But, unfortunately, business comes first.
Hearing a satisfying click Reed twisted the doorknob and felt it give in his paws. Putting his kit away he pushed open the door to the shop and slipped inside. The shop dark, quiet, and filled to the brim with creepy looking items. Reed hoped he would able to find the toy soon.
Pulling out his camera he perused the aisles. He didn't need his special camera for this job, it was too big and bulky. The smaller camera would do fine, as its wireless capabilities would ensure would get uploaded to his boss before he go crash the Pumadyne dinner.
He went down another aisle, creeping as quietly as he could and keeping his head down. The kat-in-the-box was nowhere to be found. He hoped the shop owner didn't lock up the toy. That would put a crimp in his plans.
"Oh ho. What do we have here?"
Reed whirled toward the voice and was greeted by the twisted smile of the kat-in-the-box. He yelped, depressing the trigger of his camera. The resulting flash nearly blinded him, and he clawed his face to try and clear the spots from his eyes.
"Could this be? Someone who desires the Knight's Daughter as much as I do?"
Reed shook his head. Slowly his vision cleared, and he was confronted with the vision of the kat-in-the box regarding him curiously. "You can talk?"
"I could always talk! How do you think I got to Ringtail?"
Reed shook his head again. A toy was talking to him. But what was it talking about? "Knight's Daughter?"
"You know..." The kat-in-the-box titled his head to the other side, and Reed's camera glowed in his paw. Its screen began flipping through stored photos before settling on a clear shot of Felina. "...her."
"Felina..." Reed stared at the screen for a long moment before looking back up at the toy. "What do you want with her?"
"What you always wanted to do with her." The kat-in-the-box's smile looked even more sinister. "It could be lots of fun..."
"I never wanted that!""
"You and I both know that's not true. You just haven't been able to make your move, have you?"
"It's understandable. The Knight is pretty intimidating."
Reed glared at the macabre toy, anger rising within him. The toy was right. He wanted Felina from the minute he saw her. But he was unable to take the first step, and had to settle for his photos. For the toy to know this...
"I can take my own chances!" Reed was unable to control the volume of his own voice. It echoed throughout the small shop. "I will have Felina!"
The toy began bouncing up and down. "I can help you with that."
"I don't need your help!"
"With me, your heart's desire will never say no to you," The kat-in-the-box 's bouncing increased, "You'll never have to hide behind the lens of your camera, admiring her from afar."
"You'll get to marry her. And that means possession."
Reed froze, his protests dying on his lips. The toy was right. He didn't just want to have Felina.
He wanted to possess her as well.
A light blinked on in a side room. "The old fool is coming!" The kat-in-the-box resumed bouncing. "You want her? Then join me!"
Reed barely felt his camera tumble from his paws. He found himself reaching out to touch the kat-in-the-box, it's smile becoming even more sinister than before. The moment he touched the toy, his claws felt like lightning ripped through them. The kat-in-the-box overwhelmed his body, and for one fleeting moment, Reed wondered if this would be worth the trouble.
Felina's face danced before his eyes as his body finally succumbed to the box.
It was going to be worth it.
Katzmer entered his shop from his side room. Something made a noise, caused a flash he could see from his door. Now it was too quiet.
He rounded a corner, ready to confront the intruder, only to bounce off something solid. He hit the floor hard, glasses slipping off his face. He muttered to himself. "Great."
On his paws and knees he felt around on the dusty floor for his glasses until finally found them. He brought them to his face, slipping them back on when he was confronted with a horrible sight: A harlequin with a twisted smile waving at him.
"Greetings, old fool!"
Katzmer yelled and fell backwards onto his tail. The kat-in-the-box found another host! And by the looks of things it found a powerful one, determined to go after the lieutenant. He gulped.
"Sorry, buddy, what worked to stop me in the past doesn't anymore. But I can't have you around trying to help!"
Katzmer started sliding backwards. This Madkat seems more sinister than the first one. He watched as the jester materialized a comically large camera out of thin air and brought to his face.
Katzmer was enveloped by the blinding white light of the camera's flash, and his vision soon faded to black.
Madkat dismissed his camera, vanishing it in a puff of multicolored smoke. There, in the old fool's place, was a Tarot card. He picked it up, admiring his handiwork.
Katzmer took the place of The Magician. His face showed terror as his body was conformed to The Magician's iconic pose. He grinned sadistically.
"This is the best you've looked in years!" Madkat laughed. "A pity I couldn't start with the Fool card, but beggars can't be choosers."
The jester conjured up a stack of blank Tarot cards and added his new creation to the deck. He no longer just wanted to collect the King, Queen, Knight, and Jester. He wanted to collect those who stood in his way on the path to woo the Knight's Daughter. He knew she would love such a collection. He often told her amusing fortunes so long ago. Only this time he had the power to make the cards be alive.
Putting the deck away he spirited himself into the old fool's living area. He was looking for a very special ring, and he knew the fool locked it away when the Knight's Daughter visited. The ring was magical, a relic from his time as the court's jester. It had the power to bind him permanently into the physical world, and he would no longer have to be afraid of separating from his host's body. But for it to work the Knight's Daughter had to pass various tests, as the ring would be powered by her energy.
And by marrying her, he would access to the ring's power...among other more pleasing things.
Looking around Madkat spotted an old looking safe. Katzmer was sure to place a valuable ring inside. Grinning like mad, he summoned a large multicolor mallet out of thin air.
"Let's see what's behind door number one!"
He swung the mallet into the front of the safe. The safe's door crumpled under the impact and caved inward. Dismissing the mallet Madkat pulled the door from the safe and looked inside.
Empty. But he could still feel the residual energy. Madkat grinned.
"Why you clever old coot! You were wise to me!" Madkat laughed. "No matter! I can always lead the Knight's Squires in circles instead."
He waved his paw and a photo of Katzmer's tarot card appeared in his paw. He dropped it into the safe, knowing the Squires will embark on a wild goose chase before they realized what he truly was after.
"Now then, it's time to grab a bite to eat!" Madkat morphed into a tuxedo wearing version of himself, "For I have a date with destiny!"
Laughing manically Madkat vanished in puff of magical smoke.