Sorry, No Refunds
It was a sold-out show in Megakat City as the SWAT Kats Band put on another memorable performance. What was not to love about it? T-Bone and Razor's high-quality guitar solos, Captain Grimalken's trademark voice, and the strobe lighting used to make it illustrious made it one big show that cats so wished they hadn't missed it.
The next day was a day just to relax for most of the band members, but that didn't stop the fans who wanted autographs from showing up to the garage. Some of the fans actually needed work on their cars, but others just wanted autographs. Unlike most rock stars elsewhere in the world who desperately attempted to hide from their fans, these members were happy to do so.
By 11:30 a.m., Jake seemed exhausted. "Phew! I thought that would never end!"
"Neither did I," said Feral. "They really showed their devotion, didn't they?"
"Sure did," Chance replied as he turned and saw another one coming. "Whoops. We got another one coming in. And he doesn't look too happy."
"Maybe he wasn't able to see the show last night," Grimalken suggested. "The building we were playing in does have a 'sorry, no refunds' policy, and if my instincts are correct, he suffered from it."
"Let's find out," Jake replied. He walked up to the dad and his little kitten who was shedding tears. The kitten held out his autograph book, and several band members signed it, starting with Chance, and ending with the Captain. "He going to be okay?" Grimalken asked.
"Oh, sure; he's just suffering from allergies," said the dad. "They always make him cry."
"And thank you for the autographs," the kitten added. "Couldn't make it last night."
"Isn't that a shame?" said Feral. "That happens at shows we sell out at. Did you get to the door too late?"
"No, we tried to buy tickets online, but got a message saying, 'SOLD OUT.' I think we're giving up on tickets. We never had any luck with them."
"Oh, don't give up!" Grimalken protested, shocked by the comment. "Keep looking up towards the sky. Without rock-and-roll, where would you be? Besides, I say the next time we do a show so awesome, we should have you in the front row!"
"Oh, would you?" the little kitten replied. "That's great!"
"See you there!" Jake smiled as the father and son waved goodbye, after getting their names, address, and numbers of course. Jake and Chance also had to verify to the kitten what they looked like compared to what they looked like on stage.
"That felt good, didn't it?" Chance spoke up after they left.
"Yes, it did," said Fango. "If that family tried persistently to get tickets to one of our shows, they deserve it."
At the next show the band performed, the father and son they met earlier had indeed showed up in the front row as Grimalken promised. Because they were also among the lucky cats who won backstage passes (although they were guaranteed theirs as part of the band's deal that they kept such secret from the public), they were more than thrilled to go. It also marked the first show the Sergeant actually showed up at, but it was made clear he was not part of the band and never wanted to be, so he took charge of security.
Grimalken was the first to notice them after the show ended. "Hey, you made it!" he exclaimed. "So how was it? As awesome as your were hoping for?"
"Oh, it was fantastic!" the little kitten replied. "It was definitely worth waiting for!"
"Excellent!" T-Bone spoke up, high-fiving the kitten. Razor high-fived him as well, and Grimalken banged his knuckle. They then shook hands with the dad, who then revealed himself to be Jack Perkins, Papa Perkins' son, and the little kitten was his grandson. T-Bone didn't bother to mention his regular visits to the comic stand, probably because neither Jack nor his son had any idea of T-Bone's other identity of Chance Furlong. Feral knew it (as it was revealed to him in safety on an earlier date), but he held his breath until they were gone.
The next day, Feral spoke to Chance about it. "It was tempting, but I didn't want to say anything," he said. "The hardest part is knowing about it but keeping my mouth shut. If the public figured it out anyway, it was because I once tried to unmask you before."
"How are we supposed to know that?" Chance asked.
"I don't know, but I think it's possible."
"Well, no one's going to unmask us," Jake replied. "Not on my watch!"
"Not on mine either!" Grimalken promised.
"Shall we do lunch, then?"
The group packed up and headed for the nearest diner, where by coincidence, they ran into Jack and his son again. "Hi!" the son replied.
"Hi, again!" Chance smiled. "How've you been since last night?"
"Fantastic," Jack replied. "I went to bed with relief, knowing I had finally fulfilled my promise to my son that one day I'd take him to see the SWAT Kats Band. Lucky my job wasn't in the way."
"What do you do?"
"I work as a reporter for Kat's Eye News, but you wouldn't recognize me on the streets because most of the attention is on Ann Gora. And to be honest, sometimes she goes too far just to get the top story. If she's not careful, one of these days she's going to end up in prison or be fined a bunch of money for invasion of privacy."
"As commander of the Enforcers, I regret all those times I spoke to her," Feral replied. "At least the times I wanted to unmask the SWAT Kats. But no more; I respect them. I just don't want them to be unmasked, and as a result of the autographs your son got, you figured it out. And you are a reporter."
"Well, your secret's safe with me," said Jack. "There's too many other things to worry about. Actually, since I ran into you, and I'm a reporter, let me go ahead and ask this. What about Leo the Patriotic Lion? Ann was confused as to this 'network' you joined that he started."
"What that is," said Jake as the group sat down to take orders, "is basically a Facebook-type list of friends without the Facebook part. Leo is old-fashioned and proud of it, and it was his way of calling for reinforcements in case of a super-villain team-up. Leo also belongs to an organization known as the G-52s, and this network allowed us to be classified as allies. There were a few villainous team-ups we faced, and among the villains we took care of were Johnny Hemmingway, the brother of the ex-criminal you know as Hard Drive, and the G-52 nemesis Alfred Coats Bendraqi. Bendraqi's in jail now, but if he ever gets out, we'll be all over him like chili and cheese on a hot dog."
"And we'll be the mustard," Feral added. "They don't call us the Enforcers for nothing."
"I see," said Jack. "Well, that answered all my questions."
"And if you'd like, you can mention our show as being the most awesome one on the planet," Grimalken spoke up. "I've been dying to be on the front page for that, but then again, that's a rock star's life. I mean, that hour and a half on stage is heaven. And there's no feeling like it."
"He was born to rock," Jake chuckled. "He's proud of that."
SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron © Hanna-Barbera, Warner Bros., Cartoon Network
Leo the Patriotic Lion, G-52s, and world © me and me alone; DO NOT STEAL!