Disclaimer: See previous chapters

Chapter 7: Voices in the dark

A/N: Here's where #3's fate is kinda decided and just where she ended up. I know it's short compared to the other chapters, but I'll make up for that in the next chapter. Until then, please enjoy what's ahead and I'll see everyone later.

I don't know how long I was lost in the darkness nor did I really care. For within the darkness, there was a sweet escape from the pain that radiated throughout my entire body. It was a domain that I was more than willing to remain in forever if that feeling kept up. Unfortunately, either some other force or my own body decided that I couldn't remain in the dark forever.

Despite every effort I was making to stay asleep, I eventually woke up. I didn't wake up completely since my body still hurt too much for that. But I was conscious enough that I was at least aware of the world around. Though that wasn't saying much since beyond a few drips from a pipe somewhere, there was nothing to be heard.

This silence had a twofold effect on me. On the one paw, if there was nothing to be heard, then that meant that wherever I was, I was alone for the time being. Being alone meant that I was safe and for the large part, would remain in relatively in one piece.

On the other paw however, the silence meant that I wasn't back in the lab as I might have hoped. In the lab, even late at night, it was never as quiet as this. There was always some kind of rumbling or grinding noise of a piece of machinery continuing its work through the hours. I was used to that and took that as a sign of where I should be.

Now though, there was none of that. Just a dull silence that I was beginning to find less and less security in. I was beginning to realize that if I wasn't in the lab, then I had made the mistake of choosing the wrong cargo hold to collapse in. A thought that frightened me to my very core because it meant that my final thoughts before losing consciousness had come true.

I was now in the paws of someone other than my Master. I had no way of knowing whether or not the ones who had me were friend or foe, nor did I know just what they might have in store for me. Either way, I had the distinct feeling that it wasn't going to be pleasant and it was something that I was going to end up regretting.

A more rational part of my mind found that a bit outrageous. How could I possibly be in the paws of an enemy? I had been trained too long to fall into a situation that ridiculous. I was probably just in another part of the compound receiving medical attention since my injuries were a lot more severe than anything I might have gotten in the lab.

At the same time, I knew that theory was also pretty stupid. If I had been hurt, Furston would have made sure that I was in her care in an instant and I would hear her fussing over me like she always did. And for a brief second, I thought that I did hear voices that could have been Furston and the others.

That idea soon flew out the window when I realized that the voices, though faint, were too deep to be female. They had to be male. Only a tenor or alto could match the tones that I heard coming my way.

At first, it was hard to make out what they were saying since they were so far away. But as they came closer, it became easier for me to pick out the conversation they were having. Most of it was concerning topics that didn't matter or make sense to me, such as what to replace on the Cyclotron and what new adjustments needed to be added to the Glovatrixes.

These were words that I had never heard in my life and I was left wondering just what they meant. Now that my curiosity was peaked, it started to take the edge off of my wariness. Not completely but enough where I unconsciously shifted in the direction of the voices so that I could hear better.

As I did so, the silence from before suddenly returned. For an instant, I might have been tempted to believe that my mind had been playing tricks on me and that the voices I had heard were nothing more than dream. But I knew that that wasn't possible. I had distinctly heard someone and I knew that those in question were very close to me.

Close enough in fact that I started to catch two very unfamiliar scents. What reached my nose was kat, that much I could tell without having to open my eyes. And they were coming closer as soft footfall finally broke the silence for a second time before finally stopping just a short distance from wherever I was.

"Something wrong?" asked a deep voice that reminded me of Bristles'.

"I thought I saw the creepling moving. Guess it was just my imagination," a quieter voice answered.

"Must've been. That thing hasn't moved an inch since we found it in the Turbokat," the deeper voice snorted.

"No kidding. Whoever nailed it had a good shot," the quieter voice agreed," I just wonder how it got in the Turbokat in the first place. I don't remember seeing it anywhere during the fight."

"Beats me. What I don't know is how I let you talk me into keeping that thing, Razor. We should've just given it to Puma Dyne or something," the deeper voice grumbled.

"And let Feral find out so he can tell'em to take it apart? No way, buddy," the calmer voice replied.

Feral must have been someone's name since the voices didn't want him to find out about me. Why he shouldn't know about me was beyond my understanding at the moment, though the possibility of him taking me apart gave me a good idea of what that reason might be. And if staying wherever I was meant avoiding that fate, then I was more than willing to agree with what the quiet voice was saying.

"I still don't see what the big deal is. It's just a creepling, buddy. What's so special about it?" the deeper voice demanded.

"In case you haven't noticed, this thing doesn't exactly look like the other creeplings that we've met before. How many of those were green and black?" the second voice countered.

This was the one that I finally identified with name of 'Razor'. It seemed logical enough to me, since even in my present state, I was only sensing two others besides myself. So that meant that the deep voice that I kept hearing was the one named 'T-bone'.

Both were names that I wouldn't normally associate with kats. Usually, they chose what they considered normal names like Bradley, Theresa, and so on. At least that was what Furston had explained to me when I asked her about the subject. She had told me that kats chose names that were befitting to the culture and society that they were born into.

From the first time that I heard that, part of me felt that that was just a major waste of time. Why bother with names when everyone looked so different from one another? Wasn't that enough to help identify someone? I mean, that was how we creeplings did things and we got along with life just fine through that system.

There are some exceptions, I will admit. For myself, I have two. The first is that I myself have been given the label of '#3' by the scientists that worked with me. It was a number that told them which creepling I had been in their original experiment and made it easier for them to address me.

Even if it was against my creepling ideals, I was willing to go along with this. After all, I've intentionally made an exception for myself when it comes to addressing the scientists. I call them by their last names when I address them as a way to let them know that I'm aware of who they are and that I make distinctions in who I talk with.

Even so, lines have to be drawn somewhere. To me, T-bone and Razor seemed more like something that was associated with food or a weapon than a name. But that wasn't the real problem with what I felt when I heard these two names. The really odd thing was that hearing the names of 'T-bone' and 'Razor' caused something within me to stir. For some reason, I felt as if these names were supposed to be important. Why, I had no idea. I just had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I should know who these names were supposed to be attached to.

In the end though, it didn't really matter. My brain had enough trouble comprehending the conversation I was hearing. It couldn't handle that and trying to figure out where I had heard a couple of names before. Doing so meant an overload and I didn't want that right now. So I ignored the nagging feeling and just concentrated on the voices.

While I had been considering the meaning their names had to me, T-bone and Razor had moved with what they were talking about. They were no longer talking about what they whether or not it was a good idea to keep me. Now they had moved onto just what they were going to do with me while I was here.

"There's something weird about this creepling and I wanna know what it is," Razor replied.

"I can tell ya something about it now, Razor. That thing is dangerous, like all the other creeplings," T-bone snorted.

"We don't know that for sure," Razor said," It might be a creepling, but it might not be like the others. It might be different in some way other than being green."

I couldn't help but thinking that the Razor had no idea how close to the truth he was. My skin pigment most certainly wasn't the only thing that set me apart from the other creeplings. There were quite a few other things that helped out in that department. But those were things that Razor was going to have to discover for himself, if I bothered to let him.

At the same time though, I couldn't help but think that this Razor person was extremely naïve to believe that I didn't have at least some of the common creepling traits. I mean, I was no pushover when given a proper chance to defend myself or to start a fight. I can be nasty enough where I will leave lasting marks on another or even kill someone if I have to. That was something he should have realized if he was such an expert on my species, even though I really didn't know how.

His friend must have been thinking along the same lines that I was or at least somewhat was. No matter what argument Razor put forth, it wasn't going to be enough to convince T-bone to change his own opinion. His next words proved as much to me as I strained to listen while ignoring the pain that was starting to take hold of me again.

"If we keep that thing, it's just gonna cause us trouble later on. Just wait and see," T-bone warned.

Whatever reply Razor might have had for T-bone, I'll never know. After that, it was too hard for me to ignore the pain. So I gave into my body's demands and fell back into the wonderful world of oblivion. It was one of the most welcomed sensations that I had ever known in my life.

A/N: It certainly took awhile, but I finally got the Swat Kats involved as promised. I'm sorry it took so long, I just wanted to make sure that I got other information out before introducing them.