Kat Scratch Fever, Part One
A SwatKats/Gargoyles Crossover
by Stephen R. Sobotka
# # #
Disclaimer : This is a original fan-fiction, based on characters and situations from Disney's animated TV series "Gargoyles" and from the Hanna-Barbera series "Swat Kats : The Radical Squadron", and is intended only for the entertainment and enjoyment of fans of both shows, not to gain profit. All characters are TM and Copyright of their respective licensee's, and are used without their consent or knowledge. This story was done in the spirit of honoring the shows if which said characters are from.
Author's Note : This was inspired by a point of silliness in front of the TV, when I learned that Gargoyles was taken off TDA (long time ago when the show was canceled), and so I elected to watch SwatKats instead. That made me remember that I once had an idea for a Garg/Kats cross-over, so here is the result.Oh, and thanks to all that read my works, and suggested all the ideas that you have . . . you know who you are, you wicked things you!
Enjoy the ride! :)
SIDE NOTE: I really don't know what the name of the building that houses the Enforcer HQ . . . but, Tiger Towers sounded good to me. If anyone does know what that name is, tell me in an email.
~ Mayor's Office, MegaKat City, 11:05am ~
Deputy Mayor Callie Briggs was in a righteous tizzy . . . as usual, Commander Ulysses Ferral was in the thick of it. The diminutive, blonde-haired Deputy Mayor was literally spitting white hot nails at the bigger male's usual thick-headed refusal to acknowledge the facts.
"It's high time you came to admit it, Commander! The Enforcers have become a joke, and this time the people are taking it to City Hall!" she said hotly, crossing her arms over the front of her impeccable suit-dress. "They want you to do something about your performance record, Ferral, so you can whip the Enforcers into better shape!"
Commander Ferral, Chief Operations Officer of the city's "elite" law-enforcement arm, scowled at the petite, City Official that was ranting at him. Puffing out his chest to fill his uniform greatcoat like a barrel, he growled, "With all due respect, Ms. Briggs, the Enforcers are up to handling any trouble in MegaKat City! Our pilots, ground-crews, and Armored Patrol Units are the best of any law enforcement unit in the world."
From his chair, the pudgy, graying Mayor Manx added his own growl, "Then why is it when REAL trouble hits this citay, it's always those two SwatKats that save your APU's, your hide AND the day? Seems whenever there's some new super villain, raisin' its head around MegaKat Citay, those Enforcers always come up short!"
Callie ticked off a list of names, "DarkKat, Dr. Viper, The MetaliKats, HardDrive . . . the list goes on and on, Commander! Not to mention the fiascoes you could have prevented at PumaDyne and other places that were hit by crime. And each time your Enforcers come up short, it's the SwatKats that get the job done."
"If I may REMIND you, Ms. Briggs," Ferral snapped, "those two, high-flying vigilantes have caused more than their fair share of damage to this city, as well as endanger the lives of countless numbers of civilians. Not to mention your lives as well! We should have locked those two hot-dogs up years ago!"
"Ahh, Ferral, it's ahll a bunch of old ahrguments!" Manx said, for once in his career as Mayor showing some backbone instead of being a whining, placating coward. "Admit it! The SwatKats have proven their worth time and time again to this citay." Manx straightened his dark blue suit-coat, and glared at Ferral with a look of finality. "They've gone on long enough without any recognition, and I for one intend to do something ahbout it once and for ahll!"
Ferral blinked in surprise. "Just WHAT are you saying, Mr. Mayor?"
Callie couldn't help but look smugly at the expression of worry on the face of the Chief Enforcer Officer. "Mayor Manx is going to instate the SwatKats as Official Protectors of MegaKat City."
"WHAT!?!?" Ferral's bellow nearly made the windows shatter.
"And furthermore, they'll have the same power to protect and serve as your Enforcers, Commander, while still being able to employ whatever means they possess to carry out that task. And you're to offer any and ahll assistance to help them, Ferral, should they require it." Manx finished for his Deputy Mayor.
Ferral looked as if he was about to go apart at the seams. "Ms. Briggs! Mayor Manx!! Those hotshots don't even DESERVE to fly over the same airspace as the Enforcers! Giving them full sanctioning from the Mayor's office-!"
"Will finally give the people of Mega Kat City what thay need - complete, and total protection from the scahm that may threaten us today and tomorrow," Manx said, cutting the head of the Enforcers off in mid-rant. "Get used to it, Ferral! The official word was released to the press this marning . . . and ah'll be presentin' the SwatKatz with their official badges of office today at 3 p.m., sharp."
Ferral growled, nearly snapping his crop in two as he looked at his elected officials. "You are making a BIG mistake, your Honors!"
Callie folded her arms across her chest, glaring. "If so, it's because WE should have done this sooner that now, Commander!"
Ferral saw that he wasn't going to have his way this time, sighing as for once he met his defeat head on. "Where may I ask is this . . . ceremony to take place, Ms. Briggs?"
Callie couldn't help but twist the screws a bit more. "Where all who respect the law should be inducted. Enforcer Headquarters."
Ferral's crop finally snapped.
# # #
~ The Hanger Under The MegaKat City Scrapyard, 12:21am ~
Chance finished bolting the new Arsenal Pod to the left underwing pylon, sliding out from underneath to wipe his tiger-striped hands on his worksuit. "There! All finished! Hooo, this baby's gonna make the fur fly off our next opponent. Hey, Jake! Finished with that outer armor on the cowlings?"
From above, his smaller, tan-toned co-pilot finished using the acyetaline torch, jerked his head into view and gave him a thumb's up. "Roger that, big buddy! The new and improved Ablative Armor we developed is all in place! It would take a massive explosion equal to ten Megaton Missiles to scratch it."
Chance heaved his large frame up from the floor, grinning at the sight of the blue-and-red trimmed form of the jet before him. "Great! With that armor, and our new stores system, the new AND improved TurboKat 2 is ready to hit the skies!"
"And ready for the ceremony this afternoon," Jake added, jumping down to join his friend. "Y'know, I just can't get over it. Once, we were thrown off the Enforcers and forced to work as free-agents against crime . . ."
"Heh! While having to dodge Ferral and his Enforcers all the time!" Chance added.
Jake grinned, "Now, after a lot of bumpy flying, we've got the Mayor's consent to protect the city."
"Yeah," Chance agreed with a chuckle, "and all with no Commander Ferral and the Enforcers giving us grief and getting in our way. Now they have to let us work beside them."
Jake joined Chance in laughing ironically. "Been a long time comin', buddy!"
"Can say that again, partner!" Together, the two heroes slapped a high-five.
"EERRRRR! EERRRRR! EERRRRR!"
Chance and Jake whirled to face the pulsing red light on the wall, next to the ready phone that was in a hidden locker. "Oops! Sounds like Ms. Briggs is calling!"
"She probably wants to make sure we had our flightsuits pressed," Jake chuckled. He reached over and opened the locker, removing the handset as he thumbed the talk switch, "Razor here, Ms. Briggs. What's up? The Mayor getting nervous before he swears us in?"
"SwatKats! You have to get to Enforcer Headquarters!"
"Callie? What's wrong?" Jake asked, suddenly registering that she was sounding panicked.
"Some giant . . . SPIDER has just landed in front of the building! It's climbing to the top, and trashing everything in it's path! You have to stop it!"
"We're on top of it, Ms. Briggs, and on our way!" Jake slammed the handset down, turning to fix Chas with a grim stare. "Trouble, buddy! Looks like someone decided to let a huge arachnid tear on the Enforcers!"
"Ah, great! It's always got to be bugs!" Chance hissed, already turning to head for the ready room off to the side of the hangar. "Looks like we get to exercise our official power to stop crime on our first day out before we're sworn in! C'mon!" Together, they striped off their work togs and slid into their dark blue flight suits, flight harness, and trademark eye-masks and blue and black helmets. Once more, they were no longer Chance Furlong and Jake Clawson, ex-Enforcer junkmen . . . They were T-Bone and Razor; MegaKat City's best fighter jocks. The SwatKats!
Vaulting into the open cockpit of the TurboKat, Razor took up the radar and weapons seat, while T-Bone started up the triple engine jet fighter, hitting the remote switch to make the recessed platform turn the plane around for take-off. "All set back there, Razor?" T-Bone asked, gripping the new HOTAS and auxiliary afterburner throttle in his hands, claws clenching as he psyched himself up.
Razor flipped on the last control panel, saying, "All systems go!"
"Then hold on to your catnip, Buddy! We're outta here!" With a hard jerk, the engines roared to life, filling the space behind the jet with blue-white flame. In seconds, the TurboKat shot up the access tunnel, leaving the hangar behind as it burned into the early afternoon sky. Leaving trailing contrails off the tapered wing edges, they arrowed towards the heart of MegaKat City . . .
~ Exterior of Tiger Towers, Enforcer HQ, Moments Later ~
All was chaos, as the beast plunged it's thick-clawed extremities into the concrete walls of the skyscraper that was home base to Enforcer Headquarters. Gibbering and hissing, the monstrous spider scrabbled it's way up, stopping from time to time to swipe at the feeble attempts of the Enforcers, who were trying to stop it from both inside and out.
Commander Ferral had been on his way from the Mayor's office aboard an Enforcer Chopper. Now he was trying to keep his temper while he directed the effort to stop the creature. "This is Ferral! Dispatch, I want two squadrons of Cougar Jets to swat that bug! No one attacks MY headquarters and gets away with it!"
As the Enforcers on the rooftop hangar scrambled to comply, three other gunship Choppers made a fast pass at the thing, their heavy guns chattering as they saturated the air around the spider with hot fire. In retaliation, the spider darted out two claw-tipped legs, immediately impaling two of the Choppers clean through, and then were withdrawn with a jerk. The vehicles spun towards the street, careening into a billboard for "Nitty Kitty Kola".
A call came in to Ferral from his junior officer, Lt. Steel. "Sir! Ocelot and Lynx Squads are on the way! ETA 20 seconds!"
"Be ready to call in more, Lt. Steel! Our chopper forces are taking a pounding!" Ferral growled, as the monster ripped out a chuck of stone from the building, flinging it at his gunship with a roar.
"Pull away, NOW!" he shouted, watching as the chunk of masonry sailed past, colliding with another chopper in a ball of flame. He growled in frustration. As much as he hated to admit to himself, maybe the D.M. was right. Despite the fact that The Enforcers had the best planes and vehicles, this beast was getting the best of them.
The spider was nearly to the top when the high-pitched whine of Enforcer jets could be heard. Ten, silver and blue jets winged down from above, streaking for the monster with a vengeance.
"Hit that thing with every missile you have, Men! That's an ORDER!" Ferral shouted into his com-mike.
At once, the air was filled with the streaking tails of nearly a double score of missiles, then seconds later a sphere of fireballs covered the spider from head to tail as they exploded. For a while, nothing could be seen for all the smoke and fire. Then, as if the missiles had been nothing but raindrops, the mutant spider clambered onto the top of Enforcer Headquarters, shrieking in triumph as it gripped the steel and stone edifice with it's many legs, using it's forelegs to begin swatting the jets out of the sky.
Ferral was about to call out for more chopper back-up, when the tac-net was filled with the all-too familiar voices of his worst nightmare.
"Have no fear, Commander! Let US take a crack at that big bug!"
Right on the tail of those words, a familiar blue-and-red jet streaked like lighting over Ferral's Chopper.
The Enforcer's Commander growled into the mike, "You SwatKats stay OUT of the this! Let the ENFORCERS handle this!"
Razor quipped, "Well, not to critizise you, Ferral, but you're fire power isn't making the grade!"
"He probably doesn't want us to get our tails fried before the ceremony," T-Bone quipped, angling the TurboKat in on the attack. "Got something that'll swat that thing, Razor?"
The gunner grinned as he flipped a series of arming switches. "First, we need to knock that bug off of there before he causes any more damage . . . so, let's use the Bolo-Missiles first!"
With that, he hit the firing switch, sending a pair of slim rockets darting towards the spider. Just before they hit, the popped open at the sides, sending long, snaking coils of heavy-duty wire to fling around the bug's body. The force of them hitting set the spider off balance. It tried to recover, but it was too little, too late, as it toppled and pitched over the side of the skyscraper.
Razor flipped another switch, saying, "Keep with him, T-Bone!"
"I'm on him like a cat on a scratching post!" The burly pilot said grimly, prepared to follow the airborne bug down. "Now what?"
"Now for something really en-lighting! Mega-Volt Missiles . . . AWAY!!!"
At once, three thick missiles erupted from the pylon on the left wing, zooming down to strike the mutant spider and stick there. At once, the on-board surge-generators sent nearly hundreds of giga-joules of energy into the thrashing beast. Unable to withstand it, the critter simply exploded!
"Yeah! That bug is ZAPPED!" Razor shouted.
"Waydigo, Partner! I'd guess that's one way to fry an over-grown flycatcher," T-Bone chortled.
"I guess that takes care of him. D'you think we should rub Ferral's nose in this?"
T-Bone grinned, "I'd like to, but . . . ah, let's just go back and get our badges, Buddy. Better to start things off on the right foot this time." With that, he slowed the TurboKat down and began to turn back towards the Enforcer's HQ . . .
Ferral, having seen the demise of the mutant spider, ordered his pilot to land the Chopper on the roof of the HQ. Getting out with a scowl, he was meet by his niece, Lt. Felina Ferral, and Lt. Steel, his Second Officer, on the tarmac.
"Looks like we owe thanks to the SwatKats again, Uncle," Felina said with a smile.
"Just don't ask me to be HAPPY about it!" Ferral growled. Turning, he watched as the TurboKat was making it's approach for landing.
Just then, the doors on the far side of the tarmac, leading from the building inside, opened to reveal Mayor Manx and Ms. Briggs, both of whom were smiling at Ferral. Almost as if to say, "See?"
In the moment as the TurboKat was about to touch down, as Manx and Callie reached Felina, Steel, and Ferral, there was a sudden burst of light all around. Like some alien thunder-flash, the light lanced out and hit the TurboKat, enveloping it in an eldrich glow of green.
Before anyone could recover from the shock, a burst of evil laughter filled the skies, followed by a grating, peevish voice that began to chant aloud:
"From these here-told Modern skies . . .
Cast these foes far from my eyes!
Set them adrift through time and space,
And never again let me see their face!"
In an inkling, the air around the TurboKat began to swirl violently, turning into a maelstrom of energy and space, into which the sleek jet - along with a very shocked Razor and T-Bone - plunged and was quickly lost in the glowing vortex, which snapped shut with a thunderclap, and was gone!
"Oh no! SwatKats!!!" Callie shouted, unable to believe what had just happened.
"They . . . never had a chance!" Steel gulped, feeling very sick just then.
Ferral scanned the skies. "But, WHO did this?!?"
He was answered by another whining cackle. "Ah-HAhahahahaa! You should know BY now, insects! I am the ONLY one that can control Time itself! And thanks to me, those wretched SwatKats are gone for GOOD!"
"Felina! I know that voice!" Callie gasped.
"You should know me, Callie Briggs, as should you all!" the voice continued, A sudden WHOOSSH! of air sounded above the startled group, and as one they turned to face the appearance of another nightmare creature - this time, a giant white bat - who carried the speaker on it's back. It was a short, orange skinned being, whose body was clothed in purple, tattered robes, leering at them with black hate filled eyes.
Manx nearly fainted, but managed to stammer, "Am-mam-am-am-mam . . . it's impossible! I-I-I-I-It CAN'T be him!?!?!"
The being laughed, "Oh, but IT IS, Mayor Manx! I have returned from Time immortal, to enact my revenge on those accursed SwatKatz! Now, with them out of the way, lost in time and space forever, there is nothing, NOTHING that can stop me from reshaping the world in my own image!! ME! The greatest, evil master of Time; The PASTMASTER!!!"
# # #
~ Just Outside Castle Wyvern, Aerie Building, Manhattan ~
"Goliath! LOOK OUT!!" Brooklyn shouted.
The lavender Gargoyle dipped, nearly fouling his wings as a pair of missiles streaked by. Righting himself, Goliath pulled up alongside Brooklyn, and together they whirled around one of the sides of the castle, hoping to keep any more of the projectiles from locking on.
"Where are Angela and the others?" the big leader asked worriedly.
"We split up over Central Park," his second replied, "when those goons showed up and started to use us for target practice! I hope they didn't get caught!"
Goliath growled, catching another thermal to rise back up to the top level of the castle. "If they did, then those Quarrymen will pay dearly!"
~ Fifteen Minutes Ago ~
Four, sleek black gunships arrowed through the high clouds over Manhattan, headed for the tallest edifice in the city. Each one had been armored and armed for aerial combat, with enough assault firepower to demolish Fort Knox.
In the lead ship - Hammer - the gunner was speaking to someone over a encrypted channel. "Strike One to Mason Base . . . Less than 15 Kims to target. We have four contacts within 2 Kims of Ground Zero; all airborne and closing less that 5 knots airspeed."
The reply came back with an oily sneer, "Excellent! Everyone arm all weapons and do your duty Quarrymen! Move in and exterminate the vermin in the park, then move on to the primary objective. By dawn I want those vermin destroyed, and that castle nothing but rubble!"
"Roger that, Castaway. Strike One out!" the gunner replied with a nod. Switching to a tactical channel, he said, "All Strikes report!"
"Piledriver here . . . all green!"
"Demolisher here . . . ready to rock!"
"Cutter here, boss! What's the word?"
"All right, boys! Castaway gave the word, so lock and load! Hammer has the lead with 'Driver, while you others flank out and try to keep them hemmed in! With luck, we'll nail them in one pass, and then we can concentrate on the Castle-on-Aerie. Confirmed?"
A chorus of "Ayes" came back.
"Move out!" With that, the two lead ships surged forward, the sound of their muffled rotors barely making a whisper in the nighttime air.
Angela and the Trio were gliding along, heading back towards the castle after a short patrol sweep over the northern part of the city. It was one of those rare nights where no crimes were being committed. They were all looking forward to spending the rest of the night off, unsuspecting of the danger that was fast approaching from behind.
"Man, this is one of those nights were I don't want to do anything," Brooklyn was saying.
"I heard Xanatos got some new books for the library," Lex added, but he was probably going to find himself in front of the small laptop that he was working on. Xanatos had promised to find the small Gargoyle a larger PC to use, but not until some of the newer peripherals were released from this one corporation next month.
Broadway looked over at Angela with a sheepish grin. "Um, hey, Elisa showed me this great new recipe . . . would you like to try it?"
"I'd love too," Angela replied.
Brooklyn sighed under his breath. Looks as if he was going to have another lonely night at the castle. Looking back at the two lovers, he spied something moving against the night sky. "Hmm? What in Avalon is that?!?"
"What is what?" Lex asked, catching the crimson Gargoyle's look of concern. Looking back, he quickly focused on the approaching masses and suddenly gave a gasp of recognition. "Those are CHOPPERS!!!"
"And if they're moving silently . . . EVERYONE, SCATTER!!" Brooklyn shouted. Not waiting for the others, he peeled off, arching upward to get clear. Lex followed his lead, while Broadway and Angela were slower to react, flailing before diving straight down. Just mere seconds after, a six-pack of missiles streaked through the space they had just vacated.
"Quick! Find some cover!" Broadway shouted to Angela.
"We've got to find Goliath!" she shouted back.
Lex barely avoided one of the missiles, looping around to get a better look at the sleek attack craft. "They must be Quarrymen!"
"Great! I knew this night was getting too quiet! Everyone! Down to the park! We'll loose 'em in the trees!" Brooklyn called out, tucking in his wings as he dove to gain more speed. The others followed suit, with the choppers right behind.
The gunner in Hammer cursed, "Damn! We missed them! Quick, all units follow them in! We'll get them before they can go to ground."
"Hammer, what about the ones back at that castle???" This came from Cutter.
"What about them?!"
"I was thinkin' . . . S'pose these critters have a way to alert them? We could waltz right into a fire-fight by the time we get to the castle! I hear Xanatos has some wicked defense systems on that place!"
The lead gunner groused, since he had the four in his sights, but the pilot from Cutter had a point. "You three keep after these four then! I'll head for the Aerie to take out the Castle! Join me when you can!" Under a chorus of "Roger that"'s, Hammer pulled away from pursuing the Gargoyles.
Brooklyn turned, dodging around in time to see one of the choppers pull away.
"Where does that one think he's going!?!?" He took only a split second to mark it's direction, and realize just where it was headed for. "The Castle! That one's going after the others!!"
Angela just dodged another missile, hearing Brooklyn's shout. "No! Father! Hudson!!"
The beaked Gargoyle did some thinking, and fast! "We can't let these others get after the rest of the Clan! Lex! Broadway! Keep them from going after that one! I'm going after it and warn Goliath and Hudson!"
Angela pulled up alongside him. "I'm coming too!"
Brooklyn shook his head. "No! You stay with the others! I'll have a better chance of getting ahead of them alone!" With that, he caught a thermal and shot into the sky, where the higher winds would carry him across the island much faster than any vehicle.
"Wait! Brooklyn!!" the young female shouted. She attempted to follow, but a chatter of cannon fire whipped her around, just in time to see two of the remaining choppers trying to pen in Broadway.
"Broadway!!! I'm coming!" she shouted, flipping over to gain some speed as she winged towards him. Just then, the third chopper heeled over, spraying her with several rounds of high-caliber shells. She shrieked, barely avoiding being hit, but the action cost her her momentum.
Lex spied her, and dashed out to try and save Broadway. "Hold on!" He managed to dive between the two choppers, tackling the larger Gargoyle in a rush to keep him from becoming their next target.
"Damn! They move too fast to get a proper lock-on!" the gunner in Demolisher barked, watching as the two Gargoyles plummeted from his cross-hairs.
"Switch over to heat-seekers," Piledriver replied, "let's see if those beasts can move fast enough to avoid them!"
Cutter was about to, when a call came in from Quarrymen HQ, and Castaway, who had been monitoring the attack. "Strike-4, this is Castaway! Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT kill all of the contacts! Capture at least one if you can! We can always kill them later, before we use them to bait the others!"
"Understood, Sir. Cutter initiating Capture-Protocol Zeta," he replied. "Demolisher! `Driver! Hem those two in . . . I'm rigging the electrified nets for a wide spread!"
"Roger that, Cutter! We'll hem them in and you can bag them!"
Together, the three gunships began to put their plan into action . . .
~ The Aerie Building, Castle Wyvern ~
Goliath and Hudson were just landing on the upper parapets, having just finished a small sweep over another part of the city, when Xanatos came out on the roof to meet them.
"Goliath? Something's going on over Central Park," he said to them as soon as they were in earshot. "Owen reports that all of the local police bands are lighting up with reports of some sort of weapons fire, and there are some reports of Gargoyles being involved."
Hudson looked at his leader with concern. "Th' lads an' Angela were talkin' about doin' a sweep over the park!"
"We'd better investigate. Come, Hudson!" Goliath said, turning to lead his friend back to the parapets.
Just then, a beeping sound came from Xanatos' personal phone, making him answer it before the two Gargoyles could fly off. "Talk to me Owen . . . what??? How close?!?"
"What is it?" Goliath asked, turning to face the multi-billionaire.
"There's a gunship headed for the Aerie, and it's one of the ones that was spotted fighting in the park!"
As if on cue, the southern-most tower exploded in a shower of fire and rubble, followed by the sight of a black chopper as it wheeled over the edge of the castle, it's weapons turning to face the three in the courtyard.
"Scatter!" Xanatos shouted, turning to dive for cover as a stream of red tracers stitched their way across the stones. Goliath and Hudson were already airborne, climbing for altitude as the ship turned and fired a spread of rockets at them.
Goliath growled and turned, unprepared but not quite willing to give up without a fight. "We need to distract it until Owen can get the castle's defense systems up!"
"Aye . . . but that'd be like attackin' a dragon wi' just a butter knife!" Hudson replied.
The gunship turned and dipped over the edge of the castle, firing again at the parapets with a vengeance.
"Nevertheless, we MUST keep it from destroying the castle!"
Just then, Brooklyn glided up. "Goliath! LOOK OUT!!" The crimson flyer watched as a pair of missiles darted out, nearly hitting the lavender Gargoyle as he dipped away.
Righting himself, Goliath pulled up alongside Brooklyn. "Where are Angela and the others?"
"We split up over Central Park when those goons showed up and started to use us for target practice! I hope they didn't get caught!"
# # #
~ Over Central Park ~
Over and over the flight raged on, the three Gargoyles circling and diving, trying to keep the three gunships from penning them in. However, they were getting tired, and the pilots of the choppers were finally working them into a boxed-situation when they began to run out of room.
"Huh-uh-uh . . . they're gaining on us!" Broadway gasped, falling behind as they turned away from a grove of trees.
Angela saw him faltering. "Broadway! You have to keep up!"
Lex looked back and grimaced. "We can't let them follow us out of the park! If they start shooting again, people could get hurt!"
"~ pant! ~ You guys . . . get outta here! I'll draw . . . them away!" Broadway commanded, feeling his wings burn as he tried to keep out of range of their pursuers.
"No! We won't leave you behind!" Angela cried.
"Angela! Go back to the Aerie," Lex shouted, turning back to help his Rookery Brother. "I'll help Broadway!" Angela looked as if she would balk. "Just go! NOW!!!"
The lavender gargess broke away in a burst of speed, shooting them a last look of worry as she left them.
Lex turned to grab the larger Gargoyle's arm with his tail, trying to keep him aloft as they closed the distance to some trees below. "Hold on, Broadway! We're gonna make it!"
Cutter watched as the one Gargoyle pulled away, and the smaller one darted back to help the larger one.
"That's it . . . just stay right there . . . almost got it!" He waited a scant heartbeat, as the center of his crosshairs slid over the two creatures, blinking twice to confirm a lock-on . . .
"Nets away!!!" With a click of a firing switch, a pod on one of the gunship's wings exploded, sending a bundle flying towards the two Gargoyles. Just moments before it would have struck them, the bundle burst apart, spreading into a heavy metal net. The net wrapped around the two airborne Gargoyles, entangling their wings and limbs. Lex and Broadway tried to claw their way free, but the Cutter gunner was prepared. With a deft flip of another switch, he channeled a charge of electricity into the net, making his captives squirm and howl in agony.
"Got them! Retracting capture nets!" Cutter crowed, pulling the two Gargoyles in.
"Cutter! Demolisher here! We still have one last Gargoyle out there!" radioed his companion. "And she doesn't look like she's too keen on us taking her mates!"
Cutter weighed his options. Castaway would like to have all three, but his orders were for one and he was pushing it to have snagged two. "Just blast her and let's go join Hammer at the Aerie. He'll need backup by now!"
# # #
~ The Sky Above The Park ~
There was a flash of light, but this time not from a missile explosion . . . just as a white fireball regurgitated the TurboKat in mid-air, right into the inky Manhattan skies.
"Crud! What it the world was THAT?!?" Razor shouted, gripping the sides of the cockpit.
"Search me, but we're no longer about to land, and our engines out!" T-Bone replied, seeing nothing but empty air beneath them. "Hold on! Emergency Dead-Start, NOW!" Flipping three ignitors to life, the SwatKat pilot rammed the afterburner throttle home, making the once dead engines roar back to life. Quickly, the TurboKat regained the skies and was flying level once more.
"Wheeew! That was a close one!" T-Bone commented. "Now, what just happened to us? One minute we're about to land on Enforcer Headquarters, the next . . . BLAMO!"
Razor checked his scope. "Well, I can't find Enforcer HQ . . . come to think of it, I can't find any landmark that I recognize!" Looking out of the cockpit window, he grimaced. "Looks as if we're over another city of some kind!"
"Oh, great! Just which city are we talking about here, Razor?? What happened to MegaKat City???"
"I don't think we are in the same universe anymore, pal! That green light that hit us looked almost like the same type of energy that the Pastmaster used to send us back to the Dark Ages that one time!"
T-Bone slapped the sides of his jump-seat. "Oh, GREAT!!! So the Pastmaster just zapped us into another world! Any idea how we're gonna get back home?!?"
"I don't know . . . " Razor replied, when a sudden beeping on his scope broke his chain of thought. "But, something's just made our Dimensional Radar go gonzo!"
"Talk to me, Buddy! What've ya got?"
"I'm picking up three blips here . . . WHOA! The computer's tagged them as high-end military choppers! And their shooting at something!!"
T-Bone started. "But what are military choppers doing flying over the city? If this was Mega Kat City, the Enforcers would be all over them like lice on a Kat!"
Razor smirked. "We're not in Kansas anymore, Big Buddy!"
"Heh, so tell me why there are combat choppers flying over this . . . where ever we are? And what are they shooting at!?"
"What ever it is, it's non-metallic," Razor replied, scanning the scope while he fiddled with the controls. "Something tells me we need to check this out, T-Bone!"
"Affirmative, Razor," the husky pilot replied. "Comin' around! Let's go see what's what!"
With that, the TurboKat swept around in a powered banking maneuver, arrowing towards the contact Razor had found.
# # #
Angela was at her wits end. First the Quarrymen had tried to blast them out of the sky, then they switched tactics and successfully captured Lex and Broadway. Now they had managed to force her back into the park, and were about to box her in from above and behind to deliver the coup-de-grace.
Above her, the pilot in Piledriver was grinning as he centered his gunner's crosshairs over the struggling Gargoyle. "That's it . . . just a little more, you monster, and we'll have you!"
Just then, Cutter signaled over, "Driver! We've got an unidentified aerial contact headed our way! 4 Kim's out and moving fast!"
The pilot turned to look at his radar. A single, highlighted crimson blip was homing in on their location. His eyes widened at the data on the scope. "At that rate of speed, it must be a jet!"
"What's a jet doing out here?!?"
Snarling, the Driver-pilot glared at the scope. "Must be the Police! I hear they've got Gargoyle sympathizers on the force!"
Cutter's pilot called back, "So?!? What do we do now?!?"
"Cutter, get those two captives back to Mason Base," the pilot ordered sharply. "We'll handle the jet!"
"But what about that last one???"
"It's not going far! Once we finish the jet, we can pick it off at our leisure!"
The TurboKat swooped up fast, with T-Bone and Razor watching as the three choppers broke off their pursuit and turned to face them.
"Looks like they want to play, eh Razor?"
"Not all of them, T-Bone! One's makin' a break for it!" the slim gunner replied.
"Ah, let 'em go! We have to deal with his friends first!" As if to put the truth to T-Bone's statement, the remaining choppers began to fire their cannons, filling the sky with red tracers.
"Whoa! Hold on buddy! Turning evasive!" The TurboKat spun around, barely avoiding the shells as they spun by. As they came on, the choppers unleashed a score of missiles after them.
"Oh, no! You're not gonna get us that way! Launching Cutter-Blades!" Razor crowed, firing a brace of sleek, razor-tipped blades after them. The blades intercepted the projectiles, ripping them apart in a firestorm of explosions.
T-Bone grinned. "Good going, buddy! Now . . . let's see what we can do about them, in an up-close kind of way!"
"I think I have just the thing, partner! Releasing Scrambler-Missiles . . . NOW!"
Angela turned in flight, watching as the choppers retreated to take on what appeared to be a . . . plane of some sort! It had avoided their attack, and then dispatched the chopper's missile attack in a span of seconds.
"It seems I have some allies . . . but, WHO are they?"
Just then, the jet fired a pair of red missiles, the tips of which were glowing with a halo of energy. The choppers swerved to get out of the way, but one of the black ships was struck amidships by the projectiles. A sudden field of electricity flared up, covering the chopper with a corona of yellow lighting.
Unable to remain aloft, the chopper plunged towards the city below, crashing into a building with a "WHaa-BOOM!", leaving a brief, inky fireball behind.
"Got that sucker!" T-Bone crowed.
"Save the celebrations, buddy, we still have one more chopper out there," the lanky gunner replied, "and he's playing for keeps!"
The remaining gunship was firing wildly, turning around to try and tag the TurboKat with random missile, rocket and gunfire. Several shots came close, but T-Bone's expert flying managed to avoid most of them.
"Crud!!! This bozo's panicking! If he keeps this up, he'll damage a lot of the surrounding city!"
"Worse than that," Razor replied, "He'll hurt a lot of innocents! Well, I got something that will cool his heels! Bring us around again!"
"Roger that, buddy!" With a jerk on the HOTAS, T-Bone brought the TurboKat up and over, diving in on the gunship from above.
"Steady now . . . time to put this joker on ice," the lanky gunner said, lining up his targeting system. "Icebox Missiles . . . FIRE!!"
With a touch of a button, two bulging missiles dropped from their hard-points and streaked towards the last Quarryman chopper, erupting over the gunship in a cascade of super-conductive coolant. In seconds, the coolant turned the metal of the craft into brittle steel, and with the oscillations of the rotors, it literally shook itself apart.
"Waydigo, Razor! I guess that's the last of them!"
"Hold it, T-Bone! One of those last missiles is locked on to that . . . flying thing!" Razor cautioned, pointing outside to where Angela was desperately trying to dodge the said missile. "Bring us down! I can disable that missile with the Cement Cannon!"
"Roger! I'm bringin' her in on Hover-Mode!"
Diving after the missile, the TurboKat easily caught up with it, just as the creature it had locked onto had spied it, frantically diving towards the ground to get away. T-Bone leveled the jet, giving his gunner a chance to lock on with their rapid-fire mini-gun - a special one that shot gobs of quick-forming plasti-ment; tough enough to gum up the works of any jet, chopper or aircraft, while also able to bring down any missile.
"Easy . . . steady . . . got it! FIRE!" Razor clipped, depressing the firing stud.
With a whine, the mini-gun ripped out a stream of grayish gobs, splattering the missile from nose to tail. Unable to handle the added weight, it plummeted towards the ground, splashing down in the East River to detonate harmlessly.
"Bingo!" crowed Razor.
"Congrats, Buddy! Now, let's see if we can help that . . . whatever it is out there! Looks like it's tiring fast." T-Bone said, winging over to where the stricken Gargoyle was slowly loosing altitude, since the flight from the Quarrymen choppers had taken a lot out of her.
"Use the Grapple Claw, T-Bone," Razor suggested, "but use it on the lowest pressure setting! Anything higher could crush it! I'll see if I can track that last chopper."
"Roger that! Firing Grapples!" With a *KpOW!*, a large, three-fingered claw launched itself from the underbelly of the jet, gently plucking an exhausted Angela from the sky. Unable to struggle, she just collapsed against the digits, while T-Bone pulled her in.
"I got the flyer, Buddy! What about that last chopper?" he asked.
"No sign of it . . . but there's some kind of gun battle going on at that tall building over there!" Razor replied, pointing a finger at what looked like the tallest building in this entire alien city.
T-Bone whistled, "Crud! That's even taller than the Manx Towers!!!"
"Yeah, but it's being attacked by one of those gunships! Unless we do something, it's gonna cause a lot of damage!"
T-Bone grinned archly. "One chopper against the new TurboKat 2? Heh! No contest! What do we do about the flyer?"
Razor considered it for a second. "We don't have time to set it down. Bring it along, but let's keep our distance! Once we take out that gunship, we can set it down and figure out where we are!"
# # #
~ The Aerie Building ~
Hammer was having some trouble locking on to the more nimble forms of the Gargoyles, but at least he was managing to pound most of his misses into the castle itself. If anything, Castaway would be pleased that he accomplished part of his mission.
He was about to draw another lock-on the big lavender brute, when the com-channel screeched to life. "Mason Base to Strike One! Hammer! You are ordered to withdraw! Strike Four has returned with two Gargoyle prisoners, but Demolisher and Piledriver bought it!"
The gunner looked up in shock from his display. "Whaat?!? How can that be?!? Those monsters weren't packing any firepower?!"
"It seems the local law has managed to get hold of some kind of super fast fighter jet," the explanation came back, "and it's armed to the teeth! Withdraw from the Castle at once! We shall deal with this development after you return for refueling and re-arming! Mason Base out!"
Hammer's gunner groused, slamming his hand onto the console in front of him. "Damn! We were so CLOSE! You heard the leader," he shouted to the pilot angrily, "get us out of here, pronto!"
"Sure thing! And it's good that we are, `cause I just picked up that fast-mover that Mason Base just told us about!" the pilot replied, checking his auxiliary radar panel. "It's at 8 Kims out and moving in pretty damn FAST!"
The gunner just growled and jerked his head aside. "Engage the overdrive turbine! Let's get back to base!"
Goliath and Brooklyn were about to loop around one of the towers, hoping to draw the gunship into one of the hidden defense weapons lining the tops of the castle, when they heard the higher-pitched sound of it's engine get louder. Daring a look back, they saw that the gunship was turning away and pealing off from the castle at breakneck speed, arrowing off into the distance.
"Why did it just give up?!? They had us dead to rights!" the crimson warrior wondered aloud.
"Yes . . . something made it go away," Goliath agreed, "but nothing that Xanatos' defenses showed for!"
Just then, they heard Hudson calling to them, "Lads! There's somethin' approachin' the castle! An' it's another flyin' machine!"
"Oh, great! Another gunship?!?!"
Hudson shook his head. "Nae! But somethin' just as bad, I wonder! An' it not comin' up fast either! Like, it doesn't need tae dodge th' castle's defenses!"
Goliath looked at Brooklyn, who shrugged with nothing more to say. "We'd better investigate then! Hudson! Get down to the castle and get Xanatos! We'll see to this . . . new flying machine!" Without waiting for his reply, Goliath soared upwards, with Brooklyn not far behind, seeking out this new arrival.
# # #
Inside the TurboKat 2, Razor was following the progress of the fleeing chopper.
"It's heading north . . . bearing zero-one-five! Guess it saw us coming!"
Chance was concentrating on keeping the jet level, so as not to dump their unconscious passenger below. "Can say as I blame `em! If I knew that the TurbotKat had wiped the sky with my companions, I'd be hittin' "B" for boogie! Hey . . . we're comin' up on the up-side of that building . . . WoooOW! Will'ya look at that!"
Razor saw what his companion was looking at. "Crud! That's got to be an engineering miracle! An entire castle, on top of a skyscraper!"
As they got closer, the SwatKats could see that the building was merged with the ancient stones of the castle, seemingly making both structures appear to be one piece.
That wasn't all that they saw, when T-Bone looked off to the side. "Head's up, Razor! I think our flyer isn't the only one around!"
The smaller cat looked out the cockpit, spying the other two Gargoyles as they approached, gliding on the wind thermals around the building.
"It's a sure bet we don't want to anger the locals, Big Buddy! Hey, let's set her down on one of those towers, and show them we mean no harm!"
"Good idea, Razor," T-Bone replied, "and we might want to set down too! Our tanks are gettin' mighty low on fuel!"
Razor scanned a virtual radar image of the castle quickly. "Try that big courtyard in the middle, T-Bone! It's juuuust big enough for the TurboKat to land in!"
T-Bone nodded. "Hold on then! Dropping off one slightly-bruised passenger, then we're parkin' this baby!"
Goliath and Brooklyn followed the strange jet down, watching as it slowly descended to the roof of the castle, Angela still hung limply in the claw-cable underneath. It gently set her down on one of the towers, then pulled away to land in the center of the courtyard, kicking up a cloud of dust as it settled.
Goliath was the first to reach her side, lifting her up to stare at her unconscious face. "Angela? Angela?!? Speak to me, my daughter!"
She was unresponsive for a few moments, then she suddenly coughed and opened her eyes, looking around dazedly.
Brooklyn, who had landed to the side, breathed a sigh of relief. "Looks like she's gonna be okay!"
"Father?" she asked groggily, blinking as she looked up into his face.
"It's all right, Angela, you're safe! The pilots of that jet who rescued you brought you home." Remembering the jet, Goliath looked down to the courtyard, just in time to see Xanatos and Bronx emerge from the main doors to join Hudson. "Brooklyn! Get down there and help the others. I'm not sure this night is over yet!"
Brooklyn nodded, giving Angela one last look before he vaulted over the side of the tower.
"Father! The Quarrymen . . . they captured Lex and Broadway!" Angela said suddenly, trying to rise.
"Do not worry, Angela," Goliath reassured her. "We will get them back!" Somehow, he amended silently.
Down in the courtyard, Brooklyn join the others as they came over to where the cockpit was on the plane.
"Fascinating! That's a well made jet fighter!" Xanatos said with open envy on his face.
Hudson scowled at the jet. "Maybe, but that contraption smacks of th' Quarrymen, laddy. It's a machine made for war, no doubt aboot it!"
Bronx was growling at the machine, his ridge of back spines rising as he dug in his nails, watching as the jet just sat there, it's engines cooling in the still night air. Without warning, the cockpit popped open, sliding back on it's rails with a suddenness that made Xanatos and Hudson draw their weapons, expecting anything to jump out and start shooting at them . . .
What they didn't expect was a pair of Human-sized . . . Cats, dressed in red-and-blue flightsuits and helmets, with some strange looking devices strapped to their hands.
The alien felines took in the four beings in front of them, then looked at each other with a look of resigned grimness. "Well, I guess this proves it," the larger one said to his companion, "we're not in MegaKat City anymore!"
The smaller one nodded. "Definitely! Looks more like one of Dr. Viper's bad dreams!"
Brooklyn looked to the others, then at the two strangers. "Mega-what? Dr. Who?? Just who are you guys?"
"More to the point, who are YOU guys?" the smaller cat asked, keeping his arm pointed at the others, the triple-barreled device winking ominously.
"He be named Brooklyn, an' him ye can call Bronx, while I be Hudson.We be Gargoyles," the old soldier replied, pointing to each person in turn with his sword.
"I'm David Xanatos, and I own this castle that you happen to be parked on! Now, perhaps you might tell us who you are?"
The bigger cat jerked a thumb at his chest. "I'm Chance Furlong, and this is Jake Clawson . . . but you can call us.T-Bone and Razor. We're the Swatkats!"
"Yeah, and we'd really like to know where in the heck we are right now?" Razor added.
"You happen to be in New York City, in the late 20th Century," Xanatos replied.
T-Bone grimaced. "Yep! We're not in Mega-Kat City anymore, Buddy."
"It must be an alternate dimension . . . one where Cat's aren't the dominant species I guess." Razor replied.
Brooklyn spoke up just then, "Just where did you say you were from?"
"From MegaKat City, our home, and where we protect the citizens from all sorts of bad guys," T-Bone said with pride. "We're also the best fighter pilots in the world . . . uh, I mean, our world."
Brooklyn let this sink in, and was about to ask something more when Goliath glided down with Angela, who looked at the two cats with wide eyes.
"Who in . . . what in . . ." The lavender giant began, looking from Razor to T-Bone in confusion.
"Um, Goliath, this is gonna take some explainin'," Brooklyn said.
By the time everyone's story had been told - including a very encapsulated version of the Gargoyle's coming into the 20th Century - it was clear that the Swatkats were from another dimension, and, for the time being, were no threat to the Gargoyles.
"But whoever was in those black choppers that were chasing your young lady there," Razor commented, "meant business!"
"Yeah! What are combat choppers doing in a city like this?" T-Bone asked. He could accept the fact that the Enforcers had to handle gunships, but from what Xanatos and the Gargoyles were saying, such hardware was forbidden in a city like this, in this place and time.
"They were being piloted by Quarrymen. A faction of Humans that believe that they must destroy Gargoyles to make their world safe." Goliath explained.
"And, right now, they have Broadway and Lexington! We have to go and save them!" Angela said, her tone of voice nearly getting her close to hysterics.
"Yeah, but the Quarrymen probably have more choppers and other weapons, and are just waiting for us to come after them!" Brooklyn said resignedly.
The female turned to look at him with a wild look in her eyes. "Are you saying we should abandon them?!?"
"No one is sayin' that, lass," replied Hudson soothingly, "but, we dinna have the firepower to handle them, if they have such weapons at their disposal."
Goliath rumbled, "Xanatos, can't you spare some of your Steel Clan robots?"
"All of them were scrapped during that incident when Demona turned all of the Humans in the City to stone," the billionaire explained. "I have some being rebuilt, but it will take time. And, I assume time is something that Lexington and Broadway have little of."
T-Bone turned to look at Razor, "Say, couldn't we use the TurboKat to look for these Quarrymen? We could even help them rescue their friends as well!"
"Well, it's possible . . . but, we're gonna need a re-fueling and some more stores to round out our weapons," Razor explained, walking around the jet to assess for damage. "She came through that Space-Diminution Warp without much of a scratch, but without fuel she's no used to us, or to the Gargoyles."
"Xanatos can provide you with fuel to fly your machine," Goliath offered, getting an affirmative nod from the billionaire in reply, "but, it will be of little use to us, unless we can locate the Quarrymen's hidden base."
"I think I have a possible fix on that!" Razor replied. "We tracked that last chopper heading north. Any chance that there is an air base or some place out there that can support armed aircraft?"
"I'll get Owen on that, right now!" Xanatos replied, getting out his cell phone to contact his assistant.
Brooklyn snorted, "Knowing where they are is one thing, but, unless that plane can fit inside a building, it's still not going to be much of a use to us."
At this, Razor looked at his pilot team-mate and grinned. "Oh, we didn't just come with the TurboKat!" With that, he popped a latch on the underside of the jet, and a undercarriage came down, revealing what looked like a large missile. However, with a silent command from Razor's wrist device, the missile retracted in certain places, turning into what looked like a powerful, street-racing motorcycle.
"Jalapena!" Hudson said in awe.
"Cool!" Brooklyn gaped admiringly. The crimson fighter had always had a thing for hot motorcycles.
"Gentlemen, meet the Cyclotron! The best armed streetbike in the known universe!" Razor said with pride. "While T-Bone provides us with air cover, I can use this to strike at those Quarrymen from the ground, and possibly reach your friends before they can harm them."
"All right, I'm impressed," Xanatos said, "but what about weapons? The Gargoyles don't prefer to use them, but I suppose I could provide you with some particle weapons to help out."
T-Bone grinned, and reached down to pry a loose stone from the floor of the courtyard. "Thanks, but we SwatKats have our OWN style of firepower. Hey, Razor! Cat's Eye!!" With that, he tossed the stone into the air, and together, the two SwatKats leveled their wrist devices at the soaring object, and fired some strange looking blades at it, cleaving the stone into pebbles.
"Amazing!" Goliath gasped, having to duck since some of the pebbles landed on him and the others.
T-Bone blew across the muzzle of his device. "The Glove-A-Trix! Never fight crime without one!"
"So, are we in on this rescue mission, or what?" Razor asked.
Will T-Bone & Razor rescue Lex and Broadway, before Castaway can do them in??? And will they ever get back to stop the Pastmaster from ruling MegaKat City??? . . . what's the fun in telling you NOW?!?
# # #
To Be Continued . . .