Chapter 7: When Forces Collide

The next night after being with Ulera, Razor and I began a systematic search of the mountain ranges North of Megakat City. It took us four hours to cover at least half the range before being forced to return to base running on fumes.

"Well that was a waste of a night!" I grumbled irritably.

"No, it isn't, we still have the rest of the mountain range and those volcanos near the bay to check. Don't be discouraged yet T-Bone." Razor soothed.

"Yeah, I know. It's just so frustrating when you can feel you're running out of time. Dark Kat may be attacking soon and we need to get him before he launches his war." I sigh worriedly as I stripped my flight suit off.

"All we can do is the best we can and as fast as we are able and hope it's soon enough." Razor shrugged fatalistically as he too changed into civies.

Yawning, I realize he's right and do my best to drop it for the night. We need our rest if we are going to be fresh for work in the garage and another nights search tomorrow.

After midnight the next night...

We've finished our search of the mountain range and are heading back when Razor gets a blip on his radar.

"T-Bone hold our position. I got an energy surge for just a second where there shouldn't be any power source at all." Razor exclaimed excitedly. "Let's do a very slow pass over this area with the x-ray beam."

"Roger" I acknowledge and begin a slow grid pattern over the designated spot. Some fifteen minutes later... "Bingo!" Razor crows and I quickly put the jet on VTOL as Razor activates the x-ray device.

"There it is T-Bone! Omigod!" There's horror in Razor's suddenly hushed voice.

"What is it? What do you see?" I demand anxious to know what has upset Razor.

"Oh T-bone, it's worse than we thought. The cavern is filled with creeplings, tanks, and jets. Another section has horrible looking creatures that can only be more of Viper's mutations. It's a huge army tucked away in this mountain." Razor's voice is taut with fear.

I swallow hard and shudder inside. How are we going to defeat that? I look at my partner in the mirror and see the same fear on his face too. "We'd better get out of here before we're spotted" I said quietly when I could finally speak.

"Yeah, good idea." Razor said just as quiet. I hightail it out of the area after making note of its location and head back to our hangar. We have a lot of heavy thinking and planning to do and by Razor's description, not much time to do it.

Enforcer Headquarters, early morning...

Not too long after the raid and my discussion with T-Bone, I received an urgent message from him to meet secretly. I hear fear and tension in his voice. I feel a cold chill in my bones as I suspect what he has to tell. Some ten minutes later, I'm hurrying across the city, alone, in my chopper. I've temporarily disabled my locator beacon and shut my radio down. I don't want anyone tracking me. I soon reach the edge of the swamp and soon spot the Turbokat on the ground. I quickly land nearby it and hop out.

I'm greeted by two very grim SWAT Kats. Responding to a quick hand signal from T-Bone, Razor quickly fills me in on what we are facing. I stand frozen for long minutes, as I try to absorb the magnitude of what faces our city.

"Well that's even worse than any nightmare I could possibly have come up with." I finally say badly shaken.

"You got that right! Looks like we are going to have to use an army of our own to defeat them." T-Bone said blackly.

My mind was racing with possible scenarios to handle this. "I think you are right, T-Bone. I already have my squadrons, commandos and special operations prepped to go. We just have to have a battle plan. Come on let's get back to Enforcer Headquarters and call a war council. We obviously have no time left!" I said decisively.

They nod sharply at me and head to their jet at a run and are soon tearing through the sky. I follow as fast as my chopper can go, turning on my radio and giving terse instructions to my Sergeant to gather all squadron, commando, special ops leaders to meet in the conference room A.S.A.P. and to the flight deck to permit the Turbokat to land and to prep all the enforcer aircraft for imminent launching.

Within a half hour, I stand before a grim group of officers and SWAT Kats in my conference room. "What we feared is worse than we imagined. The SWAT Kats have discovered Dark Kat's hideout and an army the likes of which we have never encountered. We have been preparing for this eventuality and now is the time to strike before he launches his attack. Now listen closely. This is what we are going to do." I rapidly lay out a plan I came up with on my way back to Headquarters.

"We have to get to the hideout as rapidly as we can without tipping off the omegas. I want all ground forces to be fully outfitted and loaded with the tanks aboard the new transport planes that have, fortunately, been completed. The fighter squadron and choppers will provide cover for them as they offload. As the ground troops charge the mountain entrance, the fighter jets will pound the mountain, shake them up and engage Turmoil's jets. The choppers will be busy fighting Viper's flying creatures and protecting our ground forces. Meanwhile, the SWAT Kats, the special ops team that has been training with us, and myself are going to infiltrate from the rear by an entry the SWAT Kats are going to make at the back of their hideout. We will attempt to take out the leaders.

Now, when we attack, we have to assume this will be the enemy's scenario: Turmoil will have her fighters launched from an upper hidden flight line to engage our fighters. Dark Kat will send out the tanks made from the stolen plans driven by his ninjas against the ground forces while his creeplings create havoc along side Viper's mutations.

This is what we face and what our plan of attack will be. Any questions?" I finished and looked around the table. A few minor details were ironed out and finally everyone was satisfied. "Right, then let's go. I want to launch in an hour. Let's move!" I barked.

Everyone rushed out to gather their troops. For the next hour, Enforcer Headquarters was a bee hive of frantic but orderly activity. We were soon taking off just after noon. A massive flight of aircraft filled the skies over Megakat City arrowing toward the Northern mountains. Within an hour, we reached our destination. The Turbokat veered away from behind the flight and streaked to our chosen target. It only took moments for us to be hovering before the rock wall. As soon as I received confirmation that the ground troops had been unloaded and were charging the entrance I gave the command for the squadrons to attack. That was the signal for Razor to open a door.

Razor fired a mole missile at the wall, burrowing a hole in seconds. We landed and rushed to the newly made entrance. Because of my abilities, I lead the way. The ops team is in the middle with the SWAT Kats bringing up the rear. We move cautiously as we feel the mountain shake from the pounding the fighter jets are giving it from the front.

We follow an old lava tube toward lights and sound coming from ahead of us. We soon reach a hidden ledge just above the seething floor of creeplings, moving tanks and mutations clashing with our invading forces. Near the back wall on another ledge leading to a cave entrance stands Dark Kat holding a laser cannon firing at the attacking forces, while Viper is exhorting his creatures to greater efforts. It's a frightening sight!

"Okay let's do this" I order and fire energy bursts at the pair on the ledge while the SWAT Kats and some of the special ops team fly across the room on grappling hooks. I keep Dark Kat from shooting at them and fry some of Viper's critters from yanking them down to the floor. They slam into the two omegas and engage in fierce hand to hand combat. I look over the mess on the floor and decide to begin picking targets and incinerating them. The rest of my team stays by my side keeping creeplings and mutations from attacking me while I systematically decimate our enemies below.

I'm drowning in the delicious feel of all the energy I'm siphoning from the battle. I'm told later that I resembled a miniature sun and that my team was forced to abandon me due to all the energy I was pouring out but by then no one could come close to me to cause me harm. It took all my will power to not succumb to all that power and destroy everything in sight.

As I looked for more targets, a voice shouted at me. For a moment I ignored it but it kept shouting at me and my mind finally recognized it as T-Bone's. I looked for him and saw him on a rope hanging a few feet from me. I immediately drew down my power so he could safely approach me.

"Hey, babe, way to go!" He congratulated me. "You've wiped out all the bad guys in here now we need to go outside and see how it's going there." Razor joined us as we turned back into our tunnel and headed outside. "You had me scared there for a bit, Ulera. You were enjoying it a little too much and I was afraid you would loose control, but you didn't!" He crowed. I felt warmed by his praise and blushed.

"Where are Dark Kat and Viper?" I asked to give me time to regain my composure.

"Hah! They're trussed up like Christmas turkeys awaiting pickup." Razor smirked pleased with their success.

I smiled back, pleased as well. We came out in the late afternoon sun to see things were not so good out here. "You guys better hit the skies. They need help. I'll take care of these tanks and creatures down here." I said while I looked for a good perch for me to do some target shooting.

"Right, be careful Ulera, see you soon!" T-Bone waved at me as he and Razor raced for the Turbokat.

I found a good sniper's spot a few feet away and settled in to begin decimating the enemy tanks. Once they realized that they had a more formidable enemy behind them, all the remaining tanks and mutations began converging on me. In the sky, the SWAT Kats were helping my beleaguered enforcer jets finish wiping the skies of Turmoil's fighters and my choppers were cleaning up the rest of Viper's flying critters.

Time to finish this, using my radio I ordered my ground troops and choppers to disengage and pull back. I waited tensely frying the occasional critter that got too close and absorbing the laser bolts fired at me by the tanks. As soon as my troops were safe, I opened myself wide and cut down all the enemies that were left below my perch.

"It's a sobering sight to see the field of enemies reduced to ash in the blink of an eye. You just don't realize how powerful Ulera is until you see something like this." T-Bone said to his partner when they flew over the field after the battle had ended.

"Hu, you got that right, T-Bone. It's a little frightening. I'm glad she's on our side and that you and she are so close. I shudder to think what she could have done if she was as evil as Dark Kat." Razor agreed soberly.

"Bite your tongue, buddy. I don't even want to imagine such a thing. Well I think we better get down there and see if she needs anything else or a lift back to Headquarters." T-Bone said quietly.

The Turbokat landed near the remaining forces and prisoners gathering at the base of the mountain entrance. Jumping out they sauntered over to the group of officers with Feral at their center.

"Alright, gather your troops and let's get everyone home. Use one of the transports as a hospital carrier and load all the wounded aboard. Put up warning beacons. We will clean up and investigate this site tomorrow. The SWAT Kats and I will take Dark Kat, Viper and Turmoil. Gather all the prisoners and pick another transport for just them, ensure there are enough guards for each group of prisoners. I don't want anyone left. Everyone has the right to get some much needed rest and to celebrate our victory. So let's mount up get out of here." Feral ordered.

Everyone cheered upon hearing the orders and began quickly boarding transports. The fighters and choppers had already been ordered back to base.

Enforcers loaded the prisoners aboard the Turbokat and the SWAT Kats waited patiently for Feral to ensure the last transport was loaded and on its way. Soon as she was on board, they headed for Enforcer Headquarters as the skies darkened toward evening.

Dropping off their passengers at Enforcer Headquarters, the exhausted SWAT Kats headed for their hangar. T-Bone sighed tirededly knowing he wouldn't be going to bed soon. Ulera needed all that excess energy dumped so he decided to take a quick shower and grab a bite before heading off to her apartment. His partner waved good night as he left.

Yawning, he climbed onto her balcony and walked into Ulera's apartment. He found she hadn't yet arrived home so decided to strip and climb into bed to wait for her. Hours later, Ulera walked into her apartment, exhaustion dogging her steps. Dropping her coat and gear on the couch, she locked up and headed to her bedroom. She smiled softly at the sight of T-Bone sleeping in her bed. She dragged off her clothes and dumped them in the laundry basket and took a hot shower. Turning off the lights, she slid into bed and cuddled up against T-Bone and fell asleep immediately.

Her alarm had already gone off hours earlier and they were still asleep, yesterday had been one of high stress and extreme physical exertion so it wasn't surprising that they couldn't wake up. It was two hours past her alarm when the phone rang jarring her awake. Groping around blindly she finally found the phone and answered groggily. "Feral" she muttered.

"Commander, I'm sorry sir, but wanted to know if you intend to come in today?" Her sergeant asked apologetically.

"Crud! What time is it?" She asked as she searched for the clock.

"It's nine, sir!" He answered politely.

"Aw hell, I'm sorry!...Uh...just a minute!" She said as she tried to get her mind working. She realized she needed to still dump power and was still very tired. Getting her wits about her, she gave the Sergeant his orders for the day.

"Have a fresh team go out to the battle site and begin the investigation and cleanup. Everyone that was in battle will be off duty until Monday. Cancel everything else on my schedule for today ...oh if Ms Briggs calls tell her I'll give her a full briefing on Monday. You can give her a thumbnail of what went on so she won't be too concerned. No one is to bother me today. Got it?" She finished.

"Got it sir! Don't worry about anything. See you on Monday." The Sergeant acknowledged hanging up.

Sighing, she dragged herself out of bed to use the bathroom and returned to curl up against T-Bone's warm body and fell back to sleep. Around lunch time, they both woke up to urgent desires and made love for an hour before finally getting up to eat something.

As they puttered around the kitchen fixing a meal, she couldn't help feel how right it was to have T-Bone there with her. "T-Bone, do you feel as comfortable around me as I do you?" She asked quietly, buttering some toast.

He looked over at her from the skillet of eggs he was preparing, "Yeah. It's kinda funny how well we seem to get along when we aren't thinking like SWAT Kat and Commander. I like being with you and the sex is intense." He said with a smirk.

She blushed and placed the toast on the table as he served the eggs and got some milk for them both. As they both sat down to eat, she studied him silently. "Where do we go from here?" She mused.

He looked into her eyes seriously for a moment, "I really don't know, Ulera. Perhaps we should just go on as we have been and let it gradually become whatever it is going to be. After all, we just beat the largest omega attack in years and should see a long while of peace. Time enough to build a relationship if that's where this is going."

"You're right. For the first time in a long time we can finally take a breather from constant omega attacks. There's still the Pastmaster but at least all the others are out of the way for a bit. I like your idea but I would like to see you a little more often than the twice a week we've been doing, if that's alright with you?" I shyly asked him.

He smiled warmly and leaned over to kiss my cheek, "I think that's a fine idea."

I smile happily and finish my breakfast. From such a dismal past, my future finally looks brighter.