Chapter 11: The Rescue
My spies inform me Feral is on his way. Now to ready my trap. I turn to my squadron leader and give the order. "Lt Brant! Launch the squadron. You know what to do."
"Yes mame!" She salutes and smartly departs. As she leaves, my radar officer announces an incoming.
"Captain! The Turbokat has been spotted heading this way. ETA five minutes."
"Notify the squadron leader to engage and destroy." I order smiling triumphantly as she complies.
I'll finally be rid of those meddlesome SWAT Kats and Commander Feral will soon follow, then there will be no one to interfere with my plundering of Megakat City.
We are nearly at the abandoned airfield when Razor gives the alert. "Head's up T-Bone. Radar shows twelve incoming."
"Yeah, I see them. Ready for some action, buddy?" I grin ferally. I'm ready to wipe the skies of Turmoil's jets. Her pilots are good, but I'm better.
"Just line them up and I'll shoot them down buddy." Razor growled lining up his first target and letting fly. "Matchhead missile away!" Moments later the jet is a flaming ruin heading for the ground. The battle is joined. After about fifteen minutes, we have downed half of Turmoil's squadron. I swing the jet up and around the airfield trying to see what is going on below. We have to tell Felina to come up soon.
Suddenly, we hear a quick communication from Feral warning us that he is entering the area and to be on the look out for a trap. Razor fires a quick acknowledgment while I avoid Turmoil's remaining jets to get a good look around, that's when I spot the tank hidden behind the old airfield terminal. Feral is now entering through the ruined gates heading toward the terminal and the tank is moving toward him.
"Razor warn Feral! There's a tank coming for him from around the right side of the building. Time for Felina to make an appearance. What's her location?" I yell urgently.
"Got it T-Bone! Commander Feral, tank on your right side, head for cover!" Razor shouts on the radio and is quickly acknowledged.
While I continue to dodge Turmoil's fighters, we watch as Feral drives his hummer into a small garage beside the terminal.
"Felina is just coming in from behind the terminal, T-Bone. I told her to come up now. She should be breaking the surface any second." Razor boomed through the mike.
Sure enough, just as Feral is jumping out of his hummer and the tank is coming around the corner, Felina breaks the surface with the Turbomole just behind it. She uses the missiles on board and disables the tank while Feral takes to the air to determine where Turmoil is. We get a little busy finishing off the rest of the jets as quick as we can so we can join the others on the ground.
As I get closer to the airfield, I hear Razor's chatter over the radio as they engage Turmoil's jets. I'm almost in position when I hear Razor warn my uncle to beware of a tank heading for him. I'm ready when Razor signals me to break the surface and tells me I'll be coming up behind the tank. Sure enough, as the Turbomole comes out into the air once more, I see the tank on my radar. I fire a missile at its rear and am pleased with the resulting explosion as the tank is upended and out of commission.
I stop the mole and open the lid to see if I can aid my uncle. I see him in the air above the terminal trying to detect Turmoil's location. I reach in the mole and retrieve my backpack of weapons, shut the lid and run to the nearest wall of the terminal. I let my uncle know where I'm at and wait for his signal to move in.
I see Felina take out the tank and notice the SWAT Kats have nearly finished taking out Turmoil's jets. Now all that's left is to find where Turmoil and Sarena are. So far I haven't been able to see anyone outside the building. As I continue to hover close to the terminal, I get a message from Felina that she is just below me out of sight of the broken windows and waiting for my signal. I hesitate, but before I can decide the SWAT Kats notify me they are clear and coming in.
"Felina, let's wait until the SWAT Kats join us, then we will close in from four directions." I order her and wait for our allies to join us. A few minutes later, T-Bone and Razor are running toward Felina. I drop down and we huddle to discuss our attack plan. Razor uses a mini-locator device in his glovetrix to pin down how many Kats are inside the building.
"According to this, there are at least fifteen hot spots in there. There are two spots near the far wall. Odds are good that it is your girlfriend and a guard, Feral." Razor verifies.
He may be right. I'm relieved. This may be easier than we thought. I tell the pair that we will each take an entrance and do a pincher play to try and catch Turmoil. I also make it clear, that I intend to get to the location Razor suspects is where Sarena is held. They agree to the plan. I have Felina help me remove my backpack and we all split up. As soon as everyone radios they are in position, I order radio silence and give the signal to move in.
I step carefully through a broken window and listen for any voices. All seems quiet at my end of the building. I creep past dusty floors and empty offices until I finally hear female voices coming from a larger room down a dim corridor. I glide down slowly until I am just to one side of the open door and listen. There are apparently four she kats in the room and they are discussing the best way to force Turmoil to escape. They have a jet stashed in a hangar not far away.
Looks like we made it in time to prevent Turmoil's departure. Readying my glovetrix, I take a quick peek in the room and am in luck, the she kats are clustered together arguing. I fire a net over them. Four down, ten to go. I secure my prisoners and head off to see if I can find anyone else.
I enter the old baggage claim area and see no one about. I move on into the terminal proper and still don't encounter anyone. Where could Turmoil be? I keep moving hoping to find a clue where she might be holed up. I reach an old escalator leading to the upper floors. I decide to check it out since there doesn't seem to be anyone on the main floor.
I only get half way up the decayed escalator when two of Turmoil's she kats suddenly appear up at the top and start firing away. I duck, firing a tarpedo at them which knocks them back against the wall gunking them and their weapons. The noise brings more she kats to investigate so I hustle back down and hide under the stairs. Two more she kats come tearing down and head away from me allowing a perfect net shot that flattens them to the floor. Well that's four down. Wonder how the rest are doing?
I'm about to gain entry through what must have been the employee entrance at the back of the terminal when a she kat slams through the door at a run. She jolts to a stop upon seeing me and tries to raise her weapon but I've already got the drop on her with my stunner. I wonder where she was going in such a hurry? I look around but I only see a small hangar some twenty-five feet from me. Could that be where she was heading? I stand indecisively for a moment. They are expecting me inside, but there may be something of importance in that hangar. I decide to check it out.
I run fast and low for the hangar and meet no one on the way. I look around me quickly, before peeking around the door to the inside. It's one of Turmoil's jets! Well! This has possibilities. I move closer to take a look. This is probably Turmoil's escape hatch and something tells me I should stay here.
I chose the roof door to gain entry since no one would expect someone to come in that way. I quickly put my glasses on and quietly walk down the dimly lit stairwell. My keen hearing does not detect anyone beyond the door so I slowly open it and look out. There is no one around. I begin to search all the rooms and come upon one that obviously held a prisoner. There was a bed with a chain dangling from it.
Dammit, Turmoil's bolted! I quickly contact the others, radio silence being no longer necessary. Razor then T-Bone report in that they've taken out four bad Kats apiece. That just leaves, Felina but there is no answer from her. I tell the SWAT Kats to quickly join me where Felina was supposed to have been as I run there myself.
I decide to board the jet and try to disable it before someone else comes looking for it. I've only just begun sabotaging it when I hear Turmoil's angry voice coming through the hatchway. Moments later, a head appears in the cockpit and I clock it one. I push the unconscious pilot back down the ladder and she lands with a thunk at Turmoil's feet. I have my weapon drawn but unfortunately so does Turmoil and her last four guards. One of them is gripping Sarena tightly about the waist with a weapon pointed at her throat. Sarena looks worn out and scared. I flash her a reassuring look while keeping my weapon pointed at Turmoil. A draw! Here's hoping the guys find me fast before Turmoil decides what to do next.
A quick search finds Felina's entry point to be empty, but there is an unconscious she kat hidden in a corner near the door. Felina has been here but where was she now? Razor looks outside and sees the hangar.
"Hey Commander! There is a small hangar back here. I overheard my prisoners say they had a jet stashed to escape in. Want to bet it's there?" Razor observes. Not waiting for an answer, he runs toward it. We follow him quickly. I know we are on the right track when I hear Turmoil's angry voice.
Peeking around the corner of the hangar door, we can see into the bomber where Turmoil and one of her officers are standing. She's holding a weapon and pointing it at someone. I can't see Sarena, but I can guess she is nearby.
"I bet Felina is the one Turmoil's holding a weapon on?" T-Bone murmurs softly. "And it's a draw, that's why no one is moving a muscle?"
I have to agree with him, but it can't stay a draw forever and we have to do something fast to break the deadlock. I realize in an instant that, since they are inside the jet, they wouldn't be able to see me come around the other side. I signal the SWAT Kats away from the door so we can talk.
"I can fly over the hangar and come in on their blind side. When I'm in position, you cause a distraction and I'll get the drop on them." I explain hurriedly. Razor said he would use a flasher missile and for me to have my glasses on. Smart idea! I agree and lift off as they take their position.
I hang near the top of the door for a moment to make sure the coast is clear than soar in over the jet till I'm hovering over the open door. Razor shoots the flasher which momentarily blinds everyone. I drop down and knock Turmoil and her officers over like bowling pins. I snatch her weapon away. The SWAT Kats have already disarmed the others and have taken them prisoner.
Felina is temporarily blinded but lowers her weapon when she hears Sarena call my name and grins with pleasure that it's over. She sits down and waits for her vision to return while chatting with the SWAT Kats. I'm preoccupied with my lover who has her arms wrapped around my neck and is clinging to me for dear life. I'm hugging her tightly, relieved and happy that she is safe.
I have never been so glad to see anyone in my life as I was to see Ulysses as he got the drop on that terrible she kat. I'd been soo afraid locked up in that room and then when I was dragged out and rushed to this jet, I really thought my life was over. But as I cling to Ulysses' neck and breath in his welcome scent, I'm just grateful to him, the SWAT Kats and Felina that it is finally over.
A week later...Megakat Park
It's a beautiful evening. I've spread my picnic blanket and set our food out. Ulysses should be along any minute. After what happened to me, I've learned to value life more and try to make each day as important as the last. My office has finally reopened, but I decided to look for a new job. To that end, I applied for a position in Enforcer Headquarters secretarial pool. I found out today that I was accepted. I never told Ulysses what I planned because I didn't want his influence to interfere with my hiring. Now, tonight I'm going to give him the good news. I hope he will be pleased. His shadow passes over and moments later he is landing near me.
Sarena looks lovely tonight and she's made a wonderful meal. She seems especially happy this evening and I don't want to disturb that happiness with my uncertainties as yet. She tells me of her new job and I hug her and tell her I am very pleased and happy for her. Now maybe she won't be so miserable and it's great that she'll be nearer to me.
We set to eating and chatting on lighter subjects. I wait till we finish and we've cleaned up before bringing up my dilemma. I tell her about the cure Dr. Konway has finally developed and how that has made me feel. I try to explain my reasons for and against taking it then wait for her thoughts on it.
Poor Ulysses, such a hard decision to make. Selfishly, I want him to stay as he is but realistically it is his life and his transformation has caused some major difficulties. The fact that he has overcome many of them doesn't change the fact that some of them do make life tough for him. It's hard for me to advise him on which way he should go and I don't want to influence him too much.
The best I can do is have him list all the plus and minuses of either decision. We cover all of it, picking it apart until all the doubts are laid bare.
"Well my love, it's now up to you to make the decision. I have one more thing to ask, however." I look at him intently.
"What's that?" He asks.
"Can this cure be made at anytime or must it be used now and never be available again?"
"I don't know. I didn't think to ask." He said surprised, "Why do you want to know?"
"Well, obviously, if it can be made anytime then you can make up your mind anytime, right?" I smile at him.
He stares at me stunned. "You're right! I'll check on it first thing in the morning."
"Good!" I pause and look at him lovingly. "Ulysses, if it can wait, do you know what you will choose?"
"Yes! I'll keep my wings. If it weren't for them, I couldn't have rescued you so easily and I enjoy them too much." He smirked at me. I hugged him and said I hope it can wait then because I love his wings too.
"Oh, so you only love me for my wings, heh?" He teased me.
"No! Of course not! I love you whether you have them or not." I assured him. "I just think they make you look more handsome, that's all." He laughed and gave me a wonderful kiss.
Early the next morning...
I can't believe I never thought to ask that question. Leave it to Sarena to do so. The need to get the answer to that question kept me awake all night. Even making love to Sarena couldn't distract me.
I wait impatiently for the labs to open so I can call Dr. Konway. Unfortunately, its only 7 a.m., I have another hour to wait. Felina pops in and gives me the final report on the Turmoil incident. I'm pleased with the outcome of that case and it's another plus for keeping my transformation. Though there are some things I miss (clothes that fit, jet flying) there are more things I really enjoy (flying, more powerful body, better hearing and sight). My R&D people have developed a chopper with a half seat that still protects me but allows room for my wings so I am able to fly a chopper once more when I need to and though it is a tight fit at times, most vehicles do accommodate my larger shape. And, though, they are still a pain in the tail, I'm on better terms with the SWAT Kats and them with me. We actually work well as a team when the need arises.
I can't believe I said that!
I glance at my watch and see that is finally 8:10 a.m.. Now here's hoping Dr. Konway is in. I anxiously wait for an answer and am relieved when he picks up. I ask him the question.
"The cure can be made any time, Commander. If you chose not to undergo it now then we will simply file it away until you do." Dr. Konway said kindly. I thanked him and said I did not want to change now. He thanked me and wished me good luck. I hung up with a broad smile on my face. I could not wait to inform Sarena of the good news. I remember her telling me that she was clearing her old office today. I think I'll surprise her.
I walk into my old office for the last time. I say goodbye to the few friends I have, gather up the few belongings in my desk and place them in a small box. I look up when I hear excited cries from my fellow workers. They are looking outside so I glance that way and am surprised when I see Ulysses hovering at the window looking in. I hurry across the room and fling open the window.
"Ulysses is something wrong?" I shout. He shakes his head and asks to come in. I back up to give him room as he floats in and lands, folding his wings. "I have good news!" He grins at me.
I smile as I realize why he's happy. "Oh, Ulysses, it's anytime, isn't it?" I ask. He hugs me tightly and says yes. I fling my arms around his neck joyfully and give him a kiss. After a long warm moment, he releases me.
"Are you ready to leave? I thought I'd give you a lift." He said still smiling.
"Oh...oh yes! I just finished packing up my things. Let me get them and we can go." I said excitedly. All my coworkers stare at me in open mouth shock. My boss, Mr Fergus, had come to see what the ruckus was about and is also staring in stunned surprise. I proudly walked to my old desk, picked up my box, purse, and jacket and headed back to Ulysses. He helped me put my jacket on, I put my purse in my box and clasped it to my chest as Ulysses swept me up into his arms. He walked to the window and leaped out, snapping his wings open and gliding me off to my new life.
As we flew along to Enforcer Headquarters, Ulysses seemed to be making a decision of some kind. I could see it in his eyes. I waited tensely. Uncertain what it could be.
"Sarena, I hope I'm not being too forward here, but I've come to care a great deal for you and wonder if you feel the same?" He asked quietly.
"Oh Ulysses! Of course I do. I love you very much. What's this all about?" I asked, a bit concerned.
"Umm, well, I wanted to ask you if you would be willing to marry me?" He asked shyly, his eyes staring into mine as we soared effortlessly through the afternoon sky.
My heart leaped with joy and I had the biggest smile on my face and tears in my eyes as I said "Yes, I will!" He whooped with joy and gave me a deep kiss. All my dreams have at last come true.