WEREKATS

Author's Note: Aristal was used by other writers to describe the Kats planet. I thought it perfect and used it here. 'Were' creatures are used in Christine Warren's fiction series about The Others. Mine do not resemble any of her creatures, only the description of mating and 'were' creatures in general were used.

Disclaimer: I do not own the creatures written by Christine Warren nor the SWAT Kats. Only Jeraz is my own.

Chapter 1: The Visitor

Soaring majestically through the atmosphere, a visitor from space has come to Megakat City, having already communicated with space security and asked to be allowed to visit. The visitor waited one rotation of Aristal until it was given reluctant permission. It was met by several squadrons of enforcers including Feral and escorted to Enforcer Headquarters where security could be maintained. Mayor Manx, Ms Briggs, the city council, prominent scientists, and a handful of press waited within until the harmlessness of the visitor was confirmed.

The small craft landed gently on the end of the flight line. A bristling half ring of armed enforcers waited nervously for the alien to disembark. Feral had landed ahead of the craft and was now striding up behind the tense cordon. He halted just behind them, his weapon at the ready.

A soft whirring sound was heard and a hidden ramp appeared, lowering slowly to the ground. Stepping from within was a figure standing approximately six feet tall. As it walked down the ramp, every eye was watching for any sign of aggression. The creature continued down the ramp and halted when it reached the deck of the flight line. It stood quietly, unmoving allowing the forces arrayed in front of it to get a good look.

The visitor looked like a warrior. It was broad shouldered with a muscular chest, slim waist, strong arms and legs. It wore what appeared to be a simple tunic top and bloused pants of a silvery blue hue, heavy brown boots, an odd looking device hung from its neck and was apparently unarmed. It had a strong, very Kat-like face, rather over long ears, blue black silky long fur and silvery long hair that came below its shoulders. The eyes were the most arresting thing about it. They were deep pools of dark blue ringed with gold.

After a long moment of mutual staring, the creature spoke. Its voice was deep and melodic with an oddness heard in its words. "Greetings! I mean you no harm. I only wish to visit and perhaps be permitted to stay. My name in your language, loosely translates as Jeraz."

Feral stepped through his enforcers and approached cautiously. He halted a few feet from the visitor. He holstered his weapon showing the visitor that he wasn't afraid. "My name is Commander Ulysses Feral, I am the Chief Enforcer for this city. We've had alien visitors before but they were hostile to us so you will forgive us if we are overly cautious. If you will permit me, I wish to search your person to insure you bear no weapons." Feral said politely distant.

"I have no objections, Commander. Please do what you need to." Jeraz agreed quietly and spread its arms away from its sides slowly and stood still.

Still being cautious, Feral turned and signaled an officer to take his weapon, then moved closer to the visitor. He briskly and efficiently searched Jeraz. The alien had a pleasant scent that pricked at Feral's senses. He stepped back and studied the device at the alien's neck. "What is that you are wearing?" He questioned, pointing at it.

"It is my translator. It converts our words into languages we both can understand." Jeraz said calmly. That explained the oddness of Jeraz's speech. They heard its voice but the words were coming out of the device. Being closer to the alien, Feral could hear the difference but distance made it seem as if Jeraz was actually speaking to them. Satisfied the alien posed no immediate threat, Feral signaled a stand down of his forces. As they relaxed, Feral spoke to Jeraz, "Your ship will be safe here and no one will enter it. I suggest you secure it before I take you to meet our government officials. It will be guarded while you are with us." He assured the visitor.

"Thank you, I appreciate that." Jeraz smiled pleasantly, flashing sharp white teeth, and turned to signal its ship to close. Feral could not see what Jeraz did but watched as the ramp withdrew and the ship sealed itself. Jarez waited politely for Feral to lead the way, it gave it a chance to admire the view. Jarez had to admit Commander Feral was quite attractive. Nodding, Feral walked through the corridor the enforcers made between their ranks. They moved briskly toward the hangar doors and to the waiting congregation standing just inside.

Moving to one side of the alien, Feral made the introductions, "Our visitor is named Jeraz, I've deemed it safe for now." Feral turned to Jeraz and gestured toward Mayor Manx. "May I introduce the elected leader of Megakat City, Mayor Manx." He stepped back and let the Mayor take over.

"Welcome to our fairr citiiy, Jeraz. This is my Deputy Mayor Calico Briggs. These are members of our city council. I'll introduce them when we arre iin morre comfortable surroundings. Commander Feral, if you will please escort us to that conferrrence room, you have forr us." He ordered Feral. Feral moved forward and lead everyone to a far door.

"I suggest we go in groups of ten on the elevators." Feral said firmly. He gestured for Jeraz, the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, two enforcers, himself and the council members aboard the first car.

Mayor Manx chatted generalities to their guest as the elevator took them aloft. At their floor, Feral again took the lead and led them down a short hallway and to a large room with a long conference table and chairs. The windows looked out over the city. After everyone had arrived and taken a seat, Mayor Manx introduced the rest of their group to their guest. Then he nodded at Ms. Briggs to take over since she was the one, along with Feral, to make up a list of questions for their visitor.

"Why have you come to our planet and our city in specific?" She started briskly.

Showing no signs of nervousness, their alien guest settled in its seat and answered in an even, calm manner. "I will give you a brief history about myself, if I may?" It asked and received a nod from Briggs. "Thank you. I come from a world that is no more. I was a deep space explorer and was away on a search mission looking for ore bearing asteroids. While away on one such trip, my planet was destroyed by a race of insectoid like creatures. They took over all my people and devastated its resources before moving on, leaving behind a ruined planet unable to support life. I was horror struck and homeless. I found more of my kind that had survived because they were also off planet but there were not enough of us to rebuild our species. Some decided to stay together, a few, like myself, wanted to find a new life elsewhere. So for many years, I've wandered the universe. Stopping here and there, staying a while, then moving on.

When I came upon your planet, I stopped just out of range of your satellites and watched you awhile. I do this whenever I come upon a viable planet I want to visit. You interested me strongly. Not only did you resemble my species but my instruments indicated it was possible for me to find a mate here.

I've grown tired of traveling and wish to settle down and raise a family. I have much to offer your kind. I thought I might set up a consulting business where businesses, scientists, and inventors can bring their problems and I would be able to use my vast knowledge to help find solutions. I will not, however, give you technology you are not ready for. It does not benefit me to have you destroy your society with things that could tip the balance of power amongst the various countries on your planet.

I do not possess any special powers or unusual abilities. I am very similar to you. I chose Megakat City because it has a possible mate for me. I wish to make this person's acquaintance and see if a mutual attraction exists. Another thing I found fascinating about your planet is the two diverse races existing on it." Jeraz said

"Excuse me for interrupting, but we don't have two races. We do have various mixes of Kats but that is all." Ms. Briggs said in surprise. "Also, I think that insectoid race may have been the same ones that tried to take over our world. I'm truly sorry you lost your world to them. They were nasty creatures." She said in sympathy.

"I'm glad you were fortunate to have survived those creatures. As for the second race, I'm sure I am not mistaken, Ms. Briggs. My instruments indicate two distinct races. The majority of the population are like you. The other group is much smaller, about five thousand or less. It's obvious they've kept themselves hidden if you are not aware of them. Though I am uncertain why this is so." Jeraz shrugged its shoulders in puzzlement.

"Well this is the first any of us has heard of this. What does this other race look like?" Dr. Sinian asked.

"Well most of the time they look just like you. The only thing different about them is they are able to change into two distinctly different forms. One is a primitive creature on four legs, the other a formidable biped, some seven feet tall, powerfully built and possessing the same primitive appearance as the four legged form except for being able to talk. All forms of this creature are intelligent." Jeraz explained.

"Oh dear! That description sounds like creatures we thought were only myths." Dr. Sinian said in surprise. "They were called 'weres'. So you are telling us they are real after all?"

"Gadfrey! These creaturres live among us?" Mayor Manx said in shocked surprise.

Frowning at Mayor Manx and Dr. Sinian's reactions, Jeraz looked around the room and found various expressions of fear, surprise, distrust, and curiosity. He didn't expect to get this reaction about the other species but then he hadn't known the creatures had kept their abilities secret.

"They are fully integrated into your society, Mayor Manx. I've seen no threat from them. On the contrary, they seem to go out of their way to be an active part of your society. I watched for at least one year of your planet's rotation studying them. Now that I think on it, they did seem to go out of their way to hide their other forms. I'm afraid by your reactions, I now understand why they go to such lengths to protect themselves." Shaking its head, sadly Jeraz went on, "It's not a good situation when you show such intolerance and fear. Perhaps I've made a mistake stopping here?" It said hesitantly.

"Now wait, let's not be haasty." Mayor Manx exclaimed. "Afterr all we were not awarre of these creatures before and werr're understandably shocked. If they've been living amongst us all along then they are voting katizens of this fair citaay and we should let them know we can accept them and to give us a chance to prove it. After all, we arre not frightened savages like ourr ancesters."

"Mayor Manx is right, Jeraz. If these, uh, weres have hidden themselves how were we to know how to behave around them. They should give us the benefit of the doubt. As for the fear of the different, forgive me, but this city has had its fill of the bizarre. It unfortunately occurs too frequently around here and we have every reason to fear that." Ms Briggs defended them.

"Well, you are certainly right there. I did witness some strange things happening to your city that I was at a loss to understand. As for the weres, as you call them, they must have a reason for their behavior and until they can trust you they may still remain hidden. However, perhaps all is not lost here. I would be willing to act as an impartial go between your two species. Helping to mend whatever problem has caused them to remain hidden." Jeraz offered.

"I would very much like to meet these weres'. Since they are not a myth, I would like to correct our history to include them as they should be. As an outsider your help may indeed repair the rift between our races. History has stories of the weres' being persecuted and killed. I'm certain this is why they have chosen to stay hidden but it is time to end that. You may be the turning point our world needs." Dr. Sinian said excitedly.

"I would be pleased to aid you any way I can, Dr. Sinian. It would be my way of showing my peaceful intentions and what I'm able to contribute as a new katizen here." Jeraz smiled at her.

"Well that cerrtaiinly sounds like a wonderrful idea and a perrfect test for our possible newest katizen. Do you accept the challenge? Mayor Manx asked hopefully not discouraging their possible source of improvement for his city.

Studying them for a moment, Jeraz seemed to come to a decision. "I accept your challenge, Mayor Manx. If I'm successful in getting the weres to reveal themselves to your society and help you make a peace compact with them, the test will be considered fulfilled and I will be permitted to immigrate here. Agreed?" Jeraz asked, stating the terms so that there would be no misunderstandings.

Glancing at the council members for their input and receiving nods, Mayor Manx said with evident pleasure, "Agreed! Ms. Briggs will give you any assistance you might need in accomplishing your task and we here wish you good luck. Hopefully in a few weeks you will have an answer for us."

"If you will have that in writing, I will consider this subject settled." He looked inquiringly at Ms. Briggs. She nodded agreement. "Now are there any more questions you would ask of me?" Jeraz said, pleased that he was able to ease their fears and be able to prove his usefulness to them and he still had a mate to win.

"Is the ship on my Enforcer flight line the only one you have?" Commander Feral asked concerned about the potential for trouble this visitor could still pose and definitely uneasy about the 'were' problem.

"That ship is only a landing craft. My mother ship is in orbit . It is capable of landing on a planet. Is there somewhere you wish me to park it?" He asked.

"How big is your craft?" Feral asked thinking of the places that could keep it safe and have enough security to keep an eye on it.

"It's about the size of one of your battleships." Jeraz said

"Hmm, alright, I think the largest and safest place for it is the space center at MASA." Feral said positively.

"Excellent, you see to the details, Commanderr." Mayor Manx ordered. "Jeraz, consider yourself a guest of the city until you have completed the test. I'm sure everyone here still has many questions to ask of you so if you will excuse me I have a citaay to run and will see now and again during your stay with us." Mayor Manx told their alien guest warmly.

"Thank you for your hospitality, Mayor Manx. It was a pleasure meeting you." Jeraz said gratefully. Mayor Manx merely nodded and took his leave. Immediately the questions began to fly as Jeraz redirected his attention to the waiting group.

"I have a very important question to ask of you. You appear to be male, is that what you are?" Dr. Konway asked curiously.

"I am glad you didn't just assume I was but yes I am indeed a male." Jeraz smiled in amusement.

It was some three hours later when everyone was fairly satisfied that Feral was able to escort him back to his ship. It was a nervous time for the enforcer's letting their guest leave for space again and then watching the much larger mother ship come down to land at MASA. But once he was settled and still showed no sign of aggression, Feral felt a little more comfortable letting him be just what he was, a guest of the city. Time enough to know whether or not he was a threat to the city. He would watch and wait.