NEW DEFENDERS OF MEGAKAT CITY

Chapter 1: The Phoenix Squad

Mayor Manx was tired of the Omega threat. Despite the valiant efforts of the SWAT Kats and the enforcers the menaces were devastating the coffers of Megakat Treasury. Rebuilding over and over again was expensive and wearying the katizens, causing more than a small number to vacate the city for more friendlier countries. This had to stop! Taking a desperate step over the objections of his Deputy Mayor and Chief Enforcer, Mayor Manx sought the help of outside security services. He felt that an outsider might have a different method on how to rid their city once and for all of the mega menaces.

So a week after his call for help, a well known high-powered security force arrived in Megakat City. The Phoenix Squad was famous for taking on difficult cases. The leader demanded the appearance of all parties that presently protected the city and that included the SWAT Kats for a meet in the Mayor's office within a day of his arrival.

Feral stood near a window beside the Mayor's desk and scowled at the SWAT Kats lounging on the other side of his honor's desk with Ms Briggs. Surprisingly, they had no inclination to needle Feral. Apparently they were no happier about outside help than he was. Feral found that a little disconcerting to be on the same page as his antagonists.

At that moment, the Leader of the Phoenix Squad strode in backed by two of his lieutenants. The kat was imposing. His fur was gold with red tips and blond hair that swept his shoulders but was presently tied in a ponytail at his neck. He was as tall as Feral and nearly as broad. His commanding emerald eyes swept the group with piercing intensity. Feral felt a jolt race through his body and he was suddenly tense and alert. This kat made him nervous for some reason. He would bear watching.

"Mayor Manx, good to meet you sir!" The Leader said briskly moving forward and shaking the Mayor's paw.

"I'm glad you werre able to come Mr. Sunsinger." Mayor Manx said happily shaking the offered paw. "Let me introduce everyone. This is my Chief Enforcer, Commander Feral. Over there is my Deputy Mayor Calico Briggs and our vigilanteess the SWAT Kats." Mayor Manx said pointing out each kat.

Sunsinger nodded to each as they were introduced. "Pleasure to meet you all. Now shall we get down to business? I don't believe in wasting too much time when my squad takes a case. As I understand your request, you want us to help you solve your ongoing omega problem by putting them out of business once and for all. I take it, you would not be too upset if the omegas in question don't live to be jailed if it isn't possible to take them alive?" Sunsinger asked bluntly.

"We don't kill deliberately no matter how much we might want to. Justice must be served and that means facing a trial and jail time." Feral said offended and angry.

"Of course, Commander. I only meant that if they die in the process of capture we will not be held responsible." Sunsinger said pointedly.

"I understand completely and, no, we haven't any problem if that does occurr." Mayor Manx jumped in before Feral could object further giving the fuming Commander a warning look.

"Good, I'll want that in writing so that there are no misunderstandings later." He said quietly then studied the defenders a moment.

"I understand the resentment felt by you the present defenders. This is not a slap at your efforts but it is obvious you are waging a defensive not offensive war against these criminals. I intend to help you develop plans to take the offensive and with our more advanced surveillance and capture methods take each one of these criminals out of the picture. I've been studying your city for some time only because its problems are interesting and have provided me with scenarios with which to test my team's skills and to develop new offensive weapons. I believe we will succeed in this endeavor but only with your cooperation. To that end, I intend to meet with each of you individually and together to smooth out any difficulties before they become dangerous problems." Sunsinger concluded his presentation. Receiving no comments, he began issuing instructions.

"Commander Feral, I want to see you later in your office and SWAT Kats, I want to talk with you now. I take it your jet is on the roof?" He asked looking at them. The SWAT Kats nodded. "Alright let's go there now and chat." He said then looked back at the Mayor. "I will keep your office informed of what we're doing as often as possible, sir. Now if you'll excuse me, we need to get started." Sunsinger said nodding at the Mayor as he prepared to leave.

"Of course and thank you forr coming to ourr aid. Anything you need please contact Ms. Briggs and she'll get it for you." Mayor Manx said, relieved at Sunsinger's willingness to get down to business immediately.

Sunsinger gave a quick nod of acknowledgment and gestured for the SWAT Kats to precede him to the roof. A bit disgruntled the SWAT Kats headed for their parked jet. As they reached the roof and looked upon the Turbokat for the first time it was obvious the visitors were suitably impressed.

Whistling, Sunsinger and his officers circled the jet in avid curiosity. "Well now, this is a sweet machine." Sunsinger said shaking his head in admiration.

Losing some of their annoyance, both SWAT Kats preened in pleasure. "Yeah, she is!" T-Bone said with pride. "Razor built her from scrap!"

"Really!" Sunsinger said looking sharply at Razor calculatingly. "You have a right to be proud. It's a real piece of work." Sunsinger said warmly. "Now the Mayor didn't tell me your exact names so what do you call each other?" He asked politely

"I'm T-Bone and he's Razor." T-Bone said warming up to Sunsinger a little.

"Thank you. My research indicates you two have been waging an endless battle against these omegas for some six years now. I would think that in such a high stress position for that long both of you would be getting very weary of the fight. You have many talents that could be better served in the civilian community and raising families rather than fighting seemingly endless battles." Sunsinger said sympathetically.

Startled at the kat's insight, the SWAT Kats were struck dumb for a few minutes. Finally Razor spoke hesitantly, "We've sworn to keep this city safe but you are correct it has been getting more risky and exhausting. It seems no sooner than we capture Dark Kat he's escaped again and we're back to defeating him all over again."

"Yeah, its getting frustrating and it seems we're never getting ahead. Each victory no longer has the thrill it used to. Now it's just a repetitive fight with the increasing chance of failure and death." T-Bone conceded gloomily.

Sunsinger nodded understandingly. "Exactly, you two have been battling soo long you no longer can see a way to end it. It's because you are too close to the problem. That's where we come in. You have the knowledge of how these criminals behave, their habits and haunts. We have new methods that should surprise them. The two combined should help finally end this wave of terror the city has suffered for way too long."

"Well that certainly makes a lot of sense." Razor said cautiously. "It isn't like we are ever given enough time to go on the offensive since our private lives take our time as well. It has been an ongoing defensive conflict. My inventions are usually done to tackle most of the problems that are thrown at us but too often I'm one step behind the criminals." Razor reluctantly admitted.

"Huh! I guess you do know what you're talking about." T-Bone conceded. "But I'll reserve judgement until I see you guys in action, if you don't mind."

"I'd be suspicious if you didn't, T-Bone. After all, you don't know us at all." Sunsinger said agreeably. "So what I propose is this...I want my team to sit down with you and have you give us everything you know about these criminals from your experience. Then we will get with the enforcers and see what they know and what their equipment is like. I'm not going to ask you for your trade secrets but it would help if we had a general idea what kind of armament you pack so that it will be easier to combine all our forces into a cohesive strike force." Sunsinger said seriously.

"Oh, this ought to be good! The enforcers being willing to work with us!" T-Bone snorted in derision. "We can work with them but Feral makes it nearly impossible with his current attitude."

"That is the impression I got during my research." Sunsinger conceded. "However, Mayor Manx has insisted this be a joint effort to save your city so Commander Feral will have to work with all of us despite his feelings to the contrary. I have noticed that when it's necessary he has worked or allowed you do what you needed to do for the safety of the city." Sunsinger said.

"Well, yeah! He's not stupid only narrow minded and stubborn at times." Razor said with a snort of agreement. "And he does take protecting the city seriously. There's never been any question of that."

"That's my reading of him as well. Glad to see we are all in agreement." Sunsinger smiled pleased to see that cooperation would not be that much of a problem.

"This roof is not the best place for a lengthy discussion. Is there somewhere we can go you will feel safe and we can get down to business?" He asked.

T-Bone and Razor looked at each other questioningly. "Give us a moment while we discuss that." T-Bone told Sunsinger. Receiving a nod of understanding, T-Bone and Razor walked closer to their jet.

"Can't take them back to the hangar obviously so where should we go?" Razor asked his partner.

"Razor, do you feel right doing this?" T-Bone asked hesitantly still a bit uneasy.

"Actually, yeah! For the first time I feel we may finally win back the city from those creeps and I am tired of fighting. There is more to life and I'd like to discover what that is." Razor said firmly.

"Okay, buddy! I'm still a little leery of this guy but you're right I'm tired too. It's time for a change. So how about we take them to our desert shooting range? We can land and have our discussion in the cargo hold with the ramp open." T-Bone suggested.

"That's a good idea, T-Bone. No chance of being overheard either." Razor agreed. The two walked back to the waiting Phoenix Squad Leader.

"We've got a place in mind and it will be completely private. Do you want to come with us and we pick up the rest of your team or do you want to go to where you are staying and we pick you up there?" T-Bone asked.

"We came by taxi so going with you to pick up the rest of the team is the best plan and thank you." Sunsinger said pleased.

Nodding, T-Bone gestured to the jet as Razor gave a signal for it to lower the ramp for them to board. The visitors looked around as Razor pulled down some jump seats for them. Once their guests were secured, T-Bone lifted the Turbokat into the sky heading toward the Maximilian Hotel. On arrival, Sunsinger's team was awaiting pickup on the hotel roof as the sleek jet went to VTOL mode and landed smoothly. Loading up the rest of the team took only minutes and they were soon once more taking to the sky and heading for the desert.

It took about three hours to cover all the information the Phoenix Squad felt they needed to better understand what they were up against and what the SWAT Kats had to offer. The SWAT Kats returned them to their hotel and were told they would be contacted when a strategy meeting would be scheduled.

Tye Sunsinger was pleased by their first days progress. When he got back to their rooms at the hotel he called Commander Feral to plan a meet with the volatile enforcer. The meeting was set for the next morning early in Feral's office.

The Phoenix Squad consisted of eight specially trained and hardened special forces kats. The handpicked team had worked together for some ten years. They had no attachments and only occasional liaisons with the opposite sex. Each team member specialized in a specific field. Warren Teeks - Weapons, Byron Whitetail - Communications, Landon Spikes - Engineering, Tommy Pensler - Medical, JJ Barnes - Ops/Transpo/Supplies, Rue Jander - Intelligence, Darren Tigler - Operations/Pilot and Chris Clawfur - Second in Command. All members were cross-trained in all fields so that they could take up a missing members place if need be.

Piazza was ordered as the team sat down to discuss the day's events. Whitetail had already screened the room for any surveillance gadgets though they really didn't expect any. Piazza arrived and Sunsinger opened the discussion.

"Well guys what have you got for me?" He grabbed several slices of piazza and a milk then settled back on the couch to hear their reports.

After getting his meal, Whitetail began, "They have excellent communication systems here which means we can tap in and set up a listening station to keep tabs on what's going on more easily and not be tagged ourselves. Though the enforcers have an excellent security system in place I can get in so we can be on top of their missions and hopefully tag any unauthorized listeners that are most likely going to be our omegas."

"We already know they have fairly top rate jets and copters, though they could stand some upgrading badly. Right now the enforcers have some interesting new jets in development at Pumadyne but unfortunately, they are months from test flights. We are going to have to make do with what they have on hand." Tigler said shrugging his shoulders.

"The only really advanced piece of hardware around here right now is the Turbokat. We are going to have to find a way to make maximum use of it and their crew." Sunsinger said thoughtfully.

"Hey, is that thing as good as it sounds?" Tigler asked excitedly.

"Oh yeah, and then some. A really fantastic jet. When this business is over I want to have Razor as our developer of weapons and planes. That kid is really smart and his talent is wasted trying to keep this city safe. It gives him no chance to really develop his abilities." Sunsinger said sadly.

"Hu, you got that right!" Clawfur said fervently. "What he's been able to do under such adverse conditions is nothing short of amazing. Man, there wouldn't be anything we couldn't do with that kid's talents behind us."

"With the information the SWAT Kats gave us, I say we go after Dr. Viper first. He's predictable and is known to hide out in the swamps in the south of Megakat City. With our infra red equipment adjusted for a cold blooded creature that's a bit on the large size it shouldn't be difficult to ferret out the creep." Jander stated getting them back on track.

"Gonna need some high powered lasers and mini missiles for those mutations of his but the creep himself needs to be cornered carefully. He's supposed to be very smart even if he is insane." Teeks put in.

"I think I have some heavy duty tranks that might do the trick. Everyone would carry some of the darts on hand so that if anyone has the opening we nail him the first time." Pensler said thoughtfully. "We can't afford to let him get a chance to try some of his chemicals on us."

"With good planning and a small force we should be able to sneak up on him rather than go in with a huge army that gives him time to slip free. I think we should wear our double thick diving suits that will allow us to swim through the swamp waters rather than come at him from the landside. He'd never expect anyone of risking snakes and alligators so he won't have that direction monitored. At least that is the theory, he is insane after all." Jander said mildly amused.

"Sound like a plan that could work quickly and efficiently. I also would suggest using the SWAT Kats as a distraction to ensure Viper has his attention directed elsewhere." Sunsinger stated finally after considering all the elements. "Let's get the listening post up. Darren set up the op for Viper's capture. Anything else we need to cover right now?" He asked and received negative head shakes. "Great, let's hit the hay then. I've got a prickly Commander to see in the morning." With quietly voiced agreements everyone got to their feet, cleaned up their dinner mess, and headed to their individual rooms.