A DREAM OF FREEDOM LOST

Chapter 13: A New Sabren Arrives

A week after he returned to duty, Commander Feral was informed by the Deputy Mayor that his presence was required at ten a.m. the next morning in front of the Mayor's statue at Megakat Park. Feral dreaded what was going to happen. He suspected it was going to be a big political ploy for the Mayor. By honoring the heroes of the battle days ago, Mayor Manx insures his reelection.

Sighing, he really wished they would just leave him out of it. He said as much to his mate that night.

"Aw, come on, Uly. It isn't just the Mayor but the katizens that need things like this to help them feel they are getting their city back from the omegas. It's just 'feel good' PR. No point in fighting it. They want Razor and I there too you know." Chance said hugging his mate.

Uly snorted, "How did you get to be so smart about politics?"

"By listening to you and Ms. Briggs." He smirked.

His mate still looked very unhappy. "Okay what's really wrong?" Chance said gently while nuzzling Uly's face.

"My uniform's don't fit now. I just look huge." He moaned in distress.

"Oh love. You're pregnant not fat and you look beautiful to me. Don't fret so much about it. I know we wanted to keep it secret but your very public plea to the Sabrens scuttled that. Everyone knows you're expecting now. So let me prove how unimportant it is." Chance murmured beginning to kiss and caress his love helping Uly forget his distress over his appearance, at least for a little while.

Megakat Park...Next morning...

Standing uncomfortably under the cameras and scrutiny of several hundred katizens, Feral pressed a little closer to his mate. His feet were beginning to hurt and he hadn't heard a word of the Mayor's long winded speech. He just wanted it to be over. T-Bone suddenly nudged him from behind. When he looked at him, T-Bone nodded to the spot near the Mayor. Sighing to himself, Feral walked over to the Mayor and leaned down a bit so Manx could put a necklace with a shining medal on it around his neck.

The Mayor stepped away to the loud applause of the audience then silence reigned as everyone waited for Feral to give a speech of his own.

"Thank you Mayor Manx and the katizens of this city for honoring me and my fellow Sabrens. But for me, I really don't require any such honor. I was only doing my job protecting the city. Thank you anyway for this honor and for giving Sabrens a chance to prove their worth in your eyes. All we ever wanted was to be accepted for who we are and you have given us that chance. I thank you in the name of all the Sabrens that came to my aid and all those who contribute to the welfare of this city." Feral said briefly and stepped away from the mic. He received a roar of applause and cheers. The SWAT Kats had already been acknowledged for their part so Feral nudged his mate to leave.

Nodding, understanding his mate was getting tired. Standing was difficult for him at this late stage. Waving bye to Ms. Briggs, he and Razor moved off the stage with Feral in tow for the Turbokat parked at the edge of the park. A quick trip and Feral was deposited on the flight line of Enforcer Headquarters. A quick kiss by T-Bone and the SWAT Kats were airborne once more and heading home.

Now that all the hoopla was over he could get back to the important work on his desk. He took the necklace off his neck and placed it in the top drawer of his desk. He had a lot of things to accomplish before he was due to deliver. Projects he didn't want to hand over to Steele had to be parceled to the appropriate officers that would ensure their completion. He didn't want anything but daily work to be left for Steele's handling. He had only six weeks left to get things done.

The next few weeks went by smoothly with no sign of any other omegas making an appearance. It was hoped that their spectacular defeat of Turmoil and Dark Kat would have scared off the others at least for a little while. The only one that might not be intimidated would be the Pastmaster but there had been no sign of the ugly troll lately.

So things were calm around the city when Feral got closer to delivery. He was forced to stay in Enforcer Headquarters now around the clock. He had taken up temporary residence in one of the enforcer apartments in the building so that he would be near medical assistance at all times. The buildings occupants got used to seeing T-Bone there every evening and leaving in the early morning.

A cloudy, overcast sky greeted Feral this morning when he kissed his mate goodbye. T-Bone warned him to take it easy. His mate was tiring easier now as Uly's time got nearer. Sighing, Feral went up to his office and began working on some last minute reports. Most of the important work had been either completed or handed to the appropriate section for action.

The cloudy sky turned into a thunderstorm by lunchtime. The flash of the lightning and boom of the thunder shook the windows of his office. He was feeling a bit anxious and irritable. His back was aching a bit and he wasn't hungry for lunch. Sighing, he pushed himself carefully out of his chair and made a trip to the bathroom.

Returning to his desk he was stopped by Steele's entrance with more questions about some of the things he would be handling. Grumbling in annoyance, Feral moved to climb his pedestal to his chair. Before he could put one foot on the first step however, a sharp pain gripped him in a vise.

He gasped and reached for the edge of his desk to steady himself. Steele's eyes widened as he moved quickly to the Commander's side.

"Sir, what's wrong? Should I call for medical?" He asked worriedly.

Feral tried to catch his breath as the pain eased off but before he say anything it came back just as sharp and agonizing. He was nearly doubled over holding onto the desk with a death grip. Steele didn't ask again but went past the Commander and used his phone to summon a medical team.

The pain eased again and Feral took the opportunity to speak. "Steele...pocket of my coat...communicator...hurry!" He panted as another contraction stiffened his body.

Steele went over the Commander's coat hanging near the door and searched the pockets until he found the special communicator from the SWAT Kats. For once, Steele used his brain and realized why Feral wanted the device. He clicked it on and was rewarded by an immediate response.

"Yes love, what do you need?" T-Bone's voice asked in concern.

"This is Steele. Commander Feral is doubled over in pain. I suspect he's in labor. I've already called for medical help but I think he wants you here since he asked for the communicator but isn't able to talk very well. Better get here quick." He relayed quickly.

"Crud! Thanks. On my way!" T-Bone barked back and clicked off.

Steele went to Feral's side and awkwardly tried to rub the Sabren's back hoping to help ease his pain some. "It's alright sir, I called your mate. He's on his way and the medical team should be here any minute." He told Feral when the Commander had a break in the contractions again.

"Thanks!" Feral panted.

At that moment, the medical team arrived with Dr. Mewser. He went to the Commander's side and examined him as Feral once again was caught in another vicious contraction. He groaned in pain.

"Bring the gurney here and lock it's wheels. Looks like its going to be the fast delivery!" He ordered his team. They quickly positioned the gurney near and got it ready for Feral. A wet pad was placed on it. Nearby a basinet had been placed ready to receive the kitten.

A sonic boom was heard outside and the Turbokat was seen briefly as it came in over the flight line and did a VTOL landing. T-Bone jumped out and ran for the doors. Within minutes he was striding hurriedly into his mate's office.

"Going to be the fast one T-Bone get ready to do your part." Dr. Mewser instructed him. Swallowing hard in fear, T-Bone nonetheless straightened his shoulders and walked up to his mate. Using his fingers he carefully pressed certain parts of Uly's abdomen. A moment later, Feral sighed with relief and was able to stand up straight again.

"It won't last long, love. We need to undress you quickly." T-Bone warned his mate as he proceeded to peel his mate's clothes off. The Sergeant had heard the commotion and was right next to T-Bone taking the clothes as T-Bone took them off. A med team member handed T-Bone a loose hospital gown for Feral. He got it on Uly just as the acupuncture touch wore off. Ulysses doubled over again but T-Bone held him and with the help of the rest of the medical team they got the Commander onto the gurney.

Delivery for his kind was done in a kneeling position. Feral was place on paws and knees until T-Bone could get into position in front of him. Razor would stand behind his partner to give him something to lean on as the tiger tom raised his mate up into his arms. Feral leaned his head onto T-Bone's shoulder and gripped his arms with his paws. T-Bone grimaced as Ulysses gripped him hard. He knew he was going to have bruises on his biceps tomorrow.

Growling with intense pain, Feral pressed his face into his mate's shoulder hard with every contraction. He couldn't catch his breath as the contractions kept coming fast and frequent.

T-Bone was worried. Ulysses was trembling and gasping in agony. Dr. Mewser had called Dr. Ainsly and was on speaker phone with him. He was told what drugs to administer to help ease some of the pain but that not much more could be done since the delivery would be quick. Mewser injected a painkiller into Feral's thigh. Feral gave a moan of relief and laid heavily on T-Bone to try and catch his breath.

The contractions didn't abate but they were more bearable. After about thirty minutes Feral was grunting and pressing down. Just a few minutes of that and a gush of fluids rushed from him.

"His waters have broken should be fast now. Hold on T-Bone." Mewser warned as he prepared to deliver the kitten.

Feral cried out in pain after every hard push. He writhed against his mate wishing he could get away from the awful agony. One last hard push with everyone around encouraging him, the kitten finally made its appearance. Dr. Mewser heaved the kitten up by its feet and tapped its rear lightly. Fluids ran from the kittens mouth then a squeak was heard followed by a loud squall.

There were smiles all around as the doctor cut the umbilical cord and handed the kitten to his assistant who took the infant to the basinet, wiped it down and suctioned more fluids from its nose and mouth. The little male Sabren was swaddled in a warm blanket.

Feral had slid down in exhaustion. T-Bone gently helped him down to the bed more comfortably. Dr. Mewser delivered the afterbirth and his assistants cleaned up the pad and slipped a dry one under the Commander as he was cleaned up and then covered with warm blankets. His newborn kitten was then placed in his arms. T-Bone brought his face close to look adoringly at his new son and to kiss his very tired mate.

"He's beautiful sir!." Steele exclaimed in awe.

"Yeah, he's a real cutie, Ulysses." Razor said looking on admiringly.

"Yeah, he is and so is his mother. I'm soo proud of you my love." T-Bone said warmly.

Feral just smiled tiredly and said nothing. Once they were settled, Mewser ordered them to be airlifted to the Sabren Clinic so that the kitten and its mother could be properly monitored. T-Bone spoke up quickly and said that he and Razor would take them. Mewser just nodded not surprised by the offer.

Soon the new family was rolling down the hall to the elevator and then through the staging area and onto the flight line. Very quickly everyone was loaded and they were off to the Sabren Clinic.

Next morning...Sabren Clinic Ward...

T-Bone was changing the diaper of his new son when Dr. Ainsly came in to see Ulysses. His patient was laying on his side and watching his mate.

"Good morning everyone! How was your night?" He asked.

"Tiring! He woke up four times!" Feral sighed in exhaustion.

"Did he nurse alright? You didn't have any problems?" He noted Feral's tired parlor and T-Bone's rather worse for wear look.

"He ate pretty good and Uly seems to have enough milk for him. I would wake and give him to Uly so that he could stay resting but we are still really tired." T-Bone answered picking his son up and placing him in his bassinet.

"Sorry, that is the price a newborn I'm afraid. That is why it is soo important the mother get as much rest as possible whenever the kitten sleeps and why maternity leave is so necessary. It will take you about four weeks to be back to normal and the kitten weaned. Unlike kat kittens, your kitten will mature rapidly for the next six months then its growth pattern will slow down to a more reasonable level. You must refrain from sex for at least a week. Delivery prevents the gathering of energy but after one week it returns to normal." Dr. Ainsly instructed them.

"When can we go home?" Feral asked quietly.

"I want you to stay for another day then I'll release you. That was a hard delivery and I just want to keep an eye on you for a little bit longer." He said firmly. "Now eat your breakfast when it comes, you need the calories to feed your kitten then rest. T-Bone, the nurses can help him during the day while he is here. Why don't you get some much needed rest. You can't help Ulysses if you are dropping from exhaustion." He warned gently.

T-Bone yawned, "Yeah you're right doc. Man I'm beat. You do what they say love. I'll be back to see you this evening. Okay?" He said caressing his mate's cheek.

"He's right, love. You look like hell. Don't worry about me just get some rest and I'll do the same. We've got to name this little one too so be thinking on some names." Ulysses sighed and yawned as well.

"Okay, maybe Razor can come up with some. Love ya!" He said and leaned down to kiss his mate then took his leave.

"I need to examine you so if you'll roll over please." Dr. Ainsly asked politely. Groaning, Feral rolled carefully over and let the doctor check him. "Everything seems to be healing nicely. Get some rest. Breakfast should be here in about fifteen minutes." He said and left the room.

Feral rolled back over toward his son's bassinet and with sleepy eyes he watched him sleep.

Two days later, mother and son were back home. The next few weeks were exhausting and an intense learning session. Who knew there was so much to know about caring for a kittens.

"Here let me hold him for a bit, love. You need a nap. Little Jeremy and I will have a bit of a father, son bonding session." Chance smiled cooing at his son in his arms.

"Thanks, I could really use one. He shouldn't need to eat for another couple of hours, I hope." Feral sighed as he made for the bedroom.

"Welcome to our world son! You were really unexpected but we love you very much. I have a lot of things to teach you and we're going to have a good time together." Chance murmured to his son who just blinked up at him and waved his little arms around. Jeremy was dark brown like his mother with black hair but he had black stripes and warm green eyes like his father.

It was six weeks later when Feral was fully back to duty. His son was being cared for by a nanny in his apartment. He would express milk and leave it with her to feed him. If he was able to, he would visit his son during his lunch time but that didn't happen often. Jeremy was growing fast.

Through therapy, he finally found acceptance of his loss of freedom and was able to adjust his thinking to help his son accept his nature and be a happier Sabren than his mother had been. The last of the tension between he and his mate had melted away with his acceptance. He was finally happier than he'd ever been in his life at last.