BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL

Chapter 1: Anguished Secrets

Late afternoon...

Sighing to himself, Feral looked around to make sure everything at the scene had been taken care of and climbed into his hummer. "What a mess that idiot Chop Shop made of the new copter Pumadyne had developed and the SWAT Kats didn't help matters either." He muttered to himself irritably as he headed through the old warehouse district for Enforcer Headquarters.

Moments later...

"What tha...!" He exclaimed as four all terrain vehicles suddenly came out of no where and hemmed his vehicle in forcing it down a dead end alley. The attackers rushed the vehicle before Feral could get out. They overwhelmed him with superior numbers and hauled him away in his own hummer.

Two hours later...

"Have you got a lock on her signal yet, Razor?" T-Bone asked as he piloted the Turbokat towards the northern mountains outside of Megakat City.

"Trying to triangulate now, buddy." Razor said distractedly. Moments later... "Bingo! Got it! Head right for that old volcano T-Bone. Felina's signal is coming from there." Razor shouted.

"Okay, you want to blast a tunnel or be sneakier about getting in?" T-Bone queried his partner as he put the jet in VTOL mode and waited.

"Better sneak in buddy. Looks like its Dark Kat that has the lieutenant. Don't want him knowing we're here." Razor cautioned.

"Right." T-Bone agreed and landed the jet near a fissure that would get them inside the mountain.

They both approached the entrance carefully. Squeezing inside the narrow opening they proceeded as quietly as they could. Suddenly they were set upon.

"Look out T-Bone. It's a trap!" Razor shouted as he fired his glovetrix at the deluge of creeplings charging them.

"Ugh!" T-Bone groaned as he was pulled to the ground by numerous creatures then knocked out.

He and his partner were carried unceremoniously into a large cavern.

"Excellent work my creeplings." Dark Kat told his minions. "Now tie them together tightly and chain them to the ceiling. Smiling grimly, the powerful kat turned back to his helpless victim. Laying tied to a metal table was Feral, stripped to his trousers and panting in pain from the torture he had endured for the past hour. "Now where were we Commander before we were so rudely interrupted?" Dark Kat smirked down at Feral. "Ah yes, let's see if this can make you scream." The evil kat reached for an electrode and touched Feral's bare feet. Feral jerked hard and clenched his teeth together. "Hmmm, need to raise the amps some..." Dark Kat mused as he turned a knob on the device and reapplied the device again.

Fifteen minutes later the SWAT Kats woke to shrieks of agony. Looking down from their birds eye view from the ceiling they watched in horror as Feral's spine bowed upward in response to Dark Kat's torture. Suddenly, something broke inside Feral. His body altered into a dark and horrifying creature. The transformed Feral looked like a demon with horns and wings...a hellcat of legend with glowing eyes of fire and long deadly talons. He was naked and one could see the dark brown fur was now tipped in a fiery red. Feral lunged up from the metal table where he'd been strapped...the restraints snapping like gunshot and reached for Dark Kat.

"Creeplings...get him...destroy him..." He screamed as he scuttled out of harms way.

Creeplings and ninjas charged the flying creature that had been the Commander. From their swinging perch, the SWAT Kats watched in horror and fear as the thing that had been Feral shredded creeplings and ninjas into many bloody pieces. He swooped down and caught the shrieking Dark Kat just as the criminal was trying to escape the cavern and carried him to the ceiling and dropped him. Dark Kat hit the floor with an alarming thud and didn't move.

Feral was panting in triumph. His chest and claws were covered in blood and other things. He hovered only twenty feet from the dangling duo. Looking around, he spotted T-Bone and Razor. When he reached them he halted suddenly. He hovered less than an arms length away and studied them.

T-Bone had never been soo terrified before. He wasn't overly religious but to see a creature that shouldn't exist was disturbing. His blood chilled and he could hardly breathe. Razor was similarly affected and whimpered a little in suppressed terror.

Feral seemed to be troubled in some way. He shook his head as if to dislodge something that was bugging him but the SWAT Kats could see nothing. Growling irritably at himself, he came closer to them and used his clawed fingers to sever the chain holding them to the ceiling then carried them to the floor and cut their restraints. He continued to mutter and growl the whole time as he released them.

Feral stumbled away from them, the growl changing to a howl of anger. He dropped to his knees tipped his head back and screamed at the ceiling. A beam of sunlight spotlighted him from a hole in the roof of the cave. Moments later his form altered until Feral's original self appeared. His clothes hadn't reappeared with him. The Commander howled in anguish, dropped his head into his arms and began sobbing.

The grief stricken cries drew the SWAT Kats closer to their antagonist. Feral never noticed them as they came closer.

"What should we do, Razor?" T-Bone asked in a hushed voice.

"I don't know, T-Bone. Feral seems soo desolate and we don't know why. How did he change like he did?" Razor whispered back as he stared down at the sobbing kat.

Before T-Bone could think of a reply, they noticed the sunlight growing brighter and brighter. They stepped back quickly in stunned surprise as an incredible figure began to appear within the light. Because of the brightness of the light they could barely make out a beautiful kat-like creature. It moved close to Feral and caressed his shuddering shoulders.

"My son, please don't weep!" The beautiful kat said in a voice that echoed eerily.

Feral jerked his head up, tears dampening his face fur and his eyes haunted. "Don't touch me!" He choked and backed away from the heavenly figure.

The figure pulled back and looked at the distressed kat with sorrow. "I do not like to see you in so much pain, Ulysses." The figure said unhappily.

"It took me years to contain my hellion side and only moments for that piece of filth to destroy my control." Feral snarled bitterly.

"My son, I have tried to make you understand that what you attempted to do was not the way to control your other half. It thrives on anger, loneliness, and fear. You have lived a barren life and it was only a matter of time before you lost to your hellion side." The figure said gently.

"I've been busy building a life and career. There has been no time for finding a lover, companion or friend." He growled turning away from her.

"And that is why you will never have complete control of your hellion side. Only love and friendship will make it powerless to overtake you. Those emotions make it weak and submissive." She stated firmly, her ethereal form moved around him so that he had to face her again.

"It would have been better if I had never been born!" He shouted angrily at her. He clenched his paws tightly.

"All life is sacred my son even yours." She admonished him gently.

"Sacred!" He spit as if it were a dirty word. "You were raped by a hellcat and I was the result. As a kitten I was barely tolerated...as a teen no one would be my friend because they feared my other half. It was only as an adult that I was able to escape Sanctuary and move here where I could pretend to be a kat like any other. Now that is gone. It will try to break free at every opportunity and endanger the kats I've sworn to protect. Why should I be happy about that?" His anguish making his voice tight and hard.

His heavenly mother sighed then reached out and held her son firmly so that he could not escape or turn away from her.

"You must reach out to others, Ulysses. You have much to offer these creatures you live among but you have done nothing but wallow in your bitterness and self hatred. You have never used those powers you inherited from me. You shut them away and made it far too easy for your dark side to sway your thinking for too long. You think you had control...you didn't...that horrible short temper of yours and your narrow thinking are all the hellion part of your heritage." She released him and her eyes snapped with a temper of her own.

"For you to use the good side of your heritage you need the love of an incorruptible person or persons. Do not heed the limitations of katkind and their form of relationships. Their society rules cannot govern you in this because you are too different. I understand the need to hide the type of relationship you require and that that could cause some difficulties but you must do this!" She ordered blasting him with some kind of glowing energy that made Feral gasp and curl up in shock but not pain.

"Do this now Ulysses before you are destroyed by those you wish to protect." She warned then faded away till there was only sunlight once more.