DIMENSIONAL GENDER-BENDER

Chapter 8: Returning Home

After about a half hour later, Chance felt steady enough to get up and dress. Jake had brought his change of clothes from the jet and was waiting for him. As soon as he was decent again they climbed the stairs for the upstairs apartment.

"Hi Chance, glad to see you are up and around again. How you feeling?" Jinx asked as she set the table.

"I'm okay, thanks. That cream of yours works like a charm. I only sting a little when I move." Chance told her smiling.

"That's great! Have a seat guys, dinners almost ready." Cleo told them from the stove where she was taking something savory from the oven.

"Hmm, smells good whatever it is!" Jake said sitting down.

"Why thank you! You'll love it. It's an old Furlong family recipe Tuna Casserole with creamed corn on the side, biscuits, and coleslaw." Cleo smiled warmly as she placed a steaming hot dish on the table. Jinx followed her with the corn and coleslaw. Cleo went to the fridge for a pitcher of milk liqueur.

"Well dig in guys. You don't have to wait on ceremony here." Cleo smirked as she sat down next to Chance and Jinx sat beside Jake.

"I'm going to miss this when we get home. Neither one of us can cook. Best we can manage is boxed tuna surprised and spaghetti and, of course, take out." Chance said happily digging into the home cook food.

"Well I can always send along some recipes and you can give them a try. They are actually really easy without a lot of complicated instructions." Cleo said with a smile serving herself a large helping of the casserole.

"That would be cool! Hopefully one of us will succeed in making a meal one of these times." Jake said with a laugh.

For the next hour they enjoyed the delicious meal and gossiped. When they'd all eaten their fill, Chance and Jake insisted on helping clean up and doing the dishes.

"Besides it will allow you to write down all the information you want to send along with us!" Jake reminded them.

"Oh that's right. I'd better go down to my computer and download our weapons specs for you onto a disk for you to take." Jinx said and left to do that.

"And I'll just gather up my best recipes and make copies of them on my office machine." Cleo said as she quickly paged through her cookbooks for the ones she wanted to give them. Some minutes later she had an armload of books and papers and was making her way downstairs to her copying machine.

"We'd better hurry up here, buddy! I've got to use our onboard computer to download our weapons specs for them as well." Jake said as he and Chance made quick work of washing the dishes.

They went downstairs. Jake headed for the Turbokat and Chance went to see if he could help Cleo. A couple of hours later they had exchanged all the information they could with each other and gone over it to ensure they understood everything.

"Did you give Jake the formula for that healing cream, Jinx?" Chance asked.

"Oh, not yet, thanks Chance. Give me a second and I'll give you a sample and the formula." Jinx said as she went back to her computer and printed out the information. "Cleo, would you put some of the cream in a little container of some kind for them?" She asked while she worked.

"Sure!" Cleo said and went to her workshop and found a medium size jar that would work fine. She went to their cool storage and got out a large container of their healing salve and put some into the small container for them.

"Here you go guys!" She said returning and handing the container to Chance.

"Thank you! You guys have been swell. Now all we have to worry about is getting home." Chance said with a sigh.

"All we can do is hope the banshee missiles have the same effect as before." Cleo said quietly.

"If you're ready it's a little after eleven p.m. now. We can go to the testing canyon where you appeared and pray the location, the radar, and the missiles will combine properly to send you home." Jinx said in a hopeful voice.

"Yeah! No point in putting it off and we really should get back before any major troubles happen at home." Chance agreed.

They all headed down to the hangar and changed their clothes. Razor looked at T-Bone a moment then they both left their jet to say farewell properly to their female counterparts.

They met in the middle of the hangar floor and hugged each other tightly.

"We can't thank you enough for all you've done for us!" Razor said warmly.

"Ditto for me. You gals are great!" T-Bone said sincerely.

"Thank you for helping with Robomaster and Dark Kat. With those two locked up, we'll get a much needed break." Cleo said just as warmly.

"I'll miss having someone who understands what I'm saying without their eyes glazing over." Ice said wistfully holding Razor tightly a moment longer.

"So will I!" Razor said with feeling.

Finally they broke up and climbed aboard their jets. Fire and Ice led the way out into the night sky. After only fifteen minutes they arrived at their destination.

"Well, here we are. Do you want to be moving or holding still when we try this?" Fire asked.

"Ice what do you think?" Razor asked wanting her opinion before he voiced his own.

"Well, you were moving fast when it happened so I'm guessing perhaps you should be again." Ice said hesitantly.

"I agree with you. So let's get up to speed until we reach mach 1 then we'll head for the canyon with you in pursuit. Just when we reach the center of the canyon fire the first missile then pull up fast so you don't get caught in any temporal waves that might occur." Razor instructed everyone.

"Roger! Good luck and long life to you both." Fire said in farewell.

"May the wind always be behind you and may your spirits soar to the heavens." Ice intoned an ancient proverb from her home.

"Long life and joy to you both!" T-Bone returned solemnly.

"May you find love and happiness in your lives." Razor said softly.

Then the two jets began flying fast traversing the desert faster and faster until they reached the speed T-Bone and Razor had been doing when they took this unexpected trip. Razor turned on his dimensional radar and made sure it was working properly before signaling T-Bone to begin his run.

At the agreed target spot, Ice said a quick prayer and fired the banshee missile at the Turbokat in her sights. Razor waited until the last possible second before blasting it. The missile had sprayed its signal against the jet before Razor shot it and the same effect buffeted them. T-Bone jerked his paws from the yoke with a yelp and the jet began a wild spin.

Moments later the sparking stopped and T-Bone quickly regained control of the Turbokat. He gradually slowed their speed then halted them completely. They hovered quietly for several minutes while they got their bearings. T-Bone glanced out the canopy and saw the sun was coming up. Looking around he saw no one else in the air space near them.

"Well, buddy? The sun's coming up. Hope that means were home and not in another dimension." He said half in question half in hope.

"The radars down of course so all we can do is go back to our hangar and see for ourselves, buddy." Razor sighed.

"Okay, home it is." T-Bone said and sent the jet back toward the city.

Neither of the spoke during the trip each lost in their own thoughts and praying that they were truly home. They had just reached the city limits when they crossed paths with a patrolling copter.

"Hi guys! What's got you out this early in the morning?" Came a welcome familiar voice.

"Lt. Feral! So wonderful to hear your voice this early in the morning. We were just out for some early target practice. Going home now for a little shuteye. Have things been quiet on your shift?" T-Bone said in relief but was cautiously checking to see if anything had happened while they were gone.

"Nah! But then I've only just come on duty. Night shift was quiet is all I know. Well gotta get going! You guys have a good day." Felina said as she began to head away from them.

"Hey, you too. Have a safe shift, Lieutenant." T-Bone said signing off.

"Yes! We're home!" He crowed.

"I heard and I'm really glad. Let's go home buddy. I'm really tired." Razor said happily stifling a yawn.

"I'm with you!" T-Bone said enthusiastically taking the fastest route home.

Later that evening...

"Hey, Jake I forgot all about the peppers I'd bought at that cool place Cleo took me to. Hang on while go get them." Chance said excitedly going down to the hangar and retrieving his precious samples from the cyclotron's saddlebags and bringing them back upstairs.

"Wow! Chance what did you do buy out the store?" Jake asked seeing all the packages.

"Only the best ones, buddy and look I even got seeds for them too!" Chance said waving the small packets in Jake's face.

As they sampled some of the peppers, Chance told Jake about meeting the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Lt. Feral.

"Wish I had a chance to have seen them. That would have been really weird." Jake said downing some milk in a hurry after a particularly hot pepper.

"Yeah, I'll never forget how they looked, that's for sure. But you know, I wouldn't have minded having that female Feral. Not only was she prettier to look at but she seemed more even tempered as well." Chance said happily munching on another hot pepper as his face ran with sweat.

"Hah! You would!" Jake snorted.

Somewhere across dimensions...

Fire had pulled her Turbokat sharply up out of the way as soon as Ice had fired the missile and still a temporal wave managed to hit them. They spun out of control for a few minutes before Fire regained control.

Stopping the jet after slowing them down, Fire put them on VTOL while Ice searched the area with her radar.

"They are gone, Fire. There's no sign of them. Gods, I hope they made it home." Ice said quietly.

"If there is justice and mercy in the universe, they did Ice. Let's go home." Fire said softly.

"I'll miss them." Ice murmured.

"So will I, partner. They were really cool guys." Fire agreed as she took them home through the evening sky.

THE END