HELL IS LIKE THIS, PART III

Chapter 14: New Beginnings

Dimension Two...

As Feral's time to delivery drew closer, Jake was reaching his goal to make him and Chance financially free.

Some six months after he last asked Jake how they were doing things had only gotten better so when Chance asked again how close they were to their dream, Jake had good news for him.

"You'll be happy to know, Chance that I have finally succeeded in making enough to buy that island you and I liked. I've already put a down on it and I'm only waiting for the final papers. As for our debt to Feral, that's right here," he said holding out a bank statement.

Chance looked at it and whistled. "Wow! I forgot how much that bill came to. So when do we do this?" He asked his partner handing the statement back.

"Right now if you want to," Jake said grinning at the stunned look on his friend's face.

Recovering from his surprise, Chance grinned back. "Hell yes, let's do this."

They went to Enforcer Headquarters and headed for the accounting branch. Finding the right office they needed, they stepped in and were fortunate enough to catch the financial officer in his office. After telling him what they were there for, the office called up the account, took their bank number and transferred the funds to pay the debt then gave them a receipt for the amount.

Overjoyed at their freedom, they nearly raced out of the building. They went and celebrated at a good restaurant then went home to pack. Jake had told Chance that he'd already purchased the house they both had loved just days before and they could move in right away.

They spent the next week sending their clients to other garages, packing up their meager belongings and moving them to their new home. Over the next month, they moved all the equipment from their hangar to their, presently under construction, new base. The hangar itself was completed so the jet could be moved. Using robots from Professor Hackle they were finished and moved within another month.

They would have been surprised to know that they were nearly mirroring the things their other dimension counterparts had done. The main difference was Chance had taken a test pilot job but Jake was doing freelance like his counterpart.

Jake had met a really nice she-kat and was dating her steadily. Chance was still playing the field but now had more money and time to do so. They were both very happy and still enjoying being heroes.

As for Feral his time of waiting was finally coming to an end.

It was storming outside their penthouse windows when Feral woke aching and restless some days before his due date. He got dressed and padded out into the sitting area of their master bedroom. He noted the time was a little after midnight.

He rubbed his belly absently as he stared out at the storm. As he studied it, a particularly loud and bright blast of lightning made him blink, seconds later all the power in his building and several blocks around them winked out. Hissing in concern, Feral went to the end table where his enforcer radio sat.

"This is Feral, give me the night duty officer." He barked. The radio operator responded instantly and soon another voice was on.

"What's the situation? My home location is blacked out." Feral told the officer.

"Yes sir! We are getting reports in now...Hold a moment, please!" The officer said.

Feral sighed and waited. His back was hurting now adding to his general achiness. Five minutes later, the night duty officer came back on.

"Sir! A transformer in your area has been hit by lightning. No sign of omega activity. City utility workers are fixing it as we speak." The officer reported.

"Good to hear. Have patrols stepped up in the area to prevent looting and keep me informed." Feral said, relieved it was a simple problem.

"Yes sir!" The officer responded and signed off.

Clicking his radio off, Feral continued to watch the storm. Streaking across the sky was a familiar jet. 'Hmm, looks like the SWAT Kats came out to check things as well.' He mused then a sharp pain made him look down at his belly. He winced as he observed his mid section tighten, hard, then relax. He gasped and panted a moment as he suddenly remembered the instructions from his OB physician on the signs of labor.

He panicked for a moment as he realized his chopper could not take off in this weather and all the power in his building was out so no elevator. He couldn't climb down all those stairs either. Then he calmed as he realized there was one option but before he could act on it, his mate, Jaren, strode into the room, tying his bathrobe closed.

"Uly, are you alright? Why are you up at this hour?" He asked in concern walking up to his mate and putting an arm around him.

"I couldn't sleep. I'm too uncomfortable and now I know why. I've begun labor." He said tightly as another contraction squeezed his middle.

He couldn't help a pained smile at the panic-strickened expression on his mate's face.

"We need to get you to the hospital right away!" Jaren said anxiously.

"I know! But the elevators are out and there is no way to fly in this weather. However, I was just going to get the only help that could." He smiled tightly at his concerned mate. He turned his radio back on, "This is Feral calling the SWAT Kats. Do you read me?"

"Yeah Feral! Hear you loud and clear. Why you calling us?" Came the gruff voice of the pilot.

"The blackout is caused by lightning hitting a transformer, no apparent signs of omegas. You copy?" Feral said.

"Right! We've checked and it's all quiet except for a perfectly normal storm." Came Razor's voice.

"I need your assistance! I've just started labor and the power is out in my building. Could you please provide my mate and I transport to the hospital?" Feral requested.

"In labor? Wow! You sure picked a bad night for it!" T-Bone answered in surprise.

"Come on T-Bone, kittens decide when it's time and they always seem to come in bad weather. Didn't you know that?" Feral heard Razor chide his partner. "Sure we'll be there to pick you up Commander." Razor told him.

"You won't be able to land. My chopper is already on the pad!" Feral warned.

"Not a problem, Commander, you just get yourself on the roof, I'll take care of the rest." Razor assured him.

"Alright! See you in a few minutes, Feral out!" He answered and turned his radio off in relief.

When he turned to head for the balcony doors, Jaren rushed up breathless. He'd gone to get dressed and was now ready to leave with Feral. Jaren was holding a raincoat and helped his mate get it on and some loafers since Uly was barefoot.

A contraction grabbed at him as they made their way across the patio to the protection wall. He stopped in his tracks and groaned. Jaren held him and rubbed his back until it passed, meanwhile the Turbokat appeared hovering several feet above them.

Jaren watched as a metal basket was lowered from the belly. When Uly could move again, he urged him quickly toward the basket that now rested on the patio floor. Climbing in, Jaren secured the door and signaled the waiting Razor above to raise them. They were slowly wenched inside.

As soon as they were aboard and the door closed, Jaren felt the jet move slowly forward. Razor smiled warmly and gestured them to a pair of jump seats.

"We'll get you to the hospital very quickly, Commander but not so fast to cause you problems. Relax as best you can and enjoy the ride." Razor said reassuringly and headed back up to the cockpit.

Jaren hugged Ulysses comforting him. Uly grunted and panted as another hard contraction stole his breath away.

'Crud! How did my double handle this not only the first time but three times? He's nuts.' He thought miserably groaning again at the intense cramping pain.

He never noticed when the Turbokat landed until the cargo doors slowly lowered. A medical team with a gurney walked up the ramp to their side. Jaren had already removed their restraints.

"So Commander, how close are the contractions?" A calm cream-colored kat asked gently as he took Feral's pulse.

"Uh they seem to be very close..." Feral said but stopped speaking as another intense pain struck.

"Hmm, looks like were moving along pretty quickly. Let's get you on the gurney and get you up to the Maternity floor." The doctor said briskly stepping back and allowing his assistants to help Feral up on his feet then onto the bed. They secured him to the bed and rolled him off the jet.

Feral lost track of what was going on as the pain came more and more frequently. He found he couldn't focus on anything but breathing and panting between each intense contraction. He could sense Jaren near him speaking some soothing nonsense but it was too much effort to try to understand what he was saying.

In quick succession, Jaren watched as they got his mate stripped, a gown put on, a monitor placed on his abdomen, an IV inserted, and finally the doctor doing a check of progress. Through it all his love was totally concentrated on giving birth and barely acknowledged his presence.

He'd heard of other pregnant Kats who screamed and yelled obscenities at their mates. Jaren was infinitely grateful his mate was too reserved and controlled to do that though he wouldn't have blamed him if he did want to scream. Uly's expressions showed just how much pain he was in but stoically refused to make any more than low groans and growls.

It seemed hours before Uly felt an intense need to push, the pressure was unbelievable. On the last hard push he unwillingly gave a cry at the sharp pain then it was over suddenly. The pain was gone but he felt like he'd been pulled inside out and incredibly exhausted. He blinked around himself for the first time since his ordeal began.

Feral was amazed at the filled room. It was crowded with equipment and Kats dressed in medical gowns surrounding him. His legs were in an obscene position dangling in the air. He felt horribly exposed but before embarrassment could overcome him a sound that had been going on for apparently several minutes finally penetrated his mind.

Looking toward the sound he caught a glimpse of a wildly kicking tiny leg and arm but the personnel surrounding it hid most of the body from his view. A warm presence made itself felt when a face touched and rubbed against his own.

"Hey, luv. How are you doing?" Jaren asked as he noticed his mate finally taking an interest in his surroundings.

Uly looked into his face in surprise. He thought about the question for a moment and realized his body felt tired, sore, shaky but at the same time a feeling of amazement that it was over and the noise nearby was their new kitten.

"What sex is it?" He asked his voice thick with exhaustion.

"It's female, my love and she's beautiful. Thank you!" Jaren said deliriously happy leaning close and giving his slightly befuddled mate a loving kiss of gratitude.

As Feral sighed with relief, a nurse approached with a wrapped bundle. "Here's your perfectly healthy little daughter, Commander." The nurse said with a wide smile as she deposited the tiny bundle into Feral's arms.

Feral stared down at the tiny little face sleepily looking back at him. She had a tuft of black hair on her head and she was dark silver with black striping. She had the typical blue eyes of the newborn but Feral thought she would most likely not change and be like her father. She was beautiful.

"I agree with you, my love. She is beautiful." Feral said in awe.

"She is indeed my love." Jaren said warmly hugging his new family.