Chapter 6: The Hunt is On Again!
When Feral and a fleet of his choppers arrived on the site where they had the alien imprisoned, the sight that greeted them was chaos. The temporary camp was strewn about and of the security detachment, only blood traces remained. Of the alien, there was no sign.
Bitterly angry, Feral jumped out of the chopper and ran to the spot where the bubble was still in place but a small hole in the ground showed where the alien had gone. Above, Jeraz's small ship still hovered. A roar filled the air as the Turbokat arrived. The ratcheting sound of an arriving chopper could be heard as the Turbokat's engines wound down. T-Bone had already ran to their side just as Tam's large cargo chopper landed nearby. A group of ten werekats and their leader spilled out of it and joined the tense group.
"What a mess," T-Bone said grimly. He looked at Tam and Feral. "So you guys are going to use your noses again to track it?" He asked.
"Yes. I'd appreciate it if you would hover above us. You'll be our eyes in the sky with my choppers following behind you. Keep us in sight and try to warn us as fast as you can if you see it before we scent it. Keep it contained by any means you can. We can't let it get near the city!" Feral ordered hurriedly.
"Gotcha! What about Razor and Jeraz?" He asked quickly.
"Jeraz says he and Razor have some new toys they hope will be successful this time." Feral said heavily as he quickly shed his outer clothes and shoes then allowed his form to alter causing his under things to shred.
T-Bone blinked as all the weres altered to their four-footed forms. A soft whirring sound caught everyone's attention and made them look up. Another ship, similar to the one doing station keeping, arrived. It halted nearly silently above them and a loud speaker called out to them.
"Hey guys, we're here. What's the game plan!" Came Razor's voice.
T-Bone quickly brought his partner up to date as he made for the Turbokat and the weres began to circle the area for a hint of where the alien went.
"Roger, Jeraz says we'll parallel you!" Razor told his partner.
"Roger that!" T-Bone said as he got airborne again. Soon he was hovering and waiting with the enforcer choppers standing by near his rear.
It seemed a long time but was actually only ten minutes when a howl went up from Tam. He tore off toward the east with his weres close on his heels. Letting them get ahead a bit, T-Bone kept his eyes on them as he waited before trying to follow, he didn't want to over run them. Moments later he sent the Turbokat moving along in their wake, the enforcers keeping close like ducklings and Jeraz's ship at his side.
"Chopper leader!" T-Bone called.
"Yeah, SWAT Kat?" A gruff voice responded.
"Spread out in a line from either side of us and keep your eyes peeled for that thing. Sing out the second you see it." T-Bone ordered.
"Roger." The enforcer acknowledged tightly.
In minutes, the enforcer choppers spread out in a line to either side of the Turbokat and Jeraz's spaceship. The fleet of aircraft soon resembled a string of beads in the sky.
On the ground, Feral kept pace with his Alpha. His nose sniffed the air tracking the nasty scent continuing east. It was fortunate the creature didn't care about its odor, making it easy to follow.
It was obvious the thing was unconcerned about the inhabitants being much of a threat to it and for the moment it was absolutely right. He only hoped Jeraz and Razor would soon prove it wrong...dead wrong!
The weres spread out in a line in a near mirror image of the fleet above them. They hurried as fast as they dared, keeping track of the scent as the alien moved swiftly toward the city.
Surprisingly, the alien didn't have a very big lead. It seemed to be taking its time, perhaps studying and maybe taking samples in some fashion, of the planet's makeup. This actually made sense, if it was here to take over the planet for its use, they would need to know what the planet had to offer. From Jeraz, they already knew the creatures cared nothing for the lives on the planets they conquered.
"There it is!" Came a shout from a chopper on the far end. "Check your four o'clock position!"
"Roger! Get ready to harass it but don't get within fifty feet of it!" T-Bone ordered.
The choppers shot away from the jet and spaceship and quickly formed a defensive circle around the alien. They began firing lasers at its head and at the ground below it.
Tam halted his weres when he heard the choppers get closer to their position. He looked up and saw them forming a circle around something just ahead and to the left of their position. Altering to his warform, he gave them orders.
"We're going to run past the alien and get between it and the city. We'll be a last vanguard to keep it in sight if it decides to bolt and run. Do not get close to it and don't let it see you." He said hurriedly. All the heads nodded at him. Tam returned to his primitive form and led them off.
Above the alien, the choppers kept up a barrage of annoying the thing while Jeraz moved above them to watch and wait for his chance to try a few things of their own. T-Bone fired a few banshee missiles to make the creature stop.
The alien finally did halt just on the outskirts of town. It snatched a cow and a horse and devoured them. It ignored the choppers and merely shook its head in irritation at the missiles from the Turbokat.
"Pull back! Everyone pull back and let us try something!" Jeraz called out over the comm.
The encircling fleet did so quickly. Jeraz moved down toward the alien but stopped just outside its reach. The first thing they tried was a beam of purple light. It bathed the alien. For a moment, it seemed to have no effect but suddenly the alien screamed and waved it's regrown limbs wildly.
The defenders watch anxiously but were disappointed when the creature exuded a weird yellow glow and then stopped its screaming. It's whip-like arms suddenly struck out and destroyed two of the choppers in quick succession. The others quickly pulled further back, firing their lasers as they did so.
The alien seemed annoyed and moved so fast it seemed to blur away from its attackers.
"Crud! That thing can really move!" T-Bone blurted as he shot the Turbokat forward to catch up to the alien again.
The weres were caught off guard when the alien charged swiftly forward without warning and plowed into them. Four weres screamed in agony as the thing simply ran over them as if they were merely dirt beneath its body.
Feral had gotten clipped by its slimy body and whined as his fur burned from the touch. He tried rolling on the ground to remove the slim but it wouldn't wipe off. His whines turned to cries of pain. Tam and the rest of the weres quickly clustered around the injured to protect them but the alien paid them no attention and continued on toward the city.
T-Bone had witnessed the encounter. "Jeraz! Some of the weres have been hurt. I can't see how many or who!" He shouted as he continued to track the alien.
"Roger, we'll see what we can do!" Jeraz said tightly, worry for his mate making him grit his teeth.
He lowered his ship down into a clearing beside the milling weres. He was outside his ship in seconds with his medical kit. Tam and the unhurt weres had altered to their warforms and were doing their best to comfort the injured. No one could get near Feral though because he was rolling madly in pain and snapping and snarling at anyone who tried to get close.
Jeraz quickly searched his kit and pulled out a can of some kind. He sprayed his mate as best he could since he couldn't get Ulysses to stop rolling, the primitive side was in total control at the moment.
When the clear fluid struck the desperate were, wherever it hit stopped hurting. As most of the pain eased, Feral ceased his gyrations and lay still heaving and whimpering. Jeraz moved closer and sprayed the areas he could see were burned.
"Oh my love, just lay still for a moment longer, the c-zone spray will ease the burn. When you transform, you'll be healed." He said soothingly to his mate.
When his head was clear again, Feral altered to his war form but still laid still. That much injury was exhausting to heal and he needed rest and food to recover completely.
"Go! My alpha will care for me but you are the only one who can stop that thing!" He growled at Jeraz.
The space Kat hesitated a moment longer, reluctant to leave his injured mate but knowing he was right. He leaned down and nuzzled Ulysses a moment then turned toward Tam and the other injured weres. He saw they were recovering already from their injuries by transforming to their Kat form. With no other reason to delay, Jeraz ran back to the ship and quickly took off.
Razor had been keeping in touch with T-Bone while Jeraz was busy and now relayed their present location. His face grim and emotions white hot with anger for the hurt done to his mate, Jeraz closed the gap to the site of the alien's encroachment near the Megakat Nuclear Power Plant.
Enforcers on the ground and in the air were keeping up a constant barrage of munitions trying to keep the creature at bay. T-Bone was fruitlessly attempting the same with his own special weapons.
Jeraz swept in and fired a missile that hit the alien on the back of its 'neck' and exploded. The missile laid a layer of sickly orange goo all over the creature. For the first time since they had started this one sided war, the alien halted in its tracks and shrieked. Its arms waved furiously as if in major pain. It glowed with that unearthly yellow glow once more but unfortunately for it, the orange goo burned through it. The alien swayed violently around its base trying to rid itself of the stuff.
"Wow! It worked!" Razor yelled triumphantly.
"Yes! But we want it dead not injured." Jeraz said flatly as he prepared to fire a different type of missile.
"Are you sure you want to combine those two? It could be dangerous to everything around it if that alien blows up." Razor warned cautiously.
Jeraz growled, reached for his comm and punched it hard, "Everyone back off! Get at least a hundred and fifty feet away. Now!" He barked.
Moments later, all the enforcers on the ground pulled back quickly as did all the aircraft near the space ship.
"Everyone is clear, Jeraz!" Razor told him.
Narrowing his eyes and giving his entire focus to his instruments, Jeraz fired the special missile at the alien. It hit it dead center of its body. The alien absorbed it as it had all the other munitions fired at it. It was still thrashing around from the orange goo that now covered it completely.
It seemed like forever but was only seconds when the creature seemed to expand like a balloon. Its body increased to twice its normal size then there was a tremendous implosion. The alien shriveled up until it resembled a deflated balloon laying on the ground.
No one moved for long minutes, waiting to see if the alien would get up again. When after ten minutes, no more happened. Jeraz landed nearby. Razor and he got out and moved cautiously toward the fallen invader.
The smell was even worse than when it was alive. Staring at it grimly, Jeraz took a device from his belt. He punched in something that caused a portion of his ship to hum. Suddenly from a hidden hatchway, a medium sized robot like thing came trundling up with a canister as big as it was.
It moved to the alien and proceeded to pour it into the canister. Within five minutes it had collected every bit of the creature as well as the dirt under it then sealed the canister. Another signal from Jeraz and it trundled back to its storage hatch and vanished from view.
"Now we finish this." Jeraz said firmly. "T-Bone, notify the enforcers to go ahead and stand down and clean up the area as they normally would after a battle." Jeraz requested.
"Roger!" T-Bone acknowledged overhead in the Turbokat. "What are you going to do now?" He asked curiously.
"I'm taking this thing and putting it back aboard its ship then hauling it all out to space and shoving it out past Aristal's solar system." He told the tabby pilot. "Razor do you want to stay here?" He asked the smaller SWAT Kat.
"Heck no! I loved to fly out further in space." Razor said excitedly.
Jeraz smiled wanly at the shining look of childlike excitement on Razor's face. He headed back to his ship. Soon, he and Razor were taking off for where the alien had parked its ship.
Once hovering above it, he engaged his teleporter and had his robot take the alien to its ship and close it in. Finished with its task, it rolled back out of the ship and manually shoved the door closed and welded it shut. Jeraz teleported his robot back home then engaged his tractor beam, lifting the intruders ship upward.
It was a bit of a drag on Jeraz's small ship but he still managed to get it into space. Once there, it was much easier to haul it along. While they traveled out to the edge of the solar system, he and Razor chattered amiably about space travel and weaponry.
It took about an hour for Jeraz's little ship to reach its destination. He halted their flight, disengaging the tractor beam and allowing the alien's ship to continue on its trajectory without further aid.
They watched it disappear from view before Jeraz turned them about and headed at a faster speed toward Aristal and home.
It was with a sense of great relief that Jeraz deposited Razor on city hall's clock tower where T-Bone was giving Callie an update on the success of their battle. He contacted enforcer headquarters to enquire where his mate was located and was told the Commander had been ordered home by his alpha. A fellow were was with him taking care of their twins.
Relieved, Jeraz thanked the dispatcher and directed his ship home. Landing on his penthouse apartment some minutes later, he shut down the engines and hurried out. He entered his apartment and was met by Clarise.
"He's alright just tired. I made him eat and clean up. He's resting in bed right now, watching TV. He wouldn't sleep until you were home. The twins have eaten, played and been put to bed. So you have nothing more to worry about but clean up and be with your mate. Congratulations on defeating the alien. You take care. I better get moving on home." Clarise said warmly, anticipating all his questions.
"You are a wonder, Clarise. I don't know what we'd do without you. Thank you so much for taking such care of my twins and Ulysses." Jeraz said, very grateful to her.
"You're welcome, have a quiet night, you deserve it." She said smiling then let herself out the door.
Sighing, Jeraz locked the door and set the alarm. He turned out the lights then walked back to his bedroom. Ulysses had heard him and had turned off the TV.
Jeraz sat down on the bed and gathered his healed mate into his arms. They hugged silently for some time.
They pulled away a little but still held onto each other.
"I take it all went well disposing of that thing?" Ulysses asked quietly.
"Yes. No problems. Razor and I watched it for a while as it sailed out past the edge of your solar system." Jeraz said tirededly.
"That's wonderful news. So glad the casualties were light and we are rid of that nightmare." His mate sighed in relief.
"So am I! Now let me get a shower." Jeraz said as he released his mate and got to his feet.
"If you're hungry, Clarise left something for you in the fridge." Uly said warmly as he settled down into the bed.
"Yeah, I guess I should. I didn't bother to eat all day. Go to sleep, love. I'll be there soon enough." He said warmly back.
"Good night love." Feral said yawning.
"You too, my love." Jeraz murmured lovingly.