Chapter 17: Epilog

Darius stood quietly to one side of his mate. Feral was carefully probing the mind of a catatonic young teen. He would gently search for the mind that was buried deep within itself and once he connected with that lost soul he would pour his music around it coaxing it to come back to the world outside.

No matter how many times he watched his mate do this, Darius was always awed by it. It had been five years since Ulysses had saved the world from aliens. Since that time he had gradually become comfortable with his abilities and Darius had found a consistent method of keeping his mate safely grounded.

Megakat City had finally recovered from the invasion and as a bonus, was finally free of the siege it had been under by the heavy hitting omegas. With Dark Kat and Viper dead, Turmoil cowed, and the Pastmaster scared off permanently, the more low grade criminals posed no real threat that the enforcers couldn't handle.

The demand for Feral's unique talent in the medical field and in riot/crowd control was such that he had to step down as Chief Enforcer. To his pleasure, Steele had turned into an excellent leader. Feral felt comfortable in turning the reins of command over to him three years after the invasion.

Feral's new duties were with IAPA as a hot spot agent, they used him for only the really big problems. His other duty was his own. His music demanded he use it and he found the perfect use in healing the difficult mental cases that defeated local medicine as he was doing today at the Children's Hospital in the Tanloren Empire.

It had taken Darius, Kell, and Director Argus a very long time to convince Feral that his talents were needed by the world not just in Megakat City. It took even longer for them to convince him of the importance of recording his music.

Of course, the biggest problem they had of accomplishing this was nearly eighty percent of the ethereal sounds he produced were located only in his head. It was Professor Hackle and Dr. Kathryn Gothin who came up with the device Feral would put over his temples. It allowed him to send the music into a specially designed recording device that could translate the sound from his mind into music that anyone could hear and understand.

At the present time, there were over a hundred recordings of Feral's music and he was in the process of cutting a new cd for release in a month. He was known only as Uleria on his cd's. IAPA and Feral didn't want record producers and others to be hounding him or to know who he was.

Feral's identity was kept low key and he and Darius lived exclusively at IAPA Headquarters because he was too well known and couldn't get any privacy and for his own protection. They were given larger quarters with extra insulation against leakage from Feral. Leaving Megakat City was hard for him, he had made Argus promise he could go home on a regular basis so that he and Darius could visit their quiet place and to visit Feral's family.

Ann Gora had overheard a conversation about Feral's special place in the woods and she began a campaign to see that Feral was given that parcel of land for his own. When the public learned of a way to repay the brave Kat for saving their world, there was an outpouring of funds to purchase it.

When Feral was presented with a special award from a grateful world, presented by Mayor Manx and televised around the world, Ann Gora came on stage and presented him with the deed to the parcel containing his special place.

"Please accept this from a grateful world, Commander Feral. Every country on Aristal contributed money to buy this for you. This is the deed for the parcel of land that contains your much needed retreat. Thank you from all of us for what you have done." She said warmly as she handed the deed to a very stunned Ulysses Feral.

"I...don't know what to say...thank you everyone...for this wonderful gift!" Was all he was able to say. Only Darius could see just how overwhelmed he was as unshed tears of joy hovered in his golden eyes

Later he and Darius would build a cozy A-Frame cabin near the waterfall as their retreat. They kept it stocked for the sudden unplanned getaways that became necessary when the pressure became too much for the dark tom.

Except for government leaders, no one knew where Feral could be found. This was to give him better freedom of movement and safety when he was seeing to the needs of the katizens around the world. To disguise his very recognizable profile, he grew his hair out until it reached his shoulders, wore shades a lot to hide his golden eyes, and tended to dress in slacks and polo shirts most days and business suits, if required. It felt strange not being in uniform any longer but Darius loved his longer hair so Ulysses was content.

Though Feral was good at handling unruly mobs, rioting, and stopping civil wars with his special talents, he paid a heavy price using them. Strain and over use were common occurrences for him. Darius was his watch dog ensuring he didn't go too far and getting him the rest he needed when he was exhausted and over extended. Feral usually ended up spending a week or more recovering after a major use of his talent. No one envied his responsibilities and the agency was very scrupulous to take the best of care of their most important agent.

As for his adversaries, the SWAT Kats, IAPA thought they would be extremely useful under their wing instead of on their own. Razor's intelligence and inventive genius was a talent they felt should be used to its max. With Megakat City's omega problem reduced, they didn't have as much to do.

A year after the invasion, they were shocked one day when a high level IAPA agent arrived at the garage. Their real identities has been known by the agency for years. After proving they were aware of who they were, Chance and Jake were offered a chance of a lifetime.

After presenting their offer, the agent left the pair to think it over. To say they were shocked was an understatement but after looking at where their lives were going now that they weren't needed that much, they came to the realization that they weren't ready to give up the super hero gig.

They took the offer and, with IAPA's assistance, paid their debt to the Enforcer. They closed the garage, after finding a reliable replacement for their favorite clients. Callie was upset to see them go. They only told her they were going to take new jobs that paid well and had a lot of travel involved. They promised to visit when they could.

They had to undergo strenuous training that was even more grueling than what they set for themselves. They were stunned to learn they would act as Feral's protectors when he and Darius were away on missions.

When Feral didn't need them, they were where their individual talents were useful. In the labs, Jake was given carte blanc to design all manner of aircrafts, non-lethal weapons, and devices to help katkind. Professor Hackle was offered a position with them and though he was used to working alone the offer was too tempting to resist especially when he was told a certain genius would be working along side him and that none of his projects would be used for war. As for Chance, he got to do what he did He was test pilot for Jake and Hackle's new designs. He was happier than he'd ever been in his life and so was his partner.

When they were on 'duty' they were called T-Bone and Razor. Their real identities were kept within IAPA. Their lives were more exciting and rewarding despite still having to work with Feral at times. Even there, things had changed dramatically. As Feral's primary protectors they were responsible for flying Feral and Reon to their missions, acted as their bodyguards, and seeing that they returned home safely. After watching Feral work and seeing just how exhausting it was for him, T-Bone and Razor gained a new respect for the former Chief Enforcer

Today they had brought him to this hospital to perform healing on a mentally damaged patient. As he pulled back out of the young mind, the teen lying in the hospital bed opened his eyes for the first time in two years. His mother cried tears of joy when her son looked at her.

Feral swayed a little on his feet and Darius was quick to wrap a steadying arm around his waist. The mother hugged the big tom, deeply grateful for getting her son back, before turning back to her son.

The pair slipped out of the room without being noticed. The doctor thanked him profusely, Feral merely smiled and nodded then with Dairus' aid made a fast exit. Waiting, watchfully nearby was Razor, who nodded and held the elevator open for them then got on and sent the car to the roof.

"Everything go okay?" He asked.

"Yeah! Kitten's going to be okay." Feral muttered tirededly.

"Great. We'll get you home in an hour." Razor promised noting Feral's pallor. Healing seemed to take an even greater toll on the big tom then controlling crowds.

When the elevator doors opened, Feral and Darius held back while Razor checked around first. At first, Feral had a difficult time letting others protect him since as Chief Enforcer he was used to being in the forefront. But Director Argus had firmly warned him that he was far too important to the safety of the world so he better get used to being guarded. He grumbled about it but obeyed.

Razor signaled it was safe and lead the way to the door that lead to the roof helicopter pad.

The newly designed Turbokat sat waiting with T-Bone at the controls. The ramp was down and Razor quickly hustled them into the jet and into their seats. The cinnamon tom had designed and installed the seats to ensure Feral and Darius would be comfortable on long trips. The ramp closed and Razor climbed up to the cockpit.

"All secured, take us home T-Bone." Razor ordered.

"Roger!" T-Bone acknowledged as he lifted the jet into the sky and headed back to headquarters. "Things go alright?" He asked his partner.

"Yeah, Feral said the kitten's going to be okay but he looks like death warmed over. Must have been a really deep probe." Razor said.

"Crud! Think we'll have to carry him out again?" He asked in concern.

"Don't know! Darius was helping's a possibility especially since he's not had time to really recover from the riot in Standifur Bay." Razor answered.

"I wouldn't be him for all the catnip in the world." T-Bone said fervently.

"Heh! Me neither!" Razor said in heartfelt agreement.

In the hold, Darius leaned toward his mate who had his eyes closed. "How you holding up, love?" He asked solicitously.

"Hmmm, like I could use a very long time in a quiet place." Feral rumbled in exhaustion.

"Then I'll demand a break. Want to go now? I can ask the guys to take us there?" Darius murmured questioningly.

"Yesss..." The tom answered slipping into much needed sleep.

Darius cued the intercom, "Hey guys! Change of plans. Take us to Feral's Place."

T-Bone blinked in surprise but answered, "You sure?"

"Yes, Uly is burned out and needs rest. I'll deal with the Director." Darius said flatly.

"Okay, good enough for me. Settle back this will take two hours." T-Bone told him and changed course.

"Thanks!" He said and decided to nap with Uly.

"I guess you better warn home of our change in destination, buddy." T-Bone told his partner.

"Roger, already doing it." Razor acknowledged.

The Turbokat flew toward the west and headed for the sanctuary that was simply called Feral's Place.