BEYOND THE SHADOW OF THE MOON

Chapter 1: Beyond the Moon

It had been a very long day with the theft of yet another invention from Pumadyne. He wished they would find a way to protect their stuff better as it was just getting soo old constantly preventing the omegas from going shopping for their next weapon of mass destruction.

Sighing, he rubbed his temples trying to ease his aching head. Aspirin had long since lost its effectiveness. He was sitting at his desk after the messy cleanup from the SWAT Kats and his own enforcers after wresting the prize from Dark Kat. That particular omega always left a trail of destruction behind him that took weeks to clean up.

Putting the finishing touches on the initial report, he would have to wait for the rest of the CSI data to be able to finalize it, he tossed it into his file basket and leaned back in his chair to stretch and close his eyes. Outside his window the sun was setting.

Yawning, he shoved himself away from the desk and climbed down the pedestal walking to the coat rack for his topcoat. No one was around at this hour as he closed and locked his door and made his weary way to the elevator and down to his vehicle parked in the secure underground parking lot under the building.

One good thing about this late hour was traffic was light so he was able to get home in a few minutes. It felt good to strip off his uniform some fifteen minutes later. Wearing a comfortable pair of sweats and an enforcer t-shirt, he went to the kitchen and rummaged for a quick meal. With a full belly, he went to his recliner and plopped down flicking on the TV.

He was nearly asleep watching the late night David Litterbin Show when his radio sounded off. Groaning in disgust he shut the TV off and reached for the squawking thing.

"Feral here!"

"Sir, there's been a report of some kind of odd, glowing portal in Megakat Park. Patrols have cordoned off the area and no one has gone near it. "The brisk, professional voice of the dispatcher reported.

Feral frowned. 'Say what?' Was his unbidden thought. "Any sign of it being made by an omega? It's not a time portal from the Pastmaster is it?"

"Negative sir, not the same and its on the ground not in the air. The are has been searched, finding no one who could have been responsible. The portal is just sitting there, glowing and doing nothing."

"Wonderful!" Feral snarled sarcastically. "Send a chopper to pick me up!"

"Yes sir!" Dispatched acknowledged then clicked off.

"Crud! I'm soo tired," he grumbled as he made his way to the bedroom and quickly changed back into his uniform.

Some fifteen minutes later, his chopper landed at Megakat Park. Above him, hovering, was the damnable SWAT Kats, the rising moon glinting off the black jet. Snarling and in a foul temper, he stalked toward the glow he could see through the trees.

Moments later, he stood before a circle of light that hovered a little above the ground. A prism of light emanated from it's center, swirling like a pool of water. There was nothing to be seen in it. Standing close to it caused his fur to rise like static electricity which made him hastily move backward several steps.

He was at a complete loss as to what it could be and what to do about it. Things like this were always trouble and couldn't just be ignored. A voice to his left spoke suddenly nearly making him jump out of his fur.

"Seems like some kind of dimensional portal. Definitely not from the Pastmaster." The smaller of the SWAT Kats observed.

To Feral's annoyance, the pair had apparently landed their jet nearby and slipped through his cordon to stand just a few feet from him. Scowling he turned and snapped, "What are you two doing here...this is enforcer business...take off!"

"Yeah, right, Commander. This isn't like anything anyone has seen before. No way would your enforcers or even us do anything about it," T-Bone drawled sarcastically while studying the phenomenon with a worried frown.

"Yeah, Commander. You should be rousting some scientists out here to check it out but I wouldn't recommend getting any closer than we already are. My instruments say its an energy source totally unknown to our world," Razor added, his tone grave and his expression uneasy as he studied the portal.

Feral felt like having their butts hauled to jail but he caught the looks of concern and some fear from the pair. If they were worried, especially since they were used to dealing with the weird and unusual, then he shouldn't be so quick to chase them off. Razor was a certifiable genius and could be of some help to the scientists so, reluctantly, he left them alone.

Growling in frustration, he called dispatch and had them roust some scientists out of their beds and ferry them down here. He rattled off a few names he thought might be useful as well as a couple Razor suggested. Signing off, he continued to stare at the portal, worriedly.

Suddenly a loud beeping went off causing Razor to curse. "Everyone get back, the energy flow has kicked up suddenly." Following his own order, he scurried backwards quickly.

Everyone did the same. T-Bone and Feral were next to each other as they hurried backward from the portal when at that precise moment a sudden flare of energy jetted out, surrounding Feral's body in a nimbus of light. Feral only had time for a startled cry before the light snatched him into the portal.

In the stunned silence that followed, everyone could only stare, shocked, at the portal that had returned to its original glowing silence. It took several moments before the reality of the Commander's disappearance sank in.

"Crud! Razor where did he go?" T-Bone spoke for them all.

"That portal snatched him T-Bone and your guess is as good as mine." Razor was equally shaken by the suddenness of Feral's disappearance. "We'd better figure out this damn thing before it decides to take anyone else and see if it's possible to rescue the Commander."

Somewhere far from home...

Feral's body hurled through somewhere cold and bright, blinding him and sending a sharp tingling sensation racing through him before it and the movement stopped abruptly, leaving him suddenly standing on a hard surface, weaving in disorientation and bewilderment. When his vision cleared, he found himself in an open space somewhere he could never have imagined even in his wildest dreams.

What he beheld made him wish he was still blind. The floor beneath his feet was apparently some kind of black flagstone while the walls were of gray stone, covered with tapestries that reminded him of being in a castle. But the people, if you could call them that, were like nothing he'd ever seen before.

They were animals of all description. The best his mind could identify them was if you took all the primitive animals that lived on his world then caused them to straighten and stand, put clothes and weapons on them and gave them intelligence.

He saw creatures that had vague resemblances to rats, foxes, wolves, other types of felines, bulls, rabbits, weasels, badgers, canines, mice, reptiles and bears. Some of these 'people' possessed wings. Sitting on a chair that could only be some kind of throne was a feline-like creature that resembled a lion only he had huge leathery wings like a bat or perhaps dragon, if such a thing existed, and a short pair of horns that poked through his blood red mane just between his long, big ears that had tassels of fur on them. His eyes were pools of glowing emerald fire that made Feral's heart freeze from the heated, satisfied look in them.

The leader, because it seemed obvious that was what he was, wore a blood red cloak clasped with a gold chain at his throat. Over his broad, bare chest, he wore a richly decorated leather-like vest that left his powerful arms bare, more of that leather was made into a pair of pants and no shoes adorned his heavily clawed feet. His mane had two braids falling to either side of his face with scarlet ribbons tying them off and on his face a tattoo of some kind adorned his forehead in dark blue ink. Around his neck was a gold chain that held a medallion with a glowing moonstone at its center. Around his wrists were metal vambraces with intricate designs on them.

For a long moment they simply stared at the other, then the leader spoke. His voice was a deep rumble and surprisingly, he spoke Feral's language.

"Excellent! The spell worked. My compliments on finally getting it right Dantre!" He said to a reptile-like creature standing next to him wearing elaborate robes of royal blue with silver designs on it. The creature bowed in recognition of the compliment as his leader stood then glided toward their Kat visitor.

Feral shuddered inside, the leader moved with all the grace and lethal beauty of a born predator. The powerful creature circled his prize slowly then came to a halt in front of Feral. He made a strange gesture with his fingers and suddenly all of Feral's clothes vanished.

Gasping in horror, he thought, 'magic..oh god! No!' Of all the threats he'd faced on his world, magic was the worst. There was no defense against it and it always terrified him to the core because of how helpless it made him feel. He never really got over what Mad Kat had done to him the year before.

The King jerked Feral's attention back to him with a purr of appreciation for what he was seeing, briefly flashing into view a long set of incisors. "Ahh, much better. What an exquisite beauty you are and strongly built too. Yes, a definite prize indeed. Welcome to my kingdom my handsome warrior. I am King Bloodnor, ruler of Celestor."

"Why have you brought me here?" Feral managed to ask even though he was shaking inside.

King Bloodnor reached out with a clawed finger to tilt Feral's chin up and stare into those fetching gold eyes. "I have watched you in my Eye of Torin and desired you. I have searched the magical realms and beyond for my perfect consort and now I have finally found him. It took some time and effort to retrieve you...the shifting energies of the magical pool had to be just right to pull you through. Alas, in thirty night passes you will return to your faraway home but when the celestial body you call the moon rises again, you will return to me. This will continue to occur until you are carrying my heir, only then will you be forever in my realm."

Feral's blood ran cold, 'Did he say carrying an heir?' "I hate to ruin your grand plans but I'm male and can't bear you anything but enmity." He said with some bravado, he truly didn't feel.

In a lightning move Feral never saw, Bloodnor shot out a paw and grabbed Feral's arm, yanking the Kat to his knees on the hard floor. Releasing the arm, the King placed his paw on the Commander's neck, insuring the Kat wouldn't stand up.

Casually, he growled warningly, "never lie to me. I can scent a lie before it even leaves your lips. Remember that!" His face was expressionless and his manner cool, totally at odds with his aggressive behavior.

Feral shuddered inside. The creature was incredibly powerful. The small resistance, he had automatically made when he was forced down was aborted by the feel of something that felt like a brick wall holding him down.

The grip on his neck vanished suddenly and he made as if to stand when it returned swiftly, pinning him in place. He froze and when the pressure was gone again, he didn't move.

"Excellent. You are a quick learner. That will be of great benefit to you during your lessons." King Bloodnor rumbled approval.

Feral dared to raise his head to stare at the King in puzzlement.

Smiling in amusement, Bloodnor obliged him with an explanation. "You must, of course, learn how to comport yourself as my consort. There will be lessons in politics, your place in my harem, riding lessons, weapons practice, our world's history, etc.. Now..." He paused to make another of those strange gestures and Feral was suddenly dressed.

"There much better. This is how you will be dressed most of the time. The royal tailors will make you robes for formal affairs and for outdoor lessons." Bloodnor reached out to Feral's newly lengthened hair. "It curls most becomingly. I am very pleased. Gutaire!" He shouted suddenly.

A figure that resembled a five foot tall mouse dressed in pants and shirt of deep forest green came scurrying up. "Yes, my liege!" It said in a surprisingly mellow voice, its paws clasped together, head bowed.

"Gutaire, take my consort to the harem and introduce him then prepare him for my bed. You know what to do!"

"Yes, my liege! As you command!" Gutaire bowed then turned to Feral and gestured that he should follow him.

"Run along, my beauty. I will be with you in a short while." Bloodnor had a broad smile of anticipation on his face as he returned to his throne and the group of people waiting for him.

Possibly his council, Feral guessed. He tried not to think about what the creature planned for him shortly.

Swallowing hard, he followed the mouse out of the main throne room he'd arrived in and down a corridor lit by strange glowing balls hanging in the air at strategic areas of the ceiling, providing illumination. Shivering in the chillness of the hallway, he turned his attention to what he was wearing.

Well, it certainly wasn't much which explained why he was so cold. His chest was bare and adorned with only a chain of gold and a moonstone that matched the King's own. Around his waist was a wrap made of some soft cloth in red with gold designs that he realized matched the one's on the king's vest, it reached the floor and had a long slit up his right leg, revealing a little too much of his equipment that barely fit in the skimpy thong he now wore. On his wrists and ankles, silver vambraces had been put on, his hair had been magically lengthened so that it brushed his shoulders and a shorter cape of gold was draped around his shoulders held by a gold chain. A small band of some kind of light metal was around his forehead, possibly a crown.

So wrapped up in staring at himself as he walked, he missed his escort stopping and nearly ran into him. The mouse glanced at him with sympathetic eyes as he gestured for Feral to enter a large room. When he stepped through a barrier of brightly colored beads, he beheld a room that look everything like the tales he'd heard of Arabian nights.

The walls were covered in fabrics of gold and scarlet. The floor with rich carpets depicting various scenes from their history. Everywhere he looked there were couches, pillows, small tables laden with food, more of those strange glowing balls and watching him intently...barely dressed males and females of various races.