JUST ANOTHER WEIRD DAY IN MEGAKAT CITY
Author's Note: Just a little short story that popped in my head after a day grooming cats.
"Crud Razor! What the heck was that?" T-Bone growled in pain as he quickly sought new cover.
"I don't know, buddy. It looks like Dr. Viper has developed a new strain of mutant plants that can generate electricity. Better try to avoid them. No telling how strong a jolt they can produce." Razor warned as he shot cement from his glovatrix at some flying plantimals trying to get the drop on them from the ceiling.
All around them was chaos. Sprinkler systems were pouring water everywhere, alarms were shrilling, doors and elevators were opening and closing at random, lights were going off and on. They knew Hard Drive was around here somewhere from the evidence but no one seem to know why he was here with Dr. Viper.
From nearby they could hear curses and orders being given by enforcers trapped like themselves in another part of this huge agricultural lab in a hidden base located underground some miles out in the desert south of Megakat City.
"Wish I knew what the heck Viper wanted here. It's weird we haven't seen or heard from him yet." T-Bone said irritably as he ducked another barrage of thorns from two plantimals near a doorway. Growling angrily, he fired a mini matchhead missile and grinned with grim satisfaction when the creatures burst into flames taking a few others with them as they ran around on fire.
"I'd like to know what the heck Hard Drive is doing here. None of this makes any sense." Razor said, frowning in concern. "Come on, let's see if we can blast our way through that hallway I can see over there. We can't do anything stuck here." He said as he prepared to charge forward.
"I'm with you!" T-Bone gritted holding up his shield and his glovatrix.
"Charge!" Razor shouted as he sprayed a barrage of tarpedo missiles, succeeding in plastering a group of plant soldiers to the walls.
Close on his heels, T-Bone shot more cement taking one of the electrical plant creatures as they plunged into the hallway and ran down it quickly searching for either Hard Drive or Viper.
Who they found instead was Feral. He was trapped with two other enforcers by one of the electrical creatures. Their lasers had no effect on it. Razor quickly dispatched the thing with a well placed mini-scrambler missile. It's dying screams caused them to cringe and cover their ears. Thankfully it didn't take long to die.
Shaking themselves, the enforcers quickly joined the SWAT Kats and continued down the hallway dispatching smaller plant creatures as they went. The appearance of the thorn throwing plants forced T-Bone and Razor to shove the enforcers into an empty room to keep them from becoming pincushions.
Feral growled angrily at being protected by the vigilantes but didn't voice his anger aloud. They were all trapped in this lab and things were not looking good. It didn't help that he had a headache he couldn't shake since this all started.
Shoving the pain aside, he joined the SWAT Kats near the door. He spied a fire extinguisher on the wall.
"You know that trick you did to these things last time at Megakat Tower...freezing them...do you think there might be something here besides those fire extinguishers that could do the same?" He asked.
Razor blinked in surprise. "Well, there could be. Liquid hydrogen is used for a lot of different things including keeping certain experiments cool. I don't know how much they have on hand though. It would help if we could get a hold of someone here." He said thoughtfully.
"Well most of the scientists fled and those that didn't were killed. No telling how many are trapped in the labs. Damn, Hard Drive is making it difficult to get anywhere here." Feral growled irritably. He reached up and rubbed his temple trying to ease the increasing pain in his head.
"You got that right!" T-Bone grunted as he jerked back from being snatched by a searching vine.
Feral shot it to pieces.
"Have you tried your radio again?" Razor asked as he shot at another vine trying to fish the trapped group from the room.
"Not yet!" Feral said moving back from the door to do just that. "This is Feral, can anyone hear me?"
For a long moment there was nothing but static then, suddenly, a welcome voice burst through.
"Uncle, we're just arriving with back up. Where are you?" Came his niece's voice.
"Felina, we're on the first level of this place and haven't been able to get far due to heavy plant infestation from Dr. Viper. Add to that is the mess Hard Drive is making of the power systems. Doors, elevators, alarms, sprinkler systems, lights...everything is haywire. We have an idea but we need someone who works here to answer a question. Are there any of those scientists out there?" He asked.
"Just a minute, Uncle. There are some here." Felina responded.
There was a wait of five minutes before she came back over the radio. "Uncle, I've got one of the section chiefs. What's your question?" She asked.
"Ask them if they have any liquid hydrogen on hand and how much?" He asked urgently.
"He says they have a two hundred gallon container located in the cool lab on the second floor. The lab is called arctic experiments. The container is hidden in a storeroom in the far left corner of the room and has two major pipes coming from it running to a specially insulated room they use for the experiments. Does that help?" She asked anxiously.
"Yes! Now our only problem is getting to the second floor. Have the back ups come in carefully with fire extinguishers and flame throwers. They seemed to work destroying these things. Be careful, the place is full of them." Feral ordered her.
"Roger, Uncle." She acknowledged then clicked off.
"Did you hear what she said," He asked the pair near the door.
"Yeah! And you're right! It's going to be a pain getting to the next floor but you have the right idea about fire extinguishers. T-Bone and I have the munitions to take out some and you guys can grab the extinguishers and use those. Let's see if we can get out of here." Razor said grimly as he and T-Bone got ready to charge out the door and to a stair well they could see the sign for just down the hall.
Feral grabbed the first extinguisher he found, while his men stayed close to his back and looked for others. He sprayed any creature that popped out of ceiling panels and broken lab door windows. They reached the stairs, finally, but lost one of the enforcers getting there.
The other enforcer with Feral had an extinguisher and he and the Commander turned their back to the stairs to protect their retreat as the SWAT Kats cleared the stair well of plant creatures.
It was slow going and Feral's head was throbbing so bad his vision and stomach were being affected. He didn't say anything about his deteriorating condition since they couldn't stop anyway.
Finally, they reached the second floor. They got lucky when they piled out the stair door and shut it behind them, this floor was not infested for some reason though Hard Drive's interference was being felt here too. Moving down the hall quickly, the enforcer located the lab they were hunting for. Razor used his glovatrix to melt the lock and they shoved it open. The lab was dark, so T-Bone and Razor flicked on the spotlights on their helmets.
Going to the left corner where Felina had said to look, T-Bone broke the door open and there was the container. Razor checked the container over carefully and followed the pipes leading from it to determine how they were going to use this to their advantage.
"We're in luck! They use a flexible hose to shoot the hydrogen into some of their study cases. I can pull these hoses and push them into the ventilation shaft and turn on the power to begin feeding the hydrogen into the shaft. Fortunately, this room is sealed off from the rest of the place." Razor said smiling in relief.
"The power is being affected by Hard Drive, if you've forgotten. How are we going to turn this on?" Feral growled, frowning in pain.
"This container is, fortunately, on it's own self contained system. Hard Drive's muckin about hasn't got to it." Razor said with a smirk as he began to move the hoses to the ventilation system with T-Bone's help.
Feral reached for his radio, "Felina!" He called.
"Yes, Uncle," She said in a harried voice. He could hear screams and the sound of flame throwers being used.
"Evacuate immediately. We're going to fill the ventilation system with hydrogen." He warned.
"Right, give us ten to get out then go for it." She said grimly.
"Razor, wait ten minutes for my enforcers to get free before turning on the power." Feral called to the smaller SWAT Kat.
"No problem." He said. A few minutes later, "Okay, we're ready! All we need is the Lieutenant's all clear." Razor said satisfied.
Feral set the extinguisher down on the floor and nearly followed it there. He leaned against the wall and panted, his eyes closed tight.
The sound seemed loud in the room when everyone had stopped moving and were waiting for the call. Frowning behind his mask, Razor looked toward Feral's slumped form. The light from his helmet illuminated the Commander. Razor moved closer and quickly noted how pale Feral was and that he was sweating profusely.
"Commander, are you okay?" He asked in concern.
Feral's eyes popped open in surprise to hear that voice so close to him. The moment the light hit his eyes though, he cried out in agony and slid to the floor pressing his palms to his head.
Shocked, Razor quickly knelt down next to him. T-Bone and the other enforcer came over as well. Razor reached out a paw and felt Feral's forehead.
"Crud! He's burning up!" Razor exclaimed.
"Why the heck didn't he say he was ill?" T-Bone growled in annoyance.
"We weren't exactly able to stop, T-Bone." He admonished his partner. "Commander, can you tell us what's wrong with you?" Razor asked in a softer voice.
"Uhhh... head hurts bad... feel nauseated...light hurts..." Feral managed to pant out.
"Ohhh, that is so not good!" Razor exclaimed in worried concern. "Did your symptoms come on suddenly?" He asked urgently.
"Yessss..." Feral ground out.
"Crud! This is serious!" Razor said grimly standing up and looking at the others.
"Huh? Why do you say that?" T-Bone asked in surprise.
"Because I suspect Feral has meningitis and it's contagious. He's in critical condition and if he doesn't receive treatment soon he's going to die." Razor said tightly.
"What?!" His partner blurted loudly causing Feral to cry out. He immediately lowered his voice. "Sorry!" He said to Feral then turned to Razor. "Well we're not going to be able to get him out of here unless your plan works."
Suddenly, Feral's radio called out an all clear from Felina.
"Good! Now we can do this!" Razor said as he rushed to the controls of the hydrogen container and turned on the pumps. Soon they could hear the hiss of something being forced through the ventilation system.
"Ten minutes should do it!" Razor said as they waited.
Feral began to moan and whimper from his huddled position on the floor. His enforcer stayed by his side trying to offer some comfort to his ailing Commander.
Feral's radio came on, "This is Lt. Feral. Near as we can tell all the plant creatures have been frozen. Want us to come in?"
Razor reached for the radio, "This is Razor, Lieutenant. Listen carefully. Commander Feral seems to have contracted meningitis. Feral is in serious need of medical attention asap. So you better send the medics and initiate quarantine procedures. We are in the room you directed us to. We'll wait for you but hurry, he's not looking real good." Razor reported.
"Roger, Razor. We'll be there quickly." She said hurriedly.
Feral's whimpers were becoming stronger and his breathing was ragged. Razor went to a sink located in the lab and wet some paper towels. He walked back and knelt down to Feral's side and applied the cool towels to the suffering Commander.
"Let's get his coat off, but move him carefully. He's in a lot of pain." Razor said quietly. "Also keep your voices low. Noise and bright lights only make it worse for him."
Very carefully and slowly they took his coat and tie off then opened his shirt. The young enforcer got more wet towels to put on Feral's chest to try to cool him down. T-Bone sat on the floor, placing Feral's head in his lap. He was gently rubbing the suffering Kat's temples, trying to offer what comfort he could.
"That's the best we can do until the medics get here." Razor said softly. He and the enforcer went to stand near the door waiting for help to arrive.
"How will they help him?" The young enforcer asked anxiously.
"They'll give him a very strong antibiotic to counter the bacteria in his system." Razor answered.
"What about us? You said it was contagious?" T-Bone asked.
"There's a vaccine for us. It's not pleasant but considering the alternative..." Razor said looking meaningfully toward Feral.
"I hate shots!" T-Bone groaned unhappily. Razor just snorted in response.
Some minutes later, a voice called out from outside the door.
"Razor, T-Bone?" Came the voice of Lt Feral.
"Yeah! Are the medics here?" Razor asked.
"Yes, open up and they'll come in and take care of my Uncle." Felina called through the door.
Razor opened the door and two medics slipped in. Leaving the young enforcer at the door, Razor added his light to T-Bone's so the doctors could check Feral over.
After a few minutes examination, one of the medics said, "It does look like meningitis. Tell me his symptoms."
Razor quickly relayed what Feral had told them.
"Hmm, yes those are the signs of it alright, though only a spinal tap will tell us for certain. You did the right thing in requesting a quarantine. Let's package him up and get him and you guys transported quickly." The doctor said briskly. He went to the door and gave orders.
Another fifteen minutes and Feral was placed on a gurney and quickly hauled up with the help of the SWAT Kats to the main floor and out. They loaded Feral on the Turbokat since it would be faster and the fact the SWAT Kats had to be treated too. The young enforcer sat nearby his Commander as they took off for Megakat General Hospital.
Behind them, Lt. Feral set about securing the site of the battle and searching for Dr. Viper and Hard Drive.
T-Bone landed them on the helipad of the hospital and were hustled with Feral and the enforcer to a quarantine examine room.
Feral was stripped and an IV was started with the antibiotics. The doctors did not want to wait for results from a spinal tap to get his treatment started. The tap was done soon enough and after a few hours, the results came back positive.
Waiting had been boring and though tired, T-Bone and Razor did not feel comfortable trying to take a nap while they waited so they and the enforcer watched TV quietly in one corner of the four-bed room they had been placed in with Feral.
Feral had stopped whimpering in pain an hour after treatment and was resting quietly. Curtains were pulled around his bed and his light was off since he was still light sensitive.
It was with great relief when the doctor came back in to give them the news and the injections.
T-Bone grimaced at the shot but was more unhappy when he was told they couldn't leave for an hour yet. Sighing, they settled to wait even longer before being allowed to leave.
A half hour before their time was up, Felina arrived to see them. She wore a mask, gown, and gloves when she came in.
"Hi guys. I wanted to tell you what had happened at the lab and to thank you for helping my uncle." She said warmly coming to sit in a chair near them.
"You're welcome. So what happened?" T-Bone said brushing off her thanks and anxious to find out if Dr. Viper and Hard Drive were in custody.
"Well your trick worked. All the plant creatures were frozen and dead. We searched the place and found some scientists safe in a couple of labs. They were lucky enough to be in labs whose ventilation systems were enclosed. Then we finally found Viper and Hard Drive. Viper was so cold he couldn't move and we had to shoot Hard Drive who, though too cold to move fast enough to fire his electrical bolts, still tried to. After some...persuasion at Enforcer Headquarters, we learned Viper was after a new plant growth formula and had offered Hard Drive a chance at some of the other information in the computers, to help him get past all the security systems." She told them.
"Well I'm glad that's over with. I'll be glad to get out of here and go home." T-Bone sighed.
"The doctor told me my uncle could have died if he had waited another hour to be treated. I know he won't thank you but I'm truly glad you guys were there to save his life." She said gratefully.
"Just glad we were on hand. It was Razor who guessed what his problem was, though." T-Bone said.
Felina smiled warmly even though no one could see it with the mask on but Razor could see it in her eyes.
"Thanks Razor." She said simply.
"Heh! You're welcome." He said shyly.
Suddenly the doctor stepped into their room. "We'll you're free to go now. Thank's for being so cooperative." He said then turned and left again.
"Yes! Man I can't wait to get out of here!" T-Bone said gratefully as he and the others walked quietly out of the room past the still slumbering Feral.
Felina stripped out of her medical gear and gave them each a slap on the back then left with the young enforcer. The SWAT Kats went to the helipad and quickly took off for home.
Feral took more than a week to get well. He was secretly grateful to the SWAT Kats for coming to his aid and getting him the care he needed quickly. He never did figure out how he managed to get the bacteria. He was just glad to be alive. He was back to duty the next week as if nothing had happened..