Author Note: This take place five years after Shadow within a Shadow. The three chapters will be a Point View from Felina, Callie and the SWAT Kats. Enjoy!
Chapter 5: The End of an Era
It was a peaceful day in the village of Shiori as Ulysses strolled down it streets. The festival was months past and his best friend, Kazuma had left the village for a while to do some self training. Ulysses' mate, Makoto was in the last stages of her pregnancy and was resting so he'd gone into the village to stroll around, enjoy the shops, and try to ease his boredom having nothing to do at the moment. But after an hour or so, seeing nothing he needed or wanted, he left the village for the new home he had built.
Their new place served two purposes, a home at the rear and a dojo training hall for earth fighters at the front. He walked up to the little picket fence he'd built and down the side of the dojo to a door at the rear. He opened it and stepped inside. As he crossed the living area he could hear water running in the kitchen. He sighed deeply and moved toward the sound. Makoto was washing dishes from this morning.
"Hon, you should be resting." Ulysses said gently, making a move to take over the work.
"It's fine, my love, it's done. I just get so restless sitting around." Makoto said putting the dish rag down.
"Alright, but rest after this, okay?" He said warmly, giving her a hug. He sighed happily as he felt his kitten kick against his paw.
"Uly, I want to ask you something." She said, looking up into her mate's face.
"Don't you think it's time to inform your family about us? The kitten is due soon and…" She began hesitantly.
"I don't have any family." He said rather bluntly.
Makoto blinked, taken aback by his stiff manner. In all the time she had known him, Ulysses had never mentioned family or friends or even where he had come from. Whenever she tried to open a discussion on the subject he would grow silent then change the subject. She suspected something unpleasant had happened in his past and that he wished to keep it distant from his new life.
"But once upon a time there had been." She said with a questioning look.
"Of course but they are only related by blood. They don't think of me as family and so, neither do I.." He said flatly, hoping she wouldn't pursue it any further.
"Ulysses?" Makoto said in concern.
Ulysses stared into his mate's eyes and saw the worry for him there. He sighed mentally. He hadn't meant to upset or confuse her. Perhaps it was time he told her about his past, she was his mate and deserved to know who he had been before coming here.
In his new home, family and friends were important even families not related by blood. All were treated with love and respect. It's what he loved about this place.
"Here, sit my love. It's not a happy story but you should know it." He said, helping her sit at their kitchen table. "I came from a place called Megakat City. I was Commander of the military forces there. All that's left of my blood family is my brother and his daughter. Felina was her name and she was a Lieutenant under me. Megakat City was troubled by super criminals that constantly tried to take over the city. The mayor cut my budget so often and so badly that I could not always keep the criminals at bay. A pair of vigilantes appeared and were able to beat the super criminals and because of their interference and success, I was constantly ridiculed by the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and the Katizens for failing to do my job." He paused a moment, the memory of his treatment a momentary pain to his heart.
"But, surely someone was trying to help you?" Makoto asked, distressed he could have been so alone in his fight to save his city.
"Once, but she turned on me. My niece had been my most trusted officer but she became too involved with the SWAT Kats. The Deputy Mayor had done the same thing. Neither saw me as doing the best I could with my paws tied by the ruinous money making schemes of the Mayor. They only saw me as a hard ass, by the book leader and did their best to make trouble for me at every turn. Finally, things came to a head for me. I had known the real identities of SWAT Kats for some time but had never revealed it because I knew they were doing the city some good. But when I learned my niece and the Deputy Mayor had become lovers of the SWAT Kats, I knew it was time for me to leave." He finished bitterly. "I turned my back on them and vowed never to return."
"Oh, my love, I'm so sorry but are you sure your niece doesn't need you?" Makoto asked, grieved at her mate's unhappy past but trying to offer him some comfort.
Ulysses snorted. "Not likely. She had T-Bone, the friendship of the Deputy Mayor and Razor the other SWAT Kat. Whatever happens to the city now, it's their problem and no longer mine. The bond of family was shattered a long time ago." He said with a tone of finality in his voice.
"But she is family." Makoto tried once more.
"It obviously doesn't mean that to her anymore. She made her choice. She didn't even try to see my side of it. My family didn't know how to create the bonds that are so important between parents and kittens the way Shiori villagers do here. That is why this place is more home to me than there ever was. That's why I think of you and Kazuma as my family rather than the one I'm related to by blood. Do you understand?" He asked her softly.
Makoto studied him a moment then raised a paw and stroked his face. "Yes, I do. Though I've not seen it happen here, I've heard where families hurt each other; mother against daughter, father against son, brother against sister and uncle against aunt." She said thoughtfully.
He cupped her paw with his. "Exactly! There was no bond between us just nothingness and I hated that feeling more then anything. When I left, I was amazed at how much better I felt about myself and how free. I was finally able to be who I really was rather than the image everyone tried to fit me into. That former life was lonely with no friend, lover, nor true family." He said.
"Is that why you train so hard? To protect me, the kitten and Kazuma?" Makoto asked tenderly, beginning to understand her mate better.
"Yes! I don't want to lose my true family and friend. Not after all I've been through to find you." Ulysses said burying his face in his mate's neck.
"Ulysses." Makoto murmured, stroking his ear to comfort him.
"That's why I say I have no family outside of here. Please don't ask about them anymore." He begged softly.
"I won't. Family doesn't mean anything if there is no bond. I am so happy you found your way here because now you are with family." She said warmly.
Countless miles away, Megakat City was in turmoil. The once proud city government was on the verge of collapsing. After Mayor Manx made a deal with the city's money that backfired, the Katizens revolted. They were tired of his many excesses and began to stage protests. There were loud calls for his impeachment.
The protests would degenerate into riots that pushed the already strained resources of the Enforcers to their limits. Their new Chief Enforcer, Commander Steele had yet to prove his competence and his enforcers, both young and old, were becoming short tempered and angry waiting for him to fix things. Many of them sided with the Katizens about ousting Manx knowing he was part of their problem too.
The final straw to many was the loss of faith in the previous Chief Enforcer and Deputy Mayor. After the scandalous facts had been uncovered about Commander Felina Feral and Deputy Mayor Calico Briggs intimate ties to the notorious SWAT Kats, the Katizens demanded their removal from office. Felina was stripped of her rank and kicked out of the enforcers. Callie had been fired and told to leave her office immediately. There was violent hate mail sent to both she-kats and they couldn't go anywhere without being heckled and ridiculed. The newspapers and TV stations had a field day about the trials and the fallout.
To the Katizens of Megakat City, their woes were the fault of the 'Fallen Five' as they were called. The SWAT Kats had been lumped in the angry fervor that swirled around the two she-kats and the Mayor. Wherever the SWAT Kats went to help they were met with anger and curses. The Enforcers were much more vocal about their hatred for the pair and their interference. The newspapers were filled with the ringing cry to the defenders to get lost.
Just how much they were vilified by the public was brought home to them during a recent quelling of yet another riot. An older officer made it plain how they felt about the SWAT Kats.
"What's the matter hotshots? Not so hot anymore are you?" He said coldly, giving the pair a disgusted look.
"Get lost! You're the ones to blame for the shit that's happened to our city! You and your lovers deserve whatever's coming to you." A younger trooper jeered at them.
"Oh yeah! Come here and say that to my face!" T-Bone snarled, the constant nasty comments of the past few weeks finally getting under his fur.
"Enough T-Bone!" Razor snapped, pushing his partner away from a confrontation.
Razor could feel the mood of the crowd of Katizens as well as the Enforcers standing there. There was blood in their eyes and they wouldn't be satisfied until he and T-Bone were a bloody pulp on the ground.
"Let it go, T-Bone. We need to get out of here." Razor said, his voice tight with fear and sorrow.
T-Bone glared at him and pushed back for a moment. "But we..." then he stopped and saw what Razor had seen. Swallowing his anger he stopped fighting his partner. Without another word he dashed to the Turbokat, Razor close behind him.
T-Bone quickly took the Turbokat into the air and raced for their hidden hangar. They didn't speak on the trip home, each lost in their own thoughts. Once home, they jumped down from the cockpit and went to change clothes.
Finally, Chance couldn't hold back his anger. "This is all Feral's fault! He's the one who did all of this!" He shouted.
"No it's not." Jake said grimly as he closed his locker and turned to face his friend who stared at him in shock.
"What! How can you say that, Jake?" Chance blurted.
"Feral's been gone five years. All this has happened after he'd left. We have no one to blame but ourselves. We were so sure we knew what we were doing but we were wrong and now things have blown up in our faces!" Jake said grimly.
"No, I can't believe that!" Chance said, shaking his head and denying the truth.
"It's true! Feral warned us this would happen in his farewell letter. The letter we ignored. This is the price we pay for our stupidity and arrogance." Jake said flatly then turned away and went up to their apartment, leaving Chance to brood.
Elsewhere in the city, two she-kats were preparing to leave a city that no longer welcomed them. They were in Callie's apartment. Felina sat on the couch and watched Callie pack her apartment.
"What are you going to do now Felina?" Callie asked, as she moved around the room, picking up things and placing them in the boxes on the floor.
"The same as you, I guess. Find a new home and make a new start." Felina said with a sigh.
"I can't believe how much everyone hates us now. It was hard going into my office to clean out my desk with all those hostile looks I was getting." Callie said unhappily as she packed away her books.
"Yeah, me too. Everyone in Enforcer Headquarters made it very clear how much they didn't want me there. It's utterly amazing that they would prefer that coward, Steele over me. God knows what's going to happen to the city now." Felina said heavily, her mind remembering the smug look on Steele's face as she left. No one gave her a second look as she passed through the lobby doors for the last time.
Callie stood up and placed a paw on Felina's shoulder. "Everything will be okay. None of this would have happened in the first place anyway if your uncle…" She started to say with some bitterness when she was violently interrupted.
Felina lunged to her feet and shook her finger at Callie. "My uncle had nothing to do with this! We did! This was all our fault! Why do you and T-Bone always blame someone else for things when they don't happen the way you want them too?" Felina spat angrily, pushing Callie away and leaving the former Deputy Mayor's home for the last time.
Callie lowered her head in shame. Felina was right! She had always blamed Feral when things had gone wrong before he left but he'd been gone five years and this mess was all their doing. It didn't feel good to know they had refused to see that before and now it was far too late.
"I wonder if he even thinks about us anymore," She said aloud but silence was her only answer.
At the salvage yard, Chance and Jake were having a serious conversation about their future in Megakat City.
"Chance, buddy. I'm afraid we're going to have to leave. We can't stay here anymore." Jake said, not able to look at his best friend.
"I know. It's hard to believe how angry the Katizens are about us. But the danger to the city is still here. How can we just leave? Dark Kat and the others will be sure to take over if we do." Chance said worriedly.
"That's where you're wrong, buddy. I've been keeping a close watch on the that specific problem and discovered the country next to us were tired of the threat those criminals posed so sent in a special ops team to quietly take out every one of them. Everyone has been so upset by Manx's excesses and the trials they never noticed the super criminals were no longer around. Lucky us." He said sarcastically. "Anyway, only the usual criminal scum is left and the enforcers can handle them. So you see, we're no longer needed." Jake explained calmly.
Chance stared at him in disbelief. "They're all gone? And no one noticed? But what about our debt to the enforcers?" He said, shaking his head.
"I figure we could move to another city or country and offer our services as private criminal exterminators. Charging the well to do and doing it free for the poor. Also, I can make some money selling some of my weapon's designs and you can maybe be a charter pilot or we can run another garage and towing service like we did here. We'll pay our debt that way." Jake said, eyeing his partner to see how he felt about these plans.
Chance sighed and thought for a while. Jake left him alone and watched the TV, waiting patiently. Finally his best friend looked up. It was obvious he was unhappy but...
"Alright, let's do it. There's nothing else we can do here." He said heavily.
Felina had wasted no time leaving the city. She stayed with her father for a short time then took off for parts unknown. On her heels, Calico Briggs took a plane to a far away place. She watched the city that had been her home for so many years, pass her plane window with a heavy heart. It took the SWAT Kats a bit longer to clear out. They had to insure the hangar was completely sealed up, found a new place for their customers to go, then loaded all their belongings aboard the Turbokat and left late one night weeks later, destination unknown.
Now with all her former defenders gone, all that was left for the city to do to pick itself back up was to get rid of their weak Mayor. Manx wisely announced his retirement and quickly vacated the office he'd held for so very long.
A new mayor wasn't hard to find, much to everyone's relief. Amerada Slayer, a long time city administrator, who had a great deal of experience working under Manx and Briggs, was the perfect candidate and was willing to take over as Mayor.
One of her first acts in office was to put a stop to all the outrageous projects Manx had financed, shoving the money back into the sadly depleted treasury. The second most important thing she did was to increase the Enforcer's budget.
Now that sufficient funds were at hand, Steele finally got his act together and upgraded all their equipment, jets, choppers, and tanks then improved their training standards for new troops. With things within the enforcers improving and Steele turning out to be a good Commander, more Kats were enlisting, replacing the severely depleted ranks. Crime was going down and the Katizens were feeling much happier. The riots and protests faded away. No one mentioned the 'fallen five' ever again except as a reminder of how bad things had gotten under their regime.
As she looked out her window at a city at peace for the first time in decades, the new Mayor of Megakat City said with satisfaction, "Finally, this city is running the way its supposed to and everyone is much happier."