Chapter 11: Returning to Normal
The next morning, Major Westland felt immensely better after a sound nights sleep. His good humor lasted until he arrived at work and was greeted by a mob outside Enforcer Headquarters.
A line of enforcers were keeping the basically civil mob from running up the stairs and storming the building. There were placards held by many of the Kats.
'Free Jenler'....... 'Genetic manipulation is not ungodly'......... 'Help our children....prevent handicaps'...... 'We have a right to a healthy future'.......and many others proclaimed the current feelings of the protestors.
He groaned as he got out of his vehicle and pushed his way through the crowd. He grumbled as he managed to finally get to the steps and pushed through the heavy doors of the lobby. Sgt Fallon was there waiting for him.
"Sir, they only began gathering some twenty minutes ago and you were already on your way here, that's why you weren't called." He apologized.
"Alright. So have they a spokeskat among them yet?" Westland asked heavily.
"Yes sir. He's waiting in your office." Sgt Fallon said grimly.
Shaking his head, Westland, followed by the sergeant, made for the elevators and silently took a car up to his temporary office. The doors snapped open and he strode down the hall to the office. As he pushed his door open he was greeted by the sight of, not one, but five people waiting for him.
Biting his lip in vexation, he walked up to them. "I'm Major Westland, temporary Chief Enforcer. What can I do for you?"
"Sir, my name is Henri Fang. I and my friends here want to insure Dr. Jenler is afforded all the rights under the law. His research is a boon to Katkind and we don't want to see it destroyed or lost by careless paws." The slim grey and white tom said gravely.
Westland bristled inwardly while keeping a polite exterior. His CSI were experienced scientists and to say the enforcers would mishandle evidence was an affront.
"I assure you Mr. Fang that my CSI personnel are skilled scientists in their own right. They have taken great care collecting Dr. Jenler's research and storing it in our labs here. He had animals he'd experimented on as well and they are presently at the zoo being cared for. Mr. Jenler has broken many laws as well as committed assault on Katizens of this city. He will be dealt with by the courts. We are only his holding area. Because of the controversy around him, he is not being transferred to Atakata nor Megakat Prisons at this time. I would appreciate it if you would tell your protestors outside that and have them disperse peacefully." He said firmly.
"We appreciate what you've said but would prefer to see for ourselves that what you claim is indeed the case." Mr. Fang said equally firm.
The Major gritted his teeth behind sealed lips. He really didn't want unauthorized personnel traipsing around the CSI labs but this situation was a delicate one. Coming to a bitter decision, he nodded.
"Very well! Only you and two others. The rest must wait here. Security is tight and I want it to stay that way." He said unyieldingly.
The group looked at each other unhappily but finally two were selected to go with Mr. Fang.
Having Sgt Fallon stay with the ones remaining behind, Westland led his group down to the labs. Reaching the labs, he introduced them to the chief of the section and they were all taken on a tour and shown the evidence collected from Jenler's lab. Finally, satisfied, the group obediently followed Westland back to his office.
"Thank you for taking the time to ease our fears, Major Westland. We will tell our fellow protestors and let you get on with your work. A word of warning, sir! We will be watching closely that Dr. Jenler is not railroaded and is treated with respect." Mr. Fang said solemnly.
Nodding, the group left the building and some thirty minutes later the protestors left, much to Westland's relief. Now he had other more important business to conduct. He went down to the cell block and stopped at Jenler's cell door.
"Dr. Jenler, it's time for you to restore our personnel and Ms. Briggs back to their true forms. What do you require to accomplish this?" He requested bluntly, gesturing to Sgt Fallon to take notes.
Jenler blinked at him a moment than sighed. "Just give me paper and I'll make a list. I don't want to waste time spelling things you've never heard of." He said flatly, reaching for the pad.
Westland could tell he wasn't being sarcastic and nodded for the sergeant to give him his pen and pad. For ten minutes, they waited as Dr. Jenler wrote down a lengthy note then handed the pan and pen back.
"The antidote is already made. It's just a matter of getting the right tubes for each person collected then injecting it." He said quietly.
"Will it take long?"
"No, the reversal will begin almost immediately but the complete change will take twenty-four hours." Jenler answered.
Westland nodded then came to a decision as he read the note and frowned. Turning to the cell block guard he gestured at the door and signaled he wanted it open. Moments later the cell door glided open.
"Come on doctor. You're coming with me." He ordered.
Jenler stared at him in surprise but stepped out of his cell. With the Major leading and Sgt Fallon guarding the prisoner they left the cell block and went down to the CSI lab. Grabbing the chief again they went to where Jenler's lab equipment was stored.
"Since it's his stuff, we might as well have him get what's needed to restore our people. Work with him to get it together and let me know when you're ready and I'll have transport ready to take you and him to the zoo. I'll have medicals on hand as well. Any questions?" He asked.
The chief looked unhappy but shook his head and Jenler just waited. Westland sighed then left them to it. He left Sgt Fallon as guard to the prisoner then returned to his office.
It was an hour later when he received the call that they were ready. He ordered them to report to the vehicle compound where he had requested a van be readied. Very soon they were on the road to the zoo. He'd already informed medical staff to meet them there and contacted the zoo director that they were on their way. As an afterthought, he reluctantly sent a call to the SWAT Kats. They had made it clear that they wished to be on hand when the four were to be returned to normal.
Less than an hour later a group of grim faced individuals stood outside the cage of four primitive cats. After determining that a tranquilizer could not be used with the special gene drug, Razor volunteered to fire the restorative shot with the tranquilizer gun due to his sharp shooting skills.
Inside the large, roomy cage there was a huge fake tree in one corner and rock looking ledges surrounding a small pond. Laying beneath the tree was Feral and next to him was Ms. Briggs. Up in the tree was Felina and on a far ledge against the wall was Steele.
"Humph, seems strange that Ms. Briggs is always somewhere near the Commander." T-Bone commented gruffly.
"Heh! Yeah, wonder why." Razor grunted then went still as he got a firm target. It was felt Feral should be shot first because of his dangerous size.
The shot was true and Feral roared in fury, lunging to his huge feet and charging the watchers before falling ungracefully to his face, unconscious, against the bars.
"Whew! Good decision." T-Bone muttered.
The rest of the cats were now pacing angrily. Ms. Briggs had moved back into the shadows of the tree and was growling and lashing her tail. Felina stayed in the tree but Steele had jumped down from the ledge and was hiding in the few bushes that were around the enclosure. He flashed fangs and roared his displeasure and fear.
This was going to be a bit harder but Razor aimed carefully and took out Felina. He winced as she slid rather hard to the ground. Callie leaped in fright then took off behind the tree out of sight as did Steele. Frightened and irritable, the two cats squabbled with each other ending up in a fighting wrangle that sent them into clear view.
"Damn, get them before they hurt each other," Major Westland shouted worriedly. T-Bone echoed him.
Gritting his teeth, Razor ignored their shouting and shot in quick succession the pair of fighting cats. Finally silence reigned. After a moment to insure none of the cats were getting up again, the zoo people quickly opened the heavy gate and the medics and vets rushed in.
Gurneys were rolled in and each cat was placed on one and taken to the zoo infirmary. Ms. Briggs and Steele were treated for claw wounds while Felina was checked for possible injuries from her fall from the tree.
"Now all we can do is wait. It won't be until late tomorrow afternoon until they are completely normal." Dr. Jenler said quietly.
"I guess its safe to take them to the hospital then where they will wake up more comfortable." The Major sighed.
"We'll be there tomorrow at this time to see how Ms. Briggs and Lt. Feral are doing." T-Bone said firmly as he and his partner took their leave.
Westland made no comment as he watched the four cats being rolled out of the infirmary and to the waiting ambulances. Once they were safely at the hospital, he left guards and had Jenler returned to his cell during the wait.
About an hour or so after lunch the next day, Major Westland went to the hospital. When he had checked that morning with the doctors, he was told the four were nearly back to normal and things looked good.
As he approached the room they were being kept in, he frowned when he saw the SWAT Kats there waiting for him. Not bothering to say anything, he went in followed by the pair.
On the beds, four people were sitting up and looking a little worse for wear but were themselves again. The SWAT Kats went to Felina's and Callie's beds and smiled down at them.
"How are you two doing?" T-Bone asked.
"Feeling a little weird. What the heck happened?" Felina demanded.
Razor explained to them while Major Westland told Feral and Steele.
It was a bit much to take in but they couldn't deny what had happened. One thing bothered Feral though.
"You worked with those vigilantes?" He bellowed in disbelief.
"I had no choice sir. If not for them we would not have kept you from harming others, then we wouldn't have found Dark Kat in time before he turned the city into animals. So, yeah, I worked with them. Believe me, I wasn't that happy about it." Westland said flatly.
Feral gave a snort of annoyance but didn't punish the Kat for doing what he thought best. He'd been placed in a difficult situation and had managed to keep damages to a minimum and rescued himself and the others.
"Hey Commander, what's with you and Ms. Briggs?" T-Bone suddenly called over to the big tom.
Feral frowned in confusion at the burly tabby." What are you talking about?"
"Well, every time we had to go hunt you guys down, Ms. Briggs was always near you while the other two just stayed close. This last time, when you were at the zoo, she was laying next to you." T-Bone said shaking his head.
Feral and Briggs' faces burned with embarrassment. They had no idea why they'd done it either.
"I don't know what you're talking about, SWAT Kat." Feral grumbled, not willing to discuss something he was confused about.
"Whatever you say." T-Bone said sarcastically. He hadn't been happy to see that strange behavior either but didn't know if it was conscious or just something that only occurred in their primitive minds. Guess he'd never know.
The court drama over Dr. Jenler's research was the thing of nightmares for the prosecution. Though the crimes for which he was legitimately charged with weren't questioned, it was his future that was. Many supporters wanted leniency but no way did the injured parties want him to just get off scot free.
Finally in a compromise that was one for the books, the judge finally ruled that Dr. Jenler would be allowed to publish his work but not to include the actual formulas for causing the alterations he'd produced. The theory for using it in gene research was the part that was allowed to be used liberally by the scientific community with him receiving the credit. His position in the Association of Geneticists was reinstated.
To pay for his crimes, he was sentenced to five years in a special cell made for him at Megakat Prison. He would be kept from the prison population and allowed to carry on research but no experimenting.
Jenler felt lucky to have gotten that much. After what he went through with Dark Kat, he never wanted such a dangerous thing to come to pass again. Pursuing his goal to help katkind against birth defects and other genetic diseases was good enough for him now.
As for the four experiments, they had to undergo extensive testing to insure there were no permanent damage. The tests showed that except for some odd dreams and a few left over extra senses they were considered back to normal and released.
That may have been true, but for Feral, Felina, Steele, and Briggs some of the things they experienced as primitives still lingered. Only the future would show whether that would be a problem or not.