BY THE QUEEN'S COMMAND
Chapter 19: Peace at Last
After Callie's departure, Feral returned to the work waiting on his desk. Nothing, not even some new threat was going to ruin his good mood. He swept through the files, reports, and some late afternoon meetings with ease and to top off his day, the observatory called, later that afternoon, to report the Frendorian spaceship had left their solar system. He hummed with pleasure at the news.
Meanwhile, over at city hall, his honor the mayor had taken off to play golf after hearing about Dark Kat and Mad Kat being gone permanently but instead of being irritated, Callie just smiled to herself and dug into her work, grateful he wasn't around to load her with more work or interrupt her with constant requests.
She'd promised not to be late home tonight and by God, she was going to keep that promise.
After escorting Dr. Sinian and the knight, Sir Davidstar to the museum, the SWAT Kats were about to leave when Dr. Sinian prevailed upon them to help her set up temporary quarters for the knight in a little used storage room located at the back wall and hidden from view of the public within the Medieval Exhibit Hall.
Agreeable to the task, the SWAT Kats went on a foraging trip: begged a huge wine barrel from a winery for the knight's bath tub, found parts for it in their own salvage yard to hook it up, and, for a toilet, they got located a small port-a-potty which was similar enough to a garderobe in a castle that would help him feel more at home. They begged or borrowed; straw, quilts, a down pillow, period clothing from a role-playing store, towels, washcloth, and fake fire place.
While the SWAT Kats were doing their errands, Dr. Sinian went on a hunt within her exhibit hall to find him other things he would need for his comfort and were familiar to him: a mattress (which the SWAT Kats were bringing the straw for) and it's wooden frame, rough sheets made of spun cotton, knife for a razor blade, metal plate, a silver chased cup, and fork, mirror, a metal basin, a lantern with lamp oil, a black cooking pot, a wooden table and chair, and a brush.
Returning from their foraging, the SWAT Kats set about getting the small space ready for the knights use. Razor used a little ingenuity and a small concession to modernity to provide water from a nearby bathroom to get the wine barrel to function as a tub and to provide a drain for the toilet. They stuffed the mattress and placed it on the bed which Dr. Sinian made up with the quilts and pillow.
The fireplace was put against the back wall, native trappings of the time period were put on the walls, the bed was set up on the right wall and the tub and toilet were set up on the left wall with a fanciful room divider providing privacy. Next to the fireplace a butcher's rack was set up and all his kitchen, serving gear, plus some food items were set on it. The small wooden table with the single chair were set in the center. The finishing touch was a working fire pit that Razor had set up in such a way to protect the floor and walls but allow a small fire to be laid so the knight could cook some of his own food should he choose to do so.
When they were finished, the room was rather claustrophobic to the modern Kats but was perfect to Sir Davidstar when he was shown the place for the first time.
He was thoroughly amazed by all they had done for him, even the added touch of an ancient bible nearly made a tear fall from his eyes with pleased pleasure. The wine tub was a touch he never expected and was enchanted by the fact all he had to do was turn a knob on the barrel to get water and that it was already hot and the sheer amazement at the small toilet that flushed. As he stood in the center of the room while his hosts stared at him through the small doorway, he was overwhelmed by these people's generosity and concern for his welfare by all the things they thought to put in here.
"This is truly wonderful. Thank you, all," he said with heartfelt sincerity.
The SWAT Kats gave him a cheery grin and a wave farewell as they left to finally go home. They were bushed.
"You are most welcome, Sir Davidstar. I've even managed to find a food preparer who will do his best to provide you with the food you are used to. Our modern food might cause you some digestive problems," Dr. Sinian said, smiling warmly at him, after waving goodbye to the two vigilantes. "I do have a question for you..."
"Do you have any smith crafting skills?"
"Yes. All knights need to possess other skills and I wert taught that art as a youngling."
"Excellent. Then to keep you fit and engaged, we have an old blacksmith's shop on exhibit, complete in every detail we knew about. The SWAT Kats have provided you with plenty of scrap metal for you to mold into anything you wish to keep you occupied. Would that please you?
She thought about how innovative Razor had been making the forge safe to use within the building. That had her worried. He had erected a protective firewall so flames and sparks wouldn't escape the area and ruin the exhibit then ran a vent system to the ceiling to insure the smoke and steam left the building and didn't set off the fire alarms and sprinklers. He'd done the same for the little fireplace in his room.
He grinned widely. "It would indeed, milady."
"That's good. While you work at your forge, people will be watching. I would appreciate you explaining what you're doing and telling people about what life was like back in your time. You'll function as a living piece of history teaching our people more about their past. In this way you'll be earning your keep as you wished to do and getting much needed exercise as well."
"A formidable task but one I will accomplish as best I can, thank you milady. "
"You are very welcome. Before we leave you to get settled in, I'd like to introduce you to the guards that will be keeping you safe and that also guard this museum." She turned and gestured for four, uniformed dressed males waiting patiently behind her. They comprised the day and night shifts.
She had stressed, when she briefed them on their temporary guest, that the knight was restricted to this room and not allowed to wander outside it for any reason for his safety and less exposure to all things modern if it could be helped. She warned them to be extra vigilant when visitors came to see the knight and including themselves, that any modern device be kept to the barest minimum. The guards were understandably confused until they met the real knight from the past and though surprised and awed at seeing a real knight from the past, they well understood now why it was important to keep him from being contaminated from all things modern. It would be hard to keep visitors to the museum from sneaking out a camera or phone but they would do their best, even to hiding their own modern equipment whenever they came into this room.
She introduced them to Sir Davidstar who gravely nodded at each of them, committing their faces to memory.
Sighing in relief that everything she could do had been done, she urged everyone out, leaving the exhausted knight alone for the first time. The Medieval Wing would be closed for a few days to allow him time to adjust to just being free from the curse.
Though grateful to be finally awake and aware, he was still bewildered and angry at his incarceration, for it couldn't be called anything else since he had no real freedom. But, despite his ire, he had to admit, these strangers had done everything in their power, which was considerable from what he'd observed, to make him as comfortable as they could. Accepting his lot, as any knight would do, he got on with learning his new, temporary home.
"What a week this has been," Razor sighed as he stripped off his g-suit after their return to the hangar.
Fixing up that room at the museum had taken the rest of the day and into part of the night, which had been long already, so they were both exhausted.
"You said it!" T-Bone groaned, his body stiff and sore. "Be glad to get back to normal again and what's even better, we are minus three major omegas...life is sweet!"
"Now if only we can make the Pastmaster take a permanent powder, we'll finally be able to relax."
"Are you ready to quit being a SWAT Kat?" Chance asked, thinking about how few serious enemies they had left as they made for the ladder to go upstairs.
"No, I love the thrill of being a hero too much, however, I like that the danger will be a little less for a while. We really do need a break," Jake said with certainty.
"I agree with you there...hmm...looks like we didn't miss any customers. That's good and no appointments tomorrow...even better. Means we can sleep in," Chance said, smiling tiredly, after checking their message in the garage office. "So it shouldn't be too late to order pizza...how many you want," he asked his partner as they completely closed the shop.
"I want two at least, I'm really hungry. Make mine with plenty of meat and anchovies!"
"You got it," Chance said, reaching for the phone to order before going upstairs to their apartment.
All over the city the work day had wound down and evening was settling in. At Enforcer Headquarters, Feral had closed the last report on his desk and tossed it into his out basket. He locked up some sensitive records in a secure drawer then left his desk to retrieve his coat.
Humming happily to himself, he locked his office then made for the elevator. Other departing workers smiled at him when they saw he was in a great mood, it meant things were going well. The lobby was filled with departing and arriving enforcers as shift change got into full swing.
Feral wended his way through them and stepped outside. Making for his hummer parked at the curb, he climbed in then eased his way into traffic. He planned on picking up dinner at one of his favorite eateries, having already ordered it before leaving his office.
He only had to wait a few minutes in line before picking up his hot meal. Making his way hurriedly to his apartment, he parked, picked up the food, then walked rapidly for the elevator in the parking garage. Reaching his apartment, he put the food in the microwave to stay warm while he quickly changed his clothes. He dressed casually as he didn't expect to be keeping his clothes on very long after they ate. He got heated just thinking about what he wanted to do to Callie tonight.
At city hall, Callie sighed, glanced at the clock on the wall and gasped in dismay. "Oh...I'm running late...I've got to hurry."
She shoved her finished work into a pile then took it to the secretary's in basket before returning to her office and fishing her purse from a lower drawer of her desk. Leaving, after locking the office behind her, she rushed to the elevator. No one else was around, having left an hour earlier.
Reaching her new vehicle which replaced her totally destroyed sedan, she was relieved the traffic was light as she edged over the speed limit a bit to get home quicker. At her apartment, she dashed to the elevator, got off, then raced to her door. Slipping inside, leaving the door unlocked, she ran to her bedroom, threw her purse onto the bed, stripped her clothes off and dashed for the shower.
She'd just barely gotten dressed and was brushing her hair when she heard her door open and a jovial voice call out, "Callie?"
"I'm finishing getting ready, Ulysses...make yourself to home," she sang back. It took her a another few seconds to realize she hadn't gotten an answer.
Giving herself a final look, she was about to turn when suddenly a warm body pressed against her back, arms wrapped around her with his paws palming her breasts. She couldn't help but smirk as she stared at her lover in her mirror.
"You smell delicious...want to have some exercise before dinner," he rumbled suggestively in her ear.
She shivered, her body going warm and gooey as he nibbled on her neck. "But I just got cleaned up and dressed..." she protested then her stomached growled loudly, "...and I'm hungry."
"So I can hear!" He chuckled. "Alright, let's go get the food down us. I got us something particularly nice for dinner. I knew you'd still end up working late and not have time to cook," he smirked, keeping his arm around her and leading her to her kitchen.
"Oh, that was so thoughtful of you. I did only just get in and I had no thought of what to make for dinner. Hmmm, that smells delicious. Another one of your surprises?" She asked as she got out plates and silverware while Ulysses found the glasses and poured them some wine from her stock.
"You'll see," he rumbled in amusement as he got the food out and served it up.
They sat down to a delicious Italian meal she'd not had before.
"Where do you find all these wonderful meals? What is this one? It's amazingly good and a bit spicy," she commented, sipping her wine and eating a bread stick to cool her tongue.
"Remember, I like spicy food and I'm pleased to say Genova's delivers on that for me. These are Agnolatti: stuffed pasta with parmasan cheese, pot roast, pork loin, and sausage with an excellent meat sauce and just for me they add spicy chili peppers to the sauce. This other dish is a wonderful salted salmon, and finally these are spicy stuffed onions. Dessert is pear/apple fritters," he told her proudly.
"Oh my, everything tastes incredible. I would have thought the fish would be too salty if they bake it with salt but it's not and it's the most moist fish I've ever had," Callie gushed as she sampled everything. "I'm not normally partial to onions but these are incredible...filled with sausage are they?" She asked as she nibbled away at a succulent onion oozing with juicy goodness.
"Yes it is and I'm glad you're enjoying it," he said, grinning at her as he served up more fish and onions for himself. "And in answer to your previous question...where do I find this food...once I discovered how good the food on this planet was, I've been exploring all over the city."
"Well it certainly shows and the way you eat, Ulysses, I would have thought you would be nearly as round as the mayor," she teased.
"If I was a Kat, I most likely would be despite my exercise regimen but my metabolism just burns it off and leaves me hungry frequently. That's one of the things I didn't want the Queen to know about and the other reason I didn't want to leave. The food here is spectacular."
Callie laughed. "You fit that old adage my mother used to try and shove down my throat. The way to a tom's heart is through his stomach. Who knew she would be right...almost as if she knew I would be dealing with someone like you to cook for."
He laughed. "We'll if you want to, you're welcome to do it but there are so many more places I have that are my favorites and so many more I haven't even tried yet."
"An adventurer! I can see it now...we'll never have a cooked meal at home ever again," she smirked in amusement.
He just smiled at her.
He helped her clear the table, packing the leftovers into the fridge for later. They were pleasantly stuffed and Callie suggested they eat their fritters and wine before the TV to allow their stomachs to digest before moving onto more energetic activities.
They spent a wonderful and heated night together, a celebration of both freedom from the city's troubles and an affirmation of their new relationship.
Since that exciting period where most of the omegas had been disposed of, many things had happened in the city.
The first was the appearance, finally, of the Pastmaster. It had been over two months since the Frendorians left when the ugly little sorcerer charged back into their lives on a typically stormy night. His portal appeared in the air over Megakat Park while the SWAT Kats were on patrol.
Spotting it, they quickly notified Feral on the enforcer frequency before engaging the wizard and his dragon mount. Oddly, the Pastmaster was alone...only the mini dragon he was riding...no other dragons or mythological creatures... and it appeared he was on a mission because of the way he came ready for battle from his portal.
The Turbokat had just gotten within range when he blasted them with his magical pocket watch.
"Crud! Look out T-Bone!" Razor yelled too late, as the jet's right engine took the magical burst straight on.
T-Bone growled as he fought his controls to bring the jet down safely. The burst had fried the jet's electrical system causing multiple shutdowns making the jet unable to remain airborne.
Razor prepared to bail if T-Bone couldn't control the jet enough to bring it down safely. His jaw tensed as the jet sank lower and lower to the ground, moving a bit too fast. By more luck than skill, T-Bone got the jet to go to VTOL and was able to affect a straight down landing into the street.
Shaken and very angry at the damage to his jet, T-Bone shot the canopy back and scowled upward at the Pastmaster as the evil wizard laughed down at them then made his dragon fly in the direction of the museum.
"I swear, I can't understand how the museum could hold so many things that guy wants," T-Bone growled in annoyance as he and his partner went into the cargo hold.
"Neither do I. Guess we'll have to go find out what it is this time," Razor grunted as he mounted his cyclotron.
Moments later they launched their bikes from the back of their crippled jet and raced off toward the museum.
Feral and his Enforcers had arrived to see the tail end of the battle. Relieved the pair had managed to land safely, he ordered his squadron to follow the wizard. He mused on how it was perfect for all concern that the Pastmaster was going to the museum. With a lot of luck they would manage to get rid of the pest once and for all and, hopefully, get Sir Davidstar home as well.
He was praying his true form would startle the evil wizard long enough for the SWAT Kats or himself to disarm the creature then use the watch themselves, if possible. However, he wasn't sure if just anyone could use it though.
Both parties arrived just behind the Pastmaster who had blasted a hole in the roof of the museum and left his mount behind to guard his rear. Despite its size, the dragon could spit flames and was doing a good job of keeping the Enforcer choppers at bay. Ignoring the battle behind him, the Pastmaster floated down to the floor.
As he made for the Byzantine Exhibit, the SWAT Kats and Feral with a small squad of Enforcers entered the building at the front entrance, standing in the lobby a moment to get their bearings. At that moment, one of the museum's security guards ran up and told them where the Pastmaster had been spotted. They followed him back to the indicated exhibit but halted just outside the door, peering in cautiously.
"What the heck does he want in there," Razor hissed in confusion as he and T-Bone looked for a way to get in the room without the Pastmaster seeing them until they were close enough to take him out.
"No telling, but we better get to him before he finds it," Feral hissed softly behind him. "I'll distract him while you two try and get that watch from him." He signaled for his Enforcers to remain out in the hall.
"Roger," T-Bone whispered back, readying himself, only a little surprised that Feral wanted them to actually help him take down the omega but then things between them had become more friendly which made it easier for all of late.
Feral altered to his Frendorian form and leaped forward, spreading his wings so he was airborne in seconds and flying toward the Pastmaster before the wizard was aware of him.
The evil wizard was focused on a long exhibit case filled with various jewels, daggers, pieces of pottery and other artifacts. He heard something swish in the air close to him and jerked around with his watch held out.
His one eye widened in confused shock, his watch held out but his mouth unable to say a word so stunned was he by the apparition nearly on top of him.
Using that moment to his advantage, Feral fired an energy bolt from his paw and sent the watch flying from the wizard's skeletal paw. The Pastmaster screamed in anger and surprise, shaking off his shock and firing magical energy at the strange creature from what he stored in his body.
The SWAT Kats, meantime, snuck in quickly and Razor grabbed the watch, the two of them taking cover before firing on the Pastmaster from two directions. T-Bone fired a net missile while Razor fired a tarpedo. Feral fired his energy bolts yet again and the combined attack overwhelmed the wizard, sending him flying into a large stone plinth, knocking him unconscious.
Knowing he wouldn't be out long, the three quickly ran to the body and tied him up with nylon cord, something they had since discovered the wizard couldn't break free from.
"Alright! That worked well. Now all we have to do is try and make this watch work for us," Razor said.
Dr. Sinian, who had been staying out in the hall until the battle was over, came into the room followed by Sir Davidstar.
"I believe the only one who could actually use that is Ms. Briggs. My research has shown she is descended of Queen Callista as you had guessed, Razor," she said.
"Really? Well that's certainly hopeful news. Feral you should send a chopper for her since I don't think she'd like riding back here on our bikes. The Turbokat was shot down," Razor told the Commander.
"Yeah, I saw it go down. Hope it isn't too badly damaged," Feral said, as he pulled his radio out and called a chopper to go get Ms. Briggs. When he finished his order, he put the radio away and pulled out a phone instead from his equipment belt as he wore only a tight fitting spandex kind of uniform which didn't hold much. "Callie, I'm sending a chopper for you ... no ...will explain when you get to the museum. See you in a few minutes," then he closed his phone and put it away. "Now all we can do is wait," he said to the others.
"I hope she can use this thing," Feral commented, staring at the watch Razor was examining. "It will be a relief to finally be rid of this pest and I'm sure you'd be happy to go home too, Sir Davidstar."
"On that we both agree, Commander," the knight said fervently. His time here had been trying and strange despite what all these modern people had done for him. This just wasn't home and he felt very much out of place plus he was hardily tired of answering the same questions day after day to the many visitors.
A windblown and out of breath, Callie hurried in led by an Enforcer. "So what was the emergency and why are we here? Oh! It's the Pastmaster! You've caught him," she said with relief seeing the unconscious and thoroughly tied up sorcerer on the floor by Razor and T-Bone.
A groggy moan let them know the Pastmaster was waking up. His one eye blinked then focused on Callie. "Callista!" He called out dazedly.
Shaking her head in disgust, Callie ignored him and went to her friend, Dr. Sinian's side.
Abi gave her a small smile. "Callie, we're hoping you can send the Pastmaster away and Sir Davidstar home at last. My research has lead me to believe you are a descendent of Queen Callista. Which means there's a very good chance magic runs through your genes. It is hoped this is true so you can use the watch and a spell to do what we need. So with that in mind, let's do this..." She heaved a heavy book she had been holding onto one of the display cabinets then opened it to a certain page she had already marked with a thin piece of paper.
Everyone moved closer to her and waited while the while the SWAT Kats kept a watchful eye on their prisoner.
"Here we are. This was the closest thing I could find to what we want...come here beside me Callie and speak the words I say exactly as I say them," Abi said. "Are you ready?"
"I guess so."
Abi read the words, that were in an ancient language, slowly and distinctly while Callie mimicked her as best she could. Abi insisted they do it a couple more times before she felt the blond she-kat had said it with perfection.
"Okay, if you would give her the watch Commander and everyone step back..." Abi ordered.
Feral handed the watch to his lover and the SWAT Kats dragged the protesting Pastmaster to one side of Callie before stepping back as well.
"Very well, hold the watch up and point it at that empty spot in the room. Concentrate on making a portal appear there as you repeat the words again after me."
Callie nodded nervously, held the watch up as she'd been instructed, and thought about what she wanted. When she was ready she nodded again and Abi began to chant with Callie echoing her.
At first nothing seemed to happen then, gradually, a swirling purple haze began to appear. Soon the swirling air began moving faster and faster until a funnel was created. It began to draw on the things in the room, trying to pull them into it.
"Here, say this quickly!" Abi shouted a new set of words over the roar of sound.
Callie hurriedly shouted the same words. The pulling sensation stopped but the portal remained hovering, with little lightning bolts shooting through it.
"Okay, we have our portal...now what?" Callie asked.
"According to this, you give it a command of where you want it to go then Sir Davidstar can just jump through," Abi explained.
"Okay, I guess. Are you ready Sir Davidstar?" Callie asked, looking at the grim knight standing nervously across from her.
"As ready as I can be, good lady," he said tightly.
"Understand, I can't be sure we're doing this correctly..." Callie began.
"It matters not, good lady. I wish to go and will take my chances as they may well be my only opportunity."
"I understand then I wish you good luck and safe journey, sir," Callie said then gave the time period they wanted then nodded at the knight. He gave them a wave farewell and leaped into the portal. For a brief moment they saw a castle in the distance and a medieval setting, all hoped it was the right one then the portal went blank and waited once more.
"Okay, that seemed to have worked, I hope...so now where do we want to send the Pastmaster?" She asked.
"How about the dinosaur age? No one there for him to subvert or use to get anywhere," T-Bone suggested.
"A very good idea...go ahead Callie," Feral said, a cold smile on his lips as he gave the Pastmaster a triumphant look.
The wizard gaped at them in shocked horror, his voice stunned to silence.
Callie gave the command and Feral swiftly grabbed the wizard and tossed him, screaming into the portal, the wizard finding his voice at last, too late to do him any good. The last command Callie gave the portal was to vanish which it did with a bright blink of light.
There was a ragged cheer from all of them with Feral giving Callie a tight hug as he spun her around. The watch was still clutched in her paw as he let her go once more. She was breathless and grinning from ear to ear with happiness.
"Here, Abi, you should keep this with the book for safe keeping," she said handing over the watch.
"Good idea. It's a great relief to finally be rid of that menace," Abi Sinian said with a sigh of relief.
"Amen to that. Hey, we still have a dragon to deal with!" Razor said suddenly.
"You're right!" Feral agreed, suddenly taking to flight, soaring to the ceiling and out into the open air in time to see the dragon down yet another of his choppers. It was getting tired, he could tell but it was still very dangerous. Here was hoping his energy bursts would be up to the task of ridding them of the creature.
While it was turned away from him he snuck up closer and unleashed his energy in a heavy burst at the center of the beast. It screamed and tried to turn around to face him but Feral never relented and kept up the barrage until the creature gave another scream then combusted into ash.
Exhausted, Feral slowly floated to the ground where he dropped to his knees and tried to catch his breath. Callie and the SWAT Kats ran out to meet him.
"Ulysses, are you alright?" Callie asked anxiously as she reached his curled form.
"Yeah, just winded and really tired," he told her, a tired grin on his face.
"Way to go, Commander. Now we are free!" T-Bone said with an ear to ear grin.
Feral just smiled, pleased by the outcome.
A month later, the city put on a huge parade and week long celebration honoring their heroes and their freedom from the tyranny of the omegas. Mayor Manx officially gave Feral permanent sanctuary and Katizenship to their city and their world in payment for his part in bringing peace to his adopted home.
Feral and Callie deepened their relationship and finally came to the realization that they wanted to live together. As she'd thought, their most fun activity was finding new and interesting places to eat though Callie had to work hard to keep her svelte figure from all the good food. Of course, Feral's fantastic love making helped keep her weight down as well.
As for the SWAT Kats, Razor did what he'd planned and paid off their debt to the enforcers. Though still responsible for running the salvage yard, each now had time to pursue other things. T-Bone chose to be a test pilot while Razor became a top weapons designer making money hand over fist. They finally had the free time to date, finding true happiness at last.
And they didn't have to give up being SWAT Kats as there was plenty of weird experiments that went wrong or gangs that tried to move into the city and cause trouble to keep them busy.
But overall, Megakat City was enjoying a golden age of peace and prosperity for the first time in over ten years.