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Chapter 34: The Future is Full of Possibilities
Monday morning shone bright with promise. Feral strode into his office, waves of contentment and joy pouring off him. Everyone he greeted that morning couldn't help but be aware that something good had happened to their commander and, to those that cared about him, they were happy for him.
Before Feral could get down to work, he had some arrangements to make first, for an hour he made several phone calls and appointments. He and his two lovers were going to have a formal commitment ceremony with all their friends and family in attendance. It was going to be a big affair.
Shera wanted to send an invitation to her family so those that still wanted to remain close to her could attend...it was doubtful her parents would be coming though since they still thought August wasn't fit for her. It would be interesting to see how they were going to react to her triad bond and the third being a powerful military leader. She would just have to wait and see.
As for August, he had been able to retain ties with his family despite slipping away the way he had. But they understood why he'd done it from the note he'd left saying he didn't want his problems to cause his family trouble since Shera's family was so rich and powerful.
It had worked but had caused much sorrow among his close knit family to be separated from him. He would be sending plane or bus tickets to all that wanted to attend his union since he was very wealthy now and had made it a habit to send money their way whenever they'd needed it.
This behavior endeared him even more to Feral. He could hardly wait to meet August's loving family for they must be truly wonderful people to have raised such a thoughtful and caring tom.
He'd just finished most of his preliminary arrangements when Felina came in. She could see immediately, that the gossip she'd heard in the lobby was true...her uncle fairly glowed with happiness.
"Hello Uncle, how are you today?" She asked cheerily.
"Very well, Felina. Congratulate me, I've bonded with not one but two exceptional people and we're planning a commitment ceremony for next month," he said, grinning from ear to ear.
"Oh Uncle," Felina squealed with joy as she ran to her uncle's desk, raced up the stairs and gave him a huge hug, forgetting all protocol required around her superior officer.
He just continued grinning as he returned her hug then he held her away and looked into her face intently. "Don't think just because I've been busy with my own relationship that I hadn't noticed that you seemed happy too. Met someone good?" He asked, a twinkle in his eyes.
She stared at him for a long moment. Her uncle had changed a lot so telling him who she was seeing shouldn't be a problem any longer but which identity should she tell him?
While she struggled with her decision, Feral raised his paw up and captured her chin so that she had to look at him as her head had gone down as she was thinking.
"For you to need to think so hard about telling me, I think it's because of a dual problem, eh? Would it happen to be a certain SWAT Kat who is also an ex-enforcer," he murmured softly.
She jerked her head back and gaped at him. "How...how did you know? You never let on that you even knew who Razor was?" She blurted, keeping her voice low, not wanting to be overheard by anyone.
"There was no way I couldn't know who he was after being together so long and so closely with him but I respected his privacy and said nothing. I actually hadn't guessed at all before my misadventure. It was only our travels and some things I noted when we returned that made me realize who they were. So, is it serious between you?" He asked gently.
Felina relaxed and sighed then nodded almost shyly. Her uncle pulled her back into another hug before letting her go. "I'm very happy for you. Now if only Razor finds someone and Ms. Briggs then I'll feel things are definitely going our way at last."
"I'll hope for it too, Uncle and again, congratulations. Chance and I haven't decided if we want a ceremony or not but we'll certainly let you know if we do," she said, warmly.
"Good. Was that all you needed or was there something else?" He asked, in good humor.
"Oh, there was something else. I heard a rumor that you were promoting Colonel Sharpclaws and making him your new second? Any truth to that?" She asked.
Feral smiled. "The rumor mill is working full time I see. Well they are right. I've already submitted the paperwork to the Mayor and am just waiting for it to be returned then there will be a formal ceremony, hopefully very soon to finalize it."
"What about Steele?"
Feral flashed an evil smile. "Oh, he's already been shipped out to another country to serve in their military. If they know what's good for them, they'll keep him in the lower ranks until he gains a backbone and some better management skills."
Felina chuckled. "That's the next best news I've heard yet. Well, I better report for duty, I have a patrol to do. Have a great day, Uncle."
"You too, Felina."
Chance and Jake met at the salvage yard at nearly the same time, roaring up into their hangar and parking their bikes.
"Good morning!" Chance sang out when he'd removed his helmet, a grin splitting his face.
Jake matched it was a grin of his own. "Got good news!"
"You too?" Chance asked, as he removed his helmet and got off his bike.
Chuckling, Jake nodded as he ran his fingers through his hair to tidy it. "Oh, so you have news as well. What a nice way to start our day. You go first," he said as they headed upstairs.
"Felina has agreed to be my mate!"
"That's wonderful news. Maybe we can make it a double...Callie has agreed to be the same with me!" Jake beamed.
"Wow! Truly? That's fantastic!" Chance gasped in stunned surprised. "When did you start dating her?"
"Actually, I didn't know it was her. She was Crystal, the one I told you about from the club. She told me last night when she said she knew I was Razor. She hadn't guessed I was Jake, though. My voice, muscles and scent apparently gave me away. Since Felina already knew who you were, I felt it was okay to tell Callie the rest and she was okay with it."
Chance grinned widely and clapped his best friend on the back. "Well, aren't we the luckiest toms alive?"
"Yeah, aren't we! I've never been so happy. I even managed to work on a lot of new designs while she was sleeping," Jake enthused, pulling the papers out of his jeans and unfolding them.
His partner could only shake his head in amusement and began to walk away to open the garage when Jake's voice halted him. "Chance?" He stopped to see what he wanted.
"I've been making plans in my head for when we we're at peace finally. Now that we are, I want to pursue them and I want to bounce them off you first."
"Okay, what's on your mind?" Chance asked.
"Well, as you know, I can't sell any of my weapons designs under my true name, but I realized I could under my call sign. I'm on many different websites for inventors and engineers and I've seen posts pleading for designs from Razor. I don't have to look for a market, its already there for me. Selling even a few of my designs would get us out of this garage and a few months worth of sales will pay off our debt to Feral. We'll finally be free to do what we want. Now that we both have mates, we should be able to go buy homes like normal people but still monitor the salvage yard and our hangar and be the SWAT Kats when we're called. The bonus is we no longer have to work ourselves to death trying to do it all. What do you think?"
Chance could only gape at his best friend. It took him some minutes to find his voice again. "Crud, buddy! That's fantastic news. I just wish I could contribute to it!"
"You do! You're my partner. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be alive to do this at all. I want you to be happy and free. I could even get you back your pilot's license so you can be my test pilot for some new designs I've planned," Jake said, trying to ease his partner's hurt pride.
"Really? Wow! That would be soo cool. However, don't worry so much about how I feel, I don't want to hold you back. You have a right to explore all you can be and have been held back from doing for so long. Go for it buddy, I'll be right behind you supporting you all the way," Chance said stoutly.
Jake smiled, relief pouring from him. "Thank you and I do appreciate you for being the best friend a person could ever have. And there is something else you can be a part of as well, I've got an idea for setting up a corporation with Professor Hackle to make inventions that can help Katkind much like he wants to do with robots. My foam bomb is one example, helping Hackle design a nanny bot would be another."
"Well, you certainly have a lot going on in that head of yours, buddy. Setting up a corporation sounds like a fantastic idea and I think Hackle might go along with you on it," Chance enthused, truly amazed by all the incredible ideas his friend was coming up with. "You have a well thought out future planned and I wish you all the luck with it."
"You'll have a part in it too, Chance. Be certain of that," Jake said, seriously.
Chance gave him a warm smile. "And I thank you for that. I have no doubt you'll succeed in what you're planning and look forward to being a part of it. The future is wild with possibilities, my friend."
"You're right about that, Chance."
Callie was working through the pile that seemed to be forever tall on her desk but unlike before today, she was cheerfully humming and working with ease. She was soo happy to finally find someone to share her life with that nothing else could get her down today.
A huge form stepped up to her desk and waited for her to notice him.
"Oh, hello Commander. What can I do for you?" She asked brightly.
He smiled warmly and handed a report to her. "Thought I'd bring by the report by Professor Hackle on the Metallikats being permanently deactivated."
"Really! They are? Well that's great news...uh..." she paused in the act of taking the report and stared hard into Feral's eyes. "This seems a little out of character for the Professor. Did you have a paw in this?" She asked softly.
Feral eyed her quietly. "No, I didn't. A freak accident shorted them out and destroyed their AI disks," he said simply.
She continued to eye him a moment longer before nodding and letting the subject go. "So that's it for all the omegas, huh?"
"Yes it is. Peace is here finally. By the way, have you found that special someone? You seemed very happy when I walked in and spoiled your day," he asked.
"You didn't spoil it!" She flashed him a smile of reassurance. "And yes I have. One of your own actually."
He blinked in surprise, "really?"
"Well, he used to be. Jake Clawson is my new mate," she said shyly.
Feral blinked in pleased surprise. "That's wonderful news. Congratulations."
It was Callie's turn to be surprised. "Well, I didn't think you'd be that pleased!"
The huge tom leaned closer and murmured softly, "of course, I would be. I want him to have all the happiness he deserves for without him, I wouldn't be here at all enjoying my own bonding."
She just sat there staring at him for a full minute. "Really, Commander...I'm not sure I can handle all this incredible news all at once. So you know...but how long have you..."
"Since we returned...little clues and things I noticed when we traveled," he said, shrugging. "Also, I just learned this morning that Felina has bonded to Chance."
"Incredible! So Chance is happy too, that's just too wonderful and did I hear you've bonded as well?" She asked, nearly overwhelmed by all the good news.
He grinned broadly. "Oh yes, to the finest pair of people I've ever met. One of them is actually the clothing designer Shera of Galactic Fashions and the other is named August. We've planned a commitment ceremony for next month," he said, happily.
"Then that was you I saw at the club with a stunning blond female and handsome male on your arms. I thought I was seeing things."
"Aaahh, so that's where you met Razor, eh?"
She blushed and nodded. My friends coaxed me to try out the club and Razor was there but I only guessed it was him this week and confronted him Friday night. So did I win the bet or did you?" She managed to recover herself and smile warmly at him.
"I think it might be a draw since I only learned I was bonded that night as well," he said, politely.
"Then, we'll go dutch! Maybe sometime this week or next. I am so glad we've found our special bit of happiness at last, Ulysses," she said, getting up from her desk and surprising him by giving him a hug and a light kiss on the cheek. "Congratulations to us both!"
Feral returned the hug and smiled at her before turning and leaving her office.
Callie sighed and returned to her desk. 'Wow! Now we're all attached...isn't it grand?'
In another dimension, unimaginably far away...
A group of young people sat in a circle within a strange dark room, ethereal music played softly around them. Their hands were linked and their eyes closed.
In the center of the circle sat a young man, his head tilted up toward the ceiling, eyes closed, his mind a very long, long way away from this room.
He watched and observed the lives of some unusual creatures in a portal that he halted at certain points before letting it roll on until he finally decided he'd seen all he needed to then withdrew his mind allowing his circle of friends to draw him back safely to his own body.
It took more than forty-eight hours before he'd recovered enough to sit down with them and bring them up-to-date on the doings of their strange former visitors.
"Well, first of all, they managed to destroy all their enemies and bring peace to their city at last," Jeffrey told them. "The weapons we gave them made the difference and ended the conflict swiftly."
Sighs of relief and happiness swept around the room.
"Ulysses has bonded, as they call it, to two individuals...a bonded male and female couple that were looking for a third to complete them."
Leo blinked in surprise, "a triad? Wow! I wouldn't have thought he'd do something that kinky."
Jeffrey just smiled while Dr. Runion blushed. "He's very happy. Razor is mated to the deputy mayor and his partner has mated with Ulysses' niece Felina. Razor is using his inventing skills to develop nanny bots and rescue tools in partnership with that Professor Hackle they mentioned. I skimmed ahead several years and found Feral is a father of two sets of twins, Razor has one kitten and his partner has one kitten. The city is still at peace," he concluded his report.
"I almost wish we could go live there. It certainly would be better than the economic collapse here and the wars still going on in the middle east," Alice sighed.
"Doubt we'd get that great a reception having no fur you know," Timothy observed.
"Not to mention how much I would miss all of you," Marion said, gently.
"Yeah, that's true. Well, thanks for letting us know how Ulysses and Razor were doing, Jeffrey," Leo said.
"Hey, I was just as curious as you guys and it was my pleasure," Jeffrey said, a pleased smile on his face. He was so very happy things had finally worked out for the lost pair.