NEW BORN KAT

Epilogue

As Feral drove his hummer through the rain with Grey sitting on the passenger seat beside him, the kitten remained silent the whole trip home to the salvage yard. Though his eyes were firmly on the road, the dark tom still kept a watchful eye on the kitten from the corner of his eye. He could see Grey was still badly shaken by everything that had happened with Dark Kat.

He couldn't avoid having to tell his enforcers that the kitten had been kidnapped by Dark Kat which was why he was at the scene. But as Commander, he could and did withhold the reason the omega had taken the kitten in the first place and left before the press could see Grey.

However, Feral knew it would only be a matter of time before the press managed to find out what Dark Kat had been up do especially during the trial. What he had to do was insure Grey's name never came up as one of the experimental soldiers Dark Kat was trying to breed. Whatever it took, he would make sure the kitten's name and face never appeared in any record. Though his presence at the trial would insure the omega was never allowed free again and met the death sentence, they would have to do it without the kitten's testimony. No one was aware of who Grey truly was except for himself and the SWAT Kats and he planned on keeping it that way.

He knew very well that if anyone had learned that Grey was an experimental soldier with unusual abilities, the Katizens would fear he would turn into another Dark Kat and his life would be over. He would be feared and hated by all. That was something he would never allow to happen.

Feral sighed in frustration, it wasn't in his nature to cover up evidence nor lie under oath but for the sake of this kitten's future happiness, he would break his own code.

As he stopped at a red light, he turned his head to check Grey then asked, "Are you okay?" His deep voice gruff as usual but holding a note of concern.

Grey didn't speak nor turn his head to look at the tom.

Sighing, Feral informed him, "I just wanted to tell you that Dr. Konway, who's in charge of my Biotech Lab at headquarters, will be putting you through a series of tests to determine exactly what Dark Kat did to you so you'll be prepared for whatever your body may do...don't worry I trust him explicitly...so you'll be safe. I won't take you to him until this business with Dark Kat is through so just try and put this behind you as much as you can." The kitten still didn't respond.

Feral sighed mentally, driving off when the light turned green. They were nearly to the salvage yard when Grey finally spoke for the first time since the trip began.

"Do you think I'll turn into that monster?" he asked, softly, causing the tom driving to stiffen.

Feral shouldn't have been surprised by the kitten's question, it was what he was thinking only moment ago that the public would think but not him and he made that clear when he said, "no...absolutely not...why would you think that?"

Grey lowered his ears in shame, "…..I threatened to kill my parents because I was so angry at them for standing in my way and preventing me from killing Dark Kat...I nearly did it...Dark Kat certainly would have without hesitation." That was his major concern. Would he become just what Dark Kat wanted, the perfect killing machine? It scared him to think so.

Feral snorted. "You behaved like most teens...emotions over thinking...nothing unusual about that...only thing different was you'd been pushed too far...your justified hatred for what Dark Kat had done to you and killing your real parents was what made you act so overly aggressive at the time however despite that overwhelming fury, you still managed to retain enough of your moral code to keep from harming your parents. Your love for them is your strength that Dark Kat only sees as weakness...that is the big difference between you and him and why you could never be like him. Never lose that love and you'll always be what I know you to be: Grey Pawson, the son of the SWAT Kats. I expect great things from you in the future even if it means following in their pawsteps as vigilantes," he said with unswerving certainty.

The kitten stared at him in stunned surprise then a small smile of relief spread across his face.

"Thanks Feral….you're right….like always," Grey softly whispered looking out the window to see they'd just arrived at the salvage yard where his parents now waited. He didn't see the smile from the Kat beside but didn't need to, he knew Feral was pleased.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Three months later, Alkatraz, Execution Chamber...

In a special room in the basement of the prison, the authorities were preparing to execute Dark Kat by lethal injection. Six enforcers and the warden had escorted the criminal who was now dressed in a white jumpsuit which looked very odd on the equally strange looking tom. As two of the enforcers held weapons on the prisoner, the other four placed him against a rotating table and quickly attached cuffs affixed to the table around his ankles and wrists. When he was secured, the table rotated backward until Dark Kat was laying flat.

The guards left the brightly lit and sterile room leaving the warden and two executioners behind. A doctor and nurse now moved from the corner where they'd waited and began to insert an IV through which the drugs would be administered then hooked the lines up to a special machine.

In front of the table was a huge glass window where witnesses sat in a small dimly lit room. A curtain hung closed in front at the moment. When the prisoner had been prepared, only then was the curtain drawn open and the warden spoke to the prisoner, the witnesses to the execution and the video camera capturing the proceedings.

"Dark Kat, you have been condemned to die by lethal injection for planning and attempting to set off a nuclear bomb with the purpose of destroying Megakat City and with the deaths of many innocent Kats and enforcers during the perpetration of this crime. Do you have any last words?" The warden asked solemnly.

Dark Kat writhed against his restraints and hissed at the warden. "You've not heard the last of me. You'll all die despite my death," he promised coldly. The watchers shuddered and gave each other nervous glances.

The warden showed no emotion, simply sighed then signaled the pair of executioners to press their buttons. A fully automated lethal injection machine injects the chemicals in the right order and amount once the catheters are in place. The machine has 6 syringes activated by mechanical plungers. Three syringes hold the lethal drugs, the other 3 contain harmless saline solution. Two buttons control the machine, one for the lethal syringes and one for the identical looking harmless ones. This kept either executioner from knowing which one had pressed the actual fatal button.

As deaths go, this one was fairly anticlimactic. Dark Kat continued to struggled and scowl for the time it took the liquid to reach his body but after that his body went limp and his eyes closed. Exactly ten minutes later, his chest ceased to rise and fall and all went silent.

The doctor came forward and took the prisoner's pulse, then softly asked the nurse to draw some blood. Once she'd done this, he used a small test strip from a vial to dip into the blood. A moment later he said, "the prisoner known as Dark Kat is officially dead. The test shows a lethal amount of the drugs are in his system, all bodily functions have ceased."

"Thank you doctor. Gentlekats, this concludes the execution," the warden said to the witnesses then the curtain was closed once more. Everyone left the room of the execution chamber and four attendants entered to remove the body.

The warden escorted the witnesses out of the prison. Not a tear had been shed for the omega, only relief was seen on the watchers faces as they left the prison for the fresh air and home. The press circled them like buzzards but all any of them would say was, "good riddance" or "now we're finally free of him."

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Enforcer Headquarters, Bio Tech Lab...four weeks after Dark Kat's death...

Grey was sitting on a medical bed watching Dr. Konway stare at his blood under a microscope. The kitten sighed and stared off into space. He'd been here every week since Dark Kat's death, allowing Dr. Konway to put him through many tests to determine what it was that had been done to his blood and DNA by the omega. His presence was kept strictly hush-hush so no one would wonder why he was there more than determining if he was alright from his encounter with the omega. Only Feral, his Sergeant and Dr. Konway were aware of exactly what happened to the kitten.

Today, the blood had returned from being processed in the lab and now Konway was getting his first good look at it.

"Hmm very interesting" he muttered, scratching his chin, intrigued at what he was looking at. After making some notes, he turned to the kitten and beckoned Grey over. "Come look at this."

Grey sighed, jumped off the bed and walked over to the doctor's side, "Um…so have you found a way to reverse what Dark Kat did to me?" he asked anxiously, staring up at the monitor the doctor was using to display his findings.

"No, I'm sorry that's not possible but I want you to understand why. See these DNA strands? They have been altered by all the various chemicals injected into you as a foetus. The good news is everything but one of these chemicals has had a beneficial effect on you, like your rapid healing, faster reflexes, etc."

"You said, all but one. What's different about that one chemical?"

Konway sighed and typed in something on his keyboard and a different image appeared. "This is what happens to your blood when charged with certain endorphins excreted when you are angry. See it turns orange. This could explain your bursts of uncontrolled anger and fury. Sort of a goad as it were."

"What does that mean?" Grey demanded, getting angry.

"Just what you're displaying now sets off some kind of chain reaction and amps up what should be simple anger into a berserker rage," Konway said, calmly.

"Wait you mean….I'm a ticking time bomb of destruction," Grey shouted in shocked dismay then began pacing as waves of anger poured off him. He halted before the doctor and demanded, "how am I supposed to deal with this...can it be removed?"

Konway eyed the young kitten sadly and shook his head. "No, its well and truly bonded to your entire DNA profile. Any attempt to try and undo what Dark Kat did would simply kill you. I'm sorry but you will simply have to learn to manage that part of yourself. Perhaps meditation exercises or other forms of mental discipline will help you control your temper or perhaps training your body in the many fighting methods will also be of benefit. But its not the end of the world, Grey. You're smart and have people who care about you. You'll manage this as well as you've been doing everything else that's happened to you," he said gently and encouragingly.

Grey growled and shook his head but tried to relax and take deep breaths. "I hate this. I could still be a danger to others..." he cried in rising panic.

Konway shook his head. "Only if you let it rule you!"

"Huh? How can I prevent that?"

"Just like I told you but you were so upset you weren't listening. Train your body...know what it can do...and learn to use the anger constructively like fighters do...rather than let it control you," Konway told him, seriously.

Grey stopped pacing and gaped at him a long moment. Finally, it sunk in what Konway was trying to say to him. "Oh, I think I see what you mean," he said slowly, as he processed this new information. The rage could be channeled into making him an excellent fighting machine in the protection of others like being an enforcer or like his adopted parents rather than as a weapon aimed at everyone and out of his control. This was what he meant.

The orange tom stepped close and placed a paw on the kitten's shoulder encouragingly, "you're a good kit, you'll do what's right and I'm sure your parents will be very good at helping you learn the control you need." A knock interrupted them. "Your parents have arrived...time to go," he said, smiling, and releasing the kitten. "Just remember what I told you."

Grey smiled back wanly and nodded as he waved goodbye and went out the door where his parents stood waiting for him. "Hey..."

"Hey, yourself. How did things go?" Jake asked. "Anything we should know about?"

Grey sighed. "Could you wait a while? I need to process what he told me a bit, first."

"Oh sure, no problem but if it's serious enough to disturb you this much, then I insist you tell us everything so we can help you, understood?" Jake was firm on this. No more secrets between any of them...it was just too dangerous.

Grey nodded. "Yes dad, I promise we'll talk soon."

"Good, then let's get home. We have work to do," Chance said, giving the kitten a quick hug to ease him as they walked toward the elevator. Stepping inside, Chance pushed the button for the lobby.

The three stepped out of the elevator once it arrived and began to walk across the lobby toward the main doors to the parking lot. They'd made it halfway to the door when Lt. Commander Steele bumped into Grey because his attention was on a file in his paws rather than where he was going.

"Look where you're going, you idiot," Steele growled, annoyed, shoving past Grey.

Eyes narrowed and anger up, the two adults with Grey lunged forward and grabbed Steele and squeezed him between them so others wouldn't noticed what they were doing.

"Apologize for being rude and knocking into our kit!" Chance threatened, coldly. He was holding Steele's arms while Jake kept his paws with claws digging into the tom's sides making him wince in pain.

Steele gulped in shocked surprise. He'd not even looked at the kitten but now did then back at both ex-enforcers. "Hhhe's your kit?" his voice squeaked in shock.

Despite the two's attempt to hide what they were doing, various enforcer eyes were staring at them. Grey shook his head and sighed.

"Dads let him go...you're drawing unwanted attention...and stop being so over protective of me." Both toms noted what Grey had seen and released the tom quickly.

Chance leaned close and hissed, "next time look where you're going."

Steele scowled at them but wisely said nothing as he scurried away. Grey continued to shake his head and his parents raised their paws up in defense, saying, "what?" in unison.

Grey growled but just passed by them and headed out the building toward their parked car with them chasing after him. He got into the car and sat in the middle.

When they arrived to join him, Jake said, "hey, don't be mad….we just don't like seeing people be treated that way." He took the passenger seat next to his son while Chance climbed into the driver's seat.

Grey snorted and rolled his eye, not responding to the two ending the conversation.

After that Chance started the car heading back home arriving minutes later. Parking the car inside the garage all three got out.

Grey began to head up to his room when Chance halted him with a question.

"Hey, how was school?"

Grey shrugged, "If you mean how did I do with a hundreds of kittens staring at me and whispering everywhere I went as well as teachers...then pretty good….what about you?" he asked sarcastically.

Chance snorted. "About as well as you did. Only it wasn't students and teachers but new crews and customers all asking why you were in Dark Kat's clutches. Other than that, a pretty good day." His eyes glinted with humor.

Jake shrugged. "At least we were able to repeat the lies Feral had already begun about why you were kidnapped. Unfortunately, calling you 'Dark Kat's son' is just too good a story for them to listen to even our carefully crafted lie. I swear I don't see how they insist on making that connection but whatever makes the news..." his face screwed up with disgust, showing how he really felt about it. "I just hope that nonsense blows over soon but for now all we can do is avoid anymore questions on the subject."

"Good luck with that," Grey said, bitterly. Despite Feral's efforts, the Katizen's of the city insisted on thinking he was Dark Kat's son despite many protests to the contrary. Exactly what the Commander had tried to prevent. He felt his father, Jake, was right. They would just have to ignore it and keep a low profile until people forgot about him. But it wouldn't be easy or nice around here for a while.

Tired of the whole subject, he started upstairs. "I'm going to my room. I want to be alone for a bit."

They nodded understandingly and headed for the garage. Grey went into his room and shut the door. He lay on his bed and stared at the ceiling.

Despite the doc's encouraging words of wisdom, he was still scared of what he was capable of. He had moved back to his old room from the hangar but he wasn't as comfortable as he'd been before all this happened. It had been weeks still after his rescue before he'd gone back to his original school.

Some of the teachers were wary of him while others were friendlier and these were the ones who felt bad for him and did their best to help him fit back in again. At lunch time, he'd become popular only because of what happened to him and not for himself alone.

However, there was one happy light in all this, he was very happy to see his friend Alex again. Alex apparently felt the same way and made himself useful by shooing away the annoying questioners, acting as a buffer between them and Grey which he appreciated a lot. His friend had missed him greatly and was happy to see him back.

During his first days back, that was when he and his fathers had been harassed the most by the nosy press. Feral was also fending off dozens of questions everywhere he went. Also during this time, he was regularly going to see Konway and gradually building a lasting friendship with the doctor. Not only that, but a few of the enforcers in the know would ask how he was doing. Even Feral would stop and speak with him whenever he was at headquarters or even sometimes would chat with him or check on his well being occasionally at the salvage yard.

The best thing that had happened during all this was Feral's more relaxed behavior toward the SWAT Kats. He still couldn't openly accept their help as that was against the law, but more often than not, he readily accepted their help when they fought against the other omegas still left around.

So truly, he shouldn't worry so much about this negative quirk he was left with. Things were so much better all around and this too could be managed. Feeling a bit more at ease, he was slipping off to sleep when he heard a loud, verbal fight going on outside.

Blinking alert, he got off the bed and stared out the window. A familiar dump truck was parked in front of the garage doors.

"Oh no!" Grey was dismayed and angry as he hurried downstairs to the garage.

Just before he made it outside, he could already hear Chance snarling at Burke and Murray. Stepping outside, he could see his dad pointing an angry finger at a pile of junk and yelling at the pair.

"You idiots! Why do you insist on dumping your crap right in front of the doors."

"Because we like you!" Murray smirked.

"Who are you calling idiots...idiots," Burke snorted back at them, loving the fact he could piss the big tabby off every time he did this. It never got old.

Jake grabbed Chance's arm and sighed, "why do you let them bait you like this...it's really getting old, buddy."

Chance gave his partner an angry scowl for that remark.

While his attention was turned, Murray spotted something more interesting. "Hey, Burke...lookee here...it's their son."

Burke turned his head to stare at Grey. "Hey, what's with those eyes...eh...you look creepy and weird with those things," he sneered, meanly.

Grey snorted in annoyance. His eyes turned red when he was experiencing bad emotions he'd learned and there was nothing he could do about it. Jake had told him to just ignore those that would make fun of him, but it was really hard at times...like now.

Jake could hold his temper when it was just them being insulted but when the two junk Kats started on their son, all bets were off and he was right there with Chance jumping at the pair with claws extended.

The two junk Kats jeered at them, though a little surprised at finally getting the reaction they'd wanted.

However, Grey wanted none of it. He quickly moved to stand between his parents and the two junk Kats. "Hey come on you two…..just ignore them...I am!"

Seeing how upset their actions made Grey, Chance and Jake stepped back and dropped their paws though they did grumble and complain under their breath about it.

Burke and Murray didn't know well enough to quit while they were ahead. Stupid and cruel, they began to hurl truly hurtful comments at Grey and his parents.

They laughed, then Burke crowed, "Cowards!"

"Hey Murray… how much you want to bet their weirdo son's mother slept with Dark Kat," Burke said nastily.

The three froze, backs to the pair of hecklers.

"Yeah, Burke, and I bet she liked it...a lot," Murray said, just warming up.

"...bet he grew tired of her though and that's why he killed her," Burke finished, laughing uproariously.

That was the final straw. Unusually calm, Chance murmured to his partner, "take Grey inside, buddy. I'll handle this." Jake nodded and guided Grey into the garage waiting room.

The jeering suddenly cut off and various oofs and uhs were heard as well as some crashing sounds then silence. The sound of the huge dump truck leaving was followed by Chance entering the waiting area, looking a bit roughed up and dirty but otherwise fine.

"They won't be bothering us any time soon," he said with satisfaction, glad to finally be able to teach those two a lesson. Turning to his son, he asked, "are you okay?".

Grey slowly nodded, "I'm fine…it's just so hard to hear people keep calling me that creep's heir. I know we have to put up with it but still, it hurts to hear it everywhere I go."

"I'm sorry Grey. Would you rather stop going to school and be home taught again?" Jake asked.

But their son shook his head. "No, I have friends that missed me and don't call me that and teachers that treat me decently. No, its more that I'm afraid of what I'm capable of doing thanks to Dark Kat's messing around with my DNA. I hate that I could be as dangerous as him one day," he admitted, upset and angry. He thought he'd accepted this but it still rankled within him.

Jake eyed him in concern. "What do you mean by that, son?"

Grey sighed and shook his head. "Konway told me most of my differences are good but there is one that isn't and that's the one that makes me dangerous. When I get angry it kicks into gear and I can fall into a berserker rage...shit...I hate this," he sudden halted his explanation, tears falling from his eyes.

"Aw...hey...it's okay...we just have to help you find ways to work with it and control it," Chance reached to hug his son and try to soothe him.

Jake joined the hug and said, "we're here for you Grey and we always will be."

Grey sniffed and managed a small smile. "Thank you," he murmured letting his parents comfort him and allowing his problems to wash away with his tears. With them by his side, he would be safe and that was all that mattered.

Chance smiled when he felt his son relax finally. Though he and Jake had never really planned on being parents, he would never regret it now. Becoming a father was the happiest moment of his life and despite its many ups and downs, it was the most wonderful experience of his life.

Feeling better but totally drained, Grey took a much needed nap before dinner. His fathers cleaned up the mess the junk pair had made, finished up in the garage, then closed up shop for the day.

Jake made dinner and Chance got their son to join them. They ate before the TV then watched for a while ending with the David Litterbin show before shutting it off.

Chance had something he wanted to do with Grey in the hangar before they hit the hay but when he looked down beside him, he found his son blissfully asleep. He smiled warmly.

"Sshh, Jake...Grey's asleep" he whispered, standing up then leaning over to pick Grey up gently.

Jake chuckled softly. "Poor kitten. Better tuck him in for the night," he murmured as he lead the way upstairs and opened Grey's bedroom door.

"He's getting a little heavy for me to carry now," Chance commented softly.

Jake smiled at that then went over to the bed and pulled the blanket and sheets down. Chance tucked Grey in then pulled the covers back over him. Both toms gave Grey tender kisses to his forehead before backing away then leaving him to sleep, closing the door quietly behind them.

They began to head back downstairs, not ready for sleep yet when Chance halted suddenly.

"What's wrong?" Jake hissed.

Chance turned his head and smiled broadly. "Do you remember what tomorrow is?"

"December 20th, why?" Jake asked then remembered and smiled too. "Oh yeah...its..."

"...the night Grey became our son," Chance finished.

Upstairs, a sleeping Grey suddenly smiled in his sleep though he had no idea he was doing it. For the first time in a long while, he slept peacefully.

THE END

AN: Thank you Ulyferal for been my beta for this story. Thanks.