MASTERMIND OF PEACE
Chapter 3: The Final Battle
As dawn rose the next morning, high in the mountains in the northeast quadrant of the lands surrounding Megakat City, a hard-eyed and well armed paramilitary team climbed the still dark side of an extinct volcano. Their destination was a large cavernous opening some twenty feet above them on the rocky face.
As they drew closer to the entrance, weird chittering sounds could be heard echoing off the rock walls warning them of their first obstacle before reaching their target. Moving with quiet stealth and wearing all black combat uniforms, the team were nearly invisible to anyone watching. They carefully slipped over the lip of the broad ledge that led into the mountain, still unseen.
Encountering no one as they spread out, remained low and scuttled inside, hurrying toward a faint light seen towards the rear of the cave. With weapons at the ready and pointing, they alternated their eyes from ceiling to floor, on the alert for the source of the chittering sounds. They knew the creatures could fly so most of their attention was directed at the saw-toothed ceiling that could easily hide many of the things from view.
Their luck was with them...none of Dark Kat's creeplings detected them as they came into view of a large workspace more than a mile inside the volcano. Hiding among the rocks, the small team watched and listened for their opportunity to surprise the omega.
Their mission was twofold...kill Dark Kat and all his minions then collapse the mountain so it couldn't be used again. If Dark Kat managed to escape, they were to harry him into heading for the city and the battle with Turmoil. It was hoped he would be inclined to join in and try to take out the Enforcers and SWAT Kats with Turmoil's unwitting assistance. Then in true omega fashion, turn on his unwilling accomplice and take her out. Whatever happened, the goal was to end the menace permanently, either here or in the city.
At the moment, though, their target seemed disinclined to leave his sanctuary...more intent on working to repair his air ship damaged in the recent battle with the Enforcers just a weeks ago and, it seemed, on a new weapon of mass destruction.
The creeplings appeared to have been significantly reduced in number from that battle which was a good thing. It showed DK hadn't had time to produce more and it explained why there hadn't been any guarding the entrance to this hideaway. The few that remained were engaged in working on repairing the air ship and the new weapon.
The ninja force, on the other paw, hadn't suffered as many losses though they did lose enough to make them manageable to take down. They too were busy following their leader's orders, working diligently to get them back to fighting strength.
Planning his strategy in taking out the enemy, the leader of the stealth team studied the placement of everyone in the room. More than half the creeplings were involved with fixing the Black Widow nearest the entrance to the cave while the ninjas were evenly split between the air ship and the new weapon that resembled a cannon of some kind, situated at the rear of the cavern.
A few feet from the cannon, Dark Kat sat, working at a large computer console. Every few minutes he would mutter, growl, and toss orders out to his minions. He was in a foul mood witnessed by his sudden snapping at a creepling and smacking it away so it hit a nearby wall. It wobbled away to find something less hazardous to do.
As he scanned the area, one anomoly bothered him. He and his team shouldn't have been able to slip in here this easily. As a big time techno villan, Dark Kat had a love of all kinds of sneaky spy devices and about his security. There should have been some kind of security system in place that would have spotted them no matter how good they were but there had been no alarm.
Worried and unhappy this might be a trap, he signaled his team to search the area with their eyes for any kind of security device. All eyes concentrated on the walls and very rocky ceiling with their night binoculars. After several tense minutes, one of them hissed softly then gestured upward to a dark space just to the right of their hiding space. The leader looked...there it was... a camera very well hidden up among the rocky spires of the ceiling. Taking out a mini pair of night binoculars, the leader focused on the small glint of light reflected off the camera's lense which was what gave it away.
To his relief, the thing was turned away at the moment. As he watched, it panned across the space very slowly. Blowing out a breath, he nodded to himself. They had been extremely lucky. The camera had apparently been turned away when they entered and it failed to cover the area where they hid now. A short sighted action by the omega or a defect in the camera's operation...he didn't care which it was, the problem was to their benefit.
Turning his attention back to their target, he made hand signals that told his team to get ready, they were about to attack. Nodding, his team, moved stealthily away from each other until they were spread out along the wall with the optimum kill range before them. They would not be charging the enemy but sniping at them like fish in a barrel. Their leader moved into a protected position of his own then waited until his team signaled they were ready. That only took moments.
With a brief signal from their leader, the team opened fire at the same time, utilizing silencers to increase the element of surprise and allow a greater kill count before they were found out. The soft phuft sound wasn't heard over the loud chittering of the creeplings and the other noises the workers were making.
However, it didn't take long before the body count and falling bodies got everyone's attention and set off a panic. Shouts and screams of fear and anger rang out. Dark Kat instantly rolled out of his seat just after he'd been hit several times in the head and body.
Unfortunately, he didn't die nor did he seem to act injured. The leader cursed as he continued to fire at the moving targets. It meant DK wore body armor on head and torso which was hidden from view by that blasted hooded cape he was so fond of wearing.
He couldn't see the omega but could hear the big tom's voice shouting orders to his minions to fire back and take out the invaders. Creeplings soared upward out of view in an attempt to try and come behind the snipers but the team was well armed with the appropriate gear. Their scopes were fitted with heat sensors which allowed them to see their target's body heat despite not being able to see them with the naked eye. More screams rang out and more creeplings rained down to the floor, dead.
The ninjas were firing weapons at the hidden team while doing their best to stay alive, hiding behind the cannon and Black Widow. They had the invaders pinned down or so they thought.
Knowing this would happen, the leader made his next move. He shouted a command, "Change weapons!" Instantly the snipers dropped their rifles and switched to a new weapon that shot a mini-version of the vertigo beam. It sprayed out a wave of disrupting vibrations that hurt and disoriented those it was aimed at.
Soon more creeplings were falling from the air and ninjas were falling to the ground, rolling around in pain and dizziness, some passing out completely. A roar of fury and dismay told them that Dark Kat wasn't as incapacitated as his minions. Being made of sterner stuff and possibly a mutation, he wasn't as affected. But even with his resistance, he wasn't faring so well and decided to make his escape rather than continue against a well armed strike force. The leader caught a brief sight of the huge omega disappearing down some kind of escape hatch in a side wall of the volcano.
This was exactly what the leader had hoped to avoid but there was nothing he could do about it except to move on to the next phase of the war. He immediately barked new orders.
"Finish them off and pull back." Following his own command, the leader switched to a mega-laser and began spraying the enemy as he pulled back toward the entrance. His soldiers did the same...a few sending gas grenades to prevent pursuit or escape of the enemy. The screams of the enemy were fewer in number as the strike team scrambled over the lip and down the face of the mountain with their grabbling lines. Halfway down, two of the munitions members of the team, hurled something small into the maw of the cavern then hauled ass down to the valley floor.
Reaching the foot of the volcano, the team began running as if their lives depended on it, getting about a mile before there was a boom heard behind them, followed by a hard shake of the ground that threw them off their feet.
The small devices had been ultra-powerful thermite bombs that packed a mean whollop. The old volcano's top blew then the entire mountain collapsed within itself. When the roar of the explosion subsided, all that was left was a sunken in hill.
Getting to their feet, the team raced to their hidden chopper. They needed to see if they could find Dark Kat's means of escape and then harry the omega toward the city and the battle that should have just begun.
Feral had managed to catch a short nap at headquarters before being up well before dawn and waiting for the radar in his control tower to pick up the fleet of fighters Turmoil was said to be sending against them. As an extra pair of eyes, he'd contacted the SWAT Kats, not surprised to find they too were up and already cruising the skies, to give the Enforcers a heads up when they saw the enemy.
It felt weird working with the troublesome pair, but he'd learned early on, the pair could be relied on when the city was threatened and he used that fact now.
He paced restlessly behind his techs while drinking some truly nasty coffee and devouring a breakfast sandwich his assistant insisted he eat. He was already dressed in his flightsuit as he intended to be with his troops when the attack began.
Finishing the last bite and downing a healthy swallow of coffee, he nearly choked when the speakers mounted on the wall suddenly blared with the sound of battle and the voice of Razor.
"Attack force coming in north by northeast, over a hundred F-35 Lightning II's with a sprinkling of the new Falcon 2000's...no sign of Turmoil's air ship. Don't know if that means she doesn't have one and is with the jet fighters or she's hovering around here somewhere. Get up here and join us so I might get a chance to look for her...LOOK OUT, T-BONE!" Razor's voice warned, sharply, just as a loud explosion hit near. The communication cut off after that.
Feral instantly roared orders, "Send out launch warnings, launching in T-5 mins. Notify the ground forces the attack is on and the direction, have them watch the skies for any strays trying to strafe the ground and notify the roof cannons to gear up!"
"Yes sir!" Was the response but the commander was already running for the flight line. He boarded his new blue manx and was soon airborne with his newly armed fleet behind him.
"Now we'll see if we can wipe the air of these pirates!" He rumbled to himself as he brought his weapons on line and enjoyed the feel of power beneath him as the engines of the blue manx roared skyward toward the approaching fleet.
Using his onboard tactics board, Feral was able to quickly see where his forces were. This was far better than waiting for call ins on the radio. Through his window, he saw the Turbokat fight to keep in the battle where they were grossly out numbered.
It was obvious that didn't matter much as Razor's new weapons were proving well up to the task of taking out the new style jets Turmoil had mustered against them.
Grinning wolfishly, Feral raced into battle, firing his new vertigo cannon in a sweeping motion against a cluster of jets heading for his fleet. He grunted with satisfaction when several of them began to fall from the sky.
Switching weapons, he and his wingmen took out even more jets with their amped up mega lasers and cement guns. A few other gunners used the flash bulb missiles, blinding pilots which caused them to smack into each other. It was satisfying to win finally and they were making a significant dent against the enemy.
High above the battle, an angry female officer was stalking back and forth across the bridge of her new sky platform. It was massive and much better designed than her former air ship from before. However, it didn't mean squat if Feral was getting the better of her pilots.
"How is he doing that? Where did they get such weapons?" She asked no one in particular.
"It appears they've managed to figure out a way to miniaturize our vertigo cannon, Captain," her first officer observed, her expression sour.
"I can see that but there are other weapons I have only seen the SWAT Kats use..." Turmoil frowned in puzzled confusion.
"I doubt they would have collaborated with the vigilantes." Her first officer looked dubious about that. "Nothing in our previous intelligence showed that kind of cooperation."
"No, they hate each other," Turmoil said more to herself than her officer. "Yet, there is no doubt those are weapons Razor had made. I do not like it when our enemies change tactics like this!" She turned to stare at her tactics monitor. Chewing on her lower lip, she scowled at what it displayed. Things were not going good...should she send more squadrons or..."
Suddenly, a proximity alarm went off. Fearing either the SWAT Kats or the Enforcers had managed to discover her, Turmoil hurried to the screens that were monitoring the air space around the ship and stared. Blinking in surprise, she gaped at the ungainly thing flying closer to them.
"What is that?"
Before anyone could respond a deep, gravely voice barked from the loudspeaker. "You seem to be losing, Turmoil!" His voice was neither patronizing nor sarcastic, just, simply stating a fact.
"Dark Kat!" She gasped. This was not someone she wanted to be involved with. Her plans had called for eliminating this threat before he could interfere with her plans. He was far too dangerous and unpredictable. And why was he here? He normally didn't interfere with any of the omegas when they made their move against the city and he certainly had never deigned to join up with her.
Trying to regain the upper paw in this conversation, she said blandly, "Seems things are not going so well for you either, comrade. What is that thing you are flying? It looks like something you threw together from a scrapyard."
"It was all I had when I was set upon by the Enforcers," Dark Kat growled coldly.
She blinked in surprise. Why would he admit that to her? He never let anyone know he was less than dangerous and ready for anything but here he was with something that barely flew and admitting his hideout had been taken. Something wasn't adding up here.
"I'd say bad luck for you..." she began.
"And for you..." Dark Kat cut her off, acid dripping from his voice. "They are more prepared, better armed with new weapons and equipment, and no one should have known my location yet they did and they are. Something here is not right but it's too late to pull back and strategize but not too late to combine forces and escape to plan a better attack now that we know what we face," he told her bluntly.
She'd almost said no way in hell would she join him but held her tongue. At the moment her position was growing untenable and his suggestion seemed the only one to insure they managed to get away while they still could. Though she didn't like it, running was the more sensible obtion.
Scowling then blowing out a breath of frustrated air, she barked a command, "order a retreat to the planned location. No one is to dock with us! I do not want our enemies to know where we are. Execute!"
"Yes ma'am!" Her first officer acknowledged. Leaning over a mike, she quickly broadcasted her leader's new orders.
"Something's up!" Razor warned as their enemy began to peel away and flee.
"Afraid of us," T-Bone snorted, a pleased and triumphant grin on his face.
"No...that's not like Turmoil to give up so quickly ... she's up to something..." Razor was frowning and studying his board.
A familiar deep voice interrupted their conversation. It came over the Enforcer radio. "They're running...why? She couldn't have decided to cut and run now, that's not her MO. You do something I can't see?" Feral demanded, coming up along side the jet faster than T-Bone expected.
"Those Blue Manx's are fast," he muttered more to himself than Feral.
"No we didn't and I don't know what she's doing. We need to follow and find out..." Razor returned but was interrupted again when Feral cursed suddenly. "What?"
"I just got a covert message that a team smoked out Dark Kat from his hidden base. As usual, the creep managed to escape the death sentence planned for him. His minions weren't so lucky. They and the hideout were destroyed." Feral's voice was more than a little annoyed.
Razor wasn't really surprised. Ever since they learned a mastermind was behind the taking out of the omegas and arming the Enforcers, he'd been uneasy and unhappy at being led by the nose. He could tell that Feral apparently felt the same.
However, none of that mattered. It seemed they were along for the ride and had to follow the crumbs the mastermind was laying for them whether they liked it or not and right now, the crumbs told him that Dark Kat had been deliberately forced to join Turmoil. It was up to them and the Enforcers to finish the job.
He hated it when he didn't know all the pieces of a plan. The mastermind obviously hoped Dark Kat would try to join Turmoil and, by her actions, it appeared she had.
"I suspect Dark Kat has joined Turmoil and convinced her to vamoose to fight again later. We need to get above the clouds and see if we can spot her. I'm sure she's got a new air ship but we better hurry before they vanish on us!"
Feral cursed again. "It fits! We'll follow you!" He switched frequencies and ordered his fleet to follow him then headed toward the stratosphere.
T-Bone hissed in annoyance as he hurriedly sent the Turbokat to follow the Enforcers. The SWAT Kats no longer held the advantage in the air and he didn't like it but shoved his annoyance aside for now. They had a pair of omegas to catch.