MAYOR MANX'S GRAND IDEA

A/N: Just a quick piece of fluff for the Christmas Holiday. I was inspired by the song from Josh Groban's Noel CD from last year called, Thankful. This just seemed to fit that piece so well.

The Mayor of Megakat City stared out his office window with a heavy look of grief and exhaustion on his pudgy face.

The past year had been unforgiving and terrible. The omegas had made a major push to wear down the city defenders at a cost of billions of dollars in lost wages, homes, businesses, city property, and, of course, more dearly, many lives. At last count, more than 200,000 innocent Katizens lost their lives, an additional 50,000 police, fire, and medical were killed, and over 150,000 enforcers were lost, weakening them dramatically.

Just two months ago, with barely an adequate force to do the job, Feral and his enforcers fought against Dark Kat's army of spider-like tanks and a strange new ally from another country that was in it for the money alone, who provided mercenaries in fast new jets that flew rings around Feral's own fleet. His choppers were miserably outmatched and were destroyed early on in the battle.

The fierce fighting lasted over twenty-four hours, the longest battle ever suffered by the city since the omegas first appeared over twelve years ago.

Manx turned back to his desk and stared down at the newspaper laying on his desk top. The top news article was about how the SWAT Kats had finally brought down two of the worst omegas and that the city was finally enjoying a modicum of peace just in time for Christmas.

Now that was the only good news this city had seen in a long while. Apparently fed up with losing so many innocent lives and even enforcer ones, the SWAT Kats declared war on the omegas.

To prove how serious they were, Razor had seriously revamped the Turbokat making it faster and more deadly than ever plus he had added new weaponry that was lethal rather than his previous non-lethal armaments he was known for.

Thus outfitted, they took on Dr. Viper earlier in the year and ended that mutant's life in a wall of deadly napalm fire out in the swamp. The mutant Kat had attacked the Bio Chemical Labs yet again but this time he'd met fierce resistance from the angry and fed up enforcers who, with the SWAT Kats, chased the lizard all the way back to the swamp.

This was where the SWAT Kats had taken over the fight and flamed the swamp over a huge area. The gray pall of smoke hovered over the city for days until a brief rainstorm from the ocean blew it away. In that conflagration, Viper and his mutant plants suffered a horrific death but no one shed a tear.

The next omega to cause trouble was Turmoil who had escaped from jail over four months before and returned with a small fleet of fast moving mini-jets. An early warning system Razor had cobbled together with the help of Professor Hackle, helped them know of the coming fleet in time to catch her over the ocean and prevented more deaths by keeping her there until she was defeated.

With his new lethal form of missiles, Razor decimated the new fleet of jets quickly and permanently. Turmoil barely escaped with her life as she turned tail and disappeared away from the city.

Feral made some small rumblings about the way the vigilantes were taking the law into their own paws and not bringing the criminals to justice, but it was just for show. He and his enforcers were hardily tired of the loss of life to the omegas, so despite talking the talk about the SWAT Kats breaking the law, Feral never instituted an APB on them and the Mayor's office backed him up on it. No more second chances for these omegas ... was the prevailing feeling of the day ... winning their city back was all that mattered.

Finally, the last deadly omega made his move just two months ago. The long battle had cost Feral dearly, but he had managed to do enough damage to Dark Kat's ally that the SWAT Kats were able to sweep in and finish off Dark Kat himself with a surprise ally of their own.

In secret, Razor had gotten hold of a badly damaged, mini-jet from Turmoil's defeated fleet. Repairing it and beefing up its tech and weaponry, he handed it over to Lt. Feral. When Dark Kat appeared, the three of them took him on in a final fierce battle over the MASA grounds.

Hemming the evil Kat in, they reduced his spider ship to metal fragments and killed the omega in a burst of explosive force that was seen all the way to the city hall clock tower.

So peace was theirs at last but despite the triumph a heavy pall hung over the city as many mourned their lost ones, their homes, and their businesses. So many lost..so much visible damage...Manx shook his head...how could anyone feel like celebrating the season with so many reminders of the hell they'd endured around.

To try and solve part of that, Manx had surprised Callie by brow beating and shaming the city council into increasing the city clean up budget and unemployment benefits to get them over this bad time. He even cajoled Feral into using his enforcers to help with the clean up which surprisingly didn't take too much effort as Feral wasn't oblivious to how depressed the Katizens were feeling and knew something had to be done about it. An unhappy city was an unhealthy city.

Even the SWAT Kats volunteered to help do what they could, like lifting a newly built section of the Megakat Bridge in place to repair the damage done by Dark Kat. Razor and Hackle came up with an efficient method to clean up a huge oil spill from a tanker that had been blown open in the bay. Many good Katizens worked long and hard to clean up the city and it was beginning to look much better by the time December had arrived.

However, there was still less of a celebratory mood among the people and this needed to be addressed quickly. What was needed was some kind of big celebration that did double duty as a base for honoring those that had died and a huge celebration consisting of singing, speeches, and awards of valor to remind the people that peace had finally come to Megakat City.

But how to accomplish that goal?

Taking out a pad from his desk he began to make a list of things he needed done then called his deputy in.

"You wanted to see me, Mayor?"

"Callie, we at city hall need to do something on a grand scale that will help pull the people out of their depression. So much was lost over the past year that no one feels like celebrating Christmas nor the New Year and I want to do something to change that."

Callie blinked at him in stunned surprise. This was not something she expected from the normally self absorbed tom.

"What do you suggest we do? There's been so much devastation and, yes, much of it has been cleaned up and I admit what you got the council to do has helped, but it doesn't replace all those poor people that were killed."

"Yes, I know, Callae, but perhaps a huge celebration at Megakat City Park could at least help people get over their loss more quickly and offer them a visible sign of hope and peace for the coming New Year," Manx said, passionately.

Callie was floored. She could only gape at the tom in shock.

"Callie are you listening to me?" Manx huffed pausing in his instructions.

"Oh yes, sir, sorry. I was just so surprised...uh what did you have in mind for this celebration.

"Well, first I want a huge Christmas Tree in the park and to have it decorated with ornaments provided by every Katizen who lost someone during this past year. It doesn't matter if it was a natural death or one caused by the war with the omegas. Each person will put an image of the one they lost on a big, colorful ornament and it will be hung on the tree all through the month of December. By the end of the month, a big Christmas Eve celebration will be held with music, speeches, and singing."

"Oh my...Mayor Manx...that's...I'm speechless."

Manx beamed happily. "I know our budget is tight so I was hoping you could get the SWAT Kats to find a tree that would suffice from the northern forest."

Callie was blinking rather stupidly for some minutes as the Mayor bubbled on about his plans. She was just amazed he had come up with such a plan. It was nothing short of brilliant and could very well help pull the people out of their depression.

She realized he was staring at her expectantly for some seconds so shook herself mentally and quickly said, "of course, they'd be willing to do this. It's a wonderful idea and I'll be happy to write the speech to tell the people about this event and the ornaments. I agree that it will go a long way to help the Katizens mourn while celebrating the peace those loved ones bought with their lives. It's perfect."

"So glad you agree. I'll let you take care of the details involved in setting it up. But there are a few more things I want done as well." He looked down at his notes. "I want a list of all those Katizens who have gone beyond the call of duty to either fight to protect our city or aid in its clean up and recovery."

Callie frowned as she thought how she would get such a list made then brightened as an idea came to her. "I can add that to your speech about the ornaments, sir. I'll have everyone who knows of someone who should be honored send a letter with the name to a specific address here at city hall by a certain date so that you can honor them at the celebration. Will that work for you?"

"Excellent, Callie...that's exactly what I want. Now there are a couple more things I want done and if you need the authority of my office for it then ask and I'll intercede. What I want is for the Megakat Symphonic Orchestra to perform as well as the Megakat City Choir and the best Kitten's Choir that competes for the right to perform."

"Wow, this is going to be a big event...uhmm, a lot of details need to be taken care of, security, parking, set up of stage, news coverage, notification to the schools about the choir contest, the speech, location of the letter drop off, staff to sort the mail, etc..." Callie muttered, rapidly making notes.

"I know you can take care of the details, Callie and I feel we have enough time to get it done since it is only the first week of December. I know what I'm asking is last minute for all those we're asking to help but impress upon them how important this is for the city's morale and ask they make the effort to make this celebration as memorable as possible."

Callie finished her notes and looked up at him smiling broadly. "Oh believe me sir, I will get them all to cooperate. It's a lot of work but I'm certain we can pull it off and make this the best Christmas celebration we've ever had."

"That's the spirit, Callie. I can't wait for it to all come together," Manx said, smiling broadly, rubbing his paws together in anticipation.

"I'll get right on it, sir." With an excited air, Callie hurried back to her desk. Unlike all the other times Manx over loaded her with some kind of elaborate project, this time the tom had out done himself with a totally unselfish scheme. It was big and ambitious alright but she had no doubt she could get everyone on board to see it succeed.

For the next few days, Callie's office was a hive of activity with extra paws on board to make calls, handle the myriad of details, and get the ball rolling on this huge event.

The first thing she did was to write the speech and get Ann Gora to set time aside for a special broadcast two days later. The Mayor's speech had the whole city excited and happy for the first time since the year began.

The SWAT Kats were thrilled to be asked to provide a tree and wasted no time going out and finding the best of the lot. A giant spruce some thirty feet tall. With the help of the enforcers and with the Turbokat hefting it into place the tree was firmly set up in the park.

Razor even used a special device filled with harmless fake snow to cover the tree adding gold and silver glitter to the mix to make the tree fairly sparkle. They also provided a huge string of lights that they wrapped around the tree and used a portable power unit to light them, hidden behind the stage the enforcers had quickly thrown up to one side of the tree. Another lower stage was on the other side of the tree for the orchestra with a shell to bounce the sound back to the audience.

A call had gone out to the city's artisans to come up with a tree topper and what they built was this huge star that had a light similar to one used in lighthouses that would twirl around and cast its light over most of the city. It was spectacular. To place it on top, the SWAT Kats Turbokat was thought to be the best at not shaking the tree too much as it could hover high above and lower one of them to the top to place the star. A job they did quickly and easily, grinning like kittens when they got to see it lighted and working perfectly.

A group of seamstresses gathered together to quilt a special tree skirt. It took them more than three weeks but when it was placed around the base, everyone thought it the most beautiful thing they'd ever seen. The skirt was made of scraps of silk and velvet materials, colored in reds, greens and gold and embroidered with many of the images of Christmas.

Christmas Eve arrived chilly and clear. The park was crammed with people as they came to be a part of this stunning celebration. Callie had pulled it off though she was exhausted and frazzled by the time the whole thing came together.

Just as night fell, the tree was lit up officially and on its many branches were the memorial bulbs gleaming and reflecting the light. Hundreds adorned the tree bringing tears to the eyes of those who mourned and those that came to honor.

Music drifted over the whole place from the orchestra. The choir received tons of applause. Many Katizens received certificates of thanks from a grateful city for their hard work and sacrifice. Several enforcers and city officials also received awards including, Feral and his niece, Felina, Callie, a special award given to the Mayor for thinking of this celebration and one, each for the SWAT Kats for freeing the city.

It was a fantastic and wonderful Christmas Eve filled with many hugs, speeches, tears, and songs of joy.

"You did it Mayor," Callie said close to his honor's ear as they both looked out at the happy faces.

"It wouldn't have happened if not for your hard work, Callie. Thank you. This is even better than I had imagined," Manx said, for once humble before all this outpouring of joy around him. For once, he'd done something totally unselfish and it made him warm inside.