AN: Thank you Cody for letting me borrow your character for this story and thank you Ulyferal for being my beta.
As dusk fell over Megakat City, Katizens were leaving work for home as the swing shift took over. Gradually, as darkness fell, business lights went out as homes and apartments lit up along with the street lamps.
Evening past into late night, traffic thinned, and the streets grew silent, only the midnight shift was about; enforcer patrols, street cleaners, prostitutes, drunks and dealers. Except for the occasional chopper patrol and med evac, the skies were clear
On the far side of town a pair of toms who ran a garage and managed the city's salvage yard, were trying to get their kitten to go to bed. Chance Furlong was having the most difficulty with that task than his buddy, Jake Clawson.
The youngest of the pair was insisting he wasn't tired and his father was at his wits end. "Benjamin please...not tonight...you need to be asleep like your brother Cody," Chance said softly, glancing over at the already sleeping kitten on the other bed.
"But daaad, I'm not sleepy...can I stay up...please," he begged. His father sighed and Ben knew that would mean a no so he had to change tactics quickly. "...read me a story then I'll go to sleep," he said hurriedly.
Though he knew he shouldn't, Chance gave in. "Fine, as long as you do go to sleep when I'm through." His son nodded earnestly. He reached over to open a middle drawer of a dresser that sat between the two beds with a lamp sitting on it. In the drawer were books, toys, and a few other things the kittens collected.
Pawing through the small stack of books there, he asked, "so...which book do you want me to read?"
"Uhh…." The kitten thought hard, "...that one...no...uh..." he couldn't decide and he knew his father would lose patience soon.
Chance snorted in amusement at the Ben's dithering. "How about I tell you a story from your dear old dad," he suggested. Ben's face lit up with a big smile which warmed his heart. He closed the drawer and glanced over at the other bed. "I know you're awake, Cody….so why don't you roll over and listen too.
Cody who had been facing the wall, rolled over and gave his father a sheepish grin, which clearly said, 'you got me.' Scratching his neck then settling himself to listen, he asked, "Um….how did you know I was faking it?"
"You were breathing a little rapidly and you've done this a million times," Chance snorted, amused.
With both kittens staring at him, waiting...Chance thought a moment then began. "Once upon a time, there were two special toms who did their best to try and keep the city from being destroyed by the bad guys. One day..." He regaled them with tales about these Kats, changing things so they wouldn't associate the stories with the real tales of the SWAT Kats. His sons were glued to his story which made him think he must be a very good storyteller.
As he told the story, he embellished it a bit and didn't stress the true dangers involved, just a good adventure where the bad guys always lost and the good guys went sailing off into the sunset.
However, life hadn't truly been like that for himself and his partner. Being a SWAT Kat was dangerous and exhausting at times. He couldn't count the many times either of them had been wounded, how often they'd been forced to rebuild the Turbokat or their bikes, and how wearing the battle to keep the city safe was for them both.
Even after they'd married and had kits of their own, they'd kept their secret from their mates and their kittens...feeling it was far too dangerous for them to know. However, they might have to if their kittens ever discovered the hidden hangar beneath their home.
The two toms had married and moved out to live in places of their own for awhile. However, the stress of keeping his secret, his constant absences, unexplained injuries, and perhaps some compatibility issues had succeeded in breaking up Chance's marriage after four years.
The marriage was a bad decision and when the fights began after the first kitten was born and continued on after the second arrived, getting more frequent over time (though they never fought within hearing of the kittens), they finally divorced. Fortunately, his mate wasn't given to holding a grudge and didn't want to raise the kittens so handed them over to their father's care.
Jake, on the other paw, loved and cherished his mate and she tried hard not to question why he was missing a lot. There was no telling if their marriage would have suffered as the Furlong's had because she died giving birth to his only kitten. It had been a heartbreaking time for Jake and only his partner's care and attention helped him get through it.
With no mate, the two returned to the old apartment above the garage. Since it wasn't very big, they'd had to build an addition, using the scrap yard for the material, on top of the present building. It was sturdy, warm and cozy for the three kittens. Chance had two males, Cody, seven and Ben, six and a half. Jake's daughter, Alicia, was only five now. Chance's mate had left when his kittens were only three but he didn't move back to the old place until two years later when Jake's mate had died.
As he reached the end of his made up story, Chance smiled as he saw both kittens yawning. Leaning over he tucked Ben in and kissed his forehead then got up and went to Cody and did the same.
He slipped from the room, closing the door tightly behind him. He saw Alicia's door was also closed. He went down the stairs to the living room pausing to set a special alarm Jake had set up to keep watch over their kittens when they were away. It alerted them if they were up or if someone had entered who shouldn't. It was the best they could do to keep them safe.
Satisfied, he went down the next set of stairs to the garage, walked to the back past cars waiting repair until he reached the open manhole cover that hid their entrance to the hangar below. He climbed down and hurried across the floor to the lockers where he found his partner only just changing.
"Sorry Jake, I was telling my sons a story… looks like you were held up as well," he smirked as he began to change.
"Yeah, I was. Alicia wanted a lullaby sung," Jake smiled back, pulling his g-suit on.
Changing swiftly, they ran for the Turbokat and leaped aboard. T-Bone signaled the canopy closed and hit the button for the platform to send them down to the runway below. He started the engines as soon as they were down and seconds later was zooming up the ramp and outside into the night skies. Taking a heading that would send them over the heart of the city, he punched it, all engines roaring as they flew across the sky.
"So Ben wanted a story again...what did you read him?" Razor asked as he watched for trouble on his screens and monitored the enforcer frequency.
T-Bone chuckled. "You know them so well. He couldn't make up his mind so I told him a modified version of one of our exploits. Apparently, I'm a good storyteller as they listened closely and went to sleep without a complaint when I finished," he said with some pride.
So far life had not thrown them to many bad curves and they'd been happy but life is all about sudden curves that could begin a new adventure or be the start of something truly bad.
Megakat City Integrated Electronics
The high tech business was located in a huge ten story building, imposing and handsome with a modern design. It's security was considered topnotch. Unfortunately, tonight that boast was about to be tested.
The security entry point consisted of a rather nice looking lobby with plants and comfy chairs for clients to wait in but it fairly bristled with cameras and other high tech security gear. A neat desk a few feet from the entry door was a guard post.
A late, middle-aged tom in a neatly pressed uniform, sat dozing with his feet atop the desk. It was very late at night, no one was there except for him and four others scattered throughout the complex. He thought it wouldn't be a big deal if he took a quick nap.
Outside the building, the pair of mirrored secured doors, didn't allow one to see inside. But the group hovering outside had already scoped out the place and knew how few guards there were and that the front door guard was old and most likely asleep at this late hour. Using a specially made key, they hacked into the security code and entered quietly. Another device held by one of the intruders quickly deactivated the cameras.
Some movement of air or a soft sound by one of the intruders, woke the guard who snorted aware and dropped his feet to the floor quickly. "What the...who are you?" he managed before he was set on and beaten senseless. His body was left on the floor behind the desk as the group pushed on into the building.
While one stayed to guard the entry point, the others went up the elevator. Keeping an eye out for the other guards, they headed quickly to the lab they'd been instructed to go to for something special. Using their special key code they entered the lab, searched around with flash lights and soon found what they'd been instructed to find.
Quickly the retreated and made their escape to the main floor once more. As they quickly headed back outside, the guard came to and struggled to his knees to press the alarm button that would bring the enforcers.
The intruders had run, staying in the shadows then climbing a nearby building to the roof where a large black flying machine waited. Their boss was waiting outside the machine for their arrival.
The one holding what they'd stolen handed it over to their boss who grasped it firmly in his big paws. A voice known only too well by the enforcers spoke gruffly, "board quickly...we must be gone before those meddling SWAT Kats and enforcers arrive."
The ninjas hurried aboard followed by the worst omega known, Dark Kat. He took the pilot's seat after placing his prize in a secured holding area then sent his black widow upward into the sky.
"T-Bone, I'm picking up an alarm from the Megakat City Integrated Electronics Building," Razor warned his partner. "And there's been an alert call from the enforcers to respond."
"Copy that! Heading there right now," T-Bone responded, turning the jet toward the proper location.
The arrive in time to see the black widow heading off. "Crud! I thought he was still in Alkatraz!" T-Bone growled, angrily.
Razor frowned, "unfortunately, according to the enforcers, Dark Kat escaped about a week ago."
"Why can't they keep that guy locked up?" T-Bone groused, not really expecting a reply and not getting one.
They chased after Dark Kat's ship. The omega already was aware of his tail and began to send his ship into wild maneuvering to shake the Turbokat off. The chase weaved around the skyscrapers for several minutes. Dark Kat would try to fire some missiles at them without nailing the jet behind him and Razor's return fire destroyed them before they could do any harm anyway. T-Bone was just too good a pilot.
"Time to put this guy on ice," Razor growled. "Get as close as you can, buddy."
"Lock-on…deployed" he shouted firing the missiles towards the ship. They got him or so they thought. Just seconds before the missiles could connect, the black widow dodged. "Damn, I missed," Razor growled trying to get another lock on the ship.
"I tire of this chase," Dark Kat rumbled and flipped a switch.
"What the…..where's Dark Crud" T-Bone demanded, the black widow had simply vanished.
"Crud! He must have developed a way to bend light using that force field of his which would make him invisible to our radar and since his ship is black, its nearly invisible out here. We've lost him."
The pilot slammed a fist onto his console in angry fury. "Rrrg! I hate it when he gets away from us. Now we'll have to wait to see what nasty plan he's cooking up."
"You're right there. Best get us home, buddy... its getting late," Razor said, just as frustrated and angry as his partner.
"Dad wake up…..dad!" Cody shouted, charging into his father's room. He got no response so went to the tom and began to pound on the broad chest receiving only a grumble and his father's back when the tom rolled away from the kitten.
Rolling his eyes in exasperation, the kitten took a deep breath then screamed, "DAD! Ben burned your comic books!" His father literally jumped in the air, flail about before falling to the floor.
"What! Ben!" Chance exclaimed groggily, getting quickly to his feet. When he heard Cody laughing, he realized he'd been tricked.
"Dad? Aren't you a little old to be reading comics?" Cody asked, watching his dad stagger toward the door of his bedroom.
Shaky from the abrupt wake up call, Chance rubbed his eyes and grumbled, "can't a body get any sleep around here?" He yawned. "So what's the reason for jerking me awake like that?"
Cody shook his little head and sighed in annoyance. "You are supposed to take us to school. Did you forget it was your turn?"
Chance stared at him blearily. Cody waited and began to count in his head just how long it would take his father to remember, head to the closet and then the shower. 'one…..two….and three'.
The tabby's eyes widened, turned his head to look at the clock and saw it said 7:50 a.m. He had about forty minutes to shower, change, eat, and take the kits to school. He ran towards the closet just as his son predicted.
After dropping the kits off at school just two minutes before the bell rang, Chance sighed and headed back to the yard. He'd been lucky this morning, though traffic was usually a killer and finding a parking spot nearly impossible, he managed to make it there in time. He really hated the days it was his turn to do this.
"….I wonder if Jake's awake?" he thought, yawning for the fifth time since he's gotten up. "Crud, I'm getting too old for night patrol."
Back at the yard minutes later, he parked the truck at the side of the garage and turned off the engine. Climbing out he walked to the garage which he saw was open for business already. This meant Jake was up but he didn't hear him or see him about.
"Jake I'm back" he shouted but received no response. Frowning he walked to the waiting area and there was his partner. Jake looked upset about something, his attention glued to the TV in front of him. Curious, Chance stepped in and stared at the screen. Kat's Eye News was on. He listened to the news announcer.
"Now that's sad Tom…..I wonder how the six year old pup will live without a family now?" the announcer asked of his co-anchor.
"I don't know, Jimmy. For those of you just tuning in, last night there was a major air battle between the SWAT Kats and an unknown plane. From reports we'd receive, the enforcers discovered intruders had stolen something from the Megakat City Integrated Electronics building. The SWAT Kats arrived in time to try and capture the culprits. Their battle took them over the city. A missiles fired from one of the fighters hit an apartment building killing a couple in their home leaving their son an orphan. The six year old pup was the son of an at home she-kat mother and a dog father who worked for a paper company."
Chance gasped in shock. Now he had a good idea why his partner was upset, he would be too. He turned away from the screen and stared at his gravely anguished partner. "Jake..."
"I killed them…..it's my fault they died and left their pup an orphan...it's all my fault," Jake whispered, feeling horribly guilty.
Chance felt miserable. It felt like deja vu. Dark Kat had set Jake up before with a fake attack on two civilians. However, this time it was real not a set up.
"Jake, you don't know if it was you or Dark Kat that shot the fatal missile. You can't just take all responsibility for this and don't forget, I was there to."
"It doesn't matter whose weapon did the deed, our battle was the cause of their deaths...we're equally to blame and now a pup is alone in the world," Jake growled, jumping to his feet and pacing furiously.
Chance sighed and sank down on the couch, resting his face in his paws and staring at the floor. As much as he wanted to ease Jake's guilt, he couldn't as his friend was right. It didn't matter who shot the killing strike, it was the battle that had taken the pup's parents. That was the nature of the war they fought against the omegas. Even Feral had to take the blame at times as his choppers crashing into buildings did just as much damage and injury though he didn't think they'd caused someone's death before. It was because it was only them this time that it hit harder and he had no words of comfort to offer.
The room grew quiet and neither spoke for several minutes until the slim tom broke the silence. What he said surprised the tabby.
"I guess I'll adopt that pup….it's the only thing I can do to help him and make up for his loss," Jake said.
Chance's jaw dropped, but he quickly regained his composure, "Now wait a minute Jake….you can't just go to the orphanage and adopt him like that….I know you feel bad about this but, you'll have to wait...let some time go by first," he cautioned. If Jake adopted the pup so soon, it might be suspicious as to why this male would suddenly want him.
Jake sighed, "I know but I just can stand waiting."
"I know but you will anyway."
One Month Later~….
Opening a door, Jake walked inside with a little figure following him, "I know it's not much but, what do you think?" he asked looking at the pup who was studying his new home.
The little pup looked around his room; it was nice enough with blued colored walls, a twin bed with a deeper blue quilt on it. There was a small dresser, a desk with a lamp, a small closet, and a toy box. His things were already laying on the bed for him to put away where he wanted them. He shrugged indifferently, nodding his approval of the space to his new father.
Jake smiled a little sadly, "Um…would you like to meet the rest of your new family?" he asked. The pup nodded. The slim tom turned and guided the pup back out to the living area where everyone had arrived and were waiting for them.
The kittens were sitting on the couch watching a Scaredy Kat cartoon with Chance. They heard the two enter the room and turned toward them, the pup hide behind Jake's legs.
"Hi there, little guy. So how did he like his room?" Chance asked.
"He liked it okay. Son, this is your new family." Jake pointed to the little she-kat, "this is your sister, Alicia." She eyed him curiously and smiled a little.
Chance introduced his own kits, "I'm your Uncle Chance and these are your new cousins, Cody and Ben." The two males eyed the pup with interested eyes but said nothing.
The pup eyed the kittens cautiously and when they didn't do anything but stare at him with no hostility, he moved away from Jake and came forward hesitantly, his new father following closely.
Cody was the first to speak up. "Hi." Ben couldn't bring himself to speak so just stared at the pup hard.
Alicia gave the pup a shy, "hi," as well. The pup gave the cinnamon kitten a shy smile in return. "So you're my new brother," she asked, slowly. This was her first time seeing a dog before. The pup's fur was black except for white on his face extending down his stomach and he had a thin tail. "Pleased to meet you," she said politely, remembering her manners. "What's your name?"
"I'm Aden," he said softly.
"Cool. I like you."
Cody gave his brother a shove and a nod toward the pup. "Um….hi" Ben said more awkwardly.
Jake smiled and sighed mentally, a bit relieved the youngsters looked like they would accept the pup readily enough at least Alicia liked him. A brief sad thought drifted through his mind on how the pup would act when he was old enough to understand how his parents had died.
'Hope it doesn't twist him up inside. Only time will tell. The only thing we can do is give him as much love as we can and hope for the best.' He shoved his concerns aside and coaxed Aden to join everyone on the couch. It was time to act like a family, whatever problems might occur could be dealt with as they happened.
AN: A new story, a new member, a new adventure. Please Review.