[This is a continuation of my first SWAT Kats fan fic: "Shadow Relm." If you have not done so already, I recommend reading Shadow Relm first, as some characters and story references pertain to that particular fan fic, and not the actual SWAT Kats cartoon (of which I have no affiliation, this is a completely original work based on that cartoon)]
[This story is rated 'M' for violence, gore, and mild sexual content. May not be suitable for younger readers. Sorry kids!]
"On your tail, eight degrees below." Elena's voice came clear over the radio.
"I got 'im." T-Bone rolled the Turbokat sharply left, turning quickly around one of the many large sky scrapers in Megakat city. The smaller jet behind him easily followed the maneuver. He turned right, flying sideways between too buildings. The other jet copied easily. "This guy's good!"
"Too good. Something's not right."
Razor looked at his screen, trying to get a good view of the jet behind them. "I can't see the pilot. Can you see him, Elena?"
Elena stood watching the large monitor, her arms folded across her chest. The monitor image was broken up into twelve smaller images showing varying angles around the Turbokat. It was a new feature that she and Razor had recently completed and installed, and none too soon. She spoke into the small mic on her headphones. "Negative. Hang on a sec." Typing something onto the keyboard, one of the smaller images went static for a moment, then the dimensional image changed to an infrared one. "There isn't one. It's a drone."
"A drone? So then what's controlling that thing?" T-Bone was still trying to shake the smaller jet off his tail, and was quite irritated by his lack of success. Several more laser blasts shot past them, smashing into a nearby building.
Elena was now working at the second keyboard, the smaller screen showing a rapid succession of computer codes. "There's a micro-signal feeding into it. I'm trying to trace the source but there's a scrambler messing up my tracer signal.
"Well, two can play at that game. Launching scrambler missile!" Razor hit the button to reverse-fire the missile behind them. His aim, as usual, was perfect. The drone, which had somehow managed to avoid their previous attempts to shoot it down, was clipped on the wing by the smaller missile. The sudden burst of electricity fried the drone's remote system.
"Got it! Running trace. Wha...? It cut off! I lost it." Elena growled low, hating the fact that the one responsible for the drone and the destruction it had caused had avoided them.
The communication to the drone was shut off only moments after impact from the scrambler missile. The drone went down. T-Bone watched it fall as he flew by. "All right! There it... uh oh." Both SWAT Kats winced as the drone landed right on top of an Enforcer patrol car. The car's occupants managed to jump out just in time before the impact and the following explosion. "It figures."
Razor was a bit curious, however. "It shouldn't have blown up like that, though. Looks more like it self-destructed."
Elena's voiced echoed on the radio. "I was thinking the same thing. Whoever built that thing definitely didn't want to be found out, or risk his technology being copied or recognized."
"Oh well. Guess we better get our tails out of here before Feral yells at us again. I'm sure the Enforcers can handle cleaning up the mess." T-Bone turned the jet around and they headed back to the hanger on the opposite side of the city.
The hanger door opened as the Turbokat approached. T-Bone didn't even have to bother with the remote. Elena had seen their approach and opened the door from the inside controls. The black fighter jet landed smoothly and powered down, coming to gentle stop at the end of the runway, centered on the rotating lift. When the canopy opened, both SWAT Kats jumped easily down and walked over towards the other end of the hanger. Elena stood with her back to them, arms again crossed over her chest, as she watched the large monitor. It no longer showed the images from the Turbokat's new optic system, but rather one large single image, a news broadcast.
Razor removed his helmet and mask, tossing them into his locker. "Sounds like the new remote monitoring system is working great. You having any problems on this end?"
"No." Her tail twitched, she was still irritated as she watched the report.
T-Bone walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, leaning his chin over her shoulder. "Miss me?"
She gave him a quick glance with a smirk, then turned her attention back to the monitor. She smirk faded.
Razor walked over and the three watched Ann Gorra's broadcast.
"As of yet, no sign of a body has been found. However, authorities say that from the heat of the explosion, there's a possibility that there could be nothing left to be found."
"That's because there wasn't one." Elena's tail lashed again, inadvertently hitting T-Bone on the leg.
Commander Feral then came on the screen, Ann holding her microphone up to him. "If those meddling SWAT Kats hadn't gotten in the way, this disaster might have been avoided!"
"That guy really doesn't like you two, does he?"
They both answered simultaneously. "Nope!"
T-Bone let go of Elena as she stepped forward, back to the keyboard. She hit a button and muted the sound, then typed in a few commands. The image zoomed in on the wreckage behind Feral and Ann. Elena stared at the screen for a moment. "Jake, does that thing look familiar to you?"
The ginger-furred kat took a few steps closer and looked at the monitor. "What, exactly?"
"That!" She zoomed in closer.
Jake looked at a small piece of mangled electronic equipment. It took a moment, then he finally realized what it was. "That's a microneural processor! Pumadyne was developing it for M.A.S.A.'s unmanned space probes!"
T-Bone looked a bit confused at this. "Woah. So you're saying that whoever this guy is, he could control that thing just by thinking about what to do?"
Elena nodded. "Yes. And the drone reacted with the same speed as the guy's thought process. Somehow, it's control system was wired directly into his neural transmitters."
Jake smirked. "His brain, Chance. This thing was plugged in right into it's controller's brain."
"Ech. So, exactly how many criminals do we know who'd want to pull something like that?"
Elena looked to Jake, also wanting to know the answer to that.
"Hard Drive's a good possibility. Or the Metallikats."
"Yeah, but didn't you destroy them?"
T-Bone finally removed his helmet and mask, walking over the pair of lockers. "Yeah, but they're like big metal cockroaches."
"Heh. Yep. We can never seem to completely get rid of them."
"Hmm..." Elena sat back down in front of the keyboard and began running background info on the aforementioned criminals, as well as Pumadyne and it's recent research programs. The guys meanwhile changed out of their flight suits and back into their work clothes. She didn't even notice.
Jake climbed the ladder back up to the garage above. Chance was about to follow when he looked back towards Elena. "You coming?"
"In a bit." She was still working at her large custom-built computer system. Fifty years trapped in a Medieval world did nothing to hinder her computer, electronic, or mechanical skills
Chance shrugged and continued up the ladder, closing the hatch door behind him. "Man, Jake. I think she's worse than you are!"
Jake laughed. "Hey, she's your girlfriend!"
Back upstairs, Chance and Jake relaxed on their sofa. A Scaredy Kat cartoon was playing on the small TV set. The familiar sound of a car drew their attention to the window. "I had a feeling she'd be here soon for repairs." Chance stood up and finished off the last few gulps of his milk, then tossed the can into the waste bin. He then headed down the stairs of the apartment, into the garage below. Jake followed him, still holding his half-full can.
The green sedan pulled up in front of the garage, the driver side door opening. Chance walked around the car to inspect the damage to it's right rear side. Jake set down his can on a workbench, then walked over to the driver's door as the she-kat steps out, dressed in her usual pink business attire. "Good afternoon, Miss Briggs. What happened to your car?"
The blond kat smiled at the mechanic. "Hey, Jake. Didn't you guys see the news recently?"
Chance looked over from where he stood near the back of the car. "You mean that small jet that was trashing downtown?" Of course they both knew that's what happened. They were there, in their own jet.
"Yeah, that's it. I was lucky, though. The car in front of me was completely totaled. The driver had to be sent to the hospital."
Jake looked a bit worried. "Were you hurt?"
"No, but thanks for your concern. So, can you guys repair my car?"
Chance walked back around to join them. "No problem. Shouldn't take more than a day or so at most."
"Wonderful. The Mayor's sending a limo to pick me up. It should be here soon. Hey, who's bike is that?"
Jake and Chance followed Callie's gaze into the garage. The silver motorcycle was still being built, but was starting to come together nicely. Jake just glanced over to Chance, leaving him to explain. "Oh! Uh, that's a friend's. We're helping her put it together."
Callie raised an eyebrow. "'Her'?"
Jake gave a small chuckle that caused Chance to blush just ever so slightly.
Callie smiled, clearly amused. "Chance, do you have a girlfriend?"
Before he could answer, a soft laugh echoed from inside the garage. A she-kat with light chocolate fur and sooty-black hair walked out of the shadows from inside the garage. She wore dark blue-jeans and a black sleeveless tank-top that revealed a dragon tattoo on her upper right arm. The she-kat was well built with a lithe body and toned muscles, the look of an athlete. She also had a pair of small blood-red braids in front of each ear, the ears themselves having silver earrings in them. She reminded Callie a bit of Lt Felina Feral in her build, but with far more grace in her movements.
"You must be Miss Calico Briggs?"
"Oh! Uh, yes. How did you know that?" She realized that was a bit of a stupid question. Who didn't know who she was in this city?
Elena smiled and cast a slight glance to Jake. "Oh, I've heard a bit about you."
Now it was Jake's turn to blush. "Um, we'll go ahead and get started on your car, Cal...uh.. Miss Briggs."
Callie smiled sweetly and handed Jake her keys, stepping back away from the car as he got in. Jake drove the car into the garage, followed behind by Chance.
Elena leaned against the wall, watching them a moment before Callie asked another question. She turned her attention back to the blond she-kat.
"So, who are you, anyways? You look like you could be an Enforcer?"
"I'm not from here actually. Former military. Can't say where, though."
"Can't? Or won't?"
"Can't". The tone of Elena's voice showed that she meant it. It wasn't threatening, just an 'and that's all I can say about it, end of subject' tone.
"Oh. Well, could you at least tell me your name?"
She smiled, a soft shine in her emerald eyes. "Elena Kougré"
"Nice to meet you, Elena. And please, call me 'Callie'. So, how long have you been seeing Chance?"
Elena actually had to pause and think. It seemed like much longer than it really was. "I've known him about two months now, I think."
Before they could say anything else, a white stretched limo pulled up nearby. "Oh, that's my ride. I'm glad to have met you, Elena. Bye guys!" She waved to Chance and Jake inside the garage, then got into the limo.
As the limo pulled off, Elena walked back inside the garage and over to her motorcycle. She knelt down, picking up a wrench from the small toolbox beside it.
Chance looked over to her. "Just had to go and do that, didn't you?"
She didn't even glance back as she starting working on the bike she was building. "Yep!"