Chapter 6

Chance walked inside from the garage, wiping oil from his paws. As he scrubbed them under some warm water, he sighed. Laurie had been on his mind since she dropped him off the night before. He could still feel her soft lips on his cheek that made shivers run down his spine. He couldn't help it; he had fallen head over tail for her.

Jake appeared from the storage closet, carrying a bundle of wires. "You never did tell me how your date went."

"She's amazing." the tom replied, drying his claws on a ratty dish towel.

"She's adorable. I wish I could have scored a girl as cute as her." His partner said, scratching the back of his head.

Chance smiled into the kitchen window. "Yeah."

"Did you guys make plans for another date?" Jake asked.

The tom shook his head but the grin remained on his face. "No, but I have a feeling there will be more."

Before either one of them could react, the loud siren they knew all too well sounded throughout the house. They bolted into the garage and Jake hit the communication switch. "We hear ya Mrs. Briggs, what is it?" he asked.

Her voice cracked over the intercom, clearly stressed. "Swat Kats, Dark Kat was spotted near the back entrance at the Chemical Plant. His Creeplings were seen carrying out canisters of something and I guarantee it wasn't catnip!"

"Let's go." Jake said.

Zooming out of the hanger, the Turbo Kat cut through the skies, heading straight for the clouds of smoke from the chemical plant.

"First, Dark Kat was messing around the Biotech Lab and now this! What's he planning?" Jake said, more talking to himself then T-Bone.

"No idea, but it can't be good." T-Bone said.

The city was undisturbed as usual before a disaster struck. Construction workers stood on tall unfinished structures, busying themselves and watched their watches for their lunch hour. Kittens played on the jungle gym at the park under their mother's close observance. No one seemed to be aware of the situations outside their own care free lives.

"Calm before the storm." T-Bone muttered as they reached the plant. He soared and looked down on their destination. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. "I don't see Dark Kat or the Creeplings, not one."

"Me neither … wait … down there, near that retention pond!" Jake said, pointing out the jet window.

Sure enough, a half a dozen or so Creeplings dragging tubes of glowing, orange liquid toward a dark section of an alley behind the plant.

"Land on the roof; let's try and catch them off guard and follow them!" Razor said.

"Way ahead of ya buddy." T-Bone said. He eased the jet on to the roof and clicked off the engines. The Creeplings continued to haul their find away, oblivious to the duo of felines above. They squawked and screeched to each other, scurrying into the shadows.

"C'mon!" T-Bone whispered, climbing down the fire escape and jumping on to the hard sand below.

They raced after the last Creepling they saw, Glovatrixes ready. When all they heard was silence, they skidded to a halt in the darkness.

"They're … they're gone." Razor said, looking through his night vision lenses.

"What?!" T-Bone growled, spinning around in a circle.

Jake tapped his mask a few times to see if it had malfunctioned. "I had a lock on their heat signatures a second ago, but they just vanished!"

"No! Dammit!" T-Bone swore, biting his bottom lip until he tasted blood. "Dark Kat, you coward! Where are you!?"

Somewhere downtown …

Laurie walked down the boulevard near the Mall. She had been asked by a friend to help build one of the floats for the Swat Kats parade. Having nothing better to do, she decided there was no harm in going. After all, she did owe one of them her life.

"Hey, Laurie! Over here!" a voice called over the sound of the traffic. She looked ahead and saw her friend Avery waving at her. They had been friends for as long as she could remember and told each other everything. She smiled and waved back, heading for the float where Avery waited.

"Hey Avery, what's up?" she said as Avery bounced up to hug her.

"I'm glad you could help Laurie! We really need it." Avery said, linking arms with her. "So, you never did tell me how you were feeling since the accident. We really need to hang out more!"

"I'm alright." She said, examining the scar or her wrist. "Thanks for asking."

"You're welcome, let's get started!" Avery answered, jumping on to the float and passing a bag of red and blue streamers to Laurie, who waited below. "So how's Luke?"

"I could really care less. He didn't come to see at all except once at the hospital, and he didn't even wait to see if I was alright. He was waiting at my apartment when I got home one night and expected me to not be angry that he ignored me for a month. He said some things to me and hit me. I want nothing to do with him." She said, opening the bag with her claws. "However, I did meet a really nice guy at the junkyard where my plane had been dumped."

"Oh! Tell me, tell me, tell me! Who is he? What does he look like?" Avery begged.

"I'm not telling." Laurie teased, sticking her tongue out.

"Fine, be that way. I'll find out eventually anyway." She said.

Laurie rolled her eyes and carried the streamers over to where Jonathan stood, hooking lights to the side of the float. He and Avery had been dating for three years and Laurie was surprised he had not proposed to her yet. He was kind of macho and stiff, but Laurie saw so much warmth and love when he looked at Avery.

He looked up when he saw her approach and playfully punched her in the arm. "So, you're not dead?"

"Happy to see you too John." She muttered, throwing a pack of nails at him.

"John, stop picking at my friend." Avery said, walking up to him and licking his cheek.

"I'm only playing with her, she knows that." He said, winking at Laurie.

She turned away as they kissed and let her mind wander. She thought about her date with Chance and thought it had been the best date she had ever had. He was so handsome and sweet. She wondered why she ever dated Luke in the first place. Chance had respected her better in one night then Luke had ever. When she thought about, the only reason she had been with Luke was because of her mother and his parents. They were good friends and her mother thought that Luke would be the perfect match for her. She hissed at the idea and sighed.

"Come help with the paint Laurie!" Avery yelled from somewhere behind her.

"Coming!" she said, jogging back to where Avery was. Chance's face flashed in and out of her mind the rest of the day and she couldn't stop smiling.