Title: Technical Difficulties: Part 1
Author: Kristen Sharpe
Date: August 15,1997 - 1st 'finished'
October 23, 1997 - final finish date
November 22, 1997 - finish date for original Part 2
March 13, 1998 - final revision and checking for Parts 1 and 2

Okay, this was supposed to be a short, sweet rewrite, but....I guess I'm incapable
of short and sweet. Thanks to my bro, Seek, for helping me sort out some
technical/computer questions I needed answered for this story; - what would I do without
my favorite partner-in-crime and his crazy suggestions that miraculously cure writer's
block? ....he could have laughed at my 'fatherboard' joke though. And thanks to *all* my
proofreaders. Many, *many* thanks to Chaille, Beth, and "Harley Quinn" whose
encouragement and insistence that reading the first part of this made them want to hear the
end helped my feelings of failure on this one. And, thanks to Mom for the assurance that
Part 3 was equally good.

September 30, 2000 - Ahhhh... The long-winded whopper. Some of the writing is a bit
rough and it was the first time I'd tried such a convoluted plotline, but I *still* like this
thing. Of course, it's the tip of the iceberg for one of the major threads that runs
throughout the remainder of my series.
Anyways, here's the story I've nicknamed "TechDiff" - the infamous first biggie -
converted to the two parts in which it was always intended to be presented. Edited for
clarity's sake and one scene added since the story's first debut on the SWAT Kats
Fanfiction Archive.


"No, look, - it's *GONE*!"

High, near hysteria, the voice echoed down the darkened hallway... and to the
curious ears of one eavesdropper. Smirking at his handiwork, the eavesdropper slunk
away from the pool of light, streaming from the doorway where the voice was emanating.

"Are you sure? It was deactivated! - it can't have gone anywhere by itself!" a
second, more restrained, voice soothed. Yet even the soothing tone was unable to hide an
uncontrollable nervous edge that tinged it with urgency.

"I'm *positive*!" the first voice yelped, before dropping to an urgent stage
whisper. "I was examining it in the lab - I left it in the examining tray...*inside the KAT

"Look, check back in the other lab - maybe you just forgot where you left it."

Footsteps echoed down the empty, sterile corridor as the voices erupted into the
The dark figure ducked into the shadows, hearing the voices grow closer and then dim as
light poured into the hallway from another open door.

"It's not here - I told you!!"

"You'll have to tell.... ....find it," the calmer voice whispered insistently, becoming
so low it was difficult to hear at points.

"NO!!!!" The voice dropped back to a whisper quickly. "You still don't realize
what this thing *is*!!! I had to fill out mounds of paper work - I waited over *two years*
for a response! They're *paranoid* about this thing! It..."

"*What* were you studying?!"

"A top secret prototype artificial intelligence device - developed a little over
twenty years ago."

"They had that then - and we don't now?!"

"AI was abandoned after the experiment. I don't know a lot of the story - just
pieces. It... it's classified. Some college student hacked into the computer system - got
the plans - and then he... he built a copy of the prototype! Don't ask..."

The voices faded as the speaker's voice dropped to a true whisper. Carefully, the
listener slunk closer to the open door, curious, as it strained to hear the two lab coat-clad

"... kid must've been a genius.... ...set the prototype loose.... It got so bad the
government stepped in to contain the situation. The FBI caught the kid - nobody knows
what happened to him. They classified the file and destroyed everything involved... except
the original prototype... I don't think the government even knows that it still exists..."

Abruptly, the speaker broke down.

"I pulled so many strings to even get permission to *look* at it!! When they hear I
*lost* it.....!!!! - I might as well tell them I lost a culture of the bubonic plague!!!"

Hearing enough, the silent audience of one slunk away as the young scientist
blubbered on.

"Hey, calm down - look, I've gotta friend.... They'll never know... When they
*do* realize,..." the second voice soothed as the eavesdropper glided down the corridor, a
part of the shadows he resembled.

The eavesdropping figure rounded a corner and crept down the next corridor. He
was almost home free, just a little farther away from the voices....

Abruptly, light flashed over his shoulder. Without a backward glance, the intruder
broke into a run, racing to the end of the hall where it opened on the elevators as a shout
rang out.

"Hey! Who's there?!"


The guard increased his pace as he charged down the hallway. Entering the lobby
with the elevators, he found no one. The elevators were shut down for the night. There
was no other exit. The guard reached up to scratch his head, eyeing the scene
suspiciously. Finally, he wandered back down the hallway.

"I gotta get some more coffee," he muttered.


"You sure you can do it, Jake?" Chance Furlong called up to his friend, Jake
Clawson, shuffling his huge feet for a better stance on the small seat area of the chair he
was perched atop. Jake was balancing himself precariously on Chance's broad shoulders,
holding a long flourescent tube in one hand as he tried to remove the burnt-out tube from
the light fixture just above his head. His hands were gloved against the open connection
of the still-lit fixture, the thick rubber making them awkward as he tried to gain a grip on
the slick, rounded surface of the flourescent tube. Making Jake's precarious position all the
more unstable was the fact that Chance's rickety chair was situated atop their jet, the
TurboKat, just behind the canopy.

"Okay, stretch time again," Jake announced, standing on his toes and stretching as
he tried to snap the replacement tube into the light fixture.

"Maybe we should've gotten a ladder," Chance commented, glancing down at his
chair's legs, wobbling unsteadily on the uneven metal, and trying to steady both the chair
and Jake.

"If *somebody* hadn't run over it with the tow truck, that would have been the
way to go," Jake returned, a slight growl rumbling his normal tenor. "Besides, Chance,
any idiot can change a light," he added confidently, glancing down at his friend.

"Yeah, in a normal room - not a thirty foot high hangar," Chance replied, steadying
himself again as Jake's weight shifted.

He needn't have worried; Jake's balance was amazing, more so than that of most

"There," Jake announced, finally snapping the tube in one-handed as he held the
burnt-out tube in his other. Casually, he tossed the old tube up into the air and leapt after
it, somersaulting before landing on the floor of their underground hangar.

Chance yelped as he lost his footing on the chair from the force of Jake's thrust,
quickly jumping down before he could fall. Scowling, he glared at Jake past one of the
TurboKat's stabilizers.

Jake landed nimbly and stuck a hand out to catch the falling tube. Smirking, he
twirled it deftly just in front of Chance's nose as his friend jumped down from the jet to
join him.

"Show off," Chance muttered sourly, glaring at his friend.

"*Now*, it'll work," Jake announced, still smirking as he jogged across the huge
room and flipped the light switch by the ladder that led to the garage above.

There was an electrical crackle accompanied by a shower of sparks from the light
fixture With a final flicker, the rows of lights illuminating the hangar died and darkness
descended on the twosome.

"Well, *congratulations*," came Chance's voice through the black nothingness.

"On what - blowing a fuse?"

"No, on not being just any idiot."

"Very funny," said Jake, glad he couldn't see Chance's smirk as he started to walk
forward in search of a flashlight - even a kat's eyes couldn't see in this kind of darkness.
"Don' worry, I'll fix it." No sooner had he finished the sentence than a rumble began,
emanating from the huge level still farther beneath them and vibrating the floor beneath
their feet. "That's the backup generator," Jake muttered in confusion. "That shouldn't
start just because I blew a fuse."

"Yeah, you musta shorted out the transformer," Chance growled.

"That's impossible," Jake shot back. "Lemme get the flashlight and we'll check the
fuse box." The room was suddenly filled with thumps and bumps, including Jake's loud
yelp. The sounds of a news report abruptly blared through the hangar, echoing in the vast
space. "Well, I found my work table," Jake grumbled, reaching down to rub his throbbing

"This is Ann Gora for Kat's Eye News. MegaKat City has had a massive power
failure....," the familiar newswoman's voice echoed through the hangar.

"Oh, great, Jake - you blacked out the whole city," Chance muttered dryly.

"Shhh....," returned Jake, trying to hear the rest of the report.

"....having to broadcast this using a private backup generator," Ann continued.
"We will keep you informed as more develops and as the cause of this blackout is

"Here, I found a flashlight," Chance announced as the report finished and a beam
of light suddenly knifed through the darkness. It illuminated Jake's face, his yellow-
orange eyes, fully dilated in the darkness, squinting at the sudden light and narrowing to
vertical slits.

"Wonder what caused the blackout," Jake muttered, turning his face away from
the light. Keeping his back to the blinding brightness, he used the light to find the "off"
switch and silence the radio.

"Got me," returned Chance. He turned to flash the light across the nose of the
black fighter jet sitting across the room. The light glinted from its sleek metal surface.
Chance smiled with pride. "Y'know the TurboKat looks better'n ever with the new
armor," he commented.

"Yeah," Jake agreed, letting himself feel a touch of pride as well as he looked at
the magnificent jet. "Let's hope that new agrecite alloy is as good as it's supposed to be."

"Wanna test it out?" Chance asked suddenly, turning back to Jake and once more
hitting his friend dead center in the eyes with the flashlight's beam.

"Sure, guess the SWAT Kats better make sure MegaKat City stays quiet in the
dark, dark night," Jake replied, blinking. "Lemme fix that fuse and we're outta here."

Chance turned to lead the way to the fuse box. He could hear a quiet mutter
behind his back as Jake followed.

"If only his aim was as good when he uses the targeting scope."


Some minutes later, the TurboKat roared from of its underground hangar and,
free, hurtled into the night sky.

"Y'know, the hangar's backup generator could be put to use powerin' the T.V.,
Razor," said Chance, reverting to his partner's alias as he shot a glance back at Jake from
the pilot's seat. "When the fuses aren't blown," he added with a toothy smirk.

"Hangar use only, T-Bone," returned Razor, also switching to Chance's alias as he
effortlessly slipped into the familiar guise of his SWAT Kat alter-ego. He pointedly
ignored T-Bone's second comment.

"Yeah, well, I guess I'm ready for some fun with the ol' TurboKat," returned T-
Bone, tightening his grip on the stick situated between his legs with his left hand as his
right reached for the throttle. He slowly slid the throttle forward, the widening
afterburners' roar music to his pilot's ears. "That armor isn't even slowin' 'er down," he

"It only weighs a fraction more than your regular aerospace alloy, remember?"
Razor clarified, a smug smile tugging up the corners of his mouth. "How else d'ya' think I
could've talked you into it?"

"Let's see how it holds up under pressure," T-Bone shot back. "Hang onto yer
stomach!" he warned, pulling the stick towards him. The TurboKat shot straight up into
the clear, star-flecked sky. Then, screaming, "ROCK AND ROLL!" T-Bone sent the jet
into a barrel roll and let it plunge downward to roar over MegaKat Bay.


"Well, that should take care of my work here," the shadowy figure announced as
he strode through the darkened hallway. He glanced at the dim outline of a white sign on
the wall, reading "Main Generator - Left," the blacks words just barely distinguishable.
Smirking, the kat pointed a finger at the sign, a stream of blue light shooting from his
fingertip. As the light vanished with a flicker of sparks, the kat muttered to the charred
sign. "MegaKat City Light and Power won't be generating anything for a while," he
chuckled. "Even the backup generators won't cut on - MegaKat City is virtually helpless
for the rest of the night. Oh, you do your work well, Hard Drive," the tan kat
complimented himself with an evil chuckle as he leapt over two uniformed figures
slumped in the hallway, breathing faintly. "Enjoy your naps while they last, boys," Hard
Drive called gaily back to the unconscious security guards.

Hard Drive's smirking face sobered for a moment as he searched the walls of the
hallway. His eyes lit on an electrical outlet.

"Now, for a timely exit," he pronounced as the bulky suit he was wearing flared to
life with an electric blue glow. Without warning, the suit's glow intensified to a cool blue
flame. Gasping in surprise, Hard Drive found himself engulfed in the electric blaze.
"What's going on?!!" he snarled, desperately fidgeting with a small control panel on the
front of the suit. "My surge coat's malfunctioning!"


"Wha...!" T-Bone yelped, watching as his navigational instruments went wild,
splashing red-orange light over the control panel and the pale yellow fur of his face before
suddenly stilling. T-Bone stared in confusion at his controls. "Razor, all my compasses
just freaked out!" he called back to his partner.

"Lemme see." Razor leaned forward into his harness to study his instruments.
"Hmmm.... look's like we just passed through some kinda freaky electromagnetic
disturbance." Another "hmmm...." escaped his lips as he punched commands into the
onboard computer, bringing up his dimensional radar display. "We just passed over
MegaKat City Light and Power," he mumbled half to himself, putting a finger to the
skeletal image of the power plant projected on his screen. He looked out at the city
below. "The power hasn't come back on yet either," the slim kat added, thinking that he
and his partner should have been paying more attention as they had their fun.

"Sounds like we'd better head down there and have a look, partner," T-Bone
announced as he turned the jet sharply and headed for the power plant.


"Finally, I've got that malfunction under control," muttered Hard Drive, scowling
at the annoyance as he stalked out of the power plant's main door into bright moonlight.
"I'll make my exit out here," he grumbled. "Maybe their equipment somehow...."

No sooner had he left the sheltering darkness of the doorway than an all-too-
familiar sound reached his ears, making him cut off his half-thought mumbles abruptly.
His head jerked skyward in time to see the TurboKat fly over the building. Growling a
curse under his breathe, Hard Drive ducked back into the doorway and watched the great
black jet land in the deserted parking lot in front of the main building, using its VTOL
engines to land vertically.


The TurboKat's canopy slid open and the two SWAT Kats leapt out.

"See anything, Razor?" asked T-Bone as he checked his glovatrix, eyes scanning
the building's facade.

"Negative, T-Bone," Razor returned, cautiously starting across the parking lot
toward the building, "but we'd better keep our eyes open. Somethin' weird's goin' on
around here," he added, ears pricked and flicking this way and that, searching for any


"If I could just get to the power lines," Hard Drive muttered, watching the SWAT
Kats head for the side door to his left.

Seeing their attention focused on opening the door, he began to creep out of the
doorway, away from the two crimefighters and toward the two huge pylons to his right.


"It's just a normal electronic lock - no prob," Razor muttered as he started to slide
his glovatrix's lock-picking tool into the side door's lock mechanism. He stopped,
catching the faintest movement out of the corner of his eye. He whirled to the right.

"Over there!" the slim SWAT Kat shouted, pointing with his right hand as he
simultaneously let fly a mini-octopus missile from his glovatrix.


Hearing Razor's shout, Hard Drive broke into a run. He didn't get far. The
octopus missile's pudgy torpedo-shaped form split, opening into metal arms. The six
powerful pincers slammed into Hard Drive's back and propelled him face down on the

Hard Drive was groaning and slowly pushing himself up as T-Bone and Razor
reached him. His movement made the mini-octopus missile slid off his back and clatter to
the pavement. Hard Drive glanced at it and growled; he could feel throbbing pains where
the pincers had connected. The tan-furred kat suddenly froze as a great, clawed foot filled
his view. Looking up, he met T-Bone's smirk.

"Whadya know - Hard Drive," the big SWAT Kat commented off-handedly,
reaching down.

Before Hard Drive could react, he was snatched up by the back of his coat in the
firm grasp of a brawny tiger-striped arm. He struggled briefly as he was jerked to his feet
and his right arm was none too gently twisted around behind his back.

"Looks like we found the cause of the blackout," T-Bone announced as Razor
joined him. He looked back at his captive. "Nothin' sneaks past Razor here," he told
Hard Drive, pointing a thumb at his partner. His grin spread across his wide, round face
as he continued. " - he's not just any idiot."

Razor rolled his eyes, noting that Hard Drive wasn't amused either.

"You SWAT Kats and your stupid jokes," the lanky techno-crook growled, "I
should...." His snarl suddenly changing to a gasp as his suit sparked into an brilliant,
electric glow. "WHAT....!!!! Again?!" he gasped.

"T-Bone, you'd better....!" Razor started, but was abruptly cut off as, with a joint
gasp of surprise, T-Bone and Hard Drive metamorphosized into a streak of light that
arced across the parking lot and into the TurboKat.

"T-Bone!" Razor gasped in shock.

No sooner had his shout died away than a streak of light shot from the TurboKat.
Touching the ground, the mass of cool flame coalesced into a kat-like shape. Hard Drive
appeared out of the glow, standing somewhat unsteadily.

"Where's T-Bone?" Razor demanded, moving toward the dazed kat.

Hard Drive glanced toward him, his face contorted in confused shock. As he
registered the significance of the last few second's events, a slow smile spread replaced his
shocked expression. Straightening up, he sneered at Razor as his surge coat again sparked
to life.

Seeing the surge coat's glow, Razor assessed the situation in seconds and dove for
Hard Drive. He was inches from the lanky kat when a well-aimed blast of electricity flung
him back on his tail.

"Sorry, SWAT Kat, but I have to go now," Hard Drive smirked, sneering down at
Razor before vanishing in a blast of electricity that disappeared into the power lines.
"Adios, Sucker."

His staticy parting words hung in the air as Razor stared after him in shock.
Stunned, he stumbled to his feet and turned to the TurboKat.

"T-Bone," he called anxiously, hopelessly. He could feel a cold knot forming deep
within. Whispering a silent prayer, he broke into a run toward the TurboKat.
"Razor!" T-Bone's voice rang across the silence.

"T-Bone...?!" Razor paused by the TurboKat's wing. The voice sounded like it
had come from inside the cockpit. "*Oh, no*!" Razor gasped, leaping to the wing and
punching a button on the top of his glovatrix to open the canopy.


"What in the...?! Razor,....?!," came T-Bone again, shocked. "Razor, what's goin'
on?! Where are ya', buddy?!"

T-Bone had seen his friend perfectly, his features clear and instantly recognizable.
But Razor had been a three-dimensional green outline, running towards him through a
schematic world of green lines and black background, his voice strange as he called out to
T-Bone. Now, Razor had disappeared from view. T-Bone desperately tried to relocate
his friend, tried to locate himself. The world had suddenly been reduced to nothing more
than a green and black schematic.

Not replying to T-Bone's calls, Razor dove into the cockpit as soon as he could fit
under the still-raising canopy and clambered into the pilot's seat. He looked at the screen
in front of him. His suspicions were confirmed; a schematic outline of T-Bone's face
glowed from the dimensional radar's screen.

"T-Bone! You're inside the TurboKat's computer!" Razor gasped.

"WHAT?!" T-Bone yelped, staring unseeingly at Razor from the screen, his
simplified features not hiding his shock. "*Inside* the computer?! Then,.... what am I
seeing?!" he stammered.

"You're using the dimensional radar...and the radio... I think....," Razor replied, the
shock on his face replaced by worry and his habitual thoughtful look.

"Then, how....?!" T-Bone started. "What...?!," he suddenly muttered, interrupting
himself. "Chopper....," he murmured.

"What is it, buddy?" Razor asked.

"I'm pickin' up an Enforcer chopper headin' this way." T-Bone grinned, his head
on the screen cocking like he was listening to something. "Feral's in it too; I can hear 'im
chewin' somebody out on the radio."

"You're using all the TurboKat's equipment!" exclaimed Razor, his thoughtful
look deepening.

"Great, I have super powers," T-Bone returned sarcastically. "Big whoop when
yer stuck in a computer. Now, let's fire up the engines and get outta here before I get ta'
find out what Feral does with 'hotshot vigilante' jets."

Before Razor could move, the engines came to life with a roar of sound, powerful
VTOL engines thrusting the TurboKat into the air.

"Ah, T-Bone,.... please tell me you did that," Razor muttered, scanning the
instruments before him quickly.

"Yeah, - guess *I'll* be gettin' us home," T-Bone returned, his worried expression
replaced by his usual, smirking grin.

"Hope you can handle flyin' like this, bud," Razor commented as he strapped in.

"No problem....if you'll take yer hands off the stick."

"Oh, sorry," replied Razor, releasing the stick which he had been holding
instinctively. It immediately moved a bit, settling into the position T-Bone wanted it at.

" Uh, oh, Feral wants ta' chit chat," T-Bone muttered suddenly.

No sooner had he said it than the thundering growl of Enforcer Commander
Ulysses Feral rumbled over the radio.

"Hold it right there, SWAT Kats - I've caught you two destructive vigilantes in the
act - you're not getting off *this* time," he growled.

"Y'know, I'm startin' to think Feral has some kinda radar so he can find us
whenever we look the most guilty," Razor commented.

"Yeah, and it works overtime," T-Bone returned before snapping back to the
Enforcer Commander, "Yeah, Feral, you caught us in the act of leavin'."

With his words the TurboKat's throttle slid forward and the jet streaked away into
the night sky, Feral's threats vibrating the radio speakers long after the TurboKat's
glowing afterburners had ceased to be even dots on the distant horizon.


"Well, Chance, I have no idea how to get you outta there without Hard Drive's
surge coat," said Razor, somewhat despondently as he pulled off his helmet and mask,
balling the mask up and stuffing it in the helmet before tossing both into his locker. He
turned back to face the TurboKat sitting across the hangar on its launch platform. "As
best I can tell, you've been turned into some kinda electrical impulse that's fused with the
TurboKat's computer. I don't guess that's really dangerous or anything - I think Hard
Drive does it all the time to pull off his techno thefts. The only problem is: Hard Drive
doesn't stay in the computer for extended periods of time....," Razor stopped, letting his
thoughts trail off, and concentrated on unzipping his flight suit.

"Razor, *what*?" T-Bone demanded, recognizing Razor's reluctance to tell him
the rest of his thought.

"Well, if you stay in there too long, you could fuse with the TurboKat itself or....
you might just fade away as your electrical energy disperses."

"So we gotta wait 'til Hard Drive makes his next move to get him and the surge
coat," said T-Bone, his deep sigh the only indication that he'd acknowledged Razor's last

"Yeah, I gotta hunch he was up to more than just making life miserable with that
blackout," returned Razor, now Jake once more, back in his mechanics coveralls. "Well,
I'm headin' for bed."

"Hey, whada I do? I don't suppose computers get to sleep, do they?" asked T-

"Actually, you should be able to shut down for the night," Jake replied.

"Or I could stay up and intercept some "Scaredy Kat" reruns - computers don't
need sleep."

Jake knew without seeing it that T-Bone's face was alight with one of his wide,
fang-filled grins.

"The *computer* doesn't -* you* do," he returned sternly. "You may not 'get
tired' while you're an electric impulse, but you need rest mentally. If I catch you up all
night, I'll unhook some systems and make sure you sleep - ya' got that, bud?"

T-Bone grumbled.


"Yes, *Mommy*," T-Bone snickered in reply.

Jake rolled his eyes and turned away to climb the ladder into the garage above.

"You gonna be okay down here?"

"Sure. Somehow I don't think I could get the TurboKat in my bed," returned T-

"Hey, there's a good side," Jake called back, stopping poised on the ladder. "I
don't have to listen to yer snoring from the other side of the room for one night," he said
with a mischievous smile, scrambling up the ladder as a net from the TurboKat flew past
him. "Even with all my targeting systems your aim's still lousy!" he yelled incredulously
through his laughter, his voice echoing down into the hangar from his safe vantage point.

"Ha, ha," T-Bone snapped dryly.

Hearing Jake's footsteps fade away, he shut down the system, letting himself slip
into a kind of half-sleep. He was hyper-aware of everything around him: the faintest of
noises from equipment in the hangar, sounds from the world above, radio signals that the
emergency ban constantly monitored, everything. Still, it was like he perceived it all on
one level and was aware of nothing beyond his own dreams, grateful signs that his mind
was still functioning like any normal kat's, on the other. It was strange and different, a
feeling he couldn't even conceive of living with for the rest of his life - short as that might


"Commander, you're just grabbing at straws!" announced Deputy Mayor Callie
Briggs, almost standing on tip-toes in her high heels to see over Commander Feral's huge

"With all due respect, Deputy Mayor, your SWAT Kats were at the power plant
twenty minutes after the blackout started - I saw them leaving myself. They are my most
likely, most *obvious*, suspects!" Commander Feral snapped back.

"So they sabotaged the power and then hung around for twenty minutes for your
Enforcer choppers to spot them so everyone would know they were responsible?"

"Some criminals enjoy taking credit for their crimes," returned Feral, glaring at the
blond she-kat over his desk.

"Commander, if the SWAT Kats wanted to be destructive and cause the city a
major power shortage, they could just *bomb* the power plant!"

Callie was exhausted and slightly frazzled. The power outage had occurred just as
she was finishing Mayor Manx's latest speech, due early that morning. She'd failed to save
the file on her computer prior to the outage, and, as a result, she'd lost her entire night's
work. It had taken until 3 am that morning to rewrite the speech on the ancient manual
typewriter she'd somehow inherited; so much for the wonders of modern technology.
Now, she'd come to handle some routine paperwork at Enforcer Headquarters, after only
three and a half hours of sleep, only to hear rumors that Commander Feral, for the
millionth time, had an APB out on the SWAT Kats, blaming them for last night's power

Callie adjusted her glasses and brushed a strand of damp golden hair from her face
before glaring up at Feral again.

'This day is getting off to a *miserable* start,' she thought.

"My mind is made up, Deputy Mayor - those SWAT Kats are to be brought in for
questioning and held if they are sighted within MegaKat City," Feral snapped, dropping
his head back to his work, a sign that the 'interview' was over.

"Easier said than done," Callie snapped under breathe before turning and stalking
from the Commander's office.

Stepping out of Feral's office, she walked down the hall to the elevators and
stepped into the first one that arrived; it was empty. As the door closed, Callie reached
into her purse and pulled out her triangular communicator.


The young Enforcer at the main desk in the lobby many floors below looked up
from his computer terminal and scanned the room. It was empty. Smiling, he produced a
comic book from under the computer's keyboard and dove into it.

No sooner had he found the page he'd been on earlier than the lights flickered
abruptly. The rookie raised his head as he felt a crackling electric charge fill the room, his
fur standing on end. He watched as a bolt of electricity exploded from an empty socket
across the room in a blinding flash of blue-white light. Blinking, he stared blurry-eyed as
the electric mass coalesced into a feline shape. Seconds later, Hard Drive stood in the
center of the lobby, showering sparks from his still-glowing surge coat.

He smiled coolly at the young Enforcer and casually flipped a hand at the sliding
electronic doors that opened off the street into the lobby, shooting a stream of electricity
from his fingertips. The doors sparked and the motion sensor above the door exploded.

Hard Drive turned to face the speechless Enforcer.

"Lights out," he announced, raising a glowing hand.


In the SWAT Kats' hangar, the alarm was steadily emitting its ear-piercing wail.
Wincing, T-Bone unconsciously shut off the TurboKat's highly-sensitive radio systems.
Because of the extreme volume at which he now perceived the sound he didn't realize that
the wail was merely the alarm. Though no longer an audible noise, T-Bone found himself
still quite aware of the radio transmission screaming for attention. It was then that it hit

"That's Callie on the distress ban," he thought, starting to answer the transmission.

Razor's voice over the radio stopped him.

"Yes, Miss Briggs?" asked Razor as he pressed the intercom button beside the
alarm, silencing the piercing scream.

T-Bone cut the radio systems back on and scanned the transmission from Callie,
letting the TurboKat's systems give him her location as he heard her reply to Razor.

"It's Feral, Razor," Callie said with a sigh. "Last night he saw you two leaving the
power plant after the blackout and,.... - you know Feral - he thinks you're either high-tech
vandals or scheming some kind of plan."

There was a ding as the elevator decelerated. Callie glanced up to see a dimly lit
'G' above the doors.

"Oops, gotta go," she whispered into the communicator as the doors slid open.
Callie lowered her communicator and dropped the hand that held it down toward her
purse before looking up to step out the opening doors. She gasped.


Razor caught the sound only faintly as her mouth wasn't near the speaker.

"Miss Briggs?" he called, a hint of worry creeping into his voice.

There was no response.


Hard Drive stood framed in the doorway of the elevator.

"Why, hello, Deputy Mayor," he purred, putting a hand out to keep the doors from

"Hard Drive!" Callie gasped loudly, pressing the red distress button in the center
of her communicator as she let it fall discreetly into her purse.

"Yes, indeed - now, how about coming along quickly and quietly?" Hard Drive
cooed as an electric light ran along his right sleeve to form a sparking glow at his

Squaring her shoulders, Callie stepped out of the elevator as the doors slid closed
behind her.


"Hard Drive!" Razor and T-Bone echoed Callie with one voice as the smaller
SWAT Kat slammed his fist onto the button beside the intercom to silence the once more
screaming alarm and dashed for the TurboKat. "We'll be right there, Miss Briggs - just
hang on," he added under his breathe as he vaulted onto the TurboKat's wing.

"She's in Enforcer Headquarters," T-Bone informed him, his face appearing on the
screen in front of Razor as his partner slid into his usual seat at the rear of the cockpit.
Though it would look strange to any who happened to see him flying in an apparently
pilotless jet, he preferred the familiarity of his own instruments.

As Razor strapped in, the TurboKat's platform lowered to take-off level.

"Let's rock n' roll!" announced T-Bone as the engines fired and the jet shot off
down the tunnel to the surface, rocketing into the sky in seconds.

Razor felt an excited thrum pulsing through the TurboKat as it hurtled into open
sky. He frowned. The jet's awesomely powerful engines created vibrations all their own
to be sure, but he knew the sound and feel of the TurboKat's engines by heart. This
wasn't normal. His eyes widened as sudden realization came to him. The pulse was T-
Bone's excitement, humming through the very body of the jet itself.

"Easy, buddy, - we'll get there," Razor assured quietly, pushing aside the cold rush
of fear for his friend that surged through his being and focusing on the business at hand.
He punched a button beside the screen before him to bring up an image of Enforcer
Headquarters, a flashing red blip indicating Callie's location. It wasn't anything T-Bone
didn't know, but he hadn't exactly divulged the information yet.

"Yeah, and then I get to sit around and wait." T-Bone's tone was bitter.

"Only until we catch Hard Drive," Razor returned as he leaned forward into his
harness to do an inventory of his weapons.

"Hey! That tickles," T-Bone chuckled suddenly as Razor's fingers ran over the

"You can feel that! T-Bone, we gotta get you outta there fast - you're really
starting to fuse with the TurboKat!" Razor gasped, feeling his stomach tighten, the earlier
fear rushing over him in a wave that he quickly suppressed once more.

"Yeah, but first we gotta stop Hard Drive."

'Then, we get you outta there as fast as we can,' Razor thought.


"Stupid malfunction," Hard Drive snarled as the violent glow emanating from his
surge coat subsided.

Callie had backed away from him when he'd first become enveloped in the blinding
light. Now, she stood just beside the elevator, using her body to cover the controls where
the 'up' button was lit. She shot a quick glance at the floor indicator above the elevator.
Fifth...and it wasn't moving.

"C'mon," she muttered softly.

Hard Drive ignored her, impatiently adjusting something on the control panel on
the front of his suit.


Hard Drive twisted his head to see a black-haired she-kat clad in the familiar slate
and beige of an Enforcer flight suit standing in the hallway just past the front desk where
the rookie was slumped in his seat unconscious.

Lieutenant Felina Feral took in the scene before her in seconds, reaching for her

Hard Drive was a split-second faster. He jerked his head back to Callie, diving for

Callie sensed his intentions an instant before he turned back to her, dodging from
him to the left. Hard Drive caught her arm and jerked her to him, whirling to face Felina
as a wave of Enforcers, alerted by her shout, charged up behind the lieutenant.

"Not another step!" Hard Drive snarled, rasing a sparking finger to Callie's chin.

"Hold your fire!" Felina bellowed to the other Enforcers, throwing a hand back
behind her to emphasize her words.

Hesitantly, the Enforcers lowered their blasters, still on guard.

"When he gets here, tell the *last* SWAT Kat he'll have to meet me on the roof of
the MegaKat Trade Towers tonight at midnight if he wants to still have at least *one*
friend," said Hard Drive, coolly eyeing the lieutenant, confident behind his hostage, whose
eyes were widening with his words.

Felina's face hardened as she listened to Hard Drive.

"And let's just say that the sight of a single Enforcer chopper could get her sent
on a little 'trip'," he continued. "Call this a 'personal matter'."

With that, Hard Drive's suit flared to life, turning him and Callie into an electric
glow that arced over the Enforcers into the socket through which he'd come.

Felina growled in frustration as she lowered her blaster and slid it back into its
holster. Sighing, she exhaled deeply, blowing upward to flip straggling hair out of her
eyes. For the first time, she suddenly became aware of a distant roar. Looking out the
sliding glass doors at the front of the lobby, she saw the TurboKat descending in the
middle of the street outside.

"Tell the Commander what's going on," Felina suddenly snapped to the nearest
Enforcer, having made a fast realization. The SWAT Kats needed to know what was
going on and get out of there before her uncle or anybody else could interfere. She could
already hear mutterings passing through her fellows about the Commander's APB on the
SWAT Kats.

"And get that guy looked at," she added, bolting for the door and gesturing back
toward the unconscious rookie. "*I'll* deal with the SWAT Kats - *alone*." Her tone
brooked no argument, and she was practically out the door before anyone could say

Felina nearly collided with the door, expecting it to open. She looked at it in
frustration, eyes coming to rest on the charred motion sensor. With a growl, she grabbed
the edges of the two doors and began to push them apart. The motors along the sliding
track squealed their disapproval as she forced the doors ajar enough to squeeze her way
through; she had a message to give before anybody could interfere.

The TurboKat's landing gear had barely hit the pavement before Felina was
running up to it.

"I think we got trouble," Razor muttered to T-Bone, punching the button to open
the canopy as he caught sight of the disgruntled young she-kat, black hair tussled in the
gusts from the slowing VTOL engine fans.

"Hard Drive's got Miss Briggs," Felina called as the canopy slid open.

"Crud," Razor growled softly as Felina continued.

"And, he said...." She was hesitant as she started to ask about Hard Drive's claims,
fearful they might be true.

"Said I'm dead?" T-Bone finished for her. "Not by a long shot! I'm sorta...
misplaced at the moment, but as soon as I get my hands on that scrawny low-life...." He
paused and added abruptly as though under his breath, "If I *had* hands..."

"What?!" Felina demanded, brow furrowed in confusion. T-Bone wasn't making
any sense... and she couldn't figure out where he was. She could see Razor's head
protruding from the cockpit, but the larger T-Bone was nowhere in sight.


The commanding shout interrupted her thoughts. Felina glanced over her shoulder
to see Commander Feral storming down the steps from Enforcer Headquarters.

"He wants to bring you in for sabotaging the power last night," she growled,
watching him.

"Fat chance," returned T-Bone as the VTOL engines roared back to life.

"Hard Drive wants you to meet him at midnight on top of the MegaKat Trade
Towers," Felina shouted above the engines' roar, turning her head back to the jet and
backing away as it slowly lifted into the air.

Razor gave her a thumbs up to acknowledge that he'd heard as the canopy started
to slide forward.

"What're you going to do?" Felina called, shouting to be heard over the roar of the
VTOL fans.

"I guess we have a date at midnight," Razor called back as the canopy slid closed.

Felina watched the jet rise above the street. Behind her she could hear her uncle's
angry growl. She sighed as she turned to face him, squaring her shoulders and setting her
jaw; she was going to ger her head bitten off over this one, but she wasn't going down
without a fight.


"So whada we do, bud?" T-Bone asked, setting the TurboKat for the hangar.

He couldn't see it, but he knew Razor's face was set in that familiar thoughtful

"I meet him," his friend returned simply.

"WHAT! You can't just...."

"To Hard Drive you're dead, remember, bud?"

T-Bone could feel Razor's mischievous grin.

"One *lone* SWAT Kat and his jet will meet Hard Drive tonight on the roof of the
MegaKat Trade Towers."

T-Bone chuckled, his grin filling the screen.

"*Of course*," he returned.


A warm night breeze fluffed Callie's long hair as she stood beside Hard Drive on
the gravelly roof of one of the MegaKat Trade Towers. A bright full moon lit the night,
helping her searching eyes as she scanned the purple-blue sky. She chewed her lip
worriedly, twisting her bound hands in an attempt to lessen the pain from the tight cords.

Hard Drive glanced at her, scowling.

"The wait will be over soon enough," he 'assured'.

"Yes, it will," she returned simply, green eyes flashing as she glared at Hard Drive.
Inwardly, she doggedly forced herself to believe that the SWAT Kats could handle
whatever Hard Drive had planned for them...and that Hard Drive's comments about there
being only one SWAT Kat were his own boasting imagination.

The distant rumble of an approaching jet reached both kats' ears.

Callie looked toward the sound. The jet's profile was unmistakable. She mouthed
a soundless prayer as Hard Drive stepped away from her to meet the approaching


"Ready, bud?" Razor asked, his eyes running over his instruments out of long
cautious habit when he was in the unfamiliar territory of the pilot's seat. He needn't have
worried - T-Bone received the warning signals even before the warning lights lit.

"All set," T-Bone returned. "Just give the word when you're ready."


"Here they come, Sir," the nondescript tan-furred Enforcer reported to his
Commander, looking upward in time to see the TurboKat flash across the patch of sky
visible between the brick walls that towered around their chopper. He let his eyes wander
back down the walls, estimating for the millionth time just how close the rotors would be
to them when they made their ascent.

"Alright," Commander Feral returned curtly, flipping the switch on his handset.

"Felina, are you in position?" he asked, holding the handset up to his mouth.

"Roger," she returned, voice staticy over the short range frequency they were
using to avoid detection.

"Stand by for my orders," Feral snapped, abruptly switching frequency.
"McFurland, Wilson - do you copy?" he demanded.

"Yes, Sir," a voice returned.

"Alright, McFurland - first clear chance you get, get the Deputy Mayor out of the
area while Hard Drive is distracted with those vigilantes. Feral out." Feral flicked the
handset off and set it down, a small smile turning up the corners of his mouth. "Maybe I'll
be able to catch three criminals tonight," he muttered.

One nagging little thought quickly replaced his smile with a tight sour expression.
The fact that the SWAT Kats showed tonight said they had guts and that they cared about
the Deputy Mayor. Still, he had a duty to fulfill.....; he'd just wanted to enjoy catching the
vigilantes, not worrying if it was the right thing to do or not.


The TurboKat landed gently on the roof of the MegaKat Trade Towers, its VTOL
engines scattering the loose gravel. The canopy slid back and Razor jumped out from the
pilot's seat. Eyes narrowed, he walked slowly toward Hard Drive, stopping a few feet
from the lanky techno-crook.

"Where's your partner, SWAT Kat?" Hard Drive demanded, looking around
worriedly as he lunged backward to grab Callie roughly.

"You should know," Razor snapped, his voice cracking, fists clenched as a
shudder of inheld fury washed over him.

Callie gasped softly, dropping her head for a minute, long hair covering her face
as she quickly set her jaw. Then, she raised her head to watch the scene before her.

Hard Drive's face twisted into a horrible grin, his confidence restored.

"Don't worry - you'll see him again...," he sneered, shooting a stream of electricity
over Razor's head, "SOON!"

Razor whirled to watch with widening eyes as the electricity form into the shape of
a jet. His jaw dropped as the sparking blue mass solidified into an oddly-designed deep
blue jet that hovered above the TurboKat, VTOL engines roaring.

"I've learned a few new tricks," Hard Drive announced, aiming another blast at the
jet's nose.

Responding to Hard Drive's electric command, the computer locked in Razor's
mass and specific body heat. The twin lasers positioned just under the wingtips swivelled
and targeted the SWAT Kat.

Razor dove to the left seconds before the lasers scorched the gravel where he'd
been standing. He caught himself on his hands, flipping to land on his feet. As he did so,
he heard the TurboKat's VTOL engines come to life.

"What the...!" Hard Drive gasped, releasing Callie and whirling to see the
TurboKat rise from the roof.

"Two can play at your little game, Hard Drive!" shouted Razor, tackling Hard

Hard Drive hit the gravel on his stomach with a grunt of pain.


Callie suddenly felt herself grabbed none too gently from behind. Quickly, she
kicked back, hitting her assailant's shin as she spun to face him. She gasped as she saw
the two Enforcers behind her.

The tall, gray-furred Enforcer closest to her smiled wanly.

"Officer McFurland - SWAT Team," he introduced himself. "We're here to rescue
you," he explained, gritting his teeth at his smarting shin as he reached into a pocket for
his pocketknife to cut Callie's hands loose.


Meanwhile, T-Bone felt the grinding of metal as the TurboKat's stabilizers scraped
against the underside of Hard Drive's jet. Quickly, he fired the rear engines, blasting out
from under the other jet. Airborne, he made a tight turn and circled back to hover some
distance in front of the blue jet.

"Bring it on!" T-Bone dared, locking the other jet in his sights.

The blue jet's computer noted his actions as its radar tracked the TurboKat's
movement. It ignored him. Its programming was locked on a specific mass of body heat
below. Locating Razor, the jet stopped. Its target was located just above another familiar
heat ratio; one its orders were rather specific about.

Noting the other jet's lack of action, T-Bone smirked, "Guess I'm smarter than the
average jet." He centered his attention on Razor grappling with Hard Drive, the
dimensional radar allowing him to watch both his friend and the blue jet simultaneously.

Razor was suddenly flung back, away from Hard Drive, as the techno-crook's
surge coat glowed to life. He hit the roof on his back with a 'whoof' sound as the air
rushed from his lungs.

"Crud!" T-Bone growled, aiming the cement machine gun at Hard Drive. He
paused, registering movement from the blue jet. Focusing his attention on it, he saw its
lasers targeting Razor again.

"Oh, no you don't," T-Bone growled, training the cement machine gun on the
lasers. He opened fire with a barrage of cement globs, spraying the nose and canopy of
the other jet with the thick globs. "YES!!! Move over, Sureshot!" T-Bone crowed as he
used the targeting scope to zoom in on the laser tips and note their generous coating of
cement. Then, he watched the other jet with a smirk. "Just try ta' fry my partner now,

The blue jet did indeed try. T-Bone watched with satisfaction as first the hardened
cement and then the laser barrels glowed red.

"Any second," he purred.

The lasers exploded, flinging shredded metal. The blue jet shuddered with the
explosion but stayed aloft, motionless. Its sole orders were now impossible to carry out.
It waited.

T-Bone took a second to enjoy his triumph. Then, he focused his attention back
on Razor and Hard Drive. The three-dimensional image of his face on the screen split in a
surprised smile as another figure entered the scene.


Hearing the explosion, Hard Drive staggered to his feet to glare up at the
TurboKat, noting the smoke trailing from his own jet. With a growl he turned to advance
on the fallen SWAT Kat before him.

"You and your stupid jet!" he snarled, hands glowing with electricity as he stepped
toward Razor.

A sharp crack on the back of his head sent him to his knees.

Razor dazedly shook his head, looking up to see Callie standing over Hard Drive
with a short two-by-four she'd picked up. Behind her, two Enforcers looked on in

"That's for T-Bone," Callie announced.

"Thanks, Miss Briggs," Razor muttered, shaking his head as he got to his feet and
moved toward Hard Drive.

"No problem," Callie returned. She smiled. "I can't let you guys have all the fun."

At her feet, Hard Drive groaned and stretched a glowing hand toward Razor.
Callie rapped him on the head.

"One lump or two?" she asked sweetly, flashing a glowing smile at the back of the
scrawny kat's head.

With a moan Hard Drive dropped his hand to support his throbbing head.

Callie held the two-by-four ready to strike again as Razor warily approached him.

"Alright Hard Drive - enough games," Razor snapped, lifting his right arm.

Hard Drive raised his head to find himself looking up the triple barrel of Razor's
glovatrix, Razor's angry scowl just above it. Over Razor's shoulder he could see the
hovering TurboKat. Further, behind him was a she-kat with a two-by-four and a great

"I give up!" he moaned.

The air was suddenly filled with noise as two Enforcer helicopters exploded from
their hiding places in back alleys, advancing on the towering skyscrapers from two sides.

"Incoming!" T-Bone yelled to Razor over the radio.

As Razor jerked his head around to see the choppers, Hard Drive saw his chance.

"You win....*this* time," he snarled, a strange smile crossing his features before he
was engulfed in blue light.

Razor looked back in time to see him vanish in a flash of blue that flew into a
power line running into the building. Hearing a crackle of electricity above, he jerked his
head up in time to see the blue jet also metamorphosize into a mass of blue light and
vanish after Hard Drive.

"*Crud*!" Razor growled, lowering his glovatrix. He could a staticy echo of his
words vibrating the speaker in his helmet as T-Bone voiced his own frustration. "Now,
how're we gonna get that suit?!" he groaned, sighing heavily.

"That's the least of your worries right now."

Following the sound of the voice, Razor looked to see the shorter of the two
Enforcers leveling his gun on him.

Felina's chopper had just reached the scene and was hovering behind them.


"Crud," Felina mouthed, seeing no escape for the SWAT Kats.

She watched Callie take a step toward the two officers.


"Hold it! He came here to....!" Callie started to protest.

"They're criminals, Ma'am - and we're bringin' 'em in!" snapped the short, stocky
Wilson, gun ready as he stepped toward Razor, eager to get the SWAT Kat in handcuffs.

"I'm sorry, Deputy Mayor," Officer McFurland, the Enforcer Callie had kicked,
apologized, eyeing his over-eager companion and glancing back over his shoulder at her,
"but we have orders." He turned his head back to look at Razor. "Hoped I'd never have
to be one of the ones who brought you guys in," he muttered, genuine apology written on
his face as he advanced on the SWAT Kat, slowly pulling his blaster from its holster.

"Don' worry about it," Razor returned. He grinned, hearing the steady thrum of
the TurboKat's VTOL fans just behind him. "Just..... DUCK!"

Razor dropped to his stomach as T-Bone opened fire with the cement machine gun
on the advancing Enforcer, knocking him back and pinning him to the roof.

With an incredulous smile, McFurland raised his gun aloft, a little higher than
necessary. He was rewarded for his efforts as a well-aimed glob of cement knocked it

"Oops," he muttered, spreading his hands wide, palms up to display their
emptiness. "Too bad."

"Too bad for Feral alright," Razor returned, trading a knowing smile with the
Enforcer and Callie as he leapt to the cable T-Bone lowered before him.

"Razor!" Callie shouted, suddenly remembering something. "Is T-Bone

"He's fine, Miss Briggs," Razor assured as he vanished into the TurboKat's tiny
cargo bay.

No sooner was Razor safely aboard the TurboKat than Feral's chopper reached the

"See ya', Commander!" T-Bone's voice called over the radio as the TurboKat
vanished into the distance.

Callie watched it, glancing at the choppers and wondering just what was being
passed between them via the radio. She shuddered; better she didn't know. Feral was
probably in a *really* foul mood, having lost both the SWAT Kats and Hard Drive. She
looked toward McFurland. He caught her glance.

"Think I'm gonna get it for that?" he asked with a wry smile.

"I'll put in a good word," Callie offered with her own faint grin.


Felina was waiting for the explosion Callie had predicted. The radio before her
crackled, and she tensed.

"Lieutenant, pick up McFurland and the Deputy Mayor - the two of you get her
home. I'll pick up Wilson and get him back to Headquarters to clean that crud off him,"
was Feral's only comment, his voice carrying an almost relieved quality.

Felina smiled and set about carrying out her orders.


Razor stretched as best he could in the cramped space of the cockpit, now back in
his familiar position at the rear of the cockpit, his seat being the only one accessible from
the cargo bay. His stretching revealed several protesting muscles as well as the aching
beginning of a few nice bruises. Yawning, he smiled briefly at the memory of the young
Enforcer who'd helped them escape. His thoughts wandered farther back to his meeting
with Hard Drive. The orange kat snickered to himself as he remembered the look on Hard
Drive's face when the TurboKat had started 'flying itself'.

"So, how was my acting back there?" he asked T-Bone.

There was no response. Razor glanced down at the screen in front of him. T-
Bone's face conveyed some form of mesmerized joy, his mouth upturned in a wide smile,
eyes squeezed shut.


T-Bone was lost in the most amazing exhilaration he'd ever felt. He could *feel*
the air streaming around the TurboKat's nose, rushing under the wings, lifting them. He
could feel that he was.... *flying*. Flying like one feels in dreams - that amazing,
weightless floating.... but *far* faster.... rocketing across the sky, skyscrapers passing
below in a schematic blur. He could feel... himself.... the TurboKat.... him!



Razor's voice finally reached him and he snapped out of it.

"It's *incredible*, Razor," he murmured, his voice dazed.

"What's incredible?! What're you doing?!" Razor demanded.

"I can *feel* it, Razor. Feel myself... flying."

Razor's head sank to his chest briefly, mute in his misery as he realized what had
yet to hit T-Bone.

T-Bone sensed the response he couldn't see. His schematic face frowned in
confusion. Then, the reason for Razor's reaction hit him. He reeled with the thought. He
could *feel* the TurboKat. The metal outer frame of the jet had become like his own
skin. He had merged with the jet... maybe completely.... maybe *permanently*.

"I.... it's..... I.... Ah, *crud*."

As T-Bone felt a certain despair filling him, he suddenly became aware of
something else nagging at the back of his mind.

'Commence command protocol one.'

As clear as a voice speaking to him, T-Bone heard the words.

"What?" he muttered.

The thought tugged at the fringe of his consciousness, almost a subconscious urge.
Vaguely, a part of his mind registered and understood the order. But it was like a separate
part of his mind, connected to but somehow not really a part of him.

Confused, T-Bone shoved the thought aside and started to speak again. Whatever
the thought was, he had more important things on his mind. As soon as his attention
centered on something else the thought returned in force.

"T-Bone, what is it?"

Razor knew instinctively that the confusion and conflict on T-Bone's face was
something even more than the thought of being permanently fused with the jet.

"I don't.... It...."

T-Bone broke off. Receiving the mental transmission for the muscles T-Bone was
no longer composed of, the dimensional radar's readout converted the electric signal to
images as the on-screen image of T-Bone's face shook its head as though trying to shake
off a clinging annoyance.



Faintly, T-Bone heard Razor calling. His friend's voice seemed far away, muted
and drowned by that nagging little thought that had grown to an imperious command.

T-Bone found himself unable to answer Razor. He couldn't do anything. The
commanding "voice" dominated his thoughts, driving out any other coherent idea.
Desperately, T-Bone tried to collect his thoughts to fight back. With all his strength he
focused on one word - 'NO', - repeating it incessantly. Everything he had was poured
into mentally screaming that single word. Yet, his efforts only seemed to make the
commanding voice intensify. It grew more insistent.

As the big SWAT Kat struggled, everything around him faded away, he saw
nothing, heard nothing, his entire attention focused on what had become a battle for
control of his mind itself.


Razor sat helplessly in his seat. T-Bone's face on the screen before him was
contorted in pain, but there was nothing he could do. T-Bone obviously couldn't hear him
- or was unable to respond if he could.

Without warning, Razor felt the TurboKat rise abruptly into a vertical climb.

"T-Bone! What're you doing?" he gasped. He had hardly finished the sentence
before the jet went into a high-speed upside-down loop, g-forces pressing Razor into his
seat. Razor grit his teeth at the sickening sensation. He relaxed as the jet leveled out,
heading toward the bay. His relief was short-lived.

The TurboKat suddenly dove, plunging toward a skyscraper.

Razor gasped, eyes focusing on an air conditioning unit on top of the building that
steadily grew until it seemed to fill his field of vision. Then, engines screaming, the jet's
nose again pointed skyward as it rose into another climb, looping again.

Razor felt his stomach lurch this time. The speeds were greater, the loop tighter.

"T-Bone!" he screamed as he felt the jet rise almost before completing the loop.

This time Razor heard a roar louder than the screaming engines filling his head as
the blood rushed to it. His vision blurred and dulled, blacking out completely at the
corners, becoming fuzzy like poor TV reception at the center. Desperately, he fought for
his consciousness. It seemed like hours before he felt the jet level out.

Razor waited, heart thumping wildly. Would the jet climb again? He couldn't take
much more. The g's he was pulling would undo the best.

The jet held steady and Razor spared a glance at the screen before him. T-Bone's
face was strained, contorted,.... hurting.

"T-Bone! What's going on?! What're you doing?!" Razor gasped.

"I'm...not.....it....AGHH!" T-Bone screamed in pain. "Razor! Get outta here!
Eject *now*! I can't keep....! It.....!"


Razor gasped as T-Bone's face on the screen blurred.

"Go.... *NOW*!" T-Bone shouted.

Razor heard the click of the canopy release triggering a split-second before air
rushed into the cockpit. No sooner had he registered the action than he felt himself being
catapulted into the air. For several seconds he was paralyzed in the incredible rush of
speed as his seat shot out of the jet. Feeling the paralyzing g-forces lessening, Razor
jerked out his oxygen mask, shoving it over his nose. He reached a finger down to the
two buttons on the end of his seat's right armrest, pushing the left one. Hearing the small
jets that would keep the seat airborne fire successfully, he grabbed the handgrips that rose
beside the seat and looked for the TurboKat.

It was some distance below him, continuing a wobbly course toward the bay.
Razor watched as it abruptly jerked to the right, turning back toward him. Equally
abruptly, it jerked to the right again, traveling in a full circle.

"I gotta get down fast - T-Bone's losing with whatever he's fighting," Razor
muttered to himself, angling his ejektor seat downward. Quickly, he searched for a
narrow opening between buildings. Seeing none, he sent the ejektor seat into a dive,
plunging down among the towering structures. He could hear the TurboKat's engines
grow louder as it turned back towards him.


"Lemme guess - SWAT Kat fan?" Callie asked, tapping McFurland on the
shoulder from behind.

They had been flying over the city in silence for several minutes, Felina piloting,
McFurland filling the position of copilot but lost in his own thoughts. Of course, he
wasn't much of a copilot anyway; all Enforcers learned the basics of flying a chopper in a
one week crash course at the academy. Only those in flight training ever became
competent pilots.

"Yeah,.... I mean,.... I know what the Commander says about 'em, but....," he
mumbled sheepishly, first looking at Callie's smiling face and then looking down at the
instruments before him.

"But he's pretty talented at being a jerk when somebody can do the job better than
his force," Felina finished with a small smile.

"Well, I wouldnt've said *that*, but.... yeah, the SWAT Kats're awesome,"
McFurland added, eyes taking on a dreamy look.

"Wanna be a fighter jock, McFurland?" Felina asked, studying him. She was
somewhat surprised to realize that he was her own age, if not older. She briefly wondered
why a kat like him would have such a low rank. He seemed like the sort of kat who
would quickly distinguish himself. His response to her question snapped her from her

"Love to,...," McFurland responded, cracking a wide grin as he added, "but I'd
hurl on the way up and keep on hurling for the rest of the flight.... when I wasn't
screaming "I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die!"

Felina and Callie both laughed at him.

"I'm serious," McFurland returned, giving both such a perfectly straight, pathetic
face that they burst into laughter again.

This time McFurland joined them.

"What in the....!" Felina gasped without warning as she turned her attention back
to her instruments.

Following her gaze, McFurland looked at the instrument panel.

"Ah, Lieutenant Feral, if that altimeter was reading correctly, we'd be dead in
about a second," he joked nervously, watching the altimeter's needle drop to zero.

He'd hardly finished the sentence when red warning lights lit in succession across
the panel.

"McFurland, radio HQ - we're gonna make an emergency landing - NOW!" Felina
shouted to the other officer, who had already snatched up the mike and hit the radio

"It won't work!" McFurland shouted back, throwing the useless mike at the
blinking lights of the control panel.

Callie gripped the back of his seat tightly, reaching a hand toward her purse

"Okay, we get on the ground, then we'll worry about it," Felina returned, scanning
the rooftops below.

Sensing that the helicopter was having some form of total electrical malfunction,
she quickly hit the button for the huge spotlight mounted on the front of the chopper,
praying it would work. Landing without any form of light to guide by would be *very*
difficult. Felina glanced through the glass in front of her. The only light visible was the
dim glow of the street below.

"Shoot," she growled.

Bright lights below suddenly caught her attention. Felina looked just ahead. The
wide four-lane street below was awash with light. In its center was an Enforcer chopper
surrounded by gray cruisers, headlights trained on the helicopter, emergency lights
flashing. Cars were packed in a tangle snarl behind the choppers. Even at this hour,
traffic was bad.

"What's goin' on down there?" McFurland asked, leaning forward to see below

"We'll find out after I land this thing," Felina snapped in response, scanning ahead
for a less crowded part of the street on which to land. Abruptly, her controls locked.
"What in the...!" Felina yelped, as she felt the steering column become rigid before
suddenly jerking forward out of her hands and heading the chopper for the street below.

"Lieutenant Feral, what're...?" McFurland started.

"It's not me - the crazy chopper's gotten a mind of its own!" Felina snarled,
grabbing the steering controls and trying to pull the column back. "Arrrhhh! I can't budge
it!" she growled. "McFurland! Try your controls!" she shouted, reaching forward to slam
a finger to the button that would give power to the other set of steering controls.

McFurland watched for the light on the main console that would indicate he had

"It's not giving it to me!" he muttered, as the light stayed dull.

"Try it anyway!" Felina shouted, breathing heavily through clenched teeth as her
fingers tightened around the steering controls before her.

McFurland grabbed his steering column and experimentally pulled it back towards
himself. There was no response from the chopper. He looked over at Felina, shaking his

By this time the chopper was hovering just above street level. Its rotors slowed,
holding it steady over the first car that had found itself stopping to let an Enforcer
helicopter land. Seeing several Enforcers running towards them, Felina threw open her

"I need these cars outta here - NOW! All my systems've gone crazy! I have *no*
control!" she bellowed above the roar of the rotors and the angry honking now audible
from the street. "Send someone around to the other side. I've got the Deputy Mayor, and
I'm gettin' her outta this thing before anything else happens."

"Roger that," an Enforcer shouted, his insignia indicating he was a captain. He
waved a hand at several Enforcers behind him. "You heard her," he shouted, "go help the
Deputy Mayor out. The rest of you," his hand indicated a group to his right, "help me get
these cars movin'." Finished, he reached for his handset, raising it to his mouth.
"Commander, your chopper trouble seems to run in the family," he announced into the

McFurland hurried to the chopper's large side door and slid it open.

"C'mon, Deputy Mayor," he called to Callie, stretching a hand towards her as he
saw several Enforcers waiting below.

Felina waited impatiently as McFurland put an arm around Callie and gently
handed her down from the helicopter into the waiting arms of the Enforcers below.

"She's clear," he announced to Felina, turning to join her at the front of the

Felina nodded.

"Good. You clear out too; I'll stay and see if I can set 'er down."

McFurland shook his head.

"I'm stayin' in case anything happens," he declared decisively.

"That's an order, *Officer*," Felina returned, dark eyes narrowing.

"Ma'am," McFurland plopped into the copilot's seat, "I'm stayin'."

Felina shook her head, the shadow of a smile creeping across her face.

"Alright," she relented, settling herself into the pilot's seat to await developments.
They had several minutes of impatient waiting ahead of them before the Enforcers below
would able to create enough room for Felina to land the chopper. As they watched the
scene below in silence, the helicopters occupants started to feel sorry for the Enforcers
redirecting cars and dealing with the irritable, confused drivers.

As she watched the scene, Felina's earlier thoughts on McFurland's rank returned.
Hesitantly, she glanced at McFurland. He seemed like a very candid kat who wouldn't
mind the question even if its answer was that he'd been demoted for misconduct. Still,
one never knew... Curiosity eating away at her, she settled on what she did best - the
direct approach.

"McFurland, how come you're still just an officer at your age?" she asked bluntly.

He ducked his head for a minute, and Felina instantly gave herself a mental slap for
being so rude. Before she could stumble through an apology, however, McFurland had
raised his head to treat her to a quirky little smile.

"Well, I've only been out of the Academy for about a year," he mumbled
sheepishly. "It took me a while to figure out just exactly what I wanted to do in life... and

"Point taken," Felina returned, looking a tad sheepish herself. Before she could
apologize, the voice of a megaphone-amplified Enforcer boomed from the street below,
indicating that it was time to land the helicopter. "Well, here we go," Felina breathed,
gripping the steering controls again. To her surprise, the chopper responded immediately.
Mouth hanging agape for a minute or two, Felina set the chopper down neatly, sharing a
sigh of relief with McFurland as she cut the engine.

"I think I'm sticking to the jets from now on," Felina commented to no one in
particular as she unstrapped and opened the door at her side.


The lieutenant looked up sharply to see Commander Feral striding toward them.

"Uncle?" she muttered, surprised to him. "What're you doing here?" she asked,
jumping out of the chopper as Feral stepped up beside it.

"My chopper had a total electrical failure - then, it decided to get a mind of its own
and took us off course. It finally *let* me land here," he replied in a growl, glancing
beyond her to see that everyone else in the chopper was accounted for.

"Sounds *awfully* familiar," Felina returned with narrowed eyes, jumping down
out of the chopper.

Feral growled.

"Something funny's going on around here," he rumbled, yanking out his handset.
"I'll radio Headquarters and get a crew out here to get these things out of the street."


Razor cautiously slunk out of an alleyway, glancing upward. Nothing, not even
the sound of distant engines. He frowned.

"Where'd it go?" he asked himself quietly, crinkling his nose at the foul aroma
wafting from the alley's overflowing trashcans. He was worried for T-Bone. The jet had
nearly overtaken him just as he'd plunged into the alley. Even as he'd descended, he'd seen
it suddenly bank sharply and streak away.

Cautiously, Razor reached up to depress a tiny button just by his ear on his helmet.
The tiny but powerful radio within clicked on, speakers mounted beside each of his
earholes crackling to life.

"T-Bone, do you copy?" Razor murmured to the tiny microphone near the front of
his helmet. Faintly, he thought he heard words. Suddenly, the speakers blared with a
string of garbled syllables, almost drowned by static and a horrible ear-piercing scream
that intensified until Razor slammed his hand down on the button to cut the radio off.
"Crud!" he growled, more worried than ever for his friend.

Hearing something above, he looked up in time to see an Enforcer chopper
thunder overhead, flying low.

"Too low,... unless it's after somebody,"Razor muttered, watching the helicopter.
Then, the wail of sirens reached his ears. "Somethin's goin' on," the SWAT Kat
commented to himself, setting out at a jog in the direction the chopper had been flying.


"I don't know what's wrong with it, Sir," a surprised Enforcer announced to
Commander Feral after his fourth attempt to restart his cruiser. "It won't do anything - I
can't even get the lights to cut off!"

"They're all that way," Felina reported, stepping up behind the Commander. "So
are the cars back there," she added, pointing to the snarl of traffic just beyond the police

"And I can't radio Headquarters!" Feral growled, his face set in a tight scowl. "I
want to know what's going on here!"

Having finished his eavesdropping, McFurland turned away from the irate
Commander and stepped over to Callie, who was leaning against one of the cruisers,
looking tired and worried.

"Having fun yet?" he asked.

She responded with a tiny smile.

The street had taken on a surreal, otherworldly look in the bright headlights and
ceaseless flashing red and blue lights of the Enforcer cruisers. Crowds had gathered to
stare at the scene, talking to themselves, some shouting questions to the harried Enforcers
who shot back only curt replies.

Callie paused briefly to take in the scene before replying. Finally, she answered,
"Well, it *definitely* beats attending one of the Mayor's golf games."

"Looks just like a scene from an action movie or something, doesn't it?"
McFurland grinned. "All we need is a few good explosions."

Suddenly, a distant roar reached their ears. Both kats looked up to see the
TurboKat hurtling down from above. It thundered down between the buildings, just
above the wide street. As the kats on the street below watched in horror, the jet launched
a missile at one of the Enforcer cruisers.

Enforcers leapt out of the way as the crowd on the sidewalk screamed in terror.

"Why'd I even open my big mouth?!" McFurland yelped, throwing Callie to the
ground as the cruiser exploded.

Callie hit the asphalt hard. As she did so she felt a strange sensation, strange and
familiar. She gasped as she recognized the feeling. That was all she had time for before
she was engulfed in blue light.

McFurland yelped as he felt an electric tingle run up his arm, jerking it away from

"What in the...?!" he started, but broke off in a gasp as he realized that Callie was


Razor reached the scene seconds later, fighting his way through the panicked
crowd that had been watching the Enforcers' troubles earlier. As he broke free of the
stampede, he stopped, stunned. Before him, Enforcers were scrambling to shelter, some
making it, some being slammed to the pavement and pinned in the thick globs of cement
globs that were raining down from the TurboKat's cement machine gun. The kats trapped
in the blocked traffic were abandoning their cars and running to the nearest open business
along the street. It was a scene of total chaos.

As cement streaked past him, the SWAT Kat ducked into a canopied doorway just
off the sidewalk and slammed a hand onto the button on top of his helmet again.

"T-Bone, *please* - what're you doing?!" he shouted into the receiver. Only static
answered him. Razor cut the radio off and turned to peer out at the street beyond. His
eyes came to rest on a familiar gray-furred Enforcer several feet away, crouched behind a
car. He smiled briefly at the memory the kat brought to mind. Ears suddenly catching a
sound above, he looked up to see the TurboKat banking and climbing to swing around for
another pass. Smile replaced by a firmly set line, he jumped from his hiding place and
raced to the tall Enforcer.

McFurland's head jerked up as the SWAT Kat came up beside him. His face
twisted in confusion.

"Mind tellin' me what's goin' on?" he asked.

Razor ignored the question.

"Where's Miss Briggs?" he asked.

"She disappeared," McFurland returned, lowering his head in shame. "I... I was
right here with her... she just vanished in this blue light..... like Hard Drive....."
McFurland's head jerked up, yellow-green eyes narrowing dangerously. Razor met his

"Of course," the SWAT Kat murmured, suddenly remembering that strange,
almost pleased, smile Hard Drive had given him before he disappeared. Angrily, he
growled, "We were *supposed* to rescue Callie.... or think we could rescue her anyway."

"But why?"

Razor glanced up at the TurboKat.

"I think I know," he rumbled, the growl in his voice deepening.

"Razor! What's with the TurboKat?!" Felina's shout abruptly interrupted the
conversation. He looked to see her several feet away ducking behind her chopper.

"Some 'technical difficulties', Lieutenant," Razor shouted back.

Feral appeared, jumping down out of the open side door to Felina's chopper.

"You!" he gasped, seeing Razor.

"Easy, Uncle - he's not doing it - the jet's malfunctioning," Felina told him sternly
before he could say more.

"Just stay out of the way, SWAT Kat." Feral spat the words 'SWAT Kat' as he
eyed Razor with distrust. "The Enforcers will handle this."

The Commander ran around the chopper into the open street as the TurboKat's
engines once more grew louder.

Razor looked up. It had taken too long in its turn; it could move faster than that.
He smiled faintly. T-Bone was still there, fighting. Then, something flashed across his

"...'handle it...'," he repeated Feral's words, his memory suddenly seeing the great
bazooka that Feral had been carrying. "NO!" he gasped, vaulting over the hood of the
Enforcer cruiser and racing into the street.


McFurland watched the SWAT Kat race into the street, wondering just what was
going on. He was suddenly aware of a faint sound, strangely audible above the chaos
around him. His ears pricked, twitching around toward the high-pitched sound.
Frowning, he turned to search for its source.


Feral had gathered what remained of his Enforcers and positioned them behind a
cruiser parked at the center of the intersection. He himself had backed a little away from
the car and was leveling the bazooka's barrel in the TurboKat's general direction.

"Get ready men!" he commanded as the TurboKat shot into a loop before quite
reaching them for the second time. He was vaguely beginning to believe that scrawny
SWAT Kat; this jet was acting bizarre.

"I want to take that thing out *in the air* - as far above MegaKat City as

The TurboKat thundered back towards them, streaking down from far above.

"NO!!!" Razor screamed, suddenly jumping in front of Feral and knocking his gun
away from the jet. "You *can't* shoot it down!"

"Out of the way, SWAT Kat - I have a job to do and I don't care how attached you
are to your *little toy*!" Feral snapped.

"No, Commander, you don't understand! T-Bone,.....!"

"Commander,....!" An Enforcer's warning shout cut Razor off.

Instinctively, the SWAT Kat jumped to the side. Even as he did so, he felt a rush
of air. Razor looked back to see Feral pinned down in a monstrous blob of cement.

"Men, open fire...NOW!" the Commander shouted as struggled to get to his feet.

Razor watched the TurboKat loop to make another pass at the street. Catching
movement out of the corner of his eye, he turned to see Enforcers aiming their blasters at
the jet. His shout of "NO!" was drowned in the jet's thunder as it hurtled down on the
street, a small barrage of Enforcer energy blasts bouncing off its fuselage. As he watched,
Razor breathed a prayer of thanks that he'd just gotten that new armor installed.

Abruptly, a flash of movement caught his eye. He jerked his head around to see a
nearby Enforcer carefully taking aim at the incoming jet with a powerful energy rifle.
Without thinking, Razor tackled the Enforcer, slamming them both to the pavement. The
two grappled for several seconds before Razor finally knocked the rifle from the other
kat's hand with such force that it skidded under a nearby Enforcer cruiser.

"So this *is* your plan!" growled the Enforcer, getting to his feet and grabbing the
front of Razor's flight suit. He wadded the blue material into a ball, gripping it in his fist
as he drew the other back for a punch to the SWAT Kat's jaw.

"No,..." Razor returned curtly, his sweeping kick knocking the Enforcer to the
asphalt and freeing him, "it's not."

Turning from the Enforcer, Razor whirled to face the incoming TurboKat as he
heard the roar of its engines growing closer. Even as he turned, he gasped, recognizing a
familiar sound. He watched in horror as a matchead missile streaked toward Feral's
chopper. The chopper exploded in a fireball that flung Razor back. The SWAT Kat
looked like no more than a doll as he hurtled across the hood of a nearby cruiser.

The "doll" suddenly came to life as Razor flipped in midair, executing a flawless
handspring off the hood and somersaulting to land in a low crouch. He got to his feet
slowly, blinking and gagging at the painful heat and noxious fumes from the inferno before
him. He stared in horror at the flaming remains. Then, he glanced toward the TurboKat.
It had stopped and was hovering in the air above the street as though... waiting.


McFurland's sharp eyes had finally caught on a blinking red light. Cautiously, the
Enforcer advanced on the light to find what appeared to be a video surveillance camera
attached to the side of the nearest building. He watched as the lens of the camera lit with
a blue light. McFurland jerked his head around to see where it was aimed. It pointed out
into the street. As he surveyed the street, the Enforcers, cruisers, the TurboKat,
everything, faded into the distance. Only the blue pinpoints of light that seemed to
encircle the area, the area in which two Enforcer choppers had landed themselves, were
visible to his eyes. The gray-furred kat's eyes widened as he remembered Callie's sudden


There was no time to shout a warning, no time to do anything. The entire
intersection was engulfed in electric flame as blue light streaked from the camera-like
devices, meeting in the air above the intersection with a sizzling crack.

"What...?!" Razor gasped, throwing up his arm to shield his eyes.

The light vanished as suddenly as it had appeared. McFurland's wide eyes
watched as the mass of light streaked into the air, connecting with the line supporting the
street lights above the intersection and disappearing. Slowly, he lowered his gaze to the
street below, blinking. He gasped as the floating blob of color dominating his vision, a
brilliant after-image of the light show of seconds ago, faded out of existence, and he saw
the street. It was empty of life. The flaming chopper was still sending clouds of dark
smoke into the sky, the emergency lights of the Enforcer cruisers were still futilely
flashing, but there wasn't an Enforcer in sight.

"Uncle!" Felina shouted in shock, leaping from behind her chopper and charging
into the empty street.

"Lieutenant!" Razor yelped, recovering from his own shock and diving after her,
tackling her and throwing them both to the pavement as a laser blast from the TurboKat
sizzled through the air over their heads.

Rolling away from Felina, Razor looked up at the TurboKat. His eyes widened as
he realized that the jet's lasers were probably targeting them again. The TurboKat's lasers,
positioned within the wings, were impossible to track.

"Hey, Mr. Jet!"

Razor and Felina jerked toward the voice. Officer McFurland stood beside the
Enforcer cruiser which he'd been crouching behind seconds ago, his face split in a nervous

The TurboKat rotated in midair to face the gray-furred Enforcer.

"Is your engine running?" he announced playfully, tensing to leap away.

The TurboKat did nothing, hovering in place as the faintest hint of amusement
flitted through T-Bone's mind, for an instant breaking through to him, breaking through
the wall of commands.

"Now!" Felina heard Razor whisper in her ear as he jumped to his feet. She
understood immediately and followed him, leaping to her feet and racing toward the
nearest car.

The moment passed. T-Bone saw the two moving shapes through the dimensional
radar's 360 degree view. The command protocols snapped back into his mind, overriding
any thought or emotion.

The two kats leapt across the car's hood even as a spray of laser fire showered
around them.

On a sudden thought, Razor slowly raised his head to peer over the hood. It was
unscathed save a few small discolorations.

"He's not shooting to kill," he murmured.

"Let's get outta here before 'he' starts. By the way, is 'Turbo' *his* first name?"

Razor followed the sound of the voice to see McFurland slip up beside them. He
didn't get a chance to respond to the comment as Felina suddenly hissed in his ear.

"There," she announced, pointing to an alleyway several feet to their right.

Razor nodded agreement. "On three," he said softly.

"Three!" the threesome announced together, leaping to their feet to dash into the
alleyway, red beams from the TurboKat slicing the air around them.

"So what'd you do to tick your jet off?" McFurland asked as the three kats raced
down the narrow alleyway.

"Long story," Razor replied, skidding to a stop by a dimly lit doorway.

The three kats stood in silence for several minutes, listening. Abruptly, they heard
the TurboKat's roar far above. Fearfully, they pressed themselves against the brick at their
backs. The sound faded in seconds.

With a thoughtful frown, Razor raised his glovatrix and punched a button on its
side. The red triangle atop its flat surface slid away to reveal a glowing screen. A bright
green blip was moving steadily toward the screen's far right corner.

"It's moving away," he breathed.

"Okay, hold it - what's going on?!" Felina demanded. "That thing's after us - jets
don't do that on their own!"

"Only if they have a mind of their own," Razor returned softly.

"WHAT?! Razor, I know that thing's high-tech, but that's....!"

Razor cut her off.

"Me an' T-Bone had a run-in with Hard Drive at the power plant last night. His
suit had a malfunction - the long and short is: T-Bone got trapped inside the TurboKat
and...merged with its computer. Now,...something's happened - something else took
control. T-Bone ejected me...he was in pain - fighting.... whatever." Razor paused. "But
it's not *T-Bone* that's doing this! I *know* it's not!"

Felina nodded her agreement quietly. She might not exactly *know* the SWAT
Kats, but she trusted them. Felina Feral threw as much of her stubborn will into defending
those she believed in as she did into battling supervillains.

"I believe you."

"Ditto," McFurland jumped in. "But ah.... will he - it - start bombing the general
area to get to us?" he asked in concern.

Razor shook his head.

"I don't know - I don't know what 'it' *is*!"

"Well, we know one thing - we can't stay here all night," Felina put in. "We gotta
find out what happened to my uncle and the other Enforcers!"

"I can give you one clue on that one: Hard Drive," McFurland put in. "They
disappeared the same way he does using that suit of his - the same way the Deputy Mayor
disappeared right in front of me!"

"So *he's* behind this!" Felina growled incredulously. "I wouldnt've thought that
little weasel was capable of all this!"

"He may not be alone," Razor muttered ominously, his face settling into a
thoughtful scowl. "What're the chances of Hard Drive comin' up with all this?" he added,
scowl deepening. "I'm willin' to bet a month's worth of tuna all these electronic
'malfunctions' are tied into it too."

"So, we can't trust *anything* electronic?" Felina muttered. "It even affects
*cars*!" she added under her breath, answering her own question.

"That's about the size of it, Lieutenant," Razor agreed wryly, shaking his head.
"But I think I know someone who can help us. We need to know what's affecting the
electronics... and how to destroy it. If anyone can figure that out, it's Professor Hackle. I
suppose you've...."

"I've heard of him," Felina nodded.

Razor acknowledged her statement with a glance and a nod and continued. "He's
got a place down along the coast if we can just get to it."

"But how do we get there without a car?" McFurland asked.

"Hmmm...." Razor frowned in thought. Something flashed across his mind.
Cautiously, he padded down the alleyway toward its opening on the street opposite the
war zone they'd left behind. Reaching the end of the alley, he peered out into the street
beyond. It was quiet. Somewhat reassured but still on the alert, Razor stepped onto the
asphalt. He could hear the two Enforcers following him quietly.

"Razor! What're you...?!" he heard Felina hiss.

"Just a minute, Lieutenant - I think I know where to find some transportation,"
Razor replied. Glancing down the street, his sharp yellow-orange eyes lit on exactly what
he was looking for. "Bingo," he whispered, eyeing up his prize with satisfaction.

"I thought this was nightmare.... it's suddenly become a beautiful dream."

Razor looked to see McFurland beside him, eyeing the car he had found with a

"What is it?" Felina asked, coming up behind them. Then, she saw it too.
"Oohhh, *yeah*," she muttered with a smile.

(Author's Comment: This was too silly to actually write, but just imagine the car bathed in
golden light as the sound of heavenly voices fills the air.)

Several feet away, on the opposite side of the street, bright streetlights glinted
from the sleek hood of a gorgeous classic Mustang.

Razor cautiously walked across the street to the beautiful red car.

"Man, I figured I could find a clunker,...but this....," he murmured, noting the
long-since expired parking meter beside the car. He turned to face the Enforcers. "The
way I figure it this virus - or whatever - can probably only affect electronics - stuff with
circuitry." He patted the car's hood. "This baby doesn't have anything complex like that.
I just hope it has an engine," he added, turning to the car's door.

"Yeah," McFurland agreed. "Who'd leave this beauty sitting around? Or, better
yet, *why* would they?"

"We're about to find out," Razor returned, sliding into the driver's seat, having
easily picked the door's simple lock with his glovatrix's tool. In seconds the SWAT Kat's
practiced hands had hot-wired the ignition. The car's engine came to life with a growl,
settling to a smooth purr. Razor stepped out and, ears tuned to the engine, circled the car,
studying it with a trained eye. "Nothin's wrong with it," he muttered incredulously.

"Then, let's go," Felina announced, somehow having found her way to the driver's
side door. Both tomkats eyed her darkly. "Ladies first," she purred sweetly, then slid into
the driver's seat.

Razor and McFurland traded a dark glance and, with joint sighs, headed for the
passenger's door.


Hard Drive stamped a booted foot impatiently as he watched the TurboKat
descend onto the helipad before him. Scowling, he cast a glance back into the dark
opening of the maintenance hangar that topped Enforcer Headquarters. He scowled even
more fiercely as he turned to stalk out to the jet.

"Open up," he demanded as he stepped up to the boarding ladder built into the side
of the cockpit area. Obediently, the TurboKat's canopy slid away, opening the cockpit. It
*seemed* docile enough.

Hard Drive clambered into the jet and strapped in. His entire demeanor was
nervous, his movements jerky as his eyes constantly swept across the controls.

"Let's go," he ordered, as satisfied as he was going to get.

"Roger," T-Bone's voice rumbled from a speaker somewhere, distorted and faint.
As the engines fired the SWAT Kat's face appeared on the screen before Hard Drive.

"No tricks," Hard Drive snapped to the image. T-Bone's face showed no
acknowledgment of his comment as the jet lifted off the roof. Hard Drive relaxed a bit.
"I'm here to make sure you take care of your little friend, SWAT Kat," he cooed, tensing
even as the comment escaped his lips, expecting some retaliation.

There was no response. The face on the screen remained blank, unemotional as
the rough voice asked, "Course?"

"Downtown,... follow your partner's homing signal. You can track each other,
right?" Hard Drive purred, completely relaxed now, reveling in his power over the SWAT

"Roger,...... heading downtown..... tracking signal...."

"Good. Now, I want you to transmit that frequency...," Hard Drive continued.


"This is *weird*," McFurland muttered, eyeing the empty streets darkly. Cars,
some with flashing lights and blaring horns were parked everywhere, lining every
sidewalk. Apparently, most drivers had been able to angle their cars off the street when
the engines quit. "Looks like everybody's having car trouble."

"Yeah," Felina replied darkly, swerving abruptly to avoid a car that hadn't
managed to get out of the street.

"Ut ut uuh - breaking the speed limit, Lieutenant," Razor joked from the back seat,
tsking reproachfully.

"Like you guys don't with all your jet-powered vehicles," Felina shot back even as
a whining sound filled the air. Seconds later, a flash of bright red streaked past the car.

"What in the....!" Felina gasped, jerking the wheel to the right violently.

"We got company," Razor announced, glancing out the back window of the
Mustang. What looked like a pair of miniature jets were rocketing down the street behind

"What *are* those things?!" McFurland yelped, twisting his head to see out the
rear window.

Felina glanced in the rear view mirror.

"I've seen those!" she shouted, eyes widening. "They're Puma-Dyne's experimental
spy planes!! What're they...?!"

There was a sudden flash of light from one of the jet's twin laser barrels.

Felina broke off and swerved to the left, evading the blast even as she slammed the
accelerator to the floor. With a roar the engine responded, racing down the street. The
jets easily accelerated and overtook them, spraying laser fire all around the speeding
vehicle. One blast sliced through the rear window, melting a wide hole and narrowly
missing Razor.

"We gotta take those things out," the SWAT Kat shouted as he slammed the back
of his glovatrix into the glass, shattering it.

"You got it," McFurland returned, grabbing the handle to roll the window down.

He suddenly felt something jab him in the shoulder. He turned to see Felina
extending her blaster to him.

"Forgetting something?" she asked with a smile.

"Oh, yeah," he muttered sheepishly, reaching a hand down to his empty holster.
His blaster was more or less a permanent part of the roof of MegaKat Towers. "You
mean pointing my finger at them won't have any effect?" he joked, accepting the blaster.
Hearing Felina's dry, "No," behind him he leaned out the window and tried to take aim at
the spy planes, squinting into the wind. Razor was already lining up a shot at the nearest
of the incoming spy planes with his glovatrix as he crouched just below the backseat.

Having flicked the switch that would activate the sensitive electronics in the hand
part of the glovatrix, Razor tightened his fist and squeezed his pointer finger into the
familiar circular pad in his palm. Nothing happened. He heard a blaster discharge to his
left as McFurland fired at the rearmost mini-jet. The SWAT Kat watched as the laser blast
left a smoking hole in the nose of the flying attacker.

"Aim lower - under it - the fuel tank or battery should be just before the engines,"
Razor shouted to the Enforcer, taking aiming again. He tried a different finger this time -
still nothing! As he studied the glovatrix with a sinking heart Razor suddenly noticed a
faint, blinking red light beside the mini-scanner on his glovatrix. "What's that....?!" he
started, but broke off as he suddenly felt something clamp down on his shoulders, gripping
them painfully.

He'd been so engrossed in his malfunctioning glovatrix he'd ignored the mini-jet
swooping in over him while McFurland's attention was centered on its counterpart.

McFurland looked back into the car as he heard the SWAT Kat's strangled cry.
He was treated to a brief glimpse of Razor's churning feet as the mini-jet jerked the
orange-furred kat out the shattered rear window, some form of steel talons digging cruelly
into Razor's flight suit. Without thinking, the Enforcer dove through the opening between
the two front seats after Razor. His outstretched hand only felt the swish of air just
behind the SWAT Kat's feet as the jet shot away with its captive. Simultaneously, his
falling body hit the gear shift on the vinyl console between the seats, throwing the car into
neutral. The Mustang abruptly slowed dramatically even as Felina floored the accelerator
in confusion. The mini-jet still following them shot past the slowing vehicle below.

"You hit the gear shift!" Felina growled, quickly taking her foot off the gas pedal
and turning to search frantically for the gear shift under McFurland. Her groping hands
found it. Hearing something, she glanced up from her search even as McFurland gasped
and started to shout a warning. Her wide eyes found the mini-jet swinging around and
heading back towards them. Desperately, she jerked the stick forward and floored the
accelerator, sending the car into a squealing reverse. Growling, Felina pulled the stick
back, foot never leaving the gas pedal. Engine roaring, the Mustang streaked forward,
shooting under its oncoming attacker.

McFurland quickly pulled himself off the gear shift and scrambled into his seat.

"Do I have to pay for this ride?" he asked with a tiny grin.

Felina glanced over at him. "I think yer gonna have to pay for my *funeral
expenses* at the rate you're going!" she growled.

"So,... ah.... do you prefer mahogany or oak?" McFurland asked as a laser blast
bounced off the rear view mirror beside him. His eyes suddenly widened. "Lieutenant

Felina whirled to face ahead. She was forced over as McFurland dove across the
car to yank the steering wheel to the left.

On two wheels, the car skidded around another parked car, its parking lights
flashing. McFurland released the wheel, giving Felina control again and scooted back
onto his seat asking, "We even?"

"We'll see," Felina responded as she spun the wheel to the right, sending the
Mustang into a screeching turn onto a broad street and forcing McFurland to dig his claws
into the vinyl seat to keep from being thrown against the door.

"Hey! I thought we had to cross the Old MegaKat Bri....?!" McFurland started.

"We're not takin' the bridge," Felina cut him off. "We'd be sittin' ducks. We'll take
the tunnel - maybe that way we'll lose this thing."

McFurland nodded and twisted to find the spy plane. It was closing from behind
again, their sudden change in direction having confused it little. The Enforcer looked back
through the windshield. A series of signs stretched across the road ahead supported by a
steel frame. His eyes read the words of the rightmost sign as they swept under it: "Old
MegaKat Tunnel 1/4 mi."

"Crud!" Felina suddenly shouted.

McFurland jerked his head to see the mini-jet closing fast. Quickly, he rolled down
the window and raised his blaster to fire at it. His shot connected on the jet's belly, the
general area at which Razor had suggested he fire, in a flurry of sparks. The jet faltered
briefly, falling back ever so slightly.

"Yesss!" McFurland crowed, taking aim again. He squeezed the trigger. This
time nothing happened. "Aw, *crud*!" he groaned, flinging the useless blaster at the spy
plane. It bounced easily off the vehicle's armor even as the flying attacker shot forward to
come up alongside the car and ram it.

The Mustang skidded across the road with the impact.

"Great, just great," Felina muttered, realizing that they'd just lost their last weapon
as she took a firmer grip on the wheel.

"Well, at least I think I shorted out the lasers," McFurland suggested hopefully,
scooting away from the door beside him as it was *his* side of the car that was currently
under attack. He looked ahead to see the dimly lit mouth of the tunnel looming before
them. His eyes lit with an idea.

"Lieutenant, drive as close as you can to the wall," he ordered, grabbing the door
handle and bracing himself for the impact as the mini-jet slammed into the side of the car

"Roger," Felina returned with a tight smile, catching onto his idea.

The tunnel mouth grew larger by the second. McFurland's eyes flew from it to the
mini-jet and back.

"C'mon, don't be chicken," he purred to the jet.

As they reached the tunnel entrance the mini-jet rammed them again, forcing the
car away from the concrete walls and making room for itself alongside. As it backed away
to get room for another attack, McFurland threw open the car's heavy metal door,
slamming the spy plane into the concrete walls. The spy plane suddenly found itself
pinned between solid concrete and steel. Ear-piercing metallic screeching echoed through
the tunnel. Despite its armor plating, the mini-jet's right wing bent with a tortured squeal
and it dropped back, away from the Mustang. McFurland looked back quickly to see a
tremendous explosion as the vehicle, unable to fly properly with its damaged wing,
slammed itself into the asphalt.

"YESSSS!!!" both Enforcers shouted, giving each other a high five.

"Score one for the Enforcers!" Felina declared. "*Now*, we're even. Great job,

McFurland bowed his head mournfully for a moment. "Yeah," he sniffed only
half-jokingly. He reached a hand out to pat the dashboard before him affectionately.
"I'm sorry, Baby." The gray-furred kat bowed his head and murmured softly, still only
half-joking, "Oh, the sacrifices we must make!"

Felina grinned at his antics though she agreed whole-heartedly; she could get to
like this car that was for sure. "Maybe the professor can fix her, too, " she commented,
patting the console between them.

McFurland raised his head, a mischievous spark lighting in them. "Then, can we
keep it?!"
"Uhhmm.... we'll see. I have to admit to a little temptation there myself....."

"Ah-ha! The conspiracy is complete!" McFurland announced as they shot out of
the tunnel and down the road beyond. "And now - We're off...to see the wizard!"