I was sad to find just how dead the TY section was on this site.

So I decided to do something about it. Future chapters will be longer. This is just a prologue, after all.

R & R is greatly appreciated. It boosts morale and helps me improve on my writing. :)


PROLOGUE

SMOOTH CRIMINAL

.

"Never gets any easier, eh bro?" - Sly


Pale yellow eyes flicked to and fro, alert, as they searched for any signs of movement within New Burramudgee's Bush Rescue HQ. Pointed ears twitched, trying to hear beyond the constant calls and chatter of Rainbow Cliffs' wild fauna. An inky black tail swished impatiently in the dirt, stirring up a small cloud of dust.

She had to wait for the right opportunity. If she moved in too quickly, she risked being discovered and she couldn't jeopardize this mission for anything.

The light suddenly went out in one of the windows on the ground floor of the HQ, shrouding the impressive establishment in utter darkness.

Now was her chance.

Crouching so low that she was practically crawling on all fours, the feral cat quickly advanced toward the huge building, painfully aware of just how little coverage the area had to offer.

It was as she was approaching the massive, garage door-like entrance to the HQ that she became aware of the ground trembling subtly beneath her paws. Footsteps. Something was approaching. Something big.

The cat dove for one of the surrounding trees, scrambled lithely up the smooth bark and into the cover of the leaves.

A large metallic form strode into view. A robot, nearly as tall as the tree in which she was perched. The robot resembled something of a large feline in build, with a sleek, rounded head in which one glowing red eye was fixed. Its body was colored entirely with brilliant red-orange paint, decorated with several meticulously painted dark brown stripes. Along its spine protruded a dozen or so deactivated missile launchers. This must have been their nighttime security system.

Something buzzed by the cat feline's ear.

"Bloody wonderful how he didn't even mention that thing, eh?" a voice spoke into her earpiece.

A small golden bot hovered by her head, the small blue lensed camera fixed into its front taking in the sight of the robot.

"I'm pretty sure there's more than just that thing he forgot ta mention." The feline retorted bitterly. There were few things that she hated more than her employers and their tendencies to withhold information about her missions. But, that was just to be expected when you go into such a risky business.

The robot passed the tree and rounded the corner, oblivious to both the cat and the bot's presence.

"Some security system!" The voice laughed in her ear. "What kind of guard robot doesn't even have a heat sensor?"

The thief rolled her eyes. Her partner loved to ridicule the inventions of others. It made them feel better about their own inventions, she supposed. She held out a paw. The bot powered down, its blue lens still glowing as it fell into her waiting grasp. She pocketed the bot and slipped out of the tree.

Grabbing the handle protruding from the bottom of the garage door, she strained to pull it up, cringing as it rattled noisily. She released the handle when she had managed to raise the door a few feet and, dropping to the ground, rolled underneath.

She pulled the bot from her pocket and it sprung back to life, a small light on its top flashing on, penetrating the darkness that swallowed the room.

"Pretty nice car." The bot's light glazed over the assortment of impressive vehicles and bunyips contained within the room, settling on the Fourbie. "Not somethin' I would drive personally, but you know..."

The cat did not respond and instead made her way across the room toward the doorway which, given that her employer's blueprints were indeed accurate, would lead toward the office.

The bot buzzed on ahead, scoping out the room to make sure it was safe.

The voice in her earpiece gave the "ok" to move on and the feline slipped around the corner and into the office. She made a beeline for the desk. She practically ripped the drawers from their place, searching for what she had been sent out there to find.

"Um," papers fell like rain around the bot, discarded carelessly by the determined feline. "Could you be makin' any bigger of a mess?"

The cat ignored the voice, producing a small black box from the mess she had created in the room.

"I'm pretty sure any good thief would tell ya that yer not supposed ta leave such an obvious trail, mate."

The cat pried the lid off the box and peaked inside, a toothy grin breaking out across her face. She closed the box with a snap and pocketed it. "Alright, let's go."

"I think we'll need ta find a new way out." The bot was hovering by the window now, peering outside.

The cat moved to stand beside it. The security robot had circled around again, but this time had stopped in front of the garage, inspecting the raised door curiously.

The cat growled in annoyance.

"Accordin' ta these blueprints, there's another exit upstairs."

Following her partner's lead, the cat thief made her way carefully upstairs, finding herself in a long hallway, its walls dotted with doors. Small, flickering lights lined the ceiling.

Quick, silent paws carried the cat passed these doors and to a fork at the end of the hallway.

"Now turn right. Wait-Wait-Wait! No-!"

As the thief swung around the corner she slammed into something furry and warm.

Oh no.

Standing before her was a young, blue-eyed tasmanian tiger, covered in head to tail in golden-orange fur. He was returning from a trip to the kitchen, if the stacked sandwich and glass of water in his paws were anything to judge by.

He blinked, dumbfounded.

"G'day," he managed, at a loss for other words.

"Run-run-run-run!"

The cat thief turned tail and ran, hearing a thud as the tiger threw down his midnight snack and took off in pursuit of her, crying out and slamming a fist into the doors he passed, calling for help and trying to wake the other sleeping Bush Rescue members.

One of the doors in front of the feline swung open and she skid to a halt. From the room emerged a second tasmanian tiger, this one older and much larger than the first, but possessing the same icey blue eyes. He growled, dark tan fur bristling as his gaze fell on the intruder.

"What're you doin' here?"

She cringed as her partner screeched into her earpiece at an attempt to startle the tiger, momentarily forgetting that the cat was the only one who could hear them. The bot flew directly at the thylacine, thumping hard against his chest and posing as a distraction just long enough for the cat to weave around the brown tiger and the opened bedroom door and continue down the hallway.

There was a snarl of anger and a thud as the tiger grabbed the bot and threw it against the wall, cracking the lens. He bolted after her.

He was quick. Much too quick.

She yowled in alarm as a rough paw grabbed at her arm. She swung around, unsheathed claws catching the brown tiger across the muzzle. He grunted, grip slacking just enough for her to tear her arm from his hold and continue on her way.

She managed to make it to the end of the hallway, where the ladder leading to the deck outside was located, when something hard struck the back of her head. She fell to the ground in a heap.

"Felicia?! Felicia!? What's goin' on? The bot's down, I can't seen anything!"

"Who's this?"

A third voice, an all too familiar voice. Fear gripped her stomach as Felicia realized that this voice meant that she might as well just consider this mission failed. Her eyes watered.

No, no, no. I can't mess this up...

"Struth, Sly. You alright?"

"Eh." Sly growled, swiping a paw across the slash on his muzzle, clearing away the blood pooling there. "Just a scratch."

"Did ya kill her?" the young tiger asked, approaching the cat's limp body.

"Are you alright? Felicia?"

"Kai, stay back. You see what she did ta yer uncle. She's probably capable of much worse." TY warned.

Kai snorted, disbelieving.

A paw hovered in front of her nose, feeling for her breath. "Nope. Ya didn't kill her. She's still breathin'."

"What's goin' on, Possum?" Soft footsteps as someone emerged from one of the bedrooms.

"Felicia! Answer me!"

"A break-in." Sly reported for his brother.

"By who?" Shazza inquired, moving to stand beside TY.

"Some cat." Kai responded.

"Felicia! Don't you dare do this to me or Lil' Bear!" the voice in her eyepiece sounded choked, as if its owner were on the verge of tears.

Felicia's tail twitched as she regained control of her muscles. Her eyes popped open, pupils narrowing to dangerous slits, and, with a loud hiss and a bristling tail, she leaped to her paws. With a cry of surprise, Kai jumped back, narrowly avoiding the cat's outstretched claws.

"Hey!" Sly cried out, him and his brother bolting after the cat as she made a break for the ladder leading to the deck outside; her way out.

She ran out onto the deck, by some act of fate narrowly avoiding being grabbed by the brother tigers as she scrambled up the ladder. She jumped nimbly onto the deck railing and, ignoring the stairs leading to the ground, leaped. She landed, rolling in the dirt. Her ear twitched, hearing a metallic hum as Bush Rescue's guard robot raised its head, catching sight of her.

"INTRUDER. INTRUDER."

The robot crouched, as if to pounce, its missile launchers clicking audibly as their projectiles moved into place.

Bloody wonderful.

Moving on all fours, the cat darted off into the night, with a pair of furious tasmanian tigers on her paws.

Adrenaline pumped in her veins, giving her muscles the power they needed to put some considerable distance between herself and her pursuers.

A dizzying sensation of hope left the feline grinning psychotically. I haven't failed this yet, she thought hopefully. If I can just make it outta here, I'll be in the clear-

One of the missiles struck the ground near her, sending her flying a small distance forward. Not missing a beat, she scrambled to her paws and continued running, weaving skillfully around the other missiles as they assaulted the earth around her. She cried out as one of the tigers' boomerangs struck her foot, causing her to falter. Now limping, she continued running, gritting her teeth against the pain.

The cat thief reached the end of the path, disappearing between the trees of the surrounding forest.

The tasmanian tigers followed her.

The leaves rustled over their heads as they wove between the trees. TY looked up, seeing the cat leaping from branch to branch. They ran directly beneath her, waiting for her to either falter and fall or to run out of branches.

"INTRUDER... INTRUDER..."

There was the thunderous sound of cracking wood as Julius' guard robot, sped toward them, hunting for the intruder. TY and Sly darted smartly out of the way as the robot charged, smashing into one of the trees, successfully felling it.

With a cry of alarm, the cat, shaken from the branches, fell to earth, grimacing as her injured foot struck the ground. She bolted out of the way just as the brothers dove for her, narrowly avoiding being grabbed.

The thief skid to a halt as she neared the edge of the cliff that split cleanly through the forest trees like a scar.

Her muscles tensed, frozen with indecision for a few moments before she leaped.

There was a distant splash as she struck the water below.

Sly and TY skid to a halt, realizing that they had lost their quarry. Their chests heaved as they doubled over, trying to catch their breath.

The TYGR-743 stood beside them. Freezing for a moment as its artificial brain registered that the intruder had left its territory. It turned and walked back to resuming its patrol.

Not one of Julius' best inventions.

"Never gets any easier, eh bro?" Sly heaved, grinning at his brother despite his frustration with losing the thief.

TY smiled back. "It used to be a lot easier, if I remember correctly."

It was a habit they had developed recently, their attempts at turning their aging into a joke, when, in fact, their rapidly approaching middle age was a constant source of frustration for the adventurous pair.

After a few moments, they turned and made their way back to HQ.

The rest of the Bush Rescue crew had woken and were standing expectantly in the doorway, watching the pair as they returned.

"What happened?" Shazza asked. Beside her stood Kai and Alice, her nine-year-old daughter.

Naomi, brow furrowed with concern at the sight of the gash on Sly's face, moved to inspect the freshly inflicted wound. "You're bleedin'." She observed with dismay, touching his cheek. He grasped her wrist and pulled her paw away gently, assuring her that he was alright.

"They get away?" A voice called above from the deck.

They looked up to see Darla leaning casually on the rail, dressed in the baggy gray shirt and black shorts she typically slept in. Her black and blue dyed hair fell messily about her tan furred shoulders. Maurie, doubled with age, perched on the rail beside her.

Sly forced a smirk up at his daughter. "Unfortunately."

Darla's fluffy yellow-tipped tail twitched, displeased with his response. She smirked back, aware of her father's sensitivity to his advancing age. "You'll get 'em next time, I'm sure."

Sly smiled back, but otherwise said nothing.

"Who were they though?" Alice asked, innocent green eyes gazing up at her father.

TY smiled, resting a paw on top of the cub's long blond-haired head. "Dunno yet. But we'll find out, no worries."

"Maybe this thing will help." Kai offered, holding up the golden bot that his uncle had smashed against the wall. A nasty crack split the clear blue camera lens, but other wise the bot was fully intact.

Julius took the bot carefully from the young tiger's paws, inspecting it closely.

"Certainly," the elderly koala confirmed. "I'll look over it. Surely I'll be able to find some sort of clue as to its inventor." There was not a hint of doubt in the scientist's abilities present in his tone of voice.

Deciding that any efforts to track down the intruder were best left to be done in the morning, the group turned and went back to their rooms, settling back down to return to their so rudely interrupted slumbers.