"Ya know this might be fun tonight." Chance said as he adjusted the cape around his shoulders and opened his mouth to put in the vampire fangs he'd bought, they weren't too uncomfortable, just made his fangs stick down further.
"I think I make a great Dr. Frankenstein." Jake had stiffened his hair up and added fake blank eye contacts. He wore a doctor's lab coat, boots and gloves, he looked totally demented.
"Just don't get any ideas of building anybody tonight, buddy."
"No chance of that, Chance. I've got my eyes on Princess Callie tonight."
"And I've got my eyes on a slinky sorceress."
They got into Jake's car to go pick up the girls. Marissa was first on the list. At her house, Chance pretended to sneak up on her in a classical vampire pose. She was leaning over with a bowl of candy, giving several pieces to a few kittens crowded around her door.
"Ah, velcome to my lady's parlor. Vhat sweet, delicious children you are. Blah, blah blah."
A couple of the younger ones looked scared of him but the older ones squealed in delight. He walked through them and approached Marissa. She was dropping in candy into the last kitten's bucket. She pretended to gasp in horror and draw back, dramatically placing a wrist on her forehead and a hand over her heart.
"Oh no! A vampire! What shall I do? I don't think any magic I have will protect me from this rogue."
She was dressed in a light blue linen gown with a white belt. She wore an old mystical symbol around her neck and her hair was tied back with a silver circlet with the crescent moon in the center. Her eyes were shaded to emphasize their crystal-blue coloring.
Chance jumped the last step and grabbed her. She squealed for the benefit of the kittens and he kissed her heartily. One little boy dressed as a knight bravely wacked his leg with his fake sword.
"Oh I've been fatally wounded! How could he know my weakness?" Chance grabbed his throat and made a pretty impressive death scene. Jake cheered from the car.
"My hero", Marissa picked up the kitten and hugged him tightly. A few parents who had seen what happened were laughing at the sidewalk. She put him down. The little boy poked Chance in the chest. "You ok, mister?"
Chance rose up and snarled at him. The little boy squealed and ran for his father, who was doing his best not to fall over laughing. Chance waved at him and looked at Marissa, who was doing her best to look stern at him and failing miserably.
"You ready to go?" Chance got up and brushed himself off. He took her hand and kissed it.
"Yes I am. You are a terrible tom, you know that." She tapped his nose with her finger.
They got back into the car, where Marissa kissed Jake on the back of the head. They drove to Callie's apartment. Jake went to the front door and escorted Callie back to the car. She was dressed in a beautiful princess dress of pink, down to the tall pointed cap with a veil trailing from it. Jake caught Chance's eye and they both grinned. It was similar to the dress that Queen Callista wore when they got sent back to the Dark Ages.
She got into the car and reached around to hug Marissa. Ever since Marissa moved to MegaKat City, she and Callie had become close friends.
They drove to the downtown convention center where the mayor's party was being held. The mayor was dressed in a fool's costume, complete with belled stick. He was standing next to Commander Feral who was dressed in a Roman tunic and toga, complete with a laurel wreath. The mayor spotted Callie first.
"Ah, Miss Briggs, you look ravishing. Who is this fine gentleman who is your escort tonight, and Miss Callistane, you are ravishing as well. Introductions are in order, I think."
Commander Feral glared at Jake and Chance. "I know these two, Mayor. They're the two hooligans who used to be Enforcers. Their carelessness almost cost us the first Enforcer building. They're now junkmen at the city's military salvage yard."
Marissa felt Chance's arm tense in hers and saw his ears go back. Jake wasn't much better. She saw Callie whisper in his ear. He relaxed and even smiled at Commander Feral.
"Yes, Commander Feral, these are your Enforcer pilots Jake Clawson and Chance Furlong. But I find them better company than those of 'higher statue'. Marissa pointedly looked him up and down, and then towed Chance onto the dance floor.
"That was one heck of an insult." Chance told her admiringly.
"Sometimes the better insults are ones that are served with a backhand. " She kissed him lightly and snuggled her head under his.
The party wasn't too bad in Marissa's estimation. There were plenty of toms who felt insulted that she wasn't with them and had 'gone downtown' in the social statue to find someone. Jake was getting the same treatment regarding Callie. Others, mostly women, secretly admired their choices. A fat attorney's wife practically gushed over Chance, saying that she would have to frequent the salvage yard to find such a hunk, dragging him off to the dance floor. Chance gave her a 'help me' look.
She grinned at him and looked across the dance floor to Jake and Callie. They were dancing together and seemed to enjoy each other's company immensely. She sipped her milk and suddenly, the lights went out and a menacing laugh rung out, "Your time is up, MegaKat City!"
She felt Chance grab her hand and she suddenly felt rooted to the spot. She couldn't move, all she could do was turn her head slightly. Chance was trying with all his might to move toward the stage where Dark Kat and Pastmaster were standing. Dark Kat was clearing off the table to place an ordinary Halloween pumpkin on it. Pastmaster was raising his clock amulet.
"Tonight, in celebration of this All Hallows Eve, we're bringing you the trick and gift of magic. As you are dressed, so shall you become, in four nights your change will be permanent and the time of Monsters and Magic shall return!"
Both the amulet and the pumpkin flashed with incandescent lighting, and Marissa felt overwhelmed with both power and knowledge. She dropped to her knees, dizzy, seeing her hands glow with power. She heard a scream from a female. All the kats that were dressed as monsters were becoming those monsters, the rest were becoming what they were dressed. She knew that she HAD magical powers now and what to do with them. Jake looked demented, rubbing his hands together and laughing manically. Callie swooned, falling to the carpet beside him.
"Chance" she whispered. She looked over to him. He was on the floor too, arms wrapped around himself, groaning.
She crawled over to him as the room erupted in chaos. She heard Feral issue commands in Classic Latin, she could somehow understand him. She touched Chance on the shoulder. He jerked away from her and whirled his head around. "GET OUT OF HERE! GET AWAY FROM ME!" His eyes were blood red, no pupil seen and glowing to her eyes. His fake fangs lay on the floor, pushed out by real ones. His claws cut into the fabric of his shirt and cape. He grasped her arm then shoved her away. "Run!"
He looked up through his pain, gasping for breath to see Mari scramble over to Callie. Jake grabbed her arm and he bent over Callie. A wave of excruciating pain racked through him again. He closed his eyes and gritted his teeth, feeling his fangs cut into his lip. As soon as he tasted the blood, something snapped in him. The pain receded and he rose shakily to his feet, feeling new dark power flow through him, new knowledge and abilities were within his grasp.
Kats were running around him, screaming and yelling. He saw Mari raise her hands above her head, her eyes and hands glowed an incandescent blue and a blue circle surrounded them and they disappeared. The light had hurt his eyes and he had ducked them under his cape to shield them. Another vampire secret revealed, he thought with a laugh. He shook out the cape and wrapped it tighter around him, flowing through the commotion to the place where they had disappeared. He inhaled through his nose, smelling Mari's perfume and feline scent. He could smell Jake and Callie too, but it didn't appeal to him as the scent of Mari. He was so hungry. He looked around, and then narrowed his eyes.
He could see the delicate network of blood vessels and see some other vampires feeding, but he had sweeter blood to taste. He saw Feral and he snarled, knowing now he could so easily get rid of this kat who meddled with him, then shook his head, no, there was time and enough for that, he'd have to plan something special for him.
Now it was time for the hunt. He walked into the shadows and was on the roof. It was a beautiful moonless night. He tipped his head back and took a deep breath of the cool air. Ah, she must have gone home, he could scent her from that direction, hear her heartbeat. It was beating fiercely; she was either scared or busy trying to get away from him. Part of him faltered about going after her, but he had to have her blood before anything else to satisfy his growing hunger. He stepped into the shadows.
She scrambled up and stumbled toward Callie. Jake grabbed her arm as she reached Callie. "Hello my dear, is there something I can help you with?" He spoke in an English accent.
"Jake, you need to remember! It's me, Mari and Callie's hurt."
"Hurt, I am a doctor, after all." He bent over Callie and checked her pulse and peeled back an eyelid. "She is alive, pity, but unhurt. She seems to have fainted. Do I know either of you?"
"Yes! Your name is Jake and we need to get out of here now! Can you pick her up and carry her?"
"Yes, of course I can, but where are we going?"
"Anywhere but here, actually I'm going to try something. Hold her tightly." She raised her hands and imagined the living room in her house. She released her will and the hall disappeared and they reappeared in her living room.
"What the deuce? Where are we?"
"My house; put Callie here." She indicated the couch. She ran to her kitchen to try to make a defense against a vampire. She dug out garlic and salt; pouring water into a pan, tossing the garlic and salt into it and running upstairs into her bedroom. She grabbed sage incense and lit it with a touch of her forefinger, she ran downstairs to see Jake bending over Callie again, patting her hand.
"How is she?"
"She is quite well, but I would like to talk to you. What you did is not logical. How could you have brought us here instantly?"
"I think I have an explanation, but we have a bigger problem. You need to remember Chance. "
"Chance, Chance…he's my partner. He was the bloke dressed as a..a. Oh no." His eyes widened.
She nodded. "He's now a vampire and from what I know about vampire lore, he will come after the one he most desires, whether it is friend or other as his first victim. I don't know if he'll come after me or you. What I do know is that the spell will wear off at dawn. I need to set up some basic defenses against a vampire. He's new-born and will be weak, but still very powerful. I need you to stay here with Callie."
"Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I'm a doctor, not a fighter." He rubbed his hands together, looking nervous.
"I'd bet you that you are wrong. Try to remember yourself as Jake." She grasped his shoulders and looked into his eyes. "Remember the SWAT Kats, remember the Turbokat." Jake closed his eyes in concentration and then nodded. "It's so confusing. It's like trying to grasp smoke in your hand"
"Just keep trying." She ran outdoors and stopped to get her bearings. The wind was picking up and it was not a normal wind. She took a moment to center herself and cast the first shield. Then she went around the house saging and sprinkling the garlic water all over, chanting and singing. She got back to the main entrance of the house when she saw him.
Chance stood at the end of the street and looked at her. Her eyes were still blood red and his fangs protruded onto his bottom lip. Then suddenly he was at the perimeter of the protections. He hissed as he tried to step over, unable to breach her protections. "There you are, my love. I've been looking all over for you." There was nothing of her Chance in that menacing voice.
Her heart went cold. He was after her. "You are not invited in. You are banned and bound to the outside." She raised the wand of sage above her head. It began to glow orange and blue.
His eyes caught hers and seemed to mesmerize her. "Mari, I just want to kiss you this Halloween night. I thought you loved to kiss me. My kiss can bring you eternal pleasure now." He extended his hand to her. "Come to me." His eyes seemed to blaze.
She fought him with every fiber of her being. Then he screamed as water and garlic was tossed at him by Jake. His fur and clothes smoked. He turned his wild eyes on his partner.
"Have at you! Unholy creature! Return to whenst you came!"
"Where did you pick up this guy? Dorks or us?"
That was her Chance in there; she just had to fight him off for a few more hours until dawn. His eye contact broken, she grabbed Jake's hand and ran with him into the house. She slammed the door and leaned up against it, gasping. "Thank you Jake."
"No problem. We only have to hold out until dawn, right?"
"Yes, but I can't keep going on like this" She felt Chance probe her defenses.
"But this doesn't answer the question on how this happened. How do you know so much? How could you do what you did? Why is it so hard to remember who and what I was?" He ticked off the points on each of his fingers.
"I was dressed as a sorceress and well, this may sound cliché, but my family is descended from a long line of priestesses of Avalon. This necklace and circlet have been passed down from female to female, in remembrance of what we once were."
"Wow, Avalon is real? No wonder you know so much. So what do we do now?" It sounded like Jake was back and he seemed to accept this explanation without doubt.
"It's very real. It's been hidden to protect it. The knowledge about it is only revealed to the female descendant when they hit puberty. I will need to go into a trance state to ward off Chance and access the knowledge I have about vampires to see what I can do. I have several ideas, but I need time to peruse them and access my memories and new knowledge."
"Is there anything I can do to help?"
"Just keep watch for me and bring me out of it if anything goes wrong."
Marissa went into the small library and made herself comfortable on the floor in a cross legged position. She brought her hands up in front of her and conjured a globe of light. She set it to float in front of her and she began to put herself into a trance. She let the information flow through her, noting what needed to be noted. She heard a crash and yelling downstairs.
A window was broken by a large rock and a black mist with red eyes was streaming into the living room. Callie was up and shrieking into Jake's chest. He was standing there with a fire poker in his hands. She grabbed a vacuum tube for her central vacuum and ran downstairs.
Chance was still forming himself together when she turned on the vacuum and sucked the mist in. She turned it off and leaned into the wall, breathing heavily. Dawn was just breaking and the strange expression faded from Jake. She felt her powers fade and Callie stopped swooning.
"What the heck just happened?" Jake said, rubbing his head. "I had a crazy dream." He looked around. "It wasn't a dream, was it?"
"No." Then she heard banging and cursing in the garage. "Chance!"
They ran into the garage and she popped the top off the central vacuum container. Chance stuck his head out, covered with dust and dirt. He coughed as he jumped out of it, ripping the cape off of his shoulders. "You sucked me into a vacuum system?"
"It was the only thing I could think of at the time." She grinned sheepishly.
"I need a shower. What the heck happened?"
"I think I can explain it all, but after your shower and a stiff cup of coffee."
Mari gave Callie some of her clothes and both of them changed while Chance showered and got dressed. Both he and Jake brought their uniforms from the salvage yard just in case they needed to change back and couldn't get to the garage. Mari went into the kitchen and made some coffee and brought out her da's 'tonic'. She poured a generous measure in each cup and set it at the table. Each one sipped their coffee in silence for a while.
"Chance? Are you feeling ok?"
He rubbed his face. "Yeah, it was a part of me, a dark part that was finally released and all I could think about was drinking your blood. I felt so powerful. Every sense was sharpened. I could hear better, smell better, even taste the wind. I became mist to track you down. I stepped into the shadows and I was brought here. I could hear your heartbeat even across town. What did I almost do? Will I become an actual vampire?"
"Not if I have any say in it, my Chance. You didn't bite anyone else, did you?" He shook his head, looking revolted. She set her cup down with determination. "Jake, what about you?"
"Knowledge, pure knowledge of how to create life, all mathematics was at my fingertips." He pulled out a sheaf of paper. "I drew and calculated all of these while you were in trance. It kept me from hearing Chance call outside."
"I felt completely weak. Where were my knights to protect me? I thought I heard them call outside, that's when I opened the window and told them to come in."
"That's what broke the barrier and allowed Chance to enter. Since I'm descended from Priestesses in Ireland, what happened to me felt natural. I didn't get overwhelmed. I was still myself. I still remembered who and what I was along with my new abilities."
"So you know what happened?"
"Yes, it was a spell of monster changing, but cast on the wrong night and time. It will do the job of changing kats into the monsters they were dressed in but instead of it doing it and keeping the spell active into daytime, it will take four nights to do it, but the effects of the spell will increase every day. We have to smash the pumpkin to release the spell."
"Oh great, how are we going to find Dark Kat or Pastmaster?"
"Actually, you're going to help a lot Chance. Jake can calibrate a tracker to the magical wavelength that can be calculated and measured; you with your vampiric senses can sniff out Dark Kat and Pastmaster.
"Yeah, we've got enough stuff at the hanger to give you the scent."
Chance glared at them all. "What do I look like, a dog?"
"You want to be a vampire all your life or unlife, as the case may be?"
He shuddered. "No, no I don't. I like the daytime and the thought of drinking blood.." he left off, shuddering.
"Then we'll meet at the hanger in a couple of hours."
A few hours later, Jake and Callie were putting together the search engine, Chance went into the yard itself to find parts, and Mari was fixing anti-monster charms and repellants. She would enchant them when evening came; she was already worried that she already knew how to do this.
As the sun set, Chance became agitated and Jake began to get wild-haired and wild eyed again. Chance yelled in pain and fell to one knee. Mari felt the power fill her again and it was easy to cast a cage of power around Chance.
He came up, his eyes red and fangs extended. "Do you think that your little birdcage will stop me", he snarled. He grabbed the bars and screamed in pain, smoke rising from his hands. He stepped back a few paces and dropped to one knee.
"Actually I do. Chance, you have to try to remember who you are!"
He shook his head and a confused look came over his face. "It's so hard to stay focused, I feel so weak, so hungry. I can feel your heartbeat, smell you, smell your sweet blood. Just a taste, that's all I need. I promise I won't hurt you. My head will clear if only for a taste." His revulsion about drinking blood apparently was gone.
She turned and ran from the room, tears streaming down her face. "Mari!" she heard him cry out in anguish.
She stopped in the kitchen. "Is your friend all right, Lady Marissa?" Callie asked.
She wiped away her tears. "Yes. Callie, you remember me, don't you?"
"Yes, you're my best friend with Sir Jake and Sir Chance."
Well it was better than nothing. "I have a thought, but where's Jake."
"He is in the work room."
She went into Jake's work room. He was fiddling with some instruments and chuckling under his breath.
He turned and saw the distress on Mari's face and the manic look faded from his face. "Oh, its past sunset, isn't it? Everything is so simple now. I've finished the tracker and thought I would work on some things."
"I'm glad to hear it. I have an extreme idea that might help Chance."
He pulled out a stool. "By all means, tell me."
"In my memories of tomes, grimores and books, in the earliest memories I have is that if someone offers themselves to a monster, he or she will regain their feline selves and become almost normal. The only problem is that in case of a vampire, the vampire will become stronger and stronger, until he is taken over and becomes a true vampire but he or she will retain their feline selves."
He sat back quietly looking at her for a few minutes. "You're going to let him have blood, your blood in fact; aren't you?"
She nodded. "We need him. This is the only way. He's getting weaker and weaker. My blood will empower him."
"What if it doesn't work?"
"Then you will need to destroy him and destroy me."
Both Callie and Jake tried for an hour to talk her out of it. Jake even volunteered, but she refused to let him take the risk. She also knew that he wanted her first before anyone else, this was the key point. She walked into the room where Chance was and stood in front of the cage. He stood up and faced her.
"If I freely give you my blood, will you help us destroy Dark Kat's talisman and return the city to normal?"
"Yes, for your blood, anything."
She waved her hand and the cage disappeared. Chance stepped toward her, looking down at her. He was taller for one thing. He was a formidable tomcat already, but his shirt seemed to bulge with muscles now.
"Don't be afraid of me, I would never hurt you." He said gently as he cupped her chin.
"I can't help but be afraid. You're becoming something undead."
He didn't seem to hear her. His eyes were glazed over with bloodlust, he dipped his head to her neck and sniffed in deeply, nuzzling her neck. He kissed her first with gentleness, then with urgency and took her in his arms.
Despite her fear, she began to warm to his embrace, she felt dazed but happy to have him bite her neck. She knew that this was part of the power of a vampire, the supreme predator. It was better to have your prey willing. She reached around to brush the hair off her neck and offer it to him.
His head tipped back and his fangs extended. He lowered his head to just below her ear and began to lick and nip. "I'm sorry, Marissa," she heard him say. She shivered with excitement and moaned. Chance was still in there.
"I love you Chance. I trust you."
"You shouldn't". The bite, when it came was as sharp as she thought it would be, but oh the pleasure, the pleasure. Her fingers and claws dug into his hair, holding him to her neck. She felt herself weaken as blood left her body. After a minute of feeding, he broke off, his eyes were still red, but the irises only. He looked horrified, wiping the blood off his chin and mouth with the back of his arm. He let her go and she staggered against the couch.
"What did you just do?"
"I brought you back, my Chance. I gave you back yourself."
"I could have killed you!"
"If someone offers themselves freely to a vampire, they will bring back their feline selves. It was a risk I was willing to take.
He covered his face with his hands. "What have I done?"
She took him in her arms. "Nothing yet, you took just enough to slake the bloodlust and bring you back."
He nodded and looked determined. "We're wasting time. We need to find that pumpkin and smash it!"
Jake and Callie were waiting on the other side of the door. Jake held a stake and mallet in hand; Callie had a bucket of garlic water in hand. They both stepped back as they came out.
"I'm all right. Let's go get Dark Kat."
"Before we go, I would really like to get a blood sample from you both. I want to take a look at how things are progressing." Jake said.
"You don't know how to draw blood, besides that, I hate needles."
"I have a doctor's knowledge now and for a vampire, that's funny."
He drew the samples and spent about an hour examining them under slides, muttering to himself and scribbling fiercely. Chance spent that time sniffing the objects that they knew belonged to Dark Kat and the Pastmaster.
He wrinkled his nose in disgust. "Yuck! This stinks."
"You've got the scent?"
"Yeah, I got it. Come on, we're wasting the night."
"I need to make these notes for my other self before I forget. There, done."
Razor and T-Bone got dressed in their pilots gear and took off. They saw the chaos that the other monsters were wrecking on MegaKat City.
Marissa rode shotgun behind Razor. She felt weakened, but knew that they would have to believe that she was well.
"We need to land and take the search to the ground." Razor said. "I need to make sure that the instruments are calibrated correctly."
They landed in a parking lot. The city was quiet. During the day, they heard that the Mayor had issued a curfew and it was being enforced by what few Enforcers were left until the situation was solved.
Razor popped open the canopy and T-Bone stood up to sniff the air. "I smell them from that way. " He pointed north. "But we've got a bigger problem; I smell blood and other vampires and monsters as well." He hissed.
"We'll need to contain them until morning." Razor said, adjusting the tracker.
Marissa brought out her bag of charms. "I have a solution to that. If we can get them here, we can cordon off the parking lot until morning. These charms will keep them here until then, unless they've progressed in their changes. Then we have a real problem."
"So how are we going to get them here?"
T-Bone stayed with the plane while Razor and Marissa went into the labyrinth of buildings to draw them out. Marissa and Razor had to put out the charms, T-Bone tried touching one, but the flash and smoking glove told him to leave well enough alone. He felt angry that Dark Kat and Pastmaster would risk so much just bringing them and the city down.
Flashing lights and yelling told him that the trap had been sprung. Razor and Marissa were running full tilt into the lot, followed by four vampires, two mummies and three zombies. One of the vampires grabbed Marissa by the hair before she could enter the safety of the charmed area. He whirled her around and bent her back painfully to expose her throat. Her hands came up and blasted him with a bolt of light that almost blinded him. The vampire screamed, but didn't let her go.
He didn't think, he just let his new vampiric instincts take over. He became mist again and came up behind the new vampire, rematerializing and grabbing him by the back of the head. He let go of Mari, who fell to the ground, dazed. Razor activated the charms and the monsters screamed as they realized that they were trapped.
"What do you think you are doing?"
The new vampire hissed at him. "She's mine; go find one of your own."
"I don't think so." He threw the vampire across the way. T-Bone was surprised at his new strength. The vampire crashed into a dumpster and shook his head, rising to his feet shakily.
"Why do you want to be so selfish? There's enough to go around. Just imagine the taste of it, so sweet and so delicious. Or have you already tasted her sweet charms?"
T-Bone began to feel the bloodlust come over him again.
"T-Bone! Don't listen to him. Remember who you are and what Mari did for you tonight!" Razor yelled.
Mari staggered to her feet and cast her spell of encasement. The vampire screamed as she lifted him into the air and dumped him into the charmed area with the others.
T-Bone felt himself shaking. His eyes saw the delicate network of blood vessels in Mari and Razor; he could hear the blood pounding in his ears. He was suddenly so hungry. He clenched his fists and tried to control himself, shaking his head.
"T-Bone?" Mari's hand touched his shoulders.
He snarled and shook off her hand, walking off a few steps, breathing in deeply through his mouth so not to smell her blood so strongly. He could still taste her blood. He finally got control over himself and turned back to his partner and lover.
"I'm all right, just needed a minute. Let's get out of here."
They got back into the jet and started off again. The signal faded as dawn approached and their own powers faded. "Damn it! Lost the signal again." Razor cursed, slamming his hand on the control panel. It had been harder to track them due to the fact that other witches, wizards, sorcerers and sorceresses' were setting up places as well and the tracker needed more and more precise tuning.
They got back to the hangar bay before T-Bone collapsed into a deep sleep. Mari managed to get to the other couch before sleep claimed her as well.
She slept until late afternoon; Jake was not in the garage. Chance was still on the couch in the same position. He was barely breathing and his heart was slow. She kissed him gently on the forehead and left to go home for a while.
She was back two hours later if not more rested, but at least fresher. A shower went a long way in making you feel more complete. Chance was not there. He must have gone upstairs for a shower or something, she thought.
Jake was in his work room, reading over the papers his other half left and checking something on the computer.
"Hey. Feeling any better?"
"Just tired. What are you reading?"
"I need to tell you something about what Dr. Jake found. Your blood cells are being destroyed by an anti-coagulant, probably from Chances' fangs. It seems like a vampire injects their victim with this anti-coagulant to keep the blood flowing. Imagine what that could do for heart patients."
'A couple of days, but I left myself a solution to the problem." He pulled out a vial of straw colored liquid. "It's a solution to build up your blood quickly."
"But not quick enough."
His expression fell. "No, not enough."
Her hand covered his and she smiled for him. "Then don't worry about it. I knew that my choice would have ramifications."
He grasped her hand tightly, and then pulled her into his arms in a fierce hug. "I don't want to lose my two best friends."
"You won't. We'll find that pumpkin tonight."
Chance and Callie were in the small kitchen when Jake and Marissa came up. Both were holding mugs of coffee. Chance winced when he sipped his.
"Just doesn't taste right today."
Jake looked into the tin. "You idiot, it's that fru-fru coffee that was a gift from that lawyer's wife. I just dumped it in here to be polite to her. She insisted on having a cup of it with me until you got back from your 'service call'. She seems to have forgotten about what happened at the party."
"Oh, sorry about that."
"She's just lonely and wanted to watch you work. Maybe we'll be able to be on the Enforcer calendar this year." He struck a pose and Chance tossed a mug at him. He caught it deftly. The girls laughed.
"I wouldn't joke around. The mayor wants to make more money for the city; they might just be planning an Auxiliary Services calendar. I'll have to suggest they look toward the salvage yard to find calendar guys."
Jake and Chance choked on their coffee. It took a few minutes to have them stop choking and coughing. It didn't help that Mari and Callie couldn't stop laughing at the looks on their faces.
Chance glanced at his watch. "One hour until sunset. We'd better get ready so we can leave the first chance we get." He and Jake went into the hanger locker room. Mari went into the TV room to check her bag of amulets. Callie stayed in the kitchen. She knew that she would be little help in the night ahead.
Mari still felt tired, so she stretched out on the couch and closed her eyes. She awoke to a gentle hand on her shoulder. "Mari?"
T-Bone looked down at her with red eyes and fangs again.
"Nighttime already? She sat up and yawned. "I didn't mean to fall asleep."
He sat beside her. "It's ok. Are you really ok with this?"
"Giving you my blood, yes I am." She got up and sat on his lap. "Does this answer your question?" She kissed him and licked up his nose, making sure he smelled her warmth and felt the blood pulsing in her veins. His hands tightened on her and a hiss issued from his lips. He pushed her down to the couch and supported his weight on his arms. He snuggled down between her legs and grabbed her hair with a hand, pulling it back to better expose her neck. He licked up her neck and as deep into the collar of her shirt as he could get.
"If we were alone…" she managed to gasp out.
"I'd think I'd like to try that before we smash that pumpkin."
She started to laugh but his fangs bit into her neck. She couldn't help it, but she struggled, gasping in pain. He held onto her harder, growling into her neck. Soon he pulled back, sitting up and licking the blood from his lips and her neck. He pulled her up and held her close.
"I didn't mean to hurt you."
"It's ok love." She relished the feel of her Chance, but his heartbeat was so slow, so irregular. She dried her tears against his flight suit. "Let's go."
The night went about as well as the night before. "We're wasting our time with these nobodies. I think that they're trying to stop us from finding that pumpkin!" T-Bone raged. The direction had changed again.
In another section, they ran up against another group of vampires. Mari yelled for T-Bone to hide around the edge of a building while she conjured up a big bright ball of light. The light hurt so much. He lowered his light visor.
"T-Bone! I have an idea!" She yelled.
"Anything's good right now."
"You're different than them now. You can probably command them!"
"You gotta be kidding me!"
"My giving you blood gave you back yourself and more. Use it to command the lesser vampires! Razor!" She screamed and the light went suddenly out and a metallic crash echoed.
"Mari! Razor!" He blinked a few times, raising his visor and looking around the corner. A vampire had gotten through, grabbed Razor and had thrown him into a dumpster. The lid thudded shut and another two vampires sat on top of it, keeping him in. Thudding from inside the dumpster told him that Razor was doing his best to get out. His glovatrix lay on the ground outside. Mari had a gag put on her and her arms were being held outstretched painfully and she was on her knees. Another vampire he recognized as from the DA's office was heading toward her, hissing and licking his lips.
Redness glazed his vision and he felt his fangs prick his bottom lip. He stepped into the shadows and came up behind one vampire. He stunned it with a blow and stepped out where they could see him.
"Let her go." He growled. He felt full of dark power, felt evil and it really, really felt good.
"Ah one of the famous SWAT Kats. Is this bloodbag yours? Pity, you haven't turned her yet. You've obviously Marked her as yours." I can't seem to get it right, but you seem like you've got all your facilities. "He waved his hand around to the other vampires in general around him.
"Then you don't have a sorceress in your service. Back it off! "He snarled at the vampires. Some of them cowed backwards away from him. The ones holding Mari looked nervous. Thunder sounded above him.
The DA vampire looked nervous himself. "I think that I won't back off. I think I'll destroy you and keep your female for myself." He reached back and touched Mari on the cheek, drawing a long scratch. She hissed in pain and winced back from him.
"She's mine. My prey, my bride." Where did THAT come from?
"Stand down SWAT Kat."
"Not on your undead life buddy."
They stalked each other in a circle; he could smell Mari's blood on the wind. The scent agitated the other vampires. She was still struggling, but a blow from one of the other vampires knocked her out. He screamed with rage and was suddenly grabbing the vampire's neck and throwing him into the others.
"I SAID BACK OFF!" He roared with body and mind. An air disturbance issued from him and blew across the area that could be seen as well as felt, like a blow from a concussion grenade. Thunder and lightning crashed around him.
All the vampires, even the DA, dropped to their knees. Mari had been right. Their bodies quivered under the command. "You WILL obey me!"
"Yes, master" they all intoned.
"Leave here and go back to your homes. You will stay there for the next week before leaving them. If I catch you out in the streets, I will break your necks!"
"Yes master." They melted into the night. Razor burst out of the dumpster.
"Yuck. I'll never get the smell of that out of my nose. Is Mari ok?"
"I think so. Take her, before I do." He lifted Mari in his arms and handed her over to Razor. He couldn't help licking her bleeding cheek. It sealed up and the taste was addicting. He walked away from them and went behind a building. The bloodlust was almost all-consuming. He wanted to turn and drain them dry, but he would win this fight. He screamed and punched out a wall, then slammed his fist into the pavement. It cracked under the force.
Razor came running from the Turbokat, looking concerned, but the look on T-Bone's face and glowing red eyes stopped him in his tracks. A soft white light came from the opposite wing of the plane. Even that light hurt.
Razor raised his hands. "Mari's ok. She's healing herself right now."
"Don't leave her alone out here. I may not be able to save you two again."
Razor nodded and went back to her. A few minutes later, she came around. "T-Bone, it's ok. Please let me come near you." She said softly.
He opened his arms to her. "Sorry, I had to really work to control myself that time."
She rushed into his arms and hugged him tightly, "It's ok. Let's get going."
As the sun rose, T-Bone collapsed, forcing Razor to take over the controls and land the plane at the hangar. It was difficult to get T-Bone out and into a cot, but they managed the task. They told Callie what had happened during the night and they went home.
After a good breakfast and shower, Mari got ready for bed. She knew it was cliché, but she pulled out her white silk nightgown and slipped under the covers. It took only a few minutes to go to sleep. "One more night after this." She thought to herself as she fell asleep with despair and hope.
She awoke to nighttime and the full moon beaming through her window. A voice echoed in her head. "It's me. Can I come in?"
"Chance? Where are you?"
"Outside your front door. Razor and Callie are searching already. I told them I would come to get you."
"Can't come in without an invite, huh?" She forgot that she barred him that first night. She felt his irritation and had to chuckle. "Yes, my love you may enter."
She heard the front door open and his steps on the stairs. She didn't turn on the light and she could see his glowing red eyes from the door. "Wow, I should come in like this more often." He sat on the bed beside her. She sat up against the pillows. "Are you ok?"
She conjured a ball of light and suspended it in the air. "Yes, just tired. Are you all right?"
"Yeah, just couldn't tolerate food today, just well, tomato juice." He sounded embarrassed.
She laughed. "What a cliché!"
"You have every right to talk. You look like a feast to all the senses, and since you gave me an invitation…" his voice trailed off as he leaned over to kiss her, one of his hands reaching up to stroke her hair and bring her in closer to kiss.
She tried to push him off. "We don't have time for this." She said playfully. His chest felt like stone, it was so hard with muscle.
"Later." His eyes had locked on hers, mesmerizing her. He grabbed her wrists and pinned them to the bed.
She couldn't move. He extended a claw and ripped her gown from neck to hem, cutting the straps from it and pulling it out from around her.
Their lovemaking seemed more intense and real. At the moment of her rapture, his fangs found her throat and it was so hard to stop him, she held him to her neck, arching against him, crying out. He moved his mouth from her neck and used a thumb to wipe the blood from his lips. He sucked his thumb clean and licked the trickle of blood from her neck.
It was difficult to catch her breath. He'd taken less from her this time, but she felt more drained. Chance caught her up in his arms. "Hey, it's ok, just breathe for me."
"You didn't need much from me that time." She gasped.
"I guess it had to do with what we did. In fact, I know that's the reason. Secret vampire wisdom I guess." He grinned impishly at her.
Her breathing was back under control. "Just let me get a shower and get dressed. Do you want to go first?"
He winced, "Running water is painful to me right now."
"It must have hurt to go near the docks and beach last night."
"Yeah, nauseating in fact." She shivered, she couldn't help it. She pulled out some jeans and a t-shirt and closed the door. T-Bone was already in his flight suit.
"Transfiguration, huh? Another vampire secret revealed." She stated.
He looked down at himself, grunted, closed his eyes and a wind surrounded him and he was Chance again, another blast and T-Bone again. "This could come in useful."
After she got ready, he put an arm around her and drew her into the shadows. They emerged into downtown MegaKat city and they heard the Turbokat not too far from them.
"Wow, it worked; gotta take the good with the bad. If I'm gonna be stuck like this, I might as well use it." He told her. He tapped his communicator. "Razor, this is T-Bone. I'm in the city hall plaza with Mari. Any luck?"
"Actually yeah, I've done a systematic search of three sections of the city. The north is where we need to go again. I need to land and get Callie out; she's not doing so well right now."
"She'd better not puke in my cockpit."
"No, this Callie doesn't like flying."
The Turbokat landed near them and the canopy popped open. Razor and T-Bone helped a very shaky and fearful Callie out. "I'm sorry Sir Razor, but it's unnatural to fly, especially in your mechanical dragon." Mari took her in her arms and helped her to sit against the steps.
"You guys go ahead. I'll stay here with Callie and make sure she's safe." T-Bone looked at her. "Go on, you don't have much time." She raised a hand and an energy ball crackled in it. T-Bone stepped back, ducking his eyes behind his arm, hissing. "Ok, ok. Just put that light out."
She got Callie back to her apartment. "Callie, I'm going to go help the SWAT Kats. I'll set up a perimeter so you'll be safe, but you can't leave this apartment until morning."
"But Lady Marissa, he's dangerous and scary. Please stay with me. There's no one here to protect me."
She shook Callie. "Callie, listen to me and remember. You are Calico Briggs, the Deputy Mayor of MegaKat City and you can kick tail almost as well as the SWAT Kats."
Callie blinked at her for a few moments then relaxed. "Thanks Marissa. Why did I do that?"
"I think you were afraid of flying with Razor. It's all right, but I do need to go. OK?"
She nodded and hugged her friend. She laid amulets in the four compass corners of the apartment and activated them. She, Callie, Razor and T-Bone could see the golden light, but not other normal felines. "Don't let anyone in."
She went back outside and noticed that it was getting lighter and colder. An hour before dawn, she took out her communicator. "Razor, T-Bone, I've got Callie settled. Where are you now?"
"We've got the location but it's too late to do anything about it now. We'll need everyone for this job." She heard T-Bone cursing. In spite of herself, she smiled.
The argument continued back at the hanger. "I say we should have gone in there and kicked some tail and smashed that stupid pumpkin!" T-Bone raged, kicking a crate. It smashed into pieces.
"Yeah and what would have happened when dawn came? You could have been staked while Mari and I tried to take care of business." Razor yelled.
He winced and touched his chest. "Ok, you've got a point there."
"You saw that the place was crawling with creeplings. We'll need Callie to help with this. While we distract them, she can go in and smash it."
T-Bone tapped his chin with a claw. "I hope she can remember it."
Razor grinned, "She's scared of you more than Dark Kat or Pastmaster."
"Me? Nah, why would she be scared of me?" He tried to look innocent then a funny look came over his face, he reached out to Mari and slowly crumpled to the floor.
"Sunrise." They both said together.
The fourth night began with the changes in all of them. It was understood that tonight was the final night. Mari went into the room where Chance waited. He extended his hand to her, a very hungry look on his face.
Mari was so tired, so weak from loss of blood and loss of rest. She practically fell into Chance's arms. He was chilly and his heartbeat was almost non-existent.
He hugged her to him, "I can't do this, Mari. You're so weak. I seem to be taking more and more from you. Maybe Razor or Callie?"
"If you don't drink, you'll be weak and ready to give in to your bloodlust. You need all your strength and more and they can't give you the power I can." She offered him her neck in reply. He gathered her again into his arms, sighing, shaking. She could tell that he was trying to hold back. She turned his head to hers and kissed him.
She traced his lips and fangs with a fingertip. "It's all right." She kissed him again and she felt a wind sweep around them both. He was now in his SWAT Kat uniform. He dipped her back and nuzzled her neck and took his bite. He almost didn't want to stop, but after a few mouthfuls, he raised back and licked her neck clean. Then he noticed that there was something very wrong.
Mari lay in his arms, hardly breathing, her eyes closed, skin pale under her fur, completely limp.
"Mari!" He carried her to the couch and laid her on it. He knelt beside her and put his hand on her chest. With his new senses, he could tell the sacrifice she'd made for him. Her blood was being destroyed. She was so cold. She might recover, but he could not drink from her again until then or she would die and turn into the type of vampire they'd been fighting for days, she still might die from what he'd done to her.
He rubbed her hands between his. "Mari, love, what have I done?"
She opened her eyes and stared into his. She caressed his cheek. "I gave you a chance, my T-Bone. I love you and I will give my life for you." Her eyes closed again and her hand fell down onto the couch.
He sat back in horror, and then set his face in determination. "No. No. I'm not gonna let you die." He brought up one of his wrists and tore through the glove covering it. "I'm sorry, Marissa." He nipped through one of the blood vessels and took in a mouthful of his own blood. It tasted pretty good but not as good as Mari's. He leaned over Mari and kissed her, opening her mouth and giving her the blood. He kept his mouth over hers and stroked her throat to make her swallow. She did and sighed, head turning over to the side. Her tongue darted out to lick her lips, then she arched in pain and her eyes flew open, gasping. Her crystal-blue irises were being replaced by red ones.
T-Bone took her in his arms and held her while she writhed. "I know it hurts; it'll be better soon, love."
A few minutes later she relaxed and he put her back on the couch, holding her hand to his lips. "Wake up, Marissa." His voice held a note of command.
Her red eyes slowly opened and she sighed deeply. "I guess there was no choice, huh."
He closed his eyes and shook his head. "No. I heard what Jake told you the other day about your blood. I had to Embrace you to save your life. I couldn't live if you died and became one of those things."
"I already feel so hungry." Her eyes began to glow redly.
"Let me take care of that." He grinned at her. He raised his claw to his own throat and made to scratch at it.
"No!" I can't let you do that." Her hand shot out to stop him.
But it was already too late, he cut through the skin and fur and blood began to pool at the cut. Marissa tried to turn her head away but seemed mesmerized by the sight and scent of blood. Her nostrils flared and she licked her lips. She sat up and licked his neck. He gasped in reaction that he felt at her touch. She jerked back, covering her face with her hands. "No, no I can't do this."
He drew her hands down. "I could feel you dying. I wasn't going to let that happen. Please love; take what you need from me." He pleaded, with all the love he could muster in his voice. She looked up and saw the love in his eyes and his gentle smile. Her Chance/T-Bone was still there. Her feline self would not be lost.
She nodded and he pressed her to his throat. She licked again at the bleeding wound. She felt her own fangs prick at the lacerated skin and knew instinctively what to do. She bore down; feeling the skin part and a gush of blood entered her mouth, exploding with taste. She sucked at the wound and she felt T-Bone's hands clutching at her, gasping with lust, grabbing her head and holding her to him. She felt herself growl and took another large swallow of blood. It was the most delicious thing she'd ever tasted.
She soon leaned back, a trickle of blood coming out of the side of her mouth. T-Bone leaned forward and licked it off her face and lips. He crushed her to him and kissed her deeply.
"Now you're my vampire bride and we'll be together forever if things so south on us."
"You were right about the pleasure but a girl likes to be asked to become someone's bride." She did feel stronger, like her normal self. He helped her off the couch. She looked at his wrist. It had already healed and so had his neck.
He waved his hand and a black mist formed between his fingers. When it cleared, she saw a gold band in his fingers. She brought her hand to her mouth in shock.
"I'm dead serious."
"Well, will you be my bride of the night, to drink from each other and others until the true death part us?"
"I will." She whispered.
He slipped the band onto her finger and kissed her again. Then they went out into the hanger bay. Jake noticed them come out. "I was about to come get..T-Bone, what did you do to her?"
"Embraced her. She'd given too much of her blood to me to live much longer. You told me yourself that if she continued like this, she was gonna die. I wasn't going to let her die without me doing something about it. She is my bride now". He raised her hand and kissed the gold band around her finger.
"No ceremony, no banns? Is this what you really want, Lady Marissa?" Callie asked.
She went to her and hugged her. "I love him and I tried to give my life to save him. He's right; we may find it easier with two vampires. But I still have my magic." She raised her hand and yellow light crackled from her palm. T-Bone hissed in pain, turning. "The light, love."
She stopped. "Sorry, I forgot." It didn't seem to bother her yet.
"Well I personally don't want to see my partner and one of my best friends become creatures of the night, so it's time to kick some tail. Oh by the way T-Bone, you um left something." He pointed to T-Bone's white shirt that was now stained with blood. T-Bone stretched it out to look at it and touched a finger to it. The blood drained off his shirt onto his finger and he licked it off. Razor and Callie shivered.
"Sorry." He grinned sheepishly at them.
Razor and T-Bone took the jet while Callie and Mari took the two seated motorcycle. Marissa knew the weapons systems better so Callie drove, so she followed the signal that the Turbokat was following.
The signals lead them to a warehouse that had been changed into a medieval castle. "No wonder we couldn't find it during the day." Razor's voice came over the comm. "It must change back to its original form during the day."
"Figures." T-Bone's voice sounded irritated. "Makes things harder to find. Perfect to go along with this screwy week." Callie swung the cycle to a halt and got off, waiting for T-Bone to land the jet.
Razor adjusted his scanner. "This is it."
"Well no timing like the present. Let's knock on the door." T-Bone grinned and cracked his knuckles. He went to the thick wooden door and raised back a clenched fist. Swinging it forward, he literally shattered the doors with his vampiric strength. He made to step forward and was stopped. "Damn it."
"What's wrong?" Razor asked.
"Have to be invited in, remember."
Grinning, Razor and Callie stepped over the threshold and made exaggerated bows. "Would the vampires T-Bone and Marissa be pleased to enter this establishment and kick some tail?"
Shaking his head, T-Bone stepped over the threshold and clipped his partner on the back of the head. "This is bad enough without you playing around."
Razor rubbed the back of his head. "Sorry, couldn't help it."
They wandered the castle for a while, Mari could feel T-Bone's frustration and anger rising. "I'm going to try something."
They all stopped and she raised her hands over her head and cast a spell of disillusion. The scene disappeared and now they were in a main hall. Dark Kat, Pastmaster and Mad Kat were on a dais with the table and pumpkin. The light coming from the pumpkin was turning a sullen orange.
"Well, it seems that the SWAT Kats were part of the spell I cast. How wonderful! MegaKat City's greatest heroes becoming the greatest predators of MegaKat City. "
T-Bone stepped forward and cracked his knuckles. "Maybe so, but I think that we've become a bigger threat to you. If I have to stay like this, I'm gonna devote my undead life to getting rid of you all."
Dark Kat gasped. "You've become a Class-A vampire! How?"
"You can thank my bride for that. Now I can wipe the floor with you Dark Crud." He dissolved into mist and rushed the dais. Mad Kat tossed a bomb in the middle of the room. Before they could put on gas masks, the bomb went off and enveloped them in fear gas.
T-Bone rematerialized and fell to the floor. He coughed and gasped, bringing himself to his hands and knees then getting up. He couldn't feel Mari anymore. It was dark, even to his senses except for a chair and a covered table. He squinted, then whirled quickly when a low, menacing chuckle echoed through the hall. A black wind rushed past him and formed in the chair. It was himself as a true vampire. The eyes glowed red and one side of his mouth curled into a sneer, one leg crossed over another.
"Well, well, well, how nice for us to finally meet."
"Who are you?"
"You know who I am, T-Bone. I'm you, or at least in a few hours I will be you in your final transformation. You can already feel it, your heart slowing, the clearing of your senses, and the wild rush of your new power. We will rule the city and I will be able to give you what you want. Revenge on Feral and all the criminals you fight, all the females you want."
"Stop it." He snarled.
The Vampire T-Bone raised an eyebrow and leaned forward. "Struck a nerve, did I? Or is there one particular lady you have in mind?" He opened his palm to reveal a gold ring. T-Bone felt his rage almost blind him.
"What did you do with her? Where is she?"
"Our bride, you mean? Why she's right here, safe and sound." He got up and went to the table. He pulled the sheet off and Marissa lay there as if dead. The Vampire T-Bone caressed her cheek. "She is asleep right now, but I think I'll just have a little snack." He bent over her, fangs extended.
T-Bone didn't think, he was immediately beside him, his fist sending him flying across the room, The Vampire flipped over and slid to a halt, fingers digging long furrows through the concrete. His tongue snaked across his mouth to lick at the blood coming from a split lip. It immediately healed.
"Now the fun begins."
"Listen to me shit-sucker. Mari is mine, body, blood and soul. I'm not gonna let someone, not even me take her from me."
The Vampire laughed. "You ARE me, shit-sucker."
Both of them lunged toward each other, teeth bared, claws extended.
Mari found herself alone in the hall after the gas cleared; she coughed again and came to her feet. She couldn't feel T-Bone and began to panic. At the end of the hall a female figure was holding up T-Bone up by the throat. She could hear the snap of his neck and his body twitched and relaxed. She tossed the body aside and laughed terribly. The female was her.
"Now that's out of the way, hello Marissa."
"Yes in all our glory or at least in a few hours it will be. We're the ultimate combination of vampire and priestess. I just had to get rid of the last obstacle to our power. We will rule MegaKat City and the common kats will be our food."
Mari staggered to T-Bone and fell to her knees, cupping his face in her hands. "T-Bone, love, speak to me." He laid still and cold, eyes staring out, returning to their beautiful brown coloring.
"Another way to kill a vampire is to break the neck and sever the spinal cord, but you know that."
The blast of power from Mari knocked the Vampire off her feet and into the wall.
"T-Bone was my lifemate! You bitch from hell! I don't care what I have to do, but I will make sure you are beaten back to whatever abyss you have come from!" Tears streaked across her cheeks.
The Vampire sorceress climbed out of the wall and shook herself. "Bitch from hell huh? You're me, so what does that make you?" She flew toward Mari, hands crackling with power and fangs extended. Before she met the Vampire, one thought echoed through her tears. "Wait for me, beloved and I will join you after."
Razor found himself awakening in a lab filled with an evil scientist's fantasy equipment. T-Bone and Marissa were imprisoned in silver cages, Callie strapped to a table, the Scientist experimenting on her, trying to find the reason why vampires existed beyond death. Razor's heart clenched in his chest at Callie's screams and seeing his best friends reduced to lab rats. The Scientist turned.
"Ah, you are late. Maybe I should say that I'm late." He laughed manically. "I have a proposition for you or us as the case may be."
"What is it?" He wound his way with his back to the wall toward T-Bone and Marissa's cages.
"Power and knowledge beyond what you could ever think of; the power of life, death and reanimation. Just think of it!" The Scientist closed his eyes, shivering in anticipation.
"And what do I have to do to acquire said power?"
He held out a scalpel and gestured toward Callie. "Why just help me vivisect her. I've injected her with vampire venom, not enough to turn her but enough to keep her alive for my experiments."
Razor's heart froze in his chest and he stared at the Scientist in horror. Callie's voice came weakly from the table. "Please Razor, help me."
The Scientist turned and struck her across the face. "Quiet!" The scalpel went across her throat and blood spurted.
"NO!" Razor screamed and launched himself at the Scientist.
Callie coughed and struggled to clear her eyes, keeping her sword up.
"Weak and pitiful creature you've turned out to be."
She whirled and saw a cruel and beautiful she-kat on a throne. She got up and Callie realized that it was her and she carried a sword also.
"I will so enjoy getting rid of you and becoming Queen of MegaKat City. It won't be hard to get rid of you, so weak, so stupid that you need your friends to help you." The Queen swung the sword at Callie's head and it was blocked by her.
"I am NOT weak or pathetic. Sir Razor, Sir T-Bone and Lady Marissa are depending on ME to end this nightmare and end it I will!"
T-Bone found himself tiring, he couldn't beat himself, no matter how hard he tried. He threw the Vampire through the wall and saw flashing lights from the room beyond. Mari's awareness flowed into him; she was angry and grieving, grieving for him. The fighting suddenly stopped.
He rushed to the other room and jumped through the hole. He saw himself, lying dead against the wall, his Mari and another Mari fighting with burn marks, smoke rising from their clothes.
The dead T-Bone faded from view, he glanced behind him and the other Mari faded as well. Mari rushed to him, tears streaking down her face.
"She had me believing that you were dead!"
He hugged her tightly, breathing in her scent. "Takes a lot more than that to kill me off. He had me believing that of you."
"How touching. Why don't we put our differences aside and destroy these two do-gooders." The Vampire T-Bone said.
"I was getting sick to my stomach with all this lovey-dovey stuff." The Vampire Mari said.
"Together?" T-Bone asked her.
She grasped his hand. "Forever"
The four rushed each other. T-Bone found himself in close quarters with himself again. Their hands fought for purchase while spells flew around him, one hit the Vampire and he lost his grip on T-Bone. T-Bone grabbed him by the neck and broke it. The Vampire relaxed and disappeared into mist, flowing into him. He felt his strength return.
The Vampire Mari screamed as Mari's spells finally found their mark.
"I have another thought but I'll need your help. "
"What can I do?"
"Just let me borrow your power and strength. Just do what feels right." She began to chant, holding his hands. His eyes closed and he felt energy flow from him into her. He let go of one of her hands to extend it up with hers and red energy from their palms hit a shield. Not only had Mad Kat hit them with fear gas, Pastmaster had cast a shield to increase the effects. The shield broke with a smashing sound and the main hall came back into focus. Dark Kat, Pastmaster and Mad Kat stood on the dais, angry. Callie and Razor rushed through a door on the other side of the dais.
"How could you have broken through?" Dark Kat raged.
"Mari, take Pastmaster, Razor, take Mad Kat, leave Dark Kat to me. Callie, smash that pumpkin." T-Bone snarled.
"Leave it to me, Sir T-Bone!" She cried. They all rushed the dais and the bad guys rushed them. Mari traded spell for spell against Pastmaster and Mad Kat and Razor were after each other. Two quick swipes from Razor's Glovatrix and two tassels from Mad Kat's hat were taken off. He screamed in pain, disappearing, leaving Razor to deal with creeplings. T-Bone stopped in front of Dark Kat.
"Now to really let go of myself and show you the true power you so generously gave me!" He yelled as dark power rushed through his body and he charged Dark Kat and mentally let go of his barriers.
He started firing a weapon at him but he didn't bother to step aside. T-Bone felt the rounds go through him, only to heal up almost instantly. Dark Kat then tried tying him up in power bands, but he dissolved into mist, coming up behind Dark Kat. He managed to avoid T-Bone's punch but T-Bone managed however, to get the gun out of his hand.
"This is what you most feared, isn't it Dark Kat? I'm going to so enjoy this." His hand rematerialized and crushed the pulse gun in his hand. Dark Kat yelled and summoned two creeplings. T-Bone rematerialized fully and laughed.
"Creeplings? Really Dark Kat?" He faced the two creeplings. "Bow to your true master."
The creeplings stopped in midflight and dropped to the floor, groveling at T-Bone's feet.
"Help Callie destroy the pumpkin. Now." He looked at Dark Kat, eyes glowing. "I think I could get used to this."
"NO!" Cried Dark Kat in fear as T-Bone grabbed him and extended his fangs, his eyes blazing, hissing. Then he stopped.
"Ah you ain't even worth a bite. You probably taste terrible." He tossed Dark Kat aside as Callie's sword smashed through the pumpkin.
The pain was terrible to Mari. Black smoke came out of everywhere. She and T-Bone were screaming in pain. She woke to Callie shaking her and sunlight streaming through the holes in the roof. Razor was with T-Bone, he was still unconscious on the floor. Callie helped her to sit up. She looked into the sky and closed her eyes to the sunlight streaming through the roof. Callie helped her to get up and they went to T-Bone.
"Is he?" She asked shakily.
She fell to her knees beside him and rested her hand on his chest. He was warm, breathing, and heart beating strongly. He opened his eyes.
"I guess we won, huh."
"Yeah we did. How do you feel?"
"Hungry for a good steak, a shower and sleep in that order. I hurt all over." He slowly sat up.
Mari wrapped her arms around his neck, tears soaking into his fur. "I thought we were goners."
"Nah', then he hissed in pain. "Anyone got any Advil?"
They soon walked out into the sunshine. T-Bone raised his head and soaked in the warmth of the sun. "It's a good day to be alive."
"Um T-Bone? ', Razor asked. "Do you realize that you are married now?"
"Huh?" he raised up Mari's left hand. The gold band was still on her finger.
"Woah, I forgot about that." Mari felt her heart sink into her stomach. She reached out to pull of the ring. T-Bone's hand covered hers. "No, don't. In fact," he pulled out a ring box out of his flight suit and went to one knee. "I was going to ask you to marry me on Halloween night." He opened the box to reveal a beautiful engagement ring. "Hey, with everything we've gone through in the past few nights, we can handle being married to each other, right?"
. "It's so beautiful." She whispered.
"Is that a yes? Will you marry me Marissa Callistane?"
. "YES!" She buried her face in her hands, tears of joy slipping down her cheeks. He took back her left hand and kissed the ring. He slipped off the gold band off her finger and placed the diamond ring on it. "I'll save this for later." He slipped the band back into his pocket. He stood up and they hugged each other and kissed for several long minutes until Razor started clearing his throat.
They then continued their walk toward the jet and motorcycle. "Not to spoil the moment, but I was thinking that there could be some residual effects of the spell." Mari mentioned.
"Oh no, you mean I could still become a vampire?"
"And me a mad scientist?"
"And me a total blithering idiot?"
"I don't know now. We'll just have to take it one day at a time."
They went to their own homes for the first time in four days. It felt so good to take a long shower. Chance was downstairs, raiding the refrigerator. She reached for her shampoo, realizing that the bottle was empty. A new bottle from the closet floated into her hand. She trembled, clutching the bottle in her hand and leaning against the wall.