Chapter 5: Capturing the Drum
Dark Kat had just entered his lair and prepared to take his regular nightly hike he took while playing the drum, a habit he had been carrying on for six days now. He called for his Creeplings and lined them up. Pounding a drum roll, he bellowed, "Follow my feet! Quick march!" He pounded the usual marching drum rhythm of eighth-note, eighth-note, roll-into-eighth-note to establish the tempo, then began marching down the usual paths while drumming and shouting "Hut-2-3-4!" over and over. The Creeplings kept in perfect tempo with his feet.
Meanwhile, using a special technology Razor invented, Feral had the junkyard moved closer to Enforcer HQ. When it was all finished, he, Felina, and the Sergeant resumed surveillance work on watching Dark Kat's parade, from a monitor in a main room where Hard Drive's cell (which was soon to be his office thanks to a bit of remodeling to come when his sentence expired).
"Sir," asked the Sergeant, "do you think he has repented of his evil ways and strictly wants to spend the rest of his life playing the drums?"
"That is a possibility," Ulysses replied, "but I wouldn't bet my life on it. In fact, I wouldn't bet anything on it. My motto has always been, 'Take no prisoners,' when it comes to villains and trespassers." He turned to Hard Drive and asked, "How's the project coming?"
"Fantastic. I still have yet to enter the secrets in, as this is only 76% done."
"That's all right. Incidentally, I forgot to tell you that Felina snuck in and took your surge coat from Dark Kat while he was marching in his nightly parade that the Sergeant and I were watching closely."
"Oh, you didn't hear about that, did you?"
"No, not recently."
"Tell him, Sergeant."
"Yes, sir!" the Sergeant replied with a salute. He turned towards Hard Drive in a marching manner and explained. "Dark Kat's been drilling his troops by marching them in time to his drum, which, as you know, is really the ancient official drum of executions used back when Megakat City was Megalith City. He's been using it to do his bidding, or, at least, that's what he thinks. Could you open another file and look up the drum for the Commander and for me?"
"I'd be happy to." He logged to the computer's huge database of all history, news, and information necessary for the Enforcers and looked up the drum. When the article was found, a bell rang. "Oh. I found it," Hard Drive announced. He brought up the page and began to read it. "It says here that the drum was used for executions and the marching leading to executions, but nothing else. The soldier playing the drum began a roll of the drums as the criminal's head was placed in the guillotine slot, and was required to cut off the drum roll sharply right as the chopper part began to fall. It was symbolic of evil mainly due to the fact that the drummer used mallets, not sticks."
"So that's why Dark Kat was using it!" Ulysses exclaimed.
"Bingo!" Hard Drive agreed. "Apparently, its use was discontinued by the beginning of the modern age, and other drums were used, after rumors began to abound—though they were never substantiated—that the drum was cursed, due to the fact that every time a criminal was to be executed by the ceremony involving the drum, a big thunderstorm was occur the night before. In reality, the Pastmaster was causing the storms while forcing the drummer who owned the drum to beat it for the 9-12 hours prior to the infamous ceremonial roll of the drums that led to the death of a criminal by means of getting his head chopped off."
"But why would Dark Kat worry so much about owning the drum?"
"According to your spy program, Dark Kat was using it as a symbol of the thunderstorms while the Pastmaster, Dr. Viper, and Madkat—as a separate entity, not possessing Lenny Ringtail—were casting spells from a large caldron, like the witches did in that scene of Macbeth. He was foolishly drumming to honor the Pastmaster."
"What did he want you to do for him?"
"Had I continued to work for him?"
"I was to be a barefoot villain, like he is. In his case, he would have electrocuted the victims to death ahead of time after I came back with the info. I was to hold an axe, formally march to the dead body in time to the beating of the drum, and chop off the victims head, again announced by a drum roll of his doing. Then he would beat the drum as we paraded to a nearby hideout of Dr. Viper's, so that he could mutate the heads into his creatures. This whole thing was in cooperation with the Quarrelsome Quartet, who uses hypnosis in almost everything. Once all the heads were in place, Dark Kat would make it storm continuously while all hypnotized victims, via the Quarrelsome Quartet's Laser Beam 5000, would begin to serve the combines forces of evil and hail them as rulers of the whole world, and as you know, only the G-52s have been stopping the Quarrelsome Quartet. However, before we were even close to making all that happen, you caught me."
"Well, flip my pancakes! Gerald, you are one aggressive yet impressive villain, if I do say so myself, and I do! I was mostly concerned with the investigations those SWAT Kats investigations on Dark Kat. But if they are telling the truth, and I know they are, they and their former evil counterparts are willing to do anything to keep him from doing his evil bidding. Keep up the good work, Gerald!" Ulysses and the Sergeant turned to leave the room to attend to other duties, those other duties being capturing Dark Kat and the drum according to the Dark SWAT Kats' plan. Gerald opened another tab bar so he could listen to music while continuing his work.
Without realizing it, Dark Kat's so-called parade had led him and his Creeplings right to the very spot where the Dark SWAT Kats had anticipated. This led Dark Razor to announce his instructions to the others: "Okay, here's the plan. As soon as his feet touch the trapdoor, I'll pull the lever, thus taking another picture. You two then will grab the drum using your plane while we get Dark Kat."
"Gotcha!" the SWAT Kats replied in unison.
"What a stupendous idea!" exclaimed Mayor Manx in delight as Ann and Jonny began catching the whole thing on tape. "Now I can golf in peace once more! Exciting, isn't it, Callie?"
"Oh, yes, it is," said Callie. "I've got to tell Dr. Sinian about this. She'll be delighted." Callie jumped into her green sedan with the mayor following suit, and they drove off towards the museum. (Dr. Abby Sinian was the curator of the Megakat City Museum of History, always assisted on archeological trips by her assistant, Nathan Henson. She was always looking for new exhibits to fill into her newly-expanded museum, and she was always proud to find something of her interest. Since she knew everything there was to know about the Pastmaster and Megalith City, there was no doubt she was going to accept the drum.)
"This has to be most ingenious plan I've ever seen ever since Mutilor caused my tribe to separate me from them," Grimalken smiled as the sirens approaching indicated that Ulysses and the Sergeant had arrived in the squad car. (As Ulysses would later explain, Felina was off on helicopter patrol at that very moment, working on another case.)
The plan worked to perfection. The very moment Dark Kat reached the trapdoor, Dark Razor pulled the lever. The picture was taken, and Dark Kat fell into the pit. The SWAT Kats, using one of Razor's cable grabbing devices, grabbed the purple overlord while Al and Fango took a couple of fishing nets and scooped up all the Creeplings into one box Grimalken was holding for them. "Whoa. This thing weighs a ton now!" he said after all the Creeplings had been gathered first.
"I'll get you all for this if it's the last thing I do!" Dark Kat swore.
"You'll have to break out of jail first," the Sergeant sneered. "Now move it! Get in the car!"
"And give me your drum, mate!" Fango added. Dark Kat handed him the drum. Fango hung the drum around his neck and said, "I tell you, mates, all those marching band days in high school and in the military are really going to pay off." He began performing drum roll after drum roll as Dark Kat was escorted off to jail, as if a bugler was about to play taps.
At HQ, as Dark Kat was in his cell, he noticed Hard Drive and questioningly reminded him of their old partnership. "Sorry," Hard Drive replied with authority. "I'm one of them now. And now it is my duty to tell you that you have the right to remain silent. If you give up that right, anything you say can and will be used against you in court. Have you understood everything that is to happen to you now?"
"I have," Dark Kat replied regretfully. "Oh, my drum! The plan was so great!"
"I must say it was ingenious for someone like you," Ulysses commented, "but it was not meant to be. Besides, you can't succeed in anything. Not with us Enforcers and the SWAT Kats on the job!" Dark Kat was in tears. "And also," continued the mighty Commander of the Enforcers, "your hideout has been destroyed by an underground bomb invented by the SWAT Kats, so that you can't escape anymore." More tears came from Dark Kat, though he dared not breathe a word or cry out loud.
And so, once again, another plot was foiled by the mighty SWAT Kats Fab Four, a force now respected by all. And the greatest thing of all was that the drum was now safe forever, in the Museum of History. The Pastmaster escaped to his own time zone to plot his next move in hopes of capturing Queen Callista, only to realize that she, too, had been forced to live in the present. He soon accepted his defeat and allowed himself to return to his previous undead state.1
At the museum, Dr. Sinian had Ulysses seal off the drum and its mallets to be placed as an exhibit. "At least you got to play it once," he told Fango.
"I'll say," Fango replied. "I was performing those drum rolls so formally, I was waiting for a trumpet to start playing taps, mate."
1 When Jack and Tom found him while robbing the Megakat Cemetery in the episode "The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice."