Living the Life of a Hero

Megakat City was thriving more than ever before. With the SWAT Kats both as heroes and as front men for their rock band, the SWAT Kats Band, one could not go wrong. It was almost like a double delight for the citizens, as their favorite heroes were now their favorite rock stars, and several cats they previously showed a grudge towards (in particular Commander Ulysses Feral) were now appreciated, since these cats were now part of the SWAT Kats Band.

The real success story behind the SWAT Kats Band, however, was Captain Grimalken. Ever since he gained his youth back (after an accident from one of Mutilor's technologies designed to lower his age from 900 to whatever), he also gained the voice (also with somewhat of a British accent when speaking) of a rock star praised by millions. Grimalken had never performed any song of his in his life that did not peak at #1 on the charts. It gave the competition plenty of challenges, for while they did indeed produce #1 hits, Grimalken always seemed to reply with one of his own. His all-time #1, "Smoked!", knocked Razor's #1, "Claws to You," down to #2. (T-Bone's only #1 was his cover take on George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone").

What made this possible? Was it Grimalken's blue skin? Was it his passion for rock-and-roll? Was it his appearance? Or was it just because the public was sympathizing with him because he lost his position as leader of the Aquian tribe? No one seemed to be able to explain why. Not even Grimalken knew why he could only produce hits that peaked at #1. "It is the SWAT Kats Band," he said in an interview. "They and the rest of the band deserve as much credit as me. I don't plan on going solo anytime soon, because I can't do what I do without them. Truth be told, I did not become the world's mightiest guitar hero by using a ton of sugar and spice. Plus, for those of you who asked if Fango would ever resort to electronic drums, the answer is no. His military background will not permit him to do such a thing." (Fango had a brief career as a Civil War re-enactor drummer.)

"Tell me something," Feral spoke to Grimalken one day. "When was the last time someone ever booed you? Has that happened to you before?"

"If anyone ever booed me," Grimalken replied, "I didn't hear them. There's too much screaming anyway. The only reason one person would ever boo me was if they hated my stage presence." He played a replay on tape showing him as the center of attention, with the lights flashing and changing colors appropriately. Whenever he slammed that guitar of his, it only wanted to make the public smile. The particular act also showed the lights having to keep up with T-Bone and Razor, who not only were slamming their guitars but also jumping up and down back and forth in accordance with the lyrics, which stated something about going back and forth between lovers.

"And the message there," Fango jumped in, "is that if you are a narcoleptic, don't go into strobe lighting!" The band members laughed at his joke.

"Wasn't that the same show where you insisted on giving the one dad and his son front row seats and a backstage pass?" Jake asked.

"It was, come to think of it." Grimalken paused to yawn. "They deserved it, though; their persistence had to pay off at some point."

"True," said Chance.

Just then, the alarm went off. "Oh, well; a superhero's job is never done," Jake commented as he ran to catch the alarm. "Yes, Miss Briggs?"

"Razor, thanks for taking my call," came Callie's voice from the other end of the line. "I have no reason to be near any sort of danger right now, but I'm hearing distress calls from the other end of town. It sounded like Dr. Sinian. She could be in real trouble. Think you can help?"

"You bet!" Chance replied with authority. "We're on our way!" The duo ran to the hangar, and within a few seconds, emerged as the SWAT Kats. They ran to their beloved jet, the Turbokat, and blasted off towards the high skies. Feral, meanwhile, got inside his sedan with Fango and Grimalken by his side (as his Sergeant was on another case and Felina was piloting a chopper).

Like a true guitar hero, Grimalken had his guitar and amplifiers with him if needed. "It worked several times before. Maybe it'll work again."

"It'd better," Feral replied. "If it doesn't, I'm going to go deaf in more ways than one."

Razor traced the signal to the Megakat City Museum of History. "Where else?" he commented. "Dr. Sinian's always hard at work."

Dr. Abby Sinian was the curator of the museum. There wasn't any exhibit she didn't take pride in. Here and now, she was being held hostage. It wasn't Dr. Viper, which surprised the SWAT Kats and Feral as they entered the museum. It wasn't any of the usual villains. It wasn't even Hard Drive's twin brother.

"Who are you?" she asked.

"What difference does it make?" the criminal sneered. "You're my prisoner, and you're going to tell me where the Tome of Time is located!" (The crook had no idea the Pastmaster was dead and his Tome of Time had been shredded to pieces.)

"The Tome of Time is no more!" Feral growled. "Your crime spree is useless, so you had better get smart and surrender!"

"Never!" the crook snorted. "Until I get my hands on that Tome of Time, no one will be safe within the confines of my presence!" He laughed manically. It was so vile, it even trumped the Pastmaster's and Mutilor's laughs.

"What a psycho!" Fango spoke up. "He's no different than that timpani maniac!"

"The one that Konway's Korps took care of?" Grimalken asked. (Note that Grimalken had no idea that Konway's Korps consisted of several of the SWAT Kats Band members. The maniac in question attempted to use timpani to make people surrender to him and let him rule them because of how loud he could play them. The Sergeant's beating of his snare drum messed with the sound waves and it caused an explosion, foiling the plot.)

"Yes," said Feral. "They showed him good." He looked at the criminal again. "Wait a minute!" he exclaimed. "That's the same crook!"

"There's no explanation to his acts of randomness," Razor added. "He just acts, and nothing he ever does makes any sense." Razor fired a shot from his Gloveatrix as soon as the group located the crook inside the museum, although Grimalken waited outside with his guitar hooked up in case of emergency. The lasers barely missed the crook, but it stirred him up for a time. It also gave Feral ample time to grab him. As expected, he slipped away before Feral could cuff him, and he ran outside. Then he stopped stone cold. He wasn't counting on seeing the rock-and-roll champion of the world working with the Enforcer commander-in-chief, especially since he had no idea Grimalken was a rock star and not something else!

"Captain Grimalken!" he screamed, losing his mind.

"The one and only," Grimalken replied.

"How'd you get to be a police officer?" the crook screamed again.

"No, I'm not. This is who I am!" Grimalken shot back, in a rather loud voice. He turned his amplifier up to the loudest volume and struck an A chord. The sound led the crook to continue to deteriorate emotionally and physically until he collapsed on the ground. Feral picked him up and dragged him inside his sedan as Grimalken performed a bit of improvisation. When he finished, a crowd that had gather cheered and clapped appreciatively for him, and he raised his arms triumphantly, although bending down his middle and ring fingers on each hand, so that only his thumbs, pointer fingers, and pinky fingers were pointing skyward. "Thank you, Cleveland!" he shouted.

The SWAT Kats high-fived one another and clapped for their fellow rock-and-roller. Even Dr. Sinian was applauding. "How can I ever repay you?" she asked. "You saved my life!"

"You don't have to bother with that," Grimalken replied. "I don't rock-and-roll for the money, even though I've led the band to make plenty of it. I rock because I was born to rock. Oh, it's a piece of heaven, I tell you!"

"What am I to do then?"

"Nothing. It was my pleasure to act as I did free of charge."

"He's getting more like us every day," T-Bone chuckled.

"Yes, he is," said Razor. "One more act like this and he's going to put our junkyard out of commission. I mean, we won't need it anymore. It is our home, though."

"Don't worry, buddy," T-Bone smiled. "Our home's not going anywhere. Besides, it could use a bit of remodeling." The two laughed again as they continued to clap for their beloved Captain, who truly was the quintessential textbook definition of a guitar hero, and proving once and for all that rock-and-roll will never die.

THE END

SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron © Hanna-Barbera, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros.