More Drumming Fever
Having beaten Jake in a karate match, Chance was now beating his taiko drums, looking proud in his white uniform, and feeling dedicated to his drumming. Jake, in his red uniform, felt the same way. They were practicing with the rest of Konway's Korps, looking at Konway's latest composition for a mix of drums, which he entitled, "Drumming Fever." Konway led the group from his set of timpani, with Dark Kat banging his military bass drum, and the Sergeant beating his military snare drum. Fango kept tempo with his drum set while Commander Feral played a contemporary marching snare, and Lenny Ringtail took the big concert bass drum. Dark T-Bone had a marching bass drum, Dark Razor used a set of tenor drums, and Lt. Commander Steele added splash with a pair of cymbals.
This also marked the first time mixed clothing was used based on the percussion being played, although all appeared barefoot (as they always did when drumming), and Dark Kat was in his normal outfit. Konway wore a suit and tie, the Sergeant wore his normal police uniform (as did Steele), and Commander Feral and Lenny wore typical drum major's uniforms (Feral's was red, and Lenny's was blue). The Dark SWAT Kats wore their typical flight uniforms. Hard Drive wore a blue judo outfit with a black belt.
The second time they practiced this piece, along with others, everyone was wearing martial arts uniforms. They then practiced an all taiko drumming piece, several patriotic pieces, modern drumline cadences, and the others took a rest to listen to the official SWAT Kats drum jam piece composed by Chance. He played a modern marching snare while Jake kept tempo on his drum set.
"Well done, men!" Feral spoke up when the piece was finished, indicated by T-Bone saluting with his right hand and holding his drumsticks with his left hand. "I knew there was more to you than meets the eye!"
"It certainly is original," Fango added. "What inspired you to compose it?"
"I think it was just something that came out of the blue," said Chance. "One day I was beating my drum, and the rhythms stuck in my head, so I told Jake, 'I got an idea,' and this piece was done."
"Well, it's great, nevertheless," said Konway. "Now I must test your marching abilities." Chance put his drum down and stood at attention next to Jake. Using their U.S. Army Hellcat-style snare drums (and Dark Kat with his bass drum), the Dark SWAT Kats, the Sergeant, and Feral began pounding out the cadences made famous by the Hellcats: "Connecticut half time," "Spare Time," "Willie Weaver," "Road to Boston," and ending with "Fancy 6/8." All the while, Chance and Jake kept their march in perfect step and synchronization, and they saluted on the last beat as they got the cue to halt.
"Perfect!" said Konway when they finished. "Were you two marchers before?"
"Not in a marching band," Jake replied, "but we must have a natural ability to march.
The group all proceeded to don their Hellcat-style uniforms but remain barefoot (with the exception of Dark Kat, who had been let off the hook). They walked outside, began drumming, and marching to their beat as they marched down the street. This time, Konway, Feral, and Lenny had their bugles and fifes, and alternated on several pieces. Otherwise, only the drummers played. Konway shouted several commands to keep up with the music.
Not long after the group finished playing "The British Grenadiers" did they run into Col. Parkinson, the Sergeant's fellow drummer and drum major that led his own ensembles. "Oh, Parkinson," said Feral. "We didn't see you."
"That's okay," said Parkinson. "I see you're in the right mood today. I have just dismissed my troops, and I'm certain we're to do a great job at the next football game we are to perform at. You see, even though we are professionals, we do a combination of traditional military band and contemporary marching band music performed at college football games. We've been hired to perform at another game, and that's coming up Saturday."
"That explains the mace and the whistle," said Jake. "Did you have another problem for us to solve or are you just happy to see us?"
"Sort of a little bit of each," Parkinson replied. "But it's not serious enough where the SWAT Kats will have to fly their Turbokat. Instead, I've heard rumors that some crazy psycho, but not the same percussion psycho we saw earlier, is planning on using our band camp's base as a training ground for ninja warriors."
"Ninjas?" Lenny exclaimed. "Why did they have to be ninjas?"
"I don't know, but as I said, it's only a rumor. I hope it's false."
"Lead the way," Feral ordered, "and we will diligently follow you."
"Yes, sir," said Parkinson, saluting, then holding his mace in the proper manner and blowing his whistle. Konway's Korps marched behind him faithfully, and kept a steady drumbeat. Everyone marched in perfect step. Konway, Lenny, and Feral began playing "Yankee Doodle."
When Parkinson ordered for a halt in conjunction with the end of another fife and drum tune, "The World Turned Upside Down," he pointed out how the noise heard was the ninjas in training. "Again, I hope it's not true."
Feral looked inside the building. "I don't see a ninja anywhere," he reported. "Must be a tape recording. Either way, let's all proceed in." The group again marched in perfect step, but this time only let Dark Kat beat out the foundation on his bass drum. Hard Drive, also carrying a bass drum, held his mallets in the standard position used when not playing, but still marched.
The next time the group halted, Feral found the tape. "Yes, here it is," he said as he pressed the STOP button. "It was just a rumor, Parkinson. We still thank you for reporting it."
"You're welcome, but who could have used this as a front?"
"Whoever it is, he must have turned himself in."
"Hey! Do you smell something?" Fango spoke up.
"I smell it. It smells like oil. If there's anything I hate," Jake commented, "it's my uniform smelling like oil."
"Dark Kat, you used to be a villain," said Lenny as he turned to the former overlord. "Did you or any other villain you know use tape recordings to fool the public while you or them struck somewhere else?"
"I recall that the four-eyed villain, Morbulus, once did so when smuggling drugs to Mexico. Of course, the SWAT Kats put an end to that, and I proved I had nothing to do with it. I only wanted to rule Megakat City as a dictator. The same can be said of Dr. Viper. Now, where is that smell coming from?"
"Over here," Chance motioned as he walked into another room. "Someone's spilled oil all over this room by accident. And there are footprints leading to the next exit."
"Hmmm," said Lenny after studying them. "I think I've seen those prints before. Let's see where they lead us, and for this case, there's no formality necessary." The group steathfully crept along the trail. They followed the prints until the end, which led them right into an alley.
"This is the alley where Jack Jones told us about that pizza perpetrator," Chance commented. "I doubt Mugsy Johnson's trying something."
"Yes, but the prints are the footprints of one of his former gangsters," Lenny replied. "I once busted one of them for kidnapping Kendra Collins, that 8-year-old girl that was in the news for her humanitarian work last night. This has to be one of the other gangsters."
"Ever had to deal with any of them, Parkinson?" asked Feral.
"Only one," said Parkinson. "His name is Bully Arider, and I heard Stoker Van Rotten once busted him while as Super Stoker. That was entirely without the Biker Mice from Mars. If my gut instincts are correct, it's him."
"If not, it has to be another of his gangsters," said the Sergeant, unaware Bully was hiding in the alley.
"Blast!" Bully whispered to himself. "They figured it out!"
"Who said that?" Fango exclaimed.
"Oops!" Bully exclaimed in response. "I'm busted. Oh, well; that didn't work. I'll try again next time." He emerged from his hiding spot. "You musical law enforcers don't have to tell me my rights and stuff; I know I'm under arrest and all that jazz."
"I still want to hear from you," said Feral. "What's your game?"
"The tape recording, which I'm guessing you heard, was to fool people into believing ninjas were attacking while I continued my gang's work of smuggling catnip across the border to Mexico. It's what we do best, but I see we shall be doing it no more."
"Smuggling, eh?" Lenny replied. "That seems to be a common crime in this town. Just last week, the Enforcers busted two other gangs smuggling catnip to Mexico. Where in Mexico is the other side of this crime wave?"
"In the capital, Mexico City. The police have already taken care of that, last I heard. I shall go peacefully to jail, but let me say my gang won't stop at anything to continue the operation."
"How'd you know it was me even though I am in my uniform as a soldier of Konway's Korps?" Feral asked.
"I recognized your voice, and I read all about your act helping Leo the Patriotic Lion in his speech about the flag and its significance, plus how to respect it. We gangsters are not flag-haters; we just don't pay attention to it." At that moment, a squad car arrived with two other Enforcers arrived to take Arider to jail.
Back at the hangar, while the other members continued to play their instruments and march in perfect step (with Konway, Lenny, and Dark Kat now marching with rifles to the beating of the drums from the others), Feral spoke to Arider over the telephone to ask some more questions. "Tell me about how Stoker busted you."
"That was another smuggling job of ours, but that wasn't catnip; that was cocaine. Stoker used his nosedive maneuver to blow up the hideouts, then whacked each of us as we tried to get the drug over the border. This job was to Canada, not Mexico, because Mexico was having that other drug bust issue that they haven't solved yet. Only I escaped so that I could hire more cronies while the rest of them were transferred over to the Royal Canadian Mountees, who escorted each member to jail."
"I see. Well, you know what is to happen next time we catch you in the act."
"Yes, sir, and I think I'm going to retire from crime. It just doesn't pay."
"No, it doesn't." Feral hung up the phone and marched in perfect time back to the other room, where he picked up his own rifle and joined in the marching.
SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron © Hanna-Barbera, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros.
Leo the Patriotic Lion © me
Biker Mice From Mars © Rick Ungar, Tom Tataranowicz, Tom Tataranowicz Animation, Brentwood Television Funnies, and everyone else who owns the rights