Completely and somewhat Incompletely AU. I am a pretty inexperienced writer and am hoping for reviews. I hope you guys can enjoy this. If you do, I have a bit of a series planned out so it will continue. Rated 'T', as there will be future depictions and themes of violence and death.
Jake Clawson is still young and very frail with sickness, he is missing an important part of his being and could die at any moment; In an alternate universe lies his only hope, his other half, a human. This person must die so that Jake may survive.
Disclaimer/Author's Note: I do not own Swat Kats and pretty much never will. Though, any other characters, not already mentioned in any of the 'Swat Kats' episodes belong to me. (In other words, I don't own diddly squat and wish I did) Also, I am taking this story slowly, and sorry there isn't much SK action here, but I'll get there. Bear with me!
Chapter 1 - Transcending Death
I ran. The woods around me howling in animalistic fervor. The sounds of the wild reaching out to me on all sides, I felt more and more afraid for my life as I ran aimlessly, twisting and ducking around trees. I had to escape.
Against my will I turned, expecting to see some monstrous thing chasing me as I was trying to get away. Luckily, the path behind me was clear, maybe I could actually get away. I constantly looked back, only glancing forward to avoid trees. I stumbled as I ran, my breaths catching in my throat, then eventually escaping my lungs in ragged gasps. The steam from my breath clouded my sight, but the mysterious being failed to appear. Then I crashed into a large and very solid thing, I hit it with enough force to send my body sprawling backwards. I landed with a sharp cry, my backside spasming in pain. I had my eyes clamped shut and my teeth clenched as I hit the ground, silently willing the growing pain to subside. I had to get up and run. I needed to. I looked up to see what I had run into. Initially, all I could see was a shadow blocking my only light source, panic gripping me. But when my eyes adjusted and I realized what I was staring at, I truly felt fear, my heart leaping into my throat. Somehow, it had gotten ahead.
The devilish entity stood in front of me, it's large frame covered from head to toe in a dark cloak as it stood blocking out the moon above. The brown cloth billowing in the light, cool breeze as the figure loomed above me, slowly drawing near. I scrambled away from it, my lower body scraping against the dark featureless ground as the hulking shape drew itself closer and closer by the second. Within mere moments, it was upon me, it's freakishly large hands reaching out to me, the tips of it's crude boney fingers coming to ferocious points. It's claws grasping the air as it's hands got ever closer. I tried to back up some more, but I bumped into an obstacle and had nowhere to go, I was trapped, my path to freedom suddenly obstructed. With no way to escape, the creature easily grabbed hold of me, hauling my small body up a few feet off of the ground. It stopped with my face horrifyingly close to where it's awaited. I shut my eyes in earnest as it pulled me closer still, I turned away in a futile attempt to distance myself and soon felt it's hot breath against my cheek, the smell of death and decay filling my nostrils. My pulse intensified and my resolve wore out as I looked into the monster's horrible visage. A purple demonic face stared back, it's lifeless orange eyes glowing, penetrating me to the very core of my being, it's pupiless eyes heightening my sense of dread. As my fear peaked the creature began to open it's mouth, it's maw opening ready to speak and suddenly...
"Ngah!" I shouted, sitting up. I sat there clutching my naked chest. I was shaking and sweating. Taking deep breaths I tried to force my heart rate to slow as I told myself that it was just another nightmare. It was the same one I had been having for a while now, yet, every time it happened I got utterly terrified.
"Robin, get up, this is the third time I've called you young man! You're going to be late for school!" my mother called from downstairs.
"Coming!" I called down to her. Pulling the sheets off of me, I turned, got up out of bed, and involuntarily shivered, the fact that I was only wearing boxer shorts didn't help the fact that I was now cold. Hastily I went over to my closet and pulled out some clean clothes, desperate to get warm again. I ended up wearing a long sleeved red shirt and a very baggy pair of jeans. In the top drawer of a night stand immediately beside my closet I found a nice thick pair of white socks and I slipped those on as well. Without out much more preparation I could do in my room I headed across the upstairs hallway to the bathroom. I routinely brushed my teeth, combed my hair and applied deodorant to my already stinking armpits, then unceremoniously left the bathroom and took the stairs to the ground floor of my home.
My mother was already in the kitchen, she had all of her things ready for work and was impatiently standing near the front door clutching a plate with a flimsy slice of toast on it in her free hand.
"Here's some toast. Hurry up and eat it, we have to go." she said with a slight edge of annoyance in her voice. She always got edgy in the mornings.
"'Kay, thanks mom." I said as I hungrily grabbed the morsel of breakfast that loomed before me. Cramming the whole thing in my mouth, I placed the plate in the kitchen sink, ran some water on it, and went back to the front door to follow my mom, grabbing my backpack from beside the door on the way out.
I watched as she climbed in her car and immediately pulled out of our driveway, then continued to watch as she began speeding off to her office. I, on the other hand, turned left headed down the street for a few blocks, passing by all the houses that looked fairly similar to mine. It took me a few minutes, but I eventually made it to my bus stop.
There were a few people from my high school waiting for the bus. By the time I joined them, the large vehicle had pulled around the corner and was driving up to the stop. The yellow shuttle clattered to a stop in front of us, and it's doors swung open lazily, making a loud hissing sound as they did. I paused for a second as everyone else swarmed onto the bus, and I followed the last of them in.
"Harumph" the bus driver growled in greeting, the woman's deep gruff voice raking it's way through my ears and into my brain. I turned to look at her, I saw her lumpy face giving me that scowl. She gave it to everyone, but she reserved her underdeveloped grunts for me, and I didn't know why.
Moving along, I took the only seat available, thankfully I had it all to myself and it was in the front. I prefered the seclusion, and didn't really understand why everyone crowded the back seats first. I could understand the fun it proposed in our younger years, but these days everyone complained of headaches after banging their heads on the ceiling because of the sharp bumps our driver 'took great care to avoid'.
The ride to school wasn't very long, and I spent the whole time in my head thinking about the little machines I made to pass the time. The one I was designing at the moment was an all in one toiletry; it would hold a comb, a toothbrush, some floss, and of course a pair of nail clippers. The device would fit in the palm of the hand and would extend it's different utensils whenever you spoke a personalized command. The only problem, was that I didn't have the required materials, much less the time to make a preliminary design. I huffed in indignation as I was forced to step off the bus and turn my thoughts to the insanely mind numbing school work I had to sit through.
Quickly I made my way off the bus. I threw my school bag over my shoulder and started my short trek to the high school's front door. I got halfway to the school before I got jostled by some jocks as they jaunted on past me, laughing all the while. If only I could handle myself in a brawl, I would have fought at least one of them by now, just to make them leave me alone. Sadly, as if reading my thoughts, one of the grunts turned to jeer at me or make some kind of cat-call to get me riled up. I tried to avert my attention from the large teen, but he quickly prevented me from avoiding him and began walking in my direction. I stopped, knowing that if I tried to step around him he would resort to physical harassment.
"Hey Ribbon!" he sneered, I grinned on the inside.'Some insult' I thought; this guy obviously couldn't think of anything better to do besides switch the vowels in my name.
"Just leave me alone, James." I said, trying to pour all the spite I could muster into my words, it didn't affect James though.
"Hey, I ain't doing nothing to ya'! I'm just here to get that money you owe me." he said, again sneering. He looked back at his buddies for moral support and all five started to snort derisively with laughter. When he looked back at me, I started to mentally fume. I just couldn't stand this guy, thankfully I got my break for the day.
"Mr. Parker! Please leave Robin alone!" called our principle, , from behind the group of football flunkies. All of them looked back in total surprise. I just gave a small chuckle of my own. "Yes, that means you six, go ahead and make your merry way to the auditorium, the seniors will be taking their trip in half an hour and you need to catch the quick meeting beforehand." he said. "Robin, can you stay? I need speak to you for a moment." he asked me after addressing the athletes.
"Uh, yeah. I was just heading to your office to ask you a question." I replied, somewhat taken aback, what did he want to talk to me about.
"And what did you want to ask me?" he inquired.
"I just wanted to ask if I could leave my school stuff in your office, last time we went on a trip, I had some trouble with missing personal items, and I know for those guys were involved." I said sheepishly.
"Well of course, you can. Do you want me to talk to those young men?" he asked.
"Oh no, I would rather not to make a big deal out of it, I got a new wallet and the money was a minor thing. I'm fine." I said, giving a dismissive gesture with my hand.
"Well, hand me your stuff and go ahead and make your way to the buses on the right side of the school, they'll be leaving soon, you and a few other seniors missed the orientation for the trip. Oh, and before I forget, I need to talk to you when you get back, come to my office as soon as you get here." he said.
"Yes sir, and thanks for watching my stuff" I acknowledged as I handed over my bag. I turned away giving a small wave as I did so. I walked around the buildings to the buses. I saw most of the senior class waiting around while the more proactive ones were loading the buses. There were seven buses in total. I couldn't decide which bus to get on, but after I noticed James and his goonies waiting near the seventh bus, I made sure to get on the first bus, quickly taking one of the seats at the front.
All of the seniors were taking periodic field trips around the city, the building we were touring was another example. We were learning about the different kinds of jobs available to college graduates in an effort to get us to actually go to college. That didn't concern me though, I was planning to go anyway; I mean, how could you not after being number one in your class.
Currently we were learning about architecture all it's pros, cons, and some tidbits about building and what/what not to do. The tour guide in front of the group was speaking and pointing emphatically to a set of support beams where they were going to build some kind of column in the middle of the room. 'How could anyone get that excited about architecture. He is probably faking it.' I thought.
The tour went on for a few minutes longer, the tour guide droning on; "If you'll look over here" this, and "On your left hand side" that. It was interesting and all, but I was getting rapidly disinterested. I realized that the tour was winding down when we suddenly got permission to look around and examine the different projects going on around the top floor. That got my interest back.
The space we were allowed to explore was very large and roomy and fit the entirety of the senior class easily and gave us enough room to walk around comfortably without bumping into each other. I quickly made my way over to an area where they were planning to put a large window, trying in vain to get some distance. There was a small railing and some plastic protecting me from a very long fall. I looked down an outward attempt to be casual,but I was inwardly groaning at the height. It wasn't a big deal, but standing at the edge of a building's' top floor with no real support would scare anyone. I took shaky breath to calm myself, and averted my eyes to look out at the city, quickly calming down at the new sight.
"Hey, there you are Ribbon! Thought you were gonna get away, just because of Simmons?" an all too familiarly annoying voice called from behind me. I kept my eyes on the distant horizon of roof tops, trying to ignore the on coming nuisance. He clapped me hard on the back, taking a place beside me. He had surprised me with the quick clap, and sure enough I found myself stumbling forward, unable to keep my feet beneath me.
"Aaah!" was all I managed before I was tumbling through the plastic covering and making my way to the ground at terminal velocity. I watched as the ground rapidly approached, I was mere few seconds from death and all I could think about was how I wouldn't ever get to say goodbye to anyone, not my mom, not , not a single soul. Sadly, the last thing I heard was a fellow classmate's scream, a high pitched girly squeal. I felt glad that someone showed a little fear for my death, but it was probably because they didn't want to fall and seeing me made them even more scared.
Before I hit the ground I blacked out. I found myself lying face up, nothing beneath me. I was just laying there. I opened my eyes, giving a small grunt. At first I thought I might have survived the fall, but all I saw was pitch black empty space. The black I was 'floating' in was surreal. I was just floating there, my body lying in a pathetic stupor. I moved my hand in front of face, how could I see it in this darkness? 'Is this death?' I reflected, my voice ringing out not only through my conscious thought, but also the dark area of what could be purgatory. I heard my voice echo through the vastness, but it wasn't just my voice, there was another in there. Very similar to mine, but slightly raspier than mine.
"Who's there?" we called out in unison. Obviously, the other person waiting for their eternal life sentence had distinguished my voice from theirs, just like I had with them.
Before I could reply, another voice came into play, a woman's and she was crying out. 'Was that my mom?' I wondered, oddly the other voice thought the same thing and again our voices rang out in odd harmony. I quieted, trying to hear the distraught woman, hoping, that if it was my mom, that she would be all right.
"Oh" she moaned. "My poor baby, he's so sick. I don't know what to do..." she bawled.
"Mom." the other raspy voice said. 'It had to be his mom, I wasn't sick...' I thought, feeling a little guilty for disrupting the audible vision.
"I can't pay the hospital bills, but I have to try. I can't have him die on me, my poor kitten." she continued, this time bawling with more vigour, a true wail of despair.
'Kitten, what kind of nickname was that for your child?' I thought. I didn't get a vocal response from the other, but I did feel a strong wave of compassion for the woman.
"Are you... her son?" I asked the other person.
"Yes, I am." he replied solemnly. I could feel the sadness in his voice, it even caused me to tear up. "She doesn't know that I died."
"How sick were you?" I asked shakily.
"It was pretty bad, I couldn't fight off anything and was always getting sick. The medicine didn't help, and I progressively got worse, this was bound to happen and I knew it." he chuckled darkly.
"That's stinks." I consoled. That was the last of our conversation. I wanted to meet the poor young man who had suffered an ill fate just as I had. 'I bet we had even passed at the same time. That could mean something.' I felt the other young man agree, but both of our senses went on full alert as the darkness surrounding us entered a state of turmoil. My body, and undoubtedly his, began to heat up. My body temperature rising to an unbearable level. I tried to move, to show my discomfort, but something wet was holding me down. The wet heat travelled up my arms and legs, quickly overtaking me and dragging me down. The last thing I managed to think before I passed again into hazy sleep was, 'Am I being dragged to hell?!'
My eyes snapped open, and I stared up at a white ceiling. 'Didn't I just fall out of a building? Or was that another nightmare?'. Turning my head, I noticed that I was in my room, lying on my bed. But something was different about this place, instead of all my academic awards, there were awards for all kinds of sports and physical activities. Funnier still, was that they didn't seem out of place. Another important detail I noticed was that they were all for a 'Jacob Clawson'. 'What were those doing in my room?' I wondered, but another side to me said they were mine. I closed my eyes and rubbed them, trying to make these weird feelings go away, but they persisted. I opened my eyes again and looked over at the awards stand again. 'For an Outstanding performance, Jacob Clawson, is award first place in the National Juniors competition for Mixed Martial Arts.', nope, I still felt both pride and confusion; it made me feel ill. I looked down at my arms lazily, trying to figure out what was going on. Once I caught sight of my arms however, I paused my eyes widening, they were covered in thick brown hair.
"Oh my Go -!" I screamed as I fell out of my bed, rolling on the floor and tangling myself in my sheets.