I hope you all enjoyed the cliffhanger last time, so here's the answer to what the major found out. Now, I need to get to work on later chapters. Good day.
Disclaimer: I, Lord Genesis Shadow, do hereby state that I do not own the rights to SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron.
"Look, Leon, do we look like we could possibly be the SWAT Kats?" Chance asked. "We're just mechanics these days. We probably aren't half as good as we were when we were Enforcers."
"It's like riding a bike." I said. "Dust off the cobwebs, and you're back to being the best again in no time flat. What's important, is that something's wrong no matter how you look at this. Why would the Metallikats point to you? Why a couple of ex-Enforcers forced to be mechanics? More importantly, why surrender?"
"You'd have to ask them, if you hadn't turned them off for good." Jake said.
"Maybe it is a ruse." I said. "Maybe it's just them dragging a red herring without a fox tail to start with. It's anyone's guess." I pulled out a card. "This is my personal number. I get the feeling you'll need to call me one of these days." Jake slowly took it. "Call me a prophet, but sometimes, I can just tell that someone's going to need to talk to me at some point." I stood up and turned, and a thought hit me. "One last thing." I turned and gestured over my shoulder. "Those plugs you put in are beastly." Chance laughed. "I've been trying to figure out just what you did, but it's something I've never seen before."
"Well, you work on jet parts, you never forget about some of it, I guess." He said.
"Whatever you did, patent it now, and sell it for as high as you can." I said. "You'll pay off your debt to the commander inside of two weeks easy." A loud beeping sound caught my attention and we walked out, just as a bunch of junk was dumped directly onto my bike, making me put my hands to my head as the driver and someone else laughed like madmen. "My Harley!" The driver and passenger jumped out and walked over as I about let my anger get the best of me, but I grabbed the shorter one, Burke, and picked him up by his collar. "You just smashed my bike!"
"Your bike?" He asked in a very surprised tone. "You mean it ain't Chance's?"
"Hey, let him…" Murray started.
"That bike cost me eight hundred dollars." I said, growling deeply. "I spent six hundred fixing it up, another five hundred in getting it repainted, two hundred on the tires, one hundred on the rims, and over six hundred more on modifications, plus fifty recently for new spark plugs." I raised Burke a little higher. "That adds up to two thousand, eight hundred, and fifty dollars, that you just smashed, because you thought it belonged to Chance Furlong?!"
"H-hey, we'll pay you back for it!" He said.
"That bike was one of a kind!" I said angrily. "I don't have a ride home! Not only are you going to pay me back, you're getting me a new bike, same year, same model, and you're paying for the parts I need to fix it up!"
"Hey, easy Leon." Jake said. "You're a little young to go to jail for these idiots."
"No, they're going to jail if they don't pay me back." I said. "Charges listed thus far, malicious destruction of property, destruction of personal Enforcer property, vandalism at the very least if it survived that ocean of parts." I dropped Burke and pointed. "Now clean that off of my bike, and if it survived, you'll only owe me for getting the paint redone and a week's worth of taxi money, namely seven hundred dollars, fifty dollars to headquarters and fifty dollars back."
"Hey, we don't have that kinda cash on us right now." Burke said. "Civil sehvants, like these jerks. Anyway, have them clean it and take it up with the city." I went to grab him, but Murray grabbed my arm, so I grabbed his wrist and threw him over my shoulder, into a pile of scrap twenty feet away. I turned to Burke as he backed up against the dump truck while Chance and Jake stepped back.
"My name, is Major Leon Mane." I said in a growling tone. "My father was a lion, my mother was a tiger, and I just threw the bear!"
"Oh my…" He said under his breath.
"That means, that you're staring down one very angry teenage liger with a black belt in judo." I said. "So, are you going to get my bike out of that mess, or am I calling in a squad car to arrest you and your brother, and I press charges and put you two out of a job?"
"Murray, get over here and help me get the bike out!" He called. He ran over and started moving things as I stepped back.
"Jeeze, you threw that guy like a baseball." Jake said. "Judo?"
"Picked it up at camp." I said. "Keep an eye on these idiots. I need to call Jenkins for a ride… If there's any damage…"
"We'll fix it up, on the house." Chance said, patting my shoulder. "After seeing you put these dimwits in their place, it's the least we can do." I nodded, smiling a little as Murray got up, but as he looked at me, our eyes locked and he ran around the truck to start moving parts. "Hey, uh, before you step aside, why is being a liger so much of a point? I mean, what is a liger?"
"Chance, a liger is the kid that's got a parent that's a lion and the other's a tiger." Jake said. "He pointed that out. He's half lion, half tiger, all teeth and claws with a big roar. You know, like the hero from that one cyborg movie."
"Oh yeah…" He said. "Hey, that means you can roar pretty loud, right?"
"Chance…" Jake said tiredly.
"Only when I feel like it." I said. I pulled out my phone and dialed, but I heard the truck door open, so I turned and saw Murray picking something up, and he saw me. I pointed the phone at him. "Don't even think about it."
"No one makes a fool outta me." He said. I lowered my arm and growled before letting out a loud bestial roar as my pupils became slits. He dropped a tire iron and put his back to the truck. "Jeeze!"
"You trashed my bike, laughed about it, and tried to act like it didn't matter!" I said angrily. "That bike is extremely hard to find! There were only a few dozen ever made and all but six were used for parts because the frames were smashed up! Is it still six or is it five now!?" He slowly moved. "I got that bike for a song and you might have just destroyed the only thing I truly consider mine since I left home!" I pointed at it with the phone. "That bike, belonged to an old friend of my family, and he gave me a good deal because I had to leave home, and it meant a lot to him because his father gave it to him when he was younger than me, and he gave it to me because he knew it needed someone who could watch over it! You think it's funny to vandalize someone's property, just because you feel like being jerks? Keep an eye on your favorite possessions, if that's the case, because one day, someone might destroy them, and it'll be me that shows up on your doorstep, to take the report." He went back to the junk as I turned and re-dialed the number.
"Whoa." Jake said quietly. The line picked up.
"Richard, J-Jenkins…" He groaned pitifully. "Who's torturing me at this, unholy hour?" He sounded very hungover.
"It's Mane." I said. He groaned again.
"Sorry for not saluting, sir, or, whatever…" He said pitifully. I thought against asking him for a ride.
"What's the number to that, taxi service you used last night?" I asked. "They have the cleanest cabs, and my bike just got trashed by a couple of jerks that think they're a gift to the world."
"Uh, hang on, I, got the receipt, right, here…" He said. I heard a laugh. "Uh, wh-whoops, just, uh, need the… Oh, uh, h-hang on, just…" He paused for a moment and I heard a kiss ending. "Six-one-one-eight-three-two-nine. G-gotta… Gotta go, sir…" The line went quiet and I hit the end button before dialing the cab.
"A cab?" Jake asked.
"Jenkins got drunk last night, and made a new friend, or two." I said.
"Lynx cab company." A cheerful girl said. "Do you need a pickup?"
"Yes, out at the salvage yard outside of town." I said. "My bike might have just been totaled, we're still waiting to get it out of the recently 'delivered' salvage."
"I'll be there in half an hour." She said. "Can I get a name and description?"
"Major Leon Mane, seventeen, six-four, white fur." I said. "Should be easy to spot me." We laughed.
"Alright, half an hour." She said. "See you then, Major Mane." I ended the call when a thought hit me. I turned as I closed the phone.
"Hey, could you keep an eye on these two?" I asked. "Something else Mac and Molly said is bugging me. Let me know when the taxi gets here." They nodded slowly as I walked around to the back.
"Uh, hey, I got my radio, and Chance can handle those two." Jake said, walking up quickly. "Don't want you to get lost, after all." I walked toward the magnet and looked at the empty area, and stared at a large section of the ground that was cleaner than the rest. "So, what did they say that bugs you?"
"That there's a secret hangar under this magnet." I said. I looked at the large square section and stared at it as Jake looked around.
"Well, I don't see how." He said. "I mean, a jet like theirs would, you know, take up a lot of space. We haven't catalogued absolutely everything, but there's no way there's a jet hangar back here. And besides that, we'd hear it."
"The problem is, you're the ones they said were the SWAT Kats." I said. "So, either you are, or you aren't. But, this spot…" He made a sound after a moment.
"Cancel the cab." He said. "Wait until Burke and Murray leave, and, at least let us explain." I looked at him, and pulled out my phone. I redialed the number.
"You deserve at least that much, considering what you've done for the city." I said. He walked around front as the line picked up.
"Lynx Cab Company." The same woman said.
"Hi, it's Major Mane." I said. "I just got a ride back, so you don't need to pick me up. Sorry."
"It's okay." She said. "I'm glad you've got a ride from, a friend?"
"Yeah, couple of old friends." I said. "Thanks."
"No problem, bye." She said cheerfully. I ended the call as I walked to the front, and Burke was trying to slip away.
"Hey, Burke, back to work." I called. "I just cancelled the cab to keep an eye on you two."
I looked around the hangar while the two sat on a pair of rolling chairs. The Turbokat was there, as well as a stock of their signature missiles and gadgets, along with other vehicles of varying types, from bikes to a hovercraft, even a large drilling machine on spiked tank treads. As I crossed my arms, the lights fully came on, revealing a half finished Turbokat.
"So, Mac and Molly Mange were telling the truth." I said. "I guess even bad guys have their moments of honesty."
"Yeah, and they found out years ago." Jake said. I turned to them. "They snuck in while trying to get their Metallikat Express back. I guess one of them stumbled onto the secret entrance you spotted in the back, and they snuck in. We smashed their bodies further down, but their heads got loose just fast enough to escape deactivation."
"Then Feral neutralized 'em before they could rat us out." Chance said. "Since then, we worried, but it was like they forgot all about it… Until, the other day." I nodded, sitting against a table. "We just want to keep Megakat City safe, and we've done a heck of a lot better than the Enforcers did before Felina came along. Heck, since you came along, we've had a lot fewer calls from…" He stopped at that.
"Keep going." I said. "If someone else knows…"
"No, she…" He started.
"Miss Briggs has a special communicator linked to a few lines." Jake said. "I designed it a few years ago. I've always, tinkered with stuff, invented things in my spare time. Working here, I get enough of that." I raised my hand, and my index finger.
"The spark plugs in my bike." I said.
"Byproducts." Chance said. "We made those for our custom vehicles, the Cyclotron, the Turbo-Mole, the Sandkat… All of them use the Turbo Plugs, and since then, we've made some toned down ones for a few vehicles, like Callie's car and your bike… Which, uh, we'll still fix, before the trial."
"Let's talk about this before we get onto anything else." I said. I pointed at the Turbokat. "You two built that, from scrap?"
"Yeah, hard to believe sometimes." Jake said. "Manx had the city build us a new one, the Mark Two. We're, kind of working on a new one, faster, better, even more room for missiles, but still the same type, just, a bit bigger." I nodded as I looked at the frame. "We'll keep the Mark Two, but, the Mark Three will be for tougher missions." I just stood there for a moment, staring at the jet. "So, what now?"
"Not sure." I said. "On one hand, I'm supposed to bring you in for vigilantism, which is, sadly, against the law. On the other, the commander has chosen not to bring you in on more than one occasion, and I'd imagine Mayor Briggs would just pardon you anyway." They laughed quietly, decidedly relieved. "And then there's the matter that, I love flying. You wouldn't believe what I'd give to fly the Turbokat even once."
"Well, if we were to, say, 'donate' a Turbokat, as the SWAT Kats, to the Enforcers." Jake said.
"We could say that you're its new pilot." Chance continued. "After seeing what you can do in that new Enforcer Jet… What's it called, the Blue Manx Two or something?"
"The EF-17, but, I don't know what the nickname is, or will be." I said. "But if you did donate the Turbokat, it'd need the mayor's intervention to keep it out of Pumadyne's hands."
"We'll set it up." Chance said. "After what we've seen, you're definitely the right guy to fly it, once we finish the Mark Three." An alarm suddenly began blaring and Chance shot up and grabbed a phone, holding up a finger. "Yes Miss Briggs?" She spoke over the phone. "What? The Metallikats? But, didn't that Leon Mane kid take 'em offline?" I took a partial step. "We're on it Miss Briggs." He hung up the phone and pointed at me. "Take the Cyclotron for now. Let's go, Razor." They ran to their lockers while I walked over to the bike and got ready. "Put it next to the Turbokat, and drive out after us."
"The excuse is, while you were waiting, we flew by and just gave it to you." 'Razor' said. "Go to Enforcer HQ and get your jet airborne, fast!"
"Roger that." I said. They ran over as I parked the super bike and got on it. T-Bone tossed me a helmet, which I put on.
"Hey, consider yourself an honorary SWAT Kat." He said. "Keep this between us, and you won't regret it." The platform lowered as their engine started.
"I couldn't get the charge to stick with krazy glue." I said. They laughed as the jet took off, and the Cyclotron shot after them as I stepped on the gas. It had a lot of power that really crept up on me, but as I shot over forty feet in the air, I landed past the junk and turned toward the city. I looked at the speedometer and saw it pushing way past two hundred. I let out a proud roar before spotting the dump truck of Burke and Murray, so I shot past them, and I saw them drive off the road. 'Okay, that's a little more revenge. Now, to work.' I dialed Jenkins' number on a screen and to my surprise, he picked up.
"Yeah?" He asked quickly. "Make it quick, I gotta get to work and I need to call my partner!"
"I know." I said. "It's me."
"S-sir?" He asked.
"I'm on my way in." I said. "I'll stop by your apartment and drive you in. I think you'll appreciate the new bike."
"New…" He started. "Sir, the Metallikats are back, and they're tearing up the First National Bank. They were lying about the SWAT Kats." I smirked.
'No, no they weren't.' I thought. "Yeah, I figured as much. But you won't believe this. Get outside, and say goodbye to your new friends."
"Y-yeah." He said. "Uh, yeah, I'll be right out."
"I'll be there in about, two minutes." I said. "Give or take." I ended the call and drove down the streets, turning quickly as my phone rang. I put it to my earpiece.
"Major, this is Feral, the Metallikats…" He started.
"Are back, I've heard, sir." I said. "You might want to wait before you deploy. I need to make sure of something."
"What?" He asked. "How did you hear? I only just found out!"
"The SWAT Kats saw me walking toward a bus stop." I said. "They dropped off their jet bike and let me have it, and a helmet. It's a story, but it's true, sir. I'm on my way in. Mane, out." I ended the call at his silence and stopped in front of Jenkins' apartment, and he stared.
"H-hey, you…" He started. I sat up and he looked as I looked at him, raising the visor.
"Get on." I said. "Two seater." He stared and I gestured. "Hurry, they're getting the money!" He ran over and jumped on the back seat and I took off. "How's the hangover?"
"Better than it was." He said. "Family remedy. I'm good to go, sir."
"Good to hear." I said. I turned down the streets quickly until I angled back for a very steep wheelie. "Hang on, I'm going to try something." I engaged the turbo, and the bike shot into the air, and I landed right on the landing strip, and drove to the hangar, sliding to a stop in front of Feral. He stared at us as we got off. "Major Mane, reporting, sir." I saluted as they stared.
"You weren't kidding." He said. "I thought you were making it up."
"I wouldn't lie about this, sir." I said. "They gave me the bike, and I'd appreciate it if you'd abide that… At least until I get my own bike back, sir."
"We'll discuss it later." He said. He pointed at our jet. "I need you to deploy, now. The Metallikats woke up in Hackle's lab, stole his truck, and left. Apparently their memories were wiped again, and the last thing they remember was getting their bodies, but not the identities of the SWAT Kats. The professor asked, and they said they never knew."
"So it was a lie?" Jenkins asked.
"Evidence points that way." I said. I walked to the jet and jumped in.
"Jenkins, you're with me." The commander said. Jenkins looked over in time with me. "I need the best operator. I'm going out on this one. Felina will join us when she can. Major, I trust you can handle the auxiliary weapon panel?" I saluted and Jenkins followed the commander as I prepped and launched, seconds before he did. As I gained altitude, he flew just ahead of me. "The situation is dangerous, and they're more heavily armed than ever. You said you saw the SWAT Kats, and they told you?"
"Yes, sir." I said. "Outside of town. They're on their way." As if waiting, the sound of their jet flying near caught my attention. "Speak of the devils."
"Hey, heard about your problem, figured we'd drop in." T-Bone said.
"Just hold back, you two." The commander said. "We'll handle this."
"Yeah, right." Razor said. "Regardless of the wonder-boy, how many times have the Metallikats been shut down by just your efforts?" The commander growled for a moment, but I flew up a little.
"We've got a new edge." I said. "Just sit back and wait your turn." They laughed.
"Alright, kid, good luck." T-Bone said. I smirked behind the mask as we flew toward the bank, just as the Metallikats stepped out and looked up at us. We switched to hover mode and I took aim with my Megavolt Missile.
"Mac and Molly Mange, drop your weapons and surrender now." The commander said.
"Blow it out your ear!" Mac said over the radio. He fired a rocket, but the commander dodged it.
"Mane, now!" He called. I locked onto Mac with the Megavolt Missile and fired it. In mid-flight, it blew off a pair of shields around the Tesla Coil, and Mac caught it. As he laughed, I hit the remote activator, and he let out a shuddering yell as it sent a million megavolts through him. After a minute, he staggered back, but dropped the missile.
"Whoa, head-rush." He said. He sounded surprised. "Molly, take him out."
"With pleasure." She said. She fired a machine gun up at me, and I dodged her fire by strafing, and a missile flew at them, blasting them back.
"Looks like they're tougher than ever." Razor said. "Let me try something." I moved and angled the machine guns while rising back. As Molly got up, he made a sound. "Launching Scrambler Missile!" He fired a red missile with a black lightning bolt, and it hit her and attached, sending a huge volt of electricity through her, making her scream. "Bingo! She'll feel that one!" Mac ripped the missile off of her as I flew to the side.
"Deploying Octopus Missile." I said calmly. I pressed the button and it flew in and grabbed the two, flying them down the street. "Keep up with them!" We turned and all switched to flight mode, with me taking a pretty long lead. As I flew, they broke free and crashed into an empty lot. But as I got above them, they fired, so I did a flyby machine gun attack.
"You stupid kid!" Molly yelled. I turned at an angle, but something hit my canopy, breaking the back. I looked back as I leveled out, and laughed.
"Commander, good thing you borrowed Jenkins." I said. "We need to replace his seat for all the bullet holes." I flew around and switched to hover as the Metallikats started running.
"Major, look out!" Commander Feral said suddenly. I looked up as my radar registered movement closing fast, so I lowered my altitude, and a missile that would have hit me angled down over me and hit behind the Metallikats, throwing them into a pile of gravel. "Where did that come from?"
"I'm getting readings from behind a building, moving fast!" Razor said quickly. "There!"
"Major, handle the Metallikats however you can." The commander said. "Felina, do you read me…" They went silent as I tuned them out, focusing only on the Metallikats as they got out. After a moment, I moved closer and switched to the heavy laser gatling. I opened up with it and hit them, staggering them and making it so they could barely move, but I wasn't doing noticeable damage. I switched to the second Megavolt missile, but then to the standard. As I stopped, they raised their weapons, but I fired both normal missiles at once, blowing them back onto the gravel. I fired on a crane's wire, which supported a very large bucket of gravel, and as it fell on them, I knew they'd be held for at least a little while. "Major, it's one of those silver jets from the desert!" I looked over my shoulder as I spun around.
"On my way, sir." I said. "The Metallikats are buried under tons of gravel, so they should be stuck for a while. I'll use the other Octopus Missile to hold them in place later." I took off toward their coordinates and saw it, the silver jet. As I got near, it pulled a tight turn, so I angled to match it as the others tried to keep up.
"It's too fast!" T-Bone said. "Never thought I'd ever say that!" After a moment, I managed to aim at the engines, and I peppered it with all of my lasers. I blew out one engine and it slowed down considerably. I was able to get close when my radio read an unknown signal.
"You're shooting at the wrong target, 'Major'." A familiar electronic voice said.
"You." I said.
"Listen closely, I'm after the Metallikats." He said. "Stay back or I'll shoot you down without hesitation." I flew around as the others tried to get to us, but at the silver jet's top speed, I was close to my own.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"No one of consequence." He said. "Stand, down."
"You're under arrest for attempted murder on an Enforcer, and for threatening an Enforcer." I said. "Give us your location, now." The jet suddenly flew up, and I followed only briefly. I got a lock and readied the Megavolt Missile. "We know you use remote systems to pilot those jets, so what would happen if it were to be overloaded by about a million megavolts?" There was a silence, so I fired the missile, and it hit the jet perfectly as I avoided the shell. The engines stalled and it turned toward the ground, toward the lot. I followed it as the Metallikats got out of the rubble, and my eyes widened as the jet hit them, scattering gravel so high I had to avoid it, shooting at some of it to keep it from hitting me. As we switched to hover, I saw them ducking into a nearby alley.
"Major, your loyalties are clear before the time we discussed." He said. "You damaged my pod, and destroyed my jet. I can't let you get away with that, now, can I?"
"Hey, you destroyed my training jet!" A familiar female voice echoed. "I can't let you get away with that, now, can I?" I stared at the wreckage before we flew over toward the other end of the alley, but as I zoomed in on a kathole cover, it was being lowered.
"It's your fault they got away, voice." I said. "I don't know who you are, but we had them cornered and were going in for the kill. Thanks to your interference they got away. You wanted them, we wanted them, but you made sure they got away."
"It's your fault for being arrogant, Major." The voice said. "Never forget, that you're nothing more than a child, not worthy of your ranks. You betrayed us once, and now again. Next time we meet in the air, I'm taking you down, personally." The line went silent and I heard a thud.
"Blast it all, where are they?" Commander Feral growled.
"The X-Ray Scope doesn't detect them, but it could just be they're not registering." Razor said. "They're modified, so maybe they've got something that makes them impossible to detect unless they're right in view…"
"Or some kind of cloaking system." I said. "Never rule out something Pumadyne might have lost."