Disclaimer; I don't own SWAT Kats, I'm not making money off my usage of the characters, events and locations thereof... and most importantly, this is definately not canon, just my own little idea of how the 'Radical Squadron' might have been formed... assuming that what we think we know isn't what we know.
"All You Think You Know"
By J.T. Magnus, 'Turbo'
"Forget all you know... Forget all you think you know..."
Outskirts of MegaKat City
As he raised his glass, Ulysses Feral smiled, an expression that to the many that didn't know him beyond his position as Enforcer Commander would be alien to his face.
"I'm not the Mayor, so I won't bore you all with a speech," Ulysses' smile widened at the expressions on his guests' faces, "I will offer a toast though; To friends, family and a common cause."
"To justice," the four other kats gathered around the table agreed.
"And to another year of pulling the fur over their eyes," Enforcer Flight Lieutenant Jake Clawson added.
"Agreed," Ulysses rumbled.
"And the day coming when we don't have to," Deputy Mayor Calico Briggs chimed in.
Flight Lieutenant Chance Furlong shook his head, "Are we going to offer toasts all night or actually eat at some point?"
Flight Lieutenant Felina Feral groaned, "You always want to eat, Chance."
"Hey, I need the energy," Chance countered, "Dealing with super-criminals takes a lot out of a guy."
"It was your choice," Ulysses reminded him.
Chance shrugged, "What was I supposed to do, leave it up to Steele? We'd'a been living in 'Dark Kat City' within a week."
Felina looked between her uncle and her significant other, "You know what? You both keep saying you'll tell me how this got started, but you never do. I mean, I know the 'official' story, but not the real one, because I wasn't here at the beginning. I think now's a good time for you all to come clean."
"I work in a junkyard, beautiful," Chance joked, "I may wash, but I'll never be clean again."
Felina groaned, "Chance..."
Ulysses pulled at the collar of the sweater he was wearing, "Uh, yes, well..."
Felina turned narrowed eyes on him, "Uncle..."
"Oh, come on, you two," Callie chuckled, "It's not that bad."
Jake stared into his drink for a moment before speaking, "Easy for you to say, Callie, you didn't have to sacrifice your reputation for it. It might have been... might be the right thing to do, but it's still hard having everyone think the worst about us when we all know better..."
MegaKat City Enforcer Headquarters
Several Years Ago
Enforcer Commander Ulysses Samson Feral poured himself three fingers of spiced milk, one of his rare vices, and walked over to the window of his office. Laying on his desk was a series of reports that he had just returned from discussing with the Mayor.
'Mayor,' Feral mentally snorted, 'He plays more rounds of golf than Woody Torasan and they call that a mayor? And now that fool's probably signed this city's death warrant just to get himself re-elected with cutting the budget...
Feral was a proud kat, proud of his city, proud of the kats under his command, proud of himself and proud of his heritage, 'I can trace my family back to the days when this was still known as Megalith City... that fool tom can't even make it past Mega War Two... Everything this city stands for, everything my ancestors fought for, all of it could be lost...'
With his free hand against the glass, Feral looked out over the city, a city that years later was in some ways still recovering from the riots that had gotten so bad that the command chains of mobilised National Guard units and the Megakat Police Department had been combined to streamline response time and force deployment, resulting in the creation of what was now the Enforcers. Turning his head, he caught sight of one of the few personal touches to his office, a picture of then-Police Lieutenant Ulysses Feral, his friend and former partner Officer Miles Furlong and the third member of their little triad, Guard Lieutenant Abraham Clawson, in one of the few quiet moments during the riots. After the Enforcers had been formed, many of the upper echelons had resigned over the thought of civilian police with regular access to military-grade weapons including tanks, jets and choppers, leaving him in the un-enviable position of Lieutenant Commander of the Enforcers. And now, not that many years later, he himself was the Old Man, Abe had retired and Miles had died in the line of duty... both of them leaving sons who had joined the force, sons that had made themselves beat partners to be envied before being chosen for flight training and becoming one of the best flight teams they had...
"And it's still not enough," Ulysses muttered in disgust, turning his eyes back to the city, "A new breed of cop breeds a new breed of criminal scum, we have to be able to grow to handle them and that damn fool's keeping us on a leash... trying to claim that the new headquarters needed to handle the Enforcers' command and control has taken up all the money... dammit... He just wants to use it to build that damn dream tower of his, 'the perfect combination of business and government to bring Megakat City into a new age of prosperity'... Bah, we'll be lucky to live that long."
In frustration, he tossed back his spiced milk before half-turning and slamming the glass down on his desk, right on top of a report on a criminal making his escapes by jet after committing robberies, one that his forces were having trouble catching because he literally had eyes in the back of his head. Underneath it were similar reports - criminals with modified helicopters, armored cars for getaways, military-grade blasters and explosives, page after page of true crime that had once been the perview solely of pulp magazines. Only a few weeks ago, Feral had met with his counterpart, the Chief of the Los Gatos Police Department, for information on a new program Los Gatos had begun to deal with more violent or extraordinary forms of crime. The meeting with Manx that Feral had just attended had been intended to find funding to begin training and equipping a similar response team within the Enforcers. He had presented a strong argument, supporting facts, he had the agreement of the Deputy Mayor, but still Manx had refused to support the program and that left the Enforcers using the same training and same equipment they now had to deal with a criminal underworld that was learning and changing.
"S.W.A.T. - 'Special Weapons And Tactics'," Feral felt the cold outside seeping the heat from the hand still resting against the window, "Officers trained for situations beyond the scope of standard police procedures, using specialised equipment to end a situation quickly and, God willing, with as little loss of life as possible. What might've been our last, best chance to divert the coming flood of crime before it became unmatchable..."
Feral pulled his hand away from the window, balled it into a fist and punched the window with it, "No! Not in my city, not on my watch."
With his free hand, Feral spun his chair around and dropped into it, a dangerous gleam in his eyes, "Not if I can help it..."
Feral's eyes locked on the picture of himself, Miles Furlong and Abe Clawson, "And I know just the kats to help me..."
MegaKat City Enforcer Headquarters
One Week Later...
Flight Lieutenants Chance Furlong and Jacob 'Jake' Clawson stood at attention in front of the Commander's desk as Feral finished speaking.
"This is strictly volunteer. Your standing in the Enforcers will not be influenced by your decision, no matter what appearances may or may not say. You will not recieve extra pay for this. You will not have fixed hours. You will probably not like what has to be done. I won't be able to help you, you'll be on your own in the field... You must use your best judgement as emergencies develop as to how to respond. Above all, you must make the decisions and suffer the consequences, whatever they may be. You cannot rely on Enforcer protection or support. If you do this, you will be considered vigilantes and actively hunted by your fellow Enforcers," Feral sighed and stood up, pushing his chair back, "The choice is yours, Lieutenants; you can turn and walk out that door right now and nothing more will be said about the matter... or you can stay and you just might have a chance to make a difference. What will it be, Lieutenants?"
Jake was the first one to speak, "Commander, if we're going to be doing this under the table, we can't do it out of Headquarters; too many kats will see things and start putting them together."
"I've already considered that problem, Clawson," Ulysses rumbled in reply, "It so happens that what's now the Megakat Salvage Yard used to be a National Guard airbase, complete with an underground hanger that was used for repairing aircraft in the years before the riots. After the Enforcers were formed, it was decommissioned and used as a dumping ground for vehicles damaged in the riots, that led to civilians abandoning broken-down vehicles there until the previous Commander recommissioned the site as a salvage facility to help defray costs and put it under the motor pool."
Ulysses opened a drawer and took out two files, laying them on his desk, "Reserve Officers Alfred Burke and Arthur Murray are the current operators of the Salvage Yard... off-site operators. Part of the plan would include you replacing them as on-site operators to provide cover for your activities."
"So we go from Enforcers to garbage men?" Chance sneered, "With all due respect, Commander, are you outta your flippin' mind?"
"Chance!" Jake hissed quietly.
"It's all right, Clawson," Feral waved his hand, "Feel free to speak freely about this matter for the moment... and your partner isn't saying anything I haven't asked myself."
"So you know it's crazy and you're askin' us to do it anyway?" Chance folded his arms.
"I'm asking you to fulfill the oath you took when you joined the Enforcers," Feral countered, "To protect and serve the citizens of Megakat City."
"The same citizens who keep claiming that we cost too much and that we're the beginnings of living in a police state?" Chance shot back, "Those citizens, Commander?"
"Yes," Feral answered back with a low growl, "Those citizens who, whether we like it or not, are the citizens that we swore to protect when we put on these uniforms, Lieutenant. If you have a problem with that, maybe you should reconsider being in the Enforcers - in any position."
"Could you give us a moment to discuss it, Commander?" Jake asked.
Feral stood up and walked around his desk towards the door, pausing beside the two kats only long enough to say "Five minutes," before he left the room.
"This is crazy," Chance said as soon as he heard the sound of the door clicking shut.
"Well, yeah," Jake shrugged, "What else?"
"It'll never work; two kats against all the criminals in the city and the rest of the Enforcers that think they're vigilantes," Chance continued.
"So... you're saying 'no'?"
"I never said that," the larger kat snapped, "I just... this is crazy, Jake!"
"You said that already, buddy," Jack pointed out.
"Well, it is!" Chance insisted, "It's crazy, and you know what else?"
"I've got to be outside my mind, partner, because I'm actually considering it!"
"Well, then, that makes two of us," Jake informed him, "Odds against us, situation grim..."
Chance grinned, "Sounds like fun."
"I guess that means we're taking the job," Jake nodded, "What was it some guy said, something about being crazy in a crazy world makes you the sane one?"
"Who knows... or cares?" Chance groaned in response, "Crazy's crazy, Jake."
"Aw, I don't think so," Jake shrugged.
"Then you're crazy," Chance countered.
"We both are," Jake reminded him, "We're agreeing to this, aren't we?"
"Good," Feral rumbled, having heard the last as he re-entered the room, "Frankly, I didn't have any other options. I certainly wasn't going to ask that twit Lieutenant Steele to do it."
As Feral grimiced at the thought, the two Flight Lieutenants cringed.
"Steele? Please," Jake snidely remarked, "That'd be like sending an open invitation to every crook in the country to come to Megakat City for easy pickings."
"Besides," Chance took the liberty of adding, "Every kat in this room knows the only reason he ever made it off a beat is because his mother's the Mayor's cousin... and the rumors that go with it."
"Unsubstantiated rumors, Lieutenant," Feral corrected, before adding under his breath, "Even if she was his escort to his last mayoral ball..."
Deciding to change the topic, Jake smoothly asked, "So, when do we do this?"
"It has to look realistic," Feral pointed out, "I'll monitor any calls you respond on, when one looks right, I'll interfere - pull rank, order you to back off, whatever fits the situation - after the situation has been handled, you'll confront me; get hostile, loud, take a swing at me... That'll provide the excuse for you to be busted down to... 'garbage men' as you put it. We'll work it out on the fly using one of the auxilary radio bands when we do it."
"That's it? That's the plan?" Chance asked in disbelief.
"'No plan survives first contact', Furlong," Feral snapped, "That's the plan you get."
"Well, it's better than nothing," Chance grumbled.
"Dismissed, Lieutenants," Feral ordered.
Both Chance and Jake snapped to and saluted, "Sir!"
As soon as they had left the room and the door shut behind them, Feral walked around his desk and collapsed into his chair, rubbing his forehead in frustration.
"Why do I think that this whole idea is going to give me one long, never-ending headache?"