Chapter 11Dark Kat City rising

The next day at the Enforcer Headquarter, Commander Feral looked through the reports he had been received from all over the city. The situation didn't look good at all. Feral was tired as he hadn't slept well the last few days and so he had a hard time to concentrate. When he had finally finished reading he looked up from his desk towards a small group of officers who he had summoned. Then he sighed loudly. They and their men were the only ones left who weren't being busy holding off Dark Kat's troops as long as possible. Then he started the briefing:

“Listen men, I won't lie to you. Our situation here is desperate. Dark Kat increases his control over Megakat City with each hour that passes and we can't hold him off as his drones are getting smarter with each encounter.”

He made a small pause and then had an even more serious look on his face as he continued: “Therefore I've decided to evacuate Megakat City. You and your men will take every citizen you can find out of this city as long as we can hold a safe corridor. As soon as we cannot hold it anymore you should leave the city as well. I'll coordinate the evacuation procedures from here.”

He looked at each one of them and then asked: “Any questions?”

One of them answered: “Yes, Sir. What are you going to do when Dark Kat's men have reached the HQ?”

“Me and a few volunteers will hold the HQ as long as possible. We'll retreat when everyone else has left. I'll be the last Enforcer to leave Megakat City provided that I'm not getting killed during the encounter. Anything else?”

As none of the officers dared to ask anything else the silence in the room started to feel uncomfortable for everybody. So Feral decided to finish the briefing with a short “Dismiss!”

His officers went out and when he was all alone by himself he stood up and walked towards one of the windows of his office. Once again, he sighed loudly as he watched out of it.

Then he went over his radio transceiver to send a message to the Leviathan.

In the last couple of days Lieutenant Sawet's men and Felina had conducted countless rescue operations, getting citizens out of the city without attracting attention. The submarines were out on the sea day and night waiting for a good opportunity to ascent in order to get people on board. Having never operated such a vessel before, Felina quickly learned how to handle it and became a most welcomed addition to the submarine crew.

She had just arrived from her last patrol when Lieutenant Sawet's voice came through speakers which were installed everywhere on the ship:

“This is Lieutenant Sawet speaking. Lieutenant Feral, Mayor Manx, Deputy Mayor Briggs, report at the bridge at once. I repeat. Lieutenant Feral, Mayor Manx, Deputy Mayor Briggs, report at the bridge at once.”

Felina didn't loose any time to get over there as quickly as possible. On her way she met Callie and Manx.

“Do you know what this is all about?” Callie asked concerned.

“No, I don't.” Felina answered, being in a hurry. “But I'm sure we'll know soon enough. So c'mon, let's get over there.”

Lieutenant Sawet already awaited them on the bridge, having a grim look on his face.

“Thank you for getting over here so quickly.” he started talking right away as soon as the three arrived at the bridge. “We've analyzed the reports we've received from Megakat City and I'm afraid the situation has changed from bad to worse. Dark Kat has taken over most of the strategic regions of Megakat City by now and our forces are conducting the final stages to evacuate the citizens. Dark Kat's troops are now approaching Enforcer Headquarter. It is only a matter of hours until the city will fall.” After he made a short pause he continued: “I've ordered all submarines which are still out on the sea to head back to the Leviathan. We'll leave as soon as all of them have returned.”

“But aren't there still people trapped in the city?” Callie asked.

“Probably,” Sawet answered. “But it's getting too risky for any more rescue attempts.”

“But,” Callie started to say, but was immediately interrupted by him.

“I'm sorry, but I can't take any chances here. The ship has almost reached its maximum capacity anyway and attracting attention now would endanger everyone here on board. I won't allow that to happen.” Sawet explained, leaving Callie in no position to argue.

“What about my uncle?” Felina asked, looking seriously concerned.

“Commander Feral is currently coordinating the final evacuation procedures of the city at the HQ.” Sawet explained. “I assume that he will also leave the city as soon as these procedures have been completed.”

“I've got to get over to him!” Felina said.

“No you won't, Lieutenant.” Sawet replied. “I've received an order from the Commander himself, clearly saying that you'll continue ensuring the safety of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. He also said that you are under my command now. Therefore I am ordering you to stay here on this ship.”

Callie startled as she noticed how Lieutenant Sawet had changed his personality from a friendly and helpful person into a cold ordering officer from one minute to another. But what he said, made sense to her or at least didn't leave any room for discussion. She realized that this kat, who was an experienced mariner, was just doing his job.

It was obvious that Felina was in conflict with herself now. On one side she'd desperately wanted to aid her uncle, but on the other side she had been given a clear order from him and Lieutenant Sawet. So Sawet addressed her once again showing a little more sympathy:

“Lieutenant, I know how much you care about your uncle. But you have to trust him in what he's doing and what he's about to do. He made his decisions and one of them is for you to ensure the safety of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. We are also not out of the woods yet. So, if anything happens I want you to be with us. You are the most experienced fighter on this ship. The safety of the refugees may depend on your skills. So please, don't turn your back on us.”

After a short moment of inner monologue Felina sighed. Then she looked straight at Sawet and said: “Yes, sir. I'll follow your lead.”

Sawet looked relieved and even smiled for a blink of an eye. “Good.” he said and then addressed all three of them. “Now, please go back to your quarters. I'll inform you when we'll leave this place. That's all for now.”

Then he turned his attention back to the events on the bridge. Callie, Manx and Felina left and headed for their quarters like they've been told to.

In the meantime the Swat Kats had finished their work on the Behemoth's shield. Professor Hackle had made some modifications to it such that it would fit into the Turbokat.

“Looks fine, lads.” Professor Hackle said satisfied. “Now for a final test.” He activated the shield and then left the room for a moment just to come back with a really mean looking laser gun in his hands.

“Just wait a second, Professor!” T-Bone said appalled. “You wouldn't fire that thing at the Turbokat, would you?”

“Certainly not, lad.” Hackle replied and put the gun into T-Bone's hands. “You will. I'm sure your aiming is way better than mine.”

“You want me to shoot with this gun at our own jet?” T-Bone asked skeptical. “That thing could blow it up. Can't you give me something less powerful to shoot with?”

“How else can we see if the shield can withstand the drone's laser beams?” Hackle counter questioned and suggested: “Try shooting at the cockpit window for a start. There is a chance that the jet doesn't blow up if the shield fails and the shot gets through.”

T-Bones sighed. “Alright, let's get this over with. I can't believe that I'm really doing this.” He aimed the laser gun at the cockpit where he normally sits and fired. The blue laser beam flew towards the cockpit with deadly precision. When it had reached its target the shield surrounding the jet lit up in the same color as the laser beam while it absorbed it. T-Bone made a sigh of relief as he lowered the gun.

“You see lad, the laser beam has been transformed into energy which fuels the shield.” Hackle said satisfied. “So with each hit its batteries will be reloaded just as they should.”

When he saw that T-Bone was about to put the gun away he said. “What are you waiting for, lad? Shoot at it some more.” T-Bone looked surprised and skeptical at the same time. Hackle smiled and explained: “Don't be so overcautious. We have to check how the batteries react when the shield is hit multiple times. We don't want them getting overloaded while you're in the air, don't we?”

The look on T-Bone's face clearly stated that he wanted to protest again, but didn't find the right words to do so. So he aimed at the Turbokat once again and fired at least a dozen shots this times. He was really relieved when Hackle shouted: “You can stop now, lad! The batteries are still working fine!” Hackle came over to T-Bone who gladly gave the gun back to him. Hackle left the room once again to put it away.

“Well, seems like everything is in place.” Razor noted. “The only thing we can do now is wait until Dark Kat gets out of hiding.”

They didn't have to wait long for it as Specter's mobile phone made a sound. He immediately read the message he had received and then looked at Razor.

“This seems to happen sooner than you might have expected, Razor. Mr. Young just send me a message that Megakat Tower has been overrun by Dark Kat's men. Mr. Young is hiding himself somewhere on the executive floor. I assume that Dark Kat wants to use our servers to make Sally work even more efficiently.”

“That's really bad news.” Razor replied. “But is Dark Kat really there?”

“Unfortunately, the message doesn't state that clearly.” Specter answered. “But someone I know will be there for sure. And he most certainly knows where Dark Kat is.”

“You mean Hard Drive?”

“Yes. I don't think he can resist putting his hands on the technology we have there.”

“So what are we waiting for?” T-Bone asked. “Let's kick some tail!”

Suddenly Professor Hackle's voice shouted over from the room next door. “Lads, get over here quickly! This is what we've been waiting for.”

The three Swat Kats joined Hackle who was standing in front of his large television screen that covered almost the whole wall it was mounted at. Dark Kat was displayed on it and his voice sounded through the speakers:

“Citizens of Megakat City,” he started his speech. “I am Dark Kat and I have taken control over this city. The Enforcers have been defeated and your Mayor as well as the Deputy Mayor have left you behind. They have deserted you to save their own puny lives, leaving you to my mercy.” After a short pause he continued: “Oh, and don't count on your heroes, the Swat Kats this time. Their jet has been shot down and they haven't been seen ever since. I guess they are either dead or just ran away like your brave Mayor.” Then he started laughing dismissively.

“Why you little,” T-Bone commented the broadcast angrily. “Wait until I get my hands on you.”

“But don't be afraid.” Dark Kat continued. “I will be graceful to all of those who are loyal to me. As my first official act I have some simple instructions for you. First, all of you will go back to your homes and stay there. You will soon be visited by my friendly personnel. They will have some more specific instructions for each one of you. Second, until further notice you are not allowed to be on the streets after sunset. Third, you are not allowed to leave this city. If you don't follow these instructions you will be punished.” Dark Kat said with a mean look on his face. Then he suddenly cheered up as he concluded: “Oh, I almost forgot, Megakat City is now Dark Kat City. Together we shall turn this place into a paradise! Have a nice day, my loyal servants.”

“Some definition of paradise.” Razor commented.

“What a megalomaniac!” Specter suddenly shouted in rage and desperation. “This is totally insane! He cannot do that.”

“Unfortunately, he can.” Razor replied. “This is what Dark Kat always wanted. It's a real nightmare, but at least we now know where he is.”

“How can you be so sure about that?” Specter asked surprised.

“Have you seen the room Dark Kat was standing in? It was the mayor's office. He already redecorated it, but I clearly recognized it nonetheless.” Razor explained.

“Then what are we waiting for?” T-Bone yelled. “Let's get him!”

“But what about Hard Drive?” Specter asked.

“We'll deal with him later.” T-Bone replied. “It's Dark Kat who is holding the strings.”

“Yes, right, but what about the drones?” Specter argued. “You're only save as long as you stay in your jet. When you leave it you are as good as dead. So, what do you intend to do about Dark Kat? Level the building?”

“This would be a possibility,” Razor replied. “But the Mayor and Commander Feral probably wouldn't appreciate it. So I think this should be our last resort.”

T-Bone sighed. “I guess you got a point there, Specter. But if we go after Hard Drive first, Dark Kat will surely notice. Then we'll have to deal with his troops while he's getting away.”

“And if we split up?” Specter suggested. “I'll could take care of Hard Drive while you two deal with Dark Kat.”

The Swat Kats stared at him while they thought about his suggestion. Then Razor replied: “This could be working. But you'll probably put yourself in great danger there, Specter.”

“I'm well aware of that.” Specter replied confidently. “But I think I can handle him, now that I know who he is and what he is capable of. And besides, I have a score to settle with him.”

“And this is exactly what's worrying me.” Razor warned him. “Your wish for revenge may cloud your judgment and make you vulnerable.”

“You're right.” Specter admitted. “I'll have to keep my anger under control. But I guess you'll have to do same when you are dealing with Dark Kat. Isn't he the real reason why you have been kicked out of the Enforcers?”

“He was part of it, yes.” Razor admitted. “So you're in the same situation as I am.”

“Yes, but the difference is that we've dealt with Dark Kat before.”

“That's true, but there was also a first time for you to face him, right?” Specter noted.

“Yes, there was.” Razor replied. “I see, I can't hold you back. So what's your plan, Specter?”

“I'll infiltrate the tower which shouldn't be too difficult, because I've worked there long enough. Once inside, I'll go to the server room and hack into the system in order to shut down the drones. Then you don't need to worry about them anymore when you are dealing with Dark Kat. When I'm done there I'll take care of Hard Drive. I'll also try to locate Mr. Young in order to get him out of there in case that Dark Kat sends reinforcements when he notices that something happened to the drones.”

“Sounds risky, yet reasonable.” Razor commented. “But I think Dark Kat still might have enough time to prepare a Plan B until we can get to him.”

“So what can we do to prevent him from doing this?” Specter asked.

“I think we could do it the following way. While you are infiltrating the tower, I'll find myself a way into City Hall. Once I've reached the mayor's office and being sure that Dark Kat is inside, I'll give you a signal. Then you turn off the drones, so that I can encounter him before he can do anything.”

“But won't the place be crowded with Dark Kats servants and minions?” Specter argued. “Not to mention the drones, which will be sent in to hunt you down in case you've been spotted.”

“This is where T-Bone comes in.” Razor continued explaining. “He will create a diversion by pretending to attack the building. The Behemoth's shield will protect him from the drone's laser beams as long as its batteries don't get overloaded. But this is rather unlikely, since you'd need something like one of our Scrambler Missiles to do that. We used one of those when Hard Drive tried to get away with the Behemoth Tank. It worked, but the tank was also severely damaged in the process.”

“You make this sound like a walk in the park, Razor.” T-Bone commented Razor's plan ironically.

“Hmm, but even if this works, how do we get near the buildings?” Specter asked. “I mean, T-Bone can't just give us a lift and bring us near them without being spotted. I guess we could make our way through the sewers, but this might take a while, since these buildings aren't exactly close by.” Specter argued and then joked: “And I don't think we can take the subway to get there.”

Razor couldn't resist to imagine how he and Specter are standing in a compartment of a subway train, each of them having grabbed a retaining strap and being looked at by the other passengers. Especially a guy in a suit, sitting in front of them is permanently staring at them, looking intimidated. Annoyed by being watched like this all the time Specter suddenly asks the guy: “What's your problem? Never seen a Swat Kat going to work?” Razor almost laughed as he pushed this amusing imagination away.

“No, you're right, we can't take the subway. Besides, I doubt that the trains are still being operational while the city is under siege.” Razor argued in order to become serious again. “We'll take our jet boats. They're small and versatile enough to navigate through the sewers. And they are also really fast.”

“Okay... But I've never been on one of those before.” Specter noted.

“I'm sure you'll be getting used to it quickly.” Razor replied confidently.

“Yeah, just make sure you don't bump into Dr. Viper down there.” T-Bone added.

“You mean that half-kat, half-lizard guy who repeatedly unleashed mutated creatures into the city?” Specter asked, suddenly being intimidated. “Is it likely to run into him down there?”

“Now look what you did, T-Bone. You scared him.” Razor said reproachfully to T-Bone and then turned over to Specter. “It is possible, if he's still alive. But I think it's rather unlikely that he'd show up while Dark Kat is already terrorizing the city.”

“Let's hope so.” Specter said, still feeling uncomfortable.

“Don't worry, lad.” Hackle said. “Our mosquitoes will accompany you on your way. They will spot any danger that might be ahead of you.”

“Okay.” Razor said. “Then let's not waste any time and start right away.”