Title: Have Yourself a Mad Little Christmas
Author: Kristen Sharpe
Date Completed: December 18, 1997
Disclaimer: "SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron," its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission.
The small group stood in the middle of the street looking up at the smoke billowing from the top of Enforcer Headquarters. Each had a place to go, but the smoking building held their attention for a few minutes more. Even the two SWAT Kats, known for their quick exits following an exploit, remained, eyes on the smoke trailing from the shattered remains of their jet, the TurboKat.
The SWAT Kat, T-Bone, still glowing from the warm look Callie Briggs had given him and his partner for saving her life, felt somewhat comforted in the loss of his jet. Further, he was thrilling in his defeat of Mad Kat in their final confrontation. Mad Kat had dubbed that fight a game. Well, T-Bone had won the game. Mad Kat’s jack-in-the-box, in which the evil ghost was now again trapped and in which he had trapped his intended victims, was now held tightly in the hands of T-Bone’s partner, Razor. The escaped asylum inmate, Lenny Ringtail, who had aided the creature and made possible his plans, lay flat on his back nearby, out cold, his and his evil cohort’s plans ruined.
Commander Feral was scowling up the smoke cloud, darkly wondering how long it would be before he had an airstrip again. To one side of him Lieutenant Commander Steele sulked at the reprimand he’d just received and remained silent, eyeing Feral with only scantily concealed hatred. One Feral’s other side Mayor Manx was casually assuring Feral that he’d get the building repaired; it would just require a mild raise in taxes. Callie had stepped up beside him and was vainly trying to get in a word, concern for the MegaKat citizens written across her face.
An aging Siamese kat slowly walked out of the entrance to Enforcer Headquarters and up to the small group, angling himself toward the two SWAT Kats.
“Here, Sir, I believe this is yours,” said Razor, offering him the jack-in-the-box.
Accepting the box, the old kat murmured, “I’ll return this to its place,” as he turned to go. Looking back over his shoulder, he met T-Bone’s eyes squarely and added, “But, Mad Kat may not be so easily stopped. The game may not yet be finished.”
Chapter 1: Invitation
“Oww!” T-Bone jerked his leg away from the gentle touch that felt like fire to his burned skin.
“Don’t be such a baby, Chance. I had a kitten this morning with a pavement burn this bad. Didn’t say a word,” the orange kat bending to look at T-Bone’s leg scolded in his quiet, mild voice as he firmly grabbed T-Bone’s thrashing leg with his left hand. He leaned closer to study the laser burn, adjusting his glasses slightly. T-Bone watched from his vantage point atop the white-sheeted examining table.
“This is worse than a pavement burn,” he growled, gritting his teeth. “Got ’em all the time when I was a kitten. I never said a word either. About those. This hurts like the dickens!”
“He’s right. It’s not that bad,” Razor put in, standing up from his chair. He walked up beside his friend, smirking at T-Bone’s pouting. Still, his brow furrowed a bit as he stared at the ugly red welt running down T-Bone’s leg. It was one of the most serious laser burns he’d seen in a long time.
“And, what exactly were you doing to get this?” the orange-furred kat asked, straightening.
“Not movin’ fast enough,” T-Bone mumbled.
“Takin’ care of a couple of thugs tryin’ to rob the First National Bank,” Razor clarified.
“Since when do thugs like those carry laser rifles?” T-Bone grumbled.
Razor shook his head. “You gotta have some pretty advanced equipment to rob a bank in MegaKat City these days,” he warned. “We better be on our toes and stop thinkin’ of these guys as small time’ just ’cause they’re not tryin’ ta’ take over the world.” He eyed T-Bone’s leg with a frown. “Or we’ll get more of that.”
T-Bone nodded his agreement before returning his attention to the kat examining him.
“So, what’s the prognosis, Doc?” he asked.
“Medicated salve is about all I can do,” the doctor replied, running a hand through his thatch of brown hair. “I’ll get some with a mild anesthetic for you,” he added, walking to the cabinet over the tiny examining room desk and opening it to remove a tube of ointment.
“So, what’ll we owe you for that?” Razor asked, a hint of firmness creeping into his voice as his eyes followed the other kat walking back across the room to T-Bone.
“Look at my car when you come out to the house Christmas Eve. And, eat everything your mother puts in front of you,” the orange kat replied with a smile.
“Aw, Dad, I’ll explode!” Razor moaned, clutching his stomach melodramatically. “She only wants me ta’ eat one of all her thousand veggies! Then, there’s the turkey. Oh, and the pies. And, cake…”
T-Bone licked his lips. “Send it my way,” he pronounced, his smile changing to a brief wince as Dr. Clawson gently rubbed the salve on his burn with a soft cloth.
The three kats laughed.
“The amazing bottomless pit,” Razor proclaimed, making a sweeping hand gesture in T-Bone’s direction.
“The ‘amazing bottomless pit’ is feeling pretty bottomless right now,” T-Bone commented as he stood up, resting his weight on his injured leg gingerly. “Let’s head out and run by the Mega-Burger.”
“Yeah, we better be going,” Razor agreed as he took the tube of salve his father extended to him.
“Alright,” Dr. Clawson paused, grinning, “be careful, don’t talk to strangers. Try not to get shot at by strangers. You know, all that other ‘parental stuff’ I’m supposed to spout out.”
“Right, Dad,” Razor called back as he headed out the door behind T-Bone. He paused to peer back around the door at his father, eyes sparking with mischief. “We do good work,” he said proudly, giving his father a thumbs up.
“Five years it’s been now?” Dr. Clawson asked casually, a smile spreading across his face.
“Every year he says he’s not comin’….”
“And, every year...,” Dr. Clawson continued the thought.
“The food gets him!” the two pronounced together, sharing conspirator’s broad grins before Razor disappeared after his partner.