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The Storm's Drawing Nearer

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Title: The Storm’s Drawing Nearer
Author: Kristen Sharpe
Date: April 9, 2001
Disclaimer: "SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron," its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission.

I can’t sleep. Maybe it’s the unbearable heat, so thick I think I could touch it. Maybe it’s the storm I can sense coming.

Whatever. I can’t sleep.

As I slide out of bed, quiet so as not to wake up my friend in the bed against the far wall, a flash of blue lights the room. The storm’s drawing nearer.

I slip out of the room and walk down the narrow hallway to the door that opens on the roof. I disable the security system with fumbling fingers, then twist the lock.

The door nearly flies out of my hand as I open it, caught in a powerful gust of wind. I catch it at the last second and, stepping outside, force it shut behind me.

Then, I just stare out at the view, the wind whipping my short headfur into my eyes. In the distance, across the river, I can see lightning darting over the city. Naked electricity shoots from the purple night sky to meet the waiting rods on top of the skyscrapers. As I watch, the city is briefly silhouetted, black buildings against a background of electric light.

It’s beautiful in a way. But, deadly.

I can feel the electricity prickling through my fur.

Now, I understand what woke me.

There’s a storm brewing.

And, it’s not in the sky.

It’s in the mystery of that mad chase a crazy kat drove my partner and I through months ago. It’s in Dark Kat’s sudden silence after our brief fight over Hard Drive’s fate. It’s in the mental link between my partner and I that I feel growing stronger every day. It’s in our never once speaking of it or what created it. Of nearly forty-eight hours spent inside each others minds. Forty-eight hours of living each others’ lives.

The first drop of rain plops on my nose.

The storm’s drawing nearer.

In the back of my mind, in that place I’ve almost managed to forget exists, a voice answers my fears. Quiet. Calm. Then, it’s gone. As though it never was. But, I know.

I’ll find Jake only pretending to sleep when I go to crawl back in my bed. He probably won’t be sure what woke him. I never am when his fears wake me.

A fresh gust of wind sprays me with rain.

The storm’s drawing nearer.

I can hear the wall of rain sweeping across the river toward me.

And, I spread my arms wide and wait for it.