Mantra

By Ty-Chou

I have always been fascinated with the time between when two ex-enforcers standing in a salvage yard decide to build a jet and when they are the Swat Kats we know and love. There is so much I wanted to write about this, but since this is a short story contest, I had to choose merely one facet of a much larger story. I hope you enjoy.

5644 Words | About 14 Pages

Author Website

Get back in the air, get back at Dark Kat. Get back in the air, get back at Dark Kat. Those words reverberated in his head with every turn of the screw, with every rivet, and every wire soldered together. It became the mantra that called him to build, to work until his paws bled. Get back in the air, get back at Dark Kat. Feral was in there somewhere as well. The pain of betrayal by his commanding officer for Feral's own selfish reasons still stung, but the commander's part in the plan began to blur as the days and nights too blurred together.

Some nights he would hear the Enforcers pounding on the door in his dreams, coming for him and Chance, and he would wake up in a cold sweat. Other nights, he would lay in the dark with eyes open, feeling the weight of what they had made. That dark skeleton of a jet haunted him from where it sat in the secret sub-basement below. Though still far from finished, it already had a presence to it, a gravity that Jake could feel at all times.

The constricting in his chest, however, was far worse at night when everything was dark and quiet, and his mind would race. In the stillness, while his back and paws ached, another voice would often come to break the repetition. Get back in the air. What are we doing?! Get back at Dark Kat. This is crazy! Get back in the air. This will never work! Get back at Dark Kat. We'll end up in jail if this doesn't get us killed first!

It had been Jake's idea, and he was both proud of it and regretted it daily. Even though Chance was the one with the reputation for reacting first and thinking of the consequences later, Jake wasn't much different. He hated being told no as much as his partner. Being ordered not to do something just made him want to do it even more. Standing in the salvage yard on that first day, Burke and Murray laughing in their faces, Jake burned. There was a frantic heat in his chest that demanded action. He did not belong there. He wasn't done fighting. They were not done fighting.

Before Burke and Murray's truck was even out of the gate, his mind was already scrambling. How could he make this right? How would they return to the sky? How could they get Dark Kat?

Build your own jet, his brain immediately concluded. Make your own weapons. Do it yourself. And before he could think it over, the idea had already tumbled out of his mouth. Chance was immediately on board and there was no taking it back. Jake didn't want to take it back. Something about the idea felt right. As if this was what they were meant to do. As if some unseen force was propelling them forward and they worked like two kats possessed; excited and full of ideas and enthusiasm.

But at night, when everything was black, the panic set in. The reality of how insane this plan was hit him hard and it ate at his nerve endings while his heart pounded. On those weakest nights, Jake would pad down to the hanger below. Wild thoughts of how he could burn the whole project down and stop this madness would bang around in his head as he descended into the pit.

On those difficult nights, however, it was never dark in the hanger. The lights would be on and Chance would be there. The great, exposed hull of their patchwork jet was not so eerie in the light. It no longer haunted Jake when Chance was around, working on it lovingly. The yellow tom attacked the daunting task with his own obsessed fervor, books and manuals piled in the corner to help them figure out how to build this crazy, beautiful monster.

Every now and again, Chance would pause and move a few steps back to take it all in. The Turbokat. That was what Chance was already calling their jet. Sometimes it felt like the jet was his alone. Both put their blood and sweat into it, but Chance gave it his soul. More than he wanted to fight, he wanted to fly and this jet was his only way to do it. At this point, Jake thought the Turbokat would see completion with or without him. Chance was dead set on making it happen and Jake sometimes felt he was just along for the ride.

“Oh, hey buddy,” Chance greeted when he glanced over.

Jake stood at the bottom of the ladder, his paw still clutching a rung.

“Can't sleep?”

Jake said nothing, but seeing his partner there standing in the light made this terrifying reality not so terrifying. He remembered how he felt that first day when he suggested they embark on this mad venture. They could do this.

Unconcerned with Jake's lack of response, Chance lowered his head. “Feel free to work on the control panel. I took a shot at it, but you're way better at all those fiddly bits.”

A smile began to tug at the side of Jake's mouth and he stepped down the concrete stairs. “Yeah, I'll look at it.”

The two worked in silence until sunrise. Without a clock down there, Jake only knew the sun was up because of the small sliver of light at the end of the unkempt tunnel. The entrance to their secret lair currently did not close all the way. It was how they found it in the first place. They would need to fix that soon.

At that same time, Chance rose from his hunched position and groaned as he straightened his back. He did a few stretches before wandering from the jet up the ramp. Counting steps. That was what Chance did whenever he took a break: he would count the steps to the exit. The ramp was short. It was not meant to be a runway. They had to make sure the Turbokat was powerful enough to get them into the air with the length they had.

Jake, on his wild days when his own confidence was at its peak, was already planning on engines more advanced than any other jet currently in the skies. If they were going to do this, they were going in all the way. They would soup it up into something this city had never seen before. The Turbokat needed to be a cut above the rest or they would never survive this.

When Chance returned, he once again gave the framework of the jet an appraising look.

“Black,” he announced in the stillness.

“What?” Jake asked as he walked around the hull. He held a rag to his paw, it was bleeding again and they were nearly out of band-aids.

“The Turbokat. Let's paint it black. They'll never see us coming. Not Feral. Definitely not Dark Kat.”

Jake followed his partner's gaze. He could nearly picture it. “Sounds good, buddy.”


Eventually, they had to stop. They had to eat, shower, sleep. They couldn't let this mania kill them so quickly; they hadn't even started. Jake walked into the main living area, fur damp and newly clean. Chance sat on the couch, half-eaten TV dinner on the corner of a standing tray while he used the other corner to doodle on some scratch paper.

Jake glanced down at it as he passed. Chance was no artist, but he did well enough to get the concept across. He fiddled with a few different designs for flight suits and helmets. And masks. Jake's heart jumped when he was reminded of the masks. No one could know who they were. If their identities got out, it would be all over. The lack of recognition was foreign to Jake, but the idea of anonymity excited him. What could one do out there when one was nobody?

“Red?” Jake asked of Chance's sketches. “Why red? I thought we were doing black.”

“No, Jake, the Turbokat is black,” Chance said, not looking up. “We're wearing red.”

“Why don't we match the jet?”

“Why do we have to match the jet?”

“I... guess we don't. But red? Any time we're out of the jet we're going to look like bright, walking targets. Why not something darker like a deep blue?”

Chance glanced up, clearly annoyed that his artistic sensibilities were being criticized. “The Enforcers wear blue, Jake.”

“The Enforcers wear gray. The accents are blue.”

“That's too close. We don't want anyone thinking we're a part of them.”

Jake was trying to decide if it was comical how they were trying not to add impersonating an officer to the growing list of illegal things they were doing.

“Why not black?” Jake tried again.

“Because, Jake, if we're sneaking around the city wearing black we look like a couple of law-breakers out to burglarize someone.”

“Chance, we are breaking the law.”

“Not the important ones,” Chance replied with a grin.

Jake tried to suppress his own laugh. At least they were keeping themselves in good humor over this crazy scheme.

A low buzzer sounded in that moment. Someone was at the salvage yard gate. Jake walked over to the security monitor to find Commander Feral himself standing out there with his Enforcer cruiser. Jake's heart thundered so hard it reverberated in his ears. Why was Feral here? Did he know what they had been up to?

He felt Chance's larger form approach behind him a second before he heard his partner exhale heavily.

The buzzer sounded again.

“Well, better allow His Sour Excellence in or it might look like we're up to something,” Chance announced and pressed the button that allowed the automatic gate to roll open.

“Up to something? Us?” Jake echoed the same factious tone in his voice. They shared grins, full of bravado on the outside.

Inside, Jake was scared. However, he couldn't figure out what frightened him more: being busted by Feral, or the fact that getting caught would mean they would never get to see if their plan would work.


The two ex-Enforcers met their former commander at the front of the rickety old building they now called home. They stood shoulder to shoulder before the gaping maw of the garage; left open to show they had nothing to hide, even though they themselves stood as a barrier to Feral. The commander made no attempt to bypass them.

With Feral face to face with them, Jake felt hyper-aware of the hangar's entrance nearby, cleverly barricaded with walls of junk piles so it could not be seen by the casual observer. But it was still exposed. The open crack was very clear in the ground if one were to climb up and look down. Their secret was mere yards away from Feral; mere yards from it being all over before it even began. Jake fought not to stare off in that direction.

This was all the hangar's fault. Without the hanger, there would be no place to build the jet. It was the fault of the salvage yard. Without it, there would be nothing to build the jet with. It was Feral's fault.

If not for Feral, they wouldn't be here; wouldn't be this desperate. Everything fell so beautifully into place. Fate had put them here. Perhaps there was no escaping it, even if they wanted to.

“Clawson,” came Feral's sharp voice, shaking him from his mental meanderings. “Do you have something more important on your mind?”

“What do you want, Feral?” Chance asked bluntly, stepping forward. The burly tom folded his arms across his broad chest. “Haven't you done enough?”

Jake watched as Commander Feral's anger spiked. His jaw and shoulders tensed, yellow eyes flashing. Then, with a long, heavy breath, the anger subsided. Jake had never witnessed such a thing. Feral never schooled his temper in front of any officer. The fact that he did it now, what did that mean? Did he actually... feel bad?

“I was just coming to check on the two of you,” Feral said evenly.

“What? Afraid we'll run out on this life sentence you gave us?” Chance challenged back. “I'd never give you the satisfaction. We pay our debts. Even the ones we don't deserve.”

Again, the commander chose not to be baited. “I understand the two of you have begun the paperwork for a business license to turn this into a mechanic shop. I think that is a good idea.”

“Thanks, but we weren't looking for your approval,” Jake spoke up, backing up his partner's aversion to this unexpected meeting.

That Feral temper flashed again. This time, it remained barely confined. It was clear in the commander's eyes, he was close.

“You still may not believe it now, but this is better for you,” Feral said, and then turned on his heels to leave.

“Better for us?” Chance sputtered after him, his own temper fraying at the ends. “Look at this dump! You put us here! This is your fault, Feral. YOU did this to us!”

Chance had taken a few steps after him and when Feral suddenly spun around, they were nearly nose to nose.

“I saved YOUR LIVES! You reckless hotshots think you're indestructible! Do you know how many body bags Dark Kat has left in his wake? He nearly added two more! You don't listen! You think you know better than anyone else! And now you're here and it may have been a blessing in disguise, whether you two idiots believe it or not. I hope you'll make better mechanics because you were lousy Enforcers.”

Chance looked near boiling. Jake elbowed him and shook his head. It wasn't worth getting into it with Feral. They would have a chance to have their say, but today was not that day.

When the commander found there were no other retorts, only stubborn expressions in response, he composed his own temper. “Fine,” he said gruffly. He looked as though he would say something else, but instead he turned on his heel and strode back to his cruiser.

Jake glared at him as he left. Lousy Enforcers? No, they were great Enforcers. They were untouchable in the sky. There was no way Dark Kat would have ever shot them down. Feral had to say those things to make himself feel better for ruining their careers. Feral's career just may be on the line soon enough.

The Enforcer cruiser kicked up dirt and gravel as it sped away. Chance looked like he was about to let loose a litany of profanities after it, but a certain sound above reached their ears and Chance swung his head skyward, forgetting all else.

The familiar rumble of a jet engine graced their dilapidated salvage yard. Enforcer pilots trained out in the desert wilderness far past the city, but every once in a while, one flew close enough to hear it.

Chance closed his eyes as he listened to the jet's song, breathing in deep with the sun on his face. There was sky in his blood. Chance's mother often said that about him. Just like his father, Chance needed to fly. He was incomplete when he was stuck on the ground.

Get back in the air. Get back at Dark Kat. Get even with Feral.

Jake burned anew at the commander's departure. Feral's insinuation that they were not disciplined enough, not skilled enough to cut it in the Enforcers stoked the fire. When the cruiser was far out of sight, Jake slapped a paw on his partner's shoulder. “Come on, buddy. We've got a jet to finish.”


A month more of fiddling and Jake sat atop the open canopy of the jet, his feet dangling inside the cockpit. The Turbokat now looked like a real jet. It still needed a lot of things: paint job, gunner's seat, weapons, a lot of little tweaks and parts. Today, however, was all about the engines. If they couldn't get this bird in the air, everything else was pointless.

Chance sat in the pilot's seat as the engines purred to life. “Yes!” he crowed over the high-pitched whine.

“So good so far,” Jake said. He was listening carefully. Engines could tell you what they needed if you just learned to listen to their language. “Proceed with the vertical takeoff test.”

Of course they couldn't attempt a real takeoff, they were still hidden in the hanger. By the nature of their machinations, they would have to conduct as many tests as they could underground. The goal this night was to merely get the Turbokat off the ground in hover mode.

Chance proceeded with the complicated task of flipping the right switches on the extensive control panel. The whine of the intakes filled the hangar as the jet prepared to lift.

“Good, good,” Jake said, though there was no way Chance could hear him above the noise. He would have to figure out how to make the Turbokat quieter. He made an upward motion and Chance eased the jet off the ground. One inch, two. They were up, they were floating.

An engine sputtered, then coughed.

“Chance! Bring it down! Cut it!” Jake yelled over the noise.

The engine thundered like a pipe wrench in a dryer and the whole thing blew before they could turn it off. Smoke poured from the engine, as well as the flicker of a few flames. Chance immediately grabbed the extinguisher they had with them for just such an event and quickly smothered the fire.

The two pilots exited the hangar via the exit ramp, coughing and a little cloudy from all the smoke.

“Jake, you okay?” Chance asked.

“Yeah,” he confirmed with another cough. “You?”

“Yeah.”

“At least it's night time, so no one is going to see all this smoke.”

“Yeah...” Chance's tone was full of disappointment at their failed attempt at flight. He suddenly cursed, slamming his fist against the side of an old car. “Are we being idiots, Jake? Is this ever going to work? I feel like Feral wouldn't even bother with an arrest if he saw this. He would just laugh in our faces and leave.”

Jake took in a long breath, gazing up at the night sky. This far from the city, the stars were bright and beautiful. He never lived under stars like this before.

Get back in the air. Get back at Dark Kat. Get even with Feral.

“I'm disappointed, too. But there's other engines out there and we're probably going to have to go through a few more until we get it right. I'm not done trying, Chance. What about you?”

The expression on his partner's face was something between gratitude and incredulity. Then a smile tugged at the side of his mouth. “I'm not done trying either. Let's do it.”

“Of course, we're going to have to wait until the smoke settles in the hanger, and we can't go looking for more parts until morning...”

“Fine. Then tomorrow we won't be done trying.”

Jake grinned. “Roger that.”


Four months and a few more blown engines later, the two pilots sat silently in the cockpit of the Turbokat. The lights of the short runway were on, and above the exit, the night sky. It called to them. All they had to do was go.

“Any day, T-Bone,” said a voice to break the silence.

A chuff came from the pilot's seat. “Hold your horses, Razor. I'm just... I'm just taking a moment.”

Razor smiled at the sound of his new alias. That was the deal; once they had on their flight suits and masks, Jake Clawson and Chance Furlong no longer existed. Only T-Bone and Razor were there in that hanger, sitting with baited breath.  The mask felt foreign on Razor's face. Would he ever get used to wearing it? What kind of kat would Razor be, he often wondered. Would he wear the mask or would the mask eventually wear him? They were getting closer and closer to finding out.

The plan was about to literally take flight. The Turbokat was finished and painted. They wore their new flight suits which were, quite by coincidence, dark blue merely because they had been purchased cheap and were easy to modify. The accents were red. Once they put those suits on, even T-Bone had to admit he liked the color and they most certainly wouldn't be mistaken for Enforcers. Razor was quite pleased with their new look.

In front of him, he heard T-Bone exhale a shaky breath, then the engines powered up. The jet vibrated softly with a healthy hum. So far so good. Both were checking their control panels, watching and listening for anything that may indicate a problem. Everything looked okay.

“Ready?” Razor asked.

He could hear the grin in T-Bone's voice. “No guts, no glory, right, partner?”

They had been partners for a good while now, having been paired up in flight training by chance. This project bloomed a different kind of partnership; one that would bind them more tightly than anything before. A bond forged in secrets and, perhaps one day, maybe even sealed in blood.

“Punch it, T-Bone,” Razor said with gusto.

The wheels inched forward, the engines burst with power as the Turbokat lurched. It roared like a lion and then raced up the ramp, throwing the pilots back in their seats. One second, two, three and they were free from the hangar, grasping air, climbing higher and higher.

Inside, the cockpit was silent. No one breathed for the next few moments. Then T-Bone barked out a sudden sound, one full of relief and disbelief, terror and elation.

“Razor! We did it! We're flying!”

Razor grinned. “Yeah, buddy, we sure are.”

“Has it ever felt so amazing to be in the air?”

“T-Bone, are you crying?”

“...No! It's just that...We did this. We built this jet.”

“We built an amazing jet,” Razor confirmed.

T-Bone laughed. “We sure did.”

It was amazing. Before being kicked off the force, Razor would never have dreamed he was capable of building anything like this, just he and one other kat. They had put this fantastic machine together in a matter of months. At times he felt his brain would explode with all the new information he had absorbed so quickly in order to meet their goal. Yet, here they were now, high in the night sky, meeting the stars and Razor knew there could have been no other outcome. Necessity breeds invention. The two of them had learned and built because they needed to. They knew of no other way to live.

Get back in the air. Get back at Dark Kat. Get even with Feral.

“Everything still looks good, T-Bone,” Razor announced as he checked his instruments. “It's holding up just fine. Time for phase two.”

“Right. Let's put this baby through its paces and see what she can really do.”

Once reaching the desired altitude, the jet banked to the right and T-Bone guided them through a few basic maneuvers. When the Turbokat continued to hold steady, he pushed it harder, sending the jet into an impressive display of dives and barrels. Razor held on for the ride. It had been a while since he'd been in the air, it took a moment to remember how it felt. Once or twice he became a little disoriented flying in the black sky, but T-Bone never got lost. He always knew exactly what he was doing and Razor trusted that instinct.

“You hanging on back there, Razor?” T-Bone teased after a while. Every now and then he would punctuate his flying with a happy whoop. Razor had yet to say one word since they first got in the air. “You're quiet.”

“I'm fine. I just like seeing you happy, buddy.”

“You made this possible, you know. There's no way I could have built the Turbokat without you.”

Razor thought back to all those times when his anxieties crept in and the panic threatened to take over. His partner always showed up to quell the doubt, whether he realized it or not.

“Couldn't have done it without you either, Ch—T-Bone. You were always there when I needed you to be.”

T-Bone snorted from the pilot seat. “Don't get too sappy on me, you're making it weird.”

I'm making it weird?!”

“Unidentified aircraft,” came a voice over the radio. “This is Enforcer Air Control. You are in Megakat City air space and we have no flight plan on record for you. Identify yourselves immediately.”

The two masked pilots sat in silence for a moment.

“They found us,” T-Bone breathed, a bit incredulous.

A black jet in a black sky and they had still been caught. Razor's brain was already running through possibilities of how to avoid detection in the future.

“Aircraft, this is your last chance to respond or you will be intercepted by the authorities.”

“What do you say Razor, should we announce ourselves?” T-Bone asked, one claw hovering over the radio button.

Razor shook his head. There would be a time to announce their presence to the entire city, but tonight was not that night. Instead, they gunned the engines and disappeared like a phantom in the blackness of night. The virgin flight of the Turbokat came and went like a whispered secret between the two pilots and the stars.


It seemed to be perfect timing as they returned to the hanger. Something began rattling in one of the intakes as they neared the salvage yard. T-Bone also wasn't used to landing a jet down an incline underground. Even with his skill, it was an awkward first landing.

Once back home, T-Bone and Razor were tucked away in their lockers and Chance and Jake eyed the Turbokat, paws on hips. They would have to wait a while for everything to cool before they could take a good look at the internal workings. They both agreed it could wait until morning.

Yet, after the successful flight, neither found they wanted to sleep. Instead, the two ended up on the roof of the garage, drinking milk and sitting silently until the first purple ribbon of dawn appeared on the horizon. That night had changed everything. This day was the true beginning of the Swat Kats.

“Hey, Jake,” Chance said. He leaned forward on the old lawn chair they hauled up there, elbows resting on his knees. “Say we do everything we wanted to do. We get out there, we capture Dark Kat, we truss him up and leave him at Feral's door with a big, red bow. Then what? What do we do after that?”

Jake blinked at him a few times, the concept brand new to him. He had been so focused on reaching the goals in front of him, he hadn't given any thought to what would come after. The only things present in his mind were everything he still needed to do for the Turbokat, including missiles and other weapons. After watching a spy movie recently, Jake was also entertaining a new project: the possible design of a glove that carried mini weapons so they would always be armed, even on the ground.

Get back in the air. Get back at Dark Kat. Get even with Feral.

After? He had never given a single thought to the after.

“I don't know,” he admitted. “We'll figure it out when we get to it, I guess.”

“Heh, maybe we'll do the job so well they'll put us in charge of the Enforcers and kick Feral out. Then he can run this busted-up place.”

Jake chuckled. He'd be lying if he hadn't had daydreams of thankful citizens somehow finding out about how their heroes had been treated by Feral. They would be so outraged they would have him marched right out of the force. Maybe even out of the city. With the successful test flight of the Turbokat, both pilots were feeling pretty confident. Right now, their minds were full of grandeur. The sky was the limit. Or, maybe the limit was even far beyond that.

Jake grinned as he leaned back in his own rusty lawn chair, paws propped behind his head. “Now wouldn't that be something.”


Years later, the Turbokat limped its way down to the hanger, one wing a little crooked, one engine rattling, threatening to go out. Two masked pilots climbed out, bruised and exhausted, and hauled themselves up to ground level. The Turbokat would have to wait on repairs until they had assessed their own damage first.

After showers and food, the duo rendezvoused on the roof of the garage. It was a place they often went after a mission to ruminate on the day's events. There was still plenty of heat from the setting sun to keep them warm. Jake carried up two milks; Chance, a first aid kit. After his shower, the cut on his arm had reopened.

“I can't believe Dark Kat got away again,” he mumbled as he patted some fresh gauze on the leaking cut.

“Yeah,” Jake agreed. “We were pretty close this time though, huh?”

Chance checked the wound for bleeding and then pressed the bandage over the cut again. “A little too close,” he murmured.

Jake watched him for a moment. “You should let me do that.”

Chance waved him off when he reached to help. “No, I can do it myself.”

“I know you can, Chance, but I have two free paws. I can make it stay on better.”

The larger tom huffed and looked away. “Fine. Do what you want.”

For a moment, the two sat silently as Jake wrapped the arm and Chance brooded.

“Hey, Chance, do you remember that night we first flew the Turbokat? We sat up here afterwards, watching the sun rise, and you asked me what we were going to do after we got Dark Kat.”

Chance gave him a startled look, then his shoulders trembled. The larger tom suddenly broke into laughter as he faced the sky.  “We really were a couple of rookies, weren't we? We had no idea what we were getting into.”

Jake managed a chuckle himself. “Sometimes I wonder if we still don't.”

He finished his bandage job and Chance rubbed it before sitting back in his chair.

“You know, Jake, there were so many times back then where I thought we must be crazy. It was like living in a fever dream, thinking we could actually build a jet from scratch. I don't ever remember sleeping. Even in my dreams I was working on the Turbokat. I would just keep repeating in my head: we gotta get back in the sky, gotta go get Dark Kat, gotta--”

“Get even with Feral?”

“Yeah, how did you know?”

Jake reclined lazily in his chair. “I told myself the same thing over and over to help me get through it.”

Chance breathed out a laugh through his nose, his gaze wandering to look down at the salvage yard. “It's different now, isn't it? I still want Dark Kat, I still like showing up Feral, but goals have changed. We have changed.”

Jake nodded in understanding. It had been a while since he thought of his old mantra. It was one fashioned from ego and revenge. They were dumb rookies back then. Little did they know Dark Kat was not the be-all end-all of villainy. As soon as there were Swat Kats, there was also Viper, the Pastmaster, the Metallikats, giant mummies, aliens, lava monsters, and so many other threats.

Slowly, pride was pushed out to make room for some hard-earned lessons. Being a Swat Kat wasn't just about T-Bone and Razor and their own vindication.

Get back in the air. Get back at Dark Kat. Get Even with Feral.

No more. Through their unusual enterprise of vigilantism they found a new tenet. It was no longer about what they could get, but what they could do.

Protect.

Protect their city. Protect its citizens.

Jake glanced over at Chance. That cut could have been so much worse if T-Bone had been fighting alone.

Protect each other.

This was their new creed. This was what separated two bitter ex-Enforcers from the Swat Kats. It was what T-Bone and Razor had taught Chance and Jake; a lesson they could have never learned on their own. It was a humbling realization.

“Hey, Jake.”

“Yeah?”

“I've got a similar question for you now. How long do you think the Swat Kats will need to stick around?”

Jake smirked. “Tired of it already?”

“Not on your life. I'm still just getting started. But isn't that the real goal? A Megakat City that isn't constantly under threat of being taken off the map?”

Jake didn't say anything.

Chance let out a heavy breath. “I just keep thinking more than anyone would ever want the Swat Kats, they want a city that doesn't need them.” He paused. “Do... we want a city that doesn't need them?”

Once again, Chance had given Jake something new to chew on and it took him a moment. To not be needed, to loose everything they had worked to become was terrifying. The Swat Kats had given him more purpose than he had ever experienced before. He didn't want to lose it. He didn't want to no longer be important. But, they had already had this happen to them. They had already started from square one before.

“It's really out of our paws either way,” he said with a shrug. “All we can say is that we will be here as long as the city needs us. If that changes, we'll figure out something else, right?”

Chance grinned. “Right.”

No matter what happened, they would always find a new mantra and do it all again.

~ End ~

That was Mantra by Ty-Chou, a submission for The November 2017 MegakatCity.com Writing Challenge. Want to leave a review?
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SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 1995. All other characters and material within this page are the property of their respective creators.