Helter Shelter

By Mikazo

Chance and Jake catch a documentary that gives some clues as to the origin of their underground hangar. Coincidentally, Dark Kat happens upon the same information.

1877 Words | About 5 Pages

Author Website

Chance sat on the couch, munching a bowl of snacks and drinking a milk-like beverage out of a can. He propped his head up in his hand, resting his elbow on the couch armrest, a listless expression on his face as he watched television.

Jake padded into the room, eating out of an opened can of tuna. "Hey Chance... what's this?"

Chance groaned. "Well, things slowed down, so I just sat down to see what was on. All I could find was this lousy daytime programming."

The host on the television show began to speak. "And, welcome back to the Meowry Pawvich Show! We are just now getting the test results in, everyone is anxiously waiting to see what they have to say, and..."

A male kat sat in a chair on the stage, looking nervously at the audience.

The host opened up an envelope, pulling out a note. "Turns out you... are *not* the father!" Immediately the male kat bolted out of his seat, cheering and dancing. Airhorns blared and confetti rained down on the stage.

Jake frowned. "Aw, that's garbage, Chance. Let's watch something else. See if Scaredy Kat's on."

Chance growled. "They canceled it."

"What? Really?"

"Yeah, the show only lasted for two seasons too!" Chance crumpled up the can. "I'm gonna write to the producers and tell them they should do a reboot!"

Jake brought out his phone to look at the listings while Chance flipped through the channels. "Well, let's see what else is on. The classics channel is running 'Tabby and Katstello'. There's the music channel running Meowzart... hmm..."

Chance leaned back against the plush backrest of the couch, putting his hands behind his head. "You know, Jake. Things have been pretty slow lately. Have you noticed that?"

Jake rubbed his chin. "Yeah, I have."

"Not many people are bringing their cars in for service like before."

"Yeah. Must be all that ridesharing people are doing now. Plus, we haven't gotten too many emergency calls lately. Just that one where Callie thought there was some kind of underwater disturbance going on and wanted us to investigate. We spent all that time making the Turbokat able to detach its cockpit and be submersible. Then it turned out to be a false alarm."

Chance looked forward again. "I'm glad it was. I hate underwater missions."

They continued flipping through channels. Suddenly one of them caught Chance's eye. He stopped. "Wait... this looks pretty good." He leaned forward, watching the unfolding of a documentary. The voiceover sounded as black-and-white images of decommissioned bunkers showed on the screen.

"...it all started at a time when there were concerns about extensive flooding in Megakat City. These underground bunkers were said to have been constructed as command and control centers that could be used to keep vital services running. When it became evident that flooding and underground bunkers do not mix, engineers did an about face and set to repurpose them for military use, which came in handy during the Second MegaWar!"

Chance leaned forward, and Jake was transfixed by the show. "Say, Chance, do you think...?"

"I don't know!"

The voiceover continued. "So, why is it that so many bunkers remain undiscovered? It is true that every once in a while another one is uncovered by accident." The documentary showed a picture of a couple of kids playing by the beach, and uncovering a large section of concrete while building a sand castle.

"But largely this is because the military simply abandoned them and focused on other projects. It is only lately that interest in them has been renewed. Occasionally, local archaeology teams from Megakat University and excavators will be busy at work uncovering a new one, hoping to learn more about the Second MegaWar. Stay tuned. We will be right back after these messages."

Chance looked up. "Hey, Jake. Did you hear about that guy in the Enforcers who went into archaeology? His life is in ruins."

Jake snorted. "Hah!"

They continued watching the documentary.

Meanwhile, deep within his secret lair, far away from the heart of Megakat City, Dark Kat sat in his chair. Electrical and mechanical equipment hummed all around him. His head was propped up in his hand, and he was thumbing through a book on political economy, a bored expression on his face.

One of his creeplings came up to him. He sighed. "What is it?"

The creepling began gesticulating, making squeaking and squawking noises.

Dark Kat growled. "Your gesticulating is incomprehensible." He sighed again, realizing he should have invested in minions that had some communication abilities.

Frustrated, the creepling pulled over a notebook computer, showing the same streaming video of the documentary. Dark Kat looked at it, intrigued, rubbing his chin. "Why... that's a brilliant idea." He stood up. "I want you to scout the city on the outskirts. I shall run ground-penetrating radar to find evidence of abandoned underground complexes. If we get to them before researchers do, we can then use them to expand our operation and encircle Megakat City, before we then constrict it to death."

He let out a long, slow deliberate laugh. "You snooze, you lose, Megakat City!" Hordes of creeplings flew out into the dark night on scouting missions.

Chance and Jake continued watching the special.

"...efforts to uncover additional bunkers have stalled, largely in part because of budget cuts. Much of the money that would go to such efforts usually go to defense spending. We talked to top staff at Enforcer Headquarters to get their take on the issue."

Commander Feral's face came on the screen next. "Believe me, nothing matters more than the safety and security of the citizens of Megakat City, which is why we must make defense our number one priority. We are always striving to make much-needed improvements to our defense infrastructure, including our recent outfitting of the roof of Enforcer headquarters with a giant twin laser cannon that can stream videos. Enemy videos!"

Chance rolled his eyes. "I've heard enough about pork barrel spending for one evening." He reached over and clicked the TV off. "Oh! Speaking of which, what's the deal with that shipment that came in?"

Jake looked up. "I was going to tell you! We got an interesting piece of equipment from that last delivery. One of those multibarreled laser cannons they put on the helicopters."

The two went down into the bunker to look at the recent shipment. Much of the equipment was in a large pile on the floor, next to the Turbokat. Sitting on top of the pile was the large rotary laser cannon.

Chance looked at it. "Do you know if it works?"

"I think it does. I even got ahold of the manual! I don't think the gun would work well on the Turbokat though. It seems that in spite of the larger blast power and the multiple barrels, its damage output is only marginally higher than that of the Enforcers' assault rifles. The manual said it was made this way for 'balance reasons'. Whatever that means."

Chance rubbed his chin. "Huh. What else did we get?"

Jake looked over the pile of equipment. "Well, let's see. This is some kind of high-frequency laser, but it seems to be non-functional. This looks like a prototype for some kind of underwater rebreather system." He pulled out a handful of what looked like small rectangular objects. He was able to put them together and take them back apart. "These things resemble those toys that children use to build things. But I think they serve a dual purpose. If you throw them on the ground, enemy pursuers might step on them and it would really hurt. Must be a byproduct of special ops research or something."

"Yeah." Chance pored over the large junk heap. "What'd you think of that documentary? Kinda cool thinking that's what this bunker might have been."

Jake shrugged. "Well, I dunno. To really find out for sure, we'd have to do some more research. I can't imagine they would just abandon a whole bunker like that. Somebody must know about it somewhere!"

Chance looked over toward the runway. He could see the shapes of several small, bat-like creatures flapping towards them. "And judging by the looks of it, we're not the only one's interested in history. Heads up!"

The creeplings swarmed over them, passing overhead and making their way to the other side of the room.

"Jeez!" cried Jake. "Where did they come from?"

Chance grabbed his Glovatrix off of the workbench, aiming it at the swarm of creeplings. He let loose with a large burst of flame which shot out several meters in front of him, engulfing the creatures and setting them on fire. They panicked and began frantically flapping around before they collapsed in a burnt heap on the ground. Chance swept the flamethrower back and forth, incinerating them.

Jake wrestled with a larger creepling, eventually smashing it against a wall. He reached over for a ball peen hammer and started bashing its skull into pieces until it curled up and fell onto the floor.

Chance looked over at Jake past the smoking creeplings. Jake leaned over, resting his hands on his knees and catching his breath, occasionally coughing from the smoke.

"Say Jake. I wasn't planning on having barbeque tonight."

Jake shook his head. "Me neither." He wrinkled his nose. "Eugh."

Slowly, Jake stood  back up. "Those are Dark Kat's creeplings. You don't think he knows we're here, do you?"

Chance's eyes went wide. "I don't know. He'll probably wonder where they are. We should probably recon his base and see what he's up to."

"Retcon? You mean give his base a new canon backstory?"

Chance sighed. "Very funny. Come on, help me out here."

Grabbing a couple of shovels and donning a pair of breathing masks, the two loaded the bodies up into their truck. They drove the dead creatures out to the waterfront where they could quickly dispose of them, dumping them in the river that had taken on a strange greenish-blue color from the new chemical plant that had just opened.

On their way back, Jake put his head back, idly musing. "You know, when one of those things washes up on shore, it's going to turn into the Internet rumor of the ages!"

"Heh, yeah!" Chance thought. "Well, whatever our bunker used to be, what we repurposed it for is pretty cool too, huh?"

"Yup. In some ways, it's the gift that keeps on giving!"

They headed back home, to get some rest and formulate an infiltration plan into Dark Kat's lair.

~ End ~

That was Helter Shelter by Mikazo, a submission for The November 2017 MegakatCity.com Writing Challenge. Want to leave a review?
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Make sure to read the other Challenge Entrants' Stories, too!

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