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12: Revival?....or, not?
12: Revival?....Or, not?


"Yes, that's right," said Curtis to one of the secretaries at the front door of the hospital.  "I'm here to see a friend of mine, by the name of Francine Manx.  She was one of the ones injured when the attack on the city began."

"I'm sorry, but she's not allowed to see any vistors except those affiliated with the Samurai Pizza Cats," said the secretary in one of those maddingly calm-but-sweet tones.

"You don't pay much attention to the news, do you?" Curtis asked, curious.

The secretary hesitated before answering this question.  "No...."

"Then you obviously don't know who helped Speedy Cerviche destroy the nuclear missile that threatened Little Tokyo a month and a half ago," Curtis hissed.

The secretary nodded.  "My apologies.  Your name, please?"

"Curtis R. Wildcat," said the calico.  <While I'm here, I can also check around for that person that the Great Warrior told me to keep an eye on.>

"Thank you, young sir," said the secretary.  "Room 226 on the eleventh floor, bed #2."

Curtis offered his thanks and walked towards the elevator.

--------------

Someone was already in Room 226 when Curtis arrived, but he paid that person no mind.  Instead, he headed straight for the second bed, where Francine was asleep.  Still, Curtis knew the best way to get her awake.

Curtis lowered his voice and leaned down next to her bed.  "The name is Bond," he snarled.  "James Bond."

Francine suddenly snapped awake and looked about frantically.  When she saw it was Curtis, she abruptly calmed down.  "Why'd you do that?"  She started to get up.  

"I wanted to come in and talk to you for a few moments," Curtis said, holding up a paw.  "No, you just stay laid down.  Not only are you hurt, but I'm also supposed to be a cat of decency.  Super-Cats aren't concerned about personal appearances, just the appearances of others."

Francine almost shouted at him, but stopped herself as she laid back down slowly, pulling the sheets back over her.  "Sorry.  So, what exactly happened to me?" she asked.  "I don't remember anything from when that giant metal fist made contact with me."

"The skin on your face looks more purple than tan," Curtis said, sitting down on all 4 paws.  "It's my guess that your entire frontside is aching.  Also, from what Carla told me, you have quite a few fractures up and down your spine, and the back of your left leg was bleeding when she found you."

The sound wave from an explosion a distance away rumbled against the hospital.

Francine sunk deeper into her bed, demoralized.  "So, in other words, I'm out of action?" she asked weakly.

"Yes," Curtis said calmly.  "For at the very LEAST, a couple of days until I can free up Aldonza from the front line.  I sent the Super-Cats out to assist the Little Tokyo Army against Chaos Kitten's forces, but it's only a matter of time before it all breaks loose.  Thanks to that timely delivery of food to the Pizza Cats and to the members of the Little Tokyo Army from my shuttle that landed behind Mount Coochie, they have a lot more strength to fight than I had realized."

Francine bristled.  "What's Aldonza have to do with this?"

Curtis grinned.  "She has a few skills that would come in, shall we say, at the right time."

Francine nodded.  "Anything else?"

Curtis frowned.  "I have the Rad-Cats standing on retainer, but that's not it.  Something big's happening over in the United States, too.  A massive uprising is occuring over there, and it's slowly spreading across the eastern part of the country.  The states of New York, New Jersey, and Conneticut have already fallen.  The Pentagon is powerless to stop it, despite their best efforts.  The Super-Cats' backup branch in Tennessee is assisting in the fight, but not a lot of progress has been made."

"You mean the United States is under attack, too?" asked someone from the doorway.

Both Curtis and Francine turned their heads.  Princess Violet, wearing the same glasses she wore on the day of the art festival, had entered.

"What are you doing here, Princess?" Curtis asked, upset.  "You're supposed to be at the Palace in the emergency shelter."

"Before she and Carlos left, Aldonza told me what happened to Francine," said Vi.  "I wanted to pay my regards."

Curtis calmed down.  "Thanks for your support, Highness," he said.  "Where's Speedy and the others?"

"I granted them full access to the Palace, since it's an emergency," explained the Princess.  "Since the city's under siege, not letting anyone out or in, I let them take some of their stuff over to the Palace.  Speedy, Guido, and Polly's moving stuff into quarters adjacent to yours, and Good Bird's doing a sky patrol above the parlor."

Curtis sighed.  Another explosion shook the building.  "Well, it's been nice talking to you, Vi, but I've got myself a job to do."  Opening a window and shutting it behind him, the cat bounded onto the next building, leaped over the side, and disappeared from view.

------

"Glad you could make it, your Highness," said Francine.  She grasped the remote control next to her bed and flicked on the television.  She went through a few channels, then landed on a NHL hockey game being televised from Colorado.

"I'm just glad I could make it," answered Vi.  "With the exception of the entrance that the Cats are going through, the whole Palace has been barricaded.  I had to promise 10 of the guards a raise in pay in order to get out, and I don't know how I'm going to pay them without money in the treasury."

"We'll find a way out of this mess," said Francine, reaching out with a hand and laying it on Vi's shoulder.  "My personal guarantee."

"That, or you'll find your way into another one," a male voice barked.

Fran and Vi turned their heads.  2 Labrador-sized thugs, carrying crowbars, had entered the room and were making their way towards the crippled Pizza Cat and the Princess of the city.

Vi immediately decided to put her authority to good use.  "You stop it right there, you two."

One of the thugs laughed.  "Or what?  You'll send us to Prisoner Island?  Don't be a fool, lady."

"Yeah," said the second thug.  "Just hand over whatever money you have on your person.  Do it now, or you'll get the business end of these."  He patted the crowbar in his left hand.

"I don't have to listen to you," Vi snapped.  "In fact, I can do better!"  She reached inside her robe and pulled out the sword that Curtis had given her.  "You stay away from me!"

The second thug turned towards the first one.  "Is it good for women to handle sharp objects?"  He threw back his head and laughed, as the first one joined him.

"Before I got hurt, I coul----" Francine began to say.

The first thug rapped the crowbar against the side of the bed.  "Be quiet, or you're next!"

"I'll be quiet when PIGS stretch their wings and fly!" the cat yowled.  "If I wasn't stuck in this bed, that's what you'd be doing!"

The thug tapped the crowbar against the bed, this time a bit closer.  "You shut up, girl, before it's your head that gets the bar.  Judging by your current condition, I don't think you'd enjoy it."

Vi thought about what was going on.  Curtis had given her a sword, but even with it's ability to morph, she didn't have enough skill to wield it.  She put it away, and pulled out a wallet in its place.

"Excellent," said the second thug.  "Now, hand over the money."

Slowly but unflinchingly, Violet pulled out all 6 of the $50 dollar bills that she had.  Which was all that remained of the city's money.

As the thugs received the cash, a smooth, female voice rolled behind them.  "That's the stuff that dreams are made of."

Both thugs spun around.  The occupant of the second bed had woken up.  She had on a black-and-gray nightgown, and a mess of gray body fur and black hair clearly stood out, along with a flowing gray tail that seemed to have a death wish, the way it was twitching; that took a lot of effort, considering how long it was.  And, to top it all off, she looked upset.

"You take the Princess, and I'll take Furball over here," said the first thug to the second.

The gray cat moved quickly before they could react, somersaulting over the two armed crooks and landing in front of the Princess.  One of them began to move forward, but halted at the command of his partner, obviously noticing the cat's sneer.  "That's right, Skinny," she taunted.  "Move where I can see you."

And, with that, she dropped to the ground and lashed out with one foot, knocking the two of them to the floor.  Recovering, the two men backed off towards the door.  "You're pretty good....for a furball," the first one said.

The fur on the cat's neck raised.  "You can call me Gray, you can call me Bomber, you can call me Gray Bomber....you can call me a slice of slimy crud.  But, if you call me Furball again, I'll finish this fight," she hissed.  "Now, BEAT IT, thug-uglies!"

Terrified, the robbers dashed out the door.  

The feline stood up for a moment and stretched, then smoothed down her black hair.  "Excuse me if I don't look presentable."

"Wow," breathed Francine.  "What you did a minute ago was terrific."  She frowned after a moment.  "Who are you?"

The gray cat appeared shaken at that.  "To be honest, I don't really know," she admitted.  "I'd forgotten what my name was a long time ago.  Bits and pieces are starting to come together, but not enough for me to actually determine what it is.  I'm just using an alias right now."  She looked curious, staring at her.  "Who are you?"

"Meet the one and only Francine Manx," said Fran.  "Pizza chain owner and current Samurai Pizza Cat."

This didn't have a large effect on the gray cat, who simply nodded her head.  She turned to Violet, next.  "May I ask who YOU are?"

"I'm Violet, Princess of Little Tokyo," was the reply.  "Where exactly did you learn to fight like that?"

The cat was a bit surprised that she was talking to one of the city's rulers, even though she tried her best to hide it.  "I don't really think I could tell you right now."

"Okay, let's ask a different question," Vi said, changing her mind.  "How did you wind up here in the hospital?"

"Well, a little more than 7 weeks ago, I hurt my feet in a skiing accident at the Little Tokyo Snow Resort during that first big snowstorm," the cat explained.  "I needed to get them restored back to normal, but because of the shock of the foiled nuke, quite a number of people had resorted to bodily harm on themselves.  I had to wait until one of the psychopaths had left the hospital before I could have my operation."

Fran nodded.  "Well, glad you happened to be in the same room."  Violet voiced her agreement as well.

The gray she-cat smiled gently.  "Thanks.  I'll be in the next bed if you need me."  She then moved swiftly back to the other bed and dived into it.

---------------------------

From his seat in the Vile-class Goliath, Chaos read the report from one of his robotic commanders.  All the buildings on the border had been blasted.  There was some resistance from the local army, but nothing that his squadrons couldn't obliterate with another sortie or two.

"How's it coming with the attack, Chaos?" asked his cousin.

"Pretty good," Chaos Kitten commented in return.  "We have the whole city in our net.  All we need to do is squeeze it for the next couple of days, and Little Tokyo will yield to our commands."

"How about Korbi?" Felonia asked next.

"Most of the New England states and their governors have fallen under his whim," Chaos purred.  "Now that the whole of that part of the land is taken over, he can use it as a power base to overwhelm the rest of the country."

"Alright, last question," Felonia promised.  "Where are we right now?"

Chaos looked through the only other thing that was in the seat with him: a set of binoculars.  Through them, he spotted the familiar Pizza Cat clock tower in the distance.  "About half a kilometer away from the Pizza Cat place."

Felonia must have gotten an idea into her head.  "Let's see if the Cats are there and pay them a visit," she said.  "I heard rumors that they're still alive."

Chaos snarled.  "There's no place to hide the Goliath," he said.  "Even if we could manage to hide somewhere, they'd still know what's been going on by all the carnage next to the pizza place."

Felonia shook her head, unperturbed.  "Let ME worry about hiding the Goliath.  YOU can just get in there and get rid of what's left of the legendary SPC."

Chaos chuckled to himself.  "There's no stopping you, is there?  Alright, go on ahead.  I'll jump out and see what's going on."

He unbuckled his safety harnesses and jumped out of the seat of the Goliath.  Running as fast as he could, he managed to get inside the building before anyone could spot him.