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16: Evil Duties Disrupted
16: Evil Duties Disrupted


Chaos Kitten cringed as his controls suddenly went haywire.  Seconds later, though, they died down without giving the reason why they had done so.  "We've been detected, Felonia," he hissed quietly.

"By who?" came the apprehensive groan from the backside of the Vile-class Goliath.

"Who else?" Chaos growled.  "Curtis knows where we are now.  Next question is, just what is he going to do next?  Is he going to lead a frontal attack with all lasers going off, or is he going to try a devious sneak attack?"

A beeping noise sounded from the sensor module on Chaos Kitten's left.  Calmly, he reached over and tapped a button.  A single blip appeared on the sensor scope.  "That's strange.  Only one is coming in, and it's from the front."

"Curtis, maybe?" asked Felonia.

"Possibly.  Felonia, could you try and find out just why he's alone?  You know, spy on him?  Just like old days?"

"I don't see a problem with that," his cousin responded.

Chaos Kitten knew almost immediately that something was wrong by the lengthy delay that followed.  There was a straining noise, and then silence.  "Felonia?  Something wrong?"

"Guess," came Felonia's voice, a bit strained.  "My safety harness is stuck.  I guess I'm just going to----"

"NO!  DON'T SLASH IT OFF!" Chaos Kitten screamed.

But it was too late.  By the sudden tearing noise that followed, he realized that Felonia had used her claws to slice the harness loose.

And, simultaneously, had accidently set off a high-powered security laser, designed to severely hinder anyone trying to escape out of there.

NOW he remembered what the back cockpit was for: to hold prisoners!  NOW he wished he hadn't gotten those extra controls installed.

Wincing with a bit of sympathy pounding through him as the air was lit with a high-pitched scream, Chaos unbuckled his safety harness and climbed down the side of the Goliath.

The situation wasn't good.  Felonia, extremely blackened and very seriously burned, was slumped over the controls of the back seat of the Goliath.  There was a series of cuts on one side of her face.  Her green-and-yellow jacket was criss-crossed with cuts, slashes, and tears, some of the cuts reaching through the fur.  As Chaos Kitten approached, she managed to turn her head weakly.

"Felonia?" her cousin snapped.  "What's wrong?"

Felonia looked at him.  "So....much......pain....." she rasped.

Chaos Kitten looked about him, confused and angry.  Not now!  This couldn't happen now!  "I've got to get you to the hospital."

"The hospital's nearly full," a female voice piped up.

Chaos spun around, drawing his captured sword.  "Who are you?  Show yourself!"

A female crow walked out of the shadows, wearing a red kimono.  Chaos Kitten was almost immediately aggressive.  "Who are you?"

"Carla," said the crow.  She said nothing else, merely waiting for the cat's next action.

Chaos looked around.  Curtis was on his way, and there wasn't much time.  "If not for me, then do this for my cousin.  Get Felonia to the hospital.  If there isn't any space there, then YOU do what you can.  Felonia's the only one I have, and I don't want to see her dead anytime soon!"

Carla looked worried, but she nodded her head and walked forward quickly.  Chaos reached up, gently pulled Felonia out of the cockpit, and handed her to Carla.  She took her in her arms, looking a bit confused.  "To the hospital," Chaos hissed.  "Now!"

Understanding the significance of the command, Carla walked away as quickly as she could with an injured cat in tow.  Making a mental note to leave the hospital undamaged, Chaos Kitten clambered back up into the Goliath to wait for Curtis's arrival.

The Cheese stood alone.  Chaos Kitten was the Cheese.  Wildcat was the rat.  It was all up to him.

---------

When she finally came to, she realized immediately that something was amiss.

For one, she certainly wasn't in the back seat of the Vile-class Goliath, wasting away.  Secondly, her face was bandaged.  Thirdly, she was in a room with white walls, white window shades, and was in a bed with white sheets and white pillows.  There was a television in front of her, a small table with a lamp, a remote control, and television listings.

The setting and the arrangement was just plain too familiar.  She was in a recovery room at the Little Tokyo Hospital.

"Sorry for the quick service," a wry female voice said quietly, echoing through the room.  "The last patient in that bed had to be sent to the main medical room for some special treatment.  We wanted to get you in there before she got back."

"Care to play 'Twenty Questions'?" Felonia asked.  She tried to sound mean, but it sounded like it came out too softly.  She tore one of the bandages off her face and felt the fur beneath it.  It felt okay; but with the dangerous life she led....

"Depends on the questions," said the voice.

"Who are you, who was the last patient in here, and what am I supposed to do until Chaos Kitten gets here?" Felonia growled.  "Not exactly the number you were expecting, but'll they'll do for now."

"I can't tell you who I am," the voice said quietly.

"Oh?  And why not?" Felonia snarled.  "Suffer brain loss?"

"For the simple reason that I don't know," the voice said.  "I'm not sure when or why, but about 5-10 months ago, I completely lost my memory of everything that had happened to me in the past 3 years.  Everything---my name, my hobbies, my career, EVERYTHING----vanished faster than you could say 'Jackie Robinson'.  From that point on, I was totally on my own.  I was completely lost."

An old memory, tucked away for safekeeping, came into Felonia's mind.  It was of her old boss, Quarter, putting the finishing touches on his MemDrain machine.  A series of adjacent memories followed: A silver tabby being dragged, kicking and screaming, inside the Animal Legion of Doom's main headquarters; that same silver tabby wondering just who in the world she was hours later; the wreckage that remained of the A.L.D.'s main HQ after Curtis had burned it to the ground, posessed by a pure fury.

Guess Felonia would have to take the chance and probe a little deeper.  "You sound like a cat.  Do you at least know what kind of cat you are?"

The owner of the voice seemed to consider the question.  "I'm not truly sure, but I think I remember hearing one of the doctors say to me that I'm a silver tabby."

SHE WAS THE ONE!   For a moment, she absorbed the meaning of that fact.  Then, amazed, Felonia let the voice drone on.  "As for the second question, the last patient in here went by the name of Francine Manx.  She said something about being a Samurai Pizza Cat, whatever THAT is."

Felonia shook her head furiously.  No.  She would NOT tell that mysterious person what she and Chaos Kitten had done to her.  "The Samurai Pizza Cats are the local heroes of the city.  The city's Prime Minister kept on attacking the city and finally forced a comet in this direction.  The Pizza Cats were still able to defeat him, though, and he was kicked out of the city.  He and the terrorist group that I used to work for came over here, though, and tried again.  Only with the help of Curtis Wildcat were they able to defeat him once and for all time."

There was nothing but silence from the other end.  "Yo!  You in there?" Felonia meowed.

"Yeah, I'm still here," said the voice.  "It's just that the name, 'Curtis Wildcat', rang an old bell.  I still can't figure out why."

Felonia tensed.  <Uh-oh.>

The owner of the voice recovered.  "As for your last question, I don't know.  Someone by the name of Carla Crow brought you here.  Chaos Kitten, at least according to someone in the main lobby, is staying behind to fight someone, so it might be awhile."

"Ok, I have one last question," Felonia growled.  "Can I at least see who you are so I can know that I'm not talking to a disembodied head?"

There was a yawn.  "Oh, very well.  I hope you'll pardon my present condition, though."

There was a scuffling sound; obviously, the one that was talking to her had been resting in her own bed.  The figure then presented herself, and what she appeared to be startled Felonia out of her wits' end.

The she-cat stood nearly 6-feet tall, if she wasn't already at it.  She had a very long tail; about the length of her ear-tips to her fingertips.  The black hair and the gray body fur that she had was jumbled in a mess, just like the nightgown she wore.  The grief in her eyes complied with the cat's personal appearance, throwing away the mean exterior and causing buried feelings to fight a war with each other deep inside Felonia's heart.  "My, you look like---"

"What's going on here?" a louder voice hissed.

Both the gray cat and Felonia turned their heads towards the door.  A somewhat ticked Francine Manx was standing there, wearing a green-yellow nightgown and at least 4 heavy bandages, as well as a number of bruises, a number of scratches, and a frown that was as evident as her injury.

It was then that a heavy flood of personal memories once again rang out through her mind: a taller, older tabby cat attacking a younger, helpless kitten.....a wizened Siamese yowling at someone....a group of Bengal tabby cats teasing a young kitten, laughing at it....

One side of the internal conflict won out.  Seconds later, the hardened fighter that was Felonia Jase suddenly burst into tears.  "What have I done?" she repeatedly sobbed.  "What have I done?  It's all my fault!"

The gray cat and Francine looked at each other.  Nodding at the same time, they both dashed forward as fast as they could to try to comfort the yellow tabby who, for the time being, seemed inconsolable.