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21: The Cat Gets the Cat
21: The Cat Gets the Cat


Jerry Atrick, in the hills slightly beyond Little Tokyo where everything remained quiet, sat silently, contemplating the battle that was now, before him, being sent to his television via a video camera installed in the Catatonic.  At his left side, the telephone on the lampstand started ringing, and he answered it.  "Jerry Atrick," he said quietly.

"Master Atrick, this is Lenny Mar----"

"Is this the report of the happenings on Manhattan Island?" Jerry interjected.

"Why yes, it is," Lenny answered.  "Wildcat's Super-Cats, as well as the NYPC, have successfully dealt with the Cheese Crime Mafia here in New York.  The Mafia's been jailed, and all those on Wildcat's side that participated are on their way back to Little Tokyo now."

Jerry nodded.  "Excellent.  See to it that the original mayor is reinstalled in office, then return to the Flying Skull.  There are some things I wish to discuss."

"Certainly, Master Atrick," Lenny said.  "Bye."

As the two of them hung up, Jerry looked again towards the television screen; the 2 participants in the battle had finally decided to launch their full powers at each other.  "The powers collide," Jerry muttered to himself.  "Though you fight with all your power, there are those as of yet unseen.  They are the key.  Trust not just in your strength; but also in the powers of others.  Heed wise advice, and survive."

"Excuse me, Master Atrick?" a crow said from outside Atrick's house.  "You say something?"

Jerry shook his head.  "Nothing of importance."

------

There was still a mild anxiety running through the citizens of Little Tokyo; that much the figure could sense.  But still, things were much calmer than they were 6 hours ago.  It was quite obvious that Curtis Wildcat had succeeded in bringing most of the situation under control.

Now, the figure decided, it was time to take action against the head of Little Tokyo's conspiracy.

With a rush, she started walking as fast as she could, towards the spot where Wildcat and Chaos Kitten were now engaged in a full-blown battle.

She didn't see the robed figure behind her, trailing her towards destiny itself.

------

Wildcat took offense first, slashing at C.K.  In response, the younger cat parried the attack, then offered a series of super-quick counter-attacks.  Wildcat easily blocked those, then leaped in order to avoid a slash at the knees.

Speedy yawned.  "Great fight."

GB looked at him.  "It's a whole lot better than you think it is," he said.  "The outcome of this sword-play determines the fate of not just this city, but possibly even the entire planet."

Speedy waved his hand, ignoring him.  "Boring....so boring...."

"What's so boring about it?" asked Polly from her spot in the Catatonic.

"Simple," Speedy explained.  "I've seen a lot of sword dances and been in a lot of sword fights myself.  I have simply never seen 2 sword fights that are different."

"You haven't been in action as long as I have, Speedy," GB answered.  "I faced a lot of those in my early days in the Flying Skull.  Then, of course, there were the fights I had against you, which took both of us to the limit at times.  None of them were boring, and none of them were the same."

"Well," Speedy yawned, "that's your viewpoint.  Sword-play that doesn't involve me is boring in every sense of the word."

He returned his attention to the fight, while GB just shook his head.

-----

"So, Wildcat, read any good books lately?" Chaos Kitten yelled, driving his sword hard against Wildcat's.

"Just 'A Tail of Two Kitties'," Wildcat laughed.  "One of those tails had a better ending than the other."  He applied equal strength in return, then knocked C.K.'s sword away.

"Let's see if you're still laughing once I do you in," C.K. snarled.  He brought his sword back against Wildcat and pushed harder.  Again, Wildcat applied equal pressure, and then knocked his sword away.

"Just keep taunting me, wise guy," Wildcat chuckled.  "I've been known to cream anyone who insults me enough."

Wildcat went back on the offensive.  He started slashing furiously from side to side, driving Chaos Kitten back against a wall.  At that moment, C.K.'s sword turned into a tree branch.

Wildcat blinked in confusion.  "Huh?"

Chaos shrugged.  "Whoops.  I was just thinking about how easy it would be to get you to leave, and it turned into this."  He morphed it back to normal, and went back on the attack, forcing the other feline back out into the open.

Dodging a pair of side swipes, Wildcat decided to make with the speed.  "Very funny," he said, "but have you ever thought about what it might be like to make more than one of me leave?"

C.K. blinked.  This couldn't be happening; the sword-to-branch incident was enough for seemingly multiple copies of Wildcat to appear in front of him, diving in to attack before disappearing in a flash.  A bit confused at first, he began spinning the sword in front of him to ward off any attacks----

It was nearly 5 full seconds before he felt the sensation.  However, when he did, he suddenly withdrew, nearly pulling Wildcat off balance.  As the feline regained his composure and stopped his dashing, he noticed that Chaos Kitten was rubbing something on the back of his shoulder through his jacket.  As he looked around to see who had done that, Wildcat at last saw what had been driving C.K. upset.

---------

Speedy stared at Wildcat; the Super-Cats' entire body had suddenly gone rigid.  "What's with him?" he asked GB.

The former Ninja Crow just shrugged.  "Haven't a clue," he said.  Instead, he thumbed at something going on behind him.  "What I want to know is what the passer-by is doing this close to the scene of the battle."

Speedy turned around, and saw the robed figure walking towards them.  Growling, he jumped in front of her.  "I'm afraid this is a restricted area, so please get going."

The figure ignored him, and stepped right around him.  This time, GB dived in front.  "Whoever you are, he's serious," he snapped.  "Please get away from here!"

The figured side-stepped him, as well, and then picked up the pace a little.  Speedy looked at GB and shrugged his shoulders, confused.  "Don't know what to do."

GB pointed down at a brick near his foot.  "2,825....2,826...."

-----

C.K. yowled angrily.  There was no doubt about it; the cat was angry.  "If there's another word beyond the word 'mad', I don't know what it is," Guido murmured, monitoring C.K.'s energy levels from inside the Catatonic.

Polly checked the readings.  "Tell me about it," she said.  "That cat's like a living bomb; he gets angrier and more powerful the more he's hit.  At the moment, his power is nearly equal to Wildcat's."

"Speaking of Wildcat, what's with him?" Guido asked.  "He looks like he's seen a ghost and doesn't believe it."

"Something else is out there," Polly muttered, checking the scanners.  "And whatever it is, it has him frightened.  I've never seen him so scared before."

-----

"That's right, you big black cat pelt," C.K. hissed.  "You'd better be frightened, because you're going down!"  He pulled his sword back, getting ready to swing-----

And, abruptly, lost his grip on the sword as something slapped his paw aside.  The sword went flying backwards and lodged itself in a wall.  Snarling in disbelief, Chaos Kitten scampered back to pick it up.

A purple-gloved fist beat him to it.  Right before his paws reached the sword's handle, it flared brilliantly, morphing.

-----

GB looked at what the other sword had turned into.  "Any idea what that is?" he asked Speedy.  "I know it's a copy of Shape-Shifter, but what is it NOW?"

Speedy shrugged.  "Forgive me for watching too many medieval-type movies, but I'm willing to venture a guess and say that sword's become a carbon-copy of Excalibur."

GB caught on to the plan.  He looked at first the sword, and then Speedy, a slow smile appearing on the edges of his beak.  "Actors, queue the hopefulness."

Speedy smiled back.  For the first time since the battle started, he was now certain of everything falling into play.

-----

Immediately, when the sword finished morphing, Chaos Kitten tried to grab it and yank it out of the stone wall that it had embedded itself in.  However, try as he might, he simply did not have the strength to get it out.  It's new Excalibur form was permenantly stuck in the wall, as far as he was concerned.

Slowly, he turned and faced Wildcat, ignoring the robed figure.  "CURSE YOU!" he screamed.  "YOU'LL PAY FOR THIS, SIR HAIRY!"  He propelled himself forward, claws and teeth bared.

Wildcat didn't even bother to step out of the way as a gray paw impacted against Chaos Kitten, throwing him off to the side.

-----

"Quickly!" Guido said to Polly.  "We got get one of the hands in place!"

As she pressed several buttons on the left side of the control area, one of the robotic hands of the Supreme Catatonic moved, catching C.K. neatly as he spiralled towards them.

Wildcat looked up towards them and gave them a thumbs-up.  "Nice catch," he said.  "Now, what say you do something with him while you still have him in your grasp?"

C.K. tried to squirm free of the Catatonic's grip, but even his high-toned strength was no match for the force of the Supreme Catatonic.  Unable to escape, he just dropped his paws and growled, defiant to the end.

"So much for your bid for hostile world takeover," Wildcat shouted at him.  "Polly, let's give us a fastball, here!"

"My pleasure!" Polly's voice rang out from the Catatonic.  "He deserves this for crushing us beneath that wall!"  Winding up, the Supreme Catatonic hurled Chaos Kitten westward with the full force of a cruise missile being launched.  Surprisingly enough, the young terrorist didn't even scream; he simply vanished in the distance, leaving behind nothing that proved he existed.

Nothing, except the ruins of half the city of Little Tokyo.

------

Wildcat visibly calmed down, his fur receding back to the normal calico patterns.  "FINALLY," he said aloud.  "It's over."  He glanced over at the brown-robed figure, who was staring at the re-morphing sword in the wall.  The sword changed back to normal, and the figure pulled it out of the wall.  "Who are you?" Curtis asked, his voice normal as well.

The figure spoke for the first time since its arrival.  "What, you haven't figured it out yet?"  She pulled back the hood on her cloak.....

Curtis slowly dropped to the ground, the energy it took to maintain his transformation draining out of him.  "Princess Violet," he whispered quietly.  "I should've known."

"I had to get my sword back," Vi replied.  "This seemed like the most....how should I say it?.. LEGITIMATE way of getting back."

"And what about the other one?" Speedy asked.  "Who's she?"

Curtis glanced at the other figure, who was slowly walking towards him.  He activated the comlink built into his sword and spoke into it.  "Mu 2, Activate.  I need a full DNA scan of this person right here.  Match with any available records."  He pointed the handle of the sword at the other cat, who had stopped walking and was eyeing him suspiciously.

The search didn't last more than 3 seconds.  "According to tail length, DNA structure, fur color, and various abilities, this cat may very well be someone you recognize," Mu 2 intoned, chuckling a little.

"Wha...." Curtis wasn't too sure how to react.  She did seem awfully familiar, but just who was Mu 2 talking abou-----

Abruptly, his mind did a flashback to the conversation he had those weeks before at the top of Mount Coochie.  Making sure, Curtis matched up the traits that the Great Warrior had given him with the person standing before him.

"Medium-length black hair...." Curtis noticed that the other cat's hair was nearly shoulder-length.

"Likes the color gray...." The other cat's fur was gray in color.  Her jeans were the same color, and her sweater was half-gray, half-white.

"One-eighth of a cubit taller than you...." The other cat was that exact height.

Something was missing, though; it had nothing to do with genetic traits.  Something was missing; the JOY that this cat once had was gone.  In its place were a set of emotional scars, invisible to the eye.  Curtis realized why: she had survived a nightmare world for nearly 10 whole months.  She had no memory of her past, no way of knowing who knew her, and no way of being normal.  That was, up until now.  She had been through the fire, but outside of those scars, she had survived unscathed.

Such was as a Super-Cat.  "Shila....?" the calico breathed quietly.

A bell rang from the speaker on the handle.  "That is correct!" Mu 2 announced.  "And for that correct answer, you have just earned yourself a new car!"

"I appreciate the joke, Mu 2, but could you shut down the transmission?" Curtis asked quietly, his voice trembling a little.

"Oh, sure," Mu 2 sniffed.  "Leave out the supercomputer simply because he monitored Bob Barker yesterday."  The transmission clicked off after he finished saying that.

The gray cat walked towards Curtis, stopping a full 5 paces away from him.  "Curtis, what I had said to you in France that made you angry.....I didn't mean it.  I'm sorry."

"I'm surprised you even remember all that," Curtis answered.  "I accept your----"

A voice rang out from the comlink on Curtis's sword.  "Hey!  What did the dentist give the marching band?  A 'tuba toothpaste'!"

"Enough with the jokes, Teasy," Curtis said.  "And it took you long enough."

"We ran into some old friends in Manhattan," Teasy responded, back in full comic form.  "Are the Pizza Cats there?  Could you patch me through?"

Shila glanced over at Speedy and GB.  "THESE are the so-called Pizza Cats?" she inquired.

"Hey, don't forget about us!" Guido yelled from his post in the Supreme Catatonic.

The golden beam of light shot out from the Catatonic's chest.  Guido and Polly, still in Extra Topping mode, flew out of the robot and executed a landing next to Speedy and GB.  The four glanced at each other, and then at Shila.  Guido was the first to extend a hand.  "So, you must be Shila!  Nice to meet you!"

Shila nodded, accepting the handshake.  Looking back at Curtis, she said, "Since I don't seem to know some of the people here, would you mind if we went around the table and introduced ourselves?"

Curtis's eyes widened at the insult, and he was just about to protest when he heard a distant roar.  A second later, the remaining half of Cosmos Squadron and the Radical Bomber flew overhead, and the resulting wind shear just about knocked him over.  He picked himself up and stared at Shila, shaking off the incident.  "Same ol', same ol'," he said dryly.  "Sure."  He then turned his head and smiled at Princess Vi, who nodded her head and started walking back towards the Palace, sword in hand.  She, too, had overcome her own obstacles to reclaim what was rightfully hers.

------

From where she was sitting in the hospital bed, Felonia had seen the entire taping of the battle between the Pizza Cats and Chaos Kitten.  When the Catatonic tossed C.K. out west, she simply collapsed.  "No...."

Francine's voice piped up from the other bed.  "Don't let it get to you.  The Animal Legion of Doom was never interested in anything else besides their own power and prestige."

Felonia stared at ceiling, tears welling up in her eyes.  Francine had a point, of course, but she still didn't like it.  "Yeah, I suppose you're right."

"And, now that you're no longer part of the A.L.D., you're free to decide your own future," Francine continued.  "You're old enough to get a job.  What do you want to be?"

<She has a valid question,> Felonia thought.  She wiped her tears away in order to fully concentrate on her thoughts.  <What SHOULD I do?>