WHAT THE HECK IS SWAT KATS?
Previously: ACE in the Hole
Themesong: Queen of Hearts by Juice Newton
I was sleeping off the party that we’d thrown once we were clear of Bastion and its Universe. Technicolor gets a little… draining, after a while… and even though I hadn’t had to use my visual filters as much once the ground was restored, it was nice not getting heart palpitations every time I wanted to see what the world looked like in actual 3-D.
“SJ! SJ! Get up. New machine!”
I groaned, “Goway Zane. Sleeeeeepingggg.”
“But it has Caaaats…. Welll Kats…”
I sighed deeply, “If this is a Dr. Katz jump, I’m going to murder people. Indiscriminately. For the entire Jump. I’m going to become Hannibal Lector in terrible Cartoon world.”
“Doesn’t say anything about Doctors. Something about Swatting.”
I groggily got out of bed, trying not to disturb the Hibikis. Still had them fighting over me, which was kinda nice. I wandered downstairs, stopping to pull on a t-shirt and running shorts, and grab some coffee and a donut. I glared at the Warehouse’s gray drab walls. “This place needs some plants… or at least some paint. And yeah, I know we have the Vineapples and Uriel’s garden, but those are both localized, because of the need for growlights. I’m talking about… eh, I dunno…” I realized I was talking to myself, then went over to the Vending Machines of Destiny. I read the sign.
“What the hell is Swat Kats?”
One of the machines, an old style videogame cabinet, played a fairly terrible 80’s cartoon intro. I gaped “Oh… dear… lord. Furry toons. Furry… jetfighter flying cartoon cats. This looks soo… “ I found I didn’t have words. With a shake of the head, I pulled up the shopping list.
“Are you OKAY with FIGHTER PLANES?” the precis began. “What about RAMPAGING MONSTERS that only a HERO can stop?” I facepalmed. “How about HEISTS, EXPLORATION, or EXTREME SPORTS! Whatever your FANCY, I hope you like CATS!” Oh… dear. Megakat City? Oh dear. Mayor Manx? Pastmaster? Commander Feral and the Enforcers… at least there’s no pun in that. Lighten up and have a little fun, huh? I’ll show you fun.
Identity… good place to start… fairly creepy movie. Female, 26 years old. Anthro-Catperson form… Well, before I’d have said Amur Leopard, but Ziggy might like that too much, if you know what I mean… mmmm… Black Panther or Cougar… no… no Lynx! Yes! Lynx… Good choice me… Why thank you! Drop-IN? Meh. Enforcer? Ewww, rules. Ace Pilot? Naw, that’s the Protag’s shtick… Villain? Villain? In a world with like… zero consequences? Oh… oh, yes please! Bwhaha. Heehee. Excellent. I always said I’d end up a villain… even if only on a Saturday morning cartoon show.
Let’s see… I know how to get around the city and how to take advantage of it. Excellent. Must not hiss. Everyone fears me… they know I can cause a catastrophe. And I will… oh, I will! I may be a tad biased on how I see the city? I already thought it was silly. Now it will be mine to rule!!!!! Just about every faction in this city doesn’t like me? Well… I don’t like them, so Nya! Oh dear… I now get to say Nya! [50/950/1000]
Rockin Music is free? Oy. Well, Heavy Metal… Fine. Bring on the BGM. First, let’s grab Aura of Authority [100/850/1000]. Sure I don’t get a discount, but it’s cheap. When I walk, it is with confidence. When I speak, it is with resolution. Such things invoke power and respect and people will notice. They will be more likely to follow my orders, especially if I outrank them. But let’s not forget to check out Villain options before I get too far into other origins.
Maniacal Laugh is of course free… though I’m pretty sure I had that skill back on Origin Earth. But this one can strike fear into the forces of good and convince any minion of mine they better do as they’re told. “Grunt Work”? What’s this? Minion Recruitment? Excellent. I seem to be developing a catch phrase… catch word… something. “You gain the ability to recruit minions and toadies more easily, whether from the dregs of society or when I’m gunning down their boss in front of them.” Worth it. [50/800/1000]. Back of the Alley? No thanks. I like making an entrance… plus, I’m already stealthy. Think of the Profit? Naw, I’m already smart, creative, and money doesn’t really… it’s nice… but there are better things for points.
Like Crazy Theme [300/500/1000]. A motif of crime, as it were. The Law… ah, the good old Law. So safe, so controlling… so… manipulatable? Learning legal systems is cakewalk and manipulating them so much more so. I have become competent at crafting schemes with little legal risk… at least for me. As a bonus, i am also capable of understanding the ins and outs of any legal system I come across, and have a much easier time swinging people in positions of authority to my side. I have grown more charismatic, more powerful-looking. All who see me will know I are… er… am… the Law.
And To Crime Another Day [300/200/1000]. What would a supervillain be without the ability to escape disaster. I have an incredible amount of luck when it comes to escaping certain doom. Even when by all rights I shouldn’t have, somehow I can crawl away with the barest thread of life, ready to recover and wreak my revenge! As long as I don’t abuse it too much.
200 left, and importing my minions…er… friends… is 200. Excellent. Each gets a free background and 200CP, with drop-ins getting the first two purchases free? Nice. Will defo come back to that, but buying that option… that runs me out of points, so let’s check the drawbacks…. Err… no… no thanks. I’m good. Guess I’ll just have to make due with free gear. City Map is free for villains. Has a complete and accurate representation of MegaKat City, its sewer systems, its back alleys… and it automatically updates to any city I’m currently in, updates with construction, traffic jams, and similar instructions. Well, that’s soo going to be merged into Victoria and her Automapper. Get a free snazzy outfit. And I think in this time I will become… Dr. Snowjaeger.
So who do I bring with me… Well, Zane of course. Make him an Enforcer. That gets him “I Don’t Deal with Criminal Scum” (which has a villainous side too… good, cause I don’t need Zane pulling a Heel Face Turn.) Give him Aura of Authority too so he can be my wingman, and Foot in the Door, so he knows how to get hired. Make him a Puma.
Bring Uriel along too, so he can build our base of operations. That means Scrapyard Skills to turn junk into useful gear, and that means Ace Pilot but means SYS is only 150… and the buffness of Fit as a Fiddle is 50… so that spends him out… but Unassuming is free for Ace Pilots, which is great, because don’t need people noticing Uriel). Make him a Cougar.
I can use Ryoga’s muscle, but don’t need him too clued in. That means Drop-In. Ryoga needs the ability to maintain a professional appearance (and be handsomer…. He could also use the ability to remain calm and collected and actually pay attention to his surroundings. So ‘Good for the Press’ and ‘Stress Test’ are defo for him, and since they’re free… ‘Unassuming’ is also right for him. 100/200… and toss in ‘Fit as a Fiddle’, because the boy can never look too buff. Yum. Russian Blue for him.
Bringing Ryoga means I have to bring Yoiko. Make her an Ace Pilot and give her ‘Unassuming’ and ‘Fit as a Fiddle’ too. Leaves 150… give her “Got Your Back” so her team work skills improve to the creepy side. Brother and Sister should look the part, so Russian Blue for her too.
That leaves four slots. Mmmm… Petra and RayRay for more muscle. Make them Enforcers, the local cops. ‘Aura of Authority’ for my foot-soldier squad leaders can’t be bad. Give them ‘Foot in the Door’ too, so they can show off. Might as well bring AJ and Francine too, ditto Enforcers, ditto Aura of Authority, but they’re stealth operators, finesse rather than force, so let’s give them ‘Passing the Buck’. That way they can be spin control for our little operation. Petra’s already got a Siamese form, so Siamese seems right for her. Cheetah for RayRay. Sphynx for Francine, the aloofness fits. And Serval for AJ, all long and lean.
I needed everyone onboard for this mission, which meant a family meeting. “Okay… this is how it’s gonna go down.” and I launched into the spiel. An hour later there were grins of amusement around the room. These people were fighters, warriors… and an Emperor. They followed my lead, but often I’d been holding them in line with my ethics. This time we were going a little off the rails.
World insertion is always abrupt. There’s no preparing for it. It just is. I appeared in my safehouse, as usual when the Jump doesn’t come with a specified Insertion point. I looked out the window. In the distance was Megakat City… our new home. One by one, I called the crew, finding out where they’d landed.
The setup’s a little dry… suffice to say we built our base carefully. My alter-ego had had a degree and a job at Pumadyne in the R&D department. She’d developed a flying security drone for the Enforcers. They were deemed “Intrusive” by those dunderheads at City Hall and so our promising career had stalled. But that was okay. I’d show them, I’d show them all!
I started a clean up company, just me… with the A Crew. That would be Uriel, Yoiko, and Ryoga… and a bunch of hired goons. The B Crew, everyone else, were Enforcers, keeping the city safe, using their abilities to make the other Enforcers look like rank amateurs and idiots. But not to save the day. Just to do a better job than everyone else… and to make every failure reflect badly on Commander Feral and Mayor Manx. Hell, we wanted the Swat Kats looking good… and I wanted lots and lots of pretty Fragments.
Remember those? From Bastion? Well any time things get broken, they leave behind Fragments… at least when I’m around. They weren’t valuable to anyone else… curiosities really. Those me and my goons didn’t sweep up, I bought from the locals for a nickel a pop… and when I say a nickel I really mean 5 cents.
We built a base of operations for Snowcat Removal. It wasn’t hard. The city was getting attacked all the time… and I was turning out camera drones with built in fragments and slivers of Blastone… self repairing eyes in the sky. And just… stockpiling them.
After a year of this, I made a push. I started getting political, speaking out against Manx’s failures, Ferral’s incompetence, but most of all against the lackluster performance of DA Pride Lyonmane. I ran attack ads against him, pushing for the election of his opponent, Brandy Coon. I didn’t know her from Adam, but I knew her record. She’d been pushing for tougher sentencing and she was a bright, enthusiastic go getter.
And in other news, I rounded up a group of local businessmen, mostly ones whose businesses had been hit by one or more of the local crazies. AFROCAT… Allies For Reform Organizing Citizens Against Terror. We were upset… and we were going to get more upset.
Did you know that there isn’t much difference between an Anthropomorphic catman and a Meowth… or any of the cat based Pokemon either. Turns out, if you know how both work and have a set of TMs and HMs you can pretty much give a catman super powers. A little tinkering with those and you can sell them on the street. The crime rates were… mmm… soaring.
Brandy got her position. After her, it was a couple of city judges… and my organization grew. Commander Feral, who’d been promoting my Companions for their successes (despite trying to sabotage their carreers at every turn) and I was sidelining studying each of the Swat Kats enemies.
I started Snowcat Security Consultants and hired a talented duo who’d been working at the Pumadyne junk yard. As their boss, I pretended not to notice their activities, but in my alterego as Saban Juniper, a wealthy and reclusive investor, I secretly slipped them some very choice tech. The Swat Kats looked good in custom fitted SPECTER Armor.
Five years in and AFROCAT was huge. We had rallies in public spaces calling for reform, calling for an end to the villainy, and end to Manx’s ineptitude. We pushed for the Assistant Mayor, Cally Briggs, to run against Manx, promising her our support. I’d cultivated a friendship with her, never letting on that I knew she was friends with the Swat Kats, and my allies in the city courts were behind us. She won in a landslide.
Now was the time. I pushed for the use of a modification of my drone program, claiming to have learned from my mistake. I’d invented a new model, one Pumadyne couldn’t claim. They’d form an early warning network, hovering over the city, keyed only to follow traffic patterns and watch for large scale disruptions. They were a go from day one, a solid contract, and we filled the skies with them. The people cheered, assured of their safety.
And as I’d known he would, Ferral trashed the system. It was the last straw. I raged against him on public TV, spoke against him to my now legion of followers, had a third of the businesses in town call for his removal. It was over in a matter of days… and Zane was head of the Enforcers.
Things changed quickly then. Villains started going down fast, hard, and staying down. Punches were no longer being pulled. The Criminal element was running scared… but I wanted them fighting mad. I stepped up production of HM4, the street name of a drug that made you super strong for 24 hours (A little something I’d built into it). No one knew how it worked, you just slotted the CD into a viewer, something that could be made from any CD player, watched the flashing lights and presto, super strength for one day. It wasn’t even illegal, though you had to have a license to buy it. It was too useful for too many things. Even the Enforcers carried it in their emergency kits and the city EMS teams all had it. And I wasn’t even the manufacturer. I’d sold that off to Pumadyne. They weren’t to know that I was making sure their warehouses had a continual theft problem.
Finally, things came to a head. The people demanded action. The city was in turmoil. 8 years had passed… and it was time. AFROCAT seized the city in a day and a night. We had the Enforcers. We had the judges. We had the DA. All we needed was the force of Law. Mayor Briggs signed the Emergency Powers declaration, giving Snowcat Security Solutions carte blanche to stop the epidemic of crime.
What technology giveth, technology can take away. My drones flooded the city, equipped with Anti-HM4 beams. The Enforcers, cheered on by the thronging multitude, locked down the city. And anyone who’d ever crossed me or my supporters, anyone who’d ever failed the city… was thrown in jail. And that, dear readers, is how I, Dr. Snowjaeger, brought Law and Order to Megakat city. Law and Order… or as some would have it… a Fascist dictatorship. But really, all that matters is that, at the end of the day, I was in control.
Two years later, the biggest incident had been the Pastmaster being blasted out of the sky by a few thousand anti-magic drones (he was now in a very nice cell in a very secure location… inside a freezer… inside a block of ice… at the bottom of a very very deep hole). Everyone else was vaporized, dismantled, or in their very own freezer. I wasn’t the Snowjaeger for nothing.
As the days wound down, I looked out of my office at the top of Megakat Tower, which I’d bought and refurbished so many years ago, at the city I now ruled, Zane looming behind me in his steel-grey Enforcer Commander’s jacket. “Did we do it? Did we make the world a better place?”
He laughed “I thought this was about being the bad guy for once.”
“There aren’t really any bad guys, Zane. Well, there probably are, but for the most part, real people never know they’re the villain. As the song goes “Everyone’s a Hero in their own story”… no, wait… the song goes in their own way… no… that’s crap. But every megalomaniac thinks they’re doing what they’re doing for good reasons. I transformed a city of victims into the followers of a fascist dictator. But they’re happy. Most of them. I’m the bad guy. I took their freedom and they thanked me for it. They’re building statues of me. AFROCAT’s banners hang from every building in town. They’re talking about me running for President of Americatia. Madness. But it was fun, wasn’t it? Kicking ass and taking names? I think I had fun.”
“Yeah… but… we did good, right?”
“Do you see any giant monsters ravaging the city?”
“I see a tiny little cat lady looking like a Bond Villain standing in front of a full wall window in the penthouse of a megascraper looking out at a city right out of Orwell’s nightmares.”
“Yeah… that’s true. But say what you want, I gave the catpeople what they wanted. Freedom from almost all the villains.”
“Almost. First…” I triggered the public broadcast system built into every drone in the city. “Citizens of Megakat City. This is Dr. Snowjaeger. I just want to say how much pleasure it gives me to serve you everyday. So go out there and be the best you you can be. And remember, Snowone is watching you…. Mwhahaahahaha!” I clicked off the com.
“Now it’s Jump Time.”
Next: Spider in the Web
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