"Destructive Nature" - Views: 26 · Hits: 26 - Type: Public

DESTRUCTIVE NATURE

Novelization by Kooshmeister

Adapted from Lance Falk's Script

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The morning sun rose over the Megakat Tower in downtown Megakat City. In the spacious, modern penthouse office of the building, the center of which was dominated by a seven foot tall architectural model of the tower they were in, Mayor Manx and Callie Briggs were wrapping up a sales pitch with investor Mr. Young and his two silent associates. Kat's Eye News reporter Ann Gora and her cameraman Jonny K. were also in attendance.

"Mayor Manx, you say it's the largest building in the whole city?" asked Young. He was a Siamese kat, polite and impeccable. With his two associates, one tall, one built like a sumo, he stood over by the window which afforded a magnificent view of Megakat City from one hundred and fifty stories up.

Manx walked up behind them, taking in the spectacular view. "That's right! At one hundred and fifty stories, Megakat Tower is the tallest, most modern office complex in the whole city. It's THE perfect place to house your corporate headquarters, Mr. Young," he assured his visitor.

Young's associates nodded excitedly. Young himself was cooler, more reserved. "Ah," he said, "perhaps."

Callie and Ann Gora exchanged an exasperated look. Manx leaned over to them. "How am I doing?" he asked Callie quietly.

Callie was all smiles. "Greed brings out the best in your, Mr. Mayor," she assured him. Manx frowned a moment, then grinned, shrugged his shoulders, and leaned back back to the investors. Quietly to Ann Gora, Callie said, "ACTUALLY, he's got a lot of the city's money sunk into this place."

"Thanks for the exclusive, Ms. Briggs," Ann whispered back.

"Let's continue this meeting at Megakat Golf Course," suggested Manx, who looked at his watch. "We tee off in ten minutes."

This news put some life in Young. He grinned. "This building IS well located," he said. "Lucky we brought our clubs!"

"Excellent!" said the Mayor. "This way gentlement."

Nodding politely to the two women, the Siamese kats were ushered out by Manx.

~*~

Chance Furlong was playing a "Space Kat," a video game, on an arcade machine in the hangar. On the screen, a spaceship flew between the stars. The game moved at an exciting pace. One of Chance's laser zaps destroyed an alien saucer.

"Ha haaa! Got 'im!" enthused Chance. His electronic score was in the millions, and climbing. "TWO million points. I'm goin' for a PERSONAL BEST, here!"

The game was loud - deafening! This was due to a pair of booming speakers wired to the arcade cabinet, each standing about ten feet high! Chance almost had to shout to be beard. Both he and Jake Clawson were in their SWAT Kat gear, but had no headgear on at the moment. Jake stood studying his pal, one hand on his hop, the other holding a watering can.

"Don't you get enough of the real thing, Chance?" he asked disapprovingly.

"Are you kidding?" Chance yelled back. "This game's a BLAST! Thanks for wiring up these speakers."

Jake crossed over to a crate next to the arcade cabinet, and jumped up on it to water a fern in a hanging tire above the cabinet. "They loud anough for you?" he yelled sarcastically.

"Never loud enough, Jake!"

"Got that, partner!"

While watering, Jake accidentally dislodged a fern frond. It flopped downward and covered part of the game screen. Zap! An enemy blast destroyed Chance's ship. "Jaaake!" whined Chance. "You distracted me!"

He angrily yanked the plant part away.

"Game Over," came a mechanical-sounding voice from the video game. "Thank you for playing 'Space Kat.'"

Chance shut off the game as Jake watered a potted palm. "So what's with the greenery?" he asked, talking normally now that he didn't need to shout.

"I wanted to do SOMETHING to get rid of the smell of your sour milk!" Jake teased good-naturedly.

~*~

In the main lobby of the Megakat Tower, a lone kat in a cap and coveralls reading "Greenery" on them was tending to the last potted tree in a row of tasteful flora in the huge tower's lobby. Behind him, the elevator dinged upon reaching the ground. The greenery guy snapped upright at the noise and scurried off in a suspicious manner as the elevator doors opened. Callie, Ann Gora and Jonny the cameraman stepped into the lobby, walking towards the main glass lobby doors.

"It's so EMPTY," said Ann Gora, slightly creeped out.

"Yes, TODAY it is," replied Callie, unaware of two evil-looking yellow eyes watching them in silence from a darker corner, "but when Megakat Tower opens to the public tomorrow, it'll be a cirus, believe me." The trio reached the door. "A THREE RING cir--" She stopped short as something caught her eye, her head darting to the side.

She glimpsed a striped snake-like tail whip into the darkness of a shadowed doorway. She looked quizzical, not sure what she saw.

"Something wrong?" asked Ann Gora.

"Just thought I saw something," Callie said. "You two go ahead. I want to check it out."

Ann Gora and Jonny exited the building and entered the large, modern and lovely courtyard surrounding the building, which was heavily decorated with greenery. Hearing a weird noise behind her, Ann wheeled about. The greenery practically exploded with rapid growth! The ring of trees around the building sprouted fast and twisted. Ann and Jonny leaped free of the crazy area as a thorny, gnarled tree burst from the concrete. Jonny dropped his camera, which shattered on the ground.

Ann looked up in horror as the shadow of the growing plants wiped up and over her. She shrieked in terror. "Eeeeeee!"

The sub-basement of the Megakat Tower was a dark green-lit chamber, covered in pipes, generators and other equipment found in the bowels of a big, complicated building. The now hatless maintenance man who'd been watering the plants in the lobby stood addressing an audience, rim-lit in green and in silhouette, yellow eyes aglow.

"Friendsss!" he hissed. "Thisss building is impenetrable!"

His "audience" consisted of Plantimals, a bunch of a damnably weird plant creatures, about thirty in number. They were made out of vegeteable matter, but behaved like animals, without really looking like either. They moved a little, as if restless, making little squeaking and rustling noises. The Rovers were small, dog-sized, cabbage-looking things, each with three spiky, lobster-like legs. The Flyers were each about the size of a hippo, but mostly resembled flying backwards squid with vine-like tendrils trailing from their rears, at least when they were in flight; currently, they crawled around on the floor using their wings.

The figure continued to pontificate to his army. "But now," he continued, "you mussst protect me from Feral, hisss Enforcerssss... and worssst of all..."

He emerged from the shadows, revealing himself as Dr. Viper!

"...thossse meddling SWAT Katsss!"

At the top of the stairs leading down into the basement, the door opened slightly. Callie's head peered cautiously around the corner. Her eyes widened. "Oh no!" she whispered. "It's Dr. Viper!"

Viper went over to a table with a few chemical vials and a Venus' flytrap. He picked up an eyedropper full of glowing green liquid and held it over the plant. A drop of liquid from the dropper plopped into the flytrap's open mouth. It erupted in growth! Viper jumped backe as the plant sprung up from a few inches to eight feet tall in a heartbeat!

"Sssoon thisss foul city will be one giant, gloriousss ssswamp!" he hissed. The Plantimals chittered and squealed in vegetable glee!

Callie was horrified and revolted. "I'd better called the SWAT Kats!"

Outside, a ten story wall of twisted thorny vegetation had grown up around the building. The tiny figures of Ann Gora and Jonny got up from the ground and ran as Dr. Viper's evil laughter echoed from within. "Ha ha ha ha HAAAA!!"

~*~

The alarm went off in the SWAT Kats' hangar, red light flashing on and off. Razor and T-Bone, now wearing their masks and flight helmets, activated the large wall speaker.

"We've got problems," Callie's hushed voice came through. "It's Dr. Viper!"

"Viper?!" cried both SWAT Kats.

Back at the Megakat Tower, Callie was hiding in a maintenance, calling with her communicator. "This time, he's got an ARMY of plant monsters," she was whispering into the device, "and he's going to..."

She was cut off as living vines whipped under the bottom of the closet door to grab at her!

"...hey! ...Hey!!" she screamed. "Eee...!"

She struggled. Her communicator dropped and hit the ground with a shatter.

"Callie!" yelled T-Bone back in the hangar as they were cut off.

"Let's kick some Viper tail!" growled Razor, tough as nails.

In the salvage yard, the hidden hangar doors slid open and the Turbokat roared into the sky at tremendous speed, the SWAT Kats issuing forth a battle cry.

~*~

The entire Megakat Tower plaza was enveloped in a wall of bramble. In response to the sudden barrier, Enforcer vehicles surrounded the "wall," lights flashing. Yellow barrier was strung around site and Enforcer commandos were stationed. Ann Gora had summoned her entire Kat's Eye News crew onto the scene.

Commander Feral's Enforcer cruiser screeched up to the barrier and Feral himself stepped out, all spit and polish. He walked up to the thorny barrier. With a grunt, he broke off a tough piece of bramble and contemplated it. Sergeant Talon stepped up to him.

"What IS this?" Feral asked.

"Commander," reported the Sergeant, "according to witnesses, this wall just sprang up in minutes. It's gonna take a WEEK to cut through!"

"Then we'll BURN our way in!"

Ann Gora walked up to them. "Not a good idea, Commander," she said, shoving a microphone at Feral. "Ann Gora, Kat's Eye News," she said. "That's a ten story wall of dry brush. If your fire gets out of hand, it'll torch the whole city." Before he had a chance to reply, she pressed on, "Commander Feral, were you aware that the Deputy Mayor is trapped somewhere in that tower?"

"Briggs?" snarled Feral, angry. "THAT figures!" He barked to Sergeant Talon. "Get the choppers ready, we'll take the tower from ABOVE."

~*~

The Turbokat was going flat out as it roared towards the scene. "Callie's signal triangulates from the Megakat Tower, downtown," said Razor.

"Roger that," replied T-Bone. "ETA in T-minus two minutes."

The Turbokat made a graceful roll and bolted towards the distant skyscraper.

~*~

At that very moment, three Enforcer choppers flew towards the top of the tower. In the command chopper, Feral was at the controls. King and Burge flew the other two.

Feral barked orders into his microphone. "We're gonna do this by the numbers!" he said. "King, Burge. I'm going in first! Cover me!"

He looked up, not believing his eyes as a trio of Flyer Plantimals dove off the roof edge above, their leafy wings spread wide. Making a ghastly sound, they attacked. The flying monster spat a thick yellow-green goo onto the choppers. Splat!

In the second chopper, King was revolted by this assault. Fresh goo splatted onto the canopy window, nearly covering it. The craft began to sizzle!

In the third chopper's cockpit, the startled Burge started to lose it. "Kats alive...!" he cried. "This stuff's ACID, eating through my chopper!"

"Mine too!" cried King. "Weapon systems are all gummed up!"

The Commander listened grimly to their voices over the radio. Grimacing, he slammed his fist down on the dash. Wham! "Okay, okay," he growled through his teeth. "Fall back, before we have total meltdown!"

Suddenly, he saw the figure of Dr. Viper directing the Flyers from the roof, which, thanks to him, as a garden of weird and ugly vegetation. Having changed out of his maintenance worker's coveralls and back into his regular lab coat, Dr. Viper was standing on a patio area which surrounded the penthouse superstructure.

"Viper?!" he cried. As he flew over the roof, Feral's chopper sputtered and sizzled, barely hanging on. Fuming, the Commander shouted, "This isn't over, you lizard!" The chopper turned and dropped down out of sight.

"Yesss!" cried Viper happily, leaning over the edge, watching from the roof as the choppers dropped rapidly. He laughed. "Ha ha ha! Run, Feral, ssstupid fool! Thisss isss perfect! There'sss nothing you can do to ssstop me!"

With another laugh, he walked to the penthouse doors and went inside. The big room was now overgrown with dangerous-looking plants. The most blatant vegetable violation was a huge, green, red-veined pod. The gross, pulsing thing was ten feet in diameter and made a watery gurgling sound. The three Flyers who'd just gotten done driving the Enforcers away flew in and perched on it.

Nearby, Callie was held fast by a tough little Rover. "Let me go!" she demanded, struggling.

Ignoring her, Viper crossed to the pod.

"What ARE these things?" an angry Callie asked.

"These 'things' are my Plantimalsss, Ms. Briggsss!" Viper responded proudly. "I created them to obey only me and I won't be letting you go! Why, you'd jussst run away and misssss out on all the excitement! Te he he! The Plantimals live to protect me and THAT!" He pointed at the pod. It pulsed sickly. "My spore pod!"

Grabbing a huge syringe, Viper jabbed it into the pod, injecting glowing green liquid. Tossing the syringe, he laid his hands on the obscenity, pressing his ear to the pod's side and listened to it gurgling. He closed his eyes and smiled at the icky sound.

Callie watched with distaste. "Wh... what does it do?" she asked, frightened.

"Oh... you'll find out REAL sssoon!" Viper replied with a sinister edge to his voice, his eyes still closed.

A jet roar began to build. Viper's eyes snapped open.

"Maybe not, you twist-o," Callie taunted. "It's the SWAT Kats!"

The Turbokat made a circling flyby of the roof. Razor looked through a targeting scope. Through the skylight of the tower penthouse, he could see Callie and Viper.

"Looks like a farmer's market down there!" commented T-Bone.

Viper pointed up through the skylight with authority and ordered, "Attack them, my little petsss!"

The Flyer "air force" powered upward through the skylight on leafy wings, making for the jet.

"It's Viper, all right," Razor said. "And he's captured Callie!"

"Look alive, Razor," said T-Bone, noticing the three approaching Plantimals, "we got some plug-ugly company!"

"Acknowledged, T-Bone," Razor replied, "I have 'em. Weapon systems ready!"

The Plantimals rushed at the jet, spitting goo. It splatted on one of the Turbokat's wings and sizzled! "Hey!" cried T-Bone, surprised and alarmed. "These things spit ACID! I'm taking evasive action... hang on!"

The jet spun between three streams of goo and went into an attack dive. Razor laced his fingers together, cracking his knuckles. "And now, sports fans," he announced, "the moment you've ALL been waiting for. The SWAT Kats bite back!" He tapped three buttons labeled with a graphic of a missile sporting a toothy mechanical jaw. "Piranha Missiles away!"

As the Turbokat pulled out of its dive, it launched three Piranha Missiles. Metal teeth chattering, they powered towards the Flyers. The airborne Plantimals raced upward towards the missiles, firing goo. It hit the missiles. Splat! Splat! Splat! Coated in goo, the Piranhas sizzled, melted and dropped uselessly out of the sky.

"No way!" cried Razor in disbelief. "Those things melted my missiles!"

"You thinking what I'm thinking?" asked T-Bone from up front.

"You know it!" replied his partner. "Let's take this weed welcome wagon from behind!"

The Turbokat power climbed straight up, the flying Plantimals in hot pursuit. The SWAT Kats' jet started it's loop-d-loop, getting around behind the pursuing mutants, firing a trio of Octopus Missiles. The Flyers saw the threat and tried to escape but it was no use. The Octopus Missile grabbed the first Flyer and popped it like something on a teenager's face! Green and yellow plant sludge flew everywhere!

A second missile was hit by a glob of goo and began to melt, but managed to grab a second Plantimal and goosh it anyway! The combined carcasses dropped fast out of the air, down towards the third missile. The third Octopus Missile still pursued its prey. It was hit the falling missile clutching the crushed remains of the second Flyer. The combined weight cause the whole mass to drop to the ground.

The remaining Flyer, the third one, hovered a moment, chittering in glee, and then darted to escape only to absentmindedly blorch itself on the side of the building with a loud smack sound. The gooey carcass began its big slide down the wall.

"Octopus Missiles!" cried Razor triumphantly. "Don't leave base without 'em!"

The boys high-fived.

In the penthouse, Dr. Viper was raving. "Nooo!" he cried. "ATTACK!" he ordered three more Flyers. "Dessstroy the SWAT Katsss!"

The Plantimals flew up past Viper and out through the skylight.

"You sssee, Ms. Briggsss?!" he declared confidently. "My armies are endless!"

He turned to gloat at her and reacted in surprise. The Rover Plantimal which held Callie earlier had been knocked senseless and the Deputy Mayor was gone!

"She'sss gone!" roared Viper.

The stunned form of the Rover struggled to its feet.

Viper crossed over to it in a rage. "It's YOUR fault!" he snarled. "You let her essscape!"

He smacked the thing with his tail. The Rover crashed through a side penthouse window and out of the room. The screaming blob fell down the side of the building.

Meanwhile, the Turbokat was doing its best to evade the fresh wave of Flyers rushing up towards it from the building below. "I'm fresh out of Octopus Missiles!" Razor said.

"Try something else!" T-Bone said through clenched teeth.

Razor sat thinking. Then: "I have an idea!"

In the tower place down below, Commander Feral stood near his cruiser, fuming. "The SWAT Kats!" he growled, watching the Turbokat flying around above. "I should have known!" Suddenly, he noticed something, his eyes widening. It was the Rover batted by Viper, falling toward him from one hundred and fifty stories up. "Whaaa!" he yelled.

He dove out of the way as the thing hit the hood of his cruiser. Ker-splat! A big glob of the unfortunate critter knocked Feral off his feet. He rolled to a stop. His clothes began to sizzle and smoke. Fzzzz! "Yaaa!!" he screamed. "Get it offa me!"

Sergeant Talon rushed in, raising the butt of his assault rifle above a fire hydrant. The rifle butt crushed down and busted open a side spout. Water roared. The spout pinned Feral against his car in a high pressure jet of water, washing the acidic goo off of him.

"Okay, okay!" yelled Feral. "Turn it OFF!"

The stream stopped. Feral's entire sedan was toast. The engine compartment was sizzling , melted through to the pavement by the Plantimal's acidic blood.

"Enough of this," grumbled the dripping Commander. "It's time for military force!"

Above, the Turbokat continued circling. The three goo-spitting Flyers kept between it and the tower. "Say again, Razor," cried T-Bone. "You must be joking!"

"I say again!" Razor responded. "I'll penetrate the building and come up on Viper from underneath."

"That's a negative, Razor," said the bigger SWAT Kat, jerking a thumb toward the tower. Vines had erupted from the windows and begun to envelope it. "Plants are taking over the whole building, or haven't you noticed?"

"Affirmative," Razor agreed grimly. "And that snake's probably got a few surprises waiting inside, too. But Callie's in there, T-Bone."

T-Bone's eyes widened in comprehension. "Riiight!" he conceded. "We can't attack Viper..." he trailed off.

"'Til I get her outta there," Razor finished for him.

The canopy opened upwards. He jetted from the Turbokat in his Ejektor seat, which he steered towards the tower, pouring on the speed.

T-Bone looked out of the cockpit at Razor's flight. "Maintain radio contact at ALL times," he said. "Do you copy?"

"Affirmative," replied his friend's voice through the radio. "I'm goin' in. Gentle as a baby."

Razor's little Ejektor seat made for a window on the hundreth floor at break-neck speed. With a battle cry, he punched into the building with a huge crash!

~*~

In the penthouse, Dr. Viper circled the spore pod and gave it a loving pat. It had bloated to twenty feet in diameter! A half dozen Flyers perched protectively on its top side. "Sssoon, my lovely," Viper crooned, "sssoon!

"I can see it all now!" he continued, envisioning a horribly transformed version of Megakat City, turned into a rotting swamp peppered with brackish bodies of water. "A ssspectacular new Megakat City!!! No more ugly metal and plassstic... only beautiful ssswamp!!"

In the evil bicohemist's vision, vines and tendrils were strung between the skyscrapers like spider webs. The Megakat Tower, still recognizable under its total plant envelopment, loomed in the distance. A handful of Flyers swooped over one of the lakes. A gigantic Plesiosaurus-like Plantimal burst from the water and gulped the Flyers down with its triple head. Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!

"MY ssswamp, rule my by me!" Viper enthused. "Yesss! Dr. Viper's Megaswamp City!"

Megaswamp City looked hideous, monstrous and alien! Something even to sicken the most devout naturalist. But not Dr. Viper. Returning to reality in the penthouse, he grinned savagely, hissing, "It'll be ssso beautiful!"

He circled the pulsing pod and pontificated. "In fifteen minutesss, you will explode, sssending beautiful ssspores to transform the entire city!"

His head snapped to the side was he was suddenly interrupted by some explosions. He scurried from the penthouse to the roof edge and peered over. Far, far below, he could see the flash of tank cannons. "Foolsss!" he shouted down. "Go ahead, wassste your time!"

In the tower plaza one hundred and fifty stories below, Feral, his greatcoat burned off at the right shoulder, exposing one bare arm, was directing the actions of a squad of three huge Enforcer Peacekeeper combat tanks. Sergeant Talon was at his side. "Fire again on my mark!" he yelled. "Ready... aim... fire!"

Boom! Boom! Boom! The cannons blasted! The shells flew over to the viney barrier. Blam! Crash! They exploded mightily on an already cannon-blasted section of the wall. The smoke began to clear.

"That did it, Commander," said Talon. "We're through!"

"Let's move in," said Feral, smiling tightly.

Crash! An enormous Plantimal burst from the hole the Enforcers had blasted. All bulk and teeth, this particular Plantimal was called a Behemoth, a huge, slithering plant "tank" with three trunks and waving tendrils. The lumbering beast was as big as a mammoth!

Feral turned toward the Peacekeepers, shouting. "Blast it!"

Boom! Boom! Boom! The three tanks fired in rapid succession. Above, the Turbokat circled the tower. Far below, T-Bone saw the flash of cannon fire. "What's that jerk up to now?" he wondered. He flipped some toggle switches. A graphic reading "Sky Eye" lit up. "Let's take a closer look."

The Turbokat slowed its flight and its engine intakes pointed downward, allowing the craft to hover in place. A tiny panel slid open in the jet's belly and a fancy triple lens array with radar microphone clicked down into place.

T-Bone leaned over to look through a scope. "Okay, Sky Eye, let's see what you got for me."

The readout showed a frightening view. The Behemoth was holding a defensive position in front of the barrier. The giant creature shrugged off a few huge shell bursts. It was immune to the cannon fire!

"Will you look at that!" cried T-Bone.

The defending Behemoth sprayed jets from its three trunks in a sweeping pattern to target the tanks. Splatt! The acid goo melted the front of the first Peaceekeeper into slag. Two crewmen jumped out of the top hatch, yelling in fear.

"The toughest tanks we have and that..." Sergeant Talon struggled for words, "thing melt 'em like butter! What's it gonna do next?!"

Like a bizarre watchdog, the Behemoth backed up to block the wall breach with its bulk. It roared defensively. "Maybe nothing," replied Feral, curious. "It's just sitting there!"

~*~

Meanwhile, loaded for bear, including his Glovatrix, Razor stalked the halls of the Megakat Tower, looking for a way up to the roof. It was creepy in the corridors. The plants of the building had enveloped the walls in a weird union of stone and vegetation. Limp vines hung from the walls.

"Razor, come in." It was T-Bone, contacting his partner over his helmet's radio communications device. "Give me your status. Over."

Razor stopped and tapped the side of his helmet. "Looks like a swamp in here!" he reported. "But so far, so good. What's your situation?"

"It's weird," replied T-Bone, "these flying cavvages don't attack me unless I'm close to the roof. There's a big brother plant keeping Feral out of the picture, too."

Razor laughed. "I guess they're not ALL bad!" he joked.

"Right! Keep in contact. When you find Callie, make for the top. Then I'll punch a hole through that flying salad bar and pick you up. Copy?"

Razor grinned, unaware that, behind him, the vines were slowly coming to life, rising in a menacing fashion. "Affirmative, T-Bone," he said. "Then we can blast Viper and his garden to kingdom come! Out." The vines grabbed at him! "Yaaa!!" he screamed.

Razor leaped out of the way and bolted down the corridor. Running the gauntlet, he leaped and dived down the hallway, avoiding the strangling roots. He whipped around the corner into the southwestern reception area of the hundredth floor. This room was wide, brightly lit and decorated in a Santa Fe motif. Big potted cactus plants abounded. Freezing, Razor contemplated the spiky plants.

"I don't like the look of THIS!" he said as several cactus arms rotated like radar dishes to point at him.

There was a weird noise behind him. He wheeled about, eyes widening as three Rovers exploded out of the darkness, shrieking madly. Raising his Glovatrix, he fired a barrage of mini missiles. "Chew on this!" Blam! Blam! Blam!

The missiles exploded, staggering the monsters. They got to their feet, the missiles having only stunned the tough, fibrous things!

"I don't believe!" Razor cried, running into the southwestern room at full tilt, the Rovers in hot pursuit.

The cacti fired a barrage of needless. Razor did a tuck and roll under the spray. The Rovers weren't so lucky. They rushed in and got nailed by the poisonous darts! The Rovers screeched! Razor rolled to his feet and drew a heavy-duty flamethrower in one smooth movement.

"Time to redecorate!"

He blasted away with both the Glovatrix and flame gun! A jet of blue flame burst from the sidearm while his Glovatrix blasted cement blobs from a rotating cylinder like a gatling gun! Splat! The Rovers were covered in hardening cement while the flame gun ignited the room into an inferno. A fire alarm began to blare.

After taking in the inferno of the room and the immobolized blobs of the Rovers, Razor quickly tossed his spent flame gun towards the ceiling. Clang! The gun smashed into a ceiling sprankler which had been jammed by a plant, knocking away an inhibiting root. Whoosh! The sprinkler jets came to life and the high-tech building's fire alarm spoke in a pleasant female voice.

"Fire control systems activated."

Razor watched as the sprinklers doused the flame. The alarm ceased its howl.

"Fire extinguished," announced the computerized female voice.

"So much for the fire," Razor noted.

"You got a problem, Razor?" came T-Bone's voice through his helmet communicator. "I'm getting a lot of noise from there."

"I can handle it," Razor insisted. "Still no sign of Callie, though. Continuing my sweep. Razor out." He ended the communication. "Just hope my ammo lasts 'til I can get her out!" he muttered to himself.

He looked at the four cemented up Plantimals. They began to crack their way out of the shells like a bird exiting its egg.

"I'm outta here."

He ran out.

~*~

At the Megakat Golf Course, Mayor Manx's putter swung back and forth in anticipation, once, twice, then just as he tapped the ball, his portable phone rang, spoiling the putt.

"Drat!" he grumbled, the putt going off, missing by inches.

He was wearing a ridiculous golfing outfit. Mr. Young and his associates however were still in their suits, standing behind him beside the Mayor's stupid-looking golf cart. The Mayor sheepishly regained his composure and lifted the phone from his belt and pressed it to his ear.

To Young and the other two Siamese kats, Manx politely said over his shoulder, "Heh heh. Excuse me, gentlemen." Quieter, into his phone, he hissed, "Manx here, this BETTER be important!" He was burning.

"Oh, don't worry, Mr. Mayor, it is." It was Commander Feral.

On his end, in the Megakat Tower plaza, the Commander was communicating with the Mayor on a field phone. Sergeant Talon stood nearby, holding his own field phone.

"We have a situation here!" Feral started explaining. "Dr. Viper's turned your pet skyscraper into a geranium!"

"Viper!" gasped Manx back at the golf course. Young stood behind him and out of earshot. Quietly but barely controlled, Manx said, "Listen carefully, Feral. The city has a billion dollars sunk in that tower. You get that wacko out of there fast, and don't level the building doing it!"

"You don't underst--" Feral started to protest.

"YOU don't blow!" Manx hissed through his teeth. "My Eastern friends are about to sign the deal! I have to go!" He racked the phone.

"Is there a problem, Your Honor?" asked Mr. Young.

"Heh, heh. Not all," Manx said smoothly. "Now where were we?"

Back at the Megakat Tower, Feral threw his phone down. It shattered on the concrete. Smash! "That tears it!" he growled. "'You don't blow it!'" he mimicked Mayor Manx mockingly. "Great! I can't burn, cut or blast! What does he EXPECT me to do? Leave it to the SWAT Kats?"

Whoosh! The Turbokat roared through the air above them. Feral followed it with his head. "Sounds like a plan to me, sour-puss!" T-Bone said tauntingly, cutting in on Sergeant Talon's radio.

"Things just keep getting better!" growled a boiling Feral.

~*~

Razor ran full tilt down a wide hallway on the one hundred and fortieth floor inside of the Megakat Tower, surrounded by Venus flytrap plants on darting stalks, pursued by have a dozen Rovers scurrying after him, some on the walls, some via the ceiling. He cross-drew a pair of electrical grenades from his jumpsuit. He bit on both grenade pins and yanked them free. As he ran, he tossed the weapons over his shoulder. The Rovers reached the grenades. Zzap! Crackle! The beasties twitched in an impressive display of blue and white electrical arcs.

Razor kept moving and didn't even look back. Bathed in flickering electrical light, he did a tuck and roll under a snapping Venus flytrap and reached for his ankle. He freed a Mini Buzzsaw Bazooka from an ankle holster. Rolling up facing a wall at the dead end of the corridor, he pointed the weapon at the distant wall.

Whirr! Whoosh! Ten circular jet-powered buzzsaw blades blasted forth, imbedding themselves in a circular pattern in the wall. Boom! They exploded! Razor burst through into a neo-classical legal office whose decor evoked the bloated time of Nero, knocking out the circular portion of the wall! Certificates reading "Katz, Katz, Katz and Katz" went flying!

The posh marble chamber had been damaged and violated by dangerous-looking plants. It looked like an alien Roman ruin noew. Hearing a slow chitting noise behind him, Razor wheeled about to look back down the way he came. The electrified Rovers got slowly to their feet. It was eerie.

"How do you kill these things?" wondered Razor as the Rovers began to race forward with a horrifying screech.

Razor braced his back against an enormous marble bookshelf and heaved. Crash!! It fell over and blocked the hole with its shattered stone bulk. Razor dusted his hands off in triumph. He could hear the Rovers slamming impotently against the far side of the barrier. It shifted a little.

"That oughta hold you!"

A silhouetted figure stepped up and hit Razor from behind with a Roman style bust of a kat with a wreath. "Unnnn.....!" moaned Razor and blacked out.

When he regained consciousness, he was laying on the floor of the classical office with his eyes still closed and he heard a familiar voice. "Oh no! Wake up! Oh, Razor, what've I done!?" It was Callie Briggs. Razor opened his eyes and himself looking up at her from the floor. She looked very worried.

"Callie?" he said weakly. He sat up, shaking his head.

"Are you okay?" asked Callie. "I hit you pretty hard!"

Razor got to his feet and looked at the broken statue on the ground. "I'll say," he said, a little stronger. The statue was broken in two from the force of the blow. "Good thing my helmet's stronger than THAT!"

"I'm SO sorry! Callie continue. "I thought you were one of THEM." She pointed to the blocked bookshelf.

There was another thump. Razor's barrier shifted again. A Rover burst through and started to tear away at the blocking rubble! Razor grabbed Callie's hand and they sprinted over to an overgrown wall sporting an air conditioning vent. "This way!" he yelled. "Hurry!"

Callie was boosted up. She yanked the duct cover open and climbed in. Razor heard a crash and turned towards the bookcase. The Rovers had broken through and charged! Razor leaped upwards, grabbing the lip of the duct.

"Make room, Callie!"

Scrambling for a football on the slimy wall, his foot caught on an air conditioning control. Giving him enough purchase to spring upwards, his big clawed foot dislodged the air control unit with a snap and it hung at a weird angle. The duct door slammed shut.

A color readout on the air conditioning control changed from red to blue, and the same soothing voice as the building's fire control announced, "Attention. Sector climate controls have been damaged. Air conditioner is active at maximum coldness. One hundred and fortieth floor temperature fifty degrees and dropping."

~*~

Commander Feral stood in the plaza outside. Sergeant Talon rushed up to him. "Status report, Sergeant!"

"Copter One is on approach from the chemical factory."

"Good!" said Feral, grinning darkly at the first good news he'd heard all day! "Let's see how those cabbages like a hundred gallons of weed killer!"

An Enforcer chopper roared overhead with a huge yellow and black canister attached to its belly by a big mechanical claw. Feral and Talon craned their necks to follow it as it stopped to hover fifty feet above the Behemoth Plantimal defending the wall, Feral lifting a radio to his ear. "King! Burge! Drop the package... on my mark!"

In the chopper, King flew and Burge hunched over a targeting scope which showed a panning aerial view of the pulsing Behemoth.

"Roger that, Commander," said King.

On the scope, a targeting graphic superimosed itself over the creature with a ping. "We have target acquisition!" reported Burge.

Below, Feral raised his swagger stick and snapped it downwardn. "Now!" he ordered.

Clack! The claw sprang open. The canister dropped. Splat! The canister burst open on impact with the Behemoth, splattering bright orange steaming goop over the creature's surface. The poison oozed over the beast. The viscous orange chemical sizzled!

"GOT you!" said Feral with quiet glee.

His happy expression changed to surprise.

"No!" he gasped.

The weed killer was absorbed into the monster's skin! It smiled a ghastly, toothy grin and licked the last traces of chemical from its leafy lips. It belched! It swelled in size by fifty percent, shattering a larger hole in the thorny wall with its expanded bulk, but still blocking it.

"It ATE the poison!" cried Talon. "It LIKES it!"

In a rage, the Commander snapped his swagger stick in two. "How do you KILL these things?!"

~*~

Razor crawled ahead of Callie in a dark horizontal air shaft. Illumination flooded up from evenly spaced gratings in the shaft's floor. He tapped his helmet radio. "T-Bone. Come in."

"T-Bone here. What's your status? Over?"

Callie looked down in disgust through one of the gratings. Below was the corner of an art deco office overgrown with bloated, spiky mushrooms. A trio of Rover Plantimals crawled around down there.

"Callie's with me," Razor was saying. "We should reach the roof any time."

"Excellent!" replied T-Bone's voice over the radio.

"Stand by for a pickup."

"One more thing, Razor..." Outside, T-Bone was flying around the building. The spore pod had swollen so large that it had partially burst from the penthouse substructure! It must've been eight feet wide! "I recommend you use best possible speed," T-Bone continued grimly. "I think Viper's about to do... whatever he's planning to do!"

"Will do, big buddy," said Razor back in the air shaft. "Out." He tapped his radio off, then turned to look at Callie. "Is it COLD in here?"

Callie stopped her crawl and hugged herself, shivering. "FREEZING!"

Behind her, the three tenacious Rovers burst through a grating from the office below! Callie turned. "Eeeee!!" she screamed.

The Plantimals approached slowly, hesitantly, passing in front of a side duct.

The automatic climate control spoke up again. "The climate control has been damaged," it announced. "Temperature on this floor forty degrees and dropping."

The duct blasted the Plantimals with frosty air. They screamed in agony!

"Blast 'em, Razor!" yelled Callie.

"I can't, Callie," said Razor. "I'm out of ammo, but... I don't think they NEED blasting!"

The Rovers were frozen in place like statues. They twitched eerily for a moment, then shattered with a squeal!

Razor activated his helmet radio. "T-Bone, come in."

"I copy, Razor."

"I know we can save the day, partner!" Razor was grinning like an idiot. "You'll have to make a fast pickup at the Space Center. We'll meet you on the roof in ten minutes!"

~*~

The MASA Space Center was ringed with enormous launch gantries, hosting an array of advanced technology including space shuttles, Saturn V rockets and a few unusual spacecraft a little more advanced than anything else. The Turbokat flew over the impressive complex as the cape launch control spoke to T-Bone over his radio.

"Turbokat," I say again, warned the voice. "This is flight control. You are NOT cleared for this area. Over."

"Understood, flight control," responded T-Bone, "but I have an emergency situation here."

"Explain the nature of your emergency," said the flight controller. "Over."

"Here's the deal..."

He hurriedly explained what was going on at the Megakat Tower and what it was Razor said he'd need from them. A short time later, the Turbokat flew up and away from a cape chemical storage warehouse. Hanging from the jet's belly on a pair of cables was a canister about half the length of the jet reading "N2" on the side. The chemical designation of liquid nitrogen.

A pair of technicians with the stylish round MASA logo adorning the backs of their jumpsuits looked up at the departing jet. They turned to one another.

"What's that SWAT Kat want with a tank of super rocket coolant?" asked the first tech.

"Who cares," said the second, "it's no skin of MY tail. If the front office wants to give freeze juice to a vigilante, who are we to argue?"

The first tech shielded his eyes against the sun, squinting up at the jet. "I guess you're right..." he said, "but yikes! One barrel has enough coolant to freeze a whole city block!"

~*~

Razor and Callie still crawled along the duct on the one hundred and fifthieth floor. Suddenly, Razor stopped and grinned. "Aha! There it is!"

"There WHAT is?" asked Callie behind him.

"Our shortcut to the roof," Razor replied. "Come on!"

The dim and seemingly bottomless elevator shaft was unnaturally overgrown like everywhere else inside the building. Beansteak-like vines twisted around the elevator cables. Spang! A side panel was kicked loose into the shaft. It dropped away down into the darkness.

Razor, appearing at the now open air duct, turned and barked a request. "Hang on tight!"

Callie hesitantly grabbed Razor's shoulder straps and jumped on, piggyback style. "I don't know about..." she began, but was cut off was the two tandem kats leaped from the tiny duct into the dark shaft. "Eeeee!" she screamed. Razor deftly grabbed the now vine-like elevator cable.

"This is easy," said Razor, actually enjoying himself.

Callie kept her eyes shut. "Yeah," she said nervously. "Piece of cake!"

They climbed briskly up. Straining, Razor climbed at a rapid clip. Far below them, something roared. Razor stopped. Callie looked down, opening her eyes. A twitching shape came up from below, filling the shaft. It was a new type of giant plant thing, supported by green spidery legs on all four sides. The purple creature scurried upwards fast, its big, toothy, ugly mouth gnashing and chomping in a disgustingly wet manner.

"Razor!!!" cried Callie upon seeing the thing. "We have trouble!

Razor glanced down too. "BIG trouble!"

~*~

On the roof, Dr. Viper walked towards the virtual wall of his spore pod. It looked swollen and ready to burst. Inside the translucent skin of the abomination, Viper could see its rubbery plant organs oozing and pumping foul fluids. Fluids which also dropped regularly from it.

The evil biochemist gave one large round area a big hug. It gurgled in response. "It's jussst you and me now, sssweetnesss!" Viper said, stepping back and putting his hands on his hips as he gazed up at his master creation. "Feral isss helplesss and the SWAT Katsss have run away in their ssstupid jet!"

He appriased the pods condition with an expert eye, sighing contentedly.

"You're ssso beautiful! It'sss almossst a shame you have to explode. I'd sssay about ssseen and a half minutesss!" He laughed insanely. "Ha ha ha!!"

Down in the plaza, Feral strutted towards Talon and two Enforcer commandos. Ann Gora and her cameraman, Jonny, ran to keep up with him.

"Commander Feral, why have your Enforcers been so helpless gaining entry into Megakat Tower?" Ann asked.

Feral ignored her, reaching his men. "Get these two on the OTHER side of the barrier..." he growled, "NOW!"

The two commandos hustled Ann and Jonny away bodily. "Th public has a right to know, Commander!" Ann shouted.

Feral whipped around to address her. He'd officially lost his cool. "Ms. Gora, the public can kiss my tail!" he roared.

Ann, Jonny and the other Enforcers couldn't believe their ears! Their eyes bugged out and their jaws dropped.

Feral was panting. "You news hounds are so quick to attack me like a pack of scavengers! Well, let me ask YOU something, 'Annie.' Where are your precious SWAT Kats?! They RAN AWAY! And I'm still here! I'm doing EVERYTHING possible! So... BACK OFF!"

Behind him loomed the tower. The hundred foot tall spore pod was now visible from the ground. Feral pointed at it. "Because I have to deal with THAT!"

"Where ARE the SWAT Kats?" Ann wondered quietly.

~*~

The Turbokat roared towards the Megakat Tower like a bat out of hell. T-Bone contacted Razor by radio. "Razor, do you copy?" he asked. "I should reach the tower in two minutes. Over."

"It's a date, pal!" came Razor's strained voice through the radio. "See you topside.

Back in the elevator shaft, Razor and Callie were climbing fast but not fast enough! The pursuing monster was ten away!

Razor sweated nervously. "Got my hands full, here," he told T-Bone. "Gotta go. Razor out!" He terminated the communication.

"Nice knowing you, Razor," said Callie, to whom everything now looked hopeless.

"Thanks!" said the thin SWAT Kat, grinning. "Ands it still will be!"

He pointed his Glovatrix up. Blam! It fired a multi-claw-like grappling hook, which flew up into the darkness, trailing a cable from the Glovatrix. The grappler imbedded itself into the metal ceiling at the top of the elevator shaft. Clang!

"Hang on!" yelled Razor.

The plant monster made one last lunge at them. It snapping jaws missed by inches as the two were yanked up and out of its reach by the cable. "Woaaa!!" cried Callie.

Outside, the Turbokat flew straight up towards the roof of the Megakat Tower, T-Bone giving a battle cry. The roof was now entirely grown over, all wood and vegetation. The spore pod filled the penthouse with its horrific growth and jutted one hundred and twenty feet in diameter, glowing a bright, sickly green. Three dozen Flyer Plantimals clung protectively on its bloated mass.

Dr. Viper turned away from the pod to face the roof edge as he heard the Turbokat's roar building. The jet exploded into view close to the building, the sudden backwash knocking Viper off his feet! He stood nonchalantly, brushing the dirt from his lab coat. He wasn't worried. The small air force of Flyers sprang upwards, trying to catch the Turbokat.

"Time for some REAL flying!" growled the tough kat as he opened the throttle all the way! "Eat my backwash, you lettuce heads!"

The Turbokat punched a hole through the center of a clump of the Flyers. His jet flame washed over the three Plantimals.

T-Bone looked over his shoulder at his work, grinning. "Ha ha! Barbecued cabbage, my favorite!" His smiled faded. Obviously, not even the super hot jet flames affected the monsters. They came at him, sputting a washe of acid goo. "These things are tougher than I thought," he grumbled, impressed in spite of himself.

He maneuvered the jet between the squad of goo-spitting Flyers.

"Enough of this! Razor, where ARE you?"

On the roof, Dr. Viper was watching the distant battle. "Fight away, foolsss!" he sneered. "In less than two minutesss it will ALL be over!"

"You can 'sssay' that again, snake-puss!" said a voice behind him.

Viper whipped about, not believing his eyes. Razor stood there with his arms folded across his chest, Callie nearby.

"It'sss not posssssible!" cried the evil scientist.

"Anything's possible, ugly," growled Razor.

With a roar, a panicked Viper leaped onto his foe. "You can't ssstop me now!"

They rolled to the ground. He managed to pin the brave kat under him. His tail flicked up, then down fast for three quick hits. Smack! Smack! Smack! Viper lifted the stunned SWAT Kat over his head and tossed him over the building edge.

"It'sss oblivion for you, SWAT Kat!"

"Razor!" cried Callie, watching from nearby. "Noooo!"

"Yesss!" taunted Viper, turning towards her. He and three Rovers moved towards her as she backed up, stopping at the edge of the roof. "Don't worry, Ms. Briggsss..." he hissed. "You'll be JOINING him!" To his creations, he shouted, "Attaaack!"

The Rovers moved in slowly, corning Callie. Slowly, the Turbokat lowered down down towards the roof. The three monsters leaped! At the last moment, Callie was yanked upwards by a safety harness! The three Plantimals accidentlly dove over the edge of the roof. Callie was winched up fast towards a pair of doors in the hovering Turbokat's belly set behind the harness holding the rocket coolant.

"Nice flying, T-Bone," said Razor, who was in the cockpit. "First you catch me, then you scoop HER up!"

"Just call T-Bone, last minute life saving a specialty!" the bigger SWAT Kats said with a grin. He looked up. "Uh-oh! LOoks like I spoke too soon!" Three Flyers were racing towards them. "Get her in, fast!"

"Roger that!"

Callie got yanked up into the jet, the doors slamming shut under her as a Flyer whipped by with a scream. The Turbokat began to move forward, gaining speed as it converted from VTOL mode to normal fly. The Flyers pursued at a distance. The jet circled the Megakat Tower, keeping ahead of the flying Plantimals. Razor and Callie were scrunched into his seat. He angrily flipped some switches on his weapons panel. Several green lights turned red.

"THis is just GREAT!" he grumbled.

"What's wrong?" asked T-Bone.

"Weapons check. Negative!" He frowned and tapped the digital display. "The attack systems are all gummed up!"

"GOTTA be that plant goo!" said T-Bone.

"Gotta be..." agreed Razor. "I'm gonna have to drop the package MANUALLY."

T-Bone turned to look at his pal sitting in back with Callie. "Not THIS again! THat means you'll have to climb down onto our freeze bomb!"

"Don't have much choice, do we?" said Razor. "it's the only way and you know it! Just get us to the drop zone and keep that flying produce away from me."

He yanked back a lever and the floor opened up beneath him. He dropped through with a "Geroni-meow!" and slid down the dcable and straddled the big canister with a thump. The jet roared along, picking up speed. T-Bone looked serious, Callie looked terrified and Razor was having the time of his life!

"Woooooooo!" he yelled. "Get ready, Viper! The SWAT Kats are back!"

The Turbokat began to angle downwards for its attack run. Below was the top of the Megakat Tower. The spore pod was ridiculously huge, covering half the rooftop. It pulsed fast, ready to erupt. Pursuing Flyers whipped in from all sides, spitting goo, following the Turbokat.

Razor looked anxiiously at the roof. "T-Bone!" he yelled into his helmet communicator. "Go for the big air conditioning hutch on the roof. We can frost the whole tower from there!"

The air conditioning hutch was one of the only things on the roof not covering by the expanding mass of the pod. It loomed in the center of T_Bone's sights. The spore pod began to erupt! "Right on target!" shouted T-Bone. "It's now or never!"

Razor attached a magnetic explosive detonator to the canister with a clang. A ten second digital countdown began. "Detonator activated!" he yelled. "T-minus eight seconds!"

He pulled the release pin on the bomb cable and jumped upwards towards the Turbokat's belly doors. The freeze bomb dropped toward the tower below and Razor scrambled up into the jet! The falling canister picked up speed. A whistling noise accompanied its descent.

Dr. Viper looked up at the approaching weapon. "Yaaaa!" he screamed, startled.

He dove out of the way. Kaboom! The missile smashed into the roof substructure and the air conditioning hutch and lodged there for a moment. The Turbokat pulled up just as the N2 canister exploded! A shock wave of sub-zero temperature fanned out from the blast, catching the pursuing Flyers in its wake! They froze solid in an instant!

Viper watched as the air conditioning hut exploded in a second shower of snow and ice. Wham!! The Plantimals on the roof frozen in place. Viper himself was cover by an obscuring cloud of frost. The blizzard roared down through the air conditioning ducts and exploded into several plant-covered passages, freezing greenery in its wake. The elevator shaft, the neo-classical legal office, the southwestern reception area, the various viney corridors, the tower lobby, the sub-basement and finally...

"Get clear!" yelled Feral, frantically leading his squad safely away from the viney wall around the base of the building in the plaza. "On the double!"

Whoosh! An explosion of ice and snow frosted the barrier of thorny plants as well as the Behemoth Plantimal. Krrrrak! The vones began to shatter and fall in a wave, top to bottom, leaving an uncovered but pretty damaged building in their wake. The barrier around the entrance shattered, collapsing in a shower of frozen pieces. After a moment, the Behemoth itself shattered with an unearthly roar!

Back in the Turbokat, the SWAT Kats celebrated. "All riiight!" said T-Bone. "You DID it!"

"Nope..." said Callie. "You BOTH did it!"

"That's right, buddy," agreed Razor happily, "we're a team!"

"Okay, okay, I copy!" said T-Bone with a laugh. "Let's get you on the ground, Callie."

"Good idea," she said, "I think the Mayor is going to need sedation."

Later, the Turbokat had set down in the rear plaza behind the building. The SWAT Kats were sitting in the jet with the canopy open, talking to Callie. "Thanks, boys," she said, "it was fun. We have to do it again sometime!"

"Riiiiight!" said Razor, laughing. "Take care, Ms. Briggs!"

"Seeya, Callie," said T-Bone. "We have to get back." He grinned. "Razor has to water his plants!"

"Oooh no!" said Razor. "I'm through with gardening. I'm gonna turn in my green thumb for goo..." He was cut off by the slamming canopy.

Callie was buffeted by the strong VTOL liftoff. She looked up at the jet as it switched over from hover to jet mode, built speed and rushed off.

~*~

A short time later, Mayor Manx's limo pulled up to the plaza curb. Manx got out and addressed his guests, his back to the tower. Behind him, the Siamese kats could see the substantially damaged building. The courtyard was littered with plant parts and melted Enforcer tanks. It looked like a total loss. "Excellent game, Mr. Young," he said.

"Thank you, Mayor Manx," responded Mr. Young tactfully, looking past him at the destroyed skyscraper. His two associates were agape. "It was our pleasure playing with you."

"And MY pleasure doing business with YOU!" Manx continued. He still hadn't turned around. "Yes sir!" he enthused. "I know you'll be happy here at Megakat Tower!"

He suddenly noticed that they were looking past him.

"What is it?" he asked.

Young simply pointed.Manx turned.

"Is something wr..." He froze in horror mid-word. "Oh, heh, heh, heh," he laughed nervously, starting to talk FAST. "Don't worry," he assured them, babbling, "we're... um... remodeling! Some new carpets, a fresh coat of paint, it'll be good as new."

The End.