Kat in a Strange Land 2:
Changing Perspective

by Fur and Fantasy
R for Sexy M/M Talk
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

Jake groaned softly as he tried to make to universe stop spinning.

Chance smiled and gently brushed the Kat's hair back. "How 'ya feelin, bud?" He asked quietly enough so as not to add to any headache.

"Like I lost an argument with Zed." The lean Kat mumbled. "What gives?"

"Beats me. I'm not entirely sure how we got to this planet. That doesn't even go into you turning into a shekat, and now you're not, which I think is a good thing. Then there were these three Kats, and a Kat-like bird of fire, and two of them disappeared and the third, a real looker of a Lioness, left with a very nicely built Tigress. Justin's outside exploring, and there's this other Kat here." He gestured to the other Golden tom. "Whose name I forget, but it's been that kind of day." He said apologetically.

"For us all ..." Jake blinked, than pushed his upper body up to hug the tabby tightly. "Chance! Gods, you're alive." He buried his face in the tabby's neck. "You're alive."

"Yeah, Justin's friend Piper rescued me." He said as he hugged the lean tom close. "I've missed you, Jake. Missed you more than anyone knows, 'cept maybe Merina and Justin."

Jake only nodded against the tabby's shoulder weakly as his body gave out on sitting up. "Stay with me." He whispered weakly. "Please stay."

Chance held the lean tom. "Of course I'm staying, where would I go?" He said, as he gave Jake a gentle nuzzle. He picked up a small glass of orange liquid from a table by the bed. "Try sipping this it'll help you regain your strength, at least that's what the doctor said." He said gently.

With a very weak nodded the lean tom complied as the other Golden knelt on the bed opposite him to nuzzled against Jake's back. {"Relax, Lord. Let my strength support yours."}

A very soft sigh escaped the cinnamon tom after he downed most of the drink without tasting it. "Godda rest." He mumbled incoherently even as his body slumped into unconsciousness in the Golden's arms.

"Whatever the orange stuff was, it must have had a sedative in it ... he hates sleeping." Chance chuckled quietly, gently brushing the Kat's hair back. "You have any idea who all those people were?" He asked the other Golden.

"The firebird was Phoenix, Bastet's mate and father of the Spirit that changed Jake's form. The Lioness is another of Bastet's children, Felsira the Healer." The Kat said quietly as he settled Jake under the covers again and snuggled in on one side. "I didn't recognize the other two, but they are clearly Felsira's mates."

Chance noticed that the bed was large enough for the three of them, and snuggled next to Jake on the other side. "Lot of power in one room. Sounded like they decided Jake wasn't going to be Queen after all." He said quietly. "Don't know about anybody else, but I like this outcome better."

"Jake was fighting it." The Golden shrugged. "It's better she be born in her body anyway."

"Yeah, he can be pretty stubborn." Chance said affectionately.

"Most Warriors are."

About midmorning and after breakfast, Chance nuzzled Jake who was still lying in bed. "Jake, why don't you try lying out in one of the lounge chairs on the deck? The weather's great, and staying inside all day just isn't healthy." He fussed affectionately.

A decidedly uncooperative grumble greeted the statement as Jake rolled over and curled a little tighter.

"Don't be like that, Jake." The tabby kissed him gently. "It's sunny, warm and there's a nice breeze. And there isn't a trace of smog." He chuckled. "Just how long are you planning to stay in bed anyway?" He asked with a note of concern.

"Forever." The lean Kat growled. "Everything screws up otherwise."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Chance growled lightly in confusion. "The universe screws up quite happily on its own whether you're in bed or not."

"Everything I do makes things worse." He muttered. "I do nothing, it can't."

"That's nonsense." Chance said sitting next to the lean tom. "Look what SWAT accomplished back home, couldn't have done that without you. That made things better for a lot of people." Chance said encouragingly. "So what's eating you, bud?" The big tabby said in a very serious, concerned tone of voice.

Jake sat up, the mixture of anger and despair in his posture, scent and eyes giving him a very psychotic look and almost overcoming the weakness still in his limbs. "Since you disappeared ... I jumped into the portal after you. Missed you by seconds and ten something years. That ... Bastet, that's just a confusing mess. I didn't make one right decision without you around. Not one." He looked down, the fire reseeding. "It wasn't that you were gone ... not really. You know how they say confidence is the easiest thing to loose and the hardest to regain? I haven't trusted myself for days. Seems like a lifetime."

"Jake, everybody makes mistakes. You had a few bad days, probably less than a week. It happens to everybody, at least your wrong decision didn't get anybody killed." The tabby said quietly.

The lean Kat shuddered at that and fell utterly silent.

Chance sighed deeply and was silent for long minutes. "Jake, we can't change the past, what happened." He said quietly. "But we've got the present and the future to deal with. I've got a son to raise, and from what people say by the end of the year you'll be a father. All we can do is the best we can, but just cause we made mistakes doesn't mean we should simply stop trying."

"You didn't just betray everything you fought for ten years preventing." Jake whispered before rolling out of bed. "I don't suppose there are any clothes I can wear?"

"Right here." He said handing Jake his clothes. "I'm not sure I understand, Jake." He said quietly confused. "But you don't have to explain, unless you want to."

"I'm not sure I can." He said quietly as he dressed. "I lost ... control ... I killed out of ignorance and ... I don't even know what. It felt right." He shuddered as his stomach tried to turn inside out. "I ... murdered a Kat. I don't even know why."

Chance looked a little shocked. "There must have been some reason, Jake. Something that made it necessary." He added, trying to accept without judging. "You sure it was you, and not that spirit whatsit you were carrying around? It seemed pretty violent."

"I don't know. Seemed like me." Jake hugged himself tightly. "But nothing's been right since I woke up on that Bastet-forsaken planet."

Chance put his arms around Jake. "That was a very twisted version of Aristal, Jake." He said quietly. "And you're right nothing seemed right there. One of the priests told me that the planet was sick, and getting worse. I still don't quite understand what he meant, but nothing ever seemed quite right. There were still good people though, even if they were hard to find. Maybe that spirit was reacting to something about the planet, and its reaction affected you." Chance suggested.

"Maybe," the smaller Kat shuddered and pressed against his mate, almost visibly soaking in the warmth and support there. "It seemed so natural right then. Now it's like watching some twisted movie."

"That definitely makes it sound like the spirit was influencing you when it happened." Chance said, as he held Jake close and stroked the back of the Kat's head. "Maybe some sun and fresh air will make you feel better. After that twisted world, this one's a great improvement." He said encouragingly.

"Yeah, maybe." He took a deep breath of his mate's scent before pulling away gently to get the rest of the way dressed. "I don't even want to think of one that's worse." He paused and tried to smile. "Tell me about our son?"

"Justin?" The big tabby smiled. "He's smart, more like his mother than me there." He grinned.

"You are smart," Jake smirked. "You just hang out around geniuses."

"He's really easygoing, gets along with just about everybody even if he is real competitive. He's a natural pilot; I saw that when we went up in some of the gliders they keep at Avalon. He hasn't said much, but I'm sure he still misses his mother, I know I do." He said very quietly.

Jake turned to hug his partner supportively. "I never want to replace her, but I hope I can make a good second parent for him."

"Thanks, Jake." Chance said with a slight smile. "I kind of hoped you would." He hesitated for a moment. "Did something happen between you and Piper? 'Cause Justin asked me if you were normally that mean. I wasn't sure what he was talking about." The tabby asked uncertainly. "I think he likes you just the same, he's just a bit concerned."

"A lot happened," he sighed. "Most of it related to the Queen's Soul, that thing that possessed me. Most of it's not very clear, the longer I was there, the less ... clear ... things are."

"I didn't think it sounded like you." Chance said relieved. "Even on your grouchy days you're better than that with kits. Speaking of which there's even a kit here for Justin to play with. Well, he's not quite five, but you'd never know it from talking to him." Chance smiled.

"So that's what they got all defensive about when I appeared." He shook his head and chuckled. "Kats, I hope I didn't leave too bad an impression on them."

"Felsira made it quite clear that you weren't really in control when you appeared, and that it wouldn't be fair to hold that against you. I think they're curious mostly, well that and attracted. One of them asked me if I was willing to share." The big tabby chuckled and shook his head.

"Oh?" Jake raised an eyebrow. "Which one?"

Chance smiled. "His name's Blitz, a Lynx Xanith I'd say, though I guess Felsin is the correct species name. He's around my height and build, and he's their lead Recon person, also handles Communications."

"A Lynx?" Jake chuckled. "I don't think I've actually had one of those." He smirked before patting his mate on the back. "Okay, let's see the sun. Do they have a pilot here for you to play tag with?"

Chance grinned. "Two of them actually, though the one is just filling in until they get another dedicated pilot." He chuckled as he led Jake outside. From the porch of the main building there was a wide grass lawn, which stretched down to the edge of the large lake. A White Tiger warform, Tiger Warform and a Black Lion warform were lazing around under the trees. Ebon and Nareena were cuddling in the shade of another tree, while a Lion kept an eye on Justin and a smaller Tiger kit who were lying in the grass playing chess.

Further out in the lake, a fast moving boat could be seen darting about playfully.

"At least they've got tech." Jake suddenly got a mischievous grin on his face. "Have you showed off for them yet?"

"Not yet, I didn't want to leave you alone that long." He said quietly. "Rifleman did offer though, he's gunner on team two."

"Actually, I was thinking a little speedboat racing." Jake nodded at the lake. "I haven't gotten the chance to water ski in ages."

Chance chuckled. "Racing with you skiing along behind? That sounds like fun." He grinned. "Looks like nobody's using the second boat right now." He pointed at the dock, where the sleek boat was tied up.

"Who's leader around here?" Jake abruptly asked, scanning the group as his gaze settled on the big Panther.

"Ebon SwiftClaw, the big Panther cuddling with the flame red Tigress under that tree." He said with a nod. "Her you should remember." He grinned.

The smaller Kat paused, worrying his lip for a while. "I think I slept with her. Nareena?"

Chance looked at him in disbelief, not convinced the Kat was kidding. "Um, Jake ... you sired kittens on her." He said quietly. "You're going to be a father."

"Oh, Kats I was out of it." He shook his head, not completely stunned by the revelation. "She's a pretty one too." Then shot an unnerved look at his partner. "She was willing ... right?"

"Jake, we wouldn't be having this discussion if she wasn't. Ebon and his eight siblings are rather protective of her. You're good, but not that good." He chuckled. "She thinks you're rather handsome."

"Good," a huge knot of tension left the small tom. "A thanks to Ebon for taking us in, then play on the water?"

Chance smiled. "Sounds good to me, buddy."

"Ebon, Nareena." Jake waved at the pair as they walked up.

"Jake, Chance nice to see you both out and around. I take it you're feeling better Jake?" The Tigress asked with a warm smile.

"Yes," he nodded. "Still a little weird, but better."

"Hi, guys." The Panther said with a lazy wave. "Done any looking around yet, Jake? I think you'll like it. I know your mate does."

"So far the lake looks like fun." He smiled. "I wanted to thank you for taking us in, especially with the less than stellar first impression I understand I gave."

Ebon smiled. "You're quite welcome. We've all been at the mercy of forces bigger than ourselves, so we understand." He said sincerely.

"Do you know what water-skiing is?" Jake asked hopefully.

"I do." The big orange on black tiger said. "Name's Rifleman." He said offering his hand to Jake. "Made up some skis a while back too."

"I was hoping for that. A little adrenaline to clean out the system." He chuckled and accepted the handshake. "With a name like that, would I be wrong to guess you're good at shooting things?"

"Not at all. I'm the gunner for air team two, and NightBlade Sniper among other things. But sports are my hobby, just about any sport actually." He smiled as they walked down to the lake.

"Maybe we can trade tips. I'm a good shot myself, though I've had a lot more practice as a gunner than snippier."

"Maybe we can at that, I'm only really doing gunner duty till we get a dedicated gunner for our second jet. I'm almost too much a sniper to be a gunner." He grinned, as he opened a cleverly concealed ground cache and removed a pair of carefully crafted water skis, and towrope.

"Oh-ra." Jake grinned as they set up for the tow. "It has been far too long."

Chance grinned as he checked out the controls of the speedboat. "Nice boat, put some weapons on board and she'd really kick tail."

Rifleman smiled. "If this was anything but an enclosed lake, we probably would have by now."

"Save the weapons for the new TurboKat, buddy." Jake grinned savagely. "Now let's see how well you drive on water."

"So you build too, huh?" Rifleman said as Chance started up the engine and accelerated smoothly, but quickly. Jake only had time to nod before he was off, leaving a high, white line of spray as he maneuvered.

"What do you think of them?" Blitz asked as Rifleman joined Ebon and Nareena watching the show.

"First instinct, I like them." Ebon said in his deep, quiet voice. "They could fit in here quite well, if they want to."

Rifleman nodded. "If they were going to join us, we'd have our second air team. Chance is a pilot, and Jake's a gunner, and they're used to working together. But they need time to decide what they're going to do next."

"I expect they'll stay for a while for the new kit at least." Nareena commented. "Jake's trying to absorb the concept of being a father, but he's already adopted Justin in his head. Chance and Justin are both fairly content to stay for a while."

Ebon nodded. "Agreed, of course they may not be able to get back to where they came from. The power that brought them here, may not be available for awhile."

Nareena smiled and cupped her flat belly. "Yes, long enough for them to get settled here."

"So has anybody really talked to that other Kat, the one who kind of looks like Jake?" Rifleman asked curiously.

"His name is Tafri." Nareena answered. "He's very ... blank ... for lack of a better description. He has instincts, many of them look cultural, and he has a serious interest in the kits and Jake. He seems to have focused his entire existence on the part of the Soul he had. Now that it's gone, there's not much left."

"Man, that's sad." Rifleman shook his head. "Are these instincts enough to keep him alive, if you can call it living? Or are we going to need to keep a close eye on him?"

"He seems to be quite functional on that level." She considered quietly. "He reminds me of what I understand adult createds are like if they don't get all their programming." She looked up at them. "I believe he's capable of becoming a full, happy, normal adult. I've sensed nothing stopping it; he just doesn't have the understanding of what to do with himself. We should interact with him, encourage him to 'grow up' and find something to focus on. Think of him as a created fresh from the growth tubes."

Rifleman nodded. "I guess between the lot of us we can handle one non-programmed created. Where is he, anyway?" The Tiger asked.

"In the nursery." She chuckled. "He's rather obsessive that everything be perfect for the new kit."

"Gives him plenty of time." Ebon chuckled. "So what's his idea of perfect so far?"

"Everything made by magic, lots of crystals and crystal sculpture ... extremely astatically pleasing as far as I'm concerned." She smiled. "He's really quite the contradiction at times."

"Everything made by magic?" Cazi said as he walked up. "So he has a fair amount of magical talent then?" The Lion asked curiously.

"Of a sort." She shook her head. "It's not like any magic I've encountered. Not that that's too surprising."

"So does he create the crystal out of nothing, or what?" The Lion asked intensely curious.

"I'm not sure," she chuckled. "Magic isn't exactly my strong suit. Why don't you ask him? It's as good as anything to interest him in a life."

Cazi smiled. "I'll go talk to our somewhat strange guest, so you and Ebon keep an eye on Nathan. Justin is good company for him though, there on a very similar level mentally even if Nathan is half his age." He said with a smile, as he headed for the nursery in the main building.

Ebon smiled as the Lion walked off. "That should prove interesting." He chuckled.

"Bets on who gets more ideas from it." She chuckled softly.

"That's one way to see that Tafri gets a sense of humor." Rifleman chuckled over his shoulder, while watching Chance and Jake dart around the lake at high speed, a well choreographed team even without the silent communication the NightBlades enjoyed.

Cazi walked into an airy room, much larger on the inside than out. The dominant feeling was of open space, peace and power ... a great deal of power. All around were shades of white, blue and silver, though every shade of the rainbow was incorporated seamlessly. Tafri was standing near a far window, focused entirely on growing and shaping a smooth crystalline spiral with magic.

He opened his magic sense to take in what was happening, to 'feel' how the magic was flowing. He just passed off the fact that the room was violating the laws of reality; it was probably some sort of dimensional portal worked into the door. He blinked as 'different' took on a whole new meaning. The magic flow came both from Tafri, and from an exterior source that was both his, and not his. The only sure thing about it was it was extremely powerful, and not easily accessible.

Cazi wasn't sure which disturbed him more; the amount of power, or the fact that it was being wielded by person with a weak sense of self, even if he was clearly able to focus on the results he wanted. He continued watching, though he moved so that Tafri could see him, and kept quiet for the time being.

As the short, lean cinnamon-golden tom finished adding swirling tints of color to his latest sculpture he turned to the heavily built Lion his height with a smile. "Hello. You're Cazi, correct?"

Cazi smiled. "Yes. That's a very beautiful sculpture that you made. You're quite the artist, Tafri. Though as a mage, I'm fascinated by how you created it."

"Thank you." He smiled with a glance at his creation, standing three times higher than either feline and glittering in the sunlight shining through the window. "I just focus on the desired result. The power coalesces into it between my hands."

Cazi looked honestly impressed. "That's a very impressive Talent, Tafri." He said looking at the sculpture. "Is it only artistic, or can you apply it to more functional ends?" He asked curiously, and hoping to get the tom thinking that way.

"Well, I built the room and furnishings." He nodded at the beds, crib, shelves and various knick-knacks. "Decorations are easier, though. Easier to visualize."

He smiled approvingly. "Easier because you have solid artistic bent." He grinned. "Not something everyone can do, that kind of visualization." Cazi added admiringly. "So can you work in any material, as long as you can visualize it?"

"I assume so." Tafri looked around. "Crystal is easiest."

"That makes a certain amount of sense. Crystals have a very regular structure, and they do 'grow' after a fashion." He said smiling. "You might want to consider 'soft' things as well, kits tend to like soft things and that's what their mothers prefer around them." He said knowingly.

"Those are mostly for later, once the room itself is ready." He nodded with easy acceptance. "The Tapestry knows what She wants."

"Tapestry?" Cazi asked looking around for something like a woven mural or a large rug without success. "What Tapestry?" He asked curiously, since it sounded important in some fashion.

"The Golden Tapestry, what holds and ties all Goldens together." Tafri explained easily as he sat back to sit on a shimmer of power as he called a translucent illusion up. "It is a literal tapestry, weaving everything that happens to every Golden into a single Clan history and power base we all share."

"Fascinating." Cazi said quietly. "It's like the Dracon Oracles, well sort of. So that's where the power I couldn't quite figure out was coming from." He said with a smile.

The Kat nodded easily as he lounged back. "If you want to relax and talk, just sit down."

Cazi nodded and sat down as a similar energy chair formed for him. "So have you had a chance to look around yet?" He asked conversationally. "You've got quite a bit of time before the kit is born."

"I know where we eat and sleep, haven't checked anything else out yet." He said simply. "There isn't that much time. The room will take at least three or four weeks to finish."

Cazi smiled. "Kits take longer than three or four weeks, a lot longer." He smiled, knowing Felsira to be a stickler about such things. Nareena had once inquired if it was safe to speed the process up; the look on Felsira's face had been worth far more than a mere thousand words.

"Not a Queen, especially not now." He chuckled softly at the Lion's expression. "She should be ready to come out within a month and a half."

"Okay, what's so special about now?" Cazi said quietly, not wanting to get into an argument about basic biology, or Felsira's insistence on things being done in their proper order and time.

"We don't have a living Queen now." Tafri explained, his voice low and quiet. "So the Soul's full focus is on fixing that. It's in the Tapestry."

Cazi looked a little disturbed. "Conception to birth in six weeks? That can't be healthy. It's supposed to take eight months, give or take." He said being concerned for his mate's health under such stress.

"Little longer than for Goldens." He nodded acceptance of it. "That part isn't my concern. Just having Her space ready when She is."

"Well, it does vary from species to species." Cazi nodded. "The mother is Felsin, and the normal period for Felsin is about eight months." He nodded. "Like I said, you've got lots of time." He smiled.

"Goldens take six months." Tafri added before his eyes flickered out of focus for a second. "Is Felsira usually so ... heavy handed?"

"What do you mean, heavy handed?" Cazi asked curiously.

"She's undone the Queen work," he said, a bit confused. "The birth-time has changed, it's months away now."

Cazi nodded. "Felsira is a healer, and I know from conversations I heard that she doesn't believe accelerated birth to be good for mother or child. Which becomes significant because Felsira sees Nareena as her daughter in many ways. If she's being heavy handed it's in the way a mother is protective of her child." Cazi said reassuringly. "I expect the birth time was originally months away, and the Queen changed it, and now Felsira put it back where it was originally."

"A contest of powers," Tafri shook his head, more than a touch concerned. "Those never end well."

Cazi nodded. "Agreed, especially when you have siblings involved."

"Do you want to talk more, or watch me work?"

Cazi stood slowly. "As much as I'd love to watch, I do have work of my own that I should attend to. It's been a pleasure, and feel free to come out and relax with us. There is more than just work to life." He said with a warm smile, as he walked out.

As the wash of water, excitement of lack of real danger finally relaxed Jake's mind he made the arm single for Chance to pull them to a stop of the far side of the lake.

Chance slowly pulled to a stop at a large raft anchored in the far end of the lake, where he threw a rope around one of the anchor points on the raft to keep the boat from drifting. He then took the end of the towline and helped pull Jake back to the boat. "What's up?" He asked smiling happily.

"I wanted to talk." The smaller Kat smiled softly before pulling Chance into a deep, lingering kiss.

Chance put his arms around the lean tom and held him tight as the kiss became deeper and more passionate. "You should say that more often." He quipped as they broke for air.

"I'll try, partner." Jake promised sincerely. "Let's find a place to soak in the sun."

"There's this big raft here which is away from the shade, so we get lots of sun." He with a nod to the large wooden raft, the boat was anchored to. "Or we could go into shore, over there looks suitable." He said pointing at the shoreline. "Either works for me."

"On solid ground." Jake chuckled softly and leaned against the tabby.

Chance carefully unhooked the boat, and guided it slowly into shore, until the water was shallow enough to wade in. He then dropped the anchor, jumped out and waded to shore carrying a couple of large blankets he'd found in the supply locker of the speedboat. He laid the two towels out right next to each other so they made one really large towel, which he flopped down on just in time for Jake to pounce on him for another kiss.

"As much as I missed you, I can't imagine what a decade must have been like." He murmured as he slid to one side and snuggled against the larger Kat.

"Long." Chance said softly as he held the smaller Kat close. "If it hadn't been for Merina and Justin, I don't know how I would've handled missing you for that long. Still hard to believe there was such a difference." He shook his head. "But we're together again, that's what matters."

"Yeah," he whispered. "So what do you think of this place?"

"This reminds me of Avalon where Merina and I lived up until last year. It's comfortable, feels more like a home then maybe anywhere except Avalon." He said with a distant look in his eyes. "But what's amazing is the people. They're a tight knit group, more a family than a unit. But despite that they've made it clear that we're welcome to stay. I like them, especially the Cheetah twins."

"Let me guess, they're the other pilot/ gunner team?" Jake chuckled as he rolled on his back to take in the sun, though he kept one hand touching his mate.

"Yeah, they're almost as good as us." He chuckled. "But what's amazing is that they're like teenagers most of the time. The change between mission and downtime is like night and day. And Blaze is just frightening on a bike."

"Sounds like you a lot of the time." Jake chuckled. "Have you gotten a feel for the tech level? Where their jets are compared to the last TurboKat?"

"The tech level here I think is like what we've always had with SWAT only it's the average. Their jets are definitely ahead of the TurboKat in most areas, but you could do so much with them. There's potential in those jets they haven't touched yet. They don't have an all-around genius like you, though Cazi can probably give you a run for your money when it comes to computers, if half of what I heard is true." He said, nuzzling the tom gently.

"Computers never were my strongest field." Jake murred and leaned into the contact. "Do we have free reign on one of those jets?"

"I can ask. I wasn't sure at first what was happening, you were pretty badly out of it. I wasn't even sure you were going to be you when all was said and done." He said quietly. "I think that was the scariest thing I've ever felt."

"I almost wasn't." Jake admitted quietly. "I couldn't have held out for much longer, She already had my body. I'm glad whatever they did worked. I would have missed ... a lot."

"I know, I could feel the struggle and that's probably what was the worst. I knew you were in trouble, but there wasn't anything I could do. It's weird being able to hear things that aren't being said, though its not so bad now that Cazi's taught me how to um ... shield." The tabby shook his head. "He said with a little training I won't need a remote for the TV." He grinned.

"I feel sorry for the TV already." Jake chuckled, then looked at Chance seriously. "Just how much did you ... hear?"

"Bits and pieces, it was tough to sort it all out. Cazi says it takes practice. It's like standing in a crowd, but you can't focus on one conversation, you have to listen to them all at once."

"Sounds like a major headache." Jake rolled over and began to rub the tabby's temple as he looked down on the lounging Kat. "Not quiet how I figured we'd start a family."

"It was at first, especially with all those Powers present. You know that there were four, I guess you could call them 'gods', involved in putting you back together?" He said in mild amazement. "Another funny thing, Cazi thought that Justin was biologically both our kit." He said amusedly.

"Well, it's a good guess, given who showed up." Jake leaned forward to kiss him. "So you like being a father?"

The tabby held the kiss for awhile, before letting go with a smile. "Yeah, I do. He needs a brother though."

"Except for Nathan, he'll have a sister first." Jake grinned playfully. "However they do same sex breeding here, we can have some fun mimicking how the other three happened."

Chance chuckled. "Might be tough to mimic how Nathan happened. He's got three parents, if you can believe that." He grinned. "But the other two are easy enough, only two parents. We just don't need a female for it to work."

"All the better." Jake purred. "They're in scarce supply around here."

Chance chuckled. "Yeah, you've been with the only one here in camp, though we're not on an uninhabited planet. Actually, from what I read we're on the Felsin homeworld. Doesn't matter to me though, I'm happy with the mate I have." He said, as he nuzzled the lean tom affectionately.

"I'm glad we're back together." Jake murmured as he settled against the tabby. "Once again, the SWAT Kats survive." He chuckled, shaking his head in bemusement.

Chance chuckled as he put his arms around Jake. "I'm beginning to think the universe won't have it any other way." He said giving the lean tom a gentle kiss.

"I hope it stays that way a long time." He whispered as he snuggled close.

Nareena tensed for a moment, then relaxed on the master bed with her mates. "Phoenix is coming back."

Ebon nodded as he sensed the approached a few seconds later. "That was expected, I believe."

"Noisy, isn't he." The small Lion said, reclining on the bed. "Half the psi-aware on the planet probably just got a wake-up call."

"A force of destructive recreation is not designed to be quiet." Phoenix's deep voice chuckled. "This is quiet for me."

"Hiya Phoenix." Cazi said casually. "Back so soon?"

Ebon looked at Cazi, shook his head and then turned back to Phoenix. "Is this just a routine visit, if there is such a thing, or is something amiss?" The Panther asked politely.

"Just coming back from talking to StarFire." The firebird inclined his head. "I don't intend to be anywhere else until my daughter is well grown."

"Guess it's to be expected that one or both of the parents would be present." Ebon said calmly, as though nothing unusual had happened.

"Yes." Phoenix said quietly, not hiding his pain well.

"I think this piece of real estate has the most divinities of any location in the Alliance. With the Triad hovering about, and now Phoenix." Cazi quipped, trying to cover the fact that that much power made him a little nervous.

"And the Golden Queen, even if she hasn't been born yet." Phoenix nodded at Nareena.

"Her too." Cazi shook his head, with a smile. "Well, I think I'm going out for some air and a swim." He said as he rolled off the bed, grabbed swim trunks and was out the door.

Ebon chuckled. "Well, doesn't change things as far as I'm concerned. Aside from my mate being pregnant that is, and we've been through that before." He grinned.

"Is there anywhere you would prefer I not wonder?" Phoenix asked Ebon respectfully.

Ebon smiled. "As long as you're not damaging anything there's nowhere that's going to be harmed by you seeing it. Though if you'd be careful around the electronics, it'd be much appreciated." He said politely. "How visible are you to technological sensors with all that power? This is supposed to be a concealed base." He asked a little concerned.

The firebird considered for a moment before focusing. It took a moment, but slowly the flames died down into rich brown feathers and the solid form of an Eagle Avar. "This shouldn't."

Ebon nodded. "Thank you, Phoenix. Since only Nareena, Cazi and myself are aware of who you really are, would you prefer that the rest not know? We've had 'short' term members before, so it wouldn't raise any real questions." He said evenly.

"I make no more secret of my presence here than you wish." The Eagle nodded. "I have no problem with them knowing. It is probably for the best if they do. I'm not particularly good with the hiding business, and I intend to be here until my daughter can stand on her own. It may be a few decades."

"As you wish, Phoenix." Ebon said agreeably. "This may seem a strange question but just how physical is that form? I've never really dealt with a Greater Power before." He said trying to figure out how a Greater Power fit into things.

"Umm, it's as real as yours if I did it right, though damaging it won't affect me much. If I can't fix the damage quickly, I'll simply revert to my natural form." The Eagle cocked his head. "Though I can, I don't require sleep, food or the like. Did you have specific questions? I'm about as familiar with physical bodies as you are with Greater Powers."

"Actually, I was trying to get an idea of how you'd be interacting with the rest of us. My inclination is to treat you as any other guest, and you can ignore whatever you don't really want. I don't know if Greater Powers interact socially or not, but you're certainly welcome." He said simply.

"Ah," Phoenix nodded. "Like mortals, it varies. I was planning on being social. I'll be here long enough to want a good diversion from the fact I'm staying put." He chuckled slightly.

Ebon nodded. "Good, that clears that up. I'll make the arrangements for quarters then." He smiled. "So, would you like to meet the rest of the team now?"

"If it's not interrupting anything," he nodded at the naked pair.

Ebon nodded and dressed casually. "Nothing that wasn't already interrupted." He grinned. "We'll get back to it later."

"I'm sure." He said with a touch of sadness.

Nareena looked at Phoenix. "What saddens you, Phoenix?" She said in a gentle voice, with a warm, compassionate smile.

"I haven't been able to touch my mate in over three millennia." He explained quietly. "No matter what they tell you about forever and immortals, it's a very long time to hear and not touch."

Nareena slipped into her clothes quickly. "I can't imagine what that must be like." She said putting a compassionate hand on the Avar's shoulder. "With all your power, you can't get to her?" She asked, somewhat amazed.

"Not even all our power can break the cell. It was designed to hold one of us." He shook his head. "The only reason we can even communicate is because of our mate-bond."

"Designed by who?" She said in disbelief. "Have you considered asking StarFire's assistance with your problem?"

"We don't know." He shook his head. "I don't remember who I've asked for help anymore."

"I wouldn't be surprised if you hadn't. From what Cazi says she's so quiet as Greater Powers go, that they often forget her, unless they stray into her territory. If you'd like I could have Cazi ask her for you, as one of her 'children' he has a little influence." She suggested quietly.

"I would appreciate that. Anything to have her free again." He dropped his beaked head alongside hers. "You remind me of her a great deal, Lady Nareena. Thank you."

"You're quite welcome, Phoenix. I think there will need to be some corrections made to Felsin beliefs. Ever since we left Origin, we've thought that She abandoned us. Though I'm sorry for your pain, I'm relieved to find out that that wasn't true." She said quietly.

"*Cazi, see what you can do about contacting StarFire. It seems someone or something is keeping Bastet prisoner, and two Greater Powers aren't enough to get her free. Perhaps with StarFire's help they can.*"

"*I'll do what I can. It isn't easy for me to reach Grandmother over these distances.*" The Lion thought back quietly.

"Now why don't we show you around?" She said, hooking her arm under Phoenix's. "If you're going to be here for decades you should get to know it." She said warmly.

"That sounds good." He smiled down at her. "I'm glad you're our daughter's mother. She'll need all the patient and healing nature available with me by myself." He half chuckled and pulled her close for a sideways hug. "It's been a long time since anyone hasn't either run in terror from me, or reprimanded me for my temper."

Nareena accepted the hug with a smile. "So far your temper hasn't needed reprimanded, and somehow I don't think I have anything to fear from you." She said with a smile as she led him outside. "I think I actually feel safer with you here. Somehow I think even if the Shadow Government figured out where we are, they'd be in over their head if they attacked."

Phoenix snorted as they entered the bright sunlight. "That's an understatement if there ever was one."

Nareena smiled. "Just remember to keep the environmental damage down, we rather like the valley the way it is." She teased. "So would you like to meet the kits, since they will be your daughters siblings effectively?"

"I can fix the valley if I have to." He shook his head ruefully. "Yes, that sounds good."

"Yes, I forget you're creation and destruction." She said wryly

"More correctly creation through destruction." He said. "I'm a Power of Rebirth." As they walked over to one side where the Justin and Nathan were lying down facing each other across a chessboard. There was an intense look of concentration on both their faces.

"Hi Mom." Nathan said without looking away from the board. "Who's the Eagle?"

Justin turned to look over his shoulder. "Hi, Ms. Nareena." He said very politely.

"If you two can spare a moment from the game, I'd like to introduce you to Phoenix, he's your sister's father." She said hoping that came out right.

Nathan looked up from the board. "So she's got two mothers and two fathers?" He asked looking at Phoenix. "Phoenix, as in Earth Mythology, the legendary firebird that's reborn from its own ashes?" He asked completely serious.

"Technically, that one is my daughter Terrila, but it is inherent in the line." He nodded. "She's the one that was on Earth at the time."

Justin looked incredulous. "Two mothers and two fathers? Come on, Nate, you're pulling my leg. Everybody knows biology doesn't work like that."

"I got two fathers, and one mother."



"Technology and magic are both effective ways." Phoenix chuckled. "And with some species, it's normal."

Nareena nodded. "And sometimes, it's just preferred." She smiled, and looked around to see who had kit watch duty. She smiled when spotted the twins lounging nearby, taking turns watching. The two came wandering over when she nodded to them.

"Hi, 'Reena." The two said in unison, with a quirky smile.

"Hi, guys." She said with a fond smile for the 'youngest' of the NightBlades. "Maxwell, Blaze this is Phoenix. He's one of my daughter's fathers, and he'll be staying here." She said simply.

"Welcome, Phoenix." Maxwell said offering his hand, while Blaze simply offered his hand.

"Thank you." The Avin tweaked the muscles at the base of his beak into a smile as he shook their hands.

"Doing the rounds, 'Reena?" Blaze asked casually.

Nareena smiled. "Of course, since Phoenix will be staying while our daughter grows up, he should be introduced to everyone." She said easily.

"Well, I think the rest are trying out Marksman's latest interest, volleyball."

Nareena nodded. "Thanks, Blaze." She then turned to Phoenix. "That makes meeting the rest easy, they'll be down near the lake." She said leading the way.

"Would they be ... uneasy ... if I wish to join the game?" He asked cautiously. "I won't use my powers to cheat."

"Actually, I think they'd find it reassuring if you wanted to join, it makes you less a distant, uninterested Power, and more approachable." She said, trying to find a good explanation. "However, if you're going to play, you might want a little power. They play their sports in war-form, the average Avar would get broken pretty badly. Not deliberately mind you, but they're use to playing with combat optimized war-forms who can take a lot of abuse." She said as a white spherical projectile about a foot across flew past them at high speed. "You have no idea how much work it took to make sure they understood that infants are somewhat fragile. Thank Felsira, for eight months of pregnancy." She shook her head, as they came within sight of the open field which had a net stretched across a section. Ebon, Blitz and Corwin were on one side, while Arsham, Mason and Jackson were on the other. Marksman was standing in the middle, apparently refereeing.

"I understand." He nodded with an Eagle's smile as he took in the scene. "I meant I wouldn't use my powers to an unfair advantage."

Nareena smiled. "Okay, I just didn't want you to put yourself at a disadvantage." She said as the NightBlades came off the field to meet them.

"Hi, guys." She smiled. "This is Phoenix. Phoenix, the ones you haven't met are Rifleman, Arsham, Mason, Blitz, Jackson, and Corwin." She said indicating each in turn. "Guys, Phoenix would like to join in, if that isn't a problem."

Rifleman grinned broadly. "Not a problem, if you'll referee, 'Reena. Means I get to play." He said happily.

There was a little uncertainty from the others, before Blitz spoke up. "Hey, this is great. Now we have even numbers for team sports." The Lynx's enthusiasm was picked up by the rest of the team.

Ebon looked at Phoenix and smiled. "Well, I guess we'll put you on my team, and Rifleman on the opposite side." He said as though it was completely normal.

The great Eagle nodded and glanced around. "Which team am I on?" He looked at Ebon.

"Over here with me, Phoenix." He said with a smile as the two teams went to opposite sides of the net. "Basic idea of the game is to keep the ball." He said indicating the projectile as Cazi tossed it to him. "From landing on the ground on our court." He indicated the marked off square area. "And then returning it to land in their court in such a way that they can't stop it. From a strategy sense, it's often better to set up the ball so a team mate can drive it back, rather than attempting to stop and return the ball at once."

Ebon stopped. "Any questions?"

"I don't think so." He ran a calculating look around the court and teams. "This should be interesting."

Ebon smiled. "It usually is." He said as Rifleman delivered a blistering serve into their court.

"Chance ... have you thought much about going ... back to MegaKat City?" Jake asked quietly as they soaked in the warm sun, absently watching the high-spirited game on the far side of the lake.

"Only because you were there." He said easily. "Aside from that not really. I had Merina and Justin, and I couldn't think of a good reason to move them from Avalon. This is a better place for a kit to grow up, away from the crime and corruption." He sighed.

"Why'd you fight so hard for it then?" He looked at Chance curiously.

"'Cause it's all I knew. Besides, I wasn't a father then." He said quietly. "I have to do what's best for Justin. Being a father, changes things."

Jake sank silently against the tabby's side. "Was it something you wanted?"

"I never thought about it before. Too much the bachelor." He said quietly. "Then I was here, and alone. I fell in love with Merina, and well one thing led to another. I just didn't know her species didn't have a visible heat. It may not have been planned, but that doesn't matter." He said with a sigh. "I can't imagine life without him."

"What was she like?" Jake tried to relax and accept his new life.

"She was warm, and loving, and at the same time she was every inch the warrior. She was an almost silver-gray with sable black stripes, at least in her Kat form she was, and she was a beautiful mix of feminine and warrior." He said, as he tried to put into words something he'd always just felt. "She was the second great love in my life, and gods do I miss her." He said quietly. "I'm just glad we're back together. Having my first love back, makes losing the second bearable."

"And if you could have her back?" He prompted cautiously.

"Then things would be perfect because I'd have both of you here. That's really the only way things could get better." He said without hesitation.

"Maybe we'll get a little payback for all the good we've done." Jake smiled slightly as his eyes drifted closed.


"Up for playing with that jet they're giving us?" Jake chuckled softly after a moment.

Chance smiled. "Sounds like fun to me. They're hangared on the other side of the lake, in a concealed hangar in the cliff wall."

A lynx came bounding up the hillside to where Chance was sitting, and stopped. He shifted into the tightly muscular Lynx Felsin who was about the same height as the tabby. He was wearing running shorts and a loose Tygrenor Academy T-shirt, with his long brown hair in a loose ponytail.

"Hiya, Chance. Where's your cute friend?" He said with a big smirk.

"Playing with our jet." Chance grinned. "What's up?"

"Dinner, are you guys coming down?"

"Come on, I may need help disentangling him from his new toy." He said as he walked back into the hanger. "Hey, Jake!" He bellowed to get the Kat's attention, knowing that subtlety was useless when Jake got into something.

"What?" Jake called out absently from inside the fuselage of one of the aircraft.

"Time for a dinner break." Chance said as he walked over and looked inside the fuselage to find his partner hip-deep in wiring and disconnected parts.

"Not hungry." Jake gave his usual reply without even looking up.

"Yeah, Yeah. Heard that before, and you're always hungry enough when you get to the food." He shook his head. "Blitz, could you give me a hand? Somebody's going to be difficult."

Blitz walked up. "Sounds like Cazi when he's trying to hack a new target." He said grinning. "Do you often carry your mate to dinner?"

"Only as necessary." He chuckled softly. "Though it's been a long time." He said very quietly.

"Oh gods, went and put my foot in that one." The Lynx said apologetically.

Jake looked up between the two of them and sighed. "All right, all right, you win." He shook his head with a bemused snort as he disentangled himself. Then a dangerously playful look crossed his face as he jumped on Chance to hug his arms around the bigger Kat's neck, trusting the other Kat's reflexes to catch him. "You're still carrying me though." He smirked. "I have a rep to rebuild."

Chance smirked back and obligingly picked the Kat up easily.

"What rep would that be?" The Lynx asked curiously, as he watched the two.

"Oh, that I'm the difficult, high maintenance genius type." Jake chuckled as he went to work seeing if he could make Chance forget how to walk.

The tabby chuckled and did a very admirable job of walking despite Jake's attentions. Blitz simply walked alongside smiling. "Like we'd notice another difficult type around here." He smirked. "Actually, we wouldn't 'cause we're all really laid back, at least here at home."

"You noticed Cazi enough to comment." Jake smirked before going back to nuzzling his mate, slowly kiss-licking his way up the tabby's jaw. "So what does it feel like to be the shortest one 'side's me?" He whispered in Chance's ear.

"Well, Caz isn't that difficult." The Lynx chuckled. "He just gets overly focused at times. Ebon can usually get his attention though." He smirked.

Chance chuckled. "Cazi's shorter than me too." He whispered back. "It's a bit weird though. Especially, considering how big the alternate forms are."

"Like any of them?" Jake rumbled hotly.

Chance chuckled. "I hadn't really been paying attention." He grinned sheepishly. "Guess I had other things on my mind."

"I have this little picture in my head ... and it won't go away." He purred seductively. "You're all glistening and hard, dripping and begging for some attention. You shiver in anticipation as I guide you down, kissing along your spine. Then I slowly open you up, first with my tongue, then my fingers, all the time keeping you just short of coming.

"When you're all ready, panting and loose, I move along your side and settle on my back where you can see me, gradually stroking myself as a great pair of hands take your hips, steadying you as a tom big enough to cover you completely takes your scruff before thrusting in, filling your ass.

"I don't even have to touch myself to stay hard, but I love the look on your face as you watch me jerk off while you're being fucked. It doesn't take long before I know I won't last, so I offer it to you, however you want me."

Chance rumbled deep his chest, more than a little turned on. "That's one hot fantasy, Jake." He said appreciatively.

"There are more where that came from." The lean Kat promised lustfully.

"Maybe after lunch." He smirked.

"And then maybe work on an advanced one." Jake crooned before claiming a passionate kiss.

"And here I thought Cazi and I had the dirtiest minds on base, I can see we have competition." Blitz chuckled appreciatively as he walked along side. "You're certainly in the right place for such a fantasy."

"And you have sharp ears." Jake looked over with a mixture of astonishment and fresh appraisal.

Blitz smiled. "I'm Communications Officer among other things." He smirked. "Sharp ears are essential if you're going to find that one channel out of hundreds when the comm sorter is off-line."

"I bet." Jake chuckled. "Do any females come around much, besides Nareena?"

"There was a King Cheetah fem who used to work with us, but she kind of vanished. Mostly if we want female company, we go into one of the cities. Not that we usually do, we're all pretty solidly hooked on toms. Except for Cazi that is, he doesn't seem to care too much."

Jake squirmed to get set on his feet. "Are Kat-like phenotypes very common, or is everyone like you guys?"

Chance kissed the lean tom before setting him down.

"Feline-morphs are like us, though Kat is not unknown. From what I remember of ancient history, the Felsin were Kats in the distant past. But given the number of aliens in the major cities, some non-standard feline types won't even be noticed."

"Cool." Jake nodded as they entered the mess hall, which was an assembly of multiple tables in a large room, with the Tyrfan moving agilely between them delivering meals. Justin waved to his father from where he was sitting next to Nathan. The two of them were sitting with Nathan's parents at a table created by pushing to smaller tables together.

Blitz smiled. "Three open spots, I think we're expected." He smiled noting that there were open spots with the other groups.

"Works for me." Jake nodded at his new family.

Chance gave his son a hug as he sat down next to him and gently nudged Jake into the seat next to him. Blitz sat down across the table from Jake. As they sat, the Tyrfan came out expertly setting down large plates with a rich smelling meat and pasta dish, along with large mugs of milk.

Blitz smiled and shook his head. "One of the great secrets to our success, we have the most dedicated support staff." He grinned as he dug into his food.

"No doubt." Jake nodded appreciatively before digging into the meal. "The kind of time it must save."

"It's well beyond just time. They have an uncanny knack for extending supplies that reduces the amount of acquisition missions we need. We were lucky they chose to help us, though they claim they're paying back a debt." He said after a long drink.

"Why don't you just buy supplies?" Jake asked, both cautious and very curious.

"Partially, because we're maintaining a low profile. Trying to keep out of sight of enemies. The other reason is that our 'supply raids' hurt the enemy as much as they help us. It's also good practice for when we hit the serious targets." Ebon supplied from the end of the table.

Jake nodded, clearly thinking. "So who's the enemy?"

"The Shadow Government." Ebon said darkly. "Our former employer."

"Among other things." Blitz added.

"Such as?" Jake gently prodded.

"Employer is a polite way to put it, since we didn't have a choice for a long time. The Shadow Government created us to serve them, we just got tired of the arrangement." Ebon said easily. "We're showing them that their evil will not be tolerated, nor will their enslavement of sentient beings."

"And the regular government's stance on this?"

"Officially, the Shadow Government is banned, and a technical state of war exists. However, the politicians have not found it advantageous to do anything significant as of yet. We don't plan to see the SG get entrenched. We're also hoping to provoke them into some foolishness visible enough that the regular government has to do something."

"And just setting them up isn't an option?" Jake asked curiously.

Ebon chuckled gently. "Depends on what you mean by set up. We've tried luring and tricking them into numerous things that would create sufficient cause for the government to act. So far the SG has avoided that level of misstep."

"You've got more than enough of a skill and resource base here to produce the necessary evidence." Jake raised an eyebrow at the NightBlade's leader.

"Evidence isn't what's needed. They need to do something visible and dangerous where the media will catch it. The government isn't going to move unless the public is outraged, or at least there's a big enough action by the SG to be a threat. If manufacturing evidence was enough, we'd have filled several prosecutors offices by now."

"That's evidence." Jake shrugged, ready to let it drop.

Ebon smiled. "Okay, Jake. Exactly what did you have in mind?" He said encouragingly. "A fresh view on the situation may be just what we need."

"Well, you need the media to catch wind and publicize something so dangerous about the SG that the government has to take action, right?" Jake cocked his head.

"That's the general idea." Ebon nodded.

"Would I be completely off track to guess that breaking such a story could easily make someone's carrier?" He rested his chin on interlaced fingers to watch Ebon.

"Assuming it's something that the government can't possibly suppress, yes."

"Now, what kind of activity would fall under that category?" Jake prompted.

"Something visibly destructive near civilian targets would be the best. Preferably with a sizable amount of difficult to remove quickly debris." Ebon said. "However, we don't want to cause civilian casualties in the process of creating the evidence." He said firmly.

Jake managed to wipe the shocked look off his face fairly quickly. "No kidding. Weapons testing, aircraft going down, worldwide terrorism/ sabotage, assassination attempts ... what would make the biggest impact?

"Probably worldwide terrorism, given it's the hardest to shove under a rug. Most of the others are too easy to deny or bury under the guise of planetary security."

"It wouldn't be that hard to blow up a few things of large visibility that have low occupancy, and leave the credit to the SG." A large White Tiger Felsin suggested. "It's not like we don't know their playbook backwards and forwards."

"I was thinking more along the lines of shutting down power grids and scrambling the comm/ defense systems." Jake shook his head and chuckled. "Blowing things up is more their style?"

"Depends on the objective." Arsham said evenly. "Though shutting down power would be much more visible, while being less risky for the civilians. And if the communications system got scrambled during one of the major holidays when everyone is trying to talk to relatives it would piss people off big time."

"We'd be best off leaving the defense system out of this. Ignoring the global levels of redundancy, I'd hate to have something real happen while we were creating an illusion of SG misbehavior." Cazi added, from his seat next to Ebon.

"So what should their objective be?" Jake grinned conspiratorially, enjoying the opportunity to plot with others far, far too much for anyone's good.

"Their long-term objectives are fairly straight forward; they want to take over as the planetary government and remove Felsinor from the Alliance. Something short term might be more like disrupting the two hundred twenty-fifth anniversary of planetary unity. It's going to be a huge worldwide celebration, and it's certainly got to annoy them." Tracker suggested.

"Shutting off power and scrambling the civilian comm would sure do that." Chance chuckled with a shake of his head.

"Especially if both happened just as the Governor's speech began." Blaze chuckled.

"What kind of marks should be left behind?" Jake took center stage again.

"Specific manufacturing of sabotage equipment, since they only use a limited number of manufacturers. Microwave frequency blasters, which they seem to have a preference for. Very specific formulation of explosives to match standard SG composition." Ebon carefully ticked off a few important points.

"Any electronic or computer signatures?" Jake cocked his head. "We are going to fry a few computer systems."

"Computer signatures, yes. And I'm familiar with their current top talent and their signature methods." Cazi said easily. "There's a number of them, but they're all such prima donnas that they need to leave 'calling cards.'" The Lion said disdainfully.

"Is the SG limited to Felsinor?" Jake suddenly asked as he waved a Tafri over.

"Doubtful, given that they're certainly getting backing from the Mephit Unity. Though that's difficult to prove currently." Ebon shrugged. "But if we can dislodge them from Felsinor that will make it easier to deal with them."

"What kind of proof would that require?" The lean Kat almost purred as he exchanged looks with his kin.

"That gets into Alliance politics which is currently in a tense truce mode with the Mephits. Anything short of Mephit invasion will probably be ignored, or at most a harshly worded complaint to the Mephit ambassador." Cazi snorted.

"So how long do we have to set this up?" Jake glanced around.

"Four months." Arsham supplied. "Should be enough time."

"That's a lot of time." Chance chuckled. "At least around him." He smirked at his partner.

"True, but we do have to exercise a certain amount of caution. We don't want to cause undue danger to civilians." Arsham said softly. "That requires more planning than a straight forward sabotage."

"It's still a significant chunk of time." Jake said as he leaned back to consider. "I'm so used to being on the defensive, getting any kind of warning is a lot of planning time."

Ebon nodded. "Always better to take the offensive, when you can. Never let the enemy chose the place and manner of battle." He said philosophically. "Though sometimes, you don't have a choice."

"Protecting an area makes being offensive difficult." Jake sighed before shaking the upset off, then a funny look crossed his face. "Is Phoenix here?" He glanced around, uncertain.

Cazi nodded. "Not in the room, but he is still somewhere in camp. I think that's going to be the case from now on."

"He's damn good at volleyball though." Rifleman chuckled.

"Volleyball?" Jake looked at the standing Tiger in bewilderment. "Phoenix, the Greater Power, playing volleyball?"

Rifleman grinned. "Yep, he even played fair. No powers, other than to be tough enough to keep up with us. He asked to play, actually."

Cazi nodded. "Not quite what I'd imagined a Greater Power to be like, well, other than Grandmother ... she might play volleyball."

Ebon rolled his eyes. "I could just see that; StarFire on one team, and Phoenix on the other."

"Now I'm scared." Jake deadpanned. "And I thought MKC was strange." He shook his head.

Jackson smiled. "It's not that strange here, after all the Felsin were brought to this planet by a trio of near-Greater Powers after ...."

Ebon elbowed the Jaguar interrupting him. "We won't be repeating the old myth, now that Nareena's learned different."

"Hu?" Chance looked between the pair.

"Well, you'll probably hear it somewhere on this planet." Ebon said resignedly. "According to Felsin mythology or scripture we originated on another world and migrated away about three thousand years ago when a great catastrophe threatened. We wandered lost in a great void for about a thousand years, while our prayers to Bast went unanswered. Eventually, the Triad found us and Felsira adopted us for her own, and brought us here." He said quietly.

"We've always thought that Bast abandoned us, and we never knew why." Mason added. "It's been a powerful influence on Felsin culture. A great sensitivity toward the abandoned and refugees, and a distrust of the Greater Powers, except for StarFire, was the legacy of that time."

"Oh," Jake said quietly. "And what really happened to Her had nearly as strong an impact on my culture, if not Kat culture in general." He said quietly. "Three thousand years, hu? Sounds ... too familiar."

"Oh?" Cazi looked at Jake curiously. "Something significant about that time period on your world?"

"Sort of." Jake said quietly as Chance looked at him curiously. "That was when the last Queen died, and Bastet was imprisoned." He shivered slightly. "The world went to hell."

"As far as we know things weren't going well on our world of Origin either, though the nature of the disaster isn't recorded anywhere." Cazi said beginning to form a theory.

Jake glanced around. "Off hand, I'd say you probably did better than we did in the last three millennia."

"How so?" Cazi asked curiously.

"You're tech's significantly higher, and you're further along with social evolution." He explained softly.

Cazi nodded. "Maybe our planet's easier to deal with, or something." He suggested. "And there's no denying that having a active guardian power helps."

"Very true." Jake nodded, thinking back to the days Aristal had such boons. "Very, very true."

Blaze chuckled. "But overall, Lake Maxwell has the highest Power per square foot of any place in the alliance, aside from Star Palace."

"It'll go up before it goes down, no doubt." Jake shook his head and chuckled. "There's already more interest, from the sound of the Tapestry."

"Tapestry?" Ashram asked curiously.

"It's a ... power ... that ties all Goldens together." Jake tried to explain. "It holds all the information of those of our bloodline know and experience. It's the second half of what unifies us. The part that survived, since some of us did."

"Fascinating." The White Tiger said quietly. "I could see a great deal of advantage in such an arrangement. Though I suspect there's also a certain vulnerability. Nothing in the universe is free." He said cynically.

"A similar construct to the Dracon Great Library." Cazi suggested. "Does it allow communication between individual Goldens?" He asked curiously.

"If you know who you're trying to reach and how to get where they are, yes." Jake nodded. "It's how the Soul brought me here." He said quietly. "It searched for a Bastet half whose keeper would cooperate, and physically brought us to it. That takes a lot though."

"I'm still curious about that." Ebon said quietly. "How'd Nareena end up with the Bastet half-soul? She's not a Golden."

"It shouldn't even be possible for a female to carry half the Soul." Jake shook his head. "I really don't know. But considering the past few days, I'd guess she has some trace of Golden in her lineage, or this is another of those situations that just doesn't fit with what is understood." He sighed slightly and leaned against Chance. "Honestly, now that the Queen will be reborn, I really don't care how it happened, as long as it happens."

"Okay, just what is the significance of the Queen?" Ebon asked quietly. "Seeing as my Mate is giving birth to her, I'd kind of like to know just what's going on."

"Our Mate, love." Cazi said quietly. "Any trace of Golden would be about three thousand years old, assuming it was in the generation of the Evacuation."

"The Golden Queen was a Celestian, like the Triad if I understand them correctly." Jake said softly. "Each reality that had Goldens had their own, until the Great Betrayal. Within a single lifetime, every one was betrayed and killed without heir, leaving their Soul, the Queen's power, fragmented and trapped in bodies it couldn't emerge in.

"What just happened is that a Bastet and Phoenix fragment have been united in a body it can use, and have called all the other fragments to it. When she is grown and all the fragments merged, she will be at least as strong as her parents combined." Jake looked up slightly. "Nareena is giving birth to a Greater Celestian."

"By the Triad, 'Reena's carrying something like Grandmother." Cazi said in total amazement.

"Yes." Phoenix's affectionate voice said as he joined the group, with a particularly soft look for Nareena. "She will actually be more powerful than Lady StarFire when she is fully grown. Such a child takes a great deal of time and effort to bring about."

"I can't imagine why you'd want that much power in one place." Mason said quietly. "I have my doubts about more powerful than StarFire."

"Maybe more powerful than her demonstrated power level." Cazi suggested. "Nobody is really sure how powerful she really is. Even according to the Great Library, she's a minimalist. She never uses more power than is absolutely required to achieve a desired end."

"Do you not wish your children to better you?" The Avian clicked in displeasure.

Ebon smiled. "Most parents do, I guess it's tough for those of us down here to understand that much power." He said refraining from mentioning the inborn Felsin discomfort with Greater Powers. The thought of someone more powerful than the two combined was unsettling.

"All the power in the universe will only get you so far." Phoenix shook his head. "The most important things must be learned, and earned."

Jackson chuckled. "Keep it up, Phoenix, and you'll have us thinking Greater Powers aren't just distant, indifferent abstractions, excepting StarFire of course." He said amusedly.

"Some are, but you've treated me like an individual, so I treat you the same." Phoenix said pointedly. "It's just that few mortals give us that chance, and most have stopped trying to socialize outside their own circles."

"That spike that knocked you off your feet should've covered the abstract angle." Rifleman teased the Jaguar.

Nareena smiled warmly. "Well, you came with very good recommendations." She smiled, as she caught the sight of a small winged cat before it disappeared around a corner. "Phoenix, if it's not too painful, what's Bastet like? I mean, she's part of who we are, but we don't really know anything about her." She asked respectfully. "What little we have is, I'm afraid, rather distorted." Though Nareena had asked, there was a feeling in the NightBlades that she had asked what they all were wondering.

Phoenix quietly settled in a simple chair that materialized behind him and considered for a long moment. "My mate Bastet, the Mother-Healer of Felines." A glowing, eight-foot tall fully feline shekat biped with strong, loving amber eyes appeared nearby. She was clothed only in a translucent robe that did nothing to hide her Lioness-golden fur with very subtle stripes, spots and rosettes. While her tail was that of a Lioness, the lower half was silky with long strands almost like a horse.

"She is a fierce protector of her children, placing their safety not only above her own, but even above her love for her mate." He was focused on the image with sad, longing eyes. "It was what cost her her freedom.

"When there is no threat, though, she is as tender and gentle a healer and lover as any I have known. Her simple touch could calm even my most chaotic rages. She is very much like you, Lady Nareena." He said with a soft look for the Tigress. "Even when she agreed with the action, she always wanted me to be aware of what I was doing." He closed his eyes as the image faded. "I miss her touch."

The NightBlades were strangely quiet as they each tried to reconcile Phoenix's heartfelt statement with what they'd been taught. Nareena walked over and put a gentle hand on Phoenix's shoulder. "Thank you, I know that wasn't easy."

"You are her children too ... mine by choice." He shifted his head sideways to rub the back of her hand with his feathered cheek. "She always answered when she could."

Nareena nodded. "I can believe that now." She said quietly. "Though sad, it feels better to know that she couldn't answer rather than she chose not to." She said quietly. "I think Felsira will have to make a few general appearances to correct the mistaken understanding our culture has embedded in it."

"It brought good to your hearts as well." Phoenix said softly with an odd echo in his voice as his eyes gained a ghostly cat-slit. "You have greater compassion for the lost and hurting for it."

Nareena's eyes widened. "Bastet?" She asked, surprised and very respectful.

"Yes, daughter. The spite on my name was not for ill." Their voice strained as Phoenix closed his eyes, opening them as his own. He was breathing hard and trembling under his fluffed feathers as his form destabilized into a firebird for a moment.

"And that is why she hasn't done it before." Phoenix gasped as he pulled himself together and back into his mortal form. "It is a great strain on both of us for even that much."

Nareena nodded, and when Phoenix seemed to be physical again she walked behind him and gently rubbed his shoulders to relieve some of the strain left by the effort. "Thank you." She said quietly as he began to click softly in appreciation. "Thank you, both."

Ebon and Cazi watched the interaction between the two curiously, but not surprised as Powers tended to gravitate to their Mate. The Triad always had, as had the lesser Dragon Power who had visited once.

"Thank you, for giving me hope, and our only daughter life." He smiled up at her, his head nearly upside down.

"You're welcome." She said smiling warmly at him. "And for hope you came to the right place, it's what Maxwell is all about. Hope, for a real life, for the family we've always wanted."

"Umm, has anyone considered just asking one of these Powers that are so interested to just tell the government to take out the SG?" Jake asked Ebon quietly as they watched Nareena and Phoenix bond a little more.

Ebon nodded. "The Triad doesn't like to interfere directly on that level. And StarFire won't intervene except against the interference of other Powers. The Powers probably could take out the SG themselves, but that's a little heavy handed. Best I understand it, the Powers play by set of rules of their own, and it's not exactly meant to make sense to us mortals."

"I don't know, makes basic sense to me." Jake chuckled, then considered Phoenix as the bird soaked in Nareena's touch. "Though we could make it his business. He seems quiet attached to her, even past the kit."

"I think she reminds him of his mate, Bastet." The Panther said quietly. "Regardless, I don't think he'll act unless they were to attack Maxwell itself. And since the idea is to keep them from knowing where Maxwell is, I don't see that he's really much more than an enhancement to the defenses."

Jake almost said something before nodding. "Probably for the best."

"Probably, Phoenix on the offensive could be overly destructive to the planet. Besides, if he's defending that frees the rest of us for offense." Ebon said with a smile.

"Very true." Jake grinned, then leaned back with a playful grin for Ebon. "So, what would you think of a non-violent game?"

"Could be interesting. What did you have in mind?" Ebon asked curiously.

"It's a bed time game of sorts." Jake grinned. "Everyone sits in a circle, and one at a time tells the most interesting fantasy or experience they've had. We keep going around until someone looses control."

There was a bit of chuckling around the circle.

"That would be what passes for approval, I think." Ebon smiled.

"Good," Jake smirked. "The last one to keep their hands to themselves, and not on themselves, wins."

The was a general murmur of understanding before the White Tiger spoke up. "Okay, how do you decide who goes first?" He asked curiously.

"It's my game, so I am, this time." Jake smirked. "But by volunteer, contest ... depends on how many want to go first."

There was a lot of chuckling around the circle at the last comment.

"The prize is usually the losers." Chance added with a deep chuckle.

"That loser's what?" Mason chuckled lustily. The rest of the circle chuckled broadly thinking of numerous games in which one was literally betting one's ass.

"Whatever the winner wants." Jake chuckled. "Why limit the choices?"

Jackson chuckled. "This could turn out to be very popular." He smirked.

"I hope so." Jake purred lustfully. "Who wants to play?"

"Anybody not want to play?" Blitz asked turning the question around.

There was a lot of chuckling, and side betting. "Looks like a full house." Ebon commented.

"Sounds rather interesting too." Phoenix startled several of them by speaking up from the edge of the gathering.

Ebon smiled, still amazed at how normal Phoenix could be. "Yeah, Jake's come up with an interesting activity, something non-violent."

"As weird as that is around here." Cazi snickered.

"It is the second favorite pastime, though." Blitz piped up.

"So where do we play?" Jake prompted with a wink for Blitz. "I'm not that fussy, but there must be better places to play than in here."

"Well, there's always that big grassy area, up above the second waterfall." Jackson suggested. "Unless people object to playing outdoors." He said with a smirk.

"Hardly." Chance shook his head with a chuckle that was echoed around the group.

"I can save us the walk." Phoenix offered with a sparkle of eagerness in his round black eyes.

Ebon and Cazi exchanged a brief glance. "If you'd like, Phoenix." Ebon accepted with a smile.

The red-brown feathered Avin raised one taloned hand as he nodded and with a dancing oval of flame that expanded to engulf them all, the dining hall disappeared. As the flames faded they saw the lush open grass of the clearing around a cascading waterfall, far enough away that it wasn't a hindrance to being heard while still providing a coolness to the air.

Cazi smiled broadly. "That was very cool." He said still blinking to get the sparkling lights out of his magic senses.

"Thank you, Phoenix. Probably saved us a good half-hour walk." Ebon said appreciatively, as the NightBlades started sprawling out on the lawn.

"You are welcome." The bird-morph smiled a ducked his head quickly.

"Everyone who's playing, strip." Jake called out as he dropped his shirt to the grass.

That call resulted in quickly forming piles of clothes, and some roughhousing as the NightBlades who weren't as quick, got help from those who were faster. Eventually, the tumult died down and there was a large group of naked males on the broad open grass field.

Jake relaxed back and took in the semi-circle of the ten original NightBlades in a feline coats of every color, the other two Kats; tabby and Golden, and the one feathered player, a god in disguise.

"Now, what to start with?" He grinned mischievously before turning serious. "Mmm, something simple.

"You're all glistening and hard, dripping and begging for some attention in war-form as I play with my mate, guiding him down as he shivers in anticipation. I kiss along his spine, working my way down to his ass. As he moans under my touch, I slowly open him up, first with my tongue, then my fingers, all the time keeping him just short of coming.

"When he's ready, panting and loose, I motion you over and move along his side and settle on my back where you both can see me, gradually stroking myself as a I watch you take my mate's hips in great hands to steady him. With your jaws on his scruff and your eyes on me you thrust deep into his body.

"I don't even have to touch myself to stay hard anymore, and we all know it. But I love how my mate looks when he watches me, and it's fun watching the three of us just turn each other on further.

"When I know I won't last much longer, I roll to stand and press my dripping cock to my mate's lips before leaning forward to claim your scruff as the three of us thrust in a counter rhythm that beings to break as we each begin to loose control and cum before collapsing in a wet, pleasure soaked heap."

Max and Blitz smirked at each other. "Talderon forest." They said in synch.

"Oh, something that wasn't in the official report?" Ebon raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah, hottest thing I ever saw." Blitz murred. "We found this Ferrin in the grips of a large cousin to the land octopus. It had one tentacle fucking his mouth, while another was fucking his ass. And from the moans and groans from the Ferrin, it was doing a damn good job. It also had a mouth like tentacle sucking on his cock."

"I guess the Ferrin was in heat, at least that's what it smelled like. Watching the whatsit fuck the Ferrin was too much to just watch, so we stripped down and stroked off. Oh man, watching that Ferrin writhe and moan was better than any porn you've ever seen."

"Apparently, the creature wasn't easily satisfied because the Ferrin came three times before it let go of him. Of course, so did we." Max chuckled. "Still think we need a Ferrin around here."

Kat in a Strange Land 2: Changing Perspective

R for Sexy M/M Talk
Het Level is LowHet Smut Level is Very Low
Slash Level is Slash Smut Level is Low
Femslash Level is None
Herm Level is None

84 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Closed-Unfinished
Written November 16, 2001 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Todd McCall

Setting: Biker Mice from Mars, Galactic Alliance, Golden Kingdom, SWAT Kats

Primary Races: Felsin, God, Kat, Martian Mice, Tiger

Contents: Furry. Het (M/F). Slash (M/M). Supernatural

Pairings: Jake Clawson/Chance Furlong, NightBlades

Blurb: Jake has to deal with what happened while he wasn't himself and try to build a relationship with Chance after the tabby has had a mate and son.

Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.

Page Hit Count from March 5, 2005    1899