Thunder in the Wing 2:
Settling in

by Fur and Fantasy
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

"Come on, Nathan, let's get that ship put away before someone sees it." Kessi nodded to his ship.

Nathan activated the 'leash' function on his wristcom, and then ship lifted to hover about a foot off the ground. "Where should I put it?" He asked.

"In here," she pointed towards a section of cliff that shimmered, then appeared as the opening to a sizeable hanger with two local jets, similar to the one he'd followed in, already in it. "Park it in bay 3." She pointed to the far side of the facility.

Nathan concentrated and the shuttle slowly drifted over to the indicated spot and set down. Nathan noted a slight wobble as it moved, and frowned. "Looks the like the microthrusters are going to need realigned." He commented, in a 'making a list' fashion.

"She's quite a nice craft," Kessi inclined her head to him. "Are you hungry?"

"She is well designed." Nathan agreed. "And as a matter of fact, yes I am." He said in tone that was grateful for being asked.

"Then come inside," she smiled and turned to walk along the cliff. "Sorting out what we can do for your ship can wait until you're fed and rested."

"Yes, I guess it can at that." He said, following her along the cliff.

She stopped at a nondescript spot and placed her hand on the rock and an opening shimmer into existence. She walked in with a smile to Nathan. "We value our privacy. Not many find their way all the way to my door, fewer want to stay after seeing me." She chuckled and walked through a strangely modern living room carved from stone, though an arched stone hallway and into another modern-and-stone, easily recognizable to him as the kitchen.

"Anything in particular you won't eat, or would like?" The shewolf looked at him.

Nathan smiled. "I've found there's little I won't, though I try to avoid strict vegetarian. My preferences aren't real strong, I've spent most of my life in the military eating whatever is being served." He said amiably.

Kessi chuckled knowingly. "Well, strictly vegetarian isn't on my preferred menu either," she scanned the contents of the refrigerator, "and since you aren't fussy, the easiest meal will be leftover pasta." She pulled out a large bowl with red and creamy stuff in it and stuck it in a box, then punched a few buttons on the box's face. "The plates are in there." She pointed to one of the cabinets as their meal heated. "How hungry are you?"

Nathan obligingly pulled out two plates. "Reasonably hungry, but not ravenous. It's only been six or seven hours since lunch." He said bringing the plates over.

"Do your people use last names, or is it just Nathan?" She asked conversationally as she served up two large portions of slender round pasta coated with a red meat sauce.

"Last name is SwiftClaw, but Nathan is plenty for conversation." He chuckled. "Heck, in the field it gets shortened to 'Medic' so much I sometimes think that's my name."

"You're a healer?" She looked at him in real interest and led them to a simple table big enough for eight.

Nathan nodded. "Medic 1st class, which is a combination of general physician, surgeon and trauma counselor combined with commando combat training." He said as he sat down across from her.

"Then your presence will be doubly welcome if we can't get you home soon." She smiled and settled into eating. "If you have questions, I'll do my best to answer them."

Nathan took a tentative bite, decided he liked the pasta, and smiled appreciatively to Kessi. After a few minutes he paused. "Actually, I'm curious as to why my being a healer would be so welcome, I saw a major city not that far off, surely healers are not hard to come by." He asked perplexed.

"True, they aren't." She explained. "But good ones who are willing to treat a Wolf are, and much, much rarer are ones that can go into the field with us. That city is MegaKat City, and it's almost all felines. They get along with the less ... wild breeds of Kantin, but Wolves like myself still aren't very welcome. You aren't the only alien with us, either. Getting help for them can be very difficult."

Nathan nodded. "Well, I've never turned away a patient that I knew how to treat, or could figure out how. Acting as resident healer, seems a fair trade for your assistance and hospitality. Any current problems?" He asked professionally, between bites.

"Not right now, but stuff always comes up." She considered him carefully before speaking. "Would you prefer to sleep by yourself, or with another warm body?"

Nathan nodded. "By myself, at least for now, I have to get used to my LifeMate's absence before I'll be comfortable with someone else's presence." He said quietly, though he'd been away for a couple of weeks at the conference, this was different. Part of him acknowledged that getting home might take a long time, if it was even possible.

Kessi reached across the table to touch him. "I hope we can get you home, and I didn't mean that as an advance. Some folks don't like to sleep alone, so I try to make the offer."

Nathan nodded. "I knew that it wasn't, but it's just the presence of another person wouldn't feel right, even if there was nothing going on. But you very kind to make the offer." He said quietly. "The two that brought me here, they're independent of any official military structure, right?" He asked fairly confidently.

"Right." She nodded and returned to her food. "They're the SWAT Kats. They handle the stuff no one official can. Not that Commander Feral appreciates the helping hand much."

"Commander Feral would be the local military commander?" He asked while eating.

"Yes," she growled softly. "Arrogant bastard, but he does keep the force pretty corruption free. Just won't admit when he needs help."

"I've dealt with a number of those in my career. Generally good at what they do, but with a basic inability to face the fact that they can't handle everything." He said shaking his head in amusement. "Seems to be a universal constant.

"So how much does this area have in the way of such 'unusual' events?" He asked, trying to figure out what kind of area he'd fallen into.

"Two or three a month, averaged over that last decade." She sighed. "It's another good reason to live out here, most of it's centered on the city."

"Strange events usually are for some reason." He agreed. "Though I prefer to live outside of cities myself, when I'm living planetside that is."

"Your people have a significant presence in space?" She asked in utter fascination.

Nathan nodded. "Very significant. My current 'home' is on the Gildenfire Orbital Medical Station. That's a space station, which is home to around fifty thousand individuals of over a dozen species. I was returning there from on conference on my homeworld of Felsinor when I got bounced here.

"Most of our major worlds have orbital facilities, and there are some facilities that don't orbit anything but are simply at a particular place in space. We've been in space for over two hundred years."

"Oh," her eyes widened.

"Would I be correct in guessing that this world doesn't have a significant space presence?" He asked quietly.

"N-no, we don't." She swallowed and pulled herself together. "Between politics down here, and the unfriendlies out there, we haven't gotten far."

Nathan looked at her curiously. "Unfriendlies out there? You mean you've had problems with hostile aliens?" He said wondering if it would be a species he'd heard of.

"Several. Sometimes they come in ships, sometimes they just show up and seem stuck here like you are." She shook her head. "Two hundred years in space...."

Nathan nodded. "It does seem like a long time doesn't it." He said hoping to snap his host out of the shock the information seemed to have produced.

"Nathan, that city out there isn't two hundred years old." She took a deep breath. "It's a very long time around here."

He decided to refrain from mentioning that his LifeMate was older than that. "Oh, well I can see then why two hundred years would seem like a long time. Having a single world government makes things last longer, as internal warfare stops destroying things. But it can be a long road getting there."

Kessi nodded. "We've been trying ... I don't know how long ... since before still-recorded history at least." She poked at her meal. "I doubt we'll make it. Not without a major outside force getting involved. There's just too much trouble on this world for a government to make it that long."

"Still-recorded history?" He asked curiously. "How far back does that go roughly?" He asked figuring that if he was going to be stuck on the world, he should make a serious effort to understand it.

"Official recorded history goes back about a hundred years with reasonable accuracy, 400 years with fair accuracy, is spotty for another four thousand and has bits and pieces going back another hundred thousand in places."

"Interesting, my world's reasonable accuracy goes back further but past three thousand years its all myths, legends and scripture. Of course, that's because we're not even native to our current homeworld. Supposedly, we migrated there between three and four thousand years ago. The lack of evidence of civilization prior to that certainly supports the scripture, as does the lack of related species to evolve from."

"Well, we know we're native ..." she paused, considering. "Do your scriptures name your world of origin?"

"Most common translation from the original language is Kataris, though there is some debate as to whether that's the name of the world or the southern continent that the refugees left from."

Kessi leaned back in her chair and regarded Nathan for a long moment. "Jake is going to flip." She chuckled softly, shaking her head in clear amusement. "For whatever my statement is worth, it's one of the two southern continents. Though it's pronounced Kolaris these days."

Nathan chuckled lightly. "Of all the worlds to get dumped to, the odds of hitting the original homeworld ..." He paused shaking his head, then he looked at her. "Who's Jake?" He asked curiously.

"My son, though he is a Kat." She smiled fondly and stood to take a picture of a proud, lean cinnamon tomkat in a gray dress uniform from the wide fireplace mantel and handed it to Nathan. "That was the day he graduated from Enforcer Academy."

Nathan looked at the picture. "Your son is very handsome, Kessi. So he's in law enforcement?" He asked, handing the picture back to her.

"Thank you, and he was," she nodded with a touch of sadness. "You will meet him soon in all likelihood. He has quite the talent with getting vehicles to work."

"A talent that will be much appreciated." Nathan said honestly. "I can handle maintenance and the minor repairs on my ship, but some of the damage looks to be well beyond minor." He started ask why Jake wasn't still in law enforcement, but decided there was nothing to be gained by dredging old wounds.

"You mentioned he'd flip about the fact that my people may have originated on your southern continent. Why's that, if you don't mind my asking?"

"He has an odd fascination with the inconsistencies in histories, something of a conspiracy buff." She chuckled as she put the picture back and sat down to the rest of her meal. "And the whole 'missing continent' business is one of his favorite subjects. He'll be thrilled to find out he was right on at least some of it."

Nathan chuckled between bites. "Well, the 'lost' homeworld is something of an interest of mine. Actually, my LifeMate got me interested in it, he's an amateur archeologist who's been studying the 'first settlement' ruins for some years now." He paused. "As much as I'd rather be home, it's kind of a thrill to be back where everything started."

"Well, it sounds like those who left did better than those who stayed." She sighed softly and glanced at his empty plate. "Still hungry?

"Thank you, no. That was good, Kessi." He said appreciatively. "Well, I am kind of surprised at that, since the evacuees had to start from scratch once they landed. As far as anyone can tell, no usable tech survived the trip. Of course, according to scripture the trip took around a thousand years give or take."

She chuckled softly with a sad edge to it as she put the dishes in a dishwasher. "But they did not have to deal with the reason they left. This world is not conducive to stability in any form."

Nathan had no argument for that. "From what I've read, they apparently thought the world was coming to an end, and built an evacuation fleet, to save what they could."

"They weren't so far off, the world did end, there was just enough left to rebuild, just like the dozens of times before, and six since."

Nathan looked shocked. "Six times in the last three thousand years?" He asked completely stunned.

"Yes." She nodded and sat back down. "We're four hundred years into a calm spell, though from the last decade it seems to be ending."

"What timing." The Tiger said quietly. "So things are likely to get more exciting as time goes on, then?" He asked nervously.

"Exciting, and explosive." She inclined her head. "MegaKat City may manage another exodus, but we'll see. It won't be a pretty generation to be around for, at any rate."

Nathan shook his head not entirely believing what he'd gotten dropped into. "Well, I've spent enough time on the front lines, can't be any worse than that." He said quietly.

She cast a worried look at the image of her son. "I hope you're right, Nathan. Shall we see what we can make of fixing your craft?"

Nathan shook off the disturbed feeling. "Good idea. You said your son wasn't in law enforcement any longer, what's he do now?" He asked conversationally, since every parent he knew loved talking about their kids. He was just grateful that Morin loved looking after Storm, it meant he didn't need to be concerned about his son's well-being.

"He's a mechanic for his living." She smiled and led him down the main stone hallway past a dozen closed doors before opening the one at the very end. "But his true gift is as an inventor, and protector. He's had a mate for seven years now, and I'm hoping they'll have a commitment ceremony soon. Chance is a very handsome tom, and they're a good match for the most part," she glanced at him as they walked through a hanger/ machine shop large enough to support a squadron much larger than the three craft she had. "Do you have any kits?"

Nathan smiled. "One. His name's Storm and he's twelve." He said, sighing a little, hoping he wouldn't miss too much of Storm's childhood.

"Does he get along well with your mate?" She asked quietly as they walked passed her two jets and up to his shuttle.

Nathan nodded. "Storm adores Morin, and Morin completely indulges him. My biggest worry there is that he'll be terribly spoiled when I get home." He paused for a moment. "Or old enough that it won't matter." He said quietly.

"Nathan," she turned and put her hand on his shoulder, meeting green eyes with bright blue ones, "no matter how old a cub is, parents always matter. I hope it won't take that long, but even if he is a grandfather by the time you meet again, you are still his father."

Nathan nodded. "I know, I meant it won't matter that he's spoiled." He said shaking his head in amusement. "I was separated from my father for fifty years, and I'm still trying to locate my mother, and the rest of my family." He sighed. "At least Storm has Morin."

He shook himself mentally, and turned to the task at hand. "Time to see just how many miracles will be required to get this shuttle hyperspace capable again." He said changing gears entirely.

Nathan was nearly ready to admit defeat with getting the shuttle in any better shape than for near-space work when Kessi made a questioning sound shortly before he heard what sounded like a well-tuned motorcycle come up at a high rate of speed.

"Nathan, stay put." She motioned to him as she stood and walked out of the hanger through the shielded, illusion-cloaked entrance he'd directed the shuttle through.

Years of commando training and military service kicked in, and Nathan's senses focused in the direction of the motorcycle sound, confirming his initial estimate, and adding that it had only one passenger, and was military grade gear ... something he'd be driving back home on a mission.

He boosted his empathic sense as much as he could, so as to detect any hostile intruders well in advance, and found aggression and hostility en mass in the single mind coming in, but no concern in Kessi as she recognized their visitor.

With the skill of a Citadel commando, and the in-born skill of Ebon's successor he found a spot in the shadows around the shuttle and froze, becoming part of the shadows as the cycle's engine stopped.

Not a single word was exchanged outside before the first snarl of an enraged feline could be heard, then the thuds and grunts of a clawless scuffle that Kessi remained calmly unconcerned through.

Nathan slowly and stealthily moved to gain a better position to see, without violating the general parameter of 'stay put'. The fact that Kessi remained calm made him curious as to just what kind of struggle was taking place. He pressed a single, silent button on his wristcom which placed the medkit just outside the shuttle door where he could get it quickly if needed.

As he edged around the corner of the hanger entrance he saw two war-forms fighting, though both avoided using the evident claws and jaws they had.

The smaller of the two, a dark cinnamon-brown feline tom with black ear tuffs and a mixture of black stripes and spots on his lean body, was definitely the aggressor, even without feeling his mind.

A primitive biped Wolf with Kessi's markings stood in a relaxed, defensive stance and blocking attacks as they came with considerable force that just barely made a dent in the feline's rage.

Normally, Nathan would have done something but his host had requested that he stay put, and she seemed to have the matter in hand, as it were. He relaxed and readied several telepathic techniques he'd learned, one which calmed anger and the other which simply knocked the person out. He stayed put though, and kept his eyes peeled for any sign of serious injury.

As he watched, the feline clearly entered a mad frenzy, which didn't do much to increase his success or disturb his opponent as it began to enter into a sort of familiar dance to wear the feline out, until he simply did not get up after one double fisted blow to the back of his shoulders.

"Done now?" The Wolf spoke, it's voice harsh but still somewhat discernable as Kessi, and wouldn't have been audible if Nathan'd stayed near his shuttle.

The feline war-form struggled to his elbows and nodded before shrinking considerably into a Kat, without the ear-tuffs or markings and wearing blue jeans and a dark red shirt.

"Good." Kessi's voice returned to normal as her form did and she offered a hand to the tomkat. "What happened?" She asked softly as she helped him up.

"Chance is being a jerk." He half sighed, half growled as he dusted himself off. "Says he can't trust me because I didn't tell him about you before."

"Are you settled enough to work on Nathan's ship?" She regarded him with her head cocked slightly. "We don't need that kind of temper display in there, you know."

"Haven't brought it up?"

"Not yet, though he's apparently a descendant of those who fled." She chuckled at his sudden interest. "He's a combat healer too."

"Cool, we can always use more of them." He was almost relaxed as they walked back towards the hanger entrance.

Nathan silently returned to working on an outside power coupling that refused to stop depolarizing itself. When the proper tools failed, he applied creative swearing in Felsin, Alliance Standard and the local language he'd picked up. He learned quite a few colorful metaphors serving in the military for 30 years.

"Nathan SwiftClaw," Kessi drew his attention to the hanger entrance as the Wolf and Kat walked in, "this is my son, Jake Clawson."

Nathan put down his tools, wiped his hands off, walked over and extended a hand. "A pleasure to meet you, Jake." He said in a friendly, open manner even as his nose was telling him that there was something very familiar about Jake.

"Glad you're getting along here." The short, lean tom smiled a little shyly as his eyes darted to the shuttle. "That what we have to fix?"

"That's her, an Eridanus-class interstellar shuttle. Currently, she's good for near-space work." He said encouragingly.

Nathan's nose was quite sure it had encountered Jake before, but Nathan knew he'd only met two of these felines before. Assuming his nose wasn't in error, it would have to be Razor, since it certainly wasn't T-Bone.

He walked back toward the shuttle, ignoring his nose's discovery. Razor had been nice to him, so it wasn't important if indeed his nose was right. Based on what Kessi had told him of this world, concealing one's identity could be a necessary.

"So what's causing the most grief right now?" Jake asked as he surveyed the exterior. "She's in good shape for a crash survivor."

"Thanks, that mostly 'cause I got enough of the anti-grav working at the last moment to soft land her. The real problem is in back, the deep space, and hyperdrive propulsion systems got trashed pretty badly by whatever tossed me here." He said walking around to the back where the external damage to the propulsion system was.

Jake followed him and examined the damage first with his eyes, then with his hands, just running them over the damage and considering it. "It'll take a while, but I think I can get it working. Problem will be fuel. I'll have to convert it to something else, I think. What did this run on before?"

"Well, there's two power supplies. Most of the ship systems run off of a Lightning 20-20 Fusion plant, which runs on hydrogen. The hyperdrive system is a standard Dytalin-60 drive with a Tc-180 power core." He said, grateful that he'd take the time to memorize the specs and blueprints on the shuttle.

"Which runs on ...." Jake prompted. "There's something *very* broken in there."

"The Tc-180 is the isotope crystal the drive runs off of." He said easily. "Something *very* broken? Oh, great, it would be the hyperdrive system."

"No, that would be the crystal ..." Jake frowned. "The irreplaceable part around here. I don't suppose you know what it actually is?"

"Tc-180? It's a fairly rare naturally occurring crystal, that focuses and amplifies energy from the fusion plant, and shifts the ship into hyperspace and holds it there. You mean the crystal fractured? I hadn't gotten to taking the hyperdrive apart yet."

"Yap, looks like I get to convert it." Jake regarded the craft with some irritation. "Though to what ... that's going to take some thinking."

"Take it apart time?" Kessi asked curiously.

"To the frame." He nodded, hands on hips, then turned to face Nathan with intense amber eyes. "Does your world have shape-shifters?"

Nathan chuckled. "Oh, I'd say it does. Why do you ask?" He asked with a grin.

"And your opinion of them?" He cocked an eyebrow at the Tiger.

Nathan's grin broadened. "Oh, pretty high, considering my parents were shapeshifters."

"Good, because sort of one of your friends finding you and having a ship themselves, you're going to be stuck here a while, and working with a few of them." Jake shook his head at the ship. "It's going to take a couple years to unfrag that."

Nathan nodded. "I agree, that vortex couldn't have done more hard to repair damage if it tried. I've seen deliberate sabotage that was easier to fix. As for anyone finding me, that would be nothing short of a miracle." He agreed amiably, thinking that he knew of worse places to get stuck.

"Jake ...." Kessi's tone was lightly warning.

"Yah, yah, a couple years to unfrag the ship," he muttered. "But you might not even be in the same galaxy, or dimension for that matter. We get lost souls from all over the place. We'll do our best, but don't get your hope too high. There isn't much of a success rating on leaving this world, just getting here."

Nathan touched his LifeBond with Morin, and thought the distance was great it wasn't more than intergalactic. He smiled. "I understand, and this isn't the first time I've been stuck. I adapt well, and in the meantime, it looks like you've got a Medic." He said with a little flair, trying to shake his upset at being separated from Morin and Storm.

Thunder in the Wing 2: Settling in

Het Level is None
Slash Level is
Femslash Level is None
Herm Level is None

25 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written February 6, 2003 by Rauhnee Ranshanka, Todd McCall and Lailokos

Setting: Galactic Alliance, SWAT Kats, World of Darkness (generic)

Primary Races: Felsin, Kat, Were, Wolf

Contents: Furry. Slash (M/M). All Original Characters, Alternate Universe, Crossover, Violence

Pairings: Nathan SwiftClaw/Morin Kar'Dranor, Jake Clawson/Chance Furlong

Blurb: While Nathan settles in with Kessi, they discus a few things dear to each other, and learn that Nathan isn't as far from home as he originally thought.

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.

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