Kit was still filled with a feeling of fear and confusion as she knelt before a large silver statue depicting a robed feline with their arms outstretched to a star, which said feline cradled in their hands as they stared towards the heavens.
Kit watched several others do the same, the Hall of The Maker having become a place of refuge for many in Main City following an attack on the Main Park which had saw several dozen citizens killed and many more injured - the media had called it a terrorist attack yet Kit couldn't quite believe that theory.
Kit had been in the park when the attack occured, she had saw the giant vessel that flew across the sky, the terrifying beams of energy it unleashed too powerful to be of any terrorist group she had known of - further still was the totally alien nature of the attack.. there had been no warnings, no demands, most disturbing of all was a lack of responsibility - no major terrorist group had come forth to claim the attack as their own.
"..come along, Kit.." a female voice whispered and Kit soon found her mother's paw on her shoulder - looking up she saw her mother dressed in a fine dress and holding a young feline boy by the hand, who Kit recognized instantly as her young brother, Rex.
"..alright, mom.." Kit whispered back, getting to her feet as the group went down the hall and exited the building, heading out into the streets - which were strangely quiet for the inner-city.
"..your father should be here soon, why don't you take Rex to get some candy?" Kit's mother said, motioning to Rex.
"..alright.. come on, Rex.." Kit replied, taking Rex by the hand as her mother gave her a few notes before leaning over and kissing between her ears.
"..be safe, kitten.." she whispered.
"..I will mom.. I promise.." Kit said as she and Rex turned away and began walking down the street towards a nearby store.
Kit kept quiet for a few moments as she and Rex continued to walk down the street, glancing at her brother she noticed how he had become less hyperactive than usual and his ears were folded back slightly - Rex had annoyed Kit in the past with his behavior but now her instincts as an older sister began to surface and she squeezed his hand slightly:
"..hey Rex.. want to get a Captain Kaboom comic? I'll buy..".
Rex's ears perked up and he looked up, he had always loved Captain Kaboom - "..really? ..but.. mom says I can't read those comics yet.. she says they give me bad ideas..".
Kit smiled a little, "..well, I won't tell her if you don't - it can be our secret.. what you say?".
Suddenly Kit found herself being hugged as Rex leapt at her, a bit of his old hyperactivity returning as he squeaks "you're the best sister ever!".
Kit chuckled, returning the hug for a moment, she had never been much for showing affection to Rex but she knew he needed her and in truth she needed him too - just knowing she wasn't alone made her feel as if the nightmare of a few days past could fade with time.
"..hehe.. alright! alright! get off.. you'll shed fur all over me.." Kit said, playfully batting at Rex and ruffling between his ears as the pair made a small detour by an old comic book store.
However before they could set foot inside the store a scruffy looking rat dressed in a black t-shirt and jeans blocked their path, looking to Kit with one red eye - the other was dull and marked by a noticable scar on his face:
"..Kit? ..you alright? ..you didn't answer my calls.. I saw the news.. about the park.. I was worried..".
Kit flattened her ears slightly as Rex instinctively hid behind her from the stranger, though Kit knew who the figure was and soon replied:
"..Jake.. I'm sorry.. I've just been so confused.. after what happened.. I..".
"..it's okay Kit, I know.. it must be terrible.. I mean.. what happened.. it was totally out there.. I'm just glad you're okay.. you are okay, right? ..you're not hurt or anything?" Jake asked.
"..no.. I mean.. I'm just a little shaken.. you know.. Jake.. I really need to go.." Kit said, heading towards the door.
"..Kit! listen.. I'm sorry.. I know I've been kind of.. weird.. in the past.. but you got to understand.. I didn't mean to scare you.. besides.. I was looking at the news.. did you see the sign left behind? it spelt something out.. ISDF.. what do you think it means? ..some kind of warning?" Jake said, once again blocking the way.
"..Jake.. I don't know what you're talking about.. please.. let us past.." Kit said, keeping her ears folded as she tried to guide Rex through the door - not wanting him to get involved in this awkward scene.
"damnit Kit! I said I was sorry!" Jake growled, looking like he was about to strike out when the store door suddenly swung open and a large wolf dressed in a blue shirt and sporting glasses looked out.
"..you young ones need something?" he asked, causing Jake to back away as Kit and Rex made there way inside - the wolf glancing over at the pair before looking back at Jake with a knowing stare.
"..look.. Kit.. I'll call.. okay?" Jake said, flicking his tail as he put his hands in his pockets and walked away.
Kit and Rex stayed in the store as the wolf came in, returning to his place by the counter he gave Kit a look before commenting:
Kit nodded a little, rubbing her arms a little "..yes.. thank you.. it's nothing..".
The wolf nodded in return as he continued looking to the young feline, "..not that it's my business but you ought to be careful.. men like that can be trouble..".
Kit smiled faintly "..it's okay.. really.. he's just a little.. strange.. he's harmless.. really..".
"hmm.. if you say so.. so what you two here for?" the wolf replied.
"I'm getting my little brother a Captain Kaboom comic, right Rex?" Kit said, nuding Rex a little - who jumped a little before nodding in response.
"Captain Kaboom eh? you know, I think we have a few in stock.." the wolf said, moving over to a nearby shelf and taking a few comics in his hand - placing them on the counter, each one displayed a colorful feline dressed in a stereotypical superhero outfit complete with cape and isignia - explosive backgrounds and bright text showing it was geared towards the younger males.
"..oh wow! look at them all!" Rex grinned, instantly running towards the counter and looking over at the comics with childhood glee, Kit smiling a little as she followed in turn.
"..alright Rex, calm down.. we only have enough for one.." Kit said, glancing over at the window for a moment - her smile temporarily fading as she wondered about Jake.. she knew the wolf was right, her own father had forbade her from contacting Jake ever since a couple of months back when a date turned sour.. Jake was a strange rat.. a loner by nature.. yet he had a kind side to him Kit knew he often hid from others.. however Kit also knew Jake was not the most stable of men and as much as it pained her to shun him she was left with little choice.
"..aww! but their all so cool!" Rex said, making Kit look back as her thoughts returned to the matter at hand and she once again ruffled Red between the ears.
"..one Rex.. now come on.. before mom and dad get worried.." Kit smiled.
Jake growled to himself as he walked down a quiet alley, kicking a nearby trashcan in frustration as he flicked his tail - the crowds disappearing as he continued down the alley - his ears folded back:
"..stupid.. what were you thinking? ..you should of just let her go.. Maker.. you really screwed it up this time.." he thought to himself.
Jake continued thinking to himself as he approached the end of the alley only to suddenly stop in his tracks as a strange scent alerted him to a dark presence nearby - looking up he saw a figure on a nearby rooftop - the figure leaping down and blocking his path.
Jake's eyes grew wide at the strange figure, which was covered from head to toe in black armor - he stepped back only to hear a thud from behind as a second figure landed on the ground: baring his fangs Jake prepared to defend himself despite the fear racing through his body.
"..w-what do you want?! ..I-I'm warning you..!" Jake growled, flexing his claws as he trembled in place - the figures moving forward and producing what looked like chains and a collar, all of which sparked as if made of electricity - Jake's fur stood on end as he lunged forward, knocking one of the figure's over as he dashed out of the alley in a panic.
One of the figures pulled out a small gun and aimed it towards Jake as he fled only to put the gun down as it noticed Jake was fleeing towards the crowded streets - instead it extended a hand towards the fallen figure and helped it up before the two began climbing back up the walls and disappearing onto the rooftops.
Meanwhile Kit and Rex made there way out of the comic store, Rex smiling as he held a single Captain Kaboom in his hands and eagerly followed Kit down the street as the pair made there way to where there mother was bound to be waiting.
"..you happy?" Kit asked Rex with a smile, knowing the answer.
"yes! this is the best day ever!" Rex grinned.
"..well, don't get used to it, pest.." Kit smiled, giving Rex a light shove.
"hey! watch it! you big meanie!" Rex complained, though it was a playful tone.
Jake panted as he fell down in the middle of the street, the crowds looking at him with a mixture of fear and confusion as several came over to try and help - a few already calling for emergency services as the young rat looked around with fearful eyes, his heart pounding in his chest as he had a near-feral look - clearly a man on the edge:
"..this is insane.. what was that?! ..Maker.. this can't be real.. it can't - .. Kit.. no.. got to help Kit.." Jake thought to himself, lashing out at people as they tried to help him up - scrambling to his feet as he ran down the street.
"..Kit.. I.. I got to save her.. I got to make her understand.. I got to stop this.." Jake thought, his fear breaking away at his reasoning as he ran faster and faster - shoving past the crowds as everything became like a blur.
- CONTINUED IN "CAT AND MOUSE" -