Unusual Partners 2:
by Fur and Fantasy
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file
Jake came from taking a shower in their new apartment to find Nathan staring at a TV news report, and shaking slightly.
"And to recap, an unknown starship has landed on top of MegaKat Tower. Enforcer attempts to investigate have been blocked by an unknown energy field." The female reporter's voice reported as the camera zoomed in a very organic looking craft that was occupying the damaged top of the tower. "We'll have more details as the events unfold. This is Ann Gora with Cats Eye News."
"Somebody you know?" He asked quietly as he came up to the taller tom.
Nathan nodded silently, still in too much shock to trust his voice.
"Somebody that's going to be real trouble, even by that city's standards?" He prompted for a little more info, even as he moved to get their cordless phone.
"Not the way they're used to." Nathan said quietly. "They don't attack you from the front. They get inside, attack from within." He said quietly.
"Lovely," he muttered softly. "Think you can pull yourself together enough to give a security briefing?"
"Brief the command staff enough so they know what to look for, yeah." Nathan said quietly, as he concentrated on pulling himself together. "The news reporter was wrong, that's not a starship."
"That sounds worse," Jake sighed and dialled the Special Defence Force headquarters.
"Special Defence, operations. How may I help you?" A polite female voice answered.
This is Officer Clawson with the Haven Protectors. My partner has important information about the new arrival in MegaKat City, and it's not good news."
"Understood, officer." The she acknowledged. "There's a meeting already scheduled one hour from now at Protector HQ with the Commander. Can you be there?"
"Yes, ma'am." He nodded with a glance for his partner. "We'll be there."
"Very good. I'll inform the command staff." She said before hanging up.
"Command briefing in one hour, partner." Jake repeated on his way to the bedroom. "Time to put on the suits."
"Lovely." Nathan muttered as he followed to get dressed. It was pretty clear that most of his attention was on not shaking, and that didn't go unnoticed by his gunner.
"Nathan," Jake's voice was soft as he turned to use helping the Tiger into his Dress Greys to touch him supportively. "Are they the ones you're running from?"
"Yes." He nodded quietly.
"Do you think they've come for you, or just come?" He asked with real concern.
"I don't know." He said very quietly. "There shouldn't have been anyway for them to follow me. But it's almost too much of a coincidence that they've shown up here."
"Maybe on a normal world, or even city, but look where they showed up." Jake tried to put a positive spin on it. "If there is a way to break odds, that crazy house found it."
"Maybe." Nathan said without a lot of confidence as he checked his perfect-as-usual uniform in the mirror. "They did land there instead of here."
"Come on, buddy," Jake caught the Tiger's fingers to kiss since he couldn't reach far enough for a normal one. "We have trouble to make for them."
Nathan leaned down to claim a real kiss from his partner. "Yes, we do." He agreed.
"Ladies and Gentleman, thank you for coming on short notice." Commander Talbot said as he addressed the assembled officers and representatives. The tall, muscular black and tan tabby was as impressive a figure as his Megakat City counterpart, though it wasn't a comparison anyone made in his presence. "What the public perceives as an isolated MKC event, is actually one of several events that Protector Intelligence believes are connected. Mr. Khan, I believe one of the events was in Midrashan territory."
"That's correct." Azra Khan nodded in agreement, as he stood gracefully. In a carefully tailored suit the athletically muscular Tiger was an impressive figure. "A craft similar to the one on top of Megakat Towers, passed through Midrashan airspace at approximately the same time, and landed in the jungle that borders the Western Autonomous Region. We currently have patrols searching for it, but it's a region of dense vegetation, which apparently the craft is using to disguise itself from aerial and satellite detection."
"Mr. Pelletier, I believe Halycon Industries had a similar report." The Commander said with polite deference to the Lord of Haven, though out of respect for the families longstanding wishes, he refrained from using the title.
"That's correct, Commander." The older grey and black tom said easily. "Our deep sea research team reported that a glowing silver saucer plunged into the ocean approximately a mile from the surface research vessels. There was no further motion detected, and they're maintaining surveillance awaiting the arrival of Protector deep sea patrol craft."
"That investigation was handed to SDF, I believe Lt. Commander Davron will have more information on that." The Commander nodded to the head of the Special Defence Force.
"The search team dispatched have confirmed evidence of something having come down, but we have not pinned down the craft known to have splashed down. The teams are still investigating." The brick of a chocolate and grey tabby informed them. "However, one of my officers has first hand knowledge of them, having recognized the ship in MegaKat City." He indicated the short Tiger in the Dress Greys of a new graduated Protector pilot. "First Lieutenant Bashar."
Nathan nodded respectfully to the Lt. Commander. "They're called Mephits." He said quietly, though his voice was strong enough that it still carried the room. "And if you're waiting for a direct assault, it's not going to happen, that's not how they operate. They're masters of covert operations; infiltration, sabotage, subversion, espionage, assassination. If you can think of a black or secret op, they do it. The small craft you've seen are not much more than shuttles, and the one in MegaKat City is probably unmanned. That they've left it that much in the open means it's a decoy, a plant to test technology and resourcefulness." He said quietly. "But they probably do have operatives in the city by now, likely Saydan Bay as well."
"What do I need to watch out for in infiltrators?" Lieutenant Commander Mayron, a beautiful firebrand in her seventies asked sharply, every fibber of her reviewing everything she had on internal matters.
"Is there anything distinctive I can tell my people to look for? Are any of their actions going to follow a predictable pattern? And what do they look like?" asked Lieutenant Commander Richardson, the liaison from the MegaKat City Enforcers. The tan furred tom was clearly concerned but focused on the task at hand.
"Corruption is one of their big leverage tactics. They'll go after political and business leaders, with bribes and blackmail tactics." Nathan said thinking. "They'll try to hire locals to do a lot of the work, but if they need to do it themselves, they'll use holographic cloaking to disguise they're appearance. The cloaks will fool visual ID, but they have a high ultraviolet signature, and a low infrared signature. As for what they look like, they're around five feet maybe a little more, fairly thin, with leathery wings. Their faces are hard to describe, but they're not like anything you're likely to have seen. They don't really resemble any other species." He said frustrated as usual, trying to describe his former masters. "They'll like try to take control of key industries, and the military if they can manage it. Keep an eye on key players, people who can accomplish a lot quickly. They're not telepathic, but they do have a machine which can sift thoughts, so if they can get a hold of someone with access codes for a day or so, they might be able to get them."
"Sounds like we need to extra careful with the brass and political figures. Callie will need to guarded along with the mayor, I'm sure. Those two just seem to attract trouble like magnets. Anyone else they're likely to go after? How well shielded are the vessels? Do we have a chance of taking them out if we need to?" Lt. Commander. Richardson asked, furiously scribbling notes and a to-do list.
"What kind of timetable are we looking at?" Lt. Cmdr. Davron asked, already plotting and going over security measures in his head and not at all pleased.
"Keep an eye on Commander Feral as well, and probably his niece as well." Nathan suggested. "Once the Mephits have had time to study things, those two will be obvious targets. The heads of your big industries like Pumadyne and MegaKat BioChemical will also be targets. You may need to get into monitoring personal lives, since anything that can be used for blackmail purposes is fair game. It'll take them a couple of weeks at least to get their study complete to a point where they start actively trying to subvert things. I'm assuming they've done some study by now and have already learned the language." He said thinking through his training in planetary subversion.
"They'll try to make contact with the Omegas, and look to stir up trouble there. Supplying advanced tech to criminal elements is entirely with their operating procedure." He paused thinking. "Their shields are primarily designed for space combat, so their efficiency is degraded in the atmosphere, but still you'll need fairly heavy payload missiles to crack them. If you can locate the base ship in orbit, I'd recommend the use of tactical nuclear warheads, they're the closest thing to ship-killer torpedoes I've seen locally."
Several sharp gasps came from those assembled, one of the loudest right at his side. Despite the obvious distress the idea caused him, Jake remained silent and still, as he was supposed to. The higher ups were disturbed enough not to notice his breach.
"You are suggesting we use nuclear weapons already?" Lt. Cmdr. Davron's voice was incredulous, but his face showed enough consideration that he wasn't dismissing it out of hand. "Are you aware of the cost of fallout in lives and environmental damage?"
Lt. Cmdr. Richardson was too shocked to reply at first. After hearing Lt. Cmdr. Davron's question he joined the rest of the room in watching 1st. Lt. Bashar intently, waiting for an answer.
"Only in a orbital situation." Nathan said quietly. "And if you're going to take down a capital ship, that's the level of firepower you need." He said simply. "You don't have planetary defense guns to deal with them, or planetary shields to keep them from targeting at will. Even your interceptors are limited to atmospheric operations." He said, doing a frank analysis of the situation. "You can be sure that if it comes down to it, they won't be at all restrained in using nuclear weapons, or worse. This is not an enemy who plays by any 'rules of war' save the rule that the winner writes history." He added, trying to get the seriousness of the situation across.
The muscular chocolate on grey tabby nodded, clearly more than a little stunned as he assessed their options.
"Do their cloaking have a weakness we can exploit, to find that ship?" He quickly focused on the first primary objective for his division.
"Given they're close enough to be spotted visually, they'll have to be using electromagnetic refraction shields to stay invisible. Problem with those is they build up a charge from the solar wind, which has to be dumped periodically. That dump usually shows as a burst of radio noise, but you'll need to coordinate satellites to pin down the origin." He said, trying to remember his course on stealth technologies. It hadn't seemed very interesting at the time, since he was a ground commando, not a ship commander. "There's another option, but it'll require some R&D to implement it."
Lt. Cmdr. Richardson's ears were still laid back in shock, but the tom was clearly recovering and was once more taking notes and planning a course of action.
"Mr. Pelletier, I think Brainstorm is best equipped for such a project." Commander Talbot suggested.
"I expect so. If you don't mind my borrowing your hotshots for awhile." Augustus asked with a smile, not even asking if the two would stay together.
The muscular commander chuckled. "I think we can spare them for awhile, but you can't keep them."
"Commander, I assume I should have the folks up at MASA contact you're team at Brainstorm for the implementation of the satellite coordination? I expect your birds are going to have to handle most of the load since they're a lot more recent then the birds we have up. 1st Lt. Bashar, how often to these radio burst occur and what strength of pulse are we talking about?" Lt. Cmdr. Richardson inquired trying to get their defence plans in motion.
"Frequency depends on the strength of the solar wind, and the relative strength of the planet's magnetic field." Nathan said with more calm than he really felt, deep inside part of him was still fighting what he was doing. "Normally it's about a twenty four to thirty six hour cycle. The strength depends on exactly how big a capital ship we're talking about, but any satellites that were too close, say under a half mile, could be momentarily knocked off line by the interference."
Commander Talbot nodded. "That's true, but the more birds we have listening the better the triangulation. I think there's already some collaboration between HASA and MASA so this shouldn't be too difficult."
"Yes, and for when we find it, please have Commander Feral and (Khan equivalent) contact me, so we can coordinate the payload." Davron nodded to both Richardson and Azra."
"Certainly." Lt. Cmdr. Richardson replied. "1st Lt. Bashar, is there anything else you can think of that would help us against them?"
"Not at the moment." Nathan said quietly. "I'll let you know if something comes to mind."
Commander Talbot nodded. "Very well. Lieutenant Bashar, Lieutenant Clawson you're both dismissed. You should receive your new orders for Brainstorm detached duty tomorrow morning."
"Yes, sir." Nathan and Jake said saluting crisply, before the Tiger made a textbook perfect turn to leave, his partner at his side.
It took only a few short minutes after they got back from the briefing for Nathan to be out of his dress uniform. Once he was down to nothing, he seemed a bit lost as to what to do next though. His scent was a clashing mixture of confusion, fear, fatigue and uncertainty.
Jake was only a moment behind him, taking even less care than usual with his uniform in his eagerness to guide his distressed partner into bed to be held and soothed until he calmed down. He didn't dare show how badly he was rattled by the state his pilot was in.
"Come," he murmured gently to the lost feline.
Nathan was easily guided into their bed, and he quickly snuggled up against his gunner as his mind tried to sort several conflicting impulses. He hadn't felt so confused since he was a kit, and it showed in his scent.
"It's going to be okay, partner," Jake murmured softly, holding the much bigger tom as best he could. "They still have a hold on you, don't they?"
"Yes." Nathan admitted very quietly, more than a little ashamed.
"None of that, partner," Jake told him firmly. "No shame for doing what you have to."
"I couldn't tell them what I thought the real objective was." He whispered softly.
"Tell me, partner." Jake murmured gently in his ear. "I'm your partner, first and last."
"I think they're after me." He said very softly. "Look where the probes are; one in Midrasha near the Autonomous region, and one not far from here. The one in MegaKat City is a distraction."
"Well they can't have you," Jake flattened his ears. "You're my partner. We'll make this one hell of an expensive attempt for them too."
"Is one life worth millions?" Nathan asked softly, and more than a bit miserably.
"Our two over millions of theirs, yes," he hissed softly, determinedly. "Do you really think they'll stop even if you're why they're here? If they've got enough force to take us on, why would they leave with only us?"
"Because of what I am." Nathan said quietly. "I'm sure they've only got one starship, so they aren't set up for slave running."
"Then we blow that ship out of the sky and let them know we've got claws."
"We can try." Nathan said softly. "Just keep an eye on me." He asked, in a tone that was almost pleading. "I can't be sure how much they still own me."
"I will," Jake murmured and pulled the Tiger close. "I always will."
"Morning, partner." Nathan said quietly, even before his eyes opened over ten hours later. His scent had calmed significantly, though the chaos of emotions he'd been through still lingered in his fur. "Sweet Felsira, I need a shower."
"Yes, you do." Jake murmured softly with a nuzzle. "Good thing we didn't have duty yesterday."
"I think the Commander picked up on how frazzled I was." He said quietly. "He's pretty sharp, reminds me of my father a little."
"He didn't have to pick it up from you, buddy." He chuckled softly and hugged the Tiger tight. "I was fairly freaked out there as well."
"Sorry, I didn't notice that." Nathan apologized softly. "I was having enough trouble holding it together. There was a very strong urge to shut up, and not say anything."
Jake hugged him again. "It's okay buddy. You were facing something you weren't ready for." He nuzzled him gently. "Let's get that smell out of your fur before it wines you up again.
Nathan hugged the lean tom close. "Thanks, Jake." He rumbled, as he headed for the bathroom. "New orders should probably arrive today sometime."
"Probably not until well after dawn though," he smirked playfully and followed his mate. "At least they took the hint from when you were in the hospital and didn't try to separate us."
"Probably has something to do with a conversation I had with the Commander just before graduation." Nathan said quietly, as he began adjusting the water temperature to the body penetrating heat he desperately wanted.
"Oh? What was that?"
"I told him if he ever thought about separating us, he might as well write up my discharge papers." Nathan said with a smile, though there was no doubting that he was completely serious. "I've got the partner I want, and I'm not interesting in changing." He said as he stepped under the shower, and pulled Jake in with him.
"And here I thought it was my show at the hospital that kept us together," Jake pouted playfully as their fur soaked to the skin.
"I expect that convinced him that he'd be getting two resignations for the price of one decision." Nathan rumbled amusedly, as he reached for the shampoo.
"And a couple homicides," he shook his head and chuckled and claimed the bottle after Nathan had squeezed his share out. "One nurse lost all her color when she said visitor hours were over."
"I guess partners don't get the same leniency that mates do." Nathan said quietly. "So did you actually say something to her, or was a look sufficient?" He asked, with a grin.
"I think I growled, actually." He smirked.
"That would do it." Nathan grinned, and nuzzled his partner. "You have a very intimidating growl."
Jake could only laugh and catch his partner's neck for a playful kiss. "Most would prefer to be scared out of their skin by your roar."
"I never roar when I'm angry." Nathan smirked playfully. "I still can't believe the Academy gave us new neighbours in the barracks every year. You'd think they 'd want folks there who were used to us."
"I think the folks there wanted some sleep, Tiger." He grinned with a chuckle and soaped up. "Though I think it would have been cheaper to invest in the sound proofing we have here."
"Probably would've broken some rule about treating all cadets equally." Nathan chuckled, as he soaped up, scrubbing carefully to get the unwanted scents out of his fur.
"True and wouldn't have helped when we left a window open." He snickered and helped scrub his partners back. "It shuts up any doubts about you being a Tiger right quick too."
"Yeah, just 'cause I'm just barely seven foot." He chuckled. "And its such fun shutting them up too." He winked playfully at his partner.
"Oh, is it ever," Jake grinned back. "Watch to catch time air-time while we're waiting for our new assignment? I doubt we will be getting much in for a while."
"Sounds like a good idea." Nathan nodded, as he moved to scrub his partner's back. "Though maybe we'll be able to talk Brainstorm into letting us fly one of theirs." He chuckled.
"They'd never let is go if they found out what we could do with those beauties." He snickered. "You know how hard test pilots are to come by."
"Yeah." Nathan grinned. "Shows in the pay scale too." He chuckled.
"Could be a fun way to pay for a vacation or two," he purred teasingly.
"Especially if the Commander would go for letting us work part-time at Brainstorm." He smiled. "And vacations are definitely good things."
"If we're willing to, do you think they'll give him much choice?" Jake smirked and winked at his partner. "Especially when our contract is up."
Nathan laughed broadly. "I doubt they would. But I'd rather keep things pleasant, after all he did put us together."
"Always best," he smirked. "But it never hurts to know just how good a position you're in."
"No, it doesn't." Nathan smiled. "Nice to actually be able to negotiate."
"And it'll only get better, partner." Jake purred softly and turned to claim a soft kiss. "We've proven just how good we are. We can name our price anywhere on this planet."
"I rather like right here." Nathan rumbled softly, as he pulled Jake close and was nuzzled for it.
"So do I," he smiled softly and relaxed into the strong embrace of his pilot. "It's nice to be in that much control though, to be so free to choose what we want, not just what's on offer."
"Yes it is." Nathan said softly. "When I was little, I used to dream of beginning able to chose what I did. I never really believed it would ever happen." He said in a soft, dreamy voice, his mind far away in memories.
"As long as we stay together, buddy, no one can do more than temporarily take that from us." He squeezed the Tiger's arm reassuringly. "Not even those monsters that want you. We're good enough to do whatever we want to in the long run."
"And we are going to stay together." Nathan said firmly. "No matter what anybody says or does." He added with a light, determined growl.
"And Nathan, that means I come with you, even if you choose to go back to them, to protect this world." He turned around and met the Tiger's eyes seriously. "I've got nothing here I care about that much, to loose you."
That caught Nathan a little by surprise, though he realized that Jake didn't really know what he was letting himself in for. "We can't let it come to that." Nathan said quietly, as an old pain long forgotten welled up from inside and threatened to overwhelm him. A sudden wash of soul-deep guilt infused his scent, even through the water and soap.
"Shu, buddy." Jake murmured softly and held his partner close in the rain of hot water and half-cleaned bodies. "We won't. Just understand, I'm you're partner. I stand with you."
"I know." He said quietly, as he held onto the lean tom. "Just can't take losing another." He said softly, with his eyes closed as if trying to not look at something.
"I know, Nathan." Jake held him tightly. "Believe me, I know."
"Sorry, I'm not used to losing control like this." Nathan said quietly, holding Jake close. "Haven't thought about Ry in years."
"It's okay, Nate," he murmured, nuzzling the bigger tom to sooth him as best he could. "You're allowed to grieve, you know."
"Not the way they taught me." He said quietly. "Grief was for the weak. A weak moment your enemies could exploit. " He murmured. "I could never let them see that weakness."
"I'm not an enemy," Jake murmured softly but firmly. "Grief and weakness are okay, when only those who care for you are there."
"I know you're not." Nathan said softly, gently nuzzling his partner. "It's just hard to get past what I grew up thinking was true."
"It is true, partner," Jake reached up to kiss him gently. "But it's okay to be weak, when it's safe." He guided Nathan's clouded green eyes to meet his. "When it's just you and me, it is safe. No one is watching us here. I make sure of it."
Nathan nodded, and putting his faith in the trust he'd developed for Jake over the last four years he let the tears fall, that he'd held back for almost a decade. Time became meaningless as guilt, loss and pain washed out of him, sobbing as he'd wanted to, but had never felt safe enough to before. His gunner simply held him, giving as much physical and mental support as he could as they sank to the floor of the shower, it's drops hiding much of the Tiger's weakness from the sight of one who would never use it against him.
Unusual Partners 2: Haven Officers
Het Level is None Slash Level is Femslash Level is None Herm Level is None
26 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Closed-Unfinished
Written March 13, 2003 by Rauhnee Ranshanka, Todd McCall and Andrew Johnson
Setting: Galactic Alliance, Haven
Primary Races: Felsin, Kat
Pairings: Jake Clawson/Nathan Bashar
Blurb: Three months after graduation, Nathan sees something on the news that changes their lives forever.
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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