Matt Mouser, Ala-Kat-Zam
Wand and Wanda
The trial of Fat Kat, kingpin of crime, is about to begin, with stoolie Matt Mouser a chief witness against him. Is it any wonder that Fat Kat wants him and his alter ego Ala-Kat-Zam dead and has hired Feline Faust to do the deed? Good thing the Zoo Crew’s Alley-Kat-Abra is around to watch Matt’s back!
The obese kingpin known as Fat Kat stalked back and forth in front of his visitor.
“This is the job,” he growled. “I need two guys gone. One is a stoolie named Matt Mouser. He is supposed to testify against me, but so far he has stayed out of sight, and the trial isn’t too far away. The other is this new hero guy, Ala-Kat-Zam. He has ruined two tries at acquiring pieces of property that I wanted. Can you fix it?”
“Yes, I can,” said the hit cat.
Matt Mouser walked into the courthouse, keeping his eyes open in search of any unusual movement. He was finally ready to testify against the biggest gangster the city had ever known since Ducky Duciano. He would have been extremely fearful except for the wand he had tucked up his sleeve.
He had changed a little every day he had waited for the trial to begin. He was afraid of what Fat Kat would do to get him, but it wasn’t crippling like it had been at first. He was almost another cat entirely.
Felina Furr never liked New Yak City. She had lived in the city when her team first started, but now Los Antelopes was her home.
She walked toward a small shop off a side street, keeping her hand on her Magic Wanda in her handbag. It was leading her toward something at her destination, and she wondered what was going on.
Matt Mouser looked around the lobby of the courthouse. Spotting a sign pointing to his courtroom, he headed that way and pushed on the wooden door.
He realized he was in trouble as soon as he stepped through that door. No courtroom existed where he had been brought. Instead, a wide, open plain under a red sky stretched on for miles in any direction.
“Hello, Mr. Mouser,” said a smooth voice from behind Matt. “I will be your assassin today.”
Matt jumped forward and turned to confront his attacker. He wasn’t surprised to find a cat in a purple dress and head gear. The guy was smiling hugely, like he’d had a good dinner.
“My name is Feline Faust,” said the cat. “Time for your death, Mr. Mouser.”
“Faust?” said Matt. “I know you. Captain Carrot’s crew put you in jail for wearing an eyesore in public.”
“What did you say?” said the assassin, swelling up in his anger.
“I said goodbye,” finished Matt, slapping his wand, which tapped against his other arm, as he thought about the lobby of the courthouse.
He popped out of Faust’s strange limbo back to his normal reality. Another wand tap, and he was garbed in his black costume, ready to do battle with the villainous villain as Ala-Kat-Zam. Matt looked around quickly, familiarizing himself with the coming battlefield.
Felina Furr felt a surge of energy through her system. She pulled a black wand from her purse, and a flash of light garbed her in the battle dress of her alter ego, Alley-Kat-Abra. She pointed Wanda into the air and took flight. Something was going on that needed her attention.
Suddenly, part of the courthouse blew out into the air. She waved her wand, and two giant hands caught the debris and placed it on the ground below. It wasn’t exactly what she expected, but it was trouble.
Matt Mouser stood ready. He had narrowly avoided a powerful blast that had ripped a hole out of the wall. Now he saw that Faust was unleashing something else.
A tornado erupted and charged Matt with a ferocious howl. He tapped the floor with his wand, and the granite tiles jumped, sending the whirling enemy into the ceiling. A tunnel quickly appeared as the thing dug through to the next floor.
A feminine figure appeared in the hole in the wall and waved her own wand at Faust from across the room. “Feline Faust?” shouted Alley-Kat-Abra. “Shouldn’t you be wasting away the hours in a jail cell on Earth-C-Minus right now?”
“Everyone needs a vacation once in a while,” said Feline Faust, frowning at the sudden opposition. All he had wanted to do was kill Matt Mouser. Instead, the informer had escaped the trap, and these meddlers were here to cramp his style. Time to deal out some pain.
Casually deflecting the bolt from Abra with a wave of a hand, Faust brought both hands together in the one-thousand clapping hands spell. A thunder and vibration hit the two heroes like a jackhammer, slamming them to the ground.
Matt tried to clear his head from the thunderous blow he had received. He tapped the floor, and that lifted him in a wave, carrying him along in a mad flurry.
Ala-Kat-Zam scooped up Alley-Kat-Abra as he was flung through the hole in the wall to freedom. He tapped his boots so that they would absorb the impact. Then he tapped himself, willing the hesitant birds he saw waiting for him to pass out. Then he tapped his burden awake. Maybe she would have some idea how to confront Faust.
As the swashbuckling sorcerer tried to regroup, Feline Faust recited a rhyme accompanied by grand gestures. A diagram of color leaped from his own piece of wood and struck the two heroes.
Ala-Kat-Zam found himself alone in a void of darkness. He almost lost his wand in his surprise.
Meanwhile, Alley-Kat-Abra was trussed to a giant tree as big as a world. Beetles with smiley faces approached with clicking mandibles.
Matt Mouser felt the heat from his body leech away. He knew he had seconds to act. He tapped himself with his wand.
He popped from the nothingness to the courthouse. He found both enemy and new ally gone, and he frowned as he considered his options. He decided he needed to locate the wizardress from the Zoo Crew. So he needed something he could use to search for her.
His televison came to mind. It could be the perfect crystal ball, with some adjustment.
Elsewhere, Felina Furr tried to wiggle out of the grasp of the tree that held her. That was a bust. The beetles were almost in touching range.
Felina tried to point her Magic Wanda at the wood. She willed a beam of light to cut her free, and the beetles paused as she took flight, cape waving in a slight breeze.
She drew a circle in the air. In the middle of the glowing sketch, the courthouse beckoned to her. She stepped through, relieved to be home.
“Fancy seeing you again,” said her new ally, grinning ear to ear.
“Where’s Faust?” asked Felina, looking around at the wreckage caused by the fight.
“Flown the coop,” said Matt. He spotted local police running to the scene. “I have to go.”
“Wait,” said Felina. “How do I contact you?”
“What do you mean?” said Matt. “You are out of it. Stay out.”
Ala-Kat-Zam tapped himself with the wand and teleported away. He changed into his civilian clothes and made his way back.
Matt Mouser reported to the courtroom where he was supposed to testify. The judge had ordered a continuance until another day. He frowned at the thought of waiting for Faust to take another shot at him in the meantime. Time to put his idea into play to hunt the dress-wearing loon down.
Walking out of the courthouse toward a nearby subway entrance, he made sure to check for other familiar faces as he went. No way was he leading Fat Kat’s minions to his hideaway. It was the one place he felt safe in. He wasn’t going to give that up for the overweight mobster. Even a super-hero needed somewhere to live.
Alley-Kat-Abra flew away after answering the questions from the police. She gave them the number of the Z-Building so that they could get in touch when they needed her. She hovered over the area, scanning for Feline Faust or the other magician. Neither seemed in evidence.
Felina decided a little meditation would help her search. She headed for her hotel and the aids she had in her baggage. She would get to the bottom of this mess and extract a certain satisfaction from Faust.
She opened the window of her room and floated in, then changed into her karate gi before making preparations for looking for her new enemy.
Matt Mouser reached his building without incident. Stepping into an alley beside the brownstone, he waited for any attack and was glad none came.
He tapped the brick wall, and he was sucked through to his apartment. He tapped the inner wall, cutting off contact with the outside world. He didn’t want Feline Faust finding him in the same way he expected him to use. He then went to the refrigerator and fixed a plate of sandwiches to eat before he tried out his idea. All this manipulation made a man hungry.
Matt sat down on his couch, put his feet on a stool, and ate while flipping channels with the remote. He settled on a baseball game from out of Kornsas. It was amazing what you could do with a magic wand and a desire to watch sports in real time.
Finishing his meal, Matt got up once in the seventh inning to get a couple of canned sodas to drink. As soon as the game was over, he would have to get to work.
After Matt watched the end of the game, he walked over and tapped the top of the television set. The picture changed to one of a fat cat in a slick suit shouting into the camera. Matt gave the set another little tap, and the picture shifted ninety degrees. The fat guy was shouting at a certain mystical feline in a dress.
Matt smiled. He felt refreshed and ready to rumble. He changed clothes again. Time to make a house call as Ala-Kat-Zam, he decided with a wide grin.
Tapping the screen again, he poited from his apartment, appearing behind Feline Faust just like he planned.
Felina Furr sat in her hotel room, her meditation aids on the floor beside her. She breathed the burning incense deeply, and she held Wanda in her hand, the tip glowing in its familiar starburst way.
The piece of wood rotated on its own accord as Felina concentrated on her quarry. A glowing arrow leaped in the air. Felina smiled.
Garbing herself in her costume again, Alley-Kat-Abra flew out of the window, following the arrow toward a townhouse in the rich part of the town.
Matt Mouser wasted no time. He tapped Faust on the back even as Fat Kat opened his mouth to say some warning. Faust turned, face dark with anger.
Faust made a gesture, said a rhyme. Nothing happened. He looked down at his hands, looking betrayed by himself.
Matt smiled. His plan had worked perfectly. He tapped Faust again, and the mage flew through a window in a blur.
Alley-Kat-Abra saw her quarry hit the ground hard. She landed lightly to one side. Feline Faust tried to work another spell. Again nothing happened.
“That’s too bad,” said Abra. “I had hoped to match you spell for spell. I guess instead I’m just going to have to do something else.”
Faust got up and tried to run, but a hand on the collar of his robe drew him up short. Then his head slammed him against the ground while his legs swooped through the air. Felina brought a foot down to let Faust hear the little birds sing.
Ala-Kat-Zam hopped through the window and smiled at the sight of his beautiful colleague. “Fancy meeting a kitten like you in a place like this,” he said.
Ala-Kat-Zam and Alley-Kat-Abra watched as Fat Kat told the cops that Feline Faust had been there to rob him. Faust backed the story up. Matt Mouser shook his head, turned away, and walked from the scene.
“Don’t worry,” Felina Furr said, walking beside him. “He’ll slip up some time.”
“I hope so,” said Matt. “I don’t want to have to face a lot of hired guns before that happens.”
“You’ll do fine,” said Felina. “Good luck.” She took to the air.
Matt smiled and tapped himself home.