SK Daemons (drabbles)

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LadyStormcrow
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SK Daemons (drabbles)

Postby LadyStormcrow » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:14 pm

Whew, my first small step back into writing!

One thing I've seen on Tumblr often (and have written a bit myself) is people taking the concept of daemons from Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, and imagining what daemons characters from different stories would have, and how it would play out in the actual setting. I thought it would be a fun challenge to try it for SWAT Kats, especially since there are quite a few technically-undead characters. (For those not familiar with His Dark Materials, daemons = the physical manifestation of a person's soul, which takes on an animal form. They can talk, and have their own names and genders. Children's daemons can change into any animal they want, but when a person settles on their adult personality, their daemon settles on one species.)

It was a challenge not including any cat species in this (I'm already stretching it applying the concept to non-humans anyway), but I think it still turned out well :) If anyone wants to continue this, suggesting daemons for other characters, please feel free!

~~~

Ever since he was a child, Chance’s daemon has favored the shape of a bird. A sparrow when he felt curious, a gull when his mind wandered, a fierce shrike when he got into fights – it didn’t matter, as long as she could take to the air. When she finally settled into the form of a red-tailed hawk, Chance took it as a sign that his dream of becoming an Enforcer pilot was sure to come true. She was disappointed to find she couldn’t keep up flying alongside a jet (not that it stopped her from trying more than once), but she’s learned to put up with riding inside. It’s worth it to share in her owner’s dream, and to feel the thrill of flying higher and faster than she ever could on her own wings.

Jake’s daemon, a brown capuchin, is a little more at home in the cockpit. She’s quick to help her owner, pushing buttons and flipping switches with her nimble little hands, and slipping down into the weapons bay for last-minute adjustments (she’s just as useful in the garage too, fetching tools and adjusting the radio at Jake’s direction). Indeed, it’s rare to see her sitting still, and just as rare to see her sad or worried: when they were exiled to the salvage yard, she groomed Chance’s heartbroken hawk daemon to comfort her, and when she huddled miserably in Jake’s lap after he believed he’d injured two civilians, his friend knew how deeply it affected him.

Both daemons do their best to help their owners keep their identities secret. They stay out of direct combat when they can, and never let the press film them or hear their voices. So far, it seems to be working (it helps that “a brown monkey” and “some kind of hawk” are pretty common as daemons go), but some of the SWAT Kats’ allies do wonder…

~

Callie’s daemon is a roe deer. He’s small and graceful, more cute than majestic, and that suits Callie just fine; she’s not trying to draw attention to herself. When backed into a corner, though, he’s a surprisingly fierce fighter, striking out with flinty hooves and sharp little antlers. He’s also one of the few daemons that’s spent time up close with the hawk and capuchin (even letting them perch on his back after a particularly hard fight with the latest villain), and while his owner may not know that her heroes and her mechanics are one and the same, he does.

Manx’s daemon is a snowshoe hare. Her lovely white coat and bouncy, outgoing nature make her look good to the press, and help distract voters from how skittish she truly is (the image of her cowering behind the legs of Callie’s deer daemon has stuck in a few minds). Manx doesn’t care, though. He knew by the time she settled that he wasn’t cut out for a more “heroic” daemon – and besides, out on the course, she’s very helpful at retrieving lost golf balls.

Feral’s daemon is a German shepherd, large and commanding like her owner. She’s quick to bark at threats, and quick to give a scolding nip to the daemon of any Enforcer recruit who steps out of line. (This doesn’t work, however, on Felina’s peregrine falcon daemon, who’s long since learned to dodge and swoop fast enough to keep out of range.) She’s also not the easiest daemon to fit in a jet, which is one reason her owner favors a chopper. But in the end, she’s a brave fighter, a fierce protector, and Feral wouldn’t trade her for anything.

~

Dark Kat’s daemon is a raven – a dark, croaking carrion bird with a fiendishly clever mind. Like her owner, she prefers to stay out of direct combat and fight her enemies with trickery, but her sharp talons and strong beak can do some damage if she gets the drop on an opponent (she nearly took out the eyes of T-Bone’s hawk when they grappled in Dark Kat’s volcano lair).

The Pastmaster’s daemon is a bird that the people of Megalith City called an ‘iris jay’, a more colorful (and more vicious) relative of the magpie. She slept alongside him for eight hundred years, lying protectively close to his watch (right over where the immortal sorcerer’s heart used to be). When the two of them woke in the modern day, they learned that her species had been hunted to extinction since the Dark Ages; ever since then, she’s been yet another reminder of how urgently he wants to return Megakat City to the past.

Elrod Purvis’ rat snake daemon died when he did, writhing in agony at the foot of the stairs as her owner succumbed to the shock of the mutagen. The mutation that later revived him did not change that. As a consequence, Dr. Viper has no daemon, and it’s this, more than his reptilian appearance, that makes him so disturbing to normal kats. (He’d never admit it, but part of Viper does miss her. It’s one reason he likes to keep a mutant creation or two close at hand – they’re a poor, twisted substitute for a daemon, but they’re better than nothing.)

Mac and Molly Mange were luckier. Hackle’s robots managed to find them before the last spark of life had left their bodies, and the old professor’s snowy owl daemon helped guide their fast-fading jackal and fisher cat daemons to her owner’s laboratory. Through some miracle (even Hackle doesn’t know how she managed it), she was able to share some of her own essence with them, and keep them alive just long enough for her owner to complete the brain transfer process. When Mac and Molly woke up as the Metallikats for the first time, their daemons were there to greet them.

(And it’s because of this that Hackle cannot bring himself to destroy the Metallikats. His daemon gave life to theirs – in a very real sense, they are his children. Even when the Metallikats are deactivated, their daemons lying comatose in a silver-mesh cage at Enforcer Headquarters, Hackle and his daemon feel that connection, and know that they always will.)
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Re: SK Daemons (drabbles)

Postby KristenSK » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:27 pm

Oh, wow, these are all great! I've seen this concept around before but never applied to SK. And, while you've crafted very fitting daemons for everyone, the stories of the villains who have died or nearly died are the most intriguing. If a daemon is the manifestation of the soul, it's interesting what that may mean for Viper.
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Re: SK Daemons (drabbles)

Postby Kooshmeister » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:28 pm

LadyStormcrow wrote:Elrod Purvis’ rat snake daemon died when he did, writhing in agony at the foot of the stairs as her owner succumbed to the shock of the mutagen. The mutation that later revived him did not change that. As a consequence, Dr. Viper has no daemon, and it’s this, more than his reptilian appearance, that makes him so disturbing to normal kats. (He’d never admit it, but part of Viper does miss her. It’s one reason he likes to keep a mutant creation or two close at hand – they’re a poor, twisted substitute for a daemon, but they’re better than nothing.)


This is a really awesome idea, I have to admit. ViperSMile
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Re: SK Daemons (drabbles)

Postby marklungo » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:49 am

KristenSK wrote: If a daemon is the manifestation of the soul, it's interesting what that may mean for Viper.


Well, "Dr. Viper" is an anagram for "Elrod Purvis" with the letters S-O-U-L removed...

Anyway: Lady Stormcrow, this is a really fascinating concept, and you've done a great job of elaborating on it. BTW, since I'm not familiar with the books: is a daemon always the opposite gender of his/her owner?
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Re: SK Daemons (drabbles)

Postby LadyStormcrow » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:01 am

marklungo wrote: BTW, since I'm not familiar with the books: is a daemon always the opposite gender of his/her owner?


Most often they are. It's mentioned that some people do have same-gender daemons, but the author's never really confirmed what that signifies. The most popular fan theory is that it means the person is gay, or maybe transgender (the story's set in a very conservative world where openly transitioning probably wouldn't be accepted), but Pullman's also suggested it could have to do with psychic abilities.
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