Mumm-Ra's pyramid was awfully quiet. Even when the tips of the four obelisks surrounding it didn't emit any lightning, it was still a frightening place. But just then, those tips glowed immensely, and out their mystical lightning went, eventually coming upon the pyramid's own tip. Something very serious must've happened to awaken Mumm-Ra from his slumber.
"Who dare to disturb Mumm-Ra?" boomed the demon-priest's voice from inside his sarcophagus in the tomb chamber. The eyes of the open-mouthed skull housing the mildewed, stone-grey crypt glowed green. The sarcophagus opened up to reveal the awakened, withered form of Mumm-Ra, himself bathed in an eerie green glow that evaporated quickly.
He walked out of the source of his strength and straight over to the boiling purple waters of his cauldron. With a simple stretchout of his arms, the cauldron emitted purple steam that dissipated to reveal a vision of the Cat's Lair. He covered himself up in his tattered robe and stared in disgust at the home of his most hated enemies.
"Those insufferable ThunderCats," he snarled. "What could they have done this time to awaken me from my sleep?"
The cauldron's vision shifted to the ThunderCats giving four unknown children, a dog, and a floating gopher a tour of the lair. He gazed at the newcomers curiously.
"Those six I have never seen before," he mused. However, when he sensed a powerful energy inside the gopher, he gaped. He widened his eyes, and they glowed pulsatingly. He looked closer at the small creature and narrowed his eyes.
"What is this? That gopher possesses magic that could rival my own. It could even rival Lion-O's precious Sword of Omens."
Stretching his arms out yet again, Mumm-Ra called out, "Nemesis, force of darkness, come to the aid of Mumm-Ra! Tell me of this strange gopher creature! Where does he hail from, and how will I use him to my advantage?!"
The cauldron's vision faded, and a massive, sky-blue fire appeared before Mumm-Ra, who then had his arms crossed in a ritual-esque manner. The fire spoke to the decayed mummy in a deep British voice, "The creature you speak of, Mumm-Ra, is called a Glomley. He comes from the magical dimension of Chaundoon, where Glomleys and leprechauns alike work together in harmony."
"Where is this Chaundoon?" asked Mumm-Ra.
"It exists at the edge of the rainbow, sealed off from outsiders," answered Nemesis. "But Chaundoon was not as it is today. Observe."
The fire dissolved, and only the cauldron remained. The cauldron revealed a vision of a less-colorful domain full of male and female Glomleys going about each other's businesses, some Glomleys fully clothed. The sky was back with gloomy, dark-grey clouds.
"Long ago," began Nemesis, his voice now having a reflective effect, "Chaundoon was not so magical. The Glomleys treated each other differently. They did not believe in harmony, nor in any other outside source. But that had changed one day, when an elderly male Glomley named Glomward believed his people could do more with themselves and their lives."
Next up, the cauldron showcased the Glomley that Nemesis spoke of, one who saw beyond the nature of his people. He had grey fur as opposed to the usual beige fur a Glomley had, and his face was that of a seasoned veteran. His hair and beard were a darker grey. He held a cane to keep himself steady. He looked on from his house at the present state his people were in, and his expression was of disappointment and sadness. Gathering his courage, he went outside to offer a solution to them.
"When Glomward addressed his people, he suggested that they look beyond what they think they knew about themselves and let themselves grow into something more," Nemesis continued as Glomward tried to reason with the Glomleys. His advice had gotten through to some of them, but the rest had protested what he proposed, and strongly believed they were happy the way they were, that they did not need any outside sources interfering with their way of life."
What the cauldron showed next definitely peaked Mumm-Ra's interest, for he was absorbed already into Chaundoon's history. He slightly leaned in, his eyes flashing a supernatural red. The cauldron's vision was of the Glomleys attacking each other in every sort - throwing, kicking, tripping, grappling, punching, strangling, and poking.
Nemesis continued to narrate their backstory. "A while later, the Glomleys ended up fighting each other over Glomward's words, almost to the point of extinction. They fought so much that logic and reason had given way to rage and barbarism."
"And what happened afterwards, Nemesis?" Mumm-Ra inquired.
"What happened next would change Glomleykind forever," replied Nemesis. "A stranger appeared before them. Her name was Prospora, a watcher from the dimension of Spectac."
Before the Glomleys was the turquoise-glowing feminine shape. It startled the them rightfully. The glow faded soon to reveal a wavy brown-haired, grey-eyed woman in a copper toga. Glomward and his kin stared at this stranger who appeared out of nowhere in their darkest hour.
"Prospora had witnessed the Glomleys' turmoil firsthand, and unknown to her people, she secretly travelled to Chaundoon to appeal to the Glomleys to surpass their way of thinking," continued Nemesis as Prospora conversed with the Glomleys. "She saw something in Glomward that he had yet to realize himself - that Chaundoon needed a leader."
"She was not a worthy candidate, perhaps," figured Mumm-Ra.
"You are correct," Nemesis noted. "Prospora believed Glomward to be Chaundoon's guardian, but Glomward did not believe that. He felt he was not worthy of leadership, that he was responsible for Chaundoon's destruction. Though he admitted his mistake, Prospora still saw in him great potential."
"Did he accept her offer?"
"Yes, Mumm-Ra, with some convincing. Prospora gave some of her power to Glomward, and a new uniform that would solidify his new status."
Prospora raised her left hand and generated a multi-colored sphere that ricocheted towards and enveloped Glomward in its light. For a minute, only the light remained, and the Glomleys were wondering what would become of the one they fought over earlier. But their fears were put to rest when the light faded to reveal Glomward in an all-white robe. They were taken aback by his new clothing, and so was he.
"Prospora told Glomward that if he used his new gift properly, his life would be prolonged," stated Nemesis. "She assured him that he would lead Chaundoon to a new age of peace and happiness, and bade him and the Glomleys farewell." Prospora disappeared in the same glow she arrived in.
"Very interesting," mused Mumm-Ra.
"Glomward concentrated on the paradise he envisioned Chaundoon to be. His concentration paid off," continued Nemesis once more. Glomward closed his eyes in concentration and held his left hand up in the air. It emitted sparkles waiting to be released. When Glomward opened his eyes, they glowed white, and the sparkles flew from his hand, stopping in the middle of the sky. They exploded and transformed Chaundoon into what Glomward had envisioned - a rebuilt, more-colorful paradise complete with fuschia sky and yellow clouds.
"And so began the Glomleys' path to the light." Glomward and his kin faced each other with hope and love now radiating within them, Prospera's words having gotten through to them. The Glomleys knelt before Glomward in a knight-like fashion, causing him to smile. "They promised themselves that they would never again give in to despair, and accepted Glomward as their leader."
"But what about the leprechauns, Nemesis?" Mumm-Ra asked. "How did they wind up in Chaundoon?"
"They arrived by accident," Nemesis answered for the demon-priest as the cauldron showcased a union between the Glomley and leprechaun peoples that was formed a while later that allowed Chaundoon to fully evolve into the city it was today, with Glomward overseeing everything. "They attempted to breach the time-space continuum and failed miserably. Instead of shunning them outright, Glomward - soon to be known to future Glomleys as 'the Great Glomley Elder' - offered them a place to stay."
"Well, this certainly changes things. How will all this help me to regain my dominance of Third Earth?"
The cauldron now shifted to an adult female Glomley holding a sleeping baby male Glomley covered in a purple blanket with an adult male Glomley right by their side.
"The Glomley that was born into Chaundoon, named Glomer, had been unaware of how Chaundoon used to be," said Nemesis. The cauldron magically zoomed in on baby Glomer, his quietness seemingly conveying innocence. "He unknowingly had inherited from his mother the darkness that no longer plagued his people."
The cauldron's vision showed a two-year-old Glomer getting chastised by his parents for pulling an unnecessary prank on another child Glomley. His response was simply getting angry at them through his magic, his eyes glowing white and his body surrounded by a lavender-colored aura that shook their household and would eventually destroy Chaundoon.
"Both his parents realized that Glomleykind's inner demons existed within their son, and through Glomward's teachings, they performed a spell that had, unfortunately, regressed some of Glomer's courage," Nemesis continued.
Glomer's parents took each other's hands, closed their eyes, and murmured a chant in an ancient lanuage without letting go of each other. The mother raised her right arm and the father his left; they opened their eyes, pointed at their son, and shot rainbow-colored laser beams at Glomer, whose aura changed to the exact same color with anger fading and his eyes no longer glowing. The mother gently picked him up and held him in his arms, relief coursing through her and the father. The last remaining darkness of Glomleykind was put to rest, but at a cost.
"That same Glomley child, now four years old, is among the newcomers of Third Earth, and is still unaware of Chaundoon's true history. You can use Glomer's homeland to turn him over the dark side, and cleanse Third Earth of the ThunderCats for good." Now the cauldron shifted to the present with floating, four-year-old Glomer and his five companions inside the Cat's Lair's hangar, with the ThunderCats showcasing the ThunderTank to the easily-frightened newcomers; it was the tank's cat-like features that caused them to fear it. The vision faded back to the boiling fluids.
Mumm-Ra snickered. "When do I begin, Nemesis?" he asked eagerly, raising his left hand through his robe.
"By nightfall, demon priest," replied Nemesis. "When the ThunderCats and their new guests turn themselves in for the night, you are to invade Glomer's mind and give him a nightmarish vision of Chaundoon. Strike at his homesickness with all the power you can muster."
Mumm-Ra narrowed his eyes and smirked. "Yes," he said in a much lower voice. "And I can project an image of Glomward to 'help' Glomer through his troubles while I'm at it."
"Exactly," Nemesis said in a pleasing tone. "Return now to your crypt. Third Earth will be yours once again, just as it was when you were the human pharoah, Ka-Rey-Bar." At the mention of Mumm-Ra's former self, the mummy merely scoffed and turned his back on the cauldron. When he was once the pharoah known as Ka-Rey-Bar, he ruled over all of Egypt and eventually First Earth. Those who opposed him back then had put him in his place - in the very same pyramid that had always been his home - but his evil would never be subdued.
"Ka-Rey-Bar is dead," Mumm-Ra replied flatly, retreating to his sarcophagus as ordered. He stated with a little more gusto, "Now there is only Mumm-Ra, the Everliving." He cackled quietly to himself at this new attempt to vanquish the ThunderCats and reclaim his right to rule Third Earth. Once he reached his resting place and went back to sleep, the lid closed shut, and all was quiet once again.
The alarm systems in the control room of Cat's Lair went off yet again, which meant trouble was afoot somewhere around Third Earth. The door opened, and in ran the ThunderCats and Team Punky, their tour of the lair interrupted. Lion-O sat in the central chair and turned on the screen to reveal the Warrior Maidens' Treetop Kingdom being invaded by the Reptilians with both sides fending off each other's attacks. Team Punky were horrified at what they were seeing.
"What's happening, Lion-O?" asked Punky.
"The Warrior Maidens are under attack by the Reptilians," fretted the ThunderCat Lord, turning his chair to face Punky and her crew.
Panthro, Tygra, and Cheetara were seated at all three sub-control panels monitoring different locations. "The Berbil Village is under seige as well," noted the panther with an edge in his voice.
"And the Unicorn Forest," Tygra said from his position. "It's possible that the Monkians and Jackalmen have intruded on both places, too," he calculated.
Cheetara checked out other locations from her position. "Who knows where the Mutants will strike next?" she added.
WilyKit and WilyKat were standing by the door. Kit stated, "The lair's all secure at the moment."
"They're probably biding their time," conceded Kat.
"Snyearf! Something doesn't feel right about all this," Snarf said with dread.
"You're right, Snarf," concurred Cheetara. "It's weird that those three races would act without their leaders present."
"Those Monkians, Reptilians, and Jackalmen - are they the Mutants you were talking about?" Margaux asked.
"Yes, Margaux," replied the cheetah, her face stern. "Their leaders' names are Slithe, Monkian, and Jackalman. Only Slithe's name is official, as Monkian and Jackalman have no real names for themselves. I prey to our Thunderian ancestors that you don't meet up with those three."
"Especially Vultureman, their mechanic," Lion-O added.
"Vultureman?" asked Allen with a raised eyebrow.
"Who's he?" asked Cherie equally.
"Bottom line - Vultureman was a servant of the former Mutant leader, Ratar-O. Now he's a bit of a loose cannon," Panthro briefly explained.
"That sounding very badley," concurred Glomer.
Lion-O stood up and addressed his brethren. "ThunderCats, the Berbils, Warrior Maidens, and Unicorn Keepers are going to need our help. I know this feels like a trap to lure us out of the Cat's Lair, but we can't ignore someone in need. So we're to lend our friends a hand."
"What're your orders, Lion-O?" asked Tygra.
"You, Cheetara, the ThunderKittens, and Panthro are with me. We'll draw those Mutants away from their intended targets and fight on even ground." Then Lion-O turned his attention to Snarf and Team Punky. "Snarf, you keep an eye on things here. Continue the tour of the lair with Punky and her friends, and fix them something to eat while you're at it."
"You can count on me, Lion-O. Snarf snarf," agreed Snarf ever so eagerly.
"Will you guys come back safely?" Punky asked Lion-O. "You promised me and my friends we'd all get to know each other more."
Lion-O knelt down to Punky's level and held her hands close to his. "Don't worry, Punky," he replied to her softly. "As your friend and the Lord of the ThunderCats, I'll do everything in my power to help the locals out there and come back here." Brandon studied Lion-O's face, and it actually was genuine. It told the canine that maybe the ThunderCats were good people after all. He smiled proudly.
"Thanks," said Punky with a smile, her heart thawing further at the ThunderCats' generosity.
Lion-O stood back up and announced, "Let's go, ThunderCats!"
"Right!" the other six agreed. Lion-O turned off the screen and ran out the door with Panthro, Kat and Kit, Tygra, and Cheetara following closely behind. The door opened for them and closed after they left.
"Well then, kids, let's fix us a treat we can all enjoy before we can resume the tour of the lair," Snarf said to Team Punky.
"Sure thing," Punky, Cherie, Margaux, Allen, and Glomer said, Brandon barking happily.
"Uh, do you have bathrooms? We have to use them," Allen asked.
"Plus, we have to brush our teeth," added in Margaux. "Do you have toothpaste and toothbrushes?"
"Of course, my dear children," answered Snarf. "Follow me."
Outside the lair, its right paw opened up to reveal the mighty ThunderTank zooming forward with the drawbridge extending automatically. Cheetara and Lion-O were in the front of the tank, and Tygra, Panthro, and the ThunderKittens were in a standing position with the tank's hatch already open.
"What's the plan, you guys?" Kit asked.
"We split into three groups in order to draw the Mutants out into the open," replied Lion-O. "We'll lead them to a safe location so we can fight freely with them."
"It's six against an entire army, but we're more than willing to accept the challenge," consoled Panthro.
"It's tragic that the people of this world are now involved in our war with the Mutants," lamented Cheetara. "They never asked to participate in it."
"There's not a thing we can do about that, Cheetara," ensured Tygra.
"Which three teams have you decided on, Lion-O?" Kat asked eagerly.
"Panthro and myself will take the Berbil Village, you and WilyKit take the Unicorn Forest, and Cheetara and Tygra will take the Treetop Kingdom," confirmed Lion-O.
"Sounds good to me," Panthro, clenching his fists together in anticipation, agreed. "We can finish the job and return to Punky's team in next to no time."
If only it were that simple, Cheetara thought, her sixth sense on full alert. Like Lion-O said, this feels like a trap.
Punky, Allen, Margaux, Cherie, Brandon, and Glomer were in the dining room once more after getting done in the bathroom. They were advised by Snarf to wait until his "special kind of food" was done. Plastic plates were already set up for the kids along with napkins and forks. Glomer was sitting with the kids instead of floating usually, and Brandon sat on the floor. To avoid boredom, they all decided to talk about their saviors.
"What do you think of the ThunderCats so far?" asked Punky of her friends.
"They don't seem all that bad," Allen said. "They could've kicked us out or worse, but they didn't. They risked their lives for us. I just...I just can't see them being evil."
"They may be good and all, but I still feel weird talking to a bunch of alien cats. And they haven't even coughed up any hairballs," confessed Margaux, which elicited snickers from her friends.
"I admit that the ThunderCats are only looking out for our best interests," chimed in Cherie once the snickering died down. "Our conversation with them in this room convinced me that we're in good hands."
"I feeling exact same way," Glomer agreed. "Lion-O person and ThunderCats bear no ill will against us."
And now it was Punky's turn to talk. "Honestly, I thought the ThunderCats would do me in personally. It's true that we're still outsiders here on this Third Earth, but, something about Lion-O reminds me of myself." Her friends looked at her curiously.
"How's that, Punky?" Cherie asked.
"I have the strongest feeling that he and I may not be so different. His childhood was probably even rougher than mine." What Punky didn't know was that Lion-O's childhood was stolen from him when he arrived on Third Earth mysteriously 10 years older. "It's as if we both share something in common, despite being different species."
Brandon barked to everybody about the ThunderCats, especially Lion-O. He now bore a more positive expression on his face even after he distrusted the young lord and his team. He walked up to Punky, and the girl gracefully patted him on the head.
"You feel that way too, don't you, Brandon?" she asked happily, to which Brandon nodded a yes. Punky turned to the others and asked the one question that had been on all their minds. "I wonder how the ThunderCats are doing right now?"
"They said that they're used to danger, so we should trust them on that," Margaux replied nonchalantly.
"Shouldn't we be entitled to just a little worry?" Allen asked.
"I trust ThunderCats to survive encounter with Mutants," Glomer interjected. "Glomer have faith in them."
Punky looked to the floor in quiet contemplation. "I hope you're right, Glomer," she said. "I hope you're right."
The ThunderCats, Reptilians, Jackalmen, and Monkians were now in the Hunting Plains staring down each other. The ThunderCats had barely but successfully led the three Mutant groups to this place, for only here would they all fight on common ground, Lion-O reasoned. The Mutants seemed to accept his offer, and now here they all were. The area they were in didn't have the usual long grass that dominated most of the plains, but rather normal-looking grass.
The Hunting Plains were so named due to the fact that one enjoyed the thrill of the hunt. It would suit the Mutants well, for they'd always been on the hunt for Thunderians; the ThunderCats, however, would always fight for what was right, for their code forbade the slaughtering of another person, be they good or evil.
A short, dark-brown kangaroo with hooves, a Rumpa, hopped on carelessly from the background. It never even paid attention to the battle that was about to happen. Fortunately, it would never get that chance.
The Reptilian leader in yellow drew his scimitar and uttered to the ThunderCats sinisterly, "Draw," as his fellows drew their own scimitars, the Monkians pulled out their axes, and the Jackalmen readied their laser blasters.
The ThunderCats unveiled their own weapons. Lion-O put on his Claw Shield and unsheathed the Sword of Omens, which shifted to its full-length mode unbidden; Cheetara took out her baton and swung it reflexively, changing it into a staff, and held it in her hands; Tygra grabbed the three bolas on his handle and revealed his full whip; Panthro pulled his nunchuks out of nowhere and swung/twirled them about; WilyKit and WilyKat got out some pellets and held them tight in their fists like the warriors they were.
"All right, Mutants," declared Lion-O boldly, pointing his sword in the three groups' direction. "We're all here. Anytime you're ready."
"Hoo-hoo-hoo! The Monkians will take the ThunderKittens," said the Monkian leader with a high voice.
"We'll take the panther and cheetah," the drawl-voiced Jackalmen leader with the exposed torso proclaimed. Most of the other Jackalmen had an exposed torso while the other half wore straps on theirs.
The Reptilian leader gave an astoundingly smile. "That just leaves my kind with Lion-O and Tygra." His kind simply nodded. The plan that the real Mutant leaders had in store for the ThunderCats inquired a fully-united front.
"Very well then," said Lion-O, gripping his sword in both hands.
"ATTAAAACK!" the Reptilian leader roared, motioning all the Mutants forward to eliminate the ThunderCats, who advanced toward the Mutants. And so, the battle began.
"Here you go, everybody!" Snarf exclaimed cheerily as he rolled in a carton of foods. At the top were ground nut stew in a large clear bowl and a large spoon to go with it, cut-up breadfruit on a large white plate with a fork and knife, applesauce in six smaller bowls, and candyfruit lemonade in six blue plastic cups. On the bottom were two medium-sized orange bowls of grass pea soup and candyfruit lemonade. Team Punky looked at the food and sniffed its scent. They continued looking on as if they were in a trance.
"That's one brilliant meal you've cooked up, Snarf," Allen said admirably.
"Why, thank you, Allen," responded Snarf. "I always make sure everyone keeps up their strength."
"That meal be very goodley," Glomer said, already looking famished.
"And how," breathed Margaux.
"I think you'd better hurry with the food," Cherie said to Snarf, giving him a wink and thumb up.
"I second that," added Punky as she nodded in agreement.
"Coming right up. Snarf snarf," Snarf said. He served everyone on the table the ground nut stew first, the breadfruit second, the applesauce third, and the candyfruit lemonade fourth. He served Brandon the bowled grass pea soup and candyfruit lemonade. Snarf himself placed the rest of the food and his own plastic cup on the floor, joining Brandon and everyone else in getting their grub on.
While everyone was eating, Team Punky was suddenly curious about Snarf's background. What was his purpose when Thundera existed? Did it still matter, even on Third Earth? Now was the perfect time to ask him.
"Snarf, did you have some kinda special duty when your old homeworld was still alive?" Punky asked.
"My kind, the Snarfs, had often been in the service of the nobles of Thundera," Snarf began. "We lived in the Valley of Snarfs, always eager to help out anyone in need. Despite serving Thunderian nobility, we did have our own lives to lead."
"That's cool," Cherie chirped, her eyes widening briefly. "Anything else we should know about you?"
"When Thundera was destroyed, 43 of us Snarfs found our way to an uninhabited planet we dubbed the Planet of Snarfs. It was where we began new lives outside Thunderian territory, but we would never forget where we came from."
"Does the Planet of Snarfs still exist?" asked Margaux.
"Of course it does," Snarf answered. "It's where my nephew Snarfer lives. He arrived on Third Earth through imprisonment by Ratar-O. The ThunderCats and I were able to rescue Snarfer from the former Mutant leader. Lion-O did battle with him and secretly placed a locator disc on him; that disc was designed by Panthro specifically for some allies from space. When Ratar-O was defeated, he left vowing revenge on Lion-O. But that would never happen, because Mandora the Evil Chaser, an officer of the Interplanetary Control Force, arrived and arrested that no-good rat."
"That probably being some battle, huh?" Glomer said, heavily interested in Snarf's story.
"Definitely." Snarf's face took on a somber tone for what he was going to say next. "Even before Snarfer came to this world, I was already doubting my role on the ThunderCat team. I didn't think there was more I could do for Lion-O." Then his expression turned cheerful. "But both Snarfer and Lion-O managed to snap me outta my funk. Now I'll continue to serve the ThunderCats till the end o' my days."
Brandon came up to Snarf and licked the latter creature's face as a sign of respect. Snarf felt rather embarrassed. "W-w-what was that for, Brandon?" he asked.
"It means he understands homesickness well," Punky replied. "Everyone has the right to feel homesick sometimes. I used to worry a lot about my parents' whereabouts, but I had a chance to start over again thanks to Henry." She placed her hands on her heart and closed her eyes, feeling very happy inside. "He's the closest thing I have to a father."
"Well, thank goodness you have both friends and family looking after you," Snarf said to the girl.
"Hear, hear!" exclaimed Punky's friends. Brandon barked affirmatively.
The ThunderCat-Mutant fight was pretty fierce. The ThunderCats were split into three teams: WilyKit and WilyKat versus the Monkians, Cheetara and Panthro versus the Jackalmen, and Lion-O and Tygra versus the Reptilians. All three sides really cut loose on each other with no restrictions. It would be the Third Earth battle of the century with no bystanders, something that would go down in history.
Cheetara, despite her doubts, was as determined as her brethren to end the battle quickly. She and Panthro spun their weapons, using them as shields against the Jackalmen's laser beams. The beams bounced across the Hunting Plains, exploding some of their long grass. The Jackalmen reloaded their blasters and aimed them pointblank at the two ThunderCats before them, definitely eager to obliterate them. Panthro and Cheetara were prepared, holding their trademark weapons with pride and dignity.
Cheetara pointed her staff on the ground, and at her mental command, it extended slightly, allowing her to polevault over the Jackalmen before becoming a regular staff again, stupefying them somewhat. Now she was facing the opposite direction, giving herself and Panthro a real chance to battle the jackal Mutants face to face. Some of them turned to face Cheetara while the others were still facing Panthro. Cheetara swung her staff up in the air briefly and brought it point blank to the Jackalmen on her side. They responded by putting their blasters away and unleashing their maces on her, but thanks to her natural speed, a talent belonging to the Thunderian cheetah clan, she avoided getting clubbed.
Panthro smiled that very smile that earned him the nickname "the deadly" back on Thundera. He would certainly enjoy battling the Jackalmen on his side. They shot their blasters, but Panthro easily brushed the lasers aside by deflecting them with his nunchuks, just swinging and twirling away. He pointed the blue half of his weapons at the Jackalmen and shot a fuschia stun laser at them, knocking them off balance. Then he shot forth a white mist compound from the red half. The jackal Mutants could not see a thing since they were still regaining their bearings, yet they wouldn't have that chance as Panthro put his nunchuks away, dogpiled two Jackalmen, and bashed them in the nuzzles with his fists, knocking them out cold, and he used their bodies as leverage to twirl-kick the other Jackalmen.
The ThunderKittens were enjoying doing battle with the Monkians, for they already did some damage to the simian bunch with their pellets; the Monkians were sporting scrapes over their foreheads, legs, and torsos, but they were unphased. They savagely swung their axes at the twins, who effortlessly dodged the assaults, only for two stray axes to cut just a small fraction of their manes. They jumped up and delivered a double kick to two of the Monkians with no problem. Two more Monkians retaliated by punching Kat and Kit in the stomachs, forcing the twins to drop to their knees and clutch their stomachs in pain. They managed to roll out of the way of the Monkians' own kicks, and they needed time to recover first before striking back.
Tygra and Lion-O were busy fending off the Reptilians. Tygra swung his whip and cracked it on the ground like he meant business, as if daring the Mutant lizards to attack. Lion-O held the Sword of Omens in front of him like a true swordsman. The Reptilians advanced towards their targets with their scimitars raised. Lion-O responded by clashing his own blade with theirs. Though he was less skilled than the other ThunderCats, he would never give up. None of them would.
Tygra swung his whip and wrapped it around the hands of one Reptilian and tugged at him, tripping him over and making him drop his sword. Six more of the evil lizards slashed their swords at the tiger architect. With some clever acrobatics (flipping, twirling, and leaping), Tygra dodged the slashing. A Reptilian hand struck Tygra from behind, causing him to fall on the ground. He turned around to look in horror at a Reptilian with a blaster trained right at him. The lizard fired, but at the last minute his target turned invisible on the spot, leaving only charred ground. He searched everywhere for Tygra only to get a swift kick in the back, clumsily drop his laser, and fall to the ground. He managed to sit up and see a smirking Tygra reappearing in front of him, having paid him back. The Reptilian could only grunt in anger.
Lion-O and the Reptilians he was up against continued their blade clash. The lizard minions meant business, but still Lion-O wouldn't give up. He twirled the Sword of Omens around with both hands and resumed his fight then. It seemed like a lifetime ago that he was next in line to be the Lord of the ThunderCats like his father before him. As he did battle with the Reptilians, he found himself thinking about the sudden arrival of Punky and her friends. It made no sense that they were on Third Earth, especially to the ThunderCats. To think it all started with that all-too-brief magical storm. Out of everyone in Team Punky, Lion-O felt the closest to their leader; something about her reminded him of himself when he was a child long before the mantle of ThunderCat Lord fell onto him. He actually meant what he said to her before he and his friends took off to fight the Mutants, and he was sure going to keep that promise. His determination prominent, he backflipped barrel-roll style over the Reptilians, motioning them to keep going.
Snarf guided Punky and her crew (Glomer chose to walk instead of float to conserve his magic) back to the Cat's Lair's hangar, for although he was small, basically he was an adult like Lion-O, Tygra, Panthro, and Cheetara were. The side of the hangar they were in wasn't the ThunderTank one, but one that housed a different kind of ThunderCat vehicle. Punky's unit gazed at it - a white-and-red aerial type that had cat-like features like the land-based ThunderTank, but was different enough to stand on its own. The ship's wings were folded, it had a cat-shaped face with fangs, and it was resting on its paw-shaped legs. On top of the white half were three laser cannons. It wasn't nearly as frightening to them as the ThunderTank.
"This, my friends, is the Feliner," announced Snarf. "The ThunderCats built this thing a while ago, but they needed a hyperspace mega-condenser to finish the job. It's capable of both space and global travel. It was first used to take Snarfer back to the Planet of Snarfs following the Ratar-O incident."
"Do you think we could ever ride it?" asked Margaux, gesturing to herself and her allies.
"I'll have to check with the ThunderCats first whenever they get back from fending off the Mutants," Snarf replied. "You just may get a kick outta flying the Feliner. WilyKat came up with the ship's name when he and Tygra designed its blueprint."
"You know what, Snarf? Maybe we would enjoy it," beamed Punky. She, Allen, Margaux, Cherie, and Brandon were suddenly reminded of Punky's school presentation about being an astronaut. It'd been Punky's dream to explore the universe until the tragic explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger struck her hard. In spite of that tragedy, Punky refused to surrender. She still held on to the hope that she would travel the stars, and she would work hard to achieve that dream. She even told Glomer about it, and he'd shown nothing but praise for her, which lifted her spirits even more.
Snarf just stood there admiring these six strangers from First Earth. He and the ThunderCats were unsure about them, yet after their conversations, he silently admitted that Team Punky was growing on him. Tears of joy came out of his eyes, and he sniffed his nose at the sight he was seeing. He hoped that Punky and her friends would make an impact on the rest of Third Earth. Team Punky took notice of how he was gazing at them.
"Are you okay, Snarf?" asked Cherie.
"I'm fine, Cherie," he replied, his voice emotional. "Just seeing all of you takes me back to the simpler times on Thundera, when Lion-O was only a cub."
"You've probably done an excellent job at raising him," Allen said. "He seems to look incredibly healthy."
"Certainly, my boy," beamed Snarf. "I was personally selected by Lion-O's parents, the late Claudus and Liana, to look after him. No matter how hard things got, I never left Lion-O's side. He's like a son to me, even though I'll never replace his parents."
His speech got "aw"s from Punky, Cherie, Glomer, Allen, and Margaux and a whimper of empathy from Brandon. To hear that Snarf had always been there for Lion-O before Thundera's untimely demise indicated that he wasn't just Lion-O's guardian, but his friend.
Glomer asked Snarf, "So what we be doing now?"
"Lion-O instructed me to guide you all through the rest of the Cat's Lair, so that's what I'm gonna do. Snarf snarf."
"Lead the way," Punky advised, giving Snarf a thumb up.
"You got it, Punky," said Snarf, returning the gesture. Out he and Team Punky went to explore more of the lair. So far today was turning out to be interesting.
WilyKit and WilyKat had finally recovered from their gut punches after struggling to avoid the Monkians' axe slashes. It was crucial to them that they stay alive to keep fighting the good fight.
"You alright, Kat?" Kit asked her brother.
"I'm fine, Kit," he responded. "I think you know what we're about to do."
"I know. It's now or never." The ThunderKittens stood up to face the Monkians, who were advancing towards the twins with murderous expressions.
"It's that time," stated Kat. Both he and Kit put on fierce faces at unleashing their special move on the Monkians.
The twins of mischief remembered their training with Lion-O and acted on it. Kat kicked one Monkian in the shins, Kit poked another in the eyes, and both siblings karate-chopped one more in the neck, forcing all three to drop their weapons and rendering the one they attacked together into a coma. And then came the attack - Kit and Kat somersaulted into the air, clasped their fists together, and brought them down upon the helmeted heads of yet two more Monkians while letting out a cheerful yell, too. Like what they did with Lion-O in the training room at Cat's Lair, their two Monkian victims' bodies vibrated all over, shocking the rest of the simian clan.
The ThunderKittens' new technique drew the attention of everybody else on the other two sides. Except for Lion-O, whose eyes had a sense of admiration, they were all stunned by this display of violence. It was truly a sight to see, for although those two Monkians finally stopped vibrating, they touched their heads so that their brains could stop vibrating as well.
Tygra was the first to speak up, facing Lion-O in a mix of anger and dismay. "Did you teach those cubs that trick?" he sternly asked, pointing a finger at the younger ThunderCat.
Lion-O replied, "Nope. They learned that move all by themselves. I witnessed it firsthand in the training room. I have to admit, they've outdone themselves."
Panthro, as a warrior, snapped out of his shock long enough to laugh jovially at the ThunderKittens' new attack. "Now there's something you don't see every day," he said through barely-restrained giggles.
Cheetara asked the twins, "What do you call that attack?"
Kat and Kit looked at each other before facing their fellow ThunderCats. "The ThunderSmack," they said together.
Kit continued, "Me and WilyKat felt we needed a change of pace from our usual routine. So what you saw from us was totally original."
"I hope that your ThunderSmack isn't lethal," cautioned Tygra. "We do have a code to uphold."
"We never designed the ThunderSmack to be that way," Kat explained. "Sure, it can rattle people, but it doesn't outright vanquish them."
"Hey, furballsss!" a Reptilian in grey rags called out to the ThunderCats as he raised his scimitar in frustration. "We all got a ssscore to settle if you're done jawing around!"
"Oops! How could we forget?" Panthro interjected with humor, rubbing his bald head. "Shall we, ThunderCats?"
"Indeed, old chum," Tygra responded with spirit. The ThunderCats and Mutants got back into their stances. And so, the battle resumed.
While the battle continued outside, inside things were still progressing smoothly. Snarf had now brought Punky's unit to the council chamber where the round table and its six rotatable chairs were.
"This place is where we hold all council meetings on urgent matters," discussed Snarf. "Tygra always calls a meeting here despite Lion-O leading the ThunderCats."
"That's an amazing round table there," Cherie said. "It reminds me of the legend of King Arthur."
"Me, too, Cherie," agreed Punky.
"Could I be a knight in shining armor while you reminisce?" joked Allen, which illicited giggles from Punky, Brandon, Cherie, and Glomer.
Something about Cherie's mention of the words "King Arthur" sparked a memory in Snarf's mind about someone called by that name during the mysterious knight's stay at Cat's Lair. He showed no restraint in challenging Lion-O to a battle to the death, which Lion-O gullibly accepted. When the knight emerged the victor, he revealed himself to be Mumm-Ra in disguise, having stolen Arthur's sword Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake to be used against the Sword of Omens. But the wizard Merlin intervened, magically discarded Mumm-Ra's disguise, and sent the demon priest packing. Feeling guilty for accepting Mumm-Ra's challenge, Lion-O asked Merlin to return Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. It was an adventure Snarf himself would remember for eternity.
He found himself agreeing with Cherie's statement as he said, "I believe you, Cherie. I honestly do."
Margaux boldly remarked as she sat in one of the chairs and rotated it to face her crowd, "I think this table would look astonishing for someone of royal status." She flicked her hair to emphasize her point. It was one of these times where she enjoyed flaunting her status in front of other people.
"Margaux, that table is for everybody to sit at, regardless of their statuses," Snarf interated. "Sometimes it's even used for celebrations." He, Cherie, Punky, Allen, and Glomer sat down at the table as Margaux shifted her chair back to its original position. To Snarf's left side were Cherie, Punky, and Margaux, and to his left were Allen and Glomer. Punky turned her chair around to face Brandon.
"Here, boy," she said sweetly, tapping twice on her lap. Brandon happily obliged and jumped on Punky's lap, and Punky turned to face everybody else while petting Brandon's head, which he found soothing as he sighed. "All present and accounted for, Snarf," she announced.
"I see the ThunderCat emblem on here," said Cherie as she took notice of said emblem implanted on the table. "That must say a lot."
"Yes, it does," Snarf agreed.
"Me think us needing to be resting a bit before touring again," informed the four-year-old Glomley.
"Okey-dokey, Glomer," agreed Allen.
"Will we be getting a tour of Third Earth as well whenever the ThunderCats return?" asked Cherie.
"Yeah. The six of us haven't been in this dimension long," chimed in Margaux.
"As a matter of fact, the ThunderCats and I have been thinking about this a lot since you guys came here," Snarf explained. "We originally considered keeping you safe from the dangers that Third Earth has."
This got a response of gasps from Punky and her team. The ThunderCats were going to shelter them for their own safety? Did the ThunderCats not see that the newcomers were trustworthy enough, especially to venture out on their own? Would Team Punky not get the freedom they need?
Punky put on a determined face and gave Snarf a piece of her mind. "You listen here, Snarf. My friends and I have been through plenty together. Through good times and bad, we stuck together. We'll keep on sticking together even though we won't always agree on everything. I never run from danger, because I've got PUNKY POWER!" She raised her right fist in the air when she shouted her favorite phrase of action.
She reminds me of a certain ThunderCat I know, thought Snarf as he widened his eyes at Punky's words. As foolish as he can be sometimes, Lion-O never runs from danger. He smirked, raised an eye, and pointed casually at Punky. "Snyearf. You've really got guts," he said aloud.
"Thanks," responded Punky as she resumed petting Brandon. "And we're starting to like your Cat's Lair so far. "We've seen the guest rooms, the control room, the hangar, the dining room, the bathrooms, and this room even. Please tell me there's more of this place."
"Why, certainly, young one. All of you are going to see the entirety of Cat's Lair in no time."
"You're actually not bad, Snarf...for a little guy," Margaux cracked.
This irked Snarf. "Little? I, dear Margaux, am the eldest next to Panthro, and formerly Jaga."
"Who's Jaga? Is he a ThunderCat, too?" asked an excited Allen.
"He was a ThunderCat, Allen." What Snarf was going to say about the now-dead ThunderCat elder would bring up strong memories, but he had to be brave, for the sake of himself and Punky and her unit.
"Snarf friend, did something be happening to Jaga person?" asked Glomer in genuine conern.
After a moment of hesitation, Snarf began the tale of Jaga. "Jaga was a well-respected ThunderCat in the old days of Thundera. Thunderians and Snarfs everywhere looked up to him. He was the right-hand man of Claudus. The mistakes he'd made only served to strengthen him, and he was dubbed 'Jaga the Wise' as a result."
"That sounds epic," said Punky. "Is there more?"
Snarf was about to reveal more of Jaga's story when the whole lair was struck by an earthquake, knocking everyone out of their seats. Snarf got up and looked out the window. He could make out two Skycutters piloted by Monkian and Jackalman, Slithe in the Nosediver, and Vultureman in his vulture-style flying machine. He started quivering at the sight of the four Mutants; they would choose now to attack the lair. Punky's unit got up and noticed Snarf's position near the window.
"What's going on, Snarf?" Cherie asked despairingly.
"I-i-it's the Mutants," informed Snarf, turning to face Punky's crew now.
"Aren't the ThunderCats still fighting them?" Punky wondered.
"No, no, no. The four main Mutants are outside bombarding the lair - Slithe, Monkian, Jackalman, and Vultureman."
"Uh-oh," interjected Glomer. "That sounding very badley. What we gonna do?"
Snarf couldn't afford to break down, not in front of these six young souls. Reaching deep down inside of him, he tempered his quivering and pulled himself together. He put on a face of pure bravery, and he clasped his fists together.
"Come with me to the control room, guys," he said sternly. "Lion-O and the others need more time. No way am I letting Slithe and his bunch have their way today."
"Snarf?" questioned Margaux.
"Lion-O entrusted me to look after all of you. I'm not about to let him down. ThunderCats never give up."
He walked out the door with Team Punky immediately following close behind him. If he was to go down, it would be as a warrior, his experiences fueling his resolve.