Captain Cracker's Upgrade
Written by Erich the Mad Bassist

Popeye Theme

Ahrrrr… this be fan-fiction… I harbor nary an intention o' plunderin' the copyrighted treasures of Ted Turner, Lorimar, or Rankin-Bass Productions. Anyone who thinks differently will be keel-hauled from the Jolly Roger… and believe me, in space, keel-haulin' isn't a pretty sight, aye!

  The Jolly Roger was in orbit for a month as Captain Cracker patiently waited for something to happen. He looked at the screen again, as if his presence would wake the being he was spying upon.

  "*Squawk* Give it up, give it up. He'll never wake up! He'll never wake up! *Squawk* You're wasting your time! You're wasting your time!"

  "SHUT UP *breet* ye lousy rustball… Ahrrr, *squirk* if it wasn't fer the fact ye planted *sizzle* *spark* that bug, I'd throw ye to the furnace! *skraat*"

  "*Squawk* BS! BS! Nothing but BS! *Squawk*"

  "*Fizz* Why I keep ye runnin' is *tizzle* beyond me!"

  Suddenly, Captain Cracker's attention was diverted by the sound of the voice booming over his intercom.

  "Mwahahahahaha! So, those retched Thundercats think they outsmarted me? I will show them. Ma-Mutt, we shall get their precious treasure... and we'll have all their secrets!"

  This is the moment Captain Cracker was waiting for. He quickly hit [RECORD] and sat back to watch it happen. All the rumors... and all the bragging that retched Snarfer creature was spouting was about to pay off. He eased the Jolly Roger down into the outer layers of New Thundera's atmosphere as he prepared to descend toward the desert. If he did this right, he would reap the rewards and become the most feared space-pirate of all time.

  Captain Cracker smiled inwardly as he heard the magic words. "Ancient Spirits of Evil... transform this decayed form... to Mumm-Ra... The Ever Living!" The screen flashed a few times as he heard maniacal laughter before the bug went dead from the energy that was released inside the pyramid.


  The Jolly Roger hovered over the pyramid as Captain Cracker lowered himself on a bosun's chair through the opening that Mumm-Ra had just flown out of. If the Thundercats kept him occupied long enough, he would be able to escape again. The interior of the pyramid was deathly silent as Captain Cracker walked up to the front of the cauldron and held his hands outward as he saw Mumm-Ra do.

  The cauldron started to bubble as he recited, "Ancient *skatz* Spirits of Evil... *skork* transform this robotic form... *fffping* to Cracker-Ra... The Ever *zzzip* Plunderin'!"

  The eyes of the statues glowed a fierce red as their power surged through Captain Cracker's mechanical body, giving him an incredible high like he had never felt before. His body suddenly flew apart as a larger shape escaped from within him. His old junk parts flew outward and disappeared as the inner shape became an eight-foot tall robot that looked something like a metallic Gypsy that rippled with steel muscles. He wore a metal bandana that sported a red twin cobra insignia on the forehead of a skull and crossbones design, as well as a tattered black cape with another skull and crossbones on the back.

  Looking down at his arms and chest, he saw the glowing red twin-cobra on his chest and laughed. "Ahrrr har har har har har! It worked! Now, to settle me some old scores... aye!"

  He instinctively flew upward and entered his ship. He was so overjoyed with his success that he didn't even bother to reel in the bosun's chair that still dangled from his ship as he ascended into space to seek his revenge.


  Spotting an old decrepit ship like his own, Cracker-Ra leapt into space and sailed towards his old rival. The occupant was very surprised as his door was ripped off and the giant figure squeezed his way into the ship.

  "Who... who... *beep* who... are ye?" He didn't know if the giant that invaded his little ship could even hear his radio-voice, because there was no longer any air to carry sound.

  "I be Cracker-Ra, and I be laying claim to yer treasure, Cap'n Scavenger! Ahrrr... ye've had this comin' fer a long time!"

  "*fizzle* Cracker, as in Cap'n?"

  "That is no longer me name dear laddie... I have a new body, and I be havin' all yer loot! Fork it over, or walk the plank!"

  "I dinnae have a *kzzzap* thing, ye fool! I barely have fuel 'ta dock with! *zzzing*"

  Cracker-Ra scratched his chin. Yes, he was probably telling the truth. It didn't matter anyway. "Okay, I believe ye, but just so this wasn't a wasted trip, I'll be takin' this!" Cracker-Ra ripped the antique mahogany ship's wheel out of it's fittings and tumbled out into space laughing. He suddenly shifted direction and flew back to the Jolly Roger under his own power.

  Captain Scavenger cursed and remarked, "Blast that lousy *phizzz* Cracker... now I be navigatin' *jzzzz* with vice-grips!"

  Cracker-Ra laughed to himself as he retrieved his bosun's chair, which was hanging weightlessly in space. He closed the hatch and returned to his console. "Har har har... that was worth it. Now, bigger and better things to be plunderin'! Onward, Polly... we now be hittin' the big guy!"


  Captain Blacksword was kicking back... enjoying his wealth when he was rudely interrupted by a giant mechanical monstrosity that suddenly appeared in front of him.

  "Cap'n Blacksword, I be claimin' yer loot for me own!"

  Blacksword's eyes lit up evilly as he drew his sword and boomed, "Like the flames of the seven hells you will! Who are you, interloper?"

  "Ahrrr, I be Cracker-Ra, The Ever Plunderin'"

  Polly was sitting on his shoulder and said, "*Squawk* More like The Ever-Shortin' ha ha! *Squawk*"

  "Shut up, ye worthless..."

  "Never heard of you. Don't care to... guards, get him!"

  Blacksword's robotic guards suddenly came through the doorway and started firing upon Cracker-Ra. He easily deflected their shots and returned fire. Red lightning left his hands and shattered every single robot.

  Blacksword yelped as one last blast knocked the sword out of his hand. Realizing that his life was worth more than his treasure, Blacksword started running away.

  "I suggest ye head fer yer escape pod, because this ship is mine, ye scurvy space dog! Ahrrrr har har har har har!"

  Cracker-Ra watched as Captain Blacksword's escape pod separated and fell towards the planet below. He'd live, but his beautiful ship and most of his treasure belonged to Cracker-Ra now. He put the Jolly Roger in tow, and headed towards his own secret cavern on an otherwise worthless moon. He finally had a treasure to stash there, and he would soon disembark for his final target... the great treasures that the Thundercats had hidden away on New Thundera. Aye, that haul was a pirate's ultimate fantasy!


  "Wow, that was close, Lion-o!"

  "Yeah, WilyKat... that Mumm-Ra just never gives up, no matter how many times we've repelled him, he still keeps coming."

  "Well, you have to admire him."

  Everyone looked at WilyKat with a surprised expression. "I mean, you know... he never gives up!"

  Tygra smiled and said, "You have to admit, he's right..."

  Panthro was worn out... Mumm-Ra really got in some good shots today. "Uhh... maybe you all can admire him, I just wish he would quit."

  Cheetara added, "Well, at least we won't have to worry about him for another couple of weeks."

  WilyKit was looking at the monitor and started backing away. "Uhh... guys... I don't think it's over yet..."

  Everyone looked up at the main monitor to see what was happening. A dark shape was growing in size. Lion-o said, "Uh oh... it looks like he's back for more... where did he go?"

  There was a slight rumble that had to mean that the black shape had just blown its way through the wall below, and was now inside the Cat's Lair.

  "The treasure room!" Lion-o yelled with wide eyes.

  The Thundercats arrived just in time to see something that looked like a robotic Mumm-Ra.

  "Mumm-Ra! You just don't give up, do you!"

  "Ahrrr har har har har, I be not Mumm-Ra but something far worse... I be Cracker-Ra, the Ever Plunderin', and I be claimin' yer treasure fer meself!"

  WilyKat said, "Cracker? Captain Cracker?"

  "Not 'ny more, boy... I be the terror a' deep space, aye!"

  Panthro added, "Well, I see you got rid of your stuttering problem... now why don't you be a nice robot pirate and leave before we have to hurt you."

  "Hurt me? Aye, ye be feelin' respect fer me in a few minutes ye planet-lubbers!"

  Lion-o didn't want to take him seriously, but he was eight feet tall and looked like he meant business... and he was too close to the Treasure of Thundera for comfort. Lion-o raised the Sword of Omens and shouted, "Ho!"

  Cracker-Ra saw the blade starting to grow, so he fired a bolt of red lightning at Lion-o. Lion-o was so sure that he'd be able to take out this intruder that he didn't pay attention and paid the price.

  The other Thundercats started attacking when they saw an unconscious Lion-o slump to the floor, his sword shrinking once again.Cracker-Ra made short work of Tygra and Panthro with a bolt of lightning from each hand. Knowing what was likely to happen, he willed a shield around himself and heard a scream behind him as Cheetara ran right into it.

  Cracker-Ra felt something starting to constrict him... it was those lousy twins! WilyKit and WilyKat had lassoed him and started running around in opposite directions, wrapping him up rather quickly.

  Almost by instinct, Cracker-Ra electrified himself... shocking the twins through their lariats. He started towards the treasure, but tripped over something.

  "Curses upon ye..." he said as he freed himself from the twins' ropes and saw what had tripped him. "Snarfer, ye miserable nit... out of me way!"

  Snarfer stood bravely on his tail and blocked the entrance to the treasure room. "No! I am a Thundercat, and I say... Schneeaaahhhaaahhhaaahhhrrrrffffeeerrrrrrrr!"

  Snarfer was quickly fried with a blast of red lightning from Cracker-Ra, making his fur smoke.

  "Ahrrr... har har *wizzzzeeee* har har *fuzzzzle* har... it's all mine! all *zizzz* mine... what's happening here?"

  Panthro and Lion-o started coming to, shaking their heads. The looked up and saw Cracker-Ra starting to panic. Whirling pieces of metal started to materialize around him as he began to curse.

  "Ahrrr... it's not fair, not *heeeek* fair a' tall! I had it, it was *dwzzap* mine!"

  The other cats started coming to as Panthro, Lion-o, and Tygra started to get up.

  "Ye haven't a' heard the last of me! *jizkle* I'll be havin' yer treasure *deeek* fer meself!"


  Using the last of his strength, Cracker-Ra teleported himself into the field outside the Cat's Lair. He tried to reach the Jolly Roger, but didn't have the strength. All his old parts were orbiting him now, and started closing in. He shouted, "Nooooooo *zzzzzkk* ooooooo!" as he returned to his original state.

  The Thundercats were all watching through the new hole in their wall as another dark shape appeared behind Captain Cracker.

  "So close, so *ping* close! Ehh...?" Captain Cracker turned around to see a battered Mumm-Ra, still holding onto his warrior form. He was standing there, looking down at him with his arms crossed.

  "No! No! Any *kkkzzzz* thing but that! Help! *Skrazzz* Thundercats! Help me!"

  WilyKat said, "Wow!" as Mumm-Ra and Captain Cracker both disappeared in a flash of light.

  Lion-o was holding his head in pain as he said, "Wow is right... that was like Snarf-Ra, in a way."

  Cheetara wondered out loud, "Does this mean that anyone can just go in there and steal Mumm-Ra's power?"

  Tygra answered, "I'd hate to find out."

  Panthro was slumped against the wall, recovering from the earlier thrashing he took at Mumm-Ra's hands. "What I would like to know is... how Captain Cracker found out about it! Mumm-Ra wouldn't tell anyone for sure, and I think we Thundercats are the only ones who ever saw Snarf-Ra. I wonder who's been talking about it..."

  Snarfer quietly slinked around the corner and tip-toed his way down the hall towards his quarters.

=The End=

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