Waking Dream
Written by Erich the Mad Bassist


Theme from Creature Shock

I didn't write this to make any money. If you paid any money for this, you spent too much, and you're from another planet. These are someone else's characters, although you may feel free to claim ownership of the Thundercats in your dreams. Heh heh.

  "I said, ‘Tag! You’re it!’"

  Lion-o shook his head. "Oh, right. I’m sorry, WilyKit. I felt funny for a minute there."

  WilyKat emerged from the bushes. "Hey! What gives?"

  WilyKit giggled. "Too many adventures lately. You’re getting old."

  Lion-o gave an exaggerated laugh. "Ha! Ha!"

  WilyKat started walking over. "Come on, already!"

  Lion-o cleared his throat. "Okay, since we defeated Mumm-Ra again, I think we can finally get some peace and quiet around here." He looked at the approaching WilyKat. "And remember—I’m it!"

  WilyKat squealed and ran at top speed for the bushes again.

  WilyKit dashed in the opposite direction, leaving Lion-o confused for a moment. He suddenly heard a voice from nowhere. "We’re losing him!"

  Lion-o looked around and suddenly felt dizzy. He collapsed on the ground as everything went fuzzy.

  Lion-o opened his eyes and squinted at the bright light overhead. There was a panicked voice to his right. "Dammit, he’s awake! Get the doctor over here!"

  Lion-o rubbed his eyes and looked around. He was in a suspension capsule, but it was huge. He started to get up, and immediately fell back against the bed in the capsule. He saw a couple of needles in his arms which he pulled out immediately. He felt so weak, but he knew he had to stand up. He suddenly realized that his hands and arms were too small. He looked over himself and found that he was wearing a simple smock and he was a boy again.

  Lion-o quickly stood up and vaulted over the side of the capsule, landing hard on his feet. His legs were very weak and he quickly crumpled to the floor. Two reptile mutants in smocks approached, giving Lion-o a major adrenaline rush. He managed to get to his feet with an assist from the wall, grabbed an empty intravenous unit stand, growled, and held it like a staff.

  The reptilian orderlies looked at each other for a moment then started to approach. Lion-o’s breath hitched. He knew he had no strength, but he wasn’t going down without a fight. The reptilians suddenly stopped as a familiar voice boomed in the room. "Back off. I want him unharmed!" It was a voice from his nightmares.

  "Grune!"

  Lion-o looked up at the intimidating Thunderian and realized that he was different. He was solid and alive for one thing, he wasn’t wearing his battle gear, and he had both of his long fangs. "Stay—stay back!" Grune was also wearing the king’s robe and crown—a sight that disgusted Lion-o.

  Grune shrugged his shoulders and opened his palms. "Don’t worry, little one. You’re safe."

  Lion-o’s eyes went wider. "You have the Sword of Omens? You—you can’t have it!"

  Grune sighed and patted the sword and claw shield on his upper thigh. "I earned this, boy."

  Lion-o stepped forward. "No! I am the Lord of the Thundercats! Sword of Omens—come to my hand!"

  Lion-o waited a couple of seconds and frowned as the orderlies started laughing. Grune looked irritated. "Go, leave us now." The reptiles grunted and walked away.

  "I… I… Sword of Omens—come to my hand! I, Lion-o, Lord of the Thundercats, command it!"

  Grune shook his head and unsheathed the sword. It was the Sword of Omens, but it was full-length.

  "That’s not the sword. Where’s the Eye of Thundera?"

  Grune turned the sword in his hands and resheathed it. "There is no Eye of Thundera. It’s a myth—a legend."

  "No. That cannot be! It can’t! And how did you get the robe and crown? It was destroyed on Thundera long ago."

  Grune sighed and shook his head. "You don’t understand, but I can’t expect you to."

  "Understand what?"

  "This is Thundera, boy. There is no ‘Third Earth.’ It’s all part of your dream."

  "Dream? This is a nightmare, and I want to wake up!"

  "Good. Then take this pill…" Grune approached with a small bottle, but Lion-o shrank back against the wall. He sighed, put the bottle in his pocket, and backed off.

  Lion-o inched along the wall and came up behind another suspension capsule. He looked inside to find a familiar face.

  "Jaga? Jaga!" He looked up at Grune again. "Jaga?"

  "Yes, he’s alive. He’s serving his time."

  "What?"

  "He attempted to take over the throne years ago with his group: Tygra, Panthro, and even Cheetara. He also tried to corrupt WilyKit and WilyKat with his schemes."

  Lion-o didn’t understand. "But I’m the son of Claudus!"

  "Yes, you are." Grune started to grin in a way that made Lion-o very uncomfortable. "That’s why you had to be put down with him."

  Lion-o was starting to get the picture. "So, you did this to get the throne?"

  "Of course!"

  "Why didn’t you just kill us then?" Lion-o suddenly felt very stupid as he thought about what he just said. He gripped the IV stand tightly.

  Grune smiled again. "Oh, relax. Killing you would have been dishonorable. It would have gone against the Code of Thundera."

  Lion-o was shocked. "And putting us in this—this dream machine is honorable?"

  Grune tilted his head. "Actually, it is. Jaga was tried as a traitor along with his comrades and sentenced to death. It was I who rescued you and the others with the help of this lovely piece of alien technology. It gives all of you the dreams you want and lets you live in a perfect world. Well, almost perfect. There are errors all over the place, like being able to breathe in space and such, but I guess that’s just the way dreams are."

  "Third Earth, Mumm-Ra, all those adventures?"

  "Fiction, dredged from your subconscious. Actually, your dreams are the most interesting. They bring plenty of revenue to the kingdom. Tygra’s dreams are most inane: dry technical stuff. I won’t even touch what Panthro’s been doing all these years. Still, it keeps everyone happy."

  "You can’t do this, Grune. The people will find out!"

  Grune tilted his head again. "They knew all along. Actually, they envy you. You have a very easy life, you get to do everything you dream about, and you'll probably live for centuries. Many people would rather see you all executed. I hook myself in sometimes, it’s fun, but I do have a large kingdom to run with lots of responsibilities—especially since we conquered Plundarr."

  "Conquered Plundarr?"

  "A few years ago. We finally got tired of them. We gave their planet something to live for other than what they could steal. We broke their will and they serve us now."

  Lion-o pondered that for a while. "How can the Thunderian people allow you to keep me here?"

  "Simple. I just said that Jaga had thoroughly corrupted you from an early age, and that you would eventually grow up to enslave them. That meant WilyKit and WilyKat had to go too, but it's a small price to pay. Their dreams aren't too shabby either. They're living a shared dream—because they're twins, I guess."

  Lion-o’s eyes widened. "Enslave? That’s a lie! I’ll escape and show them the truth! I will—oww!" A tranquilizer dart pierced the young lion’s upper arm.

  Grune looked over at Cheetara. "It’s about time, honey."

  Cheetara was wearing a gown that spoke of royalty. "Sorry, but you know those muties. They’re dumber than Snarves."

  Grune chuckled. "Snarves. That reminds me. Have Ozzie make us our favorite dish tonight."

  Cheetara looked down. "Okay. Hey, when did the little one wake up?"

  Lion-o interrupted her in a daze from the spreading drug. "Cheetara…help…must…get…the…others!"

  Cheetara smiled and put her arm around Grune. "I wonder what his dreams will look like now?"

  Grune kissed Cheetara on the lips and said, "Who knows? The subconscious is an iffy thing. Good night, boy."

  Lion-o struggled against the blackness that was closing in. "No! I will defeat you!"

  Grune chuckled and pulled Cheetara closer. "Sure you will; in your dreams. Ahhh—it’s good to be king."

  Lion-o tried to scream, but it came out as a ragged whisper. "Noooooo!"

  "Lion-o? Lion-o? Are you okay?"

  Lion-o woke up with a start. "Oh my Jaga. What a nightmare!"

  Cheetara walked into the room: the Cheetara he always knew. "What’s wrong, Lion-o? I felt such tension coming from you."

  Lion-o shook his head and looked at the familiar surroundings. "A nightmare—an awful nightmare! Grune was the Lord of the Thundercats, the sword had no eye, and you—you were his wife."

  WilyKat startled Lion-o by laughing behind him. Cheetara frowned, putting a stop to the laughter. "Okay, that’s one very bad dream."

  Tygra walked through the door. "Good to see you up, Lion-o. We were worried about you."

  "What happened?"

  "Exhaustion. Your last confrontation with Mumm-Ra drained you so much that a simple game of tag put you over the edge. You just need some food and maybe a long bath."

  WilyKit smiled mischievously. "Oh, come on Tygra. You know what really happened."

  WilyKat stood next to his sister and grinned as they put their arms around each other’s shoulders. WilyKat said, "He couldn’t handle playing tag with us!"

  Lion-o started to laugh, then thought about the dream. "Tell me, Tygra. Why can we breathe in space?"

  Tygra looked confused and paused for a couple seconds. He looked back at Lion-o. "That’s a silly question. Air is everywhere!"

  Lion-o sighed. "You’re right." He looked over at the posing twins. "Hey, I’ll catch both of you tomorrow!"

  WilyKat disengaged himself from his sister. "Oh yeah?"

  WilyKit added, "Just try!"

  Cheetara broke in. "Okay, enough you two. Lion-o needs his rest."

  The twins muttered and left, glancing back at Lion-o in a challenging way.

  Lion-o said, "That was a scary dream."

  Cheetara smiled. "Yes, but dreams aren’t real. Think of happy things, and you’ll always be fine. Good night, Lion-o."

  Lion-o smiled. "Good night, Cheetara."

--The End--

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." –Winston Churchill

(^CONTENTS^)
Return to the ThunderGate