Thunder Twins
Return of the Mutants
Written by Erich the Mad Bassist


Orion by Metallica
These stories are fan-fiction, and are not intended to infringe on the rights of others in any way. The Thundercats characters are copyrighted by Lorimar Telepictures, Rankin-Bass Productions, Turner Broadcasting, or whoever owns the current rights. I post this freely, and make no profit other than the satisfaction that my fellow fans and I get from these stories. Enjoy!
Chapter Four: Showdown

WildKat was deep in thought as he carefully strapped on his collection of weapons. WilyKit thought he was dumb for making his pellet launchers because he could throw them just as easily. WildKat knew better: it was more practical (and fun) to be able to fire a spread of pellets, and it looked like he needed that ability this day. He had a couple of new formulas that he wanted to try also, so he armed himself more than usual. A year ago, WilyKit told him that those ancient video things he and his friends watched were rotting his brain. “Why imitate killers from a civilization that destroyed itself?” she said. Kit didn’t understand because she was a girl, he rationalized: all of his friends loved the old videos too. The major difference between those humans and himself was that his weapons were made to stun, blind, confuse, or otherwise irritate an opponent. He didn’t see why the ancient influence on his methods was bad. Just because they killed each other on a regular basis didn’t mean they had nothing to teach him, and besides, watching those violent movies relaxed him when he was feeling angry.

WildKat met ThunderManx in the living room. ThunderManx was sitting on his couch with a black steel staff that he had never seen before. It had a hollow center between what looked like old leather grips and flared ends that terminated in sharp points. ThunderManx smiled with pride as he fed a thundryllium power cell into the empty space and gave the staff a sharp twist that closed off the core chamber and made it look solid.

WildKat was curious. “Where did that come from?” he asked as he looked over the fine bluish filigrees and ancient thunderian runes that decorated the old weapon.

“It was my father’s Energy Pike. He was killed when I was five, so I don’t remember too much about him. My mother said he was the leader of his panther clan and a master of martial arts. No one could defeat him, not even his brother—who was also a master himself. Together they were unstoppable, until some mutant killed my dad, that is. My uncle died when Thundera blew up, and my mother died five years ago during a mining accident.”

“Your mother was a miner?” WildKat said with a look of surprise.

“Yeah, she once beat up five of the others for saying women in the mine were bad luck. She was a very tough lady—no wonder she was attracted to my dad, heh heh.”

WildKat didn’t know what to say. His parents were long dead, and it bothered him, but he never knew them. The Thundercats had raised him and his sister, so he always felt like he had parents back home. ThunderManx was totally alone, as were Stripe and DeathClaw. It seemed most of his friends were orphans of one kind or another, and he wished he could do something to bring the original Thundera back, or at least find out what destroyed it. He felt a pang in his heart as his thoughts turned to Racina again. She was more than an orphan to him—she was his first true mutant friend, and he felt responsible for letting the Imperial Mutants capture her so easily.

WildKat was stunned as ThunderManx brought out an old suit of armor. “Hey, that looks alot like Panthro’s, only cooler.” The armor resembled Panthro’s indeed, but it was black and the design of the side straps was more complicated. Instead of spikes, the armor had twin inlaid lightning bolt designs in front. WildKat looked in awe as he thought about it once belonging to the leader of a panther clan: someone of a higher rank than Panthro.

“Really? You know, you’re right. I should meet him someday; I want to know about our clans.”

WildKat was unsure. “I don’t know, he seems to think badly of you because of the last party we had.”

ThunderManx looked irritated. “So what? Just because we got drunk with our buds and you slept on the floor? Hey, those idiots were dissing your girl, and you needed to relax, man. You can’t tell me that Panthro never got drunk in his life. Hell, I’ll buy him a drink. There, that’s it,” ThunderManx said as he finished adjusting his armor. “Okay, check this out, bro.”

ThunderManx activated the pike, making the filigrees glow. The ends of the weapon silently lit up, making WildKat’s breath hitch. He thought it looked beautiful and intimidating at the same time. ThunderManx started swinging and whipping the pike around. The ends glowed brighter and cut electric arcs in the air that crackled. WildKat backed up a couple of paces while watching the display with wide eyes. ThunderManx finished by whipping it around his back, and the pike attached itself to the back of his armor with a clang. There was a brief hum as the pike charged the armor, and WildKat’s breath hitched again as the lightning bolt designs on the front straps glowed a deep blue color.

ThunderManx smiled with pride and made a gesture with both arms. Electric sparks started dancing between the bolt designs and the edge of the straps, making for a very intimidating display.

WildKat laughed. “Damn, that’s very cool! I pity the fool that tries to touch you.”

“Yeah, it’s good for knocking out one, maybe two people if the pike isn’t attached.” He reversed the gesture, making the sparks stop, but the blue glow continued. He looked towards the door. “Let’s rock!”

WildKat couldn’t wait to get out and kick some mutants around—the ones that deserved it, anyway.

“So let me get this straight: you had Queen Willa’s knife to her throat to keep the other maidens from killing Monkian?” Cheetara said with an amused smile. “I knew you were tough, girl. Good job upholding our ideals, even if it was Monkian that you were defending.”

“Yeah, but he frightens me now.”

“You mean he didn’t before?”

“That’s different. Before he was hunting me, now he’s chasing me. It’s… disgusting!”

Cheetara didn’t think WilyKit should be concerned. “Listen, at least he’s not trying to kill you. I once had a cheetah/puma guy who pursued me relentlessly when I was your age. Of course, he wasn’t a mutant monkey, but still, he didn’t give up the chase for a long time.”

“What made him stop?”

Cheetara’s face broke into a big devilish smile, an expression WilyKit wasn’t used to seeing on her friend and adopted mother’s face. “My father. Prince Cheetoran gave him one bad look and he never came back!”

WilyKit and Cheetara shared a good laugh. Cheetara rapidly blinked and wiped a pair of tears away from her eyes as she said, “I better get back to the bridge, Lion-o’s probably climbing the walls by now. We still have five more hours to go.”

WilyKit got a look of curiosity on her face as she asked, “How was Lion-o on the way over?”

“Worse than Snarf.” That started another round of laughter.

WildKat, ThunderManx, Stripe, and DeathClaw were approaching the new Cat’s Lair when a familiar voice startled WildKat. He spun around to see Trameea decked out in fighting gear and carrying a whip. “What are you doing?”

Trameea raised an eyebrow. “Helping you, that’s what I’m doing.”

“But babe, I told you to stay home.”

Trameea’s eyes burned with anger. “Don’t you ‘babe’ me, WilyKat!” she hissed, sharply punctuating the use of his real name.

WildKat briefly shot his eyes upward and sighed, “Oh, Jaga. I’m sorry ‘Meea. I love you, and I don’t want you to get hurt, that’s all.”

Trameea blinked those brilliant green eyes that he loved so much. She was a stunning Tabby with silvery fur and her eyes were hypnotic to him—they seemed to float in front of her face. WildKat was strongly attracted to her from the very first moment, and he felt very lucky to have her as a girlfriend.

Trameea narrowed her eyes slightly as she spoke in a low serious tone. “Hey, I love you, and I don’t want you to get hurt, and that's all!”

WildKat smiled sheepishly. After all, he and WilyKit had faced danger often enough. It’s just that the bond between him and his sister was different. WildKat thought he would die if he lost Trameea, so he was naturally worried. “Okay, babe. We’ll kick their butts together.”

“That’s my WildKat,” she said with a smile and briefly kissed him on the lips. WildKat growled playfully as they started walking again.

Stripe was walking slightly ahead while looking around every street corner. He suddenly gave a hand signal that said, “we’ve got company.” To ThunderManx, WildKat and DeathClaw, it meant, “we’ve got victims!”

There was a family of four Simian Mutants coming up the street followed by two heavily armed mutant thugs, one simian and one reptilian. The father of the family looked like he was facing the death penalty for his whole family, but WildKat figured they were needed more as slaves than anything. He whispered to the others, “This is so wrong. Those Monkians are just trying to start over.” He thought about what he said to Tygra the other day about “putting our butts on the line every time.” “Well, someone has to,” he thought as he saw the terrified expressions on the four of them. The mother was leading a small boy who couldn’t have been more than four years old, and in between the mother and father was a girl who looked like she was about seven to nine years old. WildKat started to feel the heat of his earlier anger as he thought about Racina being held prisoner on that ugly cargo ship. WildKat wondered what had happened to the Thundercats. They must all be prisoners or worse for the mutants to land that huge ship by the Lair out in the open like that.

When the family reached the end of the block, ThunderManx got their attention and quietly but forcefully said, “Run that way, now!”

The father and mother scooped up their kids and quickly ran around the corner, taking a right turn away from them. The two armed mutants cursed and started to chase them. In the blink of an eye, ThunderManx was all over them. He hurled his pike with a powerful underhand swing into the wall on the other side of the street. The pike stuck into the cement wall like a huge dart a foot off the ground, and barely inches in front of their feet. Both of the mutants tripped and fell hard on their faces, and the fact that they were wearing heavy battery packs didn’t help matters at all. ThunderManx leapt high into the air, executing a quarter turn while gesturing with his arms to activate his armor. He landed across their backs, knocking them both out instantly with a large jolt of electricity. He got up and started removing their rifles and backpacks.

“What idiots!” ThunderManx said as he felt the weight of the weapons in his hands. “These are mining tools. There’s no way a mobile soldier can fight while wearing one of these! Besides, they should be wearing eye protection: a laser this powerful has no business being used this way. One stray reflection and you’re blind for life!”

Everyone else was impressed by ThunderManx’s knowledge on this subject, as they all took regular laser weapons for granted. WildKat suddenly got an idea.

“Hey, can I see one of those for a second?”

“What for? These things are useless here, unless…” ThunderManx noticed that WildKat was studying the old cargo ship’s after-end that was mostly open framework. There was a large knot of hydraulic lines exposed to the world. “Oh, dammit Kat. Oh, hah hahaha…” he laughed as he quickly shook his head. “One thing you can count on with mutants is ugly engineering. Ohh, ho ho… if you slice into those… heh heh heh! Here, take this one.”

WildKat and ThunderManx proceeded to fire the lasers at the ship’s lines, severing many of them. They were still several blocks away, but the nice thing about laser light is that it travels in a very straight and narrow line. WildKat wasn’t sure if it was working until he saw a dark stain starting to spread down the framework. “I love it! Hey, the mining supply shop is two blocks down… let’s trade these in.”

Trameea and ThunderManx looked at WildKat as if he had lost his mind. “What the hell…” ThunderManx started to say when WildKat cut him off.

“Hey, we need those polarized laser-welder goggle-things that they use, you know… my left-hand launcher is loaded with magnesium burst pellets, so we can temporarily blind them all while we rescue Racina and the rest of ‘em. I think it’s a fair trade.”

DeathClaw said, “Sounds superb to me. Got any extra pellets for us?”

WildKat said, “Sure thing bud,” as he patted a pouch on his belt that looked a little overstuffed. “I figured we’d be taking on an army.”

They all started towards the cargo ship, but not before WildKat casually flicked a pellet over his shoulder loaded with one of his new formulas at the unconscious mutants.

“Heh heh… that’s my new combination sneezing/itching powder. The sneezing will last about a half-hour and the itching lasts over four hours. Unless they bathe in paint thinner, there’s nothing they can do about it.”

Trameea shuddered and was about to say, “grow up,” but she realized that it would keep them quite occupied. Actually, she was starting to like the idea of it. She started wondering how WildKat gathered his figures—who had he tested this stuff on?

WildKat started passing pellets to the others as they were walking. “The white ones are the powder, the blue ones are magnesium bursts, and the red ones are sleep gas. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you to handle these carefully. They have a bursting charge that has to spin a few times to arm itself, that way if you fall on one or drop it, it shouldn’t go off. So when you throw ‘em, put some spin on ‘em.”

Trameea remembered WildKat talking about how he once lost control of his spaceboard and landed on his pouch many years ago. He only had a few pellets left after a healthy round of “mutant bombing,” but it was enough to seriously burn his thigh and keep him in bed for two weeks. Tygra invented a new detonation mechanism that wasn’t simply shock-sensitive phosphorocks, but a sophisticated gunpowder core that used a piezoelectric device to trigger it. Sure, it took much longer to make pellets now, but he had two weeks in bed to think it over.

WildKat said, “Okay, here’s the shop,” as he tried to turn the doorknob. “Hey, they locked it.” WildKat pressed his face against the glass to get a better look inside. “Hey! We’re not mutants, open up! We have some new toys for you!”

A small Tiger Thunderian nervously peered over the counter and disappeared again. He could barely hear the kid calling into the back room when an adult tiger emerged. He looked nervously back and forth through the windows and quickly let the party of five enter his store. He quickly gestured with his hand and said, “Quick, into the back room!”

The back room was a huge collection of mining equipment and crates. “Tignar, I told you to stay down and look through the glass.”

The kid looked up at his father and said, “But they’re cats!”

The father’s expression softened as he said, “I know, but I don’t want you taking chances like that again. Okay?”

Tignar looked downward and muttered an okay.

The father patted his shoulder, looked up, and shouted, “Okay everyone, it’s safe!”

One of the larger shipping crates opened up as two large Reptilian Mutants armed with steel pipe sections walked out followed by seven small children. The miners looked even larger than Slythe's guards as the years of hard labor had given them huge muscles, but they wore fearful expressions. WildKat had never seen reptilian kids before, and he realized that the little guys were sort of cute. They spoke in broken words and chirping noises. Trameea immediately went over to them and started playing. “Ohh… they’re adorable!”

One of the mutant miners started to chuckle, but the other one kept a serious face. He was too worried about his kids. It suddenly dawned on the others that the first mutant was a female—she was their mother. WildKat was a little repulsed by how hard it was to tell who was what. The mother looked very strong, and her face was almost identical to her husband’s. She also didn’t wear a top like the females of other species because it wasn’t necessary—she was built just like her husband, and WildKat figured cold-blooded mutants hatched from eggs and could eat whatever their parents ate. The only difference that WildKat could see was in their wedding bands: hers had a diamond and his didn’t.

“So, I see you got two of their torches. What can I do for you? By the way, I’m Tygnarr, and this is Tomarr and Remara.” Tomarr nodded slightly at the sound of his name.

ThunderManx shook Tygnarr’s hand as he set his laser rifle and pack on the floor. WildKat introduced himself and the others.

WildKat asked, “Could you part with some of your eye protection? We need those things that are clear but block lasers and bright flashes.”

Tygnarr’s face lit up as he said, “Ah, you mean Miner’s Glasses. Here…” he opened a small box on a shelf and fished out five pairs of goggles.

DeathClaw put his pair on and asked Tygnarr, “Hey, Kat here has magnesium burst pellets, will these be enough?”

“Let me put it to you this way: if the sun went nova, you could still see. They won’t survive a direct hit from a cutting beam, but they will stop everything else. They react automatically to light, so you’ll have nothing to worry about.”

Stripe said, “Thanks, Tygnarr.”

“Hey, good luck to you all. I hope you get those rotten Imperials out of Cat's Lair, it makes me as nervous as a snarf in a room full of rocking chairs thinking about them being in there.”

WildKat said, “Me too, I used to live there.”

“Really? You’re a Thundercat? Where’s your insignia?”

WildKat smiled and fished it out of his back pants pocket. He fixed the symbol to the empty disc in the middle of his armor. “I guess there’s no getting away from it after all,” he said with a bit of a sigh in his voice. “Thanks, man. We’ll bring you all of their ‘torches’ when this is over. Let’s rock!”

Trameea hugged Tignar and said goodbye to him and the reptilian kids. “See you later!” she said to Tygnarr as she left with the others.

ThunderManx smiled slightly as he heard Tygnarr’s voice in the back room: “Using these for weapons? They must really be desperate.”

As they got within a block of the edge of the city, they noticed that most of the mutants were now boarding the ship with their captives. Looking around, ThunderManx couldn’t see any more of them. “They must have swept through the city in a single row, so they’re all in the Lair and the ship by now.”

WildKat said, “Okay, let’s go for it!”

All five of them started running at full speed across the field that led to the side of Cat’s Lair. As long as the mutants hadn’t figured out how to use the cameras, they shouldn’t have any trouble. The security system was designed to pick up the signal in his insignia, and the insignia was designed to only transmit when in the possession of a Thundercat that is alive and conscious. WildKat knew the alarms wouldn’t sound, and he wondered how the mutants had gotten past them.

WildKat took out his lariat and lassoed a small pipe with a knob on the end that was right under the kitchen window. WildKat had entered the Lair this way so many times that it was second nature to him. In fact, he was the reason that pipe was there. While the new lair was being built, he talked one of the workers into installing it. Of course, back then his mind was set on sneaking into the kitchen in the middle of the night because the sliding doors made too much noise, but now it was a much more important matter that made him enter this way. He figured since Snarf and the others had never caught on, what chance would the mutants have of noticing them?

“Okay, the brig is two levels down from here. We should free everyone as fast as possible—it’s only a matter of time before they realize their ship won’t take off.”

WildKat removed a small panel in the wall that held a circuit board and a hand crank. WildKat flipped a switch and slowly turned the crank. The door slowly started to slide open as the others were holding their breath. Stripe was looking through the crack for any sign of mutants in the hallway, but saw none. Cautiously, they emerged from the kitchen through the half-open door and made their way towards the staircase.

As they started to descend, DeathClaw suddenly cocked his head and held up his hand for the others to stop. There were mutants coming up the stairs from below, and they were just around the next corner. DeathClaw suddenly performed a complex maneuver where he jumped up on the handrail, leaped forward and caught the opposite wall with his hands, pushed off backwards and upward so he was against the wall that faced around the corner eight feet above the floor as he got ready to push off and tackle all the mutants like a thunderian cannonball. He said, “What the hell?” as he hesitated, causing himself to fall straight down and land on his feet. He started to walk down the stairs, right into Slythe’s waiting arms.

ThunderManx heard a strangled sound coming from DeathClaw and immediately jumped down the stairs, followed by the others. He hesitated as he saw DeathClaw floating a foot off the ground with his arms pinned to his sides. Some invisible force was crushing him, and he had to act fast. ThunderManx aimed his pike and fired electric bolts all around DeathClaw’s body, causing him to be dropped. He could hear pained moans coming from the invisible mutants as they scattered, leaving DeathClaw lying prone on the stairs gasping for breath and coughing. He held his sides and started moaning. Trameea immediately went to his side to help him and motioned the others to go on ahead.

WildKat pulled out a magnesium pellet and threw it around the corner at the bottom of the staircase. The pellet went off with a loud pop and a blinding flash. He could hear a muffled “Oww…” just down the hall as he and ThunderManx jumped down to the bottom of the stairs. ThunderManx brought out two of his own mag pellets and threw one in each direction. Stripe stayed above to watch Trameea and DeathClaw’s backs and was very apprehensive about the idea of invisible mutants coming down the stairs after them. He reached into his kit and pulled out a couple of steel spikes. He drove them into the walls at the top of the staircase and quickly threaded a section of rope between them. He figured that if they tried to come after them, they would trip themselves in a most painful way.

ThunderManx could hear someone fumbling around blindly near the second staircase that led to the brig. He grabbed what seemed to be a large chicken and slammed its head sideways into the wall with a loud “Awwwk!” and started trying to feel for some control device. His efforts were rewarded when he found the armband and hit the switch that turned it off. WildKat stood and stared in awe as Vultureman emerged from a silhouette of swirling colors. ThunderManx removed the armband and goggles and immediately put the goggles over his eyes. He looked around, but couldn’t see anything new besides some white square patterns in the walls. He shifted from side to side and realized that he was seeing the rough outlines of people in other rooms beyond the wall. He looked downward and saw what looked like a lone individual pacing back and forth surrounded by lines that indicated the brig’s force shield. “Hey, I think I see Tygra trapped down there” He said as he removed his Miner’s Glasses and fastened the goggles properly on his head. “Okay, the others are somewhere on that side of the Lair, and I don’t see anyone upstairs. They must be leaving.”

WildKat was looking through a small window set in the door at the far end of the hall. He said, “Okay, I’m going back up to the control room right now to get on the radio to see if I can raise the others. I just checked the docking bay, and the Feliner is gone. They must have sneaked in after the others left. I hope that's Tygra in the brig. Can you get him out?”

“Sure, bud. Maybe we should lock up the lair before those scum realize we trashed their ship and get really mad.”

WildKat, Trameea, and DeathClaw made their way to the Lair’s control room as ThunderManx descended with Vultureman over his shoulder. He had put the armband on, but didn’t activate it.

WildKat tried to use the radio, but all he got was Tygra’s courtesy message. He looked underneath the console and saw a strange looking contraption attached to all the communications systems. WildKat started to remove it and was greeted by Vultureman’s voice asking for “the code.”

WildKat started frantically tugging at the cables snaking into the underside of the control console, but they were numerous and fastened very tight. The alien device started beeping loudly, and WildKat jumped backwards a moment before the device exploded, causing the monitors to go blank. He yelled in frustration as he kicked the control chair. “I guess we’re on our own.”

Tygra was bored out of his mind. He had been sitting or pacing the last four hours with nothing but that “jackal-jerk” gloating over him about mutant technology and “giving him a taste of what it felt like to fight an invisible enemy.” The one break he had was the ghost-like image of Cheetara materializing in front of him. They were able to communicate volumes of information in an instant, so he knew the others would be here in a few more hours. The mutants will probably be gone by then, and all of the refugees would be back on Plundarr. The Imperials would probably execute a few of them as an example, and that thought bothered Tygra to no end. He didn’t even want to think about all those mutant women and children that he entertained over dinner in the Cat’s Lair, as well as bringing food to them and spending many evenings in their houses listening to their stories over the past two years. Two thirds of the families were without fathers and it disturbed him deeply that they were going to return to a life of slavery. He knew the pain in his stomach was from the stress, but meditation wasn’t doing any good—he was too worried.

Tygra suddenly stopped pacing as he heard someone walk into the room. He shouted, “Panth…” but stopped as he realized that this was someone new. The stranger looked like Panthro, but he had long black hair, and was larger and taller than his old friend. The stranger held up a finger, then started looking over the control panel. He hit the proper button and the force shield dropped.

Tygra was mystified. “Thanks uh… who are you?”

“I’m ThunderManx, Tygra. WildKat and the rest of us have secured the lair, more or less. Oh, yeah, up until today I called myself ‘ThorrManx.’”

Tygra’s eyes lit up when he heard that name. “Oh, I see! Ah ha ha ha ha!” he laughed a little too loudly for ThunderManx's comfort.

Tygra saw the confused expression on the newcomer's face. He clapped his hand on ThunderManx’s back like he was an old friend. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to laugh, but the way Panthro’s been carrying on about you for the last few months is just too funny. ‘Oh, that ThorrManx is corrupting WilyKat! He’s into that music too, and he’s nothing but trouble. We needed you WilyKat, and you were getting drunk with ThorrManx!’ Oh, I can’t wait to see the look on his face when he meets you.”

ThunderManx was a little embarrassed by all this attention he didn't know he was getting. “You mean he doesn’t know about me?”

Tygra said in a serious tone, “None of us know about you. We only hear your name in passing, and we knew that WildKat was going to live with you and your friends. We know Trameea, but she never talked about you guys.”

ThunderManx said, “Interesting. I come from a noble panther family, but I’m the last one. WildKat pointed out that my father’s armor here looks alot like his. Maybe we belong to the same clan?”

Tygra pondered this as they started walking towards the control room. “It’s very possible. Each clan had a family of blacksmiths that made weapons, armor, and such for everyone. There were many panther clans on Thundera. Judging by the design of your armor, I’d say it was made by the same people that created Panthro’s.”

ThunderManx was very happy about this little bit of news: he wanted very badly to know more about his father’s side of the family, because he was about four years old when he fled Thundera. He couldn’t wait to meet Panthro.

ThunderManx and Tygra arrived just in time to hear WildKat yelling muffled obscenities from underneath the control panel. The monitors were all blacked out, and the air smelled of gunpowder.

Tygra walked up to where WildKat was working. “Hey, buddy, what’s up?”

“Tygra! Oww!” WildKat hit his head on the inside of the console in his excitement as he extracted himself. WildKat picked off a few stray wires that had caught on his shirt. “Well, Vultureman destroyed all of our communications systems. He had some device that was sending a loop of your old upgrade message, and he did something to the weather monitors, which explains why no one knew they were here until it was too late. We’ll never get in touch with the others.” WildKat bit his lower lip and sighed, “So much for them being able to help.”

Tygra said, “Oh, they’re on their way back, but they won’t be here for another three hours or so.”

A funny look of surprise and confusion crossed WildKat’s face as Tygra explained what had happened. “Cheetara used the Sword of Omens and her sixth sense at the same time, and we communicated telepathically a few hours ago. Well, from what ThunderManx tells me, we had better take the fight to them while they’re repairing their ship.”

ThunderManx spoke up. “I think DeathClaw and Trameea should take out any mutants working on the damage outside the ship while the rest of us go in fighting. What do you think, Kat?”

WildKat hesitated at the thought of being separated from Trameea, but since most of the mutants were inside the ship, he figured she would be safer on that particular mission—especially since DeathClaw would be with her. “Sounds like a plan. Wanna be our invisible zapper?”

ThunderManx laughed and said, “Sure, why not? Let’s see if this thing works.” He hit the button on the armband, and almost panicked when he saw it glowing red like it was hot. Everyone stared in wonder as the band came to life and ThunderManx slowly disappeared.

“Hey, this is pretty cool! With these goggles, I can see other invisible mutants. I don’t really see much, but it works. Old Slythe will see me as a bunch of blips and assume I’m one of his invisible buddies. I’ll take great pleasure in nailing his green hide to the wall!”

Tygra said, “That goes for me too… I would love to get one on Jackalman. He’ll probably think I’m a mutant too, but I won’t be able to see him if he has his device turned on.”

WildKat looked over at DeathClaw, who was still holding his arms over his stomach. “Hey, bud… are you okay?”

DeathClaw looked back with a smile and said, “Yeah. I’m a bit sore, but I can still move.” He did a back flip and a forward handspring to illustrate his point. He winced a little, but was confident he could continue.

Stripe cautioned him. “Hey, pal… you be careful, okay?”

DeathClaw smiled with an evil-looking grin that gave Tygra pause. “Just save some of Slythe for me if you get to him first.”

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