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

Closing Theme from Dune
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 Six: Home

The Feliner landed a few blocks into the city so as to not alert the mutants of their presence. Lion-o, Panthro, Cheetara, and WilyKit were joined by a contingent of Intergalactic Police that they had requested, led by Officer Mandora. They all started the hike towards the new Cat’s Lair and the giant mutant cargo ship. Mandora adjusted her visor and scanned the old ship.

“I have not seen one of those up close before. That is an Upsilon-class Plundarrian Freighter. I’m amazed that they could even get that bucket to fly.” Mandora adjusted her visor again and took a closer look. “It looks like it won’t be flying anytime soon, either. Someone severed the main hydraulic control lines with a cutting laser, judging by the marks on the engine scaffolding. We should be prepared for hostiles in both the ship and the lair.”

As they neared the lair, Panthro looked up at the looming freighter, which rivaled the size of the lair itself. “Damn, that thing’s big! It looks like they were serious about getting the refugees back.”

Mandora said, “Those ships were used for grain transports over forty years ago. That thing belongs in a museum, not that anyone would take much joy from looking at it.”

Panthro started to think that it might be a good idea to fix it up so they could use it for delivering cargo, after upgrading it with a hyper-drive and covering up the bare framework on the after-end. It would be a shame to let a ship that big go to waste, even if it was an ugly rust-bucket.

As Lion-o and the others approached the front walk of the Cat’s Lair, they were surprised to see WildKat and a golden Tiger Thunderian carrying an unconscious Simian Mutant around the corner from the ship.

The two of them set the prone mutant down on the ground and greeted the party with a smile. “Cool! Good to see you brought some help. There’s a couple hundred of these guys, and we got most of them still knocked out in the cargo hold. The refugees are inside the lair warming up, and all of the Bovians are here too.”

Panthro bristled at the thought of those Plundarrian versions of Brutemen wandering around in Cat’s Lair. His first order of business would be to ship them back to the Valley of the Snarfs before they break everything.

Mandora called in the prison transport, which she said would arrive in less than an hour. She ordered her squad to take over the job of removing the mutant soldiers and placing them all under arrest. She smiled as she thought about having so many in a single bust. Yes, kidnapping refugees wouldn’t look very good to the Interstellar Court at all.

Mandora called to Lion-o, who immediately walked over to her. “Yes?”

“Tell the others to go ahead and relax, we’ll take over from here.” Mandora shifted her attention to two of her fellow officers. “Jax, you and Craston are in charge of removing the offenders from the ship. We’ll use the Thundercats’ brig and teleport them into the transport when it arrives.”

The older of the two officers bowed slightly. “It will be done, Evil Chaser.”

Lion-o and the others entered the lair and made their way to the control room. Panthro let out a gasp of surprise when he saw what looked like a member of his clan in the control room. “You! Are you of the clan of the Royal Guardians?”

ThunderManx brushed his hair back and said, “Uhh… my father was. Nice to finally meet you, Panthro… I’m ThunderManx.” He paused for a moment and added, "Actually, my real name is ThorrManx, but we all had a bit of a name change lately."

Panthro was shocked. He had been saying bad things about ThorrManx for a long time but had no idea that the person he was talking about was a living survivor of his clan. Up until now, he thought he was the last living Royal Guardian. Panthro shook his hand vigorously. “Well, son… you’re one big cat. Where’s your father? Is he around?”

ThunderManx looked down at the floor as he said in a somber tone, “No, he’s gone. So is my mom. All I have are my friends and my mom’s house. I heard of an uncle, but he died when Thundera exploded. My dad was Panthaar.” ThunderManx looked into Panthro’s eyes. He was waiting for the impact, as Panthaar was the leader of the Royal Guardians, but Panthro seemed unimpressed. The fact was that Panthro immediately recognized the Electric Armor and Energy Pike that ThunderManx wore. As happy as he was to find him, he was saddened by the news that Panthaar was no longer among the living.

Panthro sorely missed his big brother, but this was a time for celebration. His face broke into a big smile and he said, “Well you heard wrong, ThorrManx. Come here, nephew!” He stepped forward and firmly hugged the startled younger panther.

“You? You’re my uncle? Mom never really did tell me your name, now that I think of it. She always talked about my dad, though. I really miss him.”

“Yeah, me too. He was the greatest of us. He and I were known as the ‘Unstoppable Force.’” He motioned towards the weapon that ThunderManx had across his back “I haven’t seen that Energy Pike in a long time. Come on, let’s talk.” Panthro motioned towards the corridor that led to his training area.

ThunderManx glanced around at the others, who were standing with their mouths open in shock. He smiled with a slightly embarrassed look before he turned around again and headed back to join Panthro. He had some catching up to do.

WildKat simply whispered, “Wow.”

Cheetara broke the silence by getting down on one knee and asking, “And who do we have here?” with a warm smile.

“I’m Racina. My family is gone, and I live with Trameea and the Tabby Twins. WildKat said that all of them, Manx, Stripe and Claw are my new family.” She grinned and bounced her arms slightly with excitement. “He’s going to make me a guitar!”

“Well, I’m Cheetara and I’m happy to meet you.” Cheetara smiled and hugged the young jackal girl. She looked up at WildKat, who was wearing a proud smile. “I had no idea. You’ve got some special friends here.”

“Yeah, Racee’s very special—she’s my little canine sister.” Racina giggled and jumped at WildKat, who caught her in a bear hug and spun her around. WildKat started laughing along with her and set her down. Racina giggled some more as WildKat playfully ruffled the fur on her head.

WilyKit was speechless. She only knew Trameea in passing, and had heard the names of the others but never met them before. “Well, how about that? You found someone from Panthro’s family, your friends took back the lair, and you fixed the mutants. I’m amazed, quite frankly,” she said with a bit of a smirk. “Not bad, WilyKat.”

WildKat frowned. “That’s ‘WildKat,’ sis.”

“Whatever you say, WilyKat.”

The adult Thundercats started to get a “here we go again” look on their faces. Stripe, DeathClaw, Trameea, and Racina looked on as WilyKit stood there with a defiant smirk and waited for a reaction from her brother. The reaction she got was unexpected.

WildKat suddenly hugged his sister—picking her up off the floor—and spun her around like he did Racina a few moments before. WilyKit let out a surprised gasp and her eyes were wide.

WildKat said, “I love you, sis! You’ll have to come over for dinner sometime.” He put his sister back down and said to the rest of the Thundercats, “You’ll all have to,” with a big smile.

WilyKit staggered backwards in shock. Her brother was acting mature, and it was weird—too weird. She felt a little embarrassed as everyone looked at her with amused smiles. Racina started giggling again.

Lion-o broke in and said, “So, you four along with ThunderManx and Tygra defeated over one hundred mutants, in their own ship I might add, rescued the refugees, and took back the Lair?”

Tygra caught on to what was happening. “Why yes, Lord Lion-o. They all acted with great bravery.”

DeathClaw, Stripe, Trameea, and Racina looked confused as Tygra spoke in a slightly exaggerated voice. WildKat started to smile; he picked up on Lion-o’s routine and added, “As did little Racina, Lord Lion-o: she kept her cool in a very bad situation.” Racina grinned warmly at WildKat while Cheetara and Tygra kept straight faces. WilyKit couldn’t help but cast a warm grin of her own towards her brother. Despite his headstrong nature, the loud music, and the occasional wild party, she knew she couldn’t have asked for anyone better to be related to.

Lion-o raised his sword and said in a proud voice, “Then, as Lord of the Thundercats, I proclaim that these brave thunderians…” Lion-o paused briefly and looked down at Racina with a smile. “And this very brave Plundarrian become Thundercats as soon as possible. Uhh, after I get some sleep, that is.” Lion-o shook his head and re-sheathed the sword, which started a loud round of laughter that boomed throughout the control room.

As the laughter died down, everyone heard a muffled voice and pounding coming from the first aid cabinet.

Tygra unlocked the door and a sleepy Snarf tumbled out. “Tygra! What happened? Some invisible mutant locked me up in there! Ohh, Sneearf, Sneearf… my back is killing me!”

Everyone in the room started laughing all over again as the sun began to set. Panthro set up temporary sleeping quarters for the Bovians and found them to be rather pleasant. They weren’t quite as dumb as he had expected: it seemed that the snarfs were educating and giving them a sense of confidence that they never had on their home planet. They turned out to be surprisingly talkative.

Most of the other refugees had simply walked home after thanking the Thundercats. Tygra drove several of the more elderly mutants back to their houses. Things were slowly returning to normal as evening fell.

Panthro invited all of WildKat's friends to sleep in the lair that night. He was happy to have a full house, and he felt more relaxed than he had in a long time. He discovered a nephew he didn’t know he had. He opened the claw hangar partway, sat in his Thundertank, and fell asleep to the stars and the sound of countless crickets outside.

WildKat lay in his old bed and stared up at the ceiling with the lights out. So much had happened in such a short time, and he felt content. He thought of all the good he was doing with Racina and Trameea, the love of his life. Before he fell asleep, he laughed quietly to himself and thought about how shocked his sister looked when he hugged her instead of falling into the old “I know you are but what am I?” routine.

Racina and Trameea shared what used to be Cheetara’s bedroom before she moved in with Tygra. They talked about WildKat for awhile before falling asleep. Trameea didn’t dream: she was too exhausted and her body concentrated on healing itself. Racina enjoyed the most vivid and pleasant dream about Trameea and WildKat having an elaborate wedding ceremony, and her playing guitar for them at the reception.

Stripe and ThunderManx shared the last guestroom with DeathClaw. There were only two beds, and DeathClaw said he didn’t need one. Stripe and ThunderManx laughed a little and made some remark about him always being the strange one. DeathClaw meditated for awhile as the other two fell asleep then quietly left to check out the couches in the lounge. They looked very comfortable, but he had a better idea: he walked outside and meditated for an hour more before falling asleep in the grass under the stars.

Snarf, WilyKit, Tygra, and Cheetara worked hard into the night preparing a feast for tomorrow: It was going to be a big day.

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