Thunder Twins
Ancient Spirits of Evil
Written by Erich the Mad Bassist


Theme from The Saint
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 Five: Rumors and Scandals

WildKat was in the middle of a late jam session when his sister entered the room looking very upset. WildKat stopped the music and put his guitar down.

“What’s wrong, Kit?”

“Look at this!” WilyKit slammed an oddly shaped newspaper on the console.

WildKat said, “Huh?” as he looked at the title: “The Third Earth Inquirer.” His eye was immediately caught by a sub heading that proclaimed, “Lion-ho gets another boy toy!”

WildKat glanced up at WilyKit for a moment, then started flipping through the pages. WildKat started laughing when he came across a section that had pictures of Slythe and Jackalman in compromising positions.

“What the heck are you laughing at?” WilyKit was furious.

“This… this picture of… oh…” WildKat’s expression changed when he saw a picture of Slythe and his sister. “What the… ?” He started thumbing through some more pages. He stopped on a set of pictures that showed all of the Thundercats in the days before they wore clothing. “Holy Jaga… how could anyone get pictures like this? I have to admit, it’s pretty cool…”

WilyKit glared at him as the others started coming over to see what they were looking at.

“Um… I mean it’s like creative and stuff…”

WilyKit had a look of disgust as she said, “Oh, shut up!”

Stripe said, “Those sure look real… except for this one with Kit in bed with Lion-o… uh, sorry Kit.”

WilyKit growled and left the room in anger.

WildKat said, “Most of these look like things that happened to us in the past, but it would be impossible to get… unless… hmm… do you think Seph-Ra somehow did this?”

ThunderManx added, “No one else could have… unless you were being followed by photographers since Thundera was evacuated.”

“Yeah… like anyone could have gotten that shot in our old spaceship. I have a bad feeling about this.”

The next day at work, WilyKit and WildKat were all too aware of the strange stares that other people in the factory were giving them. No one said anything, but they kept staring.

“I can’t deal with this, WilyKat… I’m going home!”

“No, wait Kit… just ignore them.” He turned around and saw several people looking over their work at the two of them. WildKat shouted, “What the hell are you looking at?” The others’ eyes returned to their duties. “C’mon Kit… please stay.”

“Okay, but I really want to scream.”

“Me too.” The rest of the day was very tense for both of them. After work, they immediately surfed over to Cat’s Lair.

“What is this?” Panthro was getting upset as he looked through the paper that WildKat had brought over. The rest of the Thundercats were reading over his shoulder.

Snarf said, “Ohhh, no wonder people were staring at us when we walked through the marketplace and the park today, snarf, snarf… this is terrible!”

Lion-o started growling and ran out of the control room.

Tygra looked up and said, “Uh oh… I think we better follow him…”

Cheetara couldn’t agree more as she zipped down the hallway after Lion-o.

She stopped him as he was climbing into the Hovercat. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Lion-o shot her an angry glance and spoke in an unusually harsh voice. “I’m going to find the bastard behind this and shred him to pieces!”

“Well, you’re not leaving without me.”

“Just watch!” Lion-o closed the hatch and started the engines.

Cheetara shook her head and said to herself, “If that’s the way you want it, big boy…” as she prepared to run after him on foot. “You can be so immature sometimes.”

The others watched as Cheetara ran after the departing Lion-o. WilyKit and WildKat hopped on their spaceboards and took off to follow. Panthro clapped his hand to his forehead as he said, “Oh, great. I’ll warm up the Cat Sleds.”

Panthro, Tygra, and Pumyra took off on the three sleds that resembled flying snowmobiles. Panthro built them for recreational use, but they came in handy during emergencies: they weren't very fast, but they could take off quickly and land safely in the middle of a crowd.

Bengali, Lynx-o, and Snarf started walking back to the control room. Lynx-o remarked, “I sure hope he doesn’t do something rash.”

The newsvendor was scared out of his wits. He had no idea where these papers were coming from, but the Lord of the Thundercats didn’t believe him. “I’m telling you, if you don’t tell where those papers came from, I’m going to rip your arms off!”

“L… L… Lion-o… I am not selling these! I swear to you…”

Lion-o grabbed him by the front of his tunic and picked him up until he was nose to nose with the angry lion. “WHERE DID THESE COME FROM?”

“Lion-o! Stop!” Cheetara was coming through the crowd, but was tripped by someone in the throng. She picked herself up, convinced that the trip was on purpose. Looking around, Cheetara only saw a crowd of thunderians and some Mutants around her. She started to push her way through the crowd again.

WilyKit and WildKat flew over the pressed bodies of the crowd as they approached the newsvendor’s shop. They arrived just in time to see Lion-o throw the newsvendor through the back of his stand, making him land hard on the grass.

The twins were stunned as they landed behind the newsstand. “Lion-o! Stop!” WilyKit was shouting, but he wasn’t listening. “Lion-o!”

Lion-o jumped on top of the vendor and drew his fist back. Before he could deliver the punch, WildKat hooked his arm. “What are you…”

Lion-o released the vendor and used his left hand to shove WildKat away from him.

“Alright, I didn’t want to do this…” WildKat lunged for Lion-o as he looked back towards the newsvendor, who was backing up towards the stunned crowd.

WildKat tackled the big Lion Thunderian from the side and managed to get him on his back. Lion-o swung in frustration, connecting with the side of WildKat’s face. Lion-o quickly got up and hauled the stunned WildKat upright. He started to realize what he had just done, shook his head, and released his friend. At that moment, Panthro tackled him from behind and pinned him down.

“What the hell is wrong with you, Lion-o?”

“No… it’s not right!”

“Damn right it’s not right! You’re coming back to the lair now!”

As Panthro hauled Lion-o upright, WildKat kicked Lion-o in the gut and delivered a savage open-handed slap to Lion-o’s face. “You son-of-a…”

Panthro threw Lion-o aside and started to approach WildKat. “Hey, that’s enough!”

WildKat backed down. “S… Sorry Panthro.”

Lion-o was kneeling with one hand on his stomach and one on the left side of his face. “It’s okay, he’s right. I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me. I was so… frustrated!”

Cheetara came up and put her hand on his shoulder and said, “Let’s just go home, okay?”

“Okay.”

There was a sudden voice from the crowd. “Yeah, run home to your snarf, Lion-ho!”

Lion-o looked up, his eyes burning with anger. Panthro quickly grabbed his other arm and encouraged him to get back to the Hovercat, which Lion-o had parked in the field behind the newsstand.

Another voice from the crowd bellowed, “Run home to Snarfy… and to that murdering cousin of yours that you’re hiding!”

Lion-o shouted, “That was Seph-Ra! I don’t have a cousin!”

Yet another voice said the five words that would affect him for the rest of his life: “There’s… nothing… you… can… do!”

From another spot in the crowd, someone called him a murderer. Someone else called him a “coward who attacks innocent people.” Another voice called out, “How was Slythe, Lion-ho?”

Lion-o was about to say something, but Panthro got in front of him and ordered him into the Hovercat.

The crowd was too shocked to realize that all of the voices were coming from the same person… that person was just teleporting among them and changing form with each move.

Later that afternoon, everyone in Thundera City had found a little black book in his or her mailbox.

Panthro picked up the little book from the mail slot at the Cat’s Lair. The title looked innocent enough, if somewhat cryptic: “A Night on Thundera.”

Panthro walked into his shop and opened the book. Soon afterward, a loud scream of anger was heard along with the sound of something heavy and metallic being thrown against the wall.

Later that night, Panthro was too tense to sleep and decided to take a walk. He started to walk towards the city, figuring he’d have a beer at the pub. He was starting to feel relaxed again, but this was a rare occasion when he wanted to have a little alcohol to settle him down.

As he entered the establishment, he had the impression that fifty conversations suddenly stopped. As he sat at the bar, he could feel the tension in the whole place. Although there was music playing, the bar was too silent for his liking. A thunderian said, “That Cheetara must be incredible,” to his friend as they came in through the front door. The two of them froze solid when they saw Panthro standing in front of them with a half-empty beer stein. His eyes were practically on fire.

The police reported to the Cat’s Lair that they had taken Panthro into custody, and that it had taken five officers to restrain him.

The next month was not very kind to the Thundercats. Everyone was talking about the scandalous materials circulating about. Most of the citizens didn’t believe what they were reading, but the stories were entertaining, and thus persisted. Seph-Ra knew that a pleasant lie repeated often enough would eventually become a truth… she knew this from years of experience as a Plundarrian Inquisitor. “Brainwashing” was a process she was intimately familiar with, and “programming” the masses was just a slower, but ultimately more effective process. Once the citizens start accepting the images, they will only reinforce the lies amongst themselves as they talk and laugh about them. In time, false but believable memories will be a certainty.

Seph-Ra kept herself busy by leaving her pyramid every day to walk among the citizens. The stories kept spreading, and the rumors she injected into the populace only quickened the process. She was becoming the ultimate actress… able to change her identity every day and starting a new chain of conversations that didn’t benefit the thunderian Nobles. She finally rested within her sarcophagus for two weeks to get her strength up for the challenge that lay ahead.

“Rrrraaah! Something has to be done! None of us can even take a walk without being harassed!” Lion-o was furious, as well as Panthro.

“Those people owe us their lives, for Jaga’s sake! All the times we’ve defended them as well as ourselves from evil doesn’t seem to matter… what’s wrong with everyone?”

Lynx-o spoke up. “They only hear lies… and the lies continue without the benefit of truth. We have to do something to balance these false documents. Perhaps we should write a book about our lives… tell the real story about us! Snarf… you see yourself as a writer, right?”

Snarf looked up in surprise. “Uh… I suppose so, snarf, snarf…”

“You better get started… you have a most unique perspective on the lives of the Thundercats and people should be receptive towards your point of view.”

Lynx-o thought for a moment before saying, “And everyone else, please help him fill in the gaps on your own personal histories… and the things you love in your lives. We will make an interesting book that presents facts. What do you say?”

Lion-o smiled. “I like it! Let’s do it.”

Snarf folded his ears as his expression drooped slightly. “Where do I begin? Snarf, snarf.”

Cheetara said, “When you first came to care for Lion-o, and helped forge the peaceful relationship between snarf and thunderian alike. Look at this as your chance to do it all over again.”

Snarf’s expression brightened at this prospect. “Okay, snarf, snarf… I’ll do it! I’m going to start by writing a questionnaire for everyone to fill out, and add their personal thoughts to. We’ll have everyone’s attention on the truth for a change. Snarf, snarf!”

The following week, things took a sudden turn for the worse as a young Jaguar Thunderian made his way towards the crowd that gathered for his big announcement.

“Greetings, fellow thunderians and Mutants… I have survived the destruction of Thundera and the rigors of space to reclaim my proper place as the Lord of the Thundercats.”

Someone from the crowd spoke up. “Lion-o is the Lord of the Thundercats… who are you?”

“My name is Jagrow… son of Jaga and the rightful heir to the throne. I shall take my place as your ruler and benefactor. I am thankful to have finally found my way back to my people.”

WildKat looked into Lion-o’s eyes. “Is it true?”

“It can’t be! Jaga had so son… none that I know about.” Lion-o looked over at Panthro, Tygra, and Cheetara. Their expressions told the same story.

Tygra stepped forward and drew everyone’s attention. “Jaga was pronounced ‘Lord of the Thundercats’ after it was thought that King Claudus died… but his appointment was to end the day that Lion-o had passed the trials and earned his title. Unfortunately, when we lost Jaga, we just let you have the title, even though you hadn’t earned it. Thundera was gone, so we felt no need for formality. When the time was right, we did our duty as tradition demands… and you earned the right to the title, both by blood, and by your qualities as a Thundercat.”

“So, this Jagrow guy has no claim to the throne?”

“None. Jaga was Claudus’ right-hand man, and a long and loyal friend. He merely carried the title over to you.”

“Okay, so there’s nothing to worry about.”

“Maybe there is,” WilyKit said with a note of uncertainty. “Kat and I were there when Jagrow was talking, and most of the crowd accepted him. He really gave a good speech. The Mutants don’t know of our royal order, and neither do the younger thunderians. Only the parents and grandparents remember, but many of them aren’t interested in the lives of nobles—they’re busy with their own lives. It would seem Jagrow has many supporters.”

“But the bloodline leads to me! I am the son of Thundera’s last king, and I’m really ‘King Lion-o’ by right, but I don’t want people calling me that. Lion-o is enough.”

Cheetara remembered how Lion-o loved to be called “Lord of the Thundercats” when he was younger, but that changed. Lion-o becomes visibly uncomfortable when called by his full name and title. Adding “King” to that would just make it worse. “Well, Lion-o… we’ll just wait and see. There’s no cause for the citizens to doubt your place.”

That evening, WilyKit and WildKat were winging their way home. WilyKit shouted, “Hey, let’s walk the rest of the way.”

“Uh… okay, sis.” WildKat jumped off his board and switched it to “follow mode.” “So, what’s up?”

“I… just needed to walk with you awhile before we go into our houses.”

“Hey,” WildKat said as he put his arm around his sister, drew her close, and kissed her head through her hair. He said, “That’s what I’m here for,” as he let his arm fall back to his side.

“Thank you.” WilyKit gazed up at the stars as the sky darkened to a deep shade of blue and orange.

After several minutes WildKat asked, “What’s on your mind, sis?”

“It’s that Jagrow guy… he’s nice, too nice. He doesn’t seem to acknowledge Lion-o at all and he’s got so many people following him now. It’s… I don’t know… weird!”

They walked the rest of the way in silence. When they finally reached their houses, they hugged before going their separate ways for the night. WildKat had never felt closer to his sister than he did now. They worked together with Trameea in the same place during the day and flew together in the evenings. He had flown with Trameea a few times, but her heart wasn’t into the joy of flying at top speed. She only wanted to fly beyond the edge of town by the river to walk with WildKat and enjoy his embrace as the sun set. Trameea loved the way the sun lit up the Great Thunderan Mountain Range as it sunk below the horizon.

WildKat would have preferred it if Trameea was thrilled by flying at high speed like his sister, but he always forgot about that when they would stop to hold hands, snuggle, and kiss. Sure, this was a much bigger thrill to him… spending time with the one he loved more so than himself, but he always had the itch to fly at full-throttle when he was on his board.

WilyKit was very concerned about what would happen tomorrow. Jagrow said he was going to make some kind of announcement and that worried her. With everyone around her wondering if the stories were true about her and her brother, she wasn’t sleeping too well lately. The tension was with her every minute of the day.

It was an overcast weekend: the sky was covered in a gray shroud, but there was no rain. A huge crowd gathered in the great amphitheater to hear Jagrow’s announcement. There was countless speculation carrying itself throughout the people. All of the Thundercats came down the steps and staked out an area for themselves towards the front. Numerous thunderians looked at them oddly as they shifted their positions so the Thundercats could all sit in the same area. Lion-o wondered if this gesture was merely a polite way of moving so as not to be associated with them. They all had to put up with the strange looks, snickers, rude and lecherous remarks, and some flirting for the last month. The stress was really starting to show on all of them.

The crowd quieted down as Jagrow thanked his attendants and approached the podium. He slowly scanned the crowd, seeming to take in each individual face. He let the moment hang so he had the full attention of everyone as he took his position behind the microphone.

“Welcome, my fellow thunderians and Mutants. We are gathered here today honor the Thundercats and the fine job that Lion-o did holding on to the title of ‘Lord of the Thundercats’ in my absence. I have survived many hardships in space and on other planets to finally return home and reclaim my birthright… the title of ‘Lord Jagrow, Lord of the Thundercats’ and also… the Sword of Omens and the royal Claw Shield.”

Lion-o shot to his feet and glared at this interloper. “Hey! I don’t know if you know this or not but Jaga, my mentor, was entrusted with the title of ‘Lord’ and the Sword after my father King Claudus passed away, or so we thought. It was temporary until I became of age. I have passed the five trials of annointment, and I have rightfully earned the title of ‘King Lion-o, Lord of the Thundercats’ and that’s the way it should be.”

Jagrow raised his eyebrow slightly as he said, “Perhaps, but shouldn’t a Lord be the embodiment of justice, truth, honor, and loyalty?” Jagrow paused for effect.

“Lion-o broke all of those ideals repeatedly… including, but not limited to, assaulting an innocent newsvendor… in front of many of you I might add.”

Lion-o glanced at WildKat and Panthro, feeling guilty of what happened that day.

“Attempted murder… when he nearly killed a poor farmer on the outskirts of town.”

Lion-o started to stand up, but Panthro grabbed his arm and gently persuaded him to remain seated.

“And he even went so far as to try killing one of his own!”

This time, they all stood up with looks of anger. The crowd gasped collectively as Lion-o spoke up. “That did not happen! It was Seph-Ra… it was YOU!”

Suddenly, Lion-o leapt up to the stage and kicked Jagrow in the gut in one movement. He grabbed him by the hair and pinned him to the podium as he removed a small blue sphere from a pocket. “Now you will see who this really is!” He pushed the sphere into Jagrow’s forehead… it was quickly absorbed, and it caused him to scream in pain. Lion-o waited for the mummy to emerge, but it didn’t happen. Jagrow’s guards restrained Lion-o as Jagrow staggered over to him and removed his sword. Lion-o struggled, but couldn’t do anything about it. Panthro and ThunderManx leapt up to the stage ready to fight. The guards released Lion-o and shoved him towards the two panthers that caught him.

Jagrow approached the podium again and said, “Today sees the beginning of a new era of peace and goodwill on New Thundera. I, Jagrow, Lord of the Thundercats, proclaim it!”

The crowd grew silent as Jagrow raised the Sword of Omens above his head and began what Lion-o had so many times before. “Thunder… thunder… thunder… Thundercats… Ho!”

The Thundercats were all in shock as they watched the sword grow and release the signal high above the amphitheater. The overcast sky above was lit up by the red glow of the signal and a resounding roar filled the city.

Lion-o shook his head. “This can’t be!” He jumped off the stage and stared at the cat signal lighting up the sky. He and the others knew there was something wrong, because they didn’t feel the rush of energy that normally comes from the sword to them. The link to the Eye of Thundera wasn’t there, and Tygra knew immediately that this was some kind of illusion.

Lion-o shouted, “Sword of Omens, come to my hand!”

The Sword suddenly left Jagrow’s hand and sped towards Lion-o’s. When Lion-o caught it, he realized that it had been in its resting state all along. “Come on everybody… let’s go home.” Lion-o re-sheathed the sword, resisting the temptation to send up the signal himself. It wouldn’t do any good, since only the Thundercats had the insignias to receive the sword’s power. He thought about blasting him with it, but that would just cause more damage.

“Does this look like a rational leader to you? You are outnumbered, Lion-o! There’s… nothing… you… can… do!”

Those five words—deliberately spaced apart like that: Lion-o could still see the five houses getting crushed. Even though he knew it was an illusion, it still felt real to him. Enraged, he spun around, drew his sword, and shouted “Ho!” A bolt of white electricity drilled into the podium and shattered it, but Jagrow had already taken cover. Frustrated, he re-sheathed the sword and started leaving the amphitheater.

Jagrow stood up and said, “Sword of Omens… come to my hand! I, Jagrow, Lord of the Thundercats, command it!”

Everyone saw the sword fly from Lion-o to Jagrow, and Panthro was about to run back to attack. Lion-o still felt the weight of the sword and unsheathed it. “Never mind, it’s just an illusion… I still have the sword. Let’s go home.”

The Thundercats gave him strange looks and people in the crowd nearby started laughing. Lion-o looked at his hand, but the sword was invisible. Wherever Seph-Ra was in this crowd, she was casting a very skillful illusion. He re-sheathed it in frustration and continued walking out. People were now starting to throw things at the departing group and they all left disgusted.

The streets were empty save for a thunderian couple that passed up the big event in lieu of each other’s love. The cat signal emerged from the amphitheater and lit up the sky again to the roar of the crowd. Out of frustration, Lion-o commanded the sword to put up the real cat signal. For a moment, the couple froze at the sight of twin cat signals glowing against the cloud cover. They wondered what was happening but continued their walk together. Lion-o and the others didn’t know it, but those two and a few other scattered souls saw that sight. Everyone inside the amphitheater still only saw one cat signal as Seph-Ra’s illusion had a hold over the crowd.

Walking towards Cat’s Lair, the group was very silent. WildKat broke it by asking, “Okay, Lion-o… what was that thing?”

“Huh?”

“That marble you hit Jagrow with.”

“Mumm-Rana gave me that when I was… wandering. It was supposed to drain Seph-Ra of her strength and force her to retreat.” Lion-o growled as he said, “And I wasted it!”

Panthro spoke up. “You couldn’t have known; don’t be hard on yourself.”

“Hard on myself? There’s a killer in there brainwashing everyone in the city and there’s nothing I can…” Lion-o trailed off as he realized he was repeating the words that fueled his nightmares. They walked in silence the rest of the way home, saying only a quick goodbye to WilyKit, WildKat, and their group as they split off for their own homes. Lion-o knew the nightmares would come again that night.

“Honey, you were wonderful!”

“Heh heh heh… that was too much fun! It was worth getting kicked around a little. Hey baby, how’d you get like this?”

“The pyramid… my pyramid called to me. I knew I was meant for great power, but I had no idea! So… let’s relive some old times, huh?”

“Uhh… babe, you’re cold, gray and eight feet tall.”

“Okay, how’s this?”

“Oh, yeah! That’s the Sessti I remember.”

The next month was uneventful for the Thundercats that lived at Cat’s Lair. Some people in the streets avoided them, but generally they were acknowledged. Although a portion of the public believed Jagrow’s claim to the throne, most citizens were too busy with their own lives to give the matter much attention. The controversy ended up as a dinnertime distraction. The Thundercats still performed their duties regarding matters of city and state but they were apprehensive from the looks and whispers that continued all around them. They knew that Jagrow was up to something… word had gotten back to them that a group of thunderians left the city to join him in some mysterious “quest for the truth.” Racina had passed on the news that none of the Mutants were joining them out of gratitude towards the Thundercats… they knew that Lion-o and the rest were good people, and they always had them to thank for their freedom after they had escaped from Plundarr.

“WilyKat, come here this instant!” WilyKit was standing at the doorway to the jam room with her hands on her hips and her eyes burning with anger.

“Uh oh… keep practicing, guys.”

WilyKit grabbed her brother by his shirt and hauled him through the door that led outside and slammed it behind her. “What the heck is going on?”

“What?”

WilyKit sharply poked a finger into his chest. “Don’t treat me like I’m stupid, brother… you know what I’m talking about!”

“Huh? No I…”

WilyKit suddenly grabbed his shirt with both hands and shoved him up against the side of the house. “You’re telling people those gross scenes in that lousy book happened! How could you?”

“Kit, I didn’t say it happened!”

“Well, they all seem to believe it! Care to explain that, brother?”

WildKat was at a loss for words. He didn’t tell people those things happened, but he didn’t exactly deny it either. The truth was that his band had a sudden demand in every club and town and he was getting paid more for performing than he was for making power cells. The rumors only helped as countless teenagers were drawn into the spectacle… he had so many fans now, it was almost impossible to walk home without getting mobbed and WildKat loved every moment of it.

WilyKit on the other hand, hated it. There was always some fifteen-year-old boy trying to proposition her and she was getting closer and closer to ripping someone’s head off. Even worse were the girls who kept coming up to her asking for advice or spouting questions about “WildKat”. It was driving her crazy! WilyKit didn’t even have a boyfriend in her life yet and she hated all the negative attention. It was too much.

“Look, WilyKit… I’m sorry this happened. I really never told anyone that those stories are true. Would it make you happy if I denied it to everyone?”

“It would be better than shining it on!”

“Okay. The next person who asks me is going to get the truth.”

“Good.” WilyKit released WildKat and briskly walked off towards her house.

The silence of the camp was broken as Jagrow made the announcement. “Fellow thunderians… we have been invaded by Mutant scum. Sure, they say that they are refugees, but they are really here to undermine our society. They plan to interbreed with us, therefore making us weaker. Sure, it won’t happen during this generation or the next, but it will happen. Our grandchildren will become slaves of Plundarr.”

Seph-Ra watched the whole affair from the comfort of her pyramid. This wasn’t what she had in mind, but her comrade and lover was right. It’s one thing to try to turn the whole population against the Thundercats, but it’s much easier to select a faction of the population that could be turned against them, using their hatred for Mutants and projecting it to the population at large, and most importantly, to the Thundercats themselves.

There were at least forty in the group. Not much, but enough to take over the Cat’s Lair and install Jagrow as the new Lord soon. From that point, the plans of the Ancient Spirits of Evil would unfold.

“The Thundercats mean well, but they don’t see the enemy for what it is. The Mutants here don’t see the plan either… they’re just pawns in the game.”

Jagrow scanned the crowd of thunderians that he had recruited. They were at full attention, hanging on his every word. Sure, Seph was an expert at getting information out of people as well as mental programming, but Jagrow was a leader who knew how to bring out the worst qualities in his followers under the guise of a good cause.

“In two hundred years, the Imperial Mutants of Plundarr will simply move in and take over. No one will know who the enemy is and will, in turn, become the enemy. We thunderians will perish in the eyes of the universe, as our children become Mutants. New Thundera will become New Plundarr.” This brought a big round of angry shouts from those assembled. “We must train today so we might fight tomorrow to protect our heritage!”

Later, as Jagrow retreated to his tent, he thought to himself. He was in the middle of a job on Shaknarr, causing a Mutant rebellion against the Shakrites. It had taken him months to get all the Mutants on that planet to turn against their hosts and begin a war of conquest. He had no idea how it was going and he knew his Imperial masters were displeased at his “death,” but the fact was that Seph-Ra had a much more attractive offer.

Sessti came to him in a vision one night and offered him the unlimited wealth of her pyramid, eternal life, eternal companionship, and an offer to rule over New Thundera in the future. After he had heard the report of her death two years ago, he figured she was gone forever. Funny, he was working on corrupting these thunderians by turning them against their Mutant population. Jagrow smiled as he considered the irony of this situation. He looked into the mirror with an expression of revulsion. He still couldn’t get used to seeing a Jaguar Thunderian’s face staring back at him.

WilyKit was surprised when she opened the door to her house in the early morning. WildKat was standing there with a serious expression on his face, in the gloom that preceded sunrise.

WilyKit rubbed her eyes and welcomed her brother in. WildKat glanced around the little house that his sister shared with the other girls and realized that in all this time, he had never set foot in there before. There was a pleasant smell in the air that seemed to be a blend of exotic spices.

“Well?”

WildKat returned to the moment. “Uh, oh yeah… pack your stuff, sis… we’re going to Third Earth.”

“What?” WilyKit was now fully awake.

“I’m going to visit Mumm-Rana, and I would like you to join me. Besides, I haven’t seen the old Cat’s Lair in years.”

“Umm… this is sudden, I thought you had something going with your band.”

“Naw, this is more important. We’ve been playing almost every night, and there are a few new bands starting now. I figure we can lay low for awhile. The guys wanted a vacation anyway, so I think we should have one too. Trameea and the others are starting to get gigs now, so I don’t think they’ll miss us.”

“Okay, have you talked this over with Trameea?”

“Er… uh, no, but… I did write her a long letter explaining what’s going on.”

“Hmm… I don’t know. Why do you want to see Mumm-Rana anyway?”

“Remember that marble she gave Lion-o?” WilyKit nodded. “Okay, I think she can help us figure out how to stop Seph-Ra once and for all, or at least give us something to fight her with.”

WilyKit was getting that familiar feeling of dread that came whenever her brother was planning something, but she figured it was out of habit. This really sounded like a good idea to her. “Okay, brother. When do we go?”

“The transport leaves the Ta`harin Spaceport in two hours and our ride is waiting outside right now.”

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