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: Retribution
WildKat slowly picked himself off the floor as he felt his body warmth and strength returning. He made his way back to the control room, pausing briefly outside the ruined pneumatic doors. He tried to make himself believe he was being cautious, but the fact was that he didn’t want to look inside and see his worst fears realized. He listened for a moment, desperately wanting to hear any kind of noise, but there was only silence. Feeling weak in his knees, he stepped around the corner and entered the control room.
Lion-o was lying facedown on a shattered bulkhead that was once part of the ceiling. WildKat wanted to believe he was still alive, but he could still feel the intense coldness of the indirect energy blast he had received. He didn’t want to ponder what Lion-o had felt in that last second when he took a direct hit from the greenish beam generated by the Sword of Omens and the Sword of Plundarr working together. WildKat felt numb as he dragged Lion-o into a more comfortable-looking position on his back.
WildKat stood in shock as he stared into Lion-o’s open eyes.
WildKat jumped as Tygra vaulted across the debris in the control room, knelt, and started examining Lion-o. After a few seconds, Tygra covered his ears and started shaking his head. “No.” Tygra started to sob. “No, not you, not you.”
WildKat looked upward at the sky through the top of the cat’s head and watched the swirling motes of dust in the sunlight. A deep emptiness started to fill him as he thought about his friend. Lion-o may have been the “Lord of the Thundercats,” but he was a younger cub when they first met. WildKat had only seen the young lord from a distance a few times as no one was allowed to play with him, but all of that changed when they woke up on Third Earth. Sure, Lion-o was in an adult body, but he related more easily to WildKat and his sister than the others. Tygra, Cheetara, Panthro, and Snarf played the roles of teachers to the young lord through the years. Although he earned the title of “Lord” and commanded all of them in times of trouble, he still saw them as teachers. In the presence of WilyKit and especially WildKat, Lion-o could let his hair down and simply have fun. The more he thought about it, the angrier WildKat became. He had great friends in Manx, Claw, and Stripe. He had a little sister that looked up to him in Racina, and he had been the one to suggest to Lion-o that she become the first Mutant Thundercat. He had a mate in Trameea and was going to be married to her soon. None of that mattered as he continued to look into the sky. Lion-o was his best friend, and now he was gone.
Tygra’s voice brought him back to the present. He looked down at the still-crouching tiger. WildKat looked at Lion-o’s lifeless eyes as Tygra closed them and started to shake. Consumed with rage, he ran out of the control room and ignored Tygra’s calls to him. WildKat jumped on his spaceboard and punched it up to full power, not caring that he was flying across Thundera City at breakneck speed and nearly hit two houses along the way. He made a forceful landing at the house he shared with the others.
Kitara and ThunderManx were sitting together on the couch. Kitara was laughing and playfully feeding ThunderManx some milk as he made controlled bursts of purring in the cup, treating it like a musical instrument. WildKat burst through the door from the kitchen to the living room shoulder-first, making both of them jump. Kitara stood up and shouted, “Dammit boy!” ThunderManx looked up at his mate and started to laugh. Kitara stood stiffly as milk ran down her face, neck, and chest. She was clearly annoyed, but started to laugh also. ThunderManx wanted to dry her off in a more personal way, but WildKat’s urgency indicated something was seriously wrong. He got up and retrieved a towel from the kitchen, placing it over Kitara’s face and chest. He gave Kitara a quick kiss below her temple by her eye, making her close it. She looked up sideways at her mate. ThunderManx wore a look of grave concern as he approached WildKat’s room; he could hear him quickly slapping his weapons on.
ThunderManx stood in the doorway and said, “What’s going on?”
WildKat looked at him with intense red, wet eyes. ThunderManx’s breath hitched for a moment—he had never seen his friend like that before. “They killed him!”
ThunderManx paused for a moment with his mouth open. “Killed? Killed who?”
WildKat was having trouble securing a latch on the pellet launcher on his right arm. He sighed forcefully and looked up at ThunderManx again. “Lion-o. They killed Lion-o!”
Kitara came up behind ThunderManx and was joined by DeathClaw. “Who killed Lion-o?”
WildKat went to work on the last latch again, securing it. He quickly tied his sash and pouch to his side. “Those alien bastards! Who else?”
The two new Thundercats and Kitara looked at each other for a moment and stepped aside as WildKat charged out of his room at full speed. ThunderManx called after him, but it didn’t do any good. DeathClaw looked at ThunderManx and Kitara and said, “We better go after him.”
They spent little time getting their own weapons and hurried outside. WildKat was heading north, and all they had was ThunderManx’s undecorated black spaceboard. DeathClaw flew from behind the house with WilyKit’s blue and pink spaceboard and hovered. “I don’t think she’ll mind me borrowing this.” The sight of DeathClaw flying WilyKit’s board while wearing her visor with matching colors would have been hilarious in any other set of circumstances.
ThunderManx started his spaceboard. Kitara immediately wrapped an arm around his waist. “Uh uh. I’m not letting you out of my sight, lover boy.”
ThunderManx turned around to face her nose-to-nose. “Sorry, it’s either this or we all use the van over there, and you don’t have a visor to protect you.”
Kitara encouraged ThunderManx to turn around and wrapped her arms around him from behind. “You can be my shield, babe. Let’s go, already!” She spoke nervously which didn’t help him at all.
“Hon, I’m really not good at flying these things.”
“Well, I’m not good at riding them. Your point?”
ThunderManx sighed. “Kat’s in trouble, and I’m just standing here.”
DeathClaw shouted, “I’m going after him. Stay in touch!”
ThunderManx waved briefly and took a halting deep breath—he could feel Kitara shivering against his back. “Maybe we shouldn’t do this.”
Kitara held him tighter. “You have to—he’s in trouble.”
ThunderManx spoke as they started to ascend. “You’re right. Uhh, why are you doing this, love?”
Kitara spoke in his ear as they headed north. “Remember when you said you’re all mine?”
“That means if anyone hurts you, they’re going to have to answer to me.”
ThunderManx smiled as they started to move forward. “Is that so, hon?”
Kitara freed one hand and stroked his hair. “Nobody messes with my man!”
ThunderManx and Kitara both laughed nervously. “Okay, hold on tight, honey. We have to go faster than this.”
ThunderManx and Kitara flew off after WildKat at top speed, absolutely terrified. ThunderManx thought to himself, “Why didn’t I practice on these things after I built them?”
WildKat thought about the six alien craft that had landed at strategic points around the city and how they were centered on Cat’s Lair. He started to feel cold and calculating on the inside, and felt an objective that wasn’t there before: he knew he had to retrieve the Sword of Omens and the Sword of Plundarr. There was something about the way the alien commander used them together that clicked in his mind—it seemed the swords had some kind of connection and the alien knew how to use it. As he started thinking about the swords, he somehow knew they were millions of years old and were once part of each other. No, that wasn’t quite right, there was no Sword of Omens—only the Eye of Thundera; no, it wasn’t called that, it was something else, and it used to be gold and green instead of red and black. WildKat shook his head and thought he was fantasizing, but somehow he knew it was the truth. He felt as if he were being guided towards the eye, and he must get it before it could be removed from the Sword of Omens, or something really bad was going to happen—something on a universal scale.
WildKat shook his head and came back to the present—he was approaching the northernmost ship in the circle, and it was sitting on the ground with its door wide open. While these alien things gave him the creeps, his rage was the greater force. He flew into the open mouth of the ship and crashed into the surprised occupant. The alien was knocked unconscious, but WildKat was taking no chances. He kicked the pilot several times and dragged him outside.
DeathClaw could see the alien ship in the distance, and saw WildKat walking into it. He tried to call after him, but he was too far away. DeathClaw felt WildKat wouldn’t listen anyway, but he had to try. He saw the opening on the ship close, then the ship starting to lift off as he approached. He landed WilyKit’s space board and watched the departing WildKat. He started to walk forward while looking up and nearly tripped on something. DeathClaw gasped as he got his first look at one of the aliens. Even unconscious, it made him shiver. It was twice his size, and he wondered how WildKat could have taken it out like that. He activated his communicator.
“Claw to Lair! Claw to Lair!”
After a few tense seconds, a weary voice answered. “Tygra here.”
“Tygra! WildKat…” DeathClaw searched for the words, “stole an alien ship and left the pilot in bad shape. Can you send someone out here to pick… it up?”
“Hmm, yes. Just a moment, all of the alien ships are lifting off!” Tygra punched a few buttons back at the lair, bringing Panthro in on the conversation.
“Panthro here.” DeathClaw listened to the conversation as he watched ThunderManx and Kitara flying towards him on a spaceboard.
Tygra’s voice came through as the couple landed and joined DeathClaw. “Panthro, DeathClaw needs your assistance at the north landing site—he has a prisoner.”
Panthro sounded excited. “Say no more! Panthro out.”
The three thunderians stood around the alien and stared. DeathClaw said, “That’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.”
ThunderManx slowly reached down to turn it on its back. Kitara yelped, “Ewwww, don’t touch it!”
“I’m okay, hon.” He looked down at the creature again. “I think.” He quickly grabbed it by the arm and pulled it on its back. He quickly let go and stepped back while shuddering. Kitara walked over and put her arms around him.
The three of them stared and talked, but mostly stared at the unconscious alien. The Thunder Tank arrived with Panthro, Stripe, and Lepraa. Panthro quickly bound the alien in cable and loaded it into the tank. He poked the side of its head and said, “You have some serious questions to answer when you wake up.” The six of them headed back to Cat’s Lair with their cargo.
In space, WildKat stared into the seedpod’s viewscreen. He didn’t know how, but he knew the layout of the giant alien ship, where he had to go, and what he had to do. He didn’t question this knowledge, he only thought about the death of his best friend and how he would have revenge. He breathed slowly and calmly as the five other alien ships came into view and traveled with him towards the city-sized main ship.
At Cat’s Lair, the strange alien returned to consciousness inside the brig—with an anxious Panthro watching. The others soon joined Panthro as they tried to figure out how to communicate with their prisoner. The alien started to pace, or rather, glide on its cilia in a manner that suggested pacing. It ignored the felines and studied the cell, probing with its fingers and making strange humming sounds directed at the corners and edges of the force field.
Tygra scratched absently at his chin and quietly said, “Fascinating.”
Panthro said, “Yeah, real fascinating. The Feliner is gassed up and ready for space travel.”
“I don’t think we can just land on their ship and rescue WildKat. Who knows what kinds of weapons they have?”
Panthro said, “He does,” as he pointed towards the prisoner.
The two Thundercats paused and watched the alien as it continued to map its confinement.
Cheetara stepped forward. “Maybe I can communicate with it.”
A look of worry crossed Tygra’s features. “Is that wise? It might attack you mentally.”
Cheetara shook her head. “We have to do something for WildKat. I have to try.”
Panthro frowned. “This stinks.”
Cheetara approached the alien and extended her palm to within inches of the force field. She closed her eyes and started to concentrate her energy. Her eyes snapped open and glowed a dim gold. The alien froze, backed up, and faced Cheetara. It opened its mouth, revealing near-solid rows of triangular teeth that gradually disappeared towards the back of its throat in a way that resembled a shark. It hissed threateningly, then stopped. It extended a hand and spread its two fingers and thumbs in a way that mimicked Cheetara’s outstretched hand. Cheetara started to moan with her mouth open, causing Panthro to start walking forward. Tygra placed a hand on his shoulder and shook his head, making him stop.
Cheetara spoke with words that were in her voice, but with a flat accent. “Release.”
Tygra said, “Who are you? What is your mission?”
“Marmek. Release. Clarify.”
“Why are you here?”
“The Eye of Thundera?”
“Eye in sword?”
“Serpent Sword. Jaga deceive. Steal eye.”
Panthro’s eyes went wide. “How do you know Jaga?”
“Jaga deceive Marmoquet. Jaga steal eye. Jaga send Marmoquet time backwards. Marmoquet retrieve eye. People whole. Release.”
Tygra scratched his chin again. “Jaga the Mighty?”
“Jaga the Mighty. Release now.”
Panthro said to Tygra, “Is it possible these creatures knew Jaga the Mighty?”
“Right now, I’d say anything is possible. Maybe the Eye of Thundera isn’t really ours?”
Panthro was outraged. “How can you say that? These things killed Lion-o!”
“Maybe they thought they were in the right?”
“Nothing’s right about death!”
Cheetara’s voice lowered. “Release Marmek or kill now Cheetara.”
Panthro shouted, “Like hell!”
The alien opened its mouth again and made a metallic howl that sliced through the air—the painfully loud sonic assault was directed at a corner of the force field. The field started to undulate, and Panthro reached in his pocket for what looked like a remote control. Tygra’s eyes went wide as he shouted, “No!”
Panthro pushed the button, causing the cell to be flooded with electricity. The howl from the alien went up in pitch for a moment, then ceased as the alien fell unconscious on the floor. Cheetara collapsed into Tygra’s arms, and he quickly carried her away from the brig.
WildKat cautiously emerged from the seedpod and looked around. The alien ship was indeed a city in space, with thousands of residents moving to and fro. WildKat felt the urge to move forward, and he followed it. He could feel the power of the Eye of Thundera touching him, almost crying out for help. He easily maneuvered his way through the tunnels of the ship unobserved, moving ever closer to the source of the Thundercats’ power. He would save the sword and the eye, and maybe become the next Lord of the Thundercats.
Cheetara awoke in the sickbay and found herself surrounded by everyone. No, not everyone: one was still missing. “How long was I out?”
Tygra took her hand and said, “About three hours.”
“Any word from WildKat?” She looked at ThunderManx standing on her other side; he solemnly shook his head.
Panthro said, “This is insane! We should be able to do something. I mean, Lion-o would have…” he trailed off as he saw the expressions of despair on the others.
Tygra spoke up. “Panthro’s right, but what can we do? It would be the Feliner against a whole fleet of ships that our radar can’t even see.”
WilyKit said, “Tygra, you said you detected the first ship with the atmospheric scanner.”
Tygra shook his head. “The only reason that worked was because of the influence it had on the air surrounding it. In space, it would be useless. Our optical systems can’t resolve ships that small until they’re practically on top of us, so that’s out too.”
Stripe cleared his throat. “Maybe their ships don’t have weapons.”
Lepraa gave him a strange look and said, “Maybe you don’t remember that thing shooting at us?”
“We know they have hand weapons, but that ship didn’t look like it had anything on it.”
Lepraa shook her head. “I’ll wager it grows guns when it needs ‘em, eh?”
Stripe nodded slightly. “You’re probably right, it’s just a thought.”
Tygra said, “But a good thought. We just can’t sit here and do nothing.”
Panthro shrugged. “If anyone has any more suggestions, we sure could use them.”
After a few moments of silence, Tygra said, “Cheetara? Did you learn anything about that alien?”
Cheetara moved the pillows behind her back and sat cross-legged in the bed. “I saw a little of what’s inside its mind. It’s… different.”
Cheetara grimaced. “It was so strange. I get the impression that ‘Marmek’ is more the name of their species than the name of that alien. It’s like they don’t have individuality as we know it. I guess the closest thing I can think of is ants. He’s part of a worker caste and he’s alone and lost right now. The main thing going through his mind was escape—no thoughts about self, just a desire to rejoin the hive and receive new orders.”
WilyKit said, “How weird!”
Tygra was concerned. “How about his mental abilities? I was afraid when I saw you collapse.”
“Just a little shock. He doesn’t seem to have telepathic capability.”
Tygra said, “That’s good. I wonder when the others will come looking for him, or will they?”
Cheetara said, “I don’t know. They probably don’t even know he’s missing if WildKat took his ship.”
Panthro paced. “Why would Kat steal that ship anyway?”
ThunderManx put a hand on Panthro’s shoulder. “I wish I knew. He was very upset last time I saw him.”
Tygra’s eyes went wide. “The Sword of Omens! That’s what he’s doing!”
WilyKit frowned. “He’s trying to recover the sword? I think he’s just out for revenge, knowing him.”
Panthro shook his head. “Either way, it sounds like suicide.”
DeathClaw said, “I sure wish we had the sword, at least we would know what’s going on.”
Cheetara straightened up. “I can find out right now.”
Tygra gave her hand a brief squeeze and put his other hand on her shoulder. “Don’t, honey—you might hurt yourself.”
Cheetara looked up at her concerned mate. “I have to.”
Tygra kissed the top of her head and whispered, “I know. Be careful.” He let her go and backed off while she closed her eyes and breathed deeply.
After a few tense minutes, Cheetara opened her eyes again. “I saw him for a moment, then something else saw me and blocked my vision. I don’t know how to explain it, but something is watching over him. Something very old.”
“I just don’t know. It felt like Marmek in there, but it has its own personality, and it’s much more… powerful.”
WildKat knew he was getting close. The organic tunnels that ran throughout the ship were a maze, but the power of the sword guided him. It was telling him to wait for a few minutes before entering a chamber ahead, so he leaned against the wall and felt the weird living matter slowly pulsating under his fingers. It didn’t give him the creeps anymore—his curiosity and desire to reach the sword overrode his fear. Feeling the time was near, he crept towards the opening and quickly ducked behind a large growth in the wall that housed a control panel studded with glowing crystals. He saw the alien commander with his back turned to him, and two aliens that seemed to be like surgeons by their actions. His breath hitched as he saw one of them holding up the Eye of Thundera in his hands—it was no longer embedded in the Sword of Omens.
WildKat almost charged from his spot, but something told him to stay. It was as if the eye wanted what was happening to it, but he needed to get it very soon—before the alien commander could have it. WildKat didn’t understand what was going on, but he knew what to do. The other alien surgeon took the eye and placed it in something, and it made the room flash a brilliant green. WildKat felt a jolt run through his body as the force that had guided him to this point essentially propelled him towards the eye. He vaulted over a table and slipped past the commander, who was recovering from the brilliant flash that had temporarily blinded him. WildKat somersaulted over a small stand that held the eye and grabbed at it. He ran at full speed out of the room and passed a couple of corners before stopping for a moment to see what he was holding.
WildKat mouthed the words, “Holy great Jaga,” as he looked at the object in his hands. It was the Sword of Plundarr with the Eye of Thundera inside it. The handle had become transparent like greenish glass, and he could see the eye within. It had turned into a golden ball that stared constantly at him with a bright green slit, no matter what angle it was turned. The twin snake design of the handle was still there, but the eye was in perfect focus, as if it wasn’t really encased in the handle. WildKat didn’t have long to ponder the mystery as he saw several aliens with the giant commander leading them in his direction. They glided so quickly on their cilia they seemed to be flying, and the commander had an expression that was clearly rage.
Two of the lesser aliens raised and pointed their guns in his direction, and WildKat shrank against the wall—he had nowhere to go. The sword came to life in his hand, and he suddenly knew what he could do. The eye—the “Serpent Eye” glowed brightly and threw a greenish bubble around him, deflecting the shots from the aliens’ guns. He willed the sphere to expand, and it picked up the commander and his troops as though they were toys and blew them backward. The bubble pinned the aliens against the walls and immobilized them, except for the commander. WildKat’s eyes glowed a bright green as he bared his fangs. The sword’s blades flew outward, but they weren’t the same blades that Mumm-Ra once used: these were also transparent and glowed with green energy. WildKat growled, “You killed Lion-o!”
The alien commander struggled as he was picked up into the air. WildKat calmly walked forward and looked up into his silvery eyes. “Aren’t you going to say anything?” The sword was providing a two-way translation and he knew it.
The commander said, “[Serpent Sword my property. Release me now!]”
WildKat narrowed his eyes and the sword flared in brightness. “I said you killed Lion-o!”
“[Lion-o inconsequential. Sword my property.]”
WildKat screamed, “Like hell!” The commander shook all over as greenish energy coursed through him from the sword and threatened to tear him apart. It would have killed him if WildKat hadn’t suddenly felt the urge to leave the room and find a passageway that led to the core of the ship. Distracted, WildKat let the commander fall with a loud thud, followed by his troops raining down on the floor. WildKat started following the invisible hand that beckoned him, but stopped when he realized it was coming not from the Serpent Eye, but from an outside source. Something wanted the sword, and he would not let it have it. The urge pulled at him more strongly, but he used the sword to filter its influence.
WildKat realized that he had wandered onto the main deck of the ship and was surrounded on all sides by the aliens. They began to rush at him, and he wondered what to do. He felt like the Serpent Sword could do anything, and he put it to the test. He concentrated on the control room back at Cat’s Lair and felt himself dissolving.
At Cat’s Lair, everyone had their weapons drawn. A shapeless mass of pulsating green energy grew out of nowhere and started to take on a humanoid form. It suddenly crystallized into WildKat holding a light green ice-like version of the Sword of Plundarr over his head. Everybody stood frozen with expressions of surprise. WildKat looked around, smiled, and willed the sword to retract its blades. The eye in the middle grew dim and became a solid gold ball that was still clearly visible as if superimposed on the transparent handle. WildKat noticed the eye also showed through his hand, which he found very strange.
WildKat met the eyes of the others and said, “You wouldn’t believe what I’ve been through.”