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 Nine: Gods of Old
Lion-o stood stiffly with tears of frustration forming in his eyes. If there was anything he couldn’t stand, it was the loss of control. Not since Seph-Ra had mentally tortured him had he felt this way: at least she was projecting the illusion of death to his countrymen and their homes, but this was different. There was a large crater he used to call home to remind him of the reality of the situation.
The Thundercats and warrior women formed a close group as some nursed their wounds, but all stared helplessly at the gigantic beam which covered the entire city. Bands of white light began to cascade downward and increased in frequency and brightness as the air hummed uncomfortably. WildKat cried out loud as he saw a Jackal Mutant trying to help a middle-aged lion woman out of the beam, only to collapse while still inside from the intense vibrations.
Suddenly, there was a blinding flash of greenish light. One by one, the Thundercats and their guests opened their eyes to see that the white alien beam was being stopped in midair right above the highest buildings. Lion-o struggled to get his sight back, but there were black after-images from the flash that kept him from fully seeing.
Cheetara said, “Look! Someone is up there.”
As everyone’s vision recovered, they could see a large tailed humanoid figure at the center of the beam, blocking it from reaching the ground. The vibrations in the air took on a new tone—one that Lion-o knew all too well: it was the sound that his sword made when it projected energy.
The cascading white energy in the beam continued to gain momentum, but greenish discharges spread out from the center and started travelling up the sides. A loud primal roar came from the figure hovering in the middle, and suddenly the beam and all its energy were pushed back up towards the sky, terminating in a silent but bright flash in space.
Lion-o and the others suspected the figure was the original Lord of the Thundercats, and they were right. Jaga the Mighty slowly descended and floated towards the small gathering. Panthro immediate leaped to the front of the group, took out his nunchakus, and took a defensive stance. ThunderManx unhooked his energy pike, activated his armor, and joined his uncle’s side. The rest brandished their weapons and waited.
“Is this any way to greet your lord and master?”
Lion-o put a hand on the two panthers’ shoulders and walked forward. “You are no lord, and certainly no master. No one, not even the Lord of the Thundercats, has the right to dictate like that.”
Jaga the Wise smiled and said, “Things have changed since your era. We are a free people, and we have ruled with compassion for the last…”
Jaga the Mighty shook his head. “No, it’s just the way things are. Without a strong leader, the people eventually take over, and society grows weak.”
WilyKit left a small pocket of Warrior Maidens that were standing to the side and joined the conversation. “Jaga… if you don’t like the way things are, then why did you save the city?”
Jaga looked at the diminutive female and smirked. “You may not be much, but you are still my people.” He gave the Warrior Maidens a curious glance. “Humans? There are humans here?”
WildKat joined her side. “You know about humans?”
Jaga paused for a moment and scratched his chin.
Willa moved to the front of her group and approached the hulking feline. “We and a few others are all that is left of the human tribes.” She glanced briefly towards Barbaria and wondered how many other human tribes existed.
Jaga looked around and shook his head slightly. “You are… not of Thundera, then.”
Willa proudly said, “We are of Third Earth.”
Jaga’s breath hitched. “Earth…”
Lion-o raised an eyebrow. “You know Third Earth?”
Jaga’s eyes betrayed the wheels turning in his mind. “I knew an Earth, but not a third one.”
Willa said, “There are tales, handed down through the generations, of great disasters that nearly destroyed all life on my planet. First Earth was when the humans ruled. It came to an end when the tribes burned everything with a great fire that nearly ended all life. Second Earth was a time when all was returned to nature, but the tribes of the humans rose once again to create a new civilization. Second Earth Humans polluted the world so badly, most of them left in great ships for the heavens. I believe Mandora and her kind are descended from those who left Second Earth.”
Willa paused for a moment. “Second Earth ended with a great fire from the sky that made the other races.”
WilyKit said, “Other races?”
“Others… like Wollos, Balkans, Tuskens… they did not exist on Second Earth. They came from the sky.”
Lion-o gasped. “You’re saying everyone that isn’t human on Third Earth are aliens like the Berbils?”
“That is how I understand it, but their arrival almost destroyed all life.”
Cheetara shook her head and started walking away. Tygra glanced back twice and trotted towards her. “Where are you going?”
“I don’t think I can take much more of this.”
Tygra came around and stopped her with two hands on her shoulders as the rest of the group kept listening to Willa’s recounting of the fate of Second Earth. “What’s wrong, love?”
Cheetara’s breath hitched and she started to sob. “I can’t take this anymore. First, Lion-o was killed, and now he’s back. Jaga is also back from the dead. Alien horrors destroyed our home, and now… now… none of our friends on Third Earth are what they seem.”
Tygra said, “It’s okay, hon” and tried to hug her, but Cheetara backed away.
“No, it’s not okay. How do we know that’s really Jaga? Jaga the Wise? He died so long ago… and Lion-o. Do we really know it’s him?”
“I thought you would be able to sense it…”
“No, I can’t sense any evil about them, but I can’t sense if that’s really them. My instincts are telling me that’s them, but I… I don’t really know. And Jaga the Mighty… that can’t be him. WilyKat had no idea what he was really like. How could he summon the original Lord of the Thundercats?”
Tygra sighed. “I’m sure WildKat was just acting out of the good of his heart. The sword seems to have unlimited power, so who knows?”
Cheetara wiped a tear away. “I wish I knew. I can’t sense anything about that sword, the way it is now. It’s like it’s… it’s not part of our universe anymore. I don’t know.”
Tygra hugged his mate and whispered in her ear. “I don’t either, but I’ll tell you this: I don’t think it belongs in Jaga’s hands—I don’t care how ‘mighty’ he is.” Cheetara let him slowly lead her back to the rest of the group.
Lion-o said, “So, what are you going to do, now that you’ve defeated the aliens?”
Jaga the Mighty said, “Reclaim my proper place on the throne.”
WildKat stepped forward. “Lion-o is Lord of the Thundercats now. You can’t take that away from him!”
Jaga frowned a bit and peered down at the interloper. “Ahh, wasn’t it you who thought he could be Lord and Master of Thundera… New Thundera after your little red-haired lord died?”
Jaga the Wise joined the argument. “Jaga, I was appointed keeper of the eye when Lion-o’s father was blinded, and I had carried out my duty until Lion-o was ready to receive the sword and take his place as Lord of the Thundercats. Seven thousand years have passed since…”
Jaga the Mighty waved his hand dismissively. “This prattle is getting us nowhere. You will learn to serve your Lord and Master, and that’s final!”
Lion-o shouted, “Like hell!” He leaped at Jaga and tried to grab the sword, but Jaga sidestepped him. Lion-o found himself floating in midair with a bright green band of energy wrapped around his throat. The rest of the group froze and stared with wide eyes.
“If anyone else objects, I will separate his head from his body, understand?”
WildKat said, “no…” and found himself next to Lion-o with an identical band of energy choking the life out of him.
“Any more objections?”
ThunderManx couldn’t stand it anymore and unleashed a bolt of electricity from his pike. Panthro shouted, “No!” but it was too late. The bolt dissipated harmlessly before it could reach the giant jaguar, thanks to the godlike sword he possessed. ThunderManx soon joined the other two in floating agony, and his energy pike was hurtled into the forest.
Jaga spoke with impatience in his tone. “Do I have to choke all of you?”
Two voices sounded behind him, “No Jaga, you must obey the Code of Thundera.”
Startled, he turned to see two small tabbies. “Children would dare to mention that accursed code in my presence?”
The Tabby Twins: Terri and Torrie stared without fear at Jaga the Mighty, making him pause. “We are not children. We are not ‘we.’ I am he who has guarded Thundera ever since I had a vision of your return, and now is the time for me to act.”
Jaga was taken aback. “You look and sound like two little girls, but I’d know that arrogance anywhere. Tagalon!”
Lion-o focused on the twins. “Great Priest Tagalon?”
Jaga the Mighty shook his head. “This is not possible!”
The twins spoke in perfect unison. “Yes, it is. Are you not aware of the Canyon of Youth? I learned long ago of the magic power possessed by identical twins such as these.” The twins gestured towards their own bodies. “These two are orphans, and I decided to borrow their forms and split my soul between them. I have existed on the periphery of thunderian society for over seven thousand years in this fashion, stopping every now and then to visit the Canyon of Youth to renew my strength. Because I’m split between two bodies, the Canyon doesn’t rob me of my memory.”
Jaga said, “Clever. Now that I know who you really are, how do you expect to take the sword away from me this time? You don’t have the element of surprise.”
“I have no need to explain. I saw it all happen, and it will happen.”
Jaga laughed openly. “You stole my sword, took out the eye, put it in my crown, and forced me to follow your so-called ‘Code of Thundera.’ I swore I would have revenge on you for that, but then you disappeared. You lived all this time, and I died fighting the Mutant War.”
“It was no ‘war.’ It was retribution for the way you treated them. Your so-called ‘mutants’ were your kin, and you forced them to flee to the other planet. Can you really blame them for wanting revenge? They were your slaves! Since then, they’ve been at war with Thundera, and I haven’t been able to do anything about it. At least now there’s an uneasy peace, and non-felines are finally living on this planet again. Do you have any idea how much work it is to fog the minds of thunderians to my presence and not live a real life?”
“You disgust me.”
“No, you disgust me!”
During the argument, Lion-o, ThunderManx, and WildKat were released from the sword’s hold as Jaga’s attention was diverted. Lion-o made a few quick hand movements indicating that ThunderManx and WildKat should distract while he grabbed the sword. ThunderManx activated his armor, walked up behind Jaga, extended his arms, and said, “I love you, man.”
Jaga the Mighty spun around, said “Huh?” and suddenly found himself in a bone-jarring electric bear hug from ThunderManx. He managed to throw the panther off more by muscle contractions than by conscious thought, but it left him very dazed. ThunderManx landed on his back and looked up at the staggering jaguar. He took enough electricity to knock out two Slythes, but the giant jaguar was still standing. He wished he still had his energy pike, then his armor wouldn’t have run out of power.
Lion-o made his move, and was surprised when WildKat rolled in front of him to grab the sword first. He shouted, “Kat! No!” but was too late.
WildKat found himself with the Serpent Sword once again, and used it to lift Jaga up by a green band around the throat. “Doesn’t feel too good, does it?”
Lion-o ran towards WildKat, but WildKat held up a hand signaling Lion-o to stop.
WildKat lowered the struggling Jaga towards the ground and made it open beneath his feet. The original Lord of the Thundercats was being planted almost to his waist until he was at eye level with the white and red-haired sword-bearer. WildKat’s eyes flashed, and Jaga’s hands were bound behind him in an extension of the energy that was around his neck. WildKat approached until he was almost nose-to-nose with the ancient jaguar.
“You said the first rule was to trust no one. I say you’re wrong.” He gestured towards Lion-o and all the others. “I trust everyone here with my life, and they trust me with theirs. Do you understand me?”
Jaga nodded as much as he could, given the restraints.
“These people are family, but I don’t know what you are.” He looked at Lion-o. “I guess I shouldn’t have this thing, but there’s so much I want to do. I want to destroy evil in this… universe.”
Lion-o walked up and said, “Yes, that’s how I felt too, but the fact is, you can’t.”
WildKat looked at the golden eye with the green slit floating inside the handle. “Are you really sure about that?”
Lion-o put a hand on the little cat’s shoulder. “Yes, I am. I don’t care if the eye has unlimited power now, you just can’t force your will on anyone else. To do that would make you no better than this fellow here.”
Jaga strained against the restraints and growled.
WildKat said, “You’re right. Since you’re Lion-o and all, you should have it anyway.”
Before he could hand the sword over, he noticed an alien seedpod ship descending rapidly. It was at least ten times larger than the others were, and it was going to land very close to him. Jaga the Mighty croaked out, “Quick, WildKat. Release me and give me the sword. Only I know how to beat him!”
WildKat jumped back and brandished the sword. “Like hell I will! The first rule now is not to trust you.”
Jaga said, “You must. That’s Marmoquet, and he will destroy all of us to get the sword!”
WildKat jumped back as the seedpod landed. Everyone held their breath as they watched a door form and crackle open. A large alien form looked out and regarded everyone with its cyclopean eye. It wasn’t a silver eye like the other aliens, but gold in color. WildKat realized that its eye looked exactly like the one in the sword, only it was many times larger. He felt his heart sinking fast as he realized he was looking at the presence that was guiding him on the alien ship.
Marmoquet glided on his pod of cilia and emerged fully from his ship. He stretched to a height that was at least twenty feet and extended all four of his arms. He looked down at WildKat and cocked his head slightly. WildKat wanted to fight but couldn’t. A mental command to the sword to subdue the giant alien terror was ignored, and the sword acted quite dead.
Marmoquet glided forward, stopped, and raised a two-fingered, two-thumbed hand. WildKat and everyone else were surprised as they heard a voice resonating in their heads. “Do not fear me.”
The members of the party felt a warmth coming from the huge alien creature that they couldn’t explain. It was as if their hearts were being comforted on a very basic level. The voice sounded again. “It is time you learned the truth.”
Everyone felt as if the ground dropped from underneath them, and they were floating in a grayish void. They couldn’t see, hear, or feel anything. Slowly, faint outlines began to appear. They grew until forms of buildings with spires and people could be recognized, then the gray background dropped out. Everyone saw the same vision, and could smell the odd mix of metal, grease, smoke, and pine trees in the air. Their point of view was about fifty feet above the ground, and they could see human workers milling about in what looked like a large spaceport of sorts.
“This is the Earth as it used to be, before the events which altered your worlds forever. It would be referred to as ‘Second Earth’ in the age to come.” The voice faded in and out, echoing softly and becoming part of the background.
Suddenly, the point of view shifted inside one of the laboratories. Two scientists were walking around a pedestal with a glass bubble mounted on top. It was about two feet in diameter, and a spot of light shimmered in the center. One scientist spoke. “The measurements are correct?”
The other replied, “Yes. It’s been worked down to the nearest angstrom.”
The first had a look of concern in his eyes. “If we’re off by even a nanometer…”
The other placed a hand on the first’s shoulder. “We double-checked it at least a dozen times.”
Another figure walked into the room. He was dressed in a ceremonial uniform with a military appearance. “Is it ready?”
The lead scientist nodded.
“Then let’s not wait any longer. We have worlds to colonize.”
The second scientist smiled and said, “Let’s make history!”
The point of view shifted outside again, but it was looking in the opposite direction. There was a launch pad with a large spaceship. Everyone watching the show could feel a twisting motion, and the sun and moon sped by. Time was accelerated for a few days, and sometime in that moment, the rocket flashed briefly and disappeared. The point of view flew upward at a great speed and came to rest outside an enormous space station that was orbiting the Earth. Time slowed back down to normal and the point of view slowly approached the station. The space ship was now docked, but another that was constructed in space dwarfed it. It rested on one corner of the diamond-shaped station, and it was clearly the focus of attention. Lettering could be seen on the side that read: USS Salvation. It grew nearer and nearer until a view of the inside was seen. The middle section of the saucer-shaped ship was an enormous greenhouse ringed with windows.
The point of view flew into a window and came to rest in a command center. The same military officer was pacing back and forth, looking occasionally towards the forward window of the ship. A younger but similarly dressed man approached from the rear. “Commander Jackson?”
The commander kept his eye on the view of space in front of him as he spoke. “Yes Lieutenant?”
“We are ready for departure, but I’m worried…”
Jackson casually turned around to face the young Lieutenant. “You shouldn’t be. The probes returned in one piece, including the ones with the test animals and pilots.”
“I know, but…”
“Sending a ship as large as this through the wormhole has never been done. How do we know the extra mass won’t cause an imbalance?”
“We don’t, but it would be too expensive to send this ship through and back for the benefit of a test run, and time is running short.”
“I still say this is wrong.”
Everyone silently gasped as a familiar name was heard. “Lieutenant Gary Tagalon, your objection has been noted.” The commander turned again to face the black sky. “You are dismissed.”
Time accelerated forward to the moments leading to the ship’s launch. All of the crewmembers were strapping themselves into plastic forms that outlined their bodies. The last to do so was Commander Jackson. As he fastened the last strap in place, he talked with the onboard computer. “Activate final launch sequence.”
The computer responded in a metallic female voice. “Running final diagnostics… all systems operational. Gravitational stabilizers activated, detaching from Space Station Cygnus. We are underway.”
A voice came through the radio. “Commander?”
“Everything looks good from our end. Good luck, our prayers are with you.”
“Thank you. Hopefully we’ll see the rest of you there someday.”
“Hopefully. Cygnus Command out.”
Jackson sighed. He was sure no one would follow his route. A plethora of habitable worlds have been found through the use of the artificial wormhole technology, and he was only going to a single one to begin a new branch of human civilization. The two test pilots who had returned from there had said that travel through a wormhole was very unpleasant, and never wanted to repeat the experience. They were very shaken up, but Jackson didn’t give it much thought until now. He was strapped in, unable to move, and all he could see was the frightened expression the other officers shared. He took a deep breath and said, “time is irrelevant. Once it’s over, it’s in the past.”
A shaky female voice sounded to his right. “Then I can’t wait.”
“Don’t worry, Karen. We’ll be all right. Planet Thundera will be our new home soon.”
After a few seconds of silence, Karen spoke again. “Simon?”
“Yes?” Commander Jackson knew the ensign was making conversation to relieve her stress.
“Why is it called Thundera?”
“They didn’t tell you?”
“The stars around its sun form a constellation that looks like a lightning bolt.”
“That’s kind of silly.”
“What would you have it named?”
The Commander chuckled. “Now there’s a thought.”
The computer’s countdown became the focus of attention. An absence of stars appeared in the main window and started to grow. “Wormhole in fifteen… fourteen… thirteen…”
Lieutenant Tagalon’s voice could be heard. “I sure hope we’re doing the right thing.”
“Nine… eight… seven…”
Ensign Karen Walton said, “I’m scared.”
“Four… three… two…”
Commander Simon Jackson said, “So am I…”
After a few seconds, bright light flashed throughout the ship. Everyone watching the scene could see the grim expressions on the occupants of the ship and could almost feel their pain. Jackson screamed, and for a moment, his face was twisted out of true. A crease in space seemed to run through the ship, instantly compressing everything in its path. It was as if everything on the ship were instantly squeezed through a pinhole for a fraction of a second. Another bright flash passed, and everything was dark again.
After a few minutes of silence, Jackson howled in pain as he regained consciousness. He released the straps and leapt forward, crashing into the ship’s deck. All of his muscles were on fire, and he couldn’t stand. After a minute or so, he was able to crawl, then get to his feet and attend to the others. The ship started to spin, and the computer was not working. After seeing that four or so of his comrades were okay after their trauma, he ran to the pilot’s station and tried to fly it manually. The reddish surface of Planet Thundera loomed, and it was all he could do to crash-land the ship without destroying it.
The point of view shifted to show a completely different universe. Here, the gravitational constant was much higher, and stars were the size of moons that shone with a dim reddish light. Alien civilizations thrived on asteroid-sized planets that floated below stars that were somehow arranged into a flat plane. No, the stars were arranged in an enormous sphere, and brighter and larger stars could be seen looking outward. Looking inward, the alien’s point of view revealed layers upon layers of asteroids that grew in size, until they built up so much mass they disappeared into a bright whirlpool at the center of the sphere that looked like it was thousands of miles away and surrounded by a turbulent spherical ocean. There was breathable air in this strange mini-galaxy that started around the reddish star halo and gained pressure until it became liquid that drizzled upon that forbidding ocean with the bizarre whirlpool that vanished into what everyone figured was a black hole. Looking outward again, distant round clusters of stars could be seen: bright blue and yellow stars in a halo around redder and dimmer stars. A couple of the nearer ones had a single visible dot in the middle, suggesting more whirlpools.
“This is my universe, and I want to return to it.”
The point of view landed on one of the asteroids, and it was teeming with aliens. Not the ones everyone saw before, but they were all huge four-armed individuals that looked like Marmoquet. Many were dressed in different kinds of robes and had two eyes, but a few were essentially naked like their host, wore the same kind of strange armor, had one eye, and possessed their own Serpent Sword. It became apparent that everyone was looking through Marmoquet’s eye, as it was in that strange universe in the distant past.
One of the robed figures approached. The guttural liquid speech came through translated for all that were watching the show. “[Marmoquet! A singularity has formed in the second star sphere. How is this possible?]”
Marmoquet spoke to the robed figure. “[Premalk, I shall investigate.]” He brought his Serpent Sword and used it to fly into space beyond the limit of the breathable atmosphere and into the realm of the larger yellow stars. He approached the singularity and hovered. He transmitted his thoughts through the sword to the other sword-bearers. “[Singularity is artificial, origin unknown. Reading energy with improper constants. Theorize parallel universe, must seal.]”
Marmoquet raised his sword and mentally commanded it to seal the breach, but the properties of the energy leaking into his universe were something he was unprepared for. A pocket of space formed around him, and he was suddenly trapped. The pocket collapsed on itself, propelling Marmoquet through the hole and into the universe that he would soon come to know.
“I sealed the breach, but energy of my universe came through with me. It forever changed the way your universe works. The humans who landed on Thundera had not only traversed a great span of space, but also time. They ended up five thousand years into their own past, and pockets of displaced time occasionally traveled between the planets causing strange and unpredictable effects over the centuries. But that wasn’t the worse of it.”
On the planet Thundera, several shelters had been set up around the crashed ship. “We’re all dying!”
Commander Simon Jackson clasped the distressed crewman’s hand, which was turning green. “No, we’re not. We’re… changing.”
The crewman was horrified. “Into… into what?”
Jackson looked at the rust-colored hair that was forming on his arms. “I don’t know, but Doctor Ohman says the wormhole somehow mixed our DNA up with the animal samples in the atrium. The computer is torn to hell, but I think we can rig the life-growers and see what kinds of animals come out of there.”
“We’re going to die!”
“No! We’re not. Trust me.” He didn’t know if he was lying or not. Jackson thought to himself, “Lying would be intentional.” He tried to reassure the crewman and the others with him. “Whatever’s happening to us, it’s not killing us. I wish I knew what was going to happen, but I don’t. All I can say is, I feel better and stronger every day.”
The crewman he was comforting stopped grimacing. “The pain is gone again. I don’t know if I can take much more of this.”
“Do you feel stronger?”
The crewman ran his hand down his arm, where scales were starting to form. “Actually, I do.”
The point of view shifted to Earth where the wormhole began. Brilliant radiation from another universe flooded from it, encircling the planet. The energy settled in random patches, causing much devastation. The second rise of mankind ended as most of the population succumbed to not only the raw energy raining down, but also massive earthquakes and weather disruptions. In many places, the energy caused naturally occurring heavy metals to be transmuted into more exotic elements that human science had been unable to create.
The Thundercats and their guests were horrified to see that most of the remaining human population had suffered the same fate as the colonists: their DNA was being scrambled with that of nearby lifeforms. It wouldn’t be long before the few survivors of one town would start to experience mutations caused by their genetic code merging with their flocks of sheep, creating a new species that would become the docile Bolkins. A neighboring village that prided itself on selective breeding and training of canines would soon become part of their heritage in a way they wouldn’t have dreamed: the Wollos would soon be created. Plants, animals, and humans around the world suffered genetic regression, alteration, and in some cases: progression. The latter were modified in ways that took advantage of the alien energy that permeated the planet, giving them the ability to draw upon and channel that energy in specific ways, giving them what could only be described as “magical powers.”
The population in the space station looked on in horror, and in a few years’ time were able to perfect the wormhole technology. They gradually abandoned the Cygnus Space Station and formed functioning human colonies in several places throughout the universe. The largest and nearest of these colonies eventually spread out and formed the Intergalactic Federation which gave rise to the Intergalactic Control Force the Thundercats would eventually have contact with. The Intergalactic Federation regarded Earth as a hazard and avoided it, eventually forgetting their origins as the centuries passed and relegating the Sol solar system to being an obscure footnote on the outskirts of explored space in a minor galaxy.
The point of view now showed Marmoquet himself falling through a hole in space. He managed to will his sword to protect him long enough to land on Thundera, but the trauma of the involuntary wormhole journey he took made him lose consciousness. Commander Simon Jackson stood over him, his transformation somewhat advanced. The rust-colored hair that covered his body was becoming thicker, and his face was starting to widen. He picked up the Serpent Sword and immediately knew what it was capable of. Feeling that his genetic mutation was improving him, he willed the sword to accelerate the process in a painless way until it was finished. In a few moments, greenish energy flowed among his people and also entered the wormhole, affecting all the survivors on what would be known as Third Earth. The artificial evolution sped up on both planets, changing everyone forever within a blink of an eye.
Commander Simon Jackson—now fully evolved—became the familiar Jaga the Mighty. It was a name he picked because he became a human/jaguar and it sounded good to him. Marmoquet eventually regained consciousness and tried to take the sword away, but was too weak to command it. Jaga, in his chaotic mental state, willed Marmoquet destroyed. For all intents and purposes he was, but Marmoquet’s will was able to bend the sword’s effect enough to let him survive. Instead, the displaced alien guardian was blown across the universe and millions of years into the past.
“I was lost: stuck in a primitive period of your universe on a distant planet. My very being possesses energy from my universe, and I was able to use it and my knowledge to create the race of servants you have seen. They are little more than automatons, with the ship’s commander and his ancestors being the exceptions. Their mission was to find the sword for me as I slept for hundreds of thousands of years at a time, prolonging my life so I may one day repair the damage that was done to your existence.”
“That may no longer be possible, as your universe is mostly stabilized, and we were not able to locate your solar system until now: over seven thousand years too late. All I can do is humbly ask you to return my sword so I may return home and take my children with me.”
The enthralled thunderians, humans, and mutants watching this mental history show were treated to another point of view: this time, from the mind of Tagalon acting through Marmoquet.
The new point of view travelled over the surface of Thundera and revealed the activities of the first thunderians. Jaga the Mighty declared all non-feline races to be inferior, called them “mutants,” and used them as slaves. His mental state was unstable due to the cat genes, and it was by a miracle he didn’t destroy the entire universe with the power at his command. Tagalon became a stabilizing force because of his proximity to the actual center of the wormhole when he made his journey—he received a large dose of the other-universal energy and was able to resist Jaga’s control. He discovered the nature of the sword and the eye and was able to separate them one night. He presented the Crown of Thundera to Jaga in front of his court, forcing him to act only for the good of his people while the remains that would later be known as the Sword of Plundarr drifted through space and wouldn’t be seen again for seven thousand years until a certain Ratilla discovered a strange energy reading among some asteroids.
The remaining mutants fought against Jaga, leading to a bloody race war. Jaga was only able to use The Eye to defend himself and his kingdom, but not to kill his adversaries. He eventually gained the upper hand and used The Eye to banish most of them to the neighboring planet that would eventually be called Plundarr by its inhabitants, as they developed a society based on the strong surviving and the weak serving them. Unfortunately for Jaga, the more clever mutants eluded him, and one night he was assassinated. The mutants attempted to use The Eye for themselves, but were unable to because they didn’t understand the limitations put upon it by Tagalon. He had planted “The Curse of Balthaaz,” referring to the last mutant executed by the Serpent Sword before he removed The Eye. The crown found its way into Tagalon’s hands the next morning after the mutants fled, and he united The Eye with the late Jaga’s sword to create The Sword of Omens, and he helped fashion the customs and rituals that would be passed down through every future King and his court. Tagalon had the ability to see the future: it was erratic, but one day it revealed the return of Jaga the Mighty. He knew what he had to do, and the rest is history. Thunderian society recorded that he vanished to live with the gods, and he became a legend. By design, he decreed that Jaga be remembered as the first Lord of the Thundercats, and that praises be sung to him for all time, lest the royal court be shamed by the truth. Over time, the praises became recorded history as he foresaw and helped to create through influence as he lived in the Tabby Twins’ bodies on the periphery of society. It didn’t take many generations before thunderians and mutants forgot their common human heritage and became unique cultures unto themselves.
Over time, the cat races spread over Thundera and kept more or less separate to preserve their unique qualities. Each race developed different abilities, and they all answered to the royal court that ruled them in peace for the most part. With a few exceptions, Lion Thunderians were usually appointed as kings because they excelled in their ability to use the Sword of Omens. The royal court was comprised of nobles: one of each species that functioned as equals in matters of state, each representing their different countries. Because the Eye of Thundera could only be used for beneficial purposes, there was little argument over who possessed it, and it eventually became unnecessary during the many centuries of peace and prosperity that followed.
On Plundarr, the mutants kept the name that was once derogatory to them and used it as a symbol of pride. Their society flourished and grew, despite the plethora of wars they endured as well as the constantly rotating leadership over the next several millennia. Dragon Mutants were usually the ones who ruled—as they were the strongest, most ruthless, and most organized. Over time, the other mutant races migrated to other continents on their planet and formed separate nations that fought constantly. It wasn’t only until they discovered space travel and a common enemy/opportunity in thunderians that they began to unite and function together, albeit uneasily.
The voice of Tagalon spoke as everyone’s vision slowly returned to their own bodies. “The rest of the last three hundred years of history, you already know.”
For the next few minutes, everyone was silent. Everything they thought they knew about themselves and each other had changed, and no one had reason to doubt the tale they had witnessed. Jaga the Mighty struggled against his bonds again, making WildKat grimace and set him free. He slowly stepped out of the hole WildKat had placed him in and just stood there.
WildKat looked at Lion-o and Jaga the Wise for approval, then slowly approached the hulking alien. He stared upward into his giant single eye, trying to search it for some sign of emotion. “So, Marmoquet, you asked me to give you your sword back, but you could have just taken it and not explain anything to us, right?”
Marmoquet slowly spoke with his mouth instead of his mind this time. It took some effort, and the sounds came out with a strange whistling sound and a strong accent. “Yes. I could have, but that would be wrong.”
WildKat sighed and nodded. “I couldn’t have used the sword without you, huh?”
Marmoquet nodded slowly. “Your thoughts are too chaotic. In the last hour, you would have seriously altered the universe, destroyed Plundarr twice, and Jaga the Mighty many times. Very few species have the mental control required to use this kind of power.”
WildKat scratched his chin. “Then why is the universe still here after Jaga over there had the sword all that time?”
Marmoquet tilted his head towards the twins. They responded with flat smiles. “I couldn’t suppress the sword like Marmoquet, but I kept Jaga's subconscious thoughts from destroying everything.”
WildKat nodded solemnly. He felt as though the weight of the universe was coming down on his shoulders, and he suddenly wanted nothing to do with the Serpent Sword.
Lion-o said, “If you take the sword, what would happen to us?”
Marmoquet looked at the red-haired leader of the thunderians. “I see you have done much good with the Serpent Eye, or Eye of Thundera as you call it. I will not leave you without some reward. The energy of my universe is part of yours now. To deprive you of your advantage would also be wrong.”
WildKat looked up at Jaga the Mighty, who kept his distance. “Was all that stuff about you true?”
Jaga sighed and nodded.
Tagalon spoke through the twins. “Jaga is not to be blamed. The animal genes became dominant in most of the early thunderians, and he acted out of instinct. He was a good man and a fine leader when he was human. In time, our tails disappeared and our forms became more and more human with each generation. The same goes for most of the mutants.”
WildKat said, “I guess there’s nothing left to do but this…” and offered the shortened sword grip to the alien giant.
Marmoquet gently took the sword and willed the grip to enlarge to its original size so it fit his hand. The eye glowed brightly for a moment then closed. The alien blinked a couple times and made a strange sighing sound that spoke of relief. He spoke again. “There are some things to do still.” He looked at Jaga the Mighty. “I can make you human again if you wish.”
Jaga moved his eyes back and forth, then looked down at the other thunderians. He was an outcast—unique and alone. He looked over his powerful arms and down his chest, then looked up at the alien that towered over him and said, “No, I like myself like this.”
Marmoquet said, “Very well. Jaga the Wise—you wished to return to the Astral Plane?”
The smaller Jaga said, “Yeah, I did, but since I’m back, I might as well enjoy this second chance at life.”
Marmoquet looked back and forth across the gathered humanoids. “I apologize for all the pain and suffering that was caused, but I also feel joy for the good that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.” He looked at ThunderManx and Kitara for emphasis. “The multiverse has a way of making things work.”
Everyone smiled as Marmoquet extended the blades of his sword and sent a whirling fireball towards the crater behind the group. The fireball made a small pocket of time reverse itself and the Cat’s Lair was reassembled in a reverse explosion. It still had the face that Jaga the Mighty put on it, but Lion-o personally thought it looked pretty good—almost like the old Cat’s Lair on Third Earth.
Marmoquet looked skyward and used the sword to reveal the city-sized spaceship he and his servants constructed millions of years ago. Jaga the Mighty hadn’t destroyed it, and Marmoquet brought it down to a lower altitude before making it disappear into a portal to his home universe.
Marmoquet looked at Lion-o and willed The Eye to produce a copy of the Sword of Omens in his hand. “It will protect you and allow you to see across great distances as before, but it isn’t sentient like the real eye. Only your will can make it work now.”
Lion-o looked at his new sword and said, “I guess I’ll have to work harder now, huh?”
Marmoquet looked at WildKat. “I thank you for helping me, even if you weren’t aware of it.”
WildKat shrugged his shoulders and said with a smile, “Ehh… no big deal really.”
Marmoquet willed the sword to create a portal beside him and said, “Farewell, my friends,” before gliding through it and disappearing forever.
After a few seconds of stunned silence, the Tabby Twins spoke. “I guess that’s my cue. My job is done here.” Everyone gasped as the twin girls sat down back-to-back and fell asleep. A cloud of ghostly white mist left their bodies, merged, and formed into a tall and handsome tailless thunderian that almost looked like a human. He smiled silently before disappearing. Terri and Torrie started to stretch and yawn, then quickly got up and looked around.
Terri spoke first. “Where am I?”
Torrie added, “What’s that building that looks like a cat?”
They both spoke together, but this time it sounded more like WilyKit and WildKat when they spoke simultaneously instead of the creepy one mind in two bodies: “Who are you people?”
Everyone laughed and began the process of introducing themselves to the confused kittens. They were suddenly seven-year-olds in thirteen-year-old bodies, and they had practically been asleep for over seven thousand years.