ThunderQuest: Chapter Two

Discussion in 'ThunderCats Fan-Fiction' started by catspat, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. catspat

    catspat also known as...Leppardra

    “Well, everything checks out okay at the Wollo village,” Pumyra said, scanning the telescreen of her airpod. “How are things on your end, Bengali?”

    “Can’t be better,” answered Tygra’s younger brother over his own pod’s radio. “The Berbils are busy tending their fields, unmolested by Mutant or Lunatak. And two Bolkins are on the road, headed for the village. By the look of their sacks, they’ve probably come to trade with the Berbils. All in all, everything’s peaceful in this area.”

    “Good,” Pumyra said. “Let’s head back to the Tower. It’s noon and I could use some lunch.”

    Bengali laughed. “Same here. My stomach’s growling so loudly it’s almost drowning out my pod’s engines.”

    Chuckling, Pumyra pressed several buttons on her console. Her pod changed course, and within minutes she rendezvoused with Bengali. As they flew over the great, grassy Plain of Fertility, adjacent to the Unicorn Forest, her eyes caught a movement on her telescreen. She gasped with pleasure. “Look below us, Bengali! It’s the unicorn herd!”

    Bengali grinned at his telescreen. “Hey, it is! Don’t they usually keep to the Forest?”

    “Yes,” said Pumyra, “but sometimes they venture out onto the Plain.”

    Below the pods, a large herd of sleek, white unicorns of different ages grazed on green waves of grass. As the two Cats watched on their screens, a large unicorn stallion lifted its head and looked up at the pods, its long, spiraling horn gleaming in the sun. The animal neighed sharply and pivoted toward the forest, breaking into a gallop. The unicorn mares, some with foals, quickly followed in a stream of snowy bodies with flying manes and tails.

    “They’re quite a sight, aren’t they?” said Bengali admiringly.

    “They’re magnificent. I could watch them all day along.”

    Suddenly, another voice, one steeped in age and wisdom, came through on Pumyra’s radio. “Tower of Omens to Pumyra. Lynx-O calling Pumyra. Come back.”

    She pressed another button on her console. “Pumyra here. What is it, Lynx-O?”

    “Cats’ Lair called. They’re asking for you.”

    “Did they say why?”

    “Yes. Snarf has become ill, and they’re quite worried about him.”

    Pumyra tensed. Oh no! Poor Lion-O, she thought, knowing the affectionate bond that existed between Snarf and the young lord he had raised. “Tell them I’m on my way.”

    “Will do. Lynx-O out.”

    “Did you copy that, Bengali?” asked Pumyra.

    “I did,” a concerned Bengali answered. “And you can bet we’ll find one scared little Snarfer when we arrive at the Tower.”

    “I know,” Pumyra sighed. “Hopefully, his uncle has nothing serious. Still, you and Lynx-O do your best to reassure Snarfer while I’m gone.”

    “Count on it,” he assured her.

    The airpods made a smooth landing inside the hangar of the Tower of Omens. Pumyra and Bengali emerged to be greeted by a frantic Snarfer. The blind, elderly Lynx-O closely followed the sound of the little snarf’s footsteps, carrying Pumyra’s medical duffle bag.

    “Pumyra, hurry!” Snarfer cried, running up to her. “Uncle Snarf is sick and --“

    She knelt and took him by his two little front paws. “I know, Snarfer, calm down,” she said gently. “I’m leaving right now.”

    “Here’s your medical bag, Pumyra,” said Lynx-O, offering it to her as she rose to her feet. “I put some food in there. A healer must keep her strength up too.”

    “Thanks, Lynx-O,” said Pumyra as she took it. She returned to her vehicle, placed the bag inside, and leaped onto the pilot’s seat to switch on the ignition. She turned and gave an encouraging smile that was more for Snarfer than her two ThunderCat colleagues. “I’ll notify you of Snarf’s condition when I learn what’s wrong,” she said as the pod’s window-hatch lowered. Pumyra plotted her course to Cats’ Lair and the pod’s engines roared to life, lifting it off the ground. The vehicle soared skyward and was lost to view.

    As Lynx-O and Bengali began walking to the Tower’s main control room, Lynx-O flicked his ears and stopped. “Snarfer’s not following,” he noted. He and Bengali turned.

    “He isn’t,” Bengali confirmed as he saw Snarfer remaining where he was, gazing after the vanished airpod and sniffing as he wiped a tear from his eye. The two Cats returned to his side.

    “Easy, Snarfer,” Bengali said in a soothing voice as he and Lynx-O knelt down beside him. “Pumyra will take good care of Snarf once she finds out what the matter is.”

    Snarfer’s little head hung miserably. “I know, Bengali, but he’s the only uncle I’ve got.” He sniffed back more tears. “I can’t imagine life without him.”

    “And neither can we ThunderCats,” said Lynx-O as Bengali nodded in agreement. He gently placed his hand on Snarfer’s head. “We might not say it openly sometimes, but when it comes to your uncle Snarf, that’s what we all feel.”

    Snarfer managed a smile. “Thanks, Lynx-O, but I can’t help worrying.”

    “I wouldn’t ask you not to,” the senior Cat replied. “I’m just saying it wouldn’t do for you to worry yourself sick, because it’s out of your hands. And it won’t make your uncle get well any faster.” Lynx-O rose, as did Bengali. “Let’s go back inside; we need to eat as well. And we’ll want to be ready when Pumyra reports in.”

    Snarfer nodded and followed Lynx-O and Bengali into the Tower, pausing once to look back in the direction Pumyra’s pod had taken.

    Lion-O, Tygra, and WilyKit stood in the entranceway to Cat’s Lair, scanning the sky for Pumyra’s pod after the main screen in the control room had alerted them to the vehicle’s approach. Kit, shading her eyes with her hand, suddenly pointed up and ahead of her. “There!”

    Pumyra’s pod landed in the courtyard in front of the ramp leading up to the Lair’s entrance. The window-hatch raised and she leaped out, her duffle bag slung over her shoulder. She ran up to the top of the ramp, where the other Cats waited.

    “I came as fast as I could,” she said. “Where’s Snarf?”

    “This way,” Tygra said. With Lion-O and WilyKit behind her, Pumyra followed Tygra to Snarf’s room, where the little cat lay motionless in his bed, the covers pulled up to his furry chin. His eyes were still closed, his breathing shallow.

    Pumyra removed the duffle bag from her shoulder, placed it on the table beside the bed, and opened it. “I need to be alone so I can examine him,” she said, pulling out a thermometer and a stethoscope.

    The three Cats nodded. Kit left the room, followed by Tygra. Lion-O, however, paused at the doorway. He looked at the recumbent Snarf with an expression of utter helplessness.

    “Lion-O,” came Tygra’s quiet voice. The young lord turned to see his friend, accompanied by Kit, returning.

    “Come, Lion-O,” Tygra said gently, taking his leader by the arm. “He’s in good hands. And Pumyra needs to do her work.”

    Lion-O nodded wordlessly. He gave Snarf’s motionless form a worried glance as he left the room with his two comrades.

    The six Cats sat silently in the living room, awaiting Pumyra. WilyKat and WilyKit sat beside Lion-O on the couch, holding hands in mutual support. Cheetara also sat on the couch, flanking Lion-O between her and the Kittens, while Panthro and Tygra stood behind them. They all noticed that their leader, sitting with his arms crossed and his eyes lowered, was not bothering to hide his anxiety for his beloved former nursemaid.

    “Take it easy, Lion-O,” Panthro said, touching the young lord’s shoulder.

    Cheetara placed a comforting hand on his other shoulder “Yes, try not to worry. Pumyra was a healer on Thundera, she knows what to do.”

    Lion-O looked at them both. “I know,” he sighed. He shrugged and gave a soft laugh. “But asking me not to worry about Snarf? It’d be easier to ask the Eye of Thundera not to be the source of our powers.”

    At that moment Pumyra entered the living room. Tygra was the first to see her come in. “Pumyra’s here,” he announced quietly. The other Cats turned as she approached.

    “How is he?” asked Lion-O, rising to his feet.

    “I gave him somno-herb tea mixed with liquid vitamins,” Pumyra said as she settled into a chair. “He’s sleeping soundly. He’s weak but he’s stable.” She smiled encouragingly. “I think he’ll be all right.”

    The adult Cats broke into smiles of relief as the Kittens hugged each other happily. “Thank Jaga,” sighed Lion-O as he sat back down. “Snarf had me scared. He was going for days without sleep.”

    “And apparently without food,” Pumyra added. “Do you know he’s lost weight?”

    Lion-O’s eyes widened. “He felt lighter than usual when I picked him up, but I didn’t know he wasn’t eating.”

    “Well, he hasn’t been, and probably for as long as he’s been going without sleep. I’m surprised he didn’t collapse sooner.”

    “We’ll have to do something about that,” stated Panthro.

    Pumyra agreed with a nod. “Snarf needs food and rest, so until he gets his strength back, he can’t do any cooking or housework. Someone else is going to have to do it.”

    “Who?” asked WilyKat.

    “Well, I think that would be obvious,” said Tygra amusedly, looking at his colleagues with a twinkle in his eye.

    WilyKat’s face fell. “What!” he exclaimed.

    “Oh, come on, Kat,” rebuked his sister. “After all Snarf’s done for us? How can you act like this now that he’s sick? You can manage a dustcloth fine.”

    “Okay, I’m sorry,” a contrite WilyKat said, raising his hands. He sighed. “You’re right, Kit. I can do the housecleaning well enough, but I’m better at eating dinner than cooking it.”

    Panthro laughed. “And I’m afraid that goes for the rest of us,” he said, gesturing at his adult comrades, who chuckled self-consciously as Lion-O gave a look of mock helplessness.

    Pumyra smiled. “Not to worry. I think we know of someone who can fill in as chef while Snarf recovers.”

    Snarf opened his eyes and looked around him. “Hey…this isn’t my room,” he said to himself, slowly sitting up in amazement. “It’s Tygra’s. What am I doing here?”

    Suddenly he noticed the darkness outside the window. “Oh, no,” he groaned, struggling weakly to get out of bed. “…I should have been up hours…ago…to make …dinner …”

    A pair of large hands stopped him and slowly pushed him back down against the pillows. “And just where do you think you’re going?” said Lion-O, his tone gentle but firm.

    Snarf looked up to see the ThunderCat standing over him. “Lion-O, let me up,” he protested.

    “No way. You’re staying right there to rest and get some food down you. Pumyra’s orders.”

    Snarf’s long ears drooped. “Pumyra?” he squeaked. Lion-O nodded and the little elderly cat knew he was defeated. Once Pumyra had given a medical decision, not even the Lord of the ThunderCats could override it. “But dinner--“

    “We’ve already eaten. Don’t worry, Snarf. The cooking department’s covered.”

    ”It is? By who?”

    The bedroom door slid open, and into the room came a Berbil pushing a food cart. “Hello, Snarf,” the Berbil greeted him cheerfully in an electronic but feminine voice. “How are you feeling?”

    Snarf stared at the Berbil in surprise. “Ro-Bear Belle!” he exclaimed. “What are you doing here?”

    “I came to help,” she explained as she pushed the cart up to Snarf’s bedside. “Lion-O radioed Ro-Bear Bill to tell him what happened, and Panthro brought me here in the ThunderTank. I’ll be staying at Cats’ Lair to do the cooking while you recover.”

    “Aw, gee, Ro-Bear Belle, you didn’t have to,” a touched Snarf objected half-heartedly.

    “She insisted,” Lion-O said, smiling.

    The Berbil nodded. “That’s right,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to repay the ThunderCats for all the times they’ve helped us. And friends help each other, as Lion-O said long ago.”

    Snarf smiled weakly. “I know. I was there when he said it,” he commented, eliciting a grin from the young lord. Snarf eyed Ro-Bear Belle. “Are, uh, you sure Ro-Bear Bill can manage without you for a while?”

    The Berbil gave a little laugh. “Oh, yes, he can manage,” she answered. “It’s not a problem, and he knows I’ll be safe here in Cats’ Lair.” She placed a tray of food in front of Snarf. “Now you must eat.”

    The little elderly cat gazed at the food on his tray and slowly brightened. “Meat fruit loaf, veggie fruit soup, toasted bread fruit…and a little candy fruit pudding! Why, these are my favorites, snarf, snarf.”

    “Pumyra wants to make sure you eat,” Lion-O added. “She’ll be checking in to see how you’re progressing, and we plan to keep her apprised.”

    Snarf sighed. “Outnumbered,” he groaned sheepishly, amusing both Lion-O and Ro-Bear Belle. He sampled the veggie fruit soup the Berbil had made. “Mmm, this is good.” He looked up at Lion-O. “Why is Tygra letting me stay in his room?”

    “Yours is next to the kitchen and Pumyra doesn’t want you being tempted to do any cooking. She recommended moving you into Tygra’s room, and he agreed.”

    “But where’s he going to sleep?”

    “Lair West 4.”

    Snarf’s ears pricked up in curiosity. “Isn’t that awfully far from his workshop and his laboratory?”

    “Come on, Snarf,” Lion-O chuckled amusedly, “you make it sound like Cats’ Lair takes up all of Third Earth. Lair West 4 isn’t that much farther from Tygra’s lab and workshop. And besides, he said he needed the exercise.”

    “Snee-aarf, has he been sneaking candy fruit pie again?” the furry little creature demanded in mild suspicion.

    Lion-O winked. “I didn’t say a word,” he quipped. “Now, try and get that food down. I’ll be back in a while to check on you.”

    “Don’t worry. Every plate’ll be clean, I promise,” replied Snarf as Lion-O and Ro-Bear Belle walked toward the bedroom door.

    The young lord paused in the open doorway, the Berbil going on ahead of him, and looked affectionately back at his old nursemaid. “Good. I’ll hold you to that,” he said with a smile. He left, the door sliding shut behind him, as Snarf continued sampling his dinner.

    It soon became clear that Pumyra’s prescription worked. Snarf was now eating and sleeping regularly, slowly regaining his strength.

    And, as Lion-O saw a few days later, Snarf’s old stubborn streak was returning as well.

    “Aw, come on, Lion-O, please let me up,” he protested as the young lord gently pushed him back down. “I want to do some chores; I’m feeling better already.”

    “No,” replied the Cat, shaking his head. “You may be feeling better, but it’s only been a few days. You’re not well enough.”

    “Not well enough?” exclaimed Snarf indignantly, once more attempting to throw off his covers. “Why, I’ll have you know I’ve never felt better --“ He stopped, swayed a little dizzily, and slumped back against his pillows. “Sneeee-aarf,” he groaned. “Whoa, who gave the room dancing lessons?”

    Lion-O fought down a smile. “Never felt better, huh?” he said, arching an eyebrow wryly as Snarf gave him a sheepish look. “Nice try, Snarf, but you’re still too weak. You’re staying put until you’re well enough to go back to your own room. Then we’ll see about the chores.”

    “Oh, all right,” Snarf muttered. He settled back down into bed. “But don’t blame me if you end up sneezing because there’s too much dust in the Sword Chamber.”

    “Don’t worry,” the ThunderCat said, chuckling. “I’ll be safe. Kat and Kit are on dust patrol this afternoon. Now, get some rest.”

    Snarf sighed and closed his eyes. Lion-O waited until the little elderly cat had drifted off. He then left the room to find Panthro in the hallway with an amused look on his face.

    “What’s so funny?” asked Lion-O.

    “You and Snarf trading places.”

    The young lord stared at his colleague. “Panthro, you’ve been eavesdropping!”

    “Yep, and I never thought I’d see this.” The brawny Cat burst out laughing. “’Snarf, eat your food. Snarf, stay in bed. Snarf, get some rest.’ Have you heard yourself? You’re beginning to sound just like him!”

    Lion-O took in Panthro’s words and a grin appeared on his face. He laughed and clapped his comrade on the shoulder. “Ha, you’re right! I never thought about that.” He shook his head amusedly at the whole situation. “Snarf was my nursemaid all these years, and now I’m his.” He looked over his shoulder at the bedroom door. “I wonder how he likes taking his own medicine.”

    “Trust me, he doesn’t,” Panthro remarked, grinning himself. He gave Lion-O a teasing poke in the ribs. “Not unlike a certain cub I once knew who didn’t like Snarf’s medicine either.”

    Lion-O laughed. “Don’t rub it in. I’m trying to forget.” He grinned at this friend. “Speaking of forgetting, isn’t it time for the ThunderTank’s tune-up?”

    “Thanks for reminding me. Want to lend a hand? I’d ask Cheetara or the kids, but they’re working their shift in the main control room. Tygra’s holed up in his workshop, or else he’d be the one.”

    “Lead the way,” Lion-O said and followed Panthro. “What’s he working on?”

    “Modifications for the Feliner. He wants to give it greater range in case we want to really go space faring one day, so he’s going to redesign it so it can carry more passengers and cargo than it currently does.”

    “Sounds good,“ Lion-O said. “Is he going to improve its defenses?”

    Panthro nodded. “That’s on his to-do list as well,” he said. Their voices faded as they made their way to the hangar where the Tank awaited them.

    Snarf tossed and turned in his sleep, his breathing coming harder and faster, as his mind became overwhelmed by blinding flashes, deafening explosions, the sensation of the ground shaking under his feet …and, above it all, a frightened baby’s cry. Snarf leaped desperately toward the sound of the wail -- and into a searing flash of light.

    “No!” he cried, sitting bolt upright in the bed, his pounding heart shaking his body. He couldn’t stop the tears that seeped into his eyes or the anguish that overwhelmed his heart. He lay back down and buried his face in his pillow, sobbing quietly.

    If I had only done more …if I had only acted faster…
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  2. MarianaTCdreams

    MarianaTCdreams Barbarian

    I can see some talent in your writing. :) I noticed that you mentioned the names of the characters quite often, which is good and helps with the flow of the story.
    I enjoyed reading what you have written/typed so far, and now, I wonder what will happen next. :eek:
  3. catspat

    catspat also known as...Leppardra

    Thank you! Did you read the first chapter as well? I'd like feedback. :)
    Merged Post:

    Somebody new will show up. :)
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  4. MarianaTCdreams

    MarianaTCdreams Barbarian

    Yes, I did read your first chapter, and it was also very interesting. I especially enjoyed seeing how Snarf's actions in the first chapter lead into his internal world, as I interpreted in the second chapter. The best part of your story, however, is that your passion for storytelling shines through. :D
  5. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    Hi, catspat. I'm Phenometron on DeviantART. I read the first two chapters of your "ThunderQuest" story. I know your quest to write the whole thing out isn't done. You have plenty of time.

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