With Power and Pride

Discussion in 'ThunderCats Fan-Fiction' started by hammy0924, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. hammy0924

    hammy0924 Ultimate No-Life

    With Power and Pride, part 1

    *NOTE: Parts 8 and on appear in the part 2 thread.

    Title: With Power and Pride
    Author: Hammy0924
    Status: 9/15
    Summary: This story takes place after the first season finale of the 2011 TV series, and is written as a second season of the show.
    Pairings: Tygra/Cheetara, Lion-O/Pumyra, Pumyra/Bengali
    Characters: Lion-O, Cheetara, Tygra, Kit, Kat, Bengali, Panthro, Snarf, Pumyra, Lynx-O, Lynxana, Soul Sever
    Rating: PG/slightly PG-13
    Genre: Angst, Drama, Romance, Action-Adventure (later on)
    Warnings: Character Death, Mild Violence
    Disclaimer: I do not own ThunderCats in any way, shape, or form and this story is for non-profit reasons.


    Part One: Mourning and Night

    Lion-O wasn’t asleep. While the other cats found solace in the outcome of this battle, he didn’t. Not at all.
    His body felt the pain of being tossed around by Mumm-Ra. His brain hurt from thinking of what to do next. And, most of all, his heart hurt.
    It seemed to him as if he was doomed to being alone. Maybe she was right, he thought, I am going to die alone. No matter how many people look up to me and love me I will never fill the hole she made.
    He looked around the inside of the Feliner, still together despite the massive fall Avista had taken. It was one of the only triumphs they, or at least he, could call his own. The other cats were asleep, obviously from such a physically and mentally exhausting day. He looked at Tygra and Cheetara, sleeping soundly by each other. What I’d give…
    He sat up and then looked beside him. His bed was large, yet cold and empty with only him in it. He put his hand down to his side, then touched the bed softly. He moved his hand along the sheets, as if to only imagine…
    “No!” he shouted, not respecting the quiet the other cats needed. “I am past this!”
    “Lion-O, what’s wrong?” Cheetara said, surprisingly the only one awakened by his sudden outburst.
    “You know what’s wrong. You were the cause of it at one point,” he said, looking down shyly.
    “It’s Pumyra, isn’t it?” she stated, knowing her dear friend’s troubles.
    “It’s not just that,” Lion-O said in the most hopeless tone Cheetara had ever heard him use. “I can never love anyone ever again. I can’t trust anyone besides the 5…or I guess 6 of you here.”
    “You forgot Snarf, didn’t you?”
    “Don’t mention it. I can’t even trust myself anymore.”
    “Oh, Lion-O,” she said, walking over to sit on his bed. “It’s not your fault. It never was. Not with me, not with Tygra, and not this time.”
    “But it was, Cheetara. What kind of a king am I if I just get distracted by every single thing that could possibly throw us off course?”
    “Don’t say that! You’ve gotten us through more struggles than any of us could have ever imagined. Even your father.”
    Lion-O was obviously hit hard by this. “And my father. I have done all but let him down. I should be home, in Thundera, by his side or maybe even possibly being king. It’s my entire fault, all of it!”
    This was the first time she had ever seen Lion-O shed tears. It made her feel insecure; knowing that the strongest person she knew was on the brink of complete mental collapse because of failures he could not control.
    “Lion-O, I know you’re not like this. I know the true reason behind your doubts. I know these things,” she said, attempting to comfort the saddened king. “You’ve lost someone you loved. We’ve all been through it.”
    “But it’s every time now!” Lion-O said, now angry with himself. “Every time I try to be nice I just get screwed over!”
    “Look, Lion-O,” Cheetara said quietly, “…I should have told you this, but I always sensed Pumyra was something more than what she seemed.”
    “…and?”
    “She always seemed to have an evil touch to her. Something I can’t describe to a non-cleric.”
    “Figures.”
    “But I also saw something else in her yesterday. I saw, deep down inside, a cat. A cat true to her king and fighting to take back her body.”
    “You mean she’s still alive?”
    “Well, she’s been alive due to the spirits of evil. They took her anger and aggression and multiplied it in order to get the final product they wanted. Somewhere in her body lies her real form, the form that you love, or loved.”
    Lion-O thought for a moment. He wondered how many times she had seemed so kind to him, almost acting like a girlfriend of sorts. “But all the times she seemed to love me back, how do I know those were real? They could have been a lie just to trick me with her charm.”
    “I can’t answer that for you Lion-O. I wish I could.” Cheetara kissed Lion-O on the cheek, but he quickly pulled away.
    “I don’t feel that way anymore, Cheetara.”
    “I know, I just can’t stand to see you like this. In this much pain over something you couldn’t control nor predict. It’s heartbreaking.”
    “You don’t understand. I’m done with this. I’m done with love. Everyone I know is just a mutual acquaintance and I can never view anyone as innocent ever again. I can never find that…that friendship I needed. It’s the only thing that kept me going. I don’t know if anything ever will ever again.”
    “Like I said, that could have been the true Pumyra.”
    “But what if it wasn’t, Cheetara!? What if it was all a lie?” Lion-O said sharply, trying to hold back more tears. “Why would she trust me? Why would anyone trust me? She has no right to. I left her to die, Cheetara. I killed a fellow cat.”
    “You didn’t kill her, Lion-O. You didn’t know of her existence.”
    “Well, if she was so desperate for my help, then maybe she should have taken that into account!”
    Lion-O stopped talking and began crying again. His cries were not normal. They were rather soft and heartfelt. Cheetara couldn’t help but shed a tear. She had seen her king grow so much since the fall of Thundera, and now she knew it wasn’t a child she saw weeping. It was an adult; a king. He had all the right to feel the way he did, and she wished she knew how to comfort him through this horrible time.

    She moved on to plan B.

    “Tygra, get up,” she said softly in her boyfriend’s ear. He turned slowly to awake to her face a few feet above his head.
    “…what is…it?” he said, yawning and stretching.
    “Your brother,” she said sternly. He immediately looked ten times more awake. “He’s really depressed. I’m scared for him.”
    “What happened? Did he do something?”
    “No, it’s over what has happened. How he lost the stone and his love interest and how he was betrayed so easily.”
    “Is he still mad about that?”
    “Tygra, this isn’t a joke. He has given up on everything he’s worked for. He has no will to even go on another day. It’s completely justified, and I don’t know if we can ever bring him back.”
    “I…didn’t know he was that bad,” Tygra said. His eyes widened in realization. “I’ll go talk to him, but why are you up?”
    “He woke up screaming. I’m not surprised you didn’t,” she said jokingly. The awkward jump from solemn to happy wasn’t a good choice for the situation.
    “You know me too well,” Tygra replied, “but I will go talk to him.”
    Tygra stood up and got out of bed. Despite his rather “unclothed” nature (which Cheetara couldn’t understand), he still wanted to help his brother more than he cared about being dressed.
    “Lion-O?”
    “What can you possibly do to help me?” Lion-O said with a doom-filled tone.
    “I don’t want to see you like this. You’re stronger than this,” Tygra encouraged. “Pumyra was just a thing of the past and you’re over it.”
    “I wish you could tell me the truth,” Lion-O said, almost laughing in his hopelessness. “Then maybe I’d believe you. But it’s not that simple, brother.”
    “It is, Lion-O. We need to get that stone, and if you’re not going to lead us there with pride and power, then we all might as well give up.”
    “I…I didn’t know I meant that much…”
    “Lion-O, if it weren’t for you I would have been killed by my own father. I would have gotten me, Cheetara, Panthro, and the kids killed by Mumm-Ra.” Tygra paused for a few seconds, acknowledging how much his young brother had grown since that cursed day. “If you wouldn’t have done ninety percent of what you did, we would all be dead.”
    “I know,” Lion-O said. “I’m beating myself up for all the wrong reasons. Again. You’d think I’d learn.”
    "But look, we’re all here. We made it in one piece. We didn’t get the stone but that doesn’t matter because we have our lives, something more valuable than even Mumm-Ra can imagine.”
    “You’re right, Tygra. You always are,” he laughed softly.
    “And you are too, brother.”

    “Did it work?” Cheetara asked. Lion-O finally fell back asleep after Tygra had gotten his mood up.
    “I think we’ll see him improved by tomorrow,” he said softly, minding the others’ sleep.
    “Good work, Tygra,” she said, softly kissing him on the head “I’m proud of you.” She wanted to talk more because she had already slept enough while they were talking, but he was already asleep.

    Part Two: Long Time No See

    Lion-O woke up the next morning. All of the cats had already been awake for a few hours. He was still sore from yesterday’s battle. At this point, he forgot everything and got out of bed to go get food.
    “Heard you didn’t sleep well,” WilyKat said. “Bad dream?”
    “Not the time, Kat,” Lion-O groaned. “I just want to eat and forget.”
    “Here, have some candy fruit!” WilyKit said. She yelled the magic words and jumped into the forever bag, bringing out with her two ripe, plump candy fruit. “They’ll cheer up anyone!”
    “Thanks, Kit,” Lion-O said. He ate the fruit slowly, and they didn’t seem to affect his mood at all, besides curbing his hunger pangs. He finished his food, and went to wash his paws in the sink.
    He stared at himself in the mirror. He noticed how much older he looked for the first time. He saw a brave cat, a strong-willed leader who was crushed by his own misfortunes. But he also saw his father, and from the pictures he had seen, his mother.
    Lion-O tried not to think too much of his mother. Her death made him feel guiltier than anything he had ever done, even though he consciously knew it was not his fault. He wished he could have known her. Maybe she would understand his problems right now.
    “What are you staring at Lion-O? You’re not that pretty!” Panthro said, wanting to wash his paws as well.
    “Panthro, please,” Cheetara said. “He doesn’t need any more stress right now.”
    “Oh…well then, could you please hurry up, Lion-O?” Panthro asked in a much nicer tone. “I feel like a cub with these sticky claws.”
    “Yeah, sorry Panthro,” Lion-O said. He tried to walk away valiantly as he normally did, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t even bring himself to think of what to do next. He sat clumsily in the control seat of the ship, his head in his paws and his eyes shut. What do we do next? For all I know, Mumm-Ra could already have the stone. He looked over at the Book of Omens. A little spark of hope surged through his veins.
    “At least we have a tracking system better than a backstabbing traitor,” he said smugly.
    “That’s the spirit,” said Tygra, patting his brother on the shoulder.
    “Tygra,” Lion-O said softly.
    “What?”
    “…why are you still not dressed?”
    Tygra looked down. “Oh, I guess I haven’t gotten to that yet.”
    Cheetara glanced over, and noticed. “Tygra, there are kids here! They don’t need to see you like this!”
    “Oh no, our poor little eyes!” both WilyKit and Kat yelled sarcastically, covering their eyes.
    “Fine,” Tygra grumbled.
    “Why does he feel the need to do that?” asked Cheetara after Tygra had exited the room.
    “He’s an alpha male, if you haven’t noticed,” Panthro said. “He does what he wants.”
    “No kidding,” said Lion-O. “You didn’t have to live with him.”
    Lion-O stared at the book while Panthro fired it up. The book shone it’s light, searching for where the next stone was. The cats watched, waiting anxiously for it to settle on a location. The light finally landed on the location.
    “So now we have to go…down?” Cheetara said.
    “But just barely,” Lion-O said. “It seems like it’s only slightly angling downward.”
    “What could that possibly mean?” Panthro said. “I don’t want to discover another phobia. I’d rather stay on solid ground.”
    “That’s it!” WilyKat said. “It’s in the water!”
    The other cats, including his sister, stared at him blankly. “What makes you think this?” Lion-O asked.
    “The last stone was blue, right? If it points down, it must mean it’s underwater! It’s no coincidence.”
    The cats stood silent, unable to decide whether this was a good theory or not.
    “…we’ll see, I just say we head in the direction it points us,” Lion-O shrugged.
    WilyKat did a “hmph” in disappointment. He knew he was right about the location of the next power stone.

    “Tygra, how are we doing on fuel?” Panthro asked Tygra nervously. “I don’t want to run out while we’re this high up!!!”
    “Panthro, we haven’t even taken off yet,” Cheetara said. Panthro sat dumbfounded.
    “Huh, guess I never realized how tall this thing really is,” he said, still trembling in fear. “I’m going to bed. Tell me when we land.”
    While Panthro stormed off to somewhere with no windows, Tygra fired up the engines. He had all but mastered the art of piloting and thoroughly enjoyed it.
    “All engines ready. We’re off!” he said. The thrill of flying was almost as good as a romantic evening with Cheetara. Almost. He felt it in his blood to fly; to rule the air like a king to his people. It made him forget all of his inner and outer struggles, and was almost a drug to him.
    They took off from the fallen Avista. They had left the animals to return home, but elected scouts in each nation in case they saw any suspicious movements. The cats, especially Lion-O, could not trust anyone anymore, and hoped they could catch any new traitors before they did their job.
    The cats flew over Third Earth for several hours. The light shot out by the book pointed down further the higher they ascended into the sky. Lion-O sat alone in the lounge, trying to clear his mind of anything.
    “I spy…” WilyKat thought, “…something white!”
    “I bet it’s the clouds,” WilyKit said.
    “No, not this time, sis!”
    “Well it has been the past eight times!”
    “That’s just all part of my game; use the unexpected.”
    “Fine, is it…Tygra’s face?”
    “Why would you want to look at that?” Lion-O butted in, seeing a good moment to add some spark in his mourning.
    “Hey, I don’t wanna hear it!” Tygra said. “I could easily get all of you airsick with just a push of a button!”
    “He does have a point, Tygra” WilyKit said. “If we saw your face, that would mean you’re not paying attention to the sky, or the controls, or the radar!”
    Tygra, noticing he was ignoring all of these, quickly turned back around and grabbed the controls. Lion-O and the kids laughed.
    “For being so gloomy this morning, you’re looking rather happy now,” Cheetara said, smiling at Lion-O. She sat down next to the kittens. “It’s nice to see you guys getting along so well.”
    “What do you mean?” Lion-O asked. “We always have!”
    “You didn’t even want us here at first!” WilyKit said. “Apparently you don’t like being a babysitter.”
    “But you two aren’t babies. You’re just as grown up as us,” he said, rubbing WilyKat’s head. “…just, not physically.”
    “That really means a lot, Lion-O,” Tygra said, “but we have a problem.”
    Panthro immediately ran out of his “happy place” at the utterance of the word “problem”.
    “There’s a PROBLEM!?!?! WHILE WE’RE FLYING!?!?! OH CRIPES, THIS IS THE END!!!!” he blurted out, dropping to his knees in pure terror of the situation.
    “Relax, Panthro,” Tygra said. “It’s not the plane itself. It’s the book.”
    “THAT’S JUST AS…wait, what’s wrong?” Panthro asked.
    Lion-O studied the book. He immediately saw the problem. “The light, it’s getting blocked by something.”
    The team stood confused. It didn’t seem right to Lion-O. The book had never, EVER failed them before. He studied to see if there were any physical damages to the book, perhaps from the Soul Sever’s tampering with the precious text.
    “It looks like it stops at a certain point,” Tygra said to Lion-O. “There’s no way it could be that close!”
    “You’re right. It’s not possible,” Lion-O said, dumbfounded by the discovery. “It wouldn’t be floating in mid air either.”
    “I guess you could call that an incredible hiding spot,” Cheetara remarked, “but it’s not likely.”
    “Keep flying towards it, Tygra,” Lion-O commanded. “This has to mean something!”
    They flew anxiously for another few minutes, wondering what in fact they were getting themselves into. They came upon the point where the light was stopped.
    “Um, Lion-O?” Tygra said softly.
    “Yeah, what?”
    “Now the controls really are failing.”
    Panthro immediately passed out. His limp body made a loud “THUD!” on the floor.
    “No, no, no! Not again!” both WilyKit and Kat screamed. Snarf wrapped himelf around Lion-O’s leg.
    Tygra grabbed at several controls, trying to get them under his command. “It almost seems as if they have a mind of their own, and they’re actually helping us land.”
    The Feliner was, in fact, descending. The twins looked out the window as the ground gradually grew closer and closer, revealing the open desert below. It seemed to stretch on forever, or at least much further than the previous desert they had been to.
    Panthro woke up right as they were nearing land. “Huh? We’re landing?” he asked, stuttering.
    “Yeah, but unplanned,” Tygra said, still highly confused by the unusual situation. “I’m not even controlling it.”
    The Feliner came to a rest on the sand. A cloud of sand rose up from the desert floor, temporarily blinding any view outside of the airship. “I don’t care how we go down, as long as we ARE down,” Panthro said nervously.
    “Panthro, we are landed,” Cheetara said.
    “Oh, okay,” he said humbly.
    Once the cloud of dust and sand cleared, they opened up the hatch in the bottom of the Feliner and walked out, suspicious of what was to come. Lion-O specifically already had his sword drawn and ready to attack whatever may come their way. Tygra had his gun out and was ready as well.
    All of the sudden, a hole opened up in the sand in front of them. The swirling vortex of wind and dust began to rise off of the desert floor. Lion-O told everyone to stand back. He knew what this was.
    A figure slowly rose out of the sand. It stood with pride; a slim figure with long hair and pointed ears. As the dust faded, Lion-O knew. He could sense the evil vibe coming from the air, and immediately recognized what the figure was. This was not going to be the end.
    The figure turned and looked at the group of cats, who were bewildered by what their eyes had just witnessed. Its mouth slid into a crooked, sinister smile. A feminine laughter began to fill the air. Then, the figure spoke.
    “You didn’t think I’d ignore you for this long, did you…my king?”


    Part Three: A Plan

    “Pumyra,” Lion-O said. “I knew you’d come back for me!” he said, rather joyously. He ran up towards the evil ThunderCat, as if not to view her as a threat at all.
    “Lion-O, what are you doing?” Tygra yelled out at his brother. “This is suicide!”
    Lion-O didn’t even seem to notice Tygra’s calls and immediately ran up to Pumyra. Pumyra’s facial expression turned from evil to confused in a matter of seconds.
    “I never thought I’d see you again!” he exclaimed, hugging the confused cat. “I thought I lost you back at the bird city!”
    Pumyra pulled out her weapon and aimed it directly towards Lion-O’s head and paused, still extremely fuzzy about what was going on. The other cats stared anxiously at the two cats, wondering what would go down next. Panthro and Tygra began to lunge forward and prepare to attack the traitor.
    “Wait,” Cheetara whispered to the rest of the cats, “he has a plan. I know it.”
    “What is his plan?” Panthro whispered back, “Killing us all?”
    “No,” Tygra said, realizing what his brother was attempting to accomplish by his unusual affections. “It’s genius.”
    “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Panthro said angrily. “We’re all going to die out here!”
    “Panthro, calm down!” Cheetara whispered.
    “Panthro, he’s getting her confused so we can capture her,” Tygra explained.
    “But why would we want to capture her? She’s a traitor, and she doesn’t deserve our company! I’ll watch her bleed before I let her step foot in my Feliner again.”
    Tygra face-palmed. “We want her captured so we can interrogate her!”
    Panthro smiled, suddenly realizing how genius Lion-O’s plan was. “Kids, stay back at the Feliner. Tygra and I will handle this!’
    “What about me?” Cheetara asked, feel rather abandoned from the situation.
    “You rush in if anything goes wrong,” Panthro said.
    Tygra thought for a few moments. He looked up and studied what was going on. Lion-O was talking to Pumyra as casually as possible and she would not let up with the threats.
    “Pumyra, it’s so nice to see you in good shape after Mumm-Ra took you away! I was afraid he’d do something to you!” Lion-O cried, further confusing Pumyra.
    “What are you trying to do, loverboy?” she said tauntingly. “I have to kill you all before sunset. You’re wasting my time!”
    It was at this moment where Lion-O looked over at Tygra, as if to say, “This is your queue.” Tygra got the message and quietly turned himself invisible. He knew exactly what to do next.
    “You want to know what I’m trying to do? Well, here it is!” Lion-O said.
    The twins watched out of the Feliner’s window to see Lion-O push Pumyra’s weapon aside and plant a kiss right on her lips. The two were incredibly shocked by Lion-O’s actions.
    “I don’t know what he’s doing!” WilyKit exclaimed. “He’s really gone off the deep end!”
    “Wait, look!” WilyKat yelled in a promising tone. Snarf jumped up beside them so he could see what was happening outside of the airship.

    “Wait, what’s going on?” Pumyra growled. She felt herself beings queezed into some sort of rope, yet she didn’t see any. The other cats watched as Lion-O pulled away from her lips with a devious, yet satisfied smile.
    “This is how it feels to be on the other side of things, traitor,” Tygra said as he slowly became visible again. He had managed to completely tie Pumyra up while Lion-O distracted her. He made sure to have a tight grip on his whip so she couldn’t get away. He also had removed all of her weapons in the process, so she could not harm anyone.
    Pumyra fell to the desert floor, hissing and growling like a mad cat. Her eyes widened with instinctual rage and her claws extended, ready to cut into anyone who dare to touch her. She tried multiple times to cut through Tygra’s whip, but it was virtually indestructible.
    “So, now what do we do with her?” Panthro asked.
    “You are all going to pay for this! ALL OF YOU!!!” Pumyra screeched. “Mumm-Ra will be on his way as soon as he figures out!”
    “Sweetie, your little mummy friend isn’t of our concern right now,” Lion-O said deviously. “We have to get this piece of work secured in the Feliner.”
    “Lion-O, you’ve really gone crazy this time…I like it,” Tygra said. “But there is no way I’m carrying that thing back to the Feliner.”
    “Panthro,” Lion-O commanded. “You carry her back.”
    Panthro looked shocked. “You’re going to make me deal with this lunatic? In your dreams!”
    “She can’t claw at your arms, Panthro,” Cheetara butted in. “You’re doing it.”
    “Fine,” Panthro grumbled as he proceeded to pick up Pumyra like a worthless object. He made sure to “put her to sleep” before he carried her, however.

    After they arrived back in the Feliner with Pumyra, Panthro took her to a secluded room and sat her down in a metal chair built into the floor. He put her in heavy handcuffs strapped to the chair and bound almost every other part of her body besides her face.
    Lion-O and the rest of the cats sat in the lounge while Panthro did the dirty work. Cheetara, and Tygra, both surprised by Lion-O’s actions, were not reluctant to ask him about them.
    “So, Lion-O, seems you got over your crush,” Tygra said, laughing a little.
    “Yeah, I couldn’t help but notice how cruel you were to her,” Cheetara said. “It’s definitely a new side to you.”
    “She deserved every bit of it,” Lion-O quickly snapped, not angry at Cheetara or Tygra but still venting from earlier. “At least, what I can call ‘her’.”
    Tygra was confused. “What do you mean?”
    Cheetara sighed, and preared to explain her theory to Tygra. “Lion-O and I believe that she may have a little bit of her actual self left. The ancient spirits, according to Mumm-Ra, multiplied her anger and aggression into what they wanted her to be. Therefore, she is not actually herself. I sensed, after her betrayal, that there was a part of her that still remains loyal to Lion-O, a part that almost died along with her natural body.”
    “So you’re saying we could possibly save her?” Tygra said. “All we’d have to do is somehow magnify that little part of her and rid of the evil spirits inside her.”
    “It may not be that easy, Tygra,” Lion-O said. “We can’t simply rid of the evil inside her. It’s going to be a difficult task.”
    “We could always ask the Soul Sever to do it,” said Tygra. “He seemed to know how to do all this soul stuff.”
    “I want to see what I can do first,” said Lion-O confidently. “I believe we may be able to do it naturally.”
    Cheetara, who seemed the most moved by his actions, then asked “Why did you kiss her, Lion-O?”
    Lion-O was stumped by her question. “Um, well, it was a good distraction.”
    “It was, but it seemed so real,” Tygra added.
    “Look, it’s none of your business. We have her now and that’s all that matters,” he snapped. “It’s not like she felt the way I did.”
    They sat silent for a few awkward moments; waiting for someone to say something. Tygra decided to diffuse the awkward moment.
    “So Cheetara, wanna go check out the desert together…just us…alone?”
    “Tygra, it’s really not the time for that,” she replied. “We need to stay at the Feliner and keep watch for anything.”
    “Actually,” Lion-O suddenly said, “Tygra, go see if the book will work now. Cheetara, you help him. I will go down and talk to Pumyra. I want to see if I can get any information out of her.”
    “Okay,” Tygra and Cheetara agreed, happy Lion-O had let them do something together. They walked over to the book.

    Lion-O brought a single candy fruit and a cup of water to give to Pumyra. He thought he’d show some mercy, because he knew the real Pumyra was in there somewhere. But he wasn’t going to play the good cop with the Ancient Spirits of Evil. He was going to taunt them and let them know they were in his control, no matter how hard they tried.
    “Panthro,” Lion-O said, walking into the room where Pumyra was held. He noticed she had not yet awakened from the severe blow to the head by Panthro.
    “Yeah, just keeping watch like you said. Why are you down here?”
    “I’m going to talk to her,” Lion-O said.
    “Are you cr…well, I guess it worked last time. I’m not one to question my king’s orders.”
    “Just keep watch outside. If you hear me calling for you, come in and do whatever you have to in order to save me.”
    “Okay, Lion-O. Good luck.”
    “I’ll need it,” Lion-O sighed.
    Panthro left the room. He had put extra reinforcements on the door so no one besides him could get in or out. Lion-O walked into the chamber with his head held high, ready for anything.
    He set the candy fruit and cup in the corner and walked directly up to the chair.
    “You’re so beautiful…” he said, running his fingers through her fur. “It’s a shame such a body, and such determination, has been used for the wrong cause.”
    Pumyra’s eyes slowly opened. She was very confused, and had not funny regained her vision.
    “But I know you’re still in there…” he whispered into the cat’s ear, giving her a soft kiss on the cheek. “Deep beneath that polluted soul lies the real you, the one who really wants a second chance, not the one who betrays her own kind.”
    “What are you expecting me to do for you?” she said, almost in a drunken stupor. Panthro had apparently done a little more damage than expected.
    “I’m not expecting anything. I just want you to answer me this…” Lion-O paused dramatically, enjoying the sound of his new attitude. “Was it all a lie?”
    “What are you talking about?”
    “All those feelings you apparently had. Were they all just fake?”
    “Look, loverboy, you fell in lo…NO! NO THEY WEREN’T!!!” Pumyra exclaimed, suddenly changing personality. Her eyes widened, and then shrunk back. Lion-O jumped, confused with what had happened. “You fell for me, Lion-O, so I helped you fall farther. I watched you fall until you hit the floor, and you’ll never get back up.”
    Lion-O thought for a moment. He knew that was the real Pumyra trying to get out when she said the feelings weren’t a lie. But how can I get that part away from her evil side? He continued on with his original plan.
    “Calm down, dear. I wouldn’t want all that energy to be used up for no reason,” he said softly, caressing her face. She turned her head to try to bite him, but he caught her head and turned it back slowly.
    “You think you’re so strong because you can oppress people like this, strike fear in their hearts so they’ll do what you want,” Pumyra said. “Face it, you never wanted to save anyone. You just want your tyrannical rule over the masses back. You…IT WASN’T YOUR FAULT LION-O! I’M SORRY!”
    Lion-O knew what to do now. After another outburst, he had to ask. “What was that last part? I couldn’t quite hear it.”
    “You’re just as bad as your father.”
    “Hm, I heard something quite different,” he said deviously.
    “It wouldn’t be the first time you misread something,” Pumyra taunted. “You’re just a clueless, power-hungry monarch.”
    “Or is it you who are clueless to your own feelings?” Lion-O asked.

    Panthro listened in on the conversation, shocked by Lion-O’s different approach to interrogating their hostage. Cheetara came down to relay a message to Lion-O.
    “How’s he doing?” Cheetara asked.
    “I’ve never seen this side of him,” Panthro said softly. “He’s completely using her own techniques against her, and it’s working.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “She’s having these random outbursts, and they are usually saying something nice to Lion-O, but then she goes right back to hating him.”
    “So her real self is showing,” Cheetara stated. “He really does know what he’s doing.”
    “I’m speechless,” Panthro said.
    Lion-O then knocked on the door. Panthro opened the heavy steel door and let Lion-O through, making sure to lock it up afterwards. Lion-O looked just as confident as he did going in.
    “I know what we have to do,” he said, “to get Pumyra back.”
    “Well, good. We have the book working as well,” Cheetara said.
    “So…should we…” Panthro gulped, “...take off???”
    Lion-O laughed. “Yes, Panthro, we’re going to fly a little longer. We’ll stop at night though. I don’t want to force our only pilot to fly for too long.”
    “Okay…good,” he sighed, feeling slightly relieved. “I’ll stay down here and keep watch…where it’s safe.”
    Lion-O and Cheetara walked back to the control room. Cheetara couldn’t help but ask about what happened. “So, how’d it go?"
    “Swimmingly,” Lion-O replied.
    “No, I mean in detail,” she repeated. She wanted to know the truth.
    “I know she’s fighting; trying to find a way to escape from the spirits’ control. And I think I know how to save her, but I can’t explain it.”
    “Well, at least you made progress,” she said, smiling at him. She was happy to see him back to his usual confident self. She also felt good being ordered around by him, considering the night before he was in tears over the outcome of their previous quest.
    They arrived in the control room, where Tygra was waiting for Lion-O’s command.
    “So, shall we take off, king?” Tygra said in sarcastic reverence.
    “Sure, you dirty peasant,” Lion-O replied, attempting to “out-snark” his brother. “Let’s get going. ThunderCats, HO!!!”

    Part Four: Natives


    Tygra yawned. He had been flying for four hours straight. The other cats sat bored in the lounge besides Panthro, who was still keeping watch on Pumyra. Tygra checked the fuel gauge. It was getting lower, but they could still maintain flight for awhile. He set the controls so he wouldn’t have to look and turned around to talk.
    “We need to stop soon, Lion-O,” he said. “Fuel’s getting kinda low.’
    Lion-O sighed. “Yeah, we probably should land.” He looked outside. The sun was already beginning to set, and he could see the first moon rising on the horizon. He yawned himself, finally sensing how long they had been flying. “Go ahead and land us, Tygra.”
    “Okay, captain.”
    “Hey, at least we’re not in the desert anymore,” said WilyKit from the window.
    “Huh?” Lion-O asked. “Where are we?’
    “We’re in some sort of huge forest, or I guess over,” WilyKat said. “This one is ten times bigger than Magi Oar!”
    Lion-O ran over to the window. Cheetara followed suit. “It looks incredible,” gasped Lion-O.
    “I know she does,” said Tygra, walking up and putting his hand around Cheetara’s shoulder.
    “The forest, Tygra, not Chee…wait,” Lion-O paused. “Who’s flying the plane?”
    Tygra paused as well, trying to scare everyone. “Oh, I found a setting that lands it automatically.”
    Lion-O, Cheetara, and the kids sighed a breath of relief. “Imagine how helpful that would have been earlier,” Lion-O chuckled.
    With the ship finally landing, Panthro came up from the lower level of the Feliner. He looked rather relieved.
    “That girl has got something wrong with her,” he said.
    “Why? What happened?” Lion-O asked curiously.
    Panthro paused. “She keeps slipping in and out of different personalities. It’s like she’s fighting herself. She went on a straight growling match with herself for almost an hour.”
    Lion-O stared at Cheetara. She looked back, knowing exactly what the lion was thinking about. “Not now,” Lion-O said. “We need to find fuel.”

    They all got out of the ship. They decided to split up to divide their work. Panthro was to run the tank to find the nearest Thundrilium mine. The kittens were sent to look for food, since they had done such a good job last time.
    “Hey, where are you guys going?” Panthro asked Cheetara and Tygra. “You can’t just get off the hook like that!”
    “We’re going to explore this village and see if they can help us in any way,” Cheetara said.
    “What village? I didn’t see any village!” Panthro exclaimed, turning around a few times to try to find it.
    “Probably because you were too busy crying to yourself while we were flying,” Tygra laughed, thoroughly enjoying taunting Panthro. “We flew right over it before we landed. Wait, what are you doing, Lion-O?”
    Lion-O looked up and answered quickly, “I have a few more questions for Pumyra. I don’t trust her here alone, anyway.”
    “I don’t either,” Panthro said. “You haven’t had the worst of it. That girl may as well be possessed!”
    This, however, did not seem to faze Lion-O too much, as he headed back towards the Feliner’s entrance. Cheetara, concerned for her friend’s safety, ran towards Lion-O.
    “Good luck,” she said, hugging him. Lion-O felt rather awkward in this position, seeing that Tygra was watching, but his brother didn’t seem affected by it. He guessed Tygra knew she’d never leave him. And honestly, Lion-O didn’t want to be with Cheetara anymore. It wasn’t because of what happened, but because they were so happy together that he couldn’t help but feel happy for them. Plus, romance for him wasn’t doing too well.

    A few minutes later, Tygra and Cheetara came upon the village they were searching for.
    “So, about the village…” Tygra said, trying to start a conversation between him and Cheetara. “What do you think is there?”
    Cheetara kept walking silently, as if almost not noticing Tygra had even spoken.
    “You’re still worried about Lion-O, huh?’
    “No,” Cheetara whispered. “This place is abandoned.”
    “And that means we have to be quiet…why?” Tygra replied.
    “Because there are most likely traps,” Cheetara answered. “This place, although abandoned, has not been for long.”
    “How do you know?” Tygra asked, emphasizing the “you”. “Some sort of cleric-y thing?”
    “No, just instinct. There are still footprints on the ground, and they don’t look like anything I’ve ever seen. There could still be inhabitants here.”
    Tygra looked around him, being the highly-unobservant cat he is. He looked down to see the outline of a foot. However, this one was different. The toes were curved at the end and it had a much more slender build to it.
    “What kind of creatures are these?” asked Tygra rhetorically.
    “I don’t know,” replied Cheetara. “I’ve never seen anything…”
    Suddenly, they were ambushed by an unknown force. Cheetara was taken first. Not even her quick speed could avoid the attackers. All Tygra saw was a flash of a peach-colored body and black hair before he was whisked away as well.

    “I wish we would have gotten more candy fruit while we could have,” WilyKit complained. The twins had been searching for food for the past several hours. “I mean, we have the bag!”
    “Stop complaining, Kit!” Kat scolded. “You’re just making it worse on yourself!”
    Kit sighed. “But we haven’t found enough to feed everyone yet!”
    “Quiet down, sis,” WilyKat whispered. He stopped in his tracks suddenly. “I hear something.”
    Kit looked around, hearing a shuffling in the nearby shrubbery. She tried to smell whatever was stalking them, but they had masked their scent somehow.
    “Why don’t we just get in the bag?” Kit suggested quietly to Kat. “They’ll surely not realize that we’re in a random bag out in the middle of the woods!”
    “I guess it’s worth a shot,” shrugged Kat, open to any idea getting them out of the situation. They set the bag down on the forest floor and looked at each other. Quietly, they both said the words “Rankinbass!” and jumped in the bag. However, they made sure to stay alert to what was going on outside.
    “I hear someone walking around us,” WilyKit said in a normal volume, knowing the bag was soundproof from the inside. “I think they know!”
    “Well,” WilyKat paused. “We should be alright nonetheless. It’s not like they can get in here.”
    “I hope you’re right,” WilyKit shivered.

    Tygra and Cheetara were tied up in vines and thrown into a pitch black prison cell. They had no idea where they were in the forest, but they knew it wasn’t good. They could not even see each other within the same room. Suddenly, they realized there was someone else in the cell.
    “Who’s there?” Cheetara asked demandingly.
    Tygra sniffed. “It smells like Panthro.”
    “That’s because it is!” a voice shot out. “And I’m just as confused as you are.”
    Cheetara sat for a second, wondering if this situation was planned or a pure coincidence. “How did you get captured, Panthro? You were in the tank.”
    Panthro growled. “Just because I was in the tank doesn’t mean I can’t get out!”
    “Panthro, calm down!” Tygra warned. “You don’t want to attract attention to us!”
    Panthro growled yet again. “I’ve been in prisons before. They’re not my cup of tea.”
    “Panthro, I don’t think anyone particularly enjoys being imprisoned,” Cheetara remarked.
    “I certainly don’t,” said a voice from another cell. All three cats turned towards the sound. Tygra attempted to crawl towards it but was blocked by metal bars.
    “Who are you?” asked Cheetara.
    “That’s for you to find out,” replied the voice. There was a certain immaturity to it, almost reminiscent to the cats of a younger, more hot-headed Lion-O. Cheetara also sensed a sort of familiarity in his voice, almost reminding her of her own significant other.
    “Well, what are you?” asked Tygra. “Fish? Dog? Petalar? Something we’ve yet to come across?”
    The voice waited awhile, trying to add dramatic effect to his discovery. “No, I am a cat, much like you.”
    “How do you know we’re cats?” Panthro asked. “And how do we know you’re not lying?”
    “You don’t,” the voice said, “but I know who one of you is.”
    The three cats paused. They did not know what to think of this mysterious being. They decided to go along with what he was saying.
    “Prince Tygra, that is you, isn’t it?” the voice asked. “I couldn’t miss it a mile away!”
    “How do you know me?” Tygra asked, demanding an answer.
    “It’s not hard, when your former monarch’s adopted son is the only tiger around.”
    Now the cats knew the voice was a cat. He had obviously been a citizen of Thundera.
    “We have more questions,” Cheetara stated.
    “Throw them at me,” the voice replied confidently.
    “What is your name?”

    Lion-O was relaxing in the Feliner. He had somehow forgotten that he needed Panthro to be able to even speak to Pumyra in the first place. “There’s one flaw I don’t have to beat myself up over,” he told himself, chuckling a bit. He felt like this “alone time” was exactly what he needed. Well, alone besides Snarf, that is. However, he was asleep in the back, and Lion-O didn’t find him too annoying even when he was awake.
    He then felt a strange vibration on the left side of his body. He immediately looked at the sword. He noticed quickly that it was glowing,and was confused. It had never done anything like this before, but he then realized what he had to do.
    “Sword of Omens, give me sight beyond sight!” he commanded, lifting up the Eye of Thundera to his eye level. His eyes glowed, and he saw into the stone. He looked closely, and saw Cheetara, Tygra, and Panthro in a dark room, tied up and held as prisoners. He also saw Kit and Kat in their bag stuck in the forest surrounded by unknown beings. “Huh,” he said to himself, “I guess it knows when others are in trouble.”
    He immediately secured all exits in the Feliner and locked Snarf in a room, much to Snarf’s dismay. He left the Feliner and headed towards the forest, hoping to get to his fellow cats before anything bad would happen to them.
    As he was running along, he felt a strange sensation below him, as if the ground was being swept up from under him. After looking down, he realized this was the case, and that he was caught up in a trap. He struggled, sawing with the sword at the thin vines making up the net he was captured in.
    “Whiskers,” he cursed. “Not this again!”
    He was dangling a good five feet above the ground. He tried everything he could to escape, including biting at the vines and clawing with his claws, but nothing seemed to work. “What are these things made of?” he yelled in dismay.
    A figure walked up to him. “And you must be their leader,” the figure said in a strong yet feminine voice. “You’re coming with me.”

    Lion-O was dragged along the ground to an unspecified location. He cringed in pain with each root and sharp rock his body managed to hit, which was apparently all of them. Suddenly, the figure talked to him again.
    “You are strong, but foolish, cat.”
    Lion-O replied. “You don’t have to tell me that,” he grunted.
    “However, you intruders make a great form of entertainment for me and my sisters,” the figure laughed, almost maniacally. Lion-O gulped in fear.
    They reached a certain point where the figure dragging him came across another one of its, or her, kind.
    “Wha…what are you doing, Willa?” the other figure cried. “You can’t just capture all of them!”
    “Nayda,” the figure apparently named Willa replied, “they were going to scour our village, kill all of our resources, and maybe possibly even kill us!”
    Nayda was not taking this for an answer and grabbed the net Lion-O was in from Willa. “How do you know? You’re accusing these cats of attempted murder without even questioning their past.”
    “Nayda, they’re an oppressive species. They’ve been known to fight others for the soul fact of fighting others. If you want them in our peaceful village then you can just be banished!”
    Nayda began to cry. “But can you at least give them a chance?”
    Lion-O, amused by the drama taking place before him, stated, “Hey, I’m still here!”
    “Shut up!” Willa screamed. “You have no say in this.”
    “But in fact I do,” Lion-O said. “I am Lion-O, and though I may look as un-royal as possible right now, I am lord of the ThunderCats. I understand our species has been terrible, violent creatures in the padt, but I’m starting the cats with a clean slate. We were not traveling into your forest to harm you or any other creature. We planned on leaving the area as soon as possible.”
    “I still can’t trust you, filthy cat!” Willa spat.
    “I’m not going to stand for this!” Nayda cried. “You will let him and his friends go or this won’t end quietly!”
    Willa smiled smugly. “Fine, sister. I challenge you to a duel.”
    Nayda gasped at the sudden challenge, but wasn’t going to give up easily. She pulled Lion-O towards her. “If I win, these innocent creatures go free,” she said. “…and I also get top bunk priviledges for a week.”
    Willa pulled Lion-O towards her. “Hey!” Lion-O yelled. “I’m not some sort of object!”
    “And if I win,” Willa said, “they remain imprisoned, and they shall be our slaves.”
    Lion-O and Nayda both looked terrified.

    Lion-O at some point was knocked out. He woke up, surrounded by these creatures. However, he seemed to be in the middle of them.
    “Wait,” he said, “if I’m not fighting, why am I here?”
    Willa stared at him. “But you are the cause of this civil war between us peaceful warrior maidens!” she spat.
    “Ironic name for a ‘peaceful’ species,” Lion-O chuckled. He was met with a foot to the torso soon afterwards, coming from another warrior maiden.
    “This means war!” Willa chanted.
    Lion-O watched as the sisters began to duel. It seemed early on in the battle that Willa obviously had the upper hand. She seemed much stronger and faster than her younger sister, and snuck in some pretty devastating blows frequently. Nayda was not easy to give in, and she was not showing any signs of giving up.
    Both women were armed with rather dull, short knives. However, Willa seemed to rely solely on physical prowess instead of actual tactics. This is where Nayda bested her older sibling, and it became more apparent as the duel continued on.
    Willa charged at Nayda, but Nayda grabbed onto a vine and swung out of the way.
    “Evasion, huh?” Willa smirked. “It’s not that simple, sister!”
    But Nayda had a plan. She swung herself on the vine in a pendulum motion, building up momentum. Each time she flew over her older sister, Willa swung the knife at Nayda, barely missing her every time.
    Lion-O easily picked up on what Nayda was doing, and decided to show some spirit. “WOOO! GO NA…NAYDU…WHATEVER YOUR NAME IS!!!” he yelled. It was followed by another kick, insisting that he remain quiet.
    When Nayda had reached her maximum swing potential, she let herself swing a few more times as Willa stood there, wondering what her sister was attempting to do. Nayda reached for her knife and cut the rope, sending her flying towards her sister. She blindsided Willa, knocking her out. With the vine, she tied Willa to the nearest tree. The rest of the maidens sat in total awe, while Lion-O smiled.
    Willa woke up a few minutes later, seeing her sister standing in front of her.
    “I…I guess I lose,” she said in a defeated voice. “You win.”
    Nayda replied, “Now let these cats go!”

    “Lion-O, what happened?” Cheetara asked. She, along with Tygra and Panthro, ahd been released. The twins caught up with Lion-O earlier, having not been officially captured by the maidens.
    “Weird stuff, but we need to leave,” he said.
    “Oh c’mon,” Nayda said, slithering up Lion-O’s side seductively. “You don’t wanna stay for awhile?”
    Lion-O looked rather unamused. “No, sorry, we have to leave.”
    “Wait!” Cheetara called out right before they left. “There’s another cat in their prison.”
    Lion-O looked shocked. “Another cat?”
    “Yes,” Tygra said, “or at least we think so.”
    Willa interrupted the moment. “He however, is on trial for other, more serious crimes.”
    Lion-O wasn’t convinced by Willa’s confident tone. Despite being defeated, it had not changed her attitude towards the cats. “What are these so-called crimes?” Lion-O asked.
    Willa paused for a moment, knowing her answer wouldn’t justify them keeping the cat imprisoned. “Oh fine, just take him and leave!”
    Lion-O was somewhat relieved that the new cat was male. He didn’t want it to be another trick.
    The cats sat patiently, waiting for the maidens to untie the cat and release him from his cell. Though three of them had spoken to the mysterious cat, they had not yet seen him. They were not sure what to expect.
    Finally, a maiden walked out of the prison, which was situated underground. “He is free,” she said.
    A shadowy figure walked out of the tunnel. His outline became more defined as he stepped further into the light. He pushed his claws through his short, white mane and adjusted his eyes to the light, having been in darkness for a large amount of time. He then looked at the other cats, and they seemed very surprised at his appearance, especially Tygra.
    “But you…I’m the last…huh?” Tygra stuttered in disbelief.
    The cat laughed, and then spoke. “What’s the problem, never seen the only white tiger in existence?”
    The cats all shook their heads in sync.
    “And by the way, the name is Bengali.”

    Part Five: The Misguided


    The cats settled into the Feliner, which was now filled with fuel and was ready to fly. They all had remained rather silent, which was odd considering they had just gained another ally. Bengali felt somewhat out-of-place with these Thunderian royals, but he made himself feel immediately at home in the Feliner.
    “Man, this thing is epic!” he exclaimed, running all over the control room to look at various different instruments used for flight. “I used to fly some ships myself.”
    The other cats looked at each other, amused at the tiger’s curiosity and skill. “How do you know how to fly things?” Cheetara asked.
    “Oh, just a skill I learned,” he said. He then paused and looked sad, “Before the fall, at least.”
    Now the other cats were really confused with this character. He had somehow learned how to fly while Thundera, which was void of all technology, was where he lived.
    “Did you sneak out or something?” Tygra asked. “There weren’t any planes in Thundera.”
    “Well,” Bengali paused, “I befriended this lizard spy who was posted on the outskirts of town. Being a military cat myself, I kept watch on him. We soon became good friends, and he eventually saw what the cats were doing wasn’t because they hated the lizards, but because they didn’t know any better.”
    Lion-O was shocked, but very pleased. Apparently he wasn’t the only one who saw more within the lizards’ rough exterior. He was glad he wasn’t alone in his works of mercy.
    “Anyway,” Bengali continued, “he showed me this book on how to fly ships. I read it and decided I wanted to give it a try. I snuck over the wall where he had the small jet sitting there. I wasn’t great at it, but I got the hang of it.”
    “So why didn’t you tell anyone about the lizard invasion?” Panthro asked sharply.
    Bengali hung his head. “I didn’t know…he didn’t know. He got captured one day while I was away with my girlfriend and I never saw him again. He was apparently held in the town square, but when I went there, there were no lizards and I was told they were released.”
    Lion-O’s eyes opened. “That was the same lizard that got me out of jail!”
    Tygra realized it too. “What a small world.”
    Bengali looked surprised that the two brothers had known the lizard he had befriended. “Cool, he’s a great guy. I wish I could see him again. Then again, I wish I could see a lot of people again.”
    Bengali’s eyes turned from a bright blue sparkle to a pale, almost navy shading and his head sunk down. He seemed to be really distraught over someone, or some cats he lost during the fall. He sat there for a minute, as if to reminisce something. But he soon looked up in sudden interest.
    “So, who’s the pilot?” he asked.
    “I am,” Tygra replied, “because apparently a certain panther has acrophobia.”
    “Hey!” Panthro shouted as he grabbed Tygra’s shoulder. “It’s a completely rational fear!”
    Bengali looked over at Lion-O and asked “Are they always like this?”
    Lion-O closed his eyes and nodded, and Bengali got the message. Lion-O liked the new addition, but was unsure of his past. He was hoping he wasn’t another Mumm-Ra puppet. Considering they had Pumyra hostage, he highly doubted it.
    “Can I fly it?” Bengali asked.
    Tygra looked stunned by the question, but answered. “I could be like Panthro and tell you no, but okay, as long as you don’t crash.”
    Bengali had a satisfied grin on his face. Panthro growled at tygra for insulting him as Bengali walked over to the controls.
    “Oh man, this thing it easy,” he said, turning the Feliner on and preparing to take off. He took maybe half the time it took Tygra to get ready.
    Tygra was not very amused by the younger tiger’s skill at flying, especially since he had just joined the team no more than two hours ago. Though happy that he didn’t have to fly as often, he was still jealous. “Psh, beginner’s luck,” he grumbled.

    After flying for a few hours, Bengali switched off with Tygra so he could take a break from flying. Bengali walked into the lounge area, where Lion-O, Cheetara, Kit, and Kat were sitting, discussing random topics. He sat down and put his hands in his paws and closed his eyes.
    “Something wrong?” Lion-O asked.
    Bengali looked up. “No, just kinda tired. I’ll get over it.”
    Cheetara seemed rather concerned. “Bengali, you’re not okay. There’s something wrong. Trust me, I know.”
    “She has a thing for tigers,” Kat blurted out, only to be hushed by his sister.
    “It’s my girlfriend, well, my ex-girlfriend,” he replied, now opening up to his new comrades. “I miss her but I’ll never get her back.”
    Lion-O knew exactly what Bengali was feeling. “I know what it’s like, Bengali. I lost someone dear to me a few days back.”
    “No,” Bengali replied. “I didn’t lose her. She lost herself.”
    Now the other four cats were curious. They didn’t know what to expect next out of the tiger.
    “Well what happened?” Kit demanded impatiently. “Did she do something to you?”
    “After the fall, I thought she died. She was in the military too, but not in my division. I searched for her for days on end, journeying far beyond Thundera.”
    “Did you find her?” Lion-O asked.
    “Yes, unfortunately,” Bengali sighed. “But she wasn’t the same. There was a sort of darker side to her I had never seen. She had always been so quiet and subtle, but now she was talking about avenging her kind and defeating the one who ruined her life.”
    The cats were highly intrigued by the story. Lion-O felt he was really connecting with the new recruit.
    “I traveled with her from place to place, but they were all dead ends. When I began to question her, she got mad and threatened to abandon, or sometimes even kill me. One day she led me into a forest and we set up camp.” The cat paused, as if to try to remember the moment. “She said she went off to get food. It was hours before she came back, and she hardly brought anything back. I was far too tired to even question her, and she didn’t even have an excuse. I woke up the next morning and she was gone. All I could hear were these voices shouting at me. I got up and was immediately captured by the women we just saw in that forest a few hours ago.”
    “So was it just for invading their territory?” Kat asked.
    Bengali replied, “No, it turns out my girlfriend had gone and destroyed most of their village while they were gone on a hunting trip and had scattered my fur around to make it look like I did it.”
    Lion-O growled, “I guess we’ve all been betrayed.”
    Kit walked over to Bengali to try to comfort him. “Hey, I don’t know you very well, but that’s the second saddest story I’ve heard, but you’re with us now. We’ll help you save your girlfriend and get you back on your feet!”
    “Thanks, kid,” Bengali said gratefully. “It really means a lot.”
    Cheetara, who had been thinking for the last few minutes suddenly asked, “Not to make this harder on you, but what was your girlfriend’s name?”
    Bengali was stunned. Not that this female cat would ask him his beloved’s name, but that he had nearly forgotten it in pure rage towards her. He then said softly “…Pumyra. That was her name. I don’t know who she is now.”

    Part Six: Return to...

    “W…what?” Lion-O stuttered in pure amazement. How could this tiger have known Pumyra, or even DATED her? His jaw dropped to the floor.
    Bengali looked just as shocked, but for a different reason, along with Kit and Kat. They had never seen their lord so confused or acting the way he was. It was a little unnerving for them, yet somehow comedic, and they couldn’t help but chuckle a little bit.
    “What’s wrong with him?” Bengali asked casually to Cheetara as Lion-O was still panicking. “He seems…troubled.”
    Cheetara looked down at the ground. “Uh…well, there’s no easy way to say this, but…”
    “Lion-O was her rebound guy,” Tygra butted in from the pilot’s seat. He had apparently been eavesdropping on the whole conversation.
    “Huh?”
    “After she got rid of you, Bengali, she hooked up with Lion-O. Let’s just say it didn’t end as well as yours did.”
    Bengali looked shocked. He didn’t know what to say to his king. Finally, he muttered, “What did she do? Almost get you killed?”
    Lion-O sighed sadly. “No, she’s working with Mumm-Ra. She made us lose the second power stone, and now we’re on a wild goose chase to get the third.”
    “Power stones? Huh?” Bengali asked, obviously not knowing of their existence.
    Lion-O went on to explain to Bengali how the power stones will aid them in defeating Mumm-Ra and all of the extra stuff as well.
    “By the way,” Lion-O suddenly shouted to Tygra, “where are we heading? I didn’t give any orders to even fly, actually!”
    Tygra smirked. “We got a personal request.”
    They all looked around, and noticed the twins smiling. They looked as if they were going to burst with excitement. “We’re gonna see mom!” they both shouted.
    Lion-O looked rather unamused by the “request”, but went along with it anyway. “I guess they do deserve something special.”
    “So we’re going to the settlement?” Cheetara asked. “That’s going to be interesting.”
    “Why is that?” Tygra asked.
    “Things.”

    After they had landed for the night, Bengali decided to confront Lion-O on his freak out earlier. He felt bad for his king for being betrayed by the female cat they both loved so dearly. As they exited the Feliner, Lion-O prepared to set up camp, but Bengali pulled him aside.
    “Hey, umm, yeah. I’m really sorry for what you with through with…you know, her,” he whispered to Lion-O.
    Lion-O looked down at the ground, halfway out of embarrassment and halfway out of self-pity. “It wasn’t your fault. I fell for her. I still believe that she’s really in there somewhere, and that’s the girl I really lo…I mean, was friends with.”
    “I think so too.”
    “Hey,” Lion-O paused, “we…actually have Pumyra.”
    “Huh?” Bengali asked. “What do you mean?”
    Lion-O pointed over to the Feliner. “We’ve had her captive in the ship for the past few days. We thought we would keep something from Mumm-Ra that he thought he could use against us.”
    “Oh,” Bengali said softly. “Okay.”
    Lion-O looked at the tiger, seeing a sad and nervous look in his eye. “I’m sorry if this is awkward for you.”
    “It’s fine, bro,” Bengali reassured Lion-O, placing a hand on his king’s shoulder. “I still love her, but if she magically became good again, I could never be with her.”
    Lion-O smiled, and he gained a little more hope in their hopeless situation.

    The next morning, the group of cats decided to take a well-deserved vacation from their journey. Lion-O, along with the others, knew that it wasn’t a good idea to take a break, but at this rate they would be too tired once they got to the stone to even attempt to fight off Mumm-Ra.
    They arrived at the settlement early the next morning. They were very shocked at what they saw when they arrived: the place looked great! They had replicated much of the city of Thundera. They had built up several buildings and shops lined the streets. Not only this, but they had technology. Lion-O couldn’t help but gasp, knowing he was the cause of this.
    “It’s…it’s…” the twins stuttered.
    “…It’s home,” Tygra said excitedly. “It’s just like how it was!”
    They ran towards the settlement and approached the gate. There were two armored guards standing at the entrance to the settlement. The words “New Thundera” were carved into the wall in a very neat manor.
    “Who goes there?” one of the guards asked sternly.
    “Oh, wait, it’s the king!” the other guard said, thoroughly surprised at Lion-O’s presence.
    Lion-O smiled up at the guards, who bowed and let him and the rest of the cats in through the large stone gate.
    The group of cats was greeted by the citizens of New thundera, young and old. Although the city was nowhere near complete, they had gotten an exceptional amount of work done. Then came the exciting part; the new palace.
    Lion-O and Tygra were the most intrigued by the structure, even though it looked nothing like the one in Thundera.
    “We built it the way you woul like it, my king,” a cat who was obviously involved in construction told Lion-O. He was covered in soot and dust.
    The palace was nothing too big, and it was not particularly flashy. It was built to look equal to all the other buildings, following what Lion-O had taught the cats. The palace was the largest building, however, for they had to have some way of making it distinguishable.
    “Well, Lion-O,” Cheetara said suddenly, “you got your taste of redemption. Now I need mine.”
    Tygra and Lion-O both looked back at her, curious to her earlier statement. “What do you mean?” Tygra asked.
    “I need to go find my parents.”
    All 6 other cats looked shocked. Then Kat spoke, “We’re doing the same, Cheetara. We’re going too.”
    “So am I,” Tygra said. “I have to meet them eventually!”
    Lion-O cringed at Tygra’s statement. Not because he was sickened by them being together (which he wasn’t), but because it was EXACTLY what he expected from his brother.
    “Wait, wait, wait, hold on!” Bengali said, jumping into the situation. “What in Thund…NEW Thundera are Lion-O, Panthro, and I supposed to do while you guys go meet your parents? Mine are dead, I’m pretty sure Panthro’s aren’t alive, and I flat out SAW Lion-O’s dad die.”
    “You were there?” Lion-O asked curiously, looking at Bengali.
    “Long story, but back to the point!”
    Tygra shrugged. “Well, mine are too. All four of them, in fact. Just go hang out in the new palace or something.”
    “You men need some rest anyway,” Cheetara added.
    Are you calling us weak?” Bengali asked Cheetara. “I’ve been stuck in a prison for months and I still got energy! You, girl, you got another thing coming if you think you’re better than me.”
    “Now I’m calling you sexist,” Cheetara replied, smirking at the younger tiger’s overreaction. “I was just stating that you guys needed relaxation. You should want that.” Cheetara, tygra, and the twins then walked off to go search for their parents.
    Bengali grumbled after being completely schooled by Cheetara. “Women, I guess I’ll never have that same respect as I did before,” he said.
    Panthro looked at Lion-O, as if to say “Oh great, another hot-head. I thought we were done with these after you died.”
    Lion-O smiled at Panthro, and then said, “I guess we’ll go to the palace, us weak, good-for-nothing males.”

    Part Seven: Bitter

    Tygra, Cheetara, and the kittens walked out of New Thundera towards the village nearby. The refugee cats had been respectful of the cats already living in the area and had not built the new city on the farmland that the settlement contained. Cheetara lead the way, having been the most determined to see her parents. She had not even remembered their names after 10 years of their absence. All she remembered was a disheartening cry from her mother for her to return, and her back turning towards the run-down farm house. As much as she regretted that day, it was her only choice.
    “So, your parents…there’s something we’ve never talked about,” Tygra stated. “Do you even remember where they live?”
    “Yes, I do, and I didn’t bring them up because it was just a bad memory,” Cheetara grumbled.
    The twins were anxious to see the older cat’s parents, since they had heard about the others’ parents as well. However, they weren’t going to waste a trip to the settlement without seeing their mother or sisters.
    Cheetara kept on leading them on through the farmland into the village where several houses were standing. Some were in much better shape than others, but the few people living there seemed happy. The year had apparently brought a good harvest, with several food carts lining the streets. The twins, obsessed with hunger as usual, tried to get their hands on as many “free samples” as possible from the friendly farmers selling the food.
    “You guys can go on,” Kat said between chews on some exotic fruit. “We’ll be fine here.”
    Tygra looked at Cheetara and shrugged. “Well, I guess we aren’t your parents, so go ahead. Do whatever.”
    Cheetara seemed stunned by Tygra’s statement, for some odd reason. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
    “Oh, nothing,” she said. “It’s just, we both didn’t have the greatest parents, or the greatest childhoods, I’m just afraid that…”
    “Calm down,” Tygra said softly, planting a kiss on her lips. “it’ll be fine.”
    Cheetara smiled, knowing that Tygra knew what he was doing. They continued on towards a house. Cheetara recognized it as her own home, still in its slightly mangled state. She paused, taking in a deep breath before continuing on. Tygra, concerned for his significant other’s well-being, grabbed her hand as they walked towards the building.
    Tygra knocked on the short wooden door. He felt like his paws would almost break through it, even though he only tapped lightly. They both waited for footsteps, but none ever came. They both looked at each other curiously.
    “I’m going to go see if a window is open around back. Maybe we can get in,” Tygra suggested.
    “Tygra,” Cheetara scolded, “we’re not going to break into someone’s house!”
    Tygra, looking as confident as ever, replied, “Yeah, but this is YOUR house. We’re not breaking in if you lived here.”
    Cheetara knew what they were doing was wrong, but she couldn’t find anything better to suggest they do. She followed Tygra back behind the small house, and sure enough, a window was wide open. It seemed to almost invite them in, even though no one was there. Luckily, it was on the ground level so they had no trouble reaching it. Tygra went through first. It was a tough squeeze for him, even though he had changed out of his clunky green armor and into his normal blue clothes when they arrived at New Thundera. His broad chest barely fit through the small opening and Cheetara had to give him the slightest push to get through.
    While Cheetara slipped through the window, Tygra began to scan the house. It seemed like someone was living there currently. Everything inside looked like it had been used and kept up well, despite the age. Cheetara then began doing the same, looking around the seemingly abandoned house.
    “Maybe they knew you were coming,” Tygra laughed. Cheetara quickly gave him a glare and he shut up.
    Suddenly, they heard the door open. Tygra clumsily tried to jump into a closet far to small for him to fit into. Cheetara couldn’t help but chuckle just a little bit.
    “If we’re here to meet them then we might as well show ourselves,” she whispered.
    “Hello?” a stranger’s voice asked. “Who is here?” The voice had a distinct feminine sound to it, and Cheetara recognized it as her mother. She quickly walked to find her mother in the next room over.
    “Miss me?” she asked.
    The older cheetah stood there, frozen. She was slightly shorter than Cheetara, and the slightest bit heavier. She was fairly well-kept, but did show some signs of age. She wore a long, dark-red robe that covered most of her body. Her facial expressions consisted of severe shock, but also delight in seeing her long-lost daughter at last.
    “I thought I’d never see you again,” her mother said, hugging her.
    Tygra slowly looked around the corner and saw Cheetara in an embrace with her mother. He then stepped in, knowing they had both seen him.
    “Mom, this is my…boyfriend, Tygra,” Cheetara said awkwardly.
    Her mother stood flabbergasted. “PRINCE Tygra?”
    “Yep,” Tygra said proudly (of course), “the one and only.”
    Her mother looked slightly confused, but also excited for her daughter.
    “You’re father probably wouldn’t approve of you dating a tiger,” her mother laughed. “But we don’t have to worry about him.”
    Tygra noticed where Cheetara’s mother was going with this, and immediately felt horrible. “I’m so sorry,” he said, holding onto Cheetara’s shoulder.
    “Psh, don’t be!” her mother exclaimed. Tygra seemed rather confused after this.
    “Yeah, my dad wasn’t the best,” Cheetara admitted. “That’s why I was so nervous to come back.”
    “Not the best? He downright hated both of us! No matter what we tried he wouldn’t let us leave!”
    “Wait, what?” Cheetara was confused. “I wanted to go to be a cleric, but you two seemed happy right here.”
    Cheetara’s mother sat down, and encouraged the other two cats to do so as well. She went and fetched them something to drink. Then she began to explain.
    “Your father was descended from some of the original clerics. However, his great-grandfather was banished for not following the example and living life the way he wanted to. Not only that, he was banished from Thundera for insulting the clerics in a public place. He took his family and moved here, where they’ve always been. Your father always shunned anything Thundera-related, and wanted to continue that line with a son. But when we had you, he was angry that you were female. Nevertheless, I fought for you, and changed his mind about you.
    When you were older, the drought began to happen, as it usually does every ten years. This time it was worse than usual. I begged your father to move back into Thundera, because it was only his grandfather that was banished and not his descendents. He refused, vowing to never return. Therefore, when you said you wanted to join the clerics, I acted disappointed and opposed only so he wouldn’t leave us. As much as I hate to say it, we could not have survived without him. In reality, I wanted you to leave and go start your own life with your own ambitions in Thundera. I knew that acting the way I did would only make you want to leave more, but also make your father happy. I tried to be as convincing as possible when you finally decided to leave, but deep down inside I was proud of you for leaving and finding your own way.”
    “Wow,” Cheetara said, nearly speechless. “If I would have known, I would have taken you with me!”
    Her mother shook her head. “No, it’s fine. You don’t need to feel guilt. One day he got so angry at me that he bit me, and I lashed back, scarring his face. He was so angry with me that he left; trying to prove a point by saying I could never survive without him. But at that point, I could. I had become stronger than him.”
    “So, he’s never returned?” Tygra asked. “That’s pretty sad.”
    “Like I said,” her mother repeated. “Don’t feel bad. He was an awful cat.”
    Tygra looked over at Cheetara. “I never knew, I thought you were just an orphan.”
    “It’s alright,” she said. “I knew I’d have to tell you eventually.”
    The three cats sat, enjoying the peace and quiet after that emotional tale. After sitting for awhile, Tygra yawned.
    “So I guess this means you two are leaving?” her mother asked.
    “As much as I hate you say it, yes,” Cheetara replied sadly. “I wish we could stay longer, but we need to go see what the twins are up to.”
    Her other’s face lit up with this statement. “You two have twins? Why didn’t you bring them! Oh, I am so excit…”
    “Mom,” Cheetara said, interrupting her mother’s near-panic attack. “They’re not our twins, they’re just traveling with us, Lion-O and a few other cats.”
    “Oh,” she sighed, visibly disappointed that she had not any grandchildren yet
    “Now, don’t think we haven’t tried,” Tygra joked. Cheetara glared at him again.
    “Not the time, Tygra!”
    “I’m just honored to be in your presence, prince,” she said to Tygra.
    Cheetara laughed. “He’s nothing special, really.”
    “What was that?” Tygra asked sarcastically. “I don’t think I heard that right.”
    Her mother laughed. “You’ve got yourself a good male, Cheetara. I hope you know that. Now get back to your adventures. I have laundry to do.”

    Kit and Kat were nearing their home. Despite a few years of aging, it looked the same. The garden had been kept up, and the vegetables were nearly ready for harvest. Both twins stopped to reminisce for a moment.
    “I missed this place,” Kit said. “It has such a good vibe to it.”
    “Me too,” Kat added. “I can’t wait to see what the twins look like! How long has it been? A year?”
    The two cubs ran towards the front door and knocked excessively. They were extremely excited to be home. They listened close and heard footsteps coming towards the door. Then, the door opened slowly.
    “Oh, hello,” their mother answered. “What would you two cubs want today?”
    “Mom!” both Kit and Kat yelled, running up and hugging their mother. “We missed you so much!!!”
    Their mother looked down at them. “Who are you?”
    “Um, mom,” Kat said. “It’s Kat and Kit, remember us? Your kids?”
    “That’s strange,” she wondered aloud. “I don’t have any kids.”
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
  2. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    I say there's power and pride within the story you just published, Hammy. Continue with it please. :liono
     
  3. hammy0924

    hammy0924 Ultimate No-Life

    Thanks! I have a few more pages already written and will most likely put them up tomorrow or Monday. The story is going to be ridiculously long. I know because I already mapped it out.
     
  4. 19Tabularasa94

    19Tabularasa94 Thunderian Legend

    Keep 'em coming hammy! Me gusta!
     
  5. hammy0924

    hammy0924 Ultimate No-Life

    Second part coming later on tonight! Working on finishing touches.
     
  6. WilyKatfan

    WilyKatfan Thunderian Legend

    Wow that was great man.
     
  7. DrkStrikex105

    DrkStrikex105 Mutant

    Great work man. Can't wait for the next chapter:thumbsup:
     
  8. hammy0924

    hammy0924 Ultimate No-Life

    Second part is up! Third is already in the works!
     
  9. DrkStrikex105

    DrkStrikex105 Mutant

    Now I've got to wait for part 3 damn.....
     
  10. hammy0924

    hammy0924 Ultimate No-Life

    It'll be out later tonight.
     
  11. DrkStrikex105

    DrkStrikex105 Mutant

    Hopefully before I go to bed. Quieting time for me is 7:30est cause of my job.:( O Will got to make a living some how.
     
  12. hammy0924

    hammy0924 Ultimate No-Life

    I'll try to get it up by then.
     
  13. DrkStrikex105

    DrkStrikex105 Mutant

    Don't worry about it take your time and get it right. I'll just read it tomorrow.:)

    And this is my 100th post YEAH
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012
  14. hammy0924

    hammy0924 Ultimate No-Life

    This is my 2354th! Yay for both of us!
     
  15. DrkStrikex105

    DrkStrikex105 Mutant

    I am not worthy to be in your presence. lol:p
     
  16. hammy0924

    hammy0924 Ultimate No-Life

    Are you kidding? I have no life right now! I'm on summer break and I am basically the boss of my own job (which really isn't even a job). I feel unworthy in your presence, oh cultured one!
     
  17. DrkStrikex105

    DrkStrikex105 Mutant

    I was laughing so hard at this I almost fell out of my chair.:eek:
     
  18. hammy0924

    hammy0924 Ultimate No-Life

    Sometimes I fall out of my chair and just stay there for a good 15 minutes, just laughing at how much I fail. :thumbsup:
     
  19. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    Excellent update on your story, Hammy. :3
     
  20. 19Tabularasa94

    19Tabularasa94 Thunderian Legend

    And I'm kinda on voluntary house-arrest myself for WINTER break. I hate winter. I hope for darker (NOT!!) things to come in part 4.
     

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