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Burdens
By Bill Taylor



Burdens
By Bill Taylor

NOTE: This is a total work of fan fiction. I have no rights over these characters 
and I’m certainly not getting any money off this story. The Thundercats are all 
trademarks of Rankin-Bass entertainment, LORIMAR Television, the late Ted 
Wolf, and a whole bunch of other stuff. It has no connection to the show in 
anyway, shape or form. Words in italics represent Lion-O’s thoughts or other 
people’s thoughts.


 It was an average morning. Lion-O was up first for morning watch. The 
45-year- old-Panthro was working out in his room. Snarf was visiting Snarfer at 
the Tower of Omens to give him some cooking tips and help educate him on the 
heritage of the proud species known as Snarfs. Tygra was in cleaning himself up 
for the day while his 32-year-old Cheetara slept in his bed, resting from the 
night before. As Tygra opened his door to go out, Cheetara groggily called to 
him.
 “Where are you going?”
 “To see how things are going this morning.”
 “Lion-O’s on watch. Come back to bed.”
 “That’s exactly why I have to check,” Tygra said flatly.
 “Lion-O’s a big boy now. He can take care of things. Come back to bed.”
 “I just want to make sure.”
 “Oh, all right,” Cheetara pouted, rolling over, pulling the blanket over her head. 
“Just don’t expect me to still be here when you get back.”
 Tygra blew Cheetara a kiss and closed the door. The 36-year-old tiger’s heart 
begged him to listen to her, but a guilty conscience kept demanding him to go 
check on Lion-O. Only then, would his soul be able to rest. Lion-O was big, no 
argument there, but he could be hapless and was as prone to getting himself in 
trouble as the kids were. Perhaps just peg down from them.
Lion-O was up with the kittens, Wilykit and Wilykat, in the control room. There 
was not much going on, so he agreed to play a little ball with them. They stood 
in a large triangle, throwing an old volleyball back and forth that had survived 
the trip from Thundera to 3rd Earth. No team and no score, all they had to do 
was keep the pace going, seeing which one of them broke rhythm. Lion-O 
threw it to Kit, and Kit threw it to Kat, and Kat threw it back to Lion-O.
 “Hey Lion-O,” yelled Wilykat, “don’t throw the ball so hard! You’ll break it!”
 “I’m throwing it as lightly as I can, Kat,” Lion-O laughed. “Can I help it I was 
cursed with big muscles?”
 “Better brains than brawn, Lion-O!”
 “Even better brain’s and brawn, Wilykat!” laughed Wilykit.
 “Oh sure, take his side!”
 “Just making a point!”
 “Maybe you haven’t noticed Lion-O, but Kit has a little crush on you!” 
Wilykat slandered.
 “I do not!” Wilykit protested.
 “Oh don’t embarrass yourself! You know you want to marry him and be his 
queen!”
 “You’re sick, Wilykat! By the time I’m old enough to marry, he’ll be an old 
man!”
 Lion-O just stood there with the ball and laughed at the kids as they argued. 
But when it looked like they were about to get up in each other’s faces, he 
yelled, “Think fast!” and threw the ball the Wilykat.
 “Lion-O broke first!”
 “Lion-O broke what first?” They turned to see Tygra enter the doorway. 
“Lion-O, shouldn’t you be watching the monitors?”
 “I checked them all already. There’s nothing going on out there, Tygra. For 
once, there’s harmony.”
 “Harmony doesn’t last long on 3rd Earth,” Tygra said sternly. “We’ve always 
got to be on the look out.”
 “Aw, let up Tygra,” moaned Kat.
 “Yeah! It’s a beautiful morning and nothing’s happening! Enjoy it for once!” 
encouraged Wilykit.
 “They’ve got a point, Tygra,” Lion-O grinned. “Don’t be such an old tiger.”
 “Only if you agree to stop acting like a young lion who shirks responsibilities.” 
Tygra sighed. Sometimes, he felt Lion-O hadn’t grown up at all and was still the 
wild youngster he was when they left Thundera. Tygra tried to get some sense 
into his head, but it wasn’t easy. Lion-O had missed so much in his capsule only 
time would tell if he truly became a man not only in body but also in mind and 
spirit.
 The monitor went off. Something was happening. They all rushed to the 
console, but Tygra was the one who picked up the message. “Cat’s Lair. 
What’s the-”
 “We’re under attack here!” Snarf screamed over the other line. “We’ve got 
both mutants and Lunatacs attacking the Tower of Omens!”
 “Mutants and Lunatacs?” Tygra repeated, stunned.
 “They’re working together?” Lion-O asked in disbelief. “As allies?”
 “That’s the look of it!” Snarfer bursted onto the screen shoving his uncle aside. 
“The other Thundercats are outside fighting, but we need you here fast cause 
we’re not gonna-” The line went dead.
 “Snarf? Snarfer? Tygra, get the Panthro and Cheetara, and have them meet me 
in the Thundertank!”
 “Right!” Tygra ran off to do as Lion-O ordered, with his lord unintentionally 
following but going in a much different direction. Tygra gave Lion-O credit, he 
could think fast when he had to.
 “Wait for us, Lion-O!” yelled Wilykit.”
 “You two stay here and guard the lair!” Lion-O yelled over his shoulder as he 
disappeared down the hall. The kittens stopped, knowing it was futile to try and 
change his mind.

 A few minutes later, the kittens watched the adult Thundercats disappear from 
the view screen in the tank feeling a surge of aggravation. They knew Lion-O 
was just looking out for them by making them stay to guard the lair, but he 
never let them come with them to see the action.

 “I can’t believe I’m actually working with mutants!” Chilla yelled while aiming 
her ice at the Thunderstrike with a sound of disgust, as though it was something 
violating.
 “This is most sad indeed!” yelled Tug-Mug over the radio from the Lunatacker.
 “We our just actors playing our parts,” Red Eye said, trying to hide his own 
unhappiness. “If our new friend comes through, then this will all be worth it!” 
yelled Red Eye, aiming his cannons at the tower, which was now smoking.

 “Slythe, it’s its degrading working with these Lunatacs!” sneered Jackalman as 
he made his passes at the Tower in his sky cutter, trying not to be hit by the 
Lunatacker or by the Thunderstrike.
 “Yessss, Jackalman, but we musssst remember our goal!” Slythe replied over 
the radio of the nose diver. “Monkian, Vulture Man, give Jackalman some 
cover fire, yessss.”
 “HOO-HOO, you’ve got it, Slythe!” Monkian hooted over the radio of his 
Sky Cutter.
 “For the goal!” Vulture Man cackled over the radio, trying to hide his 
disgruntlement at the fact that he had sold out his dignity to work with Lunatacs.
 Vulture Man and Monkian fired on the Thunderstrike, and eventually managed 
to drive it away from the tower and pursued it. How blind Lynx-O flew the 
thing was beyond them, and why Bengali and Pumyra let him fly it was even 
further beyond them. They tried not to think about it. They just kept firing.

 “This is getting to be more than we can handle!” Pumyra observed from her 
pod as Vulture Man and Monkian came after them.
 “Where’s the damn cavalry?!” Bengali growled over his intercom.
 “They’re coming! I can hear it!” Lynx-O responded just before dodging 
another energy blast.
 “The question is will we still be here when they arrive?” Pumyra asked, trying 
to sound calm despite her own growing fear.
 “Snarf and Snarfer can’t hold down the tower much longer!” yelled Bengali. 
“And we’re running out of gas! Lynx-O, let us detach our pods, we’ll split up! 
They can’t follow all three of us!”
 “Normally, Bengali, I’d say no,” Lynx-O replied, “but at the moment, we’ve 
no other alternative. Detach, now!” Lynx-O pressed the buttons and released 
Bengali and Pumyra’s pods, letting them fly off in their own direction.
 “They’re splitting up, Vulture Man! HOO-HOO!”
 “CAW! Damn them! Monkian, you go after Bengali and Pumyra I’ll take care 
of that old geezer Lynx-O! CAW!”
 Monkian hooted his approving response and flew after the younger 
Thundercats and allowed Vulture Man to take on Lynx-O.

 “How long till we reach the Tower, Panthro?” Tygra asked.
 “Just two more miles!” Panthro said. “We’re almost there!”
“We’ve got to hurry Panthro! Let’s push your baby to the max!” Lion-O yelled 
from the armored compartment. “I don’t think they’ll be able to hold out a lot 
longer!”
 “Did the sword show you that, Lion-O?” Cheetara asked.
 “No, it’s just a feeling I’ve got! Now push it!”

 The Thundercats at the Tower of Omens were almost at the end of their rope. 
Vulture Man was still chasing Lynx-O. Bengali and Pumyra had managed to 
crash Monkian’s Sky Cutter, but Chilla had downed them with an arctic ice 
blast. They both crashed in what they called the tower’s front lawn, trying to 
hold the Lunatacker at bay using their crashed pods as a blockade between 
them and the Lunatacker.
 Bengali shot beams from his hammer, but they weren’t strong enough to cut 
through the thick armor. Then he and Pumyra saw that Slythe was coming at 
them with the nose diver, shooting all the way.
 “We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place!” noted Pumyra, hurling a gas 
pellet at Chilla who hovered above them, trying to bring them out with extreme 
cold. The pellet exploded right in Chilla’s face, covering her with a white 
substance known to help with bad ice.
 “Rock salt!” Chilla gagged as she fell to the desert ground. She rolled out of 
the way just in time to avoid being run over by her own comrades.
 “That’s one, now what about him?” asked Bengali, observing Slythe as he 
approached.
 “Prepare to bite the dusssst in the wind, Thundercat! Yessss!” sung Slythe as 
he closed in on the Siberian blacksmith.
 Tug-Mug jumped out of the front hatch of the Lunatacker and fired a green 
beam at their crashed pods. Glowing green, the pods began to float into the air, 
lighter than a feather. “Get ready to feel the weight of the world on your 
shoulders, Thundercats!” laughed Tug-Mug as he shot another green blast at 
them. Bengali and Pumyra jumped out of the way just in time to let Tug-Mug hit 
Slythe, who hit the ground like a rock.
 “Damn you Tug-Mug! Yessss!”
 “OOPS. My bad! Now it’s your turn!” Tug-Mug snickered before shooting at 
Bengali, but the black smith was ready for him. Bengali raised his hammer and 
fired a blue beam to hit Tug-Mug’s green beam just in time.  Bengali and 
Tug-Mug held each other in a stand off locked in a battle of wills, for a moment, 
one beam would slightly over take the other, but then it would recede.
 Red Eye saw the situation and decided he would help, tired of just sitting back 
and letting machines do all the work for him. Red Eye was about to throw his 
discus at Bengali when smoke suddenly exploded in front of him. It didn’t faze 
him, but it caught him off guard and he turned to see Pumyra.
 “Don’t you know it’s poor manners to ignore a lady?”
 “He might, but I’ll acknowledge a lady any day of the week!”
 Pumyra looked above her and saw Jackalman swooping over her with his sky 
cutter, firing. Jackalman was by no means a poor shot, but Pumyra was too fast 
and agile for him to hit her. Red Eye tried hurling one of his discs at her again, 
but she leapt out of the way, and it eventually flew up and smacked right into 
Jackalman’s engine. Jackalman screamed his trademark scream of cowardice 
as he jumped out of his burning sky cutter, allowing it to fly wildly and finally 
head on a collision course for the Lunatacker. Red Eye jumped back into the 
driver’s seat and pulled back just as Chilla was climbing onto the side and 
managed not to be hit by the falling weapon. Tug-Mug, caught off guard by the 
sudden back motion, fell from his place and spring boarded up through the air 
and kept bouncing around, unable to stop himself and get a clear shot at 
Bengali.
 Bengali, however, was still having his own problems and Pumyra had the 
misfortune to be apart of it. The two found themselves ganged up by mutants 
and Lunatacs. Jackalman had survived his fall, Slythe had finally broken out of 
Tug-Mug’s gravity pull, Chilla had recovered somewhat from the rock salt, and 
Monkian had made his way towards them on foot, having survived the crash of 
his own sky cutter.
 “Suggestions?” he whispered nervously to his girlfriend as they backed up.
 “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”
 “You wouldn’t happen to have an A-bomb in there with all those gas pellets, 
would you?”
 Then the roar of a familiar engine was heard. Bengali and Pumyra looked over 
their shoulders and saw something coming in from the distance, big, silver, and 
chewing up a lot of dust. It was the Thundertank.
 Tug-Mug landed in front of their view of the tank. He had finally stopped 
bouncing. “We’ve got you now, Thundercats! There’s no place to run! Just give 
up!”
 “You’re finisssshed! Yessss!”
 “It’s going to be a cold day in Hell for you two!”
 “If you see what we mean!”
 “HOO-HOO! We’re going to pound you flat like pancakes!”
 “NYEHEHEHEHE! Victory is ours!”
 “Any last words?” Tug-Mug asked. Bengali and Pumyra looked at each other, 
and gave each other a wink.
 “As a matter of fact we, do.” Pumyra grinned. “Road,”
 “And kill,” finished Bengali.
 “Road and kill? What kind of last words are those?”
 “You’re about to find out!”
 “Huh?” Tug-Mug looked behind him, and being too late to shoot his gravity 
cannon, threw his arms up to shield his face. 
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
 Bengali and Pumyra leapt to opposite sides of the battlefield as the 
Thundertank ran into Tug-Mug and sent him flying, and bouncing off into who 
knows where. The Thundertank then mowed through the Lunatacs and mutants. 
Lion-O leapt out of the armored cargo bay with the Sword of Omens drawn. 
“HO!” he said, shooting out beams of light to send the mixed up bunch of 
villains into a fray of confusion, with Cheetara backing him up with the cannon 
on the Thundertank.

 “Look! Look! Uncle Snarf! Look! Out the window! It’s Lion-O! He’s here! 
He made it! We’re saved!” Snarfer hopped up and down, pointing out the 
window to show his uncle, who smiled with approval.
 “That’s my boy!”

 Panthro, Cheetara, and Tygra were handling Slythe, Monkian, and Jackalman 
with considerable ease, while Pumyra handled Chilla, and Lion-O and Bengali 
took on Red Eye.
Chilla was not back at full strength yet, but she was giving Pumyra considerable 
trouble, taking her on an up, close, and personal battle. “I’ll spoil those good 
looks!” Chilla screeched, clawing at Pumyra’s face. Pumyra remembered 
Bengali once showing off, slamming his fist hard and solid into a bag, keeping 
his fist as solid as a rock and his arm as straight as a branch. She decided to 
apply it to Chilla, slamming her own fist into the ice mistress’ face as hard as she 
could. Remembering that bit of masculine showing off actually came in handy.
Bengali and Lion-O were keeping Red Eye at bay, on opposite sides, either 
zapping his discs as he threw them or physically hitting them with their sword or 
hammer. They both tried to zap fast enough to actually shoot at Red Eye, but he 
was in good form today.
Lion-O was hitting the discs with no particular care, sending them flying any 
which way there was. Some of it went back at Red Eye, some of it drifted over 
towards the others who were still fighting the mutants.
“Watch you’re hitting those discs, Lion-O!” Panthro roared, blocking a blow 
from Slythe. “You might kill one of us!” Lion-O did not acknowledge that he 
had heard he just kept hitting the discs. “Lion-O! Did you hear what I said?! 
Watch it with those things!” Lion-O still did not respond. He was too far into 
battle now to pay attention to anything but his target, Red Eye.
Pumyra had taken Chilla from behind, and now had her in tight lock. Chilla tried 
to break free, but was still too weak from the rock salt. She happened to glance 
over and saw Lion-O carelessly hitting the discs and one that he deflected was 
heading right towards her. In a rush of adrenalin, Chilla managed to shift her 
weight and threw Pumyra around, not breaking her grip, but now having her in a 
position that she was a Thundercat shield, to cover her own hide.
Pumyra felt hot metal jam itself into her back, cutting and burning through her 
flesh and making her blood boil. Screaming in pain and shock, Pumyra let go of 
Chilla and fell face first onto the ground.
“Pumyra!” Bengali growled as he saw her fall and that something had stabbed 
her. Before thinking twice, Bengali ran for her, pushing his legs as hard as he 
could, locked in on her and blocking out all else.
“Bengali! Come back here!” roared Lion-O, deflecting another of Red Eye’s 
discs. Wasting no time, Red Eye hurled a disc at Bengali, but Lion-O managed 
to shoot it. The blast set out a white light that Red Eye’s eyes could not handle
“ARGH! Damn! White out! Can’t see anything!”
“HO!” Lion-O shot out another beam from the sword, this time, at Red Eye. 
After the huge form of a barbecued Red Eye fell to the ground, Lion-O rushed 
over to Bengali, but before he could say anything, he saw that Bengali was 
trying to pull something out of Pumyra’s back. Shrapnel. From one of the discs 
Lion-O had deflected. This was where it landed. “Oh God… what have I 
done?”
“Help me!” growled Bengali. “Help me, damn it! Help her!”
“Lion-O? Pumyra! Shit!” Panthro picked Slythe up over his head and threw 
him forward, head first into the Lunatacker. Slythe left an impression on the 
tank’s hull as he banged off of it. “Let’s put this fight up a not, cause Pumyra’s 
been injured!”
“Right ahead of you, Panthro!” Cheetara went into a whirlwind on Jackalman, 
cannon balling him in the stomach and hitting him like lightening all over with her 
staff.
“Consider it done!” Tygra landed a solid blow on Monkian’s jaw that knocked 
the simian down and had him whimpering.
“Retreat!” Chilla yelled. “Retreat!” Chilla rushed over to Red Eye and tried to 
drag him over to the Lunatacker. Monkian rushed over and started helping her, 
with some unexpected assistance from Jackalman and a half dazed Slythe. The 
villains either crawled into the Lunatacker or inside it as Chilla revved up its 
engine and drove off.
Cheetara, Panthro, and Tygra ran to Pumyra’s side, where Lion-O was trying 
to slowly pull out the shrapnel and Bengali kept her still. Panthro grabbed 
Lion-O by his red mane and yanked him aside.
“Outta the way Lion-O! You’ve helped Pumyra enough for one day!” Panthro 
knelt down where Lion-O had been and slowly finished in taking out the 
shrapnel.
“What happened?” Cheetara asked.
“Shrapnel!” answered an angry Panthro. “Courtesy of Lion-O deflecting it from 
Red Eye!” Lion-O looked away guiltily. Bengali didn’t notice.
“Who cares?!” Bengali growled. “We’ve got to get her back to the tower! 
Cheetara, Pumyra’s got medical supplies in the pods up ahead! We’ll need 
them!”
“Right ahead of you, Bengali!” Cheetara yelled racing ahead towards the pods 
that had crashed after Tug-Mug’s departure. Bengali picked up Pumyra, 
cradling her in his arms, being as gentle and easy as he could, paying no mind to 
the dusty blood that he got on his clothes and started running ahead.
Lion-O stood up and Panthro took him by the throat. “God damn it Lion-O! I 
told you to watch where you were hitting those things! Weren’t you paying any 
attention to what you were doing or what I was saying?!” Lion-O tried to force 
an explanation out of his throat, but Panthro’s grip was too tight.
Tygra grabbed Panthro by the shoulder and pulled him away. “Save it, Panthro! 
We’ve got to help Pumyra!” Panthro looked from Lion-O to Tygra and then 
back, and let go of his grip with a growl. The three Thundercats ran after 
Bengali.
Lynx-O was landing what was left of the Thunderstrike down by the tower 
when the cats got to the entrance after having finally managed to shake off 
Vulture Man. It was a good thing too, because he knew a little bit about 
medicine himself. He started treating Pumyra for her injury, with the others 
assisting him. Tension ran high in the following hours. Lion-O felt guilty about 
the whole thing, which he knew to be his fault. If he hadn’t been so caught up in 
fighting Red Eye, Pumyra wouldn’t be in her coma. Panthro explained 
everything in the hours that followed. Cheetara and Tygra were not happy.
“What the Hell were you thinking?!” demanded Cheetara.
“If you were half them man you claimed to be, you wouldn’t have allowed this 
to happen!” accused Tygra.
“Take a good look at what your carelessness cost us! What it’s costing 
Bengali! What it’s going to cost Pumyra!” Panthro yelled.
Bengali just didn’t pay any attention to what went on around Lion-O at all. He 
was too worried about Pumyra, and for some reason, Lion-O was happy that 
Bengali was too concerned to yell at him, because any more guilt and he have 
fallen to the ground. Nothing they said or did to him could possibly define how 
he felt or equal the guilt and shame he was feeling. If Pumyra died, he would 
never forgive himself. He would carry it for the rest of his life, and never let go 
of it, and never let anyone else forgive him either.
“Her pulse is fading,” Lynx-O said sadly. “I don’t think she’ll make it.”
“NO! Pumyra!” Bengali yelled defiantly.
 Lion-O stood and watched helpless as Bengali sat beside Pumyra, holding her 
hand, his eyes fixated on her, begging her not to leave him.
 I have to do something. Lion-O thought. I have to save her, but how? What 
can I- wait a minute… the sword! The Sword of Omens! It saved Lynx-O, it 
had better save Pumyra!
 Lion-O took the sword out of the claw shield and raised it high with one hand. 
The others watched as it started to glow. Lynx-O listened attentively.
 “Eye of Thundera, I, Lord Lion-O, command you to heal Pumyra!” The Eye of 
Thundera came to life, glowing a bright red. The Thundercat symbol shot itself 
down from Pumyra and connected with the symbol on her chest. Pumyra was 
engulfed in a red light. When the red light faded, her eyes opened, glowing 
yellow for ten seconds. Lion-O put the sword back in the claw shield and 
smiled.
 Thank you Jaga.
 “Pumyra?”
 Pumyra stretched as much as she could, till her still battered body hurt. She 
yawned and groaned as she returned to the world of which she had been 
hanging on to by only a mere thread. “My head…”
 “Pumyra!”
 “Bengali? What’s all this fuss about?”
 “I thought you were- you were so close to the end there, I almost thought you 
wouldn’t make it.” Bengali felt tears of joy beginning to form in his eyes. 
Pumyra reached up and scratched his chin.
 “You don’t have that kind of luck,” she teased. “Red Eye didn’t finish the job.”
 “Hey, I was seriously worried about you over here!” Bengali protested.
 “I’m serious too.”
 Bengali took hold of her hand and held it for a few minutes, soaking in the joy 
and relief of Pumyra’s return to life. The other Thundercats shared a sigh of 
relief. A few minutes passed by in which no one spoke, they only stood. Till 
finally, Lion-O felt he had to speak.
 “Pumyra,” Lion-O interrupted the moment. “I have to make an apology.”
 “For what?”
 “It’s my fault you were in that coma. That shrapnel was a fragment from one of 
Red Eye’s discs that I deflected. I just didn’t see where it was going.  I 
should’ve paid more attention, and this wouldn’t have happened. I’m sorry.”
 “Sorry? Sorry?!” exclaimed Panthro. “Is that all you have to say for yourself, 
you cocky cub? All you can say is that you’re sorry?” Before Lion-O had a 
chance to answer, Panthro made his move and rammed 250 lbs of solid anger 
into Lion-O’s stomach, unleashing tension that had been brewing not only 
himself but in the other Thundercats as well. Lion-O, caught off guard by 
Panthro’s attack, fell back into a corner, clutching his stomach.
 “Panthro…” Lion-O breathed, still clutching his stomach. “Wait a second…”
 “Wait for what, you stupid over grown child?” Cheetara cut in with a dirty 
look. “Do you have any idea of how close Pumyra came to biting the dust 
because of you?”
 “Wait a second, I’m not exactly happy about what happened myself-”
  “Then you should have paid more attention to went on around you!” accused 
Tygra, armed with his own dirty look. “Haven’t you learned anything at all these 
last few years? Haven’t you learned that there’s more to being Lord of the 
Thundercats then just waving that sword around? We’ve been more than 
patient with you, and yet you still act like some impulsive child!”
 “And that’s all you’ll ever be if you don’t get your act together!” yelled an 
angry Panthro. “If you can’t pay attention to what happens to your own people, 
then to Hell with you cause you have no business trying to be the Lord of the 
Thundercats!”
 “But-”
 “No buts about it, boy!” Cheetara cut Lion-O off. “Pumyra could’ve died! 
Can’t you get that through your thick skull?”
“Why don’t you grow up for God’s sake?” asked Tygra.
 For a moment, no one said anything. Lion-O wanted to protest, defend 
himself, but he could not find the voice for it. He just looked down at the floor, 
trying to escape the dirty looks of Cheetara, Tygra, and Panthro, his friends and 
mentors for so many years who for a few minutes, had quickly become his 
greatest enemies, greater than Mumm-Ra perhaps. Bengali, Pumyra, and the 
twins said nothing. They just stared, amazed they’re friends would damn their 
leader in such fashion. After ten minutes perhaps, Panthro finally said, “Let’s get 
out of here.”
 They filed out one by one, leaving only Bengali, Lion-O, and Pumyra in the 
room.

 Back at the lair, Wilykit and Wilykat were eating dinner in the kitchen, or as 
close as they could come to it. They simply reheated some of the spaghetti from 
the night before.
 “We always get left behind!” complained Wilykat. “I’ll bet we missed some 
really cool stuff today!”
 “Yeah! One of these days,” Wilykit stammered. “They’re gonna be sorry they 
didn’t take us with them!”
 “That’s right, kitten,” chuckled an evil and familiar voice, accompanied by a 
looming, menacing shadow. “And that day is today!”

 Cheetara felt a strange pain go off in her head. She grabbed the sides of her 
skull, trying to apply pressure to relieve the pain of her sixth sense warning her 
of danger. Snarf started yelling.
 “Panthro! Stop the tank! Something’s wrong with Cheetara! Stop the tank!”
 “No! Keep going! We have to get to the lair now!” Despite Cheetara’s 
protesting, Panthro stopped the Thundertank and opened up the hood. 
Cheetara wobbled up, and Tygra caught her, trying to give her support.
 “No! Why have we stopped?”
 “You’re in pain, Cheetara!” Tygra explained. “That’s why we stopped.”
 “Tygra- it’s my sixth sense! Wilykit and Wilykat are in danger! At the lair- 
someone is- AGHH!”
 Tygra jumped from his seat and into the back, helping Cheetara sit down. 
“You heard her Panthro! To the Lair!”
 “Right! Go!” Panthro revved the engine back, closed the gates on the tank and 
drove forward.

Sky Tomb…

 “Then, those other Thundercats showed up and-”
 “And whipped your asses!” Luna finished for Tug-Mug.
 “So you failed?” inquired Alluro, who had not taken part in the attack.
 “In other wordsssss, yessss.” Slythe replied. Alluro and Luna looked at each 
other and smirked.
 “Excellent.” All the villains in the room, Lunatacs and mutants alike, began 
laughing maniacally, knowing what was next what fate would befall the 
Thundercats.

 When the Thundertank pulled up to the Cat’s Lair, nothing seemed to be 
wrong on the outside. It was the inside that they were worried about. Rushing 
inside, everything they saw seemed to have been damaged in one way or 
another. The walls were cracked, the stairway demolished, every room had 
been ransacked, and the control room was a mess of computer chips and 
keyboards.
 “Where are they?” Panthro asked. Cheetara paused and concentrated, and pin 
pointed them.
 “The kitchen!”
 They all rushed down to the kitchen, and found the floor to be swamped with 
pots and pans, broken plates, forks, spoons, knives, cracked glasses, and all 
the drawers and cabinets were torn apart as well. There was evidence of blood 
here and there as well.
 “Are we too late?” Tygra asked.
 “No! They’re still alive, but- no!” Cheetara started frantically digging through 
the mess on the floor. Tygra joined her five seconds flat, and Panthro took only 
six. After a few minutes of scavenging, turning over and finding only 
disappointment, they found Wilykit and Wilykat, bruised and bleeding, but 
alive. Cheetara carried Wilykit and Tygra carried Wilykat down to the 
infirmary, but that was demolished as well. Panthro brought in the first aid kits 
from the Thundertank. They proved to be enough, though enough just wasn’t 
comforting.
 Wilykit and Wilykat eventually woke up and explained what happened.
 “It was Grune,” a teary eyed and almost escatic Wilykit said. “He broke into 
the lair. And we… and we…” Wilykit started crying. Cheetara brushed the 
tears away from her eyes and held her as close as she could without applying 
pressure that would cause pain on her injuries.
  “We-we tried to fight him off…” said Wilykat, who was in no better condition 
than his sister. “Really, we did try. But he… he was just too big… too strong… 
oh god, I wish Lion-O was here.”
 That’s when it hit Snarf that Lion-O had not come back. “Hey wait! Oh crud, I 
must be getting senile! Lion-O’s not even around!”
 “He didn’t come back with us? He must still be at the Tower of Omens,” 
Cheetara believed.
 “Well, let’s go get him, SNYARF, SNYARF! With Grune running around out 
there on the loose, we’ve gotta to have Lion-O!”
 “It’s too late to go back to the Tower, and we’re too low on Thundrillium,” 
said Panthro.
 “And our equipment is too smashed up to make any calls,” noted Tygra. 
“We’ll have to get him later.”
 “Well, what do we do in the meantime?” asked Snarf.
 “Yeah? What do we do?” asked Wilykit.
 Tygra knelt down in front of the two kids trying to smile his reassuring smile 
that everything would be all right smile. “It’s too dangerous around here for you 
two right now, we’ll take you to the Berbil village, and you can get some rest 
there. Then we’ll come back here and get some rest ourselves and start 
repairing the lair.”
 Tygra had not discussed this with Cheetara or Panthro, but they didn’t argue, 
as there was nothing else to do and Tygra’s ideas and plans were usually sound.
 Over the next several days that followed, Tygra, Cheetara, and Panthro 
worked with little to no rest while rebuilding the lair. Wilykit and Wilykat rested 
in the Berbil village. The injuries were not life threatening, so they could come 
back and get them in a few days. Snarf stayed with the adult Thundercats and 
provided them with the only breaks they had by bringing them breakfast, lunch 
and dinner at the anointed time. Snarf would have preferred to have staid with 
Wilykit and Wilykat, but at the moment, he was needed in the lair, for better or 
worse, and he was determined to help.
 On the seventh day, the day that became an unofficial rest day somewhere half 
way through, the communication equipment was finally repaired and they were 
able to patch a call through to the Tower of Omens.
 “Tygra calling Tower of Omens, Tygra calling Tower of Omens, please 
respond.”
 “Bengali responding. Come back.”
 “Where is Lion-O? I need to talk to him.”
 “You mean he’s still not back yet?” Bengali asked.
 “Not back yet?” Tygra’s mouth dropped. “What’s going on? Is this some kind 
of joke? We’ve got real problems here!”
 “If it is a joke, I’m not in on it,” Bengali replied flatly.
 “Where the Hell is Lion-O?!” Tygra demanded.
“I don’t know. He hung out here for a couple of days after you guys left and 
helped fix some up stuff. Actually, he fixed most of our stuff up for us. After 
maybe four or five days, he was gone.”
 “Gone?”
 “Yup. I thought he had gone back to your place on foot during the night.”
 “On foot?”
 “Yeah, I figured on foot, since the Thunder-Strike was still in the garage.”
 “He didn’t say anything about this to you? Not even a posted note?”
 “Nope. What’s going on?”
 “Grune attacked the lair while we were away helping you. Wilykit and Wilykat 
are all right, but we’ve only just now gotten our communication equipment 
repaired. And we’ve been at this for six or seven days.”
 “That long? Hmm… this is bad. Alright, I’ll give you a call if I hear from 
Lion-O or if I see anything suspicious.”
 “Thanks Bengali. Tygra out.”

 A few more days passed and still there was no show of Lion-O. The lair was 
back to 75% operation, but there was still no Lion-O.
 “He’s still not back yet?” Panthro asked in disbelief.
 “Bengali said he left the Tower a few nights ago by himself. He should have 
been back by now!”
 “Maybe he doesn’t want to come back.”
 “What, Cheetara?” Tygra asked, staring his other half in the eye.
 “Well, do you suppose maybe we were too hard on him?”
 “Not likely,” Panthro cut in. “Lion-O’s got to learn to control himself. He’s got 
to learn to pay attention to the things around him. In short, he needs to grow 
up.”
 Tygra said nothing. Cheetara laughed. “Oh really? I seem to remember a 
certain panther who was rather impulsive when he was about as young as 
Lion-O.”
 “That maybe true, but I never got anyone almost killed.”
 “None the less, Lion-O should have returned,” insisted Tygra.
 “Well, he can’t be in trouble,” said Cheetara. “If he was, he would have called 
us.”
 “Unless- nah.” Panthro stood up from his control consul and cracked his back. 
“Let’s start up the Thundertank and go looking for him.”
 “Good idea. Snarf, stay here and-”
 “No! I’ve gotta come! I gotta make sure Lion-O’s okay!”
 “Snarf-”
 “Don’t argue with him Tygra. Just let him come along.”

 The foursome drove through the thick forests looking for some sign of Lion-O, 
trying to figure out what had become of him. They may have been cruel, but he 
should’ve been over it by this time. After a few hours, two diminutive forms 
jumped down from the trees. Warrior Maidens. Queen Willa and her sister, 
Nayda.
 “Willa, Nayda,” Tygra greeted. “What stops you by this way?”
 “Have you seen Lion-O by any chance?” Cheetara asked.
 “Looking for Lion-O? That’s what we figured you were out here for,” said 
Nayda.
 “We caught him in one of our traps this morning,” Willa explained.
 “By accident, of course,” Nayda added. “He told us about what happened a 
few days ago and quite vividly.”
 The Thundercats rolled their eyes despairingly.
 “Not that you all don’t have a right to be mad, its just that he has feelings too.”
 “I tried talking to him, sharing with him my own problems as Queen of the 
Warrior Maidens, but I don’t think it helped much,” added Willa.
 “He must be depressed if talking to a fellow leader won’t cheer him up or at 
least boost his ego a little bit.”
 Willa and Nayda lead the Thundercats on foot a few yards away to where 
Lion-O had supplanted himself for the time being.
 “We followed him for a while, until he came here and… and…”
 “And what?”
“Well, he’s just been sitting there by the river all day, eating squirrels that he 
caught earlier.”
 “He seems stable right now, though the slightest thing could set him off.” Willa 
stood in the way of the tiger, panther, and cheetah, as they were about to 
approach their lord. “You’re not going to talk to him again, are you?” The 
Thundercats rolled their eyes again.
 “We just need a moment with him,” said Cheetara. “To sort things out.”
 “Yes. It’s not easy to be a leader, and Lion-O’s certainly not an exception.”
 “That mind and personality of his is actually very fragile. To be handled with 
care only.” Tygra lead Panthro and Cheetara to Lion-O’s spot, feeling that he 
should be the one in front and to be the one who should do most of the talking.
 Lion-O continued eating his squirrel. He liked this river spot he had picked out. 
It was quiet and disconnected from anything else and anyone else. He needed 
to be alone right now and believed he was until he heard a stick snap behind 
him under someone’s foot. On reflex, Lion-O dropped the squirrel out of his 
mouth and tried to pull out his sword, but the sword wouldn’t draw. He 
strapped the shield on instead, stood up and spun around. He nearly hit 
Panthro, Cheetara, and Tygra, who ducked or moved back at the right time.
 “Hey!” shouted Panthro.
 “Take it easy, Lion-O!” yelled Tygra. “Its only us!”
 Lion-O identified his former friends, and put the claw back on his belt. “Oh, its 
you three.” He had an angry, dirty look of his own now. He turned and walked 
away from them a few feet, so as not to see them or be close to them. “What 
do you want?” he asked with uncharacteristic malice that caught the other three 
off guard.
 “Lion-O, we’ve come to talk to you,” replied Tygra. “Maybe we owe you an 
apology-”
 Lion-O turned around and eyed the architect with evil eyes that would have 
stopped even Mumm-Ra dead in his tracks. “Oh yeah?” he asked. “Well you 
can forget it. Just forget it!” He eyed Panthro. “To Hell with me, huh? To Hell 
with you! To Hell with all of you, how do you like that?!”
 They expected Lion-O to be disgruntled, but not this disgruntled.
 “Lion-O,” Tygra said in his usual calm manner, “just calm down, come back to 
the lair, and we’ll talk about all of this.”
 “Why? So you can ridicule me? Patronize me? Humiliate me and break me 
down to the level of a sub-creature?” Lion-O turned away and stalked off, 
trying to get as far away from these so called friends and find sanctuary 
somewhere else when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
 “Lion-O, listen to Tygra,” said the familiar voice of Cheetara. “He’s just trying 
help-”
 Lion-O slapped her hand away rather hard and jumped back from her, not 
wanting to be within ten yards of her. Cheetara rubbed her hand, surprised that 
Lion-O would actually strike at her. “I expected you to side with Tygra!” he 
accused, pointing his finger at her.
 Tygra and Panthro were catching up. Tygra came up right behind Cheetara and 
stood in front of her defensively, with a rather angry look on his face. “Don’t 
talk to her like that!” he warned.
 “Or what, little man?” Lion-O asked. “You’ll whip me? Go ahead and try! I’ll 
shove that precious whip of yours right up your striped ass where it belongs!”
 “Lion-O, listen to me! You’re not thinking clearly!”
 “I’ll think what I want! I don’t need some drug addict architect to tell me what 
to think!” There was no stopping him now. “You think you’re all so great! You 
brag about how smart you are, how fast you are, how strong you are! So smart 
you need to eat hallucinogenic fruit and cling to magic rocks to feel good about 
yourself! So fast you can’t run for more than five minutes before collapsing like 
a child with asthma! So strong you can’t even open a stupid bottle of aspirin! 
You all think you can do a better job of being Lord of the Thundercats, then be 
my guest to go ahead and try because I quit!”
 “Wait a second! Think about what you’re saying!”
 “I know what I’m saying! I’ve tried my best to be this great lord you all 
expected me to be, and if my best isn’t good enough for you, if it isn’t up to 
your satisfaction, then damn you all to Hell, along with your Cat’s Lair, your 
Thundertank, and your Code of Thundera!” Lion-O turned away and hauled off 
again. Panthro ran after him and managed to grab Lion-O’s shoulder.
 “Now wait just a damn second!”
 Lion-O spun around and, with all his might and adrenalin, punched Panthro 
right in the jaw, knocking him over. “I don’t need you! I don’t need any of 
you!” Lion-O protested vehemently. “Just get out of my life! I’ll make it on my 
own!” Lion-O ran and disappeared into the forest.
 “Lion-O!” Cheetara yelled after him.
 “Leave me alone!” she thought she heard him yell, though it was hard to tell, 
with him being so far away now.
 Panthro was getting back on his feet and was preparing to run after him with 
Cheetara, but Tygra held them back. “No. Let him go. Give him time.”
 Unbeknownst to the Thundercats, a dark one was watching them in that forest. 
He was watching their little show, and finding an evil glee within it all.
 “So, the Thundercat lord no longer wishes to have no more aid from his 
friends,” Grune said to himself. “This is turning out better than I had expected.” 
Grune chuckled to himself.

 “Just who the Hell do they think they are? Gods? HMMPH! I might argue that! 
They’re not as omnipotent as they think they are! Bunch of bastards! What right 
have they to make demands of me?! I am they’re Lord! I am their superior! I 
beat them all once, I’ve led them into battle and won them many victories, they 
can’t lay that shit on my shoulders! They’ve no right! Don’t they know how 
hard it is to be the Lord of the Thundercats? Do they know what it’s like trying 
to make life and death decisions? Do they know what its like to stay awake 
every night worrying about what the next day will be like? Always worrying 
about what might happen? When the next enemy attack will be? What will have 
to done in order to survive? When did they give thought to any of this? Why 
must I be the only one who must take these things into consideration? Why was 
I cursed with the title ‘Lord of the Thundercats’? I’ve done my best. Damn it, 
I’ve done my best! Isn’t that good enough for them? Apparently not.”

 Snarf had been following Lion-O for the last couple of days, oblivious to the 
fact that the others had probably noticed he was gone, and eventually found 
Lion-O climbing up a mountain. Snarf thought Lion-O had given up mountain 
climbing after the mutants attacked him on the mountain a few years ago, but 
now, Snarf figured Lion-O was looking for a place he go to and be alone. Why 
can’t he just use the trail? Snarf asked himself. Snarf did not climb up the cliff 
like Lion-O, he had not the strength or youth for it. Snarf made his way up the 
trail that led to the top of the mountain and eventually made it to the top where 
he knew Lion-O was heading. To his surprise, despite his age, Snarf made it up 
to the top before Lion-O did. When Lion-O made it to the top some two hours 
later, Snarf was already up there, almost done recovering his breath. To Snarf’s 
relief, Lion-O did not show anger. He showed dull surprise.
 “Snarf? How’d you get up here?”
 “You think just cause I’m old, I can’t do all the big physical endurance stuff 
you and Panthro do.” Snarf stood up from the rock he was sitting on and 
started imitating a muscle pose.
 “What do you want?”
 “SNYARF! I want to talk to you Lion-O. We need to have a major discussion 
about what’s happening with you and the others.”
 “What’s there to talk about?” Lion-O asked, walking over and sitting next to 
Snarf. “I messed up.”
 “That’s what we need to talk about, SNYARF SNARF.”
 “You don’t want to talk about it, Snarf. It would only depress you.”
 “I’m usually depressed anyway. You make me so worried the way you run into 
misadventures all the time.”
 “Pumyra could have been killed Snarf,” Lion-O explained. “And it’s all my 
fault.”
 “But she didn’t die!”
 “She could have. I don’t blame them for being mad at me.”
 “Well I don’t blame you for being mad at them.”
 “I failed them, Snarf,” Lion-O moped. “I failed them. They’ve tried so hard to 
be patient with me. I’ve tried to repay them for it by doing the best I can, and 
Jaga knows I’ve done my best. But all I can do is swing around a sword. I 
don’t blame them for being angry. Their anger had justification. My anger had 
nothing. They were right to denounce me. And when they came to forgive me, I 
turned them away, damned them to Hell. Did to them what they did to me when 
I had not the right.”
 “Now just a second there Lion-O! They had no right to do what they did!” 
Snarf protested. “No one has the right to do stuff like that! What goes around 
comes around, SNYARF SNARF! If you ask me, they had it coming!”
 “I’m an idiot,” Lion-O stammered.
 “That’s not true! Who warded off the mutants when they attacked our ship 
after we left Thundera? Who saved the Thundercats when we landed on 3rd 
Earth when they were locked in their capsules, unaware of the mutant threat 
hanging over them? Who freed them of Mumm-Ra’s control when he took over 
their minds that one night you were out camping? Who blocked out the eclipse 
that could have left our equipment malfunctioning for a hundred years? Who out 
did them in all the fields where they consider themselves specialists? You did!” 
Snarf pointed out, trying to boost Lion-O’s ego. “You did because you 
believed in yourself!” Snarf paused a moment, trying to think up some more 
material to boost Lion-O’s ego back to its regular size.
 “You’ve been a better Lord than anyone’s had any right to expect. You’ve 
never been strung out on some addictive binge, you’ve never had to be afraid 
that what the Sword of Omens shows you has been wrong-”
 “The sword does just about everything for me.”
 “DAMMIT LION-O! You can’t just let everything fall apart when it should be 
coming together! Grune attacked the lair! He nearly killed Wilykit and Kat! We 
need you now more than ever!”
 “I never wanted to be Lord of the Thundercats, Snarf.”
 “What?”
 “I’m gonna let you in on a little secret, Snarf,” Lion-O said sad and quiet. “I’m 
gonna tell you something I’ve never told anyone else. I never wanted to be lord. 
But I didn’t have a choice.”
 “What?”
 Lion-O stood up and paced around for a few minutes before turning back to 
Snarf. “I never wanted this job, this responsibility, this title. I never wanted any 
of it. I never wanted an empire with people bowing and worshiping me and 
asking me for help or if there was something they could do for me or any of 
that. I wanted a simple life. A farmer, a blacksmith, a sailor, anything but what I 
am, just getting by would be good enough for me. People think the lord lives a 
grand life and has everything, but I don’t have everything. I have nothing.”
 He paused for a moment before continuing. “I only took to this job because it 
was what they all wanted. Panthro, Tygra, Cheetara, they wanted me to be the 
Lord of the Thundercats, so I decided I’d give it a shot, even though I didn’t 
know what the Hell I was doing or what the Hell I was getting myself into. I 
never wanted the job; I just took it because no one else would. Or could. I 
didn’t have a choice.” He paused again until finally saying, “But they did.”
 “They what?” asked Snarf.
 “Tygra. Cheetara. Panthro. Jaga. Even Wilykit and Wilykat. Now Snarf, you’d 
think that the Lord of the Thundercats would have more than those who follow 
him, but he doesn’t. They have more than I do. They certainly had more when 
they started than I did. Believe it or not Snarf, they all had more as the backup 
Thundercats than I, the Lord, ever did. They had a choice. They chose to 
become Thundercats, when they could’ve chosen not to. They were already 
nobles of the court, but that wasn’t enough for them. They had to be 
Thundercats. They had to have the title, the symbol, the power, everything that 
goes with being a Thundercat. No one said they had to become Thundercats. 
No one forced them to become Thundercats. They chose it.”
 “Lion-O-”
 “And then there’s Jaga. My friend, mentor, and surrogate grandpa. He had 
another choice. He had the choice of becoming Lord of the Thundercats after 
my father, Clawdus, was blinded fighting those damn mutants. Clawdus offered 
it to him. No one said Jaga had to become Lord of the Thundercats, no one 
forced him to become Lord of the Thundercats, he chose to become Lord of 
the Thundercats, when he could’ve chosen not to. A whole empire was laid 
before him, and he could’ve said no to it. He had that power. He had that 
advantage, and I didn’t. And I envy him, Snarf. I envy him for that power.”
 “I see, SNYARF.”
 “But what about me? Huh? What about the big, strong, rugged, infallible, 
supposedly perfect Lord of the Thundercats? Did I have a choice? Was I given 
the option of being a Thundercat or not? Hell no! I was practically born for it! 
My whole existence was conceived for the purpose of replacing Clawdus when 
the time came.”
 “That oughta make you feel good, SNYARF SNARF,” said an encouraging 
Snarf. “You were born with a destiny and a purpose. Most people don’t have 
that.”
 “Maybe it should, but it doesn’t,” sighed Lion-O. “Ever since I was born, all I 
heard from anyone was how great a destiny hung on my shoulders, about how I 
had to be the Lord of the Thundercats. I never had a choice. I was never given 
an option. No one ever asked me what I wanted to do with my life. No, it was 
just ‘Here it is. This is what you are. Get over it.’ Why is it the other 
Thundercats were given a choice over their destinies and I wasn’t? It’s not fair.” 
For a moment, Lion-O said nothing. Then he kicked a stone and roared, 
“Damn it its not fair!”
 Lion-O sat down, slumping his shoulders. “Wrong. Everything’s gone so 
wrong. For a while, I thought I had things under control; that I knew what I was 
doing. Then this happened. I’ve lost my way. I’ve gone a crooked path.” Snarf 
had never seen Lion-O look so low. He wasn’t even paying attention to the eye 
glowing in the sword hilt. Snarf nudged him, clawed him, even bit him, but he 
paid no attention. “Jaga, Clawdus, someone. Show the way in which to walk. 
Show me the thing I must do.”
 “I’ll show you what you must do!”
 Lion-O stood up and looked around and suddenly felt a sharp pain dig itself 
into his right shoulder, causing him to yell out. Snarf leapt for cover, trying to 
gather his wits. The attacker then kicked Lion-O away, shoving him onto the 
ground. Clutching his shoulder, Lion-O looked up and saw Grune the 
Destroyer. “Die!” Grune jumped down and tried to land on Lion-O, but he 
rolled out of the way and managed to make it to his feet. Lion-O put his left 
hand into the claw shield and managed to take out the Sword of Omens, and 
extended it to combat size.
 “I’ll give you this one chance, boy,” Grune threatened, “Give me the Sword of 
Omens, and I’ll let you live!”
 “Never!” Lion-O yelled defiantly.
 “Then you will die!” Grune charged at Lion-O, swinging his spiked battle club 
at Lion-O’s head, which he blocked with the claw shield. Grasping the sword 
with both hands, his left guiding and supporting his damaged right, Lion-O 
managed to keep the sword up and blocked Grune’s attacks with it as he 
stumbled back.
 “Go ahead, boy,” Grune taunted, “Call your friends! Yell! Scream! Raise your 
sword! THUNDERCATS HO!” Grune mocked.
 “I don’t need them to take care of a cowardly traitor!” Lion-O shot back.
 “You’ll regret that, boy! Death to the son of Clawdus!”
 “Oh yeah? Just try it, ya screw!”
 On the defensive, Lion-O was already at a disadvantage. Grune had gotten the 
drop on him and had injured him. Lion-O was bleeding badly, and was 
exhausting much faster than he should have been. Much faster than he would be 
if only Grune hadn’t gotten the drop on him. For now Lion-O was holding his 
own but he couldn’t keep it up for long.
 Grune struck hard and fast for someone as old as him, his rebirth sometime ago 
obviously re-energized him. Grune was wise to injure Lion-O when he did, or 
surely, the younger Thundercat would be doing much more than holding his 
own. Lion-O tried to switch around and get on the defensive, but with his 
shoulder injured, he didn’t have the flexibility to change his style of fighting for 
the battle. Lion-O managed to hit Grune in the face with the claw shield, but the 
blows only bounced off.
 The combatants raged on, steel clanging against steel, roaring, growling, 
oblivious to the gray skies above. Finally, Grune struck Lion-O in the left rib 
cage with his club. Ribs busted into individual parts and small pieces within his 
body, and blood exploded from the surface of his skin. Dropping the sword, 
falling to the ground, Lion-O could only clutch his battered side, feeling that he 
was beaten.
 “Who do you think got those stupid mutants and Lunatacs to work together?” 
Grune asked.
 “A few people… ARGH! Come… to mind,” Lion-O replied.
 “I did! It was too easy to sell them on the belief that together we could whip 
you and take the sword! This plan practically wrote itself! I never expected you 
and your friends to go so awry! I would have loved to watch you all continue to 
struggle, but alas, all good things must come to an end!”
 “And when… you’ve got… the sword?”
 “Death to all who oppose Grune!” Just as Grune was about to beat Lion-O’s 
head in, Snarf jumped on his head, biting and clawing at his face.
 “Get away from my boy!” Snarf yelled. “You hear me?! I said get away from 
my boy! This is Snarf the Fierce you’re dealing with!”
 Lion-O took advantage of Snarf’s unexpected attack to grab the sword and 
managed to wobble to his feet, ready to attack Grune and hopefully strike him 
down. “Get off, or I’ll make a mop out of you, fur ball!” Grune eventually 
grabbed Snarf and threw him off. “Now where was I? Oh yes.” Grune turned 
around to finish off Lion-O, and found him to have disappeared from his spot, 
with a trail of blood leading to the east. Grune looked around for a few minutes, 
knowing that Lion-O was still near by, that he couldn’t have gotten far. He 
started yelling for Lion-O to come out and fight to the end like a man, mocking, 
insulting, challenging. Then he heard someone behind him, and asked, “So, give 
up carrot top?”
 “Like… shit!” Grune turned around just in time for Lion-O to thrust the Sword 
of Omens into his chest, approximately where the heart should have been, that 
being if he still had one, and Lion-O’s vision was so blurry at this point, he 
couldn’t be sure if he was stabbing in the right place. Lion-O twisted the sword, 
and knew what he had to do.
 “Thunder, Thunder, Thunder,” with each word the sword grew, and with each 
extension, dug deeper into Grune’s body, and caused unforgettable harm. 
Grune yelled out like an animal being dragged to the slaughterhouse. 
“Thundercats! HO!”
 The Cat Signal flew out from the Eye of Thundera and shined high in the sky 
for the Thundercats to see.
 “That’s my boy!”

 At the Cat’s Lair, repairs neared completion. Wilykit and Wilykat had come 
back, fully rested and healed up and ready to help. While outside, filling the 
Thundertank back up with Thundrillium, they all saw the signal, and knew that 
their lord needed them, and have them he would. “HO!” Wasting no words, the 
Thundercats jumping into the Thundertank, ready for action.
 “Tygra ready! HO!”
 “Cheetara ready! HO!”
 “Wilykit,”
 “And Kat,”
 “Ready, HO!”
 “Everything’s set,” said Panthro. “Let’s go!” and they roared off for the 
mountains.

 At the Tower of Omens, Bengali sat looking out the monitor, watching the gray 
clouds form. “Wow, that’s some storm building up out there. Huh?” He saw the 
Cat Signal. “Lion-O needs help!” Almost falling out of his chair, Bengali rushed 
out of the room, the only thing stopping him when he reached the door was 
Pumyra, who was still wobbling a little bit but on the road to recovery none the 
less.
 “Hold up Bengali, I’m going with you.”
 “No! You’re too weak!”
 “We have no time to argue!” Lynx-O yelled. “She is right!” Pumyra smiled. 
Bengali dropped his mouth. “I can sense Lion-O’s heart is beating much too 
rapidly! And his life force is dropping fast! He will need Pumyra!”
 “I’m goin’ too, SNYARFER SNYARFER! Uncle Snarf might be there, and 
he might need help!”
 Bengali did not argue and a few minutes later, he, Pumyra, and Snarfer took off 
for the mountains where the Cat Signal had come from.

 Grune was pushing Lion-O back. Between his shoulder and his ribs, he had 
lost too much blood his strength was all but gone. Everything was starting to 
turn red and fuzzy. Lion-O was being pushed back towards the edge of the 
cliff. He tensed the muscles in his legs as much as he could, trying to push 
forward with them to keep himself from being pushed over the edge by Grune.
 His strength was fading, but his will was as strong as ever. Determined not to 
give up, to fight o the end like any true Thundercat, to uphold the Code of 
Thundera, Justice, Truth, Honor, and Loyalty right to the bitter end against Evil, 
Injustice, Greed and Betrayal. Holding Grune back with the sword, Lion-O 
started hitting him in the stomach again. In his weakened state, even with the 
claw shield, Lion-O still wouldn’t be able to crack those ribs, but maybe if he 
went for the stomach…
 Grune brought down his battle club on Lion-O’s left shoulder, blood streaming 
down his arm. He finally broke to his knees. Grune took a side with a spiked 
edge and put next to Lion-O’s neck, forcing it in and then dragging it up to his 
chin, blood oozing out.
 “I’ll give you credit, boy,” Grune taunted. “You stood up to me, and fought 
well, but in the end,” Grune ripped his club off the edge of Lion-O’s chin and 
raised it above his head, ignoring the blood that splattered on his boots, “it was 
all for naught!” Lion-O kept his eyes on the club, never looking away, never 
closing his eyes, not even when Grune swung down and hit him right in the side 
of the head, near his left eye.
 Lion-O fell off the edge and took the Sword of Omens with him. Grune 
watched and laughed as Lion-O bounced off the sides of the cliff, until finally 
landing on a hard trail some hundred feet down. Surely, Lion-O had fallen to his 
death. Grune raised his bloody battle club in the air in triumph.
 “For Evil, Injustice, Greed, Betrayal, and Power! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!” 
Harsh rain began to fall. Harsh winds began to blow. Thunder sounded and 
lightening struck in the skies. Then the lightening started landing down around 
Grune. This unnatural disaster was not celebrating Grune’s victory over Lion-O. 
It was damning it.
 “Let those who harm my son know my wrath!” cried out a loud, familiar, 
ghostly voice. “Know the wrath of Clawdus! Lord of the Thundercats!” The 
lightening came down and struck Grune’s battle club. Grune felt the lightening 
fusing through him, electrocuting him, scrambling his molecules, causing even 
more harm than that which the sword had done, and finally, blowing up his club. 
His club destroyed, lightening continued to rain down and struck Grune, 
connecting with his arms, his legs, his face, his eyes, his ears, his mouth, until 
finally one single huge bolt of lightening came down and engulfed Grune, burning 
him, pushing him over to the edge, and finally, sending him falling, bouncing off 
the cliffs and sending him on a fall that would not end for another ten thousand 
feet.

 “Pumyra! Is it me, or did someone just fall off the mountain?” Bengali 
exclaimed, sure that he saw a tall and massive figure falling.
 “You’re right, someone is falling!”
 “Oh God, don’t tell me-”
 “No, its not Lion-O, thank Jaga. It’s someone else. Grune.”
 “Grune? Oh, well, to Hell with him. We’ve gotta get to Lion-O.”

 With the storm subsided, Snarf made his way down the trail to Lion-O. 
Lion-O was lying on his back, his right leg folded under his left knee, his left 
arm dangling on the side, his right arm folded by his head. His eyes were 
closed. He was barely breathing. Snarf found the sword plunged into the 
ground.
 “Lion-O!”
 Snarf ran over as fast as he dared for fear that he might slip and fall. He yanked 
the sword out of the ground and put it in Lion-O’s hand, closing his fingers on 
it. “Lion-O! Wake up! Say something! It’s me! It’s old Snarf!”
 “Snarf?” Lion-O’s eyes opened. “Did I… win?”
 “I think it’s a draw, Lion-O,” Snarf said, tears brimming in his eyes. “A storm 
struck out of nowhere, and knocked old Grune clear off the mountain.”
 Lion-O almost laughed, but stopped when he noticed how much it hurt him to 
laugh. “Wish… I could… have… seen it.”
 “You just hang in there and-” Snarf heard sounds of machines. He looked up 
and out and saw the Thunderstrike coming towards them. He looked up to 
where Lion-O had fallen from and heard a machine pull up. The Thundertank. 
“Lion-O! It’s all right! The other Thundercats are here! You’re gonna be fine! 
Just hang in there and-”
 “Snarf…” Lion-O interrupted weakly. “We all… make mistakes… now 
mine… has… caught up with me…”
 “NO!” Snarf screamed defiantly. “You can’t! Fight Lion-O! Fight!”
 “I did. I… lost. I failed… again. I…failed them in life… and I… failed them… 
in… death… At least… now… I… won’t have… the chance to… fail… 
them… again. May… they have… mercy…on my… memory.” Lion-O’s 
breathing was giving out. His grip on the sword was loosening. “Tell them… I 
tried… Snarf. Tell them… that I… appreciated… everything… they did. Tell 
them… that I… tried.”
 “Lion-O.” Snarf could not hold back the tears he felt forming.
 “Now… as my eyes close… and give way to the land of shadows… may my 
friends and family… forgive me… and forget me…” Lion-O forced his eyes 
shut.
 “Lion-O?” Snarf nudged his body, and had no reaction at all. Snarf looked 
over and saw that he no grip left on the sword at all. “Lion-O.”

 “Lion-O!” yelled Panthro as he led the others down the mountain trail. They 
had to leave the Thundertank up on the cliff because it would never make it 
down the slim trail roads.
 “Lion-O!”
 “Lion-O, are you okay?” the others yelled. They all backed up when they 
reached him. Pumyra was kneeling over him, Bengali watching from a distance, 
an unsure and not too hopeful look in his eyes while the Thunderstrike hovered 
softly to the side. Snarfer was at the same distance as Bengali, patting Snarf on 
the back.
 “Lion-O…” Panthro managed breath while gasping for breath.
 “Are we too late?” asked Tygra.
 “Will he be alright?” asked Cheetara.
 “Of course he’ll be alright!” insisted Wilykat.
 “Yeah!” agreed an enthusiastic Wilykit. “After all, he’s the Lord of the 
Thunder-”
 “Wilykit, Wilykat,” Pumyra spoke softly. The kids looked at her. Pumyra 
shook her head sadly no. “We were too late.” There was a silence. Pumyra 
looked at them with sympathy. “I’m sorry.” She stood up and walked over 
towards Bengali and stood with him to let the others have their space. She and 
Bengali had never gotten a chance to get to know Lion-O, but he seemed like a 
nice guy to them and a brave warrior. They were more concerned about how 
the ones who did know him would take it.
 Tygra, Cheetara, Panthro, Wilykit, and Wilykat stood there, frozen, blank with 
shock that slowly melted away as tears brewed in their eyes. Wilykit stumbled 
forward and touched Lion-O’s cheek. It felt numb and cold to her and she 
jumped back. She looked away and started convulsing, feeling like she might 
throw up. Cheetara knelt down beside her and started patting her on the back, 
trying not to let Kit see the tears in her own eyes.
 Wilykat tried not to say anything. He tried not to cry. Real men, real 
Thundercats didn’t cry. He looked up at Tygra and Panthro for support, and 
when he saw that they too had tears in their eyes, decided it was all right to let 
his own tears flow.

 Lion-O was 24 years old when he died. His time as Lord of the Thundercats 
lasted only about four or five years. The Thundercats carried him up to the top 
of the mountain where he had fought Grune valiantly to the death, and gave him 
a private funeral, burying him underneath the rocks, marking his grave with the 
claw shield. They all wanted to say something, but no one knew what to say, so 
they said nothing. Taking the Sword of Omens with them, they left their Lord to 
rest in peace and went back to their respective homes, the Tower of Omens 
and the Cat’s Lair. Rain fell hard, as though the heavens were crying with the 
Thundercats, shedding tears for their lord, their friend. Shedding tears for 
Lion-O.

     THE END?








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