Balance of Power
By Razorclaw X
The small space-taxi sped its way toward New Thundera. A small, typical taxi it was. But it was also very old. Smoke puttered from the engines as it struggled to keep going, or die in space.
The taxi driver tried to be friendly to his two passengers, but one of them, a large, hulking rat-man, merely snarled at him at every opportunity.
His companion was no better. A large, green robot. With menacing red eyes glowing, he said no word.
In fact, all he ever heard from his passengers were "New Thundera, and step on it!" or "Don't you try to make conversation with me, Seymour!"
Seymour often hated the passengers he picked up, but he was a taxi, and that was his job.
His area of service was normally Limbo, but this particular passenger was insistant on coming all the way to New Thundera, nearly 70 light years away from the casino where Seymour picked them up. He didn't recognize the rat-man, but he recognized the robot.
Buzz Saw was a war machine. Saw blades jutting out of every joint, and often firing them as projectiles, Seymour remembered the incident where Buzz Saw cut his taxi to pieces. Seymour had no idea why Buzz Saw, a war machine belonging to the Limbo Mob, was doing with the rat-man.
The rat-man styled a well-groomed moustache--or, to a rat, whiskers. A well-pronounced snout and his garb gave him the air of importance, but Seymour never heard of any such person of importance with his description.
The rat-man fumbled with a small tracking device in his pocket. Peering into the tiny view screen for a moment, he said, "Take us down there!" and pointed to a deserted canyon below.
Seymour obeyed, careful not to ask questions. This guy could tell Buzz Saw to cut up my taxi, he thought.
The descent was hardly uneventful, as Seymour landed on rough ground. He was used to landing on even ground, like at space ports, but planetary landings such as this were not within his experience.
The two passengers stepped out of the cab, and as Seymour was ready to tally up the bill, the rat-man warned, "Don't go anywhere, or you're fish bait!"
A few minutes passed, and finally the two came back.
Seymour said, "Umm, Mr...."
The rat-man said, "Ratar-O."
Seymour stammered. "Mr. Ratar-O, you seem to owe me 437.57 standard galactic credits. Credit card, please?"
Ratar-O swiftly pulled one of his ornamental sais under Seymour's chin. "I have a better idea. We need to canibalize your taxi, and you're going to help us take it apart!"
Seymour helped take apart the engine of his taxi, and install them into another ship. Bearing the name Ratstar, the ship indeed looked like a rat's head.
Ratar-O and Buzz Saw supervised the work for the whole hour. "You are not a bad mechanic, Seymour!"
Seymour replied, "Umm, yeah. Can I go now?"
Ratar-O said, "Ah, yes, you can. If I am correct, civilization is due east. Tell them Ratar-O sends his greetings."
Seymour took this opportunity to run. He never looked back, fearing a saw blade cutting into himself.
Ratar-O chuckled to himself. After a year of searching, he had his ship back!
The Gray Prison Planet loomed into view. Ratar-O announced, "The information I bought off that miserable Quick Pick had better be reliable, or I will have to hunt him down as well!"
Buzz Saw responded, "There are not many places for one such as him to hide."
Ratar-O liked Buzz Saw. Winning him off Poker Face was easy, after tricking him to place Buzz Saw in the pot. The Mobster may get in hot water later, but that was not Ratar-O's concern.
In the casino Ratar-O met Quick Pick, a reformed thief. He had once been imprisoned on the Gray Prison Planet, and Ratar-O bough information on how to get in and bring someone out.
That was also where Ratar-O had caught wind that the Ratstar would be on New Thundera. A rumor from an old salvager mentioned the craft, but the onboard security of the ship prevented him from taking it. Precautions were always neccessary in space. Especially with personal crafts.
There were two people held on the Prison Planet Ratar-O needed to make success in his plans. All he needed to do was break them out.
Like the rat he was, Ratar-O scurried in the air vents of the Prison Planet. They were the least-secure areas of the Planet, but were not very navigational. Buzz Saw was left behind in the Ratstar, for he was too big.
The first vertical shaft was the hard part. Since the more dangerous prisoners were kept deeper in the Prison, Ratar-O had to climb a long way down. If he wasn't careful he would have become a splat rat. Using the Rat's Eyes embedded within his sais, he hovered down the shaft safely to the correct horizontal level.
Now on the correct level, the rat-man made his way to the security station. If he could knock out one of the security stations, he could have a better chance of succeeding in the breakout.
Looking through an air vent, below Ratar-O saw two guards, one sleeping, the other playing a card game. Too easy, he thought.
Then he noticed the security robot near the door. Those robots were designed to alert security if the slightest disturbance occured, including breaking in through an air vent. Time to work fast.
It took 3.6 seconds for the security robot to sound the alarm, but it took Ratar-O less that time to srike it with his sai beams. Crashing through the air vent, Ratar-O took out the robot and the card-playing guard in one smooth motion.
The sleeping guard didn't notice. Sleeping on the job was definitely frowned upon in security. Too bad for him, Ratar-O thought.
Checking the security records, one of his prisoners was in isolation, the other in another, less-secure cell. Ripping out the security cables, Ratar-O grabbed a security pass and ran out the door.
Making his way to cell 458-alpha, Ratar-O opened the security door. Inside the dark room, he could make out the outline of a large, reptilian shape.
Slithe was surprised. "You! What do you want this time, yess?!"
Ratar-O replied, "You, my dear Slithe! And from here on you shall address me as 'sir!'"
Taking the opportunity, Slithe crawled out of the cell. Slithe said, "So, it's from kitchen duty, to Mutant commander, to prisoner, and back to kitchen duty again!"
Ratar-O replied, "Not this time, reptilian. I need you just how you are... for now."
The two mutants made their way down to the isolation sector.
Slithe recognized the cell number. "Are you sure you want to let him out?!"
Ratar-O said, "He is annoying, but useful in my plans. The plans of all Mutants, my dear reptilian!"
They opened the cell which held Vultureman.
Vultureman was joyful. "Khaw! Does this mean it's time to fly the coop?"
Ratar-O replied, "Yes, Vultureman. It is time for Mutantkind to conquer its enemies!"
Just then, the security klaxons sounded. Obviously, such an important criminal can't escape from the Prison Planet.
Slithe pointed down the hall. "This way! There is something in the 'Evidence' room we can use to make our escape!"
Not surprisingly, Slithe lead the way, obviously eager to retrieve that particular item of interest, Ratar-O thought.
When they reached the room, Ratar-O was even less surprised. A Nose Diver.
Slithe yelled, "Well, what are you waiting for, the Thundercats, yess?!"
The mutants climbed on the Nose Diver. Even though the amphibious craft was designed for only one driver, the three managed to get on.
The Nose Diver sped away toward the landing pad. Ratar-O signaled Buzz Saw to bring the Rataro to their location, and they quickly left.
As soon as the ship was well away from the Gray Prison Planet, Slithe piped in a question. "Alright, all 'high and mightyness,' what do you want with us?!"
Ratar-O said, "You, my dear Slithe, are the one and only Mutant to unite the clans, even if it was only three clans, without the unifying aura of the Sword of Plun-darr. Your cunning and influence can be... helpful, for my schemes."
Vultureman continued, "And by uniting the clans you wish to create the most powerful army ever, returning Mutantkind to the glory it deserves!"
Ratar-O agreed, "Right! But only the Sword of Plun-darr can truly unite the Mutant clans. Never had this been done since my illustrious, and dishonored ancestor, Ratilla, waged war against Thundera. And to regain my clan's honor, I must unite the clans once more and exact my revenge on the Thundercats!"
Slithe offered, "But the Sword of Plun-darr is in the hands of the great Mumm-ra, yess. We are no match for his magical powers, even with our weapons, 'sir.'"
Ratar-O replied, "True, but my honor is my life; if I cannot retrieve the Sword of Plun-darr, the Mutants are doomed to chaos and anarchy as it is today. We go to the Black Pyramid!"
Mumm-ra stirred from his casket. After the defeat at the hands of Lion-O in the Book of Omens, he hadn't the same will to fight anymore.
Even his Champion of Evil, Pyron, failed to defeat Lion-O. Before returning to his casket, Mumm-ra summoned the infernal soldier once again, this time to guard the Great Chamber.
Mumm-ra stepped from the casket, alerted by Ma-mutt's barking. Something in the Cauldron, he thought.
Mumm-ra was surprised to see Mutants in the Cauldron. Mutants, of all things!
"Pyron! Let them enter."
The Infernal Knight obeyed, allowing three Mutants, Slithe, Vultureman, and Ratar-O into the Great Chamber.
"What business have you, Mutants, with Mumm-ra the Everliving?"
Ratar-O spoke up. "I have come to claim the Sword of Plun-darr! Single combat, no tricks!"
"Heh, heh, heh, direct and to the point! It looks like I will have to put you in your place, Mutant!" Mumm-ra raised his arms in the air. "Ancient Spirits of Evil, transform this decayed form to Mumm-ra, the Everliving and All-Powerful!"
And in a great flash of light, Mumm-ra transformed, holding the Sword of Plun-darr in the air. "Now Mutant, we shall see who deserves the right to hold this mighty weapon of Evil!"
Ratar-O leaped out of the way of the sword's ring blast. He struck his sais together, sending a beam of power toward Mumm-ra. The power of the Rat's Eyes gave Ratar-O power over matter when he concentrated, but in the heat of battle concentration was lost on the onslaught of Mumm-ra's attacks. Soon the battle was reduced to many clashes and bouts, with no clear winner.
Vultureman and Slithe stepped away from the two combatants, stepping closer to Mumm-ra's casket. Ma-mutt barked them a warning, and Pyron stepped between the Mutants and the casket.
It was over when Mumm-ra flung Ratar-O's weapons away, scattering them across the chamber. "Now, Mutant, your code of honor demands that you serve me."
Ratar-O grudgingly agreed. "Once again, I am in your service."
Mumm-ra stepped closer, handing the fallen Mutant the Sword of Plun-darr. "Take this weapon, Descendant of Ratilla the Conqueror, and unite the Mutants of Plun-darr. Then, you will lead an attack against Third Earth, paving the way for my return. Once you have routed the Thundercats and their allies there, return to New Thundera, and avenge the honor Jaga stole from your clan!"
Ratar-O had done as Mumm-ra instructed and gathered the Mutant clans together, united under the Sword of Plun-darr. With great speed and efficiency unknown to the Mutants since the loss of the Sword at the hands of Jaga, the War Machine was ready and headed toward Third Earth, fully prepared to turn the planet to slag, if neccessary.
Mumm-ra could not leave New Thundera until the Thundercats were destroyed; the creed of the Ancient Spirits of Evil. Ratar-O was entrusted to look after Mumm-ra's interest in Third Earth, for such a time when he would return home.
Ratar-O, Slithe, and Vultureman stood on the bridge of the Reptilian war cruiser, Victory. Of a similar configuration of Slithe's previous spaceship, the craft was armed to the teeth with Reptilian fighter craft and troops. Trailing behind their craft were ships belonging to the various Mutant clans: the Jackalmen, Vulturemen, Monkians, Ratmen, Reptilians, and other minor Mutant clans.
No fleet in Mutant history rivaled what Ratar-O commanded today, not since the days of Ratilla. The glory of Mutantkind was at hand.
Within a matter of hours Mutant craft struck the Tower of Omens, Cat's Lair, Hook Mountain, and other civilizations simultaneously. The two remaining Thundercats on Third Earth, Pumyra and Tigra, were helpless as the Mutant invaders pounded their fortresses to slag.
Soon the two were brought aboard the Victory before Ratar-O, Slithe, and Vultureman.
Ratar-O spoke first. "Well, well, well! It seems to me that we have the upper hand over you, Thundercats. What do you have to say for yourselves now?"
Tigra spat, "Filthy Mutants, you have no right to conquer this peaceful planet!"
Slithe countered, "But from whom did you wrest Third Earth from when you arrived five years ago? Mumm-ra, that's who, yess!"
Ratar-O continued. "And as his official avatar in this operation, I claim Third Earth in the name of Mumm-ra! The peace under his benevolent reign shall commence immediately once we retrieve certain... equipment, from the surface."
Vultureman patted Pumyra provokatively. "Kwah! Take Tigra to the cells! But take this Thunder-wench to my quarters!"
Slithe eyed Vultureman suspiciously. "You aren't going to do... that, are you Vultureman?"
Vultureman replied, "Kwah, I need a test subject for my latest invention. This more-docile Thundercat is more suitable for the... project, than the stronger-willed magician Tigra!"
Two reptilian guards hauled Tigra away, while another two took Pumyra away.
Within a few more hours Ratar-O's retrieval was a complete success. Although the 'equipment' had to be taken apart to fit in the cargo vessels, they would serve well in the coming battle on New Thundera.
Lion-O paced the council chamber of the Cat's Lair on New Thundera. A day before a taxi driver appeared at the gates seeking help, with news of Ratar-O's return. What's worse, he'd heard nothing from Third Earth for hours, ever since the distress signal arrived from the Tower of Omens.
Not to mention other problems. Mandora sent a message yesterday informing him that Slithe and Vultureman escaped from their cells in the Gray Prison Planet. She was heading for Way-Out-Back to make sure the Lunatacks and Jackalman and Monkian were still there, as the Mutants may try to free their comrades.
Worse of all, Mumm-ra hadn't done anything for weeks, ever since New Thundera was restored to pre-cataclysmic days. The influences of the five moons of Plun-darr no longer affected the planet, and all was peaceful since the arrival of refugees, but Lion-O's senses were telling him something was wrong. Even the Sword of Omens hadn't given a warning signal.
Suddenly, the Sword of Omens, held in his Claw Shield, flashed a warning. Holding the sword before him, Lion-O yelled, "Sword of Omens, give me Sight Beyond Sight!"
What he saw was disturbing. Third Earth was conquered by the Mutants, and so quickly. An entire army! Soon, the view changed to the bridge of a Mutant ship, where Ratar-O, Slithe, and Vultureman held Pumyra and Tigra captive. Finally, the scene switched to an approaching Mutant Fleet. To New Thundera.
Ratar-O's Death Fleet, as he called it, approached orbit of New Thundera. Vultureman stood by his side, cawing and cackling continuously. Slithe elected to stay behind on Third Earth, as he pointed out, a leader was needed to keep Mumm-ra's interests intact.
The Death Fleet dived into New Thundera's atmosphere, meeting no resistance, for the Thunderans were peaceful by nature. Fools, Ratar-O thought, they don't even prepare for such an event!
The attack legions were teleported down to the surface, while the heavy weapons were slowly craned down to the surface. Especially the special equipment, which would not be ready for quite some time.
This area would have to do for a base of operations for a while, Ratar-O thought. The Thundercats may come, but he would be ready.
He turned to the Legion General, General Scarr, a mutant crocodile. The Crocodilians were a minor clan, separated from the Reptilian clan, due to 'differences' in intersts. "Make sure to take and hold the villages. Burn them down if you must, but I want them alive! Conquest is no good unless the conquestees are around to bathe under the conquerers' power!"
"At once!" was the reply.
Mumm-ra the Everliving and All-Powerful stood before his cauldron, watching Ratar-O's quick progress. The Mutant Army had superior technology, but technology alone would not defeat the Thundercats.
He chanted, "Ancient Spirits of Evil, summon to this planet, beings of great evil!"
Thunder crashed throughout the chamber, and Ma-mutt cowered by his master. Pyron remained unflinched, as Mumm-ra continued his summoning magics.
"Summon Grune the Destroyer!"
At that instant, far away on Third Earth, Grune was released from his prison. He appeared in the Great Chamber.
"Summon Tashi, weilder of the Doom-Gaze!"
At that instant, Tigra, held in the Mutant craft, disappeared, and Tashi appeared in Mumm-ra's pyramid chamber. The other components, held over from so long ago by Mumm-ra, vanished.
From the floor of the chamber, Driller appeared. After his entire body surfaced, the hole he appeared from disappeared.
"Summon the Mirror Wraith!"
A winged shape flew from the center of the cauldron, taking the form of a grotesque creature he had used before.
"Summon the Rock Giant!"
Outside the Black Pyramid, the Rock Giant formed once again.
"Summon Malcar the Alchemist!"
From the hands of a Thunderan family, the child disappeared, and reappeared on Third Earth. Appearing in the Cave of Time, Malcar aged to his prime age, then reappeared once more in the Black Pyramid.
A large blue tentacle burst from the cauldron, and soon the bloated creature emerged.
"You have all been gathered here to rid New Thundera of the Thundercats! They cannot defeat you all, so make well your dastardly deeds. Now, go!"
In that instant, the beings of Evil vanished, to be scattered across Third Earth to wreak havok. Ma-mutt scrambled to the Mumm-raft, along with Pyron. The Mumm-raft disappeared, getting a safe distance away from the Black Pyramid for Mumm-ra's final trick.
"Ancient Spirits of Evil, grant your servant the ultimate power, of Mumm-ra, the Ultimate Agent of Evil!"
The statues collaped, their forces merging with Mumm-ra. The devil priest of evil grew larger, stronger, until the entire Pyramid collapsed under the sheer force of his power.
"And now, Thundercats, you may have saved New Thundera from destruction, but that will be your last act of good you will ever do!"
Panthro and Lion-O, in the Thundertank, drilled a tunnel to the Mutant camp. The other Thundercats were holding their own against the Mutant army, but not for long. Lion-O planned to remove the commanding team of the army, in hopes of driving them off.
Panthro announced, "We're under their camp. Best time to drill upward now!"
Lion-O nodded. "I never thought the Mutants could work together ever again!"
Panthro replied, "History repeats. This wasn't the only time it happened. Before Jaga defeated Ratilla and removed his symbol of power, the blasted Sword of Plun-darr. Organization turned into chaos, and their army dispersed back to Plun-darr."
Lion-O finished, "And now they are lead by the Sword again. I knew Mumm-ra was up to something."
The Thundertank emerged in the middle of the surprised Mutants, who were reaching for their weapons. The Thundertank quickly rolled over some unfortunate Mutants, and blasted others.
Panthro said, "There's something going on at the south end of the camp! Whatever it is, it can't be good for us!"
The Thundertank quickly rolled toward a large barricaded wall, and just as quickly bored through the barricade. Both Thundercats dropped their jaws at the sight they saw before them.
At one end of the compound was the dreaded Technopede, a robot being with more weapons than Lion-O could count. At the other, was the Plundarian Warbot, a massive hulk that nearly destroyed them once before.
Lion-O noted, "I'm willing to bet Mutant engineers fixed the weakness on that thing!"
Panthro replied, "There's nothing we can do now! Use the Sword of Omens!"
Mutants scrambled all around, ready to fire upon the Thundertank. The upper hatch opened, when Lion-O raised the Sword of Omens.
"Thunder! Thunder! Thunder! Thundercats, ho!!!!!"
The sword extended its blade, and the eye opened, revealing the Thundercat insignia. High overhead.
Mumm-ra saw the signal from his position. "Oh, no you don't, Lion-O!" He threw the Sword of Plun-darr at the signal, breaking through it with his evil force.
The power from the Sword of Omens faded when the signal was cut. Lion-O and Panthro were beating a hastey retreat.
"I don't understand!" Lion-O yelled. "Why did the Sword fail us this time?!"
"It did not fail, Lion-O."
Jaga appeared next to Lion-O. "As there is good in the universe, so must exist evil. For without evil, good cannot survive. The Balance of Power is being restored."
Lion-O was in disbelief. "But Jaga! All the work the Thundercats have done!"
Jaga replied, "That is the way of the universe. That is why, so long ago, Thundera was destroyed. Evil got the upper hand in the Balance, only to be countered by the Good of the Thundercats. The Balance of Power keeps these two opposing forces from destroying one another, for one cannot exist without the other. As of late, the Balance has been disturbed, long ago, when I cast the Sword of Plun-darr into the Thunderan volano. With the loss of the opposing force to the Sword of Omens, good tipped the balance. But the evil of the Sword of Plun-darr countered with its own evil, destroying Thundera and scattering the Thundercats. And, on Third Earth, a place dominated by evil, you Thundercats brought back the good. But, with the Evil missing once more, a new and more terrible Evil arose to take its place. An evil more powerful than ever before, that if it cannot be stopped, may totally wipe out Good forever." With that, he vanished.
Lion-O thougth for a moment. "The Balance of Power... Evil has the upper hand. Balance is the struggle between Good and Evil, and there is more Evil now than ever. We need an agent of good."
"Of course! Where there is Mumm-ra, there is Mumm-rana!"
Once again raising the Sword of Omens, Lion-O summoned Mumm-rana from her deep sleep. And waited.
Ratar-O and Buzz Saw stood on the bridge of the Victory when the Thundertank broke through the camp.
Buzz Saw said, "We must deal with the Thundercats before they summon more help."
Ratar-O replied, "Yes, we should. Under no circumstances must the Thundercats be allowed to escape! The only solution is to capture Lion-O and destroy the Sword of Omens!
Ratar-O picked up a comlink and signaled Scarr. "I want the Thundertank stopped! Bring me Lion-O alive, and the Sword of Omens with him!"
Scarr received the message from Ratar-O. Ready to obey his great leader's commands, the reptilian ordered, "Ready the war machines! Destroy the Thundertank!"
Within moments Mutant soldiers scrambled for sky cutters and nose divers among other vehicles. Scarr ordered the technicians to release the Plundarian Warbot.
In full reverse, the Thundertank retreated from the approaching Mutants. Lion-O shot at the vehicles with his sword, taking them out one-by-one.
Passing through a canyon, Lion-O pointed his sword at the rim, blasting it and causing an avalanche, burying the persuers.
Panthro yelled, "Good shot, Lion-O! But we'll need more firepower to get rid of that thing!" He pointed back in the other direction, where the Plundarian Warbot made its way toward them.
Acid spewed from its chest. The Thundertank dodged, but there was not enough room to maneuver.
On board the Victory, Vultureman toyed with test tubes and flasks. Pumyra was chained to the wall, far away from any equipment she could potentially use against the Mutant scientist.
"Khaw! I think I've finally done it!" Vultureman exclaimed.
Pumyra spat, "Whatever it is you're going to do with me, make it quick. I'm tired of listening to your cawing and chatter."
Vultureman chuckled. "Khaw, you will see very soon, my lady! I have meant to do this for a long time, but I never had the opportunity. Until now."
In his right hand the Mutant held a siringe. "This here contains the Mutant DNA, specifically, my own. I plan to inject you with Mutant cells."
"To what end, Mutant? Thunderan genes aren't compatible with Mutant genes."
Vultureman hissed, "That is not the point, my dear! Mutant DNA warps existing DNA. When the Mutant DNA finds your replication cells, they will begin to replicate themselves in its place. Before long, your existing DNA will have been replaced with Mutant DNA. Therefore you, my dear, will become among the first of the female Mutants."
Pumyra gasped. Vultureman continued to caw and chuckle. "In all the history of Mutantkind there have never been a female Mutant. Until now, my lovely. Prepare to become Mrs. Vultureman!"
Slithe sat in his Nose Diver. Behind him were many legions of Mutants, primarily reptilians, each with their own personal vehicle, among them, sky cutters, nose divers, mutanks, and the Fist Pounder. A draconian, Genryu, sat in the pilot seat of the Fist Pounder. The draconians were another small clan, broken away from the larger reptilian clan. Slithe himself possessed draconian blood, but only so thinly. That was why he possessed his large "ears."
Slithe barked, "Move out! Destroy the Thundercats' allies, so they may never oppose us again!"
Ratar-O watched as the Thundertank dodged the attacks of the Mutant army and the Plundarian Warbot. How hard could it be to kill just two Thundercats?
Buzz Saw said, "The Thundertank has eluded our forces."
Ratar-O watched the monitor in disbelief as the Thundertank disappeared in a cave. The Plundarian Warbot, being too large to persue, could not stop them. The Mutant persuers crashed as they all tried to enter the cave at once.
Pounding a fist on the console, Ratar-O bellowed, "I can see that, robot! This time it looks like it's up to us!"
Ratar-O stormed off the bridge of the Victory, with Buzz Saw trailing behind.
The Thundertank made its way to the end of the cave, where it began to bore a tunnel back to Cat's Lair to regroup. The war was not looking good for Thundera.
As the Thundertank emerged in the Valley of the Ancients, where Cat's Lair was located, Panthro alerted Lion-O to the object appearing above them: the Ratstar/
Lion-O said, "Looks like Ratar-O is taking the battle to us." He climbed out of the Thundertank, holding the Sword of Omens aloft.
"Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats, HO!"
From a hatch on the side of the Ratstar, Buzz Saw and Ratar-O leaped out and to the ground. The Ratstar then hovered away.
Ratar-O grasped the Sword of Plun-darr in his hands. "So, Sword of Omens, it looks like its time for a rematch!"
Lion-O and Ratar-O clashed swords, with none a clear victor. Buzz Saw threw multiple saw blades at the Thundertank, which Panthro quickly shot down, but could not get a shot in at Buzz Saw himself.
Buzz Saw yelled, "It is useless to resist, Thundercat. My superior technology will be the end of you!"
Panthro got fed up, and, accelerating the Thundertank at full speed, rammed into the Mob war machine. Buzz Saw crackled a bit, and then fell, being crushed by the Thundertank's weight.
Ratar-O leaped away from Lion-O, firing a beam from the Sword of Plun-darr. Lion-O countered with his own Sword beams. Neither side had a clear victory.
But finally the other Thundercats arrived from Cat's Lair. He stopped for a second to glance over at the remains of the crushed Buzz Saw, then yelled, "You may have won this battle, Thundercats, but the war continues!"
Returning the Sword of Plun-darr to his belt, Ratar-O teleported back to the Ratstar. At the same time, the remains of Buzz Saw also disappeared.
Lion-O breathed heavily from the battle. Bengali was the first to reach him.
"I'm alright," Lion-O said, "We must get back to Cat's Lair and figure out what to do next."
Bengali said, "Good news, Lion-O. The Mutants are calling off the attack, and are in retreat. However, the beings Mumm-ra unleashed on New Thundera still remain."
Panthro replied, "Then it looks like our fight has just begun."
Ratar-O pounded his fist in frustration. The war machine he put together himself fell to only a handful of Thundercats. While this battle was lost, the war would go on, he thought.
Buzz Saw was being repaired immediately. It would do no good to lose an ally such as him.
Speaking of allies, what was that buzzard Vultureman doing?
Pressing a button on his desk, Ratar-O said, "Scarr, bring me Vultureman!"
A few minutes later, the crocodilian commander escorted Vultureman into Ratar-O's office. Giving a salute, Scarr retired from the chamber.
Ratar-O, in his deepest, darkest tone, began, "Well, Vultureman, I am interested to know what this special 'project' of yours is. It had better be good for my war, or your hide on a hammock."
Vultureman snickered. "Khaw! I have been working toward the advancement of Mutantkind! If you allow, I can show it to you."
Ratar-O and Vultureman walked down the corridors of the Victory, all the way to Vultureman's lab. Inside was a large object near the wall with a curtain over it.
Ratar-O said menacingly, "This had better not be a waste of time, buzzard."
Vultureman chuckled, "Khaw, have you no faith, Ratar-O? Behold, the ultimate achievement in Mutant science....!"
Pulling back the curtain, Ratar-O was taken aback by what he saw. In a glass tank the Mutant leader saw a creature that was neither man nor Mutant. It was definitely Pumyra, the Thundercat wench, Ratar-O thought. Her features were still there, but there were some... differences. Her nose and mouth seem to have elongated, like that of a snout. Her back was more hunched over than usual, and skin wrapped closer to her bones.
Ratar-O wave at the tank. "What in Plun-darr is that, Vultureman?!"
Vultureman laughed even harder than before. "Why, my dear Ratar-O, the future of Mutantkind! In a matter of days, we shall witness the birth of the first female Mutant!"
On Way-Out-Back Island, Captain Bragg and Crownan kept watch over the Lunatacks and the remaining Mutants, Jackalman and Monkian. When Vultureman had escaped a few weeks earlier, Mandora took him to the Gray Prison Planet so he couldn't escape again before his term was over. Slithe, on the other hand, made trouble as soon as he was brought here. When the Thundercats had helped him recapture the Mutants, Slithe was stuck to his Nose Diver. Needless to say, when Slithe regained consciousness he tried to make an escape with it. So he was at the Prison Planet as well.
Sipping some coffee, and wishing there was something else better to do, Captain Bragg sat by the fire, poking a stick into the fire pit, Crownan sitting on his shoulder.
Mandora had come by earlier, to keep watch over the Mutants, but left once again, when she received a report of the other Mutants' whereabouts. It looked like the free Mutants didn't care for their comrades.
Suddenly, in the sky, appeared a large transport ship. It bore the marks of the Mutants of Plun-darr. At once, an attack squad teleported down to the surface, catching the watchers by surprise. In no time at all Captain Bragg was captured.
The leader emerged, a reptilian named Genryu. "Well, Captain Bragg, it looks like it's time for you to spend time behind bars."
Other Mutants broke the cage holding Jackalman and Monkian, who were dancing with joy. Captain Bragg and Crownan were placed in another empty cage cell.
Monkian said, "Whoo, whoo! Did Slithe send you?"
Genryu replied, "Of course. Now that Third Earth is ours, the freedom of our Mutant brothers became a priority. Now, let us leave!"
From her cage, Luna cried, "Wait! You're forgetting about us!"
Genryu paused for a moment. "The Lunatacks of the Moons of Plun-darr. Hmm, very well." The draconic reptilian signaled the Mutants to open their cage. "Now, take Captain Bragg's train and be gone! I never want to see you again!" With that, the Mutants departed.
Luna, with her newfound freedom, walked over to the next cage, which held Captain Cracker. Amok ripped the bars open. Soon, the Lunatacks and Captain Cracker were free, and roaming the stars once more.
In the coming events, Mumm-rana appears and challenges Mumm-ra. Mumm-ra loses to the overpowering goodness, and is forced to retreat. But his defeat was not in vain; Mumm-ra retained possession of Third Earth. Using the Mumm-raft, Mumm-ra returned to Third Earth, the Ancient Spirits satisfied with the release of enough evil beings on New Thundera to look after their interests.
The struggle continues on New Thundera, as machines of war and beings of Evil fight the forces of Good. Tigra is lost in the time-warp prison of Tashi, and what of Pumyra? What will Mandora and the Galactic Police do about this? What about the Lunatacks and the remaining Mutants?
And so, the struggle between Good and Evil is renewed, and Balance is restored.
In his office aboard the Victory, Ratar-O polished his sais, then stared into the Rat's Eyes. Although the power of the Rat's Eyes did not give him Sight Beyond Sight, he knew the Thundercats were doomed.
Ratar-O proclaimed, "It is only a matter of time, Lion-O, when I shall personally crush you and the Eye of Thundera. With the Rat's Eyes, the Sword of Plun-darr, and the Mutants of Plun-darr behind me, New Thundera shall be mine!"To Be Continued...
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