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ThunderCats: The Legacy - Trial by Fire Rock
By Angora Manx



        It was a cool day on Third Earth.  Lyna was scouting the perimeter on
the Silver Wings when she soon spotted two Cyber-Mutants heading for the
Unicorn Meadow.  She went towards them to see what was up.  She saw
Mammoth and Rakuna with a very sharp blade.  "All right, Mammoth," 
Rakuna said.  "You remember what Ursor said?"
"Yeah!"  Mammoth answered.  "We take one of these unicorns, chop off
their horns and uh, ride them on a carousel?"
"No, no, you idiot!"  Rakuna cried.  "We get one of these unicorns and
bring back some meat for Ursor."
"You mean we're not going to ride the ponies?"  Mammoth asked.  "Shucks."
        When Lyna overheard the two cyber-mutants, she knew she had to stop
them.  She stepped out of her hiding place.  "Leave them alone, Rakuna." 
she said.  "They never did you any harm.  Besides, why don't you tell
your leader to stick to nuts and berries?"
"Well, well, the lord of the ThunderCats has come to save the day." 
Rakuna mocked.  "What shall we do?"
"Crush her!"  Mammoth cried.
"For once, Mammoth, I agree with you."  Rakuna said as they attacked. 
Lyna dodged their attacks easily.  She then counterattacked with the
sword.  They fought until the Cyber-Mutants ran off.
"That takes care of those two."  Lyna thought as she went back to the
Silver Wings.  She then saw a unicorn lying down and crying out.  "Oh,
no."  she said.  "The poor thing must have gotten caught in the
cross-fire."  She seached the unicorn for wounds.  "No sign of any
injuries."  she said.  "Its herd shouldn't be too far behind.  I better
find it fast."
        It was just then that Lyna saw an elderly woman come towards her.
She
came towards the unicorn and looked for anything that could be disturbing
it.   "Excuse me,"  Lyna started.  "I was just wondering--"
"If the unicorn is all right?"  the woman asked.  Lyna nodded.  "Do not
worry, dear child, she will be fine."
"You're one of the Unicorn Keepers, aren't you?"  Lyna asked.
"And you must be Lyna, daughter of Lion-O."  the keeper replied.  "The
unicorn you see before you is going to have a foal very soon, but these
days it's getting harder and harder to protect them."
"The cyber-mutants tend to have a habit of hurting those weaker than
themselves."  Lyna said.
"Cyber-Mutants?"
"Yeah, like the ones that were hunting your unicorns earlier."
"No, child, they aren't the real problem."  the keeper explained.  "But
they add to it.  Ever since my husband died a few years ago, I've been
protecting the unicorns on my own.  It's been very hard for me,
especially with all the hunters."
"Why would anyone want to harm such beautiful creatures?"
"The horns they bear are often used for potions.  I wouldn't be surprised
if that's what those Cyber-Mutants are after."
        Suddenly, an arrow headed their way and stuck out of a tree branch. 
Lyna and the Keeper turned to see a finely dressed man on horseback with
a quiver of arrows and a large bow.  He rode towards the Keeper.  "My
dear lady,"  he said.  "When will you give up protecting these animals?"
"When I draw my last breath."  the Keeper snapped.
"I don't see why you bother,"  the hunter commented.  "Your husband is
gone.  You're on your own.  You may as well give up the unicorns."
"Never."  replied the Keeper.  "Now leave this forest now!"
        The hunter moved his hand to slap her when Lyna caught it just before
it
hit the Keeper.  "I don't think you heard her right."  she said.  "She
said to leave."
        The hunter took back his hand.  "This is none of your business,
girl." 
he said.
"I'm making it my buisness."  replied Lyna.  "You have no right to try
and take advantage of a widow or to hunt these unicorns down."
"Well, child, time are rough."  the hunter said.  "I need to hunt."
"Then why don't you hunt something more suitable to your hunting skills
and leave these unicorns alone."  Lyna said.
"Who do you think you are to talk to me like that?"  the hunter said.
"I am Lyna, lord of the ThunderCats."  Lyna replied.  "And you are
intruding on this Keeper's property."
"ThunderCat?  I thought you were all destroyed."
"The report of our demise is greatly exagerated."
"Well,"  the hunter said.  "I guess I'll start hunting down some unique
freaks such as yourself."  Lyna bit her tongue to avoid saying something.
 "You know, it's a good thing I'm not of separate species like yourself. 
Then again, I never had parents like yours."
        Lyna soon saw a fist come towards her.  She grabbed it and tossed the
hunter from his horse.  "Calling me a freak is one thing,"  she cried. 
"But no one insults my family!"  The hunter began to draw out a dagger. 
"Go ahead,"  Lyna said.  "Give me a reason."  The hunter looked at her,
got up his horse and rode away.  Lyna went back to the Keeper.  "Are you
all right?"  she asked.
"I'll be fine."  the Keeper replied.  "Thank you for your help."
"Don't mention it."  Lyna said as she went away on the Silver Wings.
        Later, at Cat's Lair, Cougari was in the Council Room.  He saw Kara
and
Tygris heading his way.  "Say, Cougari." said Tygris.  "Have you seen
Lyna anywhere?  She was supposed to return from patrol an hour ago."
"Oh, yeah, she's in the training room,"  Cougari answered.  "and she's
doing some serious workout, going practically into triple time."
"Uh, oh."  Kara said.  "I haven't seen Lyna go into overdrive with
workouts since the academy."
"Something must be wrong."  Tygris added.
"What's going on?"  Cougari asked.  "Is something happening to Lyna?"
"Lyna always did extra workouts whenever she gets irritated."  Kara
explained.  "It was mostly when she got razzed because of the fact she's
a hybrid."
"A hybrid?"  Cougari looked confused.  "What do you mean?"
"I thought everyone on Thundera knew."  Tygris mentioned.  "Lyna's
half-human.  That's why she was so intent on going to Third Earth.  She
wanted to feel like she belonged."
"How awful,"  Cougari wondered.
        At the training room, Lyna was doing a course on agility and fencing.
First were a couple of side flips, then a forward motion with the sword
and then a somersalt into the air and then landed softly.  It was then
Snarfer came in.
"Lyna?"  Snarfer asked.
"Uh, who's there?"  Lyna asked.  She turned around to see Snarfer.  "Oh,
Snafer!  You shouldn't sneak up on me."
"Okay, what happened, snarfer, snarfer?"
"What do you mean?"
"Lyna,"
"Okay, okay."  Lyna said.  She told Snarfer what happened at the Unicorn
Meadow.  "I always thought that coming to Third Earth would make feel my
place, but now, I'm not so sure.  I'm too human for the thunderians and
to thunderian for the humans.  Why did I have to be so different?"
"You're not different, Lyna, you're unique, snarfer,snarfer."  Snarfer
replied.  "You're special, always and forever."
"That's putting it mildly,"  she replied.  "But it worked.  Thanks,
Snarfer, I feel much better."
        Meanwhile, at Castle Plunn-Dar, Ursor was in one of his tantrums when
Rakuna and Mammoth told him what happened.  "I sent you two to get me
meat!"  he roared.  "Not to tackle with ThunderCats and leave
empty-handed."
"Well, Ursor," Mammoth said.  "She did say you should eat nuts and
berries."
"Way to go, idiot!"  Rakuna whispered.  "Just what we need, Ursor even
angrier."
"Nuts and berries, huh?"  Ursor said.  "Well, let's see how she does
against me, one on one."
"We already know that, don't we?"  Rakuna said.
"But this time, it will be special."  Ursor said.
"You have a plan, don't you?"  Pterra asked.  "Oh, share it with us,
Ursor."
"In time, my dear."  Ursor replied.  "In time.  But first, take Rakuna
and get that Unicorn Keeper.  We need something to draw out the brat's
attention."  The Cyber-Mutants all laughed as Rakuna and Pterra went out.
        The next day, Lyna and Snarf were walking along the edge of Unicorn
Meadow when they spotted the pregnant unicorn.  "Look, Snarf."  Lyna
said.  "That's the unicorn I was telling you about."
"Snarf!  She sure is plump,"  Snarf said.  He went over to the unicorn. 
"If I remember correctly, the foal will be born any day now, snarf,
snarf."
"But, where is the Keeper?"  Lyna asked.  "She's usually not far behind."
"She has a lot of unicorns to protect, snarf, snarf."
"No, something's wrong.  I can feel it."
        Suddenly, a knife went towards them and hit a tree trunk.  Lyna
picked
up the knife and examined it.  "It's one of Rakuna's knives."  Lyna said.
 "Cyber-Mutants.  What are they up to now?"
"Look."  Snarf said, pointing at a disc tied to the knife.  "There's some
kind of message, snarf, snarf."
"Yeah, a message."  Lyna agreed.  "But what kind?"
        They took it to Cat's Lair to have the disc examined.  "It's some
kind
of recording."  Kara said.  "No viruses detected."
"Well, let's play it."  Cougari said.
"Fine.  Let's see what they want."  Lyna said as she placed the disc into
the projector.  The picture they saw was the Unicorn Keeper surrounded by
the Cyber-Mutants.  Then, they saw a picture of Ursor.  "I don't believe
it."  Lyna said.
"Hello, Lyna."  the projection said.  "If you're playing this, then you
know I have the Unicorn Keeper.  Think those unicorns are in trouble now,
well just see what happens when there's no one to protect them.  My
demands are simple.  Meet me at Fire Rock Mountain to make the
negociations.  Come alone, if you want to see the old bat in fine
spirits."  The projection stopped.
"By Jaga,"  Lyna said.  "Those Cyber-Mutants have gone too far this time.
 They want to negociate, that's fine with me."
"Lyna, you can't!"  Kara cried.  "Fire Rock Mountain is way too
dangerous!  It's obviously a trap."
"I don't exactly have a choice here."  Lyna said.  "You heard what Ursor
said."
"Kara's right, you can't go."  Wily Kit said.  "We need you here."
"But I--"
"If it was any one of us, it wouldn't be much of a big deal."  Cougari
said.
"Excuse me?"  Lyna asked.  "Are you saying I can't handle this because
I'm a hybrid?"
"No, of course not."  Wily Kat said.  "But you have to understand--"
"Understand what?"  Lyna interuppted.  She was becoming furious.  "That
I'm not good enough?"
"That's not what we're saying."  Tygris replied.  "What we're trying to
say--"
"That's it!"  Lyna cried out.  "I'm sick and tired of being treated like
a child!  Just because I'm half-human doesn't mean I'm weak!"
"Lyna, do you really think we'd judge you that way?"  Tygris asked.  "You
know us better than that."
"Then give me one good reason why I shouldn't go to Fire Rock Mountain." 
Lyna said.
"Because it has Fire Rocks."  Tygris said.
"So?"
"Don't you know your ecology?  Fire Rock is the Third Earth name for
Thundrainium."
"I know what Thundrainium does to thunderians, Tygris."  Lyna replied. 
"The radiation from Thundrainium affects thunderian DNA by weakening the
muscles.  After that, it seeps into the bloodstream and into the interal
organs.  If exposure continues, the victim dies of Thundranium poisoning
within a matter of weeks."
"That's only a small amount, Lyna."  Tygris said.  "Fire Rock Mountain is
rich in Thundrainium."
"What does that have to do with it?"  Lyna asked.
"Your DNA is fifty percent thunderian.  It wouldn't take the Thundrainium
long to penetrate your muscles and affect your internal organs.  With
that much Thundrainium, you won't even survive a day, especially if
you're dealing with the Cyber-Mutants in the process."
"I don't care what happens to me."  Lyna said.  "The Unicorn Keeper is in
danger and I have to try and save her.  Kit, Kat, you two monitor the
unicorns until we get back."
"But, Lyna--"  Kat started.
"Don't argue with me on this."  Lyna said.  "I know what I'm doing. 
Tygris, how long does my body have before it succumbs to the
Thundrainium?"
"With a large amount such as that and considering your hybrid state," 
Tygris began.  "It's hard to say.  The best I could give you is three
hours.  That's how long I estimate the Thundrainium to take bypassing
your human DNA."
"It won't even take me three mintues to beat Ursor."  Lyna said as she
headed for the cargo bay.
"Lyna, be careful."  Tygris said.  Lyna was already on the Silver Wings
and headed for Fire Rock Mountain.
        It was dusk when Lyna arrived at the edge of Fire Rock Mountain.  She
looked around remembering Tygris's warning.  "I don't care what the
others say."  Lyna thought.  "I am capable of this."  She raised the
sword high.  "Sword of Omens,"  she called.  "Give me sight beyond
sight."  She saw the Unicorn Keeper and the Cyber-Mutants deep in the
heart of Fire Rock Mountain.  "Just my luck,"  she said to herself. 
"They're in the very center.  Well, let's just get this over with."  She
knew it would take her an hour to travel into the center, but a part of
her didn't care.  She hopped on the Silver Wings and arrived at the sight
where the sword showed her.  She saw the Cyber-Mutants holding the
Unicorn Keeper in a cage above the burning lava.  "Ursor!"  she called. 
"I'm here for the Unicorn Keeper."
"Well, it seems the weaker state isn't as cowardly as we thought, is
she?"  Ursor said.
"Let her go, Ursor."  Lyna demanded.  "She has no quarrel with you."
"We agreed to negociate her release, ThunderCat."  Ursor said.  "I have a
proposition."  He turned to Pterra.  "Light it!"  he said as Pterra
placed a torch under the rope holding the cage.  "If you can beat me
before the rope burns through, you and the Unicorn Keeper goes free.  If
not, then we get a crispy Unicorn Keeper!"  Ursor laughed.  "Of course,
you're welcome to back out anytime."
"Fine."  Lyna said.  "You're on."  The fight commenced.
"You're not as pathetic as I thought you were."  said Ursor.
"You'd be surprised what I'm capable of."  she replied.  She had managed
to dodge a laser when the rope began to snap.  She looked.  "I have to do
something,"  she thought.  "But then I could lose the fight."
"Don't tell me you're thinking of quitting now!"  Ursor cried.  "Perhaps
the Thundrainium is too much for you."
"Not a chance!"  Lyna replied as she managed to get a hit onto Ursor. 
She kept looking at the burning torch.  The flame would burn through the
rope anytime now.  Lyna wasn't sure what to do.  If she stopped the
fight, it would mean she would be a wimp who couldn't stand the
Thundrainium.  She would be the weak hybrid girl they talked about in the
academy.  If she didn't stop, the Unicorn Keeper could fall into the lava
and the unicorns would become extinct from the hunting.  She thought
about this as she fought Ursor.
        Meanwhile, Kara wasn't taking any chances of losing Lyna.  They had
lost
so many dear friends when Gen-Ta took over New Thundera that they
couldn't lose another one.  She drove the ThunderCycle through the Forest
of Mists.  She could sneak to the other side of Fire Rock Mountain from
Dark Side.  Using the posts Tygris placed earlier, Kara managed to get
through th Forest of Mists easily.  As she rode through Dark Side, she
soon came across a large volcano.  It was dormant, but what was on top
was what Kara saw that shocked her.  A large pyramid of strange design
was there.  Figuring she didn't have time to scout it out, Kara went to
find the passage to Fire Rock Mountain.
        At that moment, Lyna was strugling to survive when she saw the rope
becoming thinner from the torch.  It was then she knew in her heart what
must be done.  She took hold of her sword and shot an energy beam to
drive the other Cyber-Mutants away and burn the lock on the cage for the
Unicorn Keeper to escape.  The Keeper exited the cage just as it fell
into the lava.  She held onto the edge barely.  Lyna then rushed to her
and pulled her over.  "Are you all right?"  Lyna asked.  Ursor managed to
send an electric wave through the ground to stun Lyna.  She fell barely
conscious.
"Game over, ThunderCat."  he said.  "I win."  The other Cyber-Mutants
laughed.
"You seem weaker."  The Keeper said.
"It's the Fire Rocks."  Lyna replied almost out of breath.  "They're
hazardous to a thunderian's health."
"Even yours?"  asked the Keeper.
"Especially mine.  My body held out as long as it could."  Lyna answered.
 "Go, it's me they want.  You were just bait."
"My powers may have weakened over the years, child."  the Keeper
explained.  "But I can still do something."  She raised her wand over
Lyna.  The Cyber-Mutants were curious of her actions.  The next thing
they knew, Lyna had risen with renewed strength.
"NO!!!!!!"  Ursor cried.  "This is not possible!"
"You were right, Ursor."  Lyna said.  "The game is over, for you!"
"I suggest a tacical retreat before she summons the others."  Rakuna
stated.
"No one leaves until she's dead!"  Ursor cried as he charged at Lyna. 
She rose up her sword high into the air.
"Thunder!  Thunder!"  she called out.  "Thunder!  ThunderCats, ho!"  The
emblem of the ThunderCats then rose high into the sky and gave a out a
mystical roar.  "Now let's see how you do against a team, Ursor."  she
said as she dodged Ursor and sweep him to the ground.  Ursor growled
slowly from the impact.
"Then again,"  Pterra said.  "Maybe a retreat is in order."
"Now you tell us!"  snapped Rakuna as Pterra dragged Ursor onto the
Skycutter and signaled Mammoth to take off.  She and Rakuna soon
followed.  It was then that Kara arrived.
"Well, it looks like you didn't need much help after all."  she said.
"Let's just get out of here."  Lyna replied as she and the Unicorn Keeper
boarded the Silver Wings.  "The Thundrainium is doing a nightmare on my
complexion."  The three of them laughed as they left Fire Rock Mountain.
        At Unicorn Meadow, Wily Kit and Wily Kat were relieved when the
Unicorn
Keeper returned.  "You won't believe what happened."  Kit said.  "That
unicorn Lyna told us about is about to give birth!"
"We tried eveything we could."  Kat added.
"Leave it to me."  the Keeper said as she went towards the tent the twins
had set up.  They waited and waited until minutes later the Unicorn
Keeper came out with the unicorn and a little foal.  "They're all right."
 she said.  "The mother needs time to recuperate, though."   Everyone
admired the little unicorn.
"It's so beautiful."  Kara said.  "I can't wait until it grows up."
        Back at Cat's Lair, Lyna told everyone about the battle at Fire Rock
Mountain.  "You really came through today, Lyna."  Kit said.  "I believe
we all owe you an apology."
"We're sorry we doubted you."  Tygris started.
"We just wanted you to be safe."  Kara added.  "That's not going to
happen, though, is it?"
"With friends like you,"  Lyna replied.  "I know I'll be safe."
"I still can't believe you didn't finish Ursor!"  Cougari cried.  "Then
we'd never have to worry about the Cyber-Mutants."
"I couldn't do it, Cougari."  Lyna explained.  "Ursor is arrogant and
conceited without a care of what happens to others.   If I had continued
that fight, the Unicorn Keeper would have perished and I'd be no better
than Ursor.  Allowing my pride to get in the way of my duty goes against
everything I am as a ThunderCat, as a future ruler of New Thundera and as
an individual.  I realized back there that I am what I am and I can't
change that.  All I know is that in my own way, I am special, we all
are."
        The ThunderCats nodded.  "Perhaps one day,"  Kit said.  "You will
fulfill your destiny, Lyna."
"One day."  Lyna replied.  "Until then, we must all fight to free New
Thundera."        

Continued...




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