Instant Darwinism - Part 1
By Lucifer Daimaou
“Slythe, awwwk! It has been one hundred thousand years now since the last one, we have to go!” Vultureman insisted. “But how do you propossse that we do that, Vultureman, yesss?” Slythe asked bitterly, “You know asssss well assss I do that our ship was destroyed by Mumm-Ra, yesss!” “Awwwk! Perhaps, there is a way,” Vultureman said suddenly. “Hoo, Go on, we’re listening.” Monkian said. “Well, you know what the mutation cycle does to our kind,” Vultureman said, “And Mumm-Ra hasn’t been any more successful in defeating the Thundercats than we have. I’m sure he would want some more, awwwwk, powerful allies.” Slythe grinned menacingly. “Perhapss you’re right for once, Vultureman, yesss?” He agreed, “Alright, everyone, to your vehicles! We’re on our way to the Black Pyramid, and after that, to Plundarr!!” They all cheered. “Lynx-O to Cat’s Lair!” Lynx-o called. Pantro’s face appeared on the screen. “What is it, Lynx-O?” He asked. “SkyTomb has mobilized! It should be on its way to the Berbil village.” Lynx-O explained. “We’ll check it out. Thanks, Lynx-o. Panthro out.” The screen went blank. “Blasted Lunatacs!” Panthro growled, rushing to the thundertank. “Thundercats, Sky Tome is heading for the Berbil village! Prepare for battle!” He shouted to his comrades-at-arms. Tygra took of in the thunderclaw, Cheetara and Bengali leapt into the Thundertank with Panthro. “You will do as we say!” Luna’s shrill voice ordered, “And build us an outpost of even greater power than the Tower of Omens!” “But we did not design the Tower of Omens,” Roberbil explained, “Tygra did that, we just helped build it.” On command, Amok swatted the helpless Berbil into a tree. “Anyone else feel like arguing?” Luna asked icily, “We already have the design for the outpost, we merely need you to build it.” “You won’t be building anything today, Lunatac.” Shouted Tygra, firing at the group of villains. “On the contrary, Thundercat,” TugMug said, “I think we’ll be building you a grave!” With that, he lunged up at Tygra, who narrowly avoided getting pulled down. As he plummeted down, TugMug was suddenly hit by a blast from behind. His fellow Lunatacs looked to see the Thundertank. “Lunatacs, back to SkyTomb! Retaliate! Chilla, Alluro, you stay here with me. Amok!” Without even giving a verbalized order, Luna’s faithful servant knew what to do. Plowing into the Thundertank, the Thundercats had very little time to react. “What in blazes!?!” Panthro asked. The Thundertank was being backed up. “I’ll take care of him.” Cheetara said, aiming the cannon at Amok. She fired, but Amok ignored the blasts, merely lifting the tank up to stay out of range. Cheetara fell backwards. “I’ve got an idea,” Bengali said, “Prey it works.” He leapt out, did a flip, and snatched Luna off of Amok’s back. Amok immidiately dropped the tank, turned and rushed at Bengali. “Chill out, Thundercat, hsssss!” Chilla said, blasting a gust of freeze-breath at him. “Here, keep her!” Bengali shouted, tossing Luna to Amok and moving out of the way. “Amok, look out!” Luna shouted, as the freeze breath drew close. Amok put Luna back on mount, and swiped the blast to the side. Mistaking the assault as a threat to his master, Amok charged at Chilla. “Amok! NO! STOP!!!” Luna shouted desperately. Chilla barely had time to blink before she was hit by a force stronger than the thundertank. The thundercats watched the spectacle and laughed. “Give up, Thundercat.” Alluro said, tossing his crystal ball over Bengali, “Forget about it. You don’t want to attack us, it is futile.” “Futile...” Bengali said. Tygra swooped down and blasted the crystal. “NOOOO!!!” Alluro shouted. Bengali gave Tygra a thumbs up, when SkyTomb started firing. “Only one way to handle this, and it’s from inside.” Cheetara said, rushing in. A few moments later, she rushed out, and several internal explosions could be heard. “Back to DarkSide!!!” Luna ordered. Amok carried the limp forms of Chilla and TugMug, and Alluro rushed in. The door closed, and SkyTomb took off in a very unstable fashion. Tygra landed, and helped Roberbil up. “Thank you, Thundercats,” The Berbil thanked in his metallic voice, “Once again we are in your debt.” “Well, I’m just glad it was only the Lunatacs,” Tygra said, “We’ve finally got them down, they may be formidable opponents, but we understand what their limits are and can beat them, even with only a few of us.” “For that we are glad,” Roberbil said. “You ssssee, Mumm-Ra?” Slythe said, pointing at the bubbling water, “Even the Lunatacs no longer stand a chance against them! We musssst go to the ceremony to ssstand a chance, yesssss!” The mummy looked into the cauldron thoughtfully. “Perhaps you are right, Slythe.” He said, eyes glowing red, “But do not betray me. You must come back, or I will hunt you down and destroy all of you!” “You have our word, Mumm-Ra, Yessss,” Slythe said, “As soon as it is over, we will come back and desssstroy them once and for all!” “Then go to the place where your ship crashed,” Mumm-Ra ordered, “It will be there, and fully repaired.” Slythe grinned. “Thank you, Mumm-Ra, you won’t be disssapointed, yessss!” He insisted, rushing off immidiately. “I’m sure I won’t, Slythe,” Mumm-Ra said, grinning evily, “I’m sure I won’t.” “Aaaah...this is delicous, Snarf...” Lion-o commented, “You’ve really outdone yourself this time.” “A fight with the Lunatacs always leaves me hungry,” Panthro agreed, “No matter how brief.” All of a sudden, Pumyra rushed in. “Lion-o, Panthro, Tygra, come quike!” She said, “Another message from Lynx-o” Lion-o and Tygra rushed over, while Panthro walked over grumbling. Lynx-O’s worried face appeared on the screen. “What is it, Lynx-o?” Lion-o asked. “I don’t see how this is possible, but...it seems the mutants are taking off in a gigantic space ship,” Lynx-o explained, “I’ll check their course.” “Always wondered what had happened to their ship,” Panthro said, “I figured that it had been destroyed.” “I just wonder why they hadn’t left sooner.” Tygra said. All of a sudden, Lynx-o received a powerful electric shock. “Lynx-o!” Lion-o cried, “Are you alright.” Lynx-o clutched his head. “I’ll be fine, but it seems that the situation is much graver than we suspected.” The blind thundercat replied. “Faster, Faster!” Slythe ordered. “But Slythe, if we continue at this rate, we’ll burn up most of the fuel!” Vultureman pointed out. “We can refuel at Plundarr, yesss,” Slythe pointed out, “We need to get there before the ceremony begins.” “Nya, Nya, I hope we’re not too late,” Jackalman said, “If we don’t make it, we won’t even be accepted as mutants any more.” Slythe knew perfectly well that that was the case, it was a thought that brought him further worry. Not only was his group looked down upon by the thundercats, lunatacs, and even Mumm-Ra, but if they did not speed up, the group of mutants that he had fought so hard to keep united would be cast out by their countrymen. However, Slythe’s main motivation to make it back to Plundarr was hardly more than power. The Feliner glowed with the reflection of the stars around it. “Snarf, Snarf, I didn’t quite catch Lynx-o’s explanation of what’s going on,” Snarf said, “Why are we chasing the Mutants back to Plundarr?” “It’s like this, Snarf,” Tygra explained, “The Mutants come from the planet Plundarr, which does not circle a sun like most planets that support life. No, it circles a black hole, but from a great distance. Every hundred thousand years or so, a strange energy engulfs Plundarr, comming directly from that black hole in the form of a shockwave. It is from this energy that the mutants grew to their present state, for the energy induces rapid mutation, though how and why is as of yet unknown.” “I don’t quite understand it myself,” Cheetara admitted, “But from what I’m told, the mutant races of Plundarr change every time this occurs, and not only do they get bigger, but more intelligent as well, it is sort of like a rapid evolution into a more advanced species. However, only the mutants understand the true capabilities of this energy.” “Snarf, Snarf, you mean to tell me that this is going to make the mutants even more of a threat?!” Snarf asked, shocked. “That’s why we must stop them,” Lion-o said, “In order to maintain peace on Third Earth, as well as the rest of the universe.” The Feliner’s speed continued to increase. “Caaaw! Look, Slythe, look on the screen!!” Vultureman exclaimed, excitement in his voice. A gigantic, red planet lay before them. “Plundarr...” Slythe said, awe in his voice. The rest of them were silent, but in obvious excitement. Rataro’s face appeared on the screen. “Slythe, Vultureman, Monkian, Jackalman,” He greeted, “Glad to see we didn’t have to leave you as primatives.” “Don’t lose any sssssleep over it, Rataro,” Slythe said, too light in mood to be angry, “We’re comming in for a landing.” The ship slowly climbed its way down to the surface. The mutant crew walked out. To any others, the view might have seemed dismal, but, to a mutant, this sunless red desert was what they called home. “It’s even more beautiful than I remember.” Monkian said. They had landed in a structure not dissimilar to Castle Plundar, though much larger and better equiped. Rataro walked out to meet them. “You made it down to the last half hour boys,” He told them, “How did you manage to repair the ship? I thought it had been destroyed.” “Mumm-Ra decided to help his allies grow stronger, yessss.” Slythe explained. “Ah, say not more. Come right this way, we are preparing for the change.” Rataro led them to where a large group of mutants stood and waited, so many of them in so many different races that it was hardly more than a blur of colors across the horizon. Rataro walked up to the altar. “Brothers, we stand here today for the most important historical event since our creation.” He started, “Soon we will gain power greater than the miserable Thundercats ever could achieve, even Mumm-Ra of Third Earth will be no match for us!” The crowd cheered. Everyone turned to stare at the now-glowing black hole. “And now...we become invinsible!!” Rataro concluded. A shockwave erupted from the black hole. “NO! We’re too late!!” Tygra shouted in dismay. After the shockwave passed through, they landed. They were met with a terrifying sight. The Mutants had taken in the energy, and were changing into creatures that would make even Mumm-Ra tremble. The Jackal-race mutants’ fur turned dark brown, and they grew to a height of over 10 feet each, with bulging muscles that would make Amok think twice before attacking. The Simian-Race mutants’ grew about a head shorter, but with claws that could tear down a plate of metal, and teeth to match. Their fur turned a light green, much like the color of the trees. The Vulture-Race lunatacs grew as well, and new, feathered wings burst from their backs, stretching out longer than their arm’s length. Their feet resembled talons now more than anything else, and in their beaks were small, but sharp, teeth. The Rat-Race, rare as they may be, did not dissapoint in their terrifying transformation either. Growing at least a foot taller than the other three thus far, the Rat-Race also gained an extra set of muscular, clawed arms. Out of their backs emerged curved, deadly blades. However, the most impressive change came from the reptilian-race. The tallest of the changes, their skin changed into such a dark red that it was almost black. Their arms stretched out and formed wings, a lighter red where the finger bones stretched the skin in the wings. New, stronger arms burst out, with gigantic clawed hands. A long tail grew out, with a sharp tip at the end. Their eyes turned yellow where it was once white, and all that was visible was their reptilian-pupils. “Dear...Jaga...” Lion-o said, barely able to speak. Cheetara took Lion-o by the arm. “We have to go back,” Cheetara said, “there’s nothing we can do here. We need to go back and prepare Third Earth for the oncomming danger.” Lion-o nodded and they all got back into the Feliner. On their way out of the atmosphere, they were met by a newly-transformed Slythe. “Going ssssomewhere, thundercatsss?” The dragon-like creature asked, “I don’t think ssso, yessss!” Raising its fist, it readied to swat them out of the sky. “That thing is big enough to take us down!” Tygra said, “We have to get out of here!” He pulled a lever, and blasted off as fast as the Feliner could manage. Slythe cackled. “You think that thisss is over, thundercatssss? Thiss is just the beginning!” He laughed. Arriving back on Third Earth, the crew of the Feliner was more than a little stunned about their encounter. Pumyra rushed up to greet them. “Lion-o! Tygra! Cheetara! Snarf! Did you succeed in defeating them?” She asked. They didn’t have to respond, the worried looks on their faces told her everything she needed to know. “I’ll start tightening up the security systems.” She said. “I pray that that is enough.” Lion-o replied. Alluro sighed, concentrating on his now-crystaless pschye club. “Now, Moon Club...regenerate!!” He ordered. With a flash, the special psyche club created a new crystal for itself. “Handy little trick.” Chilla said. She had recovered, she had been through worse. “Those blasted Thundercats!” He growled, “They’re getting more and more out of hand!” All of a sudden, gigantic creatures started bursting through the walls. “What the hell?!” Chilla shouted. She tried to freeze-blast them, but they swatted her out of the way. “Chilla!” Alluro cried. Angered, he turned to the largest one there, who seemed to be the leader, and flashed his psyche club in its face. “You cannot defeat us. Go back to wherever you came from.” All the other creatures had stopped to watch. The dark-red, winged creature stared at Alluro with its yellow eyes. It grabbed the crystal and crushed it in its palm. “We’ll be giving the ordersss from now on, yessss!” Slythe said. “SLYTHE?!” Alluro and Chilla shouted in disbelief. “May that be the last name you hear.” Cackled the reptilian. He opened his mouth and let out a blast of flame, large enough in diameter and powerful enough in force to knock both of them into the wall, and set them on fire. Though worse on Chilla, Alluro wasn’t enjoying himself much either. “Caaaw! Slythe, I thought we needed them alive!” Vultureman asked, flapping his wings in impatience. “They’ll survive. Now move onward, yessss!” Slythe ordered his troops. Hundreds of the gigantic creatures poured through SkyTomb. Luna had been reading to herself when the invasion reached her. Tossing the book aside, she ordered Amok to take out the creatures. Amok rushed at the nearest one and lunged at it, but the brown-furred creature merely caught Amok’s fists in its own. Luna, amazed by the sheer power of the creature, asked “What are you?” “Nya-ha-ha, we are mutants!!” Shouted Jackalman triumphantly, “And soon, SkyTomb as well as the rest of Third Earth will be ours!” Mumm-Ra looked into the couldren and smiled. They had grown powerful indeed. He knew that once the Thundercats were out of the way, that they would come for him. He rubbed the talisman in his hands and laughed. “I’ll be waiting, my mutated friends.” He laughed, “I’ll be waiting.” “This is most odd,” Lynx-o said, “I don’t quite understand it, but SkyTomb is heading towords Castle-Plundarr.” “The Lunatacs must have been defeated.” Tygra said, “That just goes to show how powerful they’ve become.” “There must be a way to defeat them,” Panthros said, “They can’t be invinsible.” “Whatever we do, we must do it quikely,” Lion-o said, “With the power they hold right now, they could attack at any moment and win, if just by the sheer size and numbers of them. I will consult Jaga and if it comes to it, the Book of Omens.” “One thing is for sure,” Cheetara said, “This will be far more a threat than anything we’ve ever dealt with in the past, and without the proper protection, the Thundercats as well as the memory of Thunderia itself could be wiped out with us."
TO BE CONTINUED
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