Instant Darwinism - Part 2
By Lucifer Daimaou
“Keep worrrrrking, you wretched Lunatacsss!” Slythe ordered, letting out a blast of fire as a warning, “I want SkyTomb completely fixsssed by tommorrow!” “Hssss, relax, Slythe,” Chilla grumbled, “We’re working as hard as we can.” The remark offered her nothing more than a bruise on her face. “I don’t want to hear your mouth working, lunatac,” The mutant leader hissed, “I want to hear you working! Now, get to work!!” They had been working on repairs for over twenty-four hours and, though the mutants had brought in brutement to assist them, it did them very little good. The Mutants did not want to take any chances. They were upgrading Castle Plundarr to accomodate their newly upgraded intellect, and used their aquirred powers to force the lunatacs into repairing SkyTomb. They then planned to add a whole new weapons system to SkyTomb, and eventualy use it to destroy the Thundercats. Jackalman, however, continued to complain. “Nya, Slythe, why do we have to do this when we could take the Thundercats now?” He asked in his now much deeper voice. Though they were all much stronger, Slythe remained the most powerful, as he was a good foot higher than any of his kind, and his kind had turned out to be the largest of the new race of mutants. “Do not underestimate the sword of Omens, Jackalman, yessss,” Slythe snapped, “The more power we attain, the less of a chance they will have. We don’t need to take any riskssss, we may be powerful, but then, there is no harm in growing even more powerful.” “Agreed, Slythe.” The Jackal said. Lion-o called a meeting of war at Cat’s lair. Snarfer and Lynx-o stayed at the Tower of Omens, but a viewing screen was established so that they could participate as well. “Fellow Thundercats,” Lion-o began, “We face a challenge more difficult than any of the past. While the mutants have always had the advantage of numbers, we have had the technological as well as physical advantage; until now. Their intellect and power has increased drasticly, and unless we do something, we will be destroyed.” “I move to create a second Cat’s Lair,” Tygra motioned, “This time, even better equiped for battle. We could place it closer to castle Plundarr, and, with Bengali’s knowledge of metals, create it out of stronger alloys.” “Rowr, I second the movement.” Bengali put in, “And I’m willing to help.” “I think that’s an excellent idea,” Lion-o said, “Prepare the blueprints while Snarf and I go ask for the help of the Berbils.” Captain Bragg readied to enter Third Earth atmosphere. He had heard of the resurfacing of the Mutants and Lunatacs, and wanted to make up for his past errors by recapturing him. Suddenly, a swarm of gigantic vultures and dragon-like creatures assaulted his vehicle. “Whooaa! What’s going on?! What are those things?!” He asked his feathered companion, a raven. He did not get a reply, as his friend was pulled out and crushed by a vulture-creature. “Nooo!! B-buddy?!” Captain Bragg couldn’t believe it. That had been his only companion in years, and now, just like that, he was gone. “Caaaaw!! I wouldn’t worry about your little friend, Captain Bragg,” Vultureman sneered, “Things are about to get a lot worse for you.” “You-You know me? Who are you?” Captain Bragg asked. “The last thing you’re ever going to see.” Vultureman cackled, as he reared back his talons and swooped at the Captain. The Berbils, still greatful for their rescue from the Lunatacs, agreed almost immidiately. It was decided that the Cats Lair would be placed on the mountains a few miles from Castle Plundarr, but far enough away that neither lairs would be able to spot each other or open fire on each other. This would be a dangerous task, building the much larger Cats Lair without attracting the attention of the Mutants. Most of the Thundercats got to work helping, And soon, the Cats Lair was near completion. They had nearly finished without attracting the attention of the Mutants. However, their good luck was short lived, but it was not the Mutants who discovered them. “So, Slythe, I suppose that being in charge of the Mutant army of Third Earth, it is my responsability to-” Rattaro started. “You’re not in charge, Rattaro. Not any more.” Hissed the reptilian. “What?! You dare defy me, Slythe?” Pulling out his sais, Rattaro opened fire on Slythe. The blasts broke apart as soon as they hit Slythe, not doing any damage. Slythe Grabbed the sais, and crushed them. Rattaro was not going to give up so easily, though. He spun and jumped, attempting to attack Slythe with the blades on his back. Slythe jumped and flew higher than Rattaro could jump, and retaliated by blasting Rattaro with his flames. After a few hits, Rattaro collapsed. “You usssed to rule ussss because of your technological superiority, Rattaro,” Slythe hissed, “But you no longer have that. Throw him in the dungeon!” Several Mutants obliged. “Now, we have the Rat Star in our control asss well.” Slythe laughed. “Yet you still require the asistance of Mumm-Ra!” Said an all too familiar voice. Slythe turned and smiled at the tiny mummy. “Ah, Mumm-Ra, I was wondering when you would show, yessss.” Slythe said. “I have information for you, eSlythe,” Mumm-Ra said. “Go on then, Mumm-Ra, I’m lisssening.” Slythe replied. “The Thundercats are building a new Cats Lair, not far from here, with hope of keeping your armies under control.” The demon priest explained. Slythe’s face contorted with rage. “Those fools!! How dare they try and deface our powers!!” He hissed, “Mutants!! Prepare for an air raid!! Jackalman, you take over here. Come on, move it!” The two flying mutant races lifted their wings and began to push off the ground. Mumm-Ra merely stood, laughing to himself. “Good work, Thundercats and Berbils alike.” Lion-o commended, “Let’s go in and start operating it. The new Cats Lair was brown in color, so that it would blend in better with its surroundings. Inside, the controls were hardly different from the ones at the original. “Quite an accomplishment, eh Lion-o?” Bengali asked. “We’ve got much more weapons here than at the other Cats Lair, but we have no vehicles yet.” Panthro said. “I’m sure you wouldn’t mind making more, Panthro,” Tygra said, grinning, “In fact, we’d probably have to tie you down to stop you.” Lynx-o came up on the screen. “A horde of mutants are...flying...right at you.” The old Thundercat said, looking a bit startled. “Flying, Lynx-o?” Panthro asked. “I’ll put it on the screen for you.” Lynx-o dissapeared and in his place, was an army of flying mutants, the likes of which only Tygra, Lion-o and Snarf had seen before of the people in that room. “Good...Jaga...” Bengali stammered, “Hearing the discriptions is one thing, actualy seeing these creatures...” “Battle stations, everyone!!” Lion-o ordered, “We’ve got to show them that we won’t be pushed around!” Outside, Slythe had dived in, intending to tear through the wall, when he struck right into an energy force-field. “It sssseems that they’ve taken the proper precautionssss, eh, Vultureman?” The mutant laughed. “All vultures, prepare to attack! Fellow Reptilians, open fire!!!” The Vultures, living up to their names, bega circling around the Cats Lair. The Reptilians opened wide and let loose their flames. Soon, the force-field began to crackled with electricity. “We can’t take too much more of this, Lion-o,” Panthro said, reading the controls, “Unless they stop, the shield will come down.” “Direct all fire to the reptilians!” Lion-o ordered, “We need to stop their fire!” “As you command, Lion-o” Bengali responded. The eyes of Cats Lair opened laser fire, hitting Slythe directly. “Hahahahaha!!!! Issss that the best you’ve got, Thundercats?!” Slythe laughed, increasing his fire discharge. Suddenly, several gigantic lasers pulled out from the arms and shoulder of the cat, aimed, and gave blasts so powerful, the sheer force of them started knocking the mutants back. However, no blood was shed, and all the lasers succeeded in doing, was bringing the battle to a momentary stalemate. “This is no good,” Lion-o said, pulling out the Sword of Omens, “I’ll go out there and try to tip things in our favor!” “Rowr, good luck, Lion-o, and be careful out there.” Bengali said. Lion-o nodded, then rushed out. “Well if it isn’t the Lord of the Thundercats.” Vultureman taunted, “Why don’t you come out here and fight us?” “Why don’t you shut your beak?” Lion-o snapped. He positioned the sword, “Thunder!” He shouted, as the blade grew in size, “Thunder! Thundercats! HO!!!” The eyes of Thundera flew out, knocking many mutants out of the way. At the original Cats Lair, Cheetara and the thunderkitten’s eyes glowed. “Come on, it looks like Lion-o needs backup.” Cheetara said. She took off in the thundertank, while the kittens got on their hoverboards. At the Tower of Omens, Lynx-o heard while Snarfer and Pumyra saw the signal. “What can we do, Lynx-o?” Pumyra asked, “They’re in trouble!” The blind Thundercat was silent. “The thunderclaw is below, Pumyra,” Lynx-o explained, “Go and help our friends. While the lasers helped push back the mutants, Lion-o pushed them farther and managed to do some damage. However, the sheer numbers were too much for him. A vulture mutant, bored and unable to help disable the force field, was gaining on Lion-o fast when a blast from the ground startled it, giving Lion-o the opportunity to blast it. Seeing Cheetara in the thundertank, Lion-o lept in next to her. Things were going better, however, the shield was nearly destroyed. “I don’t think we can stop them,” Lion-o gasped, “let us pray that the Lair can defend itself without a shield.” “(BEEP)Nya, Slythe, Jackalman here.” Slythe’s communicator announced. Slythe pulled it from his pocket. “What isss it, Jackalman?” He snapped. “Repairs on SkyTomb are complete. We’re ready to begin upgrading it, but we need the supervision of Vultureman.” Explained the jackal. “We’ll be on our way. Everyone PULL BACK!! We will come back with more forcesss later!!!” Ordered the leader of the mutants. Everyone obeyed, following Slythe back without so much as a protest. This suprised the Thundercats. “Why are they retreating?” Lion-o wondered out loud. “They’re probably afraid we’ll show them up, even with their new powers.” Wilykit called from her Hoverboard. “I doubt it.” Cheetara said, “I think they just went to regroup and plan their next assault.” Lion-o nodded. “Come on, let’s go back into the Lair.” “Lion-o! I’m glad you’re here!” Tygra said, “Look at the recording we just got from SkyTomb!” On the screen, a very battered, very bloody, yet still very tough looking Chilla stared down on them. “Thundercats, if you get this message,” She said, “Come to Castle Plundarr, and don’t get spotted. I’m going to send all the Lunatacs out of SkyTomb, and then blow it up, with Slythe still inside. End Transmission.” With that, the screen went blank. “Well, what do you think?” Tygra asked. “It’s probably a trap,” Panthro said immidiately, “Why would the Lunatacs ask for our help?” “That much is obvious.” Lion-o said quietly, “Come on, Tygra and Cheetara, the rest of you stay here in case of another attack.” “But Lion-o...” Bengali protested. The Lord of the Thundercats put his hand up to silence him. “We need to stay disciplined,” Lion-o said, “Or we will be crushed. We have a potential ally at Castle Plundarr if we can help them. Now, let’s go on foot to avoid detection.” “How soon until you’re done with the programing, Chilla?” Slythe demanded. “Hssss only another hour, Slythe, and then SkyTomb’s upgrade will be complete.” Answered the ice-lunatac. “Good. You better not try anything, yessss.” Slythe snapped, “And just to make sure, we’re holding your friendsss in chains right outside.” “Fine, Slythe, I wasn’t planning to do anything anyway.” Chilla said, trying to keep her tone calm. The fool has just made it easier for me, she thought, it’s up to the Thundercats to do the rest. Outside, The once proud lunatacs of Plundarr stood chained togethar, and guarded by two Simian mutants. “I never thought it would end this way, at the hands of a mutant.” Alluro mutterred. TugMug attempted to jump for the hundreth time, but he was chained to the ground, and the alloys were stronger than he was. “I’m...sorry...” Luna muttered. They all looked at her. “What did you say, Luna?” RedEye asked in shock. “I’m sorry I got you into this mess. Had I been half the leader I should have been, I would have gotten us out of SkyTomb before they overwhelmed us.” Luna said, calmly saying the last few words they had ever expected from her. “Don’t give up yet, boss,” TugMug said, “We’re not dead yet.” All of a sudden, RedEye’s eyes started to glow. He smiled. “It would seem our rescue has just arrived.” He told them. Behind a cluster of boulders, Lion-o, Tygra, and Cheetara plotted their next move. “I’ll go invisible and break their chains.” Tygra suggested, “When SkyTomb blows, that should give us the distraction we need to get away, or we’ll be finished anyway.” “Do it.” Lion-o ordered. Tygra took his whip. “Now you see me...” All of a sudden, the chains on the Lunatacs started to break off. RedEye was the only one who could see what was happening, but the rest of them got the idea pretty quike. “It must be That tiger-Thundercat!” cried one of the simian-mutants, “let’s grab him!” “Not so fast, mutants!” Said a grinning Luna, “We don’t make the same mistakes twice! Amok, go for the legs!” Grabbing the nearest set of gigantic legs, Amok sent a simian mutant crashing to the ground, while Tygra followed suite with his whip. He brought himself into visibility again. “Come on!” He said, “This way!” “Are you done yet, wretched lunatac?!” Slythe demanded. Chilla didn’t move. “ANSWER ME, you filth!!!” He snarled. Chilla’s shoulders started shaking. Slythe suddenly realized she was laughing. “What’s so funny, lunatac?” he demanded. “You see this button, Slythe?” Chilla asked, “I’ve wired all the explosives you wanted to use as weapons to this one button. Once I press it, you and I go up in an amazing display of fire.” Slythe paled a bit. “You wouldn’t dare!!” He hissed, “You’re too much of a coward!” “I am a warrior, Slythe,” Chilla said coldly, “I will not be treated like a slave!! Good bye, Slythe.” She reached for the button, and Slythe dived at her- BOOM!!!!!!!!! SkyTomb exploded in a gigantic fireball, knocking everyone nearby into the nearest solid object. “CHILLA!!!!!!” Alluro shouted. He started to run towords the explosion, but Tygra jumped and pushed him to the ground. “Don’t be foolish,” He shouted, “This is going to bring everything around us down on our heads!!!” Lion-o and Cheetara jumped out, sword of Omens in hand a created a protective field around them. The rubble from SkyTomb fell right on top of them. Amok’s fists burst through the rubble. “Amok, find Chilla!” Luna ordered. Amok sniffed the air, then rushed in one direction. Everyone followed. Some distance from the explosion, Chilla lay. Alluro pushed them all aside. He checked her pulse. “She’s alive, but barely. We need to get her medical attention, and fast!!” He said, almost hysterical. “Fast is my middle name, Lunatac.” Cheetara said, lifting up Chilla’s limp form, and dissapearing. “No sign of Slythe,” Lion-o said, breathing a sigh of relief, “He must have been destroyed by the explosion. This at least gives us an edge, they are less organized without a leader.” He looked at the beaten and tired Lunatacs. “I know this is going to be akward, but, will you join us at New Cats Lair?” He asked. “I don’t think we have much of a choice,” Luna sighed, “Mumm-Ra has obviously sided with the Mutants and SkyTomb was our only home. Come, Lunatacs, let us start what will be an even more painful alliance than our last one.” With no complaints, not even from TugMug, they followed Lion-o and Tygra back to New Cat’s Lair. “It’s true, though, Monkian,” Vultureman said, “We need a leader, and without Slythe’s strength, we will have trouble keeping Rattaro in check, so why don’t we-” All of a sudden, a pair of dark red wings burst from the rubble. Next, an arm, followed by the rest of a body. Slythe Stood before them, barely even bruised. Soon, others who had been burried burst from their metalic graves, in a scene that would have made the ancient spirits of evil themselves shiver is fear. “Don’t count me out jussst yet, Vultureman,” Slythe said, rage seering in his eyes, “We will destroy those Thundercats and the Lunatacs, under my rule. Tommorrow, we will begin our seige of all three Thundercat bases, and after that, Third Earth will be ours!”
TO BE CONTINUED
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