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Jagga and Grune
By RD Rivero

"Jagga and Grune"
By RD Rivero
September 25, 2000

It was a cold, bitter Thunderian night -- moonless, so dark that not even the 
stars broke through the thin, misty clouds that adorned the air. Around the 
cluttered plane the army was either resting in green tents or sneaking about the 
wilderness, constantly vigil for the slightest hint of the enemy's eventual 
approach. The Mutants had attacked early that morning -- their charred bodies, 
commingled with those fallen Thundercats, littered the surrounding forests.

In a small hut in the wayside, Grune sat at the end of a makeshift table formed 
from heavy, packing crates. His pen moved busily scribbling, shiny ink notes 
across the margins of green pages in a sprawling hand -- the general orders to 
be dispensed with before midnight.

He shivered for the tent was open and he had stripped to his fur.

Jagga appeared from the hole holding a lantern in his right hand before hanging 
it on a metal support. He removed his helmet and dropped the in on his bed. He 
was taking off his cloak when he noticed that the saber-tooth was unprotected 
and he wondered if it was a good idea considering the situation.

Grune looked up -- he had felt the jaguar's eyes pressing his flesh -- and with a 
voice unusually gruff: "So? You're back -- how's Clawdus?"

"He'll live -- a blind man."

"The rumors were true. Rataro did quite a job on him." He arose and walked to 
the opening, handing the rolled documents to a guard who stood at post. He 
shut the hut's flapping entrance with a rusty zipper and peered back.

Jagga had a complete and unblocked view of his friend -- he held his folded 
cloak before him in jittery hands. Grune was a sight to behold -- his body from 
the neck down was perfectly formed, perfectly chiseled -- "What a fine figure of 
a Thundercat you are," he whispered in a quivering voice -- but it was from the 
neck up that was unacceptable.

Grune hugged Jagga deeply and whispered: "We are equals, you and I --"

Jagga kept his eyes down, pointing to his friend's massive chest: "You would be 
Lord of the Thundercats -- if it was my power --"

With his forefinger he lifted the jaguar's head up to face his: "I don't look the 
part, I know --" he broke away toward the shadows. "I know it's a matter of 
luck that I've even come as far as I have."

"No, it wasn't luck, you're the most qualified --"

"I'm a throw back, a genetic inferior."

"Nothing about you is inferior."

"You never look me in the face, I can see it in your eyes, Jagga."

An alarm rang from the fields -- roaring and running followed.

"Cowards!" Grune shouted. He tore open the tent's entrance and stepped out 
for a moment. "Jagga! Get to your troops in the north, lead the regiments to the 

Jagga had already donned on his equipment.

The alarm ceased and in the deceptive calm Jagga said: "We'll discuss this 

Grune, busy putting on his armor: "No, the matter's is closed, my Lord, I have 
more important things to do -- go, the seconds are wasting."

Jagga left -- the hint of tears glimmered in his eyes. "You're a greater man than 

"No," he said assured he was alone, "no, there will be a reckoning but for the 
moment, I'm afraid," he said securing his chest plate, "but for now -- the rest is 

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