Night had fallen over Third-Earth, covering the sky in darkness. The ThunderCats had set up camp on the very spot where their suspension capsules landed. The young Lord of the ThunderCats lied on his sleeping bag, staring at the night sky, watching the star glisten and the two moons shining. A new wardrobe and a new hairstyle, Lion-O kept thinking of the new life he will have, now that he's an adult. He was now dressed in a sky blue suit, similar to his old one but with sky blue pants, with brown pouches on his sides and steel shin guards. His hair was still as spiky as ever but due to it being long enough to reach to his waist, he had to tie it in a warrior's tail.
"My king, are you alright? Do you require some company?" asked a
familiar voice. Crouching down at the lion king's side was
Cheetara, seeing what her lord was doing. Like Lion-O, Cheetara's
wardrobe and hairstyle had, also, changed.
She was now dressed in a short, orange tank top, having the ThunderCats insignia in the front of her bosom, with the lower part exposing her abdomen. She wore a pair of orange shorts, exposing her legs and wearing a pair of orange boots with the claws of her feet showing. Lastly, she wore one leather wrist guard on her right arm, carrying her unsheathed bo-staff on the side. The make-up on her face changed, from pink batches on her eyes to that resembling that of a butterfly with the patches on her eyes resembling wings.
"N-no, I'm fine but you can stay and hang if you like?" Lion-O replied as his face turned red. The cleric then sat beside the young lord and joined him in star gazing. "I just want to know, any reason you're dress like that?"
Cheetara looked at herself and back at her king, "I'm sorry, is what I'm wearing making you uncomfortable?" she started rubbing her lower left arm, and looking away in embarrassment. "If you like, I could go and change..."
"No, no, it's okay! I was just curious, that's all," Lion-O interrupted, placing a hand in his mane. "I didn't know you had clothes like that." he looked a bit embarrassed to be next to a beautiful girl like Cheetara. "So could you tell me why you changed your clothes?"
"Well, because of how humid this planet's environment is, I thought it would be nice to try on something more…comfortable," she explained, whispering into the lion king's ear with a sultry voice. Lion-O soon backed away from the cleric; however, he was aware she was just teasing him.
Cheetara saw the sad expression on Lion-O's face, which she hadn't seen in awhile. "Look, lion-O, I know you're still getting use to this new life; we all are, and even though Thundera is lost to us, we will still survive and we'll all rebuild our fallen empire." She placed her right hand on Lion-O's. "You are our king, Lion-O, and with our help, you we save our people from extinction and spread the Code of Thundera to those who walk the path of peace, unity, and equality." Removing her hand from his, Cheetara and Lion-O continued stargazing, admiring the beauty the heavens contained while Snarf slept at the foot of the bag. Hearing What the cleric said brought a smile to Lion-O's face and as they gazed at the heavens, the two started reciting the Code of Thundera. Lion-O started first, "Justice: To strive to help others and fairness in all acts that are committed that is good..."
"...Truth: To speak the truth at all times..."
"...Honor: To honor and respect superiors..."
"...And Loyalty: To be loyal to family and friends..."
Meanwhile, in another tent, Tygra and Panthro were working on blueprints for the ThunderCats new home, Cats Lair. It was Tygra's job, as scientist and architect, to build the ThunderCats their new home while Panthro's job, as military commander and engineer, was to install defenses and appliances to protect it.
"I say we should add missile launchers at the roof of the mouth!" roared Panthro.
"And I say we don't need it!" countered Tygra.
"As military commander of Thundera, it is my job to protect our new home from the Plun-Darriens still lingering on this planet," Panthro's notions were reasonable, yet militaristic. "That's why we need to install missile launchers here; both in the mouth and in the claws."
"First of all, the most important thing about architecture is aestheticism," Tygra retorted as he poked the panther's chest with his index finger. "Plus, if we weaponize the Cats Lair, the inhabitants of this planet will think we're hostile."
Their argument continued, bickering and bickering to the point where it would last all night. In the tent next to theirs, the Thunderkittens were having trouble going to sleep. Wilykit got out of her sleeping bag and walked out of her tent. Rubbing her eyes, the young Thunderkitten saw something shocking to her; Lion-O and Cheetara sitting together. Kit couldn't believe it, she almost cried. It should be her sitting next to Lion-O, not Cheetara.
She wanted to walk over there, interrupt their moment, and stop their romance, but she couldn't because that would be wrong. So she went back into her tent and laid back into her sleeping back, trying to hold back tears while trying to sleep.
Finally, silence was among the cats. They all fell asleep, waiting for the sun to arise, including Tygra who slept with the Cats Lair blueprints like a stuffed toy, but something was lurking in their camps, looking through their stuff and subjugating their belongings for more examination.
The next morning, a loud scream appeared, shaking the camp and awaking the others. Lion-O slept on his side and when he woke up, he realized that he was sleeping next to Cheetara. The cleric felt the same way when she awoke. Getting up, the two backed away from each other in embarrassment.
"G-good morning!" exclaimed Cheetara in embarrassment.
"Yeah; you too," Lion-O exclaimed, as well.
The two got up and ran to see where the screaming was coming from. It was coming from the Thunderkittens, rummaging through their bags and trying to find something important.
"Our smoke and grease pellets! They're gone!" Wilykat cried, hysterically.
"I know we had them in here; where did they go!?" Wilykit was acting the same way as her brother.
Lion-O crouched down and said to the twins, "Maybe you just misplaced them? If you retrace your steps, you might find them..."
"...But, Lion-O, we did retrace our steps!" Wilykit asserted. Then they heard Tygra shout in anger, "Where the hell is my whip!?" the four turned to see him walk out of his tent and walk up to them, muttering, "Great, my bolo whip is gone and so are the blue prints; now, how am I suppose to build Cats lair!?"
"You lose something too, Tygra?" Lion-O inquired, crossing his arms and raising an eyebrow.
Tygra looked at the young lord right in the eye. You could see the fire burning in his eyes, "No, I didn't lose anything! I never lose anything! How could a genius like I lose anything!?" the tiger walks up to Lion-O. "Something was taken from me and that something was my bolo whip and the blueprints to our new headquarters!"
"Easy there, Tygra. I didn't mean to offend you," Lion-O assured, waving his hands in front of him in non-hostility. "I just wanted to help."
That didn't help. Tygra retorts, "I know that but I'm telling you I didn't lose it, Lion-O." Tygra leaned towards Lion-O's face. "And you better hope they didn't take anything else of importance...hint, hint."
Eyes wide open; Lion-O understood what Tygra was talking about. He soon ran back to his sleeping bag and took out a large blanket. He was stunned. "The Sword and Clawshield's gone!" he yells as he ran back to the others, holding the blanket as proof. Lion-O thought keeping the Sword of Omens and the Clawshield wrapped in a blanket would keep it safe, but he was wrong.
"And you thought keeping it wrapped in a blanket would be the perfect hiding spot? Clever, Lion-O, real clever," Lion-O could feel the sting of Tygra's sarcasm pierce through his soul.
Lion-O responds in anger, "And what does that suppose to mean?"
The tiger's face leaned closer to the lion's in anger, "It means you need to take better care of your stuff!"
They both roared in rage, looking like they were about to maim each other, that is, until Cheetara intervened. She pushed the two males away with hers hands on their chests, saying, "Now, come down, you two! This is no time to brawl over frivolous notions! Let's all take a deep breath and..."
"Um, Cheetara," Lion-O interrupted after seeing that something was missing on the cleric's wristguard. She replies, "Yes, Lion-O, what is it?" Then she looked at her wristguard on her right hand and saw something most disturbing to her. "My...my bo staff!" Just like that, she froze like ice.
Lion-O leaned closer to Cheetara, waving his hand in front of her face to see any response. There was no response. She was as stiff as a statue and kept on mumbling: "My staff, my...my staff, gone."
With a calm demeanor, Panthro appeared out from his tent asking, "What's with all this hubbub?" Good thing too, the other ThunderCats needed an older ThunderCat to talk about the situation.
Tygra was the first to talk, "Panthro, all of our weapons are gone. Someone must have taken them in our sleep."
"Oh, that explains why my nunchucks are missing," Panthro responded, still maintaining a calm demeanor. Then he noticed Cheetara mumbling and staring at her wrist. "Is Cheetara okay, Tygra?"
Tygra shook his head with a sad expression. Then answered, "No, she's not. That bo staff was once a gift to her from Jaga, himself."
Panthro took a deep breath and sighed as both his arms were crossed, "Sad, really sad. On another note, our food supply and clothes are gone. The only thing left behind was the tracks the thieves made."
Panthro led them to the tracks. Cheetara, finally, snapped out of her self-induced trance and followed them. They were very small and claw-like, yet they weren't deep, indicating the thieves were not as big as the ThunderCats.
"That's good!" Lion-O exclaimed. He crouches down and stares at them. "We can follow the tracks and it will lead us straight to the thieves." Standing up he turns his attention to the others. "So, who's with me?"
Panthro shrugs and replies with a grin, "I'm in. I got nothing else to do."
Tygra nods his head, "If it's to get back my blueprints, then I'm game for anything."
Cheetara smiles at the young lord, "I will do as my king commands."
Wilykit and Kat looked at each other, happy and energetic. "This is going to be fun, Kit!" said Wilykat. "Yeah, I hope we see some monsters to fight!" his sister agrees.
"Sorry, kits, but you have to stay here," Tygra ordered. "It's too dangerous. It's safer if you two stay and watch over the camp."
"Ah! But safe is boring!" exclaimed Wilykit. Her brother agreed with her. "Lion-O, can't we come!?"
Lion-O responded with a smile, "Sorry, Kit, Kat, but Tygra's right. It will be safe if you'd stay here."
The twins sighed in sadness. They never get to do whatever they want. Lion-O then crouches down in front of his pet, Snarf, telling him to "Look after the Kits for us" Which the creature nods in reply.
5-hours-later, the ThunderCats journeyed across strange landscapes, following the small footprints to who knows where but the tracks went cold. The four stopped and settled in a strange forest filled with strange trees. Cheetara admired them but that didn't calm her anger but its hard to tell because of her stoicism. The cleric felt a touch on her shoulder. She turned her attention to the hand placed on her shoulder and saw it belonged to Lion-O.
"Yes, Lion-O, what do you need?" Cheetara inquired.
"Nothing, I just wanted to see how you were doing," Lion-O responded, removing his hand from Cheetara's shoulder. "I didn't know Jaga gave you that bo staff." he placed a hand through his mane while refusing to make eye-contact. "It must have really meant a lot to you?"
A small grin appeared on Cheetara's face as she stared at her king's red face, explaining, "Jaga gave it to me as a gift on my sixteenth birthday. I never knew my family because I was all alone. When I was five, Jagga took me into the Clergy, training me to become the Cleric I am now. I had always considered him like a father to me."
The others overheard them and felt sorry for Cheetara, especially Tygra. The two have been friends for as long as they could remember.
Lion-O sighed and said to the young cleric, "We're going to get it back, I promise." Saying that brought a smile onto the cheetah's face. Lion-O blushed and continued, "If you'll excuse me, I'll be somewhere alone."
"Would you like me to keep you company, Lion-O?"
"No, no, I'm good, Cheetara!"
30-minutes-later, Lion-O sat alone in front of a river, splashing cold water from his face, hoping to wash the red from his cheeks. He stopped and stared at the waterfall as it poured into the stream river.
"W-what's happening to me?" Lion-O asked himself, staring directly into his reflection.
"What, indeed, Lion-O," suddenly, I voice appeared out of nowhere. Lion-O looked around, but he saw nothing. Then appearing from behind, Lion-O turned around and saw a ghost, but it wasn't an ordinary ghost. It was the ghost of Jaga the Wise.
"Jaga! You're Alive!" Lion-O said, excitedly.
"No, not alive but I am not gone for good for I will always be with you, Lion-O," Jaga corrected the young lord. "I will be guiding you on how to be a true Lord of the ThunderCats and to become a proper king."
"Jaga, can I ask you something?"
"What is it, my son?"
Lion-O took a deep breath and came out with it, "Every time I'm around Cheetara, my heart races and I feel funny. Is that normal?"
Jaga stroked his beard and smiled at the young lord. He answered Lion-O's question, "Of course, Lion-O. It's normal for a boy to be in love."
"In Love!? I'm not in love with Cheetara!" Lion-O denied what Jaga said. How could he be in love with Cheetara? He never felt this way before when he was around her. "There's gotta be something else that's wrong with me, Jaga."
"It's perfectly normal for you to fall in love, Lion-O. You are not a child, anymore. You are a man, now, and those feelings you have are perfectly normal. Cheetara is a perfect candidate to become your wife but only in due time."
Can I ask you another question, Jaga..." Before Lion-O could ask, Jaga interrupted the young lord, knowing what he's about to say.
"...Is it about who took the Sword of Omens and your equipment and supplies? Trust your instincts and you will find the perpetrator but I must warn you, instead of acting only on instinct, you must, also, act on reason for the perpetrator may not be your enemy but an ally, as well," As Jaga wraps himself in his cape, he disappears, vanishing into thin air in front of Lion-O's eyes.
Back in the group, Lion-O saw Cheetara sitting on a log while Tygra leaned his back against a tree and Panthro drew pictures on the ground that looked like schematics for something "big".
"Lion-O, your face is wet!" Cheetara exclaimed, standing up and walking up to the young king.
Lion-O responded with a smile then explained to the cleric, "Y-yeah, I was feeling stressed so I splashed some water on my face."
After Lion-O finished explaining to Cheetara, he stood where the tracks had stopped, took a deep breath, and lifted his hands in front of the direction, feeling the aura it was emanating. As he did so, he heard Jaga's voice telling him to "Concentrate on your environment, feel the aura around you and the aura you are searching for".Tygra looked at Lion-O, raising his right eyebrow and examining what he was doing.
Lion-O picked up something, the origin where the aura was emitting was close but not close enough. "That way" Lion-O pointed at that direction. "That's where our stuff and the people who took it are."
"How do you know that?" Tygra questioned, cynically, crossing his arms as an example.
"I was just following my instincts," Lion-O answered. He couldn't tell them he learned how to use his instincts from Jaga because they would think he was crazy. "And it's telling me to go this way."
Cheetara and Panthro followed the young king. Rolling his eyes, Tygra shrugged and did the same thing. They walked for thirty minutes, following where their young king was going. Back there, Lion-O sensed a familiar aura coming from the trees, "Kit, Kat, you can come out now! I know you're there!"
Next thing you know it, the twins came falling down from the trees and landing in front of Lion-O on their feet. "Ah, how did you know we were following you!?" they asked in unison.
"Lucky guess," Lion-O replied.
"We told you to wait at the camp. What are you doing, following us?" Panthro retorted, standing beside the young lord.
"We got bored and we wanted to see what you guys were doing," Wilykit explained. "Don't worry, Snarf is watching the camp."
Tygra sighed, face palming himself and said in a monotone voice, "Fine, you guys can come."
The twins cheered and were happy to be part of the group. They continued walking with the twins accompanying them. 12-minutes-later, passing through the bushes, they stumbled across an area stranger than the forest, itself. It had orange grass and red trees growing strange, round fruit, each having a different color and covered in stripes, but there was, also, trees growing other strange fruit. In this area was what appeared to be a village with houses made out of giant mushrooms. It was like something out of a children's story book.
From the corner of Lion-O's eye, he saw something move, something hiding behind a wagon. Lion-O interpreted his plans in the form of hand gestures. Only the Thunderkittens knew what it means since they used it to communicate with each other.
The kittens crawled behind the wagon and pounced, tackling the person who was behind it. The others ran to the kittens but were surprised at what they had caught. Lion-O grabs it from the kits hands and lifts it by the legs. "Put me down, put me down," it pleaded as it speaks in a speech synthesizing voice.
Its appearance was like a teddy-bear's but more cybernetic than bear with glowing red eyes and a mechanical bear-like face. Its forearms and legs were covered in brown fur while the rest of its body exposed its cybernetic parts.
After Lion-O placed the creature back on the ground, it examined all of them, scanning their bio signatures and etc. to see what species they were, but no knowledge was in its databank.
"What are you?" Lion-O asked.
"I am Berbil," It answered. Due to the sound of its voice, the ThunderCats couldn't interpret what it just said with Cheetara saying, "Did it just say gerbil?"
"Derbil?" Panthro added.
"Erbil derbilly Berbil erbil," Lion-O mumbled.
Wilykit ran up and hugged the Berbil, shouting, "Ah, it's so cute! Can we keep it, Cheetara!?"
"No, Kit, we're not keeping it. It's not a pet, it's a sentient being. It, or he, can I call you 'he'?" the Berbil nodded. "It has its own life and its own home." Cheetara crouched down in front of the Berbil. "Now, can I you a question mister..."
"...Ro-Bear Bill," It responded. "Call me Ro-Bear Bill."
"Ro-Bear Bill, we are looking for the stuff that, we believed, you may have taken from us," Cheetara asserted as polite as she could be. "We were wondering if we could have them back."
Ro-Bear Bill did not respond. He walked away from the cheetah and stood at the center of his village, which was about 5 feet from where the ThunderCats were. Then, as he stood, Ro-Bear Bill let out a vibrating sound. It was so loud and irritating that even the ThunderCats couldn't stand it. So they covered their ears, preventing themselves from hearing it. Ro-Bear Bill stopped and out of the mushroom houses came more Berbils, all of different shapes and sizes and all having different fur color, running and gathering together to meet their guests.
The ThunderCats were surprised to see so many Berbils. Then, behind Ro-Bear Bill was a group of Berbils carrying the ThunderCats' weapons, clothes, and food supplies. Handing the weapons back to them, Ro-Bear Bill started to explain: "We did not mean to take your stuff. We were just curious of who you are and wanted to know more about you."
"Well then, if you want to know more about us, maybe, we should start with an introduction, Ro-Bear Bill," Lion-O stated. He introduced the others one by one: "We are called ThunderCats. This is Cheetara, Tygra, Panthro, Wilykit and her brother, Wilykat." Then he introduced himself, "And I am Lion-O, Lord of the ThunderCats."
After introducing themselves, the Berbils began to repeat the word "ThunderCats" to one another, even one Berbil roared like a cat. Ro-Bear Bill then asked the ThunderCats to stay and have a feast, which Lion-O agreed to with the consent of his companions. They followed Ro-Bear Bill and his friends to the feast and were both concerned and excited to meet their new friends.