A beautiful morning had risen with the sun's light shining on the ruins of the Raleigh. The light soon shined on a large fortress, barely finished and standing, proudly; having the appearance of a lion, sitting proud and brave.
It wasn't fully complete as there were still wooden construction cranes holding up giant cinder blocks, recycled from some of the debris of the fallen city but, so far, the exterior still looks nice. At the front was a marble stair case with two platforms and 6 steps on each, making twelve steps. The second platform was soon built with a beautiful fountain but wasn't effective since the water system wasn't installed, yet. On the shoulders was one laser cannon on each. The left one was operational while the other one was still being installed. The Cats Lair was connected by a stone bridge made out of granite, stretching over a moat that was 11 feet deep. Truly, this was an example of Tiger Clan architecture.
Tygra stood in front of Cats Lair, looking over his designs while telling the other ThunderCats and the Berbils what to do, “Okay, Ro-Bear Bob, you and Ro-Bear Robert put that marble column inside.” He pointed at the entrance and then turned his attention to Lion-O and Cheetara. “You two, take that rail guard to the bridge. We don't want anyone falling off it, now, do we?”
Lion-O was behind Cheetara, staring at her backside and observing her beautiful long hair. Turning her head, Cheetara noticed her king staring at her, obliviously, asking, “Is something the matter, my lord?”
Lion-O soon looked the other way, avoiding eye contact and hoping the young cheetah didn't notice his blushing, red cheeks. He replied, shyly, “N-no, nothing's the matter.” his face returned to normal and he returned his attention to Cheetara. “Let's get this thing to the bridge before Tygra starts scolding...agree?”
Unbeknownst to them, something in the darkness was watching them, observing every detail from afar. Standing in front of the Pool of Souls, Mumm-Ra observed the ThunderCats, sneering at the construction of their new fortress. He was afraid. Afraid that if the Cats Lair was completed, then it would be difficult for him to have the Eye of Thundera.
When he stepped into the Pool of Souls, he started chanting spells: “Ancient Spirits of Evil; transport this mummified form to Castle Plun-Darr!”
He was then teleported to the Plun-Darrien stronghold; inside the strategic chamber where General Slithe was strategizing with the other generals.
“Mumm-Ra!” Slithe exclaimed, looking at the decayed demon-priest as he stood on the strategy table.
“Hear me, Slithe. The ThunderCats have begun construction on their Cats Lair,” Mumm-Ra responded with his hand extended and showing the image in a ball of fire. “This is the perfect opportunity for you' all to strike while they are still weak.”
Slithe and his comrades looked, closely, at the alleged “Cats Lair” and observed the contents of its design. He remarks with one raised 'eyebrow', “Why, it almost looks like the Royal Thunderian Palace.”
Addicus soon commented, “Don't see anything to be surprised about. Since both the palace and their fortress were made by the Tiger Clan, there are bound to be similarities but who am I to criticize.”
“Who cares! Let's do it! Let's strike them while they're defenseless,” Kaynar replied, psychotically, finishing his sentence with a demented laugh.
Raising his right hand as a sign for silence, Slithe turned to his generals and orders them to “Round up the troops. We will strike in one hour.”
The generals nodded their head and left the room to do what their leader had ordered them to do. All Plun-Darrien soldiers started grabbing their axes, their laser pistols and rifles, their shields, and their swords; mounting on their skycutters and nosedivers and launched a full-scale assault on Cats Lair.
Standing in front of the large window in the strategic chamber and watching the Plun-Darrien Legionaries fly off, Mumm-R grinned, sinisterly, contemplating o himself, “Ah, it's good to have allies who will aide you and once those two destroy each other, I will search through the rubble of the ThunderCats' Lair and pry the Sword of Omens from Lion-O's carcass and, finally, use the Eye of Thundera's power to dominate this planet, then the universe.” He finished his sentence with a maniacal laugh and soon disappears, returning to his Black Pyramid.
Back at Cats Lair, Tygra seemed impressed of how the construction of Cats Lair was turning out. Looking at the blueprints he was holding, the architect started telling the Wilys to install the eye lens on the left eye.
Wilykat then noticed that his sister had stopped working and was playing with the cybernetic binoculars they got from the Berbils. He even noticed how aggravated Wilykit looked.
“What'cha looking at, Kit,” Wilykit inquired, snatching the binoculars out of his sister's hand and looked through them. He even blocked his sister from taking them back while she kept exclaiming “Give them back, Kat!”
Through the binoculars, he could see Lion-O and Cheetara putting up the rail guard, laughing at the mistakes they were making.
Suddenly, a small, malicious grin started to form on Wilykat's face. Turning around, he looked at his sister and started to tease her, “Looking at Lion-O, were you? I bet you really want to make him your mate, don't you?”
“N-no I don't, Kat! Why would I!?” Wilykit was getting annoyed by her brother's teasing. She started to get even more annoyed when he started doing impressions of her: “Oh, Lion-O! Please, make me your queen! I want to give you all of my love!” Even doing kissing sounds to really make her mad.
“Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!” Kit exclaimed but her brother just kept laughing at her embarrassing facial expression.
Down at the front entrance, Tygra started calculating when the fortress was about to be finish when he started hearing a humming sound coming from behind. He inquired with his right eyebrow raised, “What in all the nine hells is that sound!?”
They turned around and spotted the swarm of skycutters and nosedivers heading into their direction. Jaws dropping at the site, Lion-O, Cheetara, and Tygra dropped what they were doing and headed into the almost-operational Cats Lair, preparing for the battle they were about to face. Even the Berbils ran inside for protection. Grabbing their weapons from the finished armory, the adult ThunderCats were ready to fight.
Unsheathing their weapons, they stood outside, ready to receive orders from their king. “So, what are your orders, my king?” Cheetara inquired.
“Depends, how are the cannons, Tygra?” Lion-O asks.
“The left one is operational but the right one still needs to be installed,” Tygra replied, pulling down his hood to give Lion-O an honest face. “It's not going to be enough to hold them off.”
Lion-O soon sighed and looked at his fellow ThunderCats, saying, “Well, then we better make the best of it.”
Up in the control room where the Thunderkittens were, Tygra started giving them instructions on how to operate the cannons. The left cannon aiming and ready to fire, the kits started pressing the fire button, shooting lasers at most of the skycutters flying towards Cats Lair.
Putting on the Clawshield on his right hand, Lion-O unsheathes the Sword of Omens and looks at his comrades who were' all unsheathng their weapons and getting ready to attack.
“You guys ready?” Lion-O asks.
“As always,” Cheetara replied, smiling.
“You know, there's a 30/70 chance we're going to survive, right?” Tygra informed Lion-O, hoping the young king would realize the situation. “And, you know, this isn't going to be pretty?”
Lion-O just smiled and replied with a slight chuckle, “Who said fighting was a pretty thing to do?”
Soon, the nosedivers began firing their laser cannons while the platform vehicles landed on the ground, releasing the infantry in a blitzkrieg of terror.
Cheetara, with her bo staff, strikes at the ground, summoning a wave of bo staffs from out of the soil and, directly, at some of the nosedivers and infantry men.
One laser blast strikes the left side of Cats Lairs' neck. The sight of it infuriated Tygra, shouting at the Plun-Darriens, “Oh, come on! It took a week to build that!” doing something so out of character: charging into battle and pulling his whip and cracking it at the Plun-Darrien Legionaries. He even tied his whip to the right wing of a nosediver and, forcefully, redirecting it to the moat but not just before the driver jumped out and landed on the soft grass.
There were too many to fight; slowly, falling back to Cats Lair. One skycutter fired a beam at a crane, damaging the arm to the point where the cinder block was about to fall. Unbeknownst, Cheetara was standing under the cinder block. Lion-O, turning his attention to the young cheetah, saw the cinder block about to fall on her. “Cheetara, look out!” Lion-O exclaimed. The young cleric looks up, seeing the cinder block falling. She could not move. Shocked and scared. 'I can't move! My life is over!' Thoughts of fear traveled through Cheetara's mind. 'Is this the end of me!? Is this the end of my existence!? I've have yet to experience things I haven't experience! I've never experienced love or made love!” As the block was about to crush her, Cheetara closed her eyes and faced the music but something didn't seem right to her. She opened her eyes and noticed she was pushed on the ground and was about two feet away from the position she was before with the cinder block in pieces. She started to feel something heavy on top of her. Looking down, she sees Lion-O, lying on her abdomen.
'He...he saved my life! Lion-O, you saved my life! Thank you,' she acknowledged while her cheeks were flushed red. She started noticing an odd feeling, as well. Cheetara looks at her right chest and starts screaming “Lion-O! Where are you touching me!?” Lion-O opened his eyes and saw his left hand touching Cheetara's right bosom. He reacted from that; quickly, removing his hand and leaping off the beautiful cleric.
“S-sorry! I didn't mean to...” Lion-O apologized with his hands raised in a nonthreatening way. He stopped and looked around, noticing the army surrounding them with laser rifles pointing at them. He even noticed Tygra kneeling down with a laser pistol pointing at the back of his head.
“Get up or I'll blow your tiger friends' brains out!” Slithe threatened.
Lion-O and Cheetara stood up and raised their hands up in defeat. Tygra screamed out with all the air in his lungs: “Guys, don't worry about me! If we surrender, then all will be lost!” but when he scream, he soon started to hyperventilate. Then he started coughing and blood appeared from his mouth.
“Tygra! Let him go! He needs to breathe in his mask or else, he'll die!” Lion-O retorted in concern. Slithe replied with a cold, merciless expression, “And I care why?”
Lion-O and Cheetara watched as Tygra suffered. His breathing became worse and worse to the point where he broke out in sweat.
“Please, let him breathe!” Cheetara exclaimed. She couldn't bare to watch her childhood friend suffer.
“Oh, I know how to fix him,” Kaynar walks up to the sick tiger with a large in both hands. Lifting the ax in the air, he prepared to strike. “Let me put him out of his misery!”
Lion-O and Cheetara couldn't watch. After stopping the cannons, the kits were observing Tygra's public execution. Even they couldn't bare to watch, as well.
As the ax fell, Lion-O and Cheetara shouted “No!” in unison but Kaynar stopped before he could strike the tiger. With his canine sense of hearing, he could tell something was coming their way but whent hey turn their attention to the other side of where the ruined city was, they saw oncoming missiles coming towards them. One-by-one, the missiles hit the Plun-Darriens, destroying most of their skycutters, nosedivers, and platform ships, wiping out or terrifying many in the process. Then, out of nowhere, a large ground vehicle was moving towards them.
On the back of both sides were rails with spikes and on the front were large metal claws. The front of the vehicle resembled a grinning, fierce-looking cat with a sharp pointed beard-looking forward end. And on its back was the ThunderCats insignia.
A hatch was open in the middle, revealing large holes, continuing to sheet several missiles into the air. As it halted, the vehicle ceased firing missiles. They thought it stopped but it had yet to begun fighting. Unbeknownst to the Plun-Darriens, who had left their guard down, the mouth of the vehicle soon opened, releasing a large fusion cannon blast, vaporizing anything in its path.
This was the perfect opportunity the ThunderCats needed, pullingout the Sword, Lion-O soon sliced one of the soldiers and Cheetara followed from then on, whacking and striking at the soldiers around them. Those two made one hell of a team.
“Retreat!” Kaynar shouted, running for his life like the coward he was. While running, Slithe began to scold the jackal general from behind, “Idiot! Who gave you authorization to order a retreat!?” Hearing an explosion from behind, Slithe continued, “But, in this case, it can be an exception. We've got to report this back to Mumm-Ra!”
Running back to their skycutters and nosedivers and platform vehicles, the Plun-Darriens soon retreated and regrouped back to Castle Plun-Darr. Cheetara ran to Tygra, placing the oxygen mask around his neck onto his face, breathing in and out.
The vehicle halted and ceased firing, and as the ThunderCats stood in front of the vehicle, a large silhouette appeared from the roof of the head.
“Panthro!” Lion-O was surprised and relieved to see a familiar person. It's good to have friends in high places.
“In the flesh,” the general replied with a smile and with his arms crossed.
The ThunderCats, even the Thunderkittens, got close to the strange vehicle and were amazed at what it did. Tygra responded while rubbing his chin, “Wow, Panthro, what is this thing? Wait, isn't this a ThunderTank?”
“Sure is, my ancestors did build them, you know,” Panthro retorted.
When it was safe, the Berbils soon exited out of Cats Lair, feeling relief that they weren't injured but were sad that all their hard work was almost destroyed, along with their new found friends. Ro-Bear Bill walks up to the ThunderCats and said in a sad tone of voice, “ThunderCats, I'm sorry we couldn't help protect your home.”
Lion-O smiled and said in reassurance, “Don't worry about it, they didn't cause much damage.”
“Yeah, and, besides, I think we can finish up from here,” Tygra added. The Berbils were glad and soon started return home, knowing that their friends do not need their help, anymore.
5-hours-later, Cats Lair was finished and fully operational. Lion-O was amazed by what the inside looked like, looking both high-tech and old-fashioned. Panthro, Tygra, and Cheetara were at the monitor, observing their surroundings while the kits were eating so much candy fruit that they became hyper and started running around like squirrels. Its ashame the monitor couldn't scan all of Third-Earth, then they wouldn't have to go out and start mapping the areas of the continent.
“Gods, this is amazing!” Lion-O yelled out in excitement, lettng out the little kid inside him. “So, do we really have to leave this place?” Lion-O was standing next to Cheetara, unbeknownst to him, who was looking away, avoiding eye-contact with her king. “Because, we could just ask the Berbils for maps.”
“Mmmhmm, already asked them. They, too, do not know much about the continent,” Panthro explained while shaking his head. “They've only know only about a few territories around them and that includes here and the Giantors' territory.”
Tygra seemed to not be paying attention to what the others were talking about, pondering on what the Plun-Darriens said before they retreated. Cheetara then asks Tygra, “Are you okay?”
Tygra replied to Cheetara's concern without even looking at her, “There was something strange about the Plun-Darriens. When hey left, they mentioned someone called...Mumm-Ra. Do any of you guys heard anyone like that?” He looked at the others who were as stumped as he was.
“Don't know but the Plun-Darriens are known for creating strange alliances to strengthen their forces when they're desperate,” Panthro replied. “We don't know much about this world and if there is someone on this planet aiding the League of Plun-Darr, then this will be one war we've yet to finish.”
“So, it's settled. Tomorrow, we'll leave and start mapping the area. If we run into this 'Mumm-Ra' guy, then we'll take care of him with the Sword of Omens,” Lion-O assured, unsheathing the Sword and showing it to the others.
“We can't get cocky, Lion-O. We don't anything about him and we're as sure as hell don't want to mess with anyone crazy enough to side with the Plun-Darrien Legion,” Panthro stated with his arms crossed.
Placing a hand on his shoulder, Cheetara looked at Lion-O and said with a smile, “The Sword of Omens is powerful but there are some things that needs teamwork to defeat.”
Lion-O's cheeks flushed in embarrassment, feeling Cheetara's soft hand on his shoulder and hearing the wise words that came from her voice. “Yeah, that's trues. Thanks guys” Lion-O was grateful to have such good teachers and good friends. Nighttime had fallen, once again, on Third-Earth, with the second moon hovering over. As Lion-O was walking down the corridor to his room, he was stopped by Cheetara who was standing behind her king.
Lion-O turned around and looked at the expression on Cheetara's face: happy and thankful. “Cheetara, what's wrong?”
“Oh, nothing Lion-O. I just want to save...thanks for saving my life,” Cheetara responded while she was twirling a strand of her right bang with her finger. “I was scared and couldn't move. I thought that stone block was about to crush me but then you saved me by pushing me out of the way.”
As a sign of thanks, Cheetara kisses the young lion on the cheek and walks the other way to her room. Lion-O starts rubbing the cheek the cleric had kissed him on, thinking “I will never wash this cheek, again.”
Meanwhile, in the Black Pyramid, Mumm-Ra was furious. The dark obelisks fired beams of lightning into the clouds as a sign of his anger.
“So close! I was so close to destroying those ThunderCats!” Mumm-Ra shouted, furiously. “I guess I should have known to never underestimate my enemies.” He soon skimped towards and entered his sarcophagus and as it started to close he muttered these words: “One day, I will find their vulnerability and rid myself of the ThunderCats existence for wherever evil exists, Mumm-Ra lives!” The cover closes and Mumm-Ra sleeps but when he awakens, he will have his day of destruction.