With it being a typical day on Third Earth, Lion-O and Snarf decided to take a perimeter sweep on foot around Cats Lair. The two hadn’t been travelling very long when they heard the sounds of a child scream and then the laughter of an all too familiar sickening laugh… the Mutants.
Lion-O knew the sound all too well and knew he had to go and help. There had been numerous times when the Mutants would disrupt the lives of a harmless village just to either draw out the ThunderCats or they were bored.
“Let’s go Snarf!” Lion-O called as he then broke out on a run, after sliding his hand into his claw shield.
“Snarf. Why can’t the Mutants ever stay away!” the little Snarf called out as he ran after Lion-O.
Lion-O ignored his furry companion and continued running just as he heard a splash. Both ThunderCat and Snarf rushed out from behind some bushes, just as a little girl was splashing in the water and a Jackalman was on her tail.
The said Mutant swiftly turned to the ThunderCat. “Blast, got caught!” He watched as Lion-O lifted his arm and pulled out his sword with the other.
“I’m going to only ask this once. “What are you doing here Jackalman? You’re a little far from Castle-Plundarr.”
“Wouldn’t you like to know!” Jackalman laughed. “But you better hurry. You want to stop me or save her?” He pointed to the girl who was trying to stay standing but was having trouble with the strong current of the water.
Lion-O watched the girl and within seconds of his eyes falling onto the child, she lost her balance and fell into the water once again, this time being washed away with the strong current.
“AAAAAAAH!” a scream released.
Lion-O didn’t give the Jackalman a second thought. He re-sheathed the Sword of Owens and took off running down the stream to find a spot where he could jump in and save the girl. He never bothered to look back as Jackalman decided to make his escape, since the ThunderCat Lord was distracted. Snarf was quickly at his heels.
“Maynus!” squeaked a voice.
Lion-O didn’t pay attention to the voice as he continued to run. He had to hurry or else the girl would die. Not far from where she went in was a waterfall. He had to hurry. Eventually he soon found a deep spot and without so much as a warning to Snarf, he rushed to the shoreline and dove in.
“HELP!” cried the girl.
“I’m coming!” Lion-O shouted over the flowing water, easily able to stay afloat.
Snarf stopped at the water’s edge and waited. “Hurry Lion-O!”
Lion-O continued to swim as fast as his body would carry him and soon caught the girl. “I got you!”
The girl felt skin against her and she clung onto the body for dear life. Tears fell from her eyes but with her soaking wet, the body she held onto, couldn’t feel the tears. Lion-O wrapped one around her small body and used the other to swim back to the shore. He had his work cut out for him as the current was strong and he couldn’t use both arms, but he knew he’d managed. He had faired worse before.
“Maynus!” squeaked a voice from the shoreline.
Snarf, close to the voice, turned and then gasped. “A Snarf!”
The Snarf looked over to Snarf. “Snirfy… You’re a Snarf!”
“So are you!” Snarf answered. “I just like being called Snarf because I don’t like my real name.”
Both Snarfs turned to watch the Lord of the ThunderCats continue his swim back to shore. Once the ThunderCat Lord reached the shore, Snarf was quick to pull the girl off Lion-O, allowing Lion-O to jump out.
“Maynus!” Snirfy cried out as he jumped into the girl’s arms. “You’re ok!”
“Oh Snirfy,” she cried out as she cuddled the Snarf to her small body.
Lion-O blinked several times. “Am I--”
“I know, snarf,” Snarf interrupted. “It’s a Snarf and she’s…” he paused. “She’s Thunderian!”
“Amazing!” Lion-O gasped. Now he understood why the Jackalman was after the girl. He would use the girl as leverage to trap the ThunderCats. Just then his eyes widened, noticing the girl was shivering. If she didn’t get warm soon she would get a fever or worse, sick. Without a thought, he pulled out the sword.
“THUNDER! THUNDER! THUNDER! THUNDERCATS HO!”
With each shout of the word, the sword grew in length. His words caught the attention of Snirfy and the girl who watched in awe as suddenly the Eye of Thundera woke and created a signal, going up into the sky.
Snarf looked at the two. “Lion-O is calling the other ThunderCats.”
“Th…ThunderCats?” the girl shivered before releasing a sneeze.
“Yes. That’s Lion-O, Lord of the ThunderCats.”
“Snirfy. Snirfy. We found the ThunderCats after all this time.”
Lion-O, once he knew his friends saw the signal, sealed the Sword of Omens and looked to the girl. “What’s your name?”
“Maynus,” she weakly replied, sneezing again.
Lion-O gave her a friendly smile but worry was etched on his face. He could see she was already getting sick. “Well hello Maynus. Snirfy, I’m Lion-O. Soon my friends will be here and we’ll take you back to Cats Lair where you can get warm and tell us the long story.”
“And… that scary creep?” She began to shiver more. Snarf did his best to try and warm the girl up.
Lion-O’s eyes hardened. “You no longer need to worry about Jackalman, he’s ran off. It’s a good thing we happen to come across each other. I’m sure you have lots of questions as do I.”
The girl continued to shiver as Snarf was in ‘nanny’ mode trying to keep her warm and he was still trying when soon the rumble of the Thundertank was hearing coming towards them, startling the girl.
Lion-O saw this and gave her a reassuring smile. “Hey, it’s ok. That’s just my friends coming with our vehicle called the Thundertank.”
She looked at the friendly face of a fellow Thunderian. She knew he was the Lord of the ThunderCats but really didn’t want to believe it was true. Her ‘tribe’ always kept saying there was no way to know if the ThunderCats had survived the exodus or not.
Taking a look behind him, she saw a large vehicle stop several yards away before suddenly two children, a little older than her plus three other adults suddenly emerged.
“Lion-O! What’s wrong!?” asked the only adult female.
Lion-O stood and faced his friends. “We’re not alone anymore…” he began, watching as each one of his friends looked at him, confused. He then stepped aside. “Everyone meet Snirfy and Manyus.”
“A Thunderian!” Cheetara gasped.
“Another Snarf!?” Panthro exclaimed. He then smiled. “So we’re not alone.”
“No,” Lion-O confirmed. “We need to get her back to Cats’ Lair. She was attacked by Jackalman and fell into the river.”
“The poor thing,” Cheetara replied. She walked over and pulled the girl into her arms. “She’s freezing. I think she maybe starting to get a temperature.”
Snarf was happy for the change of warmth. At least Cheetara could keep her warmer. “WilyKit, why don’t you go and get a blanket so we can wrap her in it.”
“Sure,” the girl replied and ran back over to the tank and returned a moment later with the blanket. She then helped Cheetara wrap the girl up just as the girl lost consciousness.
The girl known as Maynus was resting comfortably in a guest room with Lion-O watching over her. Snirfy was with Snarf, happy to be reunited with a member of his own species. With the shocking revelation of the girl being found, it didn’t take Lion-O long to have Tygra travel to the Tower of Omens and get the new ThunderCats, which now Snarfer was bonding as well with Snirfy.
Lion-O sighed for the umpteenth time since everyone was a debriefed in what happened. Everyone was worried for the girl as for several hours her temperature kept spiking but eventually did go down and now was on the amends thanks to Tygra.
“What’s wrong Lion-O?”
The young Lord snapped his head to see his old friend and mentor standing beside him in his astral self. “Jaga!” His eyes then drifted to the girl. “I don’t understand Jaga.”
Jaga’s eyes drifted to the girl sleeping as well. He then smiled. “I had a feeling there were more survivors but I didn’t know where. Many did arrive in the Astral plain but not all so I assumed there were survivors. Where did you find her?”
“She was being chased by Jackalman and fell into the river. I think the Mutants wanted to try and use her for a bargaining chip.”
“That wouldn’t be surprising,” replied the former ThunderCat. “Any idea what is with her?”
“She was with a Snarf called Snirfy and he said a ship crashed on an island sometime ago and the survivors of the ship wreck, created a settlement. He also said Maynus and her parents were out doing some exploring when they got separated and soon came upon a Mutant.”
“Sounds like you need to reunite her with her family.”
“Yes. And meet the other Thunderians, letting them know they are not alone.” Lion-O turned back to Jaga. “For awhile now I thought we were the only ones but now knowing we aren’t, I’m a little nervous.”
Jaga lightly laughed. “It’s to be expected. Instead of governing over your loyal ThunderCats, you’re now going to be responsible for others as well and that alone can be baffling.”
“What should I do?”
“Do what you think is right. You’re the Lord of the ThunderCats and you easily integrated three survivors into your mists. Now, it’s time to expand and to welcome more of your people.”
“I just wish I knew what I should do or say.”
“You’ll know when the time is right. You were quick to make friends with the denizens around you and they look to you for guidance and help. I’m sure you’ll do fine.”
“Thank you, Jaga.”
Lion-O watched as his mentor brought his cape around and disappeared in a blue flash. His eyes drifted back to the girl on the bed as he began to think of what he should do next. Jaga was right. He was good with people so why fret about what to say or do? They were his people. He then smiled, when the girl would wake and felt strong enough, he would take her back to her parents and introduce himself to the survivors there.
Everyone was gathered in the conference chamber of Cats’ Lair. The Three new ThunderCats, Pumyra, Bengali and Lynx-O were standing near by. The three Snarfs were sitting on the table as Maynus sat in one of the chairs looking really shy. Just a few hours ago she had woke from her sleep, not knowing she had dealt with a fever. She did, however, woke screaming in terror, scared of where she was. Cheetara was quick to rush to her aide and calmed her down and then, like a mother, escorted her to where everyone was gathered.
“Maynus,” Lion-O began. “I would like you to meet all my friends, the ThunderCats.”
Maynus looked at the ThunderCats. “Never before have I thought I would ever see more people of my kind again.”
Pumyra smiled. “I know how you feel. Bengali, myself and Lynx-O thought we were the last but then we met Lion-O and we couldn’t be happier.”
“I miss Mommy,” she whimpered.
The Thunderkittens looked at the girl with sadness. “Lion-O can’t we do something?” asked Wilykit.
“It sounds like there are more of our kind,” Bengali replied, looking hopeful.
“It would nice to know we’re not the only Thunderians left,” Lynx-O stated. “Lion-O, perhaps you should help return the girl back to her group of people and make first contact with them. Let them know they are not alone.”
“I agree,” Panthro replied. “We can always all take a trip there later and introduce ourselves, offering them to move closer to us.”
“That may not be wise,” argued Tygra. “They could be safer where they’re at now. Away from Mumm-Ra and the Mutants, not to mention the Lunatacs.”
Wilykat looked to the girl and then to his sister. “I wonder if there are other Thunderians close to our age there.”
“There is only way to find out,” Lion-O said, taking what everyone said to heart. “I’ll take Maynus and Snirfy back home. Though it’s dangerous and could run into any of our enemies, it might be best if I go alone.”
“Would be less noticeable by Mumm-Ra or anyone else for that matter,” agreed Tygra. “Snarf. Snarfer. Perhaps you guys could go with them you’ve helped in jams before.”
“Sounds fun! Snarfer Snarfer.”
Cheetara stood and walked over to Lion-O. “Lion-O, please be careful.”
“In case of trouble,” Lynx-O offered. “We’ll be on stand by with the Thunderstrike.”
“Good idea,” Lion-O nodded. He looked to the girl. “You ready to go home?”
She looked up at him and nodded. “Yes. Are we leaving now?”
“Just as soon as you’re ready,” he replied.
“Then let’s go!” she gasped, jumping out of her seat. “I want to see Mommy.”
“ThunderCats…” Lion-O began.
“HO!” Everyone cheered.
Driving in the Thundertank, Lion-O had Maynus and the Snarfs in the back to hopefully ward off any attacks. No doubt Jackalman went running to Slythe to report about the child and Lion-O’s involvement, so it was only a matter of time before the Mutants would rear their ugly heads.
The small group had only been travelling a short while when Lion-O’s fears came to life. His eyes widened as he saw Slythe in one the Mutant vehicles, firing at the tank. He manoeuvred the tank to the right, narrowly dodging a hit. The second he moved, he heard Maynus’ squeal of fright.
Lion-O didn’t have time to forewarn the others what was going on as he swerved to the left, trying to out manoeuvre the attack, but he was one second too late. The attack hit the tank, sending it airborne. It landed on its side.
“OW!” cried Maynus.
Lion-O, not wasting time, jumped out of the tank after hitting the hatchway door. “Let’s go!”
“Maynus is hurt!” Snirfy cried.
Lion-O looked to the girl and saw she had scrapped her knee during the crash. He quickly held his hand to the girl. “We have to hurry. I’ll carry you.”
With tears in her eyes, she whimpered as she reached for him. The moment his strong, large hand was around hers, he pulled her forward and hefted her onto his back. “Hope you three can keep up!”
“We will,” Snarf moaned as he winced and hoped out.
The three Snarfs and Lion-O went at a run, heading to the tree lines where Slythe couldn’t follow so easily. He wasn’t flying a machine that could cut trees. Lion-O didn’t bother to look back as he continued into the forest he had never been in before, but he could hear Slythe.
“Blasted! He got away! Jackalman! Monkian! After him!”
Lion-O could hear both other Mutants as they made their typical sounds and began to make chase. Lion-O never stopped until soon came upon a cave. He hoped that would be a good place to hide. He carefully pulled himself into the cave and stepped as far back as he possibly could so the Mutants wouldn’t see him. The three Snarfs hovered around his feet as Lion-O crouched down and slid the girl to the ground.
“I’m scared…” she whimpered.
“It’ll be ok,” Lion-O whispered as he cuddled her tight against him. “Now, you have to be very quiet or the Mutants may hear us.”
She buried her head into his chest and held onto him tightly while Lion-O kept his eyes peeled for the Mutants. Within moments, the Mutants arrived as his location.
“Where’d he go!?” complained Jackalman.
Monkian hooted like a monkey for a second. “I don’t see them anywhere!”
“What!?” Slythe snarled. “You lossst him!?”
Both Mutants turned to the lizard like creature. “He had a head start,” defended the Jackal.
“That’s no excuses! Mumm-ra wants the girl! Yesssssss…”
“What are you Mutants doing!?”
“Mumm-Ra!” shivered Jackalman as his legs quivered.
Lion-O took another quiet step back further into the cave as his eyes narrowed what was that tyrant doing here?
“Slythe,” the old everliving hissed. “You managed to lose not only the cub but the Thundercub as well.”
“Lion-O is resourceful, but he couldn’t have gotten far. There’s three Snarfs with him and he’s got the girl who looks injured.”
“I want her found. She’s the key to the Temple of Luminous!”
‘Temple of Luminous?’ Lion-O thought as he looked at the frightened girl. So whatever reason they were after the girl for, it wasn’t to trap the ThunderCats as first assumed, it had to do with this temple. He had to get some answers and fast but he couldn’t say anything right now.
“Now, find the girl and find her fast!” Mumm-Ra then took off into the air, leaving the Mutants to do his dirty work.
“Monkian, you go that way.” Slythe pointed to the left. “Jackalman you go that way.” He pointed to the right. “And I’ll back track to see if I can pick up their trail.”
Lion-O watched as the three Mutants disappeared from sight and he gave a sigh of relief. “Jaga, I need to speak with you,” he said, getting the girl’s attention.
Snarf looked at her. “Don’t worry about it, he’s Lion-O’s mentor who died a long time and he can appear to Lion-O.”
“Yes, Lion-O?” replied the mentor.
“Jaga, what is the Temple of Luminous?” Lion-O asked as he looked up, confusing the girl more.
Jaga sighed. “The girl in your arms possesses a power of light called Luminous. For ages it was said to be a myth on Thundera, but there were a select few Thunderians who grew up with this power.”
“A long time ago before even I was Lord of the ThunderCats, there was an old tale of a temple called Luminous but where it was never on Thundera, it was past into myth. It was said ‘he who possesses the light may enter the temple’. If what Mumm-ra says is true, then the temple does exist and it’s here on Third Earth.”
“We need to find it before Mumm-ra does but I can’t do anything right now while those Mutants are searching for us. We’ll have to wait until they are long gone and make our way back to the Thundertank and call for help.”
“In the meantime you should continue to try and get her to her family and warm them of the dangers because of her.”
“I intend to.” Lion-O watched as Jaga soon vanished from sight.
“So Lion-O what do we do now?” asked Snarf.
“We continue taking her back to her family and elude the Mutants,” Lion-O commanded. “Come on, we need to get out of here.” Lion-O pulled the girl off his lap and had her stand even though she winced. “I’ll protect you.”
Maynus slowly nodded. “Mommy always told me to be strong.”
Lion-O nodded. “And you are.”
The small group began to slowly make their way out of the tunnel, not wanting to make a sound when suddenly the floor collapsed beneath them, creating a hole. However, the hole wasn’t big enough for Lion-O to fall through but the others suddenly slid down. Maynus screamed as she went until reaching the bottom.
“Maynus!” Lion-O called down as he situation himself to stand over the hole. “Snarf! Snarfer! Snirfy!”
“Lion-O?!” called from the darkness from Snarf. “We’re down here!”
“Lion-O?” called the scared the child.
“Maynus,” Lion-O called down. “You’ll be ok. Snarf is there with you. He’ll take care of you.”
“I know you are, and it’s alright to be scared. Sometimes I am too. Is there any way you guys can get out?”
“Not that we can see. Snarfer Snarfer.”
“It’s very slippery here. Snirfy. Snirfy.”
“The walls look slimy and purple. Snarf.”
“By Jaga!” Lion-O gasped. “We’ve actually found the Cave of Slime?!”
“Cave of what?” asked Snarfer.
“Cave of Slime. Willa told us about it a few weeks ago that there’s a hidden cave within a cave and it’s considered as ‘cave of slime’.”
“There you are ThunderCat! Yesssssss!”
Lion-O swiftly turned. “Slythe!”
Both Jackalman and Monkian jumped out from out of nowhere, charging at Lion-O. The ThunderCat Lord was quick to jump to his feet and dodge the attack, forcing the two to butt heads. Lion-O never bothered to look back as he raced out of the cave so he could better fight the mutants.
“You stupid morons!” Slythe hissed as the two mutants climbed back to their feet, not knowing there was a scared girl below them trapped in a cave.
The three then ran out into the open.
“All alone with no one around to help,” Slythe laughed. “Where’s the cub?”
“Somewhere you won’t find her, mutants,” Lion-O stated, aggressively.
“We’ll just see about that!”
Lion-O knew he couldn’t take the three mutants on alone especially with Mumm-ra close by. Without hesitation he was quick to pull out his sword and call for help.
“Quick! Get him before the ThunderCats arrive!” Slythe commanded.
Being the idiots they were, both Jackalman and Monkian rushed at the young ThunderCat Lord not giving the ThunderCat a chance to form the first word to awaken the Eye of Thundera. The mutants were able to knock Lion-O to the ground. The Sword of Omens flew out of Lion-O’s hands, going airborne and landed inside the cave, sliding across the floor until reaching the hole where the Snarfs and Maynus were.
“What was that!?” Snirfy blurted as the three Snarfs looked up.
“The Sword of Omens!” Snarf called out. “The mutants!”
“Lion-O must have been getting ready to call for help but was taken down,” Snarfer replied.
Snarf tried to climb up the purple walls but he couldn’t get a good grip due to the slipperiness of the slime coating the walls. “If we can try and get up enough maybe we can use the sword to climb our way out. Snarf. Snarf.”
“That’s an idea Uncle Os…Snarf. Snarfer. Snarfer.”
“Uncle Snarf?” Snirfy question.
Snarfer looked at the small Snarf. “Yeah, he’s my Uncle.” He looked to Snarf. “Maybe we can throw something up and hit the blade so it can fall down the hole?”
Snarf looked to his nephew. “Snarf. That’s an idea. But what?”
Maynus looked scared but pulled something out of her top, which happened to be an apple she got from Wilykit before leaving.. “I was saving this… can we use this?” She was trying her best to stay calm and remember her mother’s words.
“That could work,” Snarf nodded. He took the apple and then carefully aimed it towards the sword before giving it a huge throw.
The other two Snarfs watched with nearly held breaths as the apple went up and with good aiming, it hit the blade, causing the sword to move, which was enough to force the sword to fall down the hole, jamming the blade into the ground near Maynus’ feet.
“Now what?” asked Maynus as she stared at the sleeping Eye of Thundera.
“Snarf. Now, we try and get out one at a time by using the sword to stab into the wall.”
“Yeah, but the wall is slimy.” Maynus was a bit hesitant about the idea.
“Lion-O is in trouble and one of us needs to get out to help so he can call the others. Snarf.” He walked back over to the wall made of slime and then using his tail, he was able to bring him up a little higher before bouncing a bit to get more of a leverage and then jumped, stabbing the sword into the wall. He then worked on digging his claws into the slime to get a better grip before using his tail to pull the sword out and bring it up to his one free hand. Keeping his grip, Snarf once again stabbed the sword into the wall a little higher up and repeated what he did before. He did this over and over until finally reaching the top.
Once out of the hole, Snarf looked down. He could barely see the other two Snarfs and Maynus. “Snarf. You guys sit still. I’m going to help Lion-O and then he can call the others to help. I think only the Thundertank will be able to help.”
“Hurry!” squeaked the girl. “I’m scared.”
Snarf took the Sword of Omens and put in his mouth. He couldn’t see Snirfy crawling into Maynus’ arms to try and help her stay calm. Snarf then turned away from the hole and ran out to help his friend. The second he got outside the cave, he saw Jackalman and Monkian had Lion-O pinned against a tree and it looked as though Lion-O was about to lose against them.
Narrowing his eyes, Snarf then ran at the two mutants. His small body would just be enough to get around their legs with the hopes of distracting them and forcing them to lose their balance.
“What the…” Jackalman blurted suddenly when he felt something fuzzy touch his leg. He looked down just in time to see Snarf’s tail disappear from behind Monkian’s leg.
“It’s that blasted Snarf!” Slythe yelled. He stood a distance away, letting his minions do the dirty work. “Stop him!”
Monkian released Lion-O’s arm and went to make a grab for the Snarf but the furry Thunderian was quick, managing to get away from Monkian and got around behind Jackalman’s feet. Jackalman made the mistake of letting go of the ThunderCat Lord too to try and make a grab for the Snarf. Once again Snarf was able to dodge capture by rushing back to Monkian, causing the mutant to turn, which forced him to finally lost his footing and tumbled to the ground.
Lion-O, watching the entire thing, working on catching his breath, smiled. “Go Snarf!”
“Why you!” Jackalman growled as he made a grab for the Snarf, being too stupid to see what the Snarf was doing.
“No! You idiot!” Slythe hissed as he tried to run towards them, but it was too late. Soon Jackalman too was on the ground and Snarf was then jumping into Lion-O’s waiting arms.
“Way to go Snarf!”
Snarf lightly laughed as he dropped the sword into Lion-O’s hands. Snarf then dropped down to the ground, allowing Lion-O to take that moment to awaken the Eye of Thundera, calling his friends. Slythe was just an arm’s length a way when the Eye of Thundera roared to life, creating a signal for the others to see and come to the ThunderCat Lord’s aide.
“You’re already tired ThunderCat, yesssss!” Slythe taunted. “We’ll get that sword and find the cub before your friends arrive.”
Lion-O knew the mutant was right in a sense. Lion-O didn’t have much strength left to fend off Slythe but he would not go down without a fight and perhaps he could last until the ThunderCats were to arrive. He knew Lynx-O, Bengali and Pumyra would be at his aide since they were his back up and it wouldn’t take long for the Thunderstrike to be airborne and reach his location.
“We’ll just see about that, mutant!” Lion-O stated as he went into a fighting stance.
“Lion-O! Watch out!” cried Snarf as he saw the other two mutants get up and close in on him from behind.
The young Lord didn’t say anything as he sensed their presence approach. He had to act fast. Using the strength in his legs, he then jumped up, getting high enough above Slythe’s head and somersaulted in the air to land behind him. Now all three mutants were in front of him and no longer had the other two on his blind spot. He then began to step back, using this time to stall them. The longer he could prolong their attack, the better his chances. The only problem with doing this strategy was he was bringing them closer to the mouth of the cave, although they wouldn’t be able to reach Maynus anyway.
“You think you can stall us?” Slythe taunted again. “Think again!”
“I’ll do whatever it takes to stop you mutants from getting what you want!” Lion-O insisted.
Just then Lion heard a sound and his eyes lifted up to see what was coming towards them. He then smiled reverting his eyes to focus on them again. “You’re not getting Maynus!”
“We’ll see about that.” Slythe was completely oblivious to an oncoming moving object in the sky that was until a sound finally reached his ears and he happened to look up to see the Thunderstrike.
The three jumped back away from Lion-O just in time to watch the vehicle land and three ThunderCats jumped out, weapons in hand.
“Retreat!” Slythe commanded before stumbling away really quick, not bothering to help his two comrades.
Lion-O kneeled to one knee, relaxing his muscles to finish catching his breath as he heard Bengali laugh on how the mutants were stumbling, trying to get away really quick.
“Lion-O!?” called out Pumyra as she rushed over to him.
“I’m ok,” he replied. “Snarfer, Snirfy and Maynus are trapped in the Cave of Slime though and the mutants forced the Thundertank to flip sideways.”
“Cave of Slime?” blinked Bengali as he made his way over to his Lord.
“Willa once told us about a cave made of slime but they didn’t know where it was. We just literally stumbled upon it. It’s in that cave here, below the surface.”
“Perhaps then,” Lynx-O began. “We flip the Thundertank back around and use the grappling hook Panthro had installed to pull her out.”
Lion-O nodded. “Snarf. Stay here and keep Maynus company. Tell her we’ll get her free shortly.”
Snarf gave a nod and rushed back into the cave to appear over the hole to talk to Maynus.
For nearly 30 minutes the three Snarfs helped to keep Maynus calmed down while the grown ups went to get the Thundertank. In time Snarf heard the rumbling sound of the tank heading towards them and he was glad. Maynus was beginning to go stir crazy.
“Where is she!?” called out Bengali as he ran towards the cave with the grappling hook in hand.
Snarf looked up. “Down there.”
“Help!” cried the girl.
Bengali went to his knees. “Help is here. I’m going to drop a line down for you to climb out. Just stay calm.” He then started to drop the line down to the bottom. When it was as far as it could go, there was still another foot where Maynus couldn’t reach.
“Grab on,” Bengali commanded just as Lion-O and Pumyra arrived.
“I can’t!” she cried. “It’s not long enough.”
“Maybe she can lift the Snarfs to the rope first and then one of then could help her up to the rope?” Pumyra suggested.
Lion-O kneeled on the ground. “Ok, you three listen carefully. Maynus if you could help Snirfy and Snarfer on to the rope maybe one of them can help you get onto the rope as well.”
There was a moment of silence and Lion-O could barely make out the girl standing by the rope. Focusing really hard, he saw one of the Snarfs was suddenly on the rope, making his way up and then the other Snarf was put on the rope.
“Snirfy,” Maynus replied in a scared voice. “Maybe I can use your tail?”
“Snirfy. That’s an idea and I could pull you up until you can reach the rope.”
“Sounds like an idea. Good job Maynus,” Lion-O replied, impressed with her idea while scared.
Seconds later, Lion-O had to get out of the way as Snarfer reached the surface and began to climb out and continued until he was standing by Snarf.
“Ok. Snirfy, your turn.”
Both male ThunderCats, who were looking down the hole, watching, as the girl waited for Snirfy to bring his tail far enough down for her to grab a hold of.
“Hold on tight!” Snirfy suddenly called indicating to the others the girl was now holding his tail. He then began his very slow climb up until Maynus was able to reach the rope. When his tail no longer was being weight down, he continued his climb and she began to make her way but gave a slight squeal.
Without so much as a thought, Lion-O was quick to his feet and ran back to the Thundertank. He jumped into the vehicle, pulling it into reverse, slowly going backwards so the grappling hook would move upwards up the shaft of the cave.
Pumyra was waiting patiently for the girl to be in sight so she could grab the child. In no time at all, the girl was finally out of the hole and cuddled in the Puma’s arms, softly crying happy to be free once again. For several minutes the male ThunderCats watched as Pumyra cuddled the girl, calming her down.
“Lion-O,” Lynx-O began. “Perhaps it might be best if we continue the trip with you. Panthro did put an auto pilot on the Thunderstrike. It could be activated and go back to the Tower of Omens and we continue with you.”
“Yes, that might be a good idea. Mumm-Ra is after her,” Lion-O answered. “Ever heard of a legend called ‘Temple of Luminous’?”
“I believe so,” Lynx-O answered, having a feeling the other two didn’t know. “It was said to be a myth, basically.”
“Apparently it’s not. The temple is here on Third Earth and she’s the key. Mumm-Ra wants this power.”
Lion-O nodded, agreeing to Lynx-O’s suggestion and after Maynus was fully recovered from her ordeal, Lynx-O sent the Thunderstrike back home while everyone piled into the Thundertank and they continued the trip back to Maynus’ family. Within a couple hours the group found themselves traveling on a desert, nearing an old temple, which literally got their attention and Lion-O stopped.
“Could this be…” Lion-O started but trailed off.
“One way to find out,” Bengali replied as he jumped out, wanting a closer look.
Maynus climbed out and suddenly her eyes glazed over and her body, as if something was calling out to it, began walking towards the temple.
“Maynus?” blinked Pumyra, drawing the attention of the others.
Pumyra was about to take a step towards the girl but Lion-O placed a hand up, stopping her. “No. Wait! This might be the Temple of Luminous. Jaga said she possesses the luminous power.”
“Yes, I think you’re right Lord Lion-O,” Lynx-O replied. “I remember the old tale ‘he who possesses the light may enter the temple’. And in this case it would be her. We need to be on guard though. Mumm-Ra could be lurking about.”
“That I have no doubt,” Lion-O replied, as he made sure his claw shield was on his arm and sword in hand. “He could have witnessed my battle with the mutants and decided to be the usual sneaky tyrant that he is and followed us.”
“A perfect way to find what he wanted without doing anything,” Bengali answered.
Everyone stood their ground as they watched the young girl walk up the steps of the temple and then stopped in front of two huge doors. She held out a small hand that seemed to glow in a mysterious way causing the huge doors to slowly part, causing years of gathered dust to billow off the frame, before the young girl.
“This is that place in which guides me,” She spoke in a mysterious voice. “I can feel it calling to me.” It was obvious she wasn’t completely in her own mind, if anything she appeared to be sleepwalking.
“The power is now mine!”
The ThunderCats suddenly looked up to see Mumm-Ra coming down from the sky, flying straight towards Maynus.
“Mumm-Ra!” Lion-O snarled.
Maynus suddenly turned and held out her hand towards the evil Everliving. “No,” she replied in the mysterious voice. “No evil may enter here and now this child will be protected.”
Her hand began to brightly glow, blinding the ThunderCats and Mumm-Ra. The brightness was such an intense blaze Mumm-Ra shrieked in shock. Never before had he felt such a powerful light before. The light was too much for him to handle. He was quick to turn away and flee from the scene. The second he fled; the light vanished from sight, allowing the ThunderCats to once again see.
“What…just… happened?” gasped Pumyra
“Somehow Maynus’ newfound power has caused Mumm-Ra to flee,” Lynx-O answered who was the only one who wasn’t affected as he was blind.
Suddenly Maynus looked down at the others. “Wha…what’s going on?” she asked in her normal voice. “What am I doing up here? How did I get here?”
Lion-O saw her body was beginning to sway. Quick on his feet, he raced up the stairs and caught her as she stumbled, collapsing in his arms.
Maynus woke to find herself in Pumyra’s arms and they were back in the Thundertank and she could feel the vehicle was moving. She shifted her head to the left to see the Snarfs were lying on the floor, napping with Bengali in another seat.
“Oh, you’re awake,” the young white tiger announced.
Pumyra looked down. “You were asleep for quite some time.”
“What happened?” she asked.
“Nothing for you to worry about,” Bengali answered. “You’re safe and that’s what’s most important.”
Just then the Thundertank stopped and the hatch doors opened. The snarfs woke up and looked up to the night sky. Pumyra and Bengali remained sitting for a few moments longer as Lion-O and Lynx-O jumped out, greeting a small group of people.
“Is this for real!?” a male voice asked.
Lion-O smiled at the people he saw approaching him. “Yes,” he answered. “I’m Lion-O, Lord of the ThunderCats.”
“ThunderCats!?” another voice squeaked.
Lion-O gave the person a nod. “We’ve been here on Third Earth for awhile now and made friends and enemies. We’ve also found something of yours.”
Pumyra and Bengali along with the Snarfs jumped out of the back. Pumyra then set the girl down on her feet as two Thunderians pushed themselves to stand in front.
“May--Maynus!?” squeaked the mother.
“Snirfy!?” blurted a man beside the woman.
Maynus looked up. “Mommy! Daddy!” she cried before breaking into a run, rushing into their waiting arms. “I’ve missed you!”
“We’ve missed you too,” whispered her father in her hair, hugging her.
The ThunderCats watched in happiness, glad to see the family reunited.
Soon the woman pulled the child into her arms and stood while the father turned to Lion-O. “How can we ever thank you?”
“Just knowing there are more of our brethren who survived the destruction of Thundera is all the thanks we need,” Lion-O replied. “I found her being chased by Jackalman.”
“You mean the mutants are here?” asked Maynus’ father.
“Yes. They followed us here. Maynus was well protected though.”
“Thank you. I’m Taira,” replied Maynus’ mother. “And this is my husband Mainumu. We crash landed here a couple years ago and since our ship was no longer space worthy, we created a settlement here.”
“We did the same,” Lion-O replied. “We recreated Cats’ Lair to protect ourselves from the Mutants. Later we met these three; Pumyra, Bengali and Lynx-O, making them into ThunderCats.”
Maynus pulled herself out of her mother’s embrace and rushed over to Lion-O, hugging him as best as she could. “Thank you Lion-O for everything.”
Lion-O smiled and knelt down so she could hug him properly. “You’re welcome. Perhaps we can stop by here again and see how you’re doing. For now it’s probably best for you all to remain here protected away from the Mutants.”
“That’s an idea,” agreed Mainumu. “I’m glad you found her. We were travelling when a storm separated us. We had hoped she had returned here, but we were wrong. At least she was found by the right people in the end.”
Maynus pulled away from Lion-O and went over hugging Snarf and then Snarfer. “I’ll miss you guys too.”
“So we’ll we, but you’ll see us again. Snarf. Snarf.”
“Well we should leave before the Mutants pick up our trail,” Lion-O announced. “But we promise we’ll stop by again to see how you’re doing and perhaps give you guys some supplies and you can meet the other ThunderCats.”
“That would be great,” smiled Taira.
The four ThunderCats turned away, getting ready to climb back into the Thundertank. The two Snarfs pulled away from Snirfy and jumped into tank.
“Wait!” Maynus called out before the adults were able to jump in.
They turned, getting ready to ask what was wrong.
She then smiled and threw a fist into the air. “ThunderCats. HOOOOOO!”
Grinning, the four ThunderCats followed suit along with Maynus. “ThunderCats. HOOOOO!” they chimed before jumping into the tank and drove away.