The next morning had lightning crashing down on the tips of the obelisks around Mumm-Ra's domain. The obelisks' own lightning power wasn't always active, but they would attract real lightning from the sky. And on this day, inside his tomb chamber, an already-awake Mumm-Ra was going to push Glomer to the limit in eventually going up against the ThunderCats. Oh, yes. The demon priest was on his way to ruling the Third Earth once again. With the location he'd already selected yesterday for Glomer's ascension to full-time ThunderCat opponent, things were totally working in his favor. But first, he needed to prepare himself. He looked up to his masters, the Ancient Spirits of Evil, and spread his arms out, his eyes glowing.
"Ancient Spirits of Evil," he intoned, his cloak blowing in invisible wind and lightning flashing twice in the tomb chamber, "transform this decayed form...to Mumm-Ra, the Ever-Living!"
The spirits' eyes glowed red, and they - or rather, their stone shells - cracked apart to reveal their true, greenish spiritual selves. They turned to their servant and shot their eyebeams at him, enveloping him in an incredible crimson hue. Mumm-Ra tightened himself up, then let loose a mighty roar as he grew, his cloak and bandages vanishing to reveal his true, muscular self - Mumm-Ra, the Ever-Living. He clenched his fists and brought his arms down as the double-headed cobra symbol on his chest glowed and emitted four brief energy sparks.
Once the light show died down and the spirits returned to normal, with his transformation complete, Mumm-Ra took off like a rocket, straight through the skylight and right above the pyramid, and then stood on the tip of his mighty stronghold. He smiled and proudly put his hands on his hips. The pyramid's obelisks generated wavy blue-white energy from their tips that formed a medium-sized sphere, which enveloped Mumm-Ra and caused him to disappear...
...and reappear on the grounds of Mount Anguish. Mumm-Ra had arrived here with no complications whatsoever. Mumm-Ra turned around and flew upwards, staring intently at the stone slabs and demonic-looking stone face of Mount Anguish so he could do something special with them both. He brought up his hands, which pulsed a deep purple and were covered up entirely by the glow, and shot forth energy beams at the entire mountain. As the place wasn't magical, Mumm-Ra's power enveloped it entirely in the glow, from the top (which included the stone slabs) to the bottom (which included the carved monster face).
What happened next pleased Mumm-Ra to no end. The mountain began to distort and morph. It was completely rearranging itself. When it was done, the mountain's glow disappeared to reveal a large grey statue of a steely-gazed Glomley and an even-larger carved, grey, hooded face of the Great Glomley Elder at the bottom. The newly-refurbished Mount Anguish maintained the original's stony structure, yet it looked brand new at the same time. This would indeed be Glomer's new headquarters.
"Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha," cackled Mumm-Ra. "I've outdone myself." Turning away from the new Mount Anguish, he raised his arms to the heavens and cried out with glee, "Ancient Spirits of Evil, give me the disguise of the Great Glomley Elder!"
Green thunder crackled, followed by green lightning striking Mumm-Ra and enveloping him in its glow. He shifted into a smaller form that held a cane, and the magic faded to reveal him as none other than the Great Glomley Elder, the guardian of Chaundoon. Whereas the real Elder had green eyes like all Glomleys, the fake Elder had red eyes, and he had jagged teeth. Without turning around, he floated towards the new statue and stood atop it. He gripped the middle part of his cane in both paws held it up. It glowed white, and it emitted a broadcast-like sound. His eyes glowed crimson, and he spoke with the same frequency his cane had:
Arise, Glomer. It time for final stage of your training.
Both his voice and cane would only be received by his most faithful student, wherever the now-transformed Glomley was.
Inside the Pit of the Netherwitch, Glomer was sleeping peacefully, as if he were a piece of stone. Just then, his ears twitched to a sound of transmission coming from afar, as well as the familar voice of the Great Glomley Elder calling his pupil to arms.
Come to me, young Glomer. Battle against ThunderCats nearing reality, and you must facing final test at your new home.
His eyes opened slowly, then fully. He rose from his bed chamber and concentrated harder on the sound. He could only surmise that the Great Glomley Elder was summoning him for the ultimate finale of his training exercise.
"I hearing you, Elder," he declared. "I coming." He made his sleeping gear vanish with two finger snaps. He mumbled to himself in determination, "I finally gonna complete my training at last." He got up fully, and he floated back up to the outside, casually ignoring the onlooking monsters before him. When he made it out of the cave, he zoomed faster than the speed of light to the location where the source of the Elder's transmission was coming from.
Cheetara was coming to from her coma that followed her overwhelming vision of Third Earth's future. She sat up and looked around her room to see it in one piece. The last thing she remembered was her and the other ThunderCats that stayed behind helping the Berbils fix Cat's Lair. She had been brought to her quarters by Tygra, who watched over her dearly and was eventually substituted by Snarf. She felt aware of both ThunderCats' presence yesterday, even when she was still in her coma. She smiled at their generosity briefly. She got to her feet and wanted to see what all of her fellow ThunderCats were up to, when a rumble in her stomach told her differently.
"Man," she said weakly. "I must've really been out of it." In a stroke of luck, her door opened to reveal Snarf delivering some food to her straight in a cart - a special brown-colored, Snarf-made stew in a bowl with a spoon, candy fruit iced tea in a glass cup, and fresh bread fruit on a plate.
"Good morning, Cheetara," Snarf greeted. "I see you're up and about. Snarf snarf."
"Good morning, Snarf," replied Cheetara. "I suppose I am." She looked at the meal in the cart before her and asked, "Did you do all this?"
"Well, I had some help from Lion-O, but this meal is my doing, yes," answered Snarf.
Cheetara smiled at him. He wasn't just concerned for Lion-O. He would show concern to the other ThunderCats as well. "Thank you," she said humbly.
"You're welcome. Snarf snarf," replied Snarf. He left the cheetah to tend to her food, joining the other ThunderCats and Team Punky in eating breakfast.
Cheetara first took a bite of the stew, and to her surprise, it tasted really good. The last time Snarf made the stew, he had no experience, resulting in a bad taste in everyone's mouths. But now, it seemed he'd gotten the hang of it. Cheetara didn't care what recipes he made for the stew this time, as long as it was delicious.
Everyone - from the ThunderCats (Cheetara even), to Team Punky, to the Berbils - gazed at the nearly-complete Cat's Lair following breakfast time. The dents the Mutants left on the place were nearly nonexistent, and the single spikes on its shoulders were faithfully reproduced. Although Team Punky wasn't present for most of the lair's restoration, they nonetheless were happy about its exterior. Tygra was especially happy about the lair, having kept its blueprints in storage in case it always got beat up, usually by the Mutants.
"It must look almost as good as new, huh?" Punky was the first to comment.
"Indeed, young Punky," replied Snarf. "Soon it'll be back at full strength. Snarf snarf."
"It's also the perfect opportunity to train you in the ways of surviving Third Earth," Lion-O spoke next as Team Punky turned to face Lion-O's crew. "The ThunderCats and I will each be paired with a member of your crew so we can all bond better."
"Like, for real? You're not trying to get our goats or anything, are you?" wondered Margaux, confusing the ThunderCats but earning snickers from her friends.
"Um, no, Margaux," informed Panthro. "We're not trying to 'get your goat'. We've discussed your arrival in this timeline, and we believe pairing into teams is the best option for us all."
"So which of us is paired with whom?" Allen said excitedly.
"I've got Margaux," Tygra said.
"We've got Brandon," the ThunderKittens said next.
"Cherie's with me," spoke Cheetara.
"I'm with Allen," Panthro said.
"That leaves me with Punky and Snarf," Lion-O said, addressing his two smaller comrades. He, his fellow ThunderCats, and Team Punky all missed Glomer deep down, and including Snarf with him and Punky was his own way of honoring the missing Glomley.
"Gosh, you guys," Cherie said sheepishly. "We don't know what to say."
"Think of this as an extracurricular activity," explained Tygra. "You'll have as much time as you can to prepare for what's to come."
"When we're done, you guys will be fully aware of what life on Third Earth is about," informed WilyKat.
"I agree with Kat," spoke up WilyKit. "We'll all get to bond better this way."
Punky and friends were in awe that they would be personally trained by the ThunderCats. They were enjoying knowing their way around Third Earth, even meeting the rest of its locals. One brief look from each other told them what they needed to do.
"Okay, ThunderCats," said Punky. "We'll do it. When do we begin?"
"Would, uh, right now be alright with you kids?" Panthro answered with a smirk and raised eyebrow. That brought a smile to Team Punky's faces, with Brandon barking joyfully.
"Of course it would, Panthro," agreed Punky. "Of course it would."
Glomer had arrived at his new headquarters where Mount Anguish used to be, the Great Glomley Elder standing on top of the Glomley statue. Glomer looked everything over, from the statue to the large carving of the Elder's likeness, and he was satisfied with the results. He got up close to the Elder and faced him. The height differences between them were pretty staggering, as Glomer's newly-modified body dwarfed the Elder's. But that made no difference, for Glomer was ready for his final test.
"I ready, Elder," he informed with a nod.
"Good, Glomer," responded the Elder. "Go inside carved Great Glomley Elder head below, and we beginning completion of your training."
Glomer did as he was told and floated down to the carved Elder head. The head opened itself up automatically, revealing it to be a door as well. Glomer entered, and once inside, the head closed itself with the sound of a prison cell. Inside Glomer could see nothing but the dark, not that he minded. His magic had intensified with the Elder's help. All of a sudden, the dark was replaced by a mysterious glowing, navy-blue mist. Through telekenesis, the Elder communed to Glomer, Today, my pupil, you be fighting simulations of evil ThunderCats. This is day when you gain complete control of your powers. When you done, real ThunderCats not stand a chance against your magical might. Third Earth will finally being free from their grip.
The mist shifted to what appeared to be a barren desert with nothing but a dark, cloudy sky and mostly bones, cacti, and dead branches on the ground. Thunder and lightning flashed, but no rain came down. Materializing from a white glow were two life-like simulations of Panthro and Tygra, both having red eyes as opposed to Panthro's peach eyes and Tygra's amber ones. Fake Panthro had out his nunchuks, while fake Tygra had out his bolo whip. Glomer eyed them like a hawk. They looked up at him, their expressions cold and aloof. They growled menacingly at the larger Glomley.
The Elder informed his pupil, First off, you fight Panthro and Tygra simulations. They come at you with all they have. So no holding anything back.
"I understanding, Elder," Glomer replied, not taking his eyes off the two fake ThunderCats. He was primed and ready, as they were. Fake Tygra went first, letting loose his whip on Glomer. The whip wrapped around Glomer's left leg. Tygra tugged and tripped over the Glomley as if knocking down a wall. But Glomer was unphased. He sat up and tugged on his leg and lifted it up, throwing around fake Tygra in the process. But fake Tygra landed on his feet like the cat he was and released his hold on Glomer, who stood up completely and was ready for more.
This gave fake Panthro the opening he needed, as he swung/twirled around his nunchuks, leaped into the air, shot full-force, blue-white lightning at Glomer, and landed back on his feet. The large Glomley closed his eyes and grunted as the lightning enveloped him, forcing him to drop to one knee. Glomer wrapped his arms around him and opened his eyes again, which glowed red. He teleketically turned the lightning's power from blue-white to light purple, and with speed that surpassed Cheetara's, he deflected the lightning right back at fake Panthro, who screamed as he felt the literal shock of his life. The lightning faded, and fake Panthro got down on both knees. Fake Tygra cracked his whip in front of Glomer, igniting its red bolases' energy and launching three blue fireballs at his opponent. Glomer widened his eyes, and they glowed white briefly, freezing the fireballs in their tracks. He clasped them all with his paws and made a medium-sized fireball out of them, and he threw it at fake Tygra, who wrapped his whip around himself and turned invisible, the fireball missing its target and exploding on the ground, igniting a brief light show.
Glomer hardened his eyes somewhat, and they glowed green, activating a night-vision technique. He looked around to see if fake Tygra was present. He spotted his striped opponent by a boulder and smiled. Turning off his night vision, he held up his right arm, which glowed a fierce orange. With a slash, Glomer let loose an orange-colored energy cut that obliterated the boulder, the remains of said boulder landing on a grunting fake Tygra, exposing his visibility. Glomer turned to fake Panthro, who recovered just in time for another go-round. Fake Panthro put away his nunchuks and settled for physical action instead. Glomer looked ready to do the same. They both got into battle stances and charged at each other - punching, kicking, sliding, ducking, swinging, backflipping, deflecting, etc. - all without breaking a sweat. It seemed neither would show signs of slowing down. But then, fake Panthro flexed out his arms, and the spikes on his suspenders extended. He unloaded four of the spikes and clicked them together like a real ninja, forming a shuriken following a glowing white outline. He raised it in the air with his left arm, swung it rapidly, and instantly, it changed into a flaming disc that fake Panthro let loose on Glomer.
Glomer dodged it, but he sensed that the shuriken was structured like a heat-seeking missile. It came back for him, but with quick thinking, Glomer masked his heat signature and grabbed it with his paws, which didn't burn at all as soon as he touched it. He turned it to ice with his telekinesis, shocking fake Panthro. Glomer threw it back at his opponent, and it smashed, causing fake Panthro to howl and fall flat on the ground. This left Glomer wide open for a small explosion that shot him in the back and made him clumsily fall to the ground with an "Unh!" He weakly felt his back with his right paw to see that there were no scratches on him at all. He steadily got back up to face a still-standing, smug fake Tygra, whose bolases on his whip had glowed briefly. It was he who knocked Glomer off balance. This infuriated Glomer, who growled and glowed an intense red. Fake Tygra cracked his whip and formed a large firewall around Glomer that would incinerate the Chaundoon native. Before it could do that, however, Glomer, who was still glowing, closed his eyes, formed his arms into an "x," and clenched his paws. He opened back up his now-red-glowing eyes, and with a yell of "Raah!", he spread his arms out and disintegrated the firewall, its pieces scattering like asteroid across the field.
Fake Tygra was far from done, though. He retracted his whip, cupped its handle with his hands, and pointed it at Glomer. The bolases launched deadly golden blasts at his large Glomley opponent, who deflected them with his head, paws, legs, and feet in a dance-like motion. Glomer cupped his paws together to form a dark-blue sphere with golden electricity inside of it. He hurled it at fake Tygra with his right arm, leaving the false ThunderCat to barely dodge it as it imploded, forming a crater. Fake Tygra's left arm only suffered a minor scrape, but he didn't let that bother him. All of a sudden, Glomer got encased by teal-colored sticky residue, catching him off guard and forcing him to the ground. He struggled to turn around to see fake Panthro, who was responsible for said residue through the red half of his nunchuks. Fake Panthro smiled at his little victory. He nodded at fake Tygra, who nodded back. They aimed their weapons at their seemingly-helpless enemy, and the energy surrounding said weapons glowed golden, preparing for the finishing blow. But, Glomer refused to quit. He glowed violet-blue, as did his eyes, and instantly the sticky residue evaporated. Glomer got back up and held out his paws, and the minute the two false ThunderCats opened fire, he grabbed the energy and dispersed it.
Before fake Panthro and fake Tygra could attack again, Glomer turned his arms into whirlwinds, scooping both of his enemies into the air and sending them into the crater that he created. They felt dazed as they sat up. Glomer walked up to them, holding out his paws and smiling wide. The false ThunderCats turned to look at him in paralyzed fear.
"Goodbye, ThunderCat meanies," he declared. He shot copper energy blasts at his enemies, who turned into screeching black spectres before disintegrating. Glomer relaxed somewhat, and the entire desert faded to black. He communed to the Great Glomley Elder telepathically, I ready for more, Elder.
Good, Glomer, the Elder responded. You must might doing well in this course.
Next appeared an evergreen forest that featured mostly well-bloomed trees and a partly-cloudy blue sky. Glomer looked slightly above him to see images of the ThunderKittens materialize on their spaceboards. The kittens' eyes and teeth were the same as the Tygra and Panthro fakes'. They smiled at Glomer, chuckling, eager to take him down. Glomer smiled back at them in return, his eyes glowing briefly.
Lion-O, Panthro, Snarf, Allen, and Punky came to the meadow where the former two did some training before the Doomgaze incident; Snarf was on all fours. It was agreed by all the ThunderCats that everybody would train in the best spots on Third Earth suitable for Team Punky so they could better protect themselves while the latter team was in this dimension.
"Here we are, kids," began Lion-O. "The five of us will train here. Panthro, Snarf, and I will give you pointers on how to fight your opponents."
"This and every other meadow are where we ThunderCats sometimes get some fresh air and to stay fit," added Panthro.
"And where we sometimes get ambushed. Snarf snarf," Snarf stated sharply.
Punky and Allen looked around the meadow to see if anyone would be spying on them all. "We're not gonna get ambushed right away, are we?" Allen asked.
"I don't think so," replied Punky as she and Allen turned back to the three ThunderCats. "There's no one here but us."
"Then let's begin," Lion-O said, nodding. "Are you ready, Punky?"
Punky nodded back. "Sure, Lion-O."
"How about you, Allen? Ready to start practicing?" asked Panthro of Allen.
The blonde boy replied happily, "You bet, Panthro."
"Reowr. So let's all get into position," informed Snarf, who led Lion-O and Punky to a spot near Panthro and Allen so that the two teams could practice their fighting abilities. Snarf would mediate between them. He got up and declared to them proudly, "Go for it!"
Panthro went first. "All right, kids," he said to Punky and Allen. "You may encounter more enemies like the Mutants in the future, so you'll need to be prepared. Can you handle that?"
Punky and Allen, who used wits and intellect all their life, said with serious faces, "Yes, sir."
Panthro got into a fighting stance. "Watch me very carefully. You might wanna step back a little, too." Indeed, Punky and Allen did just that, as did Snarf and Lion-O. Panthro started punching air with both arms. He followed up on that with kicking air with his legs. He backflipped twice, flipped, then turned around with another kick from his right leg. He clasped his hands and held up his arms, and he swung left and right like he was knocking down a seemingly-strong building. After that, he moved around his arms in a dance-like motion and froze then like arrows. He formed his hands into fists; he brought up his right forearm and moved with his left leg, and repeated the procedure with his left forearm and right leg. He jumped and twirled near his audience. He landed neatly and stood proud with a smile on his face, bowing.
Punky and Allen were stunned and amazed at the same time by Panthro's flexibility. "Wow," was all they could manage to say.
"Your turn, Lion-O," offered Panthro jovially.
"All right, then," replied Lion-O. He walked two paces from the group so he could practice himself. All eyes were on him. He backflipped three times from the right, and again from the left. He jumped and did a twirl-side kick from his left leg. He punched and chopped the air with his arms. He bent down on both legs and jumped once more, delivering an aerial kick from his right leg and landing on his feet. He crossed his arms in an X-like position and stretched them out, then did a kartwheel back and forth. What he was about to do next would be an important highlight for everyone involved.
Allen and Punky will be in for the shock of their lives, Snarf thought with glee, smiling.
Lion-O took notice of the parked-nearby ThunderTank that Panthro brought everyone to the forest in. Lion-O turned to face the vehicle directly. He took some steps back from it, then turned away from it. He flipped twice and leapt as high as he could, landing point blank onto the front seat of the tank with pride. He turned to his watchers and gave them a thumb up and a wink.
Punky and Allen couldn't contain their excitement over what Lion-O just did, and they smiled widely. "Way to go, Lion-O!" they exclaimed, jumping once.
"Thanks, kids," he said back to them. He got out of the tank with a single backflip, then turned to his longtime friend Snarf and said, "Snarf, do you think you and the kids are up for a special kind of training?"
Snarf replied casually, "No problem, my friend." Then he said to the kids, "Okay, Punky and Allen. Are you up to seeing how a Snarf does in battle?"
Having seen him defend Cat's Lair from the Mutants, the two children said to him nonchalantly, "Sure."
"Watch closely now for a special opponent, because that's who we'll be fighting."
"For real, Snarf?" asked Punky.
"It's of the, uh, mechanical sort, if you catch my drift." He smiled gave a wink. This confused the children, who turned to look ahead for the so-called mechanical opponent Snarf mentioned. As if on cue, footsteps could be heard, indicating that something was on its way to the meadow's location. The two kids could make out a shiny, metallic feline humanoid headed coming towards them all - a red-eyed black panther in white armor with two single spikes on its shoulder guards and grey boots on its feet, its exposed paw-like hands quite noticable. The creature was the size of both Panthro and Lion-O, and it had an athletic build.
"Children," announced Panthro, gesturing to the creature before them all, "meet the Cat's Lair Automatic Warrior. Or you can just call him C.L.A.W. for short. Tygra and I created him as a last line of defense against any oncoming threats, but in this case, he's here on Tygra's request to further your fighting prowess."
Punky and Allen were slightly shocked at the presence of the opponent they were facing. They looked him over from top to bottom. He appeared to resemble the very lair that was the ThunderCats' home port. There was absolutely no way that this C.L.A.W. person could be a creation of the ThunderCats themselves. It would be like...like knocking down a building. Could he truly be able to unlock Punky and Allen's true fighting potential?
"Hey there, C.L.A.W.," Allen said awkwardly. "It's nice to meet you."
"Likewise," added Punky. She and Allen turned to Panthro, and she asked him, "Is he really on our side?"
Panthro assured the children, "You've got nothing to worry about. C.L.A.W. just as much serves the Code of Thundera. Don't think he'll go easy on you, though," he added slyly.
"Well..." Punky said, she and Allen turning back to C.L.A.W., their shock replaced by resolve, "...if you say so, Panthro."
"If we're gonna do it, then let's do it," declared Allen. Panthro smiled, knowing that his favorite thing to say would eventually sink in for Team Punky.
Punky, Allen, and Snarf got into position near C.L.A.W., and both sides got into battle stances. They all waited for a signal. This was Panthro's cue to run to Lion-O near the ThunderTank.
"All right, guys," announced Lion-O. "On your marks..."
"...get set..." added Panthro.
"GO!" they both exclaimed.
In a heartbeat, C.L.A.W. and his three opponents got to it with the sparring. C.L.A.W. made the first move by launching a swift kick that Punky and Allen was able to dodge by leaping, but Snarf wasn't so lucky - the kick hit him square in the nose, causing him to fall to the ground yell a "Shnyearf!" He covered his nose and angrily muttered, "That was a cheap shot."
Punky and Allen got on their hands and bent their legs and attempted to knock C.L.A.W. out, but C.L.A.W. barrel-rolled over them and instead hit them in the stomachs with enough force to send them back. The kids were dumbfounded that a machine of the ThunderCats' creation was so good at what he did. They look a little time to assess his abilities so far. They played back his kicking, barrel-rolling, and punching, so perhaps they could adapt that into future training sessions with the ThunderCats. They got back up and were ready for more. C.L.A.W. obliged them. They charged him full force, and this time he clasped their heads.
Before he could deliver another attack, the kids grabbed his arms with both hands, jumped up, and knocked him back with their feet, forcing him to release them. With agility somewhat inspired by the ThunderCats, they got on their hands and knees and ran past C.L.A.W., narrowly missing his swiping move; they then backflipped and delivered kicks to C.L.A.W.'s shoulders that totally tripped him, and Snarf added to the pleasure by using his tail to knock C.L.A.W. off of his feet. Snarf, Punky, and Allen looked to each other with grins on their faces and gave each other a thumb up. However, they looked back at C.L.A.W. and could tell that this was far from over.
C.L.A.W. got up and then delivered windy karate chops to Snarf, Punky, and Allen, who closed their eyes and kept their ground despite slightly slipping. C.L.A.W. used this opportunity to leap into the sky to deliver a full-force blow to his three opponents. Snarf, in spite of his sore nose, managed to curl himself into a ball and leapt into the sky himself, hitting C.L.A.W. in the torso and landing back on the ground safely. C.L.A.W. clumsily landed on the ground, not having expected a surprise maneuver, but was nevertheless undamaged.
"Wow! That was impressive, Snarf!" cheered Allen.
"I'l say," Punky agreed.
"The ThunderKittens taught me that one from their time at Baron Karnor's tower. Snarf snarf," explained Snarf, who was rubbing his back from the impact he dealt C.L.A.W. He seethed, "That sure smarted, though."
C.L.A.W. once more got up once more to do battle with his three opponents, but then Lion-O and Panthro exclaimed, "Time out!", putting a halt to any further fighting. C.L.A.W. stood down, and Snarf, Punky, and Allen turned to Lion-O and Panthro. The two kids had confused looks on their faces.
"What's up, you guys?" Punky wanted to know. "Snarf, Allen, and I were ready for another go-round with C.L.A.W."
"We'll continue your training, I promise," Lion-O replied. "Right now, though, you guys need a short break. Does that sound alright with you?"
Punky and Allen said with smiles on their faces, "Alright, Lion-O."
"That does sound like a great idea," lamented Snarf admirably. "You and Tygra built that C.L.A.W. fella quite well, Panthro."
"Thanks, Snarf. I appreciate that," said Panthro with equal admirability.
While C.L.A.W. stayed where he was, Punky, Allen, and Snarf walked over to the ThunderTank and leaned on it.
Punky was the first to jumpstart a new conversation, thinking about the locals she and her friends saw briefly aside from the Berbils. "So tell Allen and I about the friends you made on this world."
"Especially the Berbils," included Allen.
Snarf, Lion-O, and Panthro looked and nodded to each other in agreement. "Okay, kids," Snarf said. "It goes like this..."
Glomer, meanwhile, was wasting no time in duking it out with the fake ThunderKittens. He formed golden spheres from his paws and, in an instant, threw them straight at his adversaries. But fake WilyKat and fake WilyKit merely flew upwards to avoid the spheres, which exploded a section of the forest and knocked down one of the trees. The kittens pulled out their lariats, swung them about, and threw them at Glomer, trapping him in their loops. The kittens wrapped their lariats around their muscular opponent, intent on finishing the job. The lariats, Glomer sensed, had an unbreakable grip, and unbreakable they appeared to be. This gave Glomer an idea. He closed his eyes and relaxed. The kittens got out one pellet each. They raised their arms and prepared to deliver the final blow on their furry nemesis for once and for all. How wrong they were. Glomer opened his eyes, which glowed a misty lavender. Through their power, the pellets in fake Kat and Kit's hands also glowed lavender. They opened their palms and looked at their pellets in confusion. They fell for it big time. The pellets exploded violently in their faces, causing both kittens to yelp and fall off their spaceboards and to the ground. Glomer, though still bound by the lariats, laughed at them with pure glee.
Fake Kat and Kit didn't seem to have a scratch on them. They sat up and shook off the shock of the explosion. They looked up at their tormentor with pure rage in their eyes. It was a dirty move he pulled, but they would never bow down to him. They would find a way to beat him if it was the last thing they did. They got back up and tugged at Glomer with their lariats so they could forcibly knock him over. Try as they might, Glomer couldn't budge. His still-glowing eyes shifted to the misty color of navy blue, and the fake kittens' lariats glowed themselves, turning into large cobras with the same colors as the lariats (the first cobra being red and the other being yellow). They released Glomer and advanced on the kittens, hissing venomously as their fork-shaped tongues wiggled. The twins backed away, but they did not cower. They were aware of Glomer's trickery. They drew a pellet each and threw them at the cobra's mouths, forcing the two reptiles to swallow them in confusion. Then, they vibrated as mysterious blue energy enveloped them, and they instantly combusted, leaving behind mini-sparkles. Glomer wasted no time in blasting green projectile-shaped beams at the twins, who dodged them with a combined leap/barrel roll tactic while the ground beneath them exploded violently, causing two more trees to be knocked over following the first one. The forest was lit up a bit by the fire Glomer caused.
Fake Kat and Kit landed on their feet firmly, and they looked to each other for what they would do next. The minute they thought of an idea, they smiled and nodded yes. They came to each other held up their arms, grasping each other. They smiled wide. They started to spin around, and they continued to do so, going faster and faster and faster until suddenly, they became a living mini-whirlwind. This was obviously a part of Glomer's test to sharpen his skills. Seeing this new technique reminded him of the test he made for himself back at the Phosphorous Desert. Before he could launch an attack, the kittens' mini-whirlwind headed straight for him, singing some fur from his right shoulder. He yelped and clutched it with his left paw. Before the kittens could attack again, he rolled out of their way expertly to put some distance between him and them so he could counterattack. Alas, the kittens were following him everywhere. When he chose to fly in the air, the kittens strangely did the same thing. Glomer took this as being a part of the test. So he formed a grey-blue energy whip with his left paw and began whipping the still-twirling kittens into submission. They managed to dodge it by backing away from Glomer, though it didn't mean they were giving up - not by a long shot. They came in fast, knocking Glomer off course and singing some fur from his torso. He righted himself immediately. The twins were much too fast for him, so using what he learned so far, he began to close his eyes and concentrate, energy whip still active.
When he heard that familiar whirlwind sound, he felt that the kittens were coming at him from behind. Using this moment, he opened his eyes, turned around, and slashed them with his whip. The whip was right on target, as it gave the twins the shock of their lives, their yelps heard. They fell down to the ground, and Glomer levitated to the ground with them. The kittens landed with a thud and grunt. Glomer retracted his energy whip and instead pointed upwards with his left arm. A medium-shaped sky-blue sphere formed above him. He smiled. This was it. He would complete his second training session in no time. However...the kittens woke up in a flash and gave off devilish smiles. Glomer sensed something was wrong just from the looks on the twins' faces, and that was when he knew - the Kit and Kat he took down were in fact decoys. Their eyes glowed red, and soon their whole bodies glowed that way. They exploded full force in Glomer's face, and he stumbled and accidentally dropped his energy sphere, which exploded in front of him and knocked him off course. It was during this moment that the real fake Kat and Kit decided to make themselves known and pin Glomer down to the ground. They'd been hiding in the bushes all this time, waiting for the right moment. They shot crimson lasers from their eyes at Glomer so they could vaporize him immediately. Glomer squinted his eyes shut and grunted, taking the attack full on. The kittens smiled as they finally had the Glomley right where they wanted him. They wanted him to suffer, to make him surrender to their will, before closing his curtain forever.
But...they hadn't counted on one thing. Glomer opened his eyes, and a look of true determination formed on his face. Though the kittens' eyebeams were strong, Glomer was stronger. He raised his arms up and clasped his paws on the ground. Then, he got up on both knees, and lastly, he rose to his full height. The kittens stayed on him, slightly shocked at his endurance but never wavering on him. He crossed his arms, and his eyes glowed a misty sky blue that was pretty intense. With a roar he flexed his arms out, canceling out the twins' eyebeams. The twins yelped and staggered back a bit, but not before recovering quickly. They each got out a colored pellet - green for Kit and black for Kat - and they got some distance from each other. They threw the pellets into the air, and in a display of power, the pellets collided and formed a sphere that was exactly Glomer's current size. The Chaundoon native glared at it intensely, as if he anticipated something like this. The sphere collided with him, and it catapulted into the sky just enough for the kittens to watch his demise. They smiled very wickedly as their precious energy weapon emitted violent electrical sparks of gold and shrank down. It appeared their Glomley opponent was about to meet his maker. Then suddenly, the green energy suddenly turned into the wine-like color of burgundy, its sparks changing to pink. The sphere hummed as it slowly returned to its original shape...and it imploded fantastically with simply a roar from Glomer, who had his arms completely stretched out and was glowing a bright red. Fake Kit and Kat were thrown back by the cancellation of their precious sphere. They saw Glomer now gazing at them with a look that meant no mercy.
Before they could attempt to get back up, Glomer used telekinesis and levitated the twins up to his level. They squirmed under his thrall, powerless to do anything. He chuckled menacingly, and with a rapid motion shot them up into the stratosphere. He temporarily released his hold on them, and he turned to see the two trees that he knocked down earlier. He saw an opportunity he simply couldn't afford to pass up. Using telekinesis once again, he lifted them up and turned them into stakes, then brought them to the exact positions fake Kit and Kat were in. Not losing focus, he looked to to see the twins falling back down to the ground screaming. Glomer waited until they were in range. He saw them at last, and they were still screaming as they continued their descent to the ground. He launched the pillars toward the twins in a torpedo-esque fashion, and they impaled the twins' stomachs, causing a multi-colored light show that now showcased the twins as screeching black spectres. And then it was over. The fake ThunderKittens had been vanquished. Glomer relaxed himself as the scenery before him faded to black.
You getting better at mastering your powers, my pupil, the voice of the Elder pleasantly spoke in Glomer's mind. You still having long way to go, though. Only when you at full strength will you be able to annihilate wretched ThunderCats for good.
"I reading you loud and clear, Elder," Glomer said resolvingly. "I not stopping until I strong enough to permanently do away with ThunderCat meanies. Chaundoon and Third Earth resting on my shoulders."
That good to hear, the Elder agreed, for your next test will being plenty fast.
The next simulation Glomer was now on was a rocky desert in a civil twilight setting. He looked around him and could see mountains of all shapes - some high, some low - and below him he saw a black highway with two yellow lines on it. He sensed right away who his next opponent was. An image of Cheetara materialized before him, her eyes and teeth exactly like the clones of Tygra, Panthro, and the ThunderKittens. She readied herself and chuckled throatily, getting out her staff and changing it from its baton form. Glomer did the exact first two things, and he was definitely eager to get this next test over with.
Tygra, Cheetara, Margaux, and Cherie had made it to a clearing near the Wollo village. It was a sight that pretty much fascinated the latter two to no end - a large circle of grass with trees far away inhabiting it. It would be the perfect training ground for the two girls.
"Holy Macanoli," Margaux breathed, uttering Punky's infamous catchphrase.
"What you said," agreed Cherie.
"I'm glad you two appreciate it," added Tygra. "This will be our training ground. We need to be ready for any opportunity to do battle with an opponent."
"First off, we're going to work on your upper bodies," chimed in Cheetara.
"Our upper bodies?" asked Cherie and Margaux confusingly.
"It's so you can build up the traction in them, as well as increase your endurance and stamina. It's important to not be caught off guard by any foe."
Then Cherie and Margaux got an idea. They turned to each other with a smile and nodded. Cherie suggested to Tygra and Cheetara, "Back where Margaux and I are from, we do jump rope."
"And what exactly is a 'jump rope'?" Tygra wanted to know.
Margaux answered, "It's a form of exercise that everybody uses. You simply have to jump over a rope as the other swings it around."
"Margaux and I can show you guys," said Cherie. She and Margaux stood in front of Tygra and Cheetara to demonstrate how the jump rope technique worked.
"When doing regular jump rope, you jump normally," began Margaux. She and Cherie cupped their fists, slightly bent their legs, and jumped high on both. The two ThunderCats were somewhat transfixed on the girls' test. Something about what they were doing seemed familiar, but they couldn't figure out what.
Cherie spoke next. "When two sets of jump rope are used, you move both legs like you're racing." She and Margaux then moved their legs rapidly. It was then that, by examining the girls' style of jump rope, that both Cheetara and Tygra were able to recall a certain memory back on Thundera. It was very similar to Margaux and Cherie's jump rope, and all Thunderian children got a kick out of it. The cheetah and tiger couldn't help smiling at that memory.
Cherie and Margaux stopped what they were doing to look at the ThunderCats' expressions, and Cherie asked, "I take it you like what we're showing you?"
"As a matter of fact, Cherie, we do," said Cheetara. "Tygra and I were thinking about a form of training on Thundera that was much similar to your jump roping. We called it vine walking."
"What was this vine walking like?" Margaux wanted to know.
"It was a game for young Thunderians to see how much they could maintain their balance," Tygra explained. "No matter how hard it was, nobody complained about it. It was a great form of stress relief."
Cheetara added, "We got our vines from the Melmushun Woods, which were pretty bushy. It was important for Thunderiankind to maintain strength in the lower body as well as the upper body."
"That sounds really cool!" Cherie said cheerfully.
"In fact," continued Tygra, "your jump roping concept has convinced me to merge that and our vine walking technique into a single thing."
"You can actually do that, Tygra?" asked Margaux.
Tygra gave a smirk and said, "You forget - I'm a master of the mind. I'll need you both to spread out. You go left, Cherie-" he pointed to the left side of the circle, then thumbed to the right side, "-and Maugaux will go right."
"No problem," both girls said. They did what Tygra told them, with Cherie on the left and Margaux on the right. Once they were in position, Tygra got out his whip.
"Are you ready, girls?" he asked.
"Ready," Margaux and Cherie replied with nods and smiles.
Tygra let loose his whip, and it extended across the circle, forming a diamond shape large enough for both young girls. Cheetara took out her staff, which extended. She threw it in the middle of Tygra's whip's diamond shape, and it extended further and grew out handles for Margaux and Cherie to use.
"So amazing," the girls said in awe at these incredible abilities.
"Hop on, girls," encouraged Tygra.
Margaux and Cherie did just as Tygra asked and got on board Tygra's whip and grasped the handles of Cheetara's staff with one hand each.
"What do we do now, guys?" asked Cherie.
"Each of you will push those handles on my staff until you've reached your limit," explained Cheetara. "Once you've built up enough traction in your legs, your speed will be much better than before."
"You may now begin," said Tygra.
The two girls grabbed hold of the handles on Cheetara's staff and started walking, and they noticed right away how soft it seemed to be. They looked to and nodded to each other and resumed the exercise. They picked up the pace with their walking, and soon enough they found themselves enjoying it. Soon enough, they built up the courage to run, with big smiles on their faces. They were feeling something in themselves they never had back on First Earth, and they rolled with it. They even managed to break a little sweat. Tygra and Cheetara looked on with interest, and they could see that training Punky and her friends to face the unexpected wasn't so bad of an idea. Team Punky just may prevail yet in the future. Cherie and Margaux were now at the limit with their speed, though thankfully they weren't Cheetara.
"Okay, girls," the cheetah informed them. "You can stop."
They did just that. They panted from the workout they just had. If they went any more, they would've exhausted themselves too quickly. They let go of the handles and jumped off of Tygra's whip, allowing him to retract it in pure ricochet fashion. Cheetara went up to her staff and touched it, and it retracted to its baton form instantly. She put it back on her gauntlet. Cherie and Margaux fought to keep standing by shaking their legs once.
"That was definitely something," remarked Margaux. She asked Cheetara and Tygra, "Do you guys have any more to teach us?"
"Try doing cartwheels to see if you can bump up your stamina," Tygra offered.
Both girls looked to each other with soft smiles, and Cherie replied, "We can work with that. Margaux taught me how to do them when I was afraid to."
And so, the two ThunderCats made way for their two young wards to do their thing. The latter two moved opposite one another, put each single leg out, raised their arms, and then proceeded to cartwheel on opposite sides. Back and forth they were allowing their bodies to go with the flow. They were in perfect harmony with each other. This process continued about 10 more times until the girls reached their limit. They could feel that their upper and lower bodies were a little more flexible than ever before. Tygra and Cheetara's training were doing them a ton of good.
"I think we're getting the hang of this," commented Cherie with glee. "Wouldn't you say, Margaux?"
"I agree, Cherie," Margaux said with a nod. "Maybe being on this Third Earth is good for us, and for Punky, Allen, and Brandon, too."
"I'm glad you both approve," Tygra said. "Hopefully the others will feel the same way."
"So what happens next, you two?" Margaux asked Tygra and Cheetara.
"What happens next is that we'll resume training after a short break," replied Cheetara. "You've just shown a taste of what you can really do."
"As long as you're able to focus your energy, there's nothing you can't do," said Tygra. "I'm sure your friends will be doing the same."
"Thanks so much, you guys," Cherie said with a smirk. "I'm really glad that we get to train under the ThunderCats."
"I second that," agreed Margaux.
"So, is there anything you'd like to talk about?" Cheetara asked of the two girls.
"Well, Margaux and I were just curious," pondered Cherie. "Do the ThunderCats have any more enemies outside of the Mutants and that Mumm-Ra creature?"
Tygra replied, "Yes, we do. I'm not sure how much you'd like to hear, but Cheetara and I will explain as best as possible if you're up to it."
Cherie and Margaux turned to each other and nodded, then back to the two ThunderCats. Margaux said resolutely, "We're ready when you are, Tygra."
"Then, here goes," began Cheetara. It would be a whole lot worth it for Team Punky and the ThunderCats to further expand on their dynamic.
Things between Glomer and the evil Cheetara duplicate were now in full swing. Both opponents' reflexes were as fast as lightning as they physically attacked each other on all sides. They broke off temporarily to assess their abilities. So far they were equals. But that would change immediately once one of them got the upper hand. Neither of them seemed to show signs of getting tired so far. That meant their battle had only just begun. They allowed themselves to smirk, eager to continue their fight. Glomer formed two grey-blue energy spheres on his paws while fake Cheetara clasped her staff tightly, which glowed. Glomer hurled his spheres at her like a bowling ball expert, and fake Cheetara twirled her staff like a buzzsaw. The spheres collided with the staff and exploded on impact, knocking Cheetara off balance but not quite enough to send her to the ground. Glomer used this chance to fire a white tractor beam from his right paw and caught fake Cheetara in his grip. She tried to break free, but the energy was seemingly too powerful for her. Glomer lifted her up and whipped her around like a lasso, smiling as she yelled in pain. Finally Glomer released the energy and sent false Cheetara near a pillar on the right side of the desert, and she crashed into it, cracking up its middle part; she fell on the ground on both her hands and knees, her staff.
Glomer sped toward false Cheetara so he could deliver the finishing blow, but what he didn't know was that he walked right into a trap. Cheetara looked up to Glomer viciously with a smile, and once she gripped her staff, it glowed a bright golden. She swung it in Glomer's sight, and he yelped as the glow blinded him and forced him to close his eyes. Fake Cheetara seized her opportunity and managed to punch Glomer in the stomach and kick him in the chin, sending him to the other side of the desert where he collapsed on the ground. He sat up with a groan. He was still blinded, so he would have to use his other senses to take down false Cheetara. But first, he would have to lure her to a location where he would have the greatest advantage over her. So he got up and honed in his other senses. Fake Cheetara polevaulted over to Glomer through a slight extension of her staff, but he anticipated her next move and dodged her. He then proceeded to lead her off course with his superspeed. She went after him with her own superspeed, not having the slightest clue what he was up to. Wherever they were going, this gave Glomer the time he needed to get all his other senses in check so he could end this simulated battle in one fell swoop. As long as they both kept running, Glomer and false Cheetara showed no signs of tiring out. He found the perfect spot for them both - a couple of large pointy rocks in a field. He stopped there, as did fake Cheetara.
There both opponents stood in front of one another, in front of those very rocks with determined looks. Glomer chose right - he and fake Cheetara were at the farthest location possible in the desert. Here, they would really let loose. With her staff still out, fake Cheetara launched a lethal gold energy burst from it, which Glomer cancelled out using his paws' x-style motion. Despite his blindness, his other senses would not fail him. Fake Cheetara twirled her staff around as fast as she could, and it glowed once more, becoming an energy buzzsaw. She threw it at Glomer. The Chaundoon native backflipped out of the way and leaped upwards, but he sensed that the staff had a form of sentience. That proved to be true when it came at him from above. Glomer instantly turned invisible before the staff could make its mark on him. The staff spun all over the place trying to find its target, destroying whatever it could on the ground and in the sky. Eventually it returned to false Cheetara's grip, but it didn't return to baton mode.
Fake Cheetara looked all over for where Glomer could be. For all she knew, he could be planning a huge surprise for her. Once she looked to the sky, she noticed a glowing, swirling crimson sphere above her. It came at her fast, and she dodged it just in time before it hit the ground with a loud boom. Light-grey smoke was visible, and it gave way for glowing white dot to fire an energy beam from its position and sting false Cheetara, who yelled in pain as she collapsed on the ground. Once more she gazed at the smoke, and it cleared to reveal none other than Glomer, whose smirk clearly told false Cheetara what happened - he was the one who fired on her, and he was the energy ball that nearly collided with her. Though still blinded, Glomer was getting plenty of exercise in this fight.
With every ounce of strength, fake Cheetara stood back up more determined than ever to eliminate her Glomley opponent. She fired a lethal beam from her staff only to hit an invisible force field that Glomer put up through telekenesis. She fired a few more times, but Glomer's force field was still present. Fake Cheetara growled in anger dearly, which Glomer was quick to take advantage of. He let down his force field and launched an air kick that sent fake Cheetara high into the atmosphere. Glomer spun around and around, becoming a living drill, and flew after fake Cheetara. When he flew around her and appeared before her normally, he gave her a real kick in the back, sending her back down to the ground. He followed after her, punching her in the face, stomach, and shins, but fake Cheetara countered with punches and kicks of her own. They grabbed each other tight as they both crashed into the ground, leaving a crack in the earth. They both got back up and got ready for more. Glomer got up and delivered a nosedive-style kick to fake Cheetara, which she dodged with her fists. Staff still in hand, she gripped it tight, and they both glowed a faint golden. She spun around very fast, twirling her staff with the same speed. Soon, they both changed into a golden energy drill that went skyward. Glomer could feel his opponent's new form instantly with his other senses. Fake Cheetara came at Glomer full force, and he managed to leap past her instantly with surprising grace.
But Glomer knew this was far from over. Fake Cheetara was still in energy drill mode and didn't seem to stop. She left upwards again, and she turned a fiery type of gold now, pouring every ounce of herself into this fight. Glomer could definitely feel her energy increasing. Mustering every ounce of his own strength, he clasped his paws together and formed a medium-sized orange sphere and cupped it, waiting for his chance. By then, fake Cheetara glowed golden full on instead of a faint golden. She came at Glomer a lot faster than anticipated, and he leaped pogo-stick style into the air while still holding on to his sphere. But fake Cheetara didn't stop there - she continued trying to ram him while he dodged her effortlessly in the air. He was counting on her to obliterate him, though, because he didn't want to waste his opportunity to strike at her. With his own superspeed, he got back to the ground. He took his left paw off of the sphere and aimed with his left arm at fake Cheetara, who was coming straight for him. He threw his sphere at her, causing an explosion that engulfed him and fake Cheetara in an instant. Eventually the smoke cleared up to reveal both combatants in different positions - Glomer being the one left standing without any singes on his fur, and fake Cheetara lying unconscious as a slightly burnt-up wreck, her staff nowhere in sight.
Glomer checked over fake Cheetara to see if she was really comatose. He put a paw on her heart. It was beating, but raggedly. Glomer smiled. That meant his feud with fake Cheetara was almost complete. He wouldn't allow her to regain consciousness, not if he could help it. He took to the air and curled into a ball that spun as fast as it could possibly could. He glowed white, and immediately delivered the final blow on his speedy enemy, creating a light show that showcased fake Cheetara's screeching black spectre before everything died down. Glomer was in a crouched position and then stood back up, awaiting his master's orders.
Open your eyes now, Glomer, came the Great Glomley Elder's voice inside Glomer's mind. You not wanting to miss out on final challenge.
Glomer carefully opened up his eyes and discovered that his sight was just fine. He blinked once to make sure that it was fully intact. Sure enough, it was. He realized that he was only temporarily blinded during his fight with fake Cheetara. The scenery around him faded to black. This made Glomer feel pretty excited about his final exercise.
"I ready now for final challenge, Elder," declared Glomer.
Good, agreed the Elder. I promising you this final test of your strength going to be real exciting.
The scenery around Glomer turned into a setting of gray-colored mountains surrounded by a sky full of grey clouds. Glomer looked around him for his final challengers. With his senses enhanced from his previous battles, including his sight, he had no problem getting a feel of his next enemies' power. A huge jagged peak in the middle grabbed his attention immediately. He sped forth to get a closer look at it. He stopped where he was and noticed two figures atop the peak: shadowy images of a humanoid and a small bipedal creature. They both jumped down to face Glomer, and their images were now visible for him to see. They were clones of Lion-O and Snarf. They smiled, their eyes and fangs being the same as those of the other false ThunderCats. Glomer got a good look at the gear that fake Lion-O was wearing - it was a slight upgrade of the real Lion-O's, with leather sleeves going up to his upper arms, suspenders and a torso plating that were armored and covered his whole stomach, an armored belt with the ThunderCat emblem in the middle, leather pants, and armored boots. Attached to fake Lion-O's hip was a bronze-colored version of the Claw Shield and a version of the scabbarded Sword of Omens that had a red version of the Eye of Thundera in its hilt that was completely blank.
Both new enemies fascinated Glomer. He clasped his paws into fists and smirked. Oh, yes. He would most definitely have a field day with these two. To get things started right away, he gripped both paws like he was holding a sword. He closed his eyes, and in an instant, a round silver scimitar with a dark-red hilt appeared in front of him. He opened and his eyes and was impressed by this achievement. He looked over the hilt to see a carved green snake coiled up from top to bottom, its tail covering the very end of the scimitar. He smiled at the design. Indeed his magic was getting stronger. He gripped the scimitar again and looked again at fake Lion-O and fake Snarf, who were as eager as ever to put an end to their Glomley enemy.
Fake Lion-O put on his Claw Shield and unsheathed his sword, holding it to his face as the dull Eye of Thundera glowed, the sword's crossbars curled, and his own eyes glowed red briefly. Gripping the sword with both hands, he held it to the sky and shouted, "Ho!" At that command, the sword changed from dagger mode to longsword mode, and the Eye of Thundera emitted a slit-style opening that turned it black, and an all-red version of the ThunderCat emblem appeared. Then fake Lion-O held his sword in the exact same position that Glomer held his in. The table had been set. And now, they would begin.
The ThunderKittens and Brandon were in the Unicorn Forest awaiting the Unicorn Keepers' presence. WilyKit and Kat parked their spaceboards near a couple of trees on the left following theirs and Brandon's trek here. Lion-O told the kittens that the keepers were magic users and once threatened to cast a spell on him when he first entered the Unicorn Forest during the Berserker incident. So it was that the two siblings chose not to test the keepers' patience. The keepers came into view to be greeted by Kit, Kat, and Brandon. Two unicorns - one an adult male and one an adult female - accompanied the keepers.
"Why, hello to you, my friends," the male keeper spoke. "What can we do for you?"
"We'd like you to keep us on our toes," said Kat to the keepers. "Do you feel up to making training exercises for us?"
"The other ThunderCats are busy with Punky and her friends, so Kat, Brandon, and I thought we could keep our senses as sharp as ever," explained Kit, Brandon barking in agreement.
The female keeper stroked her chin. "I suppose it wouldn't hurt to train you three a little," she said with a smirk. "Provided that you feel up to it, of course."
The ThunderKittens and Brandon nodded yes. They looked as ready as they could ever be.
"Very well," said the male keeper. "We shall do our best to train you three."
"Thank you," the kittens said. Brandon barked happily, glad he was willing to participate.
"As the ThunderCats have seen," began the female keeper as a couple of unicorns - one an adult male and one an adult female - joined the group, "our unicorns are quite powerful in speed and agility. That will be your first lesson for today. To move as fast as you can." Both keepers petted their unicorns, which the majestic creatures didn't mind at all.
"That sounds like fun," Kat said with enthusiasm. "When do we begin exactly?"
"Right now," both keepers chorused.
The male keeper added, "We will be tracking your movements throughout with our senses."
"Your senses?" Kit asked, confused.
"Indeed, WilyKit," continued the male keeper. "We Unicorn Keepers are one with the environment that surrounds us. It allows us to determine if someone is friend or foe."
"Your movements, we assure you, will not go unnoticed," assured the female keeper.
"Okay then, Unicorn Keepers," Kat said. "We trust your judgement." He, Kit, and Brandon prepared themselves.
"3..." counted the female keeper as she and her husband raised their crescent-tipped staffs in the air.
"2..." the male keeper also counted, the staffs glowing golden.
"1..." the former counted once more.
"GO!" they shouted excitedly, swinging the staffs at the ThunderKittens and Brandon's direction. Off the three friends went.
Kat, Kit, and Brandon were racing side by side in the forest, and they were pretty much having plenty of fun with it. The more they ran, the more they started to feel free.
"This is totally fun!" exclaimed Kit excitedly.
"I hear you, Kit!" added her brother. Brandon barked proudly as he raced alongside the ThunderKittens.
The three friends were going around in circles in the forest, making sure to stay within the sights of the Unicorn Keepers. Kat enjoyed it so much, he leapt onto a tree branch, allowing Kit and Brandon to stop briefly.
"That's no fair, WilyKat," chastised Kit. "All three of us are supposed to be in sync."
"Sometimes you're just too serious, WilyKit," replied Kat nonchalantly. "The Unicorn Keepers said this exercise is good for us, so I'm just simply rolling with it."
Kit looked at Brandon and then back to Kat. She was tempted to join her brother in tree-hopping, but she didn't want to leave Brandon behind. She felt confused. Should she join up with Kat, or should she stay with Brandon and go by the book? Either way, she didn't want to waste any time. Brandon came up to Kit and looked into her eyes. Kit looked into Brandon's, too. Hers were full of worry over leaving a new friend behind after having made one, and his were full of reassurance that he would stay with a friend no matter how hard it would be. No words were necessary between Kit and Brandon; their eyes were telling all. Kit managed a small smile, grateful for Brandon's presence.
"Okay, Brandon," Kit said at last. "If you're absolutely sure about this...we'll go through with it."
Kat had been standing dumbfounded by Kit and Brandon's gaze the whole time. He'd almost forgotten that he and Kit were babysitting one of Punky's closest friends, and he felt some guilt for almost leaving the poor dog behind. He got back down to join Kit and Brandon, who looked to him directly.
"I am so sorry, Brandon," he consoled, patting the dog on the head. "I wasn't thinking at all. You may not be a cat, but we definitely consider you an ally and friend."
Brandon barked, accepting Kat's apology. He'd been through plenty trials and tribulations in his time on First Earth along with Punky, so he already was used to the impossible.
"So you're willing to go through with it, huh?" Kat wondered with a smirk. Brandon nodded yes. "Okay, boy. You'll get no argument from me."
"So how about we resume our training?" inquired Kit.
"No problem, WilyKit," Kat agreed, as did Brandon with a simple nod.
Now with reassurance, Brandon and the ThunderKittens raced once more, making sure that this time they'd be in sync with one another. Side by side they poured their hearts and souls into it. And then, with perfect timing, Kat and Kit backflipped and leapt onto a tree branch together. Brandon leapt into the very bark that the twins were on. The twins looked with worry over their friend. Brandon, however, was determined to stand by the twins for this exercise. Maybe it was his time with Punky, their adventures with Glomer, or the thought of never returning to his own time, but he was one loyal dog. With as much strength as he could muster, Brandon climbed up the bark and leapt into Kat's waiting arms.
"Not bad, Brandon," complimented Kat. "That was dangerous, but you handled yourself pretty well." He handed Brandon over to Kit, who allowed Punky's best friend to climb on to her back and held on to her neck.
"Brace yourself, boy," Kit said, turning to Brandon. "This is where we kick it up a notch."
Brandon could feel the excitement inside him growing as Kit and Kat crouched down, so he allowed himself a small sigh and smile. Never had he felt this good to be alive. Whatever the ThunderCats were teaching him and his friends, he was starting to appreciate it very much. Soon the ThunderKittens were off leaping across every tree branch in the Unicorn Forest, and Brandon held on as tightly as he could to Kit. Kat was able to do barrel rolls occasionally, but Kit had to be careful with Brandon. Still, things were progressing nicely with this exercise. Everyone remained in sync as usual. Finally the time came for them to end their agility exercise and return to the Unicorn Keepers for their next session in their training.
Kat, Kit, and Brandon greeted the keepers once again, Kit having set Brandon down. They were now prepared for their next exercise.
"Okay, Unicorn Keepers," spoke Kit. "What is it you'd like for us to do next?"
"We could give you two a chance to joust," replied the male keeper.
"Ah, yes," agreed his wife. "I remember Lion-O asking for the use of one of our unicorns for a joust of his own."
At the idea of a joust, Kat beamed over the time Lion-O jousted against the Mumm-Ra-disguised King Arthur. "I remember that day like it was yesterday," he said. "We ThunderCats witnessed Lion-O and that so-called knight trading blow after blow."
"Yeah," added Kit. "The words they traded with each other were pretty strong, just as much as they used their swords. Neither of them would let up."
"Quite right, my friends," agreed the female keeper. "Now then, shall we begin your next exercise?"
"Of course," replied Kat.
The two unicorns by either keeper's side came to the kittens willingly. Kat got onto the lap of the male while Kit got onto the lap of the female. Everyone in the forest then headed to a clearing outside so they could so their thing. Finally they found an incredibly wide clearing that was across the forest, and both unicorns took opposite positions with their riders. The keepers and Brandon would watch this next exercise with open eyes. The keepers used the magic of their staffs to conjur up a brown wooden fence for the unicorns and their riders. Next they brought forth silver lances and ThunderCat emblem-shaped shields for Kat and Kit, which appeared above the kittens in a multi-colored glow. The kittens grasped their weaponry with their hands, and soon the lances and shields' glow faded out.
"This is fantastic!" called Kat with optimism.
"I'll say!" Kit called back.
"Is everybody all set?" asked the male Unicorn Keeper asked.
"We're ready and rarin' to go," responded Kat.
"Very well then, ThunderKittens. Ready..."
"Begin!" chorused both keepers.
Begin they did. The ThunderKittens had their lance arms raised and their shields up, and their unicorn mounts galloped forward. The twins clashed with their lances effortlessly with a fire in their eyes like never before whenever they were on the actual battlefield. It was a fire of absolute playtime. They placed their lances forward, ready to get things rolling for sure this time. The unicorns raced forth, and the tips of the kittens' lances clashed with their shields, emitting small sparks via the Unicorn Keepers' magic. Neither lance appeared to break, which meant the keepers did their job well. The keepers and Brandon looked on in amazement as the kittens were enjoying themselves. The joust was proving to be quite tough, but Kat and Kit never lost sight of themselves in an instant. No matter how hard they pushed themselves, they would always have each other to count on.
Brandon barked excitedly and jumped up and down at the ThunderKittens' jousting. Clearly, he was enjoying it as much as they were. He hadn't had this much excitement since his adventures with Team Punky on First Earth. The Unicorn Keepers took note of his happiness and smiled softly.
"Yes, friend Brandon," said the female keeper as she and her husband looked onward to the jousting. "This is exciting."
"It reminds me of the old days," the male keeper reminisced, "when this world was not as hostile as it is now. People could actually enjoy doing something for a change."
The female keeper added with quiet resolve, "It is up to people like us, and especially the ThunderCats, to make sure future generations have a chance to live peaceful lives on Third Earth."
"Indeed, my love," her husband agreed.
Finally the joust came to an end, with the ThunderKittens clashing their lances with their shields and both of them falling to the ground. They got a good laugh out of the challenge. They helped themselves up and congratulated each other, then turned to the Unicorn Keepers and Brandon. Their unicorns remained standing opposite the twins.
"We've been having so much fun with this exercise, Unicorn Keepers," Kat said. "I think now would be a good time for some lunch. The other ThunderCats might have the same feeling."
"How about you, boy?" Kit suggested to Brandon. "You feel like eating?"
"Arf! Arf!" Brandon barked, agreeing with the twins.
The Unicorn Keepers dissolved the fence, allowing Brandon to walk toward the twins, who knelt and took turns to pet him. There was a total sense of accomplishment from the three, and the keepers could sense it.
"Thanks for today," said Kit gratefully.
"You are most welcome, young ones," the keepers said in unison.
Kat and Kit waved goodbye to the keepers, who returned the favor. Then, off the twins and Brandon went to join Team Punky and the other ThunderCats for lunch.
Immediately Glomer and fake Lion-O clashed with their blades, letting loose tons of sparks that emitted every color except black. Around and around they went, each opponent eager to gain the upper hand. Fake Lion-O attempted to cut Glomer, who dodged the assault with a single slip and managed to punch fake Lion-O in the chin, and yet fake Lion-O brought his Claw Shield arm to Glomer's. For a minute they stood stock still and accessed each other's abilities. They immediately broke off and resumed their fight. They moved further away from spot Glomer appeared in to gain more room. Determination fueled the both of them. It was going to be a battle for the ages.
Fake Snarf quietly hung back, observing the fight with a smile. His vision and ears were quite sharp as he took the fight in. Both combatants were hard-pressed on achieving victory at any cost. His loyalty to fake Lion-O absolutely knew no bounds. He would be able to step in if things didn't go fake Lion-O's way. Until then, Glomer and fake Lion-O would continue their battle.
Glomer and fake Lion-O clashed blades and traded physical blows at the same time, their fierceness keeping them going. Glomer used his arms to whirl his scimitar around in a helicopter-like motion, and they glowed garnet. He leapt upward, daring fake Lion-O to follow suit. Indeed the latter opponent did, twirling his fake Sword of Omens around like a helicopter. Both of them glowed amethyst, and he leapt up to join Glomer. They gripped their weapons and went at each other, the blades making contact with each other and unleashing an incredible, spark-filled light show from their wielders' respective colors. They broke off and landed back on the ground. Fake Lion-O went at Glomer with a slash, only for the Glomley to do a leaping backflip and go straight for fake Lion-O's jugular. Fake Lion-O put up his Claw Shield just in time and pointed his sword at Glomer.
"Ho!" the false ThunderCat Lord shouted, and the false Sword of Omens fired amethyst energy that pushed Glomer back, sending him into air briefly. Glomer landed on his free left paw and regained his senses just in time for another go-round. He raised his scimitar in the air, and it glowed garnet once more. He formed an energy atom with it and used telekenesis to ensnare fake Lion-O with it. It seemed that fake Lion-O would be done in as the atom started shrinking around him. Fake Lion-O grunted and struggled, using all of his strength to bust himself loose of Glomer's precious trick. Glomer smiled and snickered at fake Lion-O's plight. But then, fake Lion-O's eyes glowed red, and he used every ounce of strength in him to bust himself loose; he didn't need to use his sword for that. With a final push and mighty roar, he disintegrated Glomer's energy atom.
Glomer himself knew that this battle wasn't over, so he stilled himself for more, rapidly twirling his scimitar and gripping it with his paws. Fake Lion-O gripped his sword and held the fake Eye of Thundera in front of his face, tapping into its power. The eye heeded its master's call and fired intense black lightning toward Glomer, who blocked/sliced through the power with his own weapon. The eye kept on firing, yet Glomer held his ground by erecting a fuscia-colored, ballistic energy shield with his free paw. He threw his scimitar like a boomerang and knocked fake Lion-O's sword from his grasp, taking the lion by surprise. The fake Sword of Omens lay sticking up on the ground. Glomer dropped his shield and leapt up to move in for the kill. However, Lion-O launched purple fumes from his Claw Shield's pendants, engulfing his Glomley enemy in the deadly mist. Glomer could feel the mist suffocating him, making him cough. It was magical in nature. This forced him to drop his scimitar on the right side; the weapon also stuck up on the ground.
Fake Lion-O watched with a smirk as Glomer seemed trapped by the mist. He watched as Glomer seemingly writhed in agony, the mist threatening the Glomley's life. It was a pure stroke of genius on fake Lion-O's part to ensure his enemy's demise. This way he would come out on top for sure. If he won, then Glomer would never be given the chance to eliminate the real-life ThunderCats, and Glomer's promise to the Great Glomley Elder would never be fulfilled. It would all be for nothing. But fake Lion-O would be proven wrong on this day. Really wrong.
Glomer concentrated all of his senses inside the mist. He was seemingly stock still with his eyes closed. Everything the Great Glomley Elder taught him so far had proven effortless. He glowed a faint multi-colored hue, as he was channeling all of his powers into a single force. The mist surrounding him was strong, but he was stronger. He balled his paws into fists and crossed his arms. He opened his eyes, which glowed the same type of hue his body was generating. He growled, then let out a roar as he disintegrated the mist by flexing his arms out. He was far from done with his battle with fake Lion-O, who looked momentarily shocked by this display of power but readied himself nonetheless.
Glomer held out his right paw to his scimitar and used telekenesis to summon it to him. He clasped it with both paws and floated downwards to face fake Lion-O directly. They crossed swords yet again, their weapons giving off rainbow-colored sparks as usual. Clearly, fake Lion-O was proving to be a much better adversary than the other fake ThunderCats Glomer dealt with before. There was something different about the false Lord of the ThunderCats that Glomer was beginning to understand. He continued to assess his enemy's abilities as their fight continued. He was definitely relishing this final challenge by the Great Glomley Elder. He broke off from fake Lion-O temporarily and backflipped into the air, landing back on the ground. He aimed his scimitar directly at fake Lion-O, and sure enough, amethyst energy blasts came from the weapon, but not before fake Lion-O slowly swung his fake Sword of Omens to create a force field. The blasts ricocheted off of the field and spread themselves across the field, turning into specks that set the ground somewhat on fire.
Fake Lion-O dissolved his field. He held his sword upside down in the air with both hands, the weapon glowing its usual amethyst. He stabbed it into the ground, creating a fissure intent on taking out his Glomley opponent. Glomer caught on and flew into the air, giving fake Lion-O the chance to launch all three claw lines of his fake Claw Shield at Glomer. The tips pierced his stomach, making him yelp. Glomer could feel the sharpness inside of him paralyzing him, but he could not allow this to hinder him in any way, not ever. He would find a loophole. But before he could get that chance, fake Lion-O grabbed the lines and, with all of his strength, twirled Glomer around like a rag doll. The lines' hold over Glomer was pretty strong, and the Chaundoon native did his best to focus on fake Lion-O without the need to vomit. While he was being spun around, an idea formed in his head. He would use that idea to his advantage and fake Lion-O's disadvantage.
Looking at his scimitar's hilt, he touched the carved snake and concentrated all of his strength on it. His eyes glowed light red, and at his reponse, the carved snake glowed its respective color and became a real-life snake with yellow, red-slit eyes. It latched onto its master's right arm and hissed a greeting, to which Glomer replied with a nod. They both could see fake Lion-O being too distracted with acheiving victory. His eyes still glowing, Glomer telepathically relayed a command to the snake, Squeeze ThunderCat meanie hard.
The snake hissed a yes, and Glomer threw it from his right arm so it could attack fake Lion-O immediately. The snake glowed once more and expanded to fake Lion-O's size and wrapped itself really tight around fake Lion-O's torso. Fake Lion-O was taken by surprise by this sudden attack. He growled and grunted as he struggled to break free of the snake, but in doing so he was losing concentration of taking out Glomer, who, while still caught in the fake Claw Shield's grip, was watching the action unfold, his eyes continually glowing. With a powerful clasp from his right paw, the snake squeezed even harder on fake Lion-O. This forced fake Lion-O to retract the claw lines from Glomer and back into the fake Claw Shield, Glomer uttering an "Uh!" as he landed on the ground once again. There were three black marks on his stomach, and he clutched/rubbed it with his left paw. He didn't bleed, which could be attributed to his enhanced magic.
Fake Lion-O could feel his life slipping from him from the snake's lethal grip. He got weak in the knees, and his eyes were closing. His strength was truly leaving him. He dropped his fake Sword of Omens to the ground, and then with his eyes fully closed, he, too, dropped to the ground face down. Satisfied with its job, the snake hissed triumpantly. It released itself from fake Lion-O and returned to its normal size and then back to the hilt of Glomer's scimitar, returning to its carved state. With fake Lion-O now dead, Glomer came over to him prepared to finish the job, raising his now-garnet-glowing scimitar in the air.
Just then, a rapid red-and-yellow blur hit Glomer in the face, pushing him back and temporarily disorienting him. He shook his head to get his bearing and could see, to his dismay, fake Snarf sitting on all fours in front of fake Lion-O with a menacing expression on his face, purring intensely, having sensed fake Lion-O would be beaten. The little creature was actually willing to fight in his now-dead master's place. Glomer eyed him carefully; he almost had forgotten that the little creature had existed, as he wanted to deal with both enemies. He could see that he had to deal with fake Snarf differently, so he held out his scimitar, and it vanished immediately. He channeled all of his senses as he got into a fighting stance. Fake Snarf leapt into the air and launched himself at Glomer, hissing wildly with clawed hands.
The ever-ready Glomer managed to give fake Snarf a powerful kick that sent the smaller creature to the right side of the ground. Fake Snarf was barely fazed and stood up on twos, ready for more. He gave a swift aerial kick toward Glomer, who blocked it with his arms. Glomer countered by making both his paws glow white briefly and turn claw-like. He began to slice away at fake Snarf, who used his superior speed to dodge his Glomley enemy at every turn. Fake Snarf was smart, but Glomer was smarter. He held his paws out, and they glowed red this time. He dug them heavily into the ground, his magic forming a rectangle around fake Snarf, and lifted the piece of ground upwards. Fake Snarf slightly lost his balance from this and leapt across Glomer. Glomer used this chance to leap toward fake Snarf and whacked him across with the piece of ground, which instantly crumbled. Fake Snarf tumbled to the ground that was still there, which gave Glomer the opening that he needed. He backflipped into the air and launched like a torpedo with arms raised upwards and feet straightened, ready to deliver the finishing blow on fake Snarf.
By the time fake Snarf recovered, he leaped up to Glomer's face via super-fast reflexes and whacked him hard with his tail, which knocked the Glomley straight to the ground. Glomer rubbed his face from the impact and realized more than ever that needed to complete his training so he could fulfill the Great Glomley Elder's wishes. Fake Snarf leapt up yet again, this time much higher, formed an X-like position with his arms and tightened his legs, and spun around really fast, becoming a living buzzsaw. He turned upside down and interfaced with Glomer, then zoomed downward. He was going to take out Chaundoon's resident magician for once and for all. However, Glomer rolled himself out of the way with his reflexes, leaving fake Snarf to drill a hole beneath the earth. Glomer could sense fake Snarf still on the attack, and he leapt upward and uncovered his face. His eyes still closed, he concentrated on hearing only fake Snarf's agressive drilling. The concentration paid off as the drilling got closer to him and fake Snarf appeared in front of him still in buzzsaw mode and went straight for Glomer, who did a backflip across his smaller enemy.
Glomer crossed his arms in front of him so only his eyes were visible while keeping his focus on fake Snarf. He opened his eyes, and as soon as fake Snarf was within range, Glomer unleashed massive eerie-green laser beams toward the little creature. The beams were on target, and fake Snarf was suddenly paralyzed in thin air, his buzzsaw technique disabled. Glomer allowed himself a smirk at his new technique. Fake Snarf was apparently in pain from this technique, grunting with his eyes closed. He couldn't seem to move. Every inch of his body was frozen solid. Glomer raised both of his arms in front of fake Snarf and summoned his telekenesis technique. He levitated his opponent to his level, and with a wide-eyed gesture he torpedoed fake Snarf to fake Lion-O. Fake Snarf's eyes closed, indicating a coma. The green glow surrounding him had faded at last. Glomer leapt into the sky and zeroed in on his seemingly-lifeless enemies. Raising his left arm, he generated a medium-sized, teal-colored sphere and unleashed it point blank of fake Snarf and fake Lion-O, and they exploded in that same color, leaving behind their screeching black spectres that soon dissolved just as the light show did.
Glomer came back down to the ground. He looked at his stomach, and he could see the wound that fake Lion-O inflicted on him had disappeared. He briefly smiled at this, then looked ahead and awaited the Great Glomley Elder's word on his progress. Surely enough, the Elder's voice communicated telepathically, Congratulations, Glomer. You completing your training at last. You now stronger than all ThunderCats combined. I proud of you.
Glomer closed his eyes and smiled, replying, "Thanking you, Elder." He could hear the Elder grunting in pain, which worried him. "Are you okay, Elder?" he asked genuinely.
N...no worrying...about me...Glomer, the Elder replied breathily. You concentrating...on resting up. You earn it for...today.
Glomer made no attempt to argue with the Elder. He knew his master was right. He was more powerful than ever before. Simply he said, "Yes, Elder. I doing as you say."
The scenery around him faded to black, and the door to Mount Anguish's interior opened for him. Glomer floated outwards and teleported straight to his home in the Desert of Sinking Sands. Once there, he could see that the fortress became twice as big. He felt shocked and impressed all at once. He could sense that the place has some form of sentience. After the rigorous training exercises he went through today, he felt he could use a break. He felt more confident than he ever was when he was with Punky and friends. The door to his home opened up and bade him enter, and gladly he did. Then the door closed.
At the refurbished Mount Anguish, the Great Glomley Elder, actually Mumm-Ra in disguise, was knee-deep on the ground, feeling almost completely drained. He held up his cane to keep from passing out.
"That wretched Glomley put up quite the fight from within the simulations I presented to him," Mumm-Ra said in his real voice, impressed with how far Glomer came. "Though I have lost strength in training him, it is worth it for the destruction of his new 'friends,' the ThunderCats." He used his cane to stand back up, crossed his arms, and, using what little magic he had left, vanished in a red glow. Now Mount Anguish was vacant once more.
Mumm-Ra appeared in the tomb chamber of his pyramid in the same glow, which vanished to reveal his kneeling, familiar, red-robed mummy form. He stood up and faced the Ancient Spirits of Evil.
"You have done well with Glomer so far, Mumm-Ra," the spirits said in unison to their servant, their eyes glowing red. "He is quite the worthy scapegoat."
"Of course, masters," replied the demon-priest earnestly. "There is still much I can do for him. But for now, I must rest."
"Do so. We will keep an eye on the ThunderCats' activities through the cauldron."
Mumm-Ra nodded at this and headed for his crypt. When he reached it, he went to sleep immediately, and the crypt closed. All was seemingly quiet inside the tomb chamber, but of course, with Mumm-Ra, nothing would ever be quiet for long.
It has taken me four years to complete this darn chapter. I apologize to my readers for the long wait. I sure hope I still have an audience. And also, this chapter was getting long, so I had to stop here. Most of what I planned here, however, will instead go into the next chapter instead. Punks of Thunder is a story that seems to be taking on a life of its own. C.L.A.W., the Cat's Lair Automatic Warrior, is a character invented by a forum member of ThunderCats-Dot-Org who just goes by C.L.A.W. I messaged him about using his character for this fic, but so far there's been no response. I pray he doesn't mind me using the character.
Before I sign off, this year marks the 35th anniversary of the Punky Brewster franchise, which I'm definitely happy about and eager to celebrate. The live-action show made its debut on NBC on September 16, 1984. Although not a top-tier player in the '80s, it has garnered a cult following. ThunderCats wasn't a top-tier player in that decade either, yet it too established a fanbase. I write this story based on both shows out of respect for their storylines and characters, especially Punky and Lion-O. I can't promise that it'll be updated quickly, but I refuse to give up on it. I'm gonna keep on writing it to my heart's content.