Return to Power
There was a somewhat joyous reunion as Tygra and the other Thundercats helped Lion-O and Panthro out of their Thundrainium shackles. For the two former prisoners they were relieved to see that Tygra had not, in fact, perished during the destruction of Cat's Lair. The sense of relief was only tempered by the number of casualties outside the city. Already Willa's people were tending to the wounded and trying to decide how best to transport the dead. Twenty-three women died, of the close to three hundred that had made the trek, and each one would be mourned properly. The injured were the more pressing situation. Everyone had some kind of injury, though many had very serious ones.
Looking around Lion-O shook his head sadly. Such violence, and over what? What purpose had been gained by capturing Cheetara and doing who knew what. He hoped that once Tycho arrived that her body would be released. If nothing else, she deserved to be buried in Thunderian fashion. Still, the fact that any of this had had to happen amazed him. Things had been so peaceful between the two peoples, and now...
"Penny for your thoughts," Tygra said, standing by his lord, likewise staring at the Lunatak doctors walking through the bodies. The two were by the city's walls, near where Bengali's pod had crashed. He and Panthro were inspecting it to see if they could make it flight worthy again.
"I'm just thinking how much progress we thought we'd made here. And now this. A war we didn't want. No home to go back to. So many of our friends lost, not to mention Cheetara," he said.
"Cheetara? Excuse me for interrupting, but I think you're mistaken." Lion-O turned to see a young Psion woman picking her way carefully towards them. An ambulance rushed by, carrying a Graviton with an arrow lodged in his eye, though neither Thundercat knew it. "Um, my name is Lura, and I can vouch that I saw Cheetara and Snarf alive and well not more than six hours ago. It's a bit of a long story, and I was going to report to Tycho when he gets here. I can't imagine that you would be unwelcome."
For the second time in the last few minutes, Lion-O was stunned. "But the reports were that Mandora saw her body. She can't be alive."
"She is. Like I said. It's a long story."
Tycho's arrival, along with many people from Control, brought fresh commotion. Quite soon a few select Control officers, the Thundercats, Willa, Nayda, the Snow Man, Tycho and his surviving council members, with Lura representing Mystan and Chilla coming out of her hiding spot, all were gathered to give reports on the recent events. Lura and Alluro relayed what they knew of from Nightshade's cave, including Mumm-Ra's revival and the abductions of several Third Earth denizens, while the Thundercats explained their version of events, including their time trapped in Sky Tomb's prisons.
Ultimately Control, at Mandora's insistence, arrested Aristarchus for his crimes; both against the Thundercats and against an officer of the law. He would be tried and he would be punished, though it was expected that the court proceedings might take a while. The evil chaser was adamant about being at the proceedings, despite having suffered minor burns and feeling the effects of inhaling all the smoke. She would recover and be chasing down perpetrators again in no time at all.
Shade's fate was a little more difficult to ascertain. Her involvement in the abductions was forgiven, but the evil creature living inside her posed a conundrum. How did one punish Nightshade without also punishing Shade? A possibility had been raised, though Red Eye immediately shot it down and threatened bodily harm on anyone who agreed with it, to jettison her into deep space where the spirit might never come back.
Tygra, on the other hand, had a temporary solution. "On this planet there is a fountain of youth," he explained, though he was reluctant to even give that much knowledge to the Lunataks. If they ever found the fountain, they might cause unspeakable trouble with it. "We can take Shade there and de-age her so that she can extend her life span. Hopefully the extra years will give us enough time to come up with a permanent means of containing Nightshade."
It wasn't a perfect solution, but it was better than leaving things as they were. For their part, the Lunataks agreed to offer transportation for the Thundercats and their allies back to friendly soil, now that the reason for their misunderstanding was out in the open. An offer to help rebuild Cat's Lair was firmly, but politely, denied. "There's still residual resentment, between the Lunataks and Thunderians," Lion-O explained. "Perhaps, with you back in place those wounds may be healed. But not yet. Thank you, though, for the offer."
When the discussions were finally finished, the Thundercats left for the Tower of Omens and found Snarf and Cheetara there, waiting anxiously. "Lion-O!" Snarf said, bounding down the steps and jumping into the arms of his charge. "We were so worried about you, snarf, snarf!"
"Snarf told me about Cat's Lair, so we came here. We didn't know what to think when we saw it empty," Cheetara added, wrapped tightly in a fleece blanket and still feeling very weak from Nightshade's touch. Truth be told, it felt hard to walk, even with Snarf filling her belly with food.
"A lot happened. I'll explain once we're inside. I think I speak for all of us when I say we could use a good bite to eat," Lion-O said, wanly smiling, and leading the way inside. They would all take a long time to recover from what happened. The scars ran deep, both mentally and physically. Even though so many of the warrior maidens had died, it did him well to see that the Thundercats were together again.
"I'll get right on it then," Snarf replied, cheerfully, showing that the feeling was mutual. He hopped out of Lion-O's arms and dashed off to get things ready.
A few days later, Chilla found herself face to face with Stalker and not feeling thrilled at all. One of Tycho's first acts had been to pardon herself and Psychro for their supposed crimes, and to announce that he would launch a full investigation into Josa's account of events. She hoped that he would grant her permission to execute some Icewalker justice on the treacherous woman. But thoughts of that were scuttled at present. "You're kidding," she scowled.
"I'm not," Stalker replied. "Given recent events Tycho wants me to be more diligent in keeping everyone up to date in all training exercises. You're listed as having pilot experience, but your flight hours are dismally low. I've got one opening today and you're filling it. It's a Psi-Blade class ship, which isn't much different than what you're used to. You'll perform a couple of manoeuvres and come home. Easy as that."
Chilla sighed. Psion ships were generally pains in the neck to use, designed for much taller pilots and their co-pilot. Which raised a second point. "Who am I paired with?"
He checked the duty roster, cycling through the available names. She knew, as soon as she saw him going through the motions, that he had picked one out; a punishment of sorts for not keeping her skills up. "Looks like the only one not busy during that shift is Psychro, of House Myntaello."
"Great. Just great," she hissed.
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