5

Leanne jolted awake in a cold sweat, having experienced the same nightmare she had the previous night. Her sudden awakening caused Snarf, who rested at the foot of her bed, to jump up in fear, hissing on instinct. Leanne panted as she put a hand over her racing heart, wiping away the cold sweat on her forehead. She looked over at Snarf, and saw all the fur on his back was standing on end.

"Sorry, Snarf," She said, holding out her hand to him, "I didn't mean to scare you." Snarf was a little hesitant to approach her, but he did, and he rubbed his face up against her hand, letting her pet him. Leanne looked out her bedroom window and saw that it was well into the later morning. "How long have I been asleep?" She asked aloud. She looked to Snarf for an answer, but didn't receive anything other than a blank stare, "Oh, right. You don't talk." She swung her feet over the side of the bed and began walking towards the door, Snarf jumped off the bed, following her as she opened the door and headed out. "How about some breakfast?" Snarf mewed happily and followed her as she walked down the hall.

As they walked, Leanne couldn't help but look at the end of the shirt she was wearing, and laughing a little as she realized it looked like she was wearing a short, white dress. As she passed by Lion-O's room, she heard someone speaking, and she paused. She moved so her back was against the wall, listening to everything that was said.

"Now is not the time to be tinkering with junk." Tygra's voice said, "People think you're crazy as it is."

"It's not junk, it's technology." Lion-O said, Leanne heard the sound of a screw squeaking as it was being twisted out, "I don't care what they think." Leanne peeked in through the doorway and saw that Lion-O was messing around with some technology he had bought in something of a study, with pictures and schematics of the technology he had taken apart hanging on walls all around the desk he was sitting at.

"Maybe you should." Tygra said, "People are talking about you pardoning those lizards. They say it's another example of you not taking your position as heir to the crown seriously."

"We've been at war with the lizards for generations," Lion-O said, trying to open up the technology he had in his hands, "Maybe it's time to look at things differently."

"That's your problem." Tygra said as he reached down and picked up another little tech device that Leanne had no clue about. "You look at lizards and see victims. You look at junk and see mythical tech. When are you going to grow up?" Lion-O stood up from his chair and snatched the technology out of Tygra's hands. He looked at it for a moment, then looked up at Tygra.

"When I do, I hope I'm nothing like you." Lion-O said, Tygra growled threateningly at him. Leanne, thinking this was not the best time to be eavesdropping, tried to make a quiet, quick escape to find the kitchen and get some breakfast. Her foot stepped on something, and she yelped as she lost her footing from it and fell over. The two cat brothers heard her cry and went over to the door to see Leanne lying on her back, holding her head, rubbing a tender spot she had hit. They looked to see she had tripped on the scroll that bore her family tree. She looked back up at them, seeing Tygra's hard stare, and Lion-O's blank one.

"Um…" She tried to come up with a decent excuse as to why she was there, "I tripped." Tygra said nothing as he walked away, and Lion-O held out his hand to help her up, which she readily took. "Sorry."

"…How much did you hear?" Lion-O asked once Leanne had steadied herself and stood before him. She bit her lip guiltily, turning away.

"I heard enough…" She said quietly. Lion-O sighed, but it didn't sound like he was upset about her overhearing him. He simply walked back into his room to go back to the piece of technology he was trying to figure out. Leanne reached down and picked up her family tree, wondering how it had gotten there, then her eyes spotted that name again.

Alphonse Redoric

She looked over at where Lion-O was still working on the technology, and she walked in.

"He's wrong, you know." She said, making him look up, "You're not crazy."

"Maybe not," Lion-O said, turning his attention back to the screws on his piece of technology, "But everyone thinks I am."

"You're not crazy. Trust me, I know crazy." The way she said her words, like she was slightly afraid of something, made Lion-O look up at her, grasping her family tree in her hands. Her eyes were on the floor, then she looked back up at him, "Lion-O, can I tell you something?"

"Of course," Lion-O said, putting his full attention on her.

"Promise not to tell anyone else?" She asked him, Lion-O nodded.

"I won't tell anyone." He said, he put his hand over his heart, "Or may I have my tail cut off in full view of the people of Thundera."

Leanne smirked a little at his promise. Then she took a deep breath in and out as she unrolled the scroll and pointed to Alphonse Redoric's name, "Do you see that?" Lion-O read the name, and then looked back up at her, "Did you know he was a famous man a few hundred years ago?"

"He was?" Lion-O asked in surprise, Leanne nodded.

"He was charged and convicted of the crime of performing witchcraft." She said, she rolled the scroll back up, "He was hung by a noose, and then thrown into a river, where he died of asphyxiation." Lion-O grimaced.

"Why go so far to execute him?" Lion-O asked.

"He was a warlock." Leanne said, "Everyone was incredibly superstitious back then, and witchcraft was seen as an evil thing. They had to make sure he didn't use his witchcraft powers to rise from the dead." Lion-O gave her an odd look, "I know, it's weird, but that's just how it was back then." She sighed and turned around, "Now, there's something I need to show you." She grabbed the back of the old shirt she wore and pulled it up, revealing a huge, red, cross-shaped scar on her back. Lion-O's eyes widened when he saw it. "His history followed my family for years. The Redorics were commonly known for being insane, or just for doing black magic." She released the shirt and brought it back down, turning back to Lion-O, "When I was a little girl, without realizing it, my mom had moved next door to this crazy religious family. At first, they didn't think we were doing anything, until they saw a witch costume I was wearing for a party. The next day, they grabbed me as I was walking home from school and tied my limbs to some posts and had me on my stomach. They stripped me, and…" She took a shaky breath in and out. Lion-O could see how hard this was for her and reached out, his hand touching her shoulder.

"You don't have to tell me." Lion-O said, "I can tell just as much from looking at that scar." Leanne looked at him, and Lion-O saw the fear hiding behind them from her memory, "They gave it to you, didn't they?" Leanne nodded.

"They said it would cure me of my demonic-ness." Leanne said, "Or, something like that, I think. They kept on talking in Latin, or whatever language that was. When my mom figured out I was late coming home, she called the police, and they found me in their basement before they sealed the wound with something. I forget what it was." Lion-O stood up and walked over to her, putting his hand on both of her shoulders. Leanne leaned in and wrapped her arms around his waist, putting her head on his chest and resting it there. Lion-O returned her embrace, resting his chin on her head.

"…Why are you telling me this?" Lion-O asked softly.

"Well, one: to prove you're not as crazy as everyone thinks you are," Leanne said, making Lion-O smirk a little, "And two: …Because you're my friend. I trust you." Lion-O held her a little closer.


Leanne laughed as she played with Snarf, tickling his yellow belly, then pulling her fingers away, watching as he still squirmed as if she were still going for only a moment. He stopped and looked up at her, then rolled over and jumped up into her lap, reaching his paw up to her face. Leanne laughed and was about to tickle him again, but jumped when she heard a loud horn go off. It was the same one that announced Grune's arrival, but this one was different, it kept going off instead of just making one, long sound. She got up, Snarf trailing close behind her and she looked out of her bedroom. She saw people suddenly rushing around, and she ran down the hallway to Lion-O's room to find that he was just coming out of it.

"What's going on?" She asked him. Lion-O turned to her, just noticing that she was there.

"I think we're about to be attacked." Lion-O said. He dashed off somewhere, and Leanne and Snarf quickly followed him, going to a lookout point where Claudus, Tygra, Grune, and Jaga already were. They looked out, and on the horizon, Leanne could see the smokestacks from fires made by the enemy, whoever they were.

"This attack comes not a day after I pardon two of those filthy beasts!" Claudus growled, glaring at the oncoming enemy. Leanne was surprised to hear that the lizards were attacking, she would think that the lizards that were pardoned would have done something to stop the attack. Claudus turned to Lion-O, "Now do you see the results of leniency?"

"I was only trying to act like a prince." Lion-O said.

"You undermined our power and made the cats look weak!" Claudus said, turning away, "It's no wonder everyone thinks your brother should be king." His words struck Lion-O like a blade to his heart, and Leanne could see it in the look on his face. Angered by Claudus, she marched up in front of him, stopping him.

"Lion-O was trying to make peace!" She snapped, "It's not his fault this has happened!"

"Quiet!" Claudus roared, Leanne could hear the real Lion's roar that he was making and she flinched back in fear, "What would you know of our politics? Worthless creature…" He pushed Leanne aside roughly as he went back inside. Lion-O came up to her side, putting his arm on her shoulders comfortingly. "Grune, Tygra, come with me. We need to ready our defenses. Jaga, prepare your clerics." The three nodded as they took his orders. Lion-O walked in, Leanne just behind him.

"And me?" He asked, wanting to help his father. Claudus looked over his shoulder at Lion-O.

"You will remain here." Claudus said, his tone cold. He briskly walked away, Grune and Tygra following him. Lion-O's face fell in sadness.

"He's lost all faith in me, Jaga." He said, turning to the elderly cat.

"What is important is that you don't lose faith in yourself." He said wisely. He nodded at Leanne once before taking his leave, going to prepare his clerics. Lion-O looked back to Leanne, who looked up at him.

"What should we do?" She asked him.

"We do as my father said," Lion-O said, "We stay here. We'll find somewhere safe to hide out until the attack is over." Leanne nodded and followed him as he began to walk to another part of the castle. Leanne suddenly felt the earth shaking and heard loud booms. She and Lion-O looked out to see that the lizards had flaming catapults and were aiming all of their attacks to the wall outside the city, and anywhere inside it. Leanne watched with wide eyes, not believing the sight of warfare. She had never experienced war, or seen any part of it other than what was in movies, but seeing it with her own eyes was much more devastating. She knew that the people who got hit with those projectiles would die. Lion-O grabbed her wrist and dashed off. He took her to a part of the castle near the top, a much smaller look-out point, but one that looked over the entire kingdom, not just the wall in front of it. He pulled out a telescope to watch the battle.

Everything seemed to be progressing as it normally would in a battle of cats versus lizards, and it looked as though the cats would come out victorious, as they always did. But something changed, something was fired from a distance, and it came hurtling towards the city. Leanne's eyes widened as she recognized the object by its speed and shape alone.

"That's a—!" She didn't get to finish, because the missile, along with three smaller ones that had branched off from it made contact with the city, exploding on contact, and multiple explosions happened around the castle, making it shake. Leanne yelped as the quaking caused her to fall on her behind. "I thought you said there wasn't any technology here!"

"There isn't!" Lion-O said, "What was that?"

"It was a missile." Leanne said, she moved so she was next to where Lion-O was kneeling on the lookout point, "It's something we use back home. It's a technology we use to try and destroy our enemies before they destroy us."

"So, a missile causes this much destruction?" Lion-O said, looking at all the other places that had been affected not long after the missile's hit. Leanne looked around her suspiciously.

"That's just it." She said, "A missile is strong, but not strong enough to create a chain reaction of explosions in places nowhere near it." She took Lion-O's telescope and looked at where one of the explosions had happened and saw lizards going through the rubble, heading towards the castle. "The lizards got in past your walls. They're here right now!" She handed the telescope back to Lion-O, who saw the lizards, then looked out to the walls, and gasped when he saw that the lizards had more than just missiles for technology.

"And what about those?" Lion-O asked, Leanne took the telescope and looked to see large, robotic things moving on the battlefield, firing off different ammunition at the cats. Leanne looked at them with wide eyes, and then looked back at Lion-O.

"I… I've never seen things like that before." She said, handing him the telescope back, "I mean, I've seen something like that in science fiction movies or on TV or something, but never in real life. Our technology isn't that advanced yet, and it probably won't be for, maybe, another century." Lion-O sighed, looking through the telescope.

"So, you wouldn't know how to stop it…" He said, he had hoped that her knowledge of technology would give them an advantage in this battle, but it seemed that was not the case. He looked through the telescope to the giant robots that were attacking Thundera's forces. "I just… can't believe it." Leanne gave him an odd look, "Technology was my dream. How did it become my nightmare?" Leanne looked at him sympathetically, reaching out and putting her hand on his shoulder. Lion-O appreciated the gesture of comfort she was trying to give him. He looked down at the lizards as they went around the castle, his eyes widened when he saw a very familiar disc-like piece of technology being put on one of the castle's statues. He watched as the lizard soldier carefully put his finger to the small screen on the front, and running away once it began to light up, one bar disappearing each time it lit up. Once all the bars were no longer lighting, the device exploded. Lion-O pulled back from the telescope, his eyes wide in shock. Leanne noticed the look on his face and looked at him confusedly.

"What is it?" She asked. She was further confused when Lion-O suddenly got up. Leanne and Snarf followed him as they went to his room, to his secret hiding place where he kept his technology. Leanne didn't follow him inside because the room was too small for the two of them to be inside it at the same time. She watched as Lion-O picked up one of his pieces of technology, putting his finger to the small screen on it and watching it light up. Leanne could hear the device quickly beeping, getting faster and faster as time went on.

"All those years of listening to people tell me I was crazy for believing in this," Lion-O said, putting his fingers to the screen again and turning it off. He turned to Leanne, "Well, Leanne, it's about to pay off."

"What are those things? Bombs?" Leanne asked, Lion-O nodded, gathering all of them and putting them in a small rucksack. He came out of the room and looked at her.

"I'm going to do what I can to stop them." Lion-O said over his shoulder as he dashed out, "You stay here."

"Like hell I'm staying here!" Leanne said, standing up and going after him, Snarf following behind them, trying to keep up with their pace, "Lion-O, I was given this stupid wind-power for some reason! This jewel brought me here for a reason!" She pointed to her Nana's necklace, "Let me help!" Lion-O didn't reply, and she let an angry groan escape her throat. She used her powers to have a wind blowing behind her so she would come in front of Lion-O, "I'm helping you whether you like it or not!" Lion-O was surprised by her sudden outburst, and saw the determination shining in her eyes. He sighed.

"Fine." He said, "Come on." Leanne followed him as they went down to the stables. As Lion-O got his riding animal ready for them, they both heard a loud boom, and they both turned in the direction it had come from. Lion-O, fearing the worst, got on his riding animal, and Leanne mounted up behind him, her arms wrapping around his waist as they took off. They headed over to the arena, which was one of the few areas still standing in all the rubble around the palace. When they arrived, they saw that Grune was wearing a different armor, and seemed to be the one in control of all the lizards, ordering them around as they slowly surrounded Claudus and Tygra.

"Your rule has come to a long overdue end, Claudus." Grune said from the arena, where a cat that must have been Panthro was being held captive at the top of the branches. "Now drop your inferior weapons! How can you defeat technology if you don't even understand it?" The lizards pointed their weapons, be it bladed guns, or just plain normal guns, at the two cats. Lion-O growled lowly in the back of his throat and pulled out one of the explosives.

"Luckily, I know a thing or two about it, you traitor!" He snarled, he touched the screen and flung out the bomb at one of the gigantic robotic lizards, having it land successfully on his back. He flung out two others and watched as they exploded not long after the first one. Once the smoke from the explosions had cleared, Claudus looked up to see Lion-O on his riding animal, Leanne behind him, and he looked quite heroic. Claudus stood up and walked towards him, bowing once, then turning around and began walking away. "Where are you going?"

"To show the lizards that the Sword of Omens is the greatest weapon of them all." Claudus said, drawing his sword from where it rested in his gauntlet. Leanne watched with wide eyes as the small blade grew, bolts of lightning shooting out from it, "ThunderCats! Ho!" Claudus held the sword up high, letting the lightning pour out from the blade before running at the army of lizards. With a single swipe, he had taken out six lizards. Another swipe and he had taken out twelve. Leanne watched the spectacle in awe as he easily climbed up the branches, heading for Grune. Grune pulled out his weapon, which looked like a spiked, bludgeoning object and pointed one end at Claudus. The weapon separated into three parts, green lighting generating between each piece, and a huge bolt of it shot out at Claudus, who held up his sword and stopped the lightning from hitting him. He battled with it for a moment before having the lightning blast shoot away from him and he jumped up to where Grune was, his sword clashing with his weapon. Grune was easily knocked away onto the branch and he lay there.

Leanne's eyes narrowed suspiciously, thinking Grune was taken out far too easily. She felt a vibration and looked down at her necklace, seeing how it was blinking dimly and vibrating, as if speaking to her again, telling her something was wrong. She dismounted from Lion-O's riding animal, and ran up to the edge of the water around the branches as Claudus climbed up to the top where Panthro was bound. Lion-O jumped off his riding animal after her, confused as to why she had come off.

"What is it?" Lion-O asked as he came up beside her.

Leanne looked up at Panthro, feeling the necklace vibrate even more, "Something's not right…" She turned to Lion-O, "Go and get your dad. I don't have a good feeling about this." She grasped the jewel in her hands, "The necklace is telling me so." Lion-O, not doubting the power the jewel held, nodded and started going over to where his father was, calmly climbing up the branches, Tygra doing the same, not because he felt something was wrong, but because he wanted to be by his father's side. Claudus cut through the chains holding Panthro, who collapsed to the ground once they were released.

"You… You came for me." Panthro said, sounding surprised. Claudus smiled and knelt down in front of him, putting his hand on his shoulder.

"I'd fight an army twice that size for you, old friend." He said. He stood back up and held his sword up high, "Now help me!" Leanne's eyes widened as she saw Panthro's eyes darken and he pulled out a knife.

"No!" She screamed without realizing it, covering her mouth in shock. Lion-O saw the knife as well, and started climbing faster.

"Father!" He cried, Claudus looked at them confusedly, then roared out in pain when Panthro stabbed him in the back with the knife, "No!" Panthro easily pushed Claudus away, watching him as he fell into the water. Lion-O and Tygra quickly dove in after him and pulled him up from the water. Leanne's eyes filled with tears as she saw the water around them turn into a misty, red color from Claudus's blood. She jumped up and went over to one of the branch's bases and helped Lion-O and Tygra lay their father down on it.

"Father…!" Lion-O said, trying to get him to wake up. Claudus opened his eyes, which now seemed cloudy as his life began to slip away.

"No matter what happens…" He said, "You've made me proud today…" He let out a soft breath and closed his eyes. Leanne covered her mouth as tears began to flow from her eyes and stream down her cheeks. Although she never knew Claudus very well, she had no want for him to die. She never wanted anyone to die, ever. The gauntlet he wore suddenly dimmed in color, changing from a lovely bronze, to a darkened one, rusted and weak. Above them, Panthro chuckled darkly.

Lion-O looked up at him, glaring, "You… A traitor, too, Panthro?!"

"Not quite." Panthro said with a dark grin, "Have you not considered that if technology is real," Leanne noticed his voice beginning to change, from deep and strong, to hissing and rough, "Then so are the things of your worst nightmares?" He was suddenly engulfed in a blue fire, and his form burned away to one that Leanne found all too familiar, for she had seen it in her worst nightmares. The decayed, mummified body of an ancient demon with red eyes. She began to shake in fear.

"Mumm-Ra…" Lion-O muttered, recognizing him from the old stories.

"Clerics!" A voice shouted, they all looked to see Jaga and his clerics standing on the remains of the arena's walls, "To the death!" They all jumped up and leapt towards the demon, who gave them a terrifying smile.

"You are but insects," He raised up his clawed hands, "To the power of Mumm-Ra! The ever-living!" They were all blasted back by his power, and Leanne shrieked, ducking her head down in fear. Tygra reached out and put his hand on her shoulder, trying to comfort her. He looked down at her expression, and his eyes widened when he saw just how terrified she truly was. They heard hisses and looked to see the lizards had surrounded them, pointing their weapons at them. Mumm-Ra raised a clawed hand up high, proclaiming, "Thundera has fallen!" The lizards hissed and cheered loudly, claiming their victory in the battle. Grune came up around the lizards and his eyes looked between the three of them, his eyes staying on Leanne and on the necklace she wore.

"My lord!" He called up to Mumm-Ra, who looked down at him, "This is something you should see." Mumm-Ra jumped down from the top branch and landed effortlessly beside Grune, who pointed at Leanne. She looked at him in fear, "It seems the Jewel of Omens has chosen a new master." Leanne shuddered in fear when she saw Mumm-Ra's grin.

"Soldiers!" Mumm-Ra called to the lizards surrounding them, "Take the two princes to the dungeons." Mumm-Ra pointed his clawed finger at Leanne, "And bring her to me." Lion-O growled angrily and pulled Leanne close to him.

"You won't touch her!" He snarled, Leanne, wanting Lion-O to protect her, grasped tightly onto him, shutting her eyes tightly and holding him close, not wanting to leave his side. The lizards, however, didn't care for how they were together. Two of them grabbed Lion-O's arms and pulled him away from Leanne. Tears were filling her eyes as she ran to him, trying to stay, but two more lizards grabbed onto her shoulders, keeping her away.

"No!" She cried, her voice cracking as tears fell down her cheeks. She moved her arms out of their hands and ran to Lion-O, only to have the same lizards grab her again and restrain her, pulling her away. They picked her up off her feet and carried her, and she fought them with everything she had as she tried to reach out to her friend, "Lion-O!"

"Leanne!" He reached out for her as well, but was restrained by the lizards taking him and Tygra away.

"Lion-O!" She cried, the tears pouring out as they dragged her away.


Some time later…

Leanne lay on her stomach before Mumm-Ra as he sat on Claudus's throne. Her wrists and neck were wrapped in Mumm-Ra's bandages. She was sobbing and quivering, using all of her strength just to get on her knees.

"Please… No more…" She begged through her tears, "No more…"

"Tell me where the jewel was taken." Mumm-Ra ordered.

"I told you… where I found it…" Leanne said through her sobs, "Please! I told you where it was! Let me go!"

"And tell me how to get to this America." Mumm-Ra ordered, raising his hand up. Leanne looked at it with wide, fearful eyes that had been stained red with her tears.

"No… No, please…" She begged, "Please…"

"Tell me!" Mumm-Ra ordered in a booming voice, and Leanne flinched.

"I don't know how to get there!" Leanne sobbed. Mumm-Ra growled in frustration and curled his clawed hand into a fist around his wrapping, and a purple bolt of lightning went through it all the way to Leanne, who screamed in pain as she felt Mumm-Ra taking more of her life again. It had been going on for hours, how she was still alive she wasn't sure, but Mumm-Ra was steadily killing her. When he couldn't take the jewel of omens from her, he ordered her to take it off, and she refused. Then, when he couldn't get her to take it off, no matter how much of his magic he used, he ordered her to tell her where she had gotten it after all these years. She had a sneaking suspicion that even if she knew how to return home, he would destroy it the second he got there. She screamed again as he sucked away more of her life, bringing it into his own.


Lion-O flinched when he heard Leanne's scream once again. Every time he heard it, emotions swarmed around his heart. He felt guilty for never telling anyone about his vision of Mumm-Ra, so then they might have been better prepared for it. He felt anger towards the lizards for killing his father and torturing his friend. He couldn't help but wonder if they got some kind of sick amusement out of it. And then, he felt ashamed for letting it all happen, for pretending that everything would be the same no matter what happened. With every scream he heard, Lion-O felt like ripping through the bars of his cell and going to save her, he felt like he should take her place, and he wished he would just die.

"We lost our kingdom, our father, and the sword." Tygra said, trying to distract himself from Leanne screaming bloody murder. "We lost everything."

"This is my fault, Tygra." Lion-O said, voicing his thoughts, "I didn't know what it meant at the time, but I did see a vision through the sword, and Leanne did, too." He turned to his brother, "It was Mumm-Ra."

"And you told no one?!" Tygra snapped, getting up from where he sat to glare at his brother. "This is exactly why you aren't fit to be king! Your decisions always bring disaster!"

"You think I don't know that?" Lion-O snapped back, "If I knew that any of this was going to happen, any of it, I would have done something! I would have told our father and Jaga, and we could have prevented this from ever happening! But I was stupid, and I didn't, and it's the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life…" Lion-O sighed, holding his face in his hands as he collapsed onto the bench in the prison cell he and Tygra were in. "This is all my fault."

"You're damn right it is." Tygra growled.

"Suppertime." A voice hissed outside the cell, and a familiar lizard came by the cell, giving them two bowls of slop, "I brought you a very special meal." Lion-O ran up to the cell gate, putting his hands on the bars.

"Hey, remember me?" He asked, "I granted you mercy. A chance for peace between our species, and this is how you repay me?" The lizard averted his eyes and turned away, "You can't even look at me!"

"Just eat your supper!" The lizard snapped, walking away. Lion-O looked down at the food in depression, but his eyes lit up when he saw something glinting in the light of the prison in one of the bowls. He reached down and went through it, trying to get a grip on it. Tygra noticed what he was doing and walked over.

"What is it?" He asked.

Lion-O smiled when he got ahold of it, "Sometimes, my decisions bring disaster," He pulled out the silver key from the slop, "And sometimes, they bring a key." They both turned their heads when Leanne's bloodcurdling scream filled their ears again.


"Please…" Leanne sobbed, lying on her belly, shivering with every sob, "I don't know… Please…" Cheetara, who was bound to a pillar not too far from her, looked at her in sadness, wishing that Mumm-Ra would stop torturing her for information she didn't know.

Mumm-Ra gave an unhappy hum, "What a stubborn girl. Even more so than your ancestor." Leanne's eyes flashed slightly, and she raised her head to look at him through her red eyes.

"You… You knew my Nana…?" She asked quietly.

"Silence!" Leanne screamed when he took more of her life force from her. The pain did not last as long as it usually did, because Mumm-Ra only gave her a small shock, but it was enough for her to lay against the ground, unmoving.

"Perhaps, we are going about this the wrong way." Grune mused, Mumm-Ra looked up at him, looking disinterested but also curious at the same time. Grune raised his hand and waved some of the lizards forward. They had Jaga in their grasp, "He and this cleric are all that remains of the fabled Guardians of the ground." He gestured to where Cheetara was bound, "I understand that she's close to them." Mumm-Ra grinned evilly when he saw Leanne's face morph to one of understanding and fear for Jaga and Cheetara.

Mumm-Ra looked closer at Jaga as he was thrown on the ground, his lips turning into a malicious smirk.

"You are Jaga." He said, recognizing him, "Sorcerer to the dead king."

"And you are even more grotesque than the stories suggested." Jaga replied. He looked over at Leanne, who looked positively terrified, one of Mumm-Ra's wrappings still around her neck, like a collar and leash to a dog. Leanne looked fearfully at Mumm-Ra, waiting for his reaction. To her surprise, he brushed off his insult like it was nothing.

"Did your stories neglect to tell you that the stone in that sword and in her necklace are both mine?" Mumm-Ra asked, reaching for the Sword of Omens he had taken from where it had fallen from Claudus's hand. He hissed in pain when the same lightning that had pushed him away from Leanne's necklace struck his hand and he pulled away from the sword. He glared at Jaga, "I want them back."

"I'm afraid an ancient spell prevents both the sword and the necklace from being touched by the hands of evil." Jaga said, a confident grin on his face.

"That is why you're going to remove the spell." Mumm-Ra said.

"Never!" He said.

"Then I will just have to find another way!" Mumm-Ra held out his hands and three of his bandages came out and wrapped around Jaga's body, lifting him up in the air. Leanne watched in horror as Mumm-Ra proceeded to do the same to him as he had been doing to her only moments ago. She didn't see how Tygra had successfully taken out one of the lizard's guarding the area a little ways away from them. Lion-O, who was only a few feet away, saw him waving the guard's gun, showing that he had gotten him. Lion-O nodded at him, then looked down, and saw how Leanne had changed in the past few hours. She was pale, her face looked sunken, and her eyes were red from crying. She looked entirely different from the confident, happy girl he had seen only a day ago. She turned to Mumm-Ra.

"Stop this! Please!" She begged, tears streaming down her face once more, "You're going to kill him!" She reached up to where the necklace was chained around her neck, "Look, I'll give you the necklace, alright? Just stop hurting him— ah!" She was kicked aside by Grune, landing on her side.

"Foolish girl! The necklace is useless unless the spell is lifted." He said, Lion-O growled in his throat when he saw how she was quivering just from trying to sit up. Mumm-Ra, seeing it happen, grasped the wrapping around her neck and began taking more of her life. Leanne screamed at the pain of it, but she didn't move, she didn't have the strength to fight back. And after a moment, she lost the strength to scream. She simply laid there, tears still coming from her eyes, and let the pain engulf her as she was lifted up by the wrapping beside Jaga. Mumm-Ra laughed heartily when Jaga laid his eyes on her, his eyes widening in shock. Tygra aimed his new gun at the wrappings holding them up and shot through them, having them fall to the ground. He smiled and looked at the gun.

"I could get used to this." He said, he ducked when the lizards' general, Slithe, started shooting at him. Lion-O leapt down from the balcony and ran to the sword, grasping it tightly in his hands.

"You took my father's life," He growled, "But you won't take his sword!" He swung the sword, lengthening it, "Thunder." He swung it again, the blade growing again, "Thunder!" He swung it a third time, the blade growing out to its full length, "Thunder!" He held the sword up high, the stone in the sword glowing, "ThunderCats! Ho!" He brought the sword down, and the stone in the sword shot out a bright beam of light that pushed Mumm-Ra threw the wall of the castle to the outside, where the morning sun was just beginning to rise.

"You cannot comprehend the forces you are dealing with!" Mumm-Ra said, "Ancient Spirits of evil, transform this decayed form into Mumm-Ra! The ever— Aah!" He stopped, the light from the sun burning him and causing him pain, making him hide beneath his red cloak.

Inside, as Tygra jumped down after Lion-O, he freed the cleric from where she was bound, and she took out the two lizards who were trying to stop her, and she looked over at the two brothers, who looked back at her in shock.

"Cheetara?" Tygra asked in surprise.

"She's a cleric?" Lion-O asked, just as surprised as Tygra. He ducked when the lizards began firing their weapons at them, and he looked around, picking Leanne up and carrying her as he and the others ran away. Jaga went to a torch on the wall, and turned it to the side, opening up a secret door.

"Quickly, through here!" He said, everyone went in, Snarf going in first. Jaga waited until everyone was inside the door, Lion-O and Leanne going in just before him, and he started walking in. One of the lizards fired off his weapon and hit Jaga in his back just before the door closed. Cheetara went back and helped her mentor to his feet, putting his arm around her shoulders as they walked through the hallways. The walls were shaking from the force of the lizards trying to shoot through the door that led to the secret passageway.

"Before we go any further, there is something that must be done…!" Jaga said as they came to the other side of the walkway, just on the other side of safety.

"It can wait." Cheetara said, Jaga stopped, and gently pushed her aside so he could stand up.

"It must be now!" He said. Lion-O came up to them, standing in front of Jaga, and gently putting Leanne down on the ground. Jaga nodded at him, "Your left arm." Lion-O held it out as he asked, and Jaga took Claudus's gauntlet, which Cheetara had grabbed before they had run into the passageway, and put it on Lion-O's arm. Lion-O looked curiously at the gauntlet, moving his fingers inside it. Jaga reached out for it and rested his hand on it. Cheetara and Tygra doing the same, and after a second, a pale, shaking hand reached out and rested on top of Tygra's, whose hand was the last one to touch the gauntlet. Everyone looked to see Leanne, although weak, still had enough strength in her to push herself up and join in this ceremony. Jaga nodded once at her in admiration of her strength, "For the Eye of Thundera, and the Sword of Omens." Jaga tapped the gauntlet with his staff, and the bronze of it no longer seemed dim. It seemed as bright and as beautiful when his father had worn it. Jaga used his staff as a crutch as he stood up, "Now, Lion-O, Lord of the ThunderCats, go."

"You're going with us, Jaga!" Cheetara said, standing up.

"I will only slow you down." Jaga said as Tygra bent down and carefully picked up Leanne, "At least this way, I can buy you time to get to safety." He reached out and put his hand on Lion-O's shoulder, "The Book of Omens lies at the foot of the setting sun. You must find it before Mumm-Ra does."

"I can't do this alone!" Lion-O said, trying to convince Jaga to come with them.

"You won't have to." Jaga said, "You have everything you need, Lion-O. Whatever questions remain, the answers are in the Book of Omens. Find it. Now," He pushed him forward, "Go!" Everyone jumped as the doors to the secret entrance were suddenly blown open. Jaga waved them forward, "Go!" They did as he ordered, and ran through the tunnel. As Jaga fought off the oncoming lizards, Lion-O couldn't help but steal a glance back at the old cat as he fought back. One of the weapons landed a hit on him, and a cloud of dust appeared from it as Jaga cried out in pain. The second door to the escape tunnel closed behind them before Lion-O could go back and help him. Cheetara pulled him along as they ran through the escape tunnel. At the end, they came out of a tunnel that overlooked the entire kingdom. Everyone gazed down at the rubble that remained of the kingdom.

"This is only the beginning." Lion-O said, seeing it.

Once he had said this, Leanne could remember no more, because she had fallen asleep in Tygra's arms from exhaustion.