All the ThunderCats were assembled in the council chamber the next morning, Snarf sitting at the window as usual. Tygra was the council's head, even though Lion-O was the ThunderCats' lord, and as such, Tygra had been chosen by Jaga to always call for a council meeting before the elder's death.

"I've called this meeting today to discuss the situation of what we should do with Punky Brewster and her comrades," Tygra began. "There's a lot that we don't know about them. Obviously they're afraid of us, especially Punky. I'm hoping that we'll be able to change that. If we can get them to open themselves up to us, perhaps we'll all find common ground."

"That poor girl," Cheetara said sadly. "She must've been through so much in her life."

"Nobody else on Third Earth seems to be aware of their presence," WilyKit spoke. "Kat and I were lucky to have learned the names of Punky's friends."

"Reowr. Maybe they just noticed the storm and not the people who magically appeared from it," deduced Snarf.

"First things first - we have to help Punky's crew get settled," WilyKat said firmly.

"That's exactly my point, WilyKat," said Tygra.

"So what can we do to convince those kids, their dog, and that, uh, gopher creature to trust us?" Panthro asked.

Cheetara added, "I've had this strange feeling about Glomer from getting a good look at him when we picked them all up. I don't know what it is, but I know that it's a bad omen for us and the Third Earthlings."

"We'll need to get to know them better first before we come to a decision about them," informed Tygra.

All eyes instantly fell on Lion-O to make the final call. He'd been quiet during the meeting. He paid little attention to it and had other things on his mind, like why he'd been chosen to lead the ThunderCats. The talk with Punky last night brought up insecurities that he worked so hard to bury for his people's sake. He never knew his beloved homeworld, Thundera, when he was a child due to leading a sheltered life, nor did he know his parents, Lord Claudus and Lady Liana, the latter parent having bore Lion-O when he was a baby and been brutally murdered during a Mutant attack. The only ThunderCats he'd been ever close to were Jaga and Snarf. The exodus from Thundera had shattered Lion-O's hopes of wanting to explore more of the planet he was born on, and it had been a nightmare that woke him up in terror every night and would haunt him for the rest of his life.

Now he would never truly know what Thundera looked like, for Third Earth was his home now. There was a time when he felt so homesick for Thundera that he actually travelled into the planet's prehistoric past via a mysterious rift on a mountain near the Berbil Village he and the ThunderCats discovered. He was unaware at the time that the rift was created by Mumm-Ra as a means to separate him from the other ThunderCats and break their spirits before obliterating them. While in the past, Lion-O bonded with the natives, but he didn't dare to change anything no matter how much he wanted to. Eventually he realized that his place was on Third Earth with his friends, and he returned to the present through the same rift, just in time to join his friends in fending off the Miggit Swarm Monster, who had forcibly been under Mumm-Ra's control.

On the outside he was a great leader and warrior, but on the inside, he was still a cub, afraid that he would never live up to his destiny because of his mysteriously-aged body and insecurities. Still, he made sure to never let the other ThunderCats know of his fears. A deep voice brought him back to reality.

"Third Earth to Lord Lion-O. Snap out of it, lad." That voice belonged to Panthro, who waved his left hand in front of Lion-O's face. The young lord immediately responded.

"Uh, what's up, Panthro?" he asked dumbfoundedly.

"What's your say on the Punky situation?"

Using what he did learn in the meeting, Lion-O voiced his opinion. "I vote that we divide Punky and her friends and pair them each with a ThunderCat. I'll take Punky, Tygra will take Margaux, Panthro has Allen, Cheetara will watch over Cherie, Snarf has Glomer, and the ThunderKittens will take Brandon."

"I second that choice," Panthro said.

"Me too!" beamed Kat.

"Me three," Kit said, giving a thumb up.

"Me four," said Cheetara, nodding.

"And me five!" exclaimed Snarf cheerily, standing on his tail.

"Well, if there aren't any objections, then this meeting is adjourned," Tygra said with a smile. "Let's go get Punky's crew."

"Hey, Tygra, is it okay if Kat and I go see Punky?" asked Kit.

"I don't see any harm in that," Tygra answered. "I believe that she could respond well to other kids."

"Thanks," the twins said together. The entire roster of ThunderCats went to awaken Punky and her friends. The ThunderCat emblem-branded door to the council chamber opened, allowing its passengers to leave, and then closed itself.

Punky and Brandon had awakened from their slumber. They yawned and stretched their bodies out. Punky had expected all of this to be a dream, hoped she, Brandon, and their friends would be back in Chicago where they belonged and they would get on with their lives. Unfortunately, when she and Brandon woke up, they saw that they were still in the Cat's Lair. Disappointment etched onto Punky's face. All she wanted was for her and Brandon to be reunited with Henry, but with the nightmare she recently had of Henry, she wasn't so sure.

It was all the more reason not to remind Brandon or their friends about the nightmare - she feared she would be made fun of, which was the last thing on her mind right now. Brandon took notice of her sadness and whimpered. Punky simply rubbed his head and back, and he responded by growling softly.

"Don't you worry about a thing, Brandon," she said quietly. "Somehow we'll get outta this. We're gonna need each other now more than ever - you, me, Cherie, Glomer, Margaux, and Allen."

The door to their guest room opened to reveal two older kids and a small fuzzy creature walking on all fours. Punky and Brandon gazed at the newcomers. The older children, furry and having fangs like their elders and at the 13th age, were both of the wildcat clan. The girl had a short, ginger mane with a single black stripe and wore a blue-and-pink outfit that had tails below it. She wore a silver ring on her right arm that was close to her shoulder, a red belt on her waist that had a silver buckle and pellets on both sides, and socks on her feet - one blue and one pink - that greatly exposed her toes. The blue side of her uniform contained the ThunderCat symbol in the middle.

The boy had a mane similar to Tygra's, except his ginger-and-white mane had two black stripes for the ginger half. His brown-and-mustard tunic, bronze wristbands, tan belt, and brown shoes definitely matched his personality. The belt had the ThunderCat symbol in the front and small pouches on either side. Both kids had burgundy-colored eyes.

The creature by their side was a blend of yellow and red, complete with pointy ears, short yellow mane, orange eyes, white fuzzy beard, and lizard-like tail. It was he who spoke to Punky and Brandon first, revealing buckteeth and fangs. "Reowr. Are you both alright over here?" His voice was nasally and high-pitched.

"Um...yes," said Punky quickly, but then she realized something about the creature. "Wait. You can talk?"

"Of course I can," the creature said. "What a silly question to ask. Snarf."

"Well, Glomer can kinda talk," responded Punky, doing her best not to insult her Glomley friend. She and Brandon weren't as freaked out by the two older kids and their furry friend as they were by the adult ThunderCats, but they did keep their guard up. She asked the newcomers, "So who are you guys?"

"My name's WilyKit," the girl ThunderCat said, "and this is WilyKat, my brother." She gestured to the boy ThunderCat.

"And the cute little furball here is Snarf," said WilyKat humorously, pointing to Snarf.

Snarf looked insulted by WilyKat's humor and stood up on his feet, folding his arms and closing his eyes in anger. "Humph! I'm quite capable of introducing myself, thank you. Snarf snarf," he said sternly.

Punky couldn't help laughing a little at WilyKat's sense of humor. She said to Snarf, "Well, you are kinda cute."

"I'll have you know, missy, that I am a loyal comrade of Lion-O, Lord of the ThunderCats. I was charged with guarding him ever since he was a cub," chastised Snarf.

"Gosh. You're not only cute - you're funny," cooed Punky with a grin, and Snarf's response to that was to mutter darkly about not getting any respect.

"Oh, don't mind Snarf," reminded WilyKat. "Worrying is in his nature. You're Punky, right?"

"Yeah," answered Punky. "I s'pose Lion-O already told you about me and my friends."

"Sure did," said WilyKit. "We all wanna be there for you guys and to help you out, but only if you choose to let us in."

"You ThunderCats seem nice and all, but..."

"Right. Of course. You need more time."

"Why don't you come with us to the dining room and have breakfast with the others?" WilyKat offered. "We'll get to know each other better there."

"I do feel like eating some more food. How about you, Brandon?"

Brandon barked an affirmative.

"Okay then," agreed Punky. "Let's go eat breakfast." She and Brandon got up from their bed, and they joined the ThunderKittens and Snarf in breakfast time. The door to the guest room closed after that.

At Castle Plun-Darr the same morning, things were quite the opposite of what the ThunderCats were doing. The Mutants - Slithe, Jackalman, and Monkian - were assembled in the war room and seated at their table. There was one seat vacant from them, which had belonged to their chief mechanic, Vultureman, formerly a partner to Ratar-O, the Mutants' former leader. Needless to say, the three Mutants present were in a foul mood. They were outsmarted yesterday by the ThunderCats in their incessant need to get out from under Vultureman's thumb, and he chewed them out for going after their archenemies without him present. The Mutants just as much hated each other, for they never could see eye to eye on everything.

Slithe, Jackalman, and Monkian's respective races always fought over whose race was more superior. They did have one thing in common - steal the Eye of Thundera from the ThunderCats so they can harness its power for themselves, which had proven to be quite difficult seeing as how the eye would only respond to those with pure hearts. They had soon given up on that and chose to focus their energies on wiping out the ThunderCats instead. And today of all days, they were racking their brains for a solution to the age-old conflict between them and their wretched feline foes.

"It'sss disssgraccceful," Slithe seethed with gritted teeth. "We're the mossst feared beingsss in the universsse, and yet the ThunderCatsss continue to gain the upper hand. They mossstly prevail becaussse of their wretched Code of Thundera and Sssword of Omensss."

"Hoo-hoo! We've conquered many planets in our conquest, yet none held a candle to Thundera. Now that was a planet worth conquering," spoke Monkian.

"A pity that it exploded before we could claim it as our own," Jackalman said, "but executing nearly all of Thunderiankind was more than satisfactory." He grinned at that thought.

"And now we're stuck here with the last survivors of their race. Hoo!" Monkian snarled.

"They are ssso few in number, yet like all catsss, the ThunderCatsss have 9 livesss," said Slithe flatly.

"Hmm. There must be a loophole somewhere that will give us the upper hand against those infernal felines," pondered Jackalman.

"Caw. You're in luck, Mutants," came the voice of Vultureman. He finally joined his fellow Mutants from the way he was working hard in his laboratory. He wore a red strap on his torso that carried a black device with two medium-sized cannons.

"And what, pray tell, isss that thing you're carrying, Vultureman?" asked Slithe mockingly. He was upset that Vultureman was tardy for today's meeting.

"I call this the Flasher Blaster," Vultureman explained. "It obliterates anything and anyone it targets."

"Your previous inventions have failed us in the past," warned Jackalman. "What makes you think your so-called 'Flasher Blaster' is any different?"

"Yeah. No device you come up with would give us the edge," Monkian agreed.

Vultureman smiled devilishly. "A demonstration, eh? All right then. You might want to get out of the way." The other Mutants did as he instructed. He pressed the button on his strap that would activate his new weapon. Both cannons glowed and pulsed blue light, and then through the simple turn of the orange arrow-tipped silver dial on Vultureman's strap, they rotated opposite one another, the first focusing on the table and the other directly on the old-fashioned control panel. They shot lasers that easily destroyed their chosen targets. Vultureman shielded his eyes from the impact, while Slithe, Monkian, and Jackalman were forced to duck as the the control panel and table's debris flew across the room.

"How do you like that?" the avian Mutant declared as he brought himself together.

As soon as it was clear for the other Mutants to stand again, they were completely taken aback by the destruction Vultureman's new weapon caused. Neither the table nor the control panel were visible.

"W-w-what..." was all that Slithe could muster.

"There's no way," breathed Jackalman, his voice indicating his trademark cowardice.

"You-you destroyed a part of our fortress! Hoo!" exclaimed Monkian in surprise.

"Serves you nitwits right for ever doubting my superior intellect," Vultureman spat.

"Do you know how long it'll take usss to clean up your messsss?!" Slithe shouted angrily.

Vultureman chastised, "Caw. Too bad. You're all hopeless without me. No wonder our races could never get along; it's because your kind, Slithe, constantly runs every other Mutant into the ground with your senseless bullying."

That tore it. Slithe's anger had reached its limit. He roared and decided to let loose on the treacherous bird, but found Jackalman and Monkian restraining him.

"Let me go, you wretchesss!" he shouted. "He'sss got it coming thisss time!"

"He has a point, you know," Monkian said strainingly.

"WHAT?!" roared Slithe, his rage still getting the best of him.

"Nyah! All Mutantkind has ever done for years is fight amongst ourselves," concurred Jackalman. "It's time things changed around here."

Slithe said nothing at first and merely growled at the advice Jackalman and Monkian were giving him, and he refocused on Vultureman. Vultureman mentally enjoyed seeing his fellow Mutants fighting each other because of how their mistreatment of him and each other were affecting the team as a whole; under Ratar-O's rule, he obeyed orders without question, but under Slithe's, he was unpredictable.

"Well, Slithe? What's it going to be?" urged Vultureman.

Slithe calmed down but never lost his edge. He, a former cook, was forced to submit to the one Mutant who had been Ratar-O's lackey for years. He warned, "You've lucked out thisss time, Vultureman. Nexxxt time, you're not going to be ssso lucky."

The avian technician could only snort at Slithe's words, relieved that the tension between them was over...for now. He asked the Mutant leader, gesturing to the ruined war room, "I suppose you want this mess cleaned up?"

"Yesss, Vultureman," replied Slithe sarcastically as Jackalman and Monkian released him. "That'sss exxxactly what I want."

"Should we order our men to attack the ThunderCats' Third Earth friends while we're at it?" suggested Monkian.

Slithe thought about that for a moment. The Reptilians, Monkians, and Jackalmen put up a united front when attacking the ThunderCats during the exodus from Thundera, and that trend continued all the way here to Third Earth. All three races had been less active recently, quite possibly due to the fact that the ThunderCats were forever about unity. Slithe never considered the Jackalmen and Monkians allies except his own kind.

But, maybe he could bring all three races together again for the ultimate strike against the allies the ThunderCats made here on this twisted backwater planet. "Why, of courssse, my dear Monkian," he answered at last, smiling maliciously. "Our racccesss could ussse the exxxercccise. After we four get thisss messss cleaned up, we can dessstroy the invincccible Cat'sss Lair. Then thisss entire world will be at our mercccy." He chuckled and then begun to fully laugh. Monkian and Jackalman joined in.

Vultureman facepalmed, wondering why he ever got stuck with three ingrates. Slithe, Jackalman, and Monkian are gonna be the death of me one day, he bitterly thought.

In Cat's Lair's dining room, the ThunderCats and Punky's crew were all gathered. Lion-O, Tygra, Panthro, Cheetara, WilyKat, and WilyKit were seated at the table while Snarf, Punky, Allen, Margaux, Cherie, Brandon, and Glomer were seated on the floor. The ThunderCats at the table had cinnamon-flavored oatmeal in their bowls, meatfruit on their small plates, and candyfruit juice in their glass cups. Snarf and Punky and her team had on their plates cooked meatfruit with fresh water in their own glass cups; Brandon's water was contained in a bowl. Cherie, Margaux, and Allen weren't wearing their shoes and backpacks, Punky briefly noticed, and Allen wasn't wearing his vest. They were likely in their guest rooms.

Everybody present was enjoying their small feast before they got started on the rest of the day. It was obvious that both sides had a long way to go before they actually trusted each other, but with all of them being in one place, now was the perfect time to make conversation. It was Cherie who spoke first.

"So tell us about yourselves, ThunderCats. Where do you come from?"

"We're originally from a planet called Thundera," replied Tygra, and then he added sadly, "Unfortunately, the planet is no more. It was destroyed by a meteorite storm."

That saddened Punky's crew. "We' sorry to hear that," Punky said. "What was Thundera like?"

Cheetara responded, "Thundera was a world where cats were the dominant species."

"No way!" Allen said in surprise. "For real?"

"For real," Panthro answered with a wink.

Cheetara continued, "Cats of all kinds populated the planet - lions, wildcats, cheetahs, lynxes, panthers, caracals, ocelots, pumas, jaguars, tigers, leopards, cougars, and tabby cats. Because the lion clan was of noble blood, they were the natural choice to lead the Thunderians, and that in turn led to the birth of the ThunderCats."

"A bunch of cats occupying a whole planet? I don't think I'll ever comprehend that," said Margaux, baffled just as much as her comrades about the ThunderCats' way of life.

"On Thundera, ThunderCats were Thunderians handpicked to be trained in the arts of combat," Tygra chimed in. "They were given mystical weapons suitable to their personalities. The source of a ThunderCat's power has been, and always will be, the Eye of Thundera, which only ThunderCat Lords can wield." He gestured to Lion-O. "Lion-O here is the eye's current holder."

Then Lion-O spoke. "No Thunderian knew where the eye came from. It was a myth to some Thunderians, as if it were someone's fairy tale. But it isn't. It's real, and it's with us here on this world."

"So is this still Earth then?" wondered Punky.

"You're half-right, Punky. According to the locals we've befriended, this planet is called Third Earth."

This caused Punky and her crew to raise an eyebrow in disbelief. Third Earth? Surely the ThunderCats knew that Earth was the third planet in the solar system?

"Um...right," said Cherie dumbfoundedly.

Seeing the kids' confused looks, Panthro elaborated, "Third Earth was once called First Earth. It was a time where humanity thrived, waged war with each other, and were always there for each other. We have no idea of Second Earth's history, possibly because its history is lost to everybody. But we do know that it eventually had turned into Third Earth."

"So what you're saying is that-" Margaux said.

"-we've travelled into the future!" Allen finished for her.

"The...the future?" repeated Punky and Cherie in fear.

"Glomer not liking those odds," Glomer said just as fearfully, Brandon whimpering in agreement. They and their human friends were shocked to hear what the ThunderCats had just revealed to them.

The news hit them hard, especially Punky, who now stared at the floor mesmerisingly. She and her friends being in the future meant that, perhaps, they would never see their families again. Tears stung her eyes, and she closed them to simply let the tears fall down her freckled face. Henry, I'm starting to miss you already, she sadly thought.

Snarf saw the despair Punky's crew was in and tried to cheer them up. "Now don't you kids worry. Snarf snarf. We'll find a way to get all of you back home. Won't we, ThunderCats?"

The ThunderCats looked at each other with sad expressions on their faces, and then turned to Snarf. WilyKat said, "To be honest, Snarf, we aren't sure how to get Punky's team back to their time."

"It had to have been powerful magic that got them here," said WilyKit matter-of-factly. "How can any of us counter that? Not even the Sword of Omens would."

The mention of the ancient ThunderCat artifact snapped Punky and friends out of their stupor long enough for Punky to wipe her tears and Margaux to ask, "'Sword of Omens'? What is that?"

"The Sword of Omens is a weapon that was forged long ago by a great Thunderian blacksmith named Catamountain," explained Tygra. "The Eye of Thundera is embedded in the sword's hilt and works as a conduit for the sword itself."

"This Eye of Thundera must be pretty special, huh?" said Punky in admiration.

"It is," answered Snarf. "It's also why our archenemies, the Mutants of Plun-Darr, have wanted the eye for themselves. Recently, they lost interest and just want the ThunderCats out of their way."

"They're the 'skirmish' that Cheetara, Lion-O, Panthro, and I referred to, Punky," Tygra said.

"The Mutants' very nature in life is to plunder. Strength and cruelty are all they value. They also are at war with themselves," Lion-O stated of how the Mutants did things.

"Wait a minute," cut in Allen. "The Mutants hate the ThunderCats, yet they hate themselves even more?"

"They weren't always who they are now, Allen," assured WilyKat. "They were once a peaceful race like the Thunderians. Their homeworld of Plun-Darr was pretty beautiful, second only to Thundera."

"But as time went on, the Mutants started fighting each other," WilyKit continued for her brother. "They turned Plun-Darr into a barren wasteland. They split into groups to colonize other planets even though they still despised each other. The one planet that held their interest the most, though, was Thundera."

"They wanted to claim it for their own and enslave all Thunderiankind. Those who refused were killed on the spot. You see, this is why the ThunderCats were formed - to fend off any incoming threats."

"We are bound by the Code of Thundera," said Panthro. "It was invented so that we would always stay on the right path. Four words comprise the code - justice, truth, honor, and loyalty."

"The code is also what keeps us from attacking opponents first," Cheetara included. "Speaking of opponents..."

"...a major threat other than the Mutants is on our backs as well," finished Lion-O for Cheetara. "His name: Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living."

"Mumm-Ra Ever-Living? Who that?" asked Glomer.

"Reowr. Is there something wrong with Glomer's vocabulary?" Snarf also asked.

"Nah. That's just how his kind, the Glomleys, talk," answered Punky with a smirk.

"Getting back on track," Lion-O said, "Mumm-Ra is a powerful sorcerer from First Earth's ancient times. His past was hinted at the few times we faced him, and we know that he desired to have the Eye of Thundera for himself. But, like the Mutants, he simply resorted to obliterating us."

"It's never easy for you guys, is it?" asked Margaux.

"ThunderCats are used to danger," Tygra answered. "It's become an important part of our lives."

"But enough about us," Panthro said. "Tell us about you six."

Cherie spoke first. "I live with my grandmother Betty. She and I help each other out with chores. We always trust each other and ourselves to do the right thing."

Next was Allen. "I'm a geek full-time. I like whatever peeks my interest, except math - I'm most definitely not good on that subject. I'm also a mechanic."

Panthro smiled at the thought of Allen being a mechanic. Perhaps they both would get along well in that department.

Margaux was next to speak. "I'm the daughter of two of the wealthiest people on, uh, First Earth." She felt weird saying "First Earth" knowing full well that she and her friends came from its timeline. "They raised me right, and someday, I'm gonna make them proud of me." She smiled at the ThunderCats, winked at them, and pointed a finger at them in a stylized way, and she concludingly said, "Just you wait, my adoring public."

Oh, brother, Punky, Cherie, and Allen all thought.

"What's your status, Glomer?" Panthro asked the Glomley within Punky's team.

"In Chaundoon, all Glomleys in services of leprechauns," Glomer answered proudly. "Both races in care of Great Glomley Elder."

"Now who might the Great Glomley Elder of yours be?" WilyKit asked.

"That's what we'd all like to know," Punky said to Glomer.

Glomer became emotional when speaking of this Great Glomley Elder. "He leader of Glomleykind. He like father to us. He first-ever Glomley that leprechauns discovered long time ago when they arrived in Chaundoon mysteriously. He the one responsible for bringing all Glomleykind together and offering leprechauns refuge from outside world. This be my first time telling anyone about him." His story captivated everyone in the room.

"Incredible," breathed WilyKat.

Cherie said in amazement, "So he's the founder of your village. I never thought of that."

"None of us did," Allen agreed. "That is so cool."

"So how about you, Punky? What do you do for a living?" Snarf asked.

Punky thought hard about Snarf's answer. Everything she'd been through had changed her in many ways, but she still found time to just be a kid. Having both Brandon and Henry in her life, as well as her friends, helped solidify who she was as a person. Through good and bad times, she always had something she called "Punky Power" on her side, which was basically her faith in herself. And so, she gave Snarf her answer.

"Brandon, Henry, and I see each other as family. We take very good care of one another. Henry manages the apartment that we all live in. He's also a photographer who takes pictures of things and people with poise and dippity." She had a tendency to replace a few words, like "dignity" for "dippity." Her friends and even Henry had gotten used to it, of course, but the ThunderCats weren't used to it, which brought confusion for Team Punky's feline saviors.

"You mean 'dignity'," Cheetara corrected Punky.

"That's what I said." Confusion was still on the ThunderCats' faces.

"You're one strange kid. Snarf snarf," Snarf said dismissively.

"Henry has a photography studio at a mall called Warnimont's, where he invites everyone to have their pictures taken," continued Punky with her story, bringing the ThunderCats back on track. "He used to have a photography studio downdown until a fire destroyed it. My friends and I worked tirelessly to get him out of his funk by convincing him to start another studio, and he finally conceded."

"That must've been pretty hard work trying to help Henry," said Tygra.

Punky nodded. "Yep. If ever there's a problem, he and I usually talk it out."

The ThunderCats were deeply moved by Punky's story. Knowing that she was always there for her family and friends said a lot about her. In spite of rough times, she had always been the positive type. She just knew that everything would be fine.

"The ThunderCats and I have been discussing you kids," said Lion-O in a warm yet authoritative tone. "We've decided that each of you will spend time with one of us so we can find common ground with each other. But before that happens, you'll be getting a tour of Cat's Lair. You've already seen what our guest rooms look like, so it's best that we help you know your way around the whole place. What do you say?"

"Count me in!" exclaimed Allen.

"Okay, sure," Cherie agreed.

Margaux shrugged and smirked. "I suppose I could make due with right now," she replied in her usual manner.

"Glomer accept," Glomer said with a nod, with Brandon barking an affirmative.

"Well, Punky? How about it?" Cherie said to her bestest friend.

Punky hesitated. Even after starting to get to know each other, she still wasn't sure she could trust the ThunderCats. She wasn't even sure she could trust herself. Her fear of losing Henry never completely went away - the nightmare she had told her exactly what would happen. If she told her friends and the ThunderCats about the nightmare, would she be shunned for life? Would she even be able to maintain that positive attitude that defined who she was? Then again, the ThunderCats showed no ill will against her or her friends. The Code of Thundera kept the ThunderCats in check as they interated. She supposed it wouldn't hurt to give them a chance.

"Okay," she said with a smile, having reached her decision. "I'm in."

Her friends all cheered for her, Brandon barking and howling with praise. They all crowded around her for a bear hug. She really was grateful to have friends like them. The ThunderCats smiled at this display of affection. It warmed their hearts to know that they would better understand these visitors from another realm. It remained to be seen how the friendship between both sides would work, but it was a start. What could possibly go wrong?

Outside Castle Plun-Darr, Slithe, Jackalman, and Monkian's races were gathered in a single spot. They had just gotten finished telling the races, who had holstered laser cannons strapped to their backs as well as scimitars, maces, and axes holstered to their hips, to obliterate the ThunderCats' Third Earth allies. Vultureman simply stayed in the background and watched with stern eyes at the gathering.

"Do all of you underssstand what to do?" Slithe barked to his Reptilians. They nodded at his answer. He unfolded a map which contained specific locations for the three races to attack. He continued, "This here map will make things a lot easier for you."

"Our number-one goal in life is to slay the ThunderCats, and we'll do that by forcing their hands. Hoo-hoo! Then, nothing will stop us," Monkian stated to his kind, who responded back with a "hoo-hoo."

"This world called Third Earth will indeed tremble at the might of Mutantkind," Jackalman said excitedly to his race, "and there shall be no one who will stand in our way! Nyah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!" The Jackalmen gave their leader a devilish smile and two thumbs up.

"Go now! And do not come back empty-handed!" exclaimed Slithe as he raised a fist in the air. All three races did the same thing, yelling with excitement over wanting to pillage, plunder, and destroy. They moved out as ordered to draw the ThunderCats' attention. Slithe folded the map back up and placed it inside the metallic Mutant emblem on his chest. "Well, what're you all ssstanding around for?" he barked to his fellows, especially to Vultureman. "Let's get cracking!"

The other Mutants obeyed without question as they followed Slithe back into the castle to clean up the mess Vultureman made during his little temper tantrum. With those miserable ThunderCats leaving their precious lair behind, Slithe and his merry band would instantly tear it to pieces with all the firepower they could muster. All in all, it was going to be a happy day for the Mutants, and it would be one that they would enjoy for all time.

Well, that's chapter three for ya. Punky and friends and the ThunderCats begin to understand one another while the Mutants plot to eliminate the ThunderCats through the friends they made across Third Earth. Next chapter, Mumm-Ra awakens from his eternal slumber and learns about Glomer's people through Glomer himself, the ThunderCats (except Snarf, who's ordered to look after Team Punky) race to save their Third Earth friends from the Reptilians, Jackalmen, and Monkians, and Cat's Lair comes under siege by the four main Mutants. Here are some highlights:

1) Liana is a character who happens to be Lion-O's mother in "Spirit Fire," the third story in Anne C. Malcolm's six-part ThunderCats fanfic series on a site called Acmal's ThunderCats and More, which you can find by Googling "acmal's thundercats stories."

2) "Back to Thundera," issue #7 of Marvel Entertainment's US-based ThunderCats comic book series, featured Lion-O and Cheetara going back into Thundera's prehistoric past, but I altered it to make it feel like only Lion-O travelled into the past for the sake of his development in this here story. The Miggit Swarm Monster was mentioned in the season-one episode "Mandora the Evil Chaser," and he even appeared in Leonard Starr's Third Earth map and the Marvel (US and UK) comics.

3) I've watched the first two seasons of the live-action Punky Brewster series on YouTube, and one episode in the second season, "Punky's Treehouse," revealed Allen to be a mechanic. So it was that I incorporated that into this story. I've taken liberties with an idea from another episode of said season, the five-part miniseries "Changes," and made it so that Henry is depressed instead of collapsing in pain. Warnimont's is a mall-based photography studio in that same episode.

4) Catamountain, the Sword of Omens' creator, is a character who appeared in the two-part story "Trial by Fire" during Marvel's UK run of ThunderCats comics; I've read the UK comics online at the website ThunderCatsFans-dot-org.

5) The Great Glomley Elder is my creation. He's basically my attempt to expand on the history of Glomleykind, which I'll get into in the next chapter.

6) Vultureman's "Flasher Blaster" is actually the Laser Saber toy from LJN's ThunderCats line. The Laser Sabers could shoot and receive laser light beams, but the one Vultureman carries is much different, for it can destroy anything and anyone in its path.

Edit: There was an error during the first scene with Slithe and the Mutants that I've immediately corrected. So instead of one of Castle Plun-Darr's eye rooms, the Mutants are firmly in the castle's war room.