The Gift of Thundera, Part 4


"Welcome, young she-mouse!" A forboding voice echoed.
    Gadget looked all about, then saw a large, greyish form striding from 
the shadows. She had never seen so hideous a being, and it made her all the 
more alert for treachery.
    "So, you're the one who brought me here." Gadget said, trying to sound 
bold. "Are you ready to send me home, or do I have to fight you?"
    "Let me offer you an alternative, my pretty." Mumm-Ra said. "I could 
release my spell, if you were willing to help me send the Thundercats back 
with you to your dimension. Surely, that is better than seeing any of them 
get hurt."
    "Hurt? What do you mean?" Gadget asked, getting more concerned by the 
    "Behold!" A screen of energy formed, showing that the Thundercats were 
now caught in the energy field. "I could crush the Thundercats now, but if 
you give up your powers, I will let you and them leave to your dimension."
    Gadget's eyes narrowed down to slits of anger. "Who do you think you're 
kidding? I know how evil beings like you deal! You just want me to give up 
my powers so you can beat us all."
    Mumm-Ra let power emanate from him. "Fool! If you don't give up, then I 
will destroy you and all the Thundercats! Surrender!"
    "Never!" came the reply, as Gadget suddenly zoomed forward and past 
    "Yarrgh!" Mumm-Ra shouted as he let energy bolts go at Gadget.
    Gadget managed to avoid the blasts or deflect them with the sword. 
Mumm-Ra was about to attack again when Gadget disappeared.
    "You cannot hide forever, she-mouse! And while you delay your own doom, 
your friends are meeting theirs!"
    "That's what you think, buster! And the name's Gadget!" A voice cried 
out as Mumm-Ra turned to face his adversary. The mouse on a mission 
reappeared, wearing protective clothing that covered her entirely. It had 
taken Gadget a few moments to find where the mutants had put her invention.
Once she found it, it was a simple matter to get it ready. "All right, dark 
and ugly, give it your best shot!"
    Mumm-Ra stretched his hand toward Gadget, and energy poured forth. 
Gadget leaped to one side and as she did fired the swords power at his. 
Mumm-Ra's power was deflected, sending it right at the metal container. 
Gadget's power joined with his in bombarding the invention, heating it up 
quickly. Suddenly, the top blew open and a shiny metallic liquid gushed out.
    "No! Noo!" Mumm-Ra cried as he saw what the substance was. He tried to 
destroy the liquid, but his bolts were deflected.
    Gadget seized the moment and used the sword's power to direct the hot 
metallic liquid until it covered the entire interior of the room.
    "'ve covered everything in silver!" Mumm-Ra yelled.
    Gadget ripped off her protective clothing. "That's right! I figured when 
Lion-O told me about your weakness, that you couldn't handle any refractory 
surfaces. So I picked one and plastered it all over your home. You're 
beaten, Mumm-Ra!"
     "How? How could it have happened like this? Against this whelp of a 
girl?" Mumm-Ra said.
     "Whelp, huh? It looks like you're the whelp now!" Gadget said as the 
reflection of his hideous face forced Mumm-Ra to weaken back to his 
mummy-like state. But now he had a real problem. He'd gone and left his 
sarcophagus open! With that fatal mistake, Mumm-Ra sank in front of his 
power source--now denied him--and slowly disintegrated, his power being all 
that held him together.
     The Thundercats came running in, free of Mumm-Ra's spell. They stopped 
and looked, marvelling at the scene before them. 
     "You did it, Gadget!" Panthro said. "And I must say, Mumm-Ra's place 
has never looked better."
     "Thanks, Panthro." Gadget replied. "I couldn't have done it without all 
your help. Everything went just like we planned."
     "Yes, we knew Mumm-Ra wouldn't sit around and wait to be beaten. It 
sure was kind of him to bring the means of his own defeat into his home." 
Lion-O said.
     Tygra came forward and put his left hand on Gadget's right shoulder. "I 
don't know about the rest of you, but I think this deed calls for a reward. 
Lion-O, would you do the honors?"
     "It would be my pleasure. Gadget, you are now and forever more a true 
Thundercat. Receive your badge of power, Thundercat Gadget." Power shot from 
Lion-O's sword and a Thundercat insignia appeared on Gadget's coveralls.
     "Golly, I love it! I'll always wear it with honor." Gadget said.
     With that the Thundercats all came forward and congratulated Gadget on
her victory. The prophecy was fulfilled and Mumm-Ra had turned out not to be
ever-living after all (that is, until we need him again). Gadget and her
friends had a well-deserved rest that night at Cat's Lair.
     The next day at breakfast, Lion-O spoke to Gadget first. "So, now that
you can return home, I suppose you're in a hurry to leave?"
     Gadget was caught with food in her mouth, so she simply shook her head 
at the question. Everyone was surprised at this answer.
     "You mean you're not going back?" Panthro asked, puzzled. "But your 
     "Oh, I'm going back, Panthro. Just not right away." Gadget said.
     "Why not?"
     Gadget smiled large. "Well, first of all, I don't see any reason to 
rush off. Second, my friends are on vacation and won't be back for several 
months anyway. Third, I can't think of a better place to spend the rest of 
my vacation than right here!"
     Tygra pushed up from the table. "We would be honored to have to stay on 
with us, Gadget. You have proven yourself a friend to us." He reached across 
the table and touched the top of her hand.
     "That goes for me, too." Lion-O said, adding his hand to Tygraa's.
     Soon all the Thundercats had stretched their hands in a group salute, 
then all together they said, "Thundercats, Ho!" and laughed heartily.
     There was no joy in Castle Plundarr, though. The mutants had delivered 
Gadget's invention to Mumm-Ra and had left per his orders. They had heard 
the astonishing news of his defeat and annihilation. It didn't seem 
possible. Mumm-Ra, beaten!
     "What do we do now, Slythe?" Monkian asked.
     Slythe was in a fine reptilian temper. "I don't know. I don't know! We 
don't have a chance against those Thundercats now!"
     "I wouldn't say that," Vulture Man said.
     "What do you mean?" asked Slythe.
     Vulture Man left the room for a moment and returned with a strange, 
cart-like device. "The Thundrainium catapult is ready. I think it's time we 
repaid that newcomer for her deeds."
     Slythe rose slowly from the table, an evil grin spreading on his face. 
"Yesss. With Mumm-Ra gone, if we can defeat the Thundercats, we would be the 
ultimate power on Third Earth."
     "There's just one problem. That female mouse." Jackal Man said.
     Slythe nodded. "Yesss, we've got to cook something up for her. Get her 
out of the way until it's too late for her to save the other Thundercats. 
But, there's also Lion-O to consider."
     Monkian pounded his fist on the table. "We need to take them both out 
with one stroke."
     Vulture Man took a step forward. "Wait! I know how to do it. It won't 
stop them long, but it should be enough to give us time to take over Cat's 
     Slythe listened intently to the sinister bird's plan, then smiled 
toothily. "It should work. We can be rid of those blasted Thundercats, once 
and for all! Ha ha ha!"
     The mutants joined in the harsh laughter and made their plans.
     The next day, Gadget had decided to spend the day alone. The 
Thundercats understood: she had hardly had a moment to herself since she 
arrived on Third Earth. Still, now that Mumm-Ra was defeated, things were 
much quieter than they had been. Panthro was catching up on maintenance work 
on the Thundertank; Lion-O took Snarf on a fishing trip; Cheetara and Tygraa 
were to spend the day with the RoBear Burbils, trading work for food. This 
left Gadget to her own devices. Her chief instinct was curiousity, as she 
had seen very little of Third Earth. With that in mind, Panthro armed her 
with a map.
     Panthro studied the map with her. "I'd recommend starting with Hook 
Mountain. It's a bit bleak, but beautiful this time of year. Then you'll 
want to see the Fields of Fertility and the Forest of the Warrior Maidens."
     "All right, Panthro. I'm game. By the way, how do I keep in contact 
with you guys?"
     Panthro pointed to her goggles. "All the Thundercat weapons have a 
built in transmitter and receiver. Just talk into them. We'll be there if
you need us."
     "Thanks. See you later." Gadget left a speed blur as she quickly left 
Cat's Lair behind. She crossed the fields of fertility, the home of the 
molemen and the mountain of the giantors before she topped out on a large 
hill and saw the icy promontory of hook mountain standing tall, ten miles 
     She sped quickly up the high ascent and reached the top in another ten 
minutes. It was beautiful, a cold clear sky revealing the surrounding 
countryside. Suddenly, her viewing foray was interrupted by something cold 
tapping her on the shoulder. She turned and met an amazing sight: a 
furry-looking man who looked like a Mongol raider! He was holding an ice 
lance toward her. And he was riding a large cat!
     "Snow Knight!" Gadget said.
     "What!" said the rider. "You know Snow Knight? Who are you and what..." 
He stopped as he noticed the insignia on her jumpsuit. "You carry the badge 
of a Thundercat! But you are not a Thundercat."
     "I am Gadget, friend to the Thundercats. They told me you lived here on 
Hook Mountain. I helped to stop Mumm-Ra, and they've made me an official 
member of the Thundercats."
     Snow Knight lowered his lance. "Yes, I have heard of Mumm-Ra's defeat. 
You are welcome on Hook Mountain, friend Gadget. Any friend of the 
Thundercats is welcome." The large man dismounted and the big cat he rode 
approached Gadget, making her feel uneasy.
     "Do not be afraid of SnowMeow, friend Gadget. He simply wants to meet 
     Gadget allowed the huge gray and white snow cat to sniff her. He 
promptly licked her hand, and she scratched his ears, giggling. "His licking 
tickles!" Gadget said when she wasn't giggling.
     "Ah, SnowMeow likes you. You are a friend indeed. Anytime you need 
help, do not hesitate to call on him or me. Is there anything you would like 
to see here?"
     Gadget pointed to the castle in front of them. "Is that castle yours?"
     "It is now. It formerly belonged to the Ice King, but he is long gone 
now. It is my stronghold. Come, I will show it to you."
     Gadget and Snow Knight spend the next half hour touring the castle. The 
Snow Knight not only told her the history of the castle, but also some of 
the history of Third Earth. Gadget realized she could spend a lot more than 
a year on this planet just learning about it. Finally, she left the ice 
castle and thanked Snow Knight for his kindness. She had just crossed to 
the far side of the mountain when her communicator sounded.
     "Gadget! Lion-O to Gadget! Come in, Gadget!"
     Gadget spoke into her power rod. "Gadget here, Lion-O. What's the 
     "I finished my fishing with Snarf and came looking for you. I'm trapped 
in an ice cave at the bottom of Hook Mountain. Can you help?"
     "I'm on my way, Lion-O. How do I find you?"
     "There's a tracker next to the transmitter. It will glow more brightly 
the closer you get to me. Hurry!"
     Gadget didn't waste any more time, but sped to the bottom of the 
mountain. She quickly checked the entire base, and found only one cave. 
Running in, she went down several corridors, trying to find him.
     Gadget called into her communicator, "Lion-O, I can't find you!"
     "I'm deep in the cave, Gadget. Keep coming!"
     Gadget searched another ten minutes, but came up empty. She was about 
to signal Lion-O again, but then a large noise behind her attracted her 
attention. Speeding back to the mouth of the cave, she found that the 
opening was sealed!
     "Golly! How did that happen?"
     "We happened, Gadget!" said a hissing voice over her communicator.
     "Who are you?" Gadget asked.
     "I am Slythe, leader of the mutants of Plundarr! We have put you out of 
the way, so we can defeat the Thundercats, and there's nothing you can do!"
     Gadget materialized her sword. "Nothing, huh. We'll see about that! 
Ho!" The sword sent an energy beam at the piled up rocks, disintegrating 
them. But the roof of the cave was compromised, and the rocks were instantly 
replaced. This also had the unfortunate consequence of causing a cave-in! 
Gadget ran as fast as she could and avoided most of the rain of rocks, but a 
stalagtite pinned her to the icy floor of the cave and the sword slipped 
from her grip. Her consciousness began to slip too.
     Meanwhile, Lion-O was actually still fishing with Snarf (or as much 
fishing as you can do when you're asleep) near the Fields of Fertility. 
Suddenly his sword sounded an alert. Lion-O started quickly, roused out of 
his slumber.
     "A Thundercat in trouble! Sword of Omens, give me sight beyond sight!"
     He saw Gadget enter the ice cave and the mutants seal her in. He 
watched as Gadget was pinned, lost her grip on her sword and her face fall 
onto the icy floor of the cave. Her eyes were shut.
     "Gadget's in trouble Snarf! The mutants set a trap for her. Return to 
the Lair and let the other Thundercats know what's happened. I'll handle 
this," Lion-O said.
     Snarf stood on his prehensile tail. "But Lion-O, shouldn't you ask the 
other Thundercats to help you?"
     "I can take care of the mutants, Snarf. Besides, I don't think there's 
much they could do to get through that ice cave. Go on back to the lair. 
I'll bring her back as quick as I can."
     Snarf hesitated, but he went. He knew it was useless to argue with 
Lion-O once his mind was set. **Still, Lion-O could run into trouble out 
there**. That thought caused Snarf to run faster than normal. So fast that 
he didn't even see the trap coming. He was caught in a tree snare, a simple
yet diabolical rope net that hoisted him off the ground. He struggled and 
called for help, but he knew there was no one to hear. Almost no one.
     "Ha! Just like Slythe predicted!" came the gruff voice of Monkian from 
behind a bush. The man-ape walked out and grabbed the top of the net, tying 
it tightly. "You'll never get a chance to warn your friends, and Lion-O will 
never make it to that meddling mouse!"
     "Oh, Lion-O! What'll I do? Snarf, snarf! Put me down, you oversized 
     Snarf's struggles were in vain, though, as Monkian dragged him to his 
skycutter and put him in the cargo slot in the back. Snarf's muffled cries 
for help could be heard coming from the compartment. But finally he wore 
himself down and rested, hoping fervently that one of the Thundercats would 
rescue him. And what of Lion-O?
     It seemed at first that Lion-O would reach his destination. It took him 
nearly an hour to sight Hook Mountain. Even though he was miles off, he 
could see the cave entrance that had been sealed by the mutants. He raced 
forward, not wanting to waste a second. Pity he didn't look down, or he 
might have noticed that the snow beneath him had been disturbed recently. 
But it was too late: Lion-O fell into a deep pit. After several seconds, 
Lion-O reached the bottom of the pit, his catlike instincts keeping him from 
landing on his back. The walls were smooth and sheer, nearly impossible to 
climb. Still, he had to try. With a grunt, he wedged the sword of omens into 
the rock and started to make some headway. Five feet. Ten feet. He almost 
made it high enough to get out, when he noticed he didn't feel right. He was 
tiring...weakening. Then he saw it. The sun shone on the shiny particles
covering the pit wall. Thundrainium!
     Lion-O made a gallant leap for the top but in his weakened state, he 
couldn't do it. He fell back, this time striking his head and lapsing into 
unconsciousness. A reptilian form had witnessed the fall and smiled
     "Our plan is working perfectly. Now to join the others and take over 
this puny planet. Then I will rule Third Earth as its absolute master! 
     Back at Cat's Lair, Tygraa banged his fist on the sensor panel. "How 
did the mutants manage to sneak up on us? Lion-O was supposed to have been 
on alert!"
     Cheetara checked the communication board. "It's no good, Tygraa. I 
can't contact Lion-O. There's either something blocking our transmissions or 
he's just not responding."
     Panthro walked over to Cheetara. "What about Gadget?"
     Cheetara shook her head. "Can't raise her either."
     Panthro had already turned on the automatic defenses, but it wasn't 
doing much good. The mutants' thundrainium catapult was out of the range of 
the Lair's weapons.
     Wiley Kit was keeping track of the trundrainium levels. "Radiation at 
230 millirads and rising fast!"
     Now it was Panthro's turn to bang his fist on his panel. They had been 
caught totally off-guard. It had begun innocently enough. Everyone in the 
Lair was going about their regular work. Wiley Kat was on the sensors when 
the alert went off. Naturally, that brought everyone to the main control 
     "What's the problem, Wiley Kat?" Panthro had asked.
     "It's those mutants again. Looks like they've got something new this 
     Panthro had seen the catapult that Vulture Man, Monkian and Jackal Man 
were pushing. "Well, they're too far out of range for that thing to do any 
damage yet. I don't see Slythe with them. Keep an eye open and I'll go check 
out what they're up to in the Thundertank."
     So said, so done. Panthro had gone down to his workshop and had just 
cleared it with the Thundertank when a shell exploded in front of him.
     "What! How'd they manage to lob a shell this close?" Panthro rechecked 
his instruments. Then a warning buzzer sounded. "Thundrainium! Blast those 
mutants! They've got a fresh supply. Panthro to Cat's Lair."
     Tygraa answered. "Cat's Lair. We read you, Panthro."
     "The mutants are firing Thundrainium shells. I'm coming back in. Get 
the ballista ready, and we'll see if we can't destroy that catapult of 
     But despite the many armaments of Cat's Lair, the mutants had been 
shrewd. Vulture Man had made the catapult with a long range and extra thick 
shells so they could hit the Lair from a long distance. They were out of the 
Thundercats' weapons range and the radiation was building fast.
     On another part of Third Earth, one azure-colored eye slowly opened. A 
voice muttered softly, echoing in a cold silence.
     "Chip? Monty? Zipper? Are you there? Where are you?" It took Gadget's 
mind a few moments to find that she wasn't in Ranger Headquarters. She was 
still trapped in the ice cave, pinned and unable to move. Reality set in 
fast, nearly causing her to panic. She didn't though. Instead, she looked 
for her sword. Gadget was able to crane her neck just enough to see it at 
the top of her visual focus. But all she could do was look.
     "Oh, if I c-could just get that sword, I could g-get out of here and 
help the Thundercats!" She had heard their calls for help, knew they were 
in trouble. She suspected that Lion-O was captured, too, since he hadn't 
responded either. **Got to get to that sword!**
     Gadget, her teeth chattering badly, squirmed and struggled. She only m
anaged to get her left arm free. 
     "Oh, p-please, if anyone is l-listening, help me! Help me to get that 
     Suddenly the air hummed with power and a ghostly voice. "Call to it, 
Gadget." Gadget looked and saw that Jaga had come to her aid once more. 
     "Call to it?" she asked.
     "Call to the sword, Gadget, and it will obey."
     Gadget smiled slightly, as much as she could in the shivering cold. 
"Th-Thanks, Jaga." She turned her attention back to the sword. "Sword of 
Omens, come to me!"
     The eye of the sword glowed as the sword quickly rose from the ice and 
flew to her free hand. She turned the sword, pointing it above and behind 
her and yelled, "Ho!" 
     The sword grew to full size and instantly pulverized the stalagtite 
holding her down. She rose as the sword's energy enveloped her and she felt 
refreshed. "Now," Gadget said, looking around, "I've got to find another way 
out of here!"
     Gadget knew she couldn't use the entrance she came in by, so she 
materialized her baton and ran swiftly down to the end of the corridor in 
front of her. Unfortunately, no exit met her eyes. She was about to try the 
side tunnels she hadn't tried before when she suddenly halted. Light! She 
saw light above her. As she had turned, the sun was forming a filled arch 
about thirty feet above her. Gadget took a few steps back and could just 
make out a slit of sky about seventy feet straight up.
     "Well, Gadget, looking at it's not getting you there. Let's go for it!" 
With that the newest Thundercat materialized the claw shield, placing it on 
her right hand. Using the sword as a piton, she slowly climbed the sheer ice 
wall. It was slow going, as she worked her way around several outcroppings, 
but finally reached the exit. She looked down and was met with a sheer drop 
of over a hundred feet. Exchanging the shield and sword for the baton, she 
repeated the speed trick she had done with Cheetara and made it safely to 
the ground. Then, her baton made a /bleep/ sound.
     "Golly, I wonder what that is? Maybe Slythe wasn't lying about that 
tracker." She followed the signal of the tracker, leading her to the pit 
where Lion-O had been trapped. She peered in, and gasped in fear when she 
saw that Lion-O was lying at the bottom of the pit, not moving. She extended
the baton to the bottom of the pit and slid down. After making sure Lion-O 
was still breathing, she tried to wake him.
     The Thundercat Lord's eyes fluttered open. "Gad-Gadget? Is that you?"
     "Yes, it's me, Lion-O? What happened?"
     Lion's eyes were half-shut. "Mutants...Thundrainium...weakening me...
     "Something here is weakening you? Can you make it out alone?"
     "No...need...need help."
     Fortunately, Gadget was not susceptible to Thundrainium or she would 
have been succombing to it by now. At first, the problem seemed immense. 
Lion-O was too heavy to carry out, and none of her weapons would help in 
that department. Then she remembered the sword, which had given her strength 
in the ice cave. She materialized the sword again and pointed it at Lion-O.
     "Sword of Omens, give strength to Lion-O!"
     The sword's power enveloped Lion-O, reenergizing him. He quickly came 
to his feet, put his arm around Gadget's waist and jumped out of the pit. 
Releasing his friend, Lion-O quickly grabbed his own sword.
     "Sword of Omens, give me sight beyond sight."
     The scene that presented itself to Lion-O was not good at all. The 
mutants were attacking Cat's Lair with a new Thundrainium catapult. They 
were out of weapons range and the Thundercats were starting to succumb to 
the onslaught of radiation. By now, Gadget was watching the same scene in 
her sword.
     "Lion-O! We've got to do something to save the Thundercats!"
     "Yes, I know. But we've got to think this through. The Thundercats 
won't last too much longer under that barrage, but I can't attack 
effectively because of the Thundrainium. Your weapons make you powerful, but 
you can't fight them all alone. We need help."
     Gadget thought for a moment, then remembered something Panthro had told 
her. "What about the warrior maidens? Panthro mentioned they live in a 
forest near the Lair. Would they help us?"
     Lion-O nodded. "Of course! Gadget, you must get word to the warrior 
maidens. Ask for Willa, their leader. Once you've rallied them, get them to 
attack from the north side of the Lair. I'll be on the south side, cooking 
up a little surprise for our friends!"
    All was darkness in the black pyramid, but all was not silence. Not 
quite. True, Mumm-Ra's form had been compromised. But Gadget and the 
Thundercats forgot one basic thing. The pyramid grows dark at night. Without 
the light, the reflective power of the mirrors no longer was available to 
thwart Mumm-Ra's evil power. Still, the only sound was a faint humming. The 
sound came from Mumm-Ra's pool of power. It was recharging Mumm-Ra's 
sarcaughagus, minute by minute.
    Gadget was in a darkness of her own. She was in the dark as to where to 
look for this "Willa" she was supposed to find. Using her superspeed, she 
had made it to the forest in a couple of minutes. However, a quick 
reconnoiter of the area didn't reveal anyone. She was about to retrace her 
path when the target of her search found her. A large vine net dropped on 
her, entangling her in it. Gadget's surprise caused her to freeze, just long 
enough for the warrior maidens to jump from the trees and secure her. After 
a few moments of useless, struggle, Gadget stopped and looked up.
    Facing her were two young human women dressed in skins. One was younger 
than the other. She was dressed simply, the only adornment an unsheathed 
knife that she held in her hand. The older warrior wore a red flower in her 
jet-black hair and carried a bow and quiver of arrows. This one looked 
Gadget over carefully, as if trying to decide where the best spot would be 
to stick one of those arrows. Then she noticed something else.
    "A Thundercat insignia! Florna." Willa pointed at Gadget. Gadget's eyes 
grew large as Florna's knife came down, but instead of attacking she cut her 
free. Willa signalled the other maidens to let Gadget up. The mouse stood 
slowly, eyeing the one who cut her free and then faced her elder.
    Willa spoke first. "You have a Thundercat symbol. Who are you?"
    "I am Gadget Hackwrench. Friend to the Thundercats. They sent me to ask 
for your help."
    "Our help? What has happened?"
    Gadget pointed the way she came. "The mutants are attacking Cat's Lair 
with thundrainium and Lion-O can't stop them. He needs us to drive them back 
before the others die of radiation sickness."
    Willa eyed her, thinking. "How do we know you are being truthful? You 
could have stolen that insignia to lead us into a trap."
    Gadget's goggles glowed, causing several of the maidens to take a step 
back. Before anyone could draw their weapons, Gadget had the sword. "Here, 
look for yourself."
    "The Sword of Omens!" Willa said. "But how did you get it?"
    "Never mind that now. Just look through the eye. We don't have much 
time. Sword of Omens, give me sight beyond sight."
    Gadget passed the sword over to Willa as it grew. Willa watched the 
vision in the sword for a few moments, then returned it to Gadget.
    "You spoke the truth. We will help you. Florna, I will take these 
warriors with me. Round up the others and meet us at the edge of the forest 
across from Cat's Lair. And bring your bows!"
    "At once, Willa!" The young maiden cried as she ran into the forest.
     The mutants all had looks of satisfaction as they watched the 
thundrainium shells striking the exterior of Cat's Lair. None of the shells 
were penetrating, but then again they didn't need to. The radiation in the 
thundrainium was the true weapon, and it was building.
     "It won't be long now, Slythe!" Monkian shouted as the mutants let 
forth another thundrainium barrage. "The Thundercats can't take much more of 
this, hoo hoo."
    "Yesss. Then we will rule Third Earth. Vulture Man, how much longer do 
we need to keep banging away at them?"
    Vulture man didn't look away from his controls atop the catapult. It had 
a metallic base to give it a solid foundation against the catapult's recoil. 
The catapult arm and scoop were made of wood. It was a simple device, but 
then the best ones usually are. "Give it about five more minutes, Slythe. 
The radiation needs more time to overwhelm them."
    "Can't you hurry it up some? What it they get some help?"
    "You mean like us?"
    The mutants all turned in shock. They had been so intent on watching the 
Lair's demise, that they hadn't been watching their backs. Now they were 
facing fifty warrior maidens, led by Gadget and Willa. Gadget pointed the 
sword at them.
    "Give up, Slythe! We've got the drop on you!"
    Slythe's eyes narrowed. "Never! I'll never surrender to a bunch of 
    "Oh, really? We'll see about that! Ho!" Gadget cried as the sword's 
power sought out the four mutants. Slythe and the others fired their weapons 
and ran up the neighboring hill, looking for a place to regroup.
    Gadget and the warrior maidens (what a movie title!) made their way to 
the hilltop and found that the mutants had dropped out of sight. Willa sent 
scouts in several directions and she and Gadget led several warriors 
straight ahead. As they neared the bottom of the hill, they found--Lion-O! 
The Thundercat leader had been waiting for them and had a big smile on his 
    "Lion-O!" Willa cried. "Are you all right? Where are the mutants?"
    Lion-O signaled for them to follow. "Come on, I'll show you."
    The group walked over another hill and heard the somewhat muffled 
yelling of angry voices nearby. Gadget looked around, but didn't see any 
mutants. "Where are they, Lion-O?"
    "Right under your nose, Gadget!" Lion-O said, with a now wide grin, 
pointing down.
    Gadget and the others looked down to find that the mutants had fallen 
into a rather deep pit. They had been trying to escape, but the sheer walls 
of the pit made that impossible. So now, they were expending their energy on 
ranting and raving. Gadget looked back up, sharing Lion-O's smile.
    "But how did you trap them in there?"
    "The mutants' trap on me worked so well, that I decided to steal the 
idea.I knew that once they saw you and the warrior maidens that they would 
run and look for a place to fight from. I just looked for the highest 
defensible ground in the area, and used the sword to dig a pit at the top of 
it. They never saw it coming."
    While they spoke, Willa had fired an arrow into the pit. The arrow had a 
pellet attached to it that broke on impact. Soon the pit was filled with 
sleep gas. "There. The mutuants won't awaken from that for several hours," 
Willa said.
    After collecting the mutants' weapons, the group headed for Cat's Lair. 
Lion-O and Gadget found the other Thundercats in the control room. Lion-O 
went to Cheetara first. He checked her vital signs and then worked her into 
a sitting position.
    "Cheetara? Cheetara, can you hear me? Wake up, it's Lion-O!"
    After a few moments of prodding, Cheetara's eyes fluttered open. She was 
groggy, but otherwise okay. "Lion-O? Is it you? Thank Jaga you're okay. I 
was worried..."
    "Don't worry. Everything's fine now. Just rest. You'll be back to normal 
in a few hours."
    Cheetara leaned her head against Lion-O's strong body, content in the 
knowledge that she and the other Thundercats were safe now. Gadget watched 
the scene, then turned to check on the others. They were also groggy, but 
were starting to come around.
    "Lion-O," Panthro said. "How were you able to stop the mutants?"
    Willa walked in at this moment. "My troops have secured the mutants. If 
you'll call evil-chaser Mandora, we can send them to the gray prison 
    Lion-O nodded his approval, then took Willa's hand in his right hand. He 
then motioned to Gadget to come near and took her hand in his left. "Here's 
how, Pantho. With good friends, and a little teamwork." The trio made a fine 
sight together.
    It was several more days before all the Thundercats were back up to s
peed. The radiationwas especially hard on Wiley Kat, Wiley Kit and Snarf. 
Once she had been assured that everyone was going to recover, Gadget once 
again began exploring Third Earth. She started with a visit to the warrior 
maidens, who welcomed her openly. She learned several new fighting skills, 
and how to shoot a bow. In return, Gadget improved on their bow design and 
introduced them to the crossbow. After her visit, Gadget spent more time 
with the adult Thundercats, especially Cheetara. She had several adventures 
with all of them, some of which may be written of in a future time. Finally,
homesickness began to grip the mouse inventor--at least that's what she said 
it was--and the day for her return to her homeworld finally came.
    No one really wanted to see her go. Cheetara had come to know her as a 
special friendwho she could share time with like a sister. Panthro saw her 
as a reflection of himself in many ways, a fellow engineer with a creative 
mind beyond compare. Tygraa found solace that this newcomer shared his 
abilities and had given him a sympathetic ear to voice his sufferings. The 
kids had enjoyed having her around and the games they played had made Gadget 
feel like a kid again--but that's another story. Even Snarf was sad to see 
her go. He liked anyone who would compliment him on his cooking, and Gadget 
had gone out of her way to do so. And then there was Lion-O. He had grown to 
respect this female, this Thundercat. She was unlike anyone he had ever met 
or would meet. So it was not surprising that as they were all approaching 
the white pyramid that he asked her to stay.
     "You are a Thundercat, after all. You've certainly earned a place with 
     Gadget shook her head as she walked alongside him. "I've got a world 
back there that needs me. I've also got a team that's counting on me to be 
there for them. You know the value of loyalty. Would you ask me to ignore 
     Lion-O shook his head. "No, but I just thought you might..."
     "Stay with you? I admit I considered it, but I don't really belong 
here. Besides, I think someone else has plans for you." Lion-O blushed 
slightly at this, looking sheepish. He didn't notice that Cheetara blushed a 
lot more.
     They all entered the pyramid, where Mumm-Rana was waiting for them. She 
had a look of urgency on her face.
     "What's the trouble, Mumm-Rana?" Lion-O asked.
     "Look in the pool, Lion-O. Behold, in the black pyramid. Mumm-Ra is 
reintegrating himself."
     And so it was. Bit by bit, atom by atom, Mumm-Ra's form was 
reassembling. A muffled evil laughter could be heard.
     Gadget just stared. "But I thought he was beaten for good!"
     Mumm-Rana shook her head. "You forget, Mumm-Ra is well-called ever 
living. He cannot be destroyed, only rendered helpless for a time. You must 
hurry, Gadget, and enter the pool before he can reassert his spell."
     Gadget was concerned now. "But what's to keep him from taking me back
once I'm gone, if he's that powerful?"
     Mumm-Rana came over to Gadget and touched her on the shoulder, 
reassuringly. "Do not fear. Once you have gone through my pool, the strength 
of his spell will be broken. Now, you must hurry."
     Gadget looked at new-found friends, and words failed her. She hugged 
them all, one by one. Words of thanks and gratitude were exchanged all 
around. Finally, she could delay no longer. She stepped into the pool, the 
water coming up to her knees.
     "Gadget!" Lion-O said. "Never forget that you are our friend, and that 
you will always be welcome among us. Mumm-Rana says that anytime you or your 
friends wish to visit, all you have to do is call her name and she will open 
a portal for you. And Gadget," Lion-O said as he raised his right arm and 
clenched his fist, "never forget the code of Thundera."
     Gadget raised her arm as all the other Thundercats did and recited with 
them, "Justice, truth, honor, loyalty. Thundercats, ho!"
     Mumm-Rana stretched her hand. "Ancient spirits of goodness, transport 
this defender of the right back to her own world." A blue glow began to 
surround Gadget as her image starting to fade. She waved a final good-bye, 
then the blow glow grew to a white intensity, then with a flash she was 
     **Oh, there's nothing like your own bed after a long vacation** Gadget 
thought as she made preparations for the night. The Rangers had all been 
glad to see her and marveled over her tan. In return, she had reveled in 
their stories. EspeciallyMonterey Jack's. He could make going to the store 
sound exciting. When everyone else had finished, they asked about her 
adventures. She had asked to go last, and everyone's curiosity had been 
     "So how did your inventing go?" Chip had asked.
     Gadget leaned back on the couch. "Oh, fine for the most part. There was 
an anomaly or two, but I got through it okay."
     Dale couldn't hold back /his/ curiosity. "Well, what did you invent? It 
must be something since you had all that time to work on it!"
     "It was, Dale. But as I said, there was an anomaly or two. I made it 
all right, but my invention was a total loss."
     "Well, at least you did bring back a souvenir. Still, I don't see why 
you'd want something that had a picture of a cat on it," pointing at the red 
circle on her chest.
     She removed the thin circle, looking at it admiringly. "I went through 
a lot to get this, Dale. I'll tell you all about it in the morning. But I'm 
tired now. Let's all get some rest."
     "Too right, luv!" Monty said. "I'll tell you one thing, a vacation sure 
has a way of wearin' a bloke out. We're gonna need a couple of days just to 
     "You said it Monty." Chip replied. "I haven't felt so tired in ages. 
Gadget's right, we should call it a night."
      With that, the newly-reformed team said their good-nights. Dale and 
Foxglove went to their room, while the other Rangers went to their separate 
rooms. And that brought Gadget back to the present, where she sat on her bed 
in her purple nightgown, thinking about just what she should tell the 
Rangers. Would they think she had made it all up? **Jeepers, I almost don't 
believe it myself. Still, I think they'll have to believe me when I show 
them my new powers.**
     Gagdet reached for her goggles and concentrated. Nothing happened. 
Gadget was surprised and tried again. Nothing. She was about to try a third 
time when a familiar humming filled the room.
     "Jaga!" Gadget said, her face lighting up at the sight of her friend. 
"What's wrong? Why can't I get any of my weapons to appear?"
     "The gift of Thundera will only work in the Thundercats' dimension, 
Gadget. Here, your abilities are as they were."
     "But you said I was getting the gift so the Rangers and I would be able 
to better fight our enemies."
     "That is true. And you have something now that you wouldn't have had 
     "What's that?"
     "The greatest weapon in the universe, knowledge. You have brought back 
with you the details of the Thundercat's technology and the sum of their 
wisdom. Use it well, Gadget, and remember that knowledge is always the best 
tool in fight against evil."
     "Golly, you're right. It was my knowledge of how to make mirrors that 
defeated Mumm-Ra. And Lion-O used his brain in tricking the mutants with 
their own kind of trap. Thanks, Jaga. I'll never forget your help."
     "I'll always be near, Gadget, whenever you need me." As she watched, 
Jaga's blue-colored form faded into nothingness before her. A few moments 
later, a knock came at her door.
     "Gadget, is everything all right in there?" Chip asked from outside. 
"I was walking by and I thought I heard someone in there with you."
     "It's okay, Chip. I was just testing a new invention." Gadget listened 
as Chip resumed his walk down the hall. She knew none of the Rangers would 
ever believe that she was seeing a ghost. Thus, she decided to keep that 
part of the adventure to herself for the duration. Keeping secrets brought 
her mind back to Chip.
     Gadget had been glad that her vision with Tygraa wasn't prophetic. Or 
was she? True, she had matured a great deal in her time with the 
Thundercats. But she still felt uneasy about Chip, though what she had seen 
through the eye had changed her opinion of him somewhat. Still, marriage was 
a frightening step, but not as bad as it had first seemed to her. She was 
still thinking on this when the door creaked open, but instead of Chip it 
was Foxglove who poked her head in.
     "Mind if I come in?" the young bat asked cautiously.
     Gadget waved her inside. She was always glad to see Foxglove, who she 
had come to think of as someone she could confide in. "Come on, Foxy. I'm 
just winding down. I thought you had already gone to bed."
     "I just wanted to make sure everything was okay with you. You seemed a 
little evasive about what happened to you. Did you meet someone?"
     Gadget eyed her and half-smiled. "I met several people. How 'bout you?"
     Foxglove leaned toward her, giving her a knowing look. "C'mon, you know 
what I mean. Did you meet someone special?"
     Gagdet averted her eyes a moment, then looked back. "Well, yes and no. 
He was quite handsome, but he was spoken for. And he was a cat."
     "A /cat/! How could you love a cat?" Foxglove asked.
     "Oh, this wasn't a normal cat, this was...well, it's going to be hard 
to explain. I'll tell you the full story in the morning. Let's just say that 
I appreciate what I have here a little more than I did."
     Foxglove pressed her advantage. "Meaning?"
     "Before I say anything else," Gadget leaned in, whispering now, "is 
Chip where I think he is?"
     "I wouldn't put it past him." Foxglove whispered back. "He seemed 
mighty worried tonight when you wouldn't talk about where you'd gone. And I 
did notice him sneaking a peek around the corner when I passed him in the 
     Gadget got a mischevous grin on her face and silently rose from the 
bed. As she crept toward the door, Foxglove's grin got bigger and bigger as 
she realized what Gadget was up to, and actually had to cover her mouth as 
Gadget got set to open the door. Suddenly, she grabbed the knob and swung 
the door in! There was a resounding /ka-thump/ as a chipmunk, who had been 
leaning against the door, fell face-first into the room, losing his fedora 
in the melee.
     "Can you hear all right, Chip?" Gadget said in a mockingly loud voice 
as Foxglove rolled on the bed, caught in a giggling fit. "Do you need me to 
make you an earhorn?"
     If you could have seen Chip at this moment, you would have seen one of 
his great all-time blushes. He was caught, he knew he was caught, and he was 
the target of the girls' laughter. But he noticed something. He thought 
Gadget might would have been mad, but instead she was now laughing right 
along with Foxglove.
     "Well, I'm glad you're taking this so well," Chip finally managed. "I 
guess I'll leave you two to your privacy."
     "Oh, no!" Gadget said, taking his hand. "Why don't you stay? We were 
just  about to discuss some beauty secrets. Why don't you tell us where you 
got that  blonde wig and pink dress you wore at Fat Cat's casino that time?"
     "Oh please, Chip," Foxglove said, catching on, "tell us everything. 
Surely you can tell us something we don't know."
     Okay, that earlier blush wasn't his all-time best. "Uh, I really think 
I'd better go!" Chip was backing up, all the time doing his best to 
extricate himself from Gadget's grip. Foxglove started laughing harder than 
ever, and it was all Gadget could do to hold her composure. Finally, Chip 
realized what was going on.
     "'re /joking/ with me, aren't you?" Chip said, almost 
whispering it as if he was trying to convince himself of it. "But /you've/ 
never done anything like this before."
     "Well," Gadget said, choking down a laugh, "I had some coaching in that
department from a new friend of mine. Besides, I never thought teasing you 
would be so much fun!" And with that, a whole new round of laughter began. 
All Chip could do was stand there and look amazed. This was a whole new side 
of Gadget's personality he'd never seen before. Gadget rarely laughed out 
loud--and certainly not like /this/.
     Of course, this kind of raucus always draws a crowd. Dale, Monty and 
Zipper were at the door, taking the whole scene in. 
     Monty took the initiative, as usual. "Crikey! What is this, a lunatic 
factory? I was asleep, then I hear all this laughin'."
     Dale was almost spellbound by it all, especially as his bride was still 
caught up in it all. "Foxy, what is all this?"
     "Oh, Dale," Foxglove cried, wiping away tears while trying to get her 
breath and only half succeeding. "You should have seen it! She went to the 
door, and he fell in, and after was the funniest thing I ever 
saw!" At that point the giggles took over again.
     "Gadget, can you tell me?"
     "Oh, please ask Chip!" Gadget said. "If I try, I'll be in for it, too!"
     "Not a chance." And even Chip was grinning some, now.
     Dale stamped his foot. "Ooh, I'll find out some day. And when I do..." 
He paused, uncertain what to say next.
     Gadget couldn't help herself. It was too good. "When I do, Bang! Zoom!"
     The pandemonium that followed that was classic. Everyone was rolling on 
the floor. Chip was in spasms from the laughing, Dale right beside him. 
Gadget was holding onto the side of the bed for dear life, while Foxglove 
held her sides. Monty and Zipper were right there, too, crying their eyes 
out for laughing. It took quite a while to get order restored.
     The laughfest quieted down at last and the Rangers all went to bed for 
real this time. Chip caught up with Dale just before he entered his room. 
"Dale, what do you think brought that on? I had no idea Gadget could be so 
     Dale was about to answer when Foxglove, who had come up from behind 
them and overheard, answered first. "Chip, I think it's pretty simple. She 
seems a lot more comfortable with herself now. I know that in the past, 
she's told me that she didn't like the way you and Dale picked on each 
other, that she thought it was childish. But I think she's realized it's 
just your way of being friends. And she's always been that funny. She just 
never let it out until now."
     "But what do you think brought it on?" Chip asked.
     "Oh, I can think of one reason right off." Foxglove said, looking 
pointedly at Chip. Chip was getting really close now to the record for most 
blushes in a story.
     Foxglove put a wing on Chip's shoulder. "Just remember that she's a 
friend for now, and let things happen naturally."
     Chip blinked. "Things? You mean..."
     "Naturally." Dale said, sparking a little more laughter from Foxglove 
as he escorted his wife to their quarters. "'Night, Chip!" he said, leaving 
the leader of the Rangers to stare after them as Dale shut the door.
     Gadget was in bed now, comfortable with the joy she had shared. 
"Thanks, Panthro, for showing me how to have fun again." She knew she would 
go to Third Earth again, just as she knew she would bring the Rangers with 
her the next time. She didn't quite know how she would explain the 
Thundercats, or how she met them. But for now, that didn't matter. Gadget's 
bright, azure eyes began to close as her mind drifted slowly toward 
dreamland and that other world, where she could run like the wind, command 
great powers, and defeat evil mummies. She gave one last chuckle, and then, 
she was asleep.
Rescue Rangers copyright Walt Disney.
Thundercats copyright Telepictures Corp.
All characters used without permission,
but with the utmost respect.
You are free to distribute this document,
but do not modify.
Author's comments - 11/15/98
If you have made it this far, thank you
for your time and patience. This is my
first completed Ranger story. I have
one other in the works that will be on
a more epic scale and will not involve
elements of other Ranger stories. Suffice
it to say, Chip will approve of my tastes.
			Until next time,
Go to:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three