ThunderCats - Call of the Hunt

Chapter 9

Chapter 9

Hearts

It was early sunrise, when Lion-O, Tygra, Cheetara, and Panthro were seated on the roof top of the temple. There Milena would begin her mentoring to the new comers.

Milena: “Good morning.”

The four mumbled and yawned in reply.

Milena: “My, how lively we are today. I hope you are ready to begin. Today, I am going to attempt to shove eighteen years of training down your throats in one day, maybe two. As of this moment, the Silver Blades are plotting their next move against us. It's only a matter of time before they strike. So, we need to be ready as soon as possible.”

Tygra: “How do you suppose you do all this?”

Milena looked over towards the tiger.

Milena: “I intend to do this by going over the five main exercises of the senses. This will make you more aware of your surroundings. During these exercises, you all are not to speak unless spoken to by me or any of the council members. Do I make myself clear?”

The four sleepily mumbled in agreement.

Milena: “I said, am I clear?!!”

The ThunderCats were awakened by the loud noise and replied in a united “yes Ma'am!!”

Milena: “Good, Let’s begin with one of my favorites.”

She then pulled from an ancient chest that sat next to her an abundance of different utensils. Blind folds, herbs, ear plugs and various foods. The ThunderCats were stunned and confused as to why she would require such common artifacts.

Milena: “These will be used to hone your senses. With all your senses combined, you have the concentration needed to bond with the wolf spirit and co-exist in harmony.”

For the rest of the day, The ThunderCats followed Milena’s instructions, down to the last detail. They put their senses through the harshest conditions. From being blind folded, to having their noses through smell, after smell. Until, about midday, when Milena raised her hand. They turned towards their new found superior.

Milena: “That's enough. You're almost ready. Now, I want you all to take the rest of the day and go into the woods, and allow your wolf spirit to present itself to you. It may take some time, but in that time, you will also learn what truly lurks in your heart as your wolf spirit calls to you.”

She then dismissed her students to walk in the woods, allowing their minds to clear of all thought. They each went their separate ways, as Milena instructed they should. As Lion-O wondered the path, traveling deeper into the woods, he had begun to hear a voice calling out to him. The voice sounded similar to Cheetara. The voice began to cry Lion-O's name, luring him towards a clearing. There, a fog rose out of shear nothingness, and from that fog, a bright blue spectral wolf charged from the mist and stopped only a few feet from where the young cat prince stood. The beast and Lion-O stared at each other for a good amount of time. Then, the spirit spoke in the voice that reminded him of the fair maiden known as Cheetara.

Spirit: “I see your heart’s desire. The fire that burns for the one you desire. The soul mate, the cleric.”

Then the spirit morphed into the form of Cheetara, who then strolled forward towards Lion-O, and placed her lips on his.

Spirit: “By the end of the night, your hearts will be clear. Patience, Good things come to those who wait.”

The spirit then morphed back into his canine form and ran back into the mist. Several hours had past. Cheetara continued on her path that lead her towards the side of a lake. She knelt near the water, and grasped her hands together as she prepared to hydrate herself after such an exercise. As she indulged herself in the clear water, she could see in the waters reflection of her form began to shift its shape as the ripples excelled and cleared, revealing herself holding a child in her arms. Tears formed from her eyes knowing that the reflection was merely her heart pour out. When she lifted her head, she looked over her shoulder to find a wolf specter standing there, starring. She stood at the sight of the spirit.

Spirit: “As with your king, I appear before you to commune with you. Once you have unlocked your heart's secret. Though you may be already aware of it. You wish for a child, no?”

Cheetara: “Y..., Yes. But, the one I love does not wish for a child.”

Spirit: “This love of yours, you both share a deep bond from earlier in life. True?”

Cheetara: “Yes, but I feel our connection is gone...”

Spirit: “That is because he is not you one soul mate. You know it to be true.”

Cheetara: “what would make you think that?”

Spirit: “Each spirit is connected to both the world of spirits, and the mortal plain. And there are those spirits of light who know of your true love. I am merely a messenger of those spirits, as well as a guide.

Cheetara: “Who is my soul mate, if not Tygra?”

Spirit: “You will find him, pondering in deep thought, and high on the temple's top.”

Cheetara: “Is he someone I know?”

Spirit: “You'll know when you gaze upon him. Free of any divine influence, but your own.”

The spirit then turned to the forest path and made its way to the darkness of the woods. Cheetara, armed with her newly found knowledge, made her way back to the temple.

Tygra sat on a fallen log, tending to a fire he had made just moments ago. As he threw the scrape wood into the crackling flames, the face of a wolf formed with the flames. Tygra was shocked at first, but as he gazed at the figure, he felt calm, and peaceful. He sat up and tried to commune with the fiery specter.

Tygra: “Are you my wolf spirit?”

The ghostly figure nodded in agreement.

Tygra: “You know what really lies in my heart.”

Spirit: “Yes, and I see both light and dark lie in it.”

Tygra: “What do you mean?”

Spirit: “your once lover will find her desire fulfilled, but in the comfort of another.”

Tygra: “You know who it is, don't you?”

Spirit; “I cannot give much away. But you'll find them both at the temple's roof, by the setting of the moon. I heed you not to plot anything hasty, for history would repeat itself.”

Tygra: “Like Kornack?”

Spirit: “Yes, farewell for now.”

The spirit faded into the flames, leaving Tygra with the task to discover who will father Cheetara's children.

Later that night, under the light of the full moon. The four ThunderCats were kneeling before an open flame that stood at the Alter of the Goddess, Lumitta. The council had gather to induct the runts into the pack. As Milena carried out the ancient rites, Lion-O turned to Cheetara, who looked back at him, and smirked playfully. He too smirked. When Milena called them forward, she stood before them to conduct the final test.

Milena: “In order to become one with the pack, you must prove that you have allowed the spirit of the wolf to open your heart and grant you voluntary metamorphosis. Which one of you will be the first to attempt metamorphosis?”

They remained silent, until Lion-O slowly raised his hand.

Lion-O: “I will.”

Lion-O stepped forward and presented himself to the council for inspection.

Milena: “Now, concentrate. Feel the change flow through you.”

The ThunderCats closed his eyes, and cleared his mind. He did indeed feel a slight change. At first it stung, but then the pain had faded. As he opened his eyes, he could see in the mirror a reflection of himself, in the form of a wolf.

Milena: “Lion-O, is it you?”

The creature stood for a few silent moments. A loud breathing was heard before he growled softly.

Lion-O: “Rrrrryyyes, yes. It's me.”

The council awed at the very sound of Lion-O achieving not only voluntary metamorphosis, but also displaying signs of full control.

Milena: “Good. Now, the rest of you.”

The other Cats stepped forward, following in their king's footsteps. Also achieving full control of their change. Milena displayed a face of joy at what she thought was impossible become reality. Morconas placed his hand over her shoulder.

Morconas: “I don't know how you did it. But, whatever you did, it worked. Good enough for me.”

Milena: “Thank you.”

She then turned to the council, who then gathered in a tight circle. As they discussed their opinions, Lion- O, in wolf form looked back at Cheetara. The young woman stood there, smiling nervously at Lion-O in the hopes of being accepted. After a minute of discussing, the council broke up and returned to their original positions.

Milena: “ThunderCats, after consulting with the council, it is with great pleasure to welcome you apart of the pack. Siblings, transform and praise our new members with our oath.”

In one voice the council and Milena recited the phrase saying...

“Timi sou lykos paketo! Honor thy wolf pack.”

They then shifted into their wolf forms and removed their hoods, revealing their faces.

Milena: “Welcome to the family, ThunderCats.”

At once, Milena and the council howled to the moon, blessing their communion and

Acceptance into the family. The ThunderCats stood in silence for no more than a few seconds before howling to the moon. With the ceremony complete, Lion-O, Tygra, Cheetara, and Panthro were now one with the pack, along with the twins, who stood by the council's side.


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