Thundercats Fan Fiction ❯ Last Life ❯ Chapter Five: Sight Beyond Sight ( Chapter 5 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Chapter Five
Catrina sat there in the seat of the bay window, staring at the Thundercats insignia she held in her hands. A few locks of her blonde hair slipped off her shoulder as she held it up for a closer look. Tygra had told her that this was a symbol that tied the Thundercats together. Namely if Lion-O swung the Sword of Omens, everyone would be able to feel the pull of him calling to them. Her blue eyes just stared at the black cat shadow against the red background with many thoughts dancing across her mind.  She had been a Thundercat before and according to Lion-O and Tygra, she still is, even though she didn’t feel much like one at this very moment.

It was slightly dark inside her room and the only light she had was the one that streamed in through the window. The sun was up and its golden light bathed Catrina’s room in a warm golden glow. She let out a sigh before stuffing the emblem into her pants pocket. The girl looked down at the red lumpy furred figure that lay under her upraised legs. Its whiskers twitched as did its ears on occasion and its entire body shuddered with every quiet breath it breathed.

This is Snarf, the housekeeper and friend of the Thundercats, or at least that’s what Snarf had said when Catrina had spotted him in her kitchen. Upon talking with him, Catrina had remembered him and now with her being found, Snarf had glued himself to her side, acting like her nurse maid like he had been a year ago to her and Lion-O. But it was always in Snarf’s nature to care obsessively about the well being of others.

Snarf was currently fast asleep with his legs curled up under his thick tail and his chin resting on his arms. The overgrown alien cat creature almost looked adorable when he was not worrying about everything in every possible waking moment. Catrina just shook her head. Snarf had come across as slightly annoying to her at first since he wouldn’t leave her side but she got used to it after a day or two since Sammy was the same way.

She gently reached out with her left hand and gently touched one of Snarf’s floppy ears. His fur felt surprisingly soft despite the ruffled appearance. Snarf merely opened his eyes a bit, making the beady red irises look nothing more than little half moons before closing them again. She watched in silent amusement as he stretched his entire body out like a normal cat before turning around a bit and curling back into his little spot under her knees.

“Heehee. Snarf, you’re an amusing ball of fluff.” Catrina said gently, petting the yellow mess of fur on his head before turning her gaze elsewhere to the window on her other side. She could see Sammy laughing and giggling while clinging to Wilykat as he chased after his sister, Wilykit, on his space board. Kassim was running alongside them, trying to tackle the Thunderkittens. They were annoying him apparently. The Feliner was in the backyard as well, and she could see half of the air/space ship poking out from the odd angle she was looking down at the yard. Panthro, being not within her sight, was obviously inside, working on the ship.  Catrina felt a small pang in her heart as she tore her gaze off of the scene outside. It wasn’t that she disliked Wilykit and Wilykat, it was just that seeing her sister being clingy with Wilykit and Wilykat made her…jealous, maybe?

For the past few days while the Thundercats were all waiting on Panthro’s work on the Feliner to be done, Sammy had been bonding with the twins while Catrina, herself, has been more or less getting reacquainted with Tygra and Lion-O. But despite having started her mental training up with her mentor again, Catrina had kept herself away from everyone else, save for Snarf, who kept following her around. She would stay holed up in her room, only to come out to cook food or to train with Tygra. Other than that, she would keep to herself.

She didn’t know why she didn’t try mingling with her fellow Thundercats. All she knew was that she felt awkward being around them. She didn’t know what to say or what to do. She had joined in on a lot of the Council meetings they’ve had in the dining room, which was the only place to seat everyone, including Sammy. During these meetings, Catrina would find her mind wandering somewhere else and if someone spoke to her or if she became the center of attention, her whole body would freeze up and she would instantly lose her voice. Catrina can’t handle public speaking, let alone being able to speak in front of a small gathering, or even a few people. She didn’t have the charisma for that.

She let out a soft sigh before finally sitting up more. An ache crept up on her back, making the Thunderian cringe a bit at the pain. It was the type of ache that comes from having stayed in the same position for such a long time. Slowly and gently moving her entire body so as not to make the soreness unbearable, Catrina swung her legs, being careful not to hit Snarf, over to the side of the bay seat and rose to her feet. The ground felt relatively cold in the warm summer sun as she stood up.

Snarf let out a soft yawn and blinked, finally opening his eyes. He stared up at her in curiosity, his left ear twitching a bit. “Lina? What’s wrong?” He asked, getting to his feet and hands now.

Catrina smiled sheepishly at him, not knowing what to say. “I’m just getting tired of being cooped up in this room, that’s all, Snarf.” She said nervously. She saw Snarf’s ears rise a bit and what appeared to be a hopeful look glittered in his eyes. His whiskers twitched a bit.

“Are you going to spend some time with the others?” Snarf asked, now propping himself up on his tail. Catrina just rubbed the back of her neck, feeling a bit awkward at his question. It was part of her plan to try, but she didn’t exactly feel at home with everyone.

“Um, maybe.” She said quietly. Her eyes widened at seeing Snarf’s hopeful expression melting into one of disappointment, maybe even sad. Catrina bit her lip and looked away. She hated seeing others feeling so disappointed or down because of her actions or words. The girl finally turned her blue gaze back to her former nursemaid as a question rose in her mind. Maybe Snarf could give her an honest opinion, since he wasn’t judgmental. “Um, Snarf,”

“Schnarf?” Snarf looked up at her again and he stood up on his legs now. “Lina?” He squeaked back at her. His tone was curious and his eyes were hopeful once more. Maybe she was going to change her mind? He knew she was having a hard time finding her place among the Thundercats once more, but he wanted to do everything he possibly can to  help her in any way.

Catrina became red in the face as she tried to gather the words she wanted to ask him. She finally allowed herself to relax enough to gather her courage. “Do….you find me awkward?” The teen asked him, her eyes searched Snarf’s face for his reaction.

She watched his ears droop again, but that was normal for him because that showed Snarf was thinking seriously about her words. But the look on his face stood out more than his ears drooping. Snarf’s fingers played with themselves for a minute. This was another habit of his. Catrina had learned all of Snarf’s habits during the time she spent with him. Snarf only played with his fingers when he was nervous or slightly scared. Snarf was the type to want to please everybody and worry about them. He tore his gaze from her’s as he went into thought.

Snarf finally looked up at her a few minutes later before speaking. “I don’t see you that way, but you do seem a little uncomfortable around everyone.” He said softly. His large red ears remained flat against his skull as he gave her an apologetic look.

Catrina felt tears burning at her eyes as happiness danced in her heart and she quickly scooped Snarf up into her arms. She hugged the nursemaid against her body and buried her face into his fur. “Thank you, Snarf.” She whispered softly.

Snarf purred a bit and rubbed his head against her cheek. “I was glad to help, Lina. Old Snarf will always be here to help, snarf snarf.” He whispered back. He was glad to see her happy again. He had missed seeing Lina’s smile and the way her eyes lit up with happiness.

When she had calmed down, Catrina turned to the door and looked back at him as he climbed up onto her shoulder. “What do you say we go mingle with the others?” She asked. Her lips curled into a smile at seeing Snarf’s ears perk up. His eyes went wide and lit up with the same joy she felt. Catrina reached up and pet the side of his face before walking over to the door. She opened the door and stepped out into the hall way with Snarf on her shoulder.

The hallway was cool and quiet as she closed the door behind her. Not that the Thundercats were noisy or anything, they never got steeped into watching TV or even talk in loud voices like normal people would. Catrina could still hear their voices and on occasion, their movements when they moved, but that was it and the noises from Panthro working on the Feliner outside was pretty normal too since he was known to keep himself busy with making adjustments on all technological inventions and working on new projects.

Bengali was the first to see her to come off the stairs as she got to the foot of the stairs. His blue eyes widened in surprise and delight, and the white tiger smiled faintly at her. “Miss Lina, it’s good to see you up and about.” He said, not knowing what to say to the Thundercats’ future Lady. He was somewhat relieved that she returned his smile just as shy as his was. Bengali is known to be soft spoken like Tygra, but he was a little more outgoing and bolder than his orange counterpart.

“Yea, hello, Bengali.” Catrina murmured shyly as she shifted on her feet nervously. She didn’t know what to say to him really, aside from the usual greetings of hello. She looked over at a Thunderian woman sitting next to him. Pumyra’s attention was currently focused on the book sitting in her lap.

Her red eyes were narrowed in focused concentration as they skimmed across whatever text she was reading. Her dark brown hair faded to a white in the front, seemingly to barely move with the supple movements of her head. Catrina felt a nervous blush rising on her cheeks at seeing how much skin was revealed from under the puma’s tunic dress.

Sensing that Pumyra had noticed her staring, Catrina quickly looked down to her feet and shifted on her feet again. Snarf rubbed her cheek again.

“Is anything wrong, Miss Lina?” Pumyra asked curiously while still being polite. Pumyra was known for her sharp tongue and medical skills, but her agile abilities were what really set her off from the other Thundercats.

“No, I was just thinking of something, that’s all.” Catrina mumbled. She started to walk off to the kitchen where the others were when she noticed Lynx-O sitting in her father’s recliner, only Lynx-O didn’t have it in the laying position. Now that she was close to him, she could see him better. Lynx-O’s eyes were shut and the skin around was a pale pink color, on the verge of being a deep scarlet hue. His eyes seemed like they were glued shut for he never opened them.

Lynx-O felt Catrina’s presence near him and he eased his head in her direction. “Is there something wrong, Miss Lina?” He asked in a soft, but strong voice. His speckled beard moved with every spoken word, making it seem like they were alive on their own. The Lynx could sense the brimming sadness coming from the young girl.

Her emotions were a bundle of confusion as she bit her lip to keep from crying. “Y-your eyes.” Catrina whispered, her voice cracking a bit. “You’re blind, and it was because of me.” A new memory started to surface from the depths of her soul.

Or rather an image. It was of her and Lynx-O with Pumyra and Bengali on the day of Thundera’s destruction.  They were trying to get to the Flag Ship before it took off when Catrina (called Lina back then) had tripped and fell. Bengali and Pumyra were a bit further ahead. Catrina had landed next to a geyser that spat out hot air and on occasions, lava. Because the ground was shaking, the trembling had caused a crack in the ground and the eruption of the entire planet pushed the lava to the surface. Lynx-O was the first to notice the geyser and had run to her side. But as soon as he had her in his arms, a stream of hot air came up and hit him in the eyes, thus blinding him for the rest of his life. Catrina’s powers had allowed her to feel the pain that he felt when his eyes had burned.

As if she were reliving that very moment, Catrina slowly reached up to touch her face as she felt the echoes of Lynx-O’s pain from long ago. Tears burned at her eyes and she felt them starting to stream down her cheeks. “I’m so sorry, Lynx-O.” She whispered.

Tygra stood in the door way of the kitchen, hidden from view, watching as his student struggled with her own inner battle. Tygra wanted to go to her side and hug her, but he knew that he had to let Catrina learn to be independent and not be overprotective of her. He couldn’t help it sometimes. He had been with Catrina since she was born. He was there when she first walked and said her first word, which were actually two words: “Lion-O and Tygra,” when she started to crawl; he was with her every step of the way.

Granted that Catrina was still raised by her parents, but he still had a hand in raising her. Catrina had become like a daughter and a younger sister to him during the years they’ve spent together. Tygra did not want to become a mentor to anyone originally but the second one of the Thunderian nurses had placed the then tiny baby that was Catrina into his arms, a bond was born. It was then that the architect had decided to give the whole mentor idea a chance. It didn’t become one of those choices that he had come to regret either. Becoming Catrina’s Teacher was possibly the best choice he had ever made.

Tygra looked over at feeling Cheetara’s hand on his shoulder as the said Cheetah Woman came to his side as silently as ever. “She’ll be ok, Tygra.” She whispered silently to him. Her orange gaze flickered over to Catrina standing before Lynx-O, the girl’s body shaking. She knew it was taking all of Tygra’s will power to keep from walking over to Catrina and comforting the girl.

“I know that, Cheetara.” Tygra whispered listlessly back, keeping his gaze on Catrina. It was guilt that made him even more protective than ever. The guilt of having not found Catrina sooner so that she wouldn’t have lost her memories of her life as a Thundercat.

Lynx-O sat straighter in the chair and he reached out with his hand to touch the girl’s cheek. He could smell her tears and heard the sadness in her voice. “Do not dwell on the past, Lady Lina. As the future Lady of the Thundercats, it becomes our duty to protect you and Lord Lion-O at all costs, even if it means dying a thousand times over.” He whispered, wiping away her tears under her eyes.

“But…” Catrina blinked back her tears and she clenched her hands into fists at her sides. “Why? Why do we have to follow these laws? I know they’ve been drilled into us all at birth, but sometimes it’s best to follow your heart and instincts then some laws that we have obeyed our entire lives.” She noticed all the other Thundercats now gathered in the living room and Sammy was standing in the middle of them. Her entire body froze up and became tense at having let Sammy see her cry. “S-Sammy.”

Sammy just stood there in silence between Wilykit and Wilykat, staring at her sister. She saw tears in Catrina’s blue eyes. Not wanting to see her sister cry anymore, the third grader immediately ran up to Catrina and threw her small arms around her sister’s waist, burying her face into Catrina’s body. “You don’t have to cry anymore, Cat.” She breathed against her clothes.

“W-who says I was crying?” Catrina whispered in quiet protest, but she found herself holding Sammy closer as she buried her face into Sammy’s soft brown hair and sniffled quietly. She hated crying in front of her sister. For the past several months of being Sammy’s older sister, Catrina had buried her tears and her emotions, all for Sammy’s sake. She did not want the girl to see her losing after being so strong for so long. Catrina’s entire body trembled a bit from the force of the sobs that were starting to building up in the back of her throat.

“I do and it is obvious because of all the tears, sis.” Sammy hugged her sister even tighter as she looked up into her eyes. Catrina’s eyes were starting to become red and puffy, if it were even possible for a Thunderian to get puffy skin under the fur that made up their skin. She nearly stepped back as the older girl fell to her knees and buried her face into her neck. Catrina would only bury her face into someone’s neck if she were extremely upset. “Why are you crying, Cat?”

“Because I’m selfish.” She heard her step-sister whisper against her neck. Sammy felt Catrina holding her closer. The eight year old earthling had learned long ago to let Catrina let out all of her emotions and let her talk instead of pressing her for answers. All Sammy could do was rest her hands onto her sibling’s shoulders and listen. “I am crying because I was always so selfish. Everyone has always had to deal with my temper tantrums. I had pushed my father away when my mom died; caused Lynx-O to go blind all because I did not want to leave the doll Mama gave me behind.”

Catrina took in a shaky breath as she continued, “I pushed Jaga away and had a complete melt down. The only people I had let in were Tygra and Lion-O, but it was only because I blamed my father for mom’s death.”

“But why?” Sammy asked in  soft voice.

“Because I have these powers that allow me to feel the emotions of others. I had sensed my mother’s pain and my father’s worry, but I blamed him because he was always worried about what was going on in the palace rather than my mother’s well being or my feelings. That is why I was always training with Tygra. I spent so much time with Tygra during my childhood that I nearly forgot that Jaga was my father. During the last few months of my mother’s pregnancy, I was left in the care of Lion-O’s father, Uncle Claudus and my training had stopped altogether so that Lion-O’s presence could be used to get my mind off of my mother. It worked…for awhile.

Tygra would deliver letters once a week from my mother, each one talking about how she was faring, but as more time passed, she became sicker and the pregnancy was failing. Eventually, Jaga chose to deliver the bad news of Mama’s death himself. I blew up at him. My lack of training had made me distance myself from him and everyone else. Only Tygra and Lion-O could keep me happy and calm.”

Sammy just listened, shifting a bit in her sister’s embrace. She could feel the sadness in Catrina’s word that left her lips. She dared not try and pull away from Catrina. She did not want to anyways. Sammy wanted to help her sister become happy again.

Catrina held Sammy closer as more memories surfaced and she continued to speak, “I did not care that I had hurt him because in my eyes, all I needed were Lion-O and Tygra, and it stayed that way up until a few days before the Mutants attacked Thundera. My engagement with Lion-O was made official and I was completely happy. I had gotten my first kiss from Lion-O, too, since we had grown up together. We did not care that we were put into an arranged marriage or not, we were happy being in each other’s presence and Lion-O had given me this necklace to symbolize our engagement—no, our friendship.”

Everyone in the room could tell that Catrina was calmer now for her body had relaxed and she no longer took deep gulps of breath while struggling with her tears. Lion-O suppressed his blush at hearing Catrina’s words. Sure, he was in the body of a fully-grown man but he still had the mind of a thirteen-year-old boy and he felt somewhat awkward, but not strange, to be in Catrina’s presence. He knew that he could never stop caring for her, especially not since him and Tygra had spent so much time believing that she was still alive.

The young lord of the Thundercats let his arms hang at his sides as he kept his golden gaze focused on the girl hugging her sister. The only problem that kept him from being with Catrina officially was the fact that Catrina was still a child and he would have to wait until she was at least eighteen before he could marry her.

Catrina sighed again, feeling herself becoming calmer by the second. “I remember when all of us left Thundera, we had to leave Pumyra, Lynx-O, and Bengali behind. I could not speak because I was so upset, and I felt all of Thundera’s pain as it blew up. I did not speak for the remainder of the voyage and when the Mutants had found our flagship, they attacked. I was scared, and I mean literally scared, Sammy. Lion-O had inherited the Sword of Omens that day, but he could not wield it because it was so heavy. Lion-O, Snarf, and I were held up in the room that father had kept the Sword of Omens in. Some of the mutants had managed to slip in. Snarf tried to protect me and Lion-O, but he got caught and…I was so scared. I literally clung to Lion-O.

I remember feeling Lion-O’s entire body shaking with fear as he struggled with the sword. Despite his trembling and the Sword of Omens being so heavy, he managed to ward the Mutants off. We were all put into the suspension capsules while dad stayed behind to…sacrifice himself.” Catrina’s eyes went wide at her last words. Her arms slipped off of Sammy as fresh tears revealed themselves in her eyes. “H-he, Jaga did not make it. He—papa…”

She buried her face into her hands as she started to cry again. “I really am selfish! Oh God, Sammy, my father gave his life up to protect me and everyone… I do not deserve to be a Thundercat!”

Tygra’s eyes widened at hearing Catrina hearing his student’s last sentence and he finally willed himself to walk up to her. He felt somewhat angry that Catrina was blaming herself and being negative about herself, but it could not be helped. Catrina had kept her emotions bottled up for so long that she did not feel the need to bother anyone else. The tiger gently walked up to the two girls. He was ready to pull Catrina into his arms and hug her when he saw Lion-O doing the same thing. Lion-O had beaten him to it and now held Catrina against him.

Lion-O held Catrina close, rubbing her back gently in hopes of calming her down. “It is not your fault, Lina. Jaga chose to do it because all of us are Thundera’s last hope of our race ever thriving. You deserve to be a Thundercat because you have always been one.” The lion breathed in her ear.

“B-but Lion-O.” Catrina whimpered, her hands gripping at the fabric of Lion-O’s clothing as she kept her face hidden from his view. “I resented him, I hated everyone for not coming to get me sooner. I erased my own memories just to spite you all!”

The moment she said that, the Sword of Omens started to glow, the red eye in its hilt becoming a bright red. Tygra was the one to notice first. “Lion-O, the Sword of Omens.” Tygra began, his voice was full of surprise. Why would the Sword of Omens be glowing at a time like this? Surely the mutants hadn’t returned yet?

Feeling a bit startled at hearing the panic in his friend’s voice, Lion-O pulled a hand from Catrina’s waist and he reached with his right hand to his left hip and withdrew the Sword of Omens from the Cat Gauntlet hooked to his belt. Holding up the sword, he stared at the hilt and into the Eye of Thundera. “Sword of Omens, give me Sight Beyond Sight.” He ordered in his deep voice. Confusion graced Lion-O’s face as the sword did not respond. It continued to glow that faintly blue color.

Catrina watched Lion-O struggle with the Sword of Omens, trying to get it to respond. Something in the back of her soul stirred, telling her to reach out and touch the sword. So, she did. As soon as she did, the Sword of Omens started to glow a bit brighter and the energy that was crackling from the base of the sword near the Eye of Thundera sparked, traveling the length of the Sword’s blade to her hand. Catrina yelped as the blue sparks reached her hand and began to travel up her arm. Both she and Lion-O were enveloped by a light blue glow as the two of them held onto the sword now.

“Lina! Lion-O! What is happening?” Panthro yelled in alarm as his red gaze turned to Tygra. The technician did not like what was going on. Nothing like this had ever happened before and it was quite scary even to a brave fighter like him.

Tygra stood there, wide eyed. His entire body had grown tense as the room became bathed in a dark blue glow. What [i]was[/i] happening? This was definitely beyond even his understanding. “I-I’m not sure.” Tygra whispered, feeling the same alarm as everybody else.

Sammy took a step back, clenching her fists at her sides to still her own trembling. She knew what was happening. She saw Jaga’s blue-silhouetted form out of the corner of her eye. This was his doing. You are trying to reform us again, aren’t you, Jaga? The eight year old thought to the spirit that no one else could see.

Hina: This chapter has now been revised.