Written by argonaut :: [Tuesday, 16 December 2008 12:29] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 10 May 2014 11:31]
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Older SWManiacs may recall a Saturday-morning cartoon from the 1960’s called “Mightor.” (Younger SWManiacs may have seen re-runs on the Cartoon Network). It was about a cave-boy named Tor who became a super-hero by raising his club and shouting “Mightor!” The show featured a bit of eye-candy in the form of Sheera, the beautiful – and scantily-clad – daughter of the village chief. She was obviously modeled on the 1960’s version of Lois Lane – she disdained Tor, idolized Mightor, and never had a clue that they were one and the same.
I’ve taken an episode and rewritten it for our demographic. Consider it a very late entry for the last Writers’ Workshop. Thanks to Ace and Marknew for feedback and input (I used one of Ace’s suggestions), and to the ever-amazing TGK for the illustration!
IMPORTANT! BEFORE YOU READ THE STORY …
… go here and watch up to 4:25. Then read on to see how things might have turned out in our world.
Sheera looked down from the ledge where Mightor had left her. Several of the Serpent Queen’s dwarfish minions were standing below, reaching up toward her and glaring with baleful eyes.
Terrified, she stepped back against the wall of the cavern. One of the Queen’s minions had crawled up on the shoulders of two others. The next moment, he was scrambling onto the narrow shelf of rock, pulling his comrades up after him.
“Mightor! Help!” Sheera cried.
Mightor was standing waist-deep in the underground river, flinging aside the troglodytes that swarmed over him. He turned at the sound of Sheera’s cry.
“Duck, Sheera!” His booming voice echoed through the cavern as he hurled his club toward the ledge. Obediently, Sheera stooped as Mightor’s club flew toward her. It knocked down the three minions, who fell screaming into the Pool of the Serpent, and struck the wall behind Sheera with such force that the whole cavern trembled.
Sheera turned around. The club was caught in a fissure in the rock. “Mightor’s club!” she thought. “I’d better pull it out of that crack. He might need it.”
Grasping the narrow end of the club with both hands, planting her foot firmly against the wall of the cavern, Sheera pulled with all her strength. But the club was stuck fast. “I’ve got to get it loose,” she thought anxiously. She tightened her grip, tensed her muscles, tugged with a strength born of desperation …
Sheera staggered back as the club burst free of the crack in the wall. For a long, terrifying moment, she swayed precariously on the edge of the rock shelf; then she managed to regain her balance. Triumphantly, she held up the club.
“Mightor!” she cried. “I’ve got your club!”
Mightor was busy wrestling one of the Serpent Queen’s crocodiles. He looked up. “No, Sheera!” he boomed. “Put the club down!”
But Sheera wasn’t listening. Her heart froze with terror as she watched a gigantic serpent rise from the pool, right behind Mightor. It reared its head nearly to the roof of the cavern; then it bent down, scales dripping, eyes gleaming, jaws agape …
Sheera stretched out her arm and pointed with the club.
“Look out, Mightor! A giant serpent – right behind you!”
And no sooner had she uttered the syllables “Mightor – a” than an incredible transformation began to take place.
The club trembled in her hand, as if it were a living thing. The air crackled with electricity and a strange tingling sensation swept through her body. Frightened, she tried to drop the club, but it clung to her hand and refused to be shaken loose.
“What’s happening to me?” she wondered. Trembling – half in fear, half in ecstasy – she squeezed her eyes shut as an incredible strength surged through every muscle in her body. A thunderclap rang in her ears, and even through closed eyelids she was aware of an intense light filling the cavern …
It ended as suddenly as it had begun. The light faded, the last echoes of thunder died away, the club stopped trembling in her hand. Sheera opened her eyes and stared in wonder at her transformed body.
Tall and regal, she stood commandingly on the ledge. Her hair flowed along her shoulders and down her back in gleaming coppery waves; muscles – firm yet feminine – rippled along her arms and legs; and her scanty tiger-skin was stretched taut against a pair of proud, magnificent breasts.
“I feel … different,” she thought. Impulsively, she swung her arm back, striking her fist against the cavern wall behind her. Fragments of stone flew off in all directions as the wall shattered beneath her blow, and the cavern shook as with an earthquake.
Sheera stared at her fist, blinking incredulously. “Did I do that?” she wondered. “Why, I must be as strong as Mightor!”
An urgent cry broke in on her thoughts.
“Sheera – help!”
It was not Mightor’s voice; but it was a voice she knew. She looked down toward the Pool of the Serpent. Mightor was gone – but struggling in the jaws of the giant water-snake she saw –
Her voice surprised her; strong and resonant, it echoed through the cavern. “How did you get here?”
“Never mind that!” he gasped. “Just help me!”
Sheera sprang from the ledge. Vaulting across the cavern, she swung her arm round and struck the serpent’s snout with a resounding smack! Its head shot up toward the roof of the cavern; its jaw fell open and Tor tumbled into the pool below.
Hovering high above the pool, Sheera could hear him splashing about; but she had no time to fly to his aid. The serpent had recovered from her blow; hissing furiously, jaws distended, it lunged toward her. With a courage matching her new-found strength, Sheera watched calmly, biding her time …
The great jaws were closing in on her. Now! She reached up with one arm and planted the palm of her hand against the roof of the serpent’s mouth; with the other hand she grasped its lower jaw. She bent her arms, allowing the jaws to draw closer … closer … then she thrust her arms outward with all her strength.
A loud snap! Rang out as the serpent writhed helplessly in Sheera’s grip. Then its eyes glazed over, its tongue rolled from the side of its mouth, and its long sinewy body fell in lifeless coils to the cavern floor.
Sheera looked down. Tor was paddling frantically toward the edge of the pool, with an enormous crocodile close at his heels …
Sheera swooped down and grabbed Tor by the wrist, hauling him out of the water just as the reptile’s jaws snapped shut. She dropped him unceremoniously on the floor of the cavern – dazed, exhausted, and gasping for breath – and turned to confront the Serpent Queen.
“And now, your majesty, I have a score to settle with you-”
But the stone chair was empty. The Queen and her remaining minions were fleeing down one of the passageways that honeycombed the cavern, her curses echoing faintly behind her.
Tor was sitting up with a groan. “Wait here,” Sheera told him. “I’m going after the Serpent Queen.”
“No, Sheera!” gasped Tor. “We’ve got to get out of here – now!”
Sheera scowled. Ever since they were children, Tor was always bossing her around, always telling her what to do – just because she was a girl. But this time – she admitted grudgingly – he had a point …
A large crack had spread along the cavern wall where Sheera had struck it a minute ago. Now it was growing wider. A deafening rumble filled the air as great slabs of stone shifted and fell. The ground shook beneath their feet; fragments of rock rained from the ceiling; streaks of sunlight pierced the dim chamber. The cavern might collapse on them at any moment …
Sheera dropped to one knee and scooped Tor up in her arms. Rising, she leapt toward the widening crack in the cavern wall, the club flying alongside her. Tor squeezed his eyes shut and threw his arms around Sheera’s neck, hanging on for dear life as she flew, straight as an arrow, through the opening in the rock.
The next moment, they burst out of the dim cavern and into the sunlight of a cloudless summer afternoon. Sheera turned and hovered, high above the treetops, as the mountain of the Serpent Queen collapsed with a loud, long roar. The echoes of falling stone lingered for what seemed like an eternity; then an enormous silence descended on the jungle.
“Gosh, Sheera!” Tor was staring at the flattened heap that had once been a mountain. “I guess that’s the end of the Serpent Queen.”
“Maybe so,” said Sheera. “But just to make sure-”
Two beams of searing heat, fiercer than any flame, shot from her eyes. The stony rubble began to glow, softening in her relentless gaze, and slowly melted into a lake of bubbling, red-hot lava.
Sheera puckered her lips and drew in a deep breath, her chest swelling imperiously against her snug tiger-skin. Then she puffed out her cheeks and blew a powerful blast of air down toward the hissing pool of molten rock. Trees swayed helplessly in the wind as the lava congealed into a smooth expanse of solid stone.
“There,” said Sheera. “That should hold the Serpent Queen!”
Tor still clung to her tightly – too tightly for her liking. She frowned. Tor was always staring at her when he thought she wasn’t looking, or brushing against her as if by accident. Why, he’d probably been spying on her while she was bathing in the river. Yes – that would explain how the Serpent Queen’s minions had captured him, too. But then, maybe the little twerp was clinging to her because he was afraid of heights – along with everything else …
She descended gracefully to a clearing by the river, a mile upstream from the village, and set Tor down.
“So, Tor,” she said. “What were you doing in the cavern?”
Blinking, Tor stared up at her. “Your father and I figured you’d been captured by the Serpent Queen,” he stammered. “I was there to rescue you-”
“Ha!” Sheera laughed derisively. “Every time there’s danger, you run off to get help. That’s all you ever do – run for help. It’s a good thing Mightor always shows up. And that reminds me – where is Mightor?”
“Don’t you get it? I’ m Mightor!”
“You?” Sheera gazed incredulously at the pathetic figure that stood before her – at his beardless chin, his puny muscles, his woebegone expression. Now that she towered over him, he looked more contemptible than ever.
Sheera threw back her head and laughed – a long, musical peal of mirth that mingled with the ripple of the current and the raucous cries of jungle birds. Tor’s face grew red with anger and humiliation.
“It’s true! An old hermit gave me the club after I saved his life. When I raise it and say ‘Mightor,’ it – it changes me – makes me strong and powerful – just like it changed you!”
Sheera stopped laughing. She gazed thoughtfully at the club in her hand. She had to admit, Tor’s story did make sense – her own transformation was proof of that.
“So you’ve been Mightor all along?” she asked.
“And all those times I went on and on about how wonderful Mightor is, you never said anything?”
“Well … no …”
“And all those times he carried me in his arms – that was you?”
“Yes! Now listen –”
“Eeeewww!” Mortified, revolted, she turned her back to Tor.
He stepped forward and laid a hand on her arm. “Listen, Sheera-”
“Don’t touch me!” She spun round, eyes blazing, and raised her arm …
Tor stepped back with a frightened yelp and tripped over a stone. Sneering at his clumsiness, Sheera reached down and hooked her forefinger under the waist of his loincloth. Lifting him effortlessly off the ground, she swept her arm round and flung him in a high arc, up over the river …
Tor landed in the river with a loud splash. He stood up, coughing and sputtering – the water was only waist-deep – and waded clumsily back toward the river-bank. Sheera stood waiting as he hauled himself back up onto dry land.
“All right, Sheera!” he sputtered. “That’s enough. Now give me my club!”
Sheera raised an eyebrow. “Why? So you can turn back into Mightor?”
“Hmmm.” She pretended to think it over. “But wouldn’t that make me change back, too?”
“I guess. So?”
“So?” She snorted. “Nothing doing.”
“C’mon, Sheera. I’m not kidding.”
“Neither am I.” Sheera gazed admiringly at her magnificent new body, savored the exquisite power that flowed through it. Did Tor really think she’d give this up? And why should he have the club, anyway? He was nobody – but she was Sheera, daughter of Pondo, the chief …
Tor’s mouth was dry and he felt a hollow sensation in the pit of his stomach. He suddenly realized that he might lose the power of Mightor forever – to a girl! He stepped forward angrily.
“Give me my club!” he snapped.
“Come and get it,” she said tauntingly.
With a recklessness born of panic, Tor rushed at Sheera. Sheera raised her free arm and laid her fingertips lightly on his chest as he charged toward her. Tor’s legs churned as he strove to move forward, his moccasins dug furrows in the turf; but Sheera held him off with contemptuous ease.
Tor stepped back, panting. “No fair!”
Sheera rolled her eyes. “Fine. Have it your way.” She put her hand behind her back. “Satisfied?”
Snarling, Tor lunged at the club in Sheera’s hand. With a mocking laugh, Sheera raised it over her head. Tor jumped up and down, stretching his arm, clutching with eager fingers, but to no avail – the club was beyond his reach.
Sheera grinned. “Remember how you used to play keep-away with my dolly, Tor? I can see why you enjoyed it so much.”
“C’mon, Sheera. We were just children.”
“True. We’ve grown up a lot since then. At least,” she smirked, “I have.”
She tossed the club lightly into the air. Tor crouched and leapt at it with all his strength. But Sheera reached casually up over her head; and the club, obedient to her will, returned to her hand.
“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” Sheera chuckled.
Surprised, Tor glanced down, following the direction of her gaze. His face burned with mortification as he saw that his member, fully erect, was raising his sodden loincloth like a tentpole.
Tor was on the verge of tears. Striving to control himself, he took a deep breath.
“All right, Sheera,” he said. “You’ve had your fun. But wait’ll your father hears about this.”
“That’s right. When I tell Pondo what’s happened, he’ll make you give back my club – even if you are his daughter.”
Sheera stood with downcast eyes. Tor was right: Her father would insist that she return the club. And how could she defy him? He was not only her father, but the chief of the village – and his word was law. She shook her head regretfully as she came to a decision. Slowly, she lifted the club and held it out toward its anxious owner. Eagerly, Tor stepped forward to take it …
The end of the club began to glow, bathing Tor in an eerie radiance. His eyes glazed over and his jaw went slack.
“By the power of this club,” Sheera said commandingly, “you will forget.”
Tor’s eyes were blank. “I … will … forget,” he repeated in a montone.
“You will forget that this club was ever yours. You will forget that you were ever Mightor.”
“Forget … Mightor …”
“You will remember that you went in search of Sheera. You will remember that you were captured by the minions of the Serpent Queen. And you will remember that I – Mightora – saved you from her clutches.”
“Mightora … saved me …”
“Awaken, Tor.” The glow faded. Tor stood blinking in the afternoon sunlight.
“Mightora!” he stammered. “You – you saved my life!”
Sheera lowered her eyes demurely. A smile twitched at the corners of her mouth. “It was nothing.” she murmured.
“What about Sheera? Is she all right?”
“Don’t worry about Sheera, Tor. She’s safe and sound. In fact, she’s never been better. And now” – stooping, she wrapped an arm round Tor’s waist-”let’s get you back to the village. Hold on tight!”
And with a mighty leap, she sprang into the air. The hills echoed to her battle-cry …
“M i i i i i i g h . . . T O R A !”
“Amazing, Tor!” Pondo stroked his beard. “So after Mightora saved my daughter from the Serpent Queen, she went back and rescued you?”
“That’s right,” said Tor. “You should have seen her, Pondo! I’ve never seen anyone so strong – not even Mightor! Why, she -”
“Hmpf!” snorted Sheera. She was kneeling by the river, playing with her pet kitten Zora. “I don’t see why you’re making all this fuss over Mightora. She’s just a girl!”
“Yeah,” grinned Tor. “A girl who can flatten a mountain with one punch! It looks to me like somebody’s jealous.”
Sheera turned away, hiding the smile that flickered on her lips.
“But what happened to Mightor?” asked Pondo.
Tor shrugged. “Who cares – as long as we have Mightora to protect us! Gosh, I wonder if I’ll – I mean, I wonder if we’ ll ever see her again?”
Sheera fluttered her eyelashes. “Don’t worry, Tor.” She winked at Zora. “I have a feeling she’ll be back.”