Adora's Redemption by Alexandra Spears
based on a storyline by Aidan Cross

Princess Adora was depressed as she slowly walked through the Whispering Woods. Bad enough she had to fight the Horde as She-Ra; she had to put up with mistrustful people as Adora.

When Adora was a baby she'd been kidnapped by Hordak. Horde Prime had put metal implants into her brain, making her evil and warping her thinking. With the implants Adora had been a murderous, self-serving, pleasure-seeking young girl who'd thoroughly enjoyed being evil. All that had changed when her twin brother Adam came looking for her. The Elders of Eternia had taken the implants out of her head and she became a good and kind person--the person she should have been. Adora remembered when she thought getting drunk and sleeping around had been fun, now she felt sick when she thought about that.

Adora was comforted by the fact that her parents loved her no matter what. She was glad that they were so understanding. Also she had two best friends in the Rebellion--Princess Glimmer of Bright Moon and Carlos, a Rebel scientist. They had helped her a lot these past few months. Still Adora was depressed.

Carlos was sitting at one of the huge tables in the camp and he looked up when Adora approached. "Hi, Adora," he said. "Have a seat." He was working on one of his devices and pieces were scattered around.

Adora sat down across from him. Carlos tinkered with the device for a moment, then turned his attention back to Adora. "Depressed again?" He knew that Adora felt guilty for all the crimes she'd committed. Sometimes she woke up with nightmares, as if she'd been the one against whom the crimes had been committed.

Adora nodded slowly. "I just feel like I've ruined my life," Adora said sadly.

"You're only twenty, and you'll be twenty-one this winter," Carlos reminded her. "You've only lived a third or even a fourth of your life so far. Maybe a fifth. You have more days ahead of you than behind you. Why not try making those days happy?"

"It's hard when you get threatened all the time and people don't like or trust you," Adora said.

Carlos slammed a hand on the table, making some of the smaller pieces jump a little. "I have no problem believing that you're a good girl. Anyone with any common sense would know that it was those damned implants! If you were evil without them it would be different. But without those implants you're a kind and decent young woman. Why can't they see that?"

"Maybe they don't want to see it," Adora said softly. "I wonder if my parents really love me. I must be an embarrassment and a disappointment to them. They've waited all this time to see me and when they find me I'm a murderess and a lot more."

"I'm sure they love you," said Carlos. "They know what happened to you."

Adora sighed. "I'm going to go lie down. I'm tired," she said.

"You feeling all right?" Carlos asked.

"I'm all right," she said as she slowly got up.

Adora went into her tent and sat down on her bed. Reaching into a chest at the foot of her bed, she pulled out a knife. She had killed a lot of people with this knife. She had stabbed people, had cut throats with it. Memories flooded into her brain and she gave a little cry, as though she were being physically hit.

Tears streamed down Adora's cheeks. She felt beyond redemption. All she felt was despair.

Adora turned her wrist so her palm was facing up. This would be a kind of poetic justice, she thought as she sliced through her wrist with the knife, bringing blood. Quickly she cut her other wrist. Then she lay down on her bed to die.

Carlos was just piecing his device together when he heard a scream. "Glimmer!" he yelped as he jumped up. "What's wrong?" He ran towards where he heard her.

Carlos found Glimmer in Adora's tent. Adora lay on her bed, blood pouring from her wrists. Glimmer was starting to cry. "I think she did this herself," she sobbed.

Trying to stay calm, Carlos pressed on Adora's neck, checking for a pulse. There was one but it was weak. Adora's skin felt cold as well, and she was pale. "I need bandages--hurry!" he said to Glimmer. Meanwhile he took Adora's injured wrists and held them above the level of her heart and pushed on the arteries to slow the bleeding.

Glimmer ran in with the bandages and she and Carlos began bandaging Adora's wrists. "Is she going to be all right?" she asked.

"I don't know--she's lost a lot of blood," said Carlos. "We need to get hold of Adora's family."

Adora found herself in some sort of tunnel, at the end of which was a light. Light Hope, she thought. She went towards the light.

"Adora," said Light Hope.

"Am I dead?" she asked.

"No, but you are very close. Even now your friends are trying to save your life."

"Why? I've done nothing but cause pain and destruction most of my life. I don't deserve to live." She started to cry.

Adora felt arms around her. She looked up, saw Zodac, whom she'd actually tried to kill once. "Yes, you do deserve to live," he told her. "You are very important, Adora. Not just as She-Ra--but also to your family and friends."

"I'm sorry I tried to kill you back then," Adora said as she cried on his shoulder; he let her.

"All is forgiven," Zodac replied. "Now you need to forgive yourself. Never mind what some others may think--they will come around in time. You have a battle as She-Ra against the Horde--plus this battle as Adora. Winning the battle as Adora will help with your battle as She-Ra." He gently wiped the tears from her eyes. Even a cosmic entity such as himself could appreciate Adora's beauty, and she was even more beautiful now that she was good. Instead of the skimpy black leather outfit she used to wear she was wearing a nice blouse and skirt. Instead of the straggly hairstyle, her blonde hair was pulled back at the sides and tied in back.

"Adora, you are greatly needed--and wanted," said Light Hope. "Even now you are in a coma, between life and death. Whether you live or die is up to you, but if you'd like, Zodac will show you what will happen if you die."

"It's your choice, Adora," said Zodac.

"Yes, show me. Then I can decide," said Adora. "Right now I'm not sure what I want. Please help me."

Zodac held out his hand, and Adora took it. Together they returned to Adora's tent in Whispering Woods.

Carlos and Glimmer had managed to slow the bleeding. By then Adora was unconscious. The girl was pale, and Carlos was having a hard time finding a pulse.

At that minute Adora's parents and twin brother came into the tent. "What's happened to my little girl?" Queen Marlena sobbed as she went over and cradled her daughter in her arms.

King Randor, Adora's father, went over and gently lifted Adora from the bed. "We need to get her to Eternia," he said, sounding scared.

Adam just looked stunned.

On Eternia Adora lay in the infirmary in the Palace, and she was still unconscious. Even now the doctors were taking as much blood from Adam as they could without harming him; Adora needed a transfusion.

Adora's parents sat at their daughter's bedside. A monitor kept track of her heartbeat. "Hold on, Adora," Marlena was saying as she held her daughter's cold hand.

A flat line appeared on the monitor. "Adora!" Randor shouted.

The Court Physician rushed in, as did some other doctors. For an eternity they worked on Adora, trying to bring her back. "I'm sorry, Your Majesties, she's gone," he said quietly.

Queen Marlena held her daughter's body to her, crying. "Why did she do this to herself?" she sobbed.

Adora wiped a tear from her eye. It hurt her to see her mother so upset like that. "All because of me," she said.

"See what else will happen," said Zodac.

A few days later Adora's funeral was held. Prince Adam stood by his sister's open casket, tears streaming down his cheeks. "Adora, why did you kill yourself?" he whispered. "I feel like half of me is dead." He kissed his sister's forehead gently. "I forgave you a long time ago. I loved you very much, Adora."

Adora's body lay still in the casket, dressed in a beautiful blue dress and tiara. Her blue eyes were forever closed. Her golden hair surrounded her head. Her hands lay clasped on her chest, which was no longer moving. She looked so pale...almost like a porcelain doll.

Adam didn't look well at all. He'd barely eaten or slept since the death of his beloved twin sister. There were circles under his eyes and he looked gaunt, nothing like the fun-loving prince he'd made himself out to be.

Thousands of people had gathered at the Palace for the Princess of Eternia's funeral. "The poor princess...the Horde did this to her," whispered one man.

"Yes, with those implants...the poor dear felt so guilty, I heard," his wife whispered back. "She couldn't live with herself."

The funeral service lasted an hour; then the casket was closed, causing Adora's mother to double over with grief. Queen Marlena was inconsolable. Her husband had to help her walk, tears streaming down his face the whole time.

That night, after Adora's burial, Adam ventured out to the Royal Cemetery. He flung himself on his twin's grave and began to cry. "I couldn't bear for you to be alone tonight," he said softly. "I want to die myself--I want to join you."

Adam pulled out a knife and cut his own wrists, just as his sister had. His blood spilled into the ground.

He was found dead, lying on Adora's grave, the following morning.

Adora was crying. "What else happens?" she asked.

"As a result, the Rebellion is crushed on Etheria, and Skeletor takes over Eternia and kills your parents," Zodac replied. "See how important you are. Now you must make your decision--do you want to live or die?"

"I want to live--please," said Adora. "I never thought I'd cause more harm dead."

"In time more people will come to accept you," said Zodac. "Do not despair, Princess."

"Thank you for helping me," Adora said.

Zodac touched her cheek gently. "I must go now."

Adora hugged him in gratitude. Then she felt herself falling.

Adora was slowly waking up. "She's coming around," she heard someone saying.

Adora knew where she was--Palace Eternia's infirmary. "Adora!" her mother exclaimed, looking relieved.

"Mom," she murmured.

"You were unconscious the last few days," said Adora's father. "Adam gave you some of his blood--as much as he could spare. It's what saved your life."

Adora looked at her hands. Her wrists were bandaged. "I felt like I didn't deserve to live because of what I'd done," she said weakly.

"Adora, darling, it wasn't you. It wasn't your fault," her mother told her. "It was that Horde Prime and those implants he put in your head."

"Are you ashamed of having me for a daughter?" Adora asked.

"Not at all," said Randor. He chuckled. "In fact, there are a few people I know who wouldn't mind getting their hands on Horde Prime...they'd heard what he'd done to you."

Marlena bent over and kissed Adora's forehead. "You're going to be in bed for a while, until you get your strength up. Then we're going to have a talk."

Adora spent the next few weeks on Eternia. Shortly before she was to go back to Etheria, she stood on one of the many balconies in the Palace, looking out over the world of her birth.

Adora was feeling pretty much her old self again. She looked at her wrists, saw the scars. Now she was physically scarred as well as emotionally. She sighed. What if she'd grown up here, with her twin brother?

"Hi, sis."

Adam's voice snapped Adora out of her reverie. " startled me," she said.

"Sorry." Adam went and stood next to his sister. "What were you thinking about?"

"Everything that's happened," Adora replied. "Adam, what would you have done if I'd died?"

"I don't think I'd want to live," he replied. "We haven't known each other long...but I think we already have a bond that lots of twins have."

"I had what Mom would call a near-death experience," Adora said quietly. She then told him about Light Hope and Zodac appearing, and what had happened.

"I think he was trying to tell you that if you died, the balance between good and evil would be upset," said Adam, after thinking about what Adora had told him. "You and I help keep it in balance. Or at least help balance it."

"Zodac's right. My two battles are linked though most people don't know it," said Adora. "By losing the personal one as Adora I lose the one as She-Ra." She turned and looked at her brother. "I won't let those mistrustful people defeat me and eventually defeat themselves. I won't give up. I won't let Hordak win."

"So you and Mom had that talk?" Adam asked.

Adora nodded. "I was careful not to reveal that we're He-Man and She-Ra. But I told her exactly how I felt. As we talked I came to this conclusion, that my battles are tied together."

"Well, I have a training session with Teela," said Adam. He hugged his sister and kissed her forehead, a brotherly kiss. "Maybe you can participate."

"I might. Go on ahead."

Adora watched as her twin left for his session. She sat on the railing for a little while, lost in thought.

How good it felt to have thoughts that she knew were her own, rather than something produced by evil science. It was going to take some getting used to.

Adora slid off the rail, back onto the balcony. She decided to watch her brother and Teela go at it. Everything would be all right now. She had her family, and Carlos and Glimmer, on her side.

Once she won Etheria's freedom, and freedom from her guilt, she would live on this beautiful world, as its princess.