Adora and Spirit were going for a run in the area surrounding Whispering Woods. It had been quiet recently, Adora hoped it would continue.
Things never did work out that way.
"Look at that Spirit!"
"That" was a young woman. Scarecly older than a teenager, her hair was a light blond, and were combed straight over pointed ears. Her clothes were nondescrpit tunic and pants, such as a traveler might wear. Standing to her side was a human female with short black hair, and the same type of clothes as the odd stranger. She was also scarcely older. Standing across from both was a pack of a dozen Horde troopers.
"Do you see that, Spirit? Pointed Ears!"
They listened as the group talked, then the words "You Lie!" were heard clearly from the one with pointed ears. She held her staff up threatingly, with the human drawing a longsword of some type. The one with pointed ears scaned the situation, her eyes meeting Adora's.
Spirit looked around, immedately breaking for a large rock group. The only cover on the plains. "They're going to need help!" Adora exclaimed, unsheathing her sword, "For the Honor...."
Spirit whinnied, shaking Adora out of her transformation. "What is it Spirit?" Adora looked bck. She was startled to see the five troppers on the ground, fit for scrap. The pointed ear stranger poked her staff at the destroyed troops. She turned to her companion. Adora and Spirit walked back to the pair.
The two didn't look much different up close, though Adora did notice that their clothing was disheviled, as if it had been worn many days, or taken on and off rapidly.
The two looked at each other as Adora advanced. "Who are you?" The pointed eared individual asked.
"I'm Adora... of the rebellion. You must be great warriors to destroy a Horde squadron thta quickly... we should leave. Hordak will come lookinf for the cause of his humilation."
"What if we say no?"
"Then you go on your way, though I doubt Hordak will give up easily if he cannot find you. It would be safer for you to come with me, but I'm not going to force you to come."
They exchanged glances once more. "Very well... we accept. I am Lenora," the human said, "and this is Kearston."
"By the way," Kearston asked, "What is your horse called?"
"This is Spirit, my faithful steed," Adora said, to Spirit's amused snort, "Pardon me, Kearston... *what* are you?"
More looks were exchanged. "I am an Elf," Kearston said shortly.
Spirit snorted. "You're much to tall to be an elf, they are a little folk," said Adora, starlted.
"I am an elf.... where are we?"
"Etheria, near Whispering Woods."
"I don't think we are on the stormlands any more, Lenora."
"How did we get here, and why?"
"Elethay has her reasons, I'm sure," said Kearston, this recieved a shrug from Lenora and a blank look from Adora. It wasn't explained to her.
They started on the trail to Whispering Wood.
When they finally arrived, they found Glimmer and Madam Razz. Madam Razz had apparently just arrived on the scene. Kowl was attempting to extract her and Broom from a hollow tree, and Glimmer was on her way to help.
Kearston and Lenora's eyes threatened to raise in to their hair when they saw the poor twigget. Not that they recognized the strange creature.
"Odkin?" Kearston asked Lenora.
"Possibly, but doubtful. I doubt this is that type of area."
Adora didn't hear that, as she was helping Glimmer with the tangled Twigget. "One of these days we're going to work on these landings, ok Broom?" came the voice from the tree.
"Yes, Madam," replied Broom.
Kearston and Lenora looked dumbfounded at the talking broom.
With a *POP*, Madam emerged from the tree. Adora and Glimmer set her down, and she dusted herself off.
"Now, what was the problem, Madam?" asked Glimmer.
"The Horde's up to their old tricks again. This time in Brightmoon, earlier Scorpia and Shadow Weaver began a battle with Bow and the Brightmoon forces in a border village, that's still going on, and now there's another attack in enslaving another!"
Adora winced, "I'll go find She-Ra. Glimmer, you and Madm Razz get ready. I'm sure she'll want to go as soon as she gets there."
Kearston looked to Lenora, who nodded, "We'll help."
Adora smiled, "Glimmer? Get them some horses as well. Come on Spirit!" she turned and headed into the woods, Spirt close behind.
Glimmer, looking at the pair, raised at Kearston, but said only, "Come on. Let's get you two mounted."
* * *
As Spirit stood, waitin patiently for Adora to raise her sword, Adora asked, "What do you think, Spirit? Can we trust them?"
"I think we can. I feel a kinship with the 'elf', though I really cannot explain it."
Adora shrugged, then lifted her sword. "For the Honor of Greyskull!"
She-Ra and Swiftwind rejoined the others.
Kearston blinked at Swifty, then looked up. "You're She-Ra, I presume." She nodded.
"We best go," said She-Ra.
"She's got a few things to hold down here. Come on."
With that, they left towards the Horde's latest attack upon the Etherian Commoners.
* * *
Hordak switched on the radio. "Any sign of her yet?"
Shadow weaver's voice blared bck "No, and I doubt she will come here. The rebels are about to beat our meager forces here. But you should have better luck.
Hordak grinned. He had no need of slaves, at this time. This was designed to flush out the cursed She-Ra and capture her, or at least...
* * *
The village of Warm Hearth was in the middle of a wide plains, there was no cover, so a plan was hastily devised. She-Ra and Glimmer were to free the prisoners.
The battle began, She-Ra had an easy time dealing with the Horde guards, with Glimmer acting as magical backup.
As enough of the troopers were rashed, the commander called more from the trailers the prisoners sat in. She-Ra saw Kearston and Lenora start their mission for only a minute before a scream came crom behind her. Leach had crept behind her, and began dragging Glimmer into the cover of a nearby building.
She-Ra raced in after him. The ensuing scuffle was completely one sided. Leech was left knocked out, Glimmer was weakend but unharmed. Then a chilling scream came from outside, She-Ra hurried out and was confronted with a disturbing sight.
Swiftwind was airborne, dodging a stream of laser fire, the prisoners had been freed, but She-Ra stared at the large equine form of a pure white unicorn complete with a golden horn. There was no sign of Lenora and Kearston amoung the crowd of locals.
Suddenly a well aimed laserblast, coming from a conspicious cloud, struck Swiftwind directly in the side, sending him crashing to the ground, bleeding heavily. She-Ra gasped and began to run toward him. However, the feline form of Catra sprang toward the Pegasus, fully intent on fishing it. It became clear that She-Ra wasn't going to win this race.
But help was closer.
The unicorn galloped toward the cat. Catra looked up, and then attempted to dodge the equine, but was rudely tossed aside with a flick of the unicorn's powerful horn.
She-Ra's hands were on Swiftwind's body faster than the unicorn could turn around. But the blood drained too heavily, and even her healing power could not completely stop it. Swiftwind's life force continued to fade as she watched. She-Ra's head dropped to her hands, as tears began to spill from her eyes.
She-Ra started when her face recieved a tap from something warm. The unicorn knelt beside her, it's horn touching the pegasus lightly. The horn glowed, golden energy flowing from it to Swiftwind's body. To She-Ra's amazement, Swiftwind's wounds closed, and his eyes fluttered open. The horn continued to glow, and the pegasus soon rose, it's strength restored.
Hordak growled, and there was no reason to stay. Catra had ran as soon as She-Ra hd come close, and Leech was long gone. He turned his ship and fled, in total defeat.
Lenora emerged as the unicorn turned to leave. She-Ra started to follow, but the unicorn ran, and She-Ra let it go.
"Where were you?" asked Glimmer, "and where's Kearston?"
"We were helping the people, they were in sheer terror when the unicorn freed them, and we needed them calm, 'lest they panic and disrupt everything. Kearston's still with one child, who began to cry when the unicorn screamed."
"The unicorn screamed?" asked She-Ra and Glimmer in unison.
"You mean you couldn't tell?" asked Kearston, emerging from the crowd. "There's nothing quite like a unicorn screaming. It's said in our world, that 'more chilling then the dragon's roar is the unicorn's scream. When the giver of life must deal death, her rage is terrible to see.'
She-Ra shook her head. "I'm just glad it came at all, we needed it it. I just wish I had the chance to thank it properly."
Lenora nodded, "Unicorns are somewhat secretive creatures, they like to be left alone. It is said they sense danger, and are willing to help when they are needed."
"It was needed," Swiftwind said, "I would like to thank that unicorn, where ever it is. Without it, I would not be alive right now."
"I'm sure she thanks you," said Lenora, "Let's go home now... we're not needed here anymore."
The group rode back to Whispering Wood.
A few days later, in the Fright Zone.
"A unicorn?" asked Shadow Weaver incrediously, "They've never been seen on this world before!"
Hordak had calmed down over the past few days, albiet slowly. "Yes, a unicorn. And now they *have* been seen!"
"Well, I have some good news, Hordak. The pleasure balloon is finished."
"Excellent.... were the posters distrubited?"
"Yes, we are scheduling for this afternoon."
"Very well. I will be ready to pilot the initial run myself."
Adora yawned and emerged from her tent. Bow had finlly returned last night, battered and weary. Not from the Horde, but from two days of celebration and "Thank-you" speechess. Poor guy.
Madam Razz had taken another stab at conjured breakfasts, and for a chaange didn't end up with egg on her face... or anywhere else for that matter. Adora had a chance to enjoy scrambled egg and bacon, with Bow.
"So you see, I think the entire point of that confrontation was to kill She-Ra's pegasus," finished Adora.
Bow shook is head, "He almost got away with it too, if that Unicorn hadn't shown up..."
"Unicorn?" asked Kearston, emerging from her tent followed closely by Lenora.
"Ah, you must be Kearston and Lenora. I'm Bow, pleased to meet you. Adora was telling me about you. Want something to eat?"
They quickly accepted.
"So tell me about your world," said Adora.
"I'd rather not... a good deal of our world is warped and twisted. Animals aren't always the pretty, innocent things. They can be large and malevolant, as likely as to kill traveler than let it pass by. It's a very dark world..." said Lenora.
Glimmer and Kowl appeared on the scene, and after picking up some food for themselves, Kowl flapped his way over, giving the two new people a once over, and peering at Kearston's ears. He didn't say anything though, probably because of his own. Glimmer wanted to hear more about unicorns.
Kearston obliged, giving a few descriptions of unicorns, and few legends. She described the magickal horn, capable of healing or harming.
Suddenly, Sprag, the twigget ran in. "Come and see! Come and see!"
The thing requiring special attention was a Horde slave ship, blasting it's way across the sky.
"I wonder where it's going?" said Lenora
"It can't be good news. Let's follow it!" cried Glimmer. This was agreed to, and thus they traveled.
When they arrived, it seemed the village was having some kind of festival, with not a single Horde tropper was to be seen.
Sharp-eyed Kowl spotted a bright paper, winged over to grab it and then returned. The paper described the 'Pleasure Baloon', sounding something like a traveling amusement park. "I smell a fish," Kearston stated.
Adora had to agree, in fact, she was willing to bet that there was some kind of mind influencers. If the villager had realized what it was, they definitly wouldn't have been lining up for it.
"Alright," said Bow, "We'd better try to infiltrate it."
"Wait," said Adora, "If worse comes to worse and it crashes, all the people will be killed!"
Lenora nodded, "Kearston and I will get them to return home," she paused, seing Adora's blink, "With Adora"
"Right!" said Bow, "Let's get this show on the road."
"Hoo hoo! I don't like the sound of this." Kowl noted.
Adora, Kearston, and Lenora walked amoung the crowd, trying to force the villagers to see what was really there, but it didn't seem like they were tuned in to the same channel. No one believed them.
"This isn't working... wait. I have a plan, come on Kowl!" cried Adora, rushing off. She quickly returned to Spirit and prepared for her transformation.
A loud roar shook the ground, followed by screaming and the sound of people running. "What?"
Kowl replied, in shock, "It's a dragon."
"This is going from bad to worse," said Adora, "For the Honor of Greyskull!"
Swiftwind flew up to observe the scene. It didn't look to good. The dragon was a large green serpantine creature, with blue sapphire eyes, and large teeth and a thick tail. It flew low over the crowd, which screamed again and finally broke for cover.
The ship was obviously trying to protect itself from the scaley dragon, but the troopers in it were the usual bad shots, and even the ones that hit didn't seem to phase the dragon.
Puny mortals... do you really think you're safe from me?
She-Ra started, the dragon hadn't said a word, yet she could hear it's voice clearly in her head. It turned and spread condor like wings, and flew over the village, heading away. The slave ship was going to have to wait. The dragon had a higher priority. Swiftwind flew after it.
The dragon turned its serpentine neck, peering at pegasus, it was impossible to judge it's mood. "I think it's hungry, She-Ra," commented Swiftwind.
Starving, actually. But I had horse last night. Don't press me though, I don't mind repeating.
She-Ra decided that this threat had to be dealt with... she and Swiftwind continued after the flying lizard.
I told you. I'm not hungry for horse today. Humans sound a better alternative though... that large sardine can would probably have plenty.
And so saying, the Dragon, banked sharply, managing to out manuver the surprised Swiftwind. The chase continued to the slave ship, where the dragon put his claws in and peeled away the armor, revieling a corridor beneath. The dragon squeezed into the corridor...
"Impossible, the dragon is much to big! It'll never fit!" declared She-Ra, but she was mistaken. The dragon fit quite well, when She-Ra reached the corridor, there was no sign of it. She picked a direction and began to run down it.
There was no sign of the dragon. Though, as luck would have it, she ran right into the slave quarters.
"She-Ra! Thank goodness your here," cried Glimmer.
"The troopers siezed us as soon as we came on board. We were lucky that we weren't recognized though," said Bow.
Suddenly a loud metalic clanging echoed through the ship. "The dragon?" wondered She-Ra.
"Dragon? No... look out the window! The control pod is separating from the ship. It's leaving!"
The horde was gone, as was the dragon. She-Ra did a lot of explaining on her way back to the ground, where an anxious Kearston awaited them. "Where's Lenora?"
"I don't know! She went on board the slave ship just before the dragon arrived! I hoped she was with you."
"Oh no... I hope the Horde didn't get her."
A search of the area turned up nothing, so they returned to the woods. Madam was enlisted to cast a spell to detect Lenora's location. "Razzle dazzle, drizzle dre, show us where our friends will be!" Madam exlaimed.
Her crystal ball clouded, then cleared showing quite clearly Shadow Weaver's lab. Lenora had been strapped to a table, and above her a large crystal gem glittered and sparkled.
Shadow Weaver was watching Lenora, and said something, but the group couldn't hear it. The gem turned and sparkled again, and Lenora opened her mouth in a silent scream. Kearston went very pale. "No..... no!"
"What is it?" asked Glimmer.
"No... I can't say... I can't!" over come, Kearston rushed to her tent, and the sound of someone being violently sick came from within.
"Let me do this, dearies," said Madam. "Listen Kearston," she said after entering the tent. "You can trust me with whatever secret you and Lenora hide. I don't bite, and I promise I won't tell a soul that you don't want me to."
Kearston turned, and stared into Madam's eyes, as if reading them. "Very well, tonight. Somewhere secret, bring those who you would trust with your life."
Madam turned, and exited, beginning to think.
"Madam... make it those who you would trust with your soul."
That night, Kearston sat around a roaring fire with Madam in a seclusive portion of Whispering Woods. Kowl joined them next, and Adora entered as well.
Kearston surveyed the group, looking each one deep in the eyes, whether reading or intimidating them Adora couldn't guess.
"Are there any more people coming?" asked Kearston. Madam shook her head negativly. "Ok, I suppose I should begin. As you know, I'm not human..." she started, rubbing her pointed ears, "Though, on my world, the elves don't consider me elvish either. To them, I am an outrage, and abomination. They fear me and hunt me. They turn me and my kind over to necromancers for a slow painful death."
Adora started, "Why? Why do they do this to you?"
Instead of replying, she began to remove her tunic, and while this shocked the rebels, it didn't surprise them half as much as what they then saw. Kearston's sandals popped off, as her feet turned into hooves. Her head turned to a bright white, and a golden horn became readily apparent.
In short, she turned into the unicorn.
At first, all Adora could do was blink in amazement. Spirit made the first gesture, walking slowly up to the unicorn, touching its nose with his own. The rest of the gathering slowly joined him, slowly stroking the unicorns back (well, Kowl just kind of hovered.). The unicorn took a few steps back, and picked up her clothes in her mouth. She backed into the forest, and remerged as Kearston
"I am a shapeshifer, Necromancers can drain me using my natural magick to fuel their toxic spells, perpetuating the warped nature of my world."
"Is Lenora a unicorn too?" hooted Kowl.
"You mean you haven't guessed? Lenora's a shapeshifter, but her other form is the dragon. I just wished your She-Ra hadn't taken her so seriously... she was just trying to get the villagers to scatter. Lenora's a ham, really."
Adora lowered her eyes. "You mean... she was just... acting?" Kearston nodded. Silence reigned for a few moments, Kearston's expression troubled.
Kearston looked directly at Adora, meeting her eyes, "You aren't She-Ra, are you?"
Adora blinked. "No.... why do you ask?"
Kearston shook her head. "Why do you lie?" she countered. Then softly, as if to herself, "Wisdom of the dragon, Honor of the unicorn, Bravery of the werewolf, Loyalty of the Gargoyle; Against these, no falsehood stands."
"How did you know?" Adora whispered, "I suppose you can know. You told me of your secret... I can tell you of mine." Adora then did so, telling her of her fight as She-Ra against Hordak.
"I am a Valarian... one of those people, some of us shapeshifters, others magi, others just kind hearted peasents... all of us fight against the necromancers. We have a few rituals of our own to dispell magic, purify the body of warp, among others. But how can we find Lenora?"
"We go see Light Hope."
Kearston and She-Ra soon stood in front of the Crystal Castle, an soon they were standing in front of Light Hope.
"Greetings She-Ra, and to you Kearston," said Light Hope, Kearston nodded, in some confusion.
"We've come about Lenora, who's been captured by Shadow Weaver," started She-Ra
"This world is beautiful," interjected Kearston quietly, "If Lenora is sucesfully drained, not only will I lose my best friend, but this land's warping will begin." She-Ra could not supress a chill.
"I can only do little, Kearston, you have a magic within you. This magic allows for your ability to shift. The Sword of Protection enhances the magic within a being, allowing Adora to become She-Ra, and Spirit to become Swiftwind. She-Ra... if you would..."
She-Ra raised her sword, "For the Honor of Greyskull!" She turned the crystal toward Kearston.... but nothing happened.
Kearston sighed... "Well... maybe if..." She shifted, standing on her hooves.
This time, when She-Ra raised her sword, and said, "For the Honor of Greyskull!" and turned the crystal towar Kearston, a familiar light was emitted, bathing the unicorn in it's glow. She whinnied, startled. Kearston felt like there was an explosion inside of her, she was changing... she was getting bigger, slightly. She could feel her equine muscles tense, her entire body felt tighter... more responsive. The light stopped. Kearston blinked, and shuddered. She-Ra looked at her, the horn seemed to glow with a faint inner light.
Kearston shifted back, and in her human form, she looked the same as she used to. There was no hint about what she had just got through. "Wow...." Kearston said, almost tiredly. "That was intense... it took a lot out of me... if shifting is going to take that much more out of me, I'm not going to be able to do it as often."
"I've done as much as I can... now, you and She-Ra must penetrate the Fright Zone, and rescue Lenora. The sword can work simillarly on Lenora, She-Ra," commented Light Hope.
"My thanks, Light Hope... come on Lenora... mount on Swifty, and let's go!"
The Fright Zone, a dark place, full of poisonous fumes, hazy mists, and mechanical nightmares. Murky Dismal would have loved it. There were few ways into the Fright Zone, and they were heavily guarded. Getting in wasn't going to be a picnic, even for She-Ra, a pegasus companion, and a shapeshifter.
"So, how do we get in?" asked Kearston, "The direct approach?"
"Through the stables. It's one of the few place on the inside of the Fright Zone accessable to the open air."
Swiftwind hovered over the stable, allowing the two heroes to jump off, he would be waiting outside of the main entrance, to fly when need be.
"Where will we be able to find Lenora?" asked Kearston.
"I still don't like to admit it, but for a long time, I worked for the Horde, a captive of Shadow Weaver's spells. I think I can remember where her labratory was."
"Look out! We've been spotted!" Two horde troopers took one look at She-Ra, and split the scene. "Can you hold my things? I'm going to shift." Kearston said. So she did, and they began to run. The way was soon blocked by a group of troopers. She-Ra stood, ready to deflect their beams, but Kearston didn't stop, lowering her head, and cutting a swath through the Horde.
She-Ra smiled, running up after the unicorn, and scattering the remaing horde troopers. They were flying once more. "Over here!" cried She-Ra, bashing a closed door into toothpicks.
Lenora's pale face looked up, the crystal gem twirled and twinkled. "ARRRRRRGH!" Lenora cried out in pain. She-Ra lept at the gem, but all of a sudden she froze. Kearston turned, Shadow Weaver hovered in the corner. "Terrific, ah, another shape shifter. Then I'll be powerful enough to end the rebellion with a simple spell... I'll even be able to destroy She-Ra...... FATIGUE!"
Blue light arced from Shadow Weaver's hands, crashing into Kearston. She felt like she hadn't slept in weeks... her muscles ached... but it didn't matter... what she had to do. She lept at Shadow Weaver, who easily dodged. But then Kearston swung her head, connecting with the frozen She-Ra. Her horn glowed, and She-Ra fell to the ground, but instantly picked herself up, freed from Shadow Weaver's spell.
"No! I'll get you yet! But not now... my spells are to weak... I will get you!" Shadow Weaver vanished.
But it wasn't over yet, even Kearston's and She-Ra's healing power combined could not undo the damage wrought by the soul gem, which vanished with Shadow Weaver. The way back was blocked by an apparently endless of supply of Horde troops. "We're going to need another way out," stated She-Ra.
"What are you suggesting?" asked Lenora and Kearston. In answer, She-Ra wound up and threw a roundhouse at the wall. The wall shattered, revealing the air outside.
"Wow... that's incredible. I'd call that an exit." She-Ra gave a powerful whistle, and Swiftwind came, but right behind came one of Hordak's ships, firing laser beams.
Lenora growled, "I'm not that tired, this one's mine." Thus saying, she shifted, her dragon form barely making it out of the hole in the wall. She-Ra and Kearston mounted Swiftwind, and they took off.
The dragon inhaled, and exhaled a red hot flame against the ship, which melted superificiously. The lasers turned on the dragon, and while they didn't seem to do much against the scales, the dragon roared with pain.
"Can you give her a hand, She-Ra?" Kearston cried.
" For the Honor of Greyskull! ." Once more light poured from the crystal, bathing Lenora, the results were similar to Kearston's. The dragon enlarged, appearing that much more muscular, it's scales that much thicker. But the most obvious change was in it's wings. Before they had been short, and fairly stubby, but now they were longer, thinner, and Lenora found gliding and flying to be much easier.
The dragon smirked, an odd combination with the bearing of sharp teeth. It flew at the side of the ship, flames once more pouring from it's mouth. This time a small hole was made. The lasers fired, but with the newly thick scales, even they couldn't penetrate the dragon. Lenora flew towards the ship, claws attaching to the hole... tearing and gouging it. The ship began to shake, and then fall. Hordak had enough, his rocket form blew out of the cieling, back toward the fright zone.
Lenora, flew back to the Earth, followed by Swiftwind and his passengers. The dragon had just enough to land safely and revert to human form, before collapsing, exhausted.
A triumphant party made it's way back to Whispering Wood.
"Will we stay?" Lenora repeated.
"We will fight for your world, as long as we are here, Adora," Kearston said.
"You must make one promise though, if you ever find yourself on Grandilar, you must fight for ours."
"Friends." They shook hands, smiling.
"However long Elethay has us stay, we shall be here," whispered Kearston.
That concludes this adventure. If you want to hear it again, turn the tape over.
Currently, no future plans are had for Etherian adventures, or Kearston and Lenora, who will remain there until I find a good reasong to bring them back.
Perhaps someday, She-Ra will find herself adventuring with the shifters once more.
But until then... Return to the Fan Fic page
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