Deep down in the abyss of Castle Grayskull, a living being sat alone on a rocky ledge. He had the appearance of a young man in his early twenties, with a heavy, muscular build. His skin was covered with a sharp tan, and over his chest he wore a metal breastplate, with a large red cross in the centre. His hair was almost shoulder-length, and was coloured almost golden. By his side was a gleaming sword.
But this man was not He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe. And neither was he truly human. The evil scowl on his face, and the shining of his luminous eyes indicated that he could be neither of these. This man was an evil being, created by a magic spell to resemble He-Man and fool the people of Eternia. He was called Faker.
And two years previously, he had been cast down the abyss of Grayskull by the real He-Man, after a battle which barely lasted five minutes. Since then, he had spent the entire two years living down on this part of the abyss, completely alone apart from the occasional giant spider or demon which made its living in the abyss. He had been kept alive simply because he was a powerful creature created by magic. Any normal human would have died after merely a few days, living in the way that Faker did.
Throughout these two years, Faker had known that one small careless step could send him flying down into the extreme depths of the abyss, which was so deep that he had never even seen what was at the bottom….. if there was a bottom. He had been lucky to have landed on a ledge when he had first been knocked down, even though he had seemed to fall for hours. For these two years, his sole intention had been to reach the top again, and rejoin Skeletor, the being who had created him, and wreak revenge upon the real He-Man for knocking him into the abyss. And he had climbed higher each day….. but the top had always seemed so far, that he had wondered if he would ever make it. But at the present moment, he could see the faint blue of the sky creeping down into this huge chasm….. his journey was nearly over.
Faker got to his feet, and flexed his mighty muscles. He could not wait until he was finally able to emerge from the abyss. He had been created to look almost exactly like the real He-Man, so much that he had even lured The Sorceress, who guarded Grayskull, away from her castle, believing he was the real thing. Although he had only seen the real He-Man briefly, Faker knew that this man was obviously a great champion in Eternia. And if he could fool the people into thinking he was He-Man….. he could cause some massive chaos on this planet. He had definitely looked as strong as the real He-Man….. perhaps he was capable of beating him. Yes, he was sure he had the capability of becoming the most powerful being on this planet. He would emerge from the abyss, and challenge the real He-Man as soon as possible.
He gripped hold of his sword, which was an exact replica of the sword which gave He-Man his power, only unlike He-Man’s, it had no magic powers. He lifted his mighty arms above his head….. and struck the rocky side of the abyss with the blade. It sank into the rock….. and Faker climbed upwards.
Up and up he climbed, and the light of the sky above became brighter as he climbed higher. After a while, he could clearly see the blue skies, and the heavy clouds which drifted across them. And as he got higher and higher….. he could see the large, dark silhouette of the colossal Castle Grayskull.
Eventually, he reached the top. He threw his sword up onto the ground, and then gripped the edge of the ground with his left hand, and pulled his whole muscular body upwards. And then his feet touched the ground of Eternia, for the first time in two years. He pulled himself right to his feet, and gazed at the rocky area around him. The peaks of the buildings of distant cities and towns glimmered in the distance. And then he looked up at the great, stone castle, its hollow eyes gazing down just as he had remembered. His quest was over. Faker lifted his sword, held it up to the skies, and triumphantly shouted "FINALLY!!!"
Where should I go first?, thought the evil replica of He-Man. He did not want to waste time. He walked over to the edge of the rocky hill on which Grayskull stood, and gazed down at the cities in the distance. And with his sharp eyes, he could have sworn that over one of the distant, rocky roads, he saw the figure of a man, looking just like himself, riding on the back of a giant, green tiger, gripping a gleaming sword in his hand.
Had his time to strike already come? He took one glance back at the great castle. And gazing through the right eye, he saw that there was a beautiful woman watching him. She wore a white falcon headcrest, and was dressed in a blue robe with orange wings over her back. Faker recognised her instantly. She was the Sorceress, whom he had lured away from the castle two years previously. He had tricked her once….. surely he could trick her again.
He dimmed out the light from his eyes, so he could look more like the real He-Man. Then, slowly, he made his way towards the great castle. The figure of the Sorceress vanished from the eye, and slowly, the ancient drawbridge began to creak open. It stretched over to the ground, right across the abyss. The Sorceress stood in the entrance.
"Greetings, He-Man." she said, in her soft delicate voice. "You seem kind of….. lost. Could I help you?"
Excellent, Faker thought. She had mistaken him for the real He-Man.
"I’m….. just a little tired, Sorceress." he replied. "I’ve had some hard tasks to do. I need a rest. Can I come inside?"
"Of course you can." she replied. "Enter at your own free will."
Faker followed her inside the ancient castle. She led him through to a small, comfortable room, and he sat at a table.
"How have your missions been going of late?" the Sorceress asked him.
"Okay." he said. "I hope I’m getting closer to….. beating Skeletor. It’s hard work, though. I really gotta rest."
"That’s fine." the Sorceress said. "I shall be in my laboratory most of the time….. but if you need me, just call my name."
"I will, Sorceress." Faker replied. "Don’t worry about me." He looked up, and she smiled at him. He returned the smile, then she used her magic to teleport herself elsewhere in the castle.
Faker quickly went and lay back on the couch in the room. He needed some rest after two years of climbing. His plan was going okay so far. The Sorceress firmly believed that he was the real He-Man. He was rather tired, and knew that now would not be the right time to strike against the real He-Man. He was far too tired, and would only suffer a second defeat at the hands of the mighty hero. He laid his sword at the edge of the couch, sank back into the soft material, and fell asleep.
When he awoke, it was deep into the night. Faker arose, and took a glance out of the window. The land around him was silent, and the stars gleamed brightly in the night sky. Faker picked up his sword. Then he left the room, ready to explore the castle.
There were so many long corridors in the great building that it would take centuries for him to explore them all. Many of the doors were locked, obviously containing very important secrets of the universe. But one door was unlocked….. and it led into the weaponry room. Faker took a glance around him at the many weapons throughout the room….. and selected a rope.
In her bedroom, the Sorceress slept deeply. But she was suddenly awoken from her sleep by a faint creaking sound. Her eyes strained with tiredness, she looked up, and saw that her bedroom door was opening slowly.
A figure appeared in the doorway. For a split second, The Sorceress almost panicked….. then she remembered that He-Man had still been inside the castle when she had fallen asleep. And as the figure drew closer, she saw to her relief that it was indeed He-Man.
"He-Man?" she whispered softly. "What do you need me for, at this time? Is there an emergency?"
He-Man came closer, and sat on the edge of her bed. "Yes, Sorceress, it is an emergency." he said. "I’m afraid that an old villain, whom we thought was long gone, has returned to Eternia."
"But….. who is that?" she asked.
He-Man crept closer to her, until he was leaning right over her. "It’s someone who….. you just might be able to take care of." He was positioned directly above her body, and laid one hand over part of the sheet….. under which was her breast. She shuddered faintly. There was something not quite right about this….. was He-Man trying to make sexual advances on her?
She became more uneasy as He-Man lifted his whole body up onto the bed, his body straight above hers. This wasn’t like He-Man at all. What was wrong with him? "What’s wrong, He-Man?" she asked. "Why are you….."
"Don’t worry, Sorceress….." he replied, "I’m just going to do something….." Her heart pounded as he gazed right down on her. And just then, she saw that this was not the He-Man she was used to. For his eyes were changing….. changing from their normally brown colour….. to a deep red.
Then they began to GLOW.
She was about to scream, but then He-Man took out his sword and thrust it in front of her face. Then he ripped the sheets off from the bed, revealing her whole naked body. Then he took out a rope, and before she could move, threw it over her naked body and violently pulled it round her, until her whole body was tightly bound by the rope.
"You’re not He-Man….." she managed to utter….. "I remember you….."
"Yes….." he said, with a sinister smile, "I am FAKER. I am the villain who has returned….. and I will take over this world." He slashed her across the chest, producing a deep cut, then lifted her naked body, and flung her to the ground. Her head struck a pillar by the wall, and the last thing she saw before she fell unconscious was two staring, luminescent eyes, gazing down at her behind the gleam of a sword stained with her own blood.
Faker lifted the naked, unconscious body of the Sorceress, and carried her to the throne room of Grayskull. There, he dumped her on the ground.
So, he had defeated the Sorceress, and she was his captive. And from what he remembered, Grayskull was the most powerful source of magic on the planet, and contained the greatest secrets of the universe, enabling the owner to become master of the universe. With the only other being in the castle being the defeated Sorceress, lying unconscious by his feet, he would have no trouble obtaining the castle’s secrets, and making himself the most powerful being in the universe.
He took a glance out of the window, into the dark skies of Eternia. He cast his eyes over to the gleaming city lights in the distance. There seemed to be an air of evil about the place now that he had taken over Castle Grayskull. He would make sure that this evil would spread through the whole of Eternia….. but what should his next step be?
He thought it best to obtain more power from the castle before challenging He-Man. Wouldn’t He-Man be shocked to death when he saw how powerful an enemy he had previously defeated in five minutes had become! He could, of course, rejoin forces with Skeletor, his creator, but that would only seem pointless in the end….. Skeletor, he knew, wanted to be ruler of Eternia himself, and would place himself on the throne of Grayskull and treat Faker as a mere servant. Why rejoin Skeletor when he could take over the universe himself?
He sat in the throne of Grayskull, and cast his evil glare over the chamber, from the angle usually seen by the peaceful eyes of the Sorceress. He looked down at his gleaming sword, and licked the blood off it. This was the closest he had come to drinking in his whole two years alive. He tapped his sword in his hand as he planned his evil scheme.
Just before the dawn broke, The Sorceress’ eyes flickered open. She was starting to come to.
Her naked body, drawn tightly together by the rope, tensed as she saw Faker’s evil glare above her. Her eyes shot open. "Faker….." she said, "you stand no chance against the power of Grayskull! The good within the castle is too strong for your evil to defeat!"
"So you think." Faker replied, smiling evilly. "When I have unlocked the secrets of the universe from this castle, all its magic will become EVIL. Then my evil reign will spread throughout Eternia….. and you will be reduced to a quivering, helpless mortal."
"I could never be helpless!" The Sorceress replied. "Do you not realise how strong my magic is?" And with that, she used the power of her mind to make the rope vanish into thin air. She stood up, and flashed her hand across her naked bust, instantly healing the bloody gash across her chest. Then she spread out her arms, and a flash of light surrounded her naked body. Faker shielded his eyes as the light filled the room.
When the light died down, her body was no longer naked- she was now fully dressed in her elegant costume, the falcon headcrest, the robe, wings and all. "If you thought I was weak, Faker, you are mistaken. Your power is nothing compared to mine. And neither are you capable of obtaining the secrets of the universe."
"Why?!" snarled Faker, his eyes blazing. "You will face no easy challenge from me!"
"You can never obtain the secrets of Grayskull because they are locked in a secret room, concealed in the glowing orb. You will never be able to find this room, and the spirits of the Elders of Eternia are always present here- and their magic is more than a match for you."
"Don’t be so sure, Sorceress!" said Faker angrily. "I will search and search until I find the orb….. now that this is my castle! And if these ‘elders’ find me, once they see my power they shall be too frightened of me to dare challenge me!" Deep inside, he wasn’t really entirely sure of this, but he knew he must appear fully confident or he would appear to be no challenge against Grayskull.
"If you’re really that sure of winning….." said the Sorceress, "fight me first!" and she fired a laser beam from her fingertips towards Faker.
"It takes more than feeble powers like that to defeat Faker!" he said as he dodged out of the way. Then he came charging towards the Sorceress like a maniac, his fist held out straight in front of him, tightly clenched, and he leapt right towards her, knocking her right in the face.
And before she could respond, he threw out a violent kick at her, booting her in the thigh and causing her to fall to her knees.
He gripped tight hold of both her arms, and forced them together. Then as he held her arms together with one hand, he drew his sword with the other, pulled back both her sleeves, and slashed her arms violently. Her delicate skin split open, and her blood came gushing out and dripping to the ground.
"I know you can heal cuts….." he hissed, "but as long as you’re helpless for now, I don’t care!" He then punched her in the face again, sending her spiralling back. She screamed as she fell back.
Then he violently kicked her body out into the corridor, and saw a small staircase leading down to the private basement rooms of Grayskull. Before she could act, he drew back his right leg, then threw one more kick at her, sending her whole body tumbling headfirst down the staircase. She hit the bottom with a loud crash, and lay there, almost motionless.
"I….. am….. helpless….." she stammered. "kill….. me… Faker. Ease….. my….. pain."
Faker smiled with evil triumph. He had truly defeated one of the most powerful beings on this planet- and now she was begging for him to kill her! He laughed in mockery, and said "Since you want me to kill you, I shall leave you for the time being….. to suffer more pain! And now I shall go and search this castle for the secrets of the universe." He lifted his sword, and held it above his head. "For I am Faker, the NEW master of Castle Grayskull!!!"
With the Sorceress lying defeated at the bottom of the stairs, Faker instantly set about exploring the great castle, determined to unlock the secrets of the universe. He walked down the many dark corridors of the castle, but for every door, he found it was locked. Eventually he lost his temper, and kicked one of the wooden doors violently. It smashed open, and clattered to the ground.
Faker stepped inside the room. Only to find that it was completely empty. It was just a small, simple room with a claustrophobic atmosphere. But then Faker noticed that the walls were covered in strange symbols. Faker scanned the walls with his glowing eyes, but could make no sense of the symbols. They seemed to be written in a different language or something.
Angrily, Faker stormed out of the room and back to the staircase where the Sorceress lay. He gripped hold of her neck, and jerked her battered body up off the ground.
She looked almost close to death. Her eyes were only partially open, and she looked dazed and defeated. He could not be more proud of having done this to one of the most powerful beings on Eternia.
Gripping her neck tightly, he demanded "Where do the secrets lie? What are these obscure symbols on the walls?!"
"The symbols….." she uttered weakly, "are inscriptions by the elders….. codes for important magic….. no-one can understand them….."
"But you can?"
"Yes….. but I am too weak….. just keep searching, Faker… you shall find them eventually….. I was wrong when I said you had no chance….. this is your castle now….. you have… won."
Faker’s eyes blazed in triumph. Now this WAS looking good! Obviously the Sorceress was not half as powerful as she initially appeared to be. And she was even admitting that he would win if he persisted! Obviously these ‘spirits’ that were said to lurk within the castle would be no match for him. He slammed her body down on the ground, and laughed in triumph.
"What do I see?" he mocked. "The mighty Sorceress of Grayskull admitting defeat?! This must be the best day for evil that Planet Eternia has ever had! And my victory has been so easy! Obviously all that about Grayskull’s immense power has been greatly exaggerated! I will take over this planet in no time- Skeletor MUST be weak to have failed so often!"
The Sorceress half-raised her head, as if about to answer back….. but then she sank back again, gasping violently for breath. Obviously she was far too weak….. it was even a struggle for her to speak.
Faker ascended the stairs, fuelled by feelings of triumph. But when he reached the top, he saw through the window that there were two people approaching Grayskull in the distance. Peering out of the window, as they came closer, he saw that the first was a man dressed in red and blue armour, wearing a triangular helmet, with sharp visors. The second was a large, muscular man, with a brown beard and his right hand a huge metal fist.
"Warriors, I see." hissed Faker. "Well let’s see how they fare against my might!"
Mekaneck and Fisto approached Castle Grayskull briskly. They had to rest after having to scatter a band of Skeletor’s evil henchmen from a village which they had been raiding.
As they approached the drawbridge of Grayskull, it clattered open, and He-Man stood in the entrance.
"He-Man!" said Fisto. "Good to see you here!"
"Pleased to see you as well." He-Man replied. "Make yourselves at home here."
Mekaneck and Fisto walked over the drawbridge and into Grayskull. "So, what have you two been doing?"
"Just had to stop a raid by Skeletor’s men on this peasant village." said Mekaneck. "It wasn’t too hard, but it’s tiring work."
"I know just what you mean." replied He-Man. "Anyway, let’s go and have a rest….. but first I must show you something."
"What’s that?" asked Mekaneck.
"Just take a look." said He-Man, leading Mekaneck and Fisto down the staircase. Halfway down, when they noticed the bruised, battered and broken body of the Sorceress, they gasped in horror.
"By the Elders!" exclaimed Fisto. "Who… or what….. can have done this?"
"Wouldn’t you like to know….." said He-Man, smiling sinisterly, tapping his sword in the palm of his left hand. His eyes blazed bright red as he did this.
"He-Man!" exclaimed Mekaneck in horror, "What has come over you?!"
"He….. is….. not He-Man….." said the Sorceress weakly, "he….. is….. Faker, the evil version of He-Man….."
"Don’t worry, Sorceress!" said Fisto. "We shall deal with him!"
"No….." said the Sorceress, "he is….. too powerful….. for us. You must….. leave at once….. he has won."
"We can not leave, Sorceress!" said Mekaneck. "Regardless of his power, we must fight against all evil!"
"Ha! The Sorceress clearly has more sense than you idiots." said Faker. "She realises that no-one stands any chance against me, and it is pointless fighting me!"
Mekaneck and Fisto frowned. There was something very bad about this. The Sorceress was one of the most powerful beings on Eternia, yet she was admitting defeat and basically telling them they should surrender to this evil version of He-Man? This wasn’t like the Sorceress at all….. this Faker must have quite some power to convince The Sorceress to surrender.
But Mekaneck and Fisto knew they must fight for the freedom of Grayskull, even if the Sorceress thought they should surrender. So Fisto smashed Faker with his fist in a powerful uppercut, sending him flying upwards, landing at the top of the stairs. Mekaneck and Fisto charged towards him, and Mekaneck threw out his amazing extending metal neck, headbutting Faker in the chest.
Together, they charged towards Faker, but just as they were about to attack, Faker threw out both of his mighty fists, sending both warriors flying across the room. They crashed violently into opposite walls, but just managed to pick themselves up.
Mekaneck reached out his neck again, towards Faker. But Faker gripped hold of his metal neck, and clenched his fists tightly round it. Mekaneck cried out in pain as he felt the intense grip on his bionic neck, which could be crushed by Faker’s might.
But Fisto charged forth, smashed Faker in the face, and the evil version of He-Man loosened his grip on Mekaneck, who collapsed to the ground in pain. But Faker was virtually unharmed by Fisto’s punch. His face twisted into a snarl, his eyes glowed red with anger, and he leapt towards Fisto, seizing hold of his neck as he forced him to the wall with a crash. He tightened his grip on Fisto’s neck, ready to strangle him.
"If that guy’s artificial neck can be harmed, just think of what I can do to your REAL neck!"
"Stop….. no….. I surrender….." Fisto choked. But Faker twisted further, ready to kill this warrior…..
Summoning all his remaining strength, Fisto threw a quick kick up at Faker, and Faker fell back, losing his grip on Fisto’s neck. But this only served to make him even angrier.
"Okay, you fool." he snarled. "You dare to treat Faker like that? Well I’ll show you who’s boss around here!" And he raised his sword into mid-air, then brought it down on Fisto, slashing him across the face. Then he gripped hold of Fisto’s head, and bashed it against the wall repeatedly, again and again and again, until the mighty warrior was knocked completely unconscious. Faker then let Fisto slump to the ground.
He took a glance across the room at the beaten bodies of Fisto and Mekaneck. That was two more defeated. Then he took another glance at the body of the Sorceress at the bottom of the stairs.
"Faker….." she uttered, "I….. still have….. enough power to contact He-Man. I have….. summoned him….. and he will arrive soon. The real He-Man….. is the only person who can defeat you….. but if he loses….. you have taken over the castle for yourself….. and I am too weak….. to stop you…"
Faker swished his sword through the air. "Alright then." he said. "I await He-Man’s arrival….. so I can finally settle the score with him! Then once he is down, I can take over this planet for myself."
He went over to the window and knelt in front of it, watching the path ahead for He-Man.
"Let him come." he said.
At the Royal Palace of Eternia, Prince Adam was helping his mentor, Man-At-Arms, with repairing a damaged Wind Raider. Suddenly, he heard the voice of the Sorceress in his head. She sounded weak and badly hurt.
"Adam….. help me….. I am being held captive by….. the villain called Faker….. he has hurt me badly….. please come to Grayskull….."
"I’ll leave at once!" Adam said.
"What was that, Adam?" asked Man-At-Arms.
"The Sorceress just made mind contact with me! She said that Faker is holding her captive!"
"Faker? Wasn’t he the evil version of He-Man? But you knocked him down the abyss two years ago!"
"I’m as shocked as you-" said Adam, "but unless I misheard, she sure said Faker! And she sounded badly hurt. But if Faker really has returned, then before he can do anything more serious, he must fight the real He-Man!"
He drew his power sword, and held it aloft.
"BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL….. I HAVE THE POWER!"
A flash of light emerged from the sword, surrounding him and transforming him to He-Man.
"Do you want me to come with you?" Man-At-Arms asked.
"I should be able to handle Faker myself. You stay here and repair the Wind Raider! I’ll radio for you if I need help."
"Good luck, He-Man!" said Man-At-Arms, and He-Man left, ready for battle. After He-Man had made his way out of Eternos City, he stopped by The Evergreen Forest and whistled for Battle Cat. In an instant, his faithful tiger steed came running up to him, and He-Man leapt on his back and shouted "To Grayskull!". Battle Cat gave a fierce roar, and carried He-Man off in the direction of Grayskull.
As He-Man and Battle Cat reached Castle Grayskull, He-Man took out his power sword, ready to command the drawbridge open. But just as he was about to speak, the drawbridge suddenly slammed open, and in the entrance stood a man who was identical to He-Man in every aspect but his evil scowl and glowing eyes.
"Faker!" exclaimed He-Man. "So you have returned! But how did you manage?!"
"Every day since you knocked me down that damn abyss, I climbed up a little further!" snarled Faker. "And as you have seen, my strength is enough to knock the drawbridge down in one blow!"
"That’s nothing that I couldn’t do, Faker." said He-Man. "Now what have you done with The Sorceress?"
"Dismount your steed and I will show you." said Faker.
Slowly, He-Man got off Battle Cat’s back. "Stay there, Battle Cat." he said. "I’ll whistle if I need you."
He followed Faker through into the castle. "Just take a glance around this room to see my power!" said Faker.
He-Man saw the badly beaten bodies of Fisto and Mekaneck. He had never seen these two heroes in such a state before.
"By Eternia!" he exclaimed.
"That’s nothing compared to what I did to the Sorceress!" said Faker, and led He-Man over to the staircase. He-Man’s heart sank as he saw the body of the beautiful Sorceress, battered and helpless at the bottom of the stairs, bleeding from the wrists.
"He-Man….. you must stop him….. although Faker will….. win…"
"Sorceress? Are you alright?" said He-Man, thinking it a bit unusual that the Sorceress was giving in so easily, even when beaten so badly. Faker must be extremely powerful to get the Sorceress so convinced he was going to win! He-Man thought of his own strength, and what a dreadful villain he would make if he were evil. And here he was, dealing with an evil version of himself….. he shuddered at the thought.
"You are our only hope….. He-Man…" said the Sorceress, "but Faker….. might….. be too powerful."
"I am far too powerful!" said Faker. "You might as well give in, He-Man!"
"There is no way I could ever give in!" said He-Man. "I have beaten you before, I can beat you again. And while the Sorceress is still alive, chances are she may recover….. same for Mekaneck and Fisto! You have not won yet, Faker!"
"We shall see about that!" said Faker. "The Sorceress realises that I am powerful enough to take over Eternia, and you are my only possible obstacle. Therefore, once I have beaten you, there is nothing to stop me from unlocking the secrets of this castle and taking over not only this world….. but the entire universe!"
"There is no way you can do that!" said He-Man, angrily. "Even if you do beat me, Castle Grayskull is too powerful for someone of your evil. The spirits of the Elders of Eternia are always present in this castle, and you are no match for them!"
"He….. is….." said the Sorceress weakly. "I have….. seen this being’s power….. and he can easily defeat the elders….. you are the only thing that could stop him from taking over Eternia, He-Man….. but I am not sure if even you….. can succeed."
He-Man frowned. Never before had the Sorceress been so sure of impending defeat. Faker obviously must possess quite some power- especially if the Sorceress even thought He-Man could lose to him!
But He-Man knew that he must face this evil version of himself, whatever the odds. He climbed to the top of the stairs, and brandished his sword. Faker followed him up, and brandished his own replica sword.
"Okay." said Faker. "Here we begin from where we left off. Let’s settle this score and see who the REAL winner is!"
The Power Sword clashed against its replica as the two He-Men, one good, one evil, engulfed with one another in mortal combat. Faker’s red eyes blazed with fury at his enemy as he fought.
The battle led them through into the main chamber of Grayskull. The sides were even. He-Man was unsure whether Faker was quite as strong as him or not, but at the present moment, they seemed to be of equal skill.
He-Man threw out a mighty punch at Faker….. and Faker countered it with an equally strong punch of his own.
"Give in, He-Man!" he said. "Soon this planet will be mine!"
"You may think that, Faker." answered He-Man. "But you should never underestimate the power of Grayskull!"
The two enemies clashed their swords and fists against one another as the battle raged through the throne room of Grayskull. He-Man forced Faker back into the meditation hall, where he knew there was a hidden door to trap enemies. Subtly, he forced him back against the wall until Faker was directly in front of where the hidden door was. Then he held his power sword horizontally across his chest, and said "Here’s one thing that my sword does, but yours doesn’t- fire bolts!" and he fired a bolt of power from his sword, knocking Faker back. Faker hit the hidden door, which swerved around, trapping Faker behind it in the hidden dungeon of Grayskull.
As the hidden door slammed shut, He-Man relaxed in triumph. Faker was beaten. The threat was over. He-Man turned away from the door, and began to make his way back to the main entrance, near where he could help the Sorceress, Fisto and Mekaneck recover. Another evil scheme had been foiled.
But then he heard a faint rumbling behind him. He turned around….. only just in time to see Faker smash through the hidden door and charge towards him violently, jumping on him before he could act and gripping his hand around his neck.
"You are a fool if you think I can be defeated that easily!" Faker snarled. "I could easily kill you now, but first you must unlock the secrets of Grayskull for me! Find the room where the hidden secrets lie!"
This was a serious challenge. For He-Man did not know where the room was in which the secrets of the universe were locked. Only the Sorceress did!
"I….. can….. not show you, Faker….." he choked.
"You will show me!" said Faker, thrusting his sword into He-Man’s face. "Or I stab you to death!"
"Okay….." said He-Man, an idea having struck him. He could mislead Faker, and take him to any old room in the castle, where he could finish him off!
"Take me there!" demanded Faker.
"Use… the lift….." wheezed He-Man under Faker’s grip. Faker thrust He-Man towards the lift, and dragged him inside.
"Floor… 3." said He-Man.
Faker punched the button for Floor 3. The lift went up, and Faker dragged He-Man out when it stopped.
Out in the dark corridor, He-Man pointed to a closed door.
"That room!" he said. "That room contains all the secrets of the universe!"
Faker dragged He-Man over to it, then kicked the door open. And he dragged him inside….. to find nothing but an empty room, with the same types of symbols that Faker had seen before.
"Where are they?!" demanded Faker. "Are these symbols some kind of secret?! Translate them for me!"
He-Man swung his fist swiftly, and punched Faker in the side. Faker stumbled back, losing his grip on He-Man.
He-Man took out his power sword. "Only the Elders and the Sorceress can translate these symbols." he said. "I led you to a false room, Faker!"
"You fool." snarled Faker. "If you thought I’d give in that easily….. just take me to the real room!"
"I do not know where the ‘real room’ is, Faker." said He-Man. "Honestly. Only The Sorceress and the spirits of the Elders know this, and I have not been told yet. So I cannot lead you to the secrets."
"If you cannot unlock the secrets of Grayskull for me….." said Faker, "then you are of no use to me!"
Before He-Man could do anything, Faker charged towards him, thrust his sword at him, stabbing him in the chest, and sending him hurling backwards, across the room….. out of the window….. down the abyss.
Faker watched as He-Man’s muscular form hurtled down the abyss. Battle Cat roared at the sight of his master’s fall, and tried to leap to catch him, but was too slow. He-Man fell straight down the abyss, and soon vanished from sight.
Faker put his sword back in the sheath on his back, and smiled with evil triumph. At last he had done what he had risen from the abyss for- defeated the real He-Man. He had thrown the man who should have been thrown down the abyss first time. And He-Man was no more. Faker had survived two years down there- but Faker was an artificial being, who didn’t need food and drink and warmth to survive. He-Man was human- and he would stand no chance of survival. Faker had won.
He took the lift down to the room where the beaten bodies of Fisto and Mekaneck lay. And he took one more glance down the stairs at the body of the Sorceress. He descended the stairs and bent over her beautiful, but badly broken body.
"So." he said. "I have now defeated not only you….. but He-Man. He has now been knocked down the abyss, where he should have been all along. And you? You are still alive….. but you will die if you are left in this condition. Would you care to unlock the secrets of Grayskull for me….. or should I just kill you?"
"You….. can… kill me Faker. I….. am….. too weak. You will….. find the secrets if you search….. now that the only man who could possibly defeat you….. has met his downfall. You have won, Faker….. just kill me at once."
Faker laughed in mockery. "Fine then, my beauty." he said. "Here goes, then." he lifted his sword, and slammed it right down on her neck to decapitate her. There came the delicate sound of ripping flesh as the blade plunged into her neck…..
Then there came a tremendous pain in his chest as The Sorceress sprung up all of a sudden, smashing him with her fist, and sending him flying back. As he hit the stairs with a loud thud, he saw her spring to her feet, surrounded by immense white light, healing all her wounds!
"But….. you were close to death!" he said in shock.
"So you thought!" she laughed. "But did you actually think I was hurt at all?!" she threw her head back in laughter. "I was leading you on the whole time! Would I ever give in to a villain that easily?! No way!!! You must be mad to think I was genuine that whole time! Now how about pulling yourself together, Faker….. and facing the power of the Sorceress of Grayskull!"
Faker pulled himself to his feet, and said "Okay….. you may have fooled me, but I shall still win! My power is greater than yours by far!"
The Sorceress advanced upon him, kicking him right in the face, following with a heavy punch, another kick in the chest, another punch, followed by another high kick and finishing off with a magnificent flying kick, hitting Faker right in the neck and sending him falling back.
He looked up on her, his eyes blazing with anger.
"Yes." she laughed. "It’s gonna be that hard!"
Faker tried his best to counter the Sorceress’ blows, but it was impossible as she smashed him repeatedly, every swift punch followed by an equally swift kick, knocking him up the staircase until he was back on the ground floor. Then the Sorceress rose herself into the air, and glided down right in front of Faker’s fallen body.
Slowly, Faker picked himself up, gripped hold of his sword, and gasped for breath. "I….. can….. still win." he growled. "And anyway, you are a fool to have faked being injured just to trick me! You have still let these two foolish warriors suffer….. and let He-Man fall to his doom!"
"Oh, you think so?" said the Sorceress, before spreading out her wings, and filling the room with bright white light. Once it had died down, Mekaneck and Fisto pulled themselves to their feet, their wounds completely gone.
"Well done, Sorceress!" said Mekaneck. "How did you manage to recover?"
"I was never hurt!" laughed the Sorceress, "I just put on an act so he’d think he’d won! Nothing to do with Grayskull could ever be that easy to beat!"
"Well, that’s brilliant acting, Sorceress." said Fisto. "You sure had me fooled. Anyway, let’s give this guy what he deserves!"
At once, all three of them charged at Faker, and Faker found himself being butted by Mekaneck’s head, smashed by Fisto’s fist, and blown away by the Sorceress’ magic all at the same time. He was thrown across the room, hitting the wall with a crash.
"I am still too strong for you to beat me yet!" he snarled, flexing his muscles.
"Oh, shut up!" said Fisto, smashing him three times in the chest with his gigantic fist, the pain from the blows coursing throughout Faker’s entire body.
Faker fell to the ground, gasping for breath. He was hurt- but he still had enough energy to fight. "I can still beat you!" he said. "Especially since your beloved He-Man has been thrown down the abyss!" Angrily, he gripped his sword and smashed through them, going into the centre of the room and aiming his sword outside, towards the abyss.
"There your hero lies….. forever!" he laughed. "And he has no chance of survival!"
The Sorceress stepped closer to him. "I’m not so sure about that, Faker….."
And as if in answer, the figure of He-Man suddenly burst out of the abyss, the Power Sword glowing with immense radiance, and he threw himself through the entrance, leaping towards Faker and smashing him to the ground.
"But….. how did you manage to get out?!!" said Faker in shock.
"There’s one thing I have that you don’t." said He-Man. "The power to leap any height! Even the depths of the abyss were no match for me! And while you may be very strong, Faker….. the real He-Man still remains the strongest!"
Mekaneck, Fisto and the Sorceress erupted into a cheer. Glancing over at them, He-Man said "Hey, how did you recover, Sorceress? You were in a worse state than ever before when I last saw you!"
"I was just faking it!" she said. "Leading him on just to boost his ego! Did you really think I’d give in so easily to a villain?"
"Well….. I thought it was very unlike you, but I gotta admit, you even had me fooled! Great to know we have actors on our side too! Anyway, let’s finish this false version of me off and show him he’s no match for the power of Grayskull!"
Once again, He-Man and Faker’s identical swords clashed against one another, and He-Man smashed Faker with his fists, before kicking him to the ground. The battle raged on, until Faker was almost exhausted….. then He-Man, The Sorceress, Fisto and Mekaneck all charged on him at once, blowing him right across the room with their power. He hit the wall headfirst, then slowly drooped to the ground, badly hurt and bruised. And unlike the Sorceress….. his state was actually genuine.
"So, that just shows what happens, doesn’t it Faker?" said He-Man. "Whenever any evil force stands against Grayskull, however much it looks as though they’ve won….. the power of good always stands in triumph at the end."
Faker just lay there, in pain. "Someday, He-Man….." he groaned, "I will defeat you….."
"So you like to think, Faker." said the Sorceress. "But now, I must do something which will ensure that you can never impersonate He-Man again."
The Sorceress spread her arms out in front of her, and released her magic beams towards Faker. They hit his chest and spread over the whole of his body….. dimming the colour of his skin….. turning him blue.
Faker jerked up in shock at his changed body. "But….. now I can never trick anyone again!"
"I think that’s the point, Faker." said He-Man. "Good work, Sorceress."
Faker slowly pulled himself to his feet, then stumbled towards the entrance. "For now….. I shall leave. But you have not heard the last from me….. for I will train to be even stronger….. until I am strong enough to defeat the real He-Man! Just you wait….. you will hear from me again soon!"
He stumbled across the drawbridge, then just as he crossed it, Battle Cat, angry at having seen Faker throwing He-Man down the abyss, charged towards Faker, took a bite out of his blue chest, then gripped him with his green paws and flung him off into the distance. Faker was quickly gone from sight.
"Do you think he ever will come back?" asked Mekaneck.
"From my experience of evil warriors, I’d guess he will." said He-Man. "But I don’t see how he could give us any big problems now. He can’t even impersonate me now, and if he ever strikes back, we’ll stop him in no time!" he turned to the Sorceress, and shook her hand. "Well done, Sorceress." he said. "You put on a brilliant act! You really did have him fooled….. and us too!"
The Sorceress laughed. "And he really thought that just a few punches and kicks, and a fall down the stairs would hurt me! I just felt like giving his ego a false boost, since that always seems to make villains easier to beat! But you don’t think I’ll ever really give in that easily, do you He-Man?"
"Of course not!" He-Man laughed. "But even though it was so unlike you to give in, you still had me fooled! You’re a brilliant actress as well as Sorceress!"
"Yes….." she replied, "you might as well say I’m a good FAKER!"
The warriors all laughed, and all felt triumphant at another evil scheme foiled. Outside the entrance of Grayskull, the sunlight beautifully illuminated the distant city towers. Grayskull was still a fortress of good….. and would remain so for as long as the Masters of the Universe were around!