King Adam stood on the balcony of his rooms in the Royal Palace, staring at Castle Grayskull, which looked in the evening light more dark and frightening than ever. He knew that his wife, Teela, was there now, worrying about Hordak's next plans. She had become tired, as well as he had. Years and years of battles had exhausted them. Years of great sorrow. The young King closed his eyes for a moment and tried to suppress the rage. He still couldn't think of it in a calm way. Still the pain caused him tears.
He took a photo from a drawer, showing him with his family. King Randor and Queen Marlena, King father Miro, Princess Adora with her boyfriend Sea Hawk, Teela and Adam himself. Fast he put the photo away again. His family... and now just Teela and himself were left. And an embittered man, which looked years older than he was, a man, which was to find somewhere in the eleven etherian seas with his crew. They were the last ones. The Royal Family would stop to exist and Hordak would take over Eternia, as he had took over Etheria. No one could prevent it. Someday Adam would be too old for fighting. There was no offspring to take the Sword of Power when he would be dead. Teela had never been able to give birth after she had lost an unborn child. And Adora... In hot rage the King beat against the wall. Years had gone but he would never be able to forget it. Adora had been pregnant with twins when Hordak had killed her. The Sorceress had told them, neither Sea Hawk nor Adora had known that she had carried babies.
"Oh, sis." Sadly he looked on another picture. She-Ra on Swift Wind. If he had to say, whom he missed most, it would be Adora, though he had known her barely, actually.
Someone knocked. "Your majesty?"
"Not now!" he shouted, angrily.
"But it's important, King Adam!" With rage he opened. "What is it?" The page shrank back. "Sorry" Adam murmured. Teela was right. He had become as bitter as Sea Hawk. "What is up?"
"We just received a message from King Bow of Brightmoon. You shall come there at once. From the sound of his voice something really big happens there."
Adam sighed. Bow was another victim of this war. Glimmer and the archer had been just married and crowned King and Queen of Brightmoon when Hordak had started his attack, when the rebellion had been defeated and their leader had been lost. Glimmer and Queen Angella had died for their Kingdom, to make sure, Brightmoon would remain being free. They had managed it, but for which price?
"Tell him, I'm on my way."
"Thanks for coming so quickly, Adam." Bow looked very pale.
"What has happened?" He-Man asked.
"You have to see it for yourself, otherwise you won't believe me. Come on."
They went into the private chambers of the palace. In front of a guest's room two soldiers stood. "Is everything okay?" Bow asked.
"Yes, your majesty. No sign of a Horde's spy. I don't think, they know yet."
"Good. Come on, Adam." Bow opened the door and pushed his friend inside the room. He-Man looked around and saw the woman standing on the window. Everything he could see was her blonde hair, but that was enough. He knew just one person with such beautiful hair. "Adora!"
Slowly she turned around. Adam's eyes grew wide. This was his sister, but... Many years had gone. For ten years Adam was the King of Eternia yet. Two years before he had become King, Hordak had destroyed the rebellion. Adam didn't want to celebrate his birthday anymore since this time. Only by thinking of the horrible days he knew that by now he was 33 years old. And so should his sister be if she were alive. But the woman he faced here was not older than twenty.
"Twenty-one" she said dryly, as if she had known what he thought. "And please don't tell me now that I'm dead. I've heard that too often today. Slowly I begin to believe it."
Finally Adam came over the shock. He didn't have an idea what was going on and he didn't care either. Fast he went to Adora and hugged her, not being able to speak. That way they just stood there for a few minutes, both crying.
Bow discreetly left the room. One thing he had learnt in his time as King of Brightmoon: To sense trouble. Never before he had felt it more intensive.
"Yes, great Hordak, I'm sure! I've seen them coming through the gate!" Excited Imp sat on the shoulder of his beloved boss. "It was her!"
"This is impossible! Adora is dead!" Enraged the tyrant stood up. "I saw her die myself!"
"So did I" Imp said. "But it was her, believe me, boss! And there's one more thing..."
Now even Imp shrank back, frightened. Hordak had become insane the last years, insane and uncontrollable. Fast he told him what else he had seen.
"If you're trying to fool me..." Hordak began and directed a canon on Imp.
"He isn't, great Hordak." Weaver came in. "I think, I know, what has happened. Listen..."
"What is the last thing, you remember, Adora?" Zoar asked. The Princess got a goose-flesh when she recognized Teela under the falcon mask.
"I was on my way back to Etheria and the Whispering Woods. You opened the gate and..."
"Not me" Teela said gently. "My mother did. Did you realize anything strange when you passed the gate?"
"No." Adora shook her head. "I was on Eternia for two weeks. Hordak hadn't been attacking for some time and before I went here I was on Sea Hawk's ship for several days..."
"Sea Hawk?" Adam interrupted her. "Yes... what is it, brother?" Zoar and He-Man looked at each other terrified. Now they knew what day Adora was talking about. They remembered this day too well. A happy, young woman had left Eternia on this day. She had been in love, unafraid and hadn't known what was expecting her on Etheria. Her lover had come back with her, three hours later, his girlfriend on his arms. No magic of Grayskull had been able to help. It had been to late. She had died on Etheria, in his arms, telling him that she loved him. Adora saw the sadness of her brother.
"On this day Hordak attacked. He had called for Horde Prime's best troopers. There were just too much of them. You landed in the middle of the fight outside the woods. Sea Hawk was there too. You couldn't even transform into She-Ra, so fast everything happened." He stopped. The memory burdened him visible. "Sea Hawk told us that Hordak attacked him. You wanted to safe him and..." He couldn't continue. It wasn't necessary.
"Okay, now I understand why everyone thought to see a ghost, when I appeared" Adora growled. "But why am I here now, Sorceress?"
"I think, we can find out that. I'll ask the pool of truth. Wait here." Zoar vanished.
"How do you feel, sis?" Adam asked.
"As if I really was dead." She sat down, burying her face in her hands. "I can remember that on Etheria I had strange powers. Sometimes I could see the future. And I also remember that I hated it. Light Hope offered me to work with me so I could handle this ability and use it, but I didn't want to. I always was afraid to see a future which I wouldn't like. Can you imagine how it was to come here and see that nearly everyone, I love, is dead?"
"I understand." Adam placed his arm around her shoulders. "But perhaps the Sorceress can help."
"And then?" Adora asked. "Do you think, I would ever be able to live on normally with this knowledge, that both of my worlds will die?" She cried now.
Adam was more than helpless and was glad when the Sorceress came back. Then he saw her face and asked himself if he had been glad too early.
"Yes, it was a terrible accident" Zoar said, sitting down next to Adora. "The gate between Etheria and Eternia went out of control when you went through. My mother realized it and corrected it at once. She thought, everything was okay. She didn't even tell your brother, who stood next to her. Unfortunately Light Hope on the other side did the same, when he knew, what was going on. Two powers influenced the gate and divided it in two. It divided everything in two. And no one realized. A parallel Etheria and a parallel Eternia were created. That would have been fatal, but it wasn't even the main problem. Neither Light Hope nor my mother knew what was going on. So the second gate was out of control. It closed- and captured you inside, Adora."
"What? You mean... I was trapped in a dimensional gate the last 12 years?"
"I'm afraid so."
"What happened with the parallel worlds?" Adam wanted to know.
"I suppose, the same, what happened to Adora: They were frozen in time."
"And if I was to go there?" She-Ra asked. "Isn't that possible? Then I could continue my life there."
"I can't do this, Adora. I haven't the power to do it. I know next to nothing about this worlds. There would be just one way. We'd have the ask the spirits of Grayskull." She bit on her lower lip and looked at Adam once more.
"Adora..." The Sorceress took her hand. "When my mother, Teela-Na, died, the spirits of Grayskull vanished. Probably forever. Grayskull still has its power, but it doesn't have keepers anymore. It will be destroyed when one day I'll die. I'm afraid, there's no way to bring you, where you belong to."
Adam and Adora left Castle Grayskull together. The Sorceress had told them to take some rest, while she once more would think about a way to help Adora. Adam mounted his horse and pulled Adora up. She hesitated, then she asked:
"How is Spirit? Is he on Etheria?"
"I don't want to lie to you. I don't know. The Sorceress changed him to Swift Wind and he flew to Unicorn Island. He asked us to never visit him. He wanted to leave the past behind. It hurt him very much to loose you."
"Pecacorns don't get very old" Adora said quietly. "Perhaps he's dead."
"Perhaps." Adam looked at her asking. "Do you want to go to Etheria, sis? No matter, whether the Sorceress will find a way or not: There are many people, who would be more than glad to see you."
She shook her head slowly. "It wouldn't be right, brother. I don't know them. They have lived without me for 12 years. If I really can leave this world, I would hurt them again, above all Sea Hawk. Bow told me about him."
Sea Hawk! Suddenly Adam thought of what Teela-Na had told him after Adora's death. Was he allowed to tell her? He decided, no. Not yet. She didn't want to see her old friends, that was up to her. In a few months, when she would know, that she was pregnant... Who knew, what would be in a few months?
"Tell me more about the fight on Eternia, Adam" Adora asked him. "What happened to Skeletor and his men?"
"Horde Prime sent them to one of his slave planets and left them alone there. I don't think, they'll ever be able to escape from there. Some of them betrayed Skeletor, though, and work for Hordak now."
"Tri-Klops and Evil-Lyn for example."
"I begin to dislike this world more and more" Adora murmured.
"Believe me, I also do" her brother answered dryly. "Here we are. What I still don't understand is... Why did you suddenly land on Etheria? After all these years? Why just now? The Sorceress couldn't tell either."
"I think, I know" someone said. Adora startled.
"Man-At-Arms! How good to see you!" She hugged him for a long moment.
"I'm also glad to see you again, Princess. It's been a long time." He had changed. His hair was gray and deep folds were in his face. He looked older than he was. To loose his King and his Queen had broken his heart.
"What did you find out, Duncan?" Adam asked.
"Orko and I searched for any complications in the linear time line, but we didn't find anything. Then Orko had the idea to change the frequencies of my machines to a haply rotating level, to imitate the time gate, through which Adora went twelve years ago."
"Duncan, wait for a moment!" she stopped him. "Where do you know this all from?" Adam smiled lightly and showed her an audio-sender.
"Man-At-Arms and I do always hold this connection open. If there's a problem, both of us know at once. So what do you know, Man-At-Arms?"
"In the outer space there is a kind of black whole at present. It passes this planets every twelve years. This was which caused the trouble with the gate last time. And now it opened the gate, Adora was trapped in. But it is still out of control, that's why she landed on our Etheria, not on the parallel one."
"Sorceress, did you hear that?" Adam asked. Adora startled when she heard Teela through the audio-sender. She thought that this was just one of the things, she would have to get used to.
"I heard it, Adam. Thank you, Man-At-Arms. I'll see if I can do something about this black whole."
`You have to hurry. You're already hunted, Adora.´ The Princess frightened. That voice!
"Adam!" she shouted. "I have to get to Etheria at once!"
"Where do you fly to?" Adam asked.
"Don't you remember?" she asked, smiling for the first time since she was here. "I just hope, we can reach skydancer without Swift Wind. No one has ever tried to get there with a Sky Sled."
"Adora... Do you think, the Crystal Castle still exists?" he asked carefully. He didn't want her to be disappointed.
"I'm sure about it. Nobody knows where the it is but us. I don't think, somebody attacked it. Thank goodness!" Though she had sounded sure she was relieved when the Castle appeared in the clouds. She took her sword and shouted: "Light Hope, I ask you to open the gate of the Crystal Castle!" And really...
"I think, we're lucky" Adam mentioned.
"Or not" Adora growled. "Since I'm here I'm always afraid what the next meeting will bring. Light Hope?"
"I'm here." He appeared. "Hello, Adora. I didn't think, I would ever see you again."
"Do you know, what happened?" the Princess asked.
"Of course. You have to hurry, Princess. The black whole will leave this area in less than one day. If you want to use its power, you'll need help. Not just my help and the help of the Sorceress but more powerful help."
"Should I see the elders once more?" she asked.
"No. I'll do that. You have to go to the Castle of Brightmoon now. You know, there's another power source, we'll need. As heroine of this planet you're allowed to take this power. Let your sword take it. Then return to Grayskull. There we'll try to send you to your parallel worlds, as soon as we're ready. But I have to warn you, Adora. Hordak knows where you are and he'll do everything to prevent you from getting away. Be careful, Adora."
"I will. But I'll need help. Could you help us getting somewhere on Etheria, Light Hope?" she asked. "Of course. I'm opening a gate. Just think of where you do want to go."
"Come on, brother" Adora shouted. "I guess, I have no choice, I have to greet a few old friends. Let's go."
"It still looks the same way as it did, when I was here last time." Adora looked around. "Now to find him."
Adam had never been on Unicorn Island before and was quite astonished. It really was a beautiful place. The Horde didn't seem to have conquered it.
"I have to call Swift Wind by telepathy" Adora said. "Normally I would have to be She-Ra to do it. And I can't risk this. If Hordak sees me as She-Ra, he'll know my secret at once. But perhaps..." She closed her eyes and concentrated. Then she began to smile. Minutes later her horse joined them on the clearing.
Adam left his sister alone for a short while. He called for the Sorceress but didn't get an answer. At once he got worried, but Man-At-Arms calmed him. Zoar was talking to Light Hope, he said, and asked, how far Adam and Adora had come.
"Ask me something, I can answer you" Adam sighed. "Oh, Duncan. I sure want to help her, but I don't know if I can stand it to loose her a second time. Everything would change if she stayed here."
`She doesn't belong here, Adam, and you know that. She would never be happy here.´
"I know. But it's so hard..."
`Do you think, it's easy for her? This is her home and she has to see it destroyed. Her own planet she'll be able to save, if she reaches it. The other planets won't have this future, we have now. Maybe there Adora's dream of a free Etheria will come true.´
Adam smiled. "Thanks, Duncan. I feel better now."
`Anytime, old friend. See you later.´ Adam returned to the place, where his sister were.
"Swift Wind will help" she explained. "With him, we'll have a much better chance to escape Hordak."
"But we won't be very fast when I carry you both" Swiftie said.
"You're right." His son, Akif, joined them. When Adora had seen him the last time, he had been just a foal. Now he was as big and strong as Swift Wind. He was light brown, as his mother Star Wind was, and had a white mane. He had become very pretty.
"I'll help. Mount, Adam!"
"Are you sure?" the Prince asked. "This could be very dangerous."
Akif nodded. "I know. But I also know what you once have done for me, Adora. I want to help you now."
She caressed him lightly. "Thanks. You have a brave son, Swift Wind." They left the island behind.
"Don't you think, Hordak will realize something, when he'll see you with Swiftie?" Adam asked, as they neared Brightmoon.
Adora shook her head. "I don't think so. He doesn't know what Swift Wind looks like now. Besides I'm not sure if we will really meet him. I expect him to wait near Grayskull for us. It's more likely that he'll send some flyers and robots here."
"Then it's time for a little change. After all no one said, He-Man isn't allowed to join the party... By the power of Grayskull! I have the power!"
Adora took a fast look at her brother. He didn't look older as He-Man. At least one usual sight.
Just a few minutes later a sound of loading weapons let them startle.
"Was that another foreseeing now, sis?" the Prince growled.
"Not really" she giggled. "Sometimes I just think I know Hordak better than he himself does. Here come the first flyers. Watch it! Down, Swiftie!"
It was more than unusual to fight from the air as Adora. But the Princess knew, she could count on Swiftie and on her sword. She held it up and divided one of the flyers in two. He-Man used his shield to avoid the stunners and smashed three of the others. "Good work, brother!" Adora shouted. "Oh-oh. Trouble!"
Catra joined the fight with a shuttle. He-Man was still busy with the other ships. Adora would have to deal with the cat alone. She remembered that in the Fright Zone she often had had to fight her in close combat training. "Well" she murmured, "I guess I'll find out if I still can beat her. Fly above the shuttle, Swiftie and drop me inside."
"Are you sure about this?" he asked, worried.
"Ey, did you forget?" she grinned. "I always know what I'm doing. Come on!"
The moment of surprise was her advantage. When she landed next to Catra, her enemy couldn't react fast enough and Adora managed to beat her. If she had been She-Ra and beat someone with this power, this someone would have landed on the other side of the planet. Unfortunately she wasn't. And Catra wasn't easy to defeat. With the shuttle being on auto-pilot she could concentrate on the battle. And unlike Adora she didn't have any morals preventing her from hurting somebody- or killing somebody. Adora was a perfect fighter, but the cat wasn't bad, either. When she saw, this would take too long, she prepared to change to her cat form.
"Oh no, you don't!" With a fast movement Adora managed to get the mask, this mask, which had caused so much pain. She took her sword and destroyed it once and for all.
"No!" Terrified the cat looked at the pieces of her power. It wasn't hard for Adora now to strike. All her hate for the Horde she gave in this punch. Catra got unconscious. Adora programmed the shuttle on a collision course with the rest of the flyers and called for Swift Wind once more.
"Fast, Swiftie! He-Man! Get away! Everything will explode!" They made it barely, but they made it. She-Ra had taken Catra with her, and she knew, if Akif hadn't been there for He-Man, they hadn't got away in time. She thanked him gladly.
"Once more I owe my live a member of your family. I don't know how to thank you."
"I know something" Swiftie said. "If you make it to go home, make sure that the world, you go onto, will have a better future than this one has."
"I will" she said with tears. "I certainly will. Let's hope that the Sorceress and Light Hope have found a way. Now- to Castle Brightmoon!"
"Did Light Hope tell you how to get power of the castle?" Bow asked.
"Glimmer once told me where the source is" Adora answered. "I'll have to go there."
"You'll need my help." His voice was very quiet and Adora knew he thought of his beloved wife. One week they had been married when Glimmer had died, that was what Adam had said. One week. Adora had to do something, when she would return. This wasn't allowed to happen again.
The door to the forbidden sector of the castle was closed. Bow took a locket, he wore, and told the others to stand back. "With the power of the elders and the knowledge of the first ones, I command the spirit of Brightmoon to open the door to the source of one of the greatest powers on Etheria!" The locket began to glow brightly. After a few seconds Bow put it round his neck again and held up his hand. Another bright ray opened the gate. When Bow saw Adora's sight, he explained:
"Queen Angella wanted to be sure, Brightmoon would be safe. She gave the secrets how to control this power to Glimmer and Glimmer gave it to me. Hordak will never rule here. Come in, Adora. I think it's better, if Adam and I wait here." The Princess nodded and went inside.
"She hasn't changed a bit" Bow said.
"No, she hasn't. That's the reason why there was never another She-Ra. Zoar knew, no one could ever replace Adora. Let's hope the best."
It took some time, but then She-Ra came back.
"Is everything okay?" Adam asked.
"Yes. We have to hurry, brother. I'm worried about my Etheria. The battle sure started yet." She hugged Bow shortly. "Thanks. For everything."
"Good luck, Adora. How will you come back?"
"The Sorceress has opened a dimensional gate. As long as she knows of the black whole and takes care, it's not dangerous."
Adora said farewell with Swift Wind and Akif, then He-Man and her went home.
The Sorceress was more than glad to see them. "Hordak is attacking the castle! I can't work with Light Hope on the gate and hold him at the same time" she explained.
"We'll take care of him" Adora said. "Come on, brother!"
"Be careful!" Zoar shouted. She didn't have to tell them. They knew, what danger they were in.
Adam had told Man-At-Arms to send the guard. So at least they didn't fight alone. But Adora knew from her brother that Hordak's troopers had improved very much, and that they weren't to defeat as easily as before. Nevertheless the battle was surprisingly easy. The Princess knew, Hordak planned something else. She got nervous more and more.
She heard He-Man's warning too late. One of Hordak's transport beams caught her and beamed her into the main shuttle. He-Man couldn't follow her, he had to hold the troopers away from Grayskull. The Royal Guard was much too busy too... What now?
"Man-At-Arms, I need you here!"
`I'm on my way´ his friend answered through the sender.
But would he be there fast enough?
"So, Princess, we finally meet again." Hordak laughed scornfully. "And I thought, I killed you. Well, no harm done- yet."
Adora was trapped in a force field. She knew, the shuttle flew to Snake Mountain. Once there she wouldn't be able to get back in time, if she got back at all. She had to break out now. Hordak didn't know that she had She-Ra's sword. Well, he would be very surprised. With a bright explosion the field vanished.
"You will never be able to defeat me, Hordak" she said hard.
"Oh no?" another voice behind her said.
"Exactly. And I have something in store for you, Force Captain. Soon you will serve the Horde again and help us fight your brother."
"Never!" Adora shrank back as Weaver began to cast a spell. With two steps Hordak was there and held her tight. Her sword fell down, she had no possibility to escape. She would be a Horde's slave once more.
"Let her go, Hordak!" Bow! Before Hordak could react, the archer shot an arrow inside the shuttle. A dark fog appeared and Adora began to cough at once. Hordak and Weaver also couldn't stand the gas. The tyrant set She-Ra free and she somehow managed to run to the window of the shuttle. Bow helped her getting outside. Akif was there immediately and she sat on his back, still coughing.
"Sorry" Bow smiled. "I couldn't think of something else to get you out of there. The gas of the arrow should wear out soon. I hope, you're not too angry."
"Angry? Are you joking? You just saved the whole planet! But why did you know...?"
"Light Hope called me, Swift Wind and Akif. Are you alright, Adora?"
"Yes. But I have to get to Grayskull. The black whole is fading away. We don't have much time anymore."
Hordak's troopers were away when the pecacorns landed in front of Grayskull. Man-At-Arms just came there too.
"It seems I'm not needed anymore" he smiled.
"You are." The drawbridge of Castle Grayskull went open. "Come inside. All of you" the Sorceress said.
"The gate is prepared, Adora. Man-At-Arms, please take a look and tell me, what you think."
Meanwhile the Sorceress thanked Bow. "I have a surprise for you" she said.
She shortly raised her hand and a young man appeared in the room. The archer startled.
"Malcom! How is this possible? My son!" He hugged him gladly.
"Son? Bow has a son?" Adora was quite puzzled.
"Yes. It's Glimmer's and his only offspring. Glimmer was seventeen when she gave birth to him. He's eighteen now. Shortly after the birth he was stolen by the Horde and Bow and Glimmer thought, he was dead. But he survived and searched for his parents" Zoar explained.
"But... Glimmer never told us..."
"Of course not" Bow said. "We both tried to forget, to suppress the pain. No one knew. Oh, Malcom, I'm so glad, you're here."
"And so is everyone." Suddenly Light Hope was there. "This is an important day for both of our planets. Malcom is the one, we have waited for."
He-Man looked at the spirit seriously. "You mean..."
"Yes. Malcom is going to be our new hero. The Sorceress has already explained everything to him. Now it's up to him."
The young man nodded. "I know it won't be easy. But I want to fight for the freedom of my home."
"So it be" Zoar said.
Adam took the Sword of Power and gave it to Malcom. "It's yours now. Use its power to protect the weak and fight the evil."
"I will. That I promise. I promise by the power of Grayskull!" Seconds later the new hero appeared. "I have the power!" A bright ray of the sword took Akif, Swift Wind's son. He got a saddle, as Swiftie had always worn one.
Inwardly, Adora nodded. It was right. The circle began to close. And who knew, perhaps one day this world would be free again. She wished it with all her heart.
Duncan laid a hand on her shoulder. "Time to go, Princess."
"Yes." Shortly she said farewell with everyone. Her brother held her for a long moment.
"I'll miss you, sis. I'll miss you very much. I wish, you could stay."
She tried to smile. "You said, history thinks, I'm dead. Who am I to fight history? I'll never forget you, brother."
"Are you ready?" the Sorceress asked.
"Just one more thing. Now that I know, what's expecting me, I want to be prepared."
Adora held aloft her sword and shouted: "For the honor of Grayskull! I am She-Ra!" She took a last look around. "I'll free our worlds. That I promise you all. Etheria and Eternia will be free."
"Now take your sword to complete the gate, Adora. As long as you hold it you should be safe. Good luck."
"Good-bye, my friends." Holding the Sword of Protection in both hands She-Ra entered the dimensional gate.
"Adora! Hello!" Sea Hawk embraced her happily. It was evening in the Whispering Woods and everyone was tired. The fight today had been hard. But once more they had defeated the Horde, with the help of She-Ra, Sea Hawk and his crew.
"Are you going back to your ship yet?" Adora asked, disappointed.
He smiled. "Now that you're there... No. Let's celebrate with the others our victory." Hand in hand they went back to the rebel's camp.
"What I don't understand is... Why were you She-Ra, when you came back from Eternia today?" By now Hawk knew her secret. In a few weeks they would get married. "Did you foresee a battle or something like this?"
Adora suddenly had a goose-flesh. "Believe me, darling, you don't really want to know that..."