"Oh, you were so cute when you were little! You and Adam could have passed for identical twins," Queen Marlena told her daughter, Princess Adora.
"I thought you would like to have pictures of Adora as a child," said the gray-haired woman called Shakra. "How I wanted to tell her who she really was, but Hordak would have punished me--and possibly Adora."
The Royal Family was seated at a table in the Palace of Eternia. "You're right, she did look like me," said Adora's twin brother Adam. Both twins had blond hair and blue eyes and even now looked similar.
"Adora was no trouble at all, Your Majesties," Shakra told Adora's parents, King Randor and Queen Marlena. She'd raised Adora from the time Hordak kidnapped her, which was when Adora and Adam were infants. "I regret letting them put spells of control on her when she found out things she wasn't supposed to, things that told her that the Horde was lying to her...." Shakra bit her lip.
"Our friends on Etheria have told me what happens to Rebels who were once sympathetic with the Horde," Adam said. "You did what you could to protect my sister, and for that I'm grateful."
"As are we," said Randor. "Despite the Horde's influence, Adora has grown up to be a fine young woman, one I'm proud to call my daughter."
Soon the visit was over, and Adora hugged her parents and brother good-bye. "It's time for Shakra and me to head back to Etheria," she said. "The Horde won't stay quiet forever." Right after Adam found Adora and helped release her from the spell Shadow Weaver, the witch who worked for the Horde, had her under, Adora decided to stay on Etheria and help free it from the Horde. One day, when Etheria was free, she would return to Eternia and live with her family.
What Adam and Adora's parents and Shakra did not know was that Adam and Adora were He-Man and She-Ra. Adam used his powers as He-Man to defend Eternia from Skeletor. Adora used her powers as She-Ra to help liberate Etheria.
Adora and Shakra rode Adora's white horse, Spirit, to Castle Grayskull, where the Sorceress would open a portal to Etheria for them. "I'd always wondered why you wouldn't tell me about my real parents," Adora said as they rode.
"If you had known who they were, you would have rebelled against Hordak," Shakra explained. "He didn't want that, obviously. It was actually a relief to me when you broke the spell on you. I knew the Rebels would take care of you. And I joined you when I could."
Adora looked around as Spirit carried them to their destination. She had been born here on this world. It didn't seem right that it wasn't very familiar to her; at least, not as familiar as it should be to her. If something happened to Adam she would be next in line for the throne; Adam was the elder twin.
Right now they were headed through the Evergreen Forest. "I like this part of the trip," Adora said to Shakra as she inhaled the sharp scent of pine. "It's so peaceful here."
"There's Castle Grayskull up ahead," Shakra said.
Adora looked ahead. Castle Grayskull looked almost forbidding with its green-gray walls. It looked as though someone had shaped the front of the castle to look like a skull; hence its name.
As they approached, the jawbridge opened, as the Sorceress had been expecting them. The Sorceress was a motherly woman whose garb made her look something like a falcon; in fact, only a few knew that she was also the falcon Zoar.
"The portal is this way," the Sorceress said as Adora and Shakra dismounted. She led them through dim corridors until they came upon a corridor with doors lined along either side. One was open, revealing the yellow light that was an interdimensional portal.
Adora hugged the Sorceress. "I'll be back soon," Adora said as she and Shakra went through the gate.
That night, Adora was getting ready for bed. As she usually did, she brushed back her golden hair and put it in a ponytail.
Adora couldn't help but think about the events in her life. As she lay there, half-asleep, memories came back to her.
<I>Six-year-old Adora tugged on Shakra's long, gray skirt. "Shakra, do I have parents? Do I have a mommy and daddy somewhere?"
The woman sighed. "You don't have parents here," she said, choosing her words carefully. "Now, young lady, you have training."
"Why do I have to train?"
"So you'll grow up to be a strong girl who can take care of herself." Actually, it was to keep Adora out from underfoot.
Adora sat down on her small bed, tears coming to her eyes. "Did my mommy and daddy not want me?" she asked.
"Adora, I'm here for you. They're unable to take care of you. I'm sure that they love you. Right now, though, I will be your mother." Shakra hugged the little girl.
</I>Adora sat up in bed. She remembered that. She knew why her parents had been unable to care for her--they hadn't known where she was, what had happened to her.
Adora looked over the edge of her bed. Her lantern had been extinguished moments ago, but by the light of the campfire outside she could see her magic sword gleaming...the sword that had turned her life around. She leaned over and picked it up and gazed at it.
It was funny--a Horde force captain, one of Hordak's favorites, had become a leader of the Rebellion. And not just a leader--the leader. It made her feel guilty about her past.
<I>You were only doing what you thought to be right, </I>an internal voice whispered.
That was true. Adora had truly believed that the Horde was good. Looking back, she could see why she'd mostly stayed in the Fright Zone. And another memory came to mind.
<I>Twelve-year-old Adora could go pretty much where she pleased in the Fright Zone. She was done with her training for the day, and she was headed back to Shakra's quarters, where she would be tutored.
On the way, Adora would pass the interrogation room, which Hordak had said was off-limits to her. Adora was a curious young girl, and she quietly crept up to the door and opened it.
Adora gasped, horrified at what she saw. There was an old man chained to the wall. Hordak and Grizzlor were in there. Hordak fired questions at the old man, and Grizzlor gleefully whipped the man.
"Why are you doing this?" Adora wailed. "Can't you see he's old and harmless?"
"Come here, Adora," Hordak rumbled.
The girl had no choice but to obey. She went up to him and stood before him, wondering what he would do to her.
"Grizzlor, get Shadow Weaver in here," Hordak barked. "Adora, go sit over there."
Trembling, Adora went and sat in a chair. Soon Grizzlor was back with Shadow Weaver. "So...Adora has disobeyed?" Shadow Weaver hissed. She moved her hands in a circle, and Adora began getting drowsy.
When Adora woke up, she was in her own bed. She could not remember how she got there.
</I>Adora could remember now. That was the first time she'd been under a spell. Actually, it was the only time, for until Adam came to Etheria, she hadn't broken it.
When He-Man had told her that the Horde was evil, she hadn't believed him. But then he'd challenged her to see for herself.
Even though she was under the spell, Hordak had made sure that she didn't see anything she wasn't supposed to see. He wanted her loyal to him, and later she came to realize that it was his revenge against her father.
Anger rose within Adora. She'd been used, tricked, deceived. And the question rose within her: had she really been evil? With it came confusion. The Fright Zone had been her childhood home...and now she hated the place.
Who was she--Adora a member of the Horde, or Princess Adora, daughter of King Randor and Queen Marlena? She'd gone from Horde force captain to princess in mere hours. And to her friends, she was Adora, Rebel leader.
Adora let her hair down and got dressed. She needed to talk to Light Hope, who resided in the Crystal Castle.
Adora, in her identity as She-Ra, rode Swift Wind to the top of Skydancer Mountain. Soon they could see the Crystal Castle, which was on the very top of the mountain.
The huge jewel in the middle disappeared, providing an entrance for She-Ra and Swift Wind. "Welcome She-Ra, Princess of Power. I sense that you are troubled," said Light Hope, the being of light that emerged from a circular pit in the middle of the chamber.
Swift Wind landed and She-Ra dismounted. "I am, Light Hope." She then went on to tell what she was feeling.
Light Hope listened intently. Then he spoke. "You were destined to be Etheria's liberator," he said. "From the time you were an infant, Grayskull's magic, as well as the magic of the Crystal Castle, protected you because of your destiny. Had you not been protected, Hordak would have murdered you."
"But why did I have to grow up in the Fright Zone? Why did I have to be evil?"
"You never were evil. Remember, you were under spells. You showed your true character when you were twelve--that of a girl who hated injustice. And your experiences with the Horde are valuable, though it doesn't appear to be right now. One day, your knowledge as a Horde force captain will be used against Hordak and eventually defeat him; however, I cannot reveal how. You will know when the time comes."
She-Ra thought about that. So her experiences had been for a reason. She smiled. "Thank you, Light Hope, for giving me this perspective," she said.
"You are very welcome."
She-Ra stretched. "Well, it's time for us to go home and get some sleep," she said.
Later, Adora was asleep, and she was dreaming. This time it wasn't a dream about her past--rather, it was a dream about her future, being with her family after she accomplished what she had been destined to do.
Adora found who she was--a kind person who had many roles to play in life.