`Adora! Princess Adora!ī She-Ra frightened and woke up. Hadnít that been the Sorceress? `Zoar?ī `Adora, please come to Castle Grayskull immediately! Itís more than important!ī `Iím on my way.ī She-Ra stood up, removing the blanket from her nude body. She was very quiet, but as a warrior Bow had a light sleep. And he had become careful since she had gone to TerraZ1 in the middle of the night once... "Adora?" he asked, yawning. "Whatís up?" "I have to go to Grayskull" she answered, as she put her clothes on. "Now? Itís four oíclock in the morning!" She jerked her shoulders. "Donít tell me, tell the Sorceress. I'll be back soon." Adora kissed her husband shortly and wanted to leave when she suddenly startled. "What is it, darling?" he asked. "I donít know... I have a feeling as if there is something wrong with our children." Fast she went to the cradles. Everything seemed to be in order. Ariella and Nistrem slept peacefully. "Theyíre alright." Bow had followed her and laid a hand on her shoulder. "Just go. Iíll be there for them." "I know." Adora kissed him again. "Seeya soon."
"Thanks for coming so quickly, Adora." Zoar didnít look good. Not tired, but not good either. "What is it, Sorceress? You scared me quite a bit." The Princess caressed Spirit lightly while talking to Teela. "And why didnít you call for Adam, too?" "Because this is your business. The others donít need to know yet. Come with me, Princess." They went into another room, to the pool of truth. "This isnít gonna be easy, Adora" Zoar began. "I received a message from Zodak today. He told me something, I nearly canít believe. We need a proof for this story. We need security. A catastrophe could be coming right on us. I need your help." "What can I do?" Zoar raised her hand and a picture got visible in the pool of truth. It showed She-Ra and Bow on Etheria. They were on the very edge of the Whispering Woods, kissing under a big tree. She-Ra suddenly felt very cold. She folded her arms. "Why do you show me this?" She knew, when this had happened. It had been the night, in which they had defeated the Horde. She closed her eyes for a moment. The Sorceress saw her trembling. "Iím sorry. I said, it would be hard." "Why do you do this, Zoar? Iím glad if I donít have to think about it." She-Ra turned away, trying to hide her tears. Teela sighed. "You never really worked with it, did you, She-Ra? Youíve tried to suppress the rape, as you do it with everything else, you donít want to think about." "Thatís not true! Do you actually know how much time I spent the last months just talking about it?" Again she caressed Spirit. The horse pushed her lightly with his head. He thought the same as the Sorceress did. "You can lie to yourself, Adora, but not to me" Zoar said. "Perhaps you talked, but surely not about that, what Hordak did to you before he vanished. This pool shows your thoughts. Without you it canít continue showing what happened in this night. And I need to see this." "Why? What is this all about?" Adora was angry now. She had so badly tried to forget the rape! When she had remembered, what had happened to her when she had been fourteen, it had been hard enough. Actually she had thought to be over both of the rapes, but now she saw that this wasnít true. She had just began to suppress again, as it had always been her way. "Why do you have to torture me that way?" she asked quietly. "Do you think, this is fun for me, Adora? I canít explain to you right now. I can only ask you to let the memories live once more. You'll see then, that it is important." Adora turned to the pool. Teela was her friend. She could trust her. The film in the pool continued. It showed She-Ra and Bow getting captured by the Horde. When the horrible scene was to come, Adora collapsed, crying. Zoar took her in her arms. She also got sick by watching the pictures. Hordak had always been a bastard, but here he had definitely gone too far. The Sorceress began to understand why Adora had suppressed this so much. The Princess herself didnít look at the pool anymore. The Sorceress wished to be able to do the same. But if it really... oh no! Zodak had been right! Now that Adora had opened herself for her memories, the pool could see, what the Princess hadnít even realized anymore in this night. What Hordak had done after the rape. "Adora, look!" Horrified the two woman saw Shadow Weaver coming into the room. She had a book of spells in her hands and surrounded She-Ra, who laid on the stone bench, apathetic and trembling, with a dark cloud. A strange little light appeared in the cloud. It flew to Weaver and vanished then- inside her. "Oh no!" the Sorceress whispered. "No!" She stopped the pool. She had become very pale. Her hands trembled. Adora tried to pull herself together. "What happened, Zoar? What did she do?" "My god, Adora! Itís terrible! Look, what we received from TerraZ1 today!" Another picture got visible. It was a little baby girl, apparently just born. First Adora didnít understand. She looked at the child and had the same feeling as she had had in the palace before when she had thought, Ariel or Nistrem would be in danger. The girl laid in a black cradle and seemed to exactly look at her through big blue eyes. These eyes! Those of Nistrem had exactly the same color! It was the color of Adora's eyes. Then the Princess saw how pale the child was and saw the first signs of the humps on the forehead of the baby. She finally got it. "My daughter" she whispered, shocked. "Thatís my child! But... this is impossible!" "No, it isnít" the Sorceress contradicted her sadly. "You just saw for yourself what Hordak did to you. Shadow Weaver carried the baby the last nine months, and this night it was born." "But how... Sorceress, I always thought, I got pregnant from Bow this night. Ariella and Nistrem..." "No, Adora" Zoar interrupted her. "Your babies were produced on the next evening. Your first baby is this girl. And Adora- she needs your help. We all need your help. Weíre in great danger." "Why? Itís just a baby!" The Princess was still very shocked. She had had a daughter all the time... And the father was her arch-enemy! "Now sheís just a baby, youíre right. But if she remains being in the Fright Zone... Can you imagine, what she will become? Have you ever asked yourself what an offspring of Hordak would become?" "But itís my child too!" Adora shouted. "It is, right. But if it grows up in the Fright Zone, all the good things in her soul will cease. Hordak will kill every little sign of goodness in her. Itís not that she will become a middle between you and Hordak. Sheíll either be extreme good- or extreme evil. And thatís the danger, weíre in. A human being raised by Hordak, with his DNA, will be more powerful than Horde Prime himself. Weíve got to get her out of there. And fast!" "My god" Adora murmured. "I donít believe this! And if itís a trick of Hordak? Why didnít he say anything when I were in the Fright Zone to rescue Teena months ago?" "Probably he didnít know yet if it worked or not. After all you two have a total different DNA. And with Weaver carrying the child... Itís a miracle, the girl survived at all." Once more the Princess looked at the picture of her child. "I... I donít know if I can stand this, Sorceress. After all this child is produced by Hordak." "Itís also your child, Adora" Zoar said. "Your daughter needs you." The Princess took a deep breath. "Iíll need help."
"Okay. Scorpia is Force Captain now. Hordak still trains his troopers the same way as before. Theyíre not better than when they were on Etheria but not worse, either. Be careful, for heavenís sake, Adora!" Worried BīTeena looked at her through the view screen. "I still think I should come with you. I know the Fright Zone better than you do." "And youíre pregnant. Forget it. Besides Sea Hawk surely would never let you go" Adora answered. Her friend sighed. "I know. Still..." "Iím taking He-Man, Man-At-Arms and Bow with me. I canít call for anyone else. You know, all in the Fright Zone know my secret, and Hordak sure wouldnít shut up. But this time Iíll be better prepared. Thanks for your help, Teena." "Youíre very welcome. What did actually Bow say?" "What should he say? Is it my fault?" Adora asked aggressively. "Nobody said that" Teena said calmly. The Princess sighed. "Sorry. Iím a little nervous. Bow is terrified, of course, but he understands that I couldnít do anything. Heíll help me in every way, he can. Weíre leaving soon. Iíll call you, when weíre back. Bye!" "Bye!" The screen got dark. Sighing Adora looked at it. She wished to be as confident as she had sounded. She missed Light Hope. She yearned to ask him for advise. But Light Hope was gone. She had to fulfill her mission with the help of the Sorceress and her friends. A mission, she wasnít even sure, she wanted to go on. She didnít understand herself. It was her daughter! But deep inside she felt a sharp, hot feeling. Hate. This child shouldnít have been born. It was not right. She... "Adora, do you come down please? Weíre ready!" Bow shouted. The Princess put herself together. She had no choice. She hadnít even time to think about it. There was someone who needed her. And she would safe this person.
The group entered the shuttle seriously. They all felt the burden coming on them. "How long do we need to reach the planet?" Adora wanted to know. "An hour" Bow and He-Man answered at the same time. They looked at each other shortly. The last time, they had flew there, they had had to rescue the Princess. This time it would be even more difficult. This time they had to get a helpless being, a child, which didnít even know, what was happening around it. Adora sat down in the back of the ship, looking out of the window thoughtfully. She had said good-bye to her children before she had gone. The thought to perhaps never see them again broke her heart. For a last second she thought about to stay here- then it was too late. Man-At-Arms started the shuttle and took off. Bow placed his arm round her shoulders. She leaned against him sadly. Without a word he ran his fingers through her hair. He knew how hard this all was for her. Only when they were near to the planet he asked her: "You donít change to She-Ra?" Adam already was He-Man. "Of course." She stood up, taking her sword, and shouted: "For the honor of Grayskull! I am She-Ra!" She went to her brother. "Whoís gonna beam down?" "The three of us, I would suggest. Duncan stays here, in case we have to get back fast." Man-At-Arms nodded. "Weíre close enough now. Prepare yourselves." Bow, She-Ra and He-Man went on the platform. "Energize!"
They didnít know that they were watched from two sites. The one site was Zodak. He wasnít allowed to interfere. The founders would not let him. Once more he had to lay the fate of the universe in the hands of He-Man and She-Ra. Great. She-Ra was distracted as could be. And it would even be worse if she knew, that they werenít alone here... Zodak sighed. Hopefully He-Man would take care of her. What she had to go through... Zodak had never understood it. If it had been for him, Adora would never have been stolen as an infant. Never she would have been in the Horde and never there would have been any chance, that she was abused with 14. It just wasnít fair... "Melancholic, Q?" He turned around. "Q! What are you doing here?" The god flew beside him. "There was a rumor, that something interesting happens here... I was bored." Zodak arched an eyebrow. "Really?" "Of course not. Seeya!" Away he was. Damnit! Zodak should have known it! Q was the one of the two who couldnít care less about the founders. And since months he showed interest for Eternia and the Royal Family. He had interfered in their businesses once yet... and he would do it now. Zodak could prevent him, he thought. The founders sure had appreciated this. But on the other hand- this wasnít his job. He didnít have to do it. Zodak leaned back smiling and decided to watch once more. Of course he didnít just watch TerraZ1. He also had an eye on the greatest danger around. The danger called Horde Prime.
With Duncan's technique they had got quite exact coordinates of the baby. When they rematerialized on the planet, they were in the nursery at once. "Good work, Man-At-Arms" She-Ra murmured. There was the cradle. Apparently they hadnít been spotted yet. One chance. Adora went to the bed, hesitating. She still wasnít sure she did want this. The child already had signs of Hordak, she had seen this on the picture... In a way she was relieved. "The cradle is empty" she shouted. "She canít be far" Bow mentioned, looking at the tricorder. "Where are we here, Adora? Do you know where else she could be?" The Princess took a look around and pulled her face. "Fitting. Very fitting. This is my room. The most unimportant part of the Fright Zone. No secure places are around here. If Hordak knows, weíre here, he sure would try to bring the baby away." "But sheís still in this area" Bow said. "Thatís strange. Thereís no room where... oh no!" Frightened Adora looked at her husband.
"The Sorceress already said it, Hordak's and my DNA are completely different. If I remember him right... When I still was his Force Captain, I once asked him why he hasnít got children. He said, he isnít compatible." "I have to admit, that doesnít surprise me" He-Man murmured. "So what do you think, happened?" "I donít know. But today I felt, one of my children is in danger. And the sick bay is just- here." They stopped in front of a big door. "Perhaps we should knock" He-Man suggested. "Forget it." She-Ra kicked against the metal door and it fell. The doc, she still knew from her time in the Fright Zone, the ice-cold doctor Laertes, stood next to a childrenís bed. Hordak and Shadow Weaver were there too. When their enemies came in, they frightened, but they didnít react as expected. They didnít take weapons, they just looked at each other shortly. When She-Ra saw Weaverís dark eyes, she startled. She had nearly forgotten it, what had happened when she had been here last time. Weaverís unsure movements and the black face reminded her. And this memory hurt. "Welcome" Hordak said with a strange voice. "Iíve been expecting you." She-Ra tried to sound hard, when she said: "Youíre not going to keep this child here, Hordak. We will take it with us." Still Hordak didnít show any ambitions to fight them. She-Ra couldnít remember to have seen him so down once. "Do, if you like" he said. "You will loose her as well." "What?" Without caring about any dangers She-Ra ran to the bed. Just the thought that her daughter could die had suddenly awoken all mother feelings in her. Nothing did matter anymore, not the horrible moments, she had had to go through, not that it was Hordakís offspring. Just the thought, that this was her daughter. The baby slept at the moment. Everything seemed to be alright. But... "Hordak, how old is this child?" "One day." He sounded tired. "Thatís impossible! Sheís..." "She-Ra." Bow pointed on a view screen on the wall. Hordakís scientists had done good work. She-Ra didnít understand much, but she saw, that Laertes couldnít do anything anymore. But Duncan could. "Weíre taking her to our ship" Adora said. "And you wonít prevent us." "Do what you want." The tyrant turned away. He-Man and Bow gasped. But Adora wasnít really surprised. She had seen something familiar in Hordakís face, something, she knew. "My god" she said quietly. "I never thought, I one day would see you suffer again, Hordak. After all this years you suddenly have learned to love again." "Clear off, rebel traitor." He went to the door. The doctor vanished. Shadow Weaver followed Hordak. Adora took her daughter on her arms and called Man-At-Arms. Before Hordak went outside she shouted: "You would have become a good father. Itís a pity you joined the false site." He turned around a last time. "Take care of Saskia in her last hours. And never come back here anymore." Away he was. Shaking her head Adora switched on her communicator. "Duncan- Energize."
"How is she?" Duncan asked as soon as they were on the `Enterpriseī again. He saw the child- and stiffened. "This is your daughter, Princess? This child is at least a year old!" Bow gave him the medical file, he had taken from the Hordeís sick bay. "I think, itís because of the different DNA." "Yeah, youíre right." Duncan searched the little human. The girl was much bigger than before. She had blonde hair and a white skin. Besides she had the same humps as Hordak had. But beyond this Adora thought, that the little human was very pretty. And she was already a personality. She looked around nosily and smiled from time to time. And she seemed to grow older every single minute. But Duncan saw that this all wasnít to last long. "Iím afraid, the mixture of the DNA have caused a disease in your daughter, Princess. She doesnít feel anything, but sheís heavily ill. Sheíll grow older more and more. And with eight sheíll die. That will be... in less than one day." "No!" Horrified Adora looked at the child. "Canít you do anything?" "I can try. Perhaps in my laboratory... We have to get back to the palace." Duncan went to the controls and started. "What did you mean before?" Bow asked Adora. "What was that, you were talking about with Hordak?" "Havenít you understood it, Bow?" Adora asked with tears. "I saw it when he looked at our child. With this sight he only looked at me when I was very young. Hordak may have hated me in a way, but he also loved me, if you can call that love. Just the same happened now. I think, when he saw Saskia, feelings for her came up in him." "Saskia?" He-Man asked. "Youíre going to keep that name?" Adora hadnít even thought about that yet. "Saskia" she murmured. "Thatís the name of Hordakís mother. One more sign that the child meant something to him. Yes, Iíll keep it. Thatís the last, sheíll have of her father. I feel sorry for him, you know. In a way I feel sorry for him. But that doesnít mean, I would suddenly like him. Iím glad, if I wonít see the Fright Zone anymore." Suddenly the shuttle trembled. "Duncan, what is up?" He-Man asked. "Thereís a ship outside, which attacks us. I donít know what it is..." Adora stood up, terrified. "Thatís Horde Prime! Oh my god! Are we ready to fight, Duncan?" "Not with this shuttle, Iím afraid. What the hell does he want with us?" Man-At-Arms tried to avoid the shots, but Horde Prime was much better than Hordak. They really were in trouble. "He wants Saskia, Duncan" Adora said. "And he wants her dead. He knows, what a danger she means for him. We have to get out of here!" Something behind them exploded. "Shields will collapse in a second!" "Can you beam us down?" Adora asked. "No, the transporter is damaged, as well as the navigation system. We... what the hell...?" Suddenly Horde Prime turned round and vanished with Warp speed. "What was that now?" He-Man asked. Adora looked out of the window. Just for a second she saw him. But that was enough. "Zodak" she smiled and took her sword. "Iíll call for the Sorceress. Someone must get us here with another space ship."
"Congratulations, Zodak" Q grinned. "You certainly saved the day." "Me?" Angrily the god looked at his friend. "What have you done, Q? Do you know what the founders will do to you if you destroy Horde Prime?" "I havenít destroyed him, Zodak. I havenít even touched him." Q couldnít stop grinning. "Iíve just caused a little fight on one of the worlds, he rules. A situation, so dangerous, that he has to head for the planet at once. Pretty good, isnít it?" "Wonderful" Zodak murmured. "Do you always have to be in battle with the founders, Q?" "Do you always have to follow their orders?" With that the god vanished. Zodak shook his head without understanding. He would never figure him out. Perhaps, in one or two eternities, he would know, why Q was his best friend... Zodak prepared for a landing. In the last hours of Saskia he wanted to be at her side. The catastrophe was prevented.
"How do you feel, Adora?" Bow sat down next to her. Duncan still worked on a way to help Saskia. She didnít answer, she just pointed at her daughter. The child sat on the floor, playing with some toys. "Sheís four now" the Princess said quietly. "We have no time to loose. Saskia, come here!" "Yes, mom?" She was a very beautiful child, Bow thought. She looked very much like Adora, and the few signs of Hordak, she had, didnít attract attention very much. Saskia looked at him smiling. "Are you my daddy?" Adora had to fight against tears. "No, honey" she said quietly. "Daddy isnít here, remember. This is my husband. Come with me now. I want you to meet your sister and your brother." "Yes, mom." Saskia took Adoraís hand and they went away. Just at that moment Duncan came into the room. "Princess Adora? Where is she, Bow?" "Not far. What is it, Man-At-Arms? You look so serious..." "And so it is. Iím afraid I canít do anything for Adoraís child." "Oh no!" Bow was horrified. "I donít know, if she will stand this. Shall I tell her?" "No. I have to do it." Duncan slowly shook his head. "I donít understand it. Zodak saved us before. Why canít he help now? Sometimes I wonder if he really cares for us. Come on now. We have to tell her." The two of them left the room. They hadnít realized Zodak above them, who at that moment just wished to be as cold and untouchable as the founders were.
"Are you sure, Duncan?" "Yes. Sheís dying, Princess." "No!" Crying the Princess looked at her daughter. Saskia stood at Ariel's and Nistrem's bed. "How shall I tell her?" she asked silently. Adoraís sadness turned into rage. "I wonít accept this. I want to speak to Zodak." "As you wish, Princess." She startled. The watcher appeared next to her. Saskia saw him and her eyes beamed. She ran to him and hugged him. "Uncle!" "Hello, Saskia." Lovingly he looked at her. "Could you leave Mom and me alone for a moment?" "Yes, uncle." Saskia went back to her sister and brother. "Uncle?" Adora asked. "Where the hell does she know you from?" "We often meet" Zodak just said. "Come with me, Adora. Iím sure you have many questions." He snapped his fingers and brought the two of them somewhere out in the universe. "Where are we?" Adora asked frightened. "In a star-fog. But thatís not important. You wanted to talk to me. Now Iím here." His calmness annoyed She-Ra. "How can you just watch my child dying?" she shouted. "Donít you have any feelings, Zodak? I know, you can help her!" "And then?" he asked gently. "What would happen, if she lives on? Do you think, she would ever be able to live a happy life? The people would recognize Hordak in her, immediately. She wouldnít have any friends. She would always have problems with health. Donít think, I donít understand you, Adora. But for her itís the best. She wouldnít fit in this world. And donít tell me, you donít know that." Adora felt his power, as she cried, and he placed an arm around her shoulders. "Iíll miss her so much" she sobbed. "I know, Adora. But think positive. If Saskia lived on, we all would be in danger. You may not forget: She is Hordak's offspring after all. Hordak is the man of evil himself. Heís more evil than Skeletor. Hordak is the pure flesh and blood of his father. His father, who rules parts of the universe without mercy, who is that evil, that his own son isnít interesting for him." "What do you mean?" She-Ra asked, though she foresaw it in a way. "Hordakís father is Horde Prime. Thatís the only reason why Hordak got never replaced on Etheria, though he himself doesnít know that. He doesnít know, who his father is. Now that you have beaten him, Horde Prime couldnít care less about his son. Do you think, Saskia could have gotten over such blood inside herself?" No answer. Adora was quite shocked. "Horde Prime is... the circle begins to close, Zodak. I understand. If Saskia dies now, this deadly family will stop to exist." "Perhaps. Horde Prime is always searching for ways to live forever. But youíre right. Our chances are much better that way. Saskia knows that. She knows more than you could imagine. She is a very special child. Sheíll give her life to protect us all, because she is your daughter, Adora. Hordakís mother and you, you two have made Saskia to the girl, she is." "Then this all was planned?" the Princess asked. "Did you know, that sheíll die, from the start?" "No. Iím no murderer, Adora. Iím just a watcher. I saw Saskia and knew, she had to get away from Hordak. If she hadnít become ill, perhaps she would have lived a happy life on Eternia. But as I told you before, most probably she would have become a danger for us all." Zodak brought Adora and himself back to the nursery. "Stay with your daughter now. And always think of it, that perhaps Saskia saves the universe." He vanished. Adam, who sat on the floor next to his niece, looked up astonished. "What was that?" "Iíll explain later." Adora bent down to Saskia to hug her, with tears in her eyes. "Right now I just want to play with my daughter. What do you say, Saskia, wanna go for a ride?" "I'd like that." When the girl stood up, Adora saw, how big she had become. She was such a cute child... and much too serious for her six years. It just wasnít fair... "Why are you crying, mom?" Innocently Saskia looked in She-Ra's eyes, which caused her mother just more tears. "Oh, baby." She embraced her very tight. "May I go riding now, mom?" "Of course." The Princess put herself together. "Come with me." They vanished. Adam went inside the room next to this one. It was the nursery of his own children. Eight months Sunshine and Andrť were now. They looked so much like their mother... Sighing Adam looked out of the window and decided to go to Grayskull. He needed to get out of here.
In the late evening, Adora sat on the side of a little bed. It was time to say farewell. Still Saskia didnít have pain or did look ill. She would just fall asleep- to never wake up anymore. The pale, sad face of her mother scared her. She held the little cuddly toy, Adora had given her, a white horse, which looked just like Spirit, tight. She was very weak yet. "Where is Daddy?" she suddenly asked. "Why isnít he here now?" "Saskia, I told you, heís far away" Adora tried to calm her. "I want to see him." That was clear. For her daughter the Princess had even brought herself to fulfill the last wish of her, but she didnít have an idea how to reach Hordak. "Iím afraid, he canít come, baby" She-Ra said sadly. "But Iím sure, he thinks of you very much." "He does." Adora startled and turned around. "Hordak!" She wanted to sound the alarm, when she saw, it was just a holography. "Shadow Weaver has done this connection" he said. "Truly Iím still on TerraZ1. I want to see my daughter." "Daddy!" Saskia tried to sit up. Adora helped her. "You have to be strong now, Saskia" the tyrant said. She-Ra thought to hear more sadness in his voice than ever before. "Remain strong for Daddy. Can you promise me that?" "Yes, daddy. I promise." Hordak already began to vanish. "Good-bye, child" he said. "I love you." Away he was. Adora nearly couldnít believe it. Never before she had seen a more human side of Hordak. Apparently the exile on TerraZ1 had completely changed him. Shaking her head She-Ra watched her daughter again- and frightened. "Saskia!" A last time the child opened her eyes. "Donít cry, Mom. I love you." "I love you too, Saskia." Then it was over. Saskia's body vanished. She-Ra covered her face with her hands, trying to be as brave and strong as her daughter had been. She didnít manage it. With tears she looked out of the window. Instead of her own reflection she saw Zodak. `Iíll take care of her, Princessī she heard him. `Thatís, what I promise you. The universe is saved once more. I have to go on my journey again. Live on now. Continue your role, that was given to you. Protect these planets with your brother. I wonít always be here to help you. You know, Adora- Iím getting old.ī His face vanished. Instead of it Adora saw She-Raís reflection. A last tear streamed down her cheek. `Yes, Zodakī she thought. `Iíll continue playing my role. And in a few months it wonít hurt so much as it does now. But- Iím getting old too. Iím getting old too.ī