"And so I pronounce you now man and wife!" Thundering applause echoed through the ship, as Sea Hawk kissed his bride. Adora and Bow smiled to each other. It reminded them on their own wedding... It seemed so long since they had stood there like this, kissing, just married, happier than anything, though it had been just a few months ago... Now their friends had made the same experience. Who had thought, that the pirate Captain, who had seemed to have feelings just for Adora, and BīTeena, who had been so emotionless at all after her arrival on Eternia, would be in love one day... Sven, who had married them, congratulated first, then the others did. They didnít realize, they were watched.
"There it is, master" Beastman shouted. "Finally!" Angrily Skeletor looked at the fireworks, which were started from the proud flying ship. "This time I'll destroy it. Once and for all! Trapjaw! Get your troopers ready! Kill whoever wants to stop you, but bring me the Princess, alive! Got that, metal mouth?" "Right, boss." Skeletor himself sat down in the command chair again and leaned back. This time he wouldnít fail. These fools over there were so busy with their silly celebration that they wouldnít be prepared for the attack. It should be more than easy.
A falcon was flying in the clouds over the ship. The Sorceress had come to Etheria too. After all it was her sister, who was married today. Also, if BīTeena herself didnít know, that she had a sister... Now Zoar knew, how her mother Teela-Na must have felt, not being allowed to be with her own daughter... Teela's children had it better. She was with them every second of their live, too, if it was only telepathically. She could feel them, that was most important. Today Adam took care of them, while she took a look on the wonderful celebration. It was good to see her sister that happy. One day she would know. Until then... Zoar just wanted to land when she felt danger. Restless she looked around. With her falcon eyes she spotted the big attack flyer far away. But... how was this possible? Since Skeletor's last attack on Etheria the gate to this planet was guarded hermetically! There was no time to think about it now. She concentrated and called Adora by telepathy.
The Princess was talking to the Falcon, Sea Hawkís father. Since the ship was still in the area of his island, he had managed it to come too. On his shoulder sat their old friend, Davy Jones. Teela-Na was on their side. Adora grinned at her. "How do you feel as mother-in-law?" She sighed. "Old." "I agree" the Falcon nodded. "But itís good, they are happy." He looked back to the stern where the young couple stood, away from the others, cuddling. "Teena has blossomed out very much" Adora remarked. "I wouldnít have expected this in the beginning." "Theyíre surprisingly good for each other" Hawkís father smiled. "Although I actually thought, one day I would see you marry my son..." She blushed immediately, but the Falcon only laughed. "Ey, I didnít blame you for it, did I? It was just a fact... You and your husband seem to be very happy too, as much as I can see this." His sight fell on her belly. "How far are you?" "Eight months and a week. Did you have to remind me? I just had managed it to forget it..." she moaned. "Iím looking forward to the child very much, but Iíll be glad, when this will be over..." Suddenly she startled and pulled her face. Teela-Na supported her immediately. "What it is?" "I think, I have these false contractions again..." Before anyone could say something, Adora received the message of the Sorceress. When Zoar had ended, the contraction was over too. The Princess made a grimace. "We are in trouble."
Sea Hawk was really angry, when Adora told him, Skeletor would attack. "Heís not only dangerous, he has bad taste too" he growled. "Just today..." "He loves doing this" the Princess sighed. "Iíve called the soldiers yet but I doubt, theyíll be here in time. Weíll have to fight without them" Bow informed them. Hawk got worried. "Then I donít see much hope. Teena is..." "Iíll fight" his wife interrupted him. "No, you wonít. I donít want you to be in danger in your situation." "Which situation?" Adora asked. Her friends looked at each other, jerked. "Actually we didnít want to know anybody yet... but in this situation... Iím pregnant." "Teena! Thatís wonderful!" The Princess hugged her friend wildly. "Iím so glad! Thatís really good news. For the second time, by the way! Just yesterday Dree-Elle, Orko's girlfriend, admitted it too... But Sea Hawkís right. It would be too dangerous for you to fight." Adora pulled her face and laid on hand on her belly. Bow supported her as another contraction came. "Damnit! These are only false contractions, I often had them the last weeks, but in the fight I wonít be able to help either..." Suddenly Teela-Na stood behind them. "Adora! I donít think, these are false contractions this time. It wonít take long, until the baby will come." The Princess got pale. "But... Teela-Na... itís much too early..." "Yes, unfortunately. You have to get back to the palace. Duncan sure can help." She hung her head. "I hate to tell you this but otherwise your child is really in danger." "Our winraider is still on the side of the ship. But I doubt, Iíll be able to fly" She-Ra said. "I will" BīTeena threw in immediately. "And Iíll go with you too" Teela-Na added. "We have just to reach Brightmoon, anything else is no problem." "Then go. Immediately!" Hawk ordered. "Sven, are the men ready?" "Everyone is ready, Captain." Worried Bow hugged his wife for a long moment. "Iíll follow you as soon as possible." She had tears in her eyes. "Bow... Iím so afraid... What, if the child..." "Donít even think of this!" he shouted. "It wonít happen! Go now! I think of you." The three woman went to the winraider. Sea Hawk saw Bowís restlessly and got even more worried. With an distracted warrior the fight would even be more difficult. He did something he hadn't done for long: He sent a quick prayer to heaven.
They werenít lucky. Skeletor had lost too often in the past to be as careless as before. It didnít take long until he had spotted the little ship on its way to the dry land. Teena was a skillful pilot but this time she had no chance. Trapjaw caught the winraider with the tractor ray and pulled it into the big ship. "Well done!" Skeletor shouted. "Now Iíll triumph!"
"Hawk, theyíre changing course!" Bow shouted astonished. The fight hadnít even begun and they were leaving yet? "Something must have happened" Sea Hawk mentioned worried. "Shall we follow them?" Sven asked. "Better not. It could be a trap... Bow, what is it?" His friend touched his forehead lightly. "I donít know..." He had never before been able to do telepathy. But as the Sorceress called him now, he understood. He got pale. "Theyíve captured the shuttle! Fast, Sven, fly after them!"
"Do you like your cabin?" Skeletor asked. His men had overpowered the enemies easily. Now they were locked up safely in cell aboard the top. "No, not really" Teela-Na bitched. She sat beside Adora and held her hand. The time between the contractions got shorter and shorter. It wasnít normal that giving birth went so fast. Something couldnít be alright. But she didnít want to worry the Princess, so she said nothing. "What do you want, Skeletor?" Teena asked. "Of you? Oh, donít much. Although... you would be a good addition to my soldiers. Donít you want to work for the evil again, Catra?" She startled and got unsure immediately. It always made her vulnerable to got reminded of her time in the Horde. "How... how could you know?" "Connection, my precious... just connections. What is it? Wouldnít you like to work for me? Let this Royal fools here be." All Adora and Teela-Na had expected, but not, that Teena suddenly stood up. "What are your conditions?" "Not much. I just expect you to work for me. Iím sure you would be a good leader for my troopers." "A fair offer." She nodded. "Teena! What the hell..." Adora began. "Shut up" Teela-Na hissed. She knew her daughter better than this. And she was right. As soon as Skeletor had opened the cell door, Teena attacked him. He was taken by surprise and she managed it to get his phaser. "But Iím afraid I have to refuse" she groaned, before she stunned him. "That should keep him from making trouble for a while. Come on!" she shouted. "I donít believe this..." Adora murmured. "I do" Teela-Na laughed. "Will you make it, Adora?" "Iíll have to." The attack flyer trembled. Through the window they saw Hawkís ship coming towards them. "The cavalry is coming" BīTeena smiled. "Letís go."
Without their leader Skeletorís minions were nothing, Adora got it confirmed once more. It was ridiculous simple to flee. She was more than relieved when she was on Hawkís ship again. She felt worse more and more. In less than an hour her child was due! As soon as Skeletor was away Sven directed the ship to Brightmoon. Now they could only pray that it wouldnít be too late.
Adam was quite surprised, when the whole group suddenly stood in the courtyard. He was just about to feed his son, Prince Andrť. "Adora? Whatís going on here?" "Where is Duncan?" Bow asked instead of an answer. "In the lab. Why?" "Iíll explain later. Come on, darling." His sister and her husband vanished inside the palace. Adam looked around, looked at Sea Hawk and Teena and sighed. "I suppose, this isnít a good moment to congratulate..."
It took only half an hour until Duncan joined them. Relieved they saw that he was smiling. "Are they alright?" Adam asked. "Yes. Everything is okay. The children were just a little bit in a hurry, as twins almost ever are..." "Twins?" Adam asked astonished. "Didnít you say, Adora will give birth to only one child?" "Thatís what I thought" Man-At-Arms jerked. "There are always surprises in this family, donít you think so? I think we should leave the young family alone for a while." "Just what I had in mind" the Prince nodded. "After all thereís still a wedding celebration to make..."
"May I interrupt?" The Queen entered the room quietly. Adora and Bow had their children on their arms and looked at them lovingly. "My next grandchildren." Happily Marlena took little Ariella, how Adora had called her girl. "Iím so glad. Theyíre very cute, darling." The Princess was still a little weak, though the birth had been a week ago now. It had been hard, she had lost much blood. "Mom..." She was very serious. "What is it?" "Weíve been thinking..." She looked at her husband. He jerked, as if wanting to say: Itís your business. "I have children now. I want to be there for them, and only for them and my family." Adora took a deep breath. "From this day on She-Ra is past."
It was six oíclock, when Adora woke up the next morning. She laid near to her husband, the head on his chest. To wake up this way, this was most beautiful, when she heard his heartbeat, felt his warmth. She smiled, thinking back of the last night. They had made love, very quiet not to wake their children up, who slept in the same room. Their children! The Princess took Bowís arm down of her shoulder and stood up. They were so cute! Adora leaned over Ariella's cradle. Peacefully the baby laid under many blankets, the little hands beside her head. They were premature babies and still tiny, but healthy and strong, as Duncan had assured. Lightly the Princess touched the pretty face, ran over the curls, her daughter already had, colored as blond as the ones of her mother. Ariella was a very pretty baby, as her twin brother Prince Nistrem was, who had only been born minutes after her. Adora took him on her arm now, tenderly and lovingly. He was so delicate, she nearly was afraid to hurt him. She held him tight and went to the window. The sun was rising. Through this window she could see Grayskull very good. Adora closed her eyes for a moment. Yesterday she had decided it- now there was no way back. The Sorceress didnít even know yet... Today she had to tell her. But had it been the right decision to give up her second identity? Adam was terrified. He didnít understand it at all. Her mother- was sure happy. But Adora had thought to see something in her eyes, she didnít understand. And Bow! She had believed, just he would be glad, if she wasnít in danger anymore. Instead of it the whole thing seemed to burden him. He tried not to show but she could tell. Had she done something false? Damnit, she thought, after all it was her life! And it was her business, if she wanted to spend this life with her children. She kissed her son lightly on the forehead, then she laid him back in the cradle, tucked him up. She knew, she couldnít sleep now anymore. Her children were safe. Bow was there and guards were always around too. So she put on her clothes quietly, took her sword and left the flat. There was something to talk about with a good friend of her.
Bow had watched her inconspicuously. He knew of her melancholy, and also, why it was there. Sighing he saw her entering the stable. She had given up so much... He knew Adora for a long time. She was a fighter, with all her heart, and if she hadnít an outlet now anymore, it could happen easily, that she would explode. Bow was very worried about his wife once more.
When Adora saw Spirit, she thought of, that he didnít even know yet, what decision she had made. How should she tell him? "Spirit..." "Yes, Adora?" "Iíve terminated." "Pardon?" He looked at her as if she would have gotten insane. "This is a joke! Or are you running a fever?" She had to laugh. "No, Iím totally normal. Iíve just given up all my powers and a few minutes ago I decided that you will return to Unicorn Island..." He shook his head. "I think, you are really running a fever. Shouldnít we call for Man-At-Arms? You canít be serious, Adora!" She caressed him gently. "I am, dear friend. Iíve never been more serious. I will bring you to Grayskull now and ask the Sorceress to change you. Then youíre free. You deserve it. Now, that Swift Wind isnít needed anymore itís only fair if you stay with your family." "But... Adora..." "Please, no discussion, Spirit! I know how you wish to be there. I donít want to hold you here. I'd be more than happy if you return, where you belong to." He was still more than amazed, but she saw that he agreed to her proposition. He loved his family very much. She got a Horshine and saddled it. For the riding home she would need it. It would probably be the hardest ride, she would ever make.
The Sorceress knew yet, what was up, as she always did. Without saying a word she changed Spirit, when he and Adora arrived at Grayskull. The Princess took off his saddle and hugged him long then. She cried. "Greet Star and Akif, and all my friends, will you? Iíll visit you soon." "Iím looking forward to." He hung his head. "Iíll miss you very much. If you should ever need my help- call me." "I will. Good-bye now. And thanks for all, youíve done." She looked away, when he passed the gate. The Sorceress shook her head without understanding. "It wouldnít have been necessary to set a symbol Adora. No one is happy with your decision but we all believe, that youíll really do it." "So you accept that I give up my powers?" Adora asked. "Not that easy you think, Princess. You havenít given me one good reason yet, why you suddenly quit fighting." Her friend got angry. "Iíve just given birth to twins. Isnít this reason good enough? Youíve got children yourself! Don't you understand it?" "No, not at all." With a fast move of her head Zoar projected a picture of Snake Mountain on the wall. "The greatest danger for my children is there. And I do all to bring this danger away from them." "So did my father" Adora answered. "And the result was, that Hordak managed it to steal me away from Eternia. I wonít let this happen to my babies. Iíll be there for them every second of their life. And if you donít understand this, I canít help either. Iím not forced to be She-Ra. That would be all." She turned around and went outside. The sword she let just fall on the floor. Zoar looked after her speechless.
In Snake Mountain Skeletor and his minions were testing a new weapon. It worked perfectly. "Good!" the Lord of Destruction shouted. "This nice little toy will manipulate the Royal winraiders irreparable! In the next attack..." "...you shall triumph. Yes, Iíve heard that before." Skeletor turned round angrily. "What do you want, witch?" "Just to look if you have a good plan or something like this. But I think, I can wait for this forever..." "If you have one, just tell me" he hissed. "But since your last ones all failed, Iíd be very careful with propositions. One could be your last." "You donít scare me, Skeletor." With this Evil-Lyn turned round and went to her laboratory again. "But if you would open your ears, you would have heard what I heard. So you donít know whatís going on..." She wanted to go. In rage he shot a phaser on her. She screamed and fell on the floor. "Damnit! Are you crazy?" She wanted to start a spell on her master, but then she realized, that Beastman was directing another weapon at her. "Iíve had troubles with you long enough, witch. No riddles anymore, no false word! Did you understand that? I could kill you at once." She stood up, pulling her face, the hand on the bleeding shoulder. "So could I, Skeletor. If you want to have the enemies the last laugh... damnit! Next time turn your phaser on stunning! Do you want to hear that now or not? Then tell your miserable excuse of a bulldog here to take the gun away. I donít speak if I get threatened. Thatís not my style." For a moment he seemed to loose control, his finger was on the trigger- then he gave Beastman a sign. The warrior went on working again. He himself lowered his gun, but didnít take it away yet. "So what is it, witch?" "She-Ra is gone." "Anything else? Donít you think, I know? Our spies have heard the people talking about her. Sheís on Etheria, but sheíll be back these days. Or why do you think, I prepare for a battle?" Evil-Lyn shook her head. "You donít understand. Sheís gone forever. I also have my spies, even in the palace. And they told me, she will never come back again. The Princess herself said it to one of my men." "What? Are you sure?" Now Skeletor was interested. "Of course I am. Otherwise I wouldnít tell you. What will you do now, Skeletor?" "Now Iíve got finally the possibility to deal with my arch-enemies. Iíll take care of both of them, once and for all!" "What are you talking about?" She shook her head. "He-Man is the only dangerous enemy, who is left here." "Thatís what you think." Skeletor went into his throne room. "Leave me alone, witch. I have to think about a plan." "As you wish." She went outside. Skeletor stayed back thoughtfully. So She-Ra was away. Good. One problem to handle without. Now he had time to deal with the other one. The one called Adora. She was a thorn in his side, even more than He-Man. Since she had been able to free Etheria from the Horde, she was sure dangerous. Besides there was still a certain fight to end with her... The old rage came back. She would pay for it. Someday. With the news, he had heard now, this someday shouldnít be too far.
"Ey, babe." Bow went to his wife on the balcony. He made a grimace when he saw her smoking. "I thought, you donít need it anymore." "I donít. I just felt like it. Besides I never said, I would have thrown away all cigarettes." She took a deep pull and held the smoke in her lung for a long time. Then she blew it in the sky. "I wouldnít do it if the children were around." "Where are Ariella and Nistrem anyway?" "Mom was so friendly to look for them for a few hours, while Madam Razz visited me." "What did she say?" he asked immediately. Adora couldnít know that Bow had asked the witch to talk to his wife, to talk her out of what she wanted. "Enough" the Princess smiled weakly. "Iím sorry to tell you that your plan didnít work." He blushed. "But..." "Donít try it." She went inside again and got the twins. Without loosing another word on the situation she began to prepare them for bed. "Iím not even angry" she said silently. "Only a little sad that no one seems to understand me." "You make it hard to understand, Adora." He sat beside her. "You know, I was quite surprised myself when you told me, you would quit fighting. You never said something like this before. I thought, all was clear, that after a short break..." "But it isnít, damnit! Youíre all telling me the same for a week now. Am I not allowed to change my mind? Youíre acting like the worldís end will come now! Why canít you just leave me in peace?" He saw tears in her eyes. "Because youíre my wife, Adora" he said firmly. "Perhaps you can fool your family, but not me." He took her chin and forced her that way to look in his eyes. "I know, thereís something else, which burdens you. And actually Iím a little sad now. Because I thought, you would trust me by now. Apparently you donít." "I do" she said. "Really. Some things just arenít easy to tell for me... Could you care for Ariella? Besides itís silly. You would laugh." "I would never laugh at you, Adora." He laid his daughter in her cradle gently. Adora sighed. "Okay. Itís just that... Didnít you realize how Skeletor was after me in the last months?" His face grew dark. "Of course. But you always kicked his ass, so I think, slowly heíll understand that itís useless." "I knew, you think so. But you all havenít understood it yet: Skeletor wonít give up. He wants to take revenge." "I donít know what you mean." They sat down on the bed. She pulled on her knees and laid the head on it. "I once spoiled all his plans, when Hordak stole me from my parents. He hasnít forgotten this." "Adora, thatís ridiculous. That was more than 23 years ago!" "Donít tell me, tell Skeletor. When it happened, and Hordak split with Skeletor, the Lord of Destruction lost a golden opportunity. With Hordak together he could have become the leader of many planets. Horde Prime would most probably have been very proud of him. Who knows, perhaps Skeletor would have vanished with Hordak and Eternia would be free now, if their plan to steal Adam and me had failed at all. But so Hordak betrayed Skeletor, and after bonebrain did the same, they were split forever. But the possibilities, Skeletor has had as Hordak's pupil, are still in his head. He hates me. Heíll do all to make life miserable for me." A break. Then: "Bow, Iím really scared. I hate to admit this, but Iím scared. I couldnít win this fight. If Iím here, in the palace, I will be as protected as our children are. I wonít be afraid that I will be killed in battle and they have to grow up without a mother." She placed a hand on his arm. "Or that you will suddenly be a widower. I couldnít bare this. Say Iím a coward. Believe me, I never were one before. Hordak would never have let me become one. But although the Horde was just horror for Etheria, Skeletor can become more dangerous then they were. Iím tired and afraid of fighting. I want to be a mother and a wife now. Not more." "I understand." She looked in his eyes. Did he meant it? When he kissed her tenderly, she knew. She looked at the cradles- yes, the twins were asleep. He saw her light smile and grinned back. They would have get used to be careful in the future... Nevertheless nothing could have held them back from making love, showing each other their feelings, for hours. But the next attack was already in the air...
"Catch them where it hurts them most. I donít know, who said that, but I like that sentence. Is the transporter ready, Trapjaw?" "Ready, boss." "Then letís start." Skeletor sat down in the command chair. "What are you planning?" Evil-Lyn asked, as the shuttle took off. "Torture, witch. Just torture. Hordak was a fool. He didnít even know how to really torture somebody. They donít mind if they have to bare something themselves. But if itís one, they love, they canít take it. And thatís exactly the situation, in which I will bring the Princess in. Weíll see, how strong sheíll be then. There is the camp. Prepare the landing, Beastman!"
The Royal Guard had a training camp in the woods, a secret one, of which nearly no one knew. They had never expected an attack of Skeletor here and werenít ready for a fight at all. Only ten men were there at present. It wasnít hard for Skeletor and his crew to take care of them. With Trapjaw's freeze rays soon the Lord of Destruction succeeded and returned to Snake Mountain. Most of the soldiers he had left behind. All, except for his special guest. Now he only had to wait.
"Adora! Bad news!" Adam entered the flat very pale. "Base 25 has been under attack!" "Oh no!" Horrified she looked at him. Just where Bow was at present! "What happened?" "All the soldiers got frozen. Man-At-Arms could melt them again, but Iím afraid, Skeletor has captured Bow." She had to sit down. With tears in her eyes she took the hands in front of her face. "Donít worry, sis." He took her shoulders. "Look at me. Iíll free him. Okay? Thatís a promise." "Please, Adam..." she whispered. "I promise." He went to the door, turned round once more. "Donít you want to come with me?" She only shook her head. "I canít." He wanted to say something- then he decided not to do it. It was useless. The first thing he had learned when he had meet Adora, was, that no one could talk her out of something, which was in her head. He called for Cringer and transformed.
Skeletor watched satisfied, as He-Man on Battle Cat reached Snake Mountain. "Heís faster than I thought" was his comment. He turned round to his prisoner. "Now you donít have to wait long anymore. Soon the contest will begin!" He laughed scornfully. Bow didnít show any reaction. Trapjawís freeze ray still held him, and until He-Man would be captured too, Skeletor wouldnít turn it off. Without hurrying he called for his men. He had all time in the world.
`Adora! Princess Adora!ī The young woman startled. The Sorceress called her by telepathy. She was surprised. Since the last catastrophic meeting of her with Zoar she hadnít heard from her. `What is it?ī she asked. `Trouble, Princess. You should better come to Castle Grayskull at once.ī Adora made a grimace and answered, with telepathy too: `Iím coming. But donít expect too much.ī Loudly she told her mother where she was going to. "Iím sorry to ask you again, but could you have an eye of Ariel and Nistrem once more?" "Of course, Adora. Itís no trouble. After all Iím the grandmother." Worried Marlena watched her daughter leaving. First Bow, then Adam, now her... Skeletor was more dangerous than ever. That Adora gave up her second identity, gave him the possibilities to finally conquer Eternia. Marlena had no illusions about that. She sighed. Sometimes sheíd rather have been on earth than Eternia.
"Hello, Adora." The Sorceress didnít look good. There had to be a real danger. "Something serious has happened. Skeletor has captured your brother." "Pardon?" Adora was really astonished. "How the hell did he manage that?" Zoar jerked her shoulders. "I donít know. But I know, that they both, your brother and Bow, are in great danger. You have to help, Adora!" "And if he manages it to capture me too? What sense would that make? It wouldnít help them either! As Adora Iím too vulnerable to enter Snake Mountain." Zoar shook her head. "Thatís not true and you know that. Iíve seen you beating the Horde alone as Adora. Do you want to do nothing while the Lord of Destruction kills your family?" With flashing eyes the Princess turned round. "Iím going. I hope, youíll be happy, if he captures us all." She wanted to leave. "Whatís about your sword?" the Sorceress shouted after her. "Which sword?" Away she was. Zoar was frightened when the spirit of Grayskull appeared beside her. "I feel, youíve got problems, Sorceress." "I have. Do you think, you were mistaken with her? She has given up much too easily." "Donít worry, Zoar. This girl has much too much will and bravery to give up. Itís only a matter of time." "So why do you have to play that game with her at all?" she asked. "Itís no game, Zoar, and I thought you finally understood that. Itís for the good of the Prince and the Princess, when tasks come on them. They make them stronger. Theyíre the most powerful people in the universe. Theyíre not allowed to make any mistakes. It would be a catastrophe. And now I donít want to talk about it anymore." He vanished. Angrily the Sorceress looked at the place, where he had been. The people always thought, she was powerful. But in a discussion she was nothing. The decisions in Grayskull were not up to her. She hated it. Still worried she decided to watch Adora through a mirror. If that would only work!
"What do you want, Skeletor?" He-Man asked angrily. The Lord of Destruction had improved his transporter again and had managed it to catch Adam. The beam had made him unconscious for a while, and now he stood her, chained with these power rays. They made him even more angry. Duncan really had to work on the techniques- at the moment their enemy was much stronger than they were. He looked aside, at Bow, who had just woken up from the stunning. He seemed to be alright, thank goddess. "Iím planning a little contest with the two of you" the Lord of Destruction laughed. "Itís called: Who dies first?" In his hand he had a little gadget and pressed a button now. In the next moment an unbelievable pain forced through he-manís body. He had to bit on his lower lip to not to scream, heard his friend beside him moan quietly. The attack seemed to last for half an eternity. "Nice little thing, isnít it?" Skeletor said, looking on the gadget. "While you were blacked out, my scientists have a placed a microprocessor in your heart, which keeps it from beating. You can hold on a heart for nearly three minutes, before someone dies, did you know that? Well, but since youíre in good condition, it may last longer..." Again an attack, even longer now. Adam felt the pain taking all his strength away, he only hung in his chains now. Only one time something like this had happened to him before... That had been the day, when he had freed Adora from the Horde. Why had he to think about that just now? He couldnít suppress a scream anymore, when the agony started again. He had never felt something like this before. Only very far away, very quiet, he heard Skeletor saying: "Well, itís sure interesting to see, who will be dead first..." "You will." Adora! Relieved Adam looked up. He didnít know how the hell she had managed to come in here unharmed, but it sure had been great. "Greetings, Princess. Iíve been waiting for you." A force field closed the door, through which she had come. But Skeletor had made a fatal mistake. In fights with He-Man they were, as Evil-Lyn called that `more talking than doing battleī. His reactions were slow because he knew, He-Man was always waiting, what he would do next. So he was more than surprised, when Adora shot at him. He hadnít even the time to think about, what happened, before he blacked out. "Well done, sis!" He-Man shouted. His strength was already coming back. But unfortunately Bow hadnít had this luck. After all, He-Man had the better condition than him. When the Princess had destroyed the power chains, her husband collapsed, unconscious. "Bow!" Horrified she knelt down beside him. "Oh no!" The warrior really looked bad. Afraid himself, Adam searched for the pulse. He should never forget, how relieved he was, when he felt it. "Heís alive, Adora. The best will be to bring him to Castle Grayskull. The Sorceress sure can help." She only nodded. "Iíve brought your horses in the area of Snake Mountain." "Then letís go." Adam was still weak but he managed it to hold his friend up and bring him outside. "Congratulations, by the way" he said quietly. "You were good. And you were just in time... as usual." "Donít think, this will change anything" she said hard. But in her eyes he thought to see something different. He had realized her sight, when she had defeated Skeletor. She began to think again. Good. To speak with Skeletor, it would be interesting to see, when she would quit being that pig-headed.
Skeletor didnít remain being blacked out for long. His first thought waking up of course was revenge. He had been patient. He had really be patient for a long time. But now it was enough. He would fight with all the tricks, he had. There were some left in the laboratories. Actually he hated Hordak's methods, but he always had had to admit that they worked. Now he would test them himself.
"What is up with him, Sorceress?" With tears in her eyes Adora stood next to the stone bench, on which Zoar had transported her husband. Forgotten was the quarrel, the two of them had had before. "A synaptic shock, Adora. Dangerous enough. If you had come a few seconds later, we wouldnít have to talk about this anymore now. But I think, the spirit of Grayskull will help." She was right. Only moments later a bright light filled the room. Blinded they couldnít see anything. It took a few minutes, then it was over. Adora looked on the bench again. Was he... "Bow?" Scared she took his hand. He opened his eyes slowly. "Are you alright?" she asked with fear. "Letís say, Iíd prefer not to do that again..." He sat up and hugged her long. He-Man took the chance to kiss his own fiancťe. "Thanks, darling. Is something wrong?" A strange look was on her face. "Wait for a moment, Adam." She went to a mirror. He-Man had never seen her frighten so much before. "My god! I have to call Dad..." She concentrated shortly. The others saw her begin to cry. "What is it, Sorceress?" She put herself together and wiped away the tears. "Itís Skeletor. Return to the palace immediately! He has taken all his soldiers and started to attack intensively. He stays in the air over the palace with his flyers and damages all, no matter, if it is the building or humans..." Her voice trembled. "Ten of our soldiers are hurt badly yet, and one is dead." She turned to Adora. "Itís Commander Lightning." "No!" The soldier had been one of Adora's best friends. "Whatís about our children?" she asked in panic. "Theyíre alright. You know, how the room is guarded. But you have to go there immediately, before itís too late! Oh, and Adora- Iím sure for this fight She-Ra is needed. We havenít the time to discuss. I just tell you that without you our chances to win arenít good. I donít know, if youíve forgotten or just suppressed, what you told Adam once: Save the universe or damn it." Before anyone could react, the Sorceress changed to Zoar, the falcon, and flew into the direction of the palace. She sure was worried about her own family. "Sheís right, babe." Bowís voice was calm and rational, as it always was. "Weíll need She-Ra. Think of our children." "Thatís just what I do" she said. "They need to be protected." "So why donít you do it? As good as you can? Youíre the Princess of Power to protect the weak and help to remove the evil. Only then Ariella and Nistrem will have a save future." "Listen to your husband, Adora" Adam agreed. "One thing you taught me, when I ran away a few months ago: To do my best in fights. I even hadnít my powers then. But you still have yours. Why canít you bring yourself to admit a fault?" She looked from him to Bow, back to her brother. "But..." "Adora, Zoar was right! We havenít the time for discussions." He-Man already went to the gate. "Wait!" she shouted. "I have to get my sword. I donít know, where the Sorceress put it." Bow pointed at the corner. The weapon was exactly there where the Princess had dropped it not too long ago. "Why is it still there?" she wanted to know. "Zoar said, no one is allowed to pick it up but you. And also you are only allowed to, if you mean it serious" Adam explained. "Damnit!" the Princess murmured. "She hasnít ever believed, I really wanted to stop being She-Ra." One last moment of thinking- then she held aloft her sword and shouted: "For the honor of Grayskull!" She realized, that she was in the same situation as she had been in at the first time, she had become the Princess of Power. She had been forced to then and she was now, through a bad fight, the others needed her in. The transformation also felt, like it would be the first time. It was right now, that she became She-Ra, not only her clothes and appearance changed, her soul did so too. "Ready?" Bow asked, smiling. "Not yet. Skeletor attacks from the air. I have to do so too. Head for the palace yet, you two. Iíll follow you soon." "Okay." They vanished. And Adora began to concentrate.
"Glimmer! Watch it!" In the last moment Adam could take aside her. The phaser shot hit the floor, where she had just stood. "Thanks!" she shouted. "Youíre welcome. How are the hurt rebels?" "Theyíre alright. Teena has arrived and helped them. Watch it!" Now she had saved him. "This is starting to get annoying" he groaned. "Skeletorís main ship is better than our flyers... oh no!" Another ship appeared in the sky. Adam knew it too well. "Thatís the rainbow! The Queen is in the battle now! Weíve got to do something!" "He-Man! Look!" Suddenly Glimmer sounded relieved. Adam was so too, when he saw Swift Wind in the sky. Apparently She-Ra hadnít even lost time with searching for his saddle. She sat on his bare back, when she joined the air attack, directly heading for the main ship. Her pegacorn could navigate better and faster than the Royal Flyers, and soon she had reached the shuttle. He watched her entering with a single kick against the case and was wondering, what she was planning. Hadnít she had enough of Skeletor by now?
"Hello, boneface." She-Ra tried not to show her hate when she faced her enemy. He was never allowed to know, she was Adora. It was bad enough, that Hordak knew it. His three minions, who wanted to attack her, she wiped away with a few moves of her hands. The Lord of Destruction was important now. His phaser was no match for her too. "What do you want?" he asked, shrinking back. He had the transporter and could beam away in seconds. Still she could harm him and he knew it. "I think, you havenít understood yet" she said. "Youíre here for ages now and still think, youíll be able to conquer Eternia one day. Iíve driven away Hordak from Etheria. Doesnít that give you a reason for thinking?" "You donít scare me, She-Ra. Be prepared. One day I will rule Eternia. And then youíll be sorry. Youíll wish to never have come here. It will be just a matter of time." She wasnít surprised when he beamed away. She continued the fight with his shuttle. Very soon it was over and she landed the ship. Sighing she looked out of the front window. Skeletor had just confirmed her that she worried for a good reason about him.
"That should be enough" BīTeena said. She had just healed the last one, who had been injured. "Youíve improved your abilities, I see" She-Ra smiled lightly. "Too bad, I didnít come in time to save Lightning." BīTeena seemed to blame herself for it. "You arenít responsible" Adora said with tears. "No one but Skeletor is. And Iím afraid, in the future weíre going to loose more people. This was only the beginning today. I hoped to be mistaken, Teena, when I said, I wouldnít fight anymore, but today I saw, I wasnít." She looked at her brother and her husband seriously. "Skeletor has become totally insane now. More than he ever was. I doubt, heís really a danger for all Eternia but sure for our family. If we donít find a solution, we will never have peace."
Zoar flew back to Grayskull slowly. Her babies were alright and most of the others too. But she had felt the same as She-Ra had and knew too, that she had to prepare for the future. She-Ra... Actually she hadnít believed, the Princess would become rational so fast again. The spirit of Grayskull had been right once more. Adora was to strong to give up. At least one good thing.
Adora was nursing Nistrem this evening, when her husband came into the flat. "Are the soldiers alright?" she asked. "Yep. Theyíll be fine." He kissed his wife lightly and took Nistrem then. "So, dearie. Itís bedtime." Ariella already was asleep. "Spirit will really stay here?" Bow wanted to know. "Yes. As long as here is fight, he never has peace on Unicorn Island, thatís exactly, what he said. And Eternia will fight a long battle. Thatís for sure." "So whatís on your mind now?" He sat behind her and began to massage her shoulders. She was very tensed up. "Iíve talked to many people today. But the last decision I had to make alone. Youíd laugh if I tell you, why I finally remain being She-Ra now." She shook her head slowly. "It was because of Swift Wind. Without thinking of himself he gives up his life with his family to help in a fight, which isnít even his. If my horse can do so, I think, I should be able too." "Iím glad, you decided that way" Bow said honestly. "If you fight, you are in a better mood..." She sighed. "I know, I was not to bear the last days. Iím sorry." "Never mind. Itís important, that youíre normal again..." "Normal?" Grinning she turned round. "And what have I been before? Donít say something false now!" He just smiled and kissed her passionately. For hours they could forget the last happenings. But the new future had already begun. A very hard, unknown future. Eternia would soon face its hardest time ever.