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THE SOUND OF SILENCE
 

 

At eight o'clock, the Royal Family was always having breakfast. Only a few days had gone by since Hordak had been defeated. A few days, since Adora and Bow had begun to spend most of their time moving into the three rooms of the palace that had been given to them. King Randor would have liked to give them the whole house, but the space was already too much for them. Today, the first breakfast with the entire family was going to take place. Randor and Marlena came into the dining room at eight, like they always did. Adam came in with Cringer two minutes later, yawning and with a tired look in his eyes. But the Princess and her boyfriend hadn't show up. "Adam, won't you go get them?" the King finally asked impatiently. "Of course." But a few moments later he came back, shaking his head. "The flat is empty." Before anyone could comment, Bow jumped through the window. With an elegant somersault he joined them. "Sorry for being late, your majesties. I've been in the stable and couldn't find the way here. So I took the short cut." Marlena got over the little shock faster than her husband. "Nice to see you" she said friendly. "Where is Adora?" "I don't know exactly. Spirit wasn't there, so..." The sound of thundering hooves slurred his last words. The Royal couple ran to the window, while Bow sat down beside Adam, jerking. The prince pointed to the seat beside him, discreetly. The warrior rolled his eyes, and his friend had to laugh. That could be funny in the future! He looked out in the garden. Something red-and-white passed by, into the direction of the stable. Only a few meters before it was too late Spirit lowered his gallop. Now, Adora became visible. She had stood up on his back and held on his mane like a cat. No saddle, no bridle. Her golden hair blew in the wind, her big blue eyes flashed. And she laughed. Marlena's heart leaped with joy. Her daughter! How lovely she was! In front of the stable door Spirit made a perfect sliding stop- Adora didn't even move forward. "Hi!" she said to the baffled workers cheerfully and dismounted. "Good, Spirit! Thanks for the wonderful ride. Come on, off to the paddock with you!" "See ya soon, Adora." She didn't bother to open the gate. Spirit leaped over it without difficulty. How this horse could jump! Adam shook his head. And he wasn't the only one. Randor gaped with astonishment. But his wife- laughed heartily. "I'd say, she certainly takes after me. Let's sit down. I think breakfast can finally begin." Indeed the Princess dropped in on them two minutes later. "Good morning. Sorry, I think, I'm a little late..." A little? "We were lost in the woods, Spirit and I..." When she saw the constricted face of her father, she hugged him strongly. "Don't be angry, Dad! Next time I will leave earlier. Normally, I'm on my way by five anyway, but it was so late yesterday... It won't happen again." Innocently she looked at him with her `nice-child´-face- he could not remain annoyed anymore. "Never mind, Adora." She sat down beside Bow and kissed him fast, but lovingly. "Where have you been?" Breakfast was served. The Princess paid poor attention to the flatware, she ate, like she was familiar with it. Bow however, orientated himself by Adam a little at least, who watched his sister shortly and took then put his napkin in front of his red face, suppressing a loud laugh. Hopefully, his father wouldn't have a heart attack now! But the King seemed to overlook the behavior of his daughter. Only a little wrinkle appeared on his forehead. But he didn't say anything. "We were in the Wide Forest, Dad" she told him. "It's very beautiful." "And very dangerous." He grew pale. "You shouldn't go there alone, Adora. You know. Snake Mountain is just ahead of it!" "Okay, Dad." With that, it was decided for her. He wanted to chastise her, but the Queen stopped him. `Later´ her eyes said. He nodded lightly. "Well, Adora, Bow- can we look for you and the other rebels this evening? The people are dying to see you..." The Princess hit herself, startled. "Shit! The ball!" Now, even Marlena groaned. It was clear that her daughter's way of life would be a problem in future. "Bow, do the others know..." "They know. Most of them will go. Just this morning, we talked about it, Adora." "Really? Oh, yes, now I remember. Sorry, the stress of the last few days has been a little bit too much, I think..."

After the meal, Randor asked the Princess into the consult room. "You know, Teela has gone on a long journey..." `Well, you can call it that´ Adora thought sarcastically. "...and I want to offer you her place. Would you like you be the Royal Guard Captain, Adora?" Oh no! The Princess had foreseen it in a way, since the day, Teela had become the Sorceress, but she hadn't thought about how to refuse yet. It wasn't necessary. Her father saw her sight and hung his head. "You don't want it." "No. Sorry to refuse so straight immediately, but that's definitely too much responsibility. To lead the rebels, that was a total different job. I sure would make too much mistakes with your troopers." She realized he was disappointed. "I'm really sorry, Dad." "Doesn't matter, Adora. But do the eternian soldiers and the rebels work that different?" She knew, what he was worrying about. Most of the people of the rebellion didn't fight anymore, but there was a group, including Glimmer, Netossa, Madam Razz and many others, who had offered their help whenever it was needed. "Surely not. But each group has its own tactics, strategies, way of thinking. We shouldn't change too much, or they will crash immediately." "I'll think about it." He went away. She looked at him sighing. He was more disappointed than she had hoped. "What is with him?" she asked her mother, who came to her. "Come with me, dear. I'll show you something."
The Queen knew, she was making a mistake now. But she didn't care. One of these overpowering secrets she could bare, but not two. Not two. She guided her daughter into her privacy room, in the cellars of the palace. "No one is allowed to go here" she explained. "If I want to be alone, I come here. And every night for about a half an hour." "Every night?" "Yes. Do you keep a diary, Adora?" She bent down and lifted up a loose plank. A book cased in red leather appeared. "Yes, sometimes. You too?" "Oh, yes. A special one. Come on, sit down." She took her daughter's hands. "How shall I tell you... Believe me, this is not easy for me. You mustn't tell anyone what you are about to see. Can you promise me that?" "I promise." "Okay." She trembled lightly, when she opened the book. Not much was written in the margins, only one or two sentences each. Instead of words, there were breathtakingly beautiful pictures on the pages. Charcoal drawings, which could have been exhibited in a gallery. "Mom, they are amazing!" "You haven't seen everything yet." Marlena leafed forward. Took a deep breath. And then opened the book to a different spot. Adam and Adora transforming into He-Man and She-Ra. `Twin power- twin worry´ was written below. With a loud bang the book fell. "Mom! By the ancients! Why don't you say anything? How long..." "Long." "But..." "Sh! Listen first, then worry. I have told you, because I want you to have less stress. Adam doesn't know about yet, and I won't tell him either. One time I was about it... and I think, he foresaw it for some time, but we never talked about it. By now, I think, he doesn't know it anymore. He has played his role for so long, he has been familiar with it for years... I don't want to change that- and I beg you also not to tell him. Your father of course is very disappointed with Adam. It's clear. If I didn't know your secrets, I'd behave the same way. For you, Adora, the double burden will be hard. Or do you really believe, nobody will notice that you're gone every time, a fight takes place?" "The rebels never realized." She shrugged her shoulders. "But the people here will realize one day. Did you ever think of quitting fighting as Adora?" "No! I never could! I'm known as the leader of the rebels, and I have to continue to be so. What would it look like if I'd stop fighting on my own home planet?" The Queen sighed. "It will be difficult." "I know, Mom. But I'll make it. I'm a fighter." Marlena nodded. "Indeed you are, child. But nearly more important than a fighter is- a Princess. You are the Princess of Eternia, child, and it's essential that you begin to learn the etiquette. As long as Princess Adora is known and loved, nobody will care if you are here when Skeletor attacks. It will make life much easier, for you and your father." "It sounds like you're watched very closely here" the young woman moaned. Marlena looked at her seriously. "One thing you must learn, Adora, a Princess will never be alone. Living here won't be easy for you." "What the others think, doesn't matter to me." she said. "Many things will change..." "...but I do have you. Nothing is too difficult if you are here with me, Mom. If you are here, there's nothing I can't bear. Everything here is still strange for me, but I will learn from you. None of it matters, as long as you are with me." The Queen nodded. "I'm glad, you think so." "So we're ready now? I have to help in the stable and..." "Adora, what's on your mind? The first teaching lesson will be in your room. What do you think you will wear this evening?" "Well, I thought..." She pointed at her red outfit. Marlena rolled her eyes. "That's, what you wear 365 days a year, Adora! No, I have let come some things we can try. You'll be surprised..."

Bow and Adam were waiting at the base of the big stairs for their women. Adam didn't want to appear alone at the ball, which he wasn't even planning on attending. That was, before Bow convinced him to go. He had also suggested Adam ask Glimmer. The young woman had said 'yes' a little too quickly, He-Man thought. It was clear to him that she had a crush on him. However, he had someone that his heart belonged to. If only this someone weren't so far away! He had made a promise. Glimmer was a nice girl. He couldn't hurt her. "Adam, are you listening to me?" "What? Sorry, I was just thinking..." He didn't finish. What could he say? `I was just thinking of the most beautiful girl in the universe, the girl, who protects all of Eternia. And of another girl, too, who'll be here soon, a very beautiful girl that is about to try to steal my heart, although I don't want it to happen. I would prefer a battle with Skeletor than to remain standing here right now...´ Yes, and when he heard this, Bow would shoot an arrow through his heart. A governess came to them then "The ladies will be ready any second. They had a little problem with the dresses..." She disappeared again, with a mysterious smile. "A dress? Adora is in a dress?" Bow gave a quiet snort. "She even doesn't really like the white smock she wears as She-Ra!" Adam whispered. "Sorry, Adora in a dress, I can't imagine..." At that moment they appeared. The men were blinded at first. Not because of the chandelier, which allowed the two women to appear to rise like a phoenix from the ashes. No, it was their beauty that had blinded them. Glimmer wore a white dress, very short, sleeveless, strapless, at held tightly at the waist. Her hair fell, lightly curled, at her bare brown shoulders. She wore a splendid necklace of only color. The short cape and high boots gave her the charisma of an obvious beauty, who knew what she wanted. Adora, on the other hand, opted for a classic effect. `That must be what empresses looked like,´ Bow thought enchanted. She wore a champagne-colored, silk-dress that reached her ankles and billowed on her shoulders and décolletage. Apparently, she had even worn a corset. White gloves stretched up to the elbows. Her curls didn't hang as they always did, naturally. On the contrary they had been put up. She surely hadn't managed this herself. The men had to question who had been at work. A little tiara gave her height. She understood the effect she had created. With a supercilious smile she walked, no, stalked by her friend's side down the stairs. When she was only half a meter in front of him, Bow took her hand and kissed it casually. Then he guided her in the ball hall. There wasn't any time left to look at Adam. He had to watch himself, and remember his manners by himself now. It would be hard enough.

After her behavior so far, Adam hadn't expected his sister to be know how to dance, but he was surprised. She knew the steps perfectly. Bow and she made an adorable couple. She looked so good with him that the other men scrambled to get a chance to dance with her. It took some time, until the Prince had a chance to ask Adora politely: "May I have the pleasure of the next dance, Princess?" Actually, she wanted to rest a little, but she simply couldn't turn her brother down. "My pleasure." She was a perfect dancer. "Where did you learn that?" he asked. "Certainly not from Shadow Weaver" she commented. "Queen Angella taught me a few things." "Where is she now? Mother and father would like to meet her" he said. "She will come later. She had work to do, but Bow went to find her. She's a workaholic. But it's no wonder, there's so much to do in the chaos Hordak has left." Suddenly, she looked around restlessly. "What is it, sis?" he asked worriedly. "I don't know... a strange feeling... it may be nothing. You know, sometimes I have foresight..." "Please, not this evening" he laughed. "Not now, when you have impressed so many people. Wouldn't be good if a battle started today." "You're right" she agreed smiling. "Forget it." He stared at her seriously. "You're very beautiful, Adora." "Thank you, I have heard that often tonight. I don't have time to think about." Inwardly he nodded. That was it, what had fascinated the people so much with Adora. She had let her mother dress her up today, and would repeat that several times in the future. But she had a natural appearance. Vanity wasn't her forte. It was probably one of the only positive results that came from her childhood in the Fright Zone. She looked around again. "Damn it" she murmured. "Perhaps I am becoming a little schizophrenic..." She couldn't know that what she had seen was the hard task that was coming.

How they made it through the evening was a riddle they would think about. At half past two, Adora fell on her bed, exhausted. "God in heaven! I can hardly breath. Mom has made this corset as tight as they had them on earth in the past. No wonder some people used to faint... Can you help me please?" "Of course." She was very relieved, when she was able to take the dress off. "Do I have to help you with your smoking too? It fits you, by the way." "Thanks" he groaned. "That dinner was worst. Ten thousands forks and knifes! Adam said to me: `Simply take from outside to inside.´ Very funny..." "Now it's over" she laughed. "And the next time won't be too soon. So, you can calm down. Where did actually Glimmer disappear to?"

She sat in Adam's room, and listened to his story silently. He explained how he much he loved Teela, and that he wanted to wait for her until her journey was over. Glimmers attempts to flirt with him had hurt the entire evening through so he just had to tell her (most of) the truth. "I thought so" she said and stood up. "But one thing you have to be aware of: there are two kinds of love. One that can't stand a month of being part. And then, the real love, continuing until death parts you. But it is a love that is not allowed to hurt. Because of this love, no partner can expect the other to be unhappy for a lifetime. And you are unhappy like that, Prince Adam. I know that." She walked away. "Oh, damnit!" he murmured. He went to the window, where he stood for a while, just staring outside and thinking. Somehow he had known it. Adam wasn't surprised when the Sorceress called for him, asking him to come to Castle Grayskull.

"We haven't the time for such jokes, Zoar." Adam really thought it was a bad joke at first. But she didn't say anything, just stared out of the window, and he understood that she was absolutely serious. "But that's impossible!" "Why, Adam? Also one thoughtless night can have its consequences. I'm pregnant and in less than nine months you'll be a father. I hope, you know, what you must do." It wasn't a question, but he nodded in agreement. "I'll take care of the baby, I promise. I'll be a good Father to it." "You will be" she agreed. "I only wish it could have a Mother too." He-Man saw her tears. "My god! What a silly law that Grayskull actually forbids a mother to be with her children? What sense does that make?" She jerked. "Traditions..." "...have to be changed one day. I mean, it's clear, you won't have much time for the baby, but there's no reason for me not to bring it to you daily." He was really annoyed. And although he knew, it would hurt her, he added: "I'll never understand, why we have to live without each other. No, I have to let it be, I have promised you and I won't let you down." He wanted to go, but the Sorceress shouted: "Adam!" It sounded like a cry for help. He went to her slowly. "Oh, Zoar. How shall we manage this?" He didn't dare to get too close to her, but she came to him. They kissed. There was a short moment of hesitation, then she said: "Forget the laws of Grayskull!" He-Man expected something terrible to happen to her now, but nothing did. After a while, they had forgotten everything, while they lay in the Sorceress' bed, where no one could have separated them.

The next morning, Adora and Bow were training with the Royal Guard. After it the Princess came to Feater, who just left the palace. He had been called in her father's office and she could imagine, what they had talked about. "May we congratulate?" she asked, smiling. "I suppose, we can welcome our new Royal Guard Captain, can't we?" "Thank you." He didn't look at her, but went to his men, giving them some orders how to train. She sighed. She knew, why she didn't like him. She wondered why her father had chosen just him. Teela-Na joined her. "Sorry to interrupt, Princess, but can you please let me borrow Spirit? I know you normally don't do that, but he's the fastest steed here. I can't fly the Sky Sleds..." "Of course. What's wrong, Teela-Na?" She was very excited. "It's the Sorceress... I have to head for Castle Grayskull immediately!" "Spirit's on the paddock, just go. What is wrong with Zoar?" "Wrong? Nothing. On the contrary I think, she's feeling rather well at the moment with your brother..." Adora pulled her face. "Tell me that this is a joke! I thought, he would have understood! I tell you something, take Spirit and go as quickly as you can. I'll join you then and will talk to my brother." The Princess went into the stable and took Matressa, a mare horshine she did not know well. She hated these mechanic animals. Soon, she even couldn't see Teela-Na anymore. Spirit carried her quickly and without difficulty. Adora didn't move as fast on Matty, it seemed. Suddenly, Matressa reared. Adora wasn't prepared for it and fell off. Unfortunately, she crashed against a tree and hit her head so hard that she blacked out. Just then, the raven that had scared Matty, transformed into a different shape.

Teela-Na had just arrived at Grayskull, when she heard a horse neigh loudly. She looked around searchingly. Matressa came out of the bushes. She was extremely nervously and first Teela-Na was unable to catch her. "Matty, what's wrong? Whoah, calm down!" The advantages of these steeds were their tricks, like- the video camera. Teela-Na watched the film. But there wasn't much to see. Adora's crash. The former Sorceress looked at Grayskull again- sometimes you had to establish your priorities. She programmed Matty. "Bring me to the place, where it happened!" Teela-Na cursed the gadget, which had probably caused at least a concussion for Adora. Damnit! Hopefully she had not been injured badly! But Teela-Na knew before they had reached the palace, when Matty held on that, that something was very wrong. The mare dug with an iron hoof into the wooden floor. Teela-Na held something up. "Spirit, do you know, what this is?" "Yes... but... that's impossible!" "It seems not" Teela commented. "What is it?" She pulled the mask with the green eyes away from her. Something evil, unnatural was on it. "This is Catra's cat-mask, Adora's arch-enemy. But, she is on TerraZ1. No reports have mentioned any escapes, which would be impossible anyway." "But how... Come on! We have to get to Grayskull, now more than ever." She wrote a message on Matty's view screen for Duncan and sent the horse home. "Go, Spirit! Bring me to Castle Grayskull! And if my beloved daughter is still cuddling with a certain Prince of Eternia, she will get to know me in a different way." Never had Spirit seen Teela-Na like this. But he understood. If Adora was in danger, he could become wild too.

They couldn't have known that they were observed on a view screen. "They really believe it, Skeletor!" Evil-Lyn laughed. "Of course they do. It was my idea." "And my magical powers" she added. "Your magic powers have stolen us victories often, witch" he groaned. "Nevertheless, with this work of yours today you have cleared your name. Now I have Princess Adora in my hands. It sure won't last long until He-Man will come for her. And then I shall triumph, I swear!" The Lord of Destruction looked at Adora, who laid on a stone bench, unconscious, and pulled his face. "I can't tell you how I hate this woman." "She's harmless" Evil-Lyn jerked. "Why is she that important for you?" "That was before your time came" Skeletor groaned. "Forget it. Prepare for the fight."

Adora awoke with a splitting headache. She knew a little bit about medicine, and knew, she had a concussion. Dazed, she opened her eyes- and looked directly into Beastman's evil face. Frightened, she flared up. Ah! Everything was spinning around her. When she could see clearly again, Beastman was gone. Puzzled, she looked around. Bright bars were placed around her. As She-Ra, she would have had no problem, but... damned, how weak she was at the present! If she only could think clearly for a moment! Beastman came back, Skeletor in tow. "Hello, my precious!" "What do you want, bonebrain?" she asked angrily. "From you? Oh, nothing, for now. Your presence is enough. You probably don't even know how necessary you will be for me. And when this all is over, you'll get my best warrior for marriage." Beastman flushed - and Adora had never seen anything more repulsive - and backed away. "Go ahead!" Skeletor hissed. The beast held out a bunch of flowers! She looked at him aghast, took a deep breath and spit in his face. "You should see your psychologist, Skeletor" she said quietly and turned around. "You're ill. More ill than Hordak, although I didn't believe that was possible. I laugh at you." She lay down on the bed again and stared at the wall trying to ignore her headache. She heard Skeletor go. Thankfully, she shook her head. Was he that stupid, or did he only pretend to be? No, he was mad, insane, and she had never had more desire to escape from someone than from him now. But she wasn't worried yet. She knew her friends would come soon. And although, Evil-Lyn had her sword - the Princess had realized immediately that it wasn't here, where it should be - she wouldn't be able to do more with it than Shadow Weaver had, which was nothing. Hopefully, the others would come soon.

He-Man, Bow and Feater made their way through Snake Mountain together. It was much too easy to find Adora and free her. They knew, Skeletor had something in mind. It made them mad that they didn't know, what. It all happened that fast, that they first didn't even realize it. From one moment to the other Adora, her boyfriend and the Royal Guard Captain got transported outside Snake Mountain, while He-Man found himself in the cellars of Snake Mountain suddenly, surrounded by Skeletor's men. He hadn't a chance for fighting. Skeletor was there and just looked at him. Later Adam knew, what it had been in the eyes of the villain, what had frozen his blood: satisfaction. No false sure of victory, no superiority, simply satisfaction, as if it would have taken place at this moment yet. These words he should never forget: "The times of fair battles are finally over, He-Man." That was different too, `He-Man´, not `muscle-bound´ or `so-called He-Man´, simply: `He-Man´. Adam knew, what would happen. The world seem to move only in slow speed. He wanted to turn round, but it was clear, he wouldn't make it. He hardly had turned his head, had hardly seen Trapjaw in the corner of his eyes, when the warrior shoot him with his lasergun a hole through the body. The worst wasn't the pain, although He-Man hadn't hardly felt real physic pain until this moment and never before such intensive, tearing agony. The worst wasn't the experience itself too, although it was a outright bullet hole and he could see for a terrible moment the green ray coming out of his belly, before it, taken off of his target, sprayed. No, the worst in this moments of breaking was, that he knew, before the first wave of pain knocked him down, that he was paralyzed from now on, that his life as He-Man was over. With a strange reverence the enemies stood around him. Skeletor wanted to activate his transporter. "Ey!" Evil-Lyn shouted. "Why don't you kill him? Why don't you get yourself finally rid of him?" "I have, witch." He stepped closer. He-Man looked in his eyes without batting an eyelid. He didn't let anyone humiliate him. Not really. But that didn't ruin Skeletor's joy. "A appropriate ending for a man, who claimed to be the most powerful one in the universe. Who had the strongest spine of all. Let's see how you manage it to live- without it." He scanned all strangers in and around Snake Mountain and beamed them back to where they had come from. "What do you do?" Trapjaw asked now too. "We just had them all..." "And we'll get them again. `Cause now no one can stop me anymore. No one!" He laughed shrill. The others shrank back before his craziness. Skeletor slowly got frightening for them.

Adora´s scream sounded so bad, that the whole palace came. But the door to the big hall was locked up- and that was good so. "He-Man! No! Oh god, that's my fault, I..." "Adora, stop it!" Bow shook her, until she grew silent and knelt down beside her brother with tears in her eyes. Suddenly the falcon flew through the window to them, just as Adam shortly woke up. "Sorceress..." he whispered. `I'm sorry, Adam´ she said. Then He-Man disappeared. Adam turned up on another place. His scabbard wasn't there anymore, he felt it immediately. Not only the sword, the scabbard was away. `I'm so sorry, Adam´ the Sorceress repeated. Then she flew back to Grayskull, leaving the others back in total silence.

When She-Ra thought back of the next days later, they always seemed a little bit unreal to her. Adam had isolated himself totally from the others. Not even Cringer, Orko or Man-At-Arms, his best friends, could help. The first time, he came out of his room again, was when Skeletor attacked for the first time since the terrible accident. Adora and Bow were riding in the woods this afternoon and when they came home, in the palace the soldiers were just about to leave. "We've got information, that Skeletor is on the advance." "Blast!" Adora shouted. "Why wasn't I informed, Feater? You know, I've always got my sender with me..." "I didn't know, you were ready yet" he said, not showing any emotions. She exploded. "I've fought the Horde for years. I am ready." "Good." He left. White with rage she wanted to ride with Bow after Feater's men, when Adam joined them on Matressa. "What do you think, you are doing, brother?" she asked, shaking her head. "Fight. What else could I do?" "But..." "Don't try it."

It was relative simple to beat Skeletor back. Sure of victory he was he had come with much too less men. No chance against the troopers of the King. There was only one who got hurt- and that was Adam. He had tried to fight against Beastman. When he got slang against the next tree cool, Adora heard a bone splinter inertly. She nearly could feel the pain herself. Soon the fight was over. Adam couldn't look into her eyes anymore. She shook her head and bandaged the broken forearm. "My dear brother, today you've made two highly dangerous mistakes. First of all you forgot, that you aren't the most powerful man in the universe anymore. And then you've tried to knock down the physically strongest one." Bow thought, she was pretty heartless. But with Adam sometimes you had to talk to that way, for he was simply to obstinate to speak normal to.

Adora hadn't mentioned her protest against Adam fighting seriously, but her father did. When they come home, he called for his son immediately. He showed him a document. "That came from Skeletor a few minutes ago. With airmail. A black pigeon. Fitting. Very fitting. It nearly attacked your mother. I could kill it the last moment. Skeletor demands our unconditional surrender. He claims to be able to bring the Horde back, if he wants to." "Bullshit! This mask was a poor forgery." "May be. At any rate we can prepare to be attacked daily now. She-Ra is here only sporadic and He-Man is nowhere to be found once more. The last thing, I need now, is a son, who thinks, he has after twenty-five years of doing nothing to play the great hero." "But... Dad, I..." "No single word, Adam! You won't join this battle, understood? I don't let any beginner in my armed forces, and surely not my own son. And if I have to chain you in the palace- you won't fight! Was that clear enough or do you want to visit a dungeon? Do you want to try to find out, if it's possible to see the sun through bars?" Adam thought, he had understood. He went away. To Etheria. There he bought a horse. Adam rode far this day. He rode, until he reached a lonely beach. Nearby was a empty cave. A lucky chance. Or was it more? The prince moved in there. It didn't last long until he didn't thought of he had been a Prince once.

"How can a person simply vanish?" Marlena asked full of despair. "That's impossible!" "Not on Etheria, Mom" Adora contradicted her sadly. "There Adam is unknown. Perhaps he has disguised himself too... I'm surprised more, that he hasn't taken Cringer with him." She ran her hand over the green fur of the tiger. For hours he laid in the corner apathetically. "Me not actually" the Queen said quietly. "You always were the more rational one of the two of you, Cringer. Probably he was afraid, you could talk him out of it." "What's about Dad?" "He feels terribly. He reproaches himself very much for it." Marlena sighed thinking of how worried her man looked. "So far Adam wasn't allowed to go" Adora mentioned. "It's not father's fault. Adam's working like a donkey, but sometimes he's pigheaded like one too." Both of them were very worried about the future. Yesterday the Princess had been in Grayskull. Zoar looked very sick. Did Adam actually know, what he was doing to her? As much as She-Ra knew, Teela-Na hadn't managed it to give him a piece of her mind, not the way, she had wanted. But perhaps he had checked himself now, that it was fatal not to stay away from the Sorceress. Had he run away because of this too? From what did he only try to escape?

He didn't know. At the same time Adam laid at the beach. It was a wonderful place here. No one was around. He had seen on the first day yet, why. There were little animals around, which looked like mosquitoes. Perhaps their sting was dangerous, perhaps even deadly. He didn't knew. One of them had dared to sting him in his first minute, he had spent at the sea. Then- the animal had died. Since this they left him in peace. In this silence, this loneliness he had begun a bad habit new: He smoked again. His mother had brought this from earth. She didn't do it anymore and had forbidden him, because it was bad for the health. Of course he had done it nevertheless as a teen, two years, chain, and no one had been able to stop him. With sixteen it hadn't interest him anymore. But he had found out, that the grass growing everywhere here was suited excellent to be smoked. And he was still alive, so it couldn't be too dangerous. For the long evenings here it was right. Also today he had laid down near the water and looked in the starry sky. Total strange thoughts came on his mind in the course of this. If they were right or not, that he didn't knew. He supposed to find out that, for that he was here. The 48 hours, he had spent on this place he had successfully supplanted all, what had happened. But now he lightened his grass, take the first pull and blew the smoke in the sky. With this smoke the fog in his brain seemed to vanish too. Suddenly he saw pictures with his inner eye, which the shock, from which he hadn't even know, he had had it, had blocked. Hurting pictures. More, faster, like a psychic film the last happenings came to him. Slowly he got, what really had happened. "God in heaven" he said quietly. "Oh my god." Adam began to cry.

"Cringer! Cringer, where are you? Pussycat!" Helpless Adora stood in Adams room. For hours she looked for the tiger. She saw something lying on the bed. Cringer's collar. Torn. He had had to bolt it. For a strange reason she had to think of this song of Marlena's favorite LP, `The lion sleeps tonight´. She shook her head unwilling. Her brother was right, she listened too much to music, indeed. Her mother joined her. "Did you find him?" "No." The Princess gave her the collar. "And I don't think, we'll see him again anymore." "Adora! Red Alert! Major attack!" Bow shouted. At once she supplanted all depressing thoughts. "Feater is really getting on my nerves. I won't be in this battle as Adora, or I think, I loose my mind fighting by his side. Time for some sword magic." Marlena went out discreetly and Bow joined the Guard, while Adora took her secret gate to Spirits box. When she changed, she saw the falcon in the sky.

`Major attack´? A `major attack´ it would perhaps have been, if She-Ra hadn't been there from the beginning on. Evil-Lyn tried a spell on her, but just in time the witch got stopped by an: "Oh no, you won't, old demon!" No one had seen Feater coming. He shot Evil-Lyn down with a stunner. "Thanks!" She-Ra shouted astonished. Soon the enemies were defeated. Adora and Man-At-Arms looked at each other, jerking their shoulders. As much as they disliked Feater, he could fight very well. So far, so good. But for how long? With the Royal Guard Captain you couldn't talk. He was a very, very reserved man. Nobody could speak to him about his tasks. He did listened to critique, made it better the next time, but he didn't say anything to it. He was happiest, when all was over and he could devote himself to his books again. Uninterested was the right word to describe him. Actually all initiates were happy, Adam hadn't got to watch that.

No one could live only from smoke, so Adam decided after three days to buy something to eat. He could stay without for long, in this case he was rock-hard, his own feel of hunger was very underdeveloped too, that was showed at the fact, that he simply had forgotten to take something the last time, besides water, in the cave was a spring, but after 72 hours he found, that it was time to ride in the near village to not to collapse. After the passed evening... He was glad, no one had seen him. A man wasn't allowed to cry. Not that way. "Come on, dearie." He leaded his mare out and saddled up. It was a very good horse, he had found there. He liked her hold temperament. A little bit she reminded him on Spirit. The thought had no chance to manifest, he got supplanted immediately. No, Adam wasn't ready for thinking about the past yet. Less about present. And the future was only a question mark. A undiscovered country. Very far away. At the moment he only needed his empty beach and cave. And something to eat. He made grimace. He didn't want to see people again. But he had to. "Go on, dear!" Obeying she got into a trot. Adam was surprised about himself. Normally he hated riding horses. Perhaps because he fell down regularly. But on his mare here he had no problems. He stayed in the saddle- what did he want more? Sure, how his seat looked he didn't want to know. All of Teela's riding lessons, in which he had driven her mad everytime, hadn't had any use. Teela? He shook his head and drove on to gallop. A person, whom he had known once. Long time ago. The horse went on faster and he enjoyed the wind running through his untidy hairstyle and blew off all thoughts. For short. Relieved he discovered, that the village New Berlin really was only a village. 300 people. Soon he had found the only food-shop. Five men were in there. For more no space would have been too. He got served by a young girl, perhaps eighteen, who seemed to be ill. Her eyes were wet and she had to blow her nose every single minute. "Light Star should be in bed" a customer sad to the man behind the counter. "She'll infect us all." "What shall I do? Alone I can't do all the work" the Etherian answered. "Fifty, Rose." Adam was surprised himself, when he asked: "You need a temporary worker?" Five minutes later he was the seller. Light Star, the daughter of the trader, had gone upstairs. She was glad to get into the bed. And a very pretty chick she was...
In the evening the old man asked him: "Could you come regularly now, Adam?" My wife's ill, and now Star too..." A job? Adam had never needed something like this. He had never worried about money. But he had to live of something, that was clear. "I'll come, Mister Meat." "Oh, do call me Cal, that's, what all say. I'm glad, you help me." They shook hands. Actually living was beautiful without risking your life in battle daily too, Adam thought. But this night he dreamed of Teela, although he hadn't thought of her conscious for long.

`The lion sleeps tonight...´ Adora had to smile. The music came from Marlena's room so loudly, that everyone could hear with her. And that at three o'clock in the morning. The Princess entered immediately. Her mother surely hadn't heard her knock. "Hello, dearie." She drew again. "Sit down." Admiring Adora looked at the pictures once more. "If only I could draw like that!" "Have you tried it once?" The next hour passed by with an art lesson? It was clear that Adora had the same talent as her mother had. For a long time she drew without a word. She painted, what she thought of. The LP changed. Now they listened to `Spending my time´. "Roxette?" The Queen was amazed. "Child, as many groups and songs, as you know yet, everyone would believe, you're an earth citizen. May I look? Oh, Adora!" Adam was on the sheet so lifelike, that she firstly thought, he was it. "We'll pin that on the wall, okay?" She didn't look at her daughter. "Mom, you can't be strong all the time. Cry, if you feel so!" "But..." She cried. Adora supported her. Until the dawning of the new day. Then she went in the stable. "Come on, Spirit. We have to go to Etheria." "Something happened? Do we have to do something special?" "Oh, yes. To greet an old ghost. Come on."
On this day she didn't find anything. Nothing on the next. But on the third she got something. Castaspella had seen Adam. She knew it, because she had been surprised about him greeting her very fast. "He has gone into the direction of Moonlight. Something happened, Adora?" "Not yet. But when I found him" her friend said wrathfully. "Thanks, Castaspella. Bye." She could be on his trail until Devlan. She had spoken with the man, who had sold him a mare, had asked at least hundred people and was totally unnerved now. Crystalla didn't know anything too. But for her she had changed to She-Ra, so she decided to look around from the air.

"What do you mean, she isn't here?" Randor looked at his wife puzzled. "I told you, Adora has rode to Etheria." "Yes. Three days ago. And then she could have told me. After all she has duties here. She should be back, isn't she?" "Unfortunately no." "Wonderful! We have the greatest fight since years and my daughter goes to visit old friends! He-Man is away, She-Ra isn't around... if this is going on like this, we're no longer a match for Skeletor. What do I tell you... the next salvo of battle fliers cometh. Marlena, won't you go and search Adora?" "For sure."

How long the Queen hadn't sit on a horse! A stableman helped her saddling, then she mounted to test. Well, it worked better, than she had expected it. To ride in side-saddle in a normal saddle - and she couldn't and wasn't allowed to do it in a different way, as Queen you didn't trot around - wasn't easy, but she had made it before and she would manage it now. She clicked her tongue lightly. Namari went on worthy. And then Marlena couldn't stop herself. She pressed her heel against the side of her horse, knocked on her shoulder with the crop and dashed in wild gallop off. The workers jumped aside frightened. Duncan, who saw it, laughed quietly. "And the King's wondering about Adora?"

"Nothing. Forget it, Swiftie. Turn around." Depressed She-Ra looked down on the area below. No sign. "He has hide. And then the people say I am pig-headed. Turn round." "If you say so." On half of the way he stopped. "Adora, look!" A horse galloped below them. But no normal... "One of these mechanic beasts again. I can't stand them." She got a headache only by watching them. "But... that's... yes, that's Mom! Land!" Marlena was rather frightened, when her daughter suddenly appeared in front of her. "What's this now?" She asked instead of a greeting. "I'm searching for you the whole day and now you come to me?" "You search me? Something happened?" "No, but..." They galloped on again. "Your father is very angry." "Because of me?" "No, because of Orko!" Marlena shouted, but had to laugh. "Of course because of you. And he would be even more, if he knew, why you really have rode to Etheria. I know, you only wanted to help, but we haven't the time for it. He'll come back alone." "Do you really believe that?" No answer. It wasn't necessary.

Really the Princess didn't came to the other planet anymore. She had enough to deal with Skeletor. And to discuss with Feater. And to support her parents. And if there was time left after this still, she wanted to be alone with Bow once. Their engagement was in the air since days, but they hadn't even time for that. In the evening she fell in her bed exhausted. When then she saw in the morning the falcon in the sky she thought of Adam. And although all, he did to them, she hoped, he was alright.

"Adam, the supply cometh. Could you receive it alone? The security-man is here, my wife is baby-sitting and Star is needed here. Is that okay?" "Okay, Cal. But it will take more time than usual." He closed the check-out. "Doesn't matter. Thanks. I really don't know, what I'd do without you." The two woman felt better yet, but the trader had decided to continue employing Adam, who began to enjoy this. The work was good. Even more, when he thought of, what his father would say, if he knew... `You don't have to work´, that was, what he had always said in the past. But the times, the Prince let anyone order him anything, were over. The only problem was his arm, which he had broken days before. The injure hurt and permanent burden surely wasn't the best for it. But it had to work. When he entered the back door, Light Star came to him. "Adam, wait!" "What's up?" Hopefully she didn't ask him again to go out with her. Four times `no´ should be enough actually. He didn't understand himself. Star was young, attractive and in love with him. He could have a relationship with her or simply do it with the girl. Though no one knew it, he had done that before, indeed. And Duncan would probably kill him, if he knew, that it had almost ever been in his laborer. That had been with... yes, seventeen, eighteen, when he had taken the ones, he had liked. A relationship about more than a night he hadn't had with any of them. So why didn't he do that with Star? `Because you have a girlfriend´ his conscience told him. `And she's the daughter of your chef. So let her go.´ "What's going on, Star?" "You wanted to know, when She-Ra comes here again, didn't you?" He started. "Ey, what's wrong?" the young girl laughed. "You want something from her? Sorry to disappoint you, but that, what's many tried before you. She's ice-cold." `If you knew...´ He took a deep breath and asked with a voice, which quavered only a little bit: "She was here?" "Yeah. In Brightmoon and Devlan. A friend of mine told me. He's working there. But she's away again. Unfortunately." She winked and went away. Cal had called five times yet. Devlan! If she had been in Devlan yet, it wouldn't take long, until she would have found him! The last hours he had been thinking. Not very much and not very intensive, but he had at least imagined the very near future, meaning the next few days. And one thing he knew: He needed no visitors. And such visitors not at all. He knew, if his sis would appear now, she wouldn't leave him a single leg to stand on with her absolute logic. Not very fine thought. But she surely wouldn't search for him on a place only called Deadly Beach. That calmed him.

After a while Adora had a break finally. She called for Spirit immediately and wanted to go, when her father came to her. "My dear daughter, please don't tell me, that you're going to Etheria again." "Sorry, Dad." "I can't forbid you anything and don't want to too. But I would like to know, why you are doing this. He causes enough trouble, without you running after him. Do you actually know, how often your mother cries?" "I know. Because of this I'll bring him back- and if I have to hunt him through hell. And father... there is something, you don't know." The temptation to tell him all had never been bigger than now, but she wasn't allowed to. Much more people, than it had been planned, knew the secret of He-Man and She-Ra anyway. So she only placed her hand on his shoulder. "Trust me, Dad." A long hug. "I trust you. Come home soon."

"Ready for today, Adam. May I watch your horse? Until know I have only seen it from far away..." "Of course, Cal." Involuntarily he moved his arm to take away the pain. His chef knew, he was hurt. But after the first clear rebuff, after he had only said the word `doctor´ he didn't say anything anymore. He had never interfered in business of employees of him and he surely wouldn't start with it now too. Adam was the best worker, he had ever had. And the strangest. He always was alone. Star he had turned down without mercy. She still cried the whole day. Adam couldn't have had only her. The whole female village was after him. But he couldn't mind less- oh, yes, he minded less about his arm... He was... simply strange. "Here she is." "A beautiful mare" his chef praised. "How do you call her?" "Uh?" Adam looked at him as if he didn't know, about what the old man spoke to him. "Well, the name... ey! What the hell...?" The Prince had just laid the saddle on the horseback, in which the sleeve of his shirt had slipped. First of all Cal believed, he had seen false, no, he wished it. "Show me. But without making excuses this time. This is an order" he added, `cause Adam didn't make any move to do it. That didn't impress him too. He wanted to bridle, when Cal had enough of this and simply pulled back the sleeve. "How can an adult make such a fuss? I do see, how you torment yourself for days... are you totally insane?" The arm was colored blue, almost black. Adam looked at him withering, then he continued getting ready his horse. He ignored the trader totally. Only, when the other said: "You'll see a doctor, is that clear?", he turned round. Cal shrank back from the decades of resignation in his eyes. "And what, if I don't? You only have to say a single word, then I'll never come again." He leaded his horse out of the stable of the farmer, where he had it daily and mounted involved. It seemed, he couldn't ride very good. Cal shook his head slowly. "You should think of a name for the animal" he shouted after Adam. "It's unlucky to ride a horse without a name."

A name? That was true, he hadn't thought of one. The horse dealer had called the mare Sally. Ridiculous, Adam thought. But he didn't find something else too... until he thought of the most beautiful name in the world. "Well, how shall we baptize you now, Teela?" he asked quietly, when he rode in the cave. "I'll bring the champagne." This voice! He screwed up. The light was bad, he couldn't see the person good, who was sitting in the corner in the back. So he supplied Teela first. Whoever was here, had time. Then he went to her. "I've wondered for days, how it will be, when we'll meet again." A slap banged. Adora stood up and went to the exit. "I haven't imagined it like this" Adam groaned. "I'm also glad to see you." Now he saw Spirit too. She had very wisely put him behind the rocks, so it would be an surprised. And she had managed it. "Should have known, you are it. The tiny winged beasts out there don't seem to like eternian blood. That's, what you have had to know or you're tired of life- and that would even be the more comforting possibility. How did you find me?" "Are you really interested in this?" she asked. "No. Why are you here, Adora?" "One more so silly question and I shall break you the second arm. Believe me, for this I wouldn't even have to change." She sat down again and looked in his eyes intensive. "You're coming home with me immediately now, brother." He only lifted a eyebrow. "Strange, today all people think, they can order me to do something. A fatal error. Clear off, Adora!" "Never. You really don't seem to know, what you are doing. You simply don't think rational anymore. I don't like to say that, but you ain't to be a very lucky loser." "Well, good, you are a warrior. With your sense of tact you would be a lousy psychologist. You haven't the faintest idea." He stood at the exit and looked out. The sun set. Today he hadn't eyes for the beautiful sight. "Of what I've no idea? I know, that you are depressed. God in heaven, who wouldn't be? I know, that you're hiding in a dark cave. That you want to escape from that, what had happened. But I also know, that in the palace are our parents, and that they are full of despair. That's, about what I have an idea." "It's all very well for you to talk! They haven't taken your identity from you!" "No, damnit! They haven't!" Adora shouted angrily. "Am I responsible for having mine still? With this self-pity-tour you have no success at mine. You're running away from everything. Mom and Dad have to excuse you at the folk. I have to continue your fight. You make life rather easy for you." "Finished your sermon?" Annoyed he turned round and looked at her with glittering eyes. She nodded. "You're right. Now I even relieve you from thinking. That's, what you should do alone at least. So long." She mounted Spirit and raced away. "Shit" Adam murmured. And again: "Shit."

The King and the Queen were really relieved, when they heard, their son was safe. "But he won't come, will he?" Randor asked. "Not yet. Don't worry, Dad, I'll bring him to that point. But at present we should leave him alone totally. I have to train with the Guard. Bye now." In the door she turned round. "By the way... as much as I heard, Adam has a real job. He's working. With a broken arm... This experience he won't forget so fast..."

The training of the Royal Guard took place at three o'clock in the back yard. Since Adora was on Eternia, it had always begun punctually. So she was really astonished, when she came out of the house at five minutes after three and no one was around. In the middle of the yard there was laying something. Hesitating she got closer. If this was a joke, it was a bad one. The something turned out as a sheet. `Come into the wood at 22312! You need special training and I have sent away the Guard because of this. Be waiting for you.´ Adora was speechless, what was happening extremely rarely. This man was bold, as she had never seen one before! Simply sending away the men writing this piece of paper and not even sign it as if it would be clear anyway for her, that it was a message of Feater! She had just calmed her and now she was about to explode again. Very good for the nerves! She knew, it was childish, but she rode in the slowest tempo, Spirit could go, to the coordinates... where of course no one was around. "Asshole" she murmured, jumped down. She gave him five minutes. Suddenly somebody grasped her. She reacted instinctive. About such things she didn't have to think about, that was a reflex of her. "Yeah!" She took the hand of the attacker, pressed the hip against him, threw him about her shoulder, leaned on him and prevented it him so from getting free. Who... "Adora, let me live!" On the floor laid Bow and laughed hearty. "Oh, sorry, I..." Fast she took her knee from his chest and wanted to stood up, but he pulled her down and kissed her tenderly. "The method is a little bit strange, but it's good to have you so on me once more" he murmured. They both had to laugh. Embarrassed the Princess helped him stand up. "This sheet was from you? But why didn't you..." "...say anything? Because I don't believe, I would have found place in your timer." That didn't sound angry, only a little bit sad. "Feater has trained with the Guard yet. The rest of the afternoon is ours- if you want so." "For sure! Tell me, it is springtime again? There, another couple!" A pair of tigers ran through the bushes. Instinctive the Princess thought of Cringer. How he would be? Duncan was very pessimistic. The animal hadn't grown up in the wild. If he could survive now out there? Suddenly Adora got pale. She had forgotten it! God in heaven, how could she had forgot this? Suddenly she got clear about, that Adam didn't know of Cringer's disappearing yet.

"Do you have it, Trapjaw?" "I work as fast as I can! It takes time! Tomorrow in the morning we can start a try. "I hope it for you." Skeletor looked at the new modifications on his transporter, nodded satisfied. "This Royal fools did probably believe, I joke. Good! Then they won't prepare for a attack of the Horde and the conquest will be ridiculous simple." "And She-Ra?" Skeletor pulled his face. "I'm sure, Hordak has a few pretty good ideas how to deal with her, Evil-Lyn. Of course you're allowed to help him." "And the transporter works?" Tri-Klops wanted to know. "If this fool over there doesn't make any mistake..." Angrily Skeletor looked at Trapjaw, who worked even faster. If he failed... His master had demanded this transport of him. When he had said, this was impossible, he had been thrown out of the window. From the second floor. Next time it probably would be the roof- no, thanks. He preferred to try beaming persons through time and space. The next thing, he should do, surely would be changing the gravitation constant of the universe. Annoyed he hacked on the keyboard- and found the formula, he had been searching for. "Skeletor, I think, we can do it!" "What are you waiting for? Do!"

Adora and Bow had just sat down on the wooden floor. Spirit and Arrow they had tethered - something, Adora normally didn't do to her horse, he needed his freedom - a little bit far away. "Unfair, isn't it?" Bow asked. "Only because we don't want them to watch..." "Spirit would just have false thoughts. As much as I know, there are no contraceptives for horses." she said dryly. "As soon, as they're there, Spirit can get any mare, he want and do the same. Do you know, what I'd like to do now?" "For sure. I can read in your eyes. You want to go home and train." ``home´, that's already there´ Adora thought. `Probably he hadn't realized himself...´ She saw his light smile. She knew it too well. "Illiterate!" she grinned. He kissed her passionately. "Better?" "Much better." At that moment her sender peeped. "Oh no! Wait for a minute." She freed herself gently. Irritated she pushed a button. "Whoever you are, you have a damn good feeling when to interrupt the most and I hope for you, you have a very good reason for calling me." `Control station Ceti Alpha is speaking. I only wanted to tell you, that on TerraZ1 something strange is going on.´ "Strange?" The dry, down-to-earth voice of the leader of the most important station on all Etheria had destroyed all romantic at once. "What do you mean?" "I wish, it wouldn't be that way, but I have the data in front of me on the view screen: Somebody tries to open a transport window. We've built up a deflector at once, but I cannot guarantee, it will be strong enough.´ "Try it. I'll call you again soon." Adora jumped up- and would have almost fallen again. The concussion, she should be in bed because of, and which Duncan had hardly repressed with a gadget, made problems again. But she hadn't even a second to worry about that now. She whistled. Not loud, but very high. Then she remembered, that she had tethered her horse. Cursing she and Bow ran the way back. They hadn't to talk. Both of them knew, in which great danger Etheria and Eternia were.

"How does it look like, Mister Map?" Duncan asked. The screen showed the picture of their old friend, which expressed only worry and helplessness today. "Not good. No, not good at all. The emissions come from Snake Mountain...´ "Really?" Adora murmured ironic. "What can we do?" `Find the sender and destroy it. Otherwise they will make it in four hours the latest. And what's coming after... Well, that's your job. But let's say, I'm not looking forward to it.´ "Thanks, Mr. Map." Adora tried to keep calm. "Bow, call the rebels please. Duncan, keep talking with the station. Somebody bring my parents to safety." "And what are you doing?" Man-At-Arms wanted to know. "Don't ask, please. I'll come soon, as She-Ra. Oh, yes, and Feater shall move his ass!" She ran outside and mounted Spirit. She was annoyed about herself. Absolute crisis were coming and she was behind her monkey-headed brother! But Adora had the feeling, that Adam was important for this battle. Although she knew, what his comment would be. Something like...

..."Are you madness´ only meal, Adora?" He couldn't say more firstly. "Listen, I've no time and no wish to argue with you. I stay here, as long, as you need to come with me, brother. I'm afraid, our people are no match for Skeletor then, but we'll see the latest, when Hordak's fliers destroy half of Etheria." She sat down. "You can't do this! You've got to fight, She-Ra! It's your duty..." "Don't you tell me something about duty!" she shouted. "I followed my first orders, when they even didn't talk about you yet. You are the one, who let happen all! Adam, you have taken a task and you have to fulfill it, He-Man or not. You may not have his strength, but you have his soul. So decide it: Save the universe or damn it." He stood up and went to Teela. "How could I contradict the Princess of Power?" "So it has to be" she smiled. "Come on Swift Wind, brother." She rode to him and saw astonished, that in the saddle he was bigger than her. Teela was very high. "On her you aren't fast enough." "I wouldn't count on that." He let her run. She-Ra was really amazed. Of course Swift Wind was more fast, but Adam joined her a minute later at the gate. "Congratulations!" she shouted. "Well, then- let's fight!"

Skeletor had strengthened the field around Snake Mountain, but he underestimated the rebels very much still. Glimmer and Queen Angella managed it to bring Feater, She-Ra and Adam in. Feater had made a grimace, when She-Ra had told him, Adam would come with them, but hadn't said anything. And that was good. `Cause it turned out, that Adora had been right. Adam knew still all strategies and tactics, all of Snake Mountain. He managed it to get to the control room and manipulate Skeletor's strength field plus the short distance transporter. Now the enemy couldn't simply send home all strangers anymore. But he couldn't find the transporter, they searched. Before this a security group found him. He had to shoot free his way. He hated it. That was why he hadn't wanted to come here, although he worked only with stun rays. He reached the others again. "Nothing happened?" "No. He acts like he wouldn't know, we're here" his sister said wrathfully. "And we don't find this doomed transporter." "Did you look into the transporter room yet?" Adam asked. "But Skeletor won't be so silly..." "You believe that. And he knows, you believe that." That was enough. They went on fast.

When they opened the door, it was almost too late. On the platform a silhouette was visible. The transport seemed to be hard. Skeletor shot immediately, but one thing they had now taken from him: shields. Feater took care of Trapjaw, She-Ra knocked down the demon-himself and Adam modified the phaser new to destroy the transporter. They hadn't realized, that a team of securities had come closer quietly. Feater saw it. He saw, that Tri-Klops directed a gun on Adam. A deadly gun. The only thing, he could think of in this seconds of destiny, seemed to be logic. Adam was a civilian and a civilian wasn't allowed to get hurt. Besides his shield was weakened because of the fight before. Feater's was okay. So he reacted immediately and jumped to Adam. The next happenings wouldn't have been visible for a watcher with one sight. There were four pictures. In the first place: Adam shot on the transporter. The silhouette disappeared. In the second place: Tri-Klops shot on Adam, like Trapjaw had done it to He-Man, unfair, in the back. In the third place: She-Ra turned round and shot on the enemies. Immediately Skeletor was strong again. A hot pain let the Princess of Power scream loudly, when a laser ray caught her. In the fourth place: Feater jumped in front of Adam and caught the phaser ray instead of him. Unfortunately he hadn't thought of, that Skeletor's men knew the frequencies of their shields now. The ray went through it easily and left a whole big as a fist in his chest. Adam was confronted with Skeletor alone suddenly. He prepared for a hard fight. Actually he only could hope, that the others would come soon. They couldn't be too far, he heard them already outside... But then something happened. The situation was grotesque and more than important the same time. He stood face to face to his arch-enemy, like he hardly had done before. The demon was weak without his men as weak as Adam was with his powers, he realized. But that wasn't the deciding one. Because of a unknown reason the other one seemed to understand at once. He had no clues, not the tiniest link, but the Prince saw it clearly, that the Lord of Destruction knew, who stood in front of him. The Prince didn't believe, that this thoughts could come from the subconscious to the brain, but to the eyes surely. In the eyes was scare suddenly. Big scare. And something, Adam had never expected: great respect. His brain was too tiny to get the unbelievable truth, his feelings told him. Probably it would explode, if it would get the message, that he tried to fight against a men once being He-Man, but Skeletor shrank back. The sight was too strange, the two opponents standing still, who suddenly got, what fatal error they made since years. Adam said it finally: "You know, someday we'll kill each other, don't you?" No answer. But there were still the scare in his eyes. "We should stop it before we die- and the universe with us." The demon shook his head. "For this it's too late. For long." Adam knew, that the Lord of Destruction was talking to He-Man though he-himself didn't know it. He assumed, that his enemy wouldn't remind this talk later- or only in nightmares. The rebels came in. Immediately Skeletor become the one, he should be again. But he couldn't do anything against a armed group of 20. Bow went to the hurt ones at once. She-Ra stood up again. Her shoulder was bleeding. "Not too bad" she pressed. "I think, he had directed somewhere else. Thank Goddess he was dizzy already." Then she saw Feater. "Oh my god!" She felt a high power catching her. Not the uncomfortable transporter, no, it was the good power of Grayskull. There they were next moment, Feater, Adam and her. Next to Zoar stood Zodak. She-Ra saw him the first time. She greeted amazed. He nodded shortly and went to Feater, who was not dead yet- but almost. "Come here, Adam" he said. "Zodak?" "Don't tell me anything about the Prime Directive now. I've helped to made it. We knew, this would happen. It's your chance to do that again, you are meant to do." "How? He-Man is dead." The Prince was totally puzzled. Zoar went to him. "Adam, you have to..." "...what?" "Am I allowed to decide one thing alone one time? Was it a game? Like the ones, you play with me that often?" Zodak looked at him seriously. "You should know now, that we don't play games with such a serious thing. It was pure chance. We knew, a hard task would come to you from destiny. And we knew, Feater was a psycho. If you go into his room today, you'll find the knife, with which he wanted to kill himself this evening. Adam, we don't have much time, Feater's body's already dead. This body will be made to a new He-Man by us. But with his correct soul- with yours, Adam. You are He-Man, Prince of Eternia, and you'll be in future. We knew that. We can't wheel destiny- but we can trick it. The Prime Directive does forbid it, yes. But it's the fate of the universe, we're talking about, so the Prime Directive is rubbish now." "A moment!" Adam shouted. "Did I got that right? Feater will be dead, if you do that?" Zoar saw his horror. "He is dead, Adam! If not now, today evening!" She-Ra understood, why she had been transported here too. "Brother, please, think of, what I've said to you today! You are He-Man, and if you don't accept it, all is lost! You've got his soul, that's most important! Save the universe- or damn it!" Zodak concentrated for a moment. A moment later Cringer sat beside the little group. Adora and the Sorceress looked at each other shortly. Adam hadn't to know all. The tiger seemed to be okay. A miracle. He was totally puzzled of course. When he wanted to say something, Adora bend down fast and whispered something to him. Then he sat there quiet and waited for what would come. She-Ra sighed silently. It would take some time, until he would trust Adam again like before. The two needed a long talk- when her brother would finally give up his pig-head. It didn't look, as if he would agree to the solution, Zodak offered him, who raised his hand now. The Sword of Power flew to him. He looked at it long. They saw the battle, he fought with himself. "Adam, please!" Zoar was the only one, who could help, she knew it. "If you don't do it for all or for yourself, do it for me!" And then she said something sounding totally unnecessary and inappropriate first, something She-Ra had never expected her to say in front of Zodak: "Adam, I love you!" He took his sword. "By the power of Grayskull!" Grayskull's powers took Adam. A bright light. "I have the power!" Cringer trembled like he ever did, when he got Battle Cat. Some things did never change. Feater was away. He-Man took the sword back into the scabbard. His sister nodded to him smiling with tears. He and Zodak shook hands. A gesture, which made any other words needless. Then he looked at She-Ra. "Would you... your horse is outside." "Of course." He changed her and Battle Cat back and they left. Adora could imagine, what the three had to talk about. She felt totally empty. And that surely neither wasn't the injure, which had been away, when she had arrived at Grayskull, nor the concussion, although she nearly couldn't mount Spirit because of the headache. She simply had given away all her psychic power in this battle. She had to ask herself, if she would ever be able to look in the mirror again without seeing blood in her eyes. She yearned for Bow. He had had to felt this- suddenly she saw Arrow coming towards her. "Bow!" He came to her and they jumped down. And then she cried, while he was holding her totally tight.

"You ignore all rules! All, the first ones have created!" Zodak went through the castle hall excited. Zoar stood beside He-Man. He held her hand and felt her trembling. "Only look at you!" the powerfulness shouted. "A human and a Sorceress! It's absurd!" "Why?" Zoar asked. "You forgot, I was an human too." "You were one! You have given up your old life voluntarily. You knew, Teela is away. You knew it, when Teela-Na told you, you are her daughter. Otherwise you wouldn't have got Sorceress! I don't understand you!" Pause. Then: "Shit, of course I understand you. Do you think, I like to teach you that way? I tell you something now, Sorceress, which I'm not allowed to, but it's not important today anymore anyway: Your relationship has caused wild discussions. Here and at ours. Questions being clear since thousands of years are relevant once more suddenly. The younger ones dare to say something. And the founders think about, if they had made a mistake. That's an unbelievable success. Nevertheless I've been sent to stop this- if it's possible." He-Man wanted to say something, but Zodak stopped him. "Let me speak. I can't forbid you anything and I don't want to, because I understand you. But I can tell you, that the founders will think about this more rational and positive, if you are rational." "Okay, okay, understood. But you can tell the spirits..." Suddenly she looked very resolute. "...that I won't do the same to my child, my mother had to do to me. I won't give it away. And if I'll have to cease all." They saw, she mentioned it seriously. "You won't cease. That's for sure. Believe me: If not all would like you so much, you wouldn't be Sorceress still. We'll have to find a solution for all- `cause we don't want to loose you, Sorceress." He disappeared. Zoar folded her arms in front of her chest. "You freeze too?" He-Man asked quietly. "Yes. But from inside. Adam, please... hold me. I think, otherwise I'm going crazy." With tears in his eyes himself he hugged her. She cried. "Why is the luck so hard for us?" At that moment he had an idea. He took a ring from his finger, the first time, since he had it. This ring was always with him, as Adam and He-Man. It was quite invisible, no one had realized it yet. He had it from someone, he loved very much. From his mother. When he got He-Man the first time, she had given it to him, although she didn't know, he was the hero, Teela-Na, Sorceress then still, whom he had asked at once worried, had confirmed that to him. It had been very strange chance. The ring did meant very much to him. Because of this he wanted to give it to someone, whom he loved even more today. He took the hand of the Sorceress and put the ring on her finger. She understood immediately. "Adam!" "Do you want to?" he asked. "Do you want to be my Queen, when all this is over? So believe me my promise, that I'm gonna wait for you. Till the end of time." "I want to." They found each other in a long kiss. The kiss of real love. No spirit of the universe would have been able to stop them, when Zoar began to undress. He-Man hesitated, then he helped her. She was very dominant. Her character as Teela was in there, as good and gentle she was as Sorceress in other cases. She ruled the game, she discovered how to make him happy. Then she let him spoil her too and enjoyed it. But she was active and nothing she hated more than doing nothing. She knew, what she wanted and she got it, being aware of not to offend Adam. Firstly this had puzzled him but now he knew her. He knew, that she wanted to undress him, that she was there from the beginning on and didn't let him only do. Love and laugh belonged together for her. And after a day like this she needed deflection. She pulled him on the floor gently. Sometimes she loved a long foreplay. Today she needed satisfaction. First she was under him, but then she wanted to ride him. While He-Man after iron battles in bed were more gentle, she became a lion. Nevertheless they complement one another. After it she was tired. She laid the arms on his chest and the head on it. "I love you, Adam." She smiled lightly. "I think, we have shocked a few people very much." "A few?" He put her up and carried her to her bed. "Perhaps I should go now." Then he saw her sight. "Bullshit" he murmured. "Zodak had said it: Even this spirits have to sleep sometimes." He laid down beside her and they hugged, this time without sexual motives. Zoar felt much better now. She was the Sorceress, yes, but she was Adam's girlfriend - no, god in heaven, his fiancée! - too and she would stay like this. They really loved each other. And that surely wasn't only because they were good in bed, no, there was more. It had to do with trust, help in every situation- real love.

 

THE END...?-
THE FIGHT GOES ON!!!