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THE SWORD OF SHE-RA

by

Aidan Cross

1/5/99


PART 1: A MISSION FOR PRINCE ADAM

Deep inside Castle Grayskull, in a dark, private chamber which was rarely entered by ordinary humans, six elderly wise men were crowded round a table. In the centre of the table was a glowing sphere of light as bright as the stars. The men sat silently around it, concentrating only on the visions which the sphere sent into their minds. These men were about to uncover the solution to a mystery which had troubled the minds of a small group of Eternians for twenty years. Throughout this long period, they had used their combined powers to try to find the solution, but had remained unsuccessful. But now, having become more and more powerful among themselves, they had formed this sphere of light, which beamed the truth to their minds.
For these men were the ancient Elders of Eternia, led by the ever-powerful Keclar. It was they who had helped drive evil forces from their world thousands of years before, and now in their spirit form, they remained concealed inside Grayskull, concentrating their power on finding the solution to this mystery, whilst the world outside was protected from evil by He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.
Elsewhere in Grayskull, a beautiful woman slept soundly. By the side of her bed was a set of orange, magical wings and a falcon head-dress. Her long, black hair spread gently over her pillow, her white sheets laid firmly over her naked torso. She was the Sorceress of Grayskull, one of the most powerful beings in all Eternia. Although outwardly she seemed at peace, inside, her mind was being troubled by a disturbing nightmare.
She saw a vision of herself, twenty years ago, looking exactly the same as she did now, her magic having kept her young. Beside her was a young man wearing a gray helmet, and green and orange armour. This was Duncan, a close friend of hers. They stood in a dark room, and in front of them was a portal, by which stood a grotesque-looking man, his disfigured face a mere fleshy mess. In his arms, he held a baby girl, softly asleep in his clutches.
"You are too late, I'm afraid!" he laughed. "You have defeated me, I have no intention of returning- but you will never see this child again!" with that, he fired a laser bolt at the Sorceress and Duncan, which they dodged by inches, and then he turned and fled through the portal, which closed up fast. The Sorceress and Duncan were left alone. They had no idea of where the disfigured tyrant had fled.
The Sorceress woke with a start. Why had she been dreaming about that? That had been a dreadful incident which had happened twenty years ago. Her mind had been plagued with worry ever since of what the disfigured tyrant may have done with the baby girl, and where he could have gone- but she had almost given up on that mystery!
Could the dream have had any significance? Her dreams often did, with the power of her mind. She arose from her bed, curious to find what her dream could mean. And barely had she stepped out from the sheets when the spirit of an elderly man, dressed in a long, red robe, appeared before her naked form. It was the spirit of Keclar, leader of the Elders of Eternia. It was rare that he stepped out from the shadows of Grayskull to speak to her- he only did that on extremely important occasions. The Sorceress had no idea what this important occasion could be about- but she had the strange feeling that it was something to do with her dream.
"What do you want?" she asked.
"We have found the girl." replied Keclar. "Our twenty year quest has come to an end."
The Sorceress gasped in amazement. This news seemed to good to be true. She had been convinced for years that this mystery would remain unsolved!
"Where is she? What shall we do?"
"Using our powers to create a glowing magic sphere, we have traced her whereabouts to the planet Etheria. We have seen exactly where she is, and have used our magic to trace exactly what has happened to her these past twenty years. And after careful consideration, we have come to the conclusion that she is in need of a very powerful creation of ours."
"And what is that?"
Keclar reached out his arms, and between his hands formed a glowing cylinder. The cylinder's light dimmed, and it took on the shape of a sword, long and gleaming, with a bright jewel in the centre.
"The Sword of Protection!" exclaimed the Sorceress.
"Precisely." replied Keclar. "After thousands of years, we are finally granting this sword to someone who needs it urgently."
"And how do we get it to her?"
"You must send for Prince Adam at once. He is the only person who can accomplish this task. But you must not tell him anything, other than that he must journey to Etheria to give this sword to someone. The real story would be too confusing for him- we must leave it to him to find it out for himself."
"Then I will do so!" replied the Sorceress. "We must find the portal to Etheria in the time gate chamber! Then I will contact Adam. At last this mystery is to be solved- and could have even greater consequences than we ever could have dreamed of!"


At the Royal Palace of Eternia, Prince Adam was sitting in the palace garden, reading a book, whilst his childhood friend, Teela, practised pole vaulting in front of him. Adam had now been saving Eternia from danger in the form of He-Man for two years. Many times had he put an end to the schemes of Skeletor and his evil forces, but he had never yet managed to drive these forces from Eternia altogether. Of course, he felt proud of all he had achieved, yet frustrated and quite angry that he always got the credit as He-Man and not Adam. Only a few people had any idea that the two were in fact the same person. Even Teela, while fixed in admiration for He-Man, believed Adam to be nothing more than a weak coward. As he looked up from his book and watched her, vaulting energetically through the gardens, he knew she was probably thinking about how lazy he was and never did anything. It was so depressing just for Adam to think of it. Why could he never be given important tasks as Adam? Why did he always have to change to He-Man to do it?
Teela paused for a rest, and walked towards Adam.
"Reading again, Adam? What's this book?"
"Just a book of ancient Eternian legends." said Adam. "I really like these kinds of books, I've got a whole stack of them to read later, you really should try them sometime....."
"But," interrupted Teela, "however good these books may be, they don't help defend Eternia, do they? While we all train to fight for our planet, all you care about is enjoying yourself."
"Teela, please, you don't have to be this harsh....."
"I don't mean to be harsh," she replied, her long, red hair blowing in the gentle summer wind, "I'm just making a point. He-Man doesn't spend his time lazing about you know. I bet that right now, he's off doing some good deed somewhere that he's needed, while all you do is....."
Suddenly Adam heard a faint voice in his head, and shot to his feet. "SHUT UP!!!!!" he shouted at the top of his voice.
Teela took a step back, shocked. It was unlike the prince to shout at her. "Have you an attitude problem or something? No need for that....."
"I can..... feel something....." he replied, "just keep quiet!!!"
Inside his head, Adam could hear the faint voice of the Sorceress, making mind contact with him. She usually did this when He-Man was needed.
"Adam....." she was saying, "you must come to Grayskull this instant. Tell your parents you are being sent on an important mission! Do not change into He-Man- you must do this as Adam! Come immediately!"
"Right away!" he replied. Teela was looking at him strangely, for he appeared to be talking to himself.
"What on Eternia are you doing, Adam?! Are you going mad?"
Adam looked up at her, into her beautiful, pale blue eyes, and proudly announced: "The Sorceress just made mind contact with me! She's sending me on a mission!"
"Sending YOU on a mission? But why.....?"
"I don't know- but it's obviously something important. I'll show you I'm just as capable of carrying out tasks as He-Man is. Now to tell my parents I'm leaving!"
And with that, he left the garden, leaving Teela astonished and perplexed. He had no idea why the Sorceress wanted him to do this as Adam- but it would definitely give him the chance to prove that Adam could be a hero too. He instantly went to find his parents, King Randor and Queen Marlena, who were sitting in the royal courtyard. He explained to them what had happened, and that he was leaving to go on an important mission.
"But why you, Adam?" asked Randor, confused. "What could the Sorceress want of you? You sure you're not turning schizophrenic, hearing voices in your head?"
"It was the Sorceress." Adam assured him. "She often makes mind contact with people when she needs them. She didn't say what she wants, but I could be gone for some time. I must leave now, as it's obviously important. I'll call you if I need any help!"
"Then good journey, my son." said Queen Marlena. "May the Elders protect you, and good luck in whatever your quest may be."
"I hope you fare well, Adam." added Randor. "Maybe I have misjudged you- the Sorceress must obviously feel you are very responsible to carry out such an important mission." He shook Adam's hand, and the Prince departed for Grayskull.


PART 2: ARRIVAL ON ETHERIA

When Adam entered Grayskull, he was greeted by the Sorceress, dressed in her usual falcon outfit.
"Greetings, Prince Adam." she said solemnly. "I have called you here because you must take your most important mission yet. But it shall seem strange to you- as the Elders have forbidden me to reveal too much to you."
"What do you want me to do?" asked Adam.
"Follow me." replied the Sorceress, and led him through the dark corridors of the ancient castle.
Eventually, they reached a chamber that was full of large, wooden doors that looked as though they could lead just about anywhere. Adam had never been in this part of Grayskull before.
"This is the time gate chamber." the Sorceress told him. "Behind each door here lies a time gate to another world. From here we link Eternia to nearly every planet in the universe. And you must venture into another world to undertake your mission."
"Which world is that?" asked Adam.
The Sorceress led him to one of the wooden doors. By magic, it swung open with a loud creak, and behind it was a bright, glowing red light.
"This is the portal to the planet Etheria." said the Sorceress. "Your mission is to go to this planet and find another person on this world."
"Who is this person? Why do I have to find them?"
"I'm afraid that this is what I cannot tell you. You will find out the truth- but just now, I must keep this from you."
Now Adam was really confused. "Then how will I know who to find? I don't even know if they're male or female or what they do! How can I search a whole planet for just one person? Even if I do find them, how am I gonna know I've got the right person?"
The Sorceress pulled out a brightly glowing sword from underneath her wings, and handed it to Adam. Adam studied the sword carefully, and noticed that it was in every aspect identical to his sword of power, the only difference being a large, oval-shaped jewel in the centre.
"This sword," said the Sorceress, "is to be presented to this person. When you find them, it will glow- then you will know you have found the right person."
"It looks almost exactly like my sword." remarked Adam. "Does it have similar powers too?"
"It does indeed have very special powers," replied the Sorceress, "and is intended for someone of a special destiny. There are many secrets of Grayskull which even you don't know, Adam, and this is just one of them. But I can tell you no more."
Adam put the sword on his back, in the sheath which contained the sword of power. "How do I look for this person?" he asked.
"Do not look for them." replied the Sorceress. "Just go wherever your path leads you until you find someone whose presence makes the sword glow. Now you must step through the time gate, as you cannot afford to lose time!"
"I will do my best, Sorceress." Adam replied.
"Good journey." she said, and he slowly stepped inside the red, blazing light.


Within seconds, the red light had completely surrounded Adam. And he felt his body moving forward, as if he was being transported somewhere. Then he came to a sudden halt, feeling his feet hit ground. The red light died down, and he found himself surrounded by a beautiful landscape, with bright green trees and blooming flowers. There were many strange, magical-looking plants around, illuminated by the hot sun shining from above.
So this was the world of Etheria. This was the first time that Adam had seen this planet. He could see that it looked very peaceful around here, and instantly felt a sense of warmth and belonging in this new world. He looked all around him for signs of other people. And in the distance, he caught sight of what looked like a small outdoor bar, where people were eating and drinking at tables. This was the perfect chance to meet someone and get an introduction to this world. Adam approached the bar.
As he got closer, he noticed that the people were speaking the same language as him, the universal language that had originated on Earth. This was one relief- he didn't have to learn a new language to understand the people of this world. He decided he would pose as an Etherian, to avoid seeming suspicious.
But when he got closer, a sudden silence befell the people, and they abruptly turned and looked over at him. Why was this? Did he look suspicious to them?
Nervously, he walked up to the counter, and was greeted by a middle-aged barman serving drinks. "Who are you?" the barman asked. "Don't think I've seen your face in these parts."
"Erm..... no." Adam replied. "I'm a stranger round here. Just passing through the place. My name's Adam, by the way."
"Fine then." replied the barman. "Is there anything I can do for you?"
Adam was about to order a beer, but then he remembered he only had Eternian money with him. He didn't want to have to give away the fact he was from another world, so he just said "I'm..... okay for now. I'll leave if I'm any trouble....."
"No, you're fine- make yourself at home. Just sit down and get to know the regulars."
"Okay then." Adam turned round and scanned the place for an empty seat. But most of the people seemed to be quite nervous, and he could not help but feel as though he was bothering them in some way. Perhaps he should leave. It was unlikely he'd find the person he was looking for here.
Then a smartly-dressed man sitting alone at a table called to Adam. "You can sit here if you like." he said, with friendly tones.
"Thank you." Adam replied politely, and sat down opposite the man. He looked about thirty-ish, and was tall and thin, wearing a smart, executive-looking suit, with jacket and tie.
"So what's brought you to these parts then?" the man asked. "Not often that we see strangers round here."
"I'm just passing through-" Adam replied, "I have to find someone. I won't be staying here long....."
"You're okay, my friend." the man replied, in a bright and lively tone. "You're perfectly welcome here. My name's Carlos, and I'm a scientist round here. I work for Queen Angella, who controls this area of Etheria. Bright Moon, it's called, though you must know that of course."
"Yes, em..... of course. Pleased to meet you- my name's Adam." Carlos reached across the table, and the two shook hands.
Then Adam noticed that the barmen seemed to be keeping a close watch on him. They kept turning their heads in his direction, then turning to one another and muttering something.
"What's up with them?" Adam asked. "Have I done anything wrong? Do I look or act suspicious in some way?"
"You don't seem suspicious to me." Carlos replied. "I doubt if you do to them, it's just that they have to keep a close watch on any stranger round here. You see, for all they know, you could be a spy for the Horde. They just have to make sure."
"The Horde? Who are they?"
Carlos looked at him in bewilderment. "Are you saying you don't know who the Horde are? Have you been locked away all your life?"
Now Adam was close to panic. Obviously this was something that every Etherian knew about.
"I'm..... I'm sorry," he stammered, "I just..... didn't know. Can you tell me?"
"The Horde rule this planet!" exclaimed Carlos. "They are the supreme dictatorship! They have reduced more than half this world to poverty and starvation, and care nothing for innocent people! How can you live on this planet, and not know who the Horde are?!"
"Well....." Adam stammered, "you see..... I suppose I'd better explain. You mustn't tell a soul- but I don't live on Etheria. I'm from another world. Eternia, to be precise."
"Then..... if you're from another world, how did you get to Etheria?"
"I was sent here." he replied. "On a mission to find someone. Please don't ask me questions, as I don't even know who this person is myself. I know it may seem strange..... but I tell you, I come in peace. The last thing I intend is to bring harm to anyone on this planet."
Carlos hesitated. Adam couldn't tell whether he was suspicious of him or not. Then Carlos finally said "Well..... this is unusual. Not every day you meet someone from another planet. But I believe you, my friend, and won't interrogate you. You're right not to tell anyone here that you're from another world, as they would become weary of you. You can't really blame them, when they live in fear of the Horde."
"And I thought this world looked peaceful!" said Adam.
"It sure looks it round here," said Carlos, "but as a whole, Etheria is anything but peaceful. Most people on this planet lead a tough life."
They were in silence for a few seconds, then Carlos said "I'll buy you a beer if you want. I know you won't have Etherian currency on you, so I'll pay."
"Sure thing." said Adam. "Please do."
Carlos arose, and went towards the counter. Just then, Adam heard the sounds of marching from behind. He looked around, and was shocked at what he saw. There was a long line of people, dressed shabbily, their bodies covered in dirt. Each was carrying a heavy-looking box, so heavy that some of them were almost collapsing under the strain. And alongside the line of miserable-looking people were several tall, menacing figures. They were very evil-looking robots, with red, blazing eyes and striking red bat symbols across their chests. And they were hurrying the people along by cracking whips at them violently.
Adam was both distressed and angered by the dreadful sight. This was the sign of evil forces in control- something that was very rarely seen on Eternia. It seemed to Adam that this planet was everything that Skeletor would want to make Eternia. It saddened Adam to see how these innocent people could fall victim to evil like this.
But he knew he had been sent to the right planet. If there was anyone that Etheria needed at this moment, it was He-Man. Looking around him, Adam noticed that nearly every person in the bar was staring in horror at the slaves. Carlos walked up to him and said "They're the Horde Troopers. There's a Horde slave plantation nearby, and the troopers force them to produce goods, and even though the Horde have many advanced vehicles that they could use themselves, they force the slaves to carry them all to their base."
"What cruelty." said Adam. "I cannot allow that in my presence." he got to his feet, and laid his hand on Carlos' shoulder. "I think we should teach them a lesson." he said.
"You know," smiled Carlos, "the idea's just come to me that you're a really brave guy."
"Too right you are." replied Adam. Now someone was seeing Adam as a hero, rather than He-Man! And he would not change to He-Man to fight these troopers. He may not be as strong in the form of Adam- but he was sure he could still fight them. "Let's go." he said to Carlos. Then he shouted at the top of his voice "We strike in the name of Etheria!"
The whole bar looked at him, and applauded him. This man they had been so suspicious of seemed like a hero, come to save them. And Adam and Carlos made their way out of the bar and towards the troopers with eagerness fuelling their minds.


Approaching the line of slaves, Adam struck a trooper from behind. The trooper turned round to face him, but before he could react, Adam struck the trooper hard in the chest. A fizzling, whirring sound came from inside the robot's body, then it simply fell apart, a heap of scrap metal on the ground.
"Seems these guys die easily!" said Adam. "Let's deal with the lot, Carlos!"
Instantly, Adam and Carlos began to strike each trooper in the chest repeatedly until the robots crumbled to the ground. "Flee to safety!" Adam said to the slaves. "We will put an end to this evil!"
The slaves began to flee from the fight, as Carlos and Adam smashed more troopers to the ground. Then they moved further along the line, smashing each trooper they came across to pieces. Eventually they reached the slave plantation itself. In a huge, decrepit valley, troopers were cracking their whips at poor people, refusing to let them away from the tools they were making. Their minds filled with fury, Adam and Carlos dived down on the valley. They charged at the troopers, sending them scattering in all directions. Then they kicked aside all the goods that the slaves were being forced to make. They fought and fought until there were no further troopers in sight.
Then only the slaves were left. They ran towards their saviours, and fell at their feet. There were loud cries of "You have saved us!" and "How may we repay you?"
"There's no need to repay us." said Adam. "You are no longer slaves. You may now leave this place for good and return to your homes. And we will do our best to put an end to the Horde's rule."
The slaves applauded and thanked Adam and Carlos, then, with cries of triumph, ran from the scene until they were lost from sight.
Carlos stepped forward to Adam, and shook his hand. "You know, I think Etheria has found a true hero in you." he said.
"You owe me nothing." said Adam. "I will do my best to help you dispose of the Horde."
"Then you deserve to join the Great Rebellion!" said Carlos. "We are based in the Whispering Woods. We campaign to put an end to the Horde dictatorship. You will no doubt prove a most valued member. Follow me!"
Adam turned and followed his new friend. Now this was one heck of a good start on Etheria. He had destroyed a slave plantation, and looked all set to become a hero on this world. And at long last, he was getting the credit as Adam. For the present moment, He-Man was completely out of the question.


PART 3: THE FRIGHT ZONE

The news of the destruction of the slave plantation spread fast throughout Etheria. The citizens of Bright Moon were overjoyed that slavery no longer existed in their kingdom. The identities of the two saviours were not known for sure, but every person greatly thanked the two men in their hearts.
Eventually, the news reached the Fright Zone- the centre of all evil on Etheria. A warrior spy, named Senador, picked the news up whilst spying on Bright Moon from his Batmex craft. Senador was a type of cyborg, his face covered by a golden metal mask, with red electric eyes. His body was also covered in golden armour, with the red bat symbol of the Horde emblazoned across his chest.
He set his craft to return to Doom Tower at once. He had to let his master know.
Shortly afterwards, Senador's craft arrived in the landing bay of Doom Tower. Doom Tower was a large, complex building in the centre of the Fright Zone, a huge industrial area from where the Evil Horde issued their commands to Etheria. Senador came out of his craft and entered Doom Tower, then took the lift up to the main hall.
In the main hall of the deadly building, a large figure sat in complete darkness. As Senador approached this figure, all he could make out was the red glow of its eyes in the blackness. Slowly, he made his way up to his master.
A deep, booming voice responded to Senador's presence. "What have you to report, spy?" it asked.
"Mighty Hordak," responded Senador, in his low electronic voice, "I am afraid that the Horde has been threatened by the forces of good."
"Of what do you speak?" replied the deep voice of Hordak, ruler of Etheria.
"I speak of an incident that took place today on the edges of the kingdom of Bright Moon. The Horde slave plantation that operates by the kingdom was completely destroyed- by two seemingly ordinary men!"
The eyes seemed to light up brighter with evil curiosity. "And how could this happen?" Hordak asked. "Ordinary men cannot make a stand against the powers of the Horde."
"I am afraid that these two men virtually smashed all the troopers to pieces, then let all the slaves free. The news is all around Bright Moon. I am unsure of the men's identities, one of them I think is a scientist in Bright Moon, the other I have no idea of."
"THE BASTARDS!!!" shouted Hordak abruptly, shooting up in his seat. All at once his full figure came into view, illuminated by the yellow neon light on the ceiling. Senador could see the tyrant's white, metal face, his sharp red metal teeth, and his whole armoured body from where the red bat symbol glared out.
"How can two ordinary, weak-minded humans think they can challenge the Horde like this?" he bellowed. "Do they really think they have any chance of freeing their planet from the Horde?! They must be members of the so-called 'Great Rebellion'. It's time I dealt with those interfering weaklings."
Just then, unafraid of her master's anger, a tall woman draped from head to toe in a black robe came gliding along the floor. She wore a black hood, completely concealing her face- all that could be seen was her glowing red eyes, almost as striking and penetrating as Hordak's. Her long, bony green fingers poked out from her sleeves, with black, sharp nails.
"My magic detects another possible threat to the Horde." she told Hordak.
"And what is this?! Speak, Shadow Weaver."
"I am picking up signals of an incredible power which has just arrived on this planet from another world. The strange thing is that this power seems to be coming entirely from one person! This one individual possesses great power which is all on the side of good and could possibly destroy the Horde. I am unable to identify this person, but my magic senses that they are somewhere in the kingdom of Bright Moon."
Hordak was made even angrier by what Shadow Weaver had told him. He was getting sick and tired of 'threats to the Horde' constantly coming up from nowhere. But he would never accept that anything good could ever possibly destroy the Horde.
"This powerful being may hold the belief that he can destroy us," Hordak said, "but now that I am aware of his existence I am able to deal with him. You say he is in the kingdom of Bright Moon. This is where the slave plantation was destroyed. Well I will make up for the destruction of this plantation..... by making an even bigger one! I will have the whole city of Bright Moon taken to the Horde mines, where they will all become slaves. Amongst them will be the men who destroyed the plantation in the first place, and they will pay dearly for what they did."
"And the person whom my magic senses?"
"There's one simple answer to that." he turned to Senador. "Call Force Captain Adora. Tell her to assemble my thugs and keep a close watch on them. Make sure they keep watch for any powerful-looking being, and kill him before he can stop them."
"I will, master." replied Senador. He saluted Hordak, and left the hall.
Then Hordak turned to Shadow Weaver, his red, blazing eyes staring directly into hers.
"So, they think they can threaten us." he said mockingly. "We will show this 'stranger' and the rebellion that anyone who causes trouble for the Horde..... only makes worse trouble for themselves!"


PART 4: THE REBEL CAMP

Adam was walking down a long, winding path through Whispering Woods, with Carlos at his side. The woods were very quiet and mysterious, full of wispy, strange-looking trees with blue and purple leaves. Adam caught the occasional sight of very strange animals scuttling through the vegetation. It seemed a very magical place. Adam had never seen anything quite like this on Eternia.
"So, tell me a little more about yourself." said Carlos. "Out of mere curiosity, of course. Why were you chosen to come to Etheria?"
"Well, it's gonna sound pretty strange to you, but I'm actually the Prince of Eternia." Adam told him. "I guess the Sorceress wanted an important person to carry out this task, and since I'm the Prince, she chose me." He knew this wasn't completely true, but he knew he couldn't mention anything about He-Man. He wanted to forget He-Man for the time being anyway, now that he was finally being seen as a hero as Adam.
"This is sounding stranger by the minute!" answered Carlos. "You're the Prince, then! It's a long time since monarchy was abolished on Etheria. Ruling the whole planet, anyway, we only have monarchs in control of cities or districts, like Queen Angella. Anyway, you said you weren't sure who you were meant to find, why is this?"
"Well, you see, the Sorceress gave me this sword, and just told me I had to take it to someone on Etheria, but she couldn't tell me who. I have absolutely no idea..... she just said it would glow when I found the right person."
"Sounds strange indeed." said Carlos. "But I'll help you in your quest, however difficult it may be. We're nearly approaching the rebel camp now- just wait until Angella hears of our victory."
Adam and Carlos moved onwards through the woods. Eventually, the extreme silence of the place came to an end when they heard the sound of human voices, just around the corner. Finally they saw the rebel camp in the distance, just a few small, wooden buildings, with people training around them.
Adam and Carlos approached one of the small buildings, and stepped inside. They saw a tall, middle-aged woman dressed in pink with blue tights, with long blonde hair and a large pair of elegant white wings coming from her back. By her side was a younger woman, far more rebellious-looking, with long hair dyed pink, and dressed entirely in purple and blue.
Carlos approached the older woman. "Afternoon, Angella- I've returned."
The younger woman jumped in his way. "Where have you been all this time?" she demanded.
"Hey, calm down Glimmer, I've been doing some good deeds. All with the help of my new friend here." He gestured towards Adam. Glimmer spun round, and saw that they had a guest. "Oh, er..... I'm sorry." she said, embarrassed. "I didn't see you come in. Who are you..... pleased to meet you."
"My name's Adam." Adam said politely, shaking her hand.
"Greetings, my friend." said Angella. "I am Queen Angella, the ruler of Bright Moon. This is my daughter, Glimmer- leader of the rebels. As you will know, it is one of the only kingdoms on Etheria that is free from Horde rule. Welcome to the Great Rebellion- extra members is just what we need at the moment."
"And fewer slave plantations too!" added Carlos. "And thanks to Adam and myself, there IS one less plantation!"
"You mean..... you've destroyed one?!" asked Glimmer.
"Smashed it to pieces!" answered Carlos, miming a punch with his fist. "And set all the slaves free!"
"But..... you're no warrior." said Glimmer.
"I may just be a 'mere scientist'" mocked Carlos, "but I have enough strength to reduce a Horde Trooper to scrap metal. But of course, it's mainly thanks to Adam. I met him in the bar, and he seems a brave guy, you know. We've got to let him join the rebellion."
"Wow..... you seem a real hero." said Glimmer, eyeing up Adam in admiration. Adam pretended not to notice. But secretly, he was glad that Adam was getting a woman's affections, not He-Man. It had been so annoying back on Eternia, with Teela failing to notice his affections for her, only being interested in He-Man!
"You are most welcome to join the Rebellion." said Angella. "You have done us a great deed, by destroying a whole slave plantation. Now we can introduce you to some other rebels."
"I am honoured to join you." said Adam. "But I am afraid I must tell you that I'm no ordinary Etherian."
"Why's that?" asked Glimmer.
"I'm from another world. Yeah, sounds strange, I know, but it's the planet Eternia..... our ways of life are fairly similar to yours, only that we are free from the rule of evil. I've been sent to this world to find a particular person..... but haven't been told who. Please don't ask questions, as I know no more than that."
Glimmer's face fell when he said this. "You mean you'll be going back when you find this person?"
"Well, I'm afraid so. Though I think I'll be staying for some while."
Glimmer smiled at him. She would do her best to keep him on this planet as long as she could.
"It is an honour to welcome someone from another world." said Angella. "We are glad to make your acquaintance while we can. Just do not tell any normal folk that you're from another world, or they will become suspicious. Anyway, please make yourself at home- Carlos will show you around the place."
Carlos took Adam around the rebel camp, introducing him to several of the more important rebel warriors. Adam could see that they were all very determined to eliminate the Horde. And he knew that he was more than capable of helping them..... even if it did mean having to turn to He-Man eventually.
"Good to have you with us" said Carlos, "but don't take any notice of anything that Glimmer says. Most of the time she doesn't even think. She always forgets how important I am to Queen Angella. My scientific discoveries often help her."
"It's okay." said Adam, smiling. "I don't see any trouble with her. I'm just....."
All of a sudden, a large metal vehicle burst through the trees into the rebel camp, propelled by a cyborg with golden armour. The whole camp fell silent with shock.
The cyborg got to his feet. "Greetings, 'rebels'." he said mockingly. "I am Senador, minion of Hordak. And I understand that two of you have destroyed one of the mighty Hordak's slave plantations. All I can say is 'congratulations'. You must be feeling so proud, whoever you are. And I don't care to know who you are- I'm just going to let you know that Hordak has had his forces taking as many people as possible from Bright Moon to be slaves, and has sent some troopers after you. So whoever destroyed the slave plantation- the Horde thanks you very much for helping us build an even bigger one. Have a nice day." He sat down and steered the vehicle away from the rebel camp.
Queen Angella and Glimmer came rushing out towards Adam and Carlos. "Did you see that?" said Angella.
"Sarcastic metal-faced bastard." said Glimmer. "I say we smash those troopers to pieces, then we go to the Fright Zone to free the slaves. Let's go!"
"Hold on, Glimmer," said Carlos, "we mustn't act too quickly. If we just spring out and smash the troopers we will lose as we won't be well-prepared enough. We must carefully plan how we are going to react, then we stand a better chance of victory."
"You're right." said Angella. "Glimmer- go and help the rebels prepare for battle. We'll show the Horde just how much they underestimate us."
No sooner had she spoken than the air was suddenly filled with the deafening sound of Horde sirens. Battle was about to commence!
A Batmex craft appeared above the trees, came to a halt, and a hatch in the bottom opened, with Horde Troopers descending on parachutes. From the air, they shot at the rebels with their guns.
"For Bright Moon- Attack!" commanded Glimmer, and the whole of the rebel camp was engulfed in battle.



The Grayskull Library

Continue


PART 5

The rebels fought hard against the evil troopers. Several troopers were smashed to pieces, but at the same time, several rebels were sustaining serious injuries.
Adam was struggling strongly against a small crowd of troopers, trying to drag him away with them. He was thankful that they did not know that it had been him who destroyed the slave plantation. He knew he could easily fend off all these troopers if he transformed to He-Man, but he would only do that once he felt it was the only way they could survive. He had to prove to these people, and himself, that he could be a hero as Adam.
With a swift kick, he knocked one trooper to the ground, then using all his strength he wrenched himself free from the others, then turned and ran, pretending to be scared. The troopers ran after him, but when they caught up with him he spun around and smashed the first trooper, who fell on top of the second, who fell on top of the third, who landed heavily on the ground, badly damaged.
"Good show, Adam!" said Glimmer, rushing up to him. "Hey, since these tin cans are programmed to drag us to the Fright Zone, how about we lure them there! We should all pretend to run away, but instead we'll run to the Fright Zone, where we can not only defeat these guys, but free the slaves who they've captured!"
"Good idea, Glimmer." replied Adam. "Let's go and tell Angella our plan- then we can put it into action!"

Meanwhile, at the Fright Zone, several bands of Horde Troopers were returning from Bright Moon, with cartloads of slaves. They were instantly sent down to the mines. Senador stood atop a tall tower, watching the slaves being transported by the Troopers. And sitting in a dark corner, watching the slaves, were a band of Hordak's hired thugs. One of these was a huge, green-skinned reptile creature, with suction pads on his hands and feet, and around his mouth. This was Leech, one of the reptile people of Etheria.
Another was an equally hideous creature, this one covered in thick, brown fur, with large red eyes and clawed hands. This was Grizzlor, a wild beast from the jungle. Alongside them was a strange-looking woman with a red scorpion tail and scorpion's claws for hands. She was Scorpia, a cross between woman and scorpion. By her side was her best friend, a very beautiful but also evil-looking woman, with long, black hair, wearing black eyeshadow and black lipstick. She wore a dark purple suit, and had a long, furry belt made from cat fur tied around her waist. She had long, cat-like fingernails, with black nail varnish. She was Catra, one of Hordak's most trusted warriors.
And each of these warriors wore one of the terrifying evil Horde bat symbols, to indicate their evil allegiance.
"Can't we just spring out and attack?" moaned Leech, in his squelchy, reptilian voice.
"I share your frustration." added Scorpia. "Why does Hordak have to give all the decent jobs to those heaps of junk he calls troopers? We'd strike way more fear into the hearts of those bastards if we could drag them along..... and torture them." she laughed menacingly.
"You're damn right, Scorpia." added Catra. "Why the fuck does he seem to think more highly of the troopers than us..... and I'm getting sick of being called a 'thug', or 'tug' as he pronounces it. I'm not that stupid, for fuck's sake. I'd love to claw those people's guts out....." she smiled evilly to herself.
"It's not Hordak's fault." growled Grizzlor. "It's that fuckin' bitch Adora. Just 'cause he's been like a father to her, and he brought her up, he reckons she should be in charge of us and have the right to boss us around. Damn, I doubt if she's even that strong..... I've never seen her hurt anyone. If I ever get the chance, I'll dig my claws into her intestines, and....."
Grizzlor suddenly stopped as a shadow fell across the space in which they were hiding. Force Captain Adora stepped towards them, brandishing her pistol. She was young and attractive, but also very rough and evil-looking, with long, straggly blonde hair, tightly clad in leather, wearing heavily applied red lipstick.
"You badmouthing me, you fur-faced cunt?" she said angrily.
"Hey, cool it woman!" answered Grizzlor. "Just getting it all off my chest!"
"You might have bossed me around as a kid, but now I'M in charge, you got that?! Keep your insults to yourself, fucker. I'm here to serve Hordak, and while I remain Force Captain, I can make you do whatever I want- so don't try to fuck with me!" She thrust her gun right in his face.
Backing off, Grizzlor said "Erm, yes, Force Captain. You're in charge."
"Keep on your guard, and only attack these rebels when you NEED to, right?! Save your strength for when we actually need it..... or I blast your fuckin' head off. You got that?!"
Each of the thugs backed away from Adora. She was in a greater position than them..... just that none of them really felt she deserved it.
All of a sudden, they saw several Horde Troopers seemingly falling from the sky, and crashing on the ground and breaking apart.
A band of rebels then burst into the street, armed with spears or guns. They were led by Princess Glimmer of Bright Moon, firing energy blasts at the troopers from the palms of her hands.
"Damn, they're here already!" exclaimed Adora. "Okay, you guys, get out there and KICK ASS!"
The thugs burst out from their hiding place, and into the crowd of rebels. The street was filled with the brutal sound of battle.
The rebels fought well, but they were heavily outnumbered by the amount of hordesmen there were. The villains were swiftly on their way to victory.
Carlos was felled by Senador, firing a laser bolt from an opening on his chest. Adam rushed forward to help him, but just then, a strange-looking creature, with four legs and a bug-like head jumped down from a tower. This creature did not look strong, so Adam threw out his fist to punch it, but to his shock he was hurled back by a beam from the creature's eyes, which popped out from its head on their long stalks. Adam was stunned, and fell to the ground. He tried to get up, but he kept falling over again- the beam was destroying his sense of balance! He was useless against this harmless-looking creature!
A few metres away, Carlos got to his feet. "You're not finished yet, Adam- I'll deal with Mantenna!"
He rushed towards the creature and grabbed hold of its rear legs, picked it up and hurled it over his head. The creature landed heavily in the midst of the battle.
"That was Mantenna," Carlos told Adam, "he's a spy, but he uses his eyes to fire beams too. He's more harmful than he looks. But it seems we don't stand much chance of winning at this rate. Just look how many of them there are!"
Adam looked over at the crowd of rebels, fighting furiously against the Horde. It seemed that with every man who was knocked out, another group of hordesmen would spring out from nowhere and make the battle even more dangerous for the rebels.
Adam had proved that he was not a weakling, and was stronger than people on Eternia thought, but he knew he was not strong enough to beat the Horde. He had no choice- he had to become He-Man.
"Excuse me a minute, Carlos- I must be going!" he said.
"Where?!" asked Carlos. "We may be losing, but we can't run away- the fate of Bright Moon is in our hands!"
"I'm not running away," said Adam, "I'm just going to get help!"
He ran from Carlos' view, and sneaked into a side alleyway. He drew the power sword, raised it high above his head, and shouted:

"BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL..... I HAVE THE POWER!"

The familiar flash of light emerged from the sword, pouring down on Adam and turning him to He-Man, mightiest man in the universe.
Just then, Carlos ran into the alleyway.
"By all Etheria..... you must be a real champion, Adam!"
Damn, thought He-Man, now how was he going to explain his secret to Carlos?
"Okay, Carlos....." he began, "you weren't meant to see my transformation, but in this form, I'm not Adam- I'm He-Man. I defend Eternia in this form. But you mustn't tell anyone!"
"Okay, your secret's safe with me. Now let's go and fight- we can't afford to waste time!"

He-Man, with Carlos at his side, rushed out into the streets and hurled himself into the fight. He struck at a team of Troopers, and had them sprawled on the ground within seconds, a crackling heap of scrap metal.
The rebels looked at him in astonishment.
"Who's that?" exclaimed Glimmer.
"I've no idea," replied Angella, "but thank the gods he seems to be on our side!"
At the same time, several members of the Horde backed away from He-Man as he swished his mighty power sword through the air.
Adora, from a distance, eyed him up angrily. She rushed up to Senador, across the street, and said "That must be the bastard who Hordak warned us about. The incredibly powerful being from another planet."
"We will destroy him." replied Senador, pulling out a pistol. "We will not let him interfere with the Horde!"
He-Man fought his way through the crowd of hordesmen, the rebels watching in amazement as he felled each one of them with no trouble. He-Man's main aim was to release the slaves, and find the crazy tyrant who was behind it all.
Several metres away, Adora shouted to him "Okay, tough guy- come and get me!"
He-Man rushed towards the young girl, brandishing his power sword. Adora leapt into a tall skyscraper. She intended to lead He-Man to a machine which would teleport him to Doom Tower, where he would perish.
He-Man followed Adora into the building. She led him into the room where the teleporter stood. Then she turned to face him, and snatched his sword from his grasp.
"Let's see how powerful you are without a weapon!" she laughed. "The forces of good can never destroy the rule of Hordak!"
"I still have another weapon on me!" said He-Man, and drew the sword of protection. And to his astonishment, the sword was glowing brightly. Just as the Sorceress had said it would when he found the right person. He held it closer to Adora, who seemed puzzled at the glow. The glow became even brighter. But surely this girl couldn't be the person he had come to find? She was clearly evil, and the sword was intended for someone on the side of good!
He-Man just stared at the sword in amazement. He had absolutely no idea what to do. And while he puzzled over it, Senador suddenly stepped into the room and struck from behind. He hit He-Man in the back with a laser bolt, and He-Man fell to his knees, clutching his back and dropping the sword of protection.
Adora picked up the sword. She stared at the glow.
"Hmmm..... this sword has something interesting about it." she held it alongside the sword of power. "These two swords look almost the same. I must take them to Hordak, so he can discover their connection..... and why this jewelled one is glowing."
"And we should take this man to Hordak too." added Senador. "He needs to be dealt with."
Just then, Carlos stepped into the room. "Let He-Man go!" he commanded. "No matter what you try to do, He-Man can stop you."
"No, Carlos." said He-Man. "I must let these evil warriors teleport me to their base- it may be the only way I can confront their master." He leapt forward, and seized the sword of power from Adora.
"I am telling, you, He-Man," said Carlos, "it is too dangerous even for someone of your strength! If Hordak knows you are in Doom Tower, he will do all he can to stop you! It is better to make a surprise attack on the Horde!"
He-Man turned to face Carlos. Okay then." he said. "I will leave this place. Let's go!" He-Man and Carlos turned and ran from the building.
Senador turned to follow them. "I will stop them!" he shouted.
"No-" said Adora, "chances are they may have a trick up their sleeve. We will teleport to Doom Tower with this sword. It seems like it could be a source of power for He-Man. We may find some way of draining its power!" She set the teleportation machine for Doom Tower, then she and Senador stepped inside and were instantly teleported, clutching the sword of protection.
Outside in the street, He-Man said to Carlos "I must continue my quest straight away. If they thought I was running away then, that's a good thing. They will think I am afraid of the Horde, and that I will be easy to beat. More importantly, they have the sword I have been given- so I must retrieve it so I can get it safely to the person it is intended for."
"But it was glowing..... and it was meant to glow when you found the right person! But that girl is Force Captain Adora- she is pure evil. Surely the sword can't be for her."
"I have no idea." replied He-Man. "It did seem very strange that the sword should glow in her presence. I must find out why it did..... there may be some connection between her and the sword."
"Then I shall tell the others that you must continue your quest. But first, let's clear the battle!"
He-Man and Carlos rushed towards the battle, and the hordesmen instantly fled in terror at the sight of He-Man. Catra and Scorpia rushed at him, but he threw out his fists, knocking them both to the ground, unconscious. Glimmer managed to writhe free from Leech's clutches, then turned on him and fired bolts at him, paralysing him temporarily.
"We've defeated this lot," said Glimmer, "mainly thanks to you, mighty warrior, whoever you are. But the slaves are still held captive!"
"I will continue my mission around here and try to free the slaves." said He-Man. "You should go back to Whispering Woods, and recover your strength. I will find a way of releasing the slaves and confronting the leader of the Horde. Don't worry about me."
"Thank you very much, stranger," said Angella, "but who are you and where are you from?"
"My name is He-Man, and I am a friend of Adam, as I am also from Eternia. Adam summoned me for help. He is somewhere around the city, searching for a way to free the slaves- so he will also stay around here to help me."
"It feels really good to have two new friends on our side- especially as brave as Adam and He-Man." said Carlos, carefully covering up for He-Man's secret. "We shall go back to the camp now- but good luck in your quest, He-Man."
He-Man and Carlos shook hands, then the rebels wished He-Man good luck, and left for Whispering Woods. He-Man sneaked into an alleyway, lifted his sword, said "Let the power return" and slowly became Adam again. Now it would be easier for him to carry out his task- he would sneak inside Doom Tower and pose as a Horde spy. He made his way carefully through the streets. He must recover the sword of protection- and find out who this 'Adora' really was- could the sword really be for her? He had no idea, but there was only one way to find out. He made his way eagerly towards Doom Tower.


PART 6: HE-MAN MUST BE DESTROYED

Adora and Senador materialised inside Doom Tower, and made their way to Hordak’s chamber, where their leader sat talking to Shadow Weaver.
Adora made her way towards her master, with Senador following behind. Adora held the sword of protection in front of Hordak.
"What is this you bring me?" Hordak asked her.
"I managed to steal this sword from a stranger whom I believe is the man who Shadow Weaver’s spells detected."
"Who is this man?" Hordak demanded, his red eyes lighting up with curiosity.
"His name is He-Man. He is indeed strong, and barbarian-like. But I still think we can stop him. He ran from us when a friend of his warned him about the dangers of Doom Tower, so chances are we may be one step closer to defeating him already."
"And what about the sword? It just looks like any normal sword to me, other than the jewel in the centre."
"I am positive that this sword has special powers. It was not the only sword he carried- he also had another which was almost identical, except it had no jewel. It may look fairly ordinary, but when he took it out it was glowing brightly. It must have some kind of magical property."
Hordak leaned forward, and took the sword from Adora’s grasp. He carefully examined it, running his fingers along its smooth edges. Then he looked up at Shadow Weaver. "Do you detect any magical powers, Shadow Weaver?"
"Yes, I do." the mistress of dark magic replied. "I sense a strong magical power….. and I don’t like it. It is all good! All the power contained within that sword is good- and can be used against us!"
Hordak looked up at Adora. "Why was the sword glowing when this He-Man took it out?"
"I have no idea, my lord. Even He-Man seemed puzzled as to the source of the glow."
"I think we should keep this sword safe….. and keep watching it." said Shadow Weaver, glaring evilly at the sword from her hood. "We do not know just what harm it could inflict upon the Horde." Then she turned to face Adora. "You have done well by capturing this sword….. next you must capture He-Man, along with the other sword he carried. Then we can stop him from trying to threaten our rule."
"Yes." agreed Hordak. "Senador- go and tell the thugs they must find where He-Man has gone. And they must bring him to me at once!"
"I will, master." Senador saluted Hordak, then turned and left the hall.

But a few minutes later, Senador returned to say that most of the thugs had been beaten in the battle and the rebels were nowhere to be seen- but most of the slaves were still held captive.
"Defeated?! Even Leech? Catra?"
"Yes, even they had undergone defeat, my lord. The rebels more or less beat them- but were seemingly unable to free the slaves."
"It looks as though we may have underestimated the power of the rebellion." Shadow Weaver said calmly.
"Underestimated?! Maybe slightly, but we are still more powerful!!! The rebels just stood a greater chance with He-Man on their side! I will order the troopers to flog the thugs for their failure, then I will make it clear that their main task from now on is to eliminate He-Man. Adora- go and recover them, wherever they are. And Senador- issue a warning from myself about the danger of He-Man! He thinks no doubt that he has come to our planet to destroy our rule….. but in the end, all he will find destroyed is himself!"
Senador and Adora left to carry out their duties, and Hordak and Shadow Weaver turned and faced one another, their red eyes glowing brightly at each other.
"We’ll have him, won’t we….." said Shadow Weaver, "we’ll have him….."
"Yes….. He-Man’s blood is within my grasp….."


PART 7: QUESTIONING ADORA

Adam made his way slowly around the exterior of Doom Tower. He was approached several times by troopers, whose sensors failed to recognise him, but he simply told them that he was a Horde spy, dressed in normal clothes to fool the rebels. He had to sneak inside and find the girl who had taken the sword of protection….. and see if he could confront the leader of the Horde.
Then, all of a sudden, a low, electronic voice sounded through a massive loudspeaker at the top of the building. Adam recognised the voice as that of Senador, the cyborg warrior.
"This is a Horde announcement." Senador’s voice spoke. "All members of the evil Horde are ordered by the mighty Hordak to keep a close lookout for a rebel warrior named He-Man. This man is thought to possess great strength and power which he intends to use to cause the downfall of the Horde. He is described as barbarian-like, of a large, muscular build, with heavily-tanned skin and blond hair. He also carries a sword which Hordak wishes to possess for himself. A great reward will go to the first Horde member who brings this man- dead or alive- to Hordak, along with the sword he carries. Over and out."
Adam smiled to himself. While the Horde were searching all over the place for He-Man, he would be able to remain inches from their grasp, without them even realising he was the man they were looking for. It was good to have a secret identity….. although for two years Adam had felt guilty about being unable to tell people he was He-Man, it did often come as an advantage….. and this was just one of those times.
Eventually, he found a door leading inside Doom Tower, he tricked the guard, telling him he was a Horde spy, and he went inside the evil fortress.
He could see at once that it was very different from Skeletor’s Snake Mountain, back on Eternia. It seemed virtually all electronic, with computers and electronic components surrounding nearly every wall, with robots zooming along from place to place. This was the centre of an evil empire which had taken control of a whole planet. How Skeletor would love to own a place like this! Snake Mountain and Skeletor’s army now seemed like only a minor force- it was no threat to Eternia compared to how this was to Etheria!
It would be hard for Adam to find his way around such a large and complex building- but he had to find the place where the sword was being kept, and find the girl whose presence had seemed to make the sword glow.
He wandered around Doom Tower, simply going random places, hoping that he would eventually find the sword. On his travels through the building, he saw many disturbing sights. There were scientists performing fiendish-looking experiments, some on innocent humans, and some of the Horde warriors he had done battle with earlier were now being beaten cruelly by a trooper with a whip. This was an extreme evil- which he must put a stop to. Eventually he caught sight of the girl who had taken the sword. She no longer had it, but he decided to follow her and try to find out more about her. He had to find if she really could be the person who the sword was intended for. Carefully watching her every move, he followed stealthily behind, making sure to sneak behind corners whenever she looked around. He tiptoed slowly and quietly behind her, making the greatest effort not to be seen or heard.
Eventually the girl reached a particular room, entered, and closed the door. Adam sneaked up to the door, and peered in through the keyhole. In the centre of the room the girl was talking to a woman whose body was completely enshrouded in a black cloak- and by them was the sword of protection, on a stand! It was no longer glowing, but Adam was sure he saw a faint light around it whenever the girl stood very near it.
"You have served the Horde very well." the shrouded woman was saying. "Hordak and I are very proud of you. I will use my magic to find out the secrets of this sword, while our warriors are out looking for this He-Man."
"Thank you, Shadow Weaver. Can I have He-Man to deal with when you find him? I’d really love to give that guy a good bashing. He interferes so much."
"I may allow you to deal with He-Man….. really it is Hordak’s decision. Adora, now I am going to train my apprentices in the magic of darkness. While I am gone, you must remain here and guard the sword- but do not touch it. You never know just what powers it may have or what damage it could do. And don’t let anyone else touch it either. It is for mine and Hordak’s hands only."
"Of course, Shadow Weaver. I understand."
Shadow Weaver then vanished in a cloud of black smoke, leaving Adora alone to guard the sword. Now was Adam’s chance! He could sneak in and speak to Adora, posing again as a Horde spy. He decided to wait a while before doing this, as Adora might become suspicious if he came in too soon after Shadow Weaver’s departure. He remained simply staring through the keyhole, observing Adora’s every action.
Adora paced the room a few times, but seemed to keep stopping, and staring at the sword. She clearly had some major curiosity about it. And this curiosity soon forced her to disobey Shadow Weaver, as she lifted the sword from its stand and began swishing it through the air as if battling an unseen foe.
Just then Adam took his chance, and opened the door to enter the room. Upon hearing him enter, Adora stooped and turned to face him.
"Who are you?" she asked. "What are you doing here? I haven’t seen your face around here before."
"I’m just a Horde spy." Adam replied. "I dress in normal clothing so I can fool the rebels. Man, I’ve had some fun hacking their heads off when they’re not expecting it!" He hoped his act was fooling her. It seemed it was, as Adora suddenly erupted into laughter, her mouth wide open.
"That’s one trick I really love." she replied. "But hey, your clothes look pretty rich….. does Hordak pay you a lot?"
"Pretty high, I guess. But I’m from a rich background anyway. I love serving the Horde."
"What you doing in here, then? What business you got?"
"I’m just inspecting the place." Adam replied. "Hey, what’s the big deal with this sword anyway? Just looks like any normal sword to me."
"It sometimes gives out this glow." Adora replied. "And Shadow Weaver senses it’s got heroic magic. She’s gonna drain the magic from it, hopefully, before it does any harm. But hey, heroic or not, I’d really love to fight with this sword. It just seems to feel….. just right for me. It’s like I’m drawn to it, in some way! I just can’t leave it alone!!!" She swished it through the air, in battle pose.
This seemed interesting to Adam. If she was so closely drawn to a sword that was supposedly heroic, could it possibly be because it was indeed intended for her? And if it was intended for her, then she couldn’t be truly evil. Adam decided he must find out more about Adora. She would not suspect anything if he questioned her….. she’d just assume he was attracted to her in some way. After all, a young, attractive blonde woman with such a rebellious and powerful nature must get a lot of attention from men.
"So how do you like serving Hordak, then?" he asked.
"I love it." she replied. "Hordak’s brought me up since I was a kid, you know. He and Shadow Weaver have been like parents to me….. they’ve trained me since birth to serve the Horde."
"And what about your real parents? Do you know them?"
"No. Hordak tells me they were killed just after I was born. I don’t really care about finding out who they were, though. They could never be as good as Hordak and Shadow Weaver have been."
"I see. So you’ve served the Horde all your life, basically. And now you’re force captain, aren’t you?"
"Yeah, I sure am. It’s a brilliant ranking in the army. I get to boss around all those fuckin’ gits like Leech and Grizzlor who treated me like some feeble little girl when I was a kid. I could kill any other member of the Horde, just about, and Hordak wouldn’t mind. He gives me loads of important jobs. And I just love to….. you know, rip people apart!" she touched the sword to her neck, and moved it along slowly, miming decapitation. Then she laughed aloud. "I love that stuff!!!"
"Have you ever had second thoughts about the Horde?"
"Second thoughts? Ha! No chance! I don’t care how much evil has been wrought by the Horde, ‘cause I am evil as fuck. And I’m stayin’ with the Horde….. there’s no better army in the universe. And have you ever hung around the Fright Zone at night?"
"No."
"Hey, you should man. The Fright Zone at midnight….. it kicks ass. It’s real luxury. They open up all the bars, you can drink until you’re sick, and you can get laid. You get all the whores on the street, but I’ve been puttin’ the whores out of business of late. Okay, I may not sell sex for money, but those tough guys in the Fright Zone sure prefer to have a piece of me."
"Damn, you slut!" Adam said, faking sarcasm.
"Hey, watch your mouth fucker! You go out there tonight man….. the whores’ll love a piece of you!"
"Maybe so." Adam said, laughing. "But anyway, back to that sword….. why do you like it so much, if it’s meant to be heroic?"
"Hey, I told’ya did I not? I just feel drawn to it man, I can’t explain it! As a weapon, it just rocks, I don’t give a fuck how heroic it is!" she slashed it through mid-air again. "Anyway, Shadow Weaver’s gonna drain its power hopefully….. then she’ll let me have it, and I’m gonna sever a few heads, fucker!"
Carefully, Adam observed the faint light around the sword. There was no mistaking that it became brighter whenever Adora held it really close. And if she felt so heavily drawn to it….. then it must surely be meant for her. She was the person he had come to find. But there was no doubt that she was evil. She was clearly sadistic and remorseless, yet sexy at the same time. Why would the Sorceress have wanted him to give the sword to a person like this? Obviously, he must be meant to turn her from the side of evil somehow….. but how would he go about that? If she found that he wasn’t really on her side, she’d probably try to kill him! How could he turn her against the Horde when she was so devoted to them? She’d spent her whole damn life working for the Horde! It would be incredibly hard to turn her against them. Of course, he could try to make her see things from an ordinary person’s point of view….. but she clearly loved being evil! She wouldn’t give a damn about how much suffering she’d caused! Was there any way he could persuade her to join the side of good?
He decided he should try to ask her if she’d ever felt remorse for the people whom the Horde tortured. He stepped closer to her, laid his hand on her shoulder, and said "Now listen, I must ask you something, and this is serious….."
"Hey man, I’m rushin’ towards no relationships now. I’ll fuck you if you really want me to, but I don’t need no man to help me live. I just need sex."
"No, that’s not what I’m asking, It’s just….. I wondered….."
Just then, he was interrupted by the door swinging open violently. He spun on his heel and stared into the doorway. There stood a small figure with a red, bug-like head and an incredibly thin body, with blue skin and four bony legs. It was Mantenna, the strange creature he had fought against earlier.
But by his side was a far more disturbing looking creature. This one was a tall, muscular figure, whose body seemed to be made mainly from metal. He wore the Evil Horde bat symbol across his chest….. only it seemed more striking and frightening than on any other warriors. His face was made from white metal, with red fangs and huge red eyes which shone brightly into the room. And he wore a long, red cape, which glided down from his back to the ground. Adam was not quite sure who this was….. but he was obviously very important in the ranks of the Horde.
The terrifying figure glared straight into Adam’s eyes. "Who are you?!" he bellowed, in a deep voice which echoed through the whole room. "What are you doing in here?"
"He’s….. a ….. rebel." hissed Mantenna, in a slow, rasping voice. "I….. fought….. him….. earlier. He….. has….. no….. place….. here."
"This man told me he was a Horde spy!" exclaimed Adora.
"A spy?!" bellowed the larger figure. "I have NEVER seen this man before! And if Mantenna says the man’s a rebel, I am inclined to believe him."
He threw his cape over his shoulders, and briskly advanced towards Adam. "Who are you to sneak inside Doom Tower and try to interrogate Adora?! Do you really expect you can do your pathetic rebellion any good? You have the mighty Hordak to answer to!"
Adam suddenly felt his heart jump in his rib cage, and pound against his ribs with thumping intensity. So this was Hordak! The deadly leader of the Horde!
"Erm….. I had to….. get the sword….." stammered Adam, pretending to be afraid in the hope that he could strike Hordak when unexpected.
"Get the sword?! The accursed sword which the infernal He-Man brought to this world? So He-Man has sent you here to recover the sword, because he is too afraid to do it himself? How I hate that man more by the minute! And you, you weak fool, will pay for obeying that bastard’s feeble instructions!" He held out his arm, and suddenly it began to whirr, and transform. Within a few seconds, it had turned into a cannon. Hordak aimed the cannon straight at Adam’s face, ready to blow his head off. Adam had no choice. Even if it meant revealing his secret identity, he had to turn to He-Man. He reached behind his back to grip the power sword…..
But then, all of a sudden, Hordak lowered the cannon, and transformed his arm back to normal. "No." he said. "I shall let you live- but count yourself lucky. I am only doing this because you may be of use to me for finding out the secrets of He-Man!" he turned to Adora. "You and Mantenna take this fool to the dungeons."
"Of course, master." Adora replied. Then Hordak took a glance at the sword of protection, and looked up at Adora angrily, his eyes lighting up brightly with rage and fury.
"What did Shadow Weaver tell you? She told you NOT to handle that sword!" He writhed the sword from Adora’s grasp, and slammed it back onto the stand.
"I’m….. I’m sorry, Hordak, I just….. couldn’t resist it."
"Fine, Adora. But do not handle it again- you do not know what damage it could do! Now take the rebel fool to the dungeon!"
Before Adam could react, Adora was gripping his arm tightly, and Mantenna rushed up to him and gripped the other. "Okay, you rebel fucker." said Adora. "You thought you could fool me into giving you that sword? That’s the last time I believe someone in plain clothes. I’m not gonna let fuckers like you fool me again. You’re damn well gonna pay for trying!" She wrenched his arm, and she and Mantenna dragged the struggling Adam to the dungeon of Doom Tower.
There they imprisoned him behind steel bars. Hordak followed behind, and called for Grizzlor. The hairy henchman stepped into the room, chewing on a bloody chunk of human flesh.
"This morsel sure tastes good." he growled. "What did you call for, my Lord?"
"Keep a close watch on this rebel fool." said Hordak. "He was sent here by He-Man to try to recover the sword, and almost tricked Adora- you must guard him carefully."
"I sure will, mighty Hordak."
Adora stepped up to the cage, and said "And next time you try to fool me so easily….. you get THIS!" she pulled out her pistol, and thrust it through the bars, right into his face.
Adam flinched back, just so that Hordak would think he was afraid. Then Hordak said "I will be back here soon, you fool. I must find out more about this ‘He-Man’. Come, Adora and Mantenna."
He left the room, with Adora and Mantenna following behind. Grizzlor then sat on a metal bench by the cage to continue chewing on the chunk of flesh. His sharp fangs were completely stained with blood.
The thought that the sword could be meant for Adora, clearly evil beyond belief, was beginning to sicken Adam. But he knew there must be some reason that the Sorceress had chosen to give it to her! Maybe deep inside, she was good? But even if that was the case, it would be incredibly hard to try to turn her from the Horde. And even worse, the Horde still possessed the sword- what if they found out its secrets, which even Adam didn’t know, and really did manage to drain its power? Adam would have failed in a really important quest! And then he remembered the schemes that Skeletor was probably getting up to, back on Eternia, with no He-Man to stop him. Perhaps Adam would return to find Eternia as poverty-stricken and war-torn as Etheria…..
He didn’t want to think any more. He just had to get out of this prison, and retrieve the sword, and try his best to find out more about Adora and how he could turn her against the Horde. And he had no worries about escaping from the prison….. when Grizzlor wasn’t looking, he would be able to turn to He-Man and make his own way out. It was going to be a tough task….. but Adam was a true hero, and he knew he could carry it out.



Go Back

The Grayskull Library

Continue


PART 8: BATTLE THROUGH DOOM TOWER

Adam remained in the jail for hour after hour. The whole time he was waiting eagerly to turn into He-Man so he could smash his way out, but Grizzlor just wasn’t budging from the metal bench, where he chewed through a countless amount of human limbs.
After a while, Hordak entered the jail, his long, red cape gliding along the ground, his red eyes shining through into Adam’s cell. Hordak stepped right in front of the bars, and snarled "What is the function of that sword that He-Man brought to this world? Why did he bring it?"
Adam did not respond. He just stood there silently, his face blank and expressionless.
"WHY?!" Hordak demanded. "You must know why He-Man came to this world! He sent you into my base to get the sword back! You know the exact reason, and you will tell me all!"
Adam still did not respond. There was no way he was even going to tell Hordak lies. He did not want this tyrant doing anything that could possibly harm anyone. The Horde had made this world suffer enough.
But Hordak had to have an answer. He wanted to do all that was possible to stop He-Man from doing whatever he had come to do. Hordak turned his arm into cannon mode, and aimed it at Adam’s face through the bars.
"You will answer!" he shouted.
But Adam was not afraid. He still kept silent. Hordak stood there, in front of Adam, for several moments, his cannon aimed directly in his face. But Adam still would not answer. Hordak restored his arm to its normal state. Then he said "There’s no use in trying to persuade you. But I will make you answer before long."
"Hey, master, why don’t ya just kill him?" asked Grizzlor, his mouth full with flesh.
"Because this man is the very person I need to tell me about why He-Man is on our world. He is much too valuable for me to kill. I must find some way of getting the truth out of him so that I can destroy the wretched He-Man." He turned back to the cage, and put his face right up to the bars. His red eyes glowed brightly, their light filling the whole cage. "I will be back soon." He growled. "You are not yet safe." Then he turned, and left the room, leaving Adam alone with Grizzlor again.
Grizzlor arose from the bench, then leaned up to the cage, and spat a chunk of flesh at Adam. The meaty flesh hit Adam’s shirt, leaving a wet stain, then bounced onto the ground.
"Don’t think you’ll come outa this building alive." growled Grizzlor. "The master’ll get the truth outa you before long. No rebel is ever lucky in the Fright Zone."
Grizzlor turned away, and Adam half-smiled to himself. He knew he could be perhaps the first ‘rebel’ to ever be lucky in the Fright Zone. But then, perhaps he didn’t need luck. He knew that once he had become He-Man, he could break out of this place easily.
And eventually, Grizzlor finally got up from the bench and walked away from Adam’s cage. At last the time had come. Adam peered through the bars of his cage, and saw Grizzlor making his way across the jail to some sort of large computer system at the end. He tapped the buttons of the computer, and began to speak into some radio. He was contacting someone elsewhere in the Fright Zone.
Adam decided to seize his chance. Now that Grizzlor wasn’t looking, it was safe. He reached behind his back, pulled out the sword of power, and said:

"BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL….. I HAVE THE POWER!"

Grizzlor spoke into the radio of the computer system:
"Yes Leech, I’ve seen to that. Meet you tonight by the bar, shall I? You’ll be out tonight, won’t you?"
"Yeah, sure will. When I’ve cleared up all these trooper circuits I’m goin’ out to look for He-Man, then I’ll be free."
"Okay, and remember we’ve gotta….."
Grizzlor was suddenly cut off from his conversation by a massive punch to the head from behind. He spun around on his revolving chair, just in time to see He-Man’s fist come flying towards his face…………….

"Hello? Grizzlor, are you still there?" came Leech’s voice, through the machine.
"Yeah, he’s still here alright." answered He-Man. "Unconscious at my feet, anyway."
"You bastard….. what have you….."
"Oh, shut up!" replied He-Man, and threw his mighty fist at the computer system itself. Once his punch connected, cracks formed all over the machine, then it began to crumble, eventually becoming a huge heap of metal and wires on the ground.
Then He-Man turned, and unlocked the doors of all the cages in the jail. From each cage a starving, bruised and battered person ran out and thanked He-Man from their heart. Then once he had set all the prisoners free, He-Man led them out of the jail, and through the corridors of Doom Tower, smashing to pieces every trooper who tried to block his way.
Then he led them out onto the launch-pad, where many Horde flying machines were parked. He ran up to one, and with a mighty swing of his fist, punched its door, which flew open. "Quickly- all board this one!" He-Man ordered. The people ran eagerly into the machine. Once they were all aboard, He-Man followed them on.
"Does anyone here know how to pilot this craft?"
"Yeah, I do." said one man.
"Then you must pilot it back to your homes. I cannot stay, as I have further tasks to perform around this place. I am here to stop the Horde!"
A cheer ran through the whole ship as the people raised their arms to hail this new champion. The man who could pilot the ship stepped to his feet. "Thank you so much!" he said, laying his hands on He-Man’s muscular shoulders. "We owe you our lives! And may you succeed in destroying the Horde’s rule!"
"I promise, I will do my best!" He-Man bade farewell to the people, then left the ship, which blasted off into the skies. Suddenly he saw a laser bolt seem to fly up from nowhere at the ship. He spun around to see some troopers firing at it, trying to shoot it down.
But this was no tough task for He-Man. He charged towards the troopers, and dived down swiftly, gripping their legs tightly and forcing them to the ground, dropping their guns. Then He-Man pulled himself to his feet, ready to fight the troopers. But there was no need- he had already reduced them to sizzling heaps of scrap metal on the ground. He shrugged to himself, then ran back into Doom Tower, to retrieve the sword of protection.

Inside Doom Tower, Hordak was examining the sword, when suddenly Mantenna burst into the room, his four skinny legs shaking rapidly, his eyes swinging out on their long stalks.
"M…m….. master….." he gibbered, "I….. just….. saw….. He-Man….. putting all the….. prisoners… on a Horde Flyer! They….. have….. escaped!"
"What?! He-Man is in the building!"
"Yes!!! He has….. freed the prisoners!"
Hordak slammed the sword onto its stand, and ran out of the room, pushing Mantenna out of his way. He made his way down the corridors to the jail, which he found completely empty!
"Blast it!!!" he screamed. "He-Man has let free all of the prisoners….. including that rebel who broke in earlier! GRIZZLOR!!! Where are you?!!"
Stamping through the jail, he found Grizzlor lying unconscious, a massive heap of fur….. and the computer system completely smashed to pieces.
His eyes glowed bright red, and he screamed. His deafening, maniacal scream ran through the whole of the building, terrifying even his bravest warriors.

In the chamber where the sword of protection stood, Mantenna, terrified by Hordak’s scream, was felled as He-Man burst into the room, hitting him in the face. He-Man rushed towards the sword of protection, seized it by the handle, and lifted it from its stand.
He turned to run from the chamber. But just as he reached the door, his way was blocked by a massive cloud of black smoke which erupted from out of the blue. As the smoke died down, He-Man was faced with the sinister figure of Shadow Weaver.
"So, He-Man." she said, "You dare to return. But not for long….." she raised her arms, and several thin, red strips of light shot out from her fingertips. They hit He-Man and coursed throughout his entire body, causing him to drop the sword of protection. As He-Man struggled in pain, Shadow Weaver seized the sword. Just then, Hordak entered from behind her.
"We have him, Hordak." she laughed evilly. "He is ours."
"I….. don’t….. think….. so!" He-Man pulled out the power sword, and instantly Shadow Weaver’s evil power burst out from He-Man’s body and turned on Shadow Weaver herself. Her eyes lit up in terror, and she began writhing in agony, jerking through the room trying to rid her body of her own spell which had been turned against her. She dropped the sword directly below He-Man- but before He-Man could retrieve it, Adora burst into the room, dived at He-Man’s feet and seized the sword.
"This sword is ours." Adora said. "Time we destroyed him, Hordak."
He-Man instantly noticed the faint glow around the sword now that Adora had it. She must be the person it was for! But what should he do?
"Just….. destroy him, Hordak." came the voice of Shadow Weaver. He-Man looked around and saw her writhing about on the ground like a dying insect. "Blast him with your cannon arm!"
"I have a feeling that He-Man would find some way of evading that." said Hordak. "But I shall still destroy him! Adora- you know what to do!" He turned to Adora and issued some kind of hand signal. He-Man had no idea what it meant, but Adora obviously did, as she quickly replied "Okay, master." and ran from the room.
"I don’t know what weapon you’ve sent her to get," said He-Man, "but I will stop you!" He drew his power sword, and quickly ran after Adora. He must stop her from getting whatever Hordak wanted- and hopefully be able to get her out of this building so he could talk to her properly about the sword.
He ran as fast as he could after Adora, who was not remotely afraid- she didn’t even look back, though she must have heard his accelerated footsteps as they echoed throughout the halls.
Eventually Adora came to a dead end. She just stopped by a wall, then turned around, leaving He-Man free to come running straight towards her. He ground to a halt as he reached her, and aimed his sword directly in her face. She blocked the power sword with the sword of protection, which was beginning to glow again.
Both noticed the glow, and He-Man said "You can give up now, Adora. I must talk to you about this sword."
"Oh yeah?" she replied aggressively. Then she flicked a switch on the wall, which instantly began to open, rumbling like thunder. "Bye bye, He-Man." she said, and hooked her leg around his, hurling him through into the opening in the wall.
He-Man found himself inside some strange small cavity in the wall. But what use to the Horde was this? He could not see any sign of danger.
Or not at first, anyway. He heard a disturbing sound, like creaking and rumbling at once, and looked up to see spikes emerging from the ceiling. He crouched down- only to feel a tremendous sharp pain in his knee. As he jumped up in shock and clutched his knee, he saw that there were spikes coming from the floor too.
And from the walls. From each of them. The opening through which Adora had thrown him began to close up, and spikes started to emerge from that, too. And He-Man heard the booming voice of Hordak saying "Enjoy your death, He-Man. It shouldn’t last too long….."


PART 9: A TREMENDOUS ESCAPE

Without hesitation, He-Man knew he had to act quickly. He hastily thrust his sword back into the sheath on his back, and reached his arms up, and his legs firmly down. His great strength halted the floor and ceiling, preventing them from caving in to impale him. But the side walls were all still closing in…..
He-Man quickly swiped his right hand, breaking off several spikes from the wall to his right. Then he swiped his left hand and broke off several spikes from the left wall. Now there were too few spikes on those walls to impale him. So he turned around, quickly but as carefully as possible so that he could still hold the ceiling and floor away. He backed off as he faced the back wall, and he kicked it repeatedly, causing the wall to shake violently, until all the spikes had fallen to the ground. Several of them cut his legs as they fell, but just a few cuts were no match for a man of his strength. Then he turned around carefully to face the door, kicked it, and the spikes from the door fell to the ground too.
Now there was only the ceiling and floor to worry about. He-Man kept his left arm firmly holding the ceiling up as he used his right hand to break off the spikes and throw them to the ground. When the ceiling was finally devoid of the deadly spikes, He-Man looked down at the ground, which was still rising up. But there was no need to worry. He-Man knew he would have to make an escape from this place, as if he stayed around, Hordak would only try more and more traps until He-Man was too tired to continue. And He-Man could see an easy way to escape. He stood carefully between all the spikes on the ground, then he looked upwards at the ceiling, thrust his mighty fist at it, and it began to crack. He-Man crouched down, covering his head for shelter as the ceiling crumbled and fell down. Many pieces fell on top of He-Man, but they were no match for the might of his muscular body. Now, with no ceiling in the way, he was looking up into the beautiful, orange evening sky above. The ground rose upwards, lifting He-Man to safety. The door collapsed with He-Man’s might, and he looked down to see Hordak looking up on him, his red eyes blazing with anger, his metal teeth bared in fury. Adora stood by him, open-mouthed.
"So, you fool….." growled Hordak, "You escape me again….." and he turned his arm into its cannon mode and fired at He-Man, but the bolt only hit the rising ground. He-Man was safe.
The ground rose higher and higher, until it elevated through the roof of Doom Tower. He-Man jumped off the rising ground, and stood triumphantly atop the tall skyscraper, admiring the magnificent view around him. The exquisite orange evening skies of Etheria, with their burning red sun, overlooked the masterful complex of the Fright Zone, its many skyscrapers illuminated beautifully by the sunlight, their many windows shimmering with light. This was an evil place alright- but unlike Skeletor’s Snake Mountain, this city could actually be seen as beautiful.
Then He-Man caught sight of a strange-looking object, in silhouette, flying towards him. It appeared to be some kind of beetle-shaped machine, its legs moving rapidly through mid-air, somewhat comical-looking, yet filled with splendour. The machine flew closer to He-Man, and he saw that it was a flying vehicle, with Carlos at the controls, Glimmer sat beside him.
"Good evening, He-Man." Carlos said. "Somehow I knew you’d make it."
He-Man stared in puzzlement at the strange vehicle. "But….. what’s this exactly?"
"It’s my new vehicle, that I knocked together today!" replied Carlos. "I call it the hover-beetle!"
"But….. why does it….."
"Look so strange? Hey, are you going mad, my friend? It works doesn’t it?"
He-Man laughed. "Yeah, I suppose so! But how did you know I might need help?"
"Ah, I can just sense these things. You got imprisoned in Grizzlor’s jail, didn’t you?"
"Yes!!! But how did you know?!"
"Ah, I just happen to know these things."
Glimmer threw her head back in laughter, her bright purple hair almost soaring over her head. "He may be a pain in the arse, but Carlos knows everything! Now jump in, He-Man- we don’t want to waste time, do we?" "I guess not!" He-Man leapt into the seat behind Carlos and Glimmer. Carlos punched the controls, and they zoomed off into the beautiful evening sky.
"Hey, wait a second-" Glimmer suddenly said, "where’s Adam? Wasn’t he here too?"
"He….. erm," began He-Man, "You see… well, he’s not here because….."
"You know," interrupted Glimmer, "you remind me of Adam a bit. Just the way you reacted then. You’re not brothers, are you?"
"No- I have no siblings actually….."
"And you reminded me of Adam then too! Just your tone of voice, your presence….." she looked around at him, and smiled slowly. "I know your secret, man. You ARE Adam, aren’t you?"
Carlos looked round, and chuckled quietly. "She’s a clever girl, is Glimmer. She’s not fooled too easily."
"Erm…… yes, okay then!" said He-Man.
Glimmer stared into He-Man’s eyes in admiration. "You know, He-Man….. or ‘Adam’." she began, "I think I could find out lots of interesting stuff from you!"
"Erm….. I guess so."
"Then just wait until we get home. You and I must get to know each other- seriously!"


PART 10: THE RECOVERY OF THE HORDE

Lying slumped on Hordak’s throne in the main hall of Doom Tower, was a long black shroud, with bony green hands poking out from the sleeves, and red eyes shining out from the hood, dimly. Shadow Weaver was helpless for the first time in years.
Bending over her was another red-eyed figure, gently stroking her bony arm. This figure was mostly covered in black metal armour, making up his complex, semi-electronic body. Hordak was having to nurse Shadow Weaver for the first time ever.
He held her sweaty, green hand in his palm, and clenched it softly but firmly. His eyes shining at her in sympathy, he stroked the black sleeves of her veil, running his arm gently down her smooth black shroud.
"He….. beat….. us." Shadow Weaver stammered weakly. "He….. is….. too… powerful."
"He-Man is surely very powerful." Hordak said softly, in sympathetic tones. "But he has not won yet. He had to escape from this place- because he knew he would only end up dead if he stayed. He is therefore partially afraid of us. So we will make sure that we tire him out and he will lose."
"But….. how….. can we… destroy….. him? He is….. too… dangerous for the Horde."
"He is, Shadow Weaver," Hordak replied, gazing softly into her elegant red eyes, somewhat weak but beautiful. "I must even admit it myself. But as an army, the Horde is more powerful. We will eliminate him in the long term, and in the end he will be remembered as nothing but a mere nuisance. What we need is some kind of super-powerful invention….. and also, you must find out the secrets of the sword he brought with him." He looked to his right, where the sword stood on a pedestal, its jewel glimmering brightly. Force Captain Adora was standing beside it, guarding it.
Hordak laid his hand gently on Shadow Weaver’s shoulder, then said "Just wait there, my darling. You will recover soon." Then he got to his feet, and walked towards Adora.
"So you’re keeping this ‘instinct’ you describe under control?" he asked her. "You can stop yourself from handling this sword?"
"Yes master, I am now beginning to control myself, and I will not handle the sword again. But I must tell you, it is very hard for me not to handle it. I am completely convinced it is having some kind of effect on my mind. And although I’d never admit this to anyone but you- it’s actually frightening me. It’s starting to make me feel guilty about all the murders I’ve committed. It’s starting to make me have second thoughts about my alliance. But this is madness….. I’m an evil bitch, I always have been, and been proud of it. And I’ve always loved the Horde….. this sword seems to be trying to make me turn against you."
Hordak seemed worried by Adora’s words. It was disturbing to think that the girl he had brought up to the Horde’s ways may actually be turning from him. He gazed at the sword. It almost caused him to vomit. The jewel just seemed to shine brightly with extreme goodness. And Hordak, ever since his early days as a simple fighter, had hated the presence of anything good. It made him feel so uncomfortable.
Looking back across the room to Shadow Weaver, who was lying with her head drooped to the ground on his throne, he said "I think we should keep this sword away from Adora, Shadow Weaver. She says it is having some kind of effect on her mind….. and what if it begins to affect ours too? We must keep it in a very safe place."
Shadow Weaver lifted her head slowly, and said, groggily: "Yes, Hordak. Keep it away from Adora. Move it to my private room. No-one else but you can venture in there. I will study it very closely when I have recovered."
"Fine." said Hordak. He shouted to Senador. "Senador- remove this sword, and the pedestal, from this hall. Place it outside Shadow Weaver’s private room. I will move it inside later. Keep a close watch on it before I arrive."
The large, golden figure of Senador came marching towards Hordak from across the hall. "I will, master." he said, and he lifted the pedestal on which the sword stood, and carried it out of the hall.
After Senador exited, and the door of the hall slammed shut, Hordak said to Adora "Stay here, Adora, and take care of Shadow Weaver. I will go to watch the slaves working, while I think of the best way to destroy He-Man. I am proud of the slave empire in the Fright Zone. The rebels never managed to free those fools we captured from Bright Moon….. now they’re working in the mines, while the troopers construct further plantations elsewhere. It will at least be a relaxing atmosphere for me, while I think of what we should do."
"Okay, master." replied Adora. "And Hordak….. you know I’m always at your service, don’t you? I’m not going to leave you for the rebellion."
Hordak gazed straight into Adora’s beautiful green eyes. "I know, Adora. You are having problems, but I will help you. Just speak to Shadow Weaver if you need help while I am away."
"Okay, master." Adora replied. "You and Shadow Weaver have always been so good to me."
They bade each other goodbye for the time being, then Hordak departed, and ventured out into the streets of the Fright Zone, eventually descending into the mines.
There were thousands of poverty-stricken slaves working there, being hurried along by Hordak’s cruel robots. And they had no way of escaping. And this mine led out onto slave valley, where many slaves worked day after day, and where the torture was at its most extreme.
Hordak had made many people suffer. But he was proud of it. And there was one more person whom he hoped to make suffer soon.
He-Man.


PART 11: ADAM’S RECOVERY

At the rebel camp, in the midst of the Whispering Woods, the atmosphere was generally high, one of excitement and triumph. The rebels were overjoyed that Adam had managed to enter the Fright Zone and come out alive, and most viewed him as being a true hero, much to Adam’s pleasure. There was also a lot of talk about He-Man, who Adam, Carlos and Glimmer said was on patrol, still seeking the person of his quest. He-Man had earlier freed the prisoners from one of the jails in Doom Tower, including Adam, before escaping from Hordak’s most feared trap- the spiked walls trap, which he had then destroyed. Never had a single citizen on Etheria thought that trap was remotely possible to escape from.
Inside one of the rebel huts, Adam and Glimmer were talking endlessly, getting on like a house on fire. Carlos stood by them, fiddling with a few electronic devices, and interrupting the conversation now and then.
"So, you defend Eternia, then?" said Glimmer. "How long have you been doing this for?"
"Two years." said Adam, "And life is very tiring for me. What annoys me the most is the way that I have to pretend to be really weak and cowardly….. so everyone views me as being a complete lazy slob, basically. Even my father. My mother knows me a lot better….. in fact, I think she reckons I’m He-Man, but just won’t admit it. But my father is always so concerned about me when he has no need to be….. even Teela, the woman I love, calls me a slob."
"The woman you LOVE?!" said Glimmer, with a touch of jealousy. "Tell me more about this ‘Teela’."
"Well, I’ve grown up with her, basically- she’s been the closest to a sibling I’ve ever had. And I’ve always had feelings for her….. she just fails to recognise them. She is also the daughter of the Sorceress, but she doesn’t know it. She’s adopted by Man-At-Arms, and her real father was killed in battle before she was even born. You’d like her, if you got to know her."
Glimmer looked a little disappointed….. clearly because Adam’s affections were already set on another woman.
But Glimmer would try her best.
"How does Teela feel about He-Man?" Glimmer asked him.
"Oh, she adores him." replied Adam. "That’s what’s even more annoying….. how she loves me so much as He-Man, but basically finds me a bore as Adam. You know, Glimmer, it’s good to be able to talk to someone who actually knows that I’m He-Man, and doesn’t criticise me as Adam. It’s very refreshing….."
Glimmer smiled, and gently laid her hand over his. "I like you better as Adam." she said. "Who wants to go for a muscle-bound hero with extreme strength, anyway? It’s such a boring choice. I like someone who’s a little….. different."
"That’s even more refreshing." Adam said, smiling back. "I’ve had so much credit as He-Man and so little as Adam that it’s become almost depressing."
"Just remember I’m always here for you, even when you’re on Eternia."
Carlos looked up from his device that he was fiddling with. "Hey Glimmer, don’t get those hormones going wild, hey girl?!"
"Shut up, Carlos!" Glimmer replied. "I’m 18 now, I’m no longer a ‘little girl’. Just remember I’m the leader of the rebellion, okay?"
"Hey, chill it girl. You know me."
Glimmer sniggered to herself. "Hey, yeah. I sure do." She looked at Adam playfully, pointed at Carlos with her thumb, and mouthed ‘pain in the arse’. Adam laughed silently. This girl sure was fun to be with.
But he remembered that he still had to free the sword of protection from the grasp of the Horde, and try his best to communicate with Adora. He would have to go back to the Fright Zone sooner or later. But it was going to be harder than ever. The sight of He-Man would instantly cause chaos, so he could never go as He-Man, but now that Hordak knew that Adam was ‘accompanying’ He-Man, he could easily get captured as Adam, too. But he knew that no matter how hard his task, he had to perform it, to carry out the mission that the Sorceress sent him on, and also to ensure the safety of Etheria. How guilty he would feel when he left this planet behind, without a saviour! But he would have to return to Etheria sometimes, to help fight the Horde….. but trying to save TWO planets would be too much for him!
But he knew he couldn’t think about that now. He would have to leave for the Fright Zone fairly soon. First he decided to contact his best friend, back on Eternia. He reached into his pocket, pulled out his mobile communicator, and punched in Man-At-Arms’ number. There was a series of beeps, and when they had stopped, he heard Man-At-Arms’ voice:
"You’re through to Duncan, the royal Man-At-Arms. May I help you?"
"Hi Duncan, it’s Adam here."
"Hi Adam, good to speak to you. How’s this quest of yours going?"
"Okay, but very difficult. I will try my best. I will explain all to you when I come home. But how are things back on Eternia? I’ve been a little worried about what Skeletor’s getting up to back there, with no He-Man to help out….."
"Don’t worry. There’s plenty of warriors here to keep Skeletor at bay. He tried to attack yesterday with some sort of machine, but Stratos and Mekaneck managed to stop him. We’re okay back here."
"Good to hear that." replied Adam. "But what about He-Man….. with He-Man being absent at the same time as me, aren’t people getting suspicious? I’m damn sure that some people are starting to suspect that I’m He-Man."
"Don’t worry." Man-At-Arms replied. "Even when you’re on Eternia, there’s still some times that you’re away, and unable to help as He-Man. And if people do work it out, it’s still no big deal- the Sorceress can always erase it from their minds."
"Yeah, guess so. By the way, I’ve made quite a few new friends here on Etheria. I hope you can meet ‘em sometime. There’s this guy called Carlos who found out my secret….. he’s a scientist, just like you, and has come up with some….." he began to whisper, "pretty weird inventions. Well, they seem weird, but apparently he gets upset if anyone calls them that. but anyway, you and him have a number of skills in common….. I’d like to get you together."
"Then I look forward to meeting this Carlos! I eagerly await your return!"
"Yeah, I don’t know when I’m coming back….. but hopefully not long. Anyway, talk to you later Duncan. See ya soon."
"Yeah, see you Adam." There was a series of beeps to end the call.
"Who was that?" asked Glimmer.
"That was Man-At-Arms, who I told you about." he looked over at Carlos, and whispered to Glimmer "Hey, do you think Carlos heard that about him?"
Glimmer laughed. "I don’t think so, he’s too busy messing about on that device of his!"
Just then, Carlos suddenly shot up and shouted "What are you saying, Glimmer, you dirty little whore?"
"Hey, cool the language, man!"
Adam laughed to himself, shaking his head. "You two are like siblings, with your squabbling! Anyway, I have to be off, now. I’ve got to get that sword back from the Fright Zone."
"You’re very brave, Adam." said Glimmer. "Call for me if you need me."
Adam said "I will," then he got up, and left the hut.
Out in the clearing of the woods, the rebels were training as usual. One of the rebels, a young archer who called himself Bow, was firing arrows at a target on a tree. By him was a friend of his, a woodsman called Exa, who was bent over, gathering up logs to use for fuel.
Bow missed the target, and the arrow accidentally hit Exa in the buttocks.
Exa shot to his feet, shouting "OWWWWWWWW…… Bow you literally are a pain in the arse!"
"Erm….. sorry." said Bow, picking up the arrow. "I didn’t mean to….."
"Just make sure you get better with that firing, I’ve lost count of the many times your arrows have missed!"
"Erm….. yes. I’m probably not as good as that guy there." He pointed to Adam. "Perhaps you’d like to do some firing practice?"
Before Adam could answer, Glimmer and Carlos came out of the hut, and Glimmer said "Adam’s got other things to do, Bow. He’s going back to the Fright Zone!"
Bow’s eyes opened wide, and he said "Oh dear you’re not are you? But you’ll get captured. Oh, you fool….. stay in the safety of Whispering Woods!"
"Hey, you cunt, don’t call Adam a fool!" said Glimmer, in sarcastic tones, but deep inside, meaning the insult seriously.
"Adam’s the bravest guy round here." said Carlos. "He sure can show the Horde a thing or two. I love the way he smashed those troopers, anyway. No need to fear for him, Bow."
"Oh no, of course not!" said Bow. "You’re a very brave man, Adam. I salute you."
"Erm….. okay….." stammered Adam, then looked away from Bow, becoming eager to get away from this place. Exa turned to him and said "I hope you fare your best, Adam."
"Oh, and by the way," said Carlos, "If you get in danger, don’t call Glimmer, call me. I’ve got this new radio thing here." he handed Adam a small black device, with a series of buttons on. "Just press the red button and you’re through to me."
"What are the other buttons for?"
"They’re to regulate sound. The blue one turns it up, the white one turns it down, and the green one beeps out swear words. Hey, don’t look at me as though I’m mad, there’s lots of easily offended people out there, aren’t there?"
"Er, yes okay." Adam looked up and noticed Glimmer was trying to stifle laughter, which rather motivated his sexual instincts. "I’ll be going now."
"Good luck." said Glimmer, before mouthing "Call me, not Carlos!"
Smiling at her, Adam left the clearing, and ventured into the depths of the wood, ready to face all the dangers that would face him when he emerged.
At Doom Tower.



Go Back

The Grayskull Library

Continue


PART 12: SLAVE VALLEY

Once he reached the barren landscape of the Fright Zone, and saw the towering skyscrapers of the city which was central to all evil on this war-torn world, Adam knew he had to take precautions. Chances were that the Horde may have sent spies out to look out for anyone who was approaching, in case He-Man were to return. The mere sighting of him in the form of Adam by a hordesman would no doubt provoke chaos among the Horde, now that Hordak knew Adam was after him too, so Adam decided he should look for a less obvious way into the city.
He carefully made his way around the outskirts, watching out for any approaching hordesman. He knew he did not have to worry about troopers, as they would usually fall apart after one punch, his real concern were the recruits made from flesh.
He wandered around the place, keeping sharp-eyed and listening out for sounds of danger. Eventually, he heard the disturbing sound of shouting, beating and the cry of innocent people in tremendous pain. As horrific as the noise sounded, he knew he had to make his way towards it. He just might be able to save lives.
His tracking of the noise eventually led him to a great valley, from which a tunnel led underground. The valley was full of the most tremendously disturbing sights that Adam had seen in his entire life. It was filled with slaves, being hurried along with their spinning, sawing et cetera, by the cruel Horde Troopers. They were armed with whips, knives, spears and all sorts of weapons. Near to each slave was a trooper armed with a weapon, giving the slaves no hope of escape. Whenever any slave collapsed from overworking, or even looked up from his or her work, the nearest trooper would fling its weapon into their face and force them to continue. The people were gasping and panting for breath, exhausted from work, looking starved and dilapidated. Their bodies looked shattered and broken, covered in dirt, their clothes worn and ragged.
And to culminate the entire scene was the sight of a huge pile of corpses in the centre of it all, almost skeletal in appearance. These were the corpses of people who had been driven to death by the amount of work they were forced to do, with absolutely no food or shelter, no love or respect from fellow humans. Cuts and bruises on some of the bodies suggested that they may have been beaten to death by the troopers.
Adam was shocked and angered by the dismal scene. How could the Horde treat people like this? How could they have this little respect for other people? Did it not occur to them that these people were all living beings, and needed food and shelter? Or did the Horde just enjoy torturing these people to such extremes? That must be it, Adam thought. Hordak and his minions were even more sadistic than they first appeared- which was bad enough.
And Adam knew he had to put a stop to it. This was the last thing he wanted to happen. The Horde had accomplished just what Adam had been trying to stop Skeletor from accomplishing back on Eternia for the last two years. But before he took action, he pulled out the radio device that Carlos had given him, and pressed the red button. Carlos’ voice instantly came through.
"You’re through to me, Adam, what do you want?"
"By Grayskull, I haven’t ever seen anything like this before. I don’t believe what I’m seeing. I’m by this kind of….. valley, with people being treated like….. by the gods, I can’t describe it. It sickens me."
Carlos’ voice became stern and serious. "Don’t tell me, my friend. You’re by slave valley, aren’t you? The place where every decent citizen of Etheria fears ending up."
"And I don’t blame them. Conditions here are….. I can’t describe them, they’re that awful."
"I’ve seen it myself. Most people believe that more torture goes on here than anywhere else on the planet. If the slaves stop working for a mere second, they are threatened by the troopers, and if they beg for freedom or food, they are killed. When they’re killed, they’re thrown on the scrap heap, and removed by the assassins, who are said to practise acts of necrophilia and cannibalism with the bodies. There’s more cruelty here than anywhere else."
Adam looked up in disgust at the valley of torture. He wasn’t letting this torture go on for a single minute longer. "Thanks, Carlos." he said. "I will try to put an end to this torture at once."
"Good man Adam. And remember to call for me if you need help."
"I will, Carlos. Thank you and bye." He pressed the red switch to end the call. Then he looked up one more time at the valley.
Now to take action.

Adam leapt into the valley, as yet unnoticed by the troopers. He kept crouched. He did not want to risk being seen, so he ducked behind a large rock. He did not want to turn to He-Man, as he knew it would only provoke chaos. Looking up, there was a trooper just inches from the rock. Adam leapt out from behind the rock, and smashed the trooper in the back with his fist. The trooper spun around, and cracked its whip at him. But Adam dodged out of the path of the whip, sent his fist flying straight at the head of the trooper’s bat symbol, hit it hard, and the trooper collapsed and fell apart at once.
Adam looked around him. No other trooper had noticed yet. So he quickly ran up to the trooper’s remains and kicked them all behind the rock. The first stage of his plan had gone perfectly.
Crouching back behind the rock, he picked up the metal legs of the trooper, turned them upside down to empty them of their circuits, then he sat down and carefully slid his legs inside them. They fitted in perfectly. Then he reached behind his back, and removed the power sword from its sheath. Then he fitted the trooper’s body armour over his torso, then he fitted the arms over his own. Then finally, he got to his feet, picked up the trooper’s head, and placed it over his own. Perfect. Now he was an exact replica of a Horde Trooper. No-one would be able to tell that he was really Adam inside.
He picked up the sword of power, and carrying it, walked over to the crowd of troopers harassing the slaves. Since the sword had just the appearance of any normal sword, no-one would recognise it as being He-Man’s sword of power. He would not look suspicious at all as he patrolled the valley. For now he appeared to be participating in the torture of the slaves. But not for long. He would wait for his chance to strike.

Deep in the mine, Adora approached Hordak, who was sitting and watching the slaves. She told him "Shadow Weaver has almost completely recovered now. She has gone to study that sword in further detail."
"Good." replied Hordak. "Soon we will unveil the secrets of the sword."
"How about you? Have you decided what you shall do to destroy He-Man?"
"An idea has occurred to me. In fact, I shall begin work on it straight away. You stay here and keep a close watch on the slaves, and make sure the troopers are carrying out their tasks properly. So if they are not torturing the slaves enough, you must smash them to pieces and torture them yourself."
Adora laughed evilly. "Thanks, master." she said, smiling. "Sure thing!"
Hordak left her in the mines, and Adora drew her pistol. She loved torturing people. Now was her chance to slaughter slaves to the death. There was nothing that she loved more than watching people suffer….. just the knowledge that they were going through so much torture seemed like luxury to her. She smiled with bloodthirst at the mere thought of it. She loved it.
She was soon thrown a starving man by a trooper, begging for mercy.
"Mercy?" she mocked. "That’s not something you get round here, fucker." She aimed her pistol at his mouth…..

As Adam patrolled round slave valley, he occasionally aimed his sword at the slaves, pretending to threaten them. He felt guilty for making them more frightened, but he knew he had to do his best to keep from seeming suspicious. When he heard a huge bang coming from deep down in the tunnel, he knew another precious life had just been lost. He would ensure that it was the last.
As he waited for his chance to strike, he saw Catra and Scorpia approaching the valley. Catra, as beautiful as she was evil, was armed with a whip, and Scorpia needed no weapons- she already had the sting in her tail. He knew that in the form of Adam, he may succumb to the wrath of these powerful warriors, alongside the Horde Troopers. He sneaked off behind the rock where the trooper’s remains were, to become He-Man. No-one would see him change when wearing the trooper uniform, but they would definitely become suspicious at the flash of light. He crouched behind the rock, held up his sword and whispered:
"By the power of Grayskull…… I….. have the power!"
The flash of light emerged from the sword and down onto his metal-clad body. Within seconds, he still appeared to be another of the Horde Troopers, but inside was the muscular body of He-Man, mightiest man in the universe.

The sight of the slaves suffering thrilled Catra and Scorpia’s evil hearts. But the thing they most wanted to see was He-Man suffering alongside the slaves. The day before, they had suffered their worst defeat ever from this muscular champion, and they were determined to pay him back for it.
"It’s time we rounded the slaves up." Catra hissed to Scorpia. "Make sure they’ve got nothing on them that they could use for their advantage. Not that we expect them to, but just to make sure….."
"You’re right, Catra." replied Scorpia. "Better issue a warning to the Troopers."
"Cease the work!" Catra shouted. "Time for slave inspection!"
At the sound of Catra’s voice, the troopers all stopped harassing the slaves, and stood up straight. Then each of them hooked their arms roughly around the nearest slave, and dragged them into the middle of the valley, where they were made to stand in single file.
Catra and Scorpia leapt down into the valley, towards the line of slaves. Catra gave orders to the troopers.
"Hurry these slaves along. When they pass between Scorpia and I, we will inspect them. If they are not found to have anything on them, we let them go, but they must go straight back to work. Any slave who refuses to conform to these rules is killed."
Each trooper saluted Catra. Then they all began cracking their whips, brandishing their swords and knives, or aiming their pistols at the starved and exhausted line of slaves. The slaves moved along in line without a word between them, looking down at the ground bleakly, their bodies bent forward, their arms drooping down.
As each slave passed between Catra and Scorpia, the two warrior women inspected them closely for any possessions, then once they had made sure they carried none, they let them go, and the slaves simply went back to their hard, tiring work.
This process carried on for around ten minutes….. until one man was found to have something with him….. in his pocket was a small and simple electronic device. Catra yanked it out violently, examined it closely, and said "This is a radio communicator. This bastard is keeping radio contact with someone!"
Taking it from Catra’s grasp, Scorpia said "You have no right to possess anything like this on Horde premises. All our slaves must be kept devoid of all contact with humans in the outside world! By sneaking this with you, you thought you were on your way to escape, didn’t you? But you have only sealed your doom! Now you die!!!"
Scorpia spun around, and thrust her sharp, red tail at him. The man fell to his knees screaming, as the dreadful sting from Scorpia’s tail coursed throughout his body!
And while the man was in tremendous pain from the sting, Catra bared her sharp finger tips, and crouched forward. Then her body began to change shape. It began to sprout fur….. rough, black fur. Her hands shrunk in size as her torso seemed to extend….. until her hands had become paws, her teeth sharp, her entire form now that of a panther.
And with a fierce growl, she leapt on the man, ready to maul him to death. The man screamed in terror and pain as the other slaves watched in horror, and Scorpia watched from above, laughing with evil glee. Blood spurted from the man’s arms as Catra’s paws ripped through his flesh, then Catra thrust her face into his neck, ready to bite out his throat….. the man called out for help, screaming for dear life, while the other slaves covered their eyes in terror, screaming for a hero to save the man’s tortured life…..
Then something very unexpected happened. One of the troopers, who was carrying a long, shining sword, suddenly leapt away from the line of slaves and ran towards Catra. The slaves watched, puzzled. The trooper advanced on Catra, then whisked his sword through the air, slicing through part of Catra’s feline flesh! Her animal blood shot through the air, and she keeled back in pain, away from the man’s face. Then the trooper slotted the sword under his arm, and wringed his arms around the panther’s body….. lifting it away from the man, and flinging her straight across the valley!
Catra hit the side of the valley with a massive thump, then her body slumped to the ground, and she began to transform back to her human form. When the transformation was complete, she stared at the trooper in amazement.
"What has gone wrong?!" she shouted.
"I’ve no idea!" replied Scorpia, equally as shocked. Had this trooper malfunctioned or something? Even if it had, she never thought any trooper could be strong enough to lift a panther’s body and fling it across the valley!
But she was a warrior, and she must face this renegade trooper. She advanced upon it, snapping her claws, ready to crack through its armour. She gripped its metal arms with her right claw, but then the trooper began to shake, and gripped its body armour with its right hand. Then it yanked the armour off roughly, and the armour fell with a clang to the ground! Underneath it was a muscular, tanned body, covered partially by a grey harness.
Scorpia gasped in horror. This body looked horribly familiar…..
The trooper removed its helmet to reveal….. He-Man! And he seemed even more powerful than the day before- a warrior whom any evil fighter would think twice about opposing! The slaves erupted into a cheer, as Catra watched open-mouthed from the other side of the valley.
"Damn you-" growled Scorpia, "You’ve had it man!"
"I’m not so sure about that!" said He-Man, and grabbed her by the tail, flinging her across the valley, where she landed right by Catra! Scorpia was too dazed now to fight, but Catra wasn’t- and she leapt up and advanced on He-Man shouting "I’ve got to settle some scores with you, you bastard!"
She threw a punch at him- but he countered it with a blow from the sword of power, which stunned her- then he kneed her in the face and sent her flying back again. Catra got to her feet- but she knew she could never defeat a man who was this strong, and went fleeing up the side of the valley. Scorpia threw one contemptuous glance at He-Man- then she, too, picked herself up and fled from the place of doom.
Now all He-Man had to deal with was the troopers. They all assembled in front of him, weapons at the ready- but He-Man knew just how easily these troopers fell apart.
"You know, it’s beyond me how you tin cans can look so confident!" He charged into the troopers, instantly sending half of them flying, crashing on top of the mound of corpses, their crackling circuits joining the heap of decaying bodies. Then He-Man shot a bolt from his power sword at the rest of them, sending them scattering in all directions, some fleeing from the valley, others simply collapsing to pieces on the ground.
The slaves all raised their arms, cheering He-Man. The man who had almost been killed by Catra rushed forward, and threw his arms around him.
"Thank you, mighty warrior!" he panted. "You have saved my life! How may I repay you?!"
"You owe me nothing, my friend. I am only doing what must be done- saving your lives and destroying the Horde dictatorship."
The slaves cheered again, and He-Man heard cries of "Down with the Horde!" and "Hail the new champion!"
"Now you had better all run for safety!" said He-Man. "Don’t worry about the Horde catching you- at the present moment they’re only interested in catching ME- you won’t mean anything to them. So run now, and leave me to fight the Horde!"
"You’re a truly brave champion." the man said to He-Man. "We will do just that!"
And the slaves all ran as fast as possible from the valley, relieved to be safe after the incredible torture through which the Horde had put them.
He-Man did not waste a single moment- having emptied slave valley completely, he ran down into the tunnel, which led underground. Soon he found himself face to face with more tortured slaves, down in the mines, being beaten by the troopers. He went up to one trooper, raised his fist…..
Then all of a sudden he felt a tremendous, sharp pain in his back. Clutching his shoulder in agony, he turned round slowly to see Force Captain Adora, aiming her pistol right in his face.
"So, you return, I see. Well, before you can cause any more damage….. I’d better call someone who’ll be very pleased to see you." She lifted a walkie-talkie from her leather pocket, and spoke into it, saying "Hordak- I have He-Man with me in the mine. I will hold him here while you make your way."
"Excellent, Adora!" came the terrifying sound of Hordak’s deep, booming voice. "Our torture for him is just about finished….. I will join you soon!"
Adora shot He-Man again in the chest….. and again….. and again, until he fell to the ground, almost unconscious.
"You haven’t long left, you bastard. Even I don’t know what Hordak’s got planned for you….. but you can bet it’s gonna be a fitting last few moments!"
He-Man lay there for several minutes, panting for breath, Adora keeping guard of him. Then a demonic laugh filled the mine as the huge figure of Hordak cast his shadow over the place, his cape blowing in the underground wind, his eyes blazing with evil delight.
He ordered Adora, and Senador, who had accompanied him, to drag He-Man to Doom Tower. Adora and Senador hooked their arms around his, and dragged him with full brutal force to their dreaded base.
And eventually they reached a room where a pair of electro-bonds, pulsating with light, hung from a wall.
"Imprison him!" ordered Hordak.
Adora and Senador dragged He-Man, struggling furiously, over to the electro-bonds, and clamped them over his wrists, chaining him to the wall.
"Chains are no good for holding me!" said He-Man, and wrenched at the bonds to break free.
"These are no ordinary chains." said Hordak. "With my supreme scientific skills, I have created these bonds that can hold any person of any strength. The power in these bonds is enough to hold even your strength!"
A wide, sinister smile formed over Adora’s crimson lips. "And that’s not all, is it Hordak?"
"No, Adora- it is not all. Senador- release the spiked wheels!"
Senador flicked a switch on the wall, a cavity in the ceiling opened, and out dropped several wheels, hung on electric wires. The edges of each of the wheels was covered in spikes. And the wheels were spinning with awesome rapidity. The wheels swung around the room violently on their wires.
Then one hit He-Man directly in the chest! Instantly, there came the violent sound of flesh and muscle ripping, and He-Man cried out in pain. His chest was dripping with blood. Then another wheel sliced across his head, and a patch of his blond hair was stained scarlet as blood seeped through his scalp.
"This is just what you deserve." said Adora.
"Precisely." added Hordak, in tones of evil triumph. "We shall leave you now. We shall leave you to suffer your deserved death."
Adora, Hordak and Senador turned and left the room, as another spiked wheel came zooming towards He-Man’s neck………..


PART 13: THE TRUTH ABOUT ADORA

As Adora left He-Man to suffer his cruel fate, she realised just how much she hated He-Man. He had trespassed on Hordak’s almighty empire, believing he could break it all apart. He had kept coming back, no matter how much Hordak had proved his army’s superiority. He had broken apart Hordak’s most feared trap, the spiked walls, and used it to escape! Then, even worse, he had freed all the slaves from slave valley, and tried to do the same in the mines….. she hated him. He had done nearly everything that she had always felt no-one should do to the Horde. And she even had the idea that he was trying to turn her from the Horde….. how could anyone try to do that! Adora loved the Horde! She had been brought up by Hordak! She was evil and proud of it! The mere thought of anyone trying to turn her from the luxurious life she led made her sick. And He-Man had even sent a friend after her to try to carry out his sneaky tasks!
Adora took the lift up to her room, on the very highest floor of Doom Tower. She looked out over the city below. This was the city she loved. Even as a kid, she had adored the thought of living amongst night-life in the city. And she wouldn’t give anything for the many gorgeous nights she had spent out there, getting drunk, killing, getting laid.
She turned around and looked over her room. The warm, soft bedding that Hordak had given her to ensure her room was as luxurious and comfortable as possible. The electric fan in the ceiling. The air ducts in the walls….. the attached shower room….. the built-in radio and viewscreen….. not to mention the beautiful view from the window. This was just another example of how good the Horde had been to her. And He-Man had tried to turn her from it.
She hated him so much. She was thrilled by the thought of him perishing below, being sliced to pieces by those electric wheels. He deserved it! Every cut, every bruise. He deserved it all.
She journeyed back down, deciding she should watch He-Man suffering his last few moments. She had to be there to say good riddance to him as his life flashed before his eyes.
As she stepped out from the lift, she was greeted by Shadow Weaver, who was holding the sword that He-Man had brought to Etheria.
"Shadow Weaver!" Adora cried. "Have you found out anything about the sword?"
"I do not like this sword at all." replied the mistress of dark magic, her red eyes blazing out from the shadow of her hood. "The amount of heroic energy it contains is sickening! It is not of this world! I have tried to destroy it with my own magic, but there is something in the sword that prevents me! It is just too strong. But I have not given up hope- I must try to analyse its secrets. Knowing them might give me an advantage over this accursed object."
"He-Man has an almost identical sword strapped to his back." Adora told her. "Do you want to study that one too?"
"I better had." said Shadow Weaver. "Go and get it….. while He-Man suffers his last moments."
Adora smiled, feeling the sensation of knowing just how cruel He-Man’s fate was. "I will."

She stepped into the room where He-Man was held by the electro-bonds, the wheels slicing past him violently. His chest was shattered and broken, a huge gash of blood spread over it. His torso was covered with cuts and bruises. His arms were a mere mess of crimson threads of blood. His head was hung low, his long, blond hair drooping to the ground. And from his jaw, blots of blood came dripping to the ground, forming a scarlet puddle on the floor.
Adora ran up to him, and grabbed the handle of his sword, then writhed it out from its sheath. The sound it made as she pulled it out was so violent that it echoed throughout the room.
Then she thrust the sword in front of He-Man’s eyes. "This is the last fuckin’ time you see this damned ‘precious’ object!" she said aggressively. He-Man was too weak to respond.
Adora left the room, and gave the sword to Shadow Weaver. "Thank you." said the evil sorceress. "Soon I will learn the secrets of these swords."
Adora then went back into the room to witness He-Man’s final moments. She pulled out a knife from her pocket- a knife stained with the blood of millions of people who had perished at her hands, all mixed together on the blade. And she thrust the knife straight into his neck.
The knife pierced his neck straight open, making a swift, squelching sound as it did so. "YOU BASTARD!!!" she yelled, her voice echoing through the room. "What did you think you were doing?! You have tried to turn me from the army I love- from the life of luxury I have been brought up to! And I hate you! I really despise you!!!"
She wrenched the knife out from the slit in his neck, and sliced it across his throat. "I REALLY HATE YOU!!! I’ve never hated anyone more-"
She took out her pistol, and blasted him in the chest. The bullet embedded itself in the huge gash of blood. He was gonna be dead soon…..
Then she advanced on him again….. her hatred for this man had driven her to madness….. she grabbed hold of one of the spiked wheels, and hit him in the face with it hard. And again! And again!!! No fate could be cruel enough for this man. She had to be the cause of his death!!! She hated him!!! She hated him!!!!!!!!!!!!……………………….

On the planet Eternia, the Sorceress had never felt more uncomfortable in her life. An icy chill ran through her body, which shook with fear. She could sense that something was wrong….. terribly wrong. She could not tell exactly what it was, but she knew it was serious. And she would have to take action as quickly as possible. So with her magic, she contacted a trusted friend of hers…….

Adora beat He-Man continuously, smashing the spiked wheel repeatedly into his face. She wanted to make his death as brutal as possible….. but she still had to be careful with the wheel, as she did not want to pierce his eyes. He had to witness exactly who was the main cause of his final moments. He was weak, bruised, cut, battered, panting violently for breath….. but it was hard, as he was running out of breath. He was close to death. And Adora was loving every minute of it. Every minute she loved, with her evil heart…..
Just then, a voice from behind her distracted her. "Adora."
She spun around to see a man dressed in red armour, with a red, metal mask covering all of his head but his mouth. The eyes on his mask were large, round and black.
"Who the fuck are you? What the fuck you doing here?"
"Please calm down, Adora. My name is Zodac. I am the cosmic enforcer of the universe, and I keep the cosmic balance between good and evil. And I am here to help you."
"Then you’ve helped the good, huh? You just get the fuck out of here man. You’ve probably helped this guy, haven’t you?" she pointed her thumb behind her at He-Man. "You’re probably his best mate, I guess, aren’t you? You’re just trying to help him really, not me? So get the fuck out of here, this instant!"
Zodac only moved closer to her. "Listen Adora- you have been badly misled. You must listen to me, or the fate of your planet-"
"CAN YOU FUCKING HEAR ME???!!!" Adora interrupted, ripping her pistol out from her pocket, and shooting him in the chest. Zodac fell back, landing heavily on the ground.
He lay there a few seconds, then pulled himself to his feet again. "Listen Adora- my friend, the Sorceress of Grayskull, sent me here, and bestowed on me some special powers to help you….."
"And I don’t fucking want you to help me!!! Don’t you fucking understand!!! Get out of here!!!"
Zodac did not move.
"No, you’re never gonna fucking listen, are you, you fucking bastard!! So I might as well KILL you! That’s the fucking easiest way to get rid of you!"
She aimed her pistol directly at his mouth, and shot at him. Just in time, Zodac swerved to avoid the bullet, dived to the ground, and whisked his body along the floor, out of the room.
Adora wanted to go after him to kill him, but she decided to let him go for now. She wanted to concentrate on torturing He-Man. She turned away from Zodac, and grabbed hold of another spiked wheel to smash him…..
Zodac teleported himself inside Shadow Weaver’s chamber. The evil sorceress was not looking- she had her back turned to the swords. Zodac took advantage, and seized both of the swords, then teleported back to the room where Adora was torturing He-Man. And he laid the swords both down by Adora’s side. "This is the best I can do to help you." he said.
Then he left the room abruptly, praying to the gods that it would work. It was the first time he had ever prayed, being in a God-like position himself. But it was the only thing he could do- the girl was just too psychotically dangerous.
Adora wasn’t completely sure what the man in the red armour had been trying to do, but she was convinced he was trying to help He-Man, not her. Why had he put the two swords by her? How had he managed to get them off Shadow Weaver so quickly? But she couldn’t really care now. All she cared about was torturing He-Man.
The strong hero was one step away from death. His head hung low, his face blank and expressionless. Blood dripped from seemingly every corner of his body. Between his muscles flowed a river of blood.
Adora needed only to do one thing to finish him off. She needed a thoroughly powerful blow to kill this hero with. And she seemed to sense the weapon she needed right at her feet…..
She looked down, at the sword that He-Man had brought with him- the jewel glimmering brightly in its centre. She knew that she wasn’t meant to touch the sword, and that it seemed to have some bad effect on her mind- but still, she had to use it. At first. She had loved it because it felt such a good weapon. And what a good weapon it would be to kill He-Man with….. killed by the sword he had brought to this world…..
She gripped the sword by the handle, and lifted it high. Then she thrust He-Man’s head back, and aimed the tip of the sword at He-Man’s mouth. She drew it back with full force, then rammed it forward…..
But then, a soft, delicate voice seemed to emerge from the sword. "Adora….."
Adora stopped, and pulled the sword back. Had that voice actually come from the sword? Did the sword speak now? But there was something she liked about it….. the voice just seemed so comforting, and soothing….. she looked into the jewel of the sword, and whispered….. "D….. did someone….."
The jewel shone brightly, and the face of a beautiful woman appeared in the jewel. She wore a white, falcon head-dress, elegant, pale lipstick, and her skin was smooth and delicate. "Adora….. please listen to me….."
This woman instantly felt like a long lost friend to Adora….. someone who she had needed all her life….. and she had thought Shadow Weaver’s presence was refreshing! Now, this woman strangely seemed closer to her than Hordak or Shadow Weaver ever had….. "Of course I will listen to you."
"You have led an evil life, Adora….. and you have loved it."
"Yes….. I have loved every minute of it. It’s just….. I am evil. It’s the way I am….. I’ve just always liked it that way."
"Yes, Adora- you have loved your life, but it is not the way you are. You have never been told this, but your mind has been tampered with….. very badly indeed."
"Why? Who would tamper with….."
"Just watch….." the woman in the jewel replied. Then her face faded from the jewel, and in its place appeared a vision. A vision of a baby girl being grasped by a huge robotic hand. The hand was holding some sort of wire….. and from the wire, it was squeezing a type of fluid into the baby’s ears.
Then the vision faded, and the face of the beautiful woman reappeared.
"What was that?" Adora asked. "What was going on there?"
"That was a vision of something that happened twenty years ago. That baby girl….. was you."
Adora gasped in amazement.
"But what happened to me? Hordak always told me that he adopted me after my parents were killed….. he never mentioned anything like that!"
"There are many things that Hordak has not told you, Adora. And there are many lies he has told you too. The giant hand you saw was that of Horde Prime, master of all evil."
"Of course….. Hordak has mentioned him to me….. but I have never seen him before! But….. what was Prime doing?"
"Horde Prime was inserting a fluid into your brain….. which solidified to metal once it had settled. This metal had a very bad effect on your mind. It was this metal that made you evil. From that day onwards, that metal has been implanted in your brain, warping your mind day by day….. it has made you what you are."
"So if it wasn’t there, I’d have been….. good?"
"Yes, Adora. Your evil mind is not your true mind. And now, after twenty years of searching, we have finally found you! And please, Adora, help us cure you! It is time that you discovered who you really are….. and the wonderful things you are destined for!"
Adora recalled all the people she had slaughtered and killed in the last few years. She had loved every minute of it….. and she had been brought up by Hordak and Shadow Weaver….. she had loved them, they had been so good to her….. and the life she led in the Fright Zone….. she loved it, every minute…… she could not leave it behind!
And yet this woman who was speaking through the sword, her presence felt so much better than any presence she had felt before! It was so comforting, so warming….. who should she side with? Hordak had been like a father to her….. but now Adora knew he had lied to her, she had once been good and he had kidnapped her and made her evil. Then she remembered how people must have suffered….. how bad it must have been for them….. being evil was wrong! She felt the first remorse she had ever felt in her evil life, her first ever urges to turn from the side of the Horde…..
But she could not leave them behind. She was a psychopath, and she knew it….. she had to kill more people, she could never leave the Horde…..
But she had implants in her brain. She wouldn’t be thinking this if they weren’t there………. "NO!!!" she screamed, dropping the sword and falling to the ground, banging on her head frantically in the hope of getting the implants out. Then her head drooped to the ground, and she felt tears filling her eyes, spilling over her face, and dripping to the ground, hitting the metal handle of the sword and echoing throughout the room.
"No….." she groaned….. "I can’t….. I can’t take it….. I’ve been living under a brainwashing the whole of my life….. Oh God I can’t take it….."
"Fear not, Adora." came the woman’s voice from the sword. "I will help you!"
"Yes….. please help me….." she looked up at the broken body of He-Man. He was still alive, but only just. And she had inflicted most of that damage on him….. she had hated him with all her heart….. but only because of these implants in her brain. Now she no longer hated him. For he had journeyed all the way to this planet not just to turn her to his side, but to help her. To help her break free from Horde Prime’s brainwashing….. yet she had only beaten him helpless, then tried to kill him!
She wept, tears of sadness for this hero. Getting to her feet and lifting the sword, she said to the woman in the jewel "Please tell him I’m sorry. But he’s going to die….. I never realised he was trying to help me….."
"Don’t worry, Adora. He will not die. I will ensure that. But he will forgive you for trying to kill him- once we have these implants removed, you will be a completely different person! And this man is someone very special to you- he is someone you have needed all your life!"
"But….. why….."
"Your parents are not dead, Adora. They are still alive and well, and have yearned for twenty years to know where you are. They are from the planet that this man has come from- and they have brought him up without ever telling him of you."
Adora lowered the sword in amazement. "My parents….. brought him up? Are you saying….."
"Yes, Adora. He-Man is your brother. Your twin brother."


PART 14: THE PRINCESS OF POWER IS BORN

Adora stared speechlessly at the broken body of this champion….. her brother. So she had tried to kill her brother….. all because of Horde Prime’s brainwashing spell! That meant that Prime….. and Hordak….. would have been responsible for his death. She had thought herself to be Hordak’s beloved child….. instead, she was just a killing machine used by him as a tool. That was how it had been all this time.
"Help me!!!" she screamed, into the jewel of the sword. "I am a complete psychopath….. help me before I cause any more damage!!!"
"Help is on its way." The sword began to glow brightly. Brighter and brighter it glowed….. until several elderly men, dressed in robes, emerged from out of the sword and stood before her.
"Fear not." one of them told her. "We are the spirits of the Elders of Eternia. We are here to help." And they raised their arms, bringing down a shimmering light on Adora from their fingertips…..
Adora felt a burst of magical energy flowing gently through her head….. her head began to feel light as the magic coursed through….. images of the murders she committed in the past flowed through her mind….. except now, she felt nothing but guilt and remorse. The feeling was unpleasant….. but she knew it was all for the best as the silhouettes of the Elders flashed before her eyes….. she was finally becoming the real Adora…..
And as the spell neared completion, she saw the face of the woman in the jewel staring up at her saying "Now Adora….. for the honour of Grayskull….. you are She-Ra!"
"For the honour….. of….. Grayskull?"
The silhouettes vanished, the jewel in the sword was left blank, the spell was complete. And Adora knew just what to do. She raised the sword high above her head, and shouted:

"FOR THE HONOUR OF GRAYSKULL!"

The sword began to pulsate with a glowing light. The light encircled the blade of the sword, then it began to encircle Adora’s body. All of a sudden, a whole host of bright colours emerged from the sword, until they completely blocked out the view around her. Bright rays surrounded her whole body, as the coil spun around her, increasing her height….. her strength….. her power! Her whole body had been changed, even her clothes, and her figure was now almost goddess-like, her long, blazing hair a bright, deep red colour, a golden tiara atop her head, a long, red cape flowing from her shoulders down, and her clothing dazzling and elegant, covered in sparkling jewels! She was twice as beautiful as she was as Adora….. and a million times as powerful. Lowering the sword across her chest to complete the transformation, she cried:

"I AM SHE-RA!!!"

Then the light fizzled out, sucked back into her sword. She had spent twenty years as a sadistic psychopath, killing all who opposed her. But now, she was a heroine of goodness- and by the gods was she going to amend for her crimes!
She gazed upon the battered body of her brother. This man whom she had hated so much before, she now loved as her sibling. Together, he and her would make a truly powerful duo! She swept her sword across his electro-bonds, setting him free. His heavy, muscular body fell, and she caught him in her arms.
The almost dead man’s eyes flickered….. and he just managed to wheeze "Who….. are….. you?"
"I am She-Ra- and I am here to help you."
"Where is….. my….. sword….."
She-Ra instantly understood- he must get his power from the other sword. She quickly swiped it up from the ground, and handed it to him.
He was clearly too weak to stand alone, so She-Ra propped him up in her arms. Weakly raising the sword, He-Man stammered "B….. by….. the power….. of….. Grayskull….."
She-Ra shielded her eyes as a burst of energy erupted from He-Man’s sword, surrounding his entire body. A triumphant, powerful shout of "I HAVE THE POWER!!!!!" rang through the room, then the light died down- and He-Man was no longer a man close to death. Now he was as powerful as he had been before, his muscular body now completely devoid of cuts or bruises.
"I’m not sure exactly who you are….." said He-Man, "But you’ve rescued me just in time- I was inches away from death!"
"No problem." replied She-Ra. "I….."
Just then they were interrupted by Hordak entering the room.
"Who took the swords….." he stopped and stared in horror when he saw He-Man’s unharmed body, and the beautiful, red-haired heroine standing by him, looking almost like a female version of He-Man. Then he saw the sword in her hand…..
"So….. you took the sword! You feeble bitch, I don’t know who you are, but….."
"This is MY sword." Interrupted She-Ra. "And hey, you can fight me for it, if you want it that badly!"
Hordak transformed his arm, into cannon mode, and advanced on She-Ra, but she sent him flying backwards with one blast from her sword. He-Man helped out and fired a bolt from his! And they fired bolt after bolt, until Hordak fled.
He-Man looked puzzled. "So is it you who this sword is for?"
"It is indeed."
"Then where’s that girl….. Adora? I thought that….."
"I’ll explain all later. We have a lot to talk about! But first of all, how about we go and free some slaves?"
"Sure thing!" replied He-Man. And he and She-Ra charged side by side through Doom Tower, smashing every trooper in their way, bursting out into the streets. They were so powerful and bursting with energy, that both of them felt completely invincible.
"WARNING!" A voice issued from the tower. "He-Man has regained his strength and is on the loose with a warrior woman- all hordesmen must be on guard!"
"Hey, some chance of them beating us!" laughed She-Ra. They charged through the streets, looking so powerful that most hordesmen ran from them in terror. When they reached the mine, they burst into it, scattering troopers in all directions. Then there were only slaves left.
"You are free!" shouted He-Man. "Come with us and we will lead you to safety!"
A huge cheer ran through the crowd of slaves. Then they all kicked their work aside, and led by He-Man and She-Ra, ran from the mines, through the abandoned slave valley, and out into freedom.
When the Fright Zone had become a mere blur in the distance, they finally slowed down, gasping for breath, all relieved to be free at last.
"For years….. Etheria has waited for champions like you." One man said to He-Man and She-Ra.
"It is our pleasure to help you." said She-Ra. "Now you can leave the Horde behind- and be free again! And soon, He-Man and She-Ra will put an end to the Horde’s rule!"
The slaves once again cheered He-Man and She-Ra, then they ran off, many of them smiling in ecstasy, running to freedom with their arms in the air. At last they were free.
And He-Man and She-Ra were left alone.
"So, She-Ra," said He-Man, "we have a lot to talk about, it would seem."
"We sure do, my brother."
He-Man’s eyes opened wide in shock. "Brother?"
"Yes, He-Man. We really do have a lot to talk about!"



Go Back

The Grayskull Library

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PART 15: BROTHER AND SISTER REUNITED

She-Ra led He-Man to a small clearing in the Whispering Woods, where she and her brother could privately recount their amazing story. Alone they stood, amongst the silent trees, feeling the warm breeze drifting across their faces. It was such a calm, soothing atmosphere after the terror of the Fright Zone.
"So….." said He-Man, "You’re my sister?"
"I am indeed."
"But….. I’ve never had a sister. I’ve never had any siblings! Surely my parents would have told me….."
"I guess there’s a reason why they haven’t. I was stolen from them when I was only a baby- they must have thought it would be too distressing for you."
"But….. surely other people would know….."
"I don’t know. But anyway, your quest is finally complete. The person who needed the sword now has it."
"But what about Adora? I thought it was for her because it was always glowing when she was around it!"
"I’ll explain that." said She-Ra. She held the sword high above her head, a flash of bright light erupted from it, and her form changed….. her hair turned blonde, her clothes changed to leather….. she was Adora.
"So!" remarked He-Man. "You are Adora. So why were you serving the Horde? What made you turn from them?"
"I was only serving the Horde because when I was a baby, Hordak and Horde Prime brainwashed me. Horde Prime is supposedly the master of all evil, who comes from Horde World, and he is Hordak’s mentor. He put metal implants into my head- but they’re removed now. I’ve finally become the person whom nature made me." Her voice was no longer so rough- now it was more gentle, her tone more sincere. She was a changed person. And her eyes looked completely different without their signs of bloodthirst.
"So how did you realise the sword was for you?"
"Well, first this man came in, wearing red armour….. said he was some kind of cosmic enforcer, but can’t remember what he said his name was….."
"Was it Zodac?"
"Zodac! Yes, that was him. I was….. so cruel to him. He must hate me."
"Zodac doesn’t hate anyone. He sympathises with all living creatures- good or evil, and he will forgive you."
"That’s refreshing to hear….. ‘cause I shot him….. I could have killed him. Anyway, he gave me the swords….. and then there was this woman who appeared in the jewel. She told me everything….. showed me what Horde Prime did to me….. and she brought out the Elders of Eternia to remove the implants in my brain. Then I became She-Ra."
"That woman would have been the Sorceress." He-Man replied. "It’s so good that she’s brought you to your senses."
"It sure is. But what about you? I guess you must have a double identity too, being in virtually the same position as She-Ra."
"I sure do." said He-Man. Drawing his sword and lifting it above his head, he cried "Let the power return!"
A small flash of light emerged from the sword, and He-Man’s form began to change….. until he became Prince Adam again. Adora instantly recognised him.
"So, you’re the guy who tried to talk to me about the sword, huh?"
"Yeah, that was me." said Adam. "If I’d known you were my sister, I don’t know how I’d have felt! I’m called Adam in this form."
"That was a pretty clever trick." said Adora, smiling. "But if I’d known you were He-Man then….. I sure would have hated you! And still, I did try to kill you….. I almost succeeded….. surely you must hate me?"
"You were brainwashed," said Adam, "there’s no way I can hate you when that wasn’t even the real you. But what I don’t understand is….. why have I never heard about you before? I didn’t even know Hordak had been on Eternia!"
"I think the Sorceress will be able to explain all!" said Adora, and lifted the sword. "Sorceress?" she called. "Can you hear me?"
The jewel in the sword shimmered with a bright light, and the face of the Sorceress appeared in the jewel.
"Congratulations, Adora." she said. "You have performed your first good deeds as She-Ra. You are worthy of being the heroine of Etheria."
"Thank you." Adora replied. "But Adam and I are still puzzled….. why did Adam never hear of me? Why did Hordak capture me?"
"I will tell you the whole story from the start." The Sorceress said. The sword then seemed to lift itself from Adora’s clutches, and began hovering in mid-air. Then, the Sorceress began her tale.
"Twenty years ago, the Queen of Eternia gave birth to twins. One of these was you, Adam- the other was you, Adora."
"So I’m the daughter of a King and Queen!" exclaimed Adora in surprise.
"Indeed you are- Adam is the Prince of Eternia, and you have never known it- but you are the princess."
Adora gasped in amazement. She had never expected this!
In the jewel appeared a young King and Queen, tending to two babies, each in separate cribs.
"That’s my mother and father!" said Adam. "That’s when they were young!"
The Sorceress continued her story. "Although the King and Queen were delighted, the twins were born at a time of great peril for Eternia. There was a savage war raging across the planet, led by a tyrant called Xazrog."
The image in the jewel changed, and Adora and Adam saw a young man, with black hair and sharp, evil eyes, shouting orders at a band of robots, looking similar to the Horde Troopers, except without the bat symbol, and less complex.
"That must be Xazrog!" said Adam. "And wasn’t this the war in which your husband was killed, Sorceress?"
"Yes, my husband, Zendar, is thought to have met his death around this time. Although Xazrog’s forces threatened to take over Eternia and capture Grayskull, they were no match for King Randor’s soldiers or the magic of Grayskull. They were eventually defeated just outside Grayskull- but in that battle, Xazrog suffered horrific injuries."
The image of a soldier crouching over the fallen body of Xazrog appeared in the jewel. But Xazrog’s face was now hideously disfigured- a discoloured, fleshy mess. Adam and Adora gasped in horror at the young man’s injuries.
"Xazrog was imprisoned in the royal cell," continued the Sorceress, "but it did not hold him for long. He escaped- and together with his sidekick Skeletor, he hatched revenge on the King and Queen."
"Skeletor!" remarked Adam, as the hooded, fleshless face of his arch enemy appeared in the jewel.
"You know this being?" asked Adora.
"Skeletor is the being who I defend Eternia from! Several people have told me of how he threatened Eternia when I had just been born!"
"Xazrog and Skeletor decided to steal both the Queen’s babies and bring them up to their own evil ways. But in the end, they only got you, Adora- as Man-At-Arms caught them before they could take Adam."
The image of a young Man-At-Arms knocking Skeletor to the ground, as Xazrog ran with Adora, appeared on the jewel.
"So I could have succumbed to the same fate as Adora!" remarked Adam, realising just how lucky he had been.
The scene on the jewel then changed to a place that was familiar to Adam- the interior of Snake Mountain. Xazrog stood by a time portal, with Adora in his arms.
"Man-At-Arms managed to force Skeletor into revealing that Xazrog’s secret base was Snake Mountain, the ancient fortress of evil." continued the Sorceress. "He and I made our way there- but before we could stop him, Xazrog escaped through the time portal with Adora. And we searched the whole planet for you, Adora- but we just couldn’t find you, so I used my magic to erase the memory of you from everyone on Eternia’s minds, apart from your parents, Man-At-Arms and myself."
"Then how did I get in the hands of Hordak and Horde Prime?" Adora asked.
"I will show you." said the Sorceress. Inside the jewel appeared the disfigured Xazrog, holding Adora, and conversing with Horde Prime. All they could see of Horde Prime were two demonic eyes, staring through a black mist. Then they saw Xazrog’s body being passed through some machinery. Through machine after machine it passed, until it finally emerged- but it was no longer the disfigured young man. Now it was a far more terrifying figure that was familiar to both Adam and Adora. It was Hordak! (For the full story, read ‘History of Eternia’)
"So- Xazrog is Hordak!" exclaimed Adam. "When I first saw him, I never suspected he had so much connection with Eternia!" "Hordak told me he was once an ordinary human," added Adora, "but that’s all I ever knew! But what was happening to me at this point?"
"This was when Horde Prime made the implants in your brain." replied the Sorceress. The image changed to the one that Adora had seen before- of the giant metal hand squeezing the fluid into Adora’s ears.
Then, the Sorceress’ face reappeared in the jewel. "That was all the Images that the Elders could pick up- but I think we know the rest."
"We sure do." said Adora. "That was when Hordak took me to Etheria, formed the Horde, then found Shadow Weaver and brought me up to his evil ways. But how did you find me?"
"After our twenty year search, the elders finally managed to trace your whereabouts. The sword of protection was forged thousands of years ago, as a simple extra should anyone else ever need the power of Grayskull. When the elders realised the situation you were in, they decided you needed the sword- to become She-Ra, Princess of Power! And now you have become She-Ra, and thrown off the Horde’s spell. Now you will be able to defend your planet- and strive to free it from the evil force which has ruled for so long! And with the power of Grayskull on your side, you shall do it!"
Adora bristled with pride as she realised the importance and supremacy of her destiny. Then she thought of all the crimes and murders she had committed.
"But….. in my lifetime I’ve killed so many innocent people, and committed so many crimes. Surely I don’t deserve to be She-Ra!"
"Of course you deserve to be She-Ra, Adora! You are a different person now that you have come to your senses. As She-Ra, you can make amends for the crimes you committed in your past!"
Adora smiled. "I sure will!"
"Good luck!" said the Sorceress, and her face faded from the jewel.
"Well….." said Adam, "I really never knew the story of Grayskull was that complicated!"
"I’m pretty amazed too." said Adora, taking hold of the sword. "But you bet, I’m gonna make up for all the bad I’ve done in my life. I’m gonna put right all the wrongs I’ve done! Repair all the damage I’ve done to this world! Hopefully even eliminate the empire of Hordak and the Evil Horde! My life begins here!"
Adam smiled at her. "You’re gonna make a real heroine, you know."
"I sure hope so. But now, let’s make our way to the rebel camp. I’ve got an announcement to make!"
"What’s that?"
"the announcement that the evil Force Captain Adora, one of the most feared members of the Horde, is now amongst the ranks of the Great Rebellion! Let’s make our way!"
"Sure thing!" said Adam, and the two long-lost siblings made their way through the woods side by side, knowing that a new era was dawning on Etheria- the era of She-Ra!


PART 16: ADORA IN THE REBELLION

Carlos and Glimmer had just arrived back at the rebel camp. Carlos had been giving a talk to some trainee scientists in the city of Bright Moon. He wasn’t his usual self. His forehead was strained with lines of worry, his approach was less than talkative, and his face was stern and grim.
"What’s wrong, Carlos?" asked Glimmer. "I’ve never seen you looking this worried before."
"I’m really worried about Adam." Carlos told her. "I have the feeling he’s in serious danger. Earlier on, I could have sworn I saw him- in the form of He-Man- in chains, and being repeatedly stabbed. I think I’d better go to Doom Tower to help him. If I’m not too late- I would have gone before if I hadn’t had to give that damn talk…"
"We should leave at once then!" said Glimmer. "There’s no way I’m letting the Horde get the better of Adam….."
"I say he be fine!" came a strange little voice from above in a tree. Glimmer and Carlos looked up, and saw Kowl, a little owl-like creature with large rainbow-coloured ears who lived inside the tree, emerging from his hollow.
"When I’ve been sleeping, the truth always dawns on me- and I’m not worried about Adam in the slightest." he said.
"I sure hope you’re right, Kowl." said Carlos. "Usually I know these things, but today my mind just isn’t right for it. At least we’ve still got you around. I really hope that Adam’s safe."
"He sure is safe." came a familiar voice from behind. Glimmer and Carlos spun around to see Adam standing behind them, safe and unharmed!
"Adam!" cried Glimmer, running up to him and hugging him. "Thank goodness you’re alright!"
"Told’ya so!" said Kowl, from up in the tree. "No words from Kowl are not to be trusted!"
"You’re a real hero!" said Carlos, breathing a sigh of relief as the lines of worry and concern faded from his face. But then he noticed something very strange- Force Captain Adora was standing some inches behind Adam! "Adora?" he called out. "What’s she doing here?"
"Ha! Adam’s captured her, I bet!" said Glimmer. "Now we can get her into jail where she belongs!"
"Not so fast, Glimmer." said Adam. "Adora’s got an announcement to make. Tell them, Adora."
Adora walked up to Carlos and Glimmer. They instantly noticed a slight change in her- her face seemed a lot more sincere, the lust for killing seemed gone from her eyes, which now looked beautiful and innocent.
"My friends," Adora began, "And yes, I mean my friends- I have left the Horde behind. I was only serving them because I was brainwashed as a child. I have no wish to hurt you- instead, I wish to join the Great Rebellion, and aid you in ridding this planet from Hordak!"
"Great Gods….. can this be true?" said Carlos.
"Well," said Glimmer, "didn’t Adam think that sword was meant to be for her?"
"He sure did!" said Carlos. He stepped up to Adora, and shook her hand. "It’s gonna be a little hard for me to get used to this- but I’m damn well pleased to have you as part of the rebellion!"
Glimmer also shook Adora’s hand, and said "I’m the leader of the rebels- and I say that if you’re sincere- you sure can join!"
Then Adora fell to her knees, and said "I now regret to extremes all the murders I committed. All the times I made innocent people suffer! And please, allow me to make amends for all I did! I will help defeat the Horde, and repair all the damage I did to this world!"
"You’d better announce it to the whole rebellion." said Glimmer. "Come with us."
Glimmer, Carlos and Adam led Adora into the centre of the camp, and Glimmer called a meeting. Within five minutes, the whole of the rebels who were present had gathered together. When they noticed that Force Captain Adora was there, this provoked instant angry reactions. Several angry rebels charged forward, brandishing their weapons. One man, aiming his pistol at her, screamed "You are the woman who murdered my brother! You’re gonna pay for what you did!"
"STAND BACK!" ordered Glimmer. Carlos rushed into the crowd, and blocked the angry men’s way. "Please, all of you assemble in single order and listen to what we have to say!" Glimmer shouted. "I understand that Adora has caused many of you pain and suffering in the past- but she has something to reveal to you! So if you would control your anger, and listen to her!"
The rebels just managed to make themselves calm down. But many of them still held their weapons at the ready, hoping to make Adora pay.
Adora stepped up to the crowd of rebels. "All of you-" she began, "every one of you- I owe an apology. I killed your friends. I killed your families. I destroyed everything that many of you loved. And now I regret every moment of it. I know it shall be hard for you to believe.…. as I always seemed to love it so much. But now I find it hard to believe that I could have loved a second of it. Now, my stomach turns when I think that it was I who did all that." she hung her head down low, and bent down to her knees in front of the crowd. The crowd stared at her, many of them suspiciously. Could this girl really be telling the truth?
"None of you ever knew this-" she continued, "but the Adora you have known for the past few years was not the real Adora. As a child, I was kidnapped by Hordak, and brainwashed by the dreadful powers of his master- Horde Prime. I spent the next twenty years with metal implants in my brain, which controlled my whole mind- but I didn’t even know they were there. At the same time, Hordak told me many lies. He pretended he loved me as his daughter- when all I really was to him was a tool for killing innocent people! And it sickens me to think of all the things I have done!" a light tear seeped from her left eye, trickling down her face. "And now- I cannot blame you for hating me, after the bad I have done for you. But I want to join the rebellion- and fight to eliminate our planet of this cruel and brutal evil that has threatened you for too long. And I can only beg of you- please give me a chance. I am no longer ‘Force Captain Adora’. Now I am just- Adora- member of the Great Rebellion. And please trust me….. as I am entirely at your service."
She fell silent, and a whisper began to run through the crowd of rebels. Yes, this girl did seem sincere- but could they really trust her? After all the evil she had done? Could she perhaps just be a very good actress, and could this be another of Hordak’s evil schemes?
"I think she’s telling the truth." said a man wearing dark glasses.
"She’s lying!" shouted one man. "Hordak’s just sent her here to spy on us! She will kill us in the night when we are not suspicious!"
"No….. I tell you….."
"She’s lying!" added another man.
"Bitch! Give her the fate she deserves!"
"Yeah!!! Let’s all get her!"
A band of rebel men charged forward, wielding pitchforks and knives. Adora flinched back in fright.
"STOP ALL THIS CACOPHONY!!!" yelled Carlos, pulling out an electric device from his pocket. He flicked a switch, and a red beam emerged from the small device. He whisked it through the air, and the beam caught the angry rebels, not hurting them, but driving them back, away from Adora.
Carlos looked at the crowd of rebels in pity. "I don’t know who some of you think you are." he said, shaking his head. "However much wrong Adora’s done you, by trying to massacre her you’re not making yourselves any better, are you?"
"Er….. he’s right!" said one rebel man. "I am sorry sir….. we will cease violence for now."
"I should think so." said Carlos. "And if you’re really that sceptical of the girl, my lie detector will show you whether or not she’s telling the truth." He pulled out another small device from his pocket, flicked it on and walked up to Adora with it. A small screen on the device flickered on. "Just tell us what you told them before." he said. "If ‘lie’ appears on the screen, you’re lying- if ‘truth’ appears you’re telling the truth."
"I have left the Horde behind, and I wish to join the rebellion." said Adora.
The device began to click repeatedly, then ‘TRUTH’ appeared on the screen, and Carlos held it up for the whole crowd to see. Looks like she’s telling the truth alright, doesn’t it?" he said.
The rebellion were quite amazed, as they had never suspected this girl would convert to their side, but as much as they hated Adora, they could only take Carlos’ word.
It’ll take some time for you to believe it." Carlos said, "but Adora’s one of us now." lifting Adora to her feet, he declared "Welcome Adora!"
Adora only received a minor cheer from the crowd, which upset her a little, but she could understand. As Adam and Carlos and Glimmer led her back to their hut, Carlos said "Don’t worry, Adora. You’ll be met with a little hostility at first, but it’ll die down girl. You’ll soon show them what you’re made of."
"I sure hope so." said Adora, smiling nervously. "And you know, Carlos….. I’m sorry for all I’ve done….."
"You’ve no need to be sorry." said Carlos.
"All the evil you committed was really Hordak’s evil." said Glimmer. "And now you’ve thrown off his spell, we’re more than glad to have you in the rebellion. Now how about we go to Bright Moon, and show my mother our new addition?"
"That sounds like a pretty good idea." said Adam. "Let’s go!"
Adam, Adora, Carlos and Glimmer made their way through the woods towards the city of Bright Moon. The Rebellion had gained a new addition who would be more than powerful to their needs. But as yet, they didn’t know just how powerful…..


PART 17: THE SAVIOURS OF BRIGHT MOON

Glimmer and Carlos entered Castle Bright Moon with Adam and Adora. The guards permitted them once Glimmer had explained that Adora was on their side, and they made their way to Queen Angella’s throne room.
"Good to see you this evening, Glimmer." said Angella. "But who is this you bring? Force Captain Adora? What is she doing here?"
"Force Captain Adora is now a member of the Rebellion." Glimmer told Angella. She quickly explained how Adora had been brainwashed by Horde Prime as a child, but was now completely free from his mind control and wished to help eliminate Hordak from their world.
Angella could hardly believe this….. could it be true? "Is this true, Adora? Are you really joining our side?"
Adora fell to her knees in front of the queen, just as she had done in front of the rebels. "Your majesty, I beg your forgiveness. I committed so many crimes….. but please do not jail me for them, as that is all in the past."
Angella had never heard Adora speak like this before….. she had never sounded this sincere. She really sounded like she truly regretted her crimes.
"How can we be sure this is not some sort of trick?" said Angella.
"I’ve tested it on the lie-detector, and she’s telling the truth alright." said Carlos. "Now we can welcome this new addition to the Rebellion! And she wants to live in Bright Moon too….."
"Then I am most honoured to accept her as a citizen of Bright Moon and member of the Great Rebellion!" said Angella. "Welcome Adora!"
Adora stepped up to the queen, and shook her hand. "I’ve spent the past twenty years brainwashed….." she told her, "but my brother came to this planet, and brought me to light….."
Now this sounded strange. Brother? It was Adam who had come to Etheria to find Adora….. "so this means….. Adam’s your brother?!" exclaimed Glimmer.
"That’s right." said Adam. "We haven’t told you yet, but Adora and I are indeed siblings." He slung a loving arm round Adora, his long lost sister. "I never heard about her before, and that’s why I had no idea who she was when I came to Etheria- but the Sorceress of Grayskull, who sent me on this mission, told us both the story of how the Horde stole Adora as a baby."
"So she’s also an Eternian?" said Angella.
"Yes," said Adora, "the princess of Eternia. Yeah, that sounds even stranger, but mine and Adam’s parents are the King and Queen….. but don’t worry, I won’t be going back to Eternia just yet. First I will help to ensure that Hordak and the Evil Horde are driven from our world!"
"We’re most glad to have you with us, Adora." said Carlos.
"Now I can show everyone the new Adora!" Adora added. "I’m no longer that hard-headed thug I was in the Horde. I will now only use violence when it’s needed- and I will drive the Horde from this world if it’s the last thing I do!"
"Congratulations, Adora!" said Carlos. "How about a ceremony to celebrate your transferral to the Rebellion?"
"No thanks, Carlos. I think there’s probably too many people who won’t like me after what I did in the Horde. Besides, I think Adam and I will need some sleep!"
"We sure do!" said Adam.
"Okay then," said Glimmer, "there are a few spare bedrooms near me. You can go in them!"
"Sure thing." said Adam, and they said goodnight to Angella, then departed to bed. Adam and Adora were exhausted after their adventure- but it was not quite over…..

Meanwhile, in Doom Tower, Hordak was mad with rage at the rescue of He-Man by this red-haired heroine. Where had she come from? She had rescued He-Man just at the moment he was about to die, and she had even made off with both of the swords. Just as Hordak had been about to win against He-Man, and find out the secrets within the two swords, this warrior woman appeared from nowhere and took him back to square one. And even worse, after that she had somehow restored He-Man’s strength and gone and freed all the slaves down in the mines! Now he would be faced with the task of not only recapturing He-Man and the swords, but capturing this heroine too. It was going to be incredibly tough….. but Hordak knew he could never give in.
"Are you sure you didn’t see anyone come into the room and take the swords?" Hordak asked Shadow Weaver in her chamber.
"Absolutely no-one." she said. "I just turned around and they were gone."
"Thieving bitch! That woman must have sneaked in and done it when you weren’t looking! Lock the door when you study from now on!"
"I will, Hordak. Normally I would have done….. it’s just my mind’s still recovering from that spell that He-Man backfired on me. That bastard….. he’s even destroyed your best slave plantations!"
"I know….. and freed most of the slaves! But he will pay, I will see to it, he will pay! I will launch an air-raid on Bright Moon! He-Man and that foolish woman will come after us then, and we will destroy them! Where’s Adora? I must have her assemble the thugs and prepare for our attack!"
"I tell you, my lord, I have not seen Adora anywhere."
Hordak flicked on his wrist-radio. "Hordak through Senador. Senador- find Force Captain Adora and tell her to assemble the thugs for an air-raid on Bright Moon."
"Right away, master." Senador replied.
"Soon He-Man will pay….. I will make sure of it!"

But several hours later, Senador emerged inside the main hall, and said "Mighty Hordak, I regret to inform you that I cannot find Adora anywhere in the Fright Zone. I have alerted all hordesmen to search for her, but she seems to be nowhere around here. No-one reports seeing her in the last few hours either."
"Blast it. She must have gone out to slaughter someone. But still, we shall still be able to carry out our attack. Senador- assemble the thugs yourself. And tell Catra to be ready with the Horde Flyers, and to prepare the best ones for battle- we must destroy the rebels and He-Man!"
"I will, master." Senador departed, and went to assemble Hordak’s band of thugs. Within several hours, Hordak and Shadow Weaver were preparing the annihilator for battle, and the thugs were manning the Batmex crafts and Horde Flyers. When each machine was fully armed and ready for battle, Hordak issued orders through his radio to each craft.
"All crafts blast off for Bright Moon at once! The rebels shall not escape our armed forces!"
The evil fighter crafts blasted off into the skies, leaving furious trails of red hot energy behind them. Hordak was at his most determined- and most dangerous as his angry swarm of crafts blasted through the skies to Bright Moon.

Adam was woken up in the first light of dawn by a terrifying wailing sound. It was the sound of a siren- the sound of approaching doom. He quickly threw on his vest and trousers, and rushed out into the hall of Castle Bright Moon. Through the window, he saw an army of Horde Fighter crafts, zooming towards the city. They shot laser beams down at the tall buildings, scattering people through the streets.
Adam was about to bang on Adora’s door to wake her up- but she burst out before he had the chance, wearing only a short blouse and skirt.
"It’s the Horde!" she cried. "Now’s my chance to show Hordak that I’m no longer one of his evil band and to pay him back for what he did to me!"
"Should we become He-Man and She-Ra?" asked Adam.
"Not yet- I want Hordak to see Adora first. But we need the swords for when the time comes!"
Adam quickly darted back into his room, and seized the sword of power, which was hidden below the bed. He emerged from his room to see that Adora had done the same with the sword of protection. With their swords on their backs, the two siblings made their way through the hallways of Castle Bright Moon.
They passed Glimmer and Carlos along the way. "See you two are already on the go." said Carlos.
"We’ll be right behind you!" added Glimmer.
Adam and Adora burst out into the streets of Bright Moon, Glimmer behind them firing bolts from her hands at the flying machines. High above their heads, Carlos blasted into the skies propelling his hover beetle vehicle, its mechanical legs skimming the air as he shot bolt after bolt from its eyes.

Up in Hordak’s Annihilator, Hordak laughed in evil glee at the poor citizens who were scattering from street to street at the sight of the Horde machines. Soon they would be joining the injured and dead, who lay sprawled violently across the streets. "But it’s not them I’m interested in….." shrieked the maniacal dictator, "I WANT HE-MAN!"
"I’m sure we will see him soon….." said Shadow Weaver, "…..but wait! There’s Force Captain Adora, running through that street down there!"
"What’s she doing here? Perhaps she was causing destruction here already. Shadow Weaver, open the bottom hatch of this craft- I am switching to rocket mode!"
Shadow Weaver flicked a switch, and the circular hatch in the ground opened up. Then Shadow Weaver halted the ship, and Hordak began to change. His body began to whirr with energy, and his limbs folded up over the rest of his body. Then a jet engine sprang out from inside him, and he blasted off, through the hatch of the ship and down towards the streets below.
When he reached Adora, he quickly transformed back to his normal form. "Adora, what are you doing here? Usually you let me know before you leave to wreak havoc!"
"Wreaking havoc is something I don’t do any more, metal face. And neither do I kill. Neither do I torture. Neither do I molest slaves. Neither do I even belong to your stupid army any more!!!" She glared angrily at the evil dictator who had brainwashed her all those years ago.
Hordak didn’t believe what he was seeing. Surely there was no way she could have broken the mind control? "What do you mean, Adora?" he asked. "You have always been one of my most faithful servants….."
"Yes, when I was under that damn brainwashing spell I was ‘faithful’- but not any more. You’re mistaken if you think I’m gonna have anything more to do with you and your bunch of thugs- other than fighting against you and driving you from our world! I am a member of the Great Rebellion- and together we shall strive to free Etheria!"
A cheer went up amongst the citizens on the street as they observed Hordak’s most trusted warrior….. jilting him! Hordak’s eyes glowed red with anger….. "How did you break the mind control?! How?! Which bastard did this….. NO!!! This cannot be!!!"
"Oh, yes it can- ‘Xazrog’!"
"And how….. did you know my real name?"
"Perhaps the same way I know that my parents are the King and Queen of Eternia? That you stole me from them as a baby? And that you brainwashed me, and lied to me, telling me I was like a daughter to you when all I was was a tool for conquering Etheria! You lying bastard!" And with that, she clenched her fist as tight as it would go, and threw a mighty punch into his metal face.
Hordak fell to the ground. This was something that he hoped would never come….. Adora coming to her senses, and attacking him! As he picked himself up, he noticed a man standing nearby Adora….. a man he recognised….. the man who He-Man had sent to Doom Tower to try and turn Adora from him! No doubt he would have something to do with it! Pointing at the man, he shouted orders into the sky: "Warriors- destroy this man! Strip him to the bone!!!"
"Don’t you lay a finger on my brother!" shouted Adora, diving into Adam and gently pushing him to the ground. They looked up, ready to dodge the beams from Hordak’s fighter crafts- but they were already being dealt with by Carlos as the Hover Beetle skimmed rapidly through the skies as it zapped them, so fast they could not keep up with it!
Then Hordak was stunned by a purple beam shot by Angella, just as he was about to charge at Adam and Adora. "I’ll keep him busy!" said Angella. "You two go with Glimmer and help the people!"
As Adam and Adora turned to help the people, followed by Glimmer, they knew they could do a lot more than just help! "I’ve got the message through to Hordak in fine style," said Adora, "now to begin on my way to full revenge!"
"I’m with you!" said Adam, and dodged into a side alley. Glimmer followed them inside. "Hey, she’s not meant to be around, is she?" said Adora.
"It’s okay," said Adam, "she knows already! Now let’s get going!" Glimmer watched as Adam and Adora pulled their swords out from their backs.

Adam shouted: "BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL!" Adora shouted: "FOR THE HONOUR OF GRAYSKULL!"

Glimmer shielded her eyes as two massive bursts of light emerged from the siblings’ swords and surrounded their bodies. When she had managed to strain her eyes enough to look up, she saw the transformation to He-Man consuming Adam’s body, as a flash of light increased his stature and muscle mass….. but something very similar was happening to Adora. As a coil of light encircled her body, her height increased, her hair turned bright red, and longer, wearing a golden tiara….. her clothing became bright and sparkling, covered in rich, elegant jewels, as a long red cape ran down her back.
As the mighty form of He-Man completely replaced that of Adam, He-Man lowered the sword across his chest and shouted "I HAVE THE POWER!" Adora, in her dazzling, goddess-like new form, did the same, shouting "I AM SHE-RA!"
Then the light fizzled back into the swords, and Glimmer gazed in awe upon the immensely powerful forms of the two heroes. "Glimmer- meet She-Ra!" said He-Man.
"I’ll explain all later-" said She-Ra, "but now, we must see to the Horde!"

The Hover Beetle was proving to be Carlos’ most successful invention yet. He was having an easy time confusing the Horde, as he piloted it through the air, swerving it rapidly from side to side, zapping every craft in his way! Suddenly he felt something from behind knock the machine. Carlos spun it around, and saw Senador, zooming towards him in a Horde Batmex craft! So, he though he could confuse Carlos by attacking from behind….. Carlos would show him that that was no use. He quickly dived the beetle below Senador’s craft, then he crouched down to the controls as he propelled it upwards, and it coursed through the middle of the Batmex craft, sending pieces of metal and rubble spiralling to the ground- along with the rear half of the Batmex craft.
Carlos swerved the beetle down towards Senador’s wrecked craft. "You fool….." said Senador, "You have made a mess of my craft! You shall pay!" and he aimed his gun directly at Carlos, and fired a laser bolt- but Carlos was too quick for him and propelled the beetle straight into what remained of the Batmex craft- which exploded into pieces, along with Senador, who amongst the cloud of smoke and rubble, could not be seen- but he sure couldn’t have survived.
Leaving the wrecked remains to drift to the ground, Carlos revved up his engine to concentrate on the other flying machines!

Down on the street, Glimmer emerged from the side alley, charging towards Catra and Leech, who had just swarmed down from their flyers.
"Don’t think a feeble girl like you can defeat Catra!" Catra said, baring her claws.
"Or the suction power of Leech!" Leech added, reaching his suction pads towards her.
"Well even if I can’t- these two sure can!" announced Glimmer, as the powerful forms of He-Man and She-Ra came hurtling out of the alleyway. Leech was instantly felled by a powerful blow from He-Man, as She-Ra countered Catra’s attack with a high kick.
As the citizens erupted into cheer for these two heroes, and the Horde flying crafts above were given a run for life by Carlos, Hordak burst in front of He-Man and She-Ra, his arm hooked tightly around Angella’s neck.
"So, He-Man, you finally dare to show your cursed face. And you have brought your female friend along, I see. Well, you may have escaped me yesterday, but this time you will not be so lucky. Both of you- surrender your swords, or Queen Angella dies!" He turned his other arm to cannon mode, and aimed it into her face.
"Don’t do it!" called Glimmer. "There must be some other way we can save my mother!"
"As if we’d give in that easily!" laughed She-Ra, and fired a bolt of power at Hordak from her sword. It hit him in the neck, and he dropped Angella, who flew free of his grasp and joined He-Man, She-Ra, and Glimmer. The four of them faced Hordak, muscles tensed for action.
"You’re outnumbered, Hordak- time you gave in!" said She-Ra. Hordak did not move.
"Okay then," said She-Ra, "let’s make him move!" And the four of them charged on the mad dictator, and with their tremendous punches, sent him spiralling across the street. "Etheria has a new defender!" announced She-Ra, "And that am I, She-Ra! You will pay for the many times you have made innocent people suffer, Hordak! Your rule will not last long!"
A huge cheer went up amongst the citizens of Bright Moon, all around them.
Hordak took one long glance at the barbarian-like hero, He-Man, standing before him. He had no chance of beating this man as yet. Especially now that he had She-Ra with him….. who, it seemed, was here to stay. Then he looked above, at the Horde flying crafts being scattered through the air by the strange-looking beetle machine. It was so humiliating to see so may of his masterful crafts being defeated by such a ridiculous-looking machine. His crafts were sent spiralling through the air, hordesmen were being knocked out to plummet to their death….. some were even retreating back to the Fright Zone. He had lost the battle. If he stuck around, he may only suffer proper defeat. So he quickly transformed to rocket mode, blasted away from the crowd of heroes, and up through the hatch of the Annihilator, where Shadow Weaver sat in wait.
"Adora….. has turned against me." he said solemnly, as he turned back to his normal form. "And now we have this infernal She-Ra to deal with….."
"So I see, Hordak." Shadow Weaver said grimly. "So I see."
Hordak didn’t even bother issuing a retreat to his recruits. He just programmed the automatic pilot to steer back to Doom Tower, and the ship blasted off. The remaining ships, which stood no chance against Carlos and the Hover Beetle, quickly followed the Annihilator back to their base.

When all the Horde ships had gone from sight, Carlos descended the Hover Beetle swiftly to the ground. Then he looked upon the triumphant form of He-Man, and the beautiful red-haired heroine who was with him. "So, who’s this beauty?" he asked, climbing out from the Hover Beetle.
"Carlos- I’d like you to meet my sister, She-Ra!"
"Pleased to meet you!" Carlos said, shaking her hand. Then he whispered "Adora?"
"Sure am!" She-Ra nodded. "I’ll explain later!"

Within the next few hours, Queen Angella’s servants began clearing up the wreckage from the brief battle. The mood in the air was one of triumph. This was the quickest ever that an assault by the Horde had been foiled. There were also no fatalities- only several injuries- and before this, every time the Horde had attacked they had caused at least some deaths, or captured someone. There was also fewer damage caused to the city than usual. This was the first time ever that the rebellion had been completely victorious. And they had Carlos to thank, with his superb new Hover Beetle invention. He was going to prove a very important source to the rebels. But even better, one of Hordak’s most feared warriors, Force Captain Adora, had now left her evil ways behind and pledged alliance to the rebellion, and she had even been seen punching her old master. And better still, the rebellion had two new heroes on their side- the mighty defender of Eternia, He-Man- and his beautiful sister She-Ra, the Princess of Power. These fighters were more powerful than anyone had previously dared to imagine. He-Man would have to be leaving for Eternia soon- but She-Ra would be staying on Etheria to defend the world from the rule of the Horde. And her power packed quite a punch. With her on their side, and He-Man to call whenever things got serious, it really did look as though the Horde rule could be nearing an end.
The story that the people got was that He-Man came from a mountain tribe (as many people on Eternia believed) and came to Etheria to help Adam release Adora from the Horde, and had then called his sister She-Ra, from the same tribe, to Etheria to help him. But by the remains of Senador’s ruined ship, He-Man and She-Ra were telling the whole of the real story to Carlos and Glimmer.
"So now Adora’s been granted the power of Grayskull, just like He-Man." said Carlos. "Sure is an amazing story. I’d really like to see this Grayskull, and see a bit of life on Eternia. I’ve always wanted to go to another planet!"
"Maybe you’ll be able to visit some time." said He-Man. "I’m hoping that Adora will be able to visit soon, to see her parents!"
"That mountain tribe story seems convincing enough." said Glimmer. "Should keep most people from suspecting you’re really Adam and Adora. But I’d better be welcoming our other new addition to the Rebellion too. Our new heroine, She-Ra!"
She-Ra smiled. She knew she’d have some problems with hostility as Adora, but as She-Ra, everyone seemed to love her. And she knew she would be able to defeat Hordak in the end, and have him pay for what he had done to her. She was a radically changed person.
Down below the heroes were the remains of Senador’s craft, a pile of rubble and charred metal. The golden metal arm of Senador could be seen poking out from the rubble. This marked the first time an entire craft and warrior had been fully defeated by the Rebellion, and just showed how powerful Carlos’ inventions were becoming.
"That new Hover Beetle of yours sure works well." said Glimmer.
"I’m really proud of it!" said Carlos. "I will be able to make more vehicles that will increase the power of the rebellion. Soon we will bring the Horde to a standstill!"
"But….. one thing, He-Man….." said She-Ra.
"What’s that, She-Ra?"
"I just….. can’t stop thinking about my parents, and my homeworld. Is there any way I’ll be able to see them soon?"
"Well….. maybe you could come back with me just for a while when I go home. You’ll have to ask the Sorceress if it’s okay. You should be able to see them soon."
"You will." came a voice from out of the blue. It had come from She-Ra’s sword! But it was not the voice of the Sorceress- this voice was masculine, deep and dignified. She-Ra pulled the sword out, and saw that there was a bright light floating in the jewel.
"You must follow your sword." the voice said. "It shall glow, and you must follow the glow- the brighter it glows, the closer you are to your destination. Once you have reached it, I shall reveal your powers, and send you through to Eternia. You must begin your journey now!"
The light faded from the jewel, and the sword began to glow. "I don’t know what this place is," said She-Ra, "but it sure must be important!"
"You’re right." said He-Man. "Let’s go!"
"Good luck, wherever it is!" said Carlos.
He-Man and She-Ra bade goodbye to Carlos and Glimmer, and followed the mysterious glow from the sword.



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The Grayskull Library

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PART 18: THE CRYSTAL CASTLE

She-Ra and He-Man followed the bright glow from the sword of protection. They headed in the directions where the sword glowed brightest, until they reached a set of tall, steep mountains, whose peaks swathed amongst the soaring clouds above. It was quite a beautiful sight.
"The sword's glowing really bright now." She-Ra said. "But where's this place we're meant to be going?"
Suddenly He-Man gasped, and pointed ahead. "I think the answer's just about to come our way!"
Over in the distance, a huge, shining crystal edifice was forming atop a tall, flat-topped mountain. It eventually took on the shape of a huge, magical-looking castle, made entirely of crystal, shimmering in the light. It was the most beautiful-looking building that He-Man and She-Ra had ever seen.
"I've never seen anything as beautiful!" exclaimed He-Man.
"Neither have I," added She-Ra, "but let's go inside! I can't wait to see what lies in store for us."
Carefully He-Man and She-Ra made their way up through the mountains, and ascended to the glinting doors of the exquisite building. When they reached them, the doors slid open by magic, and He-Man and She-Ra stepped through into a gigantic throne room, the crystal walls shimmering brightly. And in the centre, emerging from a hole in the ground, was a sphere made up of thousands of brightly-glowing light beams. And the sphere spoke to them.
"Greetings, He-Man and She-Ra." it said, in the same deep bass voice that had spoken to She-Ra from the sword. "My name is Light Hope. You are inside the Crystal Castle- and I am the protector of the Crystal Castle. I know both your secrets and your destinies. I have been a member of the universal council of magic for many years, and have been chosen by the Sorceress of Grayskull to guard this castle. The Crystal Castle was only recently formed, by the Elders of Eternia, to be the home on Etheria for She-Ra's powers, and a place for She-Ra to go should she need help or advice. This castle is invisible to all eyes except those of the people whom I decide are good, wise and brave enough to enter it. No-one else on Etheria is aware of the castle as yet, and you must only tell others of it if you truly feel they are fit enough to enter. You have a difficult task ahead of you, She-Ra, in freeing your planet from the Horde, but I am here to give you help when you need it, and to ensure that you succeed."
"I am most honoured, Light Hope." said She-Ra.
"And first, I would like to present you with your very own steed. From the depths of the wild, the Elders of Eternia have chosen an ordinary horse, and turned it into a winged unicorn- Swift Wind!"
Into the room flew an elegant unicorn, bright white with wide, colourful wings.
"Greetings, She-Ra." It said, using its throat to speak. "I am Swift Wind, the winged unicorn."
"This is amazing!" exclaimed She-Ra. "So you speak too!"
"Swift Wind's intelligence has been increased to human level," said Light Hope, "so now he is able to speak using his throat, and will be almost faithful companion, whom you can call by whistling for him at any time!"
"This is excellent!" said She-Ra. "Thank you, Light Hope. I am honoured to serve the power of Grayskull!"
"And me too." said He-Man. "I will be prepared to come to Etheria to give She-Ra help at any time."
"You are a brave champion, He-Man, and I may call on you too, from time to time. But first of all, I feel it would be best if She-Ra were to journey to Eternia, and meet her parents. No doubt this shall be the subject which preoccupies her the most."
"It sure is." said She-Ra. "I would be most pleased to meet my parents!"
"Then journey to your left. That is where the portal to Castle Grayskull lies. And as the Eternians say 'good journey'!"
"It is an honour to meet you, Light Hope." said She-Ra. She and He-Man went over to the portal on their left, stepped inside, and found themselves travelling through space and time.....
Until they emerged, outside the portal in Castle Grayskull.
They were greeted by the Sorceress. She instantly ran towards She-Ra and hugged her. Although they had barely known each other long, it felt like they were long lost friends reuniting. She-Ra felt an enormous sense of comfort in knowing that this woman had been looking for her for twenty years.
"Welcome back to Eternia, princess!" said the Sorceress.
"Princess? Oh yes, of course! But it'll take me a while to get used to that. I just want to meet my parents, as soon as possible."
"You will, She-Ra! But you must go as Adam and Adora, for your parents do not know your secrets. They will be delighted to have you back!"
He-Man and She-Ra became Adam and Adora once more, then left Grayskull to make their way to the Royal Palace of Eternos.


PART 19: REUNIONS

When Adam entered the palace, his parents both rushed forward and hugged him lovingly. Although he hadn't really been gone that long, it felt like he had been gone for years.
"Well done, Adam." said King Randor. "Obviously you have succeeded in your quest- but what exactly was it?"
"Well, it's been very difficult," said Adam, "but I've made my way through it. I was sent to the planet Etheria to find someone. And now I have found her- and here she is."
Adora stepped into the room nervously. It seemed very strange to think she was meeting her parents for the first time, even though she was twenty years old!
"Er..... hello." she said, slightly embarrassed.
"Welcome to Eternia," said King Randor, "but who are you?"
"She's a lot closer to you than you think, father." said Adam. "Believe it or not..... she is none other than Adora... your long lost daughter."
The King and Queen gasped in amazement, and stared at the beautiful girl before them. This girl was their daughter! Their daughter whom they had thought was lost for good for twenty years! Now she was actually back! This was a day they had waited for for twenty years..... the heartache and pain that the theft of their daughter had caused them was now over, at long last! Adora wept tears of joy as she gazed upon her dignified parents..... then they wept too, and threw their arms around their beloved daughter.
"Adora!....." wept Marlena, "we've waited so long..... for this day..... oh where have you been all this time!"
"Mother..... father..... it's so good to know you..... at long last....."
Randor slung a proud arm around Adam. "My son, you have made me today the happiest man in all Eternia. And you have proved to me that you can be a true hero, by journeying to another world and bringing back my long lost daughter. All those times I called you incapable..... I take them back! I am so proud to have you as a son!"
Adam smiled to himself. At last his father was seeing him for who he was! He had never said anything like that to him before!
Then Man-At-Arms and Teela burst into the room. "Hey, what's going on here..... Adam! You've returned! But who....."
"Duncan-" said Marlena, "Meet Adora. The girl we lost twenty years ago."
Man-At-Arms' eyes opened wide in amazement. "By the Elders! Can it be?!"
"I recognise you-" said Adora, "You're Man-At-Arms, aren't you? I saw you in the vision the Sorceress showed me..... trying to rescue me as a baby....."
"My goodness- I never believed we'd find you!" said Man-At-Arms. "Welcome back!"
"There's one thing....." said Adora, "when you hear about the way I've been living all this time..... I'm just..... not sure....."
"Nothing you confess will stop us from loving you." said Marlena.
Teela looked confused. "Erm..... sorry to be butting in..... but who exactly is Adora? I don't mean to sound rude, but can someone tell me what this is all about?"
"I'm sure we can." said Randor. "Let's call a special meal to celebrate Adora's return- and we'll explain it all!"

Back on Etheria, in Doom Tower, the mood was not quite the same for Hordak. This was beyond all doubts the worst period of his twenty year rule, and it was driving him to extreme madness.
"First that bastard He-Man arrives..... then that warrior woman She-Ra..... then Adora turns against me! And they release nearly all my slaves!!!"
"Calm down, Hordak." said Shadow Weaver. "I'm sure we can find some way to recapture Adora."
"Yes! That's it! Recapture the girl! We will take action at once! I must find some way of sneaking inside Bright Moon unseen....."
"But mighty Hordak..... my magic senses that Adora has left Etheria. She has gone to Eternia..... but whether she intends to stay there or not is unclear."
"Blast it! But in some ways that shall make my task easier- no-one there will recognise me since I was but an ordinary human when I last set foot on that planet. I will call for Senador and tell him to configure my teleportation machine to teleport me to Eternia!"
"Mighty Hordak." interrupted Shadow Weaver.
"Yes? Speak, Shadow Weaver."
"I am afraid I must inform you that Senador is dead. He met his death in the air-raid. His ship was completely blown apart by that rebel scientist Carlos."
"What?! Senador is dead?! Then I have lost another of my most important warriors! First Adora is turned against me, and now Senador is KILLED?! He was the only other of my warriors besides Adora whom I could fully trust! And what do I have now? A load of idiots, that's what! None of them even have any knowledge of science!"
"I'm sure there will be better mercenaries elsewhere on Etheria..... we need simply to journey out and find them."
"There is no time for that just now. I must recapture Adora! I will set the teleportation machine myself-" he turned his back from Shadow Weaver and began to run from the room like a maniac- "and I will get Adora back!!!!!"
He ran to the teleportation machine, quickly set it to transport him to Eternia, then leapt inside. His actions were rash and abrupt, but he had been driven more insane than ever by the threats to his empire.
He emerged by a place he immediately recognised- the outer edges of the Evergreen Forest. It did not look much different from how he remembered it. In the distance he could see the towers of Eternos city, looking more complex and articulate than they had been twenty years before.
Adora would probably be inside the palace by now. But how would he sneak inside without being seen? It would be rather difficult. But then he remembered that he had an old accomplice on Eternia..... an accomplice whom he wasn't sure still lived on this planet or not, but could possibly be of help. This accomplice did not bring back favourable memories after the way he had led him to defeat. But still, this accomplice could be just the person he needed.
So Hordak made his way along the rocky path to Snake Mountain, to seek


PART 20: PARTNERS IN EVIL

Skeletor sat on his bone throne in the chamber of Snake Mountain. He was planning for better methods of attack on the heroic warriors. The ranks of the heroic warriors had been swelling lately, and they had gained some very powerful new recruits. Skeletor had also gained some new recruits recently, but being basically thuggish and slow thinkers, they were all brawn and did not increase the evil army’s power very strongly.
In a small laboratory a few rooms away, one of Skeletor’s more recent recruits was working on his experiments. The red-skinned, multi-bodied scientist Modulok was potentially one of Skeletor’s most powerful warriors- but he just wasn’t loyal enough. Modulok’s real aim was to lead an army on his own, but Skeletor was so autocratic and power-mad that Modulok was barely allowed any say in the running of the army. Modulok had a brilliant mind and was a highly skilled inventor, but Skeletor just didn’t realise it and treated him as a mere fool. This was probably because Skeletor, being a powerful sorcerer, did not think highly of anyone who concentrated solely on scientific methods- and Modulok did not approve of magic at all. Skeletor failed to realise just how powerful Modulok’s scientific skills could be for him, and Modulok was desperate to get away from this army and start one of his own.
Modulok formed his body parts together into a single body, and picked up his diagrams for a mechanical device he was planning to make. Carrying them through to Skeletor, he said "Master! I have drawn out these plans for a mechanical robotic arm, which can fire various beams as well as being able to extend over long distances….."
"Silence, fool!" bellowed the skull-faced warlord. "I have no time for your ridiculous toys at the moment. I must think up better methods of attack….."
"But master, these inventions of mine could be just what you need! If you use them….."
"I said SILENCE!" Skeletor roared, jerking forward in his throne. "Get out of my chamber. Inventions like this are of no use to me! Why should a great sorcerer such as myself waste time on such useless inventions!"
Modulok turned and left the room. That was it, he thought. He wasn’t going to spend one more day working for this tyrant, so sadly ignorant of the wonders of science. He would jack in his job as Skeletor’s scientist very soon, and go to start an army of his own. He would make a more powerful leader than Skeletor any day.

A few minutes after Modulok had departed, Tri-Clops burst into Skeletor’s chamber. "There is a stranger approaching Snake Mountain!" the spy told him. "I do not recognise him, but he looks pretty powerful."
"If he means us any harm, Trap Jaw will deal with him at the main entrance! Any enemy who tries to enter Snake Mountain through the main gates has made the greatest mistake of their lives!"

Down below, at the main gates of Snake Mountain, Trap Jaw stood at the ready as the stranger approached. As the figure drew nearer, Trap Jaw could see it appeared to be half man, half machine. It was a figure of large stature, with a metal face and red, glowing eyes. It was covered in black armour, with a huge red bat symbol across its chest, and a long, red cape gliding down its back to the ground. Its grey arms were covered in electrical wires and metal bands.
"State your business!" shouted Trap Jaw, in his strong, metallic voice as the figure drew closer.
The figure did not respond. It did not even look round at Trap Jaw- it simply went marching ahead, as if oblivious to Trap Jaw’s presence.
"I said ‘state your business’!" Trap Jaw shouted again, aiming his arm gun at the figure. But the strange creature still did not respond- it just went right up to the main gates, and its arm began to whirr, and transformed into a cannon! It aimed the cannon directly at the stone door, to blast through…..
"Hey! That stuff isn’t on, you hear? Entrance to Snake Mountain is only permitted once you’ve stated your….."
Before Trap Jaw could finish, the creature spun round and fired a bolt from its cannon directly into Trap Jaw’s face. Shocked, the cyborg fell to the ground. Before the stranger could blast through the door, Trap Jaw pulled himself to his feet, only minorly hurt by the blast, and shouted "Okay, if it’s a fight you’re looking for, you got it!" He raised his arm gun at the stranger.
Then, the stranger spoke for the first time. "It will be no trouble for the mighty Hordak to defeat one of such weak insignificance as yourself!" and he aimed his cannon at Trap Jaw again.
"Hordak?! I’ve never even heard of you, man!" he fired a bolt from his gun at Hordak, but it simply collided with Hordak’s metal body without even denting it. "Damn you, what you doing at Snake Mountain? I’ll bite your throat out if you don’t tell me!" He lurched forward at Hordak, and opened his metal mouth wide, ready to bite.
"Alright….." hissed Hordak angrily, "although I could easily defeat you, I shall not waste my energy. I may need it all for someone else! Just tell me, is this the base of Skeletor?"
"It sure is, but why d’you wanna see him?"
"I have something to ask of him….." growled Hordak, "…once I have paid him back for what he did all those years ago….."
"You saying you know my boss already? He’s never mentioned you!"
"There are many things that Skeletor will not have mentioned to a weak servant like you….. now just let me in!"
"Sure thing, man, but don’t you go picking fights with Trap Jaw again, or you’ll be sorry." He yanked at the lever on the wall, and the great stone door slid open. "Just go up the spiral steps and you’re through to the master’s chamber."
Without a word, Hordak made his way through the door, and began to ascend the spiral staircase of the building that had once been his base.
A few moments later, the door of Skeletor’s chamber was flung open. Skeletor was faced with the sight of the demonic cyborg with its red, shining eyes.
"Who are you and what do you come for?" Skeletor demanded.
"I come….. to wreak my revenge on you!" the red eyes glared at Skeletor menacingly.
"But I have never met you before! Are you mad?!"
"You once knew me….. very well indeed….. I am the great Hordak….."
"Hordak?! I have never known that name before! You are confusing me with someone else….."
"No, Skeletor, I know you perfectly….. we met many years ago….. and you let me down….. badly!"
Skeletor leapt to his feet. "I am telling you- I have no memory of seeing you before!"
Hordak’s red eyes glowed directly into Skeletor’s. "I must have my revenge!" he fired a blast from his cannon arm at Skeletor, who fell back, into the throne. But Skeletor was not badly hurt, and he swung his havoc staff at Hordak, hitting his metal torso with a loud clang. Then he raised the staff above his head, and fired a bolt from the hollow eyes of its ram head! Hordak fell back, not seriously hurt- but before he could pull himself up, Skeletor leapt on top of him, holding him to the ground.
"You are a trespasser on my base….. now tell me, why do you come here?"
"This is not your base, Skeletor….. it shall always truly be mine….."
"WHY?!! You are mad, whoever you are! I have not seen you before in my entire lifetime! I might as well just kill you, you have no real reason for coming here….." Then all of a sudden he stopped. The voice of this being did indeed sound familiar, as did his harsh tones. He loosened his grip on Hordak. He had heard this voice before, felt this presence before….. but where?
"Do you recognise me now?" asked Hordak.
"I….. can’t be sure. You….. seem familiar, but….. remove your mask! I must see who you are!"
Hordak shook his metal head. "This is no mask." he said. "This metal face is permanently fixed to my body….. my original face is long gone."
"I can reveal who he is." a striking female voice interrupted. Skeletor and Hordak looked up to see Evil-Lyn, her long black cape drifting to the ground, holding her crystal ball. "Look into the crystal ball." the evil sorceress said.
Skeletor released Hordak from his grip, and the two warlords peered into the large, transparent ball in Evil-Lyn’s hand.
Inside the ball appeared the face of a man….. but it was hideously disfigured, a shrivelled, discoloured mess. Skeletor recognised it at once. "No… it can’t be…"
Hordak looked into his eyes. "It can."
Skeletor looked back at the face in the crystal ball, then back at the face of Hordak. It really was. Skeletor now remembered where he had heard that voice, all those years ago….. he had never thought this would happen. Xazrog had returned!
"Xazrog?" he said.
"Yes….. but I am Hordak now….. I will no longer answer to that name."
"But….. what happened to you?"
"Horde Prime did this to me after I escaped from Eternia….. he increased my power, and then I set up the Evil Horde on the planet Etheria….. and for twenty years, I have ruled this planet! The Horde Empire is in full control!"
"So….. you rule a planet?"
"That is what I said! I am the ruler of Etheria!"
Skeletor was struck dumb with awe. So after his escape all those years ago, his old mentor had managed to conquer a whole planet, and ruled it for twenty years, while Skeletor had been left on Eternia with a useless army, never even coming close to capturing Grayskull and the throne of Eternos!
Skeletor felt an unpleasant sense of inferiority in the presence of his former master. Hordak would no doubt view him as being incredibly weak when he learned of the many times Skeletor had failed against He-Man. Skeletor would have to do his best to show Hordak the power he possessed…..
"Why have you returned to Eternia?!" he asked him.
"I must pay you for letting me down so badly in that war all that time ago….."
"Letting you down?! I did nothing of the sort. I made no mistakes in that war- admit it, at the time the power of Grayskull was just too strong for us! Now I have become stronger, and am only steps away from claiming Grayskull as my own….." this was a lie, but he knew he had to lie so Hordak would not see him as so much of a weak inferior, "but back then, we were not powerful enough to capture Grayskull! I do not see why you blame me for the loss of the war!"
"Still, I must pay you back… for if you had been just a little wiser, maybe we would have won!"
"Then we shall fight!" declared Skeletor, raising his havoc staff.
"Wait!" shouted Hordak. "We need not fight just yet. There is another, more important reason why I have come to this planet. Do you remember Princess Adora?"
"Yes, the girl whom you escaped with."
"She has served me for the past twenty years, brainwashed by Horde Prime- but your cursed enemy He-Man has invaded my world and helped to bring her to her senses! Now she has returned to this world to reunite with her family! And I am here to recapture her!"
"Hmmm… so you also have a bone to pick with my hated foe He-Man? Then I will gladly help you recapture Adora. Who knows, maybe when we work together, our evil combined could be just enough to destroy He-Man once and for all. Let’s begin our plan!"


PART 21: THE RECAPTURE OF ADORA

The Royal Family sat around the table eating their celebration feast, to celebrate the return of the long-lost princess of Eternia. Man-At-Arms and Teela dined with them. Adora told her parents the shocking story of her years with the Horde, and they told her about all that had happened back on Eternia.
"So the Sorceress erased me from everyone’s memory, didn’t she?" said Adora.
"Yes," said King Randor, "but now that you are back, it will be safe for her to restore their memories. Eternia will be a planet in celebration!"
"But….. don’t you dislike me, after all that I did with the Horde? After all my crimes….."
"Don’t worry Adora, we love you nonetheless!" said Marlena. "You were a different person all that time- but even if we’d known while you were serving the Horde, it would still have been a relief, just to know where you were."
"What I find fascinating is the thought that Xazrog is still wreaking havoc elsewhere. I thought we would never hear of him again. And he calls himself Hordak now, you say?"
"Yes, and he rules Etheria, but now that the rebellion has become stronger, I am sure we will rid the planet of him eventually."
"And I’m sure the warriors of Eternia will always be available for assistance!" said Man-At-Arms. "Anyway, haven’t we told you about how your mother came to this planet yet?"
"Are you saying she’s from another world?"
"She is indeed- planet Earth. You see….."

As the Royal Family talked away over their meal, Skeletor, Hordak, Evil-Lyn, Tri-Clops and Modulok were spying on them from a distance. Modulok had spent some time beforehand talking with Hordak about his inventions and how Skeletor was so ignorant of them. The more he had talked about them, the more interested Hordak became- it seemed like he could develop something really powerful if he combined his inventions with Modulok’s.
Tri-Clops had his x-ray eye fixed firmly on the Royal Palace. Scanning the walls, he eventually made out the Royal Family, eating dinner.
"I can see them." he said. "They are all dining together….. Man-At-Arms and Teela are with them….. there is also a blonde girl."
"That must be Adora!" said Hordak.
"Then how do we reach her?" said Skeletor.
"I have an idea." Hordak said. "Modulok, if you could detach one of your arms from your body….. then we could sneak it inside the palace somehow, and you could edge your arm closer to Adora….."
"Brilliant idea." said Modulok. "But how shall we sneak my arm inside?"
"If I use one of my disguises….." Evil-Lyn said, and she spun herself round, and turned herself into an innocent-looking girl, dressed in a maid’s outfit. "If I pose as one of the palace maids," she said, her voice changed to a soft, light voice, "I could sneak Modulok’s arm inside, then Hordak could wait outside!"
"We shall do that!" Modulok said, and detached his right arm from his body. Evil-Lyn took hold of it, and tucked it into her apron.
"Now," she said, "I shall sneak inside….. the rest of you must find some way of waiting outside without being seen. I know….. I shall use a spell to make you invisible….. it will wear off eventually, but we shouldn’t need it for that long….. just think yourself visible if you want to become visible again." she waved her arms through the air and cast a spell. Slowly, Hordak, Skeletor, Modulok and Tri-Clops began to fade from view.
"Now….." Evil-Lyn laughed wickedly, "we can put our plan into action!"

"…and after Marlena got to know Eternia, and fell in love with Randor, she decided to stay here rather than return to Earth, so she married Randor and became Queen of Eternia." Man-At-Arms concluded the story.
"This is amazing." said Adora. "There’s just….. so much that I haven’t known."
As she spoke, there was a knock on the door. "Come in." Randor said.
The royal chef entered, holding a jug of gravy, with a maidservant at his side, holding a large pot of curry. "Here’s your third courses, your highness!" said the chef. "This pot’s a little heavy now- so this girl here said she’d give me a hand!" he eyed up the maidservant in admiration.
This was strange, Marlena thought- she didn’t think she recognised this maidservant. But still, they had so many that she was liable to forget a few faces from time to time. "Thank you very much, chef." she said. He put the jug of gravy on the table, then the maid laid down the huge, sizzling pot and removed the lid. "Hope you enjoy it, your majesty!" she said. Then she turned to Adora. "How much would you like?" she asked her.
"Only a small amount thank you, I’m almost full."
"Okay….. well how about my friend serves you?"
"Your friend? Who do you mean?" Just then, a blot of curry flew from the pot. Adora jerked back, startled. "What happened?"
"A blot of curry seemed to….. throw itself out of the pot!" said Adam. Then he gazed curiously at the maidservant….. she seemed to be smirking sinisterly at the pot….. Adam wasn’t sure what was going on, but he sure didn’t like it. And he liked it even less when a skinny, red arm edged itself over the sides of the pot!
Each person in the room jerked back in terror at the gruesome sight. The arm leapt out of the pot, and landed with a splat on the table. Then it began to edge its way closer to Adora, pulling its way over the tablecloth….. then it leapt from the table, and grabbed hold of Adora’s arm, and began to drag her roughly from the room!
The maidservant laughed evilly….. and the royal family could see she was not what she appeared to be as she slowly began to transform into a familiar, dark figure….. Evil-Lyn.
"Don’t you think you can escape, my girl….." she hissed, lashing her arm out at Adora, paralysing the princess in her force field. Just then, Hordak, Skeletor, Tri-Clops and Modulok materialised from out of the blue, breaking off the invisibility spell. Modulok was missing an arm.
"Modulok!" exclaimed Adam. "So that explains who that arm belongs to!" he threw a glance at the red arm, still gripping tightly onto Adora.
Hordak’s eyes lit up with anger when he recognised Adam. "So, you are Prince Adam, then! Well, your attempt to rescue your sister was in vain, for now we have her again!" then he looked up at the King and Queen. "King Randor? How nice it is to see you again! And you too, Man-At-Arms, and by Horde Prime, you haven’t changed a bit! You’re still as much of a fool as you were all that time ago!"
"Are you Xazrog, the fiend who stole my daughter?" demanded Randor, angrily.
"I am….. or I was. Now you must call me Hordak! You driving me from this planet did no good in the long term….. for you drove me to Etheria, which I easily conquered, and now my army is powerful enough to destroy you!" he pointed his black-gloved finger at the King. "But for now, I will leave you in peace….. as your daughter is mine once more!" He seized Adora, still held within Evil-Lyn’s paralysis field, and then Skeletor cast a spell to teleport the villains all to Snake Mountain. They vanished in a cloud of smoke.
"Dammit….. if I’d known it was Evil-Lyn I’d never have let that maid help me!" said the royal chef.
"You weren’t to know." said Randor. "But they’ve taken Adora from us again! I will not let that evil tyrant escape with her another time! Duncan, assemble my soldiers and set them on Snake Mountain!"
"That would be a bad idea, sire," said Man-At-Arms, "as Hordak may do something even worse to Adora if he saw your whole army approaching! The villains sneaked inside the palace rather than make a straight attack….. we should do the same to them to rescue Adora!" He nudged Teela. "Come on, Teela, we must find a way to get inside Snake Mountain!"
"I’m with you, father!" Teela replied. "Good luck!" said King Randor. The brave Man-at-Arms and his daughter quickly ran from the room, but as he left, Man-At-Arms took a quick glance back and winked at Adam. Adam knew what to do. "I’d better be going-" he told his parents, "I might be able to find some way of helping them!"
"Good work, my son." said Randor. "For now I know that you, too, can be a hero!"
Adam smiled to himself. It was good to actually feel his father respected him for a change- but he must be careful not to give away the fact that he was He-Man. He ran to his room, drew his sword and shouted:

"BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL….. I HAVE THE POWER!"

The familiar flash of light exploded over him, and he was transformed instantly to He-Man. Then he quickly went to find Man-At-Arms and Teela. He must rescue his sister, no matter what the cost may be!



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The Grayskull Library

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PART 22: THE BETRAYAL

Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, Modulok and Hordak stood in the chamber of Snake Mountain around the paralysed Adora.
"You can let her move now, Evil-Lyn!" said Skeletor. "She will never have the power to escape from us!"
"Actually, she could quite easily escape." contradicted Hordak.
"Why?" snapped Skeletor. "You know women- they never stand a chance!"
"I see you have retained your prejudice against women." said Hordak. "I know Adora to be very strong and agile, and she would stand quite a chance of escaping."
"Yes, Skeletor…" said Evil-Lyn, "You have that thing about women, don’t you?"
"Erm… anyway, let’s leave her in the force field for now!" said Skeletor. "No doubt we’ll have He-Man coming here to rescue her soon, which is why I placed Tri-Clops on the roof to look out in all directions for him. He will not be able to rescue his beloved princess this time!"
"There’s no need to worry about He-Man." said Hordak. "I shall waste no more time here on Eternia- I shall leave with Adora for Etheria at once."
"The paralysis spell will wear off when you reach Etheria." said Evil-Lyn. "You will be too far from me for my magic to have any effect."
"That’s good…" said Hordak, "as it means we can keep Adora paralysed until I reach Etheria." He walked right up to Adora, and his red eyes glowed fiercely at her. "I will have you back in the Horde soon!" he snarled. "And I will wipe your mind of all memory of He-Man, your parents, and everything you have seen on Eternia! This spell is perfect, as it prevents you from opening your mouth to give me some ridiculous answer! Now I shall leave."
"Fine then, Hordak." said Skeletor. "Come with me to the portal machine….. I will open the dimensional door to Etheria." He led Hordak and the others through a few dark, damp rooms, until they reached a large chamber with a complex mechanical machine.
"This is the portal machine!" Skeletor declared. "I will set it to open the dimensional door to Etheria!"
"Wait a moment, Skeletor." said Modulok. "Usually I set the machine. In fact, I invented it, and I know how to work it best. So I should be the one who opens the dimensional door."
"Not this time, Modulok." hissed Skeletor. "Yes, you may have invented it, but if you recall clearly enough, it was my idea, and I know how to work it best- so I shall set the portal to open."
"What do you mean it was your idea?" snapped Modulok. "It was all my proposal! It is the only invention of mine you have ever accepted! This is partly why I hate working for you, Skeletor, because you will never give anyone else any credit!"
Skeletor spun around and blasted Modulok with a bolt of power from his havoc staff. The strange creature fell back, his left arm dropping off. "How can you dare to speak out against the Lord of Destruction?!" screamed Skeletor. "Once this task is over, you are through for a supreme punishment, you fool. You think too big for your boots, Modulok!"
"No, Skeletor….." hissed Modulok, re-attaching his arm. "You think far too lowly of my great skills….."
"You dare to continue to speak against me! You play with my patience too much, Modulok, and now I have had enough! It is time I gave you….."
"Stop!" interrupted Hordak. "If you two would be so kind as to continue this argument after I am gone. I want to be back on Etheria, and I do not care who opens the portal- just open it and get me back!"
"Alright, Hordak." hissed Skeletor. "I will deal with Modulok once you are gone." he went over to the machine, and began fiddling with some switches.
"You are doing it all wrong!" shouted Modulok. "Those switches don’t even open the portal- they trigger….."
"I know exactly what I am doing, you fool!" barked Skeletor angrily. Then he laughed sinisterly, and a huge trapdoor opened beneath Hordak’s feet, sending the warlord plummeting down. Down he fell, into one of Skeletor’s secret traps- a dungeon with a huge, poisonous python yearning for food. Hordak fell heavily across from the giant python, which began to hiss and lash out its forked tongue at the sight of Hordak.
"Did you really think I would willingly do you a favour?" mocked Skeletor. "Never! I will have Adora for myself. Farewell, old mentor!" Slowly, the trapdoor began to close itself up.
"You bastard." Modulok said to Skeletor. "What do you think you’re doing….."
"You know, you really don’t realise just how much you’re endangering yourself. The more you speak out against me, the worse my punishment will be. And now you have angered me enough…" he swiped his staff at Modulok’s head. But Modulok detached it from the rest of his body, then split his whole body up into small pieces, scattered around the room.
His head laughed as it scuttled along the floor. "It will take more than a simple staff to destroy the multi-bodied Modulok!"


PART 23: ADORA’S ESCAPE

Behind a large rock, a few yards from Snake Mountain, Man-At-Arms and Teela crouched low.
"Is it safe to strike, father?" Teela asked.
"I’m afraid not, Teela." Man-At-Arms replied. "I saw Tri-Clops looking out on the roof, and since he can see in all directions he’d easily spot us."
"Then how about we just make a run, and break through the main entrance?"
"That would be no good- I think I saw Trap Jaw guarding the main entrance. It would be a mistake to try that."
"Then what do we do? Hordak’s going to escape with Adora, before long."
"I don’t know. But I am thinking- trust me!"
Just then, they heard heavy footsteps behind them. Startled, they spun round, expecting to come face to face with one of Skeletor’s minions- but it was quite a relief when they saw the friendly shape of He-Man.
"He-Man!" exclaimed Man-At-Arms. "Thank goodness you’re here!"
"I’m glad I managed to catch up with you- Adam contacted me and told me to come!"
"You know," said Teela, "my opinion of Adam’s been changing a lot lately….. now he just seems much more capable of helping out. Perhaps I underestimate him."
He-Man smiled, unnoticed by Teela. It was a relief that even she seemed to appreciate Adam to some extent, now that he had proven Adam a worthy hero.
"That’s not what’s important right now." said Man-At-Arms. "We must find some way of getting inside Snake Mountain. Skeletor will no doubt be anticipating us, so he could quite well have laid some traps- and he seems to have placed Tri-Clops on the roof to look out for us."
"Then we must think of a quick way in." said He-Man. "But how?"

Back in Snake Mountain, Skeletor had seemingly lost all trace of Modulok, who had scattered his body parts about so quickly that they had gone all over the building. But he would wait until later to deal with Modulok. Now, while Hordak perished in Skeletor’s trap, he would concentrate on his latest captive- Adora. Hordak had said she was a good fighter, and so Skeletor intended to use her for his own ends and place a spell on her that would force her to obey him.
"Release her from your force field, Evil-Lyn!" he commanded.
"As you wish, Skeletor." his beautiful but villainous accomplice replied. She aimed her arm towards Adora, and shot a beam of magic at her, which released her at once.
Adora instantly shot into action. Skeletor thrust his bony grasp upon her, and Adora roughly tried to struggle free. "Get off me you fiend!" she shouted.
"Don’t be so confident, my girl….." said Skeletor, "we’re just going to perform a few spells on you….." he turned to Evil-Lyn. "Evil-Lyn- begin the spell at once. I am going to find that wretched Modulok." He turned and left the room, leaving Evil-Lyn to cast her mind spell on the struggling Adora.

Deep down in the dungeon, the giant python was biding its time as it edged closer to Hordak. But Hordak was not afraid. If this python wanted him for a meal, it would have to put up a fight first- and hopefully, Hordak would be able to tire it out through fighting. He transformed his arm to cannon mode. He aimed it at the snake, and fired a blast at it. The snake jerked back in pain. Then he fired another blast. He would keep the snake back as much as he could.
The snake managed to summon all its strength, and jerked its head forward at its prey. But just in time, Hordak converted to rocket mode and blasted out of its reach. He wasn’t going to become a snake’s dinner just yet.

Meanwhile, Evil-Lyn was beginning to carry out her mind spell on Adora. Adora knew that if she tried to put up a fight, or struggle, Evil-Lyn would only get more violent on her and possibly overpower her. Adora would play along instead, and pretend to give up trying to escape. She sat there silently, as Evil-Lyn cast her arms through the air to begin the spell.
"That’s it, my girl." Evil-Lyn said. "There’s no point in trying to escape. I will have you on Skeletor’s side within minutes."
Evil-Lyn waved her arms over Adora’s face to capture her in her spell. "Skeletor is your master….." she said, "You are evil….. you will destroy all things good….."
"I will….. destroy all things good….." repeated Adora.
Evil-Lyn smiled viciously. Her spell was working.
Or so she thought. Inside, Adora was in full control of her mind and was merely playing along to fool Evil-Lyn.
"You are devoted to Skeletor….." Evil-Lyn continued, "You will help him capture Grayskull….."
"I will help him capture Grayskull….. I am Skeletor’s servant….."
"Good!" she laughed. Then she leaned forward and cupped her hands. A bright white glow formed in her palms. She slowly began to move it towards Adora. "Now to spread this over you….. to complete the spell."
Adora knew Evil-Lyn would succeed if she spread this light over her. So it was time to take action! "I am devoted to Skeletor….." she said, "I will fight against….. you!" and she sprang up and kicked Evil-Lyn in the face. Evil-Lyn fell back and the glowing light fell from her hands and dissolved on the ground.
"You wretched girl…" she hissed, picking herself up, "you dare to trick me!"
"You dare to try to turn me evil again?" mocked Adora, and spun around, throwing a spinning kick at Evil-Lyn. Evil-Lyn was about to fight back- but Adora was too quick for her, and punched her in the face, then kneed her in the chest, then grabbed hold of her cape and flung her over her head. Evil-Lyn lay on the ground, hurt badly. "Damn you….. I will….. get you!"
"Not yet I’m afraid-" Adora taunted- "I have better things to do!"
Quickly, she sneaked out of the room and ran down the dark corridors. She found a small cavern, sneaked inside, and pulled out her sword. She held it high above her head, and shouted:

"FOR THE HONOUR OF GRAYSKULL….. I AM SHE-RA!"

The light exploded from the sword, turning her into She-Ra, Princess of Power! Quickly, she burst out from the room and ran through the dark corridors of Snake Mountain. She must find Skeletor and show him the powers she possessed! From what she heard, he had been defeated many times by He-Man- now to see how he would react to a female heroine!


PART 24: THE FINAL BATTLE

He-Man, Man-At-Arms and Teela crouched below the rocks, scavenging their minds for a way of getting in.
"Perhaps we should just strike." said Teela. "Hordak’s probably escaped with Adora by now!"
"I don’t know." said He-Man. "If there was some passage underground it would be a big help."
Just then, there was a sudden huge gust of wind, which seemed to blow from nowhere, sweeping the three warriors off their feet. They grabbed onto the rocks and held on tightly as a large portal emerged from out of the blue. A huge robotic creature sprang out from the portal, with large mechanical claws and a drill protruding from its front.
Teela raised her pistol, ready to shoot at the creature. But just then, He-Man said "No, Teela, don’t shoot!" and held her back. The wind died down, and the creature ground to a halt. The three warriors could now see that this mechanical creature was in fact a vehicle, driven by an executively-dressed man with dark hair and some kind of small device poking out from his pocket, with a beautiful young girl, with long hair dyed pink, dressed almost entirely in pink and purple. "It’s okay," He-Man said, "these are my friends!"
"Can we be of help?" asked Carlos.
"You sure can." He-Man replied. "But how did you know where to find me?"
"Carlos sensed you were on Eternia, so he thought he’d come to give you a hand and show you this new machine of his." said Glimmer. "We came here using one of his devices, of course!"
"What is this machine?" asked He-Man.
"It’s one I put together within a few hours today!" Carlos replied. "The Hover Beetle was a powerful air machine- and this machine is particularly powerful underground where its mechanical claws and drill can burrow through any thickness of rock! Therefore, I have aptly named it the Rock Breaker!"
"Then its just the sort of machine we need!" said He-Man. "We have to find some way of burrowing inside Snake Mountain- Skeletor and Hordak have recaptured Adora and Hordak’s going to take her back to Etheria and make her evil again!"
"Well he sure won’t succeed!" said Carlos. "Not with us around, will he Glimmer?"
"Erm, no, not if you say so, Carlos!"
"Excuse me-" said Teela, "perhaps you could introduce us to your friends, He-Man?"
"I sure will. Teela and Man-At-Arms- meet Carlos, the scientist from Bright Moon on Etheria, and Glimmer, the leader of the rebels!"
"Isn’t your machine rather….." began Man-At-Arms.
Glimmer quickly thrust her finger to her mouth and whispered "Don’t say it’s weird….. he goes haywire!"
"No, I mean….. it’s remarkable!" exclaimed Man-At-Arms. "I have never made anything like that!"
"I’ll show you how later-" said Carlos, "but let’s not waste time- let’s save Adora!"
He-Man, Man-At-Arms and Teela jumped swiftly into the seats behind Carlos and Glimmer, then Carlos revved up the engine, and zoomed the machine straight towards the ground. The drill hacked swiftly through the rocks, as the claws swept them aside, leaving a clear path underneath Snake Mountain. The heroes were on their way to rescue Adora- but not that she needed it.
For inside Snake Mountain, She-Ra was feeling as powerful as could be. Nothing could stand in her way! When she reached Skeletor’s chamber, where his throne stood, she saw the skull-faced villain pacing the room stealthily, his staff held at the ready.
"Come out Modulok…" he was saying gruffly, "show yourself. It is time I gave you what you deserve. Come on out, you cannot hide from the great Skeletor for long!"
"I don’t think Modulok’s around just now!" She-Ra interrupted. Skeletor spun around. At the sight of the powerful, red-haired warrior woman he flinched back in shock. Other than He-Man, he had never seen anyone looking this powerful in years.
"Who are you?!" he demanded to know.
"I am She-Ra!" she replied, "and I’m here to let you know that I have saved Princess Adora. Now surrender yourself, Skeletor- you can never hope to win a battle with the forces of good around!"
"You dream on, woman." Skeletor growled angrily. "I shall fight you- I know how weak you really are!"
"Oh yes? Then let’s see just how weak I am!" She-Ra crashed her sword straight into Skeletor’s torso, sending him spiralling back, then she brought it clanging violently into the Lord of Destruction’s havoc staff as the two enemies became engulfed in mortal combat.

Down in the trap laid by Skeletor, Hordak was trying desperately to tire the snake out. But the gigantic python just wasn’t giving up. Hordak was trying to confuse the creature by spiralling through the air in his rocket form, but the creature just reared its slimy head into the air, lashing out its long, forked tongue.
Hordak changed back to his normal form, and collapsed to the ground. He was the one who was getting tired out. At this rate the creature would have made a meal of him before long. He looked up at the gigantic snake. It had its piercing eyes firmly set on him. It was ready to drain the life from him. But what could he do to counter it? He quickly switched his arm into cannon mode, and fired a blast at the creature. It keeled back in pain for a second, but recovered instantly and slithered towards him, hissing with hunger. It was no use. Hordak wanted to convert to rocket form again, but he did not have enough energy left in him. But he could not give up….. yet whether he did or didn’t, this creature was not even getting tired out, and he felt that he was going to fall foul of this creature’s thirst for blood…..
Then Hordak jumped in shock when he saw a skinny red arm come dashing from out of nowhere, below the snake’s body. Confused, the snake lifted the upper part of its body, and gazed down at the arm. It hissed hungrily, then lowered its head, ready to eat the arm. But the arm dashed quickly out of the python’s reach. Then another arm appeared from out of the blue and scuttled rapidly around the room. Then a leg hopped across the snake’s vision. Then another. Then another arm, this one clawed….. and before long a whole host of body parts had appeared in the room, scuttling about like mad.
The giant python was confused by these body parts, so much that it was distracted from Hordak. It kept jerking its head down to grab the limbs in its mouth….. but they were too fast for it. They just zoomed out of its reach to the other side of the room….. then they all darted with extreme rapidity across the room, all in different directions, and the giant python began darting its head in all directions, slithering its body from side to side, its eyes rocketing about in their sockets trying to follow these body parts. The creature spun around in all directions, trying to strike but always missing, until the creature had become completely confused and was tied up in a knot which it couldn’t break out of.
Then all the body parts came darting along the ground towards Hordak, and assembled themselves into one single shape- with four arms, four legs and two heads. Modulok!
"Modulok!" exclaimed Hordak. "How can I repay you?! That creature was tiring me out!"
"You can repay me by allowing me to join the Evil Horde and act as your scientist!" answered Modulok. "I am sick and tired of working under the ignorant eye of Skeletor. You seem a far more worthy master!"
"Indeed….. Skeletor has always been ignorant of the wonders of science. He always believed that magic alone could destroy the forces of good. But he was wrong… what is needed is a perfect blend of both science and magic, but mainly science. And with your scientific skills combined with my own, we will pull the Great Rebellion apart!"
"Thank you. Now to get us out!" Modulok detached one arm from his body. It scuttled up the wall and disappeared through a small hole in the rocky wall.
"It was through these holes that I got in." Modulok said. Within a few minutes, the trapdoor through which Hordak had fallen was opened, then Modulok and Hordak climbed out, Modulok re-attached his arm, and then the trapdoor began to close up, leaving the giant python stuck in a knot inside.
And just then, the sound of battle suddenly filled the room as Skeletor’s battle with She-Ra dragged itself inside. Skeletor’s havoc staff clashed against She-Ra’s wondrous sword of protection as the Lord of Destruction battled the new heroine of the universe for the first time.
"She-Ra! So she has come here too! My two hated foes….. locked in combat!" said Hordak.
"Let’s leave them." said Modulok. "Just find Adora and leave these two idiots to battle it out themselves."
"You won’t find Adora!" called She-Ra from the midst of the battle. "I have rescued her and she has gone somewhere safe. You two can now surrender!"
"The mighty Hordak will never surrender to fools like you, you bitch!"
"What did you call me? Time you were taught a lesson, Hordak….."
Just then, a shower of rocks scattered through the room as a strange mechanical machine burst through the ground. It was in the shape of a clawed creature, with a drill on its front, and was propelled by Carlos, with Glimmer, He-Man, Teela and Man-At-Arms sitting with him.
"She-Ra!" called He-Man. "Isn’t it good to see you here!"
"Who on Eternia is that?!" exclaimed Man-At-Arms.
"I’ve no idea," said Teela, "but she sure looks powerful!"
"He-Man…" hissed Skeletor, "you dare to show up….. you will not last long, you fool!" he fired a bolt of power from the havoc staff.
"You must be losing your memory, Skeletor!" mocked He-Man as he deflected the bolt back on Skeletor, who jerked back and dropped the havoc staff. Then He-Man leapt out of the rock breaker, and stood alongside She-Ra. "Care to battle against both of us, Skeletor?"
Skeletor glared at the fearless warrior siblings in fury. His eyes blazed bright red at them. "No….. please tell me this hasn’t happened….. a female version of He-Man?!"
"I’m afraid so!" said She-Ra.
"NO!!!!! Don’t tell me I have double the trouble!"
"’fraid so again, Skeletor." said She-Ra. "But I’ll be on Etheria most of the time."
"But I’ll still be calling on She-Ra whenever I need her." said He-Man.
"No!!!" shrieked Skeletor again. "Please tell me this is an illusion!!!"
"No illusion, skull face." said Carlos, getting out of the rock breaker. "Now while this guy moans to himself….. why don’t we kick his ass?"
Man-At-Arms, Teela and Glimmer leapt out of the rock breaker, and leapt towards Hordak and Modulok. He-Man and She-Ra leapt towards Skeletor, and the entire room was filled with tremendous battle.
Man-At-Arms quickly had Hordak on the ground, Modulok almost had Teela in a twist by scattering his body parts around- but Carlos put an end to Modulok’s confidence by zapping a red transparent beam from his eyes at Modulok’s torso, causing the red-skinned creature to wander into a trance-like state, his body parts falling still on the ground.
"By the Sorceress, how did you do that?" said Teela.
"It was something I picked up from exposure to Lemorite- an element which has strange effects on the body. I think that’s what got me knowing everything too- my super-senses started off shortly after that happened."
"Well however you got it, that power kicks ass!" Teela smiled as her father kneed Hordak in the face, before throwing his body on top of Modulok’s torso. Then She-Ra leapt over her arch foe’s body, and sent him flying back with one blast from the sword of protection. The last of the villains to be defeated was Skeletor- who was felled by a mighty blow of the power sword, followed by a swift punch from He-Man. The hero of Eternia had defeated Skeletor for what felt like the thousandth time.
Hordak slowly staggered to his feet, and Modulok, recovering from Carlos’ beam, assembled his body parts into one single shape.
"I am not wasting time sticking around." said Hordak. "Modulok and I are leaving at once."
"Modulok?!!…" cried Skeletor, craning his skull.
"Yes." replied Hordak. "Modulok is now a member of the Evil Horde. And his scientific skill will aid me greatly in pulling Etheria apart. I may have lost Adora- but I now have Modulok!"
"Where is Adora, by the way?" asked Teela.
"I told her to flee to a safe place," said She-Ra, "so Skeletor wouldn’t be able to find her. She’s safe alright."
"But eventually, I will have her back." said Hordak. "You may have arrived to counter me She-Ra, but you have not yet won. When you return to Etheria, you will find a far deadlier Horde….. and I will destroy you. We shall have to fight a long war, but I will win! And Eternia is not safe from me either….. with the power of the Horde, I may come here sometimes to try to capture Grayskull!" with that, he and Modulok leapt onto the portal machine, Modulok opened up a portal to Etheria, and the two villains were quickly engulfed by the bright white portal.
"He’s right." She-Ra said. "Not about winning, but about fighting a long war. I will have to be well-prepared when I return to Etheria. We have a long war ahead of us."
"But you can always call me. And if Hordak does come to Eternia sometimes….. you can just follow him, and we’ll beat him in no time." said He-Man.
"And with my inventions and Glimmer’s powers, we’ll soon wipe out the Horde!" said Carlos.
"By the way," said Teela, "who exactly are you? You have amazing skill."
"I am She-Ra, and I am proud to announce that I am He-Man’s sister, and have been granted the powers of Grayskull, just like my brother!"
"That’s right." said He-Man. "She-Ra is my sister, and is from the same tribe as myself, and when the Sorceress realised just how much Etheria needs a saviour, she decided She-Ra was just the right person to be given the power of Grayskull."
"We’re pleased to meet you!" said Man-At-Arms, who had guessed she was really Adora, but kept quiet.
"Teach me some of those battle techniques sometime!" laughed Teela.
"Blast it!" said Skeletor. "With this female version of He-Man on your side, you no doubt think you’ll defeat me- but I will destroy you! My power is great enough to capture Grayskull. You’ll see! Just you wait- for the power of Skeletor will soon destroy Eternia!" With that, he quickly cast a spell and teleported himself away.
"Where’s he gone?" asked Glimmer.
"Somewhere to take out his anger about realising he has no chance of winning!" said He-Man triumphantly. "But now, let’s go home!"
The band of heroic warriors quickly made their way out of Snake Mountain in the Rock Breaker. Another battle was won- and they had a new, fabulous heroine on their side. He-Man and She-Ra told the others they must be going to Grayskull, so they said their goodbyes, got out from the rock breaker, and Carlos, Glimmer, Teela and Man-At-Arms made their way in the direction of the Royal Palace.
"That’s your second battle won." said He-Man to She-Ra.
"But will I always win?" said She-Ra. "What if everyone turns against Adora….."
"No need to worry about that." said He-Man. "Carlos should be able to see to that."
She-Ra smiled. "I’ll do my best, but it’s gonna be hard to say goodbye to you."
"Hey, it’s not goodbye forever! You can call me anytime. But now, let’s resume our other identities and join the others at the palace. You can say one last goodbye to your parents before you leave!"


PART 25: ADORA’S RETURN

Adam and Adora took a shortcut to the Royal Palace after changing back. Man-At-Arms, Teela, Carlos and Glimmer reached the Royal Palace shortly after, in the rock breaker.
"Good to see you’re safe, Adora!" said Man-At-Arms.
"Yeah, this She-Ra seems really strong." added Teela, wishing she could possess as much power as She-Ra. It would make her seem a worthy partner for He-Man.
"Now, how about showing me how to make a machine like that?" Man-At-Arms asked Carlos.
"Sure thing." Carlos replied. "Take me to your lab and I’ll show you just what to do!"
The two scientists went off in the direction of Man-At-Arms’ lab. Then, the others went through to see the King and Queen.
"Adora!" cried Marlena. "Thank the Elders you’re back!"
"All thanks to He-Man and She-Ra!" said Teela.
"She-Ra? Who’s she?" asked Randor.
"The new heroine of Etheria." replied Adora. "He-Man’s sister, granted the powers of Grayskull!" she really wished she could tell her parents that she was She-Ra, but she knew that spreading the secret would be abusing the powers of Grayskull, regardless of how good the people she told were. And she knew that this was a problem that Adam was faced with too. She ran forward and hugged her parents together.
"It’s so good to have you back at last, and to have He-Man around to make sure the Horde never captures you again." said Randor. "But tell me Adora- will you be staying with us on Eternia?"
"Well….. please don’t take this as an offence, but I feel I must stay on Etheria to help the Rebellion wipe out the Horde. Etheria is in far greater danger than Eternia, and there’s just no way I can leave behind a planet in such peril. But remember you can call me if you need help at any time, and I will try to visit you whenever I can."
King Randor looked proudly upon his daughter. "I understand perfectly, Adora." he said. "Of course, we wish you were able to stay, but we are very proud of you and your wise decision."
"And please try to visit us sometimes….." Marlena said tearfully.
"I will, mother. And remember….. I love you always." this was the first time Adora had said this to anyone in her entire life. It felt like an achievement to finally be able to say it, as she felt the shadow of her evil past drifting further and further away.
"And Adam." said Randor. The young prince stepped up towards his father. "Yes Dad?" he said.
"I know there have been many times I have ranted about you being irresponsible and lazy. But I can see now that many times I have been wrong. The Sorceress would not have chosen you to undertake such an important task if you weren’t worthy of it- and now that you have brought my daughter back to me, I am extremely proud of you." he patted his son lightly on the back.
"And I guess I should apologise….." said Teela, "You’re, well….. obviously not as bad as you seemed. I’ve always liked you, Adam, it’s just….. well, you could be a little more like He-Man, but….. I guess it’s asking too much."
"You’re even better than He-Man." said Queen Marlena. "We’re all very proud of you."
Just then, Carlos and Man-At-Arms came rushing into the room. "Your majesty," said Man-At-Arms excitedly, "Carlos just put together these radio communication devices for me within minutes! And he’s been enlightening me with his theories on space travel and metal extraction….. I must work on some of these!"
"It’s….. all my pleasure, Duncan." said Carlos. "I’ll visit when I get the time and we’ll see what inventions we can create together!"
"You’re most welcome to visit, my friend!" said Randor.
"And I can’t wait to put these into action!" said Man-At-Arms.
"I had better be going now….." said Adora, "I really wish I could stay longer, but… I’m needed back on Etheria!"
"We wish you the best of luck, Adora." said Randor. "And we hope we can see you again soon!"
Randor and Marlena hugged Adora one last time, then they bade her good journey, and the princess left for Grayskull, accompanied by Adam.
When they had travelled a few yards away from the palace, Carlos and Glimmer emerged behind them in the Rock Breaker.
"That friend of yours called Duncan really does have some weird inventions in his lab!" said Carlos.
"Erm….. weird?" said Glimmer. "And what about your….. no, what do you do when….. oh, forget it!"
"Anyway, I must do some more work with him sometime!" Carlos said. "I hope I can come her again soon- first time I’ve been on another planet!"
"You’re welcome anytime, Carlos!" said Adam.
"We’re using Carlos’ device to get back to Etheria now." said Glimmer. "Do you want to come the same way, Adora?"
"Erm….. if you don’t mind, I’d rather go by Grayskull." she replied. "I want to say one last thank you to the Sorceress. But I’ll see you when I get back!"
"See you too, Adora!" said Carlos. Then he shook Adam’s hand. "Nice meeting you, my friend! You’ll come back sometime, won’t you?"
"I sure will." said Adam. "Nice meeting you, Carlos." Then he went over and shook Glimmer’s hand. "And….. very nice meeting you."
"Same to you!" smiled Glimmer. "I really want you to come back with us….."
"I’ll visit soon!" said Adam. "For now- good journey!"
Carlos flicked the switches on his device, and the portal opened, and Carlos and Glimmer waved one last goodbye to Adam as they drifted through the portal.
Then they were gone. Adam turned to Adora. "You’re going to miss everyone you’ve met here, aren’t you?"
"I sure am. It would be nice to get to know my parents better. But I know you’re always here for me….."
"You can call us anytime! It’s going to be hard for me, missing the friends I made on Etheria….. but I’ll visit soon! Now, let’s make our way to Grayskull!"
Adam and Adora made their way up the rocky path to Castle Grayskull, where they were greeted by the Sorceress.
"I’m ready to leave for Etheria now." Adora told her.
"I am proud of you, Adora." said the Sorceress. "You have proven yourself a worthy heroine….. and you will be missed here on Eternia. But remember, you can call me through your sword whenever you like!"
"And also….. I want to thank you too. If it wasn’t for you….. I’d never have regained my senses. You’ve done really good for me….."
The Sorceress hugged Adora proudly. She shed a tear as she was overcome with the emotion of finally finding the girl she had been looking for, for so long.
"Good luck, Adora!" she said.
"I’ll miss you….." said Adora, "and you too, Adam!"
"Good journey, Adora!" said Adam, as Adora stepped through the time gate. "May the powers be with you!"
The two siblings hugged one last time, then Adora stepped right into the time gate, waved goodbye, and was gone in a flash.
"You know, it’s gonna be pretty hard for me and my parents….." said Adam, "she was real good company."
"It will be hard." said the Sorceress, "but remember, with the power of Grayskull on your side, the bond between you shall never weaken! You and your sister are now the most powerful duo of fighters in the universe!"
Adam bristled with pride as he realised just how powerful a position he was in. But he’d never been recognised for it as Adam….. but now things were better. His parents and Teela still did not realise just how much of a hero he was. But now, at long last, they finally admired him for courage and wisdom. Adam was now a hero too.

Adora emerged from the time gate on Etheria, just outside the kingdom of Bright Moon. She was alone….. but not for long. She knew that Carlos and Glimmer would have arrived on Etheria now, and they would help her make the first steps on the road to defeating the Horde. She was without her brother….. but she could feel that he was still around to aid her whenever she needed help, even though he may be on another planet.
Although the area around her was beautiful, Adora remembered that she was on a poverty-stricken planet. And she had helped to cause much of that poverty. But in her new form of She-Ra, princess of power, she would make more than just amends for her crimes. She would wipe out the Horde completely.
She made her way towards the kingdom of Bright Moon to join the rebellion and help them in their plans against the Horde. There was a long, hard war ahead of her….. but as a strong, devoted heroine, she would do it. And now to begin



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