Sometimes, the nights on Eternia were lonely.
Adora stood on the balcony, wearing only her nightgown and looked to the stars. Bow was already asleep. But she didn't feel like sleeping. Something was on her mind, something strange. She couldn't tell exactly what it was. Perhaps it was too quiet. Since she lived in the palace, she had always had the feeling that it was too quiet here. In the Whispering Woods, there had always been noise. Or sometimes, rebels had come in the middle of the night to talk... Adora sighed. She loved her life here, she loved her family, but sometimes, she missed her old friends. Glimmer, who was almost always involved in the fights with Skeletor, almost never had the time, afterwards, to stay, like many of the other rebels. The twiggets! They always had made her laugh... And Madame... Castaspella... Frosta... She got letters, of course, but the Princess really missed them all. Adora realized that she felt homesick for Etheria. Strange, a few months ago, it had been the other way around... Perhaps she should take a short journey to the other planet. Why not? She had promised Bow not to fight while she was pregnant. Besides, presently, it was very quiet. Yes, she could afford a few days of vacation... She went inside the flat again. Perhaps she could sleep now... Suddenly, she stiffened. Somehow, she had known. The last few years, her telepathic abilities had shown up more and more, and lately, she foresaw some things more clearly than she would have liked to. Like now. There were only a few pictures in her head... but enough. Adora put on her clothes, took her sword and kissed her husband good-bye, careful, not to wake him. Only for a second, she thought of leaving a message, but she knew that the others would never let her go. So she left the room, quietly, and went to Duncan's lab alone. There was work to do.
"Mom! Dad! Adam!" Bow joined the dinner room, excited and pale. Man-At-Arms was with him. "What is it?" the King asked. "It's Adora! She's gone!" "My sensors told me that someone used my transporter last night. The beam went to..." Duncan paused. He knew how hard this had to be for the Royal Family. "...Terra Z1." "Pardon?" Adam went to them, quickly. "Let's go," he said to Bow. His parents were in shock. "Don't worry, your majesties, we'll bring her back," Man-At-Arms said before he followed the other two into his lab. "At least I hope so," he murmured quietly.
"Terra Z1! I can't believe this! She has done crazy things in the past, but this is too much!" Adam was very enraged. He knew how horrible this had to be for his parents, and if he had seen his sister now, he probably would have kicked her ass himself. "Do you have you the faintest idea, what made her do this?" he asked Bow. "Not at all. Yesterday she acted completely normal. She was a little melancholy, but you know her, she is that way often, I didn't think about it." He shook his head without understanding. Duncan had prepared a shuttle in the meantime. "Listen. I don't want to beam you to the planet, it's too dangerous. With the shuttle, you're less likely to be seen right away. Adora has taken a transporter with her, but I doubt, she has thought of hiding it safely. If Hordak finds it, she has no way to come back." "Besides, the Horde will be here before we're able to do anything against them," Adam mentioned dryly. "No. The transporter knows only our sensors and doesn't transport anyone else. There's no danger here. But the fight is even more dangerous, since Hordak knows your secrets. I really wonder why Adora has done this. She must have lost her senses." "Once more?" Bow arched his eyebrows. "She's not psychotic, Man-At-Arms. She must have a reason. Do you have the coordinates of the Fright Zone?" "Yes. They're already in the computer. You can go now. And good luck." "Thanks. We'll need it." They started the shuttle. Man-At-Arms watched them, reaching into space, and then turned on the walkie-talkie. "Shuttle Enterprise? Can you hear me? Is everything okay?" `Shuttle Enterprise here. All is well here. Warp ready.´ Duncan was a little nervous. The warp speed hadn't been tested yet. But this was an emergency. "Then go." `It's working, Duncan,´ Adam informed him. `I hope, we can navigate in the circle around the planet, when we reach it. We don't know much about Terra Z1...´ The connection became worse. "I'll lose you soon, Enterprise. Good luck." `Bye.´ Now it was up to the Prince and Bow.
When the three towers of the Fright Zone appeared in the distance, Adora felt fear like she never had before. She shouldn't have come here. She still didn't know exactly what was going on. Only that there was someone who needed help. Three useless hours, she had needed to come here. She was alone, because she knew, Spirit would never have come with her but had tried to hold her back. Well, now that she was there, she opened her backpack and took out one of the syringes she had taken from Duncan's lab. An alternative to eating. All the vitamins and nutrients needed to stay health were in the serum. She placed the needle at her elbow. But she had never been good at giving herself injections. The first time the needle broke off, and during the second try, it slipped out. "Damnit!" She tried it on her upper arm. Perhaps she would have more luck here... "May I be of some assistance?" She startled. "Scorpia!" "Exactly." Before the Princess could do anything, her enemy shot her. She blacked out.
"Excellent, Scorpia! Good work! Bring her to the dungeon and lock her up safely. And don't forget to take away her sword." "Yes, mighty one." Hordak leaned back on his throne and grinned scornfully. Shadow Weaver had sensed immediately that she was here for a visit, so it hadn't been hard to kidnap Adora. Now to decide what do to with her? Well, he had enough time to think about it. He would spend the rest of his life here, yes, but she would as well. That, he would make sure of. She couldn't do anything to stop it. He hadn't forgotten what he had heard moments before his exile. Now that the entire Horde knew her second identity, She-Ra couldn't help her anymore. He would torture her until the iron will and the fire in her eyes finally disappear. Hordak grinned even more widely when he thought of the first thing he would do. He would make sure that a certain Princess of Power would never see the sunset again. "Welcome to Terra Z1, Force Captain," he murmured. "The planet of horror, as it is called in the universe. Well, the horror won't ever release you..."
"Adora, wake up! Adora!" "What..." Slowly, the Princess opened her eyes. She needed a few seconds to remember everything. Scorpia! And the Fright Zone... She sat up. "Are you alright?" the woman in front of her asked. "Yes..." Adora looked at her face-to-face, mistrustful. Her voice was somehow- familiar to her. It was quiet dark, in the corner, where she stood. A silhouette was everything she could see. "Come into the light," She-Ra asked her. Hesitatingly, she did it. Her green eyes contracted when she moved closer. Adora shrank back. "Catra!" Her first reaction was to take her sword, but it was gone. Of course. "Save yourself the trouble," the other woman groaned. "I suppose, Shadow Weaver is already playing with it. Perhaps, she has a fetish for electrical shocks... And if you haven't realized yet: I'm locked up here, as well as you." Her voice was calm, the long `r´ was almost gone. Her clothes were torn, her blue hair cut half its normal length. "Why do you speak differently? And where's your mask?" the Princess asked puzzled. "Listen, I'd love to tell you everything, right now, but you have to get out here at once. After what I heard, Hordak hasn't got anything nice in store for you." "Oh, really?" "Don't be sarcastic, Princess. I only want to help you. If you transform into She-Ra, can you get outside?" "Of course." Adora was a little shocked. Although she had supposed Hordak had told everyone her secret, it was more than unusual, that she suddenly didn't have to hide it anymore. "But I need my sword..." "I can do that." Catra showed her a secret entrance in the corner of the cell. "Hordak knows of it, but he didn't close it up because he doesn't know I've manipulated his controller and can get into some places in the Fright Zone." She held up her hand and showed Adora the glowing ring round her wrist. The Princess wore the same. "It alerts at once, if we're outside. But, as I said, Hordak doesn't know I've manipulated mine. Wait here. I'll be back soon." She wanted to go, but the Princess held her back. "Why haven't you done this before?" "Because, before you were blacked out. Now you can defend yourself alone if someone comes here." With that she disappeared. Adora shook her head slowly. She didn't understand anything. Why would Catra suddenly help her? What had happened to her? Was it a trick of Hordak's, to fool her? She looked for the transporter she had taken with her, but of course it wasn't there anymore, as the backpack wasn't either. Now she just had to wait, the thing she hated the most.
"We're near Terra Z1 now, Adam. Ready?" "Always. But I don't think we should both go down. If something happens, one of us should be here." "You're right. I'm going." Before the Prince could protest, Bow said, "You know how to deal with the transporter better and I with the Fright Zone. Any questions?" He went to the platform. "Energize."
Finally, the secret entrance opened again, from outside. Catra really had her sword! "Why was that so easy?" the Princess wanted to know. "I can go to several places, I told you so. The sword was unguarded. Of course, Hordak believes he hasn't got any enemies anymore... I suggest you transform now and leave this place. I don't even want to know what made you come here." But Adora knew. "You," she said. She still didn't understand why Catra wasn't with the Horde anymore, but at least she knew now, why she was here. "Me?" The other woman arched her eyebrows. "But... oh, no!" Troopers came to the cell. Adora touched the stone in her sword quickly. It became invisible. She put it in the scabbard. "I will come back" she promised. "The hell you will," the other one hissed. "Go, as soon as you get the chance!" Adora was taken away. Catra sat down on the bench in the cell. Prepared to remain alone for a lifetime now. Adora would get out, there was no question now, unlike Catra herself. She wouldn't ever escape from here. And she deserved it, too. The cat had given up.
Adora was brought into a room, which was absolutely dark. No light. A chance. She took her sword. She couldn't see anything, but that wasn't necessary. She had excellent hearing and if someone else were there, she would have known. "For the honor..." A hiss. Very, very quiet, but loud enough. Later Adora couldn't have explained why she had done it. It had been just a reflex, which she would never understand, when she took her sword in front of her face. The next second a gleaming bright light filled the room. The Princess closed her eyes quickly, but it was clear that if the sword hadn't been there, it wouldn't have helped. The ray, which should have blinded her, was reflected. A horrible scream came from the other side of the room. Adora took away the sword. Slowly, her eyes got familiar with the brightness. She could see Shadow Weaver lying on the ground, her hands in front of her face. The Princess knew, what had happened, even before the witch went unconscious and she could see her eyes. All color was gone. Only darkness remained. Adora pulled herself together and turned around. If not Weaver, she would be blind now. Nevertheless, she felt terrible. Damnit! She would worry about, when she was outside! She took her sword again. "For the honor of Grayskull! I am She-Ra!" She kicked open the door. Out here! Hordak would soon hunt for her. She had removed his controller with no trouble but he could navigate the Fright Zone better than her. What was she still doing here? She could be outside yet! But she knew she would have regretted it a lifetime, if she didn't try to free Catra. She broke open the cell door. "Come on!" "She-Ra! Damnit, what do you do? I told you..." "Would you like to stay here? Give me your hand!" She put away the controller. "Do you know the fastest way how to get outside?" "Of course." "Then let's go. And meanwhile you can tell me your story." "What do you mean?" "Has Hordak locked you up for fun?" "No, but... Troopers!" A bunch of robots were in their way. "Well, Catra" the Princess said. "Looks like we have to wait for that."
"Weaver! What the hell..." Hordak knew that Adora had escaped, but nothing more, so he was totally astonished, when he found the witch blacked out. "What happened?" "...her...to" "What?" He helped her stand up and shrank back when he saw her black eyes. "I said: Torture her to death!"
The troopers had been no problem. Catra and She-Ra were nearly outside now. Still, the cat hadn't been able to tell her what was going on. She was just about to, when suddenly Hordak and Grizzlor stood in their way. Hordak and Grizzlor! She-Ra stiffened. Her enemy wasn't very intelligent but he knew something about psychology. He had used it for 19 years to control her. And he did it now too. He knew that he couldn't hold her here anymore. But, he also knew how weak she became when she was reminded on her childhood. On her 14th birthday. And on the day a few years later, when Hordak had repeated the horror, Grizzlor had done to her. A part of She-Ra knew all this, knew that Hordak wanted to make her kill Grizzlor now, wanted her to lose her powers. He couldn't defeat her directly, and he knew it. But another part of her just wanted to take her sword and kill them both, at once... Catra took a phaser suddenly. Hordak hadn't thought of her and was surprised. The cat stunned the enemies and collimated her weapon new. Again she directed it at Hordak. "What are you doing?" She-Ra asked. "Kill him. Once and for all." "That's not necessary. Let's just get out of here." "No!" Decades of hate were in the eyes of the cat. "He killed my parents!" She-Ra understood immediately. "Catra, I know how you feel! But killing him is not the solution! Revenge is never a solution!" "Oh, yeah?" The cat turned around to her, took another phaser and gave it to her. "I think, you should try it. It will free you. After all, you have an old enemy here. You had nightmares, while you were unconscious, Adora. I know, you're still afraid because of it. Kill him and it will be over." "What are you talking about?" "You didn't really ask me that, did you?" Catra looked at Grizzlor. At once Adora had a flashback. She stood in front of the door to the dungeon, Catra beside her. And she heard the cat say, with tears in her eyes: `I am so sorry, Adora.´ Again, she was the frightened, broken girl of nearly ten years ago again. "No... I... can't..." she said. "Of course you can. If you don't do it, I will. Or do you think, you were the only one?" She laughed bitterly. Again memories came to Adora. Hordak, who said: `You'll have to pass that test... everyone had to pass it... I'm sure, Catra remembers it well...´ "You?" she asked astonished. "He has..." "Of course he has. A month before he did it to you. What is it, Adora, do you want to end your nightmares or have them forever?" Again she pointed at Grizzlor. "But killing is wrong!" "Oh, but it's alright to rape children? That's justice, Adora." Catra was really convinced of it. And slowly the old rage overtook the Princess too. All rational and morality vanished. Her dark soul grew stronger. She took the phaser from Catra. "But..." "No `buts´. Not this time. Do it, Adora." "Yes. Do it, Adora. Or I will do it." She startled and turned round. "Bow!" She saw the old rage in his eyes and remembered what Adam had once told her. `If Bow would ever meet a member of the Horde again, he would kill him immediately. For you, Adora.´ It was strange, but just the fact, that her husband thought, it was alright to kill them, let She-Ra think of her old promise again. To harm no one. Really no one. "I won’t do it, Bow" she said calmly. "And I beg you not to do it either. I think, that would hurt me more than the fact, that he’s alive." Bow was puzzled. "But- Adora... he has..." "Do you think, I’m not aware of that? Believe me, I know better than anyone else, what crimes both of them, Grizzlor and Hordak, committed, what crimes everybody of the Horde committed. But now they can’t do it anymore. They’re away from Etheria and can’t harm anyone but themselves anymore. With this it should be over." While she was saying it she felt, that it was true. It freed her. For moments she had really thought of killing her biggest nightmare. But it was no solution. That was what she told Catra too. "Please, let it be! It won’t cease the pain. It will make it harder. I can’t prevent you. I can only ask you to take away the phaser and come with us." The cat looked at her doubting, then on her phaser. "Catra, please! A new life is waiting for you! Don’t destroy it because of Hordak!" For seconds it was silent. Catra fought a hard battle. But then she let the phaser fall down. Next moment a white light caught her. She disappeared. Adora frightened. "Where did she vanish to?" "I don’t know, babe. But I know, that we should go home now." "But Catra..." "We can’t help her at the moment. Besides it looked to me as if she’s alright now. Come on." "Okay. And Bow- thanks. I’m glad you changed your decision." "I would never hurt you, Adora. If you think, we should just leave them behind, it’s okay. I only want you to know..." "That you would do everything for me. That’s what I know. Just because of that I don’t want you to kill him." They kissed for a long moment, then he took her hand. "Let’s leave this place. We’ve had enough of it. Bow to Enterprise! Two persons to beam up!"
Catra found herself in Grayskull. The Sorceress had already been waiting for her. "Congratulations" she said. "And welcome on the side of the goddess." "What..." The cat was totally puzzled. "You've just managed to defend the evil inside yourself, Catra. You're free now." "Free?" "Of course. And more. I have a surprise for you. But first you should get your original appearance back." The Sorceress raised her hand. A few seconds later no one would have recognized Catra anymore. She had short black hair now, blue eyes, she wore a white, tight blouse, white, tight trousers, dark blue, high-heeled boots and a dark blue cape. The Sorceress smiled. "And now it's time for you to see your mother." "My mother is dead! Hordak has killed her and my father!" "That's not true! Catra, the Horde stole you from your parents when you were just a baby! Your mother didn't know this. She thought Hordak killed you. But now she knows. And she's here." The other woman was completely shocked. "My mother! My real mother! Where is she?" Again the Sorceress raised her hand and beamed her in. Then she left the room. She knew they needed a few moments for themselves. Besides, she also wanted to be alone for a while. Because she wasn't allowed to tell Catra everything. She wiped away a tear. It would be a long before she would be able to tell her, that the cat also had a sister.
"Adora!" Her parents hugged her happily. "We're so glad, you're alright!" "Mom, Dad- I'm sorry. I should have told you," she said. "Indeed," Adam murmured. He was still a little angry. Above all because they had seen no sign of Catra anymore. Perhaps it had all been for nothing. They hadn't calm down yet, when someone knocked from outside. "Enter!" Man-At-Arms and Teela-Na came in. With them, was a strange woman. She had placed her arm round Teela-Na's shoulder. The three of them seemed to be very, very happy. Before someone could ask, Duncan's girlfriend said: "Your majesties, may I introduce: This is my daughter." "Daughter?" The stranger looked at Adora. "Don't you know me, Adora? It's not been very long..." The Princess startled. Her eyes became wide. "Catra?" "I am. And I'm here to fight with you against the evil." The Princess went over to her slowly. They looked at each other for a while. What now? Then Catra raised out her hand hesitating. "Friends, Adora?" The Princess took a deep breath. "Friends."
When they sat together later, Teela-Na told them everything. "I had just given birth to my daughter, when the Horde attacked. Troopers came into the house and kidnapped my husband and me. We couldn't save the baby and were forced to see our house destroyed. So I thought, she was dead." Gladly Teela-Na embraced her. "Thank goddess she's not." Her sight grew a little darker. "I only wish, my husband knew." All were silent for a moment. Then Catra continued: "I grew up in the Fright Zone. Hordak gave me the appearance and the powers, I had. They told me, the rebels had killed my parents. It was absolutely clear for me then, that I had to fight them. There was no other way. When we arrived on Terra Z1, Hordak blamed us for being exiled and treated us very badly. I rebelled against him and was punished often. I saw more and more, how wrong this everything was. And when I told Hordak, I quit working for him, he said, he had killed my parents." Tears were in her eyes. "It's okay" Teela-Na said. "You're here now." "Of course you can stay in the palace" the King said. The others nodded. "We would be glad." Adora wanted to know: "So what's your name now, Catra?" "B´Teena." Happily she looked at Teela-Na. "My mother called me B´Teena." Suddenly the sound of crying came from the room nearby. Adam went there immediately and called for Duncan. The others went with him. They saw, Adam's son, Prince André, was hurt. His hand bled. "I'll get something to fix him up with." Man-At-Arms went away. B´Teena went to He-Man. "May I hold him? Your children are very cute, Prince Adam." "Thanks." He gave her the baby. And then it happened: B´Teena's hand began to glow! Seconds later André's injure was gone. Silence. Then Teela-Na said: "I think, we've just found out what your new powers are." "Yes." Adora looked at her new friend smiling. "Now I know, what's missing in your name. Let us welcome you on the side of the goddess as B´Teena, doctress of love."
Later Adora went to B´Teena, alone. There was one more thing to talk about. "I won't tell anyone your secrets, of course" her friend promised. She stood on the balcony like Adora had done the night before. She shook her head slowly. "My god... how life can change completely from one day to another... Do you know that?" She-Ra grinned. "You'd be surprised..." She looked at the stars. Her friend knew, what she was thinking about. "I'm glad you stopped me today, Adora. Now I know, that I would never really have become good, if I had killed him." "I almost did it myself. I understand you. It's strange, isn't it?" Adora looked bitter. "It's been over for so long now and still you can't get it from your mind." "I know what you mean. And if you ever want to talk about- I'm here." "Thanks... may I call you Teena?" "Of course. I think, this will soon be my usual name. B´Teena isn't bad but it sounds a little strange... Teena is just fine." "Well- Teena, there’s something, I don’t understand... Why didn’t you quit working for the Horde after Grizzlor..." She didn’t continue. It wasn’t necessary. Her friend had tears in her eyes immediately. "I’ve told you how loyal I was to Hordak. Before the rape he had ever been good to me. I saw him as my father. After the `test´ how he loved to call that, he blamed me for the whole thing. He said, I failed, because I didn’t fight against Grizzlor harder." The rage came back, but this time Teena put herself together. "My whole world crashed when he told me that. After that he wasn’t the god, the almighty one, he had been before to me. You sure remember, that I often tried to get rid of him. But I still didn’t thought of leaving the Horde. One the one hand I was a member because I believed the rebels were bastards who had to be defeated. It was more than shocking when I was told it was just the other way round." "I agree" Adora murmured, thinking of her brother telling her the truth years ago. Silence. Then Teena said: "Besides, if you were in the Horde, you got used to it more and more. I don’t think, I was under a spell or something like this. I became a real member, constantly trying to get power. Power can make you weak, Adora. It made me, what I was for years. Only on TerraZ1 now I saw, how unimportant it really is." She sighed. "I'll go to Mom and Duncan now. We have much to talk about." "I'll bet." They went inside the palace. The sun went down over Grayskull. But for the Royal Family a new day had just begun. The side of the good had a new addition once more.