Saturday, March 31, 2012

Adora's Search for Honor Part 1: Chapter 5

She-Ra Saturdays continue!

Adora’s Search for Honor
Part 1
Chapter 5

Previously: Sea Hawk was ordered to find an Ice Diamond, whatever that may be. He also had his hands full with Netossa, who has been looking for her dear friend Spinnerella since they were ambushed in Poft. Catra amped up her plans to find out who could be a spy in the Horde ranks. Adora found out that Spira was the spy, and finally came to realize that her own life has not been exactly what she thought it was. Catra found enough information to determine who the double agent was, and gave her report to Hordak. They think that Adora is the spy and now Catra has orders to kill Adora… Will Catra succeed?

Chapter 5

Adora walks down a corridor in the Fright Zone towards Hordak’s chambers. Hordak has new orders and assignments for his Force Captains and Adora is ready for a new mission. Too many things have occurred recently that have been a cause for confusion and concern. Ever since the events that unfolded in the Whispering Woods a few nights before, Adora has been unable to think of much else. The biggest problem on her mind cautiously approaches Adora. Spira pulls Adora to the side and whispers, “Hey, where have you been? It has been a few days since the Whispering Woods incident. Have you been trying to ignore me? Or is it that you have sentenced me to death? Am I getting ready to walk into a trap with Hordak? Will I be losing my head?” With everything remaining calm lately, Spira worries that she is set to be ambushed in Hordak's chambers.

Adora rolls her eyes, “I have said nothing to Hordak. He has no idea that you are a double agent. Your spying motives have not escaped my lips. I have chosen to avoid talking to you because I want to forget what I was a part of.” This was partially true, Adora did want to forget the Whispering Woods incident. Sighing and wishing their friendship had not changed, Spira speaks, “Adora, I never wanted you to find out everything. We are still good friends though, you can’t just ignore me. Right?”

Walking past Spira, Adora spits out, “I intend to forget everything. You do what you must Spira, I will do the only thing I know. Serving the Horde is the only thing I can do.” Unable to take the statement at full value, Spira whispers, “You don’t believe that. Adora, you know what is going on. You have to make another choice.” Adora pretends she doesn’t hear Spira and heads off to see Hordak. Spira follows hanging her head low.

The two enter Hordak’s chambers. Catra and Shadow Weaver are already present along with Mantenna and Grizzlor. Hordak is sitting on his throne snorting as his pet Imp starts blowing fire from his mouth. His eyes narrow once he sees Adora, whom he believes is a traitorous spy.

“Ah Adora! Everyone is where they need to be. I won’t be keeping you all long; I have new important assignments for my Force Captains.” Hordak stands and looks at Spira and doles out the first assignment, “Spira, travel to Castle Chill. There have been Horde Troopers building a small base of operations at a safe distance from the Castle. The Horde is preparing an assault on the Empress. I need you to monitor the progress of the Troopers and give a chilly warning to Empress Frosta, let her know what her mistake in not surrendering to the Horde will cost her.” A new crop of worries grow in her mind. Spira nods, “Yes Hordak. I will leave at once.” Spira quickly glances at Adora before heading out of the room. Surely Adora will see how evil the Horde is now...

Turning to stare at Catra and Adora, Hordak grins, “My dear Adora and Catra. I have a special assignment for the two of you. I am thinking of expanding the Horde. The Fright Zone has long been the main headquarters of the Horde on Etheria, but I want to branch out. The two of you will travel to Skydancer Mountain. Survey the land. Report back to me areas that seem accessible and appropriate for a new Horde base. If the Horde can look down from the sky, it will be much better to squash those that would be in our way.”

With a knowing smile Catra purrs, “Should anyone else go with us Hordak? After all, Adora and I don’t get along that well.” Hordak snorts out a laugh and Adora almost feels as if they are laughing at an inside joke. Adora speaks up, “Even though Catra and I are not the best of friends, we certainly know how to work together for the better of the Horde. We will be fine.”

Catra nods in agreement, “We will all be fine.” Catra and Adora walk off to begin their trek to Skydancer Mt. Hordak asks Mantenna and Grizzlor to leave as there is no use for them at the moment. Shadow Weaver is the only one left and she stands patiently, looking at Hordak sitting on his throne in silence. Shadow Weaver shatters the silence hanging in the air with a rasp, “Are you sure this is the smartest thing to do? Are we even sure Adora is the spy?”

Hordak shakes his head, “It is the only choice. I saw and heard Catra’s evidence. However, even if Adora is not a spy, I have noticed her sympathies to those who she once called her friends. Adora is becoming more of a hindrance. At this point she wouldn’t even make a good ransom from the King and Queen, not to mention her inability to unlock her sword's power. Do you know how many years I have been waiting for her to summon whatever magic is in that sword? No, this is what must be done. Catra will kill her, and bring me her sword. We will find a way to unlock its true potential and find a way to finally take over all of Etheria. Eternia won’t be far behind.”


Far away from the evil Fright Zone, Bow and Glimmer are traveling towards Mystacor, the home of the Mages and Castaspella. They left the day after Adora’s surprise visit to the Rebel hideout. Glimmer and Bow have been traveling along the edge of a forest, quietly so as not to be noticed by any Horde troopers. Atop of Arrow, Bow’s steed, Glimmer sits behind Bow. They are hoping that Castaspella will be of some help in finding Angella. Recently Castaspella made mention of a friend of hers that is able to “see” what goes on around Etheria. Glimmer is hoping that the friend's magic will prevail and reunite her with her mother. Sitting behind Bow with an arm around him, Glimmer recalls “That was strange the other night wasn’t it?”

“What do you mean? There have been strange things happening every night it seems.” Bow looks back grinning. Glimmer continues, “Well, it was strange that Adora showed up in the Whispering Woods. She seemed very surprised to see everyone.” Bow stares ahead, trying to understand Adora, “Yes. Let’s just hope though that Adora has not turned us all in to the Horde, and that when we return, the Whispering Woods are not all up in flames.”

Glimmer shakes her head, “Bow, I don’t think she would do that. She didn’t seem like some terrible Head Force Captain that she has been portrayed as. She seemed lost. Unsure of what was going on.” Bow is hardly convinced, “Glimmer, Adora is one of the toughest women I have ever met. I’ve never known her to have an uncertain bone in her body.”

Thinking about her feelings for Bow, Glimmer asks something she isn’t sure she wants an answer to, “You’ve never really gone into much detail about your friendship with her.” Bow thinks about his friendship with Adora and shrugs, “There isn’t much to say. We were friends in the Horde Academy, and when some of us realized how truly evil the Horde was we bolted. She wanted to stay. End of story.” Instantly Glimmer dreads that there is more to the story. She persists, “That is not how Perfuma tells the story. She told me much more.” Glimmer's feelings for Bow have been slowly simmering for awhile, though she is not entirely sure he even notices her in that way. Oblivious to the nature of the questioning, Bow chuckles, “Perfuma needs to focus on her garden, she has never been the best at telling a story.”

Glimmer nods not ready to give up, “Ah, so you never liked Adora? Perfuma must have had it wrong. I guess than you had feelings for Catra instead?” The question is meant to catch Bow off gaurd, which it does. He coughs, “No. I never have liked Catra. I wanted Catra to have friends, but there has never been a romantic interest in her. Since it seems you won’t be dropping this I guess I will tell you. Yes, I had feelings for Adora. We both liked each other a great deal, but Adora was more interested on being the best Horde soldier. That and she knew Catra liked me and did not want to pursue something that would be yet another added reason for Catra to hate her.” Bow recalls how Adora told him about her feelings, and why nothing could happen. Her concern for other people was always present. It makes no sense that someone so kind hearted could also be a ruthless member of the Horde, Bow thinks to himself.

Still not content Glimmer can't help but ask, “Did anything ever happen between Adora and you?” Bow feels slightly embarrassed to be discussing this with a close friend, “There were, umm, moments. I thought our closeness would trump everything. In the end we were unable to change Adora’s mind of the Horde. They had her. Perfuma, Mermista, me...  we all tried to show her what the Horde was truly capable of. Our bond changed. We even tried to help Catra, but it was too late for her.”

“Why was it too late for her?” Glimmer has  no idea what Bow is talking about. Suddenly the conversation shifts from Adora and romance to Catra. Bow slowly tells his story, “While in the Horde Academy, everyone reaches a point where Hordak tests how far they are willing to go for the Horde. Everyone is given a test and most people keep their test a secret. Catra’s test was awful and she was very proud of it. There was an elven race that lived in a forest that used to exist near the Fright Zone. Hordak’s test for Catra was to sneak into the woods and kill the elven king. She did, without any question. As an added touch, she torched the place. Nothing was going to prevent her from proving herself to Hordak. She was rewarded with that mask that can turn her into a panther. That was it for us; Perfuma, Mermista, and I knew we needed to go. We knew the Horde was truly evil.” Glimmer gasps with the further confirmation on how twisted the Horde is, “That is terrible Bow. My goodness I never knew that the Horde could be that ruthless.” Bow adds, “You have no idea.”

The two continue to ride Arrow towards Mystacor. Glimmer thinks about Bow’s story, and she is glad he is with her. She isn't sure that she'll ever confess her feelings to him, but in this moment everything feels so nice. Regardless of the misery surrounding their lives, Glimmer feels an escape of happiness. She wonders if this is what love feels like. “Bow, I am really glad you are with me on this journey to Mystacor.” Glimmer leans her head on his shoulder. Bow smiles and turns his head to his riding companion, “I wouldn’t be anywhere else.”

Smiling to herself, Glimmer tightens her arms around Bow’s waist. Suddenly something jumps out from the trees and frightens Arrow. Rearing up, the steed knocks Glimmer and Bow off his back. They roll away from each other. Bow shouts out, “Glimmer are you ok?”

Standing up, Glimmer dusts herself off, “I think so. What just happened?” Walking near the trees Bow stares into the forest. There is nothing but trees. He looks back at Glimmer and shrugs. However Glimmer soon notices something a few yards in front of them. She pauses in fear. There is a metallic purple man standing with his arms crossed. His head is smooth and shiny purple. Glimmer does not recognize him, but Bow does. Preparing to walk towards Glimmer, Bow is caught off guard when a group of Horde Troopers exit the woods. They rush towards the archer, ganging up on him. Bow is held down to the ground. Trying to free himself Bow shouts, “Glimmer be careful!”

Unsure what is happening, Glimmer feels nothing except for her heart pounding. Standing still Glimmer is slightly concerned when the purple man walks towards her. He has a grin and speaks to her with a reverberating voice, “My my my, what do we have here? If it isn’t a lovely rebel leader.” Standing strong Glimmer calmly states, “That is hardly fair, you seem to know me but I have no idea who you are.”

The purple man grins and stands next to Glimmer, “You look delicious. Why don’t you come a little closer and give Spikor a hug…” 

Glimmer grimaces and closes her eyes as Spikor leans towards her.  Looking back at him Glimmer chokes back a scream as sharp spikes rip through his metallic muscular skin. Quickly jumping back Glimmer releases multiple bursts of light from her finger tips into his face. Screaming in pain Spikor throws his head back. Stepping away in horror Glimmer thinks of her next move.

Off to the side Arrow uses his hind legs to kick a Trooper off from Bow. Now able to shake the other Troopers away, Bow quickly grabs a stun arrow, aiming it at Spikor. The stun arrow is a direct hit and Bow rushes towards Glimmer. “Are you ok Glimmer?” Bow grabs Glimmer’s arm.
Glimmer nods, “Yes I am, who is that?” Bow only has minimal information, "His name is Spikor. Hordak recruited from another planet some time ago. I believe he is on loan to the Horde. I don't know much else." Looking over at the enemy, Glimmer asks, "What do we do next?"

Bow and Glimmer soon notice that they are slightly outnumbered. Spikor’s stun arrow is wearing off and there are five Horde Troopers circling the two rebels.

Something soon changes as Bow and Glimmer notice the sky getting slightly darker. They hear the sound of crackling energy and are caught off guard as various bolts of lightning crash from the sky striking Spikor and the Troopers. Bow and Glimmer hear a laugh behind them and turn to see Castaspella striking a pose with her right arm in the air. Castaspella motions for Bow and Glimmer to be quiet. She snaps her fingers and a whirl of energy starts to form behind her. The whirl becomes a spinning circle of what seems like contained electrical fire. More Troopers have started to arrive and Spikor is trying to regain his strength.

Bow grabs Glimmer’s hand and they dive to the ground as Castaspella seductively arches out of the way of the spinning electric fire and unleashes the circle of energy into a beam of magic that pierces Spikor and the Horde Troopers. Bow and Glimmer look up and see that their enemies are strewn all over the place. Looking at her friends Castaspella whispers so as not to be recognized, “Hurry, before they realize I have helped you. I know a safe way to Mystacor from here.”

Whistling for Arrow to join them Bow looks at Castaspella, “You always have great timing.” Agreeing, Glimmer smiles, “How did you know?”

Castaspella grins looking around the environment, “This is my area. Ever since Spikor and the Horde Troopers have been monitoring the surrounding area of Mystacor, I do my own rounds to make sure they aren’t up to anything drastic. I am glad I was able to make it in time. Though something tells me the two of you would’ve improvised something.” They all laugh and head to the safe confines of Mystacor…


Across Etheria things are already unraveling at Castle Chill. Spira and Frosta are in a heated conversation. Looking at Spira and a group of Horde Troopers Frosta speaks in annoyance, “Let me try to understand this nonsense. Hordak is ruining my property value with some horrid base of operations so that he can start a war. With me, The Empress of the Kingdom of Snows? Ha!” Frosta has no patience for trifling games.

Spira is serious, “Empress Frosta, Hordak is going to start a war with you. Your inability to surrender has been a grave mistake.” Frosta gives Spira a conspiratorial look, “And here you are, building my Kingdom’s destruction. Hordak is always full of surprises.”

Looking at the accompanying Troopers, Spira makes a motion, “Head back to the base. I would like to speak with the Empress, alone. She needs to fully understand the consequences of her choices.” Spira looks like she is preparing for a fight in front of the Horde Troopers.

The Horde Troopers leave and Spira motions towards Frosta for them to speak somewhere safely. The two ladies walk to Frosta’s private chambers. Tearing in to Spira, Frosta blasts, “What is going on!? I now have to deal with a war? I thought your plan was to protect my kingdom!” Spira responds, “Listen, I had no idea Hordak was really going to take it this far. Do not worry; nothing is going to happen to Castle Chill.” Spira has been making these promises to Frosta for awhile now. Frosta is now uncertain that Spira is capable of helping in any way.

Tossing her head back Frosta smirks, “Ha! I’ve been listening to the Rebellion's advice and sending my people in groups to safety in the Whispering Woods! By the time Hordak is ready to strike there will be no one here to defend this place.”

“Frosta, please just listen! I am working with the Rebellion and we have a plan in motion. Whenever Hordak strikes we are going to find a way to help. This place will be defended. You will not lose your home.” Glaring at Spira, Frosta bites, “I’m not even sure I can trust you. Where is Mermista at? She is my friend; send her a message to come here at once. I will believe what she has to say.” The one person Frosta truly trusts from the Rebellion is Mermista. They have both bonded over the mutual loss of their parents. Spira shakes her head, “Mermista is at Crystal Falls.”

Realizing that Mermista is visiting where she was born, Frosta pauses, “Oh. I understand. I hope she is finding peace there. We both know what it is like to lose family at the hands of the Horde. I hope she will be ok.”

Spira is touched by Frosta's concern, “I am sure she will. Mermista just wanted to spend time where her family had lived. Once she has spent enough time for herself she will come back and will more than likely be glad to talk to you." Frosta seems content with that information, however Spira has an important question, "Now why do you not trust me? I am trying to help you Frosta.”

Frosta walks by Spira and turns with a chilly look, “Darling, do not take me for a fool. You are a double agent. How do I know that your motives are true for the Rebellion? For all I know you could turn sides and strike against us.” Spira is truly shocked. Frosta is known for speaking her mind, but sometimes she is very hurtful. Flinching slightly Spira asks, “How could you say that? Everything I have done has been for the Rebellion.” Frosta narrows her eyes, “Oh I know what you have done. You aren’t some cookie cutter hero darling. You have blood on your hands. And until your plans come true, I will not completely trust what comes out of a spy’s mouth.”

Spira knows that not everyone is willing to be so trusting, “Fair enough. I have to get back before the Troopers start to wonder what happened. Now let’s make it look like we got into a fight or something. I do not want anyone thinking we are working together.” This is an idea that Frosta can work with. Smiling Frost clenches her fists, “What a lovely idea.” Using her control over ice to freeze her hands up Frosta looks at Spira and slaps her across the face as hard as she can. Spira’s face is cold to the touch and slightly frosted. The slap hurt immensely, however Spira turns and quietly leaves. Before exiting Spira turns to Frosta, “Wait and see Frosta, everything will work out. And next time, a little less ice would be nice.” Frosta smirks as Spira heads out of the castle...

Meanwhile in yet another part of Etheria, Adora and Catra begin their ascent on Skydancer Mountain. This is the tallest mountain on Etheria. Made up of brightly colored rocks, no one has ever made it to the top. However if someone wanted a view of the world, this would be the place to start. Adora and Catra are without their rides. They left Spirit and Clawdeen at the base of the mountain and thought it would be easier to go by foot. Eventually after some walking and climbing, the two women make it to a smooth clearing.

Walking around the clearing Adora stares out over Etheria. She looks back at Catra, “Isn’t this beautiful? It looks like you can see the whole world.” Rolling her eyes Catra steps on a few small flowers avoiding the edge, “I suppose so. A little too high for my tastes though.”

Why on Etheria would this beauty mean anything to Catra, Adora chuckles to herself and says, “You are never going to change. Either way, should we keep going?” Adora is doing her best to make this mission as pleasant as possible. Catra blankly stares at Adora, “We aren’t going anywhere. Or rather, you aren’t going anywhere.”

Realizing that Adora might have said something wrong to Catra, the Head Force Captain wonders how long this will take, “What does that mean Catra? Should we rest for a bit?” The last thing Adora wants is to get into another argument. After all these years, Adora would actually like to build a friendship with Catra after all these years.

Laughing with a slight growl, Catra purrs, “Oh Adora, I have a confession to make. But, why don’t you go first... Do you have any confessions to make?” Adora is confused, “I don’t understand what you mean Catra. What should I confess?”

Pointing her finger at Adora, finally ready for a confrontation, Catra screeches, “I know the truth about you! Give it up, we all know.” Adora becomes serious, “Catra, I truly do not know what you are talking about.” Catra growls, ready for the games to begin, “You are a spy! You have been helping the Rebellion!” The gravity of the statement hits Adora. What gave Catra that idea? What is happening? Adora pauses and lets out a nervous chuckle, “Catra, I can explain. Really, there is an explanation for this.” What would the explanation be though... Adora wonders to herself.

Not believing a word Adora says, Catra nods, “Right. Then go ahead and explain. Explain to me why you have continued to keep so many pictures from the past of your Rebel friends. Explain to me why you helped them escape the other day from the Fright Zone. And explain to me why, the other night, I saw you enter the Whispering Woods, the place that the Rebels have been hiding.” Remaining calm Adora searches for an answer, “Catra, I can explain all of this. I have those old pictures because they are from a happier time. I may have paused when the Rebels made their escape, but I did not help Bow and the others leave free. I simply froze, we've already discussed this. As for the Whispering Woods, it isn’t what you think, I'm not…”

Catra interrupts, “So you are going to tell me you aren’t a spy? Is that it? Then who is Adora? If you aren’t a Rebel spy, enlighten me to the truth, because there is a spy. I know that much for sure. Either you are, or you are protecting someone...” Adora is silent. A defining moment presents itself in a most surprising way. Adora knows she could tell Catra that Spira is a spy. She could even turn in the Rebels and be a hero among the Horde. The problem is that Adora is no longer sure she believes in the Horde. And standing in front of Catra, she knows she is going to make a choice she should have made a long time ago. Remember the words from the Sorceress, Adora decides to follow her heart and be true to what has been hidden for so long. She says nothing. She will not give up Spira’s identity as a double agent. Her silence answers Catra’s suspicions.

Grinning, Catra purrs, “I see. That is what I thought. I can’t believe you have been fooling us this whole time. The perfect Horde member is nothing but a fake. You are a lie.” Catra removes her sword. Adora notices this, “What happens now?”

Catra snarls, “You know what happens.” Adora nods and realizes that the whole excursion to Skydancer Mountain has been a trap. Catra is planning on killing her with orders likely from Hordak. Thoughts race through her mind, Does Hordak really want this to happen? I can't believe I am so expendable, all of the things I have done for the Horde... terrible things. Innocent lives have been wasted at my own hands, what for? I have made terrible choices. Can I be forgiven? Adora thinks, Catra is now getting her long standing wish, to finally be rid of me. I want to live. I want to fix my mistakes. Adora grabs her sword as well. Looking at Catra, Adora states,  “Well, I hope you know this won’t be easy.”

The statement sends a thrill down Catra's spine. The jealous beauty purrs, “I was hoping you’d say that.” Time stands still and suddenly everything moves with a burst of speed. Catra screams running towards Adora. The raven haired beauty jumps in the air, planting a kick in Adora’s chest.

Rolling to the ground Adora jumps up, using her sword to block another attack from Catra. The two women engage in a deadly sword fight, with Catra using all her strength to slice through Adora. The two have locked their swords together and Catra releases her claws taking a swipe at Adora’s arm, drawing blood. Quickly moving to dodge another slice Adora lands a good punch in Catra’s face. The two step away from each other. Catra begins to circle around Adora as if she is prey.

Yelling at Catra, Adora spits out, “Come on! What are you waiting for?” Growling Catra lunges for Adora. Quickly sidestepping Adora is behind Catra trying to stab her with a deadly blow. Catra flips in the air and the two are back to sword fighting. The two slam their swords together again and are locked in place, trying to see who is stronger.

Looking at Catra, Adora realizes how strong they both are. Adora feels that Catra is about to give, until, shockingly, Catra’s eyes turn into slits and this growing ball of dark magic forms between the two. Catra has no idea what is happening, but the magic is coming from her. She screams and the dark magic explodes throwing the two women across the clearing.

In the process Adora loses her sword and it falls off the side of the clearing, down below the rocky mountain. Adora curses herself. Catra has no idea what just happened, but screams that the sword is gone. The sword is the one thing she wants to have in her possession, per Hordak's orders. “Oh Adora why won’t you just die!” Catra screams.

The two women stand up and stare at each other. Catra picks up her sword. Adora remembers she has a blaster gun on her; and pulls it out aiming at Catra. Laughing, Catra taunts, “That’s funny. You are going to try and shoot me? Good luck with that.” Flipping her mask over her face Catra runs towards to Adora, turning into a panther in the process and lunging towards Adora. Trying to shoot but missing, Adora is pinned down by Catra in panther form. Catra tries to bite into Adora's neck.

Lifting up with all her strength Adora tosses the panther over her head. Catra scrambles into her human form as she lands on the ground. Gliding, Catra quickly kicks Adora in the stomach. Doubling over Adora clutches her stomach. Catra lays another punch knocking Adora to the ground. Acting fast, Adora trips Catra up and stands. The two start kicking and throwing each other around. Both are hurting but Catra lands a harsh blow to the side of Adora’s head.

Falling to the ground Adora has a hard time getting up. Catra walks by and kicks Adora’s stomach again. Slamming her claws into Adora’s back, Catra lifts her up. Catra's strength surprises Adora as Catra spins Adora tossing her near the ledge of the mountain. Trying to stand up Adora is in incredible pain. Catra runs towards Adora, pushing her. Adora loses her footing and falls off the side of the mountain, managing to grab the rocky ledge.

Catra stands over Adora as she dangles off the ledge. Laughing a throaty laugh, Catra purrs, “Well, well, well, I finally have you where I want you.” Looking up, many thoughts and memories flash through Adora's mind. They grew up together. Animosity aside, they were like sisters. This is the longest relationship that Adora has had with anyone on Etheria. Adora never thought that this would be happening. “Please, help me Catra. You don’t want to do this.”

Lowering herself to look at Adora in the face, Catra nods, “You’re right, I don’t want to,” Catra slams her clawed gloves into Adora's arms. Wincing in pain Adora is lifted up by Catra. Dangling Adora in the air, Catra purrs, “I’ll do this instead!” Smirking Catra quickly flings Adora off the side of the mountain. Adora screams and falls below…

Next up!

Do I really have to say what happens next?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

To See, or Not to See: The Hunger Games

Movies are something else aren't they? There is something magical about sitting in a dark room with a group of strangers who find their iPhones more interesting than the movie on screen. Seriously, why even pay for a movie ticket if you are just going to surf the net on a fancy-pants phone? It doesn't matter how many manners have been thrown out the window in the current Movie Age, one thing is always certain, we love movies. We even love bad movies, but a really good movie makes that magical feeling so much better. Doesn't it?

As some of us may have noticed, The Hunger Games has become a world wide hit. Movie magic. The young adult novel that the movie was based on has been on my radar for awhile, however I have never read any books from the trilogy. (Truth be told I'm behind on my magazines and I'm still trying to finish Breaking Dawn. It will happen, I'm sure of it.) Many people told me that the Hunger Games story and characters were fantastic. I had no reason to doubt that because I love when a story features a main character that is a powerful female not stuck in a rut trying to be sexy or finding herself tied to the train tracks. (Speaking from some experience, being tied up to something and waiting to be rescued is not what it is cracked up to be.)

Needless to say I was looking forward to seeing the movie, which is what I did this past weekend. I must say the movie was a fun adventure. Everyone who has not seen this movie should run along and see it as quickly as possible. Go to the matinee or a local theater. Ticket prices are usually more affordable that way. My local theater charges $2.75 a ticket. I try not to pay attention to what is on the theater floor, but whatever. Times are tough and $2.75 works well for me.

Why should folks see this movie? I've heard and read many people crying out, "I can't bear to see a movie where kids are out killing other kids! That is weird!" Or, "My children must be shielded from the monstrosity of a young adult novel." First of all the evening news is scarier than what goes on in this movie, alright folks? Also the funny thing about grown ups freaking out about kids seeing this moive is that, more than likely, the kids have already read the book. Of course use judgement though, the movie does have a PG-13 rating. So obviously a four year old may be too young. Then again I have seen a family bring their six year old twins and newborn to the Nightmare on Elm Street remake, so figure out what works best for you and your family.

This movie draws the viewer in with a world that is vivid even at its most lowest depths of despair. I found myself liking every character, even the 'villains' of the story. As a movie-goer the biggest thing I need is to feel drawn into the world. I end up caring about the characters as a result. For those who have no clue the basic plot is simple. The Capitol is a super rich and powerful city that controls these 12 Districts that make up what used to be North America. In order to appease the Capitol there are the Hunger Games. A girl and boy from each District offer up their lives to fight in a competition. The person who survives gets a lot of viddles and a huge party for their District. The game is also televised like a reality show and draws quite a large viewership. Mini-spoiler alert, not all the kids are thrilled to be hunting each other. The story is much more complex than everyone trying to kill one another. There are team ups and other various surprises along the way.   

With a great deal of action fast storytelling, there is also social commentary to be had throughout this movie as well. In other words you don't feel completely mindless as you watch. There is the topic of the rich and the poor and the scary things that can happen when power and wealth combine. Or is it that they have always gone hand in hand? Reality television is tackled as well, what with the realization that people really will watch other human beings do just about anything as long as it is just a show. I also feel like the storyline closely resembles that of She-Ra. Yes, She-Ra. Let me explain:

The Hunger Games has a Glimmer- Leven Rambin (yes, All My Children's Lily Montgomery) plays Glimmer, one of the tributes in the Games. Now this Glimmer is a bee-with-an-itch and not the same kind pink haired princess from the She-Ra cartoon, but it is nice to see the name Glimmer being used in a movie. I am sure Suzanne Collins had any number of reasons to name a character Glimmer in her book, however I can't help but wonder if maybe the author was possibly a fan of She-Ra? How fun would that be?

There is a lot of oppression- A controlling super power that rules the land by fear and other coercive methods? Are we talking about the Capitol or the Horde? There are some minor similarities between the Capitol's ruling President Snow and the villainous Horde on Etheria. For fans who like their heroes living in an oppressed world with the bigger theme of one day toppling the powers-that-be, than the Hunger Games, and She-Ra, are perfect.

One strong heroine- The Hunger Games has Katniss (played by the amazing Jennifer Lawrence) running around saving the guy and trying to help people survive in a crazy world while Princess of Power has She-Ra, who also runs around saving the guy and trying to help people survive in a crazy world. The only difference is that Katniss prefers a bow and arrow (the weapon, not the man and horse) while She-Ra prefers a sword. Either way let's cheer on the wonderful (and highly wanted) idea of more movies featuring a strong heroine in the main role kicking total butt.

If this is a movie that does not interest you, I highly urge you to give it a shot. The subject matter may sound bleak and morbid, but it is not as awful as it sounds. The movie is a great film, much better than most of the stuff out on screens right now. Of course I'm a big dorkette so it only makes sense that I would like it. Plus I am really growing tired of mopey girls in love with vampires. It is always refreshing for something new. So check out The Hunger Games. The odds will totally be in your favor. Seriously, a poker dealer in Vegas told me so.    

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Toy Chest Tuesday! The Goblin Queen

I am often asked how the process works for a toy to be featured on Toy Chest Tuesday. Actually I've only been asked that once, but it seemed like a question to share with you all. The purpose of Toy Chest has always been to look at great toys from yesteryear for all their glory, awesomeness, and maybe even a little bit of cheesiness. There is a cut off though; I tend to feature toys that are at least 10 years older or more. That gives us all a great room to work with, though typically I show things prior to the year 2000 (even though today's toy will be an exception.) Anyways with that backstory behind us, let's feast our eyes on a 2001 toy, the Goblin Queen!

Before Hasbro took over the reigns of Marvel action figures, Toy Biz was the toy company responsible for bringing Marvel fans all their favorites. Toy Biz practically defined the '90s with their toys like it was nothing. One of their lines featured figures from the X-Men parallel world storyline titled: Mutant X. Now Mutant X was a nice twisty tale that is rather lengthy; basically Havok gets his psych swapped with the psych of another Havok in another world (Earth-1298.) If that sounds interesting, click here to find out more.

So the Goblin Queen we are looking at is the Goblin Queen from that alternate world, though I pretend she is the Goblin Queen from Earth-616 (our Earth.) Goodness dimensional travel is so exhausting. This is the only Goblin Queen that has officially been made into an action figure, and I find that rather unfortunate. (More on that later.) Let's look at the toy!

As you can see the Goblin Queen figure comes with a stand (a repaint of the Generation X stands) and a trading card. I love a good trading card. This action figure was made at a time where many advances were starting to come around in toy making. She has quite a few points of articulation that appear to be pre-cursors to what would be the Toybiz Marvel Legends line. She has articulation at her ankles as well as the shoulder points. They can open up, down, and all around. Rotation saved the toy industry. This is very interesting because the first line of figures from Toy Biz were very basic. Let's all thank the cosmos that toy design has come such a long way. I can never say that enough.

The back of the package features a few paragraphs detailing the parallel story of Mutant X with a bio on the Goblin Queen (aka Madelyne Pryor.) The back is more words than anything which is different compared to most action figures. Typically the back of a card will bombard the consumer with many choices to pick and search for in the store. This line was aimed for the collector, so there are not that many figures to choose from as well as more of an emphasis on the actual story of these collectible characters.

The other characters to collect were Havok, The Fallen, and Bloodstorm. These were all alternate parallel versions of the regular characters we have come to know. I never really cared for the other ones, I just wanted the Goblin Queen. Plus when referring to these characters, a person must call them by their actual names. I once referred to Bloodstorm as Storm once, and I thought I was going to be attacked by this dorky guy. He looked at me like I had just asked him to eat a batch of pink slime. "This is Bloodstorm." I'm so sorry!

So why exactly are we taking a look back at this figure? Well dear readers, we are looking at an endangered toy. This is the only version of the Goblin Queen in captivity. No, I don't mean that I own the only Goblin Queen, there were a decent number of Mutant X Goblin Queens made. However in a world where I can walk into a store and find 72 different versions of Wolverine on toy shelves I think it is awful that there has only been one Goblin Queen made. Especially because this version was a parallel world version! Fans of the Goblin Queen haven't even gotten her regular Earth-616 version! Oh the humanity!

The reality may be that I am the only person that even likes this character. Madelyne Pryor has always been one of my favorites. She was a clone of Jean Grey, created by the evil Mr. Sinister. Scott Summers fell madly in love Madelyne because of her resemblance to his dead lady love, Jean. A romance ensued and quickly went sour. After a marriage and child being born into the world, Scott still couldn't quite get over his love for Jean. So Madelyne did what any of us would do, she hooked up with Scott's brother Alex, among a long list of other things.

Anyways long story short, she got tangled up with some demons, and snapped a lil after Mr. Sinister revealed to her the truth about her origin. After all this she finally became the Goblin Queen, put simply Madelyne became a force to be reckoned with. Until she died while trying to kill the X-Men and a resurrected Jean. Madelyne has come back in some form or another throughout the years, but the form she needs to come back in, is plastic. I seriously want a really cool Goblin Queen action figure.

Certain comic characters can cause quite a first impression. I recall being blown away by Storm and Rogue when I first saw them in a comic. I was 9 when I first saw the Goblin Queen in a comic. It was a What If... issue of X-Men and I had never seen a female character drawn in the way that she had. The Goblin Queen's outfit has always been incredibly revealing. I grew up with Madonna so nothing really shocked me growing up, but seeing the Goblin Queen in her super low cut loin cloth and small top with a lot of under-boob, I had to ask myself, "Is that what I will look like when I am older and a lil crazy? With the power to raise goblins and demons to do my bidding?" Thank goodness that answer is no, I'd probably be arrested if I left my house dressed like that. Either way, she needs a new figure. Hasbro, are you reading? (Well you should...)

Anyways dear readers, that is about it. The end of another Toy Chest Tuesday! I hope it has been a lovely Tuesday for toys. I was actually a little concerned about posting this week's latest installment, because I believe I am reaching the allotted space for pictures on here. I am not entirely sure what I will do about that, but have no fear. Just continue to keep it here. I appreciate all those who read and I will continue to post my dorky heart's contents. Also feel free to email me with any ideas or suggestions for what you'd like me to ramble about. Until next time!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Adora's Search For Honor Part 1: Chapter 4

And now, She-Ra Saturdays continue...

Adora’s Search for Honor
Part 1
Chapter 4

Previously: Catra let Adora and Spira know how angry she was about the Rebels escape from the Fright Zone. Glimmer, Bow, Mermista, and Perfuma made it back to the Whispering Woods safely. Glimmer gave a rousing speech assuring the members of the Rebellion to continue to hold out hope for supplies and an end to the Horde’s domination over Etheria. Castaspella had also brought survivors from the destruction of Poft (a seaside village) to the Whispering Woods. Adora and Spira discussed the Rebellion and the Horde, Adora found herself questioning a few things. Catra was catty with Frosta, who still won’t surrender peacefully to the Horde. Hordak and Shadow Weaver discussed various Fright Zone business while Catra asked permission to investigate her suspicions that someone in the Horde may be a spy…

Chapter 4

Adora stands with some Horde Troopers in the cargo bay area of the Fright Zone, awaiting the arrival of a man that grates Adora’s nerves. His name is Sea Hawk, a pirate on contract with the Horde. Sea Hawk's role is to find and deliver various items, including certain supplies and resources, to the Horde. The rugged pirate approaches the cargo area and reaches out to kiss Adora's hand, “Why, if it isn’t the most beautiful woman in the Fright Zone! How do you do Adora?” Sea Hawk is left hanging as Adora rolls her eyes and keeps her hands by her side, “I am just here to make sure the items are delivered Sea Hawk, I am not in the mood to deal with your come-ons.”

Nodding Sea Hawk looks around the cargo bay area. He notices more gaurds than usual, “Sure looks like Hordak has increased security around here. What happened here Princess?” Slightly impatient Adora speaks loudly, “We have had a recent security breech. Hordak wants to make sure that it doesn’t happen again and please do not call me Princess. Do I look like a Princess?” Knowing he has pushed a button, Sea Hawk grins, “Wow I didn’t think anyone could escape this place alive. For the record though Adora, you are the most beautiful woman in this high class dump. Sorry if I think of you as royalty.” Sea Hawk tips his head and starts to unload some boxes with the help of his crew members.

Shaking her head in annoyance Adora knows Sea Hawk is harmless. However his deliveries always fill her with dread. The Horde Force Captain feels that the pirate is too slick, and those are kind words. She does not trust Sea Hawk. Eventually Hordak walks into the cargo area and stands next to Adora. Looking at the shipment of stolen scrap metals for weapon parts and other goods Hordak grins, “Pirates do such great work. Sea Hawk, you do not disappoint." Sea Hawk nods approaching Hordak for his payment. The pirate is ready to roll in the riches, this was a big shipment. Hordak prepares to hand over a few coins, "I will give you half of your payment now.”

Caught off gaurd, Sea Hawk pauses, “Huh? That wasn’t part of the deal Hordak.” Laughing and snorting the Horde leader throws the coins at Sea Hawk, “Do not pretend like you make the rules pirate. You will receive the other half of your payment once you find something important for me.” Hordak motions for everyone to walk away, he wants to speak privately with the pirate. There have been times in the past where Sea Hawk went on missions to find rare and unique items for Hordak. Sea Hawk crosses his arms, “And what would you like? Another impish pet dragon?” Sea Hawk is referring to Imp, a small dragon that is Hordak's personal pet.

Hordak smiles, “My pet Imp was a rare feat indeed; however what I want is much rarer. I need an ice diamond.” Upon hearing the request Sea Hawk laughs, “Hordak! The ice diamond is a myth. How do you expect me to find something that does not exist?” Not skipping a beat Hordak is serious, “You will find it. If you have to look around every corner of Etheria, you will find me that diamond. Of course, I could always find someone else to do your job...” The pirate stops smiling, “No. I will do my best to find you an ice diamond Hordak.” Sea Hawk’s crew stops unloading the last of the shipment. Motioning his crew members, Sea Hawk prepares to leave.

Nodding his head to Adora and saying his goodbyes to Hordak, Sea Hawk heads back to the ship with his crew. Walking towards his ship on a landing pad, Sea Hawk looks back to make sure the Horde is inside and away. The pirate hoists himself onto the ship which is part flying air ship but can also travel on the sea as needed. While walking towards his personal cabin Sea Hawk is caught off guard when a net is thrown over his head.

Sea Hawk shouts, “What the heck?! Netossa what was that for?!” He tries to get the net off of him as Netossa steps forward and crosses her arms, “That is for doing dirty business with the Horde! I can’t believe I am stuck on this ship with the likes of you!” Netossa is a captivating beauty with long blue hair. A recent addition to the ship as a stowaway, Netossa is not happy that Sea Hawk does business with the Horde.

Pointing his finger at her Sea Hawk shouts, “No one said you needed to stay! But a deal is a deal, if you want me to help find your friend, you are going to have to pay off your debt!” A furious Netossa bites back, “I am willing to pay off my debt to you for sneaking aboard your ship and taking your items. I have already done my best to help your crew but when are we going to look for my friend? I’m tired of searching for items and making deliveries to the Horde. You have no idea how evil the Horde is!”

Sea Hawk calls out for one of his crew members to start up the ship. Looking at Netossa Sea Hawk lowers his head. Ever since they found Netossa on the ship he has heard how terrible the Horde is, “I don’t care how evil the Horde is. I have a job to do Netossa.” Vehemently shaking her head Netossa whispers, “How can you help the Horde? Do you have any idea what they are capable of?” Netossa is fully aware of what the Horde can do...

Rubbing his fingers together Sea Hawk is honest, “I do this job for the riches. You think I like putting up with that ridiculous Hordak? I am aware of what the Horde is, but let me tell you something chick, I have no other choice. If I stop doing the job, he will just find someone else to take my place. And in turn, my new place won’t be pretty.” Sea Hawk wants to be rich and very much alive.

Pausing before speaking, Netossa realizes she no longer cares. There are more important matters she wants to attend to, “Whatever your situation is I could care less Sea Hawk." Beginning to choke back tears Netossa continues, "I want to find my friend! The longer we wait, the more she is in danger. I just know it! You need to help me find her!” This is not the first time the pirate has heard of Netossa's "friend." Sea Hawk takes a breath, “Look lady, I catch you trying to steal my ship, causin’ a ruckus, and nearly taking out half my crew in the process. Do not tell me what I need to do. You pay off your debt fully for the trouble you caused and then I will be glad to find your friend and be done with you.”

Closing her eyes Netossa spits out, “You pirates are all the same. I can’t believe this. Forget the debt, let me off this ship. I will find my friend myself!” Netossa attempts to jump off the ship while in the process of lifting into the air. Sea Hawk rushes towards her, grabbing her by the waist. Shouting at her, “What are you doing!? Trying to kill yourself? What is the matter with you Netossa? We are about to be airborn!” Sea Hawk looks at the strong woman before him.

Choking back more tears Netossa shakes, “I can’t go on like this! I am wasting so much time, and if she is gone, I will never forgive myself.” The pirate can see that Netossa is clearly upset about finding her friend. He wonders if she will now shed light on just who this friend is, “What is so special about your friend?”

Netossa removes Sea Hawk’s hands from her waist, “What do you care Sea Hawk? You are only interested in gold from Hordak.” Shaking his head, “No. I’ve heard enough about this friend, enough with being vague 'Tossa. If I am going to help you, you need to start talkin’. Does this friend even have a name?”

Netossa pauses with tears in her eyes, “Her name is Spinnerella.” Sea Hawk smirks, “Spinnerella? What kind of name is that?” Rolling her eyes Netossa explains, “Spinnerella is a nick name her family gave her. She is a dancer.” Perking up Sea Hawk smiles, “Oh? I like dancers.” Groaning in response, “Not that kind of dancer you jerk. She does not dance for the pleasures of pirates. She dances to pass down the stories of our town’s ancestors. Spinnerella learned to dance from the other dancers in our town; she has been given a talent.”

Realizing he needs to be serious Sea Hawk apologizes and asks Netossa to continue. Netossa opens up about her life, “Well Spinnerella’s family lives next door to mine. We have known each other since we were little children. You could even say that we are like sisters. Our families are important to our town. My father and mother both have talents involving netting. My father uses netting to catch and sell food in a market my family owns. My mother uses her netting skills to create fantastic fashions for the people of our town. Learning from both my parents I have learned how to use netting for various purposes. In fact I was always helping to design Spinnerella’s dancing costumes for festivals.”

Sea Hawk nods, “That explains a lot. So the two families have been close. Now how did you lose your friend?”

Netossa continues, “We both wanted to go on holiday and tour Etheria. Or rather parts of Etheria, since it has not been completely safe to travel due to the Horde. Our families were concerned, but Spinnerella and I were able to convince them to letting us travel on holiday. That is what we did. We made it to a quaint sea side village and roomed in an inn. The inn keeper’s family liked us so much, that we decided to stay in the town for longer than we had expected. I taught the town how to use netting to help them catch food while Spinnerella had been busy teaching the children how to dance and tell stories. Spinnerella had even caught the eye of a handsome young man. Love was in the air, and our holiday was simply divine.”

Thinking of the families, Sea Hawk asks, “What of your families? Did they wonder where you two were after awhile?”

Netossa goes on, “We sent word to our families that we would be staying longer and that we were safe. We just adored the sea side village. There was even going to be a festival, Spinnerella was creating a dance group to perform sharing so many historical stories about the villagers. I was helping to make the costumes; we were all having such a fun time.” Netossa pauses and stares into the distance, the images of what occured burning in her memory.

Noticing that something is wrong, Sea Hawk touches her arm, “Hey, ‘Tossa, are you still here?” Coming back to reality Netossa looks at Sea Hawk with fear in her eyes, “Everything changed a few evenings before the festival. It was a dark night and a few of the villagers were expected back from a trip gathering some food. Spinnerella and I were relaxing at the bar in the Inn. Laughing at past stories and dreaming of future hopes. Then we heard a scream. It had been heard outside the village. A few of us gathered around to see what was going on. The screaming continued and we realized that it was Tobul; he was a part of the group that had gone searching for food. He was shouting for help.”

Shaking even further Netossa relives the horrific night, “More people had exited their homes and began to gather around. A few of us walked towards Tobul, he had staggered into the village. He was missing an arm. There was blood everywhere. He was begging for help and screaming that we would all die. No one knew what was going on, none of it made any sense. That is when we heard the noises.”

Vividly recalling the sounds and blinking back tears Netossa cries out, “Some of the villagers went out in the darkness with torches, searching for whatever had attacked Tobul. He was no longer screaming, just shaking. Spinnerella and I were looking on as some of the villagers were searching. Then we saw it. A beast unlike any I’d ever seen appeared out of the darkness. It had two heads, and all of these arms and legs! My goodness it was so frightening and very fast. The monster raced towards the village. None of us stood a chance. It began laying waste to everything.”

Sea Hawk asks what happened next, even though he has some idea. If this was the village he had heard about... Sea Hawk knew who was responsible for the carnage.

“The monster began slaughtering the villagers. People were screaming. There was death everywhere. Somehow the village caught fire, everyone was running anywhere they could to find a safe spot. Some were trying to hide others tried to fight. Spinnerella and I ran to the Inn. The Inn Keeper’s family had stayed behind and we wanted to help them escape. We set ourselves up for trouble. The Inn was on fire and Spinnerella and I could only do so much. The ceiling collapsed and I got separated from everyone else. I told them I would catch up to them. I found a way to escape, fighting for my life to avoid the monster.”

Netossa cries, “All I could do was run. I ran. I tried to take others with me, but everyone was scattered every which way. I found my way through the night until I could run no more. I passed out from fear and exhaustion, awaking the next day with determination to find any survivors. Everyone was either hiding or gone. I still searched though, being careful where I went. I was never able to find anyone, and that is when I came across your ship.”

He listens to her account. The pirate feels for Netossa and asks, “That village was Poft wasn’t it?" The look on Netossa's face answers his question. Sea Hawk thinks to himself, how could she have survived, there had been no reports I fear her friend is gone..., "I’d heard about the assault on the sea side village of Poft. That monster was from the Horde and I believe he was searching for Rebels.” Sea Hawk remembers hearing the story from an older gentleman at a bar, shortly before he came across Netossa.

Opening her mouth in defiance Netossa is adament, “There were no Rebels! That Horde monster was not searching for any Rebels. Its only goal was to destroy lives. I was there Sea Hawk! I saw what happened. I do not understand how anyone can think the Horde is out for the good of Etheria! Innocent people were butchered!If I ever come across the Great Rebellion I will happily join and drive a stake through that monster’s heart, if it even has one.”

Sea Hawk thinks for a second, “I know you may not believe this Netossa, but I am sorry for what you went through.” He is sincere and that surprises Netossa. She smiles briefly, “Thank you.” Looking out over his ship at the night sky Sea Hawk thinks about his role in life. Current times were strange he thinks to himself, but then again, weren't they always? He wants to help Netossa, “I have to find something for Hordak. However I want you to know that I am forgetting about your debt, and I will do my best to help you find Spinnerella.”

Shaking her head, Netossa knows that is asking too much “I will still work off my debt until she is found. I am glad to hear though that you will really try to help me. It is so important. I do not want to return to my home town without her. It would be devastating.” Netossa can't even allow herself to think about life without Spinnerella.

Sea Hawk nods, “I know it would. Don’t worry though; I’ll do my best to help you. Let's hope she is still alive” Walking away from Netossa, Sea Hawk wonders what he has gotten himself into. How will be find an ice diamond for an evil empire while also helping a stranger who is now becoming a friend?


Meanwhile on another part of Etheria inside the Fright Zone Adora sits at a table in her room. Staring at herself in front of her mirror Adora rubs her eyes while also pausing to massage her head. Tired and ready for sleep, Adora opens her eyes as she hears a faint noise that begins to grow louder. The noise is a voice...


Startled, Adora looks into the mirror at her reflection that is no longer there. In the mirror is instead an image of the mysterious woman with feathered wings that came to her a few days ago. “What is going on?” Adora asks and reaches over touching the mirror. Her hand goes through the glass as if it were water. Startled again Adora quickly pulls her hand back. Looking at the image Adora asks, “Who are you? What is going on?”

The woman smiles, “You can call me the Sorceress. Ever since your involvement with the most recent Horde invasion on Eternia, I have been connected to you.” The statement sounds silly. Adora shakes her head, “And now what? You just show up in my dreams and vanity mirror? Explain to me why I am connected to you.”

“Adora, you are very special to many people. You hold the key to saving so many lives. I am able to have a telepathic connection with you, and I hope to help guide you to your destiny.”

“What is my destiny?” Adora asks the Sorceress. This is something that Adora has been thinking about for awhile now. Lately her life has been unraveling around her. The truths she holds onto now seem brittle. Adora wonders if she is losing herself. The Sorceress smiles, as if she knows what will happen next, “I will explain when we have more time. Right now I must make my message quick. You are in danger of losing everything you hold important. The sword you carry is very vital to your future; whatever you do make sure no one else takes your sword from you. That sword was always meant for you, do your best to protect it.”

Hadn't Hordak given me this sword? What does she mean... Adora thinks to herself. Lost in her thoughts Adora calmly says, “If you say so, but how am I in danger of losing everything?”

A voice interrupts the surreal moment, “Adora! Who on Etheria are you talking to?” Turning to the familiar voice Adora looks up and sees Catra in her doorway, “Oh. Catra. I was just singing to myself.” Walking in and crossing her arms Catra is suspicious, “Really? Interesting. I've never heard you sing.”

Ignoring the statement Adora stands to face Catra, “Before you tell me what you’re doing here, let me make sure I nailed my bookcase to the floor.” Referring to the most recent outburst from Catra, Adora smiles sweetly. Raising her arms in the air Catra purrs, “I surrender! I’m not here to fight. I come in peace.”

Raising an eyebrow Adora is surprised, “Really? Have you been hit on the head or something?” Rolling her eyes Catra groans, “Really Adora, must you always think the worst of me? I am here to talk to you. After my melodramatic event the other day I had time to actually think about some things. Particularly something that you had said during our spat.” Adora is not interested in games, “I said a lot of things, your point?”

Catra continues, “I am referring to the part you said about how we grew up with Hordak and Shadow Weaver. We were always told to stick together. That the Horde can only work if we are all together in our message and goal. After thinking about that I realized that I was a bit out of place and quite hostile towards you.” Smiling slightly Adora finds herself liking this sudden change in Catra, “Is this an apology Catra?”

“I suppose this could be the closest thing I can give in terms of an apology. But no, I am here because no matter what I may feel about you, we are members of the Horde. As such, we should stand united.” Catra looks at Adora, hoping for an agreement. Realizing this would be the closest thing to a truce Adora says, “I agree. So I guess this means we won’t be braiding and combing each other’s hair?” Catra groans, “Oh no, I do not think so. However there is something else I would like to talk to you about. Has anything seemed strange around the Fright Zone lately?”

Adora shrugs, “That depends on what you mean by strange. If we are talking about the lack of Horde Members that have fallen down Hordak’s trap door, than I would say yes; things have seemed strange. Hordak has an itchy finger and I'm surprised he hasn't been using it. Other than that I can’t really think of anything.”

“I wasn’t really thinking of Hordak’s trap door. I’m thinking more like the idea that someone may not be who they seem to be around here.” Catra studies Adora's face.

Adora asks Catra what she means by the statement, and Catra answers, “For instance, do you think that Mermista and Perfuma had help rescuing Bow and Glimmer?” The idea is not entirely new to Adora but she shakes her head, “I don’t know, Mermista and Perfuma both used to live in the Fright Zone. They would know their way around.”

“This is true, but still Adora. Those two would certainly need some help to sneak through the guards and everything else in the Fright Zone. Wouldn’t it make sense that someone aided in their saving the prisoners?” Adora thinks about what Catra is talking about, “I guess it could make sense, but without any proof there isn’t much to go on.”

Catra continues, “There is Adora. I am trying to keep this a bit of a secret, but I believe there is someone using the Horde to help the Rebellion.” Adora chuckles, “Like a double agent or something?” Growing serious Catra presses on, “Yes. This isn’t funny Adora. A few months ago Shadow Weaver reported to Hordak that someone had tampered with research in the Horde Labs, it is believed that this person was looking for information.”

Who would want to tamper with information from the Horde Labs? Many thoughts start racing through Adora's mind, though she keeps this to herself. Adora asks her most curious question, “This is news to me, why wasn’t I informed of this?” Catra slightly grins, “Well isn’t that interesting? The head Force Captain wasn’t up to date on Horde matters.”

Adora is annoyed, “Catra, get to the point. Do you have any idea who the double agent is?” Opening her eyes wide Catra purrs, “No Adora, I do not. Let me ask you though, do you confide closely with anyone? I know you are friends with Spira.”

“True, Spira and I are friends. We talk about some things, but I wouldn’t say that I confide my inner most thoughts with her. There are some things that we all secretly keep to ourselves.” Adora thinks about her odd visits with the Sorceress and how no one knows that. Looking at Adora, Catra wonders what is on her mind, “Interesting Adora, all of it. What of Spira though, does she ever confide anything to you?” Catra recalls a few secret conversations she has overheard between Spira and Adora.

“We are friends Catra. We talk about all sorts of things, but I don’t know that she confides much to me. There are some things she says in confidence, but nothing alarming.” Adora wonders where Catra is going with this.

Catra thinks about Adora's answer and shrugs, “Either way Adora, just be on the lookout for anything that seems strange. If there is a double agent spying on the Horde, Hordak will not be pleased.”

Continuing a brief conversation that eventually bores Catra, the Horde vixen announces she is ready to leave. Once Catrsa is gone, Adora sits in her room and thinks about Catra’s suspicions and questions about a double agent. Adora also thinks about the questions involving Spira, and wonders if there was anything Catra was searching for. Knowing she has had conversations with Spira that have contained liberal attitudes about the Rebellion, Adora is concerned that if anyone has heard those conversations they could make Spira look unflattering depending on the context. Adora brushes these thoughts off and heads to the stables. She wants to see Spirit and go riding…


Slinking around the halls of the Fright Zone Catra is looking for Mantenna. Eventually she finds him playing a card game with Grizzlor and Leech. Interrupting the card game Catra purrs, “Mantenna, you don’t have a winning hand. Take a break from doing nothing and follow me.” Mantenna is sad to lose the current game of cards but he does get up and follow Catra. Leech and Grizzlor mumble at how mean Catra is.

Mantenna looks at Catra, “I could’ve won the game with that hand Catra.” Impatient, Catra turns to him, “Shut up you bug eyed fool! This is serious! I am close to having my moment to shine! I’ve worked too hard for this, and I’m not going to have you ruin it with card talk!”

Mantenna cowers a bit, “Ok Catra! Geez! What do you want?” Glaring at him Catra says faintly, “I need a very important favor from you. Now follow me and let me explain. I have a few things I need you to do for me…” The two walk off heading into a hidden area of the massive Fright Zone.


Time marches on and Adora is walking with Spirit towards the Fright Zone. Having gone on a wonderful ride she isn’t ready to bring him back to the stables just yet. Adora gets lost in her thoughts. Many things flow throughout her mind, her old friends, the Sorceress woman, even the new possibility that there may be someone spying on the Horde. So many things can change in the flash of a moment. However her thoughts are interrupted once she notices Spira walking cautiously through a side hallway.

Adora calls out to Spira, and Spira doesn’t seem to hear her. Curious, Adora quietly follows Spira with Spirit in tow. Spira is sneaking around the Fright Zone. Still following from a safe distance Adora is surprised when she sees Spira hop down to a spot near the cargo bay area. Spira seems aware of where she is going and even has Storm waiting for her at a makeshift post. Storm is another of the horses that is usually in the stables with Spirit.

Whispering to Spirit Adora looks on at her friend, “I wonder why Spira has Storm tied over there. Let’s follow her Spirit and maybe we’ll find out.” Adora gallops off after Spira managing to keep a safe distance. Adora has many questions flowing through her mind; the biggest one being why Spira is leaving the Fright Zone in a secretive manner, especially after Hordak has forbade anyone from leaving the Fright Zone alone…

At this same time Catra is in her room lounging around and relaxing, thinking of all the plans she has brewing. Mantenna charges in panting. “I have news Catra! I saw her, she left and I can show you the way she went!”

Catra is full of glee. She knew asking for Mantenna's help would create some results, “That was sooner than expected! I wasn’t expecting her to actually leave the Fright Zone so soon. Show me the way; I’ll follow her with Clawdeen.” Clawdeen is Catra’s preferred mode of transportation. A large lioness, Clawdeen has been a great help in battle for Catra. Closer to seeing her plan fully realized Catra claps her hands together…

Racing through the night Adora finds herself concerned with following Spira. Adora has no idea where they are headed. They have been traveling a distance and Adora hopes they manage to reach a destination soon. There is even more concern once Spira slows down. They have made it to the Whispering Woods. Adora trails behind even slower to make sure Spira cannot spot her. Adora has no idea why Spira is at the Whispering Woods, but she is very surprised once Spira actually enters the magical forest. Adora shakes her head and stops to think about her current situation. Well aware that the Rebels live in the Whispering Woods, Adora also realizes that only members of the Rebellion are able to freely walk in. No one from the Horde has ever been to enter the woods.

Talking to Spirit Adora pats her steed on the head, “Come on Spirit. Spira could be in trouble if she comes across the Rebels.” Adora wonders if she even truly believes the words that just escaped her lips. Pausing at first, unsure how this will work, Adora and Spirit easily enter into the Whispering Woods. Just as Catra arrives and lurks around as well, waiting to see which events unfold…

Walking with Spirit through the Whispering Woods, Adora takes in all the nature surrounding her. The trees and plants are beautiful in every color imaginable. Caught off guard with how amazing the Whispering Woods look she realizes has never been inside the woods. It has been impossible for the Horde to enter the woods. Some have said that a magical field has prevented the Horde from entering. Adora has no idea how Spira and herself are actually stepping foot inside.

Finally catching up to Spira and calling out her name, Adora catches her friend's attention this time. Turning, Spira is startled, “Adora!? My goodness what are you doing here?" Walking up to Spira, Adora looks at her friend, “I should be asking you the same. I’ve been following you since I saw you leave the Fright Zone. What is going on?”

Spira pauses, “Adora you shouldn’t be here.” Shrugging her shoulders Adora looks around. Some things are starting to make sense, “To bad. I’m here now. Please Spira, you are my friend, what are you doing here?”

Full of caution Spira nods, “Yes, we are friends. And as my friend I need to know that I can trust you. It would seem I have no other choice but to tell you now...” Spira has no idea where to begin or even how to describe what is unfolding before them. Can she deal with this, how will she react... Spira asks herself. Motioning for Spira to go on Adora listens as Spira confess the truth, “Adora. I am a spy. I have been spying on the Horde ever since I joined.” The statement hits Adora, she had hoped it would not be true, though she secretly had a feeling. She stumbles, “What? You are a spy? You have been helping the Rebellion? Explain yourself now or I will drag you back to Hordak.” They both know this is not true.

Spira shakes her head, “No you won’t Adora. I know you. You have to listen to me, after you hear what I have to say you will understand. I grew up in the Whispering Woods. I have a very different perspective of who the Horde is. I saw the misery and chaos that Hordak caused towards many people. As I grew older I stepped forward to be a double agent, meant to spy on the Horde to help the Rebellion. I joined the Horde and went through the Academy at an older age. I have made it a point to help the Rebellion at all costs. ”

Listening to her friend pour her heart out, Adora is frustrated, “But Spira! You were brought up in the wrong place, the Horde is not out to hurt anyone. People get hurt when they try to fight against us. The Horde is meant to unite Etheria.” This is the only knowledge that Adora has ever known. This knowledge has protected Adora, kept her in a safe web.

Spira steps forward to Adora, “Adora after all the things that have gone on, all the things we have both done... Do you really believe that?” They have both done terrible things for the sake of the Horde. So many lives that should have had the chance to continue living...

Adora is unsure what to believe, “Spira, none of this makes sense. I don’t understand how this can be. You’ve lied to the Horde this whole time? You’ve lied to me?”

“I had no other choice. Adora, if you only knew how evil the Horde truly is. There is so much that Hordak has kept from you. Come on, follow me. I need to show you the Rebellion; you need to see for yourself.” Adora is uncertain but agrees and walks with Spira and their horses.


Further in the Whispering Woods, Glimmer, Bow and Perfuma are awaiting the arrival of Spira. They are awaiting news and further orders for the Rebellion's next set of plans. “I wonder where Spira could be? I hope she isn’t in any trouble.” Glimmer says and looks at her friends. There is always the possibility that Spira will be caught or unable to reach them. Of course Spira has never let them down.

Bow chimes in, “I’m sure Spira will be here soon. For now, I do like your idea Glimmer. Making a visit to Castaspella could really be of some help. We can see if she has learned any new magic spells or maybe this friend of hers can use her ‘seeing’ abilities to find Angella. I’m up for an adventure; the two of us can head out in the next few days.” Glimmer is glad for Bow's help. The group quickly turns around once they hear someone approaching. Spira and Adora walk into the small clearing. Bow's mouth drops open. Glimmer wonders if this has become a trap. Perfuma lights up once she sees Adora with Spira, “Oh wow, it’s Adora!”

“What is she doing here?” Bow asks Spira. “Adora followed me. She knows everything.” Spira says.

Bow walks up to Adora, “Well alright. I guess we should just lie down and wait for you to bring Hordak here to trample us to death.” Before Adora can say anything Spira steps in, “No Bow. That is not what is going to happen. Adora knows and now we have to show her why the Rebellion is not the enemy of Etheria.”

Perfuma walks up to Adora and gives her a hug, catching her off gaurd. Perfuma is full of glee, “Oh Adora it really is nice to see you! Come on, I’ll show you around!” Perfuma leads Adora to the main part of the Rebel hideout. Everything is occuring so fast, Adora wants to fight what is happening, but she recalls what the Sorceress had said, Trust your heart...

Shouting at Perfuma, Bow groans, “Perfuma! Don’t do that, we don’t know that she can be trusted!” Grabbing Bow’s hand Spira shakes her head, “Bow, it is too late. Either Adora will see the truth or she will turn us all in. There isn’t much we can do now, but hope.”

Glimmer joins Perfuma as they show Adora around. Looking at many of the Rebels, Adora finds herself surprised, she is sad to see so many people in need of resources. Based on what she has always been told, Adora finds herself looking for some army of rebel soldiers. Instead she finds people who are starving and worn down. Glimmer and Perfuma explain what the Horde has done to villages and towns throughout Etheria. Glimmer even explains how her mother and Kowl were kidnapped and are probably dead. Bow and Spira soon catch up, hoping that this reality is sinking into Adora.

Fighting what she is being told, Adora looks at them, “You should all be ashamed of yourselves. Destroying these people’s lives, their homes, and then bringing them here with virtually no resources? Then you blame it on the Horde, this is crazy. Bow and Perfuma, I can’t believe you both left the Horde Academy to join this... What would Madame Razz say if she were alive to see this?”

“Why don’t you ask me yourself dearie.” Madame Razz says behind Adora. Standing before Adora is the one woman who showed so much love and compassion to Adora growing up. Looking at Madame Razz in disbelief Adora asks, “Madame Razz? Is that really you?" Nodding, Madame Razz smiles warmly at Adora, standing around so many people caught off guard. With tears streaming down her face Adora slowly walks up to Razz. Doing the only thing she can think of; Adora hugs Madame Razz and chokes back tears. Soon the tears begin to fall. Adora is full of questions, “How is this possible? How can you be alive right now?”

Looking at Adora and brushing her blonde hair out of her face, Madame Razz holds onto Adora's hands, “Oh dearie, I was never dead. I simply could not be a part of the Horde anymore. There were too many things going on that I did not agree with." Madame Razz looks at Adora, Perfuma, and Bos, "I enjoyed taking care of you when you were children. I loved you all so much.” Madame Razz is not only referring to Bow, Perfuma, and Adora but the other people who grew up in the Fright Zone. Razz continues, “Taking care of you all was what helped me get past being in the Fright Zone. However one day I could no longer help the Horde. I knew Perfuma, Mermista, and Bow were planning on leaving. I could tell they were viewing the Horde differently, they knew. I wanted to find a way to give us all a clean break from the Horde, but that wasn’t possible. Hordak knew I was starting to dislike being in the Fright Zone. I escaped in time, because Hordak had enlisted some Troopers to kill me. I was able to escape with my broom and the clothes on my back. Thankfully I joined the Rebellion. And here I am. Of course there was never really any choice, I've always been a rebel.”

Glimmer joins in, “Adora, I don’t know you personally, but your friends have said many wonderful things about you. I know this must be a struggle to deal with all at once, but please do not turn us in. You have to believe us, we are not the ones at fault here. The Horde has been destroying Etheria for a very long time.”

Adora stands there taking everything all in. A part of her knows that what she is hearing is true, but another part of her is too scared to believe it. Everything she has known has been twisted into one life changing lie. I really have no idea who I am, or what my thoughts are, or even where my values should rest... Adora says to herself. And now she is standing in front of people she has cared about and missed for so long. She is overwhelmed. Anger begins creeping up her spine. Looking at everyone Adora blankly asks, “Why did you all leave me then?”

“Huh?” Bow asks first.

Adora is upset, “How could you all move on and leave me behind!? You were my friends,” Adora looks at Razz, “I thought you were dead,” and Adora lays eyes on Spira, “And you were my friend! This whole time you have been some glamorous double agent! No one tried to tell me or get me away from the Horde.”

Spira calmly speaks, “Adora, I am hardly living some glamorous lifestyle spying on the Horde! If you had known this information would you have joined us long ago? You had made your decision to stick with the Horde, but now you have seen another perspective. This perspective is giving you new possibilities.” Staring at Spira, Adora snaps, “Another perspective? Do they even know what you have had to do as a Horde Force Captain? You’re right when you say it hasn’t been glamorous.”

Spira defends herself, “I am not proud of the things that I have had to do for the Horde. I have done terrible things, but what other choice was there Adora? I knew when I signed on to be a spy that I would have blood on my hands. What now though Adora? What happens now? You know that what we are saying is true. For awhile now you haven’t been feeling right, I can tell from our conversations. And now, you have seen for yourself that the Rebellion isn’t what it seems. So what are you going to do now?”

Adora looks at her friends. So many emotions wash over her. Adora thinks about the horrific things she has done as the head Horde Force Captain. Adora feels sick, “I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore. Nothing makes sense. My own life has been a lie. I have to go. I have to get away from all of this.” Quickly turning Adora hops onto Spirit and races away as fast as she can.

Glimmer looks at Spira and Bow, “Do you think she is going to tell Hordak?” Throwing her hands to her head Spira gasps, “I have no idea.”

Madame Razz speaks up, “Adora will hopefully trust her heart. She knows what is right.” Bow wants to be honest with they all just witnessed, “And what if she doesn’t Madame Razz? What then?”

Razz is solemn, “Then we’ll put up the greatest fight of our lives protecting our home.”


The embers of flowing lava light up Hordak's chambers as Catra and Hordak find themselves in the middle of a conversation. Catra's return to the Fright Zone sees her sharing a great deal of information to Hordak. While listening to Catra talk about the news of a double agent in the Fright Zone, Hordak is feeding his pet dragon Imp.

“Hordak, I have told you what I know. Now what do you think?”

Hordak stops feeding Imp and looks at Catra, “You have certainly gathered plenty of information, especially in such a quick amount of time.” Proud of herself, Catra purrs, “I know, but like I said I have been having these suspicions for awhile now. I’ve heard conversations and seen all kinds of things. What I bring to you is the truth.”

Standing up and looking at the flowing magma in the background Hordak snorts, “I know, I just don’t want to believe it. This pains me to know that she has been a spy helping the Rebellion, such a wasted talent.”

Catra nods, “I know. It is quite a surprise. What should we do with her Hordak?”

Thinking for a second Hordak explains his reasoning, “We can’t keep her as a prisoner. We can’t risk someone rescuing her and causing yet another fiasco. No, there is truly only one way to solve this problem. Catra, you are going to have to kill her.” Hordak knows there is simply no place for a spy in the Fright Zone, especially as a prisoner. Death would be the only answer.

“Are you sure you want me to do that Hordak?” Catra asks, secretly hoping that Hordak is serious.

Hordak nods, “Yes. I want you to kill Adora for being a Rebel spy.”

Catra grins. Her plan has fallen exactly into place.

“Oh and Catra, one more thing, make sure you bring me back her sword once she is dead. I have important uses for it...”

Up next!
-Catra and Adora braid and comb each other’s hair
-Frosta gets chilly
-Bow and Glimmer embark on an adventure

Friday, March 23, 2012

One Life to Live Barbie Dolls! Series 1

Ok so you know how some people can see Jesus on a tree or staring back at them on a piece of toast? Well I have that magical talent too, only it is not Jesus that I see. I have this ability to look at certain Barbie dolls and say, "Hey! That doll would make a great Jem character!" Or, "Hey! That doll totally looks like Glimmer." Most recently I have started seeing my favorite soap characters as Barbie dolls. Call it a very odd way to mourn the loss of my beloved soaps, I don't care. We all mourn in our own way. Some people sleep with their sister's fiance. Other people take to the bottle. I can't lie anymore. The truth is I have been collecting Barbie dolls that resemble folks from my soaps.

Today we are going to be looking at the first series of my One Life to Live dolls! Now I know these dolls are not officially licensed OLTL products, but I would be holding my breath for a very long time waiting for actual licensed items. So who do we have on tap today? Series 1 features the lovely romantic duo of a broody moody cop and one fiery tell-it-like-it-is red head. John McBain and Natalie Buchanan. Dear readers, it is about to get dorky. Prepare accordingly.

Before we look at the dolls let's look at who we are talking about.

Here we have John McBain played by Michael Easton

And Natalie Buchanan played by Melissa Archer

Now that we have that out of the way let's check out John McBain as a doll (oh I'm sure he'd just love this.)

As you can see this John doll may need a slight trim (the hair is a lil poofy) but I feel that it captures some of the essence that is John McBain. He is wearing a black undershirt, though he is missing an arm tattoo... and some facial scruff. However I saw this doll and was like, "He'd make a perfect John McBain!" Right? I'm not three shades of cray am I?

If anyone is wondering, this lovely doll is made by Mattel's Barbie Basics line. This was the denim collection so all the dolls in that series are sporting designer looking jeans along with extra sets of clothes and accessories for added fashion fun. I realize one of two things may be happening right now, some of my readers may be groaning at the fact that they are actually reading about this and other readers may be saying, "This chick is sad and loony. Get a life!" Well I assure you all dear readers, I have a life. I just really think that One Life to Live deserves some cool dolls based on Llanview's finest.

John McBain was an FBI agent before losing that title and eventually becoming a cop and Chief of Detectives on the LPD. He believes in good and is mostly stoic, but he does have one heck of a sense of humor bubbling under the surface. His portrayer also writes some pretty cool graphic novels (The Soul Stealer series and The Green Woman.) Though he has loved many women, there has only been one that has kept that mysterious heart of his beating...

Here is Natalie Buchanan Barbie. She is the daughter of Llanview's #1 matriarch Victoria "Viki" Lord (homegirl has a long list of married last names, but those will not be addressed because I got a post to do!) Anyways I think this doll totally resembles Natalie. The shade of red may not be perfect, but to be fair, Nat has had numerous shades of red on the show.  

This doll is also from the Barbie Basics line. Actually there are quite a few dolls in this line that resemble OLTL characters. I really like when things like this happen. For me, buying these dolls and deluding myself into thinking they resemble soap characters helps the show live on. My goal is to have the entire cast, can you just imagine how fun that would be? The different ways that everyone could be set up? Oh the fabulosity of it all.

Natalie showed up in Llanview in the new century. She was the twin daughter that Viki never knew she had (really long story.) Either way Natalie is the twin sister of Jessica Buchanan and when Nat first showed up she was a whirlwind that could not be contained. Who could forget the sibling showdown she had with Jessica in 2002 that resulted in Natalie shoving Jessica through a stair railing and crashing to the floor? Even though these sisters love each other, they certainly got into some huge fights throughout the years. Oh I miss seeing Natalie Buchanan on my TV. Melissa Archer has always played Natalie with such ferocity. I love her. Go and youtube OLTL Natalie scenes now, she means business!

Natalie fell in love with some really dreamy men like Christian Vega and Jared Banks (we'll try to forget that whole Brody mess though.) Her heart ultimately belongs with John McBain. After many long years of back and forth they finally ended up together, with a baby boy too! Hopefully OLTL fans will see some more "Jolie" in the near future, what with John causing a ruckus on General Hospital.

So here is to John and Natalie!

Plus word on the street (and by street I mean GH executive producer Frank Valentini) is that there will be some huge casting news regarding GH on Monday. My guess is that Melissa Archer will be bringing Natalie to GH or they will be putting Kassie DePaiva on contract. These are just hopeful wishes but I hope they come true! Also keep it here as I will be showing even more OLTL dolls in the future! They don't call me a dorkette for nothin' folks!