Previously: Hordak wanted to know how experiments were going in the Horde Labs. Hordak also went to visit Horde Prime and planned on bringing back some help in the form of Entrapta. In other news Sea Hawk was working on finding an ice diamond… Bow tried to see Adora in her bedroom, but Madame Razz was not having that, if only because Adora was donning her cool She-Ra cape and assisting her friends at the Sun Tower. While at the Sun Tower Peekablue helped ‘see’ where Angella was being held captive, the guess being that the Pyres have her in the Midnight Lair. Oh and Peekablue had a vision that one of the ladies was going to be dying. Soon.
The air becomes chillier as a floating carriage travels towards Castle Chill. Castaspella has always enjoyed the finer things in life. With the help of Mystacor’s Mages nothing has been off limits for the enchantress. This includes a carriage that hovers slightly above the ground. It is a sleek model made of specialized woods found throughout Etheria. The seats are lined in luxurious velvet, the color of a deep royal blue. The carriage contains two bench style seats that face each other.
Sitting on one bench is the lovely and enchanting Castaspella, a woman of grace and stylish beauty. She is worldly and believes in helping her friends the best way she possibly can. She is proficient in various forms of magic, something she learned at a young age in Mystacor.
Mystacor is an intricate magical kingdom that once shared the beauty of Etheria with other various Kingdoms in the area, i.e. Bright Moon, the Kingdom of Snows, and a few other spots that have since been obliterated by the Horde. Castaspella believes she has what it takes to make sure that her home withstands the threat of the vicious Horde.
Next to Castaspella sits the icy empress Frosta of the Kingdom of Snows. Her life has been forever altered the moment Hordak had her parents murdered. She had no other choice but to become ruler of a kingdom that is quickly melting away from mounting pressure to give in to the Horde’s dominance.
She may have an attitude, but Frosta uses that attitude to survive. If her demeanor were any less imposing there would exist a threat of losing the only place that reminds her of her parents. Castle Chill means so very much to her, and because of that she has been known to snap even at her closest friends.
Across from Castaspella and Frosta sit two Mages. The Mages of Mystacor have sworn themselves to protect Castaspella and anyone else that is from Mystacor. They are trained to use magic as well as various fighting techniques. Part soldier and part enchanter the Mages are a deterrent in Hordak’s control over Mystacor. They will put up any fight possible against the Horde, even if their numbers are not great.
The carriage arrives at the front gates of Castle Chill. The castle is composed of solid frozen blocks of ice. A high outer wall surrounds the inner structure of the castle. The main portion of the castle consists of two tall towers atop a square shaped building.
Frosta exits the carriage and turns to stare across the icy fields. In the near distance Frosta can see the final stages of a Horde Post construction. The Horde Post is a few stories tall and will eventually house Horde Troopers and other forms of weaponry that will be used against Frosta and her people. At the top of the Horde Post rests a large red bat, further reminder that the Horde is preparing something sinister.
Frosta groans, “I hate having to see that dreadful Horde Post.” Castaspella exits the carriage as well and looks towards the Horde Post, she does find it menacing, “You are right, I could think of better things to see. Do not worry though Frosta nothing is going to happen to Castle Chill.”
“Darling, you can’t guarantee that at all. No one can, not even the lovely Rebels in their wooden hideout.” Frosta can feel the air changing. Castaspella looks at her prickly friend, so much has changed in their lives, “The world is a different place. Etheria was once a united world with powerful kingdoms that worked together.”
Frosta nods recalling another time, “Yes, who would’ve ever thought we’d be the last two domains still standing?” Castaspella nods, the Horde wiped out various kingdoms that had been instrumental in the growth of Etheria. One such kingdom had been the largest, but has now become the location of the Fright Zone.
“You make it sound like it is just us against the rest of the world Frosta. You are a Rebel as well, even if you live here. We need to stick together.” Frosta rolls her eyes and heads towards the castle gates, “Casta, you are annoying. Of course I am a part of the Great Rebellion, and I realize that we aren’t in this alone. However, I do wonder how the Rebellion is going to help. We are all in over our heads.” Castaspella wishes her friend could be more optimistic, “Possibly. Hopefully with the arrival of She-Ra, our luck will change.”
Frosta thinks about the statement, she is still uncertain, “Right. I guess we will have to wait and see. In the mean time, why don’t you enchant some luck spell on us, won’t you darling?” Frosta smirks at Castaspella; this smirk contains the simple truth: Frosta may be weary of the future, but she is glad to know she won’t be completely alone.
Waving goodbye to her friend, Frosta turns to head inside her castle. She enters the grand hall and is met by her trusty aid, Chancellor Vivi. Vivi was the Chancellor to Frosta’s parents and now Vivi helps Frosta and the castle. Vivi is a short older gentleman. His wardrobe consists of a furry robe and cap. His beard is fluffy and his eyes rest behind glasses with thick lenses. Ready to brush past Vivi and head to her quarters, Frosta is quick, “Vivi, I am in a hurry. You could never believe the day I have had. I am in desperate need of a bath. Thank goodness this area is not home to giant worms.” Vivi is confused, “Giant worms?”
“Yes. Never mind, I will be down in a bit and then we can catch up.” Frosta is about to head off, but Vivi is pretty fast too, “Actually Empress Frosta, before you head to your quarters, you have company. In the parlor.”
Vivi braces for this bit of news as Frosta turns caught off guard, “I do not recall inviting anyone.” Frosta thinks about Castle Chill’s company and something suddenly dawns on her, “My goodness, you have got to be kidding me!” Startled, Vivi jumps, “I don’t think anyone is trying to kid with you Empress.” Frosta turns and looks at Vivi, “It is someone from the Horde again isn’t it? My goodness if that wretched feline chick is here again with her bad taste in clothing I am going to start a war, and that darling, is the truth!” Frosta bolts off towards the parlor room. Vivi is chasing after her; the parlor room is a special place in Castle Chill. Various artifacts and drawings of Frosta’s family adorn the walls. It is a place that Frosta is proud of and used to enjoy entertaining her friends when there would be a gathering at the castle.
“Empress Frosta, wait, wait! It is not who you think!” Vivi calls out. Ignoring the chancellor, Frosta throws open the doors to the parlor room and stares at her company. A scrounge of a man is there with a woman and another man. Frosta recognizes the men as pirates, but the woman looks different. Frosta is not sure who she is. “What is this? Why are you here?” Frosta says, crossing her arms.
Sea Hawk walks over and bows his head, “Empress Frosta, you have a remarkable home. I am Sea Hawk.” Frosta realizes who Sea Hawk is and is not pleased to see him in her parlor room, “I am well aware of who you are. You are the pirate that smuggles and delivers items to Hordak. You have but a few moments to explain why you are here before I throw you out in the cold or in one of my prison cells. Believe me; it is colder in the cell.” Vivi stands behind Frosta, ready to call forth some guards if need be.
Sea Hawk smiles, he wants to remain smooth and collected, “You see Empress, my ship went down on the water. The temperature in this area wrecks havoc on the gears. My crew is trying to get her goin, but I am afraid we are stranded for the time being. We require a bit of shelter for only a small while.” Frosta laughs, “Darling that is the dumbest excuse I have ever heard. There is a Horde Post rather close, why don’t you go there and get your boss to provide shelter for you?”
Sea Hawk grits his teeth, “Lady, no one is the boss of me. No one.” Frosta’s mouth drops open, “Lady? How dare you speak to me that way! I can have your head for that. I am an Empress you fool.” Sea Hawk’s crew member jumps forward, a skinny man with a sunburned face wearing a garish bright yellow shirt tucked into tattered blue pants. He defends Sea Hawk, “Yeah lady, Sea Hawk is the best captain out on the seas and air, you should show some respect!” Frosta is becoming slightly amused with this exchange. She looks at the crew member, “You look dirty and you smell.”
The crew member mutters under his breath, “Well so do you.”
“What was that?!” Frosta shouts, recalling her run in with the sand worm vomit. Sea Hawk raises his hands and tries to calm the situation, “Listen, listen we really aren’t here to cause any problems. For the record, I am not glad to deliver goods to Hordak. With that said we could really use your help.” Frosta thinks about this. She has never been a fan of pirates. Technically she has never really been a fan of most people. This is a difficult situation, Frosta looks at Vivi. The two of them have a secret look for emergency situations that essentially means: Get the guards. Frosta gives Vivi that look. Vivi hurries off.
Sea Hawk is not a dumb man and realizes that some sort of unspoken exchange has occurred between Frosta and her chancellor. His plan is not working. Frosta looks at her company and is blunt, “My guards are on their way. You will all be swiftly escorted from the castle. I assure you, creating a scene will only make things worse.” Frosta turns to walk off. The woman who has been silent thus far pleads for help, “Please, Empress Frosta, I beg of you to help us.”
Frosta catches herself and motions for the woman to continue. “My name is Netossa. I am a survivor from the brutal attack on Poft. Surely word has spread here and you are aware of the atrocious act from the Horde. I have become a stowaway on Sea Hawk’s ship and he is telling the truth. We have nowhere else to go, and I will not go anywhere near a Horde Post. I would rather rot in the cold cell you spoke of.” Netossa stands tall and will not back down, not even from an Empress. She may not be from royalty, but Netossa learned to stand up for herself no matter what. She is more than a survivor; she will fight until she can fight no more. Frosta looks at Netossa; her eyes speak the truth. They speak many other things as well; Frosta can tell that this woman has been through unspeakable horrors. A feeling rushes over Frosta that really surprises her. She wants to help Netossa.
“Alright. I heard what happened in Poft. I may be able to help you. I am not exactly trusting of pirates; however, darling, I am quite surprised that Sea Hawk didn’t just turn you over to the Horde.” Frosta looks at Netossa. Sea Hawk jumps in, “Hey, as I mentioned before, I don’t care too much for Hordak. My connection with him is complicated at best.” Frosta stares at him blankly, “I could really care less. You all may stay here, until your ship is up and running. I suppose your crew will also want to stay?” Sea Hawk shakes his head, “No ma’am, the rest of my crew is doing the best they can to get the ship workin.”
Frosta rolls her eyes, “Lovely. Netossa, follow me and I will show you to a room. I also have other clothes you could change in to.” Frosta looks at Netossa’s clothing and is particularly curious about her cape that looks like a net. Frosta shrugs it off and realizes that not everyone can dress like her. Frosta prepares to leave the room with Netossa and looks back at Sea Hawk and his crew member, “I will get my chancellor to escort you to a room. Also a friendly reminder, I am aware of the number of items I own in this castle. Do not think for a second I won’t remove your hands if anything turns up missing.”
Sea Hawk and his crew member watch the women leave. The crew member shakes his head, “Wow that woman is a piece of work.” Peeking out the room, Sea Hawk watches Frosta walk off, “Yeah she is a piece of something alright.” Sea Hawk looks back into the parlor and begins studying the items in the room. “So what’s the plan boss?”
“The plan is that we treat the Empress like a lady while finishing the job we need to do and getting the heck out of this cold miserable place.” Sea Hawk says. Deep in concentration, he is hoping the rumor is true and that Castle Chill will contain the ice diamond. “What about Netossa?”
Sea Hawk thinks about that answer for a second, “That will be up to her. She can either stay or go; at this point it won’t matter much to me. We have a job to do.”
Fresh from flying high in the sky, She-Ra arrives at the Crystal Castle. After the events that unfolded in the Crystal Sands, She-Ra made the decision to visit Light Hope. Flying on Swift Wind has also made the trip to the castle a breeze and She-Ra approaches the inside of the castle. She-Ra looks around the magnificent building. The structure is made of actual crystal, clear in some parts and cloudy in others. A grand staircase leads to rooms above. She-Ra wonders what the rooms look like. She walks towards the large room where she originally met Light Hope. She can feel the castle’s rich past as she enters the large room that looks as if it was once a ball room.
Light Hope approaches her, his image still amazing her as every step he makes the image of light reflects and dances off of his frame like flames. He has no visible features, but the light creates dazzling images where his mouth would be when he talks or when he blinks his eyes. “Such a nice surprise She-Ra.” Light Hope says. Nodding, She-Ra says hello. She also explains what has recently transpired with the information about Angella’s possible location in the Midnight Lair.
Light Hope nods, “Ah. Vampra: one of the vilest creatures to ever walk on Etheria. I never had the chance to cross paths with a Pyre, but in my time her legend was still great. You will have your work cut out for you.” She-Ra thinks about the possibilities of entering the Midnight Lair and what could happen, “I am concerned about the journey into the Midnight Lair.”
“What are your concerns?” Light Hope stands still as the light from his form still moves. “I am concerned that someone could die. I fear that there will be a great amount of violence before this is all over with and I am not sure how much I can handle.” She-Ra thinks of all the violent acts she has done as Adora when she was a part of the Horde. Light Hope nods as if he can hear She-Ra’s thoughts, “This is about when you were a member of the Horde.”
“I was responsible for terrible acts against innocent people. When I was thrown from this mountain I vowed I would be different, not even aware how true that would be. I want to find another way; I no longer want to be doing all of this fighting.”
“What would you rather be doing instead She-Ra?” Light Hope asks. She-Ra thinks of her answer and has tears in her eyes, “I would rather be rebuilding my friendships. I want to meet my brother. I want to meet my parents and hug them, see where I come from. I am unsure that I will experience those things if I continue to meet violence with only more violence.”
“I understand your feelings She-Ra, but sadly that is not how things work. You cannot bargain with the Horde and ask them nicely to leave Etheria. They are ruthless. You will have to do whatever it takes, if not, it would seem difficult to maintain your friendships and finally meet your family. How can you do those things if the Horde wins?”
She-Ra panics, “And how can I find a sense of honor with all the horrors I have done?” Light Hope reaches out to touch She-Ra but his image glides through her, “My child, you are a protector and your search for honor will be a part of your life’s journey.” She-Ra closes her eyes, “I want to help this world. I just wonder if I am the one.”
Light Hope nods, “You are, but do not worry. You will hardly be doing this alone. She-Ra, you have all the resources available to help you. Simply look at the people in your life. Together you will have the power to force the Horde out of here and then all of those things you want in your life, they will happen.” Light Hope walks out of the large room as She-Ra follows. Light Hope glides up the stairs and She-Ra wonders where he is going. She hears a giggle and turns to see the three sparkly figures she met the first time in a corner. Their light purple skin sparkles under their green clothes. The one girl waves while the other two look on in awe. She-Ra wonders who they are.
Light Hope takes a left at the stair case, entering the nearest room. She-Ra looks down at the crystal floor and in parts she can see the floor below. In the room rests a cabinet that is not crystal, it is more of a golden wood. She-Ra remarks how strange it is to see something that is not made from crystal.
Light Hope opens the cabinet and removes a small golden ax. The blade looks incredibly sharp, and Light Hope hands it to She-Ra. She is surprised that he can actually hold something. “When I was in a more solid form this ax helped me throughout many great battles. I know your sword is powerful, but you may need all the extra help possible.”
She-Ra holds the ax, “Thank you Light Hope.” Light Hope nods and smiles. She-Ra remembers something else, “Light Hope, I know that my identity as She-Ra must be kept secret, however I believe that Madame Razz is aware that Adora and She-Ra are one in the same.”
Light Hope lets out a laugh, “Oh Madame Razz. Of course she would know. She-Ra, if anyone were to know, Madame Razz would be the best bet. She has been down that road before. Trust in her and talk to her. When you do, please tell her I said…” Light Hope pauses and drops the subject.
She-Ra is curious to know more about the connection between Razz and light Hope but unsure that she should push the topic further. The two continue to talk for a brief longer before She-Ra realizes that she should hurry back to the Whispering Woods. Everyone will want to see Adora.
Saying her goodbyes to Light Hope, She-Ra hops on Swift Wind as they fly off from the Crystal Castle. Light Hope watches her leave until she is no longer in sight. Walking back into the large room, Light Hope patiently waits for the next time she will return.
Inside Castle Bright Moon, Bow has found a way to get inside Adora’s room. With the return of the Rebels from the Crystal Sands, Bow pulls Perfuma aside and tells her his plan. Listening to Bow, Perfuma smiles, “So you want me to distract Madame Razz so you can sneak in and see Adora?” Bow nods hoping Perfuma will agree. Perfuma stares at Bow for a little while and then jumps up and screams, “Of course I’ll distract Madame Razz! This will be sooo much fun!”
Bow puts a finger to his lips, “Shh Perfuma! Don’t be so loud! You’ll give the plan away.” Looking down the hall, Perfuma whispers, “Ok Bow, I will be quiet. But I am really excited about this. It is going to be fun, and after what happened in the Crystal Sands, I am ready for fun!” Bow nods, “Ok Perfuma, just go and distract Madame Razz.”
Nodding, Perfuma rushes over towards Madame Razz, “Yoo-hoo! Madame Razz! How are you?” Slightly surprised to see Perfuma, Madame Razz says, “Well hello dearie. I didn’t realize everyone had returned from the Crystal Sands.” Perfuma nods at the statement as Madame Razz continues, “How was it?”
Perfuma thinks about everything she experienced, “It was an adventure Madame Razz. I don’t really want to talk about it; I came here to talk to you about something else.” Perfuma loops her arm around Madame Razz’s and starts walking away from Adora’s room. Madame Razz interrupts, “Umm Perfuma dearie, I need to stay by Adora’s room. She may need me for something.” Madame Razz is concerned because she knows Adora is not in the room. The Rebels all returned, but She-Ra (and in effect Adora) are still gone. Perfuma pauses, “Oh, right. You should probably do that.” Perfuma is about to let Madame Razz’s arm loose until she spots Bow around the corner shaking his head.
Remembering her whole purpose for distracting Razz, Perfuma jumps and shouts, “Oh! Oh!! Madame Razz I really need you to join me.” Feeling lost, Madame Razz stops and looks at Perfuma, “Dearie, why? You are acting so strange.” Perfuma stammers, “Uh, well, umm. I have something to show you!”
Madame Razz tries to free herself from Perfuma’s grip, “Show me later dearie I need to stay by Adora’s room.” Trying to break free, Madame Razz realizes that Perfuma won't give up. Both women fight over their arms and they end up stumbling apart. Becoming annoyed, Madame Razz fixes her hat and huffs at Perfuma, “I don’t know what happened to you in that desert, but you have lost your senses!”
Perfuma bites her lower lip, refusing to give up. She has a moment of clarity, “Oh of course! You have to follow me! I decorated your room!” Madame Razz is heading back to Adora’s room and stops. She turns to Perfuma and asks, “Did you say what I think you said?” Smiling in success, Perfuma smiles, “Yep. I had free reign and decorated your room with all kinds of sweet smelling flowers! There are flowers from the floor to the ceiling! It looks wonderful!”
Starting to feel dizzy, Madame Razz braces her hands against the wall, “Oh no. Dearie why would you do that? I can’t live with that many flowers in one room!” Grabbing on to Perfuma’s arm, Madame Razz rushes them both off, “Come on dearie, you will need to help me fix this!” As they rush off Perfuma looks back at Bow and waves.
Bow smiles to himself, it would have been better to have Mermista or Glimmer help out. But Perfuma was able to get the job done, in her own unique way.
Quickly walking towards Adora’s bedroom door, Bow knocks and doesn’t hear anything. He finds this slightly odd, and hopes that Adora is not sleeping. He figures it will be now or never, so he opens the door and walks in.
Adora’s room is nice but a bit bare. She hasn’t been there long enough to really make the space her own. In fact Bow is caught off guard when he notices that her bed is empty. Bow looks around the room. Adora is nowhere to be found. Completely lost, Bow is confused and he thinks to himself, where is Adora?
Suddenly Adora walks out from a joining powder room wrapping a robe around her body, she startles Bow, “Can I help you Bow?” Bow looks at Adora, “Umm, hello.” He certainly had not planned to see her in a robe. Adora raises an eyebrow and smiles, “It is kind of late to be entering someone else’s room, don’t you think?”
Smiling sheepishly, Bow raises his arm over his head, “Yeah well, I am sorry about that. I just really needed to talk to you.” Adora smiles and sits on her bed; she looks down and panics slightly. Her robe does not cover her whole feet. She is wearing her regular boots. She hopes Bow won’t notice, and realize that she just came back from somewhere.
Bow looks over at Adora. He can’t believe how beautiful she looks, even with some cuts and bruises. It looks as if the cuts and bruises have healed even more from the last time he saw her. He is amazed and finds himself wanting to kiss her, though he knows that would be a terrible idea.
“Bow? Are you alright?” Adora asks snapping Bow back to reality. His heart is beating faster, “Yeah, yeah, I am fine. I just wanted to talk to you. I would like to apologize to you. I said some awful things about your being here. I shouldn’t have been like that. I am truly grateful that you are here with us.”
Adora smiles and is happy to hear this, “Thank you Bow. I am glad to be here. I hope that we can catch up and I can regain my friendships. Maybe when it isn’t so late at night…” Adora looks at Bow and they both laugh. Bow nods and says goodnight before quickly leaving.
Shutting the door, Adora leans against it. She is nervous and catches her breath. She almost didn’t make it back in time. Heading over to the powder room, Adora looks out the window. Spirit is there and nuzzles Adora’s hand. She rubs Spirit’s head and whispers, “Alright Spirit, we made it back in time and no one caught us!” Adora looks up at the sky and thinks about the drastic changes that have gone on in her life. The stars sparkle so bright. Adora wonders which direction is her birth place...
Bow walks away from Adora’s room just as Madame Razz turns from the corner mumbling about Perfuma and flower decorations that weren’t even in her room. She stops and stares at Bow, “What are you doing here dearie?” Bow grins, “I was just saying goodnight to Adora.”
Madame Razz’s eyes widen and she points at Bow, “Now you listen loud and clear you need to stay away from Adora’s room, she needs her rest!” Madame Razz pauses and realizes what Bow said, “So Adora is in her room? Safe and sound?” Bow nods confused, “Of course she is, where else would she be?” Madame Razz shakes her hands in the air and brushes past Bow, “Never you mind dearie! Just get! Go on get! It is late!” Madame Razz pushes Bow down the hall. Turning around, Razz bolts into Adora’s room, just as Adora is crawling into bed. Adora slightly jumps and smiles at Madame Razz.
Madame Razz is flustered but happy to see Adora. She points at Adora and whispers, “Now you listen dearie, I’m not sure what all is going on here, but I am on to you. And when it isn’t so late, we are gonna have a nice long conversation. You hear me?” Realizing that there is indeed much to talk about, Adora nods and giggles, “Yes Madame Razz. Good night.” Madame Razz nods while fixing her hat, “Good night.” Adora rests against her pillow, thinking about the day. There may have been new stresses, but there was also so much to celebrate about...
Over in the Fright Zone Hordak has returned and begins the process of introducing Entrapta to the other Horde Members. Shadow Weaver, Leech, Grizzlor, and Mantenna gather in Hordak’s throne room. In the distant screams can be heard from the slave mines, no one pays any attention. Instead attention is brought to Entrapta. Shadow Weaver is curious about the connection that Hordak and Entrapta seem to have. Leech and Grizzlor seem slightly bored since their earlier card game was interrupted to meet Entrapta. Mantenna finds himself intrigued by Entrapta’s moving hair and tries to touch it. With a swift hair flip Entrapta slaps his hand away. Looking at Hordak’s top ranks, Entrapta says, “Hordak, you certainly have found an interesting mix of help. Very different from what I am used to seeing.”
Hordak smiles, “You will find though that these Horde members are some of the best.” Hordak realizes that someone is missing. He looks around and finally asks Shadow Weaver, “Where is Catra?” Looking around the room, Shadow Weaver slightly shrugs, “She should be arriving soon. Catra made a trip to the Horde Post in the Kingdom of Snows; she wanted to see how Spira was handling things.” Hordak nods, “Of course, I have not seen Spira in awhile. For her sake I hope everything will be ready soon.”
Entrapta observes the conversation and laughs, “Always so cryptic. You will have to catch me up on what you are planning Hordak.” Snarling out a laugh, Hordak goes on, “I am not sure I would know where to begin. There are plenty more people for you to meet by the way. Unfortunately that will have to wait. I need you all to follow me to the lower level of the Slime Pit. Shadow Weaver has helped with something important while I was gone.”
Leech and Grizzlor look at each other, neither have a clue what is going on. They both look at Mantenna who has no idea either. Grizzlor whispers, “I would rather be playing our card game.”
The group follows Hordak towards the Slime Pit. The Slime Pit is quite an interesting place in the Fright Zone. The main portion is the actual pit of slime. In this section poor victims are strung up and lowered into the slime. Such a concentrated dose of slime acts like an acid, melting away any trace of flesh and organ. (Look back to Chapter 2)
That is not the only purpose of the Slime Pit though. Hordak made sure a hidden staircase was built near the pit that brings people to a lower section. Below the main pit, there is a portion of a wall that has various types of bones decorating it. At the base of the wall is a boney claw that people are chained to, and above the claw is a large skull. The purpose is for the skull to release a smaller amount of filtered slime. This version of the slime is slowly poured over an apprehended victim, the slime completely wiping away any trace of willpower or memory.
Hordak uses this section of the Slime Pit to control and cause people to essentially do his bidding. It is a device that Hordak is immensely proud of. He has used it on slaves that try to fight their way out of the Fright Zone. He also once used it on younger Etherians to help increase the numbers of his Horde Academy, thus making his domination over the world even easier.
He now has other plans. The group travels to this section of the Slime Pit and someone is already chained onto the claw. Mantenna and Grizzlor instantly recognize the person. It is the guy they found, the prince. Before Hordak explains further, he contacts Multi Bot via a microphone device, “Multi Bot, inform Catra when she arrives to meet us in the lower portion of the Slime Pit.” Multi Bot responds, “She just arrived and will be on her way.”
Entrapta has no idea what is going on or who the chained man is, “What has he done?” Entrapta asks about the man. He appears to be sleeping. Hordak grins maliciously, “He is going to help us. Shadow Weaver has placed a sleeping spell on him, which is wearing off. Together with her magic and the slime, we are going to finally know what to do with him.” Entrapta nods as if trying to understand but asks some more, “Sounds riveting, but seriously Hordak, who is he?”
At this point Catra slinks into the room and is caught off guard by the chained man and the woman with moving hair. Hordak raises his arms, “Catra! Very glad you are joining us. How are things at the Horde Post?”
Catra shrugs and purrs, “Spira has been missing. Apparently she heard word that the Rebellion was planning something. She has been trying to gather information. Everyone else at the Post is still doing their duties.” Hordak nods pleased, “I look forward to hearing what Spira finds out.”
Entrapta is annoyed, “Alright Hordak we are all dying to know, who is the man, and why are we here?” Growing impatient with all the questions, Hordak quiets the group, “Patience Entrapta. I will explain. This man is Prince Adam. He is from another world, called Eternia. This is another world that the Horde has also been trying to dominate as well. His sister, Adora, was my top Force Captain. Unfortunately she paid the price when it was revealed that she was a double agent. Both siblings were given swords of untold power. The Horde was going to use the sister’s sword to gain total dominance of Etheria.”
Hordak looks over at Catra and slightly glares at her, “Only now we no longer have her sword. Somehow with luck being on our side, the brother over there traveled here, with his sword.” Entrapta realizes where this is going, “Ah, so now you have a second chance, whatever that second chance may be.”
Grizzlor and Leech listen and seem increasingly bored by the minute. Mantenna is hanging on to every word. Shadow Weaver is looking on and observing Catra. Hordak slams his hands together, “Yes. A second chance. We will have the opportunity to unlock whatever secrets the sword contains. With all of this power, the Horde will be unable to fail.”
Catra just has to ask, “What if the secrets mean nothing Hordak?” Hordak ignores the thought, “No no. The sword is the key. The Horde will have untold power and will be able to get what we need from both Etheria and Eternia. Shadow Weaver please prepare to open the pit. He is starting to wake up.”
Shadow Weaver understands and starts the process of releasing the slime. Everyone is soon looking on in anticipation. The slime starts to make its way down from the pit, filling into the skull. The weight of all the slime causes the skull to tilt downward.
Adam is starting to slowly open his eyes, he is slightly dazed. He lifts his head and realizes that his arms and legs are chained. Shaking his head, Adam briefly looks up at a freakish group of people staring at him. He has never seen these people before. He babbles, “What is this place?” Hordak laughs.
The skull tips even further as the slime drips down. Adam feels heavy drops of thick liquid hitting his head matting his hair. He looks up and sees a creepy looking skull, and more drops begin spilling out. A drop lands in Adam’s mouth and he spits it out, the taste is disgusting and putrid.
Soon the slime starts pouring out quicker. The slime begins to cover Adam. He struggles trying to get away from it. His hair is covered in slime and it oozes down the back of his neck. His head is lowered, but the slime is seeping through his clothes. The slime starts to cover him and even seems to slide across his body.
Catra hears the sound of Adam gagging as the slime finally travels into his mouth and nostrils. Adam is doing his best to fight free. It is all no use; the slime has found its way inside of him. He tries not to panic. This becomes increasingly difficult as his breathing is interrupted. With no other option, Adam begins swallowing the slime. He has no choice but to give in. The last thing he can think of is Teela... His eyes roll into the back of his head and eventually everything goes black.
Entrapta watches Adam slump down unconscious, she claps, “Splendid! Good show Hordak! What happens next?”
“I will tell you. When our guest wakes up, he will not remember who he is. We will all provide him with the necessary details to create a past that we see fit. This will allow us to have an extended amount of time to figure out the secrets of his sword.” Hordak grins at his perfect plan. “Brilliant mighty Hordak, what parts shall we play?” Shadow Weaver asks.
Hordak points towards Mantenna, Leech, and Grizzlor, “You three will be his friends. Show him around the Fright Zone; regale him with stories of various adventures you all engaged in.” Mantenna, Leech, and Grizzlor all look at each other uncertain how they will be friends with someone they do not know. Grizzlor is the first to speak, “We could teach him the card game.” Mantenna nods and smiles, “During that time we could also tell him about the Rebellion and how they need to be stopped!”
Hordak interrupts, “Figure that out later. For now you three take him to his chambers, set up Adora’s old room. That will be the perfect place for him.” Mantenna, Leech, and Grizzlor unchain Adam and prepare to carry him off. Leech makes a comment that the prince should maybe be rinsed off.
Looking at Shadow Weaver, Hordak continues the orders, “Now Shadow Weaver, you and I are going to be his parents.” Shadow Weaver questions this idea, “Won’t he find that odd Hordak, since we look nothing like him?”
“Must I come up with everything Shadow Weaver? It is quite simple; we were disfigured in our ongoing war against the villainous Rebellion. He will feel sorry for us. He will have a built in hatred for the Rebellion. He will be ready to strike against those that harmed his family.” Shadow Weaver goes on, “What of his life? He will want to know why he can’t remember.” Breathing hard, Hordak snarls out, “He was struck in battle. It doesn’t matter! The point is he can’t remember. We will all be glad that he is alive, especially Entrapta and Catra.”
Entrapta smiles, “Oh goody, I was hoping for a part in this sordid play.” Hordak laughs and realizes that Adam will finally get a sister, “Entrapta my dear, you will be Adam’s sister. A shame he will never meet his real one.”
Catra steps forward, she has grown tired of all the games, “What of me Hordak?” Hordak slowly walks towards Catra, “My dear you will have the most important role of all. You are going to be his lover. The woman who has pined for his return and is more than pleased to see him back alive. You will stand by his side and make sure his memories return.” Catra thinks about her role and instantly finds herself disgusted. She cannot explain it, it is almost instinctual. Something is telling her that pretending to be his lover is wrong, “I won’t do it.”
Hordak’s smile disappears and he stares at Catra, “What do you mean?" Catra stands tall, “I will not pretend to love this prince. There is no need for any other reason, I won’t do it.” Catra points at Entrapta, “Have her be the lover. I won’t do it.”
Hordak tries to restrain his anger. This does not work. Hordak grabs Catra by the neck with his fingers around her jaw. He shoves her against a wall, still holding onto her neck. Through snarls he growls, “Now listen carefully you miserable wench. You have messed up big time. You came up with the plan to kill Adora for being a spy. You could not even do that very well since you were unable to bring me back her sword. I now have a second chance to get what I want from this world and you are not going to screw it up. You will be his lover. You will do whatever he wants or needs to make him believe that you are both in love. Do not disappoint me Catra, I have no problem snapping your neck right now and finding someone else, do you understand?” Hordak still has control of her neck. He moves her head up and down nodding in agreement, “That’s a good little kitten.” Hordak lets go of her. Catra’s eyes are filled with rage, and she lets out a guttural scream and spits out, “Your plan is going to fail miserably Hordak.”
Entrapta and Shadow Weaver are watching. Entrapta is in awe of Catra’s feistiness and says, “Alright Hordak, you’ve flexed your muscles.” Hordak raises his hand towards Entrapta, “You stay out of this.” Hordak looks back at Catra, “My plan is going to work. You just need to remember who is in charge here. This is why Adora was better than you. She may have been a spy, but at least she did what was needed for the Horde.”
Catra raises an eyebrow and has this evil grin, “She is dead. Your pride and joy Hordak. Dead.” Catra smirks and storms off furious. In that moment Hordak has a brief feeling that Adora may not have been a spy after all. Maybe, he tells himself, Catra just wanted her gone and found a great reason to get rid of her. Hordak laughs out loud. He realizes that Catra is a deadly threat. She does make for one of the best assets to the Horde. Hordak looks over at Entrapta, “That whirlwind of energy was Catra. I think she may need to be the new Head Force Captain after all.” Underneath Shadow Weaver’s cloaked and disfigured face, a smile forms…
Time moves on and the Rebels in the Whispering Woods are rested and ready to head out to the Midnight Lair. Various members of the Rebellion are all discussing what will happen regarding the rescue of Queen Angella. Some people are talking about their concern with Glimmer going, they fear she may be too emotionally involved. Others have been discussing the arrival of She-Ra. Many feel that she is exactly what Etheria needs.
Perfuma is almost ready to meet her friends; she just makes a quick stop to see Minwu and the sleeping dancer. She brings flowers into the room and looks at Minwu, “How is our dancer? Has she made any progress?” Minwu helps Perfuma with the flowers, “No Perfuma, she has not woken up. Her breathing has become stronger though, which is a good sign.” Perfuma looks at the unconscious woman, “She looks so peaceful. Minwu, after this debacle with the Midnight Lair, I am going to try and find her family. I know someone must be missing her. That is what I will do!” Perfuma grins and looks at Minwu.
Returning the gaze, Minwu is moved by her determination, even if it may yield nothing, “I wish you the best.” Perfuma wants to say something else to him, “Minwu? I would like to apologize to you, about the kiss on the cheek the other day. I didn’t mean to catch you off guard. You seem like such a gentleman and sometimes I can be a bit carefree not even realizing that other people aren’t. Don’t worry, it won’t happen again!”
Looking at Perfuma with her long flowing blonde hair and her pink lips, Minwu thinks to himself, I would welcome a kiss from you anytime... He refrains such thoughts, becoming very serious, “It is alright Perfuma. These things happen. Be careful on the latest adventure.” Smiling, Perfuma says goodbye and walks off dancing down the hall. Her hands glide against the wall, a trail of flowers following behind her.
Across Bright Moon Glimmer and Bow are talking about Angella. They are packing up items and preparing to meet everyone else. Glimmer looks at Bow, “I can’t believe we are this close to saving my mother. I am so ready for this! There are so many things I want to ask her.” Bow is very happy for Glimmer, “Such as?”
Full of hope, Glimmer goes on, “I want to ask how she has managed to survive all this time. I want to ask her what Kowl and she were up to before they were caught. They were trying to find out something Bow. We both know that.” Bow nods recalling the time that Glimmer and he followed Angella and Kowl. They were heading to the villages and towns that surround the Fright Zone. Angella and Kowl had been sneaking off for some time to those towns and for years no one has found out why. Bow closes his eyes and recalls the terror on Glimmer’s face as she saw the Horde Troopers rounding up her mother and Kowl. Things were going to be different, the Midnight Lair would hopefully solve their problems.
Bow hugs Glimmer and tells her that things are going to be different. In Bow's arms, Glimmer is able to just let everything go. Tears are in Glimmer's eyes; she has been waiting for this moment. Her mother will be saved. Glimmer feels Bow’s arms fall away from her; she looks up at his face. Bow is looking off, staring at something... Bow grins, “Adora! What are you doing here?”
Adora walks in the room and says hello, “I wanted to wish you all luck. I wish I could join the group, but I feel that I need some more rest.” Stepping away from Bow, Glimmer wipes her eyes and smiles, “Thank you for that Adora. We will need all the luck imaginable.”
The three discuss what some of the plans are for the Midnight Lair. Eventually Adora excuses herself. She walks off, heading to her room. Scanning the area, Adora notices that she has a private moment. She hops out of the powder room window and raises her sword aloft and calls out, “For the Honor of Grayskull!!!” She smiles as the transformation takes place. With energy pulsating through her body, She-Ra emerges and rushes off.
Glimmer and Bow make their way to the meeting spot in the Whispering Woods. Perfuma, Mermista, and Double Trouble are waiting. Talk eventually leads to the topic of Peekablue's vision of death. Double Trouble asks, “Do you think our journey into the Midnight Lair will be the place where one of us dies?” Perfuma shakes her head, “Don’t say that Spira! We can’t have those thoughts. Peekablue didn’t say when this would happen, and she could be wrong. I don’t want to think about it.” Mermista is somber, “None of us do. It is something we have to be aware of though. One of us might not come back alive.”
She-Ra walks through the trees on Swift Wind, “No one is going to die today. I am going to make sure of that. For now let’s just worry about getting to Beast Island and saving Angella from the Midnight Lair.” Everyone is glad to see She-Ra. Mermista hugs her. Perfuma dances in a circle and claps her hands. Double Trouble stands to the side and smiles. Glimmer and Bow ask how she is and what will be the plan of transportation.
Looking at everyone, She-Ra says, “I will not be able to fly us all on Swift Wind. I can take one person with me, but everyone else will need another way.” At first no one has a clue about other methods of transportation. So much of the planning process had involved what to do when they got to the Midnight Lair that they glanced over how to really get there. Perfuma thinks she can make large flowers as a bridge over the sea. Double Trouble is concerned that a flower bridge would certainly cause attention. Mermista suddenly recalls something from the Crystal Falls, “I have it! We can take the Sea Harp!”
Mermista can tell that no one has a clue what she is talking about, “The Sea Harp was used by the Mer-People to celebrate new births into the royal family. The king and queen would travel around the various seas of Etheria showing the newborn off to cities that wanted to participate in the celebration. I even think it was used when I was first born, though I am not sure. It rests behind the waterfall at Crystal Falls; there should be plenty of room.”
She-Ra is glad for the help, “Thank you Mermista. That should work nicely. Someone will go with me and we will arrive on Beast Island first. We will make sure it is safe and clear of any problems. The rest of you will arrive by sea and then we will enter the Midnight Lair.” Double Trouble speaks up, “I will ride with you She-Ra. I know where to go.” Double Trouble looks at Mermista, “You will need to take the Sea Harp along the southern most portion of Beast Island. We will meet you there.”
Perfuma is excited; the adventure is starting to really shape up. Glimmer can only hope that her mother will be there, alive. She-Ra and Double Trouble hop on Swift Wind and take off. Everyone else travels to the Crystal Falls.
At the Crystal Falls Glimmer, Bow, and Perfuma wait patiently as Mermista walks through the waterfall and is gone for a few moments. Soon, the water opens ways as Mermista glides out in a large carriage the shape of a sea shell. At the front of the carriage rests a large golden sea horse. Mermista is beaming, “Isn’t this beautiful? We may be traveling to a place that is dangerous, but at least we will do it in style!” Perfuma laughs and is the first to jump in, “Mermista this is so nice!”
Bow helps Glimmer into the Sea Harp and then he jumps in as well, “How does this work Mermista?” Mermista looks at Bow, “You are forgetting what I can control.” She smiles, and with her power over water, Mermista manages to get the Sea Harp moving across the river and into the sea. The group sits back as they sail towards Beast Island. The friends are glad to be together and are ready to do whatever it takes to save Angella.
She-Ra and Double Trouble fly towards Beast Island. The two talk and learn even more about each other. She-Ra appreciates the role that Spira has placed herself in; being a double agent is incredibly dangerous. However throughout her time in the Horde, Double Trouble has become quite the fighter. When it comes to She-Ra though, there is not much for Double Trouble to learn. It is as if She-Ra fell from the sky. Double Trouble finds She-Ra's history fascinating and remarks to herself, It seems like She-Ra was only created a few days ago. Her experiences on Etheria are so short. I also can't help but feel like I know her from somewhere... Keeping these thoughts to herself, Double Trouble enjoys the ride in the air. In time, the two women approach Beast Island...
Meanwhile in the deadly depths of the Midnight Lair, Vampra (leader of the Pyres) is sitting with Angella. Chained and looking gaunt, Angella is tired and dreading what is about to happen next. Vampra is a tall lithe woman with long red hair. She has long nails that are sharp as knives. Her body is covered in this stringy black material that wraps around her legs forming boots that stop at her thighs. The rest of her body is covered by the same material forming a solid piece of clothing. She wears a long tattered cape and a skirt that is of the same black material. The skirt is stringy and uneven.
“Do you know what I think of your blood Angella?” Vampra asks as she delicately grabs Angella’s frail arm. Looking at Angella’s arm, Vampra traces her index finger over the smooth flesh. Angella stifles a scream as Vampra starts to cut, drawing blood. Licking Angella's flowing blood, Vampra moans, “I think it tastes like divinity.” Taking Angella’s hand, Vampra places it against her chest, “Do you feel that Angella? It is nothing, no trace of a heart beat. When I taste you though, I feel so alive.” Vampra throws her head back and lets out a wicked laugh.
Angella closes her eyes and tries to fight back tears, “You can’t keep doing this to me.” Vampra stops drinking from Angella, and smiles, “Oh no? What makes you think that?” Angella stares at Vampra, “Because I will eventually die. And your favorite meal will be gone.”
Vampra narrows her eyes and stands up, looking over Angella, “I suppose you are right. I certainly can’t turn you into a Pyre; there’d be nothing left for me to drink. Which only leaves your eventual death, you are right.” Vampra and the other Pyres that feed off of Angella never bite her, they make sure to cut for her blood. If Angella were to be bitten she would crave the process of becoming a Pyre, thus making it harder to feed off of.
Angella knows this and has patiently been waiting for her death to end the madness she has had to endure inside the Midnight Lair. Every day that passes brings the realization that she is still alive, being one of many to be the food source of monsters. Angella briefly thinks of her daughter, Glimmer. Angella wonders how she is…
Vampra leans down, face to face with Angella, her fingers gliding across Angella’s collar bone, “Death will meet you soon Angella, but not yet.” Smiling, Vampra cuts Angella below her collarbone, and feeds off of her some more…
Having been on Beast Island for a little while, She-Ra and Double Trouble are pleased when the Sea Harp eventually arrives. Glimmer, Bow, Mermista, and Perfuma exit the Sea Harp and make their way towards She-Ra and Double Trouble. The group looks around the island. It is a relatively small island filled with dangerous creatures and people that have been abandoned by the Horde. The trees look like they have been slowly decaying for ages while the ground is uneven and mostly gray. There is little grass and no representation of flowers. Every now and then skeletal remains of some sort can be seen littered on the ground. Perfuma looks around and groans, “Why is it that everywhere we go is in need of more flowers and less remains?” Perfuma sidesteps a skull.
“Ok everyone, Double Trouble and I looked around the area. Everything seems clear for now, so we need to hurry. The Midnight Lair is just up ahead.” She-Ra says and motions for everyone to follow.
As the group heads towards the Midnight Lair Double Trouble makes sure that she does not have her “Horde Face” nor does she want to have her normal face. She creates a whole new look that appears to have a mask over her mouth and eyes that are solid red. Her normal green helmet and outfit should be fine. She highly doubts that anyone will be noticing that.
Mermista follows everyone and turns back to look at the Sea Harp. She wonders if her parents had truly had the chance to travel around Etheria when she was a newborn. Mermista thinks of this and hopes that Glimmer is able to reunite with her mother; someone should have the chance…
Glimmer is ready. She is also scared. Being with her friends though is helping prepare her to find her mother. After all the time that has passed, Glimmer is going to let nothing stand in her way. She feels that this experience will be a defining moment in her life.
The group makes it to a large set of stone doors. They seem to be unable to budge. She-Ra motions for everyone to move out of the way. Using her sword, She-Ra carves a path through the thick stone. Everyone peers into the darkness of the Midnight Lair. She-Ra looks at her friends, “Here we are. There is no turning back now.”
Somewhere else altogether a dazed Adam sits up. He is sitting on a bench and looks around him. He is in the middle of the woods. Trees surround him and above there is a bright blue sky. He gets up to walk around and turns at a sound behind him. Staring at Adam is a version of himself. Adam looks at this version of himself, “Who are you?” The version looks at Adam, “I am you.” Adam shakes his head, “That is not possible, I am me. Something is not right.”
The version of Adam nods, “You are correct. Something is not right at all. Something has happened. Something terrible. I have to go now…” The version of Adam turns around and walks off heading through the trees.
Adam stares at the version of himself until he is gone. The sound of a door shutting reverberates all around Adam. He looks towards the direction of the sound. Another slamming noise is made. Soon more of the sounds occur and Adam starts to notice his surroundings changing. Various shapes start shutting over the bright blue sky and the various trees. All that is left behind is darkness. Adam realizes that his surroundings are closing around him. He runs, trying to avoid the shapes from shutting out all the images. The darkness starts to grow. The noise is becoming deafening and Adam soon finds it difficult to run anywhere else. Finally he is standing on one last piece of color, and it shuts beneath him. Adam falls into nothingness…
She-Ra and the gang finally come face to face with the Pyres!
Adam wakes up a changed man…
Frosta has a dinner party; don’t you just wish you were invited?