Adora’s Search for Honor
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?
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…
Do I really have to say what happens next?