Saturday, April 14, 2012

Adora's Search for Honor Part 1: Chapter 7

Adora’s Search for Honor
Part 1
Chapter 7

Previously: Hordak was not pleased with Catra’s return from tossing Adora off Skydancer Mountain. So, as punishment,  Catra was sent down Hordak’s trap door while Spira volunteered to look for Adora’s sword and body. Spira returned with parts of a sword and some bloody blonde hair. However, as the faithful reader knows, Adora is alive and sort of doing well. Mermista has been taking care of an injured Adora. Mermista decides to leave to find help from the Rebellion. Adora was not content to wait; she had plans to return to Skydancer Mountain at the request of the Sorceress. Glimmer and Bow were busy gathering information from Castaspella over in Mystacor. Apparantly there is a green haired lass, by the name of Peekablue, that could help Glimmer find Angella’s location. In other news, Sea Hawk is searching for an ice diamond at Hordak’s request, and Netossa is busy trying to search for Spinerella at Sea Hawk’s annoyance…

Chapter 7
Netossa is impatient. Sea Hawk’s airship is close to landing near what was once the sea side village called Poft. Netossa can see the charred remains of the village and shudders at the memory of the attack. She is caught off guard when Sea Hawk taps her on her left shoulder. Slightly jumping, Netossa blurts, “Must you always do that?” Sea Hawk smiles, “Only when you are lost in thought.” Rolling her eyes, the captivating beauty snaps, “Well it is rather rude.”

Taking nothing personal, Sea Hawk laughs, “Rude? Rude is trying to steal my ship and then somehow twisting my arm into going on some sidetrack mission to find your dancer friend. I do have more important things to do, ya know?” Shaking her head, Netossa groans, “Right. You are busy trying to find a mythical jewel for the Horde. Yes, sounds very important pirate.”

Pointing his finger at Netossa, Sea Hawk bellows, “You are getting on my nerves. I hope that whatever you are looking for is down in those remains! I am tired of trying to find some friend of yours that is probably dead by now.” Netossa slaps him across the face, “You are a monster, no better than the Horde!” Feeling the sting of tears in her eyes, Netossa hops off the edge of the air ship before making a full landing. Despite Sea Hawk’s protests, Netossa starts heading to the remains of a town that was once full of life. She recalls her holiday in Poft, I wish everything could be simpler. The screams and sounds of death have yet to leave her mind, they have found a nice home.

Continuing to ignore Sea Hawk, Netossa walks closer to the edges of where Poft once stood. She is hoping that anyone who survived that awful night will hopefully be there. Hope is all she has. Walking closer towards the rubble Netossa expects to see a band of survivors waiting to reunite with everyone, including Spinerella.

Netossa is shocked when she looks around. There are still bodies from the night of the attack. People’s homes are completely leveled. Looking around Netossa calls out for anyone. There is silence. Walking around the destruction Netossa calls out again. Panic sets in and Netossa starts screaming for anyone to come out of hiding; she screams that there is help. Soon Netossa can only hear her screams that devolve into sobs as she falls to the ground. No one came back. And it is possible that no one survived, which makes the outcome even harder for Netossa to deal with.

Sea Hawk carefully approaches and taps Netossa on her left shoulder, “Tossa?” Furious and full of rage, Netossa screams, “Leave me be! Leave me be! Now is your chance to make a quick escape. Leave! Go find your diamond.” She stands and shoves him away from her.

“I’m sorry for what I said earlier. I am not going to leave you here.” Sea Hawk doesn't move. The two may annoy each other, but he has come to respect Netossa. At first a stowaway, Netossa is proving herself as an important crew member.

Netossa laughs at Sea Hawk's statement, “Really? Why not? I am in your way, a constant thorn in your side. Look around you. There is nothing. Just bodies and brick. You can now be rid of me.”

Shaking his head, Sea Hawk reaches out to Netossa, “I don’t want to be rid of you. I want to help you. This isn’t easy for me Tossa. I have Hordak breathing down my neck, and I want to do right by you. It isn’t fair what you have been through.”

Side stepping the pirate, Netossa spits out, “I don’t want your pity.” Sea Hawk hangs his head, “It isn’t pity. It is concern. I said I would help you find Spinerella, and I will. The diamond can wait. Come on, it isn’t safe to be here Netossa.”

Realizing it is safer to be on an airship, Netossa knows that Sea Hawk is right, even though he irks her. She contemplates her choices one more time and gives Sea Hawk an answer, “I will stay on the airship, but I want you to know I am not a fan of your participation with the Horde.”

Sea Hawk throws his hands in the air, “Ok, the diamond can wait. I promise. Besides, I'm not much of a Horde fan either.” The two head back to the air ship while Netossa heads off to a lower section of the ship to be alone.

One of the ship's crew members approaches Sea Hawk and asks, “We have a tip about the ice diamond Hawk.” Sea Hawk looks at his crew member, “Good. Tell me your information, but let’s keep it between us ok?” The two walk off and Sea Hawk listens to his crew member explain just where the ice diamond might actually be…


Meanwhile inside Castle Bright Moon, Perfuma and the healer Minwu are in a room looking over one of the survivors from Poft. This particular survivor has yet to wake up and Perfuma has been checking on her every now and then. The pretty smelling flower maiden occasionally brushes the survivor's hair or hums her a pretty song. There are always fresh flowers brought in as well. Sitting next to the sleeping beauty, Perfuma looks at Minwu, “What do you think her story is Minwu?”

The healer looks at Perfuma and shrugs, “I am not sure Miss Perfuma. I have been using my healing magic to try and wake her, but I think it is up to her now.” Looking at the mysterious survivor, Perfuma smiles, “I hope she wakes up soon. Some of the other survivors from Poft know of her. They say she loves to dance. They also say she was in love with a man from the town, only I don’t think he survived.”

Minwu speaks, “That is truly unfortunate Miss Perfuma.” As sad as the cicumstances are, Minwu does not want this moment to end. He enjoys Perfuma's company. Perfuma shakes her head, her mind on other topics, “It is unfortunate, I wonder if her family is looking for her. They say she was only visiting Poft. The people she was staying with died as well...”

“Miss Perfuma, her energy seems strong. I have the highest faith that she will wake up eventually.”

Nodding, Perfuma looks at the healer. There is not much that Perfuma can do, but she does care about the young woman, “Thank you Minwu, you are so good at what you do. It is so funny, some people have said I am nothing but a joke, just a silly fluffy character with an even sillier sounding name, but I am more than that Minwu. I care about this planet and the lives that live on it. I want to see people thrive and grow, not to be crushed by the Horde. I wish this could all just stop.”

“I am sure it will. The Rebellion will find a way to stop the Horde. We will get through this. For what it is worth though, I do not think your name is silly.” Minwu smiles. Nothing about this glorious person is silly, he thinks to himself.

Smiling back Perfuma looks down at the unconscious survivor. When she wakes up she will not have her family by her side and she will have to deal with losing someone she was in love with... Perfuma thinks back to when she was once in love. “Minwu, have you ever been in love?” Perfuma is not sure she could picture a healer worried about the concept of love, but she is curious.

Slightly caught off gaurd by the question, Minwu shakes his head, “No Miss Perfuma I have not. I have spent most of my life being dedicated to magic and healing. I have never really thought much about love.”

Perfuma thinks that is sad, but says nothing. She is surprised that Minwu is actually talking to her about anything other than their usual simple greetings.

“Have you ever been in love Miss Perfuma?” Minwu asks, figuring it is a safe question to ask since she asked first. Closing her eyes Perfuma wistfully smiles, “I was in love. Once. Sadly we went in different directions.”

“He stayed with the Horde?”

Standing up Perfuma walks around the room, “No. He was a few years ahead of me in the Horde Academy, his name was Rolf. He left with Bow, Mermista, and myself when we decided to join the Rebellion. I was so happy, but then Rolf decided to become something else…”

Minwu is confused, “He turned into something else? What do you mean?” He became a monster, Perfuma thinks to herself. She is about to tell the story until Mermista runs into the room gasping for breath. Perfuma is caught off guard, “Mermista?! Are you ok?”

Catching her breath, Mermista gasps out, “I am fine. I can’t find Glimmer and Bow. Where are they?” Perfuma remembers that Mermista has been at the Crystal Falls and has missed some things, “They are in Mystacor finding out information and getting resources for the Rebellion. And probably enjoying a spectacular celebration, Castaspella always knows how to have perfect celebrations.” Perfuma explains to Minwu the fun that they have all had in Mystacor. Mermista shakes her head, interrupting, “Ok fine, whatever. What about Madame Razz?”

Perfuma shrugs, “She could be anywhere. What is going on Mermista?” Speaking fast, Mermista tosses out, “You need to come with me, we are going to Crystal Falls, I’ll explain on the way.” Minwu is the next to interrupt, “Ladies, would you like me to join you?”

“No Minwu, we should be fine. However when we get back we will need your help with healing.” Mermista says and motions for Perfuma to hurry. Quickly saying good bye to the Poft survivor, Perfuma heads towards the door, but quickly turns and plants a kiss on Minwu’s cheek. Minwu is caught off guard and blushes slightly. “Miss Perfuma!” Minwu says.

“Bye Minwu!” Perfuma smiles and rushes out with Mermista. Looking at Perfuma, Mermista whispers, “Did you just kiss Minwu on the cheek?” Perfuma shrugs the act off, “He’s cute.” Glad to see Perfuma in a happy mood Mermista smiles and shakes her head. The two quickly leave Bright Moon as Mermista discusses why they are quickly heading to Crystal Falls…

Over at the Fright Zone, Shadow Weaver and Multi Bot are in the Horde Labs conducting more experiments. Multi Bot is a robot made up of thousands of different parts. He can have multiple arms and legs though he always insists on having two heads. Both operate as one even though the two heads have different voices and sometimes different thoughts. The Horde robot lives in the Horde Labs working tirelessly on various experiments to ensure that the Horde reigns supreme.

“How are the Winged Warriors coming along Multi Bot?” Shadow Weaver asks looking over Multi Bot’s shoulder. Spread out across a metal table is a decaying body ripped from a coccon, a Winged Warrior. The Winged Warriors are a new experiment set to take the Horde's quest for domination to new and more powerful heights. Through the twisted uses of scientific experimentation, a Winged Warrior is meant to become the ultimate winged fighter.

“I am not sure Shadow Weaver. The specimens are not making it past the cocoon stage. This one died inside the cocoon, but was very close to full maturation. I am thinking magic may be the key to this particular experiment.” Multi Bot speaks.

“It is as I thought, we will continue this process. We have a few more specimens to test on. We will find a way to make this succeed.” Shadow Weaver says and turns to look at a visitor entering the Horde labs. Catra storms up towards Shadow Weaver and Multi Bot. She is not happy.

Shadow Weaver looks Catra up and down, “I see you survived the trap door.” Catra has cuts and gashes across her body. There are blood stains of an unknown origin splattered over her Horde uniform. Recalling the various beasts and creatures she slaughtered, Catra sneers, “Very easy. Hordak needs to find some new pets to put down there, he is now missing a few.”

Cackling, Shadow Weaver is secretly proud, “I am impressed Catra. Now what are you doing here?”
Briefly looking at the specimen on the table Catra looks back at Shadow Weaver, “I need to talk to you. Something happened when I was on the mountain with that traitor Adora. We were fighting and this energy came out of my finger tips and exploded. It was this dark electrical energy.”

“Magic.” Shadow Weaver announces rather simply.

“Excuse me?” Catra asks crossing her arms.

“Magic. That was magic. You released magic energy Catra.” Shadow Weaver turns to examine the rotting Winged Warrior. Catra is in disbelief, “I do not know how to use magic, it is something I do not possess.” Cackling again, Shadow Weaver goes on, “You can turn into a panther Catra. You have the ability to use magic.”

“My ability to transform into a panther is due to this mask.” Catra points to the mask on her head that she earned as one of the trials for graduating from the Horde Academy. Shadow Weaver sticks her fingers in the chest cavity of the Winged Warrior, feeling around for something, “My dear, there is so much you do not know. Your mask merely amplifies the magic powers you inherently possess.”

This information slowly dawns on Catra, “What are you saying?” Sighing, Shadow Weaver looks at Catra, “I’m saying you can use magic. If you like, I can teach you how to harness that ability and fully utilize your magic powers along with the mask. Of course that is if you can keep this between us. Hordak cannot find out. I know you seek his approval as if he was your father, but can you keep this from him?” Catra mulls this over and thinks how hard she has worked to do well in the Horde and how she never seems to do right. She knows her answer, “Yes. Shadow Weaver, teach me how to unleash my true potential…”


Elsewhere on Etheria Adora is on Spirit ascending Skydancer Mountain. She is running out of tonics, and is unsure what she is even looking for. The pain she is experiencing is intense and she wonders if she is going to wake up and realize that this has all been a dream. “Don’t worry Spirit; I am sure we will get to where we need to be.” Adora closes her eyes. She wants to give up, but is pushing Spirit and herself to reach the top of the mountain. Sore and feeling drained Adora has no idea where she is going, just slowly making it towards the top of the mountain.

After awhile Adora can feel the air getting thinner. Looking up Adora can see that it seems impossible to reach the actual top of Skydancer Mountain. Very close to giving up, Adora notices a path that bends around into a cave-like structure.

“Alright Spirit, I have a feeling we need to walk in there.” Adora and Spirit head to the cave-like structure and walk through, only to find it is not a cave. They walk through the pathway, almost as if they are walking inside the mountain. Adora looks up and can see the walls of the mountain reaching towards a point at the top. She can faintly see the sky through an opening high above.

Adora travels through some more winding paths and is blown away by what she finds. A magnificent castle made of crystal stands before her. Adora looks around; it is as if someone carved a castle inside the heart of the mountain. Staring at the top Adora notices that she can see more of the small opening at the top, as if reaching to the heavens.

“This must be what the Sorceress meant by the top of the mountain. Come on Spirit, let’s see what is inside.” She has forgotten about her pain, this is all so strange to her. The pair head towards the castle as the doors slowly open. Adora gets off of Spirit carefully. Walking through the doorway Adora is cautious but notices three spritely figures floating about. Their skin is a light purple and their clothing looks like it was made from leaves. “And who might you be?” Adora asks the figures.

The middle figure is a female, she giggles, “We answer the door. He has been waiting for you.” With that the three spritely figures float off. The third one, a little heavier, trails a little behind. He turns and waves at Adora. “Wait! Don’t go! Who is waiting for me?” Adora calls out. Walking with Spirit, Adora marvels at the grand hall of the castle. Every wall is made of crystal in varying shades of white, pink, and gold. The colors shimmer and fade, only to appear brightly in other spots. She has never seen a building more beautiful.

A noise is made across the hall. Heading towards the noise Adora enters a big empty room. Looking at the walls Adora can see her scrapes and bruises in the reflection, I have certainly looked better, she tells herself. Her scrapes and cuts look raw. The feelings of being sore and bruised are quickly pushed aside though. 

The room suddenly begins to glow brighter. Her gaze falls upon the form of a man made up of dazzling light walking towards her. She is speechless by his beauty. When he walks the light dances off of him like flames. At one moment he appears translucent and in the next he is radiating pure light. He calls out to her, “Adora, you finally made it. My name is Light Hope.”

“It is nice to meet you, what is this place?” Adora asks in awe. She is not sure what she should say or do. Light Hope opens his hands in greeting, “This is the Crystal Castle. I watch over it and make sure it is safe. It is one of the oldest places on Etheria.” Adora gulps. She is standing in pure magic, “How nice. Now could you please explain to me why I am here? I feel like I’ve been late for my own party.”

Light Hope laughs, “Every journey requires its own sense of time. It would now seem that you are ready. Now is your time Adora. You are going to save Etheria.” The statement sounds nonsensical, Adora is dubious, “That sounds like quite a big task for someone who nearly died a few days ago.”

Giving his own version of a smile, Light Hope lilts, “Ah, but you survived. You were meant to survive because you are destined for greater things. You won’t be alone in saving Etheria, but you will be the upper hand.” Adora nods, “I am assuming that Etheria needs to be saved from the Horde?”

Light Hope nods, “Yes.”

Looking at Light Hope, Adora feels hopeless, “Ok, so how do I do that? I can barely walk.”

“Magic. You will use magic.”

Appearing further lost, Adora goes on, “I do not understand.” Trying to make things easier, Light Hope nods, “Let me start from the beginning. All worlds are made up of magic. Long ago when the universe was created magic was the defining force that kept each world thriving. Every world has its own unique source of magic. This power is immense and there are groups that have sought after that power.”

Light Hope continues, “The Horde is one such group. The Horde’s sole purpose has been to invade worlds and drain them of their magic energy. What the Horde does with this energy is beyond me. However after a world has been robbed of its magic power the world simply starts its long decline. Sadly the powerless world’s inhabitants must scramble to find a way to continue living or face their eventual demise. This is usually done through technology and other means.”

Realizing the threat that the Horde plays, Adora asks, “The Horde has been doing this for a very long time. Hasn’t anyone tried to stop them?”

Light Hope speaks, “Yes. At some point every world has a protector. Someone charged with ensuring that the magic power of the world stays intact so that beings can continue to live and not be overcome with chaos and destruction. There are times when a world experiences a great moment of peace and protectors are not needed. For now Etheria needs a protector, and that protector is you.”

Adora rubs her head, “What if I am not cut out to be a protector? I only recently left the Horde. After all, I have been partially responsible for ensuring the occupation of the Horde on Etheria.”

Light Hope reaches out to her, “You were misguided. The truth was kept from you, and now that you are facing what is happening head on, you are choosing something different. Are you not?” With resolve, Adora looks at Light Hope, “Yes, I am choosing something different. What do I need to do?”

Pointing to Adora’s sword, Light Hope shines, “You must raise your sword aloft and say, ‘for the honor of Grayskull.’” Adora looks puzzled, “Grayskull? Is that a place? I thought I was at the Crystal Castle, shouldn’t I chant something about this place?” Laughing again, Light Hope calmly states, “Adora, you were born on Eternia. The magic that will enable you to be a protector comes from Eternia, from Castle Grayskull. The Sorceress resides there.”

Certain events start to make sense and Adora smiles, “Ok, I think I understand. The Sorceress has been contacting me through telepathy.”

“Yes, she and I have been in contact as well. I promised her I would help guide you, since she is on Eternia.”

There are so many questions continuing to mount. “So is your role the same as hers?” Adora asks. Pausing Light Hope thinks of his answer, “Not exactly. I was the last protector of Etheria. My role as a protector came to be once the Horde first made an appearance. I fought alongside many wonderful people, however I fell in battle. Hordak was incredibly strong; he has had many generations of doing this to other worlds. I could not stop him. So here I am now, in between worlds, awaiting the next protector and making sure that the castle does not fall into the wrong hands.”

Adora looks around, “This place holds a lot of magical power doesn’t it?” Adora wants to tough Light Hope. None of this seems real. Light Hope is silent, but Adora knows her answer. This castle is hidden inside a mountain. Evil must never find its way in here. The two stand together in the grand hall. Adora can feel Light Hope's energy radiating off of him.

Finally Light Hope speaks, “Now is the time to raise your sword Adora.” Pausing to take the experience all in, Adora sighs, “I don’t know. All I have to do is raise my sword and say that Grayskull phrase? What is going to happen to me then?”

“Follow your heart Adora. You will know what to do next.” Light Hope steps back and patiently looks on at Adora. The room seems to lose some of its glow. The crystal walls that were bathed in sparkly waves of light are simmering, almost bordering on flicking to dark. Adora looks over at Spirit. Her noble steed is looking at her, waiting for her next move. She closes her eyes and takes hold of her sword. She raises it aloft and simply calls out, “For the honor of Grayskull.”

Adora slowly opens her eyes and time seems to stand further still. She feels this energy start to flow through her, electrical currents race up her arm. Her sword starts to glow and sparks start appearing on the sword. Soon there are more sparks and they start to delicately fall off the sword forming a swirling pattern. Starting out slow the swirls begin to move faster.

Quickly more and more swirls of sparks start to rain down around Adora, and when the sparks touch her skin Adora feels like a human firework. The sparks are all around her and it is absolutely beautiful. Blinding light envelopes her, she wonders if she will look like Light Hope. Adora is in the center of all these sparks with tears in her eyes. She feels alive, a feeling she has never felt before.

And then it is over. There are no more sparks, only this inner energy that Adora can feel throughout her body. She looks down and notices gold cuffs on each arm. She looks at her reflection on the crystal floor and gasps. Adora turns towards a crystal wall. Adora is staring back at a woman that is her and yet at the same time is not. Her hair is longer. Her skin has no trace of a cut, bruise, or any other wound she had from the fall. In fact her skin has this natural radiance to it. Adora is also wearing a winged headpiece along with golden boots. A red cape is on her shoulders. She is also wearing a white skirt with a lightly armored white top. Even her body seems more tone than usual.

“You have done it. Now what will you call yourself as Etheria’s new protector?” Light Hope calls out. A voice seemingly out of nowhere whispers in her ear, and Adora says, “I am She-Ra. Princess of Power.”

“How do you feel?” Light Hope asks.

“Amazing. I have never felt this way before. I feel like I could move mountains.” Laughing in his melodic tone, Light Hope grins, “And you probably could! Now, She-Ra, your riding companion mustn’t be left out.”

She-Ra looks over at Spirit, who seems startled. She-Ra rushes to him, “Oh Spirit, it is still me! I am just different right now.”

“You will need his help She-Ra. All protectors need assistance. I had my own help with a riding companion, and Spirit will be yours. All you have to do is place your sword on Spirit’s head.” She-Ra pets Spirit’s head “Don’t worry Spirit; I am not going to hurt you.” She-Ra lightly places her blade against Spirit’s head. The sword glows and sparks start to spread. She-Ra steps back as light begins to surround Spirit. The light grows brighter and She-Ra notices changes occurring. Once the light disappears She-Ra is amazed at what is in front of her. Spirit has wings, royal armor, and a horn. He has become a majestic flying unicorn.

<What do you think She-Ra?> A voice calmly says in She-Ra’s head.

<Spirit?> She-Ra answers back.

Light Hope interrupts, “In case you are wondering, while in that form your noble steed can communicate with you telepathically.”

“Wow.” She-Ra says.

She-Ra looks at Spirit, <I never thought we would be able to communicate to one another.>

<Me either She-Ra. This is nice.>

Light Hope continues, “Now She-Ra, for the time being no one can find out your identity. In this current climate it is too dangerous and that information could be used against you and the people you care about. Do you understand?”

She-Ra nods, “Yes Light Hope. I do. I suppose Spirit will need a code name as well.”

<What do you think Spirit? You can fly now, probably as swift as the wind, and we can talk to each other telepathically. Surely we can come up with a name.>

Spirit responds with some name ideas, <Starlite? Or what about Olympia? Maybe Skyflier?>

She-Ra shakes her head, <No, those sound like they belong elsewhere…>

The two think for a brief moment, and Spirit says, <She-Ra, what if you call me Swift Wind?>

She-Ra nods, <I like that. Swift Wind. Perfect. Alright, now should we see if you can live up to the new name?>

Swift Wind taps his front hooves on the floor and rears up, flapping his new wings. Laughing with pure joy She-Ra looks at Light Hope, “What happens now?” Light Hope motions to the sky, “You go. Get a handle on flying a unicorn; find a way to help the Rebellion.”

“I think I can manage that.” She-Ra prepares to hop on Swift Wind. Before they leave, Light Hope raises his hand, “Oh She-Ra, one more thing. When you are not in this new form as protector, those previous wounds will still be there. They will heal somewhat quicker, but be prepared. Whichever health status you are experiencing before turning into She-Ra will likely be there when you turn back. Keep that in mind. Also, feel free to visit the Crystal Castle from time to time. I may not be able to leave this structure, but I am still able to help.”

“Thank you Light Hope. Thank you so much.” She-Ra hops on Swift Wind and prepares to leave. She looks at Light Hope and waves. Swift Wind instinctively starts to flap his wings and rise into the air. The two fly up inside of the mountain and fly out of the narrow passage into the sky. She-Ra closes her eyes as the wind breezes by her face. For the first time in awhile she feels like everything is going to be ok.

Up next!

She-Ra helps someone!
The Rebellion makes a decision regarding Adora.
And where is He-Man in all of this? Find out with Part 1: Chapter 8!

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