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Thread: Talk To Me

  1. #1
    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    Talk To Me

    Talk To Me

    Chapter One








    Disclaimer: "He-Man and The Masters of the Universe", their characters, and concepts are the property of Mattel.

    A/N: Part III of The Lysia Saga. This story takes place after the events in "The Return of Lysia."







    Teela was back at Dragon Rock. This time, Shadow not only shot her … but King Randor and Queen Marlena as well. The parade ground was filled with panicked soldiers and onlookers running to and fro for cover, the air filled with their screams.

    All at once, the wounded Queen Marlena pointed an accusing finger at Teela and said with her last breath, "HOW
    COULD YOU?" The entire crowd -- King Randor, distinguished VIPs, and guards alike --- eventually joined in chorus, each pointing an accusing finger at Teela … How COULD you? How COULD you…?



    Teela suddenly sat bolt upright in bed, gasping for breath, her face drenched in sweat. Make it stop … PLEASE, she thought. I can't take much more of this.

    ------------------

    "You wished to speak to me, Your Highness?" Teela was in the Queen's Sewing Room, standing at parade rest before Queen Marlena. The Sewing Room was just adjacent to the Royal Bedchamber, serving as an anteroom of sorts. It was here that Queen Marlena spoke to guests in private.

    "Yes, Teela," said The Queen. She was sitting at her vanity. "What troubles you?" she said softly.

    " 'Troubles', Your Highness?"

    "You haven't been … yourself … since you awoke from your coma three weeks ago," said The Queen. "You seem … withdrawn."

    " 'Withdrawn' … how?"

    "Adam hardly ever sees you anymore," said The Queen. "If you're not on patrol, you're working late into the night. You've been running yourself ragged." The Queen paused. "Not only that, you haven't hardly eaten in almost five days."

    "I've eaten, Your Highness," Teela protested. "I just haven't been hungry."

    "Some raisins here, a piece of fruit there … that isn't healthy," The Queen replied. "This isn't you." The Queen paused. "Something's troubling you … what is it?"

    "I … don't want to talk about it," said Teela, looking downcast towards the floor. "It's … personal."

    "Teela, I want you to take a temporary leave of absence," said The Queen. "Take as much time as you need. You need help … and I want to see that you get it."

    "I'm fine … really," Teela protested.

    "You're NOT fine," The Queen countered. "I don't want to be placed in the position of having to take more … DRASTIC measures."

    "Drastic measures," Teela thought. I'm assuming she means having me relieved of my command. "Yes, Your Highness," Teela said with a sigh. "I will do as you say … and take a temporary leave of absence."

    "Good," said The Queen. "Dismissed."

    Teela bowed slightly, turned around on one heel, and walked out the door.

    ---------------------

    "She wants me … to take a temporary leave of absence," said Teela. She and Orko were standing in the Royal Garden.

    "You haven't been … yourself … lately," said Orko. "What's wrong?"

    "I … don't want to talk about it," said Teela.

    "You can tell ME…"

    "Thanks…" said Teela. "…But you wouldn't understand."

    "Can't you talk to someone? Like maybe a counselor?"

    "If I talked to a counselor, I would be putting my career at risk," Teela replied. "I see it happen all the time. Someone talks to a counselor, within weeks they're given a psych discharge out of the service." Teela paused. "I love what I do. I love being a soldier. I don't want to leave the Guard."

    "Aren't they supposed to keep things confidential?"

    "Under normal circumstances, yes," said Teela. "There's something you need to know about the Guard … officially and legally, I am the Property of the Crown. I and every other member of the Guard become as much when we enlist. All the normal protections most people take for granted -- freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, doctor-patient confidentiality, what-have-you -- do NOT apply to me. Everything I say in a counseling session will be reported to my superiors … and ultimately, to the Queen. As far as the Guard is concerned, I might as well be a Wind Raider with a broken fuel line."

    "Have you tried talking to Man-At-Arms?"

    "He talked to me," Teela replied. "I didn't tell him anything. I didn't tell him anything for the reason I just told you … if I told him, I would be putting my career at risk."

    "But … he's not a counselor…"

    "So long as I remain within the walls of this Palace, I am putting my career at risk," Teela paused. "I don't want to take a chance on being overheard."

    An idea suddenly hit Orko. "Why don't you talk to The Sorceress…?"

    "NO!" Teela interjected sharply. "I don't want to bother her. Besides, I don't want her to see me like this … I'm a nervous WRECK!" Teela paused. "Give me a few days … I'll be OK."

    "Okay," said Orko weakly. Now I'm DEFINITELY talking to The Sorceress, he thought. If ANYONE can get through to Teela, SHE can.

  2. #2
    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    Chapter Two










    "She hasn't been … herself … lately," said Orko to The Sorceress of Grayskull. He was standing before The Sorceress in Grayskull's cavernous Throne Room, The Sorceress herself sitting high atop her massive stone throne.

    "How so?" The Sorceress inquired.

    "She's been running herself ragged ever since she awoke from her coma … always on the go. Either she's on patrol or she's working late into the night. We never see her anymore."

    "That's a change, to be sure … but hardly one I'd consider life-threatening."

    "She hasn't been eating … hasn't hardly eaten in five days," said Orko. "Some raisins here, a piece of fruit there … that's IT."

    "I see," said The Sorceress. Her expression turned grave. "That IS serious," she said.

    "Man-At-Arms can't get through to her. Queen Marlena can't get through to her. Not only that, she ordered her to take a leave of absence … you know, to get some help."

    "Is there no one at the Palace who can help her?"

    "She won't talk to anyone there. She's afraid that if she sees a counselor, she'll be kicked out of the Guard," said Orko. "She told me it happens all the time."

    "I see," said The Sorceress, cradling her chin with her thumb and index finger in thought.

    "I suggested that she come see you, but she won't do it," said Orko. "She said she didn't want to bother you … said she didn't want you to see her like she is now."

    That's Teela for you, The Sorceress thought. Ever the proud soldier. "This would seem to necessitate … an intervention," she said finally. "I'll see what I can do."

    "Oh, thank you!" Orko interjected. "I really appreciate this."

    "I can't promise anything. You know how she is," The Sorceress warned. "When she makes up her mind to do something, there's no stopping her."

    ---------------------------

    Two days later, Orko found Teela in her quarters, packing a knapsack.

    "Where are you going?" Orko asked.

    "Going to Lal," Teela replied.

    "What's Lal?" Orko inquired, his curiosity piqued.

    "Not what … WHERE," Teela replied. "It's an old ruin … it's in the forest just north of here. Me and Adam used to play there when we were kids." Teela paused. "Funny … I haven't thought about the place in years."

    The Sorceress's words suddenly echoed in Orko's mind: This would seem to necessitate … an intervention. "What's it like?" he asked.

    "Beautiful place … quiet," Teela replied. "Kind of secluded … kind of off-the-beaten-path. Hardly anyone knows about it except me and Adam."

    You, Adam … and The Sorceress of Grayskull? Orko thought. "Can I come?" Orko asked.

    "This is something I need to do alone," Teela replied. She closed the knapsack and threw it over her shoulder.

    "I see," said Orko. "Hope you have fun."

    "I'm sure I will," said Teela as she turned and walked out the door. "I'll see you later."

    "See you," said Orko. Hope you'll be OK, he thought.
    Last edited by Mirage; October 19, 2005 at 11:38pm.

  3. #3
    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    Chapter Three









    The ruins of Lal were little more than a cluster of abandoned, decaying stone foundations -- many with half-collapsed walls resting on top -- nestled within a grove of towering evergreen trees. Broken stone and marble columns lay scattered throughout the area.

    This is just as I remember it, Teela thought as she emerged from the forest. Funny … everything seemed a lot BIGGER back then. Then again, I guess EVERYTHING does when you're a kid. She climbed onto a nearby foundation, took a spot near the corner of a half-collapsed wall, and sat down. So peaceful … it's almost paradise.

    -------------------

    Night fell upon the forest floor. Teela dozed soundly in her corner of the half-collapsed wall. A chill hung in the air, a chill that left Teela shivering slightly.

    From out of nowhere, The Sorceress of Grayskull -- in all her feathered finery -- appeared next to the sleeping Teela. She silently knelt down and opened Teela's knapsack. Examining its contents, she pulled out a small leather bag tied with a drawstring. She untied the drawstring and poured some peanuts into the palm of her hand. Fine meal for a squirrel, she thought disdainfully as she poured the peanuts back into the bag and retied the drawstring. It seems I have my work cut out for me. Taking note of the shivering Teela sleeping before her, she placed the bag of peanuts back into the knapsack, felt around the knapsack some more, and pulled out a black cloth bundle. She set the bundle onto the floor and unfurled it, revealing a heavy black cloak. She draped the cloak over the shivering Teela, gave her a pat on the arm, and disappeared into thin air.

    --------------------

    Teela awoke the next morning to find her cloak draped across her body. What the… she thought. Did I get this out? She turned back towards the corner to find her arm resting on a small bundle wrapped in brown paper. Teela put on her cloak, took the bundle, and unwrapped it in her lap. Inside the brown paper lay an apple and a banana.

    Teela looked around. I sense her presence, she thought ("Her" being The Sorceress of Grayskull.) I can draw three conclusions here … One, she KNOWS. Two, she's probably nearby. Her eyes instinctively scanned the treetops for Zoar. Three, this is her way of telling me I need to eat something. She took a bite out of the apple. I must say, this IS good. Without thinking, she devoured the banana and the rest of the apple. I must've been hungrier than I thought.

    "Teela," said a soft feminine voice beside her elbow. Startled, Teela turned towards the voice and braced herself against the wall. Crouching before her was none other than The Sorceress of Grayskull.

    "Wh-what're you doing here?" Teela stammered nervously.

    "I heard you haven't been eating," The Sorceress replied softly. "What's wrong?"

    The walls have ears, Teela thought. And one … BIG … mouth. "Nothing's wrong," Teela lied. "I … just haven't been hungry, that's all."

    Teela's bag of peanuts suddenly appeared in The Sorceress's right hand. She untied the drawstring and poured out the peanuts into the palm of her hand. "You've been living on THESE … for the past week," she said. "This isn't like you. This isn't healthy." She poured the peanuts back into the bag and tied the drawstring once more. "Something's troubling you … what is it?"

    "I … can't talk about it," said Teela, burying her face in her hands.

    "Why not?"

    "If I do, it'll be the end of my career!" Teela moaned.

    "Teela, listen to me," said The Sorceress. She put a hand on Teela's knee. "I have no say over your career. I'm not even in the military. Whatever is wrong, you can tell me."

    Teela relaxed slightly and stared out into space, her back resting against the corner of the half-collapsed wall.

    "Teela, talk to me," said The Sorceress. "What's wrong?"

    Teela glanced at The Sorceress and said, "Can I tell you something in confidence?"

    At this, The Sorceress smiled and said, "Teela, if you know me at all, you know I can keep a secret."

    Teela smiled weakly. "Nightmares," she said finally.

    The Sorceress sat down on the floor in front of Teela. "What kind of nightmares?" she asked. "Tell me about them."

    Teela let out a breath. "Dragon Rock … shooting," she said. "Every night I see it happening all over again."

    "Teela, you were nearly assassinated," said The Sorceress. "You've undergone a traumatic experience. Nightmares are not uncommon."

    Teela stood up. "I'm the Captain of the Guard!" she exclaimed in frustration. "I'm supposed to be the strong one!"

    The Sorceress stood up and put her hand on Teela's shoulder. "You ARE strong," she said. "You're very strong. You're also human." The Sorceress paused. "I think you're being way too hard on yourself."

    "I HAVE to be," Teela said softly. "Part of my job involves protecting The King and Queen."

    The Sorceress looked quizzically at Teela. "I don't understand … what this has to do with your nightmare," she said.

    "Just a few feet more … and Shadow could've shot The King and Queen," said Teela. She turned towards a half-collapsed wall and rested her palms on top of the ledge. "In my dream, Shadow shoots King Randor and Queen Marlena right along with me. Everyone at Dragon Rock … The King, The Queen, soldiers, VIPs, what-have-you … points an accusing finger at me and chants 'How COULD you? How COULD you?' "

    " 'How could you' WHAT?"

    Teela slammed her palm down on the ledge in frustration. "WHERE DID I GO WRONG?" she screamed. "What did I MISS? What did I OVERLOOK?"

    She blames herself for what happened at Dragon Rock, The Sorceress thought. "Teela, in order for Shadow to get THAT close to the King and Queen, he had to have first penetrated the perimeter of the base," she said, putting a comforting hand on Teela's shoulder. "He should've been stopped back there."

    "Tell me about it," Teela grumbled.

    "I presume you had security procedures in place back then?"

    "Yes, I followed all the procedures. I did EVERYTHING I was supposed to do … and he STILL got through!" Teela threw her hands up in the air in frustration.

    "There's no such thing as a truly impenetrable defense," said The Sorceress softly. "Someone who is truly bound and determined as Shadow was will find a way through even the strongest of defenses. In times like these, the only thing you can do is shore up your weaknesses … in order to be better prepared … for next time." The Sorceress paused. "You mustn't blame yourself for what happened at Dragon Rock. You did your duty. You did everything in your power to protect The King and Queen. You couldn't have anticipated an assassin wearing a cloaking device any more than you could've anticipated the ground opening up underneath the Royal Box and swallowing it whole."

    Teela couldn't help but smile at that last image. "One thing's for sure … I'll be on the lookout for it NOW," she said with a grin.

    The Sorceress smiled. "As for your nightmares," she said. "They'll fade … and you'll heal … in time."

    Teela turned around and embraced The Sorceress. "Thank you," she said. "For listening … and for caring."

    The Sorceress returned Teela's embrace. "You're welcome," she said softly.

    "You've just lifted … a great burden … from my shoulders," said Teela. She looked around at the forest and said, "Such a beautiful place."

    I know, The Sorceress thought. That's why I brought you here … prodded you … to come here. It's close enough to the Palace for you to travel here … in your condition … and yet, it's secluded enough for the both of us to feel safe being here.

    "I didn't think anyone else knew about this place," said Teela.

    "I've known about it … for some time," said The Sorceress. Zoar used to watch you and Adam play here when you were children, The Sorceress thought. You've no idea how much I wanted to hold you in my arms … to kiss you. The Sorceress held Teela's head in her hands and said, "Teela, I want you to promise me something."

    "What is it?"

    "If there's something going on … something troubling you … that you don't feel comfortable … that you don't feel safe … talking to anyone at the Palace about, I want you to come see me," said The Sorceress. "I don't want you hurting yourself."

    "I'll do that," said Teela softly. "If it'll ease your mind, I will."

    The Sorceress embraced Teela once more. "Very much so," she said softly. "Very much so."

    --------------------

    Four days later, Teela was in the Throne Room, standing before King Randor and Queen Marlena.

    "I'm glad you're feeling better," said The Queen. "From what I've heard, your appetite appears to be back to normal."

    "We've all been so worried about you," said King Randor.

    "Thank you, Your Highnesses. I appreciate your concern," said Teela. "I am now asking to be reinstated to active duty as Captain of the Guard."

    "I don't see why not," said The Queen. "You may resume your duties effective tomorrow morning."

    "Thank you, Your Highness," said Teela, bowing slightly.

    "I presume you've taken my advice?" asked The Queen.

    "I took your advice … and got some help," said Teela.







    THE END
    Last edited by Mirage; October 22, 2005 at 02:49pm.

  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior Rhoman06's Avatar
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    Good story...I am not sure where this series is going but I like it. I t feels like you are building to something big.
    QUIS NOS OPEROR VITA REFERO INFINITIO: WHAT WE DO IN LIFE ECHOS IN ETERNITY

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