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Thread: Surrender

  1. #1
    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    Surrender

    Surrender



    Chapter One





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



    A/N: Part IV of The Lysia Saga. This story takes place after the events in "Talk To Me."



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



    Teela walked into the Rusty Anchor -- a seedy tavern near the wharf -- wearing her heavy black cloak. The windows bore spider-web cracks (the results of long-ago drunken brawls.)

    She walked up to the bar and said to the bartender, "I'm looking for Bandar." The bartender jerked his head to his right, indicating a table near the back of the tavern. Teela then mumbled a "Thank you", left a gold piece on the bar for the bartender (a little something for his trouble), and walked over to where Bandar was sitting.

    "You Teela?" said Bandar as Teela sat down. Bandar was a street informant. He was a skeletal rat-faced man in his late forties with greasy black hair, a bony angular face, and beady brown eyes. He wore a maroon silk shirt, brown leather pants, and brown leather boots.

    "Yeah," Teela replied. "I heard you had something for me."

    Bandar looked around nervously. "Lysia wants to surrender."

    Teela's eyebrows shot upwards. "Lysia … the WARLORD?"

    Bandar closed his eyes and nodded his head. "The very same," he said.

    "What brought THIS on?"

    Bandar looked around once more and leaned in close to Teela, so as not to be overheard. "Lysia's got the heat on her," he said. "He-Man has some powerful friends … powerful friends who think nothing of killing people … who go after their friends. When Lysia made that attempt on He-Man's life in The Emerald Forest, she became a target." Bandar paused. "She's been marked for death."

    Must be nice having that many friends willing to kill for you, Teela thought. "So … what does this have to do with me?" she asked.

    "She wants to surrender … she wants out," said Bandar. He then dropped his voice to a conspiratorial whisper and said, "Know the stone bridge at Founder's Park?"

    "Yeah."

    "She wants you to meet her there three days from now at twelve-thirty hours," said Bandar. "Come ALONE."

    If she wants out, I'm more than willing to oblige her, thought Teela. "Tell her I'll meet her then." She then stood up, shook Bandar's hand, and tossed five gold pieces onto the table. "Thanks for the tip." Teela then turned and walked out of the tavern.

    "Pleasure doing business with you," cried Bandar as Teela left.

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

    If Lysia wants to meet with me alone, I'm more than willing to oblige her, thought Teela as she walked down the street and back home towards the Palace. Worse comes to worse, it won't be anything I can't handle.

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

    Lysia … SURRENDERING? thought The Sorceress of Grayskull as she sat on her throne, watching Teela through a magical transparent orb floating before her. That'll be the day. Knowing Lysia, it'll just be her, Teela, and ten of Lysia's henchmen waiting in ambush in the bushes. With a gesture, she dissolved the viewer floating before her. Teela's getting backup whether she likes it or not.

  2. #2
    Beauty and Brawn RogueLeBeau's Avatar
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    Coooooooool! Love all your stories! Can't wait to read the rest!
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    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    Chapter Two









    Three days later, Lysia was walking down Market Street, east towards the wharf. She wore her full complement of sword, brass bustier, and combat leathers. Her purple silk cape flowed freely in the breeze behind her.

    Market Street was Eternos's main thoroughfare and home to the city's bazaar. The bazaar was a bustling hub of activity, a place almost anything and everything could be had (From swords and battle-axes to fresh fruit, fish, silk, pottery, and just about everything else, it could be found at the bazaar.)

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

    As Lysia walked down the street, Zoar the Falcon soared overhead, silently keeping her under surveillance from above.

    Upon reaching the wharf, Lysia turned left at the corner and made her way down the street. Ships of every size, shape, and description lay at anchor nearby. She walked down the street until she had reached The Rusty Anchor tavern. Once there, she turned and walked inside.

    Having seen Lysia reach her destination, Zoar dove into an alley behind the Rusty Anchor. She hovered in mid-air and in a flash of light, suddenly transformed herself into the figure of … a male sailor. The sailor was straight out of central casting: late-twenties to early-thirties, dark hair, three-day growth of beard, yellow head scarf, cream-colored shirt, gold earring in his left ear, leather pants, soft leather boots, and a small sword hanging from his waist.

    This will do, thought The Sorceress of Grayskull as she checked her look one last time. I can't very well walk into a tavern … dressed as I USUALLY do … without drawing attention to myself. With that, he strode confidently out of the alley, onto the street, and into the front door of the tavern.

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

    Lysia was already seated when The Sorceress/The Sailor walked in. The Sailor took a seat at a table near the front, positioning himself so as to be always within sight of Lysia. He produced a small pocket watch from his pants, pressed a small button on top, opened the case, and checked the time. Eleven-thirty hours, The Sailor thought. Teela being the stickler for punctuality that she is, she's no doubt going to be arriving at the rendezvous point early.

    "Fancy ye a drink, sir?" asked a nearby feminine voice.

    The Sailor looked up. Standing over him was a matronly, ruddy-cheeked barmaid. "Just some water, please," he said softly as he closed the pocket watch and put it back in his pants. "I have to go back to work."

    "No drinkin' on the job, eh?" joked the barmaid. "One water, comin' up," she said with a smile as she turned and left the table. By this time, three rough-looking men had joined Lysia at her table. Her henchmen, no doubt, thought The Sailor as he tuned his ears to the conversation.

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

    Teela strode along the store-lined avenue, heading towards the rendezvous point across town at Founders Park.

    Teela, said the Sorceress telepathically in Teela's mind. TEELA! she cried, trying get her attention.

    At this, Teela suddenly stopped in her tracks. "Sorceress?" she asked the air.

    Yes, came The Sorceress's telepathic reply.

    "How do I respond?" Teela asked nervously. "I … I'm not a telepath."

    Just keep talking, you're doing fine, The Sorceress reassured her. I can hear your thoughts.

    "Where are you? What's going on?"

    Don't go to the rendezvous point, The Sorceress warned.

    "You know about the meeting?"

    Yes.

    "What's going on? Where are you?"

    Lysia is setting up an ambush at the bridge with three of her henchmen.

    Teela's blood suddenly ran cold. "Where are you? How do you know all this?"

    I'm at a tavern near the wharf called The Rusty Anchor, The Sorceress replied. She's sitting with three of her henchmen at the next table over from me.

    Teela tried for a moment to imagine The Sorceress of Grayskull -- in all her feathered glory -- sitting in a seedy tavern with winos, sailors, and roughnecks. It's not what you're thinking, The Sorceress corrected telepathically. I'm what you might call … undercover.

    Teela breathed a sigh of relief. "The Rusty Anchor, huh? I know where THAT is." Teela paused. "I'm on my way."

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

    "So when I get there, you three will jump her, pistol whip her, drag her into the bushes, and then slit her throat," said Lysia as she went over her plan with her henchmen. By now, the barmaid had served all four of them a single tankard of wine. "Understood?"

    "Yes, Lysia," said one henchman.

    "Good," said Lysia curtly.

    The henchman took a sip of wine. "You know, this is good wine," he said, taking another sip … and then another. "You know … has anyone ever told you … how beautiful you are?" he said drunkenly.

    Lysia stared at the henchman coldly. "WHAT did you say?"

    "S-s-something … about the way … your hair … catches … the light," he slurred, now thoroughly plastered.

    "C'mon, baby … let's go back to MY place," slurred the second henchman, now as drunk as the first. "How `bout giving me some lovin'?" he said. "How's `bout a kiss?" he added, leaning in towards Lysia and puckering his lips in anticipation.

    Lysia stared at the two henchmen in horror. What in the name of the Ancients is going ON here? "Do any of you remember ANYTHING I've just said?"

    "Eh … what?" said the third henchman, now as thoroughly drunk as the first two.

    "The MISSION!" Lysia screamed in frustration.

    "What mission?" said the second henchman.

    "I don't remember a mission," said the first henchman. "You know … you have such beautiful eyes," he added, making a drunken pass at Lysia.

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

    The Sorceress/The Sailor smiled a quiet smile of satisfaction as he watched the scene unfold from his table near the front of the tavern. There go three henchmen she can no longer send after Teela, he thought as he sipped a tankard of water.

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

    Lysia stared at her tankard in horror. Are we drinking the same WINE? she thought. This … after only ONE DRINK! She stood up as realization finally dawned on her. "This wine is BEWITCHED!" she bellowed, slamming her tankard down onto the floor.

    Now, Lysia, chided The Sorceress telepathically in Lysia's mind. If you wish to surrender, you're going to have to do it alone. She then added, in the tone of a parent admonishing a child, You can't bring any friends along.

    Lysia drew her sword. "WHERE ARE YOU?" she roared. "Show yourself, you feathered freak!"

    You know what they say about sticks and stones, The Sorceress quipped telepathically, unable to resist the opening.

    Lysia hissed, sheathed her sword in its scabbard, and stormed out of the tavern. The Sailor tossed three gold pieces onto the table as a tip for the barmaid. Let the Games begin, he thought as he disappeared into thin air.
    Last edited by Mirage; October 29, 2005 at 04:14pm.

  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior Rhoman06's Avatar
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    Haha...that was great. I love the dialogue in your work. The drunk sailors were really funny.
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    Beauty and Brawn RogueLeBeau's Avatar
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    cool stuff! keep it coming!
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  6. #6
    The Chalminator chamita116's Avatar
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    I like how you've progressively revealed more of the Sorceress's personality through your stories. She's extremely protective, but she's also got this wonderfully sarcastic side that makes her very real, very human. I can't wait to see more of this.
    "Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about mission statements."

    "I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I thought it could be."

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  7. #7
    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    I'll say here what I said in another thread: To me, she's MORE than just a walking fortune cookie!

    Wise as she is, that's NOT all there is to her. She's as much a warrior as He-Man and Teela (She fought Mer-Man in "Teela's Quest". She fought The Horde in "The Origin of the Sorceress". When push comes to shove, she WILL fight.)


    She's a complex, multi-faceted character who was never given the attention that she deserved. It's always pained me that the relationship between her and Teela was never fully developed in TOS.
    Last edited by Mirage; October 29, 2005 at 10:23pm.

  8. #8
    prince of asgard thor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirage
    I'll say here what I said in another thread: To me, she's MORE than just a walking fortune cookie!

    Wise as she is, that's NOT all there is to her. She's as much a warrior as He-Man and Teela (She fought Mer-Man in "Teela's Quest". She fought The Horde in "The Origin of the Sorceress". When push comes to shove, she WILL fight.)


    She's a complex, multi-faceted character who was never given the attention that she deserved. It's always pained me that the relationship between her and Teela was never fully developed in TOS.

    I agree about waht you said about The Sorceress. As a character, especially referring to the classic series, there could of been so much more potential, but it never happened.

    That ep Origin of The Sorceress was the perfect ep as to show what she can really do

  9. #9
    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    ^ It's one of my favorites.

  10. #10
    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    Chapter Three









    A/N: For a complete introduction to Major Bellaq, please read my earlier fic "Major Bellaq".



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



    Teela jogged down Market Street, threading her way through the crowded bazaar.

    Teela, called the Sorceress telepathically.

    "I'm here," Teela replied.

    Lysia is on the move, said The Sorceress. She's now heading south along Harbor Road ... AWAY from the rendezvous point.

    "Blast," grumbled Teela. "Try to cut a person a break and THIS is the thanks I get!"

    She had no intention of surrendering, said The Sorceress. All of this was an elaborate ruse to lure you into an ambush at Founder's Park.

    "Do me a favor," said Teela. "Keep an eye on her … track her. Keep me posted on her movements."

    That's what I'm here for … to help, said The Sorceress. Where are you?

    "I'm heading west on Market Street. I'm at Market Street and Fifteenth Avenue."

    Before Teela could utter another sound, she found herself bathed in white light. In the next instant, the light vanished and she found herself standing in an alley. "Sorceress? Where am I?" she asked.

    Harbor Road and Glover Avenue, The Sorceress replied. Lysia is heading south, straight towards you. Straight ahead and to your right.

    She doesn't waste time, Teela thought. Then again, we DO have a fugitive on the loose. Following The Sorceress's directions, she ran straight ahead and emerged from the alley onto the wharf. She turned right and ran north along the wharf, towards Lysia. Something tells me this is NOT going to be your run-of-the-mill collar.

    "How will I recognize her?" Teela asked The Sorceress. "What should I be on the lookout for?"

    Long dark hair, short black leather dress, brass bustier, purple silk cape, and large, brass, claw-shaped epaulets, The Sorceress replied. Be advised, she's armed with a sword.

    Teela's trained eye came to rest on Lysia as she strolled up the road. Long dark hair, short black leather dress, brass bustier, purple silk cape, claw-shaped epaulets, she thought, silently ticking off the list of identifying features The Sorceress had given her. Got her. "I see her," she said, her voice just above a whisper. "I'm going in."

    Be careful, said The Sorceress telepathically.

    "LYSIA!" Teela called to her. "Teela, Royal Guard! HALT!"

    Lysia stopped and stared at the oncoming Teela, her eyes wide with shock. Teela! she thought. She's supposed to be across town! How the blazes did she FIND me? She then dove into a nearby alley, Teela hot on her heels. No time for that now.

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

    Lysia led Teela on a mad chase through the maze of back streets and alleys that was Eternos's south side. All the while, The Sorceress of Grayskull was guiding Teela telepathically, maneuvering her like a pawn on a chessboard, cutting off Lysia's avenues of escape. She must be watching her from the air, Teela thought.

    As Lysia led the pursuing Teela ran down an alley, she reached underneath one of her epaulets, pulled out a large diamond-shaped object, and threw it back at Teela. All at once, the object exploded, filling the air with a deafening BOOM and a thick cloud of blue gas. As Teela stumbled headlong into the blue gas cloud, her vision became blurry and painful, her eyes filled with tears. I'm blind! she thought panickedly. Her ears were filled with a roar, leaving her deafened.

    She could just barely hear someone -- a masculine voice -- calling her name. He then said something that sounded like "Major Bellaq" ("Major Bellaq" was the guise/alter ego of a male soldier that The Sorceress of Grayskull occasionally assumed whenever she had to venture out in public.) She indistinctly saw a figure lifting her up, putting her on their shoulders, and carrying her away.

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

    Major Bellaq emerged from the gas cloud with the fallen Teela draped over his shoulders in a fireman's carry. He was a tall, trim, athletic man in his mid-to-late thirties with red hair and blue eyes. Today he was wearing black tights, dark gray boots and body armor, and a holstered black blaster pistol strapped to his leg.

    As expected, Lysia was nowhere to be found, having made her getaway long ago. No time to worry about her now, The Sorceress thought. Teela needs help. Major Bellaq gently set Teela down up against a nearby wall, safely out of harm's way.

    The Major crouched down in front of the blinded Teela. "Teela," he called to her. "Teela … Can you hear me?"

    "Who's there?" said Teela weakly. "Where are you? Can't … hear anything."

    The Major gently cupped his hands over Teela's ears. "Hold still," he murmured. Teela suddenly felt her ears burning, pulsing with energy. After a few moments, the burning and the pulses ceased. The Major removed his hands from Teela's ears; the roar had vanished and her hearing had been restored to normal. He's healed me, Teela thought.

    Major Bellaq -- and The Sorceress -- took note of the tears streaming down Teela's face. Looks like tear gas, The Sorceress noted to herself.

    Teela, this is The Sorceress, said The Sorceress telepathically. Can you see?

    Teela shook her head. "No," she said. "Hurts … to look."

    I want you to do something, said The Sorceress. I want you to close your eyes.

    Teela obeyed and closed her eyes. "What are you going to do?" she asked nervously.

    I'm going to draw out the poison. With that, Major Bellaq gently held Teela's head in his hands and placed his thumbs on her eyelids. The area around Teela's eyes began to pulse with energy. After a few moments, the pulses ceased and The Major removed his hands from Teela's face.

    You can open your eyes now, said The Sorceress.

    Teela opened her eyes. The figure before her was blurry at first. Her vision eventually resolved itself into crystal clarity, revealing the red-haired Major Bellaq crouching before her.

    "Major," said Teela as she greeted him.

    The Major smiled in reply. How do you feel? asked The Sorceress.

    "Better," Teela replied. If the Major is here, then it must've been The Sorceress who healed me, Teela concluded silently.

    Can you see?

    "Yes," said Teela. "Thank you," she said weakly. She then looked around and said, "It seems we've lost Lysia."

    No, we haven't.

    "Huh?"

    She's about ten blocks south of here.

    Great, Teela thought. "Guess I'd better get going, then," she said as she rose to leave.

    Major Bellaq put a hand on Teela's shoulder, bidding her to sit. I'm not going to make you run that far, said The Sorceress.

    Teela stared at Major Bellaq in confusion. "How ELSE are we supposed to catch her?" she asked.

    Major Bellaq grinned evilly in reply. You'll see, said The Sorceress.

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

    Twelve blocks away, Lysia strolled down an alley. I'm home free, she thought. Teela will NEVER find me now.

    From out of nowhere, Teela suddenly appeared before Lysia.

    "You, again," Lysia snarled. She reached underneath her other epaulet, pulled out another diamond-shaped grenade, and threw it at Teela. "Guess one wasn't enough for you, huh?" she cackled as she turned and ran away.

    Teela stood stock-still, awaiting the inevitable. Guess this is it, she thought. It was then that the unexpected happened: the grenade landed at Teela's feet … without exploding.

    Teela, go, said The Sorceress. I've contained the grenade.

    Teela hesitantly took a couple of steps forward -- and then looked back at the grenade lying on the ground. Tell me this isn't happening.

    Some distance away, Lysia stopped and looked back towards Teela. Where's the KABOOM?

    TEELA, GO! cried The Sorceress, this time with an edge in her voice. GET A MOVE ON!

    It was then that Teela broke out into a run towards Lysia. If you say so. Once Teela was a safe distance away, The Sorceress released the containment field, allowing the grenade to explode in a cloud of gray-black smoke. Teela and Lysia each looked back at the grenade one more time before breaking into a run once more.

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

    Three blocks later (and with Teela still in hot pursuit), Lysia came upon a sewer grate. With all the strength she could muster, she lifted the iron grate, heaved it to one side, and jumped into the sewer.

    Great, thought Teela as she witnessed Lysia entering the sewer. One MORE thing I didn't need to have happen today. "Let's see if you're as good in a sewer as you are on the street," she said as she climbed into the sewer, hoping The Sorceress of Grayskull was listening.
    Last edited by Mirage; November 3, 2005 at 11:31pm.

  11. #11
    Heroic Warrior Rhoman06's Avatar
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    Wow..intense. Please keep it up. This is really good.
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  12. #12
    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    Chapter Four











    "If I had my way, she'd do an extra ten years just for making ME crawl into a sewer," Teela grumbled to herself as she crawled into the sewer pipe, "she" meaning Lysia.

    "Sorceress?" Teela called out to the air.

    I'm here, The Sorceress replied telepathically.

    "Which way did she go?"

    To your left, The Sorceress replied.

    "Thanks," said Teela. "Think we'll ever catch her?"

    She's slowing down, said The Sorceress. She's getting tired.

    That makes two of us,
    Teela thought as she ran down the pipe.

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

    The pipe was illuminated by the occasional solitary light bulb hanging overhead. As Teela made her way down the pipe, she was soon greeted with the overpowering foul stench of rotting eggs and raw sewage.

    It wasn't long before Teela found herself convulsed in a mad hacking, coughing fit. She instinctively squeezed the sides of her ribs, trying to ease the pain from the coughing. As the bile rose up in her throat, it was all she could do to keep from throwing up right then and there.

    Teela, are you all right?
    The Sorceress inquired. You look like you're struggling.

    "Gas … overpowering…" was the best Teela could spit out between coughing jags.

    As soon as the foul stench had appeared, it had vanished. Must be some kind of bubble around me, Teela thought as she finally caught her breath. "Whatever you did … Thanks," she said finally, gasping for breath. "Straight ahead?"

    Straight ahead, The Sorceress replied.

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

    Lysia finally came to a stop at a three-way intersection: she could go left, right, or backwards … and that was it. Gotta keep moving, she thought. Teela is right behind me. She turned left at the intersection and made her way down the pipe.

    How does she DO it? she wondered. How does she keep appearing from out of nowhere like that? Her mind then flashed back to her telepathic encounter with the Sorceress of Grayskull at The Rusty Anchor. Tell me she's not working with that … that WITCH, she thought angrily.

    "LYSIA!" a feminine voice -- Teela's -- called out from behind her.

    Lysia turned towards the voice. Teela stood a few feet behind her, wielding a collapsible quarterstaff. Desperate now, Lysia drew her sword, turned away from Teela and looked towards the other end of the pipe, which had suddenly grown dark.

    Weren't the lights on a minute ago? Lysia wondered. As she ran towards the other end of the tunnel, the red beam of a laser sight aimed squarely at her forehead suddenly pierced the darkness.

    "DROP IT, LYSIA!" a masculine voice commanded. The red-haired, black-clad figure of Major Bellaq (a.k.a. The Sorceress of Grayskull in disguise) emerged from the darkness and slowly advanced towards Lysia, leveling a black blaster pistol (with a laser sight mounted on top of the barrel) at her.

    "It's over, Lysia," said Teela as she advanced towards Lysia, who was now trapped in a pincer movement between Teela and Major Bellaq. "Drop the sword."

    Lysia turned back towards Teela. "NEVER!" she hissed.

    "There's nowhere to go," said Teela. "You may as well give yourself up."

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

    All at once, the pipe filled with a flock of flying birds. There were birds of every size, shape, and description: seagulls, albatrosses, ravens, crows, falcons … you name it. The birds swarmed around Lysia, clawing at her, pecking at her with their beaks.

    Lysia dropped to her knees, trying to dodge the attacking flock. "HELP ME!" she screamed as she waved her arms, trying to beat back the swarming birds. "SOMEONE HELP ME!"


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

    Teela and Major Bellaq stared at Lysia in stunned silence, watching her as she kneeled before them, her arms flailing in a vain attempt to swat away the imaginary birds.

    Teela looked up at Major Bellaq, who had now lowered his pistol slightly. He and Teela each now stood within a few feet of the writhing, screaming Lysia.

    Teela directed her thoughts at Major Bellaq. What're you doing?

    Major Bellaq looked up at Teela. Nothing, The Sorceress replied telepathically. Nothing … at all.
    Last edited by Mirage; November 5, 2005 at 09:18pm.

  13. #13
    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    Chapter Five











    Three days later, Teela was standing before King Randor and Queen Marlena in the Throne Room of the Royal Palace of Eternos, giving her final report on the apprehension of Lysia.

    "Your Highnesses will be pleased to know that Lysia has now been committed to the Royal Asylum for the Criminally Insane," said Teela.

    "Excellent work, Teela," said King Randor.

    "Thank you, Your Highness," said Teela.

    "Your report has made for some … interesting reading," said Queen Marlena.

    "How so?" Teela asked.

    "Did you REALLY do everything Lysia has testified to … in this report?" asked The Queen. "Can you REALLY … appear from out of nowhere?"

    "DID I appear from out of nowhere? Yes," Teela replied. "Yes, I did do that." Teela paused. "Can I do it on my own? No."

    "Someone was working with you, then…"

    "Yes, I had someone working with me," said Teela. "Someone … who has asked to remain … anonymous."

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

    A few days later, Teela was at Castle Grayskull, visiting The Sorceress. They were in The Sorceress's quarters, staring out a window.

    "Penny for your thoughts?" Teela asked The Sorceress.

    "I'm wondering … if I came on too strong," The Sorceress replied.

    Teela knitted her eyebrows in confusion. "What do you mean?"

    "I can't help but think … that it was MY fault … that Lysia went insane," said The Sorceress ruefully.

    "How could it have been your fault?" Teela asked. "She never even SAW you!"

    "She suspected something … she had to," The Sorceress replied. "How could she not? If nothing else, she had to have known that something was out of the ordinary."

    "Look, these things happen," said Teela. "Think about all the enemies you've faced over the years … people who have ACTUALLY seen you fight … just as you are right now. Did any of THEM go crazy?"

    The Sorceress smiled a shy smile. "You have a point," she said softly.

    "Look, stuff happens. It was an isolated incident, nothing more," said Teela. "Happens in MY business all the time. One minute, your best friend is standing right beside you. The next, they're nothing but a bleeding, broken corpse."

    The Sorceress's eyebrows shot upwards. "Teela, did that actually HAPPEN?" she asked, concerned.

    Teela nodded her head. "Yes … yes, it did," said Teela mournfully. "It happened early in my career … before I was transferred to the Guard." Teela paused. "Me and my friend Markus, we were both newly commissioned lieutenants, fresh out of Officer Candidate School. We were called to put down a revolt in the Outer Territories." Teela paused again. "To make a long story short, a mortar landed near him … and he was killed instantly."

    The Sorceress put a comforting hand on Teela's shoulder. Teela returned the gesture by placing her hand over The Sorceress's. "Thanks," she said softly.

    "You've kept that inside you … all this time."

    Teela sighed. "It's neither here nor there."

    "I still can't help but wonder … if it wouldn't be best for all concerned … that I confined myself to Grayskull."

    Teela shook her head. "Please … DON'T," she said. "Don't crawl back into your shell."

    "I'm wondering if I might be TOO powerful," said The Sorceress. "I'm beginning to wonder if I even know my own strength."

    "You did great out there," said Teela. "Granted, your tactics took a little … um, getting used to." Teela paused. "At the same time, I found them to be … frighteningly efficient."

    "It was never my intent … to drive her insane."

    "Hold onto that," said Teela. "As long as you know in your heart that you didn't set out to drive her insane … and I'm assuming that you didn't … don't let it get to you." Teela paused. "If she's seeing invisible birds after being shaken up a little, then the problem lies with HER … not YOU." Teela's face then turned grave. "Eternia needs you … I need you," she said. "Don't quit. Don't withdraw." Teela paused again. "Because if you do, Lysia will have won."

    The Sorceress smiled. "You're right," she said softly. "You're absolutely right."

    "You never gave Skeletor the victory," said Teela. "Don't give it to Lysia."

    "If you want me, I'll stay in the game," said The Sorceress. "If you need me, I'll be there."

    Teela embraced The Sorceress. "Now THAT'S the Sorceress I know," she said with a smile. She then added, "You know, you're one-of-a-kind."

    "Oh?"

    "I don't know many people like you … who are willing to step into a sewer."

    The Sorceress gave a shy smile. "I'm glad I was able to help."

    "He-Man must really mean a lot to you … if you were willing leave Grayskull for him."

    "You're right … he does," said The Sorceress. "He wasn't the ONLY reason, however."

    "Oh?"

    "Remember Shadow? The man who shot you at Dragon Rock?"

    "Yeah."

    "He was an assassin-for-hire."

    "A hit man…"

    The Sorceress nodded. "Lysia put a contract out on your life."

    All of the air suddenly left Teela's body. "She paid HIM … to kill ME," she said, bewildered. "WHY?"

    "You're close to He-Man," said The Sorceress. "After her attempt on his life in The Emerald Forest failed, she tried to strike back at him by killing you … a presumably 'easier' target." The Sorceress paused. "My coming out there … was as much about you … as it was about He-Man."

    "Wow," exclaimed Teela. "I'm speechless."

    The Sorceress put a hand on Teela's shoulder. "Think nothing of it," she said.

    "I was wondering if I could ask you … a personal question," Teela asked hesitantly.

    "What is it?"

    "Major Bellaq," said Teela. "Was he … the REAL you?"

    The Sorceress knitted her brows in confusion. "I don't understand…"

    "Is he … the person 'behind the mask'?" asked Teela. "When He-Man told me you fought The Horde, I couldn't believe it. Now … after seeing you in that sewer … I can." Teela paused. "I can definitely see you now as a warrior … a soldier … fighting The Horde."

    "The person you saw in that sewer … was Teela-Na," said The Sorceress.

    "Teela WHO?"

    "Teela-Na … my human name," said The Sorceress. "My name … before I became The Sorceress. A name … I'm asking you to keep strictly between the two of us."

    "Of course," said Teela.

    "It's … personal," said The Sorceress. "To answer your question, there IS no 'real me'. There isn't anyone … 'behind the mask', as you put it." The Sorceress paused. "When I first became The Sorceress, I was told that I would cease to be human. I know now … that that is not entirely true. If nothing else, my heart is as human as it ever was."

    "I can see that," said Teela.

    "I see The Sorceress and Teela-Na as being two aspects of a greater whole," said The Sorceress. "I have nothing to hide … nothing to be ashamed of."

    "Pleased to meet you … Teela-Na," said Teela.

    The Sorceress smiled. "Likewise," she said.





    THE END
    Last edited by Mirage; November 8, 2005 at 01:47pm.

  14. #14
    Beauty and Brawn RogueLeBeau's Avatar
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    Nice! can't wait to read more your next story!
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