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  1. #1
    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    Temple of the Dragon

    Temple of the Dragon

    Chapter One










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

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

    "Why have you summoned me?" Teela stood before Zodak in the Evergreen Forest. Zodak sat in his chair, as usual.

    "I have need of your … services," said Zodak. "I have a relic that requires … safeguarding."

    "What kind of relic?" Teela asked.

    "A necklace," Zodak replied. "A necklace … of great power. A necklace so powerful … Skeletor desires it for himself."

    "I see," said Teela. "What you want ME to do?"

    "I want you to retrieve the necklace," said Zodak. "I want you to retrieve it … before Skeletor does."

    "What does this necklace do?"

    "It is a repository of great mystical power," said Zodak. "If Skeletor were to acquire it first, Eternia would be in jeopardy."

    "Where is this … necklace?"

    "A place called The Temple of the Dragon," Zodak replied. "Far to the north of here." A map suddenly appeared in Zodak's hand. "This is a map to The Temple of the Dragon," he said as he handed the map to Teela. "Your journey will not be an easy one. You must first journey through Shadow Canyon. From there, you will head north to the Crystal Caverns. Within the Crystal Caverns lies The Temple of the Dragon itself. The necklace itself lies inside a heavily guarded vault within the Temple. You will use the key to unlock the vault."

    "Question," said Teela. "Why are you sending ME? Why not He-Man? Wouldn't you feel safer having 'the most powerful man in the universe' tackling this assignment?"

    "I have my … reasons," said Zodak. He then added, "You must leave at once … Skeletor is on his way there right now."

    Uh-Oh … This IS serious, Teela thought. If there's even a CHANCE of Skeletor getting his hands on this thing, I'd rather not risk it. "I'll do it," said Teela.
    Last edited by Mirage; January 6, 2006 at 03:22pm.

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











    Teela rode on horseback through the dusty canyon, a sword lay slung across her back.

    What could Skeletor want with this necklace?
    Teela thought. If this necklace is truly as powerful as Zodak claims it is, I can see why the Ancients would hide it in a cave.

    The towering canyon walls dwarfed Teela and her mount. Speaking of Skeletor, where IS Ol' Bone Brain, anyway? I haven't seen him ONCE today. A chill suddenly ran down her spine. Either he's far behind me … or he's far AHEAD of me.

    All at once, Teela was being pelted with rocks. She looked up and saw a hairy ape-like beast heaving large stones at her from the rim of the canyon.

    Shadow Beasts! Teela thought. She looked ahead and saw five more come from seemingly out of nowhere. They rushed towards her, throwing rocks and waving large sticks.

    Instinctively, Teela reached underneath the tassel on her uniform, pulled out a set of flash beads, and heaved it at the oncoming Shadow Beasts. The beads exploded in a flash of light, blinding the Shadow Beasts. Teela urged her horse into a gallop and rode through the mob of blinded Shadow Beasts, onward and out of harm's way.

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

    The entrance to the caverns should be somewhere along in here, Teela thought as she rode through the canyon. As she rounded the next bend, she found her path blocked by a green-skinned monster with the head and torso of a woman and a snake-like tail where legs should be.

    Here's the entrance to the caverns, Teela thought. Guarded by a She-demon, she added wryly to herself. She dismounted her horse and gave him an affectionate pat on the neck. "I guess this is where we part ways, my friend," she said to the horse. She then drew her sword and braced herself for battle.

    The She-demon hissed and fired energy bolts from her hands. Teela bobbed, weaved, and rolled to avoid the blasts. The She-demon fired an energy bolt at Teela's arm, knocking her sword from her hand.

    "I've got one of my own," said Teela as she touched her gauntlet, arming and engaging her freeze ray. She then fired a freeze blast at the She-demon, encasing her in a block of ice.

    THAT oughta hold her, Teela thought as she retrieved her sword and sheathed it in the scabbard on her back. She then marched past the frozen She-demon and crawled through a small opening in the canyon wall, entering the cave.

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









    THAT was easy, Teela thought as she walked through the cave. I must be making good time. Surely Zodak would've said something if Skeletor had the necklace already.

    All at once, a katana-wielding ninja warrior clad in black dropped down from out of the sky and landed right in front of Teela, blocking her path.

    Where'd HE come from? Teela wondered as she drew her sword. No time to worry about that now. The two thrust, parried, and sliced the air with their respective blades.

    All at once, the ninja charged towards Teela, holding his katana over his head as if to slice Teela in half. As the ninja advanced, Teela managed to land a kick to his stomach, knocking him off balance. As Teela swung to slice him in half, the ninja suddenly disappeared into thin air.

    Reflexively, Teela braced her back against the cave wall, so as not to be attacked from behind. What's going ON here? she wondered. "SHOW YOURSELF!" she cried.

    From out of nowhere, the ninja appeared before her once more. Once more, he charged towards Teela, holding his katana over his head. Just as he was about to slice Teela in half, she blocked his thrust with the hilt of her sword and delivered a kick to his leg, sending him to the ground. Before he could react, she plunged her sword into his chest, causing him to explode in a flash of light.

    I guess that's that,
    Teela thought as she warily walked onwards through the chamber, her back still braced still braced against the cave wall as a precaution.

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

    High atop his perch in the Mystic Mountains, Zodak sat on the ground cross-legged, deep in meditation.

    This is all very well and good… he thought, his thoughts directed at Teela. …But you're NOT giving me what I WANT.

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

    Teela walked into a massive chamber filled with stalactites and stalagmites. Maybe I'm getting a breather, Teela thought. Nothing's happening so far.

    All at once, the ground beneath Teela began to tremble and shake. Clouds of dust began falling from the ceiling. Spoke too soon, Teela thought. All around her, stalactites and stalagmites broke apart and fell to the ground. What's happening? Teela wondered. There's never been any quakes in this sector before.

    Without warning, a tremor knocked Teela off balance, sending her to the ground and knocking her unconscious. A large piece of the ceiling then broke off and landed on Teela's legs, crushing them.

  4. #4
    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    No comments on my cliffhanger?

  5. #5
    The Chalminator chamita116's Avatar
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    Sounds like Zodak has decided to disregard that whole "I must not interfere" rule.

    The story's looking good. Great ending to the third part. I can't wait to see what happens next, and why Zodak wants that necklace so badly.
    "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."

    ~Peter Gibbons, Office Space

    "How 'bout you not judge? How 'bout you just love?"

    ~Me

  6. #6
    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    Chapter Four









    The Sorceress of Grayskull was lying asleep in her quarters. All at once, she was jerked awake by a sharp pain radiating from her legs. What the…? Instinctively, her thoughts then turned to one person. Teela!

    She leaped out of bed, scrambled to her feet, put on her boots, and rushed out of the room.

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

    As The Sorceress stood before her Great Mirror, an image slowly began to resolve itself into crystal clarity. What she saw horrified her: an image of an unconscious injured Teela lying facedown on the cave floor, her legs pinned under a large slab of rock.

    The Sorceress reached out with her mind to Teela, attempting to contact her stricken daughter. Something's blocking me, she thought. Something … or SOMEONE. I can't reach her, I can't go to her.

    "Spirit!" she called out to the Spirit of Grayskull. "SPIRIT!"

    "How may I serve you, My Lady?" The Spirit replied.

    "Teela's in trouble," said The Sorceress. "She needs help. I can't go to her, I can't contact her. Something's blocking me." The Sorceress paused. "I want you to go to her, assist her."

    "If YOU are unable to reach her, how will I be able to do so?" The Spirit asked.

    "You reside within her," said The Sorceress. "Go to her. Be near her … Protect her."

    "By your command, My Lady," said The Spirit.

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

    The Spirit of Grayskull called out to Teela. "Teela … Teela…"

    The barely conscious Teela stirred. "Who's there?"

    "It is I, The Spirit of Grayskull," said The Spirit.

    "What are you doing here?" Teela asked. Her head was swimming with pain.

    "My Lady has sent me to assist you," The Spirit replied.

    "My Lady" meaning The Sorceress of Grayskull, Teela thought.

    "She has tried to contact you," The Spirit continued. "But something is preventing her from doing so."

    "If SHE can't reach me, how are YOU able to do so?" Teela inquired.

    "I reside within you, my child," said The Spirit.

    "How is that possible?" Teela asked.

    "So long as the Power of Grayskull flows through your veins, I will reside within you," said The Spirit.

    "Can she see me? Does she know I'm here?"

    "My Lady sees your predicament," said The Spirit. "She is simply unable to reply." The Spirit paused. "How may I serve you?"

    "Can you get this ROCK off me?" said Teela, her tone dripping with sarcasm.

    "I cannot," The Spirit replied. "…But YOU can."

    "How?"

    "Wield the Power of Grayskull."

    Here we go again, Teela thought. "You KNOW I absolutely REEK as a sorceress…"

    "I'm afraid it's the only way, my child," said The Spirit.

    There's a BIG difference between creating a viewer and lifting a slab of rock, Teela thought bitterly. She sighed and said, "All right, here goes." She then concentrated on the rock, trying to picture it lifting into the air.

    "Rely not on your own strength, my child," said The Spirit. "You are a conduit…"

    " 'A conduit for The Power of Grayskull'," said Teela. "You two are always telling me that."

    "Let it flow THROUGH you," said The Spirit. "Wield the Power of Grayskull."

    Teela couldn't take it anymore. "HOW?" she exclaimed, exasperated. "HOW do I DO it? Ever since I sat in for The Sorceress, you two have been telling me to 'will it' and 'bend it to my will'." Teela paused. "What do I SAY What do I DO?"

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

    Back at Grayskull, The Sorceress cradled her chin with her thumb and index finger, deep in thought. How to command the Power of Grayskull, she thought. Clearly, the methods we have utilized thus far have NOT been successful.

    Command …command … command.
    Her mind kept coming back to that one word. It was then that inspiration struck her. "Of course!" she exclaimed, snapping her fingers. "Why didn't I think of this BEFORE?" The Sorceress paused. "Spirit…" she called to the Spirit of Grayskull.

    "Yes, My Lady," said The Spirit.

    "I believe I have the answer," said The Sorceress. "Teela's a soldier … she's the Captain of the Guard. She's used to commanding troops…"

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

    "Let me get this straight," said Teela. "She wants me to pretend … that The Power of Grayskull is a soldier under my command?"

    "That is correct," said The Spirit of Grayskull.

    "She wants me to give orders to IT … as I would give orders to one of my soldiers?"

    "That is correct."

    "I'll try ANYTHING once," Teela said with a sigh. "All right, soldier," she said, psyching herself up. She then barked in her commanding officer tone of voice, "Power of Grayskull, GET THIS ROCK OFF ME!"

    With that, the slab of rock suddenly vanished into thin air. "I did it," Teela interjected, surprised. She then exclaimed in triumph, "I DID IT!"

    "My Lady is speaking," said The Spirit. " 'When you give an order to your soldiers, you expect it to be obeyed … Do you not?' "

    "That's true," said Teela. "OOOW!" she yelped in pain as she shifted her weight slightly.

    "My Lady asks if you are hurt," said The Spirit.

    "I think I broke something," Teela replied, her face contorting in pain. "Can the Power of Grayskull … HEAL me?"

    "You need but will it to do so, my child," said The Spirit.

    Without missing a beat, Teela commanded, "Power of Grayskull, HEAL ME!" With that, she was bathed in a bolt of mystical lightning that seemingly appeared from out of nowhere. A surge of electricity shot through her body. What's HAPPENING to me? she wondered.

    Just as quickly as the lightning appeared, it vanished. Teela lay facedown, spread-eagle on the ground, exhausted.

    "Teela…" The Spirit of Grayskull called out to her.

    "Yes, Spirit," Teela replied, gasping for breath.

    "My Lady asks if you are all right."

    "I'm fine," Teela replied. "Give me a moment to rest." She then rose to her feet and surveyed the damaged chamber. Dust, fallen slabs of rock, and fallen stalactites lay everywhere. Piles of debris blocked both exits of the cave.

    Great, Teela thought wryly. Looks like whatever powers I have are getting a workout today. She then commanded, "Power of Grayskull, CLEAR THE EXITS!" The debris blocking the exits to the chamber quickly vanished into thin air.

    "What now, Teela?" asked The Spirit of Grayskull.

    "Father always told me … if I start something, I must finish it," Teela replied. "I've come too far to stop now."
    Last edited by Mirage; December 17, 2005 at 04:22pm.

  7. #7
    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    Chapter Five












    High atop his snow-covered perch in the Mystic Mountains, Zodak sat in his chair, deep in meditation.

    Zodak, said The Sorceress of Grayskull telepathically, her voice bearing an edge to it.

    Teela-Na, Zodak replied telepathically, acknowledging The Sorceress's presence.

    Did you
    REALLY think you could keep this from me INDEFINITELY? said The Sorceress angrily.

    She went of her own free will,
    Zodak protested.

    That is a lie, Zodak, The Sorceress countered. You and I both know that.

    She'll do fine, replied Zodak telepathically.

    Mark my words, Zodak, said The Sorceress darkly. Should anything happen to Teela, you WILL answer … to ME.

    Is that a THREAT, Teela-Na?

    That … is a PROMISE, The Sorceress replied icily.

    I suppose I should've expected this reaction from you, Teela-Na, said Zodak. Motherhood seems to have … changed you.

    That was over twenty years ago, Zodak, said The Sorceress. And you're right … it HAS. The Sorceress paused. I'm not the same person I was back then.

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

    "I don't get it," said Teela to the Spirit of Grayskull as she walked through the cave. "Why are my powers now working all of a sudden? For months and months, I've willed and pushed them to work. They haven't done ANYTHING … until NOW."

    "My Lady would be a better person to answer that question," The Spirit replied. "I quote, 'What was true before … is just as true now. Your will, your expectations … are EVERYTHING.' " The Spirit paused. " 'The Power of Grayskull can only magnify that which is already within you. If you're strong, bold, confident …The Power of Grayskull will reflect that. By the same token, if you're weak, nervous, and hesitant … ' "

    "… The Power of Grayskull will reflect THAT as well," said Teela, finishing The Sorceress's sentence.

    " 'Exactly,' " said The Spirit, quoting The Sorceress of Grayskull.

    "I see what you mean now," said Teela.

    " 'What I told you before was the truth,' " said The Spirit, quoting The Sorceress. " 'As an officer and Captain of the Guard, you EXPECT your soldiers to obey your orders.' "

    "So it seems the solution all along was to just let me … 'act naturally', so to speak? "

    "My Lady is speaking," said The Spirit. " 'If we define … acting naturally … as being an officer and the Captain of the Royal Guard … then Yes.' "

    "What I wouldn't give to hear your voice again," said Teela with a sigh. "I never did like going through a middleman." Teela paused. "No offense, Spirit," she said apologetically.

    "None taken," said The Spirit. "My Lady is speaking." The Spirit paused. " 'This is as frustrating for ME … as it is for you.' " The Spirit paused. " 'The magic arrayed against us is powerful. There is only so much that even I can do about it.' "

    "Well … I'm glad you're both here," said Teela. "If it hadn't been for you two, I'd still be in that chamber pinned under a slab of rock."

    "My Lady is speaking," said The Spirit. " 'Take heart, Teela. It isn't too much farther now.' "

    How would she KNOW that? Teela wondered. There's something going on that I'm not being made aware of.

  8. #8
    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    Chapter Six








    Zodak sat cross-legged atop his perch in the Mystic Mountains, deep in meditation.

    You do not approve, he said telepathically to The Sorceress of Grayskull.

    No, Zodak, replied The Sorceress telepathically. I do not.

    It does not bother you … that she is a soldier?

    Of COURSE it bothers me, The Sorceress replied. What mother DOESN'T worry about her children?

    I fail to see the difference between being a soldier … and completing this assignment, said Zodak. Does each not involve a degree of … RISK?

    There
    IS a difference, said The Sorceress. As a soldier, she spends countless hours drilling, practicing, and training to encounter situations that she hopes she'll never have to face. In that regard, I have every confidence in her abilities and training. The Sorceress paused. THIS, on the other hand, is unlike any situation she has ever faced before. She is neither trained nor equipped to complete the task that you have assigned to her.

    You seem to see nothing wrong with assisting her.

    When it comes down to a matter such as this, a matter of literal life and death … I will do everything in my power to assist her, to keep her alive,
    said The Sorceress.

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

    This must be the Crystal Caverns, Teela thought as she entered the chamber. The entire chamber was made out of crystal. Shards embedded in the walls and ceiling glistened.

    All at once, Teela was greeted with the sight of a giant beetle blocking her path. A pair of shimmering, opalescent wings covered his back as he snapped a set of giant pincers in front of him.

    Without warning, the beetle began to slowly beat its wings and make a low humming sound. They beat rhythmically, hypnotically, their opalescent patterns twinkling in the light.

    Entranced, Teela's jaw slackened as her face suddenly took on a blank expression.

    "Teela…" said The Spirit of Grayskull, calling to her. "Teela, are you all right?"

    "So … beautiful," Teela replied thickly, falling under the beetle's spell as it began to creep ever closer to her. "Can't take my … eyes off it."

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

    "My Lady," said The Spirit of Grayskull to The Sorceress. "Teela has been hypnotized."

    "I know … I can see that," said The Sorceress as she gazed at the scene in her Great Mirror, her eyebrows furrowed in concern. "Let me try something…"

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

    "Teela," said The Spirit. "TEELA!" he cried, trying to rouse her from her trance. The beetle crept ever closer to her, snapping its pincers and beating its wings in a hypnotic rhythm.

    Teela blinked her eyes as she was suddenly jerked awake. "Huh?" she grunted.

    "My Lady is speaking," said The Spirit. " 'Teela, this is The Sorceress…' " said The Sorceress, her words being relayed by the Spirit.

    "Sorceress…"

    " 'I want you to do something'," said The Sorceress via The Spirit. " 'Close your eyes…' "

    Teela closed her eyes. " 'Close them tightly,' " The Sorceress continued. "And focus on my voice…"

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

    "Nothing else matters to you now," said The Sorceress softly, her feminine voice now loud and clear in Teela's imagination. "Nothing matters … except the sound of my voice."

    "I can't see anything," said Teela. Her world was now cloaked in darkness.

    "You don't
    NEED to see," said The Sorceress.

    "How can I
    FIGHT what I can't SEE?"

    "Wield The Power of Grayskull, Teela," said The Sorceress. "It is enough for you to know that the creature is out there … and that it poses a threat. Let
    IT do the fighting FOR you."

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

    "I can't do this," Teela said nervously, her eyes still closed. The creature was now a mere few feet from Teela, well within striking distance of her.

    "Yes, you CAN," The Sorceress said softly. "Believe in The Power of Grayskull, Teela." The Sorceress paused. "Even more importantly, believe in YOURSELF."

    "I'll try…" said Teela.

    "Do not 'try', Teela," The Sorceress cautioned. "Banish all doubt from your mind. Just DO it."

    Teela held out her right arm and made a fist. She then commanded, "POWER OF GRAYSKULL, DESTROY THE CREATURE!" A blue energy beam shot out of her arm and hit the beetle. The beetle then burst into a ball of light and disappeared.

    "Open your eyes," The Spirit of Grayskull commanded.

    Teela opened her eyes. The room was bare … as if the beetle had never existed.

    "What now?" Teela asked.

    "According to My Lady, the key is located at the other end of the chamber," said The Spirit of Grayskull. "There should be a mosaic of a dragon's head on the floor over there."

    Teela began walking towards the other end of the chamber. Once there, she looked down at her feet. A red tile mosaic of a dragon's head was embedded in the floor underneath, just as The Spirit had described. How does she KNOW all this? Teela wondered. The eye of the dragon was encrusted with a large red jewel.

    "My Lady is speaking," said The Spirit of Grayskull. " 'Step on the eye of the Dragon,' " he said, relaying The Sorceress's instructions.

    Teela stepped on the jewel that was encrusted in the dragon's eye. A hidden panel suddenly opened in the wall before Teela, revealing a crystal pedestal. Sitting on the pedestal was a large silver necklace inscribed with the head of a dragon.

    Just to one side of the pedestal, a hidden door opened in the wall -- a door leading to The Temple of the Dragon itself.

    "Before you lies the key," said The Spirit of Grayskull. "The key … to the Temple of the Dragon."

    Teela took the key from the pedestal and placed it around her neck. Where's SKELETOR in all of this? she wondered.

    "Spirit..." said Teela.

    "Yes, Teela," The Spirit replied.

    "Does Skeletor have the necklace?" Teela inquired.

    "No, Teela," The Spirit replied.

    "Has he been in The Temple recently?"

    "No, Teela."

    "Is he in the caves?"

    "No, Teela."

    What the…?
    "Is he APPROACHING the caves?"

    "No, Teela."

    Teela sorted all of this out in her mind. He doesn't have the necklace … he's not in the caves … not even APPROACHING the caves. It was then that realization struck her. Zodak LIED to me! He deceived me! Another question then formed in her mind. The ninja. The She-demon. The hypno-bug. What's the POINT of all this?

    Teela walked through the hidden door that led to the Temple of the Dragon. Gotta keep moving, she thought.

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

    "My Lady," said The Spirit of Grayskull to The Sorceress.

    "Yes, Spirit," The Sorceress replied as she stood before her Great Mirror.

    "I was wondering if it would be too much trouble to inform Teela that she can engage her powers … MENTALLY?"

    The Sorceress smiled broadly. He's sick of hearing her, she thought. "Patience, Spirit," she said finally. "This is the most progress she's made in MONTHS. I have no intention of disrupting it."

    "As you wish, My Lady," said The Spirit deferentially.

    She reminds me a little of She-Ra … and the way she controls The Sword of Protection, The Sorceress thought. "I will tell her … when the time comes."

  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior Rhoman06's Avatar
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    This is good so far...You mentioned She-Ra which made me curious when this story takes place in the the chronology of the MotU world. Also, are you planning any crossovers? Keep up the good stories. I love the dialogue.
    QUIS NOS OPEROR VITA REFERO INFINITIO: WHAT WE DO IN LIFE ECHOS IN ETERNITY

  10. #10
    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    I don't know about She-Ra (I only saw the occasional ep ... so I really don't know all that much about her. ) As for where this story fits in the MOTU timeline, all I can tell you is that it's post-SOTS.



    As for crossovers, I was thinking of doing a Xena/MOTU crossover (I'm still working out the plot. )
    Last edited by Mirage; December 21, 2005 at 10:12pm.

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