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  1. #1
    The Chalminator chamita116's Avatar
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    All or None

    Alright, everyone. Here's an idea I've been playing around with for awhile. I'll be posting one chapter a week. Hope you enjoy. Feedback is greatly appreciated.

    As always, MOTU/POP belong to their respective owners. I do own some of the characters in this story, including everyone from the first chapter. I'll let you know when the OCs come up, but it's basically anyone you don't recognize.

    All or None


    Chapter One

    The spaceship glided so silently through the cosmos that those inside could almost hear the twinkling of the stars. Comets streaked past the craft, hurtling toward destinations unknown. So black was the ship that it was virtually invisible; even the windows were dark. Ebony was not the ship’s natural color, for it did not have one. Instead, the craft was designed to adopt the hue of the skies it was traveling.

    A tall creature stared out one of the side windows. His gaze flickered from the stars to his own reflection. He was one of the few of his species to maintain his true form. All his kind could look more or less the same as he did, but twenty generations of suffering ingrained in them the importance of anonymity. They were now quite adept at shifting into more suitable forms, a gift that had once been enough to secure the species a life free of persecution.

    “How things change,” the creature mused aloud. His voice echoed in the cavernous ship. He floated over to his companions, all of whom watched him with anticipation. A tear shimmered on the gray cheek of the only female. He took his place beside them and they turned their heads as one to look ahead.

    The images splashing across the screen filled each of them with rage and sorrow. The screams of their own kind filled the ship. They flinched each time a form on the screen fell, convulsed, and died. Yet they did not shriek or cry, for they were done with that. The massacre before them had been repeated a thousand times in their lifetimes alone.

    “It must be done.” The creature from the window said. His voice, flat and grave, brooked no argument. The others nodded their assent.

    The ancestors had planned for such a time as this, even as they had prayed that it would not come to pass. “If they push us to the brink of extinction,” the Final Decree said, “make all as it was before.”

    The beings stood in a circle and faced the windows. They began to murmur, but only the leader knew the binding phrase of this spell. He whispered it, and suddenly the entire ship was filled with golden light. The light burst from the ship and began its journey through space, traveling through five galaxies in five seconds. It tore through the entire universe in less than three minutes, propelled by a single command: bring all aliens home.

    What none of the creatures on that ship could have known was that they were not the only ones to whom the term ‘alien’ applied.
    "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

  2. #2
    The Chalminator chamita116's Avatar
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    Chapter Two, Part One

    This weeks chapter is kind of long, so I'm posting it in two parts. Hope you enjoy.

    Original characters/Places: King Vedlien and Dunavia

    Chapter Two, Part One

    Prince Adam could hardly believe his good fortune. Not only had Teela readily agreed to cancel combat practice, which was a miracle in and of itself, she had also consented to joining Adam and Cringer for a picnic in the Evergreen Forest. Adam suspected that this had something to do with the sweltering heat. He could not remember a summer ever being this hot, and he’d heard mention that today’s temperature was some sort of record. Luckily the shade from the trees made the forest feel at least ten degrees cooler than the rest of the world.

    Adam felt rather sorry for his parents, who were stuck in a meeting with the King of Dunavia. The man struck Adam as being quite difficult, and he was fairly certain that Randor and Marlena would be spending most of their afternoon trying to placate him. Adam had actually offered to attend the meeting with his parents, earning a raised eyebrow and a “Really?” from his father. Marlena declined the offer and all but shoved Adam out of the meeting room.

    “Leave now, while there’s still time!” She’d hissed. “Save yourself!” Adam had managed to wait until the door was closed before laughing out loud at his mother’s quirky sense of humor. Even now he could not help but grin at the memory.

    “What’s so funny?” Teela asked. She was sitting under a large tree, munching on a sandwich and stroking Cringer’s head.

    “Something my mother said earlier.” Adam answered.

    “She’s a funny woman, your mother.” Teela agreed. “Do you know she said this would be the perfect day to, and this is a direct quote, ‘sunbathe’?”

    “What’s that mean?”

    “Apparently people on Earth lay out in the sun until their skin gets darker.”

    “You mean they devote an entire day to getting a tan?” Adam frowned at the thought. “Couldn’t they just walk around and do that?”

    Teela shrugged. “Maybe it’s different on Earth.”

    “It must be.” Adam leaned forward and reached for the picnic basket. “Hey, are there anymore sandwiches left?”

    “Yeah.”

    “Are you sure?” Adam peered into the basket. “I don’t see any.”

    “Check under the fruit.”

    “Okay. Oh, here’s one.” Adam leaned back on his heels, looked into the forest, and gasped. A stream of light was shooting through the forest, passing through tree trunks and racing right for them. The prince sprang to his feet and whipped around to face his companion. “Teela?”

    “Yeah?” She looked up, and her eyes widened when she saw the light. “What on Eternia is that?!”

    “I don’t know.” Adam answered grimly. “But it’s definitely headed our way.”

    Cringer, who had been sleeping, was wide awake now. He was on his feet and backing away before Teela could stand. Adam grabbed his friend by the hand and pulled her to her feet. Then the trio began running. They had barely gone ten feet when Teela felt Adam’s hand leave her own. She stopped and turned just in time to see the light completely engulf the prince.

    “Adam!”

    A wave of intense, almost painful exhaustion hit Adam. His eyelids snapped over his eyes like heavy curtains over a window. He barely felt his knees buckle, and only vaguely heard Teela shrieking his name. Adam was unconscious before he hit the ground.

    ************************************************** *******
    King Vedlien of Dunavia was, without a doubt, the most unpleasant monarch Queen Marlena had ever met. He had been in Eternos for exactly two days and had done nothing but insult both the city and his hosts. Now Marlena ground the heel of her shoe into the floor while Vedlien complained about her continued presence at the meetings he had scheduled with King Randor. Apparently Dunavian women were not involved in matters of state.

    “My wife would never even want to attend something like this.” King Vedlien grumbled.

    “Most fifteen year-olds wouldn’t.” Marlena responded with a smile.

    While King Vedlien tried to decide if he’d just been insulted, King Randor took the opportunity to open the meeting with the most pressing topic at hand: Dunavia’s annual requests for aid.

    “It is not that we mind giving you the money to rebuild your kingdom, but you always rebuild in the same place, which is near a river that overflows every year.”

    “What would you have me do? Move everything? Dunavia has been in the same location for two thousand years. It is a spot sacred to the gods.”

    Then leave it for the gods, Marlena thought. Aloud she said, “It does not seem to me, King Vedlien, that having homes and crops washed away year after year is a blessing. Perhaps you should think about moving out of the valley altogether.”

    “My people do not want to move.”

    “Your people are already moving.” Randor interjected. “Your population has decreased by two thousand citizens in the last four years, and that’s not counting those who have died in the floods. A group of three hundred Dunavians sought refuge in Eternos just last week.” He looked King Vedlien in the eye. “They’re not waiting for the floods to come anymore. If this continues, you’ll soon be the first king in Eternian history with no subjects to rule.”

    “This is a waste of time!” King Vedlien snapped.

    No, your being an hour late for this meeting was a waste of time, Marlena thought. She looked past the man’s head, out the window, and inwardly sighed. It was such a nice day, yet they were stuck inside, trying to reason with this infuriating man.

    “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Randor responded patiently to King Vedlien. “However, it has come to our attention that…”

    “Enough!” The visiting monarch slammed his hands on the table. “Will you give us aid or not?”

    “My wife and I have decided to provide enough money for your people to move out of the valley before the next flood.” Randor stated calmly. “It is, of course, up to them whether they move or not. However, recent statistics suggest that they will choose to leave.”

    “That is ridiculous! I’m not giving the aid money directly to my people!”

    “That’s right. You’re not.” Randor leaned forward and mentally braced himself before continuing. “We are.”

    Randor and Marlena had known in advance that King Vedlien would be livid when informed of their decision, and they were not disappointed. The man arose from his seat with a roar and kicked his chair back. His hosts stood as well, though with a considerably greater amount of decorum.

    “Have you lost your minds?! You can’t just give them all that money! I need it!”

    “You’ll be given enough to repair your castle.” Randor answered firmly. “Or to build another one in a different location.”

    Marlena nodded in agreement and was about to respond when a bright light from outside the window caught her eye. At first she thought it was the sun, but it shimmered in a way that solar rays do not. It was also moving right toward them in a wide, silent wave.

    “Whose idea was this really?” King Vedlien was yelling. “Yours or your alien wife’s?” He turned his attention to Marlena. “Maybe this is how they do things on your world, but it’s not…” He threw up his hands and looked to the ceiling. “Gods, she’s not even paying attention!”

    The light was moving even faster now, as if drawn to them. It went from being barely visible to touching the window in the time it took Marlena to draw breath and yell, “Get down!”

    The light shot through the window without shattering the glass. King Vedlien looked down just in time to see the light pass through his torso. He threw himself to the floor and began babbling prayers. Randor and Marlena grabbed hands at the same time, each trying to pull the other down. They were not quick enough. The light hit them both at the same time. It passed through Randor but surrounded Marlena. Randor yelled her name and tried to look at her, but the light was so bright that his eyes automatically closed. He clutched her hands with enough force to break bones, yet her fingers slipped from his as easily as if he’d been trying to hold air. It was at that point that Randor forced his eyes open. The blinding light was gone. So was Marlena.

    ************************************************** *****

    Duncan gritted his teeth and tried not to yell as Orko floated around the lab, fingers dancing over various inventions. One of Duncan’s new goals was to chide Orko in a calm, gentle manner. He always felt bad, both mentally and physically, after losing his temper with the curious alien. After all, his vocal cords could only take so much!

    “Orko.” Duncan turned and forced himself to smile pleasantly. “I would really like it if you didn’t touch anything. Okay?”

    Orko blinked in confusion. “Uh, sure, Man-At-Arms. Whatever you say.”

    “Good. Now, why don’t you come over here so that I can see what you’re doing?”

    “Sure.” Orko floated uncertainly toward him, careful not to get too close to the abnormally calm man. He actually backed away when Duncan flashed that eerie smile again, and bumped gently into a large piece of machinery. Alarms went off at the same time. Orko quickly floated out of striking distance and yelped, “I didn’t mean to do it!”

    “That’s not the machine.” Duncan threw down his tools and ran to the door. “That’s the emergency alarm!”

    He opened the door and found himself facing a wave of shimmering light. It passed through him and into the lab. Orko squeaked in terror and began zipping around the large room. The light bounced off the wall and raced after Orko, hitting him in the back just as Duncan was reaching for him. It formed a bubble around Orko and disappeared, taking the alien magician with it.
    "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

  3. #3
    First Class, Unlimited Mirage's Avatar
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    What's with the lights?


    Great story! Keep it up!

  4. #4
    Beauty and Brawn RogueLeBeau's Avatar
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    it only seems to be effecting the people with Earth DNA... interesting... keep it coming!
    .
    RogueLeBeau
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    Please read and review my story Forever Changed! Thanx a bunch!

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  5. #5
    The Chalminator chamita116's Avatar
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    Chapter Two, Part Two

    Thanks for the comments, Mirage and RogueLeBeau. The purpose of the lights should be clearer as the story progresses.

    Anyway, here's the second part of Chapter Two. Enjoy!

    Chapter Two, Part Two

    On Etheria, Hordak had scheduled a meeting with his most proficient warriors. They formed a line in front of his throne, watching nervously as he paced before them.

    “We’re going to play a little game.” He said pleasantly. “I think you’ll find it both simple and enlightening. It’s called ‘How Many Times Have We Defeated She-Ra?’”

    The warriors bowed their heads and studied the floor. All, that is, except Grizzlor. He scratched his head in confusion and said, “But Master, we’ve never defeated She-Ra.”

    Catra growled in frustration while Scorpia hissed, “You idiot!”

    Hordak held up his hand for silence. “You’re right, Grizzlor. It’s not a very fun game, is it? Do you know what would make it fun?”

    “Prizes?” Grizzlor guessed.

    “No, you furry puppet.” Hordak placed his hands on his hips and glared at the tops of his warriors’ heads. “The game would be infinitely more fun if you DID YOUR JOB AND ACTUALLY DEFEATED THAT MUSCLE-BOUND FEMALE FREAK!!!” The tyrant stepped closer to them, eyes glowing blood-red in frustrated rage. “Here’s a new game for you to play. Can anyone tell me why, in the name of Horde Prime, you imbeciles continually fail to capture and destroy both She-Ra and those infernal rebels?”

    “Uh, they’re stronger than we are?” Grizzlor said.

    “WRONG ANSWER!” Hordak walked up to the beast, tilted his head back, and screamed up at Grizzlor. “It’s because you’re all idiots. Every single one of you. You couldn’t capture She-Ra if she was lying unconscious in a net. You…”

    “Hordak.” Shadow Weaver interrupted.

    Hordak stomped his foot angrily and yelled, “WHAT?”

    The witch’s yellow eyes were narrowed in concentration. “There is great magic afoot, and it’s coming this way. It’s coming” She looked right into Hordak’s face “for you.”

    Hordak rolled his eyes. “Good. Maybe it will take me far, far away from you incompetent…”

    The room suddenly filled with light. The row of warriors turned as one, grabbing for weapons that would do no good. The light passed through them and hurtled toward Hordak, who was immediately consumed. Both warlord and light were gone in the blink of an eye. Hordak’s frantic yell echoed in the room as his subordinates looked around in confusion, checking themselves for injuries and stupidly waiting for their leader to reappear. They were looking up at the ceiling when Shadow Weaver cleared her throat.

    “It’s time we play a new game.” The enchantress announced. “It’s called ‘I’m In Charge.’”

    ************************************************** ********

    Adora cheered triumphantly as Spirit jumped over the brook. “Good boy!” She twisted around to watch as Glimmer’s steed delicately placed one hoof in the water. “I win!”

    Glimmer pouted. “No fair!”

    “Yes fair.” Adora guided Spirit back over the brook and extended her hand to Glimmer. “Hand it over.”

    “Hand what over?” Glimmer asked innocently.

    “The last piece of spice bread. The whole reason for this little race.”

    “Oh, alright.” Glimmer reached into her saddlebag and frowned. “Oh, dear.”

    “What?”

    “Um, don’t get mad,” Glimmer bit her lip sheepishly, “But I left my bag open, and we were riding so hard, and I think the bread sort of… bounced out.”

    Adora laughed and patted her friend’s arm. “That’s okay, Glimmer. The race was still fun.”

    “We could look for it on our way back.”

    “Was it wrapped up?”

    “Kind of.”

    Adora wrinkled her nose. “I’m not really into food that’s been lying in the dirt. I think we can just leave it for the animals.”

    The two women leisurely guided their horses back to the rebel camp, where most of their comrades were resting after lunch. Adora looked up at the bright sun and gave thanks that the tall trees protected her from its merciless rays. Hopefully She-Ra would not be needed for anything today.

    “Do you see that?” Glimmer asked.

    “What?”
    Brightmoon’s princess pointed. “That light.”

    Adora followed her friend’s gaze and sighed. Then again…

    “It’s coming from the camp.” Glimmer yelled.

    “Probably one of Madam Razz’s spells gone wrong.” Adora replied uncertainly. “Or one of Shadow Weaver’s spells going right.” This was definitely someone’s spell, for there was nothing at all natural about the speed with which the light moved. Her fingers itched to grab her sword.

    “Whatever it is, I don’t think we can outride it.” Glimmer said fearfully.

    The light was within blinding distance now. Adora covered her eyes with one hand and yelled, “Get down.”

    She never had the chance to follow her own command. The light hit, filling her vision. She felt her body being pulled away from Spirit’s; then she felt nothing at all.
    "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
    The Chalminator chamita116's Avatar
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    Chapter Three

    Chapter Three

    “Adam!” Teela shook the prince frantically by his shoulders. “Adam, wake up!”

    Cringer scooted forward on his belly and licked Adam’s face. “C-C-C’mon, Adam! W-W-Wake up!”

    After the light disappeared, Teela had rolled Adam onto his back and discovered that he was barely breathing. His pulse was also weak, his face deathly pale. She looked around frantically, cursing herself for not insisting they fly the Windraider. She knew that the Sorceress could heal Adam, but she had no way of getting him to Grayskull.

    “W-W-What are we gonna do, Teela?” Cringer whined.

    Teela’s com-link started beeping before she could answer. She raised her wrist to her lips and spoke into the communication device. “Yes?”

    “Teela.” Her father’s voice sounded grim. “We need all of you back at the palace.”

    Teela laughed humorlessly. “Much as I would love to do that, Father, I’m afraid we have a… situation of our own out here.”

    “What’s going on?”

    “This bright light came through the forest and hit Adam. Well, it hit us all, but it knocked Adam unconscious.” Her voice cracked as she said, “I can’t wake him up, Father. I think something’s horribly wrong.”

    “You said it was a bright light?”

    “Yeah. Why?”

    “The same thing happened here.”

    “Is everyone alright?

    “Almost everyone. Look, I’ll tell you about it later.”

    “Okay.” Teela took a deep breath and forced herself to focus on the task at hand rather than on who at the palace had been affected by the light. “Father, I really need to get Adam to Castle Grayskull. Can you have someone fly a Windraider out here?”

    “Just tell me where you are, and I’ll fly it out myself.”

    Teela gave him their exact location and urged him to hurry. She then positioned Adam so that his head was against her stomach and brushed his hair back. Cringer laid his head on Adam’s chest and stared into the forest, listening intently. Teela stroked his head and lifted her head to the sky, willing her father to appear.

    ************************************************** ******

    Queen Angella was talking with Bow and Madame Razz when Glimmer rode into the camp. The younger woman barely gave her horse time to stop before she leapt off its back and raced to her mother.

    “Great magic, it was!” Madame Razz was saying excitedly. “Dearie me, great magic indeed!”

    Angella walked to Glimmer and put her hands on her daughter’s shoulders. “Are you alright, Glimmer?”

    “No!” The princess gasped. Angella frowned and instinctively began checking her child for injuries. Glimmer shrugged her off. “I mean, I’m alright, but Adora’s not!”

    “What’s wrong with her?” Angella looked behind Glimmer. “And where is she?”

    Glimmer threw up her hands. “I don’t know! This wave of light came through the forest and hit us both. I closed my eyes, and when I opened them, she was gone.”

    “That light came through here, too.” Bow spoke up. “But no one disappeared.”

    “Where’s Spirit?” Angella asked.

    “He galloped off right after Adora disappeared.” Glimmer answered. “What do you think that light was, Mother?”

    “I don’t know, Glimmer.”

    “Maybe it’s something Shadow Weaver cooked up to get Adora back to the Fright Zone.” Bow suggested. “And if Hordak and Shadow Weaver are involved, then we need She-Ra.”

    “But it’s usually Adora who finds She-Ra for us.” Glimmer pointed out.

    “I have an idea of where to look.” Madame Razz said. “I’ll just take Broom and Kowl with me.”

    “Alright, Madame Razz.” Angella consented. “But be careful.”

    Madame Razz nodded and scurried away with Kowl flying close behind her.

    “Hey, Madame Razz?” The winged companion asked once they were out of earshot.

    “Yes, Kowl?”

    “You have no idea where to look, do you?”

    “Not a clue, dearie.” The witch wrung her hands and sighed. “Not a clue.”

    ************************************************** ********
    The city of Eternos was a study in chaos. Everyone had seen the light, and everyone wanted to know what it was… and who was responsible for it. No one appeared to be injured, but that did not matter to the citizens of Eternia’s capital. They had quickly gathered under the balcony from which King Randor made announcements and waited, making vocal their distress.

    They had no way of knowing that their king had far more personal matters on his mind. Randor was, in fact, racing to the Communications Room, where he and several of his highest-ranking guards would wait for word from whoever had done this. Randor strongly suspected that Skeletor was involved; if that was the case, then they would probably be hearing from him within the hour.

    King Vedlien scurried after Randor. Fully recovered from his fright, the monarch was determined to turn this unusual situation to his advantage.

    “About that aid money,” he began, panting to keep up with his host, “I’m sure that whole thing back there was your wife’s idea, and she’s not here right now, so…”

    Randor spotted Duncan hurrying down the hall and quickened his own pace. The two men met at the door of the Communications Room.

    “Are Teela and Adam on their way back?” Randor asked.

    “Not…exactly.” Duncan answered. “That light hit them, too. Teela and Cringer are fine, but Prince Adam is unconscious. Teela feels that his condition warrants the attentions of the Sorceress, so I’m on my way to take them to Castle Grayskull. That is, if I have your leave to do so.”

    “Of course.” Randor rubbed his forehead and sighed. “I wish…” He trailed off. It did not matter what he wished. Even if Marlena had not disappeared, he would still be needed at the palace. “You’ll be in touch with Adam’s condition, won’t you?”

    “Of course, Sire.”

    “Good. Thank you.”

    Taking that as a dismissal, Duncan bowed quickly and hurried off. Randor stepped into the Communications Room, only vaguely aware that King Vedlien was speaking to him.

    “I know you want to make your wife happy. Every man does. Can’t have them nagging at us, after all.” He laughed heartily at his own joke. “But this is going a little too far, don’t you think?”

    “Have we heard anything yet?” Randor asked several lieutenants who were stationed around the main communication device.

    “No, Sire.” A dark-skinned man spoke. “We’ve pulled up visuals on Snake Mountain, and there’s nothing out of the ordinary there.”

    “Great.” Randor muttered. He wanted- no, needed- this to be one of Skeletor’s schemes. They knew how Skeletor operated, and they could usually figure out a way to defeat him.

    “Your Majesty.” A voice called from the doorway.

    Randor turned. “Yes, Lieutenant Demas?”

    “The citizens have gathered outside the palace, and they seem quite restless. I believe they are awaiting an announcement from you.”

    “Of course they are. Thank you, Lieutenant.” The king turned back to the other lieutenants. “I expect to be informed the minute you hear anything.”

    “Yes, Sire.”

    Back in the hallway, Randor began to mentally plan what he would tell his people while King Vedlien hurried after him. Frustrated with being ignored and eager to return to his kingdom and child-bride, the King of Dunavia decided to try a different approach.

    “Perhaps this is the gods’ way of chastising your wife for assuming more power than she should.”

    That got Randor’s attention. He turned quickly and stepped toward the other man, forcing him against the wall.

    “I have already given you my answer regarding this matter, King Vedlien. It is a decision that my wife and I discussed together, as equals. I realize that you are accustomed to receiving aid, and I also realize that almost none of the aid you receive is used to benefit your people. So perhaps you should talk about that with your gods!”

    With that, Randor turned on his heel and continued his walk to the balcony, leaving a red-faced King Vedlien grasping for a suitable response.

    ************************************************** ********
    The Sorceress of Grayskull had been eating lunch when the light hit. She’d lifted her hands to repel it but had not been quick enough. It had no effect on her, but she’d felt it when Adam and Adora had been hit. She had immediately tried to mentally contact Adam, to no avail. Telepathic contact with Adora was generally more difficult since she was further away, but now it was impossible. Yet the Sorceress had the odd feeling that Adora herself was actually in the castle. The enchantress closed her eyes and concentrated on every part of the ancient fortress, mentally traveling from floor to floor. She was in the most secluded corridor on the lowest level of the castle when she finally located Adora. She gasped and immediately teleported herself to the spot where the princess lay, facedown and unconscious, on the cold stone floor.

    “Adora,” the Sorceress said loudly, “Adora, can you hear me?” She knelt down and checked the woman’s pulse, which was very weak. “Let’s get you to a more comfortable spot, shall we?” She placed her hands on Adora’s shoulders and teleported them both to a recovery room. She carried Adora to the bed and was just about to start a healing spell when she heard yelling from outside.

    “Sorceress! We need help!”

    The Sorceress hurried to the window and looked down. Teela and Duncan were standing at the castle gate. Cringer cowered behind Teela while Duncan held an unconscious Adam in his arms. Teela looked up and spotted the Sorceress.

    “Sorceress! Please lower the drawbridge!”

    The enchantress nodded and concentrated. She heard the creaking of the old drawbridge seconds later. Satisfied, she walked back to Adora and began the healing spell. The process was surprisingly quick. The only thing physically wrong with Adora seemed to be a loss of energy, and the Sorceress was easily able to remedy that. The younger woman did not immediately regain consciousness, but the Sorceress was confident that she soon would. She hoped the same would be true for Adam.

    The Sorceress could hear Teela and Duncan in the next room. She covered Adora with a blanket and joined her friend and daughter. Adam lay on the bed. He looked to be in the same condition as Adora.

    “I take it this happened when that light hit?”

    “Yes, Sorceress.” Teela answered. “I tried to wake him up, but could not.”

    The Sorceress nodded her understanding, cupped her hands over Adam’s shoulders, and began another healing spell. The cause of Adam’s condition was the same as Adora’s, and it was just as easily fixed.

    “There.” The Sorceress stepped back and brushed the healing energy off her hands. “He should awaken soon.”

    “What was wrong with him?” Teela asked.

    “He somehow lost a great deal of energy.” The Sorceress answered. “I’ve corrected that problem, and sleeping for an hour or so will also help him.”

    “Why was Adam the only one affected?” Teela queried. “I mean, that light hit all three of us, and my father says it passed through the palace, so why was no one else hurt?”

    “Adam wasn’t the only one affected, Teela.” Duncan informed her. “Queen Marlena and Orko actually disappeared when the light hit them.”

    “What?!” Teela’s eyes widened. “Do we know where they are?”

    “Not yet. King Randor’s got guards looking all over Eternos, and he’s waiting to see if anyone takes responsibility for this.”

    “Like Skeletor.” Teela surmised.

    “Princess Adora was also hit.” The Sorceress interjected.

    “All the way in Etheria?” Duncan asked, visibly surprised.

    The Sorceress nodded. “I found her lying unconscious in front of the dimensional portal. I’ve restored her energy, and she’s sleeping in the next room.”

    “Is Skeletor really capable of something like this?” Teela asked doubtfully. “And if so, why would he take Orko?”

    “Maybe we should talk about this elsewhere.” Duncan advised, gesturing toward the sleeping prince.

    The Sorceress nodded and, after checking on Adora, escorted them to the throne room. She strode to the middle of the room, lifted her hands above her head, and shaped a hollow orb of light.

    “Magic remains in this castle longer than it does anywhere else.” She explained. “This orb will keep the magic intact so that I can examine it and determine its source.”

    “How long will that take?” Duncan asked.

    “I can determine whether or not the magic is Eternian in a matter of seconds.” The Sorceress answered. “If it is, then finding out where it came from should be easy. If it’s not, then the length of time will depend on how far away the source is.”

    “Why don’t you test it now?” Duncan suggested. “Then at least we’ll be able to give King Randor some idea of where his wife might be.”

    The Sorceress nodded, brought the orb to chest-level, and closed her eyes. She opened them ten seconds later and announced, “It’s not Eternian.”

    “Might it have come from Etheria?” Duncan questioned.

    The Sorceress shook her head. “I checked for that, since Adora was also affected. This magic is ancient, and it traveled a long way. Its source could be anywhere in the universe.”

    “So what should we do now?” Teela asked.

    “I would recommend one of you return to the palace and update King Randor on what we know so far.”

    “Which is really nothing at all.” Teela said glumly.

    “Well, we know that neither Skeletor nor Hordak is involved.” Duncan comforted her. “We also know that we can stop looking for Queen Marlena and Orko on Eternia.”

    “So where should we look, Father?"

    Duncan shook his head. "I don't know Teela. I just don't know."
    Last edited by chamita116; March 3, 2006 at 12:53am.
    "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

  7. #7
    The Chalminator chamita116's Avatar
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    So, real life has begun to encroach upon my story-writing time. Expect another chapter next Friday or Saturday.

    Sorry for the delay, and thanks for reading.
    "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

  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior Rhoman06's Avatar
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    This is great stuff. I love your dialogue.
    QUIS NOS OPEROR VITA REFERO INFINITIO: WHAT WE DO IN LIFE ECHOS IN ETERNITY

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    so its sending all people who arnt from the planet or dimension back to where they came from and since adora and adam are halfbreeds have they been split in two one half to earth and the other to eternia?

  10. #10
    Heroic Warrior Abby's Avatar
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    Yay! New chamita fic.

    Color me intrigued.
    LOIS: "And one other thing: You're not working with me, you're working for me. I call the shots, I ask the questions. You are low man, I am top banana and that's the way I like it, comprende?

    CLARK: "You like to be on top. Got it."

    LOIS: "Don't push me Kent. You are way out of your league."

  11. #11
    The Chalminator chamita116's Avatar
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    Chapter Four

    Henry Warren was five seconds away from his lunch break when the light hit. Now he and the other security guards stationed in this section of NASA’s Cape Canaveral facility were in full emergency mode, checking security monitors, communicating with guards in other sections, and basically just trying to figure out what had happened. Dan Morris, Henry’s supervisor, was yelling into his walkie-talkie.

    Henry stood watching the launch pads carefully, wondering what that light had been. There was constant talk of chemical and biological warfare on the news, but Henry and the other guards felt fine. He could hear alarms blaring in the rest of the complex. His co-workers were all for leaving their post and offering their services in the other buildings, but they knew that was not allowed. They were to stay where they were unless instructed to do otherwise. Henry understood the logic behind this. The empty launch pads would be a perfect landing spot for enemy helicopters.

    Henry put one hand above his eyes and squinted at each of the launch pads in turn. His jaw dropped when a ball of light came crashing down toward the middle pad. It stopped five feet above its destination and burst, revealing a woman in a flowing green dress.

    “Uh, Sir?” Henry addressed his supervisor without taking his eyes off the woman.

    “What is it, Warren?”

    “The perimeter has, uh, been breached.”

    "What?!” Dan raced to the window. “Who the hell is that?”

    “I don’t know, Sir. She just sort of…appeared.”

    Dan squinted. “Is that a crown on her head?”

    “I, uh, I think so, sir.”

    The woman, who had thus far been standing still and looking around, now took a small step forward. That was enough for Dan to mobilize the guards. Henry ran out with the others, pulling his handgun from its holster at the same time. They stopped fifty feet away from the woman.

    “PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR!” Dan yelled.

    The woman’s eyes widened when she saw the weapons. She quickly raised her hands above her head.

    “LOCK YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD AND STEP FORWARD SLOWLY!”

    Henry watched the intruder obey. The closer she came, the more familiar she looked.

    “Did she lose her way to a costume party?” The guard beside Henry muttered.

    “WARREN AND BRIGGS, TAKE CUSTODY OF THE INTRUDER!”

    Henry and the guard beside him walked slowly forward, keeping their weapons on the woman. She watched them as carefully as they watched her, eyes widening a bit when she looked into Henry’s face.

    “KEEP YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD!” Briggs yelled when they were less than five feet away.

    Henry stepped behind the woman, grabbed her wrists, and brought her arms down to cross behind her back. She twisted her head to look at him while he snapped a pair of handcuffs onto her wrists. A flash of recognition crossed her face, followed quickly by one of confusion. Briggs took her other arm, and together they pushed her forward.

    Dan met them halfway. He glared sternly and addressed the woman. “Are you aware that you are trespassing on government property?”

    The woman glared right back. “I’m not trespassing. I work for NASA.”

    Dan rolled his eyes. “Sure you do, lady.”

    The woman’s scowl deepened. “I just launched from here two days ago.”

    “We haven’t had a launch in six months.” Dan countered.

    “Why are you lying about this? Surely someone here recognizes me! Why…” The woman trailed off and looked in the direction of the bright sun. “Why is it so hot? It doesn’t even feel like November.”

    “That might be because it’s June.” Dan’s voice dripped with sarcasm and irritation. “And you’re under…”

    Henry held up a hand. “If you’ll allow me, sir.” He stepped to the side and looked into the woman’s face. “Did you launch in November?”

    “Of course I did. You must have seen me. Everyone did.” The woman looked back at Dan. “Has it really been six months? I don’t remember being gone that long. I was up there, and there was this bright light, and then the Rainbow was pulled into a hole, and then…” She stopped and jerked her body forward while at the same time trying frantically to pull her arms free. “There’s a wormhole up there! We have to tell Administrator Abrams before someone else is sent up! We have to…”

    “Administrator Abrams?” Dan interrupted.

    The woman nodded excitedly. “You have to let me see him!”

    Richard Abrams, former administrator of NASA, had retired ten years ago. Dan assumed a tighter grip on his gun.

    “Oh, sure. We’ll take you to see him.” He said in the soothing tone often used when addressing small children or aggressive animals. “And who should we say is calling?”

    Henry felt the woman stiffen. She lifted her chin and looked straight into Dan’s eyes. When she spoke, her tone was crisp and indignant. “I don’t know who you are, sir, but I am Lieutenant Captain Marlena Glenn.”

    ************************************************** ********
    Montork the Magician zipped to his spell book and flipped through it, trying to find the cause of that mysterious light. As far as the elderly mage knew, nothing like this had ever happened in the history of Trolla. He had been in brief contact with other high-ranking magicians across the planet, and thus far there had been no injuries or fatalities reported.

    “What was that?” The Trollan muttered. The answer was not to be found in his spell book. He floated over to a window and looked out. Other citizens had left their homes and were conversing amongst themselves. Montork spotted Dree Elle and her brother amongst the crowd. Dree Elle saw him at the same time, waved, and hurried over to his open window.

    “What is going on?” The female Trollan asked in her soft, sweet voice.

    “I have no idea, Dree Elle.” Montork confided softly. “I see that you and your brother are unharmed.”

    Dree Elle nodded. “When the light came, I thought Yuckers had played another joke. But he was as scared as I was, so it could not have been him.”

    “No.” Montork agreed. “What we saw was most certainly not Trollan in origin.”

    Dree Elle wrung her blue hands together. “I wish Orko was here.”

    Montork lifted an unseen brow. He had not been aware that his nephew and Dree Elle were involved in that serious of a relationship. He wondered if they’d shown face yet.

    Dree Elle started to say something else, stopped, and pointed to a spot behind Montork. “What’s that?”

    Montork turned just in time to see a bright orb appear in the middle of the large sitting room. The light burst in a brilliant flash, and Montork and Dree Elle found themselves looking at Orko. Dree Elle recovered faster than Montork from the shock. She squealed in glee, shot into the room, and threw her arms around Orko’s neck.

    “Oh, Orko!” She exclaimed breathlessly. “You’re here! You’re really here! I was just saying that I wished you were here, and now you are!”

    Orko blinked at her in obvious confusion. “Um, hi, Dree Elle.” He looked over her shoulder. “Hi, Uncle Montork.” He returned his attention to his girlfriend. “Trolly-molly, Dree Elle! You’re acting like we haven’t seen each other in ages!”

    “But it has been ages! It’s been a year since we last saw each other.”

    “Uh, no it hasn’t.” Orko pulled back from Dree Elle and shook his head. “I was just here.”

    “Dree Elle is right, Orko.” Montork spoke up. “It has been a year.”

    Dree Elle took Orko’s hand into her own. “I’ve really missed you, Orko. I wish you could visit more often, but I know you’re busy helping defend Eternia.”

    “Yes.” Montork nodded vigorously. “How is that fight going, Orko? Has Skeletor been defeated yet?”

    “Wait a minute.” Orko held up his free hand in the universal “halt” position. “Eternia? Skeletor? What are you talking about?”

    ************************************************** *****


    While the Sorceress continued to examine the remnants of mystical light, Duncan walked Teela to the gaping mouth of Castle Grayskull.

    “So basically I’m telling King Randor that we don’t know where the light came from and we don’t know where Queen Marlena and Orko are?”

    “That would be correct.” He looked into Teela’s face and almost laughed at the expression there. “Come now, Teela. This will hardly be your first time delivering bad news to the King.”

    “Yes, but now I’m also telling him that it could be several days before we know anything else, and that his son was hurt by that infernal light.”

    “Well, I told him that second part already, so you needn’t worry about it.” Duncan informed her. “As for the other, well, I know it will be a great source of comfort to King Randor to know that the Sorceress is working diligently to solve this mystery. After all, she’s the one who found Princess Adora all the way on Etheria.”

    “Yeah, eighteen years later.” Teela grumbled. Her father looked at her reprovingly, and she hastily added, “I know she didn’t want it to take that long, but it did.” She looked up at the sky for a moment and brightened. “Hey, has anyone contacted He-Man yet? I bet he could find them in no time at all.”

    “He-Man would need to get their location from the Sorceress.” Duncan reminded her. “But I have no doubt that he’ll rescue Orko and the Queen once he knows where to look. Now, please go back to the Palace. I know the King is anxious for news.”

    Teela bit her lip. “You’ll tell Adam I said to get well?”

    “Of course I will. Now go.”

    Duncan waited until his daughter and the Wind Raider were in the air, then turned and made his way to Adam’s temporary quarters. The prince was sitting up in bed and looking around. His ability to determine his location was greatly hampered by Cringer, who had crawled onto Adam’s chest and was enthusiastically licking his face.

    “Whoa, Cringer! What are you trying to do, buddy? Give me a second bath?”

    “He’s excited to see you awake.” Duncan answered for the large cat. He scrutinized Adam carefully. The prince looked and sounded tired, but appeared well otherwise.

    Adam craned his neck to see past Cringer. “Hi, Duncan. What are you doing here?”

    “I brought you here in the Wind Raider.” Duncan responded. He walked forward and sat on the edge of the bed. “How are you feeling?”

    “Like I haven’t slept in two weeks.”

    “Do you remember what happened?”

    Adam frowned. “There was this…light.” He answered slowly. “It was moving really fast, and then it hit us…” He tensed and looked around. “Where’s Teela? Is she alright? The light hit her, too…”

    “Teela is fine, Adam.” Duncan reassured the younger man. “She’s on her way back to the Palace right now.”

    “Is everyone there okay? My parents…”

    “Your father is fine.” Duncan answered carefully, wanting for the moment to spare Adam any stress.

    Adam was not fooled. “And my mother?” When Duncan chose to look out the window rather than answer, Adam leaned forward and grabbed his arm. “And my mother?” He repeated forcefully.

    Duncan dragged his eyes from the window and looked into Adam’s face. “Your mother and Orko disappeared when that light hit them. We don’t know where they are.”

    “Skeletor?” Adam asked, eyes already scanning the room for his sword.

    “Not likely. The Sorceress has already determined that the source of the light is not Eternian.”

    “Hordak?” Adam tried to get out of the bed.

    Duncan pushed firmly on Adam’s shoulders, guiding him back to the pillow. “No, but speaking of Hordak…”

    The sound of a female voice interrupted them. “Hello? Hello?” The sound of a bed creaking came from the next room. “Is anyone else here?”

    Adam sat up straight in bed and stared at Duncan. “Is that…?”

    Duncan rushed into the other room just in time to catch Adora placing her bare feet on the stone floor. She looked up at him and smiled uncertainly.

    “Um, hello, Duncan. I’m in Castle Grayskull, right?”

    “Yes.” He rushed forward to stop her from getting up. “Are you feeling alright?”

    “I’m really tired.” Adora leaned back into her pillow and looked up at him. “Where’s the Sorceress?”

    “She’s downstairs.”

    “Did you tell her about Alicia and Miguel?”

    “Who?”

    “You know. The two Earth children.”

    “Um, yes.” Duncan answered uncertainly. “Adam and I told her about them.” Six months ago, he added to himself. “Adora, do you remember how you got here from Etheria?”

    “Where?”

    Duncan blinked. “Etheria.” He repeated. “Where you were before you came here.”

    The look Adora gave Duncan told him that she had no idea what he was talking about. Clearly the light had affected her differently than it had Adam. Duncan lowered himself to the edge of the bed and gently took her hand into his own. When he spoke, he chose his words carefully.

    “Do you remember where you were before you were…asleep?”

    “Of course. We were all in the Palace. Alicia and Miguel had just gone home. Adam tried to pretend that he was Santa Claus, but of course he didn’t fool me.” She laughed at what was clearly a recent memory in her mind.

    “And before that?”

    “Adam and I were trying to save the children from…from…”

    Duncan frowned. “From who, Adora? Who was trying to take the children?”

    Adora shook her head. “I don’t know. The image gets…fuzzy.”

    This is bad, Duncan thought grimly. This is really, really bad. He got up and crossed the room. Adora’s sword lay atop an antique chest. He picked it up. “What’s this?”

    “The Sword of Protection.”

    “What can you do with it that you can’t do with anything else?”

    “Turn into She-Ra. Is this really necessary, Duncan?”

    “Very much so.” Duncan returned to his seat on the bed and ran his fingers over the sword's stone, thinking deeply. She remembers that she’s She-Ra. That’s good. So why doesn’t she remember her archenemy? Why is her last memory of being on Eternia? He placed the sword across Adora’s covered, blanketed knees and said, “Adora, when did you first get this sword?”

    “I don’t remember.”

    “Try.”

    Adora closed her eyes. “Well, I first turned into She-Ra in Snake Mountain, after Skeletor and his goons took me there. So I must have…” She frowned and tapped the air with her finger, as if mapping a sequence of events. “Wait. I had the sword when I turned into She-Ra there, so I must have gotten it before then, but I don’t…”

    “Remember.” Duncan finished. “Yes, that seems to be a theme here. And you said you first transformed into She-Ra on Snake Mountain?”

    “Yes.”

    “You had never transformed before that time?”

    “No.”

    “What were you doing when Skeletor took you?”

    “I was having dinner with Mother, Father, and Adam. Someone was hiding in the cake.”

    “Why was there a cake?”

    “We were celebrating.”

    “Celebrating what?”

    “I don’t know. Duncan, you’re starting to scare…”

    “When did you first… What is your earliest memory of Adam?”

    “We were here, in the Castle. It was the same day as the dinner.”

    Duncan leaned forward and clasped Adora’s hands tightly. “Adora, where were you before you were with Adam in the Castle?”

    She smiled sweetly, innocently, and shook her head. “I don’t know.”

    “Where did you spend the first eighteen years of your life?”

    “Why, here, of course. On Eternia.”

    Duncan let out a breath he did not even know he’d been holding. He patted Adora’s hands before rising and walking to the window. He gripped the windowsill and looked out. “Ancients!” He muttered to the forbidding landscape. “She really has no memory at all of having ever been on Etheria!”
    "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

  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior
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    for her couldnt not remembering being raised by a monste be a good thing in someways?

  13. #13
    Heroic Warrior Abby's Avatar
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    Do you know how awesome that was?

    I love your take on Lt. Glenn. Confident and intelligent. She's gonna be a firecracker. It's definitely gonna be worth the wait when it comes to your Marlena history stories.

    Also, the memory loss is an angle that has so much potential. It complicates things a lot, rather than just having her and Orko teleport back to their home planets. Not only do they have to figure a way home but they have to recover their lost memories before they can do that.

    The Adora scene was also nicely done. Duncan's growing anxiety as he tries to prod her memory could easily be felt.

    Great update!
    LOIS: "And one other thing: You're not working with me, you're working for me. I call the shots, I ask the questions. You are low man, I am top banana and that's the way I like it, comprende?

    CLARK: "You like to be on top. Got it."

    LOIS: "Don't push me Kent. You are way out of your league."

  14. #14
    The Chalminator chamita116's Avatar
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    Just bumping this, everyone. I SWEAR I have not abandoned it. A new chapter should be posted this week.
    "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

  15. #15
    The Chalminator chamita116's Avatar
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    Well, here's the next chapter, everyone. Sorry it's taken so long. I was recently promoted at work and had to do a lot for that, and then they offered overtime (and I always need more money!)

    I didn't have time to say this when I posted the last few chapters, but thanks to everyone who's reading this. Please know that your time and comments are greatly appreciated, even if I don't always have the time to respond to each comment.

    Chapter Five


    The sun was just beginning to set when Teela landed the Wind Raider and made her way into the Palace. She walked slowly, trying to decide where she should go. It was dinnertime, but somehow she doubted that King Randor had much of an appetite right now. Court was over for the day, so he had no reason to be in the throne room. He was undoubtedly awaiting news of his wife’s whereabouts, which could come from one of several sources.

    “Captain Teela?”

    She turned to see Lieutenant Demas walking briskly toward her. He saluted and said, “The King is in the Communications Room.”

    Teela smiled wearily. “Thank you, Lieutenant.”

    The Communications Room was surprisingly calm. The lairs of known villains were splashed across several screens, with Snake Mountain in the center. Three guards gazed intently at the images, clearly watching for any change. King Randor stood beside the guard watching Snake Mountain. He turned at the sound of Teela’s heels clicking on the floor and raised his eyebrows inquisitively. She nodded. He excused himself and ushered her into the hallway.

    “How is Adam?”

    It was not the question Teela expected, but it was the easiest to answer.

    “The Prince is quite well, Sire. The Sorceress said that the light merely drained his energy, and she was able to restore it. He was sleeping when I left.” She stopped then, unsure whether or not she should give Randor the news of his daughter’s strange arrival. Her father had not given instructions one way or the other, and she’d not thought to ask. Deciding that the King might be comforted to know that both of his children were safe, she said, “Princess Adora is also at Grayskull.”

    “Really? I was unaware she was planning a visit.”

    “I doubt she was, Sire.” Teela chose her words carefully. “The Sorceress found her after the light hit, and her condition was identical to Prince Adam’s. The Sorceress has also restored her energy levels, and she is expected to recover.”

    Randor pondered that for a moment before nodding decisively. “Good. I know where my children are. Now,” He fixed Teela with a penetrating gaze, “Where is my wife?”

    Teela squared her shoulders, took a deep breath, and said, “We don’t know, Your Majesty. The Sorceress is still analyzing the light to locate its source, but she has already determined that it did not originate on Eternia.” Anticipating his next question, she added, “Or Etheria.”

    “But that’s impossible! Where else could it have come from?”

    Teela shrugged. “I really don’t know. But the Sorceress says that she can find out, if given time.”

    “How much time?” Randor demanded.

    “She said that it depends on how far away the source is.”

    “And the source could be anywhere in the universe?” Teela nodded. Randor sighed. “The Sorceress is certain that Marlena is not on this planet?”

    “I’m afraid so, Sire.”

    “I see.” Randor looked away and stared into the hallway, intent on something only he could see. Teela respectfully averted her gaze, keeping her eyes on the wall until Randor cleared his throat. “Is Duncan planning to stay at Castle Grayskull?”

    “Yes, Your Majesty. He said that he will contact you the moment the Sorceress has any new information.”

    “Good.” He inhaled deeply, exhaled, and forced a grim smile. “Thank you, Captain. Now, I don’t know if Skeletor is already aware of the…situation here, but he will probably see this as a prime opportunity to attack. We should all be on alert.”

    “Of course, Sire. I’ll have extra guards posted until you command otherwise.”

    “Very good, Captain.”

    An awkward pause followed while each waited for the other to speak. Finally Teela said, “If it’s alright with you, I think I’ll go make up new guard assignments for the evening and then get some dinner.”

    Randor nodded in approval. “Thank you. I think I’ll just” he gestured toward the room “go back in and…wait.”

    Teela refrained from advising that he actually eat something. Instead, she simply nodded and said, “As you wish, Your Majesty.”

    He turned his back to her and returned to the room. Teela wanted to call after him that everything would be alright, but she didn’t. The truth was that she had no idea how this would end.

    ************************************************** ****

    The Etherian sun had set, and by now everyone in the rebel camp knew that Adora had disappeared. People were now gathered into small groups discussing the situation. Glimmer knew from walking through the camp that there were several theories regarding her friend’s disappearance. The one most discussed involved Adora’s history with the Horde; most of the camp’s residents seemed to believe that Shadow Weaver had sent the mysterious light to capture his former protégé.

    “Where do you think she is?” Glimmer asked her mother. The two women were avoiding the people and their questions by “consulting” with one another in a tent.

    “I just don’t know.”

    “Do you think Hordak has her?”

    “Of course not.” Angella said emphatically. “You know evil magic cannot touch anyone in these woods.”

    “But Bow said-“

    “Bow was not thinking clearly.” Angella interrupted. “No one was at the time, and very few are now.”

    “So you think good magic was involved?” Glimmer asked doubtfully.

    “Perhaps.”

    “Really?”

    Angella cupped her hands over Glimmer’s shoulders and looked into her face. “I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and… you know that Adora is friends with Eternia’s Sorceress, right? Well, maybe Adora was suddenly needed back on Eternia, so the Sorceress sent that light to bring her there.”

    Glimmer frowned. “Why would Adora have to go back to Eternia?”

    “Perhaps something happened with her family. I hope that’s not the case, but at least it’s better than thinking she’s in the Fright Zone or someplace even worse.”

    “Is that what you’re going to tell everyone?”

    “No. I’m going to tell them that I simply do not know what has happened to Adora, but that she does seem to be the only one affected by that light.”

    Whatever response Glimmer had to that was interrupted by voices outside the tent. The flap of the tent was pulled open a second later, and Bow stepped inside. He was accompanied by a woman whose face was framed by a green helmet. A long, blonde ponytail protruded from the top of the helmet.

    “Pardon the interruption, Queen Angella, but Double Trouble has some… interesting news to share with you.”

    Angella nodded regally at the young woman whose spying abilities made her an invaluable asset to the Rebellion. “What brings you to us today, Double Trouble?”

    “Hordak has disappeared.”

    “Really?” Angella raked her fingers through her hair and frowned. “What about the rest of the villains?”

    “They’re still on Etheria, I’m afraid.” Double Trouble said apologetically. “Shadow Weaver has taken control of the Fright Zone.”

    “How did this happen?” Glimmer asked.

    “Did it involve a wave of light?” Angella added.

    “Yes.” Double Trouble answered in surprise. “Why?”

    Glimmer looked at her mother and laughed humorlessly. “Well, there goes your Sorceress theory.”
    "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

  16. #16
    The Chalminator chamita116's Avatar
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    Chapter Six

    Chapter Six

    Duncan stepped quietly into the throne room and softly sighed. The Sorceress stood in the middle of the room, eyes closed tightly. Her head was bowed so that her forehead touched the golden orb in her hands. The light illuminated her face, and Duncan could see the dark circles under her eyes. He knew from experience that the Sorceress would not allow herself rest until she had accomplished the task at hand, and he also knew that he was one of the few who could convince her to sleep.

    “You need to go to bed.” He said firmly.

    The Sorceress opened her eyes and looked sleepily at him. “Not yet.” She answered. “Not until I find the light’s source.”

    “You said the search might take several days.” Duncan reminded her. “Surely you’re not going to try and cram that time into a single night.”

    “I have to.” She released the orb and sighed. “I went outside while you were talking with Adora.”

    “As Zoar?”

    She nodded. “I flew all the way to the Palace. The particles of magic are still there, Duncan. Invisible, but just as strong.”

    “Does that mean that more people will disappear?”

    “I don’t think so. I know people have been outside since the light hit, but no one else has vanished. However, I fear that the particles will still affect Adam and Adora, which means I cannot in good conscience let them leave this place until the magic has completely disappeared.”

    “But isn’t the magic still here, in the castle?”

    “Yes, but so is the magic of the castle itself. I believe Grayskull’s magic has a sort of…neutralizing affect on the other magic.”

    “Perhaps that’s why Adam did not disappear.” Duncan suggested. “His sword must have enough of Grayskull’s magic that the light could not affect him in the way it was meant to.”

    “Adora has a sword, too,” The Sorceress reminded him, “and she still vanished from Etheria.”

    “I just don’t understand it.” Duncan said, suddenly frustrated. “Four people that we know of have been affected by that light. Three of them disappeared, but we only know where one reappeared. Two were weakened to the point of unconsciousness when the light struck them, but since we don’t know where the other two are, we can’t say with any certainty that they were not affected in the same way. Three of them have something in common with one another, but the fourth one is completely different.”

    “That last observation was interesting.” The Sorceress said. “What did you mean by it?”

    “Well, Adam, Adora, and Marlena are all related to Randor, which supports the theory that whoever sent that light did so to hurt him. But Orko?” Duncan shrugged. “He just doesn’t fit in the equation. And Orko, Adora, and Marlena all disappeared, but Adam did not.”

    “They must all have something in common,” The Sorceress stated, “but we don’t really have time to figure it out right now. Nor do we have the time to find out why Adora doesn’t remember ever being on Etheria.”

    “Adam’s been with her all afternoon, and they were still talking when I came down here. He’s trying to ascertain exactly how much she does remember. Of course, I told him the same thing that I’m telling you, which is that you need to get some sleep.” He held up his hand to halt any protests. “You are absolutely no good to anyone if you collapse before finding the light’s source. Besides, Skeletor is likely to launch one of his attacks, and you must be strong enough to resist him alone if He-Man and She-Ra cannot help you.”

    “That’s true.” The woman admitted. “Ancients, I’d not even thought about that!”

    “The other Masters will come to your aid, of course.” Duncan reassured her. “But they’ll need the help of your magic to defeat any enemies since He-Man is out of commission.”

    “What about Etheria?”

    “What?”

    “Etheria.” The Sorceress repeated. “What are the rebels supposed to do without She-Ra?”

    “You won’t sleep at all tonight, will you?”

    The Sorceress raised her eyebrows. “Will you?”

    “No.” Duncan answered with a sigh. He smiled sheepishly and admitted, “I never really planned to.”

    ************************************************** *******


    “Her memory is extremely selective.” Adam said the next morning. He was sitting with Duncan and the Sorceress in the dining hall, revealing what he had learned between bites of toast. “Take our birthday celebration, for example. She remembers the room being packed with people, but she says she did not know who half the people were. She was not able to provide a single name for anyone from Etheria. She was, however, able to name everyone at that party who lives on Eternia, and she also remembers Alicia and Miguel.”

    “That’s odd.” Duncan muttered.

    “That’s only half of it.” Adam returned. “She doesn’t remember the first eighteen years of her life, which you’d think would bother her. But it doesn’t. Not only is she complacent about it, she acts like it all makes perfect sense. She honestly thinks it’s normal that her first memory of me and of our parents is from two years ago, or that she doesn’t remember ever actually receiving the Sword of Protection. And she only remembers turning into She-Ra a few times, all when she was on Eternia.”

    “But she does remember how to transform?” The Sorceress questioned.

    “Yes.”

    “Good. Because she’s going back to Etheria as soon as possible.”

    “‘As soon as possible’ meaning once we’ve found my mother?” Adam asked suspiciously.

    “No.” The Sorceress said firmly. “‘As soon as possible’ meaning today.”

    “You can’t do that!” Adam threw down his toast and crossed his arms over his chest. “You can’t send her back to a world that she doesn’t even remember!”

    “I have to, Adam.” The Sorceress responded gently. “It’s been almost an entire day since the light hit. By now everyone in the Great Rebellion must know that Adora has disappeared. We do not know how long it will take to find your mother, but if She-Ra is not there to help the Rebellion when Hordak attacks, someone may eventually make the connection between her absence and Adora’s disappearance.”

    “Maybe they’ll think She-Ra’s busy looking for Adora.” Adam argued.

    “Perhaps.” The Sorceress agreed. “But they still need She-Ra to keep Hordak’s forces at bay.”

    “It’s not fair.” Adam grumbled, leaning back in his chair and glaring at them. “She needs time to recover. Besides, she’ll think we’re sending her to live with strangers.”

    “We’re not sending Adora back to Etheria.” Duncan interjected. “We’re sending She-Ra. She can stay with Light Hope until her memory is restored, and she won’t be expected to interact with the rebels unless she’s helping them fight Hordak.”

    “Won’t they find that a little odd?” Adam challenged.

    “Not as odd as if She-Ra never appeared.” The Sorceress answered.

    “It sounds as if the two of you have this all worked out.”

    “This is for the best, Adam.” Duncan said. “I know you love Adora and want her to be safe, but just think about how guilty she’d feel if her friends were harmed because she was not there to protect them.”

    “That’s true.” Adam admitted with a sigh. “So, will you tell Adora about her past before you send her back?”

    “I believe that it would be best not to.” The Sorceress replied. “Too much information might confuse and distract her.”

    “I can see how that could happen.” Adam agreed. “So you’ll just act like this is a simple mission?”

    “Yes. Adora will transform into She-Ra before she leaves, and I’ll command her to remain in that form until told otherwise. I’ll also contact Light Hope and ask him not to say anything about Adora’s past.”

    “When does she leave?”

    “This afternoon.”

    “Can she not even visit our father before she leaves?”

    “Actually, neither one of you will be visiting the palace until this matter is resolved.” The Sorceress said. She quickly explained about the invisible light particles.

    “Do you think the particles would affect He-Man in the same way?” Adam asked. “I mean, I know that doesn’t make it possible for Adora to go to the palace, but someone will have to protect Eternia from Skeletor and his forces.”

    “He has a point.” Duncan said. “If the magic of Grayskull does indeed have a neutralizing effect on the other magic, then it’s possible that the particles would not affect He-Man as strongly as they would Adam.”

    “Perhaps.” The Sorceress rubbed the back of her neck thoughtfully. “We can certainly test that theory later today.”

    Adam stood and stretched. “Well, I guess I’ll go wake up Adora so that she can get some breakfast before she leaves.”

    “Good idea.” Duncan said.

    “Yes.” The Sorceress agreed. “But I would like to tell her myself what we have discussed.”

    “Of course.” Adam said with a curt nod.

    Once the prince had left the room, the Sorceress and Duncan looked at each other.

    “Well, that wasn’t so bad.” The Sorceress said.

    “No, it wasn’t.” Duncan concurred. “Of course, we have no idea how Adora will take the news, or how we’re supposed to explain to Randor that we sent his daughter back to a world of which she has no memory.”

    “One crisis at a time, Duncan.” The Sorceress murmured. “One crisis at a time.”

    "Do you think the light particles are still on Etheria?"

    "I hope not. And if they are, then I hope Adam's transformation theory is correct."

    ************************************************** ********

    Three hours later, Adora was standing on the very same spot where she had appeared the previous day. This time she was joined by Adam, Duncan, and the Sorceress; Cringer had opted to stay upstairs. Adora had just been given the details of her mission; and though she had not verbally protested, the look on her face spoke volumes

    “What is so important about this planet Etheria?” She asked.

    Adam looked at the Sorceress and raised an eyebrow, wondering just what lie she was about to tell.

    “Queen Angella of Brightmoon is one of your father’s allies.” The Sorceress answered carefully. “She and her forces are trying to regain control of the planet from Hordak, an evil despot who once attempted to conquer Eternia.”

    “I see.” Adora said with a nod. “So how long will I be there? I mean, are we talking days or weeks?”

    Adam bit back a bark of laughter while the Sorceress struggled for a suitable response. “It’s hard to say.” The older woman finally answered. “Some rebellions do last longer than others.”

    Adora turned to Adam. “Do you think Mother and Father will be alright with me leaving?”

    “Oh, I’m sure they’ll adjust.” Adam said, fighting hard not to smile at the irony of it all.

    They had decided not to tell Adora about Marlena’s disappearance. “There’s really nothing anyone can do until we find the source of that damned light,” Duncan had explained to Adam, “And your sister will have enough to worry about once she’s on Etheria.”

    “Well, I guess it’s time for me to transform.” Adora said now. She unsheathed her sword, hesitated, and said, “Why is it exactly that I have to remain She-Ra?”

    “Safety.” The Sorceress answered without hesitation. “You don’t know what the planet is like, so it’s best to stay prepared.”

    “Oh. Well, then, here goes.” With that, Adora raised the Sword of Protection above her head and chanted the transforming phrase. “FOR THE HONOR OF GRAYSKULL!”

    The transformation took less than a minute, but never failed to amaze anyone witnessing it. Duncan did not usually have the chance to see Adora transform, so he watched the metamorphosis with particular interest. When all the lights had faded, Adora had been replaced by a taller, more muscular woman with longer hair.

    “Let’s do this.” She-Ra said confidently. She gave Adam a farewell hug while the Sorceress opened a dimensional portal, then smiled at Duncan and faced the Sorceress. “I’ve never done this before.” She nodded at the shimmering portal. “Do I just walk through?”

    “Yes.”

    “Okay.”

    She-Ra strode to the portal, then turned around and waved while at the same time taking what should have been her final step on Eternia. The toe of her right boot touched the bottom of the portal and met resistance. She frowned, turned to face the portal, and thrust out her hands. Again she found herself pressing against a solid surface.

    “Am I not doing it correctly?” She asked with a dry laugh.

    “You should be able to walk right through.” Adam replied.

    “Maybe I have to press harder.” She said, and proceeded to do so. Every muscle in her body was visibly flexed and strained, yet the portal remained as hard and impermeable as the surface of the Mystic Mountains. After three minutes she wiped sweat from her brow and looked to the Sorceress for aid.

    The enchantress joined She-Ra and pressed her entire body against the portal, with the same results. She stepped around the hole and tried to press her hand through the opposite side. No luck. She walked back around and studied the portal for several long seconds.

    “Does anyone have something small that they don’t mind losing?” She finally asked.

    “I saved a slice of bread from breakfast.” Adam offered.

    “Perfect. Now, please throw it at the portal.”

    Adam sent the thick slice sailing, and they all watched as it disappeared into the portal.

    “Um, so it lets in food but not people?” She-Ra guessed.

    “Maybe it wants the food more.” Adam suggested with a smirk.

    “Or perhaps something or someone on Etheria is denying access to the planet.” Duncan said.

    “If that’s true, then we should be able to gain access to another planet.” The Sorceress replied. “Let’s see. First I’ll need to close the portal to Etheria in order to conserve energy.” She did so with a flick of her wrist. “Then I’ll open another portal. This one to Trolla, I think.” The portal appeared a second later. “Try putting your hand through now, She-Ra.”

    Four pairs of eyes widened when the second portal turned out to be just as solid as the first.

    “This isn’t normal, is it?” She-Ra asked.

    “No, it’s not.” Duncan answered. He looked at the Sorceress. “What does this mean?”

    “I don’t know. This has never happened before.”

    “Do you think it has something to do with that light?”

    “I’m almost positive it does.” The Sorceress said. “What I cannot determine is why whoever sent that light is blocking access to other planets, or how they managed to do it.”

    “Maybe it has to do with those particles.” Adam ventured. “If the light passed through Etheria, then perhaps the particles are still there, as well. And maybe they create some sort of protective field that prevents anyone from visiting whatever planets the light has passed through.”

    “But why would someone do that?” Duncan asked. “What would be the point?”

    “I have no idea.” The Sorceress answered.

    “So, I guess that mission is out of the question?” She-Ra spoke for the first time in several minutes.

    “For the moment, yes.”

    “Will the people on Etheria be safe?”

    “I don’t know, She-Ra.” The Sorceress closed the portal and sighed. “Let’s hope so.”

    “Would it be alright if I transformed back?”

    She-Ra awaited the Sorceress’s nod of approval before changing back into Adora. Once she was done, the group returned to the dining room and settled around the table. Each looked down at the weathered stone, deep in thought. Adora was the first to speak.

    “What light?”

    The Sorceress raised her head. “What?”

    “The three of you were talking about a light.” Adora explained. “Was that something that happened while I was asleep?”

    Adam and Duncan looked up and at the Sorceress, clearly wondering what she would say now. A long, tense moment passed before she satisfied their curiosity.

    “Adam tells me that you remember very little of the last twenty years.”

    “That’s right.”

    “Well, then.” The Sorceress leaned forward and gazed intently into Adora’s face. “Apparently it’s time we remedy the situation.”
    "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

  17. #17
    Heroic Warrior
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    Yep I'm still hooked

  18. #18
    The Chalminator chamita116's Avatar
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    Chapter Seven

    Well, here's the next chapter. I've been trying to get it just right for awhile, and I'm still not happy with the way it turned out. Thanks for the last comment, Conan. And thanks to everyone who's still reading.

    Original Characters: Michael Brooks and Andrew Langford

    Chapter Seven

    Michael Brooks pressed his forehead against the window and sighed in utter exhaustion. Only the racket of helicopter propellers above him, and the jumble of emotions he was feeling, kept the man from collapsing into slumber.

    It had been a trying forty-eight hours for the NASA administrator. First the light had hit, causing a global panic. There had been emergency meetings of every major government and security agency. The families of the United States President and Vice-President were in undisclosed and highly secure locations, though the men themselves had refused such accommodations. Congress was out of session for the summer, and most of the senators and their families had accepted offers of protective custody. Michael’s own father, Senator Robert Brooks of Virginia, was one of the few to decline the offer.

    Michael looked out the window, his eyes scanning the landscape. There was a mandatory ten o’clock curfew in place, but the roads were almost empty. Nothing clears up traffic quite like a possible act of terrorism, Michael thought grimly. The FAA had also grounded all planes, though Michael was able to persuade the agency’s director to make an exception in his case. It had been difficult to get permission without giving a reason for the flight, but Michael had done it. He could not and would not disclose the information that was coming from Cape Canaveral.

    Michael was still trying to wrap his brain around the phone call he had received just twelve hours ago. He knew that the director of the Kennedy Space Center had tried to handle the problem on his own, but the situation had been escalated from the very beginning. If the woman being held by NASA security had not literally appeared out of thin air seconds after the light had hit, and if the x-rays taken of her mouth had not matched the dental records of the woman she professed to be, then the director would have dismissed her audacious claim. As it was, the only other way to discredit the woman was with her own DNA. According to the director, the woman had readily agreed to his request for a genetic sample. Such acquiescence suggested that the woman either believed she was telling the truth, or actually was. Michael wasn’t sure which he dreaded more.

    “What’s our ETA?” He called out.

    “Forty-five minutes, Sir.” The pilot answered.

    Very few people knew that Michael Brooks was flying to Cape Canaveral today, and even fewer knew why. Even Deputy Administrator Andrew Langford, NASA’s second-in-command, knew only that someone had breached the perimeter at Kennedy and been apprehended at the launch pads. As the helicopter banked left over what Michael recognized to be Texas, he thought about the conversation he’d had with Andrew before take-off and laughed humorlessly.

    “All this” Andrew had yelled, flinging a hand at the helicopter “for one woman?”

    “No,” Michael softly reminded himself now, “All this for a woman who says she’s Marlena Glenn.”

    ************************************************** *******
    Hordak was finding it increasingly difficult to maintain the subservient attitude expected of those facing Horde Prime. He had been interrogated, raged at, and beaten for the past two days, and it was only his desire to live that kept him from fighting back.

    Hordak stared at the floor of Horde Prime’s throne room and thought, for the hundredth time, that his superior had clearly gone mad. Why else would he make such ridiculous allegations? Admittedly, Hordak did not remember anything from the last twenty years, but the explanations Horde Prime was offering could not possibly be correct.

    He says I failed to conquer the planet Eternia. I do not remember ever being on that world, but certainly I would not have failed to conquer it. He says that I must go back to a place called Etheria so that the rebels do not take control. If I truly controlled that place, then this so-called ‘Great Rebellion’ would have been crushed from its very inception. He says that a woman named She-Ra is my greatest threat. As if a woman could ever be a threat to me!

    It suddenly occurred to Hordak that Horde Prime, who had been yelling at the top of his lungs, was now silent. This did not bode well for Hordak, who looked up just in time to see a beam of light fly from Horde Prime’s fingertips. He had no time to move away or even brace himself. The light hit him in the chest with all the strength of a battering ram and slammed him against the wall, fifty feet away. He groaned and struggled to stand while Horde Prime, hidden behind layers of green mist, screamed out more threats.

    “THAT IS ONLY A SMALL SAMPLE OF THE PAIN YOU WILL SUFFER IF I LOSE CONTROL OVER ETHERIA!” A second beam sent the now-standing Hordak back to the floor. “I WILL TURN YOUR BONES INTO MUSH!” A third beam slammed into Hordak’s stomach. He turned into the wall, giving Horde Prime his back. This unintended slight sent the despot into a fit of rage so severe that he could not even form words. A roar of fury filled the room as he fired the fourth, and ultimately final, beam at the back of Hordak’s skull.

    The one thing Hordak had learned about Etheria was that it was a world far removed from Horde Prime’s immediate control. Now, as he slumped into unconsciousness, he found himself longing for such a place.

    ************************************************** ******
    Montork was cleaning his house when he spied Dree Elle floating by the kitchen window. She peeked cautiously inside, met Montork’s gaze, and ducked her head. The older magician laughed fondly.

    “Please come in, Dree Elle.”

    She sighed in relief and obeyed, floating over the remains of a pie she’d conjured up earlier. She looked around the room, trying to be subtle and failing miserably.

    “Orko is asleep right now.” Montork informed her. “I’ll wake him for dinner, which is in about an hour. You are, of course, welcome to join us.”

    “Thank you.”

    “Yuckers is also welcome.”

    “He’s playing with friends tonight.”

    “Ah. I see.” Montork nodded sagely. “I wondered when you would tire of his jokes.”

    “He really crossed the line today.” Dree Elle fumed. “Lying like that to someone who can’t even remember where he’s been the last ten years!”

    That morning, while Dree Elle and Montork were setting the table for breakfast, Yuckers had pulled Orko aside and “reminded” him that his wedding to Dree Elle was in two weeks. Orko had spent the entire meal muttering under his breath and glancing fearfully at his girlfriend. Montork was trying to think of a suitable sedation spell when Orko finally stopped muttering long enough to ask Dree Elle where she wanted to go on their honeymoon.

    “How is Orko?” Dree Elle asked now. “Does he remember anything yet?”

    “I’m afraid not.”

    “Oh.” She reached up and began twisting a strand of hair around one finger. “I just thought maybe something might have changed since I last saw him.”

    Montork laughed. “You’ve only been gone for two hours, Dree Elle, and Orko has only been back for two days. We must give him time to remember.”

    “I know. I’m just… worried about him.”

    “Of course you are, child.” Montork took her hand into his own and patted it reassuringly. “I’m worried about him, too. But we cannot force his memory to return, and magic does not seem to have an affect. What we can do is make his time here as pleasant and positive as possible.” He gave her hand a final pat and released it. “Let me do the worrying, Dree Elle. You just enjoy having Orko nearby. Perhaps the two of you could go on a picnic tomorrow.”

    “I’d really like that.” She admitted.

    “He would, too. Now, why don’t you come back in an hour? I need to do some more cleaning, and Orko’s not going to wake up until dinnertime.”

    “Okay.” Dree Elle reluctantly agreed. She gave a half-hearted farewell wave and floated from the house.

    Montork waited until she was out of sight, then went into the guest room and floated next to Orko’s bed. The younger Trollan was sleeping soundly. Montork reached out and lightly cupped the top of Orko’s head.

    “What have you gotten yourself into now, Orko?” He whispered. He thought about all the spells he’d cast in the last two days, each one as ineffective at restoring his nephew’s memory as the last, and sighed tiredly. “And how are we going to fix it?”
    "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

  19. #19
    Grey Kat
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    YEAH! A new chapter! Good story! Can't wait for more

  20. #20
    The Chalminator chamita116's Avatar
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    So, um, here's the next chapter. I apologize for the long wait and sincerely thank you all for being so patient with me.

    I'm not planning to post another chapter until after Dragon*Con (Labor Day weekend). But I'll definitely try to have the next chapter up the week after that. "Try" being the operative word in that sentence.

    As always, comments and critiques are greatly appreciated.

    Chapter Eight

    “So, let me make sure I understand.” Adora leaned forward and directed her attention to the Sorceress. “I was abducted from my home as an infant, spent eighteen years on another planet being raised by some alien dictator, and actually served this… creature before being rescued by Adam?”

    “That’s right.” The Sorceress affirmed.

    “Eighteen years?” Adora repeated. “Eighteen years, and I remember nothing?”

    The Sorceress nodded.

    “Have I ever known of these events? Or did I forget everything once I left… Etheria, was it?”

    “Yes, the world you were on is called Etheria.” Adam interjected. “And I know for a fact that you have consistently remembered everything about your past.”

    “Really?” Adora lifted a brow. “So why do I not remember anything now?”

    “Yesterday, a large wave of light swept across all of Eternia.” The Sorceress answered. “It arrived and departed in a matter of seconds. After this light left, I discovered you lying in the lowest level of the castle.”

    “But I was on Etheria before?” Adora interrupted.

    “To the best of my knowledge, yes.” The enchantress clarified. “Your energy was completely drained, but I was able to restore it. However, it was not until you awoke last night and spoke with Duncan that we discovered this… sudden amnesia.”

    “So this light must have caused my amnesia.” Adora leaned back in her chair, deep in thought. “Which means that it also traveled to Etheria.” She frowned. “But why me? Why was I the only one affected?”

    Adam looked at the Sorceress. She nodded her permission, and he answered his sibling carefully. “Others were affected. For example, the light also drained my energy when it hit me.”

    “But it had no affect on your memory?”

    “That’s right.”

    “Why?”

    “We don’t know.” The Sorceress answered truthfully. “In fact, there is a great deal that we do not know about this light or its effects.”

    “I see.” Adora turned her attention back to Adam. “You said others were affected?”

    “Yes.”

    “Who?”

    “Well, Orko…” He trailed off and frowned. “Do you remember who Orko is?”

    Adora laughed. “Of course I remember Orko! How could I forget?”

    Adam shook his head, amazed, and thought, She forgets eighteen years of her life, but Orko she remembers?!

    “What about Orko?” Adora interrupted his thoughts.

    “Well, apparently he disappeared when the light hit him.”

    “And you don’t know where he is?”

    “No.”

    “Okay. So of the three of us hit by the light, you lost consciousness, I lost my memory, and Orko disappeared?” Adora raked her hair back with one hand and sighed. “Why would we have such different reactions to the light?”

    “Uh, I don’t know,” Adam muttered, dreading what he was about to reveal, “but Orko was not the only one to disappear.”

    “Really? Well, who else vanished?” Adora asked.

    “Our mother.”

    Adora’s eyebrows shot up. “Excuse me?!”

    “Yeah,” Adam began rubbing the back of his neck, “Just like Orko, she disappeared when the light hit her. And no one knows where she is, either, except…”

    “Except what?”

    “Except that neither she nor Orko are on Eternia.”

    Adora stared at her brother for a full minute, clearly stunned. Then the look of astonishment and distress turned to one of anger and determination. She stood up and stared down at Adam.

    “We have to find them.” She intoned flatly. “We have to find her.”

    “I know.”

    “Good.” Adora placed her hands on her hips and looked at the Sorceress. “Now, how do we do that?”

    ************************************************** ********
    Dr. Susan Andrews met Michael Brooks in her personal office, a spotless room filled with medical books and pictures of her children.

    “I assume you’re not here for a check-up?”

    “I’m afraid not.”

    “That’s a pity,” Susan crossed her arms over her chest and glared at him, “‘Cause you look like hell.”

    “Don’t hold back, Suze. Call it like you see it.”

    “Don’t I always?”

    “You sure do.” Michael chuckled wearily. “How are you?”

    “I’m fine.” Susan tilted her head and smiled knowingly. “But then, you didn’t travel all the way from D.C. to inquire about my health, did you?”

    She gestured to a chair, and Michael sat down gratefully. He waited until she was sitting behind her desk before saying, “I understand you’ve already examined the patient.”

    “That’s right.”

    “And what did you find?”

    Susan held up a sheet of paper and began summarizing. “The patient is a Caucasian female in her early forties, red hair, green eyes, one hundred forty pounds, at a height of five feet and six inches. She shows no signs of starvation or malnourishment. No bruises, cuts, or abrasions were detected during the examination.”

    “So, she’s healthy?”

    “Very much so.”

    “Good. Anything else?”

    “She’s given birth at least once.”

    Michael raised a brow. “Recently?”

    “No.”

    “Did you ask her about this?”

    “Yes, but she said she didn’t remember having a child.”

    “Did she tell you anything else?”

    “Yes.” Susan put down the paper and gazed levelly at him. “She told me her name.”

    ************************************************** *******

    Marlena Glenn was trapped in a room devoid of both color and sound.

    At first she’d made her own sound: counting out loud the ceiling tiles…the threads in the pillow… the minutes since she had last called out for a guard. Then she found that her troubled thoughts filled the silence just as well, and so gave into them.

    Why did no one believe that she was who she said she was? Why didn’t she recognize anyone? One of the guards who had handcuffed her at the launch pads had looked familiar, but he could not possibly be who she thought he was. Not unless it was possible to age twenty years in six months.

    That last thought had made her laugh when it had first crossed her mind, but now, two days later, she shuddered at it. She was sitting in a corner of the bright white room, knees hugged to her chest, shaking her head in confusion while the questions she’d asked upon arriving here were replaced with new, more troubling ones.

    She remembered the medical examination she’d undergone the previous day, back when she’d thought herself the only sane person in this place. She remembered understanding the physician’s questions, though not her reasons for asking them. She’d even become irate at one of the questions. Of course she’d never given birth! She’d never even done what was required to become pregnant in the first place!

    It was while the physician was jotting down her final notes that Marlena had caught a glimpse of herself in a small mirror. She’d slid down from the examining table and walked over to the mirror, fully aware but hardly caring that the doctor was watching her every move.

    There, in a mirror only slightly larger than her face, was the truth at which so many had hinted: She was older. A lot older.

    Marlena had begun shaking so violently that the doctor had administered a sedative. While the drug had calmed her for awhile, it did not have the ability to erase this new realization from her memory.

    She thought once again of that guard at the launch pad and realized that he was, in fact, someone she actually knew: Henry Warren, who had celebrated his twenty-eight birthday a month before Marlena had launched into space, and who looked to have aged twenty-years.

    Just like her.

    Still groggy from the sedative, Marlena pressed her face into her knees and spoke her first words since the medical examination.

    “What on Earth happened to me?”
    "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

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