Interesting. A nice start. Keep working!
Are YOU My Mother?
Disclaimer: "He-Man and The Masters of the Universe", their characters, and concepts are the property of Mattel.
A/N: This is an alternate version of my earlier piece, "Coda."
In this story, Teela doesn't know who her mother is.
It was late afternoon in the Evergreen Forest. Five-year-old Prince Adam and six-year-old Teela were playing hide-and-seek among the ruins of Lal. Broken marble columns lay scattered among stone foundations lined with collapsed and partially collapsed walls.
Teela sat crouched behind a partially collapsed wall, hiding from Prince Adam. Unbeknownst to her, a black viper slithered up behind her, to within striking distance of her.
Teela turned around, saw the viper that was poised to strike, and let out a gasp. Before she could scream, an orange blur swooped out of the sky, grabbed the viper, and flew away.
Teela stared at the ground in bewilderment. The viper was nowhere to be found. What happened? she wondered.
Teela -- now a grown woman -- woke up in a cold sweat. That dream again, she thought as she sat up in bed in her quarters. What could it mean?
Interesting. A nice start. Keep working!
Tales of Masters of the Universe
The story of Masters of the Universe - spanning from Skeletor's origin to the final fate of He-Man!
Masters of the Universe: New Legacy
Find out what happened after the 200x series! Featuring stories and artwork from throughout the fan community!
WANTED: Stratos, Webstor, Horde Prime, Spikor, Snake Mountain stands, and Gygor
I'm intrigued. It's off to a good start I can't wait to read more
Hey, this was too short !
Please write more
God's in his heaven - all's right with the world
Later on that morning, Teela was sitting in the Officer's Mess, absent-mindedly picking at her breakfast -- a tray of scrambled eggs, toast, three pieces of Talaxian bacon, and a mug of black coffee.
"Hi!" said a cheerful masculine voice, snapping Teela out of her reverie.
Teela looked up towards the voice. Before her stood a tall, trim, athletic-looking man in his early thirties carrying a breakfast tray. He had close-cropped brown hair, a gleaming smile, blue eyes, and he wore a dress uniform bearing a captain's insignia.
"Mind if I sit down?" the dark-haired stranger asked.
"Go right ahead," Teela replied, motioning the stranger to sit down.
The stranger put his tray down on the table and took a seat directly across from Teela. "Captain Atreyu," he introduced himself, extending a hand in greeting.
"Captain Teela," Teela replied as she shook Captain Atreyu's hand.
"Teela … Teela," said Captain Atreyu to himself, trying to place Teela's post. "You're Captain of the Guard, aren't you?"
"That's correct," Teela replied. She then added, "And what do YOU do?"
"I'm a Chaplain," Captain Atreyu replied. "I'm here at the Palace on temporary assignment."
"Welcome," said Teela shyly.
"Got any plans for today?" asked Captain Atreyu, making small talk.
"I'm accompanying The Royal Family to the Evergreen Forest today," Teela replied unemotionally.
Captain Atreyu raised an eyebrow in concern. "You don't sound too happy about it," he said.
Teela absent-mindedly poked her eggs with her fork, lost in thought. After what seemed like an eternity, she said, "I envy him."
"Envy WHO?" said Captain Atreyu, his interest piqued.
"Prince Adam," Teela replied.
"He knows his parents," Teela replied softly.
"And you … DON'T?" Captain Atreyu inquired.
Teela shook her head … No. "Not my real ones … No," she said.
"What do you mean your … 'real ones'? " Captain Atreyu probed.
Teela sighed. "My biological ones," she said.
Teela nodded solemnly. "I love Man-At-Arms dearly…"
"This … 'Man-At-Arms'," said Captain Atreyu. "He's your … adoptive father?"
Teela nodded. "Yes," she said. "I love him dearly … but…"
"There's a large part of me that's … missing," said Teela. "Who am I? Where did I come from? Who were my parents?" She then added, "I’m sorry if I'm boring you…"
"No, no … you're not boring me," Captain Atreyu replied. "This is my job." He then added with a grin, "I'm a people person who's not aggressive enough to be a recruiter … so they made me a Chaplain."
Teela smiled back at Captain Atreyu. It was then that she noticed a certain … something … hanging in the air. A certain … electricity, almost.
At that moment, Evil-Lyn sat in her lavishly appointed lair at Snake Mountain, gazing into her crystal ball.
All at once, she received a psychic signal: somewhere on Eternia, a novice telepath -- an unshielded telepath -- had just emerged.
Evil-Lyn tuned into the frequency. Teela, she grumbled to herself.
"How much do you know about your … 'real' parents?" Captain Atreyu inquired.
"Not much," Teela replied. "Father's dead … or so I've been told. As for my mother … she's pretty much a question mark." Teela paused. "She's alive … but other than that, I know nothing."
"Don't you have a birth certificate?"
"I wasn't born in Eternos," Teela replied matter-of-factly. "I wouldn't know where to begin looking."
"Has Man-At-Arms been any help to you at all?"
Teela shook her head … No. "He won't tell me anything," she said. "He keeps telling me that she'll tell me 'someday'." She then added bitterly, "I wonder … When will that be? Over my CASKET?"
The sides of Captain Atreyu's mouth twitched, flustered. "I … doubt they'd wait THAT long," he said.
"Everyone seems to have forgotten just exactly what it is that I do for a living," said Teela. "I'm a soldier, a warrior … I could die in battle tomorrow!"
"That's true," said Captain Atreyu.
"You know what my greatest fear is?" Teela asked rhetorically. "My greatest fear … is that I'll die without ever knowing."
"That WOULD be a shame," said Captain Atreyu.
"I keep wondering … am I illegitimate?" Teela asked. "The end result of some lady-in-waiting's roll in the hay with a footman? Is THAT the reason everyone's so hush-hush about my mother?"
Captain Atreyu clasped his hand over his mouth, trying to suppress a laugh. "I doubt you're illegitimate," he said finally, regaining his composure.
"Why all the secrecy, then?" Teela shot back. "Why all the pussyfooting around? If I'm not an embarrassment to someone, what else could it be?"
"If you really WERE illegitimate, do you think for one moment that the Palace would permit you to hold such a high-profile position as Captain of the Guard?" Captain Atreyu asked. "They would've had you commanding a weather station in the Region of Ice!"
Teela smiled. "Maybe you're right," she said softly.
"I'm sure you'll find her," said Captain Atreyu with a smile.
She seeks her mother, thought Evil-Lyn to herself as she scanned Teela's incoming thoughts. Perhaps I can use this ... to my advantage.
The next afternoon, Teela was at the Royal Army Ballistics Range, taking in her weekly rifle practice.
Just as she was lining up her next shot, a Royal guardsman screaming "CAPTAIN TEELA! CAPTAIN TEELA!" ran up to her station, bearing a scroll tied with a red silk ribbon.
Teela lowered her rifle and turned to face the guard. "I'm Captain Teela," she said.
The guardsman came to a stop in front of Teela, snapped to attention, saluted, and crisply presented the scroll to Teela. "Here's a message for you," he said.
Teela accepted the scroll from the guardsman. "Thank you, soldier," she said. "Dismissed."
As the soldier turned on one heel and walked away, Teela set her rifle down and untied the scroll:
I wish to see you.
Meet me at the Old Stone Bridge in Founder's Park at midnight three days hence.
Teela stared thunderstruck at the scroll. After all these years … could it BE?
It was Midnight. Teela stood on the Old Stone Bridge, a heavy black cloak concealing her battle dress uniform.
What does she want with me? Teela wondered. After all these years, why now?
"Teela," croaked a hoarse, feminine voice behind Teela.
Teela turned around. Behind her stood a stooped-over elderly woman -- actually, Evil-Lyn in disguise -- wearing a heavy dark robe, a hood partially covering her gray hair and wrinkled face.
"M-m- … M-Mother?" Teela squeaked, utterly oblivious as to the old woman's true identity.
The old woman held Teela's face in her hands and said, "Let me look at you." She examined Teela's face and said, "It's been too long…"
"What are you doing here?" Teela inquired. "Why have you come?"
"I need your help," the old woman replied. "My life is in danger."
Teela raised an eyebrow. "MY help?"
"I've been told you know He-Man…"
"Yeah," Teela replied. "You want me to summon him?"
"No," said the old woman flatly. "I want you to KILL him."
"Let me see if I have this straight," said Teela. "You want me … to kill HE-MAN?"
"That is correct," said the old woman alias Evil-Lyn.
"WHY?" Teela asked, cocking an eyebrow in puzzlement. "What'd he do to YOU?"
"It's not so much what he did to ME … as what he did … to my village," said the old woman.
"OK," said Teela. "What'd he do to your village … if anything?"
"He destroyed it," the old woman lied. "He destroyed it … and killed a great many people." The old woman paused. "Men, women, children … young, old."
Teela's eyebrows shot upwards in disbelief. This is HE-MAN we're talking about here, she thought. HE-MAN!
"Why would he do such a thing?" Teela asked. "Of course, this is assuming he DID it…"
The old woman shrugged her shoulders. "Who knows?" she replied. "Madness … possession … it could be any number of reasons."
"I don't believe you," said Teela firmly, shaking her head. "It's not the He-Man I know…"
"You're young, child," said the old woman softly. "There's a side of him you've never seen … a DARK side."
"The He-Man I know would give up his sword before he'd kill someone…"
"Would he?" the old woman countered. "How much do you REALLY know about him?"
"If what you say is true, how come I'VE never heard anything about it?" Teela asked. "If He-Man truly DID go on the rampage, surely word would've gotten out by now."
"It's my word against He-Man's," said the old woman. "The word of an old woman … versus that of Eternia's Champion." The old woman paused. "People are afraid. To speak of it would mean incurring … his Wrath."
"If what you say is true, is it really necessary to KILL him?" Teela inquired. "Would it not be better to ARREST him … as opposed to killing him?"
The old woman smiled, closed her eyes, and shook her head. "One does not simply 'arrest' … the Most Powerful Man in the Universe," she said with a chuckle. "There's not a prison cell in the universe that can contain him."
"Shokoti couldn't kill him … Hordak couldn't kill him … Skeletor and his minions can't kill him," Teela interjected. "What makes you think I CAN?"
"He'll never suspect one of his closest friends," said the old woman. She then stroked Teela's jaw and said, "Please … do this for me … For your mother."
"I'll think about … what you said," said Teela.
The old woman kissed Teela on the cheek and said, "I must go…"
"WAIT!" Teela cried. "Why did you leave me?"
"For lo these many years, I've been living on the run…" said the old woman.
Teela knitted her eyebrows in confusion. "From HE-MAN?" she exclaimed in disbelief.
"Not from He-Man … from his friends," said the old woman. "He has powerful friends. Friends … who would think nothing of killing you to protect him."
Teela couldn't believe what she was hearing. The old woman's tale was becoming ever more bizarre with each passing moment.
"I didn't want you in that life," the old woman continued. "I gave you up … to protect you." The old woman paused. "I must go … "
"You mustn't tell anyone about me ... or our meeting," said the old woman.
The old woman kissed Teela on the cheek once more and said, "Let us meet here again … in a fortnight."
"I will…" Teela promised. She stared dumbstruck as the old woman turned and walked away into the night.
She has a point, Teela thought as she lay awake in bed in her quarters. How much do we really KNOW about He-Man? All we know … is that he's a mysterious warrior who rides a tiger and comes and goes at will.
Where does he COME from? Teela wondered. Where does he sleep at night? Why does he do … what he DOES?
Teela rolled over on one side. He seems to be on OUR side, she thought. So far…
At last, Evil-Lyn thought as she relaxed in her lair a few days later. I … Evil-Lyn … will do what that blundering oaf Skeletor and all of his pathetic minions could not. She then smiled evilly and thought, I will do it by striking him … where he least expects it.
"FOCUS, ADAM! FOCUS!" Teela barked to a dazed Prince Adam. The two of them were in the Royal Courtyard practicing combat drills, each armed with a sword and shield.
"Huh?" A dazed Prince Adam grunted.
Teela sighed. "You're dropping your guard again," she said. "You're leaving yourself WIDE open."
"Teela, I…" Adam stammered.
"Save it," Teela snapped. "Let's try this again…"
Isn't THIS nice, thought Evil-Lyn as she watched Teela and Adam in a magical transparent orb floating before her. Now, let's make this a little more … Interesting…
From out of nowhere, a giant fire-breathing blue dragon magically appeared overhead, raining orange fireballs down upon Teela and Adam.
"ADAM, GET DOWN!" Teela cried as she instinctively threw herself against the Prince, shoving him to one side and shielding him with her own body. She then raised her shield before her, deflecting the fireballs away from them.
"GET OUT OF HERE!" Teela commanded.
"But Teela…" Adam protested.
"GO! DO IT!" Teela cried. "I'll take care of it!"
Having heard this, Adam obediently ran away. THIS is a first, he thought.
If THIS doesn't bring that muscle-bound fool He-Man out of the woodwork, NOTHING will, Evil-Lyn thought.
Teela fought valiantly against the dragon, shooting freeze-ray blast after freeze-ray blast from her gauntlet -- to no avail.
I could sure use some help right about now, she thought.
Teela doesn't stand a chance against that dragon, Adam thought as he raised his Sword of Power aloft in a nearby secluded alcove.
Teela fought the dragon for what seemed like the longest time, deflecting the fireballs away with her shield and firing the occasional freeze-ray blast from her gauntlet.
All at once, she felt herself being suddenly shoved to the ground. She looked up just in time to see He-Man -- The Most Powerful Man in the Universe -- towering over her.
Well, well, well … look who's decided to join us, thought Evil-Lyn with a smile as she watched He-Man and Teela thorough her magical viewer.
"HE-MAN!" Teela cried.
"Stay down!" He-Man commanded. "I've got him!" As the dragon roared overhead, he deflected the oncoming fireballs with his Sword of Power, one right after the other.
Teela scrambled to her feet and took her place a few paces behind He-Man's back, one hand resting on the hilt of a sheathed dagger hanging from her belt. This is your chance, she thought. Take him out now … get him while his back is turned.
Here's your chance, thought Evil-Lyn, silently egging Teela on. TAKE IT!
For what seemed like an eternity, He-Man batted away oncoming fireball after oncoming fireball with the Sword of Power. With one final swing, he lobbed a fireball back at the dragon, engulfing it in flames and destroying it in mid-air.
STOP IT! Teela thought as reason suddenly seized her. Stop it, now! She then released her grip on the dagger. This is ridiculous … This is not The Way.
"Teela?" said a masculine voice -- He-Man's.
Teela looked up from her reverie long enough to see He-Man suddenly facing her.
"Are you all right?" He-Man inquired.
"Umm … fine," stammered Teela. She grinned sheepishly and said, "Just … fine."
"You sure?" He-Man asked quizzically. "You seemed a little … off … today."
"Umm … yeah," Teela replied. "Everything's … fine."
Blast that goody-goody Teela, Evil-Lyn thought bitterly. She hasn't the strength to do what's … necessary. With a wave of her hand, she dissolved the viewer. It would seem that … STRONGER measures … are indicated.
"You've failed," the old woman growled. It was now midnight, two weeks later. She and Teela were meeting at the Old Stone Bridge at Founder's Park, just as before.
"Forgive me, Mother," said Teela. She still couldn't believe she was using the word. "I can't DO it!" She paused, gasping for breath. "I can't kill him."
You always were a goody-goody, Evil-Lyn thought bitterly. "Even when he's a MURDERER?"
"I can't kill someone based on the word of an old woman!" Teela ejaculated. "I need evidence … HARD evidence."
"You doubt your own MOTHER?" the old woman shot back angrily.
"I'm an officer of the Crown … of the Law," Teela replied calmly. "We have rules … procedures…"
"I'm giving you one more chance," said the old woman. "We will meet again here in a fortnight … this time, at noon."
"What happens if I don't kill him?" Teela asked.
"As of this moment, I don't have a daughter," replied the old woman coldly. "I NEVER had a daughter…"
The old woman's words hit Teela as hard as a fist. All of the breath suddenly left her body. "MOTHER!" she cried.
The old woman turned her back to Teela, walked away, and said, "Good night … Captain."
"MOTHER!" Teela cried out in anguish after the old woman. "MOTHER!"
I'm losing my mind, thought Teela as she lay in bed in bed in her quarters, still in her nightgown. It was now eleven-thirty hours, well past the time she should've been in uniform and on duty. My own mother is forcing me to choose between her and He-Man!
I don't want to be hers or anyone else's hired gun, Teela thought. She had hardly slept in over four days. Her hair was disheveled. Beads of sweat were running down her face. Maybe he destroyed that village, maybe he didn't. It's not my place to be judge, jury … and executioner.
My one chance to see my mother … and I've BLOWN it!
A knock at the door broke Teela's fevered reverie.
"Who is it?" Teela called out.
"It's Captain Atreyu," came the reply from the other side of the door. "May I come in?"
Captain Atreyu … the cute chaplain, Teela thought with a smile. She then wondered, How does he know where I LIVE?
"Come in," Teela cried out in reply. On the other hand, I could use someone to talk to, she thought. If you can't trust a priest, who CAN you trust?
The door slid open to one side, allowing Captain Atreyu to enter. As usual, he was wearing his regulation full-dress Royal Army uniform.
"What brings YOU here?" Teela inquired.
The Captain stood by the side of Teela's bed. "I was told … that you'd called in sick," he said, his normally smiling face now a mask of concern. "Is everything all right?"
Teela shook her head … No. "Can't sleep," she said.
"What's wrong?" The Captain inquired as he took a seat on the edge of Teela's bed. "Why haven't you been sleeping?"
"I've been ordered … to kill someone," Teela replied.
"Who?" The Captain asked. "Who have you been told to kill?"
"I can't say," Teela replied softly.
"Who put you up to this? Is this Crown business?" The Captain asked. He was now beginning to wonder if he was going someplace that he shouldn't have.
Teela shook her head … No. "Family," she replied.
"Someone close to you?"
"You might say that," Teela replied.
"This isn't the sort of thing one should keep secret," said The Captain.
"If I don't kill him, she'll disown me," said Teela.
"You said 'she'," said The Captain. "I presume … that we're talking about a woman?"
Teela nodded … Yes. There's that … electricity … in the air again, Teela thought. What IS it about this guy? "I've said too much," she said.
"You really need to tell someone," said The Captain softly. "If not me, then someone … you trust."
All at once, a wave of sleep began to wash over Teela. Her head began to feel heavy, listing to one side. Her eyes began to water, her eyelids feeling as if they were being pulled down by lead weights. "What's going on?" Teela wondered. "So tired. Can't keep my … eyes open."
"Shhh … Get some rest," murmured The Captain as he gently placed a hand on Teela's shoulder. With that, Teela rolled over on one side and fell into a deep sleep, The Captain sitting at the side of her bed, keeping a silent vigil.
"Father?" cried Teela. It was later that day. She was standing in the doorway to Man-At-Arms' workshop.
"Over here," Man-At-Arms called back. He was at his workbench hovering over a disassembled blaster rifle, a pair of pliers in one hand and a small laser torch in the other.
Teela walked over to her father's workbench. "How well do you know He-Man?" she asked, joining him at his side.
"Fairly well," Man-At-Arms replied without looking up from the blaster rifle.
"Has he ever … destroyed any villages?" Teela inquired. "Has he ever killed anyone?"
Man-At-Arms set his pliers and laser torch down and looked up at Teela. "Of course not!" he exclaimed, surprised. "You and I both know he'd give up his sword before he'd kill someone." Man-At-Arms paused. "Why do you ask?"
"I've been ordered … to kill him," said Teela flatly.
Man-At-Arms' eyebrows suddenly shot upwards. "KILL him?" he exclaimed. "On whose orders? And on what grounds?"
"My mother's," Teela replied matter-of-factly. "On the grounds … that he destroyed a village." Teela paused. "I'm supposed to meet her again next week. If I haven't killed him by then, she'll … disown me."
THIS doesn't sound like The Sorceress, Man-At-Arms thought.
No, it most certainly does NOT, commented The Sorceress of Grayskull telepathically.
What should we do? Man-At-Arms thought, his thoughts directed at The Sorceress.
Tell Teela to keep her appointment, The Sorceress replied. I wish to meet this person.
This is great. Keep it up. More! We want more!
"You can not fight the darkness He-man!"-Shokoti-the Queen of Darkness
Arizona Mazter of the Universe
It was noon. Teela stood at the Old Stone Bridge in Founder's Park, waiting to keep her appointment with the old woman. Nearby, Zoar the Falcon sat perched on a lamppost, maintaining a silent vigil.
What could the Sorceress of Grayskull want with my mother? Teela wondered, glancing at Zoar. All at once, she heard a roar. She turned around to see none other than He-Man -- The Most Powerful Man in the Universe -- striding towards her on his mighty Battle Cat.
"HE-MAN!" Teela cried.
He-Man and Battle Cat came to a stop at Teela's side. "Hello, Teela," he said.
"What're YOU doing here?" Teela asked.
"I … heard about what happened," He-Man replied.
Teela's face sank. "I … hope that you can forgive me," she said mournfully. "There's been a terrible mistake."
He-Man put a comforting hand on Teela's shoulder and said, "We all make mistakes."
"I'm sorry I doubted you."
"You didn't ACT on it … THAT'S what counts," said He-Man.
"I came SO close, though," said Teela. "TOO close."
"It's in the past," said He-Man.
Teela smiled and said, "Thank you, He-Man."
He-Man looked over the bridge just in time to see the old woman coming over the rise. "Here she comes," he said.
The old woman came to a stop before He-Man and Teela. She looked at He-Man with disapproval and said to Teela, "You've failed again."
"Forgive me, Mother," Teela replied. "I can't do it."
"Good-bye, Teela," said the old woman, turning to leave.
"Now, wait just a minute…" said He-Man.
The old woman turned back around to face He-Man. "Yes?" she said.
"I don't appreciate people spreading lies about me," said He-Man.
"That's not my concern," the old woman shot back.
"It's not your place to be judge, jury, and executioner…"
"So I've been TOLD," the old woman grumbled.
He-Man suddenly switched gears. "So you're Teela's mother…" he said.
The old woman stiffened and replied, "That's right."
"If you truly ARE Teela's mother, then perhaps you won't mind answering … a few questions," said He-Man.
The old woman's mouth twitched slightly. "All right…" she said.
"When was Teela born?" He-Man asked.
The old woman stood by in silence. How the blazes should I know? she thought.
"WHERE was she born?" He-Man pressed on, not giving the old woman time to answer.
"Um … Uh…" was all the old woman could stammer in reply.
"You don't remember when she was born … you don't even remember WHERE she was born," said He-Man. He then added, "Funny … It's not the sort of thing a mother usually FORGETS."
How does He-Man know so much about ME? Teela wondered.
"Don't tell me, let me guess," He-Man continued. "You were kidnapped and drugged … and Teela was torn from your womb while you were unconscious. Is THAT it?" He wore an expression on his face that said I can't believe I SAID that. "Is THAT how it happened? Is THAT the reason why you don't remember your own daughter's BIRTH?"
That doesn't sound like the He-Man I know, Teela thought. She glanced at Zoar, and then back at He-Man. Is there something going on between those two that I don't know about?
"How high did she graduate from the Academy?" He-Man interrogated.
In a flash of blue light, the old woman abandoned her disguise and revealed her true form: Evil-Lyn. "Why do you pester me with such TRIVIA?" she snapped.
Teela stared agape at the sight of Evil-Lyn. EVIL-LYN? she thought. Is SHE my mother?
"You regard … the intimate details of your own daughter's life … as mere TRIVIA?" interjected He-Man. "And to think you call yourself a MOTHER!"
"I don't have to stand for this!" fumed Evil-Lyn. She opened a portal and said, "I don't see why everyone's making such a fuss over Man-At-Arm's little BRAT!"
"GET OUT OF HERE!" bellowed He-Man. "You're NOT her mother!"
How does SHE know about me and Father? Teela wondered.
"Go!" He-Man thundered at Evil-Lyn. "Leave us!"
After a tense moment of silence, Evil-Lyn pointed to He-Man and said, "This TIME, He-Man." She then turned and walked through the portal.
After Evil-Lyn had left, Teela ran over the bridge and into the nearby woods. I think I'm gonna be sick, she thought. A few moments later, Zoar the Falcon took off from her perch and chased after Teela.
"Should we go after them?" asked Battle Cat.
He-Man shook his head … No. "They're going to need … some time alone," he replied.
A/N: This is one of the most difficult chapters I've ever written. It's taken a lot out of me.
I hope you all enjoy it. : )
A short time later, Teela was back at the ruins of Lal -- her sanctuary, her refuge. Her horse stood grazing close by. She sat on the floor of a ruined house, her back braced against a partially collapsed wall.
What have I DONE? she thought, trembling with grief and remorse, her arms pulled up tightly against her chest. How could I have been so foolish … so gullible?
All at once, Teela heard the cry of a bird. She looked up to find Zoar the Falcon perched on top of a partially collapsed wall. Zoar, she thought, casting her eyes downwards.
Teela looked up again to find that Zoar had disappeared. I suppose YOU think I'm a disgrace too, huh? she thought, her thoughts directed at Zoar.
"Teela," said a soft feminine voice at Teela's shoulder.
Teela turned towards the voice. Crouched before her was none other than The Sorceress of Grayskull, in all her feathered glory.
"Are you all right?" asked The Sorceress. Without warning, Teela drew her dagger and held the blade against The Sorceress's throat.
"Teela, why are you doing this?" The Sorceress asked, puzzled by Teela's seemingly bizarre behavior.
"LEAVE ME ALONE!" Teela snapped, her green eyes now ablaze with fury.
"You don't have to do this," The Sorceress said softly, Teela's dagger still lodged against her throat.
"How do I know you're not Evil-Lyn?" Teela shot back.
She's frightened, The Sorceress thought. Can't say I blame her, though. "She doesn't know about Zoar…" she said softly as she clasped her hands around the hilt of the dagger.
"She's gone…" said The Sorceress. Nimble fingers gently removed the dagger from Teela's grasp. "When have you ever known her to press on with a failed strategy?"
"That's true," said a now-disarmed Teela, her face a mask of shock.
The Sorceress placed the dagger on the floor between them. "…And had I truly been Evil-Lyn, I would've killed you by now."
Teela relaxed her shoulders and breathed a sigh of relief. "Forgive me, Sorceress," she said apologetically.
The Sorceress put a comforting hand on Teela's shoulder. "It's all right," she said softly. "I don't blame you for being afraid." She sees illusion everywhere, she thought. "What she did to you was cruel … and inhumane."
"What're you doing here?" Teela continued.
The Sorceress took a seat on the floor against the wall, right next to Teela. "You seek your mother," she said.
"Yes," said Teela.
"Would you mind … if I asked why?"
Teela turned back to face the wall. "You wouldn't understand," she replied softly.
Teela sighed. "Who AM I?" she said. "WHAT am I? Where did I come from? Who were my parents?"
"Those are good questions," The Sorceress replied. "Just about everyone asks them at some point."
"How did EVIL-LYN know that I was searching for my mother?" Teela wondered.
"That's partly why I'm here," said The Sorceress. She has to know SOMETIME, she thought.
"What do you mean?"
Guess this is it … "Teela, you're a telepath…"
"A WHAT?" Teela exclaimed.
"A telepath," said The Sorceress softly. "A telepath is someone…"
"I know what a telepath is," Teela interjected. "So what you're saying is … Evil-Lyn tuned into my THOUGHTS?"
The Sorceress nodded. "More accurately, she tuned in … to that which you broadcast."
"How did I get this way?" Teela asked, her voice quavering.
"You're a telepath … because your mother is a telepath," The Sorceress replied.
Teela stood up and faced the wall. "It's Evil-Lyn, isn't it?" said Teela, turning back to face The Sorceress. "She's my mother … isn't she?"
The Sorceress stood up and shook her head. "No, Teela," she said softly.
"It IS her, isn't she?" Teela shot back, years of repressed anger suddenly rising from within. "How else do you explain the secrecy … the pussyfooting around … the forbidden questions?" Teela paused. "She's an embarrassment … I'M an embarrassment…"
"You're not an embarrassment," said The Sorceress, putting a hand on Teela's shoulder. "Not to Man-At-Arms … not to the palace … and most certainly, not to ME."
The longer I keep my silence, The Sorceress thought. The more she'll be convinced that I'm keeping her from the person whom she perceives to be her quote-unquote "real" mother … Evil-Lyn.
I suppose I could erase her memory, she thought. But that would only leave her prey to the next … Evil-Lyn … to come into her life.
Ancients, it was never my intent to drive my own daughter to MADNESS!
"I'm here … because you need help," said The Sorceress softly. "You need to learn to control your powers."
"I AM an embarrassment," said Teela dejectedly.
"You're not an embarrassment … and you're most certainly not illegitimate," said The Sorceress.
Teela did a double take. "What makes you think I'm illegitimate?" she asked. "Can EVERYONE read my mind?"
The Sorceress smiled and shook her head. "I didn't need to," she said. "You TOLD me…"
"I DID?" said Teela. "When?"
"Remember that day at breakfast?" said The Sorceress. "Does the name … 'Captain Atreyu' … ring any bells?"
"Wait," said Teela. "YOU … were HIM?"
The Sorceress nodded her head … Yes.
"Why the disguise?" Teela asked.
"I wanted to see you. To be … close to you," The Sorceress replied. "I wanted to do it without attracting … attention … to myself." The Sorceress paused. "I REALLY wasn't expecting this."
All the breath suddenly left Teela's body. It could've just as easily been Evil-Lyn sitting across that table from me, she thought.
"Yes, that's true," said The Sorceress, responding to Teela's unspoken thought. She then smiled and added, "In the future, do try to be more … discreet … in public."
"How did He-Man know about my birthday?" Teela inquired, changing the subject.
"He didn't…" said The Sorceress. "…But I do." The Sorceress paused. "He was speaking … for ME."
The Sorceress nodded. "The voice you heard back there … was MINE."
"You seemed pretty sure of yourself back there," said Teela as she composed herself. "How `bout I ask you the same questions…"
"You were born on the eighth day of the month of Renwet…" The Sorceress interrupted, answering Teela's unasked question. After a long pause, she then added, "…At Castle Grayskull."
Teela stared at The Sorceress, mouth agape. How does she know all this?
"And you graduated at the top of your class at the Academy," The Sorceress said with a shy smile, answering Teela's third question. She then added, "You gave a beautiful speech at your graduation."
A chill suddenly ran down Teela's spine. There's only ONE way she could've known all that, she thought. "Are you…?"
"Yes, Teela," The Sorceress replied, finishing Teela's thought. "I am your mother."
"YOU'RE my mother…" said Teela, still trying to take all of this in. She and The Sorceress of Grayskull were still standing among the ruins of Lal.
"That's correct," said The Sorceress.
"WHY?" Teela cried in anguish. "Why did you hide from me?" Teela paused. "After all these years…"
"I hid you … to protect you," The Sorceress replied calmly.
"PROTECT me," Teela queried. "From WHAT?"
"You know who I am … You know what I do," said The Sorceress. "You know the people I have to deal with … the Skeletors, the Beast Mans, the Evil-Lyns…"
"Why all the secrecy?" interjected Teela. "The pussyfooting around? The forbidden questions?"
The Sorceress gently touched her fingers to Teela's lips, bidding her silent. She then said, "If Skeletor and his minions ever knew about you … about US … they would strike at YOU … to get at ME." The Sorceress paused. "THAT'S the reason for the secrecy … the pussyfooting around … the 'forbidden questions', as you call them.
"What's more, you needed something … I could not provide," The Sorceress continued. "Safety … security … stability. A chance to grow up around other people … other children." The Sorceress paused. "Grayskull is a fortress. It's no place for kids."
"If you don't mind my asking, why are you telling me this?" Teela asked.
"You have a right to know," said The Sorceress. "You always have." The Sorceress paused. "It was always my intention to tell you…"
"I never had the time," said The Sorceress. "And when I had the time, I could never find … the words." The Sorceress paused. "It's served its purpose…"
"What do you mean?" Teela asked.
"You were an infant then … young, helpless, defenseless," said The Sorceress.
The Sorceress smiled. "You've grown into a beautiful young woman," she said. "A warrior … a soldier. One of the greatest in Eternia."
"How do I know this isn't another smokescreen?" Teela asked.
"Teela, look at me," said The Sorceress, gently grasping Teela's jaw and turning her face around to meet her own. "Have I ever lied to you … in the past?"
Teela shook her head. "No," she said softly.
"…And I'm not going to start now," said The Sorceress.
She's telling the truth, Teela thought.
"For security reasons, there may be things … I may not tell you. Things … I may hold back," said The Sorceress. "But know this … " The Sorceress paused. "I would never, EVER, lie to you."
Teela turned away from the Sorceress and back towards the partially collapsed wall. "How could I have been so foolish?" Teela asked bitterly, addressing the question to no one in particular.
"You wanted to believe her … NEEDED to believe her," The Sorceress replied, putting a delicate hand on Teela's shoulder. "You were in pain … you've BEEN in pain … for years." The Sorceress paused. "I couldn't see it. I did not WISH to see it. I closed my eyes to it … to do my duty." The Sorceress paused again. "I couldn't see it before … but I see it now.
"There was a hole in your heart … an abscessed wound … that only she could fill," The Sorceress continued.
"I don't know WHAT to believe anymore," said Teela.
"Trust your instincts … trust your heart," said The Sorceress. "They've served you well."
"I came so CLOSE…" said Teela, her voice choked with emotion.
"And yet, you had the presence of mind to know the truth … and to hold onto it," said The Sorceress. "And for that, I'm proud of you," she added with a smile. It was then that her face suddenly fell.
"What's wrong?" Teela asked.
"I was just thinking," said The Sorceress with a rueful smile. "My little girl's all grown up … and I missed it." The Sorceress paused. "I can't be a parent … it's long past time for that."
"You've always been a good friend … and a mentor … to me," said Teela. "That's not something I want to change."
"Me, neither…" said The Sorceress with a smile.
"You're someone I have a great deal of respect for," said Teela.
"Thank you," said The Sorceress quietly.
All at once, Teela suddenly braced herself against the wall, gasping for breath. Not AGAIN, she thought.
"Teela, what's wrong?" The Sorceress asked, concerned.
"Dream…" Teela spat out between gasps.
"What dream?" The Sorceress inquired, putting a comforting hand on Teela's shoulder. "Tell me about this dream…"
"I can't…" Teela squeaked.
"Teela, tell me what's wrong…" The Sorceress said softly, her voice barely above a whisper.
"I'm here …at Lal…" said Teela.
"Go on…" The Sorceress urged.
"I'm a little kid … hiding behind this wall," said Teela, beads of sweat dripping down her face. "Me and Adam … we were playing hide-and-seek…"
"This big black snake … Viper … comes up behind me. Before I could do anything, this big orange blob comes swooping down from the sky. The blob picks up the snake and carries it away."
The Sorceress of Grayskull stood silently for the longest time, cradling her chin with her palm in thought.
"It's not a dream," said The Sorceress finally. "It's more of a … flashback."
"Wait … you're saying it actually HAPPENED?" Teela exclaimed, wide-eyed.
The Sorceress nodded her head … Yes. "You were a child then," she said.
"I guess that blob must've been a … bird or something," said Teela.
"Yes, it was a bird," said The Sorceress. "A falcon." The Sorceress paused for effect. "A falcon … named Zoar."
Teela turned around to face The Sorceress, all the color suddenly draining from her face. "That bird … was YOU," she said, stunned.
The Sorceress nodded … Yes. Zoar used to enjoy watching you and Adam play together as children, she thought.
"I owe you my LIFE!" Teela exclaimed.
"You owe me nothing," The Sorceress replied quietly.
"Did you eat it?" Teela asked. "The snake, I mean…"
The Sorceress cocked an eyebrow at Teela. "Now why would I eat a SNAKE?" she asked.
Teela blushed in embarrassment. "Sorry," she said. She put her hand over her mouth, trying to suppress a giggle. "I keep forgetting … there's a PERSON underneath those feathers."
"Perhaps my disguise … has worked a little TOO well," The Sorceress remarked, her face breaking out in a grin, her emerald eyes dancing with amusement.
Teela threw her arms around The Sorceress. "Thank you," she said, her voice barely above a whisper.
The Sorceress returned the embrace. "Do you believe me now?" she asked.
Teela looked up at The Sorceress. "If you're NOT my mother…" she said. "…Then you SHOULD be."
"Shhh … Rest, my child," The Sorceress murmured as she held Teela close, stroking her hair. "You've suffered enough." She then kissed the top of Teela's head and whispered, "I love you."
"You know, if you ever decide to give up being The Sorceress of Grayskull … you could always have a second career as a Royal Army Chaplain," said Teela with a smile. The same … electricity … in the air she felt around Captain Atreyu had returned. This time, though, she found it … strangely comforting.
The Sorceress smiled and held Teela close, saying nothing in reply. Don't let this end, she thought.
Bravo! Well done. I enjoyed this story immensely.
"You can not fight the darkness He-man!"-Shokoti-the Queen of Darkness
Arizona Mazter of the Universe
What no moral? Just joking. Liz, I have to say you are an excellent writer. I found myself gripped to this story from the beginning. OK I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it was even better than Teela's Quest. The ending was very heart felt and luckily my masculinity quickly dissipated the beginning of what might have become a tear.
Teela: In today's story, I found that sometimes it's better to trust your heart rather than what another person tells you. Evil Lyn had fooled me into believing that she was my mother. She wanted me to kill He-Man. If it hadn't been for following my own heart, I may have actually went through with it. So remember, when somebody wants you to do something like killing an old friend, and you feel in your heart that it's wrong, then chances are you're right. Don't let others fool you when you know what's right. Until next time..... HE-MAN!!! Cue music / Credits
Sorry. I had to do it.
Last edited by Skeletor-81; August 15, 2006 at 05:29pm.