Love it so far, fpb. Curious to see what antics Rayven will be upto now that he's gone missing.
Aspire To Heaven
Chapter 1: Desolation
There was no music from the popular quartet which normally played in the courtyard. The major-domo was not shooing the mischievous handmaidens away from Prince Adam's quarters, and there were no representatives bringing gifts to the royal court chamber. The Palace was quiet, its people missing, and its reinforced white-washed walls broken from what will go down in the tomes as a legendary battle. The images of the past dire hours, still raced through his mind. His tanned face remains stern as he recall the breaking of stone, the glimmer of magic and energy, and the lingering metallic smell of swords having clashed. His giant hands rest atop the council table and his ears are finely tuned to the voice of the king. He cannot remember the last time he has seen his father so uneasy. He wishes for nothing more than to be at his side, supporting his heavy decisions with a son's arm. Though as He-Man, he still holds a seat in the council chamber, he must watch his words and mind his emotions a little more carefully, speaking to his father with stoic courage, when all he wants to do is embrace him.
King Randor is under the impression that his son is safely stowed away with his beloved queen, hidden within the walls of the royal safe house, far away from the crippled palace, its secret location disclosed to only a handful of the most trusted members of the council. One less concern of the heavy minded king, should he not survive the next conflict. He-Man is reminded of the further deception going at this very moment, for Orko, has been given the unfavorable task of charming Queen Marlena and the incognito guards within the safe house into believing Prince Adam is with them. The strong-willed queen speaks to nothing more than an illusion, a charm, created by an old Trollan incantation, one that Orko has performed surprisingly well. Man-At-Arms can see the anxiety in He-Man's young eyes, which even the mighty powers bestowed upon him by the magic of Grayskull still fail to conceal. Nearly two years of deception have taken their toll on the young Prince, thrusted into the destiny of a man. This battle has also taken its toll, for the heroes sit in a half empty chamber, usually occupied by their most trusted companions. Buzz-Off, Stratos, Clamp Champ, and Sy-Klone lay in the infirmary, their injuries are severe, though fortunately not life threatening. Even the mighty Moss Man, a century old warrior, and protector of Eternia, fell in the furious fires of battle.
In the absence of such great allies and friends, Randor remains extremely composed, hashing out a strategy to defend what remains of the battered palace. Roboto gave a valiant effort, and paid severly for it as Skeletor's henchmen attacked him with far less reserve. He-Man's friends are preferred incapacitated or captured for their dark lords amusement, as for Roboto, he is expendable, and therefore is treated with zero tolerance. Alone now in Man-At-Arms' work shop With whats left of his body propped up on wielding bench, the intelligent robot slowly rebuilds his frame and a full diagnostics check after being ripped apart by the Skeletor's bruisers.
There was simply no way to defend against the onslaught brought down upon them by his powerful new minion. The bat faced robot dubbed, Screamor, was engineered through the most diabolical of Tri-Klops's intellect, and served its sinister purpose well. The overlord's expanded roster of henchmen has left The Defenders slightly outnumbered, vulnerable and demoralized. Skeletor knew what he was doing this time. The Royal Guardsmen are nearly entirely depleted. The great Eternian army once comprised of a ten thousand healthy men have been reduced to mere hundreds. Most of them lay within the beds of their small homes awaiting proper attention for their injuries. The less fortunate, crowd the infirmaries, half deaf and alone, having suffered at the hands of Screamors sonic barrage. Rumors circulate that some of the men have fled the kingdom entirely, escaping to the Mystic Mountains rather than facing Skeletor's forces. In an unprecedented display of grace, the Sorceress herself appeared to the severely injured soldiers, risking her vulnerability outside the protection of Grayskull to personally thank the fallen for their unfailing courage, soothing their confusion with her comforting spells. They will be at ease until proper medical care can be administered, however it will be a long time before the healing begins, for now she must keep the sinister Skeletor from breaching Grayskull and seizing the power he has lusted for so insatiably, an event to which the extent of consequences would be unspeakable.
Battle Cat paces back and fourth outside the chamber. The restless beast can sense the sadness emananting from the room, and the current silence of the palace hallways have granted him no reassurance. Skeletor's forces could be lurking around every corner. "Easy there..." her voice is soft and warm, much like her encouraging pat. "I know how you feel cat." she speaks to him as an equal, for he has saved her life many times. Teela has remained focused throughout these past few days, though the reinforced stone and mortar castle walls have crumbled, her will has not. She has shown much maturity in what could be their most desperate time. Battle Cat licks her scarred palm, a reminder of her most recent clash with the forces of evil, and the viciousness of Skeletor's crony Trap-Jaw, who has made it his personal vendetta to mar her beauty. She brushes her hair, and snaps at a fly as it zips past her head, making its way towards the council session. She can still hear the terrible sound of his metallic mouth scraping along her staff as he tried to rip it from her grasp. She was close enough to smell his stale breath and nearly lost her hand to the metal monster, that is, until she was able to remove his jaw.
"My friends, we are at a loss. Skeletor succeeded in dealing us a mighty blow. We were simply not prepared for this new weapon system, and I am not going to diminsh the sevarity of the situation. A secondary attack could mean the end of us." Randor speaks with a heavy unrestrained breath. "The Sorceress is aware of our status, and what remaining troops we do have are on high alert. With Buzz-Off, Sy-Clone and Stratos out of comission, our air support is diminished substantially. Our allies Clamp Champ, Roboto and Fisto are also unable to assist in case of incident..." like his king, Man-At-Arms does not spare any details.
"My king, what of Zodak?" A thoughtful Mekaneck suggests.
"We have tried, however the cosmic enforcer is unreachable."
This news sends a chill through the room. The representatives from across Eternia are upset. Carnivus speaks "Skeletor planned his attack well. The Calligars are moving deep within Subternia to guard against an active volcanic season, and my people are in no shape to fight...." he too embarrassed to say what everyone knows. It is rutting season for his people. A time when the male and females of his species come together to court and mate. They are untamed, feral and at their most solitary. The primal tradition leaves them at their least organized and most vulnerable. Only those too young and too old to mate remain, and they are not capable of fighting either. Skeletor was smart enough to ignore them, as they are of no threat to his goal.
"Do not worry old friend, we understand that some old ways cannot be changed, and should not be. Your people have aided us much in these troubled times. We shall prevail, and your offspring remain free as they are now."
"I hope you are right King Randor. I hope very much..."
"My body my be a little worse for wear old friend, but my mind functions well." his familiar voice is a breath of fresh air in the cold chamber, the Avian leader walks strong on his injured leg. "Another assault would be folly on Skeletor's part. Screamor is destroyed and his dreadful emissary critical. His loss has been substantial." Stratos speaks from behind bandages and brace. The old soldier is certain they are safe for now. Ram Man interjects his own brand of support.
"Yeah, I smashed that bat robot good!" he says tapping his cracked helmet. Mekaneck smiles, his large friend his absolutely right. "Ram Man is right, old bonehead and his bunch are still hurting. It's going to be a while before they're able to gain a leg to stand on."
"If Skeletor fixes it, I'll smash him again!" Ram Man. Fisto raises his heavy head, and his even heavier fist.
"Not if I get my hand on it first."
Man-E-Faces silently absorbs the conversation as flashes of the battle fill his head. Presenting his robotic face to coceal the sadness of the other two, his mind wanders back in time to the heated conflict. He can still smell the sizzling flesh and fur of his once friend and companion, Rayven, who as far as he is concerned is nothing more than a pawn under the spell of the infernal Overlord of Evil. He can hear the anguish in his tortured little body before he was wisked away by griffon wings. In some twisted way, he is actually thankful that Beastman seems so keen on the young warrior, it will mean some degree of protection until he is able to devise a way to regain Rayven's trust. "I miss you..." he mutters on an escaping breath.
"What was that Man-E?" Duncan asks, hoping the hearty actor would have something positive to add. "Nothing sir." the warrior lowers his eyes, batting at a low flying pest. While some of the other masters are unaware, the wizened inventor is far more attuned to the feelings of his comrades than he lets on, his perception does not stop short of mechanical genius, he is fully aware of his companions feelings, so is He-Man. Man-E-Faces has not been himself for quite some time now. He has become withdrawn, and time between his stage performances has increased. They have seen many battles together, and the old solider hopes that as the inevitable conflict finds them, he does not let his emotions rule his thoughts, nor interfere with his duty to protect the innocent. Again he bats at the persistant pest, this time vocalizing his frustration with an old Eternian curse, one long since forgotten, and one Prince Adam's ears were not accustomed to hearing.
The insignificant insect buzzes away swift, but not before making one more defiant pass at the blue armored hero. "By the Elders! I'll smash you into-"
he stops himself before the face of the king. Randor watches the tiny insect slip away, it lingers for a moment on the glass which separates the quite chamber from the even more still courtyard as if waiting for something. The king watches the fly as if there was more too the minute creature, missing the apology offered up by his embarrassed defender-
"No, its nothing."
"What as that my king?"
"No, no, its nothing, Man-E-Faces, do not excuse yourself."
Deep within the walls of Snake Mountain Skeletor sits upon his throne, nursing a minor impact wound, while carefully weighing the possibility of another assault. Fisto was lucky to land such a blow, an insult that will not go unpunished.
"Evil-Lyn! I want an update on the status of my warriors immediately!" he shouts into his communication sphere. The technological eye connects him with every view screen in his stolen stronghold. Through the glowing orb he can see Trap-Jaw reaffixing his detached manible. His new toy, the powerful sonic robot eloquently named Screamor, lay in a twisted heap on Tri-Klop's work table. Not far from the mass of vibrillum and wire, a writing mass of wings and flesh not too far away. Rayven, one of Skeletor's most favored minions convulses violently, encased in a medical capsule still suffering from the power surge which wrecked unspeakable damage on his body. The over confident creature failed in an attempt to destroy He-Man's sword with a powerful electrical assault. The two were locked in a continuous circuit of recycled energy as he hammered the barbarian relentlessly. The resulting feedback has left him weak and hairless, in a contorted state of physical torment. Beastman peers through the glass at his winged comrade, thumbing the open spaces in his gums where his fangs used to reside. "Is it going to be alright?"
The Beastman had grown rather fond of Skeletor's new pet.
Clawful receives a polymer mend on his cracked claw. He mumbles to himself as Mer-Man smears the sticky fast drying goo over his most favorite weapon. "Be careful... I don't want it to look stupid."
Rolling her eyes in their sockets Evil-Lyn spares the giant crab man her obligatory harshness as she defends the clan of dis helved evil doers while they clean themselves up. "Skeletor, we are in no shape to attack again."
As much as he enjoys disagreeing with the witch, Evil-Lyn just may be right. Hee can see the anxiousness in her eyes as his little spy returns to him. The small buzzing insect floating bravely atop his crown lands not far from his throne, and in a flutter of magic, increases thousands in size, brandishing a speared weapon. "Spy Fly. What news have you brought me?"
The twitching monster regurgitates his swallowed information in the form of a raspy, snickering buzz. "Prince Adam and Queen Marlena are in a safe house. A lone Moss Man guards the doors of Grayskull while the other masters recuperate in the infirmary." he snickers, pleasing his master. While some of his more menacing minions have suffered severe damage to their bodies, the sly, second stringers are still very much capable of fighting. Stinkor, Mer-Man, and Webstor, who are far more cunning than the heavy hitters could hope to be are ready and willing to serve their master.
"On the contrary Evil-Lyn, I believe we are, however this attack will be no where near the scale of our first strike, and it does not have to be..." Skeletor can see that there is still some fight left in his band. "Yesss masster, today we can take Grayskull once and for all." Webstor snarls, his severed arachnoid leg has already begun to regrow, and he is itching to sink his fangs into the insect that removed it. Fisto will make a fine meal, and his heavy armor will allow his flesh to keep nicely as he slowly feeds on the barbarians remains. Though his race are not in the habit of eating humans, he will relish the dish, saving the meaty fist for last. "Tri-Klops, see what you can do with whats left of Rayven and Screamor. Should you find them sufficient capable to fight, send them to the Palace to rattle Randor's cage. We leave for Grayskull immediately. Beastman, prepare my Griffon!"
The tinkerer returns to his lab at his masters command. For now Screamor is a total loss. It will take him weeks to repair the exoskeleton and calibrate its sonic weapons. Kicking through the laboratory, the frustrated three-eyed warrior weighs his options. Then to his amazement and fright, the medical capsule which only moments ago contained Rayven is empty.
"What happened?! Where is he?" he is not impressed. Another set back, another mess to clean to, and Skeletor does not like it when his property goes missing. "I don't know... one minute he was there, the next he was gone." Trap-Jaw shouts over the sparks of the grinder. Skeletor is stunned, utterly baffled as to how an injured creature could escpace a capsule and make it out of a laboratory occupied by all of his henchmen. If they had not given their all today he could cast them into the bowels of Snake Mountain, leaving their recuperation to chance.
"Then find him you idiots! Find him now!"
Evil-Lyn enters the laboratory with a curious look about her face, she can sense a change in the air. It resonates with a strange energy. Following the trail of fluid from the capsule she finds tufts of dark hair that does not belong to any of the other furred cronies. "Skeletor, follow me..."
Last edited by Sky Breaker; September 5, 2008 at 11:58pm.
This is great, I really liked the Spyfly fix you made, it works perfectly! Its so exciting to see him in a fanfic and this one is great! I can't wait to read more!!
Sorry that it took me a while to respond. You got a good start and poor Man-E-Faces. Is he blinded by love or are his feelings for real, now that's the question.
I'm a deviant: yaoi-huntress-earth.deviantart.com
Chapter 2: TRANSFORMATION
"Hurry up with those crystalline samples, we have to get back to the palace immediately." Though her tone is impatient, she directs her crew with fairness. They understand the severarity of the situation and the importance of this delievery and do not mind Working hard to secure the precious cargo. The day is growing long and soon they will have more than Skeletor's
forces to worry about. Marauders roam the Eternian woods at night. They must past through the thick Evergreen Forest without an escort, and traverse dense bush before reaching the safety of the palace. Having watched them from a nearby cavern, a menancing figure steps into the dim light of the camp. Startled one of the men fumbles, and trips, stumbling back
towards a jagged deposit of spearrite, aptly named for his spiny razor protrusive growth. Raina catches him, turning her attention to the creature. "Ceratus?"
"Yes Raina. How are you?"
Raina is relieved that it is not another familiar Calligarian. "We are ready to return to the palace."
A tremor shakes their carts. "I came to warn you young explorer. You'd best be leaving, the volcanic activity below has been increasing since the last lunar phase. Subternia is in an unstable time." his concern for them is genuine, for he has lost many of his brethern during this volatile season.
"Subternia's firey belly is the least of my concerns right now Ceratus, Eternia is in trouble."
"I'm aware of that. You can tell Randor that once my people are safe in the calm regions, I will come to his aid."
"Thank you Ceratus."
"I don't plan on kneeling to Skeletor, or be Whiplash's punching bag for the rest of my days. The Calligars will fight."
"Lets hope that-"
The ground rumbles and shakes, silencing her speech with a thunderous roar. The powerful quake comes on suddenly, with no warning as to its magnitude, dislodging a consierable boulder from overhead. The heavy stone falls, crushing a small metering device. The cruel unpredictability of Subternia has once again shown its nature.
"We have to get out of here now!"
Then men scramble, leaving the mining tools and provisions behind. Raina makes sure her men are on the move as a faint, broken transmission buzzes over her communicator. "Rai- Man-E-Fa coming to esco-" is all she is able to hear as tiny bits of the earthen ceiling begins to rain on her head. "Man-At-Arms, we are returning to the palace immediately! Man-E-
Faces can remain at the palace. I will be just fine!" she shouts over the shifting earth.
"Raina, go now!"
Ceratus can sense the change in temperature, the air is quickly heating up. Raina hops onto her sky sled as a shockwave knocks the hovering vehicle into a stone wall. The giant reptilian rushes to her aid. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine! An arterial must have ruptured somewhere. The heat and pressure release is causing the caverns to shift We have to get out of here!"
Her communicator crackles one more time before the deafening explosion overtakes them. At the entrance to Subternia the men brake for her to catch up. A screaming can be heard from the dark mouth of the void before them, echoing as it is carried to them.
"What's that? Is that Raina?"
"No, it sounds like..." the expert miner grabs his curious crew pulling them from the path of a cloud of hot gas as it erupts from the deepest, hottest regions of Subternia. Like breath from the most terrifying of dragon, the cloud scorches the sutbby vegetation growing not far from the entrance and hisses a serpent's bey that drowns out all other noise as it disipates into the cool Eternian air. "Raina?"
The shock wave fizzles out long before it reaches the heights of Snake Mountain, yet Tri-Klop's lab appears to have felt the brunt of a massive explosion. It is as though a chemical bomb went off. Shards of glass and splashes of the cellodine soup of fluid which housed the recouperating warrior plaster the walls and floor. Skeletor's expressionless face remains fixed on the mess as he enters Tri-Klop's tossed labratory. His dark, empty sockets quickly find the smashed medical capsule. "What happened here?"
"I don't know! There was some sort of electromagnetic discharge, a blast wave which popped the capsule and ruined some of my best experiments. One minute he was here, the next he was gone."
"Did you see him?" Skeletor lowers his head, kicking Two-Bad in his purple shin as he walks through the sticky slop. "No master, I was-." the blue head responds.
"Idiots! Two heads, two sets of eyes, and you still manage to miss everything!" Only Tuvar is conscious, Baddrah is completely incapaciated and limp. "Sometimes I feel like seperating you two for the pure satisfaction of punishing two bodies instead of just one. When your less than better half wakes up, I want this labratory spotless, even if he has to drag you through the slop to do it." Skeletor slams his fist into a twisted electrode. "And you two, find Rayven immediately!"
Evil-Lyn has been quiet through her masters inspection of the lab, the resourceful witch had been concentrating her mystical talents on the task at hand. "Skeletor, I have found him." she speaks, offering her glowing orb. The vision in her reflective crystal reveals his figure, standing alone in the mouth of the great stone serpent which adorns his stolen fortress. They reach the platform within moments, finding Rayven perched at the stone lips. His silouette stands carelessly on the edge. His wings are folded, and his large clawed hands cover his face. Skeletor keeps his Havoc Staff at the ready. His creation has been known to be unpredictable. Evil-Lyn steps in front of him, either selflessly, or selfishly, he is unsure as he can see his homunculous is not as he was. His once pale skin appears thick with matted fur. At first glance it appeared that he clutched a forked weapon to his body, as his head turns, Skeletor can see that a pair of horns now sit upon his crown. "Impressive..."
"What has happened to me?"
"It seems that you have undergone some changes..." Evil-Lyn whispers, her voice is soft, as soft as the witch can force it. "Why did this happen?"
Tri-Klops appears in the giant throat with a device in his hand. He approaches his master with caution. "There is still a large build up of energy residue. It seems this was a side effect of the conflict... A mutation caused by the feedback. He may continue to change..." he nods for Tri-Klops to approach the crouching beast.
"He-Man did this to you..." says the sly tinkerer, offering up the viewing panel on his hand held device. One of his infernal doomseeker hovers overhead, scanning the brooding monster with an intrusive beam of light. "Your body has been wrought with mystical energy, feedback from He-Man's powersword. The creature bellows a blood curdling shriek which echoes through the giant stone throat of the great serpent's head like the death cry of Shadowbeast,a sound few have heard, nor care to recall. The two spiraled horns which now don his thick blue crown spark with a surge of electrical power, effortlessly summoned from his body without a gesture. He blasts the doomseeker with the sizzling bolt, reducing it to hot slag. "I will thank him before I destroy him."
If Skeletor had lips, he would be smiling right now. "Yes, you will destroy him, but not with your newfound power. To break He-Man, even you will need a little leverage." Skeletor summons his insect infiltrator. Spy Fly will accompany you to the royal safe house. Feel free to take out your frustrations on the guardsmen, however allow Orko to pass the message along to Randor, and return with the queen. "Yes master." the proud warrior bows to his true master watching jealously as he pets the chitinous bristled head of the fowl insect spy. Spy Fly's many eyes reflect his own twisted image back at him, and the giant insectoid snickers at what he sees. The fowl insect is always snickering. Evil-Lyn passes him the most generous of smiles, and nods to him before Skeletor waves them off with a gesture. "Do not fail me."
Spy Fly's paper thin wings hum over the crackling of the active volcanoes below. He flies like a mechanical device, straight and percise as he zips out of the great chamber. Rayven bows to his master, stepping from the stone mouth. The creature free falls for a moment from the top of Snake Mountain, then, spreading his massive wings, catches a gust of sulfuric air and takes flight. "Show off." Spy Fly snickers as Rayven cuts through the hot torrents of air that whisk past them. "Do not pester me insect, you are merely a guide, I am the weapon of Skeletor."
"That isss why you are chasing a Trollan and a helpless queen, and the othersss are moving onward to Grayskull..." he buzzes, zipping around the winged warrior with ease.
"What are you saying insect?!"
"I'm sssaying you... have to follow meee..."
Spy Fly's powerful wings speed him off, leaving an enraged Rayven to work just a little harder in order to keep up.
"Master, your Griffon is ready." Beastman says, lowering his head to the magnificent Overlord of Evil. He kneels before the blue skinned demon, allowing him to mount the large beast with ease. Evil-Lyn enters the flight chamber with eager minions in tow. "If you're lucky furball, maybe you'll find the Defender you left those fangs of yours in..." she jests, climbing aboard her Griffon. The others take the remaining Terrordactyls. "I think it was Meckaneck... skinny weakling.." the furry
behemoth snarls, baring his broken grin. While success fails him, Beastman's loyalty is unfailing. Skeletor raises his havok staff to his hairy reddish mug.
"Master?! No! I didn't do any-"
A stream of mystical energy bursts fourth, flooding Beastman's dense skull with a warm, tingling wave of power. As the brilliance of the magical light subsides, Beastman finds his fangs return, regrown from the powerful spell. "Don't lose those."
Beastman is as shocked as the others. Such a generous display he will return a hundred times over in pain. "Thank you Master... thank you..."
Evil-Lyn is not shocked by her masters gesture. He often peppers his minions with treats, just before an embarassing defeat. Its probably the only reason they stick around.
"Skeletor, Grayskull is not without its defenses..." she reminds him.
"No, but once word of Marlena's disappearance reaches the Palace, it will be without Randor, and I'll bet he will not travel alone. With what remains of the defenders pulled thin, we will strike fast and hard."
"Perhaps we should have taken Rayven with us, his powers have always proven to be a great asset..."
"Yes, however he seems to still possess a particular attraction to that wretched Eternian actor. I cannot afford the risk, and once I have obtained the Power of Grayskull for myself, I'll tie off that loose cannon permenantly."
Evil-Lyn is no fool. She bows to her master, only to conceal a bitter grimace, for she is wise enough to know that Rayven may not be his only servant whose wings will be clipped, should he truly succeed in his goals. "Master, I have some payback that's owed..." comes a voice from the shadows. Trap-Jaw has reattached his more menacing parts, and is hungry for revenge. With half his sinster roster and the queen as insurance, Skeletor turns to his remaining cronies, Webstor, Tri-Klops, Mer-Man and Stinkor. "Now my warriors! To victory, and the power which I so rightfully deserve!"
He-Man raises his hand to speak. "Man-At-Arms. What were you working on before the attack?"
"Raina was collecting several components when you last spoke with her" He-Man explains, his thoughts are clear, remembering a seemingly small detail that has thus far been overlooked. Duncan's moustache curls a litte. His friend is right, there was indeed something Duncan had been tinkering with and was excited about, until Tri-Klops new toy flattened his ego and half the palace. "Now I remember! In the midst of all this catastrophe, I do have some good news. I have been working on a new Kinetic Immobilizor."
Ram Man shifts in his uncomfortably small seat. "I remember that thing! It made stuff not move." he grunts out. For all he seems to lacks, he hit the nail right on the head with his shortened explanation. "Yes Ram Man, it stopped all kinetic interactions, freezing objects in suspended animation." there is a twinkle in his eyes as the juices begin to flow. "My new model will not only affect single targets, it will also blanket a large area with the same motion stopping effect."
"You wish to use this against Skeletor?"
"Yes. I had been planning it for some time. The Mystic Wall kept Skeletor at bey for decades, however he was still able to freely move about the Dark Hemisphere and gather resources. Something that we had not anticipated. This device will seal him and his forces inside Snake Mountain, protected and secure in a timeless prison until we are in a better position to deal with him. It was a plan that I felt needed more time and consideration."
"At the moment, time is not a friend of Eternia."
Randor considers this seemingly humane approach to dealing with their increasingly inhumane enemy, for Skeletor attempts on Grayskull have grown more frequent, and with each failed attempt his weapons more barbarous. At the moment, preservation of his kindgom and its people takes presidence over all else. "A timeless prison could prove to be folley my King. While we continue to age, Skeletor and his forces will not, and as the desperation we suffer now wans, his rage will remain."
"We will not forget." Man-At-Arms rises from his seat "The power source will give us a year of usage at its maximum potential. An entire year to rebuild, regroup and reconsider all our options." he stares out across the damage palace, "It is the best we can hope for, something I regret I should have perfected just a weeks sooner."
"Do not regret anything my old friend. Your value to our cause knows no regret. Stratos makes a wise point. We were comfortable with the Mystic Wall, and in the end it allowed Skeletor to only grow in power and anger. Your new Kinetic Immobilzer sounds like our best option, and while the kingdom and its people heal, I will have to make a final decision as to how to deal with our enemy once and for all." Randor heaves a sigh, not a relived sigh, a heavy sigh. For all the pain and misery Skeletor has wrought upon his family and his people, he was once a man, a warrior, and for a long time, a friend, though it was a life time ago. However he has chosen his path, and now Randor must leave the past where it belongs.
"How soon can it be ready?"
He-Man accompanies Man-At-Arms to his workshop. His mind his heavy, feeling far more weighted than the mighty sword on his back. He thinks of his mother. Her warm face, the way she embraced him as a child, but that image is stolen away by the snicker of villains. Skeletor's own maniacal call rings in his head. Looking out across the battered courtyard he can see the mining crew returning, as the sun escapes behind them. The are shadows in the red sky, and though all he can see are their blackened forms, he can see that something is wrong. "Raina?"
"Adam!" Duncan gasps, not another word is needed, He-Man bounds across the courtyard, taking the broken body from Man-E-Faces. His blue armor is stained with blood. Raina does not even whimper as her broken body is passed from one set of iron arms to another. Her body is limp, and her pulse has slowed. If something is not done immediately, she will not last past sun down. "I brought her here as fast as I could, but I do not-"
Ceratus is spattered with blood, but it is not Raina's, nor his own.
"We met with several scroundrels along the way, but they did not hinder us for long."
He-Man exchanges a nod with him, and a glance to his reptilian hands reveals a tuft of human hair remaining under his claws. "Thank you Ceratus, she will be just fine. Bring her to my labratory! Man-E-Faces, summon three medics, we not much time."
As the sun retreats behind the horizon Raina comes around to the sight of many curious faces. "You are a brave woman Raina, welcome back."
Attempting to raise her head, she finds herself restrained. "It will be a few moments before the bio-implants are attuned to your nervous system." Man-At-Arms explains, stroking her forehead with his strong hand. Prince Adam is at her side, her long time friend. "You're looking good Pebbles, for girl with rocks in her head."
He hasn't called her that in years. "Raina, I must tell you..."
"I'll never walk again?" she says clenching her fists on the cold operating table.
Man-At-Arms smiles, squeezing her fist. "You're fine, and you'll walk very soon, however I had to make some changes to save your life. Like I did Mekaneck..."
Raina raises her hand to her throat. It is still there. Exploring with her fingers she finds a brace. "Your chest had been crushed, Man-At-Arms rebuilt her entire rib cage." Adam explains. "And your left leg was was also damaged, it has been replaced with a prostetic."
Raina swallows down the lump that had been building up in her throat. "Is that all?" she jests. "I was thinking I would be horribly disfigured, or that I would need a Sky Sled to get around all the time. This doesn't sound so bad at all."
She was always a strong individual. Adam kisses her cheek, whispering something sweet into her ear. He casts one last smile before a knock comes to the infirmary door. Adams says his good bye and disappears as king Randor comes to speak with Raina about her mission's success. "Thanks to your sacrafice, we have what we need to stop Skeletor once and for all. I just wanted to let you know that."
"Thank you my king. That means more to me than a leg. I plan to stand in a free Eternia. Man-At-Arms? When do you think I can get out of here?"
"In a few weeks Raina, you need to recover."
"When will the Sub-E0A be ready?"
Man-At-Arms points to the exploration suit that is nearly complete. "Its just in its final testing stage, but now, with your injuries, I will have to recalibrate it. Do not be in such a hurry Raina, you need your rest."
The somber moment is broken by the sound of a frantic Man-E-Faces. Man-At-Arms prepares for the worst as no good news has come from today. "My King, there has been news from Grayskull! A small band of Skeletor's forces are approaching. They will arrive at Grayskull within the hour, and we are unable to reach anyone at the safehouse."
Randor is thrusted back, the sum of all his worst fears find their way out in a single word. "Marlena!"
Last edited by Sky Breaker; September 15, 2008 at 01:48am.
great second chapter! Can't wait for whats coming next! :-)
Its good so far. I like how you've shown the weakness in Man-E-Faces. With 3 faces, I would think there's a lot more going on behind them than we ever see.
I also like how you've written Skeletor, though he is stern with his henchmen, he gives Beastman back his bite. I can't wait to finish it up.
Really enjoyed the story so far. I like how you've given Skeletors evil warriors some credability back and not made them just comedy characters.
Hope this isn't a stupid question but have you wrote a story that leads into this on?
I have created stories featuring my fan character Rayven before. They can be found on the boards.
Its been months since I touched this story, and I feel terrible. Not because its taken me so long to update (that's only part of it), but I can see so many errors. I wish I hadn't rushed to post it. I did some revising. I hope that new readers will enjoy the story that much more.
I'm working on the final chapter and hope to have it up soon. To everyone that followed along, thanks for your support!
looking forward to it
He who dies with the most MOTUC wins!
Chapter 3: Part 1: The Brink
It is not long before the virtual message is recieved. "Duncan you should see this." King Randor grasps his oldest friend's shoulder as the video feed from inside Snake Mountain his broadcast to the control room of the broken Palace. The powerful figure of a man stands doorway, his sad face hidden by the shadows.
"Greetingsss Massstersss..." snickers Skeletor's newest subordinate. "I've been watching you..." it gurgles.
"Who are you and what have you done with my son and with my Queen?"
"Ssspy Fly... but I don't think I'll be in the businesss much longer. Ssskeletor will sssssoon crusssh you and rule Eternia."
The video feed slowly pans to a unconcious woman. Her royal robes are torn, and her crown is naked, the symbol of her status stolen. It now sits atop the crusty head of her capture. Crudely bound, she dangles, attached to a large stone tooth in the mouth of the giant serpent's head. There is no sign of young prince Adam.
"The mighty and generousss Lord Ssskeletor has offered to spare her life if you sssurrender now and withdraw your forcesss from Grayskull. If he has to inconvenience himself with crussshing your pathetic attempt at opposssssition... You and your family will be guesssts in his new kingdom. Man-E-Faces lingers for a moment. His eyes can see a familiar shadow standing guard over the hanging body. There is no mistaking his large wings and dislike of the spotlight. He has one last chance, he has to try, and without a word, he is gone.
"Where is my son!? Where is Adam?"
"There was only the queen and the jessster. We did not find any sssquealing Prince.
Now. Decide her fate..."
The video feed terminates. Randor can no longer stand. He can no longer hold the weight of his decisions. A man, so strong in the face of the worst evil has to offer crumbles at the thought of his missing son, and his poor queen, his beloved wife. A strong hand breaks his fall, and catches the crown that had slipped from his head. It is He-Man, who has not left his side. "Randor, father, I have not left your side. "Father?" Randor raises his head. Only through the haze of tears
for his loved ones, does he see clearly the face of his son staring back at him. "Adam?"
"Do not withdraw the others from Grayskull. It must be protected. I will save my mother, and I will stop Skeletor once and for all."
The mighty barbarian lifts his father from the floor, placing the golden band about his brow. Man-At-Arms can see absolution in his eyes.
"I-I- don't believe it... my son. My son is the strongest man in the universe..."
He-Man finds his loyal Battlecat guarding the gates of the Palace, awaiting his call to arms. "Old friend." he says, petting the head of the great beast. "I have to save my mother, and it will not be easy.
"You will go to Grayskull. Understand?
The large cat groans. He is more than willing to aid his friend in the fight for Marlena's freedom. "No old friend, the Sorceress will need you. Go to her side, and protect her. I know you will keep her safe."
Reluctant to leave his beloved friend, the cat bounds away, looking back only once before duty takes hold. He-Man climbs aboard one of the remaining Sky Sleds. He raises his sword, shouting with all the love and courage within him. "I have the power!"
Meanwhile, far from the Palace, across the great Eternian forests, standing just outside firing distance of a short range missile, Skeletor and his warriors stare at the grace of the green stones of Grayskull. All that stands between them and victory are a small band of Defenders.
Teela, a spring chicken, who has never avoided needing rescue from a real battle. Ram Man, a ridiculous lummox who is more fodder than fighter. Skeletor laughs to himself as he watches them tighten their formation. His cold sockets move across the quartet. Snout Spout, a mindless fire fighting automaton. He would be best suited for dousing a burning bush. And finally, Mekaneck, a pathetic scout whose only place in this battle is to watch destruction befall his friends. These are the heroes of Eternia. If he wasn't so amused, he would be insulted.
Beside him are some of the most cruel and powerful beings on the planet. Evil-Lyn, his dark sorceress with mystical knowledge that rivaled only by his own. Webstor, a powerful spy, escape artist, and natural predator. Tri-Klops, master swordsman, and mechanical genuis; accompanied by a small fleet of doomseekers, his most insidious creations. Mer-Man, lord of the depths and and Stinkor, a lowly, bit useful shock trooper with two tanks full of crippling gas. Victory for the dark overlord has never seemed more real. He can practically taste the power of the Elders. He swallows it down his empty throat. One good blast and this battle will be over before it even begins.
A desperate Sorceress looks on, however, she is not without resolve. She has defended this castle for decades, countless times against the likes of Skeletor and King Hiss, and though she can feel the confidence in evil's presence, today will be no different. She will protect this castle. Skeletor announces his approach with a blast of arcane energy. The sickly yellow swirl rises up like a geiyser of light from the black socket of his Havoc Staff. "Onward my warriors! Spare no one, for Grayskull is mine this day!"
Last edited by Sky Breaker; September 6, 2008 at 10:00pm.
Wonder what's planned for Man-E and Rayven?
He who dies with the most MOTUC wins!
More, more, more...... I'm ready for a whoop ass battle!!!!! keep up the excellent work!!!!
Chapter 3: Part 2: Absolution
"Adam!" she cries out. Her motion activates the lights in the work room. She sits up examining her new body. Warm feeling flesh
had been replaced with unfeeling metal. "Less places to hurt..." she jests to herself. She was not about to cry. An unrest overcomes her, but it is not an unease over her new form, but rather concern for those she cares for. As the importance of her mission comes back to her, she bounds from the table. There is no time to rest. While each step is uncomfortable, she is no worse for wear. She still has her mobility, she has her steel will. Now all she needs is a weapon. As she moves through the workroom her motion activates yet another automatic device. A visor lights up in a darkened corner of the room. The robotic entity stirs from its disembodied rest. "Perhaps I can be of service to you."
They will not expect him as he is, for he has not arrived atop Battle Cat,
and he will not marched headstrong into Snake Mountains heavily guarded belly and smashed through a couple hundred skeletal minions. His approach is far more subtle. He will be in and out before his mother's captive as the wiser. Having pushed the Sky Sled to its limit, it forces it through the heavy black atmosphere for just a few more feet. As he hovers in the thick ash air, the towering stone serpent of Snake Mountain becomes visible. His eyes, half closed and reddened from the smoke can barely make out the tiny figure dangling from its lower jaw, nor more than a few meters from the hot lava flow which spills from its mouth.
Perched beside her, watching her dangle helplessly is Rayven, Skeletor's favored lap dog, and zipping from side to side just a few feet from him is Spy Fly, a minion he has yet to tangle with. They are below him now, not more than 1'000 feet. The height is dizzying. Most men would buckle at the thought, but he has no choice. He shuts off the engine to his craft, and with his Power Sword drawn, takes a leap in mid flight, free falling silently towards the fortress.
His timing is perfect. In seconds he will smash into the rocky face of the serpent, cut his mother free, and drop with her to safety. The villains will not have a chance to react. Now only seconds remain. He spreads his arms to slow his descent, cutting through the air as an unexpected surprise comes into view. Hunched over, at the feet of Skeletor's minion, defeated, is Man-E-Faces. "Oh no." he gasps, his body now somewhere between the earth below and the sky above.
Rayven had sensed his presence. He looks up, warning his partner, and in a split second Spy Fly is gone from view. He is barely two hundred feet from impact as a pair of clawed fingers grasps his harness.
"You ssseem lossst..." buzzes a voice in his ear. Before he can react, Spy Fly alters his flight path, steering him off course. "No!" he shouts as he falls away from his mother, reaching terminal velocity to impact the ground below. There is nothing to grasp, nothing to halt his fall. Even if he survives the impact, he will not have enough strength to make it back up the mountain in time. His Sky Sled smashes into the giant Snake head, exploding on impact. His distraction has come too late.
The guard does not flinch as He-Man plummets past him, beyond the saving reach of the cold stone mountain.
"Rayven, you can't let him die! Please help him!" Man-E-Faces pleads. He barely recognizes what is left of the man before him. The creature laughs,
"He will not die, at least, not without my help." the winged warrior dives from the mouth of the snake to intercept He-Man. "What isss that idiot doing!?"
Spy Fly shrieks as he watches his cohort snag He-Man from would have certainly been a death blow. He-Man gasps as the creature cartwheels him in mid air, tossing him into the dirt. While painful, the impact is far from life threatening. He wants to play with him first.
"Remember me hero?"
The barbarian wipes the sweat from his brow. Without realizing it, Rayven has given him another chance.
"Rayven. I-" he can barely make him out, however his new form quickly becomes visible as a gray skinned foot, brandishing talons, arched to rend his flesh swipes at him. "You did this to me!"
"I-I didn't..." he cannot believe his eyes. The bizarre mutation has left him more beast than man. He-Man stumbles back, reaching for his sword, however it is not in its sheath. "Looking for this?"
Rayven brings it into view, dangling in a bubble of telekinetic energy, before casting it far into the distance.
"I do not know how this happened to you, but I can help you. Our Sorceress can help you."
"I've heard that one before you selfish, muscle bound cretin! Do you take me for a fool?!" he advances on the hero, slashing and biting like a rabid dog. He-Man keeps one eye on Rayven and the other on Spy Fly, who at any moment could cut the cord which keeps his mother attached to the tower. If only Man-E-Faces could get to her first. A crackle of electricity snaps past his head. He finds his shield in the earth and raises it to deflect another bolt.
"Man-E-Faces. He cares for you, he came here for you." He-Man defends each strike to his body with his armored gauntlets, but he cannot guard against the unseen attacks to his jaw from Rayven's mind. The raw psychic power punches like Fisto's right hook, smashing him in the face. The most powerful man in the universe recoils from the impact, but it does not knock him down.
"Look at me! You stole what chances I ever had of that!
You sent him to distract me, protect you from my wrath, and perhaps rescue your little queen." he snarls, slamming the hero into a jagged rocky formation.
"There is no hope, no hope for you or her!" he knocks the hero to the ground. He-Man scrambles to his sword as Spy Fly moves closer to his captive.
He cannot delay longer. If he continues his battle with Rayven he may not have the energy or equilibrium to rescue Marlena. He must put some distance between them or else- Rayven spreads his wings, lifting himself from the earth to block his view of the queen. "Now it is time to-" but his strike is interrupted as a large drill bit pierces his wing. He shrieks in agony as the thin flesh is spun and torn away. "Go! Save the queen! I'll handle this one!"
"You brazen, foolish girl!" Rayven lashes at the armored heroine, blasting her with a powerful bolt of electricity. She gasps as the charge dances over her armor and dissipates. The suit is perfectly shielded from extreme heat and electricity. Rayven is shocked, even more so than his target. His face beams with rage, and he postures like a wild cat, preparing for another attack. Raina was never one for showing off or intimating tactics. She wastes no time and swings her heavy drill bit. The hardened Eternium bit cracks him in the head. The stunned villain fall to this knees, bleeding from his temple.
"When I'm through with you... they're going to be pulling those drills out of your-"
"Stop chirping and bring it! I didn't come all this way to yap!"
He-Man watches for just a moment, and it seems that Raina has herself handled. She was always tough as nails, and Man-At-Arms new suit will be one hell of a shell to crack, even for Rayven. He does not know how she found him, and he'll be sure to thank her later. Using his sword as a pole vault, he leaps with every ounce of strength in his massive upper and lower body, soaring high into the air as Rayven and Raina battle below. He lands half way up the mountain, one more leap and he will be able to gsave his mother. Spy Fly will not waste any more time, nor risk failure. He removes his spined scythe from its sheath, slices the rope which binds the queen to the stone. She cries out as gravity takes a hold of her and she falls away from the mountain. Spy Fly takes aim to spear the hero with his weapon but from behind Man-E-Faces bounds onto his back, grasping the scythe. "No you dont! He-Man! Save the queen!" he shouts, wrenching the foul insects head around. The mighty barbarian prays deep within himself for the hand of the Elders to guide him as he fires his body from the mountainside straight up like a rocket to intercept the falling queen. She faints in the hot, heavy air as he catches her. He continues upwards, and as he looses momentum, he reaches for the lower jaw of the snake grasping it fiercely, anchoring them both. Just below him, his brave friend, wrestles with their flying foe, and further below, it appears that Raina has quieted Rayven down. She has him pinned under her armored boot. "I'm not going to go as easy on you as He-Man, one move, and I'll put this drill through your head. I swear to Eternos, I'll do it-"
Rayven snarls, staring down the length of the razor sharp drill bit which shredded his wings. He would blast her with a ball of force, but he is exhausted.
"You'll pay for this..." he says weakly.
Marlena coughs, "Adam?" she speaks softly, opening her eyes for just a moment. The heat, smoke and sheer stress of being hung like a rag doll for several hours has taken its toll, she is exhausted. "Yes mom." he replies, hugging her gently. She opens her eyes and apologizes. "He-Man, I'm sorry, I thought you were my son."
He lifts them both onto a safe platform. "Where is Orko?"
"Over there." she says, pointing to a small jar, enscribed with mystical runes. He-Man breaks it open and his tiny friend spills out.
"He-Man! Thanks! I didn't think I would ever get out!" he hovers around the chamber. "What's going on!? Did you stop Skeletor?"
He-Man stops his sputtering friend in mid flight. " No Orko, you must take us to Grayskull, but first, we must help Man-E and Raina."
"Raina? Who? Where is Man-E-Faces?"
He-Man lays his mother down. "Watch her for a moment."
As he steps to the edge of the jaw, Man-E-Faces is not where he left him. Unable to force the villain to land, Spy Fly has carried him high into the clouds, too far for him to reach. "Now hero, you'll sssee why they call me Ssspy Fly..." he snickers, and in an instant the body which Man-E-Faces had been grasping shirnks to that of a common garden insect.
Man-E-Faces plummets to the earth below. "No!" He-Man cannot believe his eyes for he has traded one life for another. Raina looks up in terror as the blue armored hero plummets, cutting a path through the thick air to a rocky doom below. Rayven watches him. He had once again come to speak with him, unwisely, though unarmed. Spy Fly told him the masters would employ such a tactic. He turns to see He-Man standing motionless in the snake's maw, and as his eyes roll back to Man-E-Faces he sinks into his wings as the man comes closer oblivion which each passing second. Raina looks at her hands, her razor sharp drill bits do well to shred rock and rend flesh, but they will not save her comrade. "Help him! You have to help him!" she cries out.
then she sees his shredded wing. Rayven heels, lost in thought, he does not attempt to attack her.
"You can't fly." she says, her drills have seen to that.
"No..." he grasps his head, and tries to concentrate. Summoning his powers seems almost impossible. In the noise, the drum of his own heartbeat, his ability to focus escapes him, slipping away as the wind rips past the face of the only being who ever truly loved him. Raina lowers her weapon, she backs off to give him some space. She can see the transformation in his face, the absolution in his eyes. "You can save him."
Rayven lifts himself from the earth. He spreads his damaged wings, stumbling forward. His head is pounding, then feeling as though a tidal wave is crashing against the inside of his skull. Far above him Spy Fly has returned to his normal form. The slurping, buzzing monster watches the drama unfold below, and he cannot believe what he is witnessing for a second time.
"What isss that idiot doing now!?"
Any second now, any second and the one being that has remained a constant, reliable, a true friend in his twisted, mutated, evil life will be a smear on the ground below. Rayven struggles to focus the raging gray matter in his head. He pushes harder than he ever has for anything. Forcing what remains of his energy through his body and in a surprising burst of power, explodes from the ground, lofting just inches from Man-E-Faces. The warrior grasps his hand. The jerk tears at his strained muscles,
"I-I got you..." he locks his hand as his talons are embedded into Man-E-Faces' gloves.
"I, I knew you would... I never stopped trusting you..."
Man-E-Face reaches up to him, and touches his pained face. "You're hurt..."
"As are you..." he replies. Man-E-Faces can see an underlying smile in the wince of pain as they coast over the black plains together.
"When this is over... we can-"
"No! No! Thisss isss all wrong!" Spy Fly zips in circles, pulling at the thick bristled hair on his shoulders. He is completely alone, without reinforcements, no weapon, and is on the brink of failure. "Ssskeletor will have your head! When I report to him, there will be nothing left of you!" he screeches, snarling and popping. If his multifaceted eyes could roll he would be staring at the front of his brain. The clever spy who thus far has proven to be a threat to the Defenders is not watching his back. He-Man picks up a apple sized boulder. He may not have had enough strength to launch himself, and his armor far as the spy had flown, but this boulder only weighs about a pound. He takes aim and tosses the volcanic rock with a powerful swing. Spy Fly gurgles and slurps back a wad of sticky saliva as the hard stone impacts his thorax, shattering into a million pieces. His wings become still, his body goes limp as he drops to the ground below, however the battle is far from over.
Rayven and Man-E-Faces are safe, that he is sure of, however The Sorceress is not. As Skeletor encroaches on the walls of Grayskull, as her desperation grows, he can sense the urgency. He-Man raises his sword calling for renewed strength. The warmth and spirit of King Grayskull fills him. His fatigue fades, and the damage suffered in this latest battle is washed away in a cleansing stream of positive mystical force. He must act fast, for the power may not be there for him much longer.
Below him Raina looks on. She is still full of energy and rearing to go, there is another fight left in her, and those powerful drills of her can be put to some good use. He calls to her, and as though she and the suit had between together for years, and her injuries non existant, she begins to scale the walls of Snake Mountain, powering her way up the rocky face, hundreds of feet in the air to join them. She is truly an amazing woman, and he'll have to find a new name for her, Pebbles just won't do anymore. "Orko, use your magic, open a portal to Grayskull... there is one more battle left to fight."
And now to the readers...
Last edited by Sky Breaker; October 11, 2009 at 10:31pm.
YAY! I'm glad to see this continuing! :-) I really like where this story is going. I like the visual of spyfly holding Manny, and then disappearing essentially into his small fly form.
Last edited by Patreek; September 9, 2008 at 02:45am.
Yet another excellent chapter!!!!! I've really grown to like Spy-Fly it seems like he was one of the original evil warriors!!!!
Keep up the good work and be kind to us all and post again soon
When can we expect more story goodness? :-)
Just been reviewing all the fan=fics that I had subscribed to and hoping you'll be posting some more to this story soon
Last edited by Sky Breaker; October 11, 2009 at 10:27pm.