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Thread: The Quest for Power!

  1. #1
    Formerly thew39 thew40's Avatar
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    The Quest for Power!

    30 years ago, we were introduced to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. 10 years ago, fueled by nostalgia and excitement for the new line, I put pen to paper (metaphorically) and started work on Masters of the Universe fanfiction! So I've decided to go forward with a special anniversary set of short stories, each one focusing on a different aspect of the franchise. This pays homage to the original MOTU, as seen in the mini-comics and the Filmation series. It takes place pre-POP.

    No prior knowledge of my epic MOTU mega-story is needed, but you can include it if you want to. Now get ready for . . .


    HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
    "THE QUEST FOR POWER"




    The spotlights switched on. The curtains were pulled back. The audience clapped and the prelude was over. The play had begun. The stage was set; the music rose up, and out walked Man-E-Faces. His body was covered in tattered robes and a ripped hood that showed only the monster face that he had chosen for the role.

    “Greetings fair travelers! Welcome the Inn at Great Mountain!” Man-E-Faces said, portraying the Storyteller that framed the play. Extras began to enter the stage, all taking their positions around the fake Inn. Man-E-Faces raised his hands. “Do not fear my appearance, for I am but an old man, scarred by the Great Wars and made worse by the ravages of age!”

    One of the extras nodded and raised his mug. “A salute to you, sir, may your day be pleasant!”

    “Pleasant days are behind me, ugly and worn as I am. Would you care to hear my tale?”

    “Aye, yes sir!” said another extra.

    “Tell us, sir!” cried another.

    Just off stage, Songster turned to Orko. The Trollan was wrangling his blue hands over and over. Songster put his hand on Orko’s clothed shoulder. “You okay?”

    “Yeah, just a little nervous,” Orko replied as Man-E-Faces shouted his next line for all to hear. Orko giggled. “I’ve got butterflies in my stomach.”

    “You’re nervous?” asked Cringer from below. “At least you don’t have to be on stage!” Cringer was portraying Man-E-Faces’ character arch-rivals pet.

    “So now that you have asked, I shall tell you the story!” Man-E-Faces belted.

    Orko cracked his knuckles and cast his spell, just as scheduled. But as the magic spilled from his fingers, his stomach still rumbled. ‘Just butterflies,’ he thought.

    As smoke fell onto the stage, to transition the story into the past, Orko realized something had gone wrong. The magic smoke began to swirl in the middle and hundreds of butterflies suddenly flew out and into the audience. The stage crew started shouting as the audience yelped in surprise, suddenly showered in beautiful butterflies that fluttered and floated around them.

    “Oh no!” Orko shouted.

    “The play!” Songster cried out. “It’s ruined!”

    “ORKO!” yelled Man-E-Faces, bounding off stage.

    “Oops!”

    Cringer gave a sigh of relief.

    But it was all forgotten a second later. An explosion sounded off deep below them. The theatre rumbled and alarms screamed. Man-E-Faces was gone in a flash. Royal Guards were securing the room. Cringer, of course, was hiding behind the curtain.

    “What’s going on?” Songster asked.

    “I don't know! All I know is that I didn’t do it!”

    Songster shook his head. “You still ruined my play.”

    “Sorry.”

    The alarms grew louder. The theater rumbled again.

    “S-s-s-sounds l-l-l-like tr-tr-trouble,” Cringer said, beginning to panic.

    An instant later, Prince Adam appeared and dragged the tiger off.

    ------

    More to come!
    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

  2. #2
    Warrior of the Inferno Brimstone's Avatar
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    Good start to the story I can't wait to read more.
    My Fan-Fic projects:

    Eternia: The Dark Years: Enter Eternia a world that has fallen to the hands of the Evil Horde.
    Coming Soon:Roots 2: Fear stalks Primus. (A NA sequel to Roots by Brimstone and Thew40)

    My art (mostly MOTU related ) please feel free to comment.

  3. #3
    Formerly thew39 thew40's Avatar
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    The alarms started blaring one second after the dungeon wall exploded. Smoke and debris filled the corridor. The overhead lights flickered even as the crimson ones flashed urgently. Tri-Klops was in the led, his sword at the ready, and his optic blast eye charging. Two Royal Guards came running over. Two quick shots had them on the ground, their chests smoldering.

    “We have two minutes,” Tri-Klops told the Evil Warriors that followed him. “Trap-Jaw?”

    Trap-Jaw removed the weapon from his robotic arm and replaced with an interface. He plugged the interface into the nearest data port. A HUD dropped down from his helmet. Tri-Klops glanced back at Whiplash, Clawful, Webstor, and Kobra Kahn. Time was running out . . .

    “Found him,” Trap-Jaw said, the HUD rising back up. He pulled out the interface and replaced it with a laser cannon.

    “Just like we planned.” Tri-Klops followed Trap-Jaw and Kobra Kahn down the corridor. Clawful, Webstor, and Whiplash all took up a defensive posture at the breach.

    Trap-Jaw, Tri-Klops, and Kobra Kahn all raced down the circular corridor. The air was musky and dank; the lights were low and prisoners were either shouting for freedom or hiding in fear as the trio passed them by. More alarms went off and they encountered a few more guards. They were easy to deal with, even with their weapons and armor. He-Man or Man-At-Arms would be a different matter.

    “Here!” Trap-Jaw announced as they came to a cell separate from all the others.

    The man behind bars was scrawny and almost sickly looking. His white hair fell well past his shoulders. But when he looked at the three of them, they saw the strength in his face.

    Tri-Klops swapped eyes, this one scanning the bars of the jail cell for weaknesses. “Negator.”

    “Yes?”

    “Skeletor has need of you.”

    “I’m not interested.”

    “Tough. Kobra Kahn.”

    The viper sprayed his directly at Negator’s face. The cloud of green faded quickly and Negator fell to the ground. Tri-Klops pointed to three weak points in the bars. With three quick chomps from Trap-Jaw, the bars clattered to the ground and Negator was heaved into Tri-Klops’ arms.

    Four more Royal Guards appeared. Tri-Klops had two blasted before they drew their weapons. Acid from Kobra Kahn and an energy beam from Trap-Jaw took care of the other two. The three of them and their guest went running down the corridor, back to the breach.

    “He-Man’s coming!” Webstor announced, his hand pressing a Eternos Comm-Unit to his ear.

    “Then let’s go!” Tri-Klops replied.

    The Evil Warriors rushed back through the breach. With a bash of his tail, Whiplash smashed the walls of their man-made tunnel, sending debris to block their escape. Webstor let loose his webbing, creating a complex and huge web to catch any followers.

    “’LETS GO!” Tri-Klops roared. He could hear the rubble shifting behind them. He-Man was already on them.

    The six Evil Warriors and their unconscious charge rushed down the tunnel until they reached the rise that took them up into the small forest.

    Here, the Collector and two Rotons waited for them.

    Two-Bad and Spikor greeted Tri-Klops, Whiplash, Clawful and Trap-Jaw. “Move it!” Tri-Klops commanded. “They’ll have Sky Sleds in the air within seconds!”

    The Collector burst from the forest, accompanied by the Rotons, which were being piloted by Kobra Kahn and Webstor.

    The three vehicles shot across the sky and it wasn’t until Snake Mountain was within sight that Tri-Klops breathed a sigh of relief.
    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

  4. #4
    Formerly thew39 thew40's Avatar
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    Court was in session – the King’s Court, actually. King Randor sat upon his throne, eyes dark and heavy; his hand wrapped around his Honor Sword tightly more out of stress than aggression. He stared down at the group before him. Man-At-Arms, Prince Adam, and Captain Teela. A few Royal Guards were standing a little further back, having just given their statements. Orko was floating off to the side, along with the sentries and a few of King Randor’s retainers. Queen Marlena sat next to her husband, hands folded in her lap.

    “Captain Teela,” King Randor began. “I have heard your incident report and I am not satisfied. I have a few unanswered questions.”

    “Of course, your highness.”

    “Last we spoke about the security of the prison section, you informed me that the response time was what?”

    “One minute.”

    “And how long did it take for the Evil Warriors to free Negator?”

    “Less than two minutes.”

    “Which means your response time today was not sufficient.” King Randor rung his hand around the handle of his sword. “Your also assured me that the weapons and armor the Royal Guards were recently provided with were up to handling the Evil Warriors’ powers. There were not.”

    “That was my fault, your highness,” Man-At-Arms volunteered. “I told Teela - ”

    “Your engineering was not up spec, Man-At-Arms, but Teela was the one who should have made that clear to you and myself in the first place.” King Randor looked back to Teela. “Negator, one of Eternia’s top villains, is now in the hands of Skeletor. His mastery of technology and data is unparalleled. We are more vulnerable than ever. I rest the blame on you, Teela. Not your father and not He-Man, but you.”

    Man-At-Arms bit his tongue. King Randor was being too hard on her . . . but it was not his place to say so. Prince Adam, however, must have felt differently.

    “Father, I think you’re being - ”

    “Silence!” King Randor rose to his feet. “And where were you, Adam, during this crisis?”

    Prince Adam’s face reddened. “I . . . I was contacting He-Man.”

    “He-Man was on his way down to the dungeon! Just like he’s on the Evil Warriors trail right now! You should have been behind him and you should be in the field, aiding him!”

    Queen Marlena touched her husbands arm gently. The King looked back at her, sighed heavily and sat down. Teela shot Adam a look that told him to back off.

    “Teela, when I gave you the post of Captain, I did so amidst controversy and conventional reason, but I did it because of your courage and your experience. I believed then that you were more than up to the responsibility of being Captain of the Royal Guard. Today, you have failed me in that regard and I will warn you now, that another such failure we see you dropped in rank. Do you understand?”

    She bowed. “I do, your highness.”

    “I expect to see improved security and higher efficiency, understood?”

    “Yes, your highness.” Her jaw was tight, her body stiff, and her cheeks pink. She bowed again. “I offer my sincere apologies, your highness, and I am sorry for disappointing you.”

    “Make it up by not letting this happen again. Do as I have commanded, Captain.”

    “Yes, your highness.”

    King Randor glanced at Adam and Man-At-Arms. “Now, for the crisis at hand.”

    Queen Marlena cleared her throat. “The question we are both wondering is ‘why Negator?’ He and Skeletor have no history of working together. Considering that Skeletor prefers minions, a dominant villain like Negator is not likely to not working for him.”

    “An alliance?” Man-At-Arms asked.

    “A forced one,” King Randor replied. “Negator has always worked alone. Skeletor may only be after his resources. Negator could be dead for all we know.”

    “Those resources are likely to only be at Negator’s disposal.” Man-At-Arms rubbed his chin. “Skeletor would need Negator alive.”

    “Then let us assume that Negator is alive,” King Randor stated. He grunted. “Have the kingdom placed on high alert. Coordinate with He-Man, Duncan. Find out what they’re up to.”

    ------

    NEXT: Just what is Skeletor up to anyways? And why does it spell trouble for our heroes?
    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

  5. #5
    Formerly thew39 thew40's Avatar
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    Skeletor came into the chamber quickly, his cloak flapping behind him with each step. His skull face was unreadable, but the Havoc Staff was in his hand and it said enough. Negator was supposed to be intimidated. Honestly, he was disappointed. All this talk about Skeletor, all these rumors about Snake Mountain . . . but Negator found it from far from dangerous.

    “What do you want with me?” he asked, standing to full.

    “An offer.”

    Negator shook his head. “Release me.”

    “I shall do no such thing. You are in no place to demand anything.” Skeletor paced. “I have rescued you from Randor’s dungeons for a reason.”

    “Go on.”

    “He-Man and his accursed allies remain the only obstacle to my achievement of domination. I must enter Castle Grayskull and I cannot with that musclebound oaf in my way. I need your skills, Negator. Your information and insight.”

    “Oh?”

    “My warriors are bumbling boobs. I need power. I need recruits that rival He-Man with that power.”

    “I will not join your ranks, Skeletor. I have my own agenda.”

    “I do not want you.” Skeletor stopped and gripped the Havoc Staff. “And if I did, your refusal would not be permitted. No, no, I want you to create a list of the most powerful being on all Eternia. Mortals. No spirits, entities, or beings.”

    Negator raised an eyebrow. “A list?”

    “Do I need to repeat myself?”

    ‘An empty threat,’ Negator considered. “Very well, Skeletor. I need fifteen hours.”

    “Very good.” Skeletor turned from him. “I eagerly await the results.”

    ***

    Teela stomped across the courtyard, her boot steps echoing with each fall. Adam caught sight of her and took off to catch up with her.

    “Teela!”

    She ignored him.

    “Hey! Teela!”

    She stopped dead in her tracks and spun around to face him. “What?”

    Adam saw the angry flush in her cheeks and the hard scowl on her face. He gulped and lost his words.

    “I just . . . uh . . .”

    “Just what?”

    “I - I’m sorry for my father,” he muttered. “You know how he gets - ”

    “No, Adam. He was right. And you had no right defending me.” She crossed her arms and stared him right in the eyes. “I’d tell you to fight your own damn battles, but you seem to have a problem with that.”

    Adam was too stunned to reply.

    “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of work to do.”

    He watched her walk into the barracks at the other side of the courtyard. He sighed. Adam hated moments like these, trapped between responsibilities. Responsibilities to his father, to Teela, and as He-Man. The sheer discomfort of it made him agitated and put him on edge. Sometimes it was enough to make him just jump into a Wind Raider and get away from it all.

    But that wasn’t even an option.

    Making an attempt to push away his frustrations, Adam wandered into Man-At-Arms’ lab.

    “What are you working on, Duncan?” Adam asked, staring at the main worktable. It was covered in spare parts and tools. Wires and tubes snaked around casings and circuit boards. Control panels and keypad sat among flux recalibraters and tuning hammers. Duncan was staring at all, sketching designs on the computer pad in his hands.

    “I’m sharpening our defenses. If Negator attacks, we need to be ready. I’m developing counter-EMPs, auto-re-polarizing shields, manual electricity siphons, and multi-alarm data port disconnects.” He pressed a few buttons on his computer pad.

    “Sounds good. What about the Evil Warriors?”

    “I have some ideas for armor up-grades, but Negator is the larger threat.”

    “But my father - ”

    “It’s called prioritizing. Your father understands, don’t worry. The Royal Soldiers are Teela’s responsibility and she’ll have them training harder until I can get them the up-grades.”

    Adam nodded. “I . . . I should have been faster. He-Man . . . should have been faster. If I had, Negator wouldn’t have gotten away . . .”

    “We all should be faster, but need to focus on the next step. It’s the only way to prevent this from happening again.”


    _______________

    NEXT: Just who is on Negator's list? The answers will shock you!
    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

  6. #6
    Warrior of the Inferno Brimstone's Avatar
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    Cool story can't wait to read more.
    My Fan-Fic projects:

    Eternia: The Dark Years: Enter Eternia a world that has fallen to the hands of the Evil Horde.
    Coming Soon:Roots 2: Fear stalks Primus. (A NA sequel to Roots by Brimstone and Thew40)

    My art (mostly MOTU related ) please feel free to comment.

  7. #7
    Formerly thew39 thew40's Avatar
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    Skeletor regarded Negator as he walked into the throne room. The villain was in his battle armor, his white hair clean and laying back upon his shoulder. His face was confident and smug; he had no idea what Skeletor had in mind if he was disappointed.

    A few of Skeletors own warriors were present. Evil-Lynn, Beast-Man, Mer-Man Tri-Klops, Trap-Jaw, Spikor, and, as always, Panthor. The great purple cat snarled at Negator as walked by.

    “Well? Are we going to sit here all day?” Skeletor questioned.

    Negator was not easily goaded. “I have, as you have requested, assembled your list of Eternia’s most powerful mortals.” A holographic image appeared above the meeting table. “The most powerful mortal on Eternia is He-Man.”

    Skeletor pounded his fist against the arm of his throne and stood up. “What foolish nonsense is this?”

    Negator waved his hands out. “Can you not see it? The power of Grayskull is the greatest source of magic on Eternia . . . and more than likely, this galaxy. That power is infused in He-Man’s cells. He draws on that power as easily as we would drink a glass of water or breathe in oxygen. It is the same reason why the Sorceress of Grayskull is second on the list.”

    “This is an insult!” Skeletor spat.

    “What was the point of this again?” muttered Tri-Klops. “I put my life on the line for a stupid list of people we call enemies.”

    “Pardon me, oh great and powerful Skeletor, but are you not after the power of Grayskull?” Negator asked mockingly. “That power that He-Man and the Sorceress wield is what you are after. Of course, these two are numbers one and two! That is what you are after – their power!”

    “He’s right, Skeletor,” Evil-Lynn stated.

    “That doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.”

    ‘Child,’ Negator thought to himself.

    “Go on! The next one, Negator! As if I don’t have to ask. Surely I must be third!”

    “Sadly, Skeletor you are not.” The holographic images changed from He-Man and the Sorceress to none other than –

    “ORKO!” roared Skeletor, standing and slamming his Havoc Staff on the floor. Lightning arched across the room and nearly smashed into Negator’s chest. Negator stepped out of the way.

    Beast-Man was on his haunches and snarling. One of them pulled a sword out.

    “LISTEN TO ME!” Negator shouted. “LISTEN TO ME!”

    There was a flash of light. Evil-Lynn slid next to Negator.

    “We are being very rude to our guest,” she chided the Evil Warriors. “We need to listen to his words.”

    “You believe him, Evil-Lynn?” Skeletor demanded.

    “The question is: why don’t you? He has nothing to lose and I suspect he is correct about Orko.”

    “The woman is right to trust me, Skeletor.” Negator stepped around Evil-Lynn. “I understand why it seems so shocking, but Orko is exceptionally powerful. Trollans are ninety percent magic-based. Only ten percent of their bodies are actually biological.”

    Skeletor pulled back his Havoc Staff. “Go on.”

    “As I said, Trollans are mostly magic-based beings. Orko himself is an exceptionally adept wizard.”

    “You woulda fooled me,” grumbled Mer-Man.

    “On Trolla, he was known as Orko the Great and performed many amazing feats,” Negator continued. “The exotic nature of Trollan magic has made his use of it here chaotic and wild. He can’t control it. But on Trolla, his reputation is abound with achievements. The only thing that truly keeps him from being at the top of this list is the fact that the power of Grayskull is simply greater than Orko’s magic.”

    “He has done some impossible things,” Spikor said. “I saw him create creatures out of nothing but thin air. You’ve always needed to create them out of bugs or rocks or - ”

    “That’s enough, Spikor!” Skeletor silenced him. “Negator, you have proven to be a disappointment. No one of this list is recruitable.”

    “If it makes you feel any better, you were number four.”

    “And I?” asked Evil-Lynn.

    “Five.”

    She smiled.

    “It’s not a total loss, Skeletor,” Tri-Klops interjected. “It gives me an idea, actually.”

    Skeletor turned to him. “And what is that?”

    “If Orko is as powerful as Negator says, then we might be able to take advantage of that. Orko is not nearly as protected as Grayskull. If we take him and use the Magic Stealer on him, we could transfer his power to you. It would make you as powerful as Orko – and even stronger, with your already great magic.”

    “Strong enough to conquer Grayskull,” Skeletor considered. “But the Magic Stealer was destroyed.”

    “We still have most of the parts and the schematics, Lord Skeletor,” Spikor offered. “It would need to be recalibrated to draw just from Orko, but with a few new parts, we should be able to - ”

    Skeletor cackled. “A brilliant idea! Now get to work!”

    “First we need Orko,” Tri-Klops replied. “That means another attack on Eternos.”

    Skeletor nodded and tapped his Havoc Staff against the floor. “Prepare the others, then, Tri-Klops. Time to pay King Randor and his little jester a visit.”

    --------

    Orko? More powerful than Skeletor? Who would have seen that coming?

    NEXT: Trouble at Eternos!
    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

  8. #8
    Formerly thew39 thew40's Avatar
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    Cringer looked up from the pond just as Teela was walking over. He swatted at Adam next to him, who was snoring loudly. Adam blinked awake and within seconds, saw the red head standing over him, hands on her hips and shaking her head.

    “Uh, Teela, what’s up?”

    “You’re not, for one.”

    Adam coughed and stood up. “Sorry. Cringer and I were fishing.”

    “And napping, too, I see,” Teela sighed. Much to his surprise, she sat down right next to where Adam was napping. She looked out at the pond and pulled her hair out from its tight ponytail. She shook it loose, a big red messy mane around her petite face.

    “Um, Teela, you okay?”

    “I’m exhausted!” she cried and fell backwards. “I’ve been running drills for three days. When I go to bed, I sleep for about three hours, and then I’m back up running more drills!”

    “Why?”

    “The night shift needs drills too.”

    “But why not let some of the Lieutenants do it?”

    “I don’t want them to. It’s my responsibility.” Teela looked around. The sun was high in the afternoon sky. The clouds were passing lazily across a bright blue sky.

    Adam was staring at her.

    “I’m sorry for the other day,” she offered. “It wasn’t right of me to explode at you like that. I was just upset.”

    “That’s okay, Teela. I understand.”

    She knew he didn’t, but didn’t bother to say it. Instead, she simply laid back on the soft green grass and stared at the endless sky. She heard Adam move up next to her; her best friend. She missed moments like this. It felt like years since they had laid on the grass and stared up . . . or anything really fun like that. Their lives were full danger now and times had been too hard to have very much fun at all.

    “This is a good napping spot,” she told him. “No wonder you always come out here.”

    “Yep, it’s my favorite.”

    Teela turned to him. “Adam, I know I’m tough on you . . .”

    Adam put his hand on hers. “Teela . . .”

    Sirens began to wail from the Palace.

    Teela withdrew her hand and was on her feet. She grabbed her comm-unit, which was just starting to go off. Adams went off as well and he snatched from his belt.

    “Four Collectors just landed at the secondary defense parameter!” reported the Comm-Tech. “Multiple vehicles sighted on an intercept course for Eternos Royal Palace and City!”

    “Adam, let’s go!”

    Adam, Teela, and Cringer ran for the road back into the Palace. At the gatehouse, two Royal Guards met with them.

    “Escort Prince Adam and Cringer back to the Palace,” Teela ordered. “Bring me a Sky Sled immediately.”

    “Yes, Captain.”

    “Teela!” Adam shouted as one of the Guards took into one of the secret executive tunnels into the Palace. “Be careful!”

    “I will,” Teela replied. Adam, Cringer, and the Guard vanished into the tunnel entrance just as Teela got back onto the Comm-Unit. “This is Captain Teela! All Royal Guards and Soldiers, this is a priority one, urgency A emergency! This is not a drill! We have in-coming adversaries!”

    The Sky Sled was presented to her. She nodded in thanks and hopped on. Within seconds, she was in the air, jetting over the city. Below, the masses were quickly moving into their designated secure areas. Guards were being deployed.

    “Lieutenant Spector, I want the City Security Plan Beta-Two implemented!” she called into her Comm-Unit.

    “Yes, Captain,” the Lieutenant replied.

    “Lieutenant Andras, initiate Palace Security Plan Alpha-Three.”

    “Moving into position, Captain,” replied Lieutenant Andras.

    “Royal Lieutenant, where is the Royal Family?”

    “King Randor and Queen Marlena are in lockdown, Captain. Prince Adam is en route.”

    “Keep me advised on Prince Adam.”

    ***

    Adam gave the Royal Guard the slip as soon as he could. He and Cringer made a run for it and were quickly intercepted by Orko.

    “What’s going on?” asked Orko.

    “We’re under attack. Get to safety, Orko.”

    “You got it!”

    Orko flew off and Adam and Cringer found a store room to make their change.

    “Ready Cringe?”

    “No!”

    “Sorry.” Adam withdrew the Sword of Power. He held it over his head just as he had so many times before. “BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL!”

    Power exploded from the tip of the Sword of Power, flashing down into Adam’s arm. In an instant, he was filled with the power of Grayskull. His muscles quadrupled in size. His skin darkened to a thick tan. His blonde hair grew longer and darker. Adam’s face matured and changed. His garb was swapped out for a harness and new loincloth and boots.

    “I HAVE THE POWER!”

    Adam, now He-Man, turned the energized Sword of Power to Cringer and blasted with him the same transformational power.

    Cringer’s small frame was bathed in power. He grew huge and ferocious; teeth sharpening, claws longer, and hide thicker. He roared as all his fears seemed a distant memory. Cringer was filled with testosterone and felt like nothing could stop him! Armor appeared across his massive, fearsome body and Cringer’s transformation into Battle-Cat was complete.

    He-Man leapt onto Battle-Cat’s back and the great tiger roared.

    “Ready, Cat?”

    “Ready He-Man!”

    ***

    Alarms screeched as Royal Soldiers and Royal Guards rushed around the Palace. Teela was standing at the Palace entrance alongside her father and Orko.

    “I want all Sky Sleds and Road Rippers to keep the City secure,” Teela ordered into the Comm-Unit. Her father was next her, punching commands into a computer pad. “We have in-coming Fright Fighters, so I want the Talon Fighters to focus on keeping them away from the Palace and the City if possible. Wind-Raiders are to remain in a secondary position defending the Palace.”

    “All Heroic Warriors, assume defensive posture Theta-One,” Man-At-Arms called into his own Comm-Unit.

    “Lieutenants, coordinate with Heroic Warriors,” Teela said with a nod. “I need a sitrep on Prince Adam, please.”

    “Adam and Cringer are safe,” He-Man said, stepping out of the Palace with Battle-Cat behind him.

    “Cancel that, He-Man has reported that the Prince is safe,” Teela then said. She put the unit on mute and faced the warrior. “Glad you’re here, He-Man. We have an emergency.”

    “So I’ve heard. We’re ready, Teela.”

    She smiled at him and got back onto the Comm-Unit. “We have in-coming Rotons, Spydors and Land Sharks. I want Bashasaurases, Lazer Blasters, and Battle-Rams in a defensive position around the city. Dragon Walkers and Attack Traks on hot stand-by. Blaster Hawks remain in position at the Palace. Coordinate all attacks with your Commanders.”

    “The Heroic Warriors are ready,” Man-At-Arms said, stepping up next to Teela. He-Man, Battle-Cat, and Orko stood by her as well.

    “Here they come,” He-Man said, watching as the Fright Fighters were growing larger in the distance. The dots that were the enemy vehicles were starting to take shape.

    “This is Captain Teela to all points. Prepare for battle.”

    ----------

    This was part where I really got back into my comfort zone with the characters. Huzzah! I have the power again!

    NEXT: Battle at Eternos!
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  9. #9
    Formerly thew39 thew40's Avatar
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    King Randor would not sit down. Even through the heavy walls, he could hear the sounds of explosions and feel the Palace vibrate with each strike. Marlena sat at the end of the table, hand over hand and simply stared at the screens.

    “I need be out there, defending my people, not hiding in a cage!”

    “That is not your place,” Marlena told him. “This is why we have the Heroic Warriors and the Royal Soldiers and . . . and He-Man.” He eyes locked onto the screen that showed the champion of Grayskull battling it out with Hover Robots.

    Randor stalked around the table, but did not give his wife a clear answer. The room rocked once again as something else exploded nearby.

    “Skeletor has been recruiting,” Queen Marlena said, looking at another screen. “He has new Evil Warriors among his old ones. I don’t recognize them.”

    King Randor grunted. “We’ve been hearing rumors of several sellswords and mercenaries finding work in Skeletor’s thrall. Let us hope that we’re up for it.”

    ***

    The ground below was littered with burning debris. The air sizzled with hot energy beams. Lazer Blasters continued to fire into the maw of the enemy. Bashasaurases drove forward, smashing as best they could the in-coming Land Shark. They often left a pile of slag, the robotic controllers broken amongst the wreckage.

    Spydors, however, gained a distinct. They dove in, faster than the Bashasaurases could act, and managed cause serious damage to the machines. Battle-Rams were rendered useless as well, with only Lazer Blasters being able to avoid the great mechanical arachnids.

    Royal Soldiers leapt from their vehicles, trying to regroup with the Dragon Walkers.

    Beneath a sky war between Talon Fighters and Fright Fighters, the city of Eternos was engulfed in violence. The gate to the city was wide open and both Hover Robots and Evil Warriors were pouring in.

    Laser beams cut through the marketplace, destroying stands and kiosks. They roared up in flames, huge plumes of smoke rising into the blue sky. Rio-Blast and Fisto arrived from securing one of the holdfasts, finding Roboto and a dozen Royal Guards outnumbered by Hover Robots, a score of Goblin mercenaries for hire, and both Trap-Jaw and Tri-Klops.

    “Here’s the plan,” Rio-Blast said after a moment of strategizing. “I’m gonna fire two rockets at those there Goblins. When I do, you, me, an’ Fisto are gonna charge the big baddies. The soldiers are attack the ‘bots. Got it?”

    “Let’s do it,” Fisto said, flexing the fingers of his massive mechanical fist.

    Rio-Blast lifted his head just long enough to see where the Goblin mercenaries were. With but a thought, his chest opened and twin rockets shot out. They spiral through the air and collided on the other side of the market. The ground rocked and smoke and debris blasted out.

    “NOW!”

    Roboto and Rio-Blast were in motion instantly, lasers firing. Fisto ran behind them, shoved out ahead, and leapt over a smoldering market stand, his fist drawing back. He landed on Trap-Jaw, his fist smashing into the villains jaw. Trap-Jaw staggered back, his one arm flailing, sparks spitting from his jaw.

    Trap-Jaw raised his laser bow, but Fisto’s huge hand crushed it. Fisto then elbowed Trap-Jaw in the head and he fell back, smacking against a wall. Trap-Jaw snagged a laser blaster from his belt and fired. Fisto deflected it, but it gave Trap-Jaw the chance he needed to get back on his feet and run. Fisto chased after him.

    Now far away, Tri-Klops took up protection behind a shattered stone wall. His eyes were constantly switching and he was firing away, aiming for both Roboto and Rio-Blast. The pair were able to deflect most of the attack and pressed on, blasting at the wall with their laser beams. Tri-Klops was pinned.

    Roboto’s sensors read the motion nearby, but it was too late. Two swords suddenly smashed into his back, through his chest and out the front. Energy conduits were cut, processers were heavily damaged, and most of his major systems were compromised.

    “ERROR!” Roboto shouted. His primary systems shut down.

    “Who in tarnation are you?” Rio-Blast asked, turning to the new arrival.

    The bald man withdrew his twin blades and turned to Roboto. He had an eye-patch over his right eye and his smile was playfully sinister.

    “Name’s Blade, you dumb hick.”

    He was about to leap onto Rio-Blast – when suddenly an energy beam slammed into the cowboy and he was thrown back. Blade turned to Tri-Klops and snarled.

    “Pay attention, one eye,” Tri-Klops goaded, leaping into the fray between the Royal Soldiers and the mercenaries.

    --------

    NEXT: Skeletor joins the fight!
    Tales of Masters of the Universe
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    Masters of the Universe: New Legacy
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  10. #10
    Formerly thew39 thew40's Avatar
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    Hover Robots swarmed on the Palace’s main entrance. Teela and Man-At-Arms had left to handle Jitsu, Beast-Man, and Evil-Lynn. He-Man, Battle-Cat, and Orko were left to defend the huge doors to the Palace. He-Man’s fists annihilated Hover Robots. His Power Sword sliced them apart. His shield deflected their weaponry. Battle-Cat was leaping and snatching them from the air and crushed them with his huge weight.

    “Here comes more of them!” Orko yelped as He-Man and Battle-Cat finished twenty of them.

    Thirty were dropping from the sky.

    “Orko, use your magic to widdle them down!”

    “Um . . . I don’t know what spell to use!”

    Laser fire began to rain down on the trio.

    “USE ANYTHING!”

    Orko went silent. He-Man, taking cover behind his shield, glanced back the Trollan. Orko suddenly shot into the air and waved his hands. There was a huge puff of pink magic around a third of the Hover Robots. At least ten tin cans fell to the ground.

    “Good job, Orko!” He-Man laughed, smashing his shield into an in-coming pair.

    A furious explosion of magic went up around them. He-Man, Battle-Cat, and Orko were thrown in three directions. He-Man rolled onto his feet, having taken the brunt of it. His skin was smoldering and his muscles ached, but he had to be ready.

    Skeletor landed just beyond the statue of King Gray the Great and rose to his feet. His Havoc Staff was brimming with power.

    “I wondered when you would show up,” He-Man declared.

    The Havoc Staff and the Sword of Power collided. Magic sparked from the contact point. Skeletor stepped back, swinging the Havoc Staff out at He-Man, unleashing a bolt of energy at He-Man’s chest. He-Man’s harness rattled on him and he stumbled backwards. He-Man leapt up, Sword of Power glinting in the sunlight as he came down upon Skeletor.

    Skeletor shifted out of the way, black smoke flowing from him in his wake. He-Man lost himself for a moment and felt the sting of another energy bolt.

    “Skeletor!” He-Man roared, rushing out of the smoke and heading towards the skull-faced villain.

    Lightning shot from the Havoc Staff, but He-Man managed to avoid all of them, charging at Skeletor with all of his might. He leapt over a pile of debris and came upon Skeletor, his blade crashing against Skeletor’s staff. Energy flashed and flared. Skeletor raised his hand to summon more lightning, but He-Man grabbed his wrist and tossed Skeletor to his left.

    “Fool!” Skeletor shouted.

    “That’s enough, Skeletor,” He-Man said, walking towards his old enemy. “Call off your forces.”

    Skeletor jerked his head towards Orko.

    He-Man followed his line of sight.

    A man dressed in all black appeared from out of nowhere. Before either He-Man or Orko could react, the man pulled out a small box from his belt and opened it.

    “ORKO!”

    “What – what – what’s happening?!” Orko shouted.

    Shadows flew out form the box and wrapped all around the Trollan. Orko was dragged inside the box, which closed up immediately. Symbols along the sides of the box lit up with power, sealing Orko inside.

    “Good work, Ninjor,” Skeletor said, rising to his feet.

    “RELEASE HIM!” He-Man roared, his heart racing. He raced towards Ninjor, but the ninja was faster. He leapt off the side of the stairs and seemed to vanish in thin air.

    “Another time, He-Man,” Skeletor said, firing another bout of lightning at the hero. “Evil Warriors! Begin extraction!”

    He-Man leapt at Skeletor, but the villain swept away. He jumped onto the shoulder of King Gray the Great and then leapt again onto an Air Board. Skeletor rode it off, shooting above the city.

    He-Man was about to run after him – when suddenly, explosions began to go off over the city. Hover Robots were self-destructing. Battle-Cat shoved him down at a dozen nearby Hover Robots exploded, unleashing flames and debris all around them.

    And then it was over. The Evil Warriors and their mercenaries were gone – and they had Orko with them.

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

    NEXT: Castle Grayskull has a visitor! The gang recovers from their battle!
    Tales of Masters of the Universe
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    Masters of the Universe: New Legacy
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  11. #11
    Formerly thew39 thew40's Avatar
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    The Sorceress snapped open her eyes and she rose to full height. She could sense the power growing in the throne room; the cosmic energies were gathering. A portal was opening. Standing from her throne, the Sorceress walked down the stairs and watched as golden light began to form. Very few had the capability to open a portal within the walls of Castle Grayskull and the man that emerged was one of them.

    “Zodak.”

    “Sorceress,” Zodak responded. “The impossible scenario we spoke of has occurred. I must speak with He-Man.”

    ***

    Smoke lingered in the streets of Eternos. The all clear had been given, but the citizens were not permitted to leave their homes just yet. Engineers and workers were performing checks on the major battle grounds, making sure the city was safe. The Heroic Warriors were being de-briefed. Roboto was in critical condition.

    King Randor and Prince Adam walked through the infirmary, which was packed.

    “Forty-three injuries, two of which are major,” King Randor reported. “Three Bashasaurases have been destroyed, two have been damaged. Two Lazer Bolts and one Talon Fighter destroyed. Heavy damage to the Main Gate, the Marketplace, the Ridgeway, and the Palace entrance.”

    Prince Adam took notes, both mental and physical.

    “One captive,” Adam added.

    King Randor reached the end of the infirmary and looked outside. The sun had set. “Orko. Why Orko? And where was Negator? What is Skeletor doing?”

    “Father, I think we need to consult with the Sorceress. She may have some clue that we’re missing.”

    “Go with He-Man, son.”

    “I will.”

    Randor’s gaze turned to the courtyard. Adam followed it and saw that his father was looking at Teela. Teela was talking to about a dozen soldiers.

    “Excuse me,” King Randor said, stepping from his son.

    ***

    “The defenses for the Main Gate failed after five minutes. We need to find out why,” Teela said, pacing before the Royal Soldiers. “The Ridgeway was also seized too easily. Where were the reserves?”

    “Captain Teela,” King Randor stated, approaching her and the Royal Soldiers.

    Teela stopped in her tracks. The Royal Soldiers stood at attention.

    “King Randor, your highness.”

    “Soldiers, you are dismissed. Teela, a word please.”

    Teela gulped and watched as her soldiers began to walk off. She turned to the King. “Your highness.” Teela bowed. “Please accept my apologies. I am prepared to resign my position as Captain.”

    “Rise, Captain. Your resignation is not necessary.”

    Teela stood to full height and looked at the king. His express was unreadable.

    “I do not understand, sire. I failed you.”

    “Did you? No major damage was done to the city. No citizens were harmed. No one died.”

    “Orko has been taken.”

    King Randor nodded. “Yes. In light of that, this was no failure. You successfully fought off our enemies and protected the Palace. You have done well, Captain.” He stepped back. “Thank you.”

    ***

    The jawbridge clanked open, the old wood creaking, the chains clattering as they lowered the door. He-Man sat atop Battle-Cat, the sky above him slowly starting to fill with morning light.

    The foyer doors swung open and He-Man and Battle-Cat entered the throne room. He-Man found the Sorceress seated on her throne. He was surprised to find Zodak standing off to the side, his fingers steepled. He-Man looked the Cosmic Enforcer over, curious as to what could bring him here.

    “He-Man,” the Sorceress, greeted and stood.

    “Sorceress. Zodak . . .”

    “He-Man, I was pleased to know that you were on your way when the Sorceress summoned you. Time is of the essence.”

    “So it is.” He-Man looked back at the Sorceress. “Orko has been captured.”

    “I know,” the Sorceress answered. “We know why.”

    “Skeletor has plans to strip Orko of all his magic and combine it with his own. If he succeeds, Skeletor may end up being a greater threat ever before.”

    “I will defeat Skeletor.”

    “This has far reaching repercussions,” Zodak replied. “If Skeletor’s Magic Stealer is in fact properly modified to absorb Orko’s powers, then it is possible that this technology will be replicated. This could spell certain doom for Trolla.”

    “Skeletor is not the in business of selling secrets,” He-Man said.

    “No, but Negator is. His involvement in this plot was what brought my attention to this matter. Negator is in touch with several interstellar and intergalactic networks. I began to suspect his intentions when he made inquiries about Trolla – and Orko, in particular. Based on your previous encounter with the Magic Stealer, it was logical for me to arrive and make you aware of this threat.”

    “So you’ll help me?”

    “I cannot. My role here is clearly defined. I am to contain the effects of the Magic Stealer to Eternia. It has to be you who must stop Skeletor from completing his adaption of the device and ultimately stealing Orko’s power.”

    “Adaption?”

    “Skeletor’s Magic Stealer must be finely tuned to Orko’s power levels,” the Sorceress stated. “To that end, Zodak and I have deduced what he will need to do such a thing. A Quantum Fusion Regulator – a device found in the city of Farnies. He will also need the Infinite Diamond, which is located in the Vaults of Vikor. If you can find these devices before Skeletor, then all you have to do is rescue Orko.”

    “Oh, that’s all, huh?” He-Man shook his head. “You two make it seem so easy.”

    The Sorceress looked He-Man straight in the eyes. “I have faith in you, He-Man.” She offered him a small smile. “I know that you can do this.”

    ***

    The box that contained Orko rattled and vibrated in Skeletor’s hands. He set it down and encased it within a spherical force field. He lifted his head and looked at those assembled within his throne room. To his left were his oldest warriors – Evil-Lynn, Beast-Man, Trap-Jaw, Tri-Klops, and Mer-Man. To this right were his newest additions – Blade, Saurod, and Ninjor. Negator stood at the end of the room, looking bored.

    “Excellent job,” Skeletor said. “Force once.”

    “The task is not yet complete, Skeletor,” Negator spoke up. “As we have discussed, there are modifications to be made to - ”

    “I do not recall giving you permission to speak!” Skeletor snarled. Panthor, who had sat at Skeletor’s feet, rose and hissed.

    “I am not one of your warriors, Skeletor. I am here now on my own accord.”

    “No. You are here because I permit it.” Skeletor waved his hand. “It is no matter. Yes, we have two missions to complete. The Quantum Fusion Regulator must be taken from those fools at Farnies. I will be attending that personally. Tri-Klops, you will take Blade, Two-Bad, Beast-Man, and Stinkor to the Vaults of Vikor to steal the Infinite Diamond.”

    “Yes, Skeletor,” Tri-Klops answered, nodding to his commandos.

    “Dismissed.”

    The group began to walk out of the throne room, but Evil-Lynn lingered. When they were gone, she looked at the force field-enclosed box as it vibrated and shook.

    “Negator is a dangerous ally, Skeletor,” she said, looking back up at her master.

    “I know what I am doing, Evil-Lynn.”

    “I have no doubts. I am simply telling you that it is a matter of time before Negator betrays you. I am more than certain of this.”

    “Exactly why I am bringing him with me to Farnies.” Skeletor tapped his Havoc Staff as he stood up. Panthor followed Skeletor out the door. “I have been an enemy of Eternia for a long time, Evil-Lynn. I know who my enemies are.”

    “I hope that was not a veiled threat.”

    “My dear Evil-Lynn . . . if you give me nothing to be concerned about, then I have no reason to doubt your loyalty.”

    Evil-Lynn came to a stop at the entrance to the hanger. “Snake Mountain awaits your return.”

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

    NEXT: The Vaults of Vikor!
    Last edited by thew40; March 18, 2012 at 12:01pm.
    Tales of Masters of the Universe
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  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior Drakken's Avatar
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    Awesome! Love reading these every time.
    For the Honor, for the Glory, for the Power of GRAYSKULL!!!

  13. #13
    Formerly thew39 thew40's Avatar
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    The Talon Fighter shot across the sky. Man-At-Arms was in the pilots’ chair, He-Man next to him, and Battle-Cat sat behind them, snoozing loudly. The Mystic Mountain loomed before them, huge and imposing. Huge and gray with white, snow-capped peaks.

    “I’m troubled by these new mercenaries of Skeletors,” He-Man confessed.

    “They are dangerous. I’ve heard of two of them.”

    “Yeah?”

    “Saurod is a renegade Repton. Blade is reputed to be one of his finest swordsmen on Eternia. Unfortunately, they are driven by only one thing – gold. And Skeletor has a fair amount of that.”

    He-Man took in a deep breath.

    “Something tells me that it’s more than just Skeletor’s mercenaries that bothers you.”

    “There is.” He-Man gripped the hilt of his Power Sword. “I don’t trust Zodak.”

    “Oh?”

    “He has never truly steered us wrong. I understand his role . . . to an extent. I don’t agree with some of his decisions, like his allying with Skeletor to counter-balance the forces of evil against good. And I didn’t agree with what happened to Zanthos. But I understand that Zodak is part of a larger organization. A more powerful organization and that is an order to that. That being said . . .”

    “You still don’t trust him.”

    “Right.” He-Man looked out the front window as snowflakes began to spiral around them. “Why doesn’t he just destroy the Magic Stealer? Why doesn’t he just free Orko for us?”

    “It’s not his way, I suppose.” Man-At-Arms flicked a few switches. He-Man felt the engines increase in strength. “Zodak has also tested you, remember? Need I remind of the affair with the Starseed?”

    He-Man didn’t need reminding. He could still recall the vast amount of power of the Starseed and the intoxication of that power. That had been a test for He-Man. Maybe this was simply another one.

    “All I’m saying is that perhaps he’s looking to make sure you understand the larger picture of how things work.” Man-At-Arms glanced at the monitor in the center console. The Talon Fighter dove left and started its descent. “There is a big universe around us. If the old legends are true, we are at the center of it. Grayskull, the Sorceress, Skeletor, Zodak, you – there’s a fundamental connection between all of you. Seeing the larger picture may just be worth your while.”

    “It certainly doesn’t make my life any easier.”

    Man-At-Arms chuckled. “Welcome to adulthood.”

    The Talon Fighter landed on a wide ledge of the mountain they set out for. Man-At-Arms was about to open the hood when the comm-line opened.

    “Go ahead.”

    “This is Man-E-Faces. I just wanted to report back and let you know that we’ve arrived at Farnies. Nothing to report yet.”

    “Good to hear. We will be on our way to secure the Infinite Diamond from here on out. Radio silence, please.”

    “Understood. Man-E-Faces out.”

    The hood popped open. He-Man leapt out, followed by Battle-Cat and Man-At-Arms. Man-At-Arms closed and secured it.

    “I hope Orko is okay,” Battle-Cat muttered.

    “We need to remember that Skeletor needs him alive. And we have our little team on it.” Man-At-Arms pulled out a computer pad. “This way.”

    He-Man followed Man-At-Arms and Battle-Cat trailed behind. He-Man barely felt the cold; his harness gave him warmth even in these temperatures. They started up an old, rocky trail that was luckily light on snow.

    “Did you know that Vikor was one of your ancestors?”

    He-Man blinked. “No. Really?”

    “Yes. Grandfather of King Gray the Great, actually.” Man-At-Arms heaved himself up a particularly large rock. “After the time of King Tamask and his era of peace, the royal throne was disposed of by the Royal Council. They were in league with the Fighting Foe Men. The prince was imprisoned.”

    “I . . . I never knew that.”

    “There’s not a lot of talk about it. The Fighting Foe Men held sway over Eternos for almost twenty-five years. Even the Council of Elders couldn’t touch them, because of they were working through the Royal Council. Luckily, Prince Vikor rose up his army and reclaimed his throne.”

    “I never knew that either. How did you know that?”

    Man-At-Arms gave He-Man a wry grin. “The Men-At-Arms are tasked with maintaining the knowledge of the Royal Family. There are very few secrets that we don’t know about.”

    He-Man laughed a little, in spite of everything.

    They climbed the trail a little further and soon came to the Vaults of Vikor. Built into the wall of the mountain, two huge statues stood sentinel next to a wide open door. The statues were of ancient knights; their stone bodies half covered in ice and snow. It was amazing they were still intact to the extent they were here.

    The entrance was wide open and there, within, was a long, barren corridor. The cold wind blasted inside it; the walls and floor were almost solid ice. The three of them walked carefully down the corridor until they reached an ancient stone door.

    “Here we are,” He-Man said. He shoved on the cold stone surface. The door swung open with a push from He-Man (it would have taken Man-At-Arms all day to get it to move an inch).

    Within was a long, tall chamber. Through slates in the cathedral ceiling, light and snow poured down into the chamber. Along the walls were more statues of strange creatures that must have been Vikor’s allies back in his days rebelling against the Fighting Foe Men. A dozen broken doors were along the walls, each leading to empty vaults; raided by pirates and thieves.

    At the end of the chamber was a massive statue of Vikor himself. He was a huge, imposing man. Thick jawed and long haired with a horned helmet upon his head. He wore a shield on his left arm and a held an axe in his right hand. His cloaked looked like it was supposed to made of fur. Small bones ordained his neck. Old chains hung from his gauntlets. He-Man had never seen a more life-like statue, even made of such old stone.

    “He-Man, I smell something strange,” Battle-Cat announced.

    “What is it?” Man-At-Arms asked, looking around.

    “I sense it,” He-Man replied.

    “Sense what?”

    “Magic,” He-Man answered. He raised his blade a little higher.

    The chamber shook. The snow that drifted through the skylights began to swirl around them. The entire chamber began to feel charged with energy.

    “WHO ARE YOU?” a thick, male voice thundered. “WHY ARE YOU HERE?”

    “I am He-Man. I have come for the Infinite Diamond.”

    “YOU SHALL NOT HAVE IT.”

    “Is it here?”

    “YES.”

    He-Man glanced at Man-At-Arms. “I must have it, otherwise it may be taken by force.”

    “WHO ARE YOU?”

    “I am He-Man, champion of Grayskull, wielder of the Sword of Power, protector of the realm of Eternos, and defender of all life.”

    “WHO ARE YOU?”

    Man-At-Arms put his hand on He-Man’s shoulder. “I don’t think he means He-Man . . .”

    He-Man gulped and glanced around. He then raised his sword. “LET THE POWER RETURN!”

    Lightning clapped around him and He-Man’s body immediately dissolved into that of Prince Adam. Battle-Cat was reverted back into Cringer.

    “WHO ARE YOU?”

    “I am Prince Adam, son of King Randor, Prince of Eternos, Heir to the Royal Throne, and Keeper to Be of the Royal House. I have come seeking the Infinite Diamond for safekeeping. Powerful enemies are on their way to steal it by force.”

    There was a pause. Then, upon the dais before the statue of Vikor, a bright golden light shined up. Adam stepped forward, leaving behind a cautious Man-At-Arms and a whimpering Cringer. Adam, bathed in the light, looked down and saw many different symbols on the dais. There were all lit with the golden light and they moved slowly together, forming the shape of a diamond.

    The Infinite Diamond appeared in Adam’s hand. It big; the size of an apple and when Adam looked into it, the diamond almost looked as though it contained stars. Thousands upon thousands of stars suspended within the lattice of the diamond.

    “Amazing,” Adam remarked.

    “ADAM! GET DOWN!”

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

    Why? Find out soon!
    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
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  14. #14
    Formerly thew39 thew40's Avatar
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    Laser fire filled the chamber. Red and green energy beams sliced through the cold air. Adam leapt off the dais, Cringer bounding after him. Man-At-Arms had his left hand filled with his laser pistol and was firing away. Tri-Klops, Blade, Stinkor, Beast-Man, and Two-Bad were at the entrance. Tri-Klops’ eyes spun, each one unleashing another blast at the trio.

    Beast-Man snarled and leapt in, followed quickly by Blade. The pair darted toward Adam and Cringer. Cringer jumped away, squeaking in terror. Adam stood his ground and ducked beneath one of Beast-Man’s swipes. Blade pulled out both his swords and swung at Prince Adam. Adam blocked the swords with his Power Sword, but it only barely saved him.

    Man-At-Arms let loose with his blaster canon, keeping Tri-Klops at bay. Two-Bad approached from the side. Man-At-Arms spun, his mace slipping into his right hand just as blaster canon fell to his left. He fired another shot at Tri-Klops, spun again, and smashed the mace into the two heads of Two-Bad.

    Two-Bad fell backwards, allowing Man-At-Arms to turn his attention back to Adam and Blade. Unfortunately, Beast-Man took that moment to jump onto Man-At-Arms and throw him to the ground. Man-At-Arms’ face was covered in drool and spittle as Beast-Man roared in laughter just a few inches away.

    With but the slick of a wrist, a taser slipped out of Man-At-Arms’ wrist gauntlet and he slammed it into Beast-Man’s side. Beast-Man snarled and stumbled back, arms waving. Man-At-Arms ducked an energy beam from Tri-Klops and struck Beast-Man with the taser again. He then grabbed Beast-Man’s body and used to take yet another blast from Tri-Klops.

    The rotten smell of dirty diapers and spoiled milk filled the vicinity. Man-At-Arms slid his mouth cover in place and tossed Beast-Man into Stinkor.

    He turned to approaching Tri-Klops and was about to engage him – when, suddenly, he heard a shout from Blade.

    “Drop the weapon!”

    Man-At-Arms turned and saw Blade holding Adam by the hair, his sword at the Prince’s neck.

    “Drop the weapon, Man-At-Arms, or the prince dies.”

    “I would listen to him,” Tri-Klops threatened, his own sword now raised at pointing at Man-At-Arms.

    Man-At-Arms let his blaster fall to the ground, along with his taser.

    “Drop the Infinite Diamond,” Blade grunted at Adam. “Drop it!”

    “Adam . . . do as he says.”

    Adam hesitated, but the look on Duncan’s face told him that they had no choice. Adam let go of the diamond and fell hard to the ground. Blade scooped it up and stepped away from Adam.

    Man-At-Arms struck at that moment. A freeze ray shot from his wrist. Blade moved fast to avoid being struck, but the ice it produced separated the bounty hunter from Adam.

    He ducked to avoid a swipe from Tri-Klops and then fired flared from the left side of his armor. They blinded Tri-Klops for a few precious seconds. He fired his freeze ray at Tri-Klops, incasing him in cryogenic ice. Darts came shooting out from Blade. All but one Man-At-Arms avoided. This one cut into his armor, but the tip didn’t get to his skin.

    Man-At-Arms grabbed his blaster and let loose. Energy bolts shoot across the chamber, but Blade was fast.

    Blade went running for the exit. Two-Bad hauled the frozen Tri-Klops onto his back and dashed as quickly as he could after Blade. Stinkor was dragging Beast-Man after him.

    Adam and Man-At-Arms chased them out, but several small explosions went off around the entrance. A Fright Fighter was hanging in the air and they were boarded it best they could. Man-At-Arms and Adam ducked back inside as the Fright Fighter launched as best it could away from the mountain.

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

    NEXT: The Heroic Warriors protect the Quantum Fusion Generator -- but all isn't as it seems!
    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

  15. #15
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    “We have in-coming!”

    Ram-Man, Man-E-Faces, Rio-Blast, and Buzz-Off all watched as Stratos landed on the balcony in front of them. “Skeletor’s cronies?”

    Stratos shocked his head. “A Roton, moving in fast. The city’s defenses will be useless against. It’s protected by some kind of magical shield.”

    “That means Skeletor himself,” Man-E-Faces said grimly.

    The city of Farnise came alive around them. It was the technological jewel of Eternia; a city powered by computers and automated systems. But it was also a ripe target. Throughout the city, laser weapons came on-line and began to fire at the in-coming Roton. Unfortunately, the weapons were simply deflected off Skeletor and Negator’s force field.

    “Let’s go!” Stratos shouted, rushing the others inside. The room where the Quantum Fusion Generator was being stored was huge and round, with banks of computers covering all the walls. The Quantum Fusion Generator sat in the center of the room, a cone shaped machine with half-spheres that circled around the it; the half-spheres glowed hotly with energy. At the top of the cone was a small blue sphere of energy that was constantly spinning.

    “The enemy vessel is approaching fast,” shouted the Chief Protector of the City through Stratos’ comm-line. “We have been unable to get through its force field.”

    Stratos looked to the others. Man-E-Faces was debating on what personality to manifest. Ram-Man was stretching his legs. Buzz-Off grasped the handle on his axe. Rio-Blast energized his weapons.

    Now came the wait. Outside, alarms howled and weapons fired. The building began to shake as the Roton came even closer. Stratos balled his hands into his fists and flex his wings.

    A loud beeping came from one of the computer terminals. Buzz-Off spun to it and watched as files were opened and data was being stolen.

    “They’re hacking into the system!”

    “He must have Negator with him,” Stratos concluded.

    The Heroic Warriors rushed to the balcony, but several energy blasts slammed around them. Pinned down, they had no choice but to watched the Roton shoot back into the sky, launching towards Snake Mountains once more.

    The Chief Protector and the Lead Engineer arrived on the scene shortly.

    “We just discovered the hacking signal,” the Engineer yelped. “They stole the schematics for the Quantum Fusion Generator!

    “I don’t understand,” Buzz-Off questioned. “Why would they download the schematics when they could just steal it?”

    Stratos shook his head. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

    ***

    “It makes perfect sense,” Man-At-Arms said into the comm-line. “The Quantum Fusion Generator is too large for them to steal and integrate with the Magic Stealer. They’re building a new one to match their scale. King Randor sent a message to me. Since the schematics were stolen, four laboratories and storehouses have been raided by Evil Warriors and Skeletor’s mercenaries. They’re moving quickly.”

    “Then what is our next move?” asked Stratos from Farnies.

    Man-At-Arms flicked a few switches in front of him. The Talon Fighter shifted its position and headed southwest. “Regroup at Eternos. We’ll join you there and await word from our extraction team.”

    “Understood. See you there.”

    The comm-line cut out. “That’s two failures,” He-Man grumbled.

    Man-At-Arms powered up the thrusters. “We’re not out yet. Don’t lose faith, He-Man. Orko is depending on us. Eternia is depending on us.” The Talon Fighter shifted again. “One hour from Eternos. Let’s hope we hear good news from Teela by then.”

    ***

    The trek to Snake Mountain took hours. Teela and her team specifically parked the Talon Fighter away from Snake Mountain, so as to better hide themselves from the terrifying fortress. But every lost minute due to the walk just frustrated Teela. The buzz of activity above them didn’t help matters either. Rotars and Fright Fighters had been shooting in and out of Snake Mountain the past several hours.

    The bottom of Snake Mountain was jagged and broken; a wall of huge rocky spires protected the mountain. There was the main entrance in the front, but it was impossibility. Fortunately, in their battles with Skeletor, Teela did learn of one other, hidden entrance. It was on the south side of the mountain. She led Fisto, Mekaneck, and Sy-Clone between a small break in the spires and to an ancient, wind-worn set of stairs.

    “Everyone hang on,” Teela warned. They had quite a ways to go.

    And Teela had a bad feeling they were running out of time.

    ----------

    NEXT: Teela's right! They are running out of time!
    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

  16. #16
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    Skeletor and Negator walked down the long corridor and into the lab. Here, a pair of pyramids stood, the middle sections of which were made of glass. Spikor, Tri-Klops, and Trap-Jaw all worked on the final calibrations.

    “The Infinite Diamond is in place,” Spikor said, pointing to the pyramid on the right. “We have also finished our own Quantum Fusion Generator.” He pointed at the pyramid on the left. Several large machines connected the two pyramids and with a quick switch, they all came to life.

    Others began to gather. Evil-Lynn, Beast-Man, Mer-Man, Blade, Saurod, Stinkor – they all took positions near the entrance. Skeletor saw Kobra Kahn and Webstor lingering in the corridor. He took in a breath and glanced at Negator. Negator was going a final check-through on the Quantum Fusion Generators.

    “They look good,” Negator reported. “Your minions did good work, Skeletor. I have no idea why you would want supplement or replace them.”

    “After today, I will no longer need them.” Skeletor walked towards the pyramid on the left and opened the door. “First the Trollan’s power . . . and then Grayskulls. I will be beyond minions and armies.” Skeletor glanced at them. “But they all shall be rewarded for their loyalty.”

    “That’s my boss!” Beast-Man quipped.

    “Silence, fur-face! Bring out the prisoner!”

    Evil-Lynn brought out the force field orb. Within, the box rattled and shook, the symbols along the sides lighting up hotly. Evil-Lynn placed the force field in front of the pyramid on the right. Skeletor tapped his staff on the floor. The force field vanished and the box fell to the ground. The latches snapped open and Orko came spinning out.

    “It’s about time you let me outta there!”

    “Welcome, Orko, to your final hour!” Skeletor shouted.

    “Just you wait until He-Man hears what you’ve done, Skeletor! He should be busting through that door at any second!” Orko yelled.

    A web shot out and grabbed Orko. He was then whipped into the pyramid and the door was closed behind him.

    “I do hope you’ve enjoyed your magic, Orko,” Skeletor said with a cackle. “You’ve used it for the last time.”

    A giant boxing glove shot out from Orko’s hand. It struck the glass, but nothing happened.

    “NOW!” Skeletor commanded.

    A beam of energy connected the two pyramids. A glowing light formed around Orko and he could feel himself becoming weaker and weaker. Lightning began to gather around Skeletor.

    Negator stepped forward and pressed a button on his wrist.

    A beam of energy came out from Skeletor’s pyramid and hit Negator. The lightning that was flowing into Skeletor now flowed into Negator.

    “YOU WERE A FOOL TO TRUST ME!” Negator shouted, his body glowing with power.

    Orko fell to the ground in a heap as the light around him intensified.

    The Evil Warriors all leapt into an attack position . . . except for Tri-Klops and Skeletor. Much to their surprise, Skeletor began to laugh.

    “And you were a fool to believe I didn’t see this coming!” Skeletor cackled.

    Tri-Klops flipped a switch. A pyramid flew up from the ground and encapsulated Negator. The lightning was gone and the beam was broken. A new beam formed at the top of Negator’s pyramid. It shot into Skeletor’s, same as Orko. Lightning flowed into Skeletor.

    “Nooooooooo,” Negator protested as his magic was stolen from him.

    Orko was trying to sit up, but the glow had grown heavy around him.

    Skeletor’s pyramid was glowing white hot, magic continuing to flow into him. He laughed as more of it poured into body. His could feel his strength tripling. He could sense new plains of existence, he could communicate with creatures unseen, and he could taste the electro-magnetic field. Skeletor wanted more.

    Sparks began to fly from the machines. Spikor was yelling something over the din of power. The glass in the pyramid started to break from the power strain. But still Skeletor wanted more. He could sense the last of Negator’s energy enter him, but Orko’s magic was felt like a never-ending feast. It was so exotic, but he took it all the same, adding it to his might.

    And then it was over. With a final burst of magic and power, Skeletor had taken all that Orko and Negator had. He stepped out of the pyramid, his body glowing with pure power.

    “Orko’s life-signs are weak,” Tri-Klops said. “He’s barely breathing.”

    “The same with Negator,” followd-up Trap-Jaw.

    “Leave them to die,” Skeletor responded. He opened his hand and fireworks flashed in his palm. “We march on Grayskull now.”

    “All of us?” asked Evil-Lynn.

    “I am beyond all of you,” Skeletor hissed. “However, you have all proven loyalty. Recall that I reward loyalty. March with me and we shall join together in the victory! To Castle Grayskull!”

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

    NEXT: He-Man and the others get ready for a big ol' battle!
    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

  17. #17
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    Moments later, several Fright Fighters and Rotons flew out from Snake Mountain, heading west to Castle Grayskull. Snake Mountain was left in the hands of Clawful and Whiplash, two capable warriors, but not the brightest. The two of them a handful of Skeletor’s mercenaries protected the fortress. Not very well, though.

    Teela led Fisto, Sy-Clone, and Mekaneck into the lab with relative ease.

    “We were too late!” she cried, opening Orko’s pyramid.

    In her arms, Orko felt so light and boney, as though he was barely more than his clothes. The scarf and hat hid his face. She was tempted to look at him, but she remembered that on Trolla, only a true love was permitted to look at their real face. Teela paused and brought the scarf up at little onto what she could see of Orko’s blue head. She held him against his chest, his small body barely moving.

    ‘It’s not too late to save Orko,’ the Sorceress broadcasted into Teela’s mind. ‘Bring him to Castle Grayskull and I may be able to keep him alive.’

    Teela nodded. “Let’s get out of here. We’ll steal a Roton and take it back to our Talon Fighter.” Teela paused and saw the fallen form of Negator. She smirked a little. “Grab him too. King Randor will be happy to have him behind bars again.”

    ***

    Light poured down from the windows and fell upon Zodak, casting a long shadow on the stone floor. He-Man and the Sorceress approached him, the sounds of their footsteps echoing throughout the chamber.

    “You have failed in your missions, He-Man. Skeletor has claimed Orko’s power and is on his way to Castle Grayskull.”

    “I know,” He-Man responded. He and Man-At-Arms changed course and landed here as soon as Teela called it in. “What will you do about this?”

    Zodak steepled his fingers. “I told you once before, He-Man. My role is clearly defined. I am to attend to the Magic Stealer and the potential threat to Trolla.”

    He-Man crossed his arms across his chest. “You serve the balance. Your role is defined by balancing good and evil. Correct?”

    “In simple terms, yes, though in a bigger picture, it is far more complicated.”

    “Skeletor has gained Orko’s power. The balance is tipped against us.”

    Zodak looked He-Man over. “You are unable to fight him?”

    “The balance is tipped, Zodak,” the Sorceress said. Her voice was stern. “Skeletor cannot enter Castle Grayskull.”

    Zodak took in a deep breath. “A force field is all I can provide. However, it may not stand against Skeletor’s new power.”

    “Fine. Good enough.” He-Man stomped out of the room. The Sorceress glanced back at Zodak, then followed He-Man out.

    “We still may be able to save Orko, but we do not have much time. Orko’s body is still unstable enough to receive the magic that was taken from him.”

    He-Man turned to her. “Tell me what I need to do and I’ll do it. Orko is my best friend. I will not let him down. Not anymore.”

    The Sorceress perked an eyebrow. “You believe you have let him down?”

    “Skeletor kidnapped him right under my nose. We lost the Infinite Diamond and the schematics to the Quantum Fusion Generator. If we lose Orko . . . if he . . .” He-Man struggled for his words. The Sorceress could see the pain in his eyes, the weariness and fear on his face.

    “I have not known Orko as long you, but I do know this. Orko knows that you would do anything to save him. Everything in your power, He-Man, to save him and stop Skeletor. No matter how this ends, you must remember that. You may fail, but in end, Orko knows that you never stopped trying.”

    He-Man looked down and he turned his head, hiding his face in the shadows. Silence hung between them for a moment before He-Man began to speak again, his voice shaky and unstable.

    “You – you mentioned there was a way to save him? To restore his power?”

    “Orko’s biomolecular structure is still unstable from the transference. Once it stabilizes, Orko will most likely die from lack of magic. If this is timed correctly, you must allow Skeletor to strike the Sword of Power with Orko’s stolen magic. Once it hits the Sword of Power, you can use the connection Orko’s magic and redirect it to Orko.”

    He-Man raised his head and blinked. “I’ve – I’ve never done anything like that before.” He shook his head. “Is that even possible?”

    “It is.” She took a step forward. “The Sword of Power belongs to you. It is your blade. You must use it in this way – or Orko will be lost.”

    He-Man unsheathed the Sword of Power and studied it. “I’ll do everything in my power.”

    “Remember, He-Man, it is not the amount of power that matters. It’s how you use it.” She looked to the west. “Skeletor draws near, He-Man. Prepare yourself for battle.”

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

    NEXT: Battle!
    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

  18. #18
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    There were no war drums, but their heartbeats were close enough. Royal Soldiers lined the rocky terrain before Castle Grayskull, lasers primed and blades sharp. Flags baring the royal crest flapped in the air, along with the ancient symbol of Grayskull. There were barely fifty of them – the only soldiers in the area – but they had seen battle, tasted war, and were ready as ever.

    Man-At-Arms, Ram-Man, Man-E-Faces, Rio-Blast, and Buzz-Off positioned themselves defensively around the wide open plain. He-Man and Battle-Cat sat on the land bridge, centered just at the thrust of battle.

    “Five minutes out,” Stratos reported, landing next to Man-At-Arms.

    “Understood.” Man-At-Arms pressed the side of his helmet, immediately connecting him with all of the soldiers. “Mega-laser battalions, aim for the Rotons and Fright Fighters and don’t let up for a second. We want them scattered and disorganized as soon as they get here. Ground troops, support the Heroic Warriors as best you can. Grayskull cannot fall. We will not let it.”

    Rotons and Fright Fighters shot through the sky suddenly, streaking towards them, engines blaring. Royal Soldiers fired almost immediately, scoring shots against the enemy vessels. Talon Fighters swept in from the south and the battle in the air was joined immediately.

    It didn’t take long for the battle to break out on the ground after that.

    Rio-Blast drew his weapons as Beast-Man rushed at him. He ducked and rolled under the monsters first approach. He rose onto his worn leather boots and narrowly avoided a sharp swipe from Beast-Man’s claws. Rio-Blast stepped back and fired. Laser beams crashed against him, sending him to the ground in a furry heap.

    Ram-Man barreled past, feet smashing into the ground, propelling him faster into the three in-coming Land-Sharks. They were torn apart as he slammed them together with one huge thrust. Ram-Man stumbled back – and then was blasted three times by Tri-Klops. Ram-Man staggered, grunted, and then was struck three more times. Tri-Klops turned around . . .

    Just in time for huge section of the down Land Shark to strike him. Man-E-Faces was in full Monster mode and flung another section of Land Shark at the in-coming Blade. Blade rolled around it and moved to strike. Man-E-Faces grabbed another, smaller section and used it as a shield. The twin blades scrapped along the makeshift shield. Man-E-Faces stepped back and went to slam the shield into Blade. Blade slashed at his armor. Man-E-Faces switched modes, moving into Robot, which allowed him to quickly calculate the next move. He swung back into Monster mode and crashed into Blade, breaking the mercenary’s attempt.

    Man-At-Arms launched a trio of small missiles that blew out two more Land Sharks, allowing Man-E-Faces to withdraw. Explosions echoed throughout the battlefield. Man-At-Arms whipped out his blaster and fired at the in-coming enemies-for-higher. Skeletor’s Evil Warriors were joined by the mercenaries Blade and Saurod, as well as the long-thought-defunct blue-cloaked Fighting Foe Men. He targeted this small number of mercenaries, firing at them with everything he had.

    And then.

    Lightning shot through the air. Electricity surged through the center of the battle. Skeletor floated through the battlefield, encompassed by a rainbow glow.

    “Get out of my way, He-Man,” Skeletor warned.

    He-Man gritted his teeth. “Never.”

    “Then die.”

    With his silent command, Battle-Cat rushed away. He-Man lifted his shield and held it against the onslaught of power that came against him. Fireworks splashed aggressive all around him. Electricity vibrated his sword and shield. He could feel body wanting to give up against all this. He felt his strength beginning to wane.

    But he did not give up.

    Skeletor paused.

    “You are nothing to me, He-Man. I am more powerful than you could wish to be.”

    “I’m as powerful as I need to be.”

    Skeletor sneered. He raised his hands and blasted energy at Castle Grayskull. Fireworks and electricity crackled against a force field.

    “Zodak,” Skeletor snarled. “I shall deal with him in due time.”

    He-Man jumped and crashed into Skeletor. He needed to stall him . . . to give Teela more time . . .

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

    NEXT: Will He-Man stand against this super-powerful Skeletor? Will Teela make it to him in time? Will King Randor ever find his favorite pair of underoos? Stay tuned!
    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

  19. #19
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    The Sorceress raised her head. “I could feel his power against us.”

    “Skeletor’s attack has halved the strength of my force field. He-Man must be prepared to do what he must to stop Skeletor.”

    “He-Man will not kill Skeletor, Zodak.”

    “Foolish. Killing Skeletor will release the power back to Orko and it would end this threat.” Zodak looked out towards the battle. “If He-Man continues down this path of mercy, it will kill him. Skeletor will not hesitate to do what He-Man won.t. Castle Grayskull must have a champion to stop Skeletor. If He-Man dies . . .”

    “Then another will take his place.” The Sorceress rose from her throne. “Teela has arrived.”

    ***

    Aided by Stratos, the Talon Fighter slid through the sky battle and landed heavily near the Abyss. Mekaneck, Fisto and Sy-Clone rushed into the din of battle. Teela, as instructed by the Sorceress, moved into position. In her arms, Orko felt like a malnourished child. He was barely breathing and had hardly moved. She knew the end was near . . .

    An explosion rocked the ground. Teela huddled over Orko as rocks and debris sprayed over her.

    He-Man was thrown back, his body smoldering. Skeletor floated above him, snickering, eyesockets glowing red. He raised the Havoc Staff. Electricity zipped up and down his body. Rainbow light sharply contrasted Skeletor’s darkness. Small fireworks sparked around him.

    “The end, He-Man. It has come for you.”

    He-Man moved to stand up, but a beam of power seared out of the Havoc Staff and slammed He-Man in the chest. The champion of Grayskull felt burning heat rip through his muscles. His hair stood on end as electricity coursed along his skin. Strange, alien power pounded at him.

    ‘He’s too powerful,’ He-Man realized, feeling his body weaken as Skeletor poured it. He closed his eyes. Orko. For Orko. For Eternia. He had to be strong enough for this. He-Man gripped the hilt of his Sword of Power. The electricity doubled, but He-Man did everything he could to focus on the exotic, alien power being released from Skeletor.

    Agony flowed through him with every movement, but slowly and surely, He-Man raised his Sword of Power. He felt his connection with power of Grayskull, but with just a little more focus, he could sense the power that was hitting him . . . the power of the Havoc Staff, of Skeletor, of Negator . . . and Orko.

    With a mental command that seemed impossible to understand, he ordered the Sword of Power to harmonize with Orko’s magic.

    Skeletor gasped as the Sword of Power drew on the magic. He-Man, as though he was changing Cringer into Battle-Cat, spun his Sword of Power towards Orko and Teela.

    “WHAT IS THIS?!” Skeletor roared.

    Rainbow magic flowed out of him, into He-Man and the sword, and through the air and into Orko.

    Orko seemed to explode with power. Teela was knocked back as Orko spun in a tight circle, magic filling him up once more.

    He-Man could sense a connection between the three of them – himself, Orko, and Skeletor. He saw then that Orko, in that moment, could use this connection to kill Skeletor. To snuff him out. To focus his power against him and blow him to pieces.

    He-Man felt this connection and this unique opportunity . . . and he felt Orko reject it.

    “I’m back!” Orko shouted, fireworks exploding behind him.

    He-Man wasn’t done. He shoved himself onto his uneasy feet. Skeletor was looking just as uneasy; electricity was running all over his body. He-Man felt to the Sword of Power harmonize with that power and He-Man allowed himself to do the same.

    He-Man balled his hand into a fist. Skeletor had nearly cost him his best friend. Nearly killed him. Nearly conquered Eternia again. And now Skeletor needed to be separated from the power of Negator.

    One thunderpunch would do it.

    He-Man struck with strength and fury.

    Skeletor went sailing backwards, electricity blasting away from him and striking the clouds above. Lightning jutted across the dark skies.

    “RETREAT!” shouted Evil-Lynn.

    “TAKE ‘EM DOWN!” He-Man roared.

    Evil-Lynn grabbed hold of the unconscious Skeletor. Energy swam around the two of them as He-Man approached on a rampage. Darkness slipped over Skeletor and Evil-Lynn and they vanished. He-Man smashed his sword down where they had once been.

    He shouted in frustration.

    “He-Man . . . it’s okay.” A small hand touched his arm. He-Man spun and found Orko floating next to him.

    He-Man grabbed Orko and hugged him.

    All around them, the enemy was pulling back quickly. He-Man let them go. The day was over . . . and he had won.

    --------

    NEXT: The aftermath!
    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

  20. #20
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    Some hours later, He-Man found himself standing alongside Orko, Teela, and Man-At-Arms, in the throne room of King Randor and Queen Marlena.

    “Many of the mercenaries have left the employ of Skeletor to become freelancers again,” Man-At-Arms summed up from the intelligence report. “That includes Blade and Saurod.”

    “I have a feeling we aren’t rid of them yet,” Queen Marlena commented.

    King Randor stood up. “Good was done today, my friends. Skeletor’s mercenaries dispersed, for now. Negator recaptured and depowered. Castle Grayskull defended with no loss of life or limb. And, most importantly, Orko returned us.” King Randor smiled. “You are doing well, Orko?”

    “The Sorceress says I’m as perfect as I’ve always been.”

    Everyone laughed at that.

    “Well done, all. You have the blessings of the king. An excellent day indeed!”

    The court was dismissed. Man-At-Arms and Teela went off to continue to discuss weapons up-grades and additional training of the Heroic Warriors. King Randor and Queen Marlena had more business to go over. He-Man and Orko made their way to the balcony that overlooked Eternos. The sky was bright blue and the sun poured its light upon the city.

    “Orko . . . when we were connected . . . I saw . . . I felt . . . for just a moment, that you had the ability to kill Skeletor. But you didn’t – you didn’t do it. You just let him go.” He-Man squinted. “Why?”

    Orko didn’t answer all at once. When he did, it was slow to start. “It wasn’t right. Killing isn’t right. I had all the power, but . . . well . . . it was wrong to do that. On Trolla, we have a saying: ‘it’s not the amount of power you have, it’s how you use it.’ And it wasn’t how I was supposed to use it.”

    He-Man grinned. “I’ve heard that very saying from an old friend.”

    “What? I’ve said it before?”

    He-Man shook his head. “It’s good to have you back, Orko. Good to have you back.”

    ***

    Zodak was nearly done with his work. At Snake Mountain, he initiated a time-lock and moved through frozen time to finish his job. He vaporized the Magic Stealer. He wiped out the schematics of the Quantum Fusion Generator. He returned the Infinite Diamond to the Vaults of Vikor. He telepathically manipulated the minds of Skeletor, Trap-Jaw, Tri-Klops, and Spikor – they would find any memories of how to build the modulated Magic Stealer to be confused and non-sensical.

    After releasing the time-lock there, Zodak moved onto Eternos, where he did the same to Negator’s mind. Zodak prepared to leave . . . but then decided to check in on Orko.

    Frozen in time, he was backstage of a play that was being run again after being cancelled a few days ago. Orko was often clumsy with his magic, but Zodak felt that no one seemed to mind. Based on the thoughts of the audience, Orko was better this time than the first.

    “The show much go on,” Zodak whispered.

    Zodak released the time-lock and indeed, the show did go on. His task complete, Zodak moved into the folds of time and space and into the deep corridors of the universe. Mission accomplished; all was well. For today.

    --------

    The end!

    Thanks for reading, gang!
    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

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