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the rambling fanatic
FIC: When Fates Collide [3/??] [Masters of the Universe WIP] 
4th-Jun-2008 11:48 pm
Masters of the Universe
Chapter 3
THE GUARDIAN

The Sorceress of Grayskull, a figure shrouded in mystery and the lone person charged with stewardship over the imposing structure that was Castle Grayskull. To the people of Eternia she was ubiquitous and someone who was praised in the same breath as the Ancients. What's known about her was essentially nothing so that over the decades the people have created their own mythology about her. Some of it was based on truth but most of it was based on an idealized vision of who such a person like the Sorceress of Grayskull should be. Who was she? Had she always served Grayskull and if not, where did she come from? Everyone had their theories. What the people remained ignorant about as they speculated about the amount of power she possessed, was how isolated the Sorceress of Grayskull really was. As the guardian she had given up on everything representative of a normal life--family, companionship, age, and death--they all eluded her.

Many years ago she was told that she would witness great pain and great joy. The speaker of those words spoke from personal experience and in both cases she was correct. But her story was not tragic. She willingly accepted the responsibility she now possessed. Nor was it romantic, her actions directly affected the lives of many people. In her role as Sorceress she had learned to strike a delicate balance between fulfilling her duties to Grayskull with her own personal needs.

In the past it was far easier for her to maintain the emotional detachment she had adopted to avoid compromising her objectivity. Her main responsibility had always been Grayskull and the safety of Eternia. Her personal feelings should never influence her decisions where they were concerned.

Yet with the prophecy that foretold of Eternia's champions as being the descendants of King Grayskull, the Sorceress became bound to the royal family of Eternia. Her emotional bond with the family grew in ways she should have safeguarded against, but it was through that bond that she became familiar with the man who would raise and love her only child, Teela. Seeing Teela well cared for and flourishing under the guidance of the King's closest friend Man-at-Arms only deepened her connection to the Royal Family. It was with them where the Sorceress of Grayskull one day went from impartial observer to active participant. She told herself it was out of duty for Grayskull and Eternia, which while true, was not entirely accurate. Ever since she let herself become emotionally involved with the well being of the Royal Family she'd stretched the boundaries of what she should concern herself with. She felt the sadness that weighed down the King and Queen. There was an undercurrent of solemnity that veiled even the most joyous of events. And on days like today when the Sorceress walked past the futile and numerous dimensional gateways and against the objections of rational thought, she chose to willingly invade the privacy of others. It was the slim hope that something buried in the past would help unlock a mystery that had haunted only those who remembered it. She was not a goddess but she was powerful. She could not see the future but she could delve through the past. A trance like state was all that was needed as she settled onto her throne in the chambers of the massive main hall. It was during these moments that she was attuned with the people of Eternia and their memories overwhelmed her like nothing else.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

A surprisingly cold wind swept from the open window into the councilman's office and sent a small stack of papers fluttering to the floor. The councilman annoyingly walked around his desk and began to gather his scattered work.

"Have you heard? The Queen...Queen Marlena is expecting a baby!" exclaimed his aid as he burst into the room.

The councilman looked at his aid with disinterest and then with the slightest hint of animosity muttered, "I guess that settles that question. Whether or not we can mate with her kind." His papers fully gathered he straightened up, closed his window, and returned to his desk.

"I can't believe you're still so narrow-minded. The Queen has more than erased any doubts in my mind about her qualifications to rule. Randor made a fine choice. Their children will be fine Eternians and rulers."

"Half-breeds," the councilman muttered in contempt.

"What?"

"You heard me, half-breeds. They won't be full Eternians. That alien diluted their Eternian blood. They'll never be fit to rule," he finished off. His words laced with scorn.

"Well I have faith in our King and Queen. Cheer up now. Eternia is in safe hands. Oh Ancients, I'm late. I granted Melathka an audience. I'll see you at court."

~~~~~~~~~~~

The silence in a darkened hall inside the Palace Eternos was interrupted by a light purring and a small sniffle which emanated from the reconstructed remains of another civilization's attempt at space travel. A small, green tail could be seen hanging outside the entrance to the craft.

"Mother and father were talking about a baby. I heard them. You didn't hear mother cry but she was. Father too. I didn't know kings cried."

"You'll always be my friend right Cringe? In case they forget about me."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two youngsters sat at a counter in a room filled with various electronic devices in several stages of completion. A young redheaded girl looked up from her book and looked towards her companion, who sat engrossed in his studies next to her.

"What do you want for your birthday?" she asked.

"That's easy. Orko's flying trick. I wanna fly."

"That's no fun. Orko does that trick all the time. Pick something better. Something you don't get anytime you want."

"A brother, someone to play with."

"And what do you call me, huh?"

"But Teela you're a girl and you get bored quickly."

"If I had a brother..."

"Well now, I see you two are finished," remarked the tall soldier who entered the workshop. He removed his helmet to reveal his brown hair gathered at the crown in a small ponytail.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The late afternoon was filled with revelry. Banners awash in a multitude of colors fluttered in the Eternian breeze, as the citizens of Eternos strained to get a glimpse of the Royal Family. Everyone was dressed in their finest--from the peddlers in the market, who had even given their tents a much needed wash to the dignitaries who were in the kingdom for the occasion. The Eternian Royal Guard, in their ceremonial armor and slate-blue capes and flowing headdress lined the corridors of the palace in allegiance to their kingdom and king.

At the center of the excitement was the Prince of Eternia on the eve of his 16th birthday. Many of the citizens present searched their memories for an occasion when they could recall Prince Adam dressed in anything other than practical attire. The prince looked slightly sheepish at all the attention but everyone agreed that he makes quite the regal impression, dressed in understated grays and blues. The silver circlet on his temple shone in the setting sun. He was still young but his promise was evident.

Randor, ever the pragmatic soldier, wanted to avoid excessive pagentry whenever possible but when word spread that the occasion was to be marked by a simple, low key ceremony the people of Eternos quickly voiced their disapproval. They'd all watched the boy grow up. He'd played with their own children, from the market to the palace, and had gotten into his fair share of mischief with them as well. Everyone felt like the young prince was one of their own and like any member of the family he deserved a ceremony worthy of the event.

"On this day, I Randor, hereby decree that Adam, my only son is officially named my heir to the throne of Eternia. May he one day rule with compassion, strength, and honor. To my son Prince Adam, future King of Eternia!"

The roar of the crowd as they launched into cheers and applause could be heard for miles away.

~~~~~~~~~~~

The day promised snow and lots of it. It would certainly slow down Randor's convoy from Avion. The passage of time never made today any less difficult.

"Happy Birthday Adora," the Queen whispered softly to the air around her. "I hope that wherever you are that you're safe."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Adora..."

The long lost child of Eternia, of Grayskull and perhaps the greatest secret to be sequestered within the castle walls. For the sake of those who remained her existence remained solely the resident of lonely, late night thoughts and passing questions of "what if". She was barely allowed the courtesy of a whisper for fear of who might overhear. An innocent spirited away in anger and in revenge.

News of the royal twins impending birth set the kingdom into eager anticipation despite the ongoing conflict. With those tiny unborn children lay the future of the kingdom and of Eternia. When it was all over they would bury and mourn their dead, rebuild their homes,
reseed their fields, and live for the future. In the midst of all that destruction and heartbreak hope was found in the miracle of life, unblemished from the horrors of the world. However, if news spread that their enemy, even in the face of such defeat was able to take one victory in the abduction of one of the royal twins, it would shatter the people's resolve to move past the events of their present and look to the future. Nothing could be more devastating than the loss of hope. It would permeate every aspect of their lives and would allow them to become easily susceptible to exploitation. The repercussions from the loss of the tiny princess would be felt for years to come. The Sorceress knew this, as did the King's Man-at-Arms, even as he tried vehemently to track the long gone perpetrator.

In the aftermath decisions needed to be made and plans put into motion. The mechanical remains of the Horde littered the fields of Eternia. Hordak was gone and so was the baby. What was left of the Horde had retreated long ago and Man-at-Arms' pursuit of Hordak resulted only in the discovery of scorch mark remains from a dimensional gate. Adora could be anywhere. Meanwhile, the people of Eternia remained oblivious to everything that had transpired...at least for the moment. The Queen watched over her son with unflinching vigilance. Her eyes promised serious consequences if anyone tried to harm him. King Randor's personal interrogation of surviving Horde Troopers yielded no results. His options were running out faster than he could think of them. Randor had never met the guardian of Grayskull but like all Eternians he had heard the stories. Grayskull stood within the realm of his kingdom but only a fool would try to have autonomy over it. Grayskull and its mystical guardian were his only hope in finding his daughter. His parting words before he left his Queen to speak with the Sorceress of Grayskull conveyed his determination.

"Adora will never be lost to us."

King Randor stood before her alongside his trusted friend Man-at-Arms. The diplomatic tact that had served him well all those years he fought for Eternia eluded him as he stood there outraged at her plan of action.

"With all due respect Sorceress. We cannot sit idly by and do nothing while our own daughter is held captive by that creature. You're asking a lot from my wife and I."

"You have no say in the matter. Right now you can do more for the people of Eternia than you can for Adora."

Randor's protests would have continued had it not been for the counsel of Man-at-Arms and with heavy hearts both men left Castle Grayskull in accordance with the Sorceress' proposal.

Nightfall came and when the people arose the following morning all memory of the Princess Adora had been wiped from their memories. Finding the lost princess became the Sorceress' lone responsibility. She alone had the resources needed. Resources that unfortunately continued to provide no results as the years went by.

Usually the only after affects of her trance would be emotional but this time a physical discomfort accompanied it. Her actions obviously did not agree with her if her current state was any indication. Today the memories were stronger and more vivid then they had ever been before and her body was only reminding her of what her conscience already knew--her actions no matter how much she justified them were still intrusive and wrong. Yet the abduction of the young princess remained an open wound and it angered the Sorceress that even with the powers of Grayskull she had been unsuccessful at finding Adora's whereabouts.

Unbeknownst to the Sorceress something had awoken in Grayskull and as the Guardian she was the perfect vessel to be used as a conduit. Slightly disoriented and weak the Sorceress found herself in the void beneath Grayskull. She was here for a reason. It called to her, pleading to be heard. At the base of the void stood a lone pedestal, created from the same rock as Castle Grayskull. She hadn't been down here in years, not even when Adam claimed the Sword of Power. The sturdiness of the rock beneath her fingers, as she ran her hand over the surface, was a comfort. The Sword of Protection laid in its groove in a rather unassuming way. It's a beautiful sword, much like its twin, and intended for someone with a great destiny.

The jewel at the center, opaque and motionless, gave off nothing of the promise that was possible if in the right hands. Without the right person the sword was lifeless and left eternally waiting for its owner. As the Sorceress stood over the Sword of Protection in her receptive state she tentatively reached out towards the jewel. The minute her fingers made contact with the cool surface of the jewel she froze as she became a receptacle for the precious knowledge it possessed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The stench of death began to encroach in the cavernous room and the Sorceress shut her eyes tightly as if that could will the smell from her nostrils. She instantly regretted her action because when she opened her eyes again she almost doubled over in pain from what lay before her. The smell of death was now visual as she stood on the terrain just outside Castle Grayskull. No survivors. She stood in shocked silence as she looked towards the horizon and the blood red sunset. When she turned the movement overwhelmed her, causing disorientation and then darkness. The distinctive sound of someone retching nearby was all she could distinguish.

"You're better than this. Stop it," a male voice spit out.

"Don't ever mistake my affection for you as weakness," another voice whispered harshly, or was it the same voice?

"Again," a man barked.

A clash of swords resonated.

"Again."

They clashed once more.

"Again!"

A female voice screamed in pain.

"Again!"

Deafening silence surrounded the Sorceress until...

"No more. None of it. It has to stop," a young woman's voice said through staggard breathing.

"I'm very, very proud of you," a familiar voice praised.

"Move out!" a woman commanded.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was all a jumble of voices and no faces to attribute them to. Their source may have been indistinguishable but their words were clear.

And then suddenly, there it was, in her mind's eye. The answer to the question that had plagued them since that fateful day--where was Adora? Through the distance of space was a blue/green orb, shining against a backdrop of darkness. Its name she did not know but its location was now burned into her memory. At long last...hope.

Her tired mind worked overtime processing the new information as she remained enveloped by the darkness. The Sorceress' eyes widen in astonishment for it was becoming jarringly clear to her now. It was never enough to simply pray for Adora's physical safety. Her emotional and psychological well being were neglected by everyone who simply assumed that her heritage would be enough in providing her guidance against the Horde. If the terror and disorientation she had just experienced were any indication they had grossly underestimated their capabilities. Adora was in far greater danger than anyone could have imagined.

Had the Sorceress been fully cognizant during her first vision she would have noticed that not once had she physically left her chambers.

In the corner of the room, where there once was nothing before, stood a stone pedestal--smooth and simple in design but not in importance. On the surface were two sword shaped impressions. One vacant for several years now and the second held another sword that was waiting to be claimed. The jewel in its center sparkled to life for the first time since its creation. Unfortunately no one was there to actually witness such a moment. The room's lone occupant was focused intently on other matters.

"Adam...Grayskull," the Sorceress managed to whisper hoarsely before she collapsed on the floor in exhaustion.

 

 
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