Lost in a Lost World
And, Adora was right – everything else could, and did wait for her to return to the throne room the following afternoon. She was startled to find Queen Angella studying the reports that the palace pages had been gathering for Adora.
"Your Majesty, it's good to see you," Adora stated. She hadn't thought that the Queen of Brightmoon would be released from the healers' care so soon.
"You are surprised to see me," Angella said with a wry smile. "Brightmoon is my responsibility, my kingdom, and I needed to see for myself how we fared in yesterday's fight. "
"It was close, Your Majesty," Adora admitted. "If She-Ra hadn't been there..."
"But, you and she came through for us once again, Adora. Thank you," Angella said and sat down in one of the chairs in front of the worktable. "Sit down, please, and bring me up to speed, Adora."
"Certainly, Your Majesty," she replied, and began her verbal report. This was where her Horde training came in handy once more – the ability to remember information and give short and concise reports.
The hardest part was listing the casualties – they had lost three people in the battle. One younger man, they had lost due to a leg injury. He had bled out before the healers could reach him. Another was a young woman whose heart had apparently given out, and a third man also from a heart attack. He'd taken a stun blast at close range, right in the chest. Nothing they had tried had been able to get his heart restarted.
"They will be remembered and I will take care of the notifications," Angella said grimly. "They died fighting for Etheria's freedom, but in the defense of Brightmoon and as its leader, it is only fitting I should do this."
Adora had learned in the short time since she had first met her that the woman's strength of character was just one of the reasons why Brightmoon had been the last kingdom to fall to the Horde. Knowing now what she did about the queen and Hunga, the leader of the Harpies, she doubted that Brightmoon would have been captured at all. There would be no budging the queen on this matter and it was one Adora gratefully relinquished.
Angella went on to say, "We are fighting a war, and any casualty is unfortunate. Hordak will have to face a hefty tally when his day of reckoning comes."
It was when they got to the clean up of the destroyed Horde troops that Adora brought up her idea.
"What plans do you have for Hordak's 'trash,' Your Majesty?"
"I honestly hadn't gotten that far..." Angella admitted.
"I have an idea and wanted to run it by you," Adora went on to explain what she had in mind.
"That would certainly relieve some of the crowding issues in the Whispering Woods, but Hordak killed or imprisoned all the engineers when he invaded," Angella said, with a thoughtful expression.
"Well, isn't it time we started to rebuild Etheria?" Adora countered. "I can get help from Eternia – I know my father might not be able to send troops, but certainly he won't mind if I go recruiting some engineers."
"I think you may be on to something here, Adora. Very well, once we have things more or less back to normal here, contact your father and see what he's willing to do," Angella said with a decisive nod.
Adora grinned and nodded, "Yes, Your Majesty. Thank you."
The rest of the briefing didn't take long and then, the queen left Adora to the clean up again.
It took a few days to have the clean up of the battleground well in and for Adora to arrange everything with her brother to carry the request back to their parents.
"You know this would go over much better if you were to take this back yourself, sis," Adam said as they walked in the Whispering Woods on a bright and sunny morning.
"I know, but I can't trust Hordak not to take his frustration out somewhere else for his failure to win at Brightmoon," Adora replied with a frown. There were times when she wished for the gift of foresight in order to better see what moves Hordak was plotting.
"Either way, we did good at Brightmoon, Adora. Don't ever let yourself doubt that," Adam stated, wrapping an arm around her shoulders.
"Thanks, Adam," Adora leaned her head on his arm for just a moment before stepping away to pull her sword out. "Tell mother and father I'll be home again before too long."
"I will," Adam promised.
Adora lifted up her sword and said, "Sorceress, we're ready for you to open the portal."
"Certainly," the Sorceress's face appeared briefly in the jewel of the sword and then, a golden burst of light streamed from the sword and a portal opened.
"Take care, Adam," Adora said, finding herself wrapped up in a hug.
"You too, Adora. Remember – watch your back," Adam answered, feeling just as reluctant to leave as he was ready to go home.
"I will if you will," Adora laughed and then knelt down to give Cringer a last scratch before they walked through the portal.
She walked back to the main rebel encampment with Spirit at her side. There were always little things that could be done to get under Hordak's skin and help to free Etheria and each day brought more people either seeking refuge or looking to join the rebellion. They were winning, but still had a long way to go before all of Etheria would be free.
It was a week later that Seahawk returned to Brightmoon to steal Adora away for a special cruise.
"It's the first time The Solar Sailor'll be in the water since we dry-docked to do all the cleaning and restorations. You have to come with me, Adora," Seahawk pled his case.
"Oh, I do, do I?" Adora questioned with a raised eyebrow. "I thought that women were supposed to be bad luck on a ship."
"I've since learned that having a woman – in fact, a very special lady – on board, is actually good luck," Seahawk countered with a rakish smile.
"Special lady, hrm?" Adora asked, unable to resist his smile.
"Yes, very special lady, like I said," Seahawk answered, pulling her into his arms for a kiss.
Adora went willingly, but moments later leaned back to say, "But, I don't think I can get away right now; not with the engineers and equipment to arrive from Eternia…"
It was Glimmer, as a witness to Seahawk's wooing attempt, who spoke up, "I can take care of that, Adora. I know where you want to set everything up, and I can work with the engineers on this."
Adora looked doubtful, but Glimmer said, "I can do this. I need to do this."
"All right, I'll go," Adora answered, finally after studying Glimmer for a moment. She saw what she needed to see in her face to reassure herself that the project would be handled well in her absence. She looked back to Seahawk and asked, "When do we leave?"
"Immediately – I want to be out in open waters by sunset," Seahawk answered.
"But –" Adora started to protest. She had nothing packed and to just up and leave on a moment's notice?
Then, Madam Razz was there with a satchel of clothes. "Here you go, dearie."
Adora looked sideways to Seahawk, "Why do I get the feeling that you had this all set up?"
"Well, I am a pirate, after all," he answered with a sly grin.
They headed out and made good time back to Gailsbreath. The crew was casting off lines as they boarded.
"The tide is just turning, C-cap'n," Swen reported as they boarded.
"Great, Swen. Everything else ready?"
"Aye aye, Cap'n," Swen said with a sharp salute.
"Let's cast off then," Seahawk ordered.
At his command, the sails spread wide and the ship surged forward as the anchor cleared the water. They were out on open water and sailing into the sunset as Seahawk had wanted when he pulled her to a quiet, abandoned corner of the aft deck.
"Adora, do you remember that island where you were stranded after Admiral Scurvy knocked us out of the air?" Seahawk asked her seriously, his arms around her waist.
"Yes, I remember," she answered.
"That's where we're heading," he said, leaving Adora with the feeling that there was more he had to say.
"Why there, "'Hawk?"
"Because I met someone there who opened my eyes and I want you to meet him. I want my father to meet the woman I love."
Adora spun around to face him, shocked. "Your father? But, I thought you said he was dead?"
"Before then, I thought he was. He can't leave there because of his health and to the world, the Raven will remain dead. But, I want you to meet him."
"Oh," Adora exhaled, flattered beyond words at what he was saying.
Then, he reached into a pocket and pulled out an heirloom golden ring with a brilliant sapphire stone that matched her eyes.
"This is for you," he said, holding out the ring for her to inspect. "Diamonds, I understand, are the traditional betrothal stone on your mother's world, but a diamond seems so colorless in comparison to you."
Adora was speechless as she stared at the ring he then slid onto her finger. She had never heard Seahawk be so eloquent before – nor so direct. Usually when it came to committing himself he liked to talk around it – always holding some part of himself back. She stared back at his face, and read his full commitment there.
"You haven't said anything, Adora," Seahawk teased.
"Yes, oh yes," Adora found her voice.
"Good, you had me worried for a moment," Seahawk admitted.
"Well, what can I do to make it up to you?" Adora said, wrapping her arms around his neck.
"I'm sure I can think of something," Seahawk answered, letting her pull him down for a kiss.
He knew that it would be some time before they would be able to formalize their relationship, but those were worries for another day.
Back in the Fright Zone, Hordak was indeed sulking on his throne. He still couldn't fathom how these rebels had managed to defeat him.
The rebels had no advantages that he could easily think of. They had less technology available to them. They were certainly not as well trained as his robot troops. He even had the numbers on his side. So, how were they able to defeat him? He just couldn't understand!
His temper was so black that even Imp had deserted him, leaving him alone in his throne room. Mantenna was cowering somewhere out of sight, afraid of his boss's foul temper.
Shadoweaver had all but barricaded herself in Horror Hall, weakened and enraged from her defeat at Brightmoon. Now, she was searching her magic tomes for another grand spell to use against the rebels.
He swore, he would somehow find a way to defeat the rebels – he had all the advantages on his side. There was no reason he couldn't. Except, that deep down inside in that small corner he didn't like to admit existed, he knew he was fighting a losing battle. He wouldn't be able to admit the rebels because they had one advantage he refused to acknowledge – they were fighting for their freedom. That made anyone more determined and gave them that edge they needed to win. He also had to admit that he had had too apt a pupil in Adora. She had learned her lessons well and was now turning his tactics against him.
But, until that day came when he faced his last battle for the fate of Etheria, he would fight with every last resource he had. He would make the rebels pay dearly for every inch of ground that they gained.
He wouldn't leave Etheria without a fight...
Back on Earth, Chelsea awoke with a start on the couch at her grandparents' house in Colorado.
The fire had died down to smoldering embers and the movie in the DVD player was repeating the same refrain of music every thirty seconds, waiting for a decision to be made. She stared around, feeling like she was out of place – missing something.
She was awake and felt like had just stepped out of a dream. What had she been doing? She was in her pjs – black leggings and her floppy gray and black wicked sleepshirt. She sat up and pushed her mussed hair back out of her face and looked around the room.
There was an airbed on the floor Chelsea stared at it in puzzlement for a long minute. She thought hard, and began to put the pieces together. She pulled her pendant out and wasn't surprised to see it glowing slightly and radiating just enough heat to be warmer than body temperature.
"So, it wasn't a dream..." she said aloud to the empty house. The settling of the embers was the only answer she got. She exhaled heavily and hit stop on the DVD remote, then the power button for the television. "Enough. I can deal with the rest of this tomorrow."
She got upstairs to her bedroom and had to check the date on her cell phone. She wasn't sure how long she had been gone, and needed to know how much time she had left before her friends invaded. The calendar showed her that the Sorceress had sent her back with just enough time to clean up and get herself into Denver tomorrow to pick her friends up from the airport.
The following morning, she did a whirlwind cleaning and after taking her shower, she stood in her closet wondering what to wear when she spied the outfits from Marlena. She wondered how things had gone for Adora and just as she finished that thought, she felt that sense of time jump – of stepping outside time to watch things in that strange fast forward/slow motion way that some filmmakers favored.
She saw brief glimpses of the battle Adora had said would be brewing on Etheria and saw the outcome – Adora and the rebels had made the day. Hordak had once again been driven out of Brightmoon.
Then, as fast as it had appeared, the feeling vanished and she was leaning against the closet door as a sudden wave of dizziness hit her.
"Wow," she breathed. She shook her head and went back to looking for something to wear. "Thanks, Sorceress. I'm glad it all turned out okay for now."
Her drive into Denver was uneventful – the region well used to shrugging off large amounts of snowfall and had no problem getting a parking spot. She checked the monitors and saw that their flight was just landing. She had a few minutes to spare and waited for the announcement on which baggage carousel their luggage would be arriving on.
It was one friend, Jenna, who looked like she could be Chelsea's twin, who noticed the blouse she had on under her jacket, "Whoa! Have you been shopping? I thought you were housebound with that blizzard!"
"Well, I was housebound with the storm, but then, well... you see, the rest is a long story and you wouldn't believe me..." Chelsea answered with a grin. She wrapped an arm around her friend's shoulders and said, "You see, life is full of strange twists and turns..."
A/N: This is it folks:) Thanks for sticking around for the long ride!