Note: This is a sequeal to "Masters of the Universe: The Crossroads of Destiny" and "Masters of the Universe: Prophecy & Change - Book One: Abyss" and "Book Two: Sundered." For better understanding, it is best if you read it before continuing this. If you did not, here is a run down of what has happened.
"The Crossroads of Destiny - Books One - Four"
After being freed from his ageless prison, King Hiss and a few of his most elite Snake Men sought to restore the Great Towers. With the help of Skeletor, they did so. But in an ensuing battle, in which He-Man and Eternos took control of the Towers, a war was sparked between Hiss and his ancient foe, Hordak. This war spread across Eternia and Etheria and forever changed the shape of history. In the aftermath of the war, Skeletor stepped forward and took control of Castle Grayskull. He was stopped, thanks to He-Man and his allies. But there was no peace yet, for a being known as the Dark Cloud sensed Grayskull's vulnerability and went after it. Teela, who had received visions of her destiny, took claim to the Sword of the Ancients and used it to stop the Dark Cloud. She then confessed her feelings of deep love to He-Man after the battle was won, but he rebuked her, claiming that he could not endanger her life by having a relationship. In truth, however, it was because she had broken his heart earlier as Prince Adam.
"Prophecy & Change - Books One - Three"
Hardly a year after the events in "The Crossroads of Destiny," a series of bizarre and unnerving events led the Heroic Warriors of Eternia to believe that the Ancient known as Procrustus was in terrible danger. Procrustus, who resided in the center of Eternia, held the world together by hanging onto the Light and Dark Hemispheres. His attacker was the Spirit of Evil. A band of Heroic Warriors stood against the Spirit of Evil, but it managed to take the Sword of the Ancients from Teela and used it to kill Procrustus. The Spirit of Evil took Procrustus' place and transformed the Light Hemisphere into a duplicate Dark Hemisphere. This transformation affected the minds of all natural Eternians currently on the planet. The aliens, however, were unaffected. Queen Marlena and Orko fled to Castle Grayskull - the only safe haven on Eternia - while Rokkon and Stonedar left the planet to find Zodac. The now-evil Heroic Warriors were sent to claim Grayskull, but She-Ra and the Great Rebellion clashed with them in Grayskull's defense. In the end, Teela, He-Man, and Battle-Cat were all freed from the hold of the Spirit of Evil. He-Man went searching for Ancient of the Phoenix - the one known as LifeDeath. She told He-Man that he must find all of the Ancients in order to defeat the Spirit of Evil. At the same time, She-Ra became a surrogate mother to the reborn Procrustus and would carry him for eight to ten days. Meanwhile, Skeletor gathered a huge army and sought to destroy Eternos. Randor, made mad by the Spirit of Evil, was removed from the throne. The former King Miro took control, hoping that his mind (which was not affected by the Spirit of Evil) would find better ways to win this day. But Skeletor was betrayed by King Hiss, who gave him to Hordak as a peace offering.
He-Man's quest goes unfulfilled. He still has six more Ancients to find. She-Ra is swiftly approaching her due date. And the last defense of Eternos is about to fall . . .
The portal opened and Skeletor was thrown forward. His limbs felt numb, but the rest of him was in pain. So much pain. His body felt on fire, the bite marks from King Hiss looked like their smoking with his acidic poison. He could barely see anything, every seemed to fade in and out in front.
But there was one thing - or person, rather - that was quite prominent. Hordak stood above him, a wicked smile across his pale, bat-like face. Somewhere in his burning mind, Skeletor knew then that he would have to kill him for that smile.
"Give him just enough anti-toxin to keep him alive," Hordak said to someone . . . maybe it was Modulock? Skeletor couldn't tell.
Gasping, Skeletor lifted his sore hand, and reached out towards Hordak. "Kill you . . ." he barely whispered.
Hordak began to laugh hysterically. "I don't think so, my old friend."
His boot smashed across Skeletor's skull, sending the master of Snake Mountain into unconsciousness.
Blood stained the ground of Eternia. There was no corner of the former Light Hemisphere that did not know conflict. The Vine Jungle and the Evergreen Forest had become stages for battles between the Cats and the Bears and the Cave-People and the Tree-People. In the Mystic Mountains, the Avions and the Insectiods were launching attacks and counter-attacks against each other.
Never before in recorded history had Eternia known such violence and bloodshed. And it was getting worse. The death toll was growing ever higher and higher. Injured soldiers were becoming a commonplace thing for the regular citizens. Anger, fear, and violence replaced joy, happiness, and peace.
Eternia was starting to smell of death.
He-Man stood at the edge of the western coast of the Harmony Sea, eyes gazing upon the watery horizon. He stared at the object that came ever closer to the docks.
Teela, who stood behind him, leaning on her snake-head staff, stared as well. She didn't like She-Ra, not at all. She had, since the first they met her, sensed a bond between He-Man and She-Ra that she did not care for. Teela respected She-Ra and knew of her role in this plan - but still. Every smile and every wink that passed between She-Ra and He-Man was like She-Ra was stomping her super-powered boots onto Teela's last nerves.
"They're here," He-Man said, and Teela trailed behind the hero as they walked along the dock towards the boat. The sun was dawning on this, the eighth day.
Teela expected to see She-Ra with her shining blond hair bouncing around her cute, perky face, with that golden tiara sitting atop her brow.
But what she really saw . . . surprised the young Captain of the Royal Guard.
SeaHawk helped She-Ra off the boat, and as she came WADDLING down the dock, Teela's jaw dropped. She-Ra's belly was huge, stretching hard against the white dress and the golden pattern on it. She had gained a little baby fat in her arms and legs, and her face seemed a tad bit bigger. Her hair was tied back in a shabby ponytail. The sporting, red cape was gone - slung over a duffel bag that SeaHawk carried with him. Despite a smile, it looked like She-Ra was under a lot of strain.
Which was odd for Teela to see, considering just how strong She-Ra was.
It was then, in that moment, that Teela gained new respect for She-Ra. It wasn't a huge amount of new respect, but a higher respect than she had before.
"So . . ." said SeaHawk, a duffel bag over his shoulder. "Here we are. A pirate, a pregnant heroine, a captain without her army, and a super-hero on an incomplete quest. When does the fun start?"
He-Man smiled at the captain. "Soon."
"What needs to be done?" huffed She-Ra, hands on her back.
"I haven't finished assembling all of the Ancients yet," He-Man replied. "Good, Evil, Intrepid, Forge, Unity, and Master all remain for me to collect."
"Can you get them by tomorrow evening?"
He-Man nodded, confident in his answer. "Yes."
"Thank the First Ones," She-Ra breathed. "What are we supposed to be doing in the meantime?"
"Make camp. You said that Skeletor was onto us?" He-Man asked.
"Yes, though I'm not sure he has our location anymore," SeaHawk returned.
"Teela will keep guard of you, She-Ra. And I'm sure SeaHawk wouldn't mind sticking around."
Teela crossed her arms over her chest. "What about the Great Rebellion? Can't we just take She-Ra to Grayskull?"
"No," came a sudden voice from behind. LifeDeath stepped towards the startled group. "Sorry about just barging in here, but we need to have a little chat about this right now."
He-Man and his allies looked the Ancient of the Phoenix. "He-Man, you'll find my brother Intrepid at the Crossroads of All Universes. There's a portal at the south pole. Teela, in answer to your question, you must all stay together. The Great Rebellion, I think, is more needed at Grayskull than guarding She-Ra. Besides, you'll have the Zactons to help you out."
The sphere that was comprised of the robotic guardians suddenly leapt out of the Wind Raider and unfolded into at least four dozen forms. These forms transformed, turning into just as many robotic warriors.
"We must protect the Ancient!" the leader declared, pointing at She-Ra protruding midsection.
He-Man smiled, as did everyone else but Teela. "Looks like adequate defense, She-Ra," He-Man said.
"They'll do," LifeDeath decided. "For now."
Suddenly, a new form appeared from the sky. It was white and streaked down from the pale blue sky.
"Swift-Wind!" cried Teela, happy to see her old friend.
But when Swift-Wind landed, they all found that the pegacorn hadn't come alone. On his back was none other than Queen Marlena.
"She-Ra, He-Man," Marlena addressed, and glanced at both SeaHawk and Teela. LifeDeath hung in back. "The Sorceress decided you may need my help. So, here I am."
"It's good to have you," He-Man told his mother.
"Thank you, He-Man." Marlena's eyes widened as they scanned She-Ra new build. "My, you've gotten quite big, haven't you?"
She-Ra blushed a little. "Yeah."
Marlena, who was wearing a backpack, stepped off of Swift-Wind and patted She-Ra's belly. "Well, don't you worry sweetie. I've got all the medical supplies the Sorceress could dig up."
"Thank you," She-Ra replied and had to avoid saying 'Mom.'
"I have to go now," LifeDeath told He-Man. She then turned to the others. "I'll see you in a day or two."
After she vanished in her usual fashion, He-Man turned to Teela. "We need to unload these supplies. I'll need to take the Wind-Raider if I want to get to the south pole by tonight."
Teela nodded and began to unload the rations, the Books of Spells, and the Masks of Power. After they were secure in a bundle on Teela's back, He-Man unloaded the Air Chariot that had been in compact form in the Wind-Raider storage compartment.
Battle-Cat swaggered around then. "Do you want me to go too?"
"No, Battle-Cat. It's probably best to stay here. Keep an eye on She-Ra . . . and the others," he said with a bit of pause as he looked upon Teela.
"Good journey," many of them wished, and in a moment, He-Man lifted off into the early morning sky and headed south.
The small band made north, away from the coast. The day's were looking gray, the sky now pale and gloomy. The air was getting muggy and She-Ra looked exhausted as she rode Battle-Cat's back with SeaHawk. Marlena rode next to them on Swift-Wind, and Teela was scouting ahead hovering on the Sky Chariot. The forty-eight Zactons held a wide perimeter around the group as they trekked onward.
As the morning sun wore on, they finally came to rest. "This is as good as any a place to camp," Marlena told them.
They had settled themselves in Evergreen Forest, in a part some five miles in from the coast. They were well hidden from any ariel view by a thick canopy of trees above. There were huge stones and rocks that poped out everywhere around them.
SeaHawk scouted ahead as Teela and Marlena set up the tents. She-Ra had insisted on helping, but Marlena ordered her to take it easy. She-Ra didn't put up much of a fight.
After camp was set-up, SeaHawk returned.
"I need a bath," She-Ra told her friend.
"There's a pond not too far away. No leaches or anything, so it should be save for you and ol' crusty in there."
She-Ra stood up. Marlena looked to Teela. "She-Ra, take Teela with you. I know we've got the Zactons and you're still pretty powerful - but it wouldn't hurt to have some extra protection with you."
Teela went next to She-Ra, groaning inwardly, but said nothing. Teela made certain that she was at least five steps ahead of She-Ra. Not so much for defensive reasons, but simply because Teela didn't like her and wanted nothing to do with her. She-Ra, apparently, had other plans.
"Teela," said She-Ra, "hold up a second."
Teela sighed quietly and stopped, waiting for the waddling super-heroine to catch up. "Yes?"
"We never get to talk. Maybe this would be a good opportunity to."
"What do you mean?"
She-Ra laughed with slight amusement. "You don't like me very much, do you?"
Teela was startled, but realized it must have been pretty obvious. Still, there was no reason to just outright say it without some pussyfooting first. "I . . . I respect you. I admire you as a warrior. I believe in the cause you fight for. I even appreciate what you're doing right now for a planet that isn't even yours. But - "
"But you don't like me that much."
"No. I don't like you."
She-Ra stopped and looked at Teela's face. "Why?"
Teela blinked. "Huh?"
"Why don't you like me?"
She blushed a little, but did her best not to show it. "I, um, I - "
"Oh," She-Ra realized, and then smiled. "It's He-Man, isn't it? You have feelings for him and you see me as a threat?"
"What?! No, no. It's not that!"
She-Ra shook her head. "Teela, it's okay. I understand. I know you have feelings for him. I can tell. Don't worry. I don't feel that way about He-Man."
"Oh really?" Teela questioned, barely believing it.
"I don't. I never have, never will. I just don't see him that way. He's a companion, a fellow warrior. We're both champions of Grayskull, both wielders of our swords - but neither of us are ever going to be romantically involved."
Teela said nothing and just looked blankly at her.
"Besides," She-Ra continued, and she now leaned forward, eyes glancing back towards camp for a second. "Besides, I've got feelings for someone myself."
"SeaHawk," She-Ra confessed in a whisper.
Teela stood there, her mouth unhinged. "Are you serious?"
"Dead serious. I think he's great. I do. I really do. I'm so glad he's been here with me while I've been going through this." She shifted a hand onto her tummy.
Teela didn't know what to say. She only stood there, and realized that everything that She-Ra had said was perfectly and completely honest. Yes, there was a bond between She-Ra and He-Man. But it wasn't one that had any sort of romanticism to it. It was like a brother/sister bond. And that was something that was far from threatening.
"I'm sorry," Teela squeaked. She wanted to say more, but it just wasn't coming out.
"It's okay, trust me. I understand." She-Ra's eyes then widened and as she pressed her hand against the side of her belly. "Oh!"
"What?" asked Teela, feeling a slight rush of panic. "What's wrong?"
"Oh, it's nothing. Nothing. The baby just kicked, that's all. Here. Feel."
She-Ra grabbed Teela's hand and placed in on her belly. Teela was fascinated by what she felt inside, thumping and kicking about.
"Pretty cool, huh?"
Teela withdrew her hand. "Yeah. Um, is it, like, a real baby in there?"
She-Ra shrugged and the two began walking towards the pond now. "Sorta. I know it's not mine and I know it's accelerated. But it's sometimes hard to differentiate this from what it is and a real, true pregnancy."
She said that last part with a touch of sadness that Teela could both understand and not understand.
"I guess you could just consider this like a preview then?" Teela wondered.
"Oh yeah. Definitely. Although I don't plan on having kids until after the Horde is defeated."
Teela gave a small smile. "Good idea."
They reached the pond and Teela sat down on a rock as She-Ra undressed behind her and dipped her pregnant body into the water. Teela, who decided not to watch She-Ra bathe nude, gazed out into the woods in deep thought.
The last few weeks had been hard enough, but now with She-Ra wanting Teela not to hate her anymore . . . it was just a little too much. But the fact of the matte was, was that Teela didn't hate her. Not anymore at least. The talk they had moments earlier was one Teela never thought she'd have. And she was grateful for it.
Could a friendship be developing here? One totally unexpected, but not totally unwelcomed? Teela just wasn't sure.
The Captain of the Royal Guard stood and turned to direction of the shout. She-Ra was lumbering out of the pond, gasping. Teela rushed over, taking slight notice that the Zactons had tightened their perimeter.
"What is it?" asked Teela. She picked up a towel and threw it around She-Ra's naked body.
"I just had a contraction!"