Author's Note: I don't own any of these characters, of course, and I make no money off this stuff. This is set primarily to the 1980's MOTU. The biggest difference you'll notice is the eye color, because let's face it, if they had had more money for production, they probably would have done more than blue eyes for women and black eyes for men!
The sun shone brightly as the crowd gathered for King Randor's address. It was the first stop on his tour of Eternia. Since they were in Anas, a large town only a few hours from the palace, the entire royal family was in attendance for this kick-off speech. Later, Randor and Prince Adam would continue on their own, leaving Queen Marlena in charge at the palace.
The King stood proudly on a small raised platform, waiting for the signal to begin. To his left stood Marlena. Adam stood off to his right, slightly behind, with Teela and Man-at-Arms at his side. Randor couldn't help but be pleased that his son had somehow managed to show up at a function on time.
"It sure is a gorgeous day," Adam commented, a slight breeze pushing at his blond hair. "Maybe we can head out and do some fishing later, eh Cringer?" The tiger was going with the king and Adam, and the prince couldn't help but hope for a few quiet moments here and there so he could indulge in his favorite pastime.
Teela shook her head, even as her green eyes scanned the crowd for possible dangers to the royal family. "Don't you ever think of anything but fun, Adam?"
Adam winked at Duncan, his blue eyes twinkling. "Sure, Teela. Food!"
Duncan chuckled as Teela huffed. Orko appeared next to them suddenly. "Did I miss anything?" the little Trollan asked worriedly, wringing his blue hands in his red robe.
"The king is about to start his speech," Duncan replied. "Quiet now."
A sudden shuffling to the right of the raised platform drew Teela's attention. She motioned her guards over. Adam kept his casual stance, but his eyes drew over the crowd carefully. Something wasn't right. He could feel it in the air, and his stomach grew tight. It was times like this that it was difficult to be a prince in full view of the public, and yet have the secret ability to become He-Man. He hated looking as if he were running away.
The King was waiting for the commotion to stop, but it only grew louder as the guards approached. Then, one of the "citizens" suddenly threw off her cloak, revealing none other than…
"Evil-Lyn!" Teela shouted. She and Duncan reacted immediately, drawing their lasers and running over to assist the guards.
Adam's first thought was the find cover so he could transform into He-Man, but something, some instinct, caused him to pause. He glanced over the crowd one last time, and it was then that he saw another figure aiming something at King Randor. 'Evil-Lyn was only a distraction,' he realized. His heart in his throat, he reacted instinctively as a glowing object in Skeletor's hand let loose some sort of beam.
"Father! Look out!" he yelled, pushing Randor out of the way. The blast caught Adam square on; he could feel pain pulsing through his body, and his mind seemed to explode with memories and feelings. Then there was nothing.
"Adam!" Queen Marlena screamed. Teela and Duncan, facing off against Evil-Lyn, froze. Teela's heart seemed to stop as she looked over and saw the queen falling to her knees beside Adam. Duncan forced himself to keep his eyes on Evil-Lyn, but she only laughed and disappeared in a ball of fire. Teela and Duncan ran to the platform. Holding his head, Randor fought the dizziness that threatened to overwhelm him as he heard Marlena's sobs. He stood groggily to see his wife kneeling by the still form of his son, who didn't seem to be breathing. Then he heard a familiar evil laugh. Turning unsteadily, he saw Skeletor throw aside his cloak. Duncan moved in front of the king protectively.
"Well, Randor, I may have missed this time, but getting rid of that pest of a prince is some consolation. And once my new prize here is re-charged, I'll be back for you. Then you can join your precious son in oblivion!" Cackling, Skeletor faded away.
Teela clapped a hand to her mouth as she dropped to her knees next to Adam. Marlena just kept shaking Adam. Frantically, Duncan joined them and felt Adam's throat for a pulse. There was nothing.
"He's gone," Duncan whispered brokenly. He shook his head in disbelief, an emptiness quickly growing inside of him. "He's gone," he repeated. 'Skeletor won,' he thought in an odd, detached way. 'He actually killed He-Man. I was supposed to prevent this. It's my duty as man-at-arms to protect the prince. I failed.'
"Noooo!" Teela and Marlena screamed almost simultaneously. 'Oh Ancients, no,' Teela thought, feeling as if her world had just been irrevocably destroyed. Marlena, unable to think, collapsed onto Adam's chest, and found that she couldn't breathe either.
It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. As she struggled to inhale, she heard his heart beat once.
"Duncan, he's not dead," she said urgently, sitting up again.
"Your Majesty, I understand how you feel," Duncan managed through his tears, "but-"
"No, I heard a heartbeat!" Marlena argued vehemently, her blue eyes daring him to disagree. "I don't think the blast killed him. It put him in some sort of suspended state!"
"Then we must get him to the palace immediately," Randor said, grasping at this hope. "The healers can-"
"No," Duncan interrupted. "I need to get him to Castle Grayskull. This is magic, and the Sorceress is more likely to be able to help him."
"Then we're all going," the king asserted. Duncan took one look at him and knew better than to argue. If it put Adam's secret at risk, he and the Sorceress would have to deal with that later.
They hefted Adam into a Wind Raider with Cringer and Marlena, who refused to leave her son's side. Teela, Orko, and Randor took another one. No one spoke a word; they were too busy silently praying and fighting for control.
The Sorceress already had the drawbridge opened when they arrived. When her connection with Adam had been severed, she had contacted Man-at-Arms. By that time, they were already en route to Grayskull.
"Quickly, bring him in," she urged Duncan. The others landed a minute later and helped him carry the unconscious prince inside. They settled him onto a bed in a room none of them had ever seen before, one sparsely decorated and clearly not lived in.
The Sorceress laid her hands on Adam's chest, and a warm white light began to glow around the two of them, slowly encasing his entire body. The others gathered waited anxiously, expecting to see Adam rise up at any moment. After ten minutes, however, the light disappeared, and the Sorceress nearly collapsed. Duncan caught her and held her gently as she tried to recover her breath.
"This magic is not of Eternia, and it is very powerful," she said at last. Her normally serene face was troubled as she met each person's gaze in turn. "It seems to have attacked Adam's mind. He is in a dream-like state, but so deep that I cannot reach him. I'm afraid there is nothing my magic, or even the power of Grayskull, can do. If we do not find a way to reverse this soon, Adam will die."
Marlena gasped and buried her face against Randor, who held her with a look of disbelief on his face. Orko dropped to the floor next to Cringer, and clung tightly to the tiger.
"There's got to be something we can do," Teela said almost frantically. The thought of Adam, her best friend for so long, no longer being there, was too much for her to even contemplate. "What about Granamyr?"
"Granamyr…" mused the Sorceress. "Yes, I will try to contact him immediately, though we rarely have luck in that manner. He-Man has always had to seek him out in person."
"Well, then, by the Ancients, send He-Man up there," Randor commanded, his brown eyes flashing.
"I'm afraid that's not possible right now, King Randor," the Sorceress replied. "He-Man is far away right now, and not even I can contact him." Silently apologizing, she made a small motion with her hand, casting a spell to move their minds past yet another coincidence of He-Man and Adam being unavailable at the same time. She turned to Duncan. "Man-at-Arms, come with me, and we will attempt to contact Granamyr."
The two of them left, leaving the king and queen and Teela with Adam's still form. A shaky breath broke the silence as Randor fought to control himself.
"He saved my life," he whispered. "My son, the one everyone has called a coward…" He moved closer to Adam, Marlena moving with him easily. She wrapped her arms around him. "You saved me. And I wish with all my heart that you had not. I would rather it be me lying there in that bed." He turned to Marlena and bent his face against her, hiding his tears. Marlena pressed her head to his shoulder and cried silently, wondering if this was the end of Adam…if even He-Man could save him this time.
Teela had been a silent witness, sharing in their pain, but she couldn't take any more. She rushed out of the room, tears flowing freely down her face as sobs escaped her. 'It's my fault,' she thought. 'I was sworn to protect them all. I let them down. But most of all, I failed Adam. I failed my best friend.'
Adam couldn't figure out where he was. He couldn't see anything at all at first. Then he had the sensation of falling almost endlessly. He became so used to the sensation that when it stopped, it was a surprise. He looked around and still saw nothing, except for a small light. He took a hesitant step forward, towards the light. Then he heard his mother and Teela scream, and he whirled around, running away from the light as fast as he dared. He ran for what seemed like forever, before he came to his senses.
"There's nothing here," he whispered to himself. He couldn't tell direction, because it was too dark. But for the first time, he noticed that it wasn't total darkness as it had been. It was slightly brighter, like the difference between a completely cloudy night and a clear night with stars but no moon.
He turned back the way he'd come and saw the light was still there, beckoning him. He took a breath. "Why do I feel drawn to it, yet…it doesn't feel as if I should go to it?" he wondered. "And where am I? I don't understand." Again he started to take a step to the light, but felt the presence of the Sorceress drawing him in the opposite direction. He wanted to call out to her, but it was as if he was frozen. He was unable to move or even speak. As the Sorceress' presence withdrew, he regained both abilities.
"Think Adam, think," he muttered. "What happened? How did I get here?" He snickered a bit, need some sort of emotional release. "Not that I know where 'here' is…" Adam felt a bit foolish talking to himself out loud, but it made him feel better about this place of nothingness, and it was helping him to think things through.
"You saved me," his father's voice suddenly whispered. "And I wish with all my heart that you had not. I would rather it be me lying there in that bed."
In a bed? Adam shook his head, struggling to understand. Slowly he remembered the day's events. "That blast," he realized. "It was magic." He wanted to change into He-Man, but without knowing who was watching him or where he was, that might not be the best idea.
"And if I'm not losing my mind, and that was Father, there's something going on I don't understand. Still, I'd feel better about this with my sword in hand, more ready," he admitted to himself. He reached back to pull out the Sword of Power.
It wasn't there.