Chapter 14 – Of Stone

Teela could hear everything going on in the crater, her vision was still a little blurred following her run in with Beastman. She heard the shrieks of the gargoyles behind her, Skeletor shouting at his minions to get ready as the sound of the ledge breaking reached Teela's ears. She had tried to call out to her father and He-man to warn them that this is a trap but her throat was still too sore to produce anything louder than a whisper.

All she could do was listen as the action happened around her. "Come on girl, you're not Captain of the Guard for no reason. That got herself captured and thrown into a cage that will turn you into stone if you touch the bars. Stop it; now remember what Father says 'Don't rush into a conclusion'. Think it through. So I'm a little stunned but nothing feels broken. What tools are at my disposal?" Feeling through her armour she found her concealed Flash Beads and thanked all that was good that Skeletor and his minions still hadn't found the hidden panel in her armour. "Right now to assess my cell for weaknesses". But before she could undertake this her attention was drawn to the small figures further round the crater rim.

"Ah He-Man I see my new Trentren pet has taken a likening to you. Beastman help Man-At-Arms back up onto his feet and over to a spot where he can get a better view of his daughter."

She watched the orange blur of Beastman grab Man- At-Arms and drag his unconscious body over to where Triclops was checking the instruments. From where she was she could clearly make out the markings of a set of nasty bruises forming on her farther. She went to move in for a closer look but the danger of the bars made her hold back. As she tried to think of what to do for her father, her attention was again drawn by Skeletor's voice.

"Oh did I forget to mention that the Trentren is a vine snake and as much as I would love for you to stay around I am afraid that the Trentren likes the darkness. I do hate to see my pets suffer so into the crater you go". She watched as Skeletor pointed his staff at He-Man, causing magical ropes to appear around his legs entwining with the vines forcing him to the ground then slowly dragging him towards the craters edge.

She was always surprised at how agile her farther was. It was no offense to his skills but Man-At-Arms was getting on in age but any doubters would have been silenced by the speed and stealth he displayed taking down Beastman. She watched as he grappled Triclops She watched as he used the freeze ray gun to ice Triclops. She let out the breath she was unknowingly holding. As Duncan found Triclops control device and activating the system Teela tried desperately to warn her father of the dangers. But with her voice weak she could see that her father had misjudge it as her distress and with that he grabbed at the bars in an attempt to pull it in quicker but as soon as his fingers touched the bars he turned to stone.

Teela cries out as Skeletor comes up laughing. Enjoying the victory over his enemies he walks over to Triclops and Beastman shaking both of them awake. With a final evil grin he turns back to Teela "Well my dear captain you have served your purpose well and I would hate to see you left on your own whilst I become the new Lord of Greyskull." With that he shoots a bolt from his ramstaff at the rope suspending the top of the cage. Teela braced for the fall but it didn't come as Skeletors blast had only nicked it causing it to slowly unwind. "Oh my dear Captain I would hate for to die too soon and leave poor He-Man to die alone. This way you can die together." Cackling loudly Skeletor leaves Snake Mountain for his ultimate prize.

He-Man face down on the ground was struggling with the vines and ropes which were threatening to suffocate him. The more time he spent grappling with these the closer to craters edge he was being dragged. Frustrated that he couldn't even reach the power sword which remained strapped he knew that he needed to get help and so he tried to shuffle and roll along the edge of crater towards where he hoped Duncan and Teela were.

Teela carefully reached out between the bars to stroke her father's stone face. Her worst fear had come true, they were not strong enough and Skeletor had won. All she could hope for was a quick clean death. She wondered if the bars were still charged, perhaps turning to stone wouldn't hurt. As she thought about it she heard He-Man calling her name. Turning back to watch his plight she suddenly noticed how close he was to her, not in touching distance but throwing distance, not that would help she thought. She could see that He-Man's knees were out over the edge of the crater and the green ropes were live snake vines biting and sapping He-Man of his strength. What was it that Skeletor had said, he had called it a Trentren and something about it not liking the light. It was then she remembered the hidden flash beads. She fished them out from under her armour and with a single prayer through them towards He-Man and the vine creature.

The bright flash stuns both the vine creature and He-Man who loses his grip of the ground and ends up sliding over the edge of the ledge, holding on by his fingers. Luckily the flash had caused the Trentren with the ropes bound around it to let go of him as it thrashed widely. As it cried out it in pain the creature hit the side of Teela's cage causing it to turn to stone as it fell into the depths of the crater.

The force of the Trentren crashing into Teela's cage caused the threads holding the cage to snap, as the cage started to plunge Teela felt it jolt to a halt. As she went to discover what the cage had snagged on she found herself staring into the blue eyes of He-Man. His smile said enough for her to know that it had been a close call. He-Man lowered the cage and ripped off the bars.

"He-Man, my father he's …. He's been turned to stone. We have to help him but first we have to stop Skeletor he's going after Greyskull."