MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: DEADLY CURE
Disclaimer: This fanfic is not sponsored by Mattel or any of its subsidiaries. It is written for entertainment purposes only
Author's Note: This story is being posted in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Masters of the Universe franchise and the 10th anniversary of the 200x cartoon. This story takes place in the same universe as the "New Legacy" series, which can be found on my DA page. That being said, you don't need to read any of it to understand this fic.
It takes place a few weeks after the final episode "Awaken the Serpent."
A blue sky greeted him, dotted with big white clouds. The thick jungle forest below teemed with life. The wind whipped around him as the Sky Sled was ramped up. The Sorceress had sounded dreadful when she called for him. The poison from King Hsss and the intensity of recent of events had clearly had a toll on her . . . but she never sounded quite like this.
Duncan had known the Sorceress for over eighteen years, ever since she saved his life after the Great Unrest. And when she gave him Teela to raise, there was such an air of sadness to her. One that he was reminded of when she summoned him.
The Sky Sled sat down on the long, arching land bridge before Castle Grayskull. The jawbridge slowly cranked out, massive and heavy, and it slammed down onto the land bridge, a puff of dirt rising from the impact. Duncan walked across the jawbridge and after stepping into the chilly, damp castle, the jawbridge cranked up and shut behind him.
Duncan didn't walk far before the Sorceress appeared.
"Duncan . . ."
Her skin was pale – nearly sheet white – but there were green and blue veins pulsing all over her exposed skin. Her wings were dingy and gray. She held herself up with her staff, but one small step forward caused the Sorceress to collapse in a heap, feathers spinning into the air.
"Sorceress!" Duncan yelled. He ran to her and helped her up. Her body felt limp and lithe, almost as though he was holding nothing at all.
"Duncan . . ." she groaned again, but said nothing more. Her eyes closed.
Holding her in his arms, Duncan ran through the castle. Doors appeared and opened. Staircases swiveled and shifted. Bridges linked up. It was as though Castle Grayskull was guiding him to the room he sought. After what felt like an eternity, Duncan brought her to a bedchamber. Streams of sunlight poured through the windows. He laid her down upon a lavish bed, ordained with golden falcons.
Her eyes opened and she reached for a small orb on a nightstand next to the bed. Duncan grabbed it for her and handed it over. The Sorceress placed all ten fingers upon it and entered a state of pure concentration. For a moment, the veins became completely green and crept across her skin. But the moment passed and the veins receded a little.
"The venom . . ."
She looked up at him, her eyes bloodshot and glossy. "I'm dying."
Duncan felt like he had been kicked in the chest.
The Sorceress shifted a little. "I have fought as long as possible, but the venom continues to ravage my body. I have days . . . at the most . . ."
"Teelana." It had been such a long time since he used her real name. "There may still be time. Something we might be missing."
She shook her head. "No. I've done all I can. Teela's time is at hand."
"She's not ready."
"Neither was I when it was my time, Duncan." The Sorceress sat up a little. "You must bring her here."
"Let me try and help you first."
"Duncan, it is futile."
"I refuse to believe that." Duncan stood up. "Please. Give me a chance. We're not ready to lose you."
The Sorceress lowered her head. "I will give you two days," she resigned after a moment. "But no more. After those two days, you must bring her here."
Duncan forced himself to smile. "Deal."
It had been two weeks since the battle with Serpos and the struggle for the Inferno Heart. The great city of Eternos and its majestic palace were still under reconstruction, but luckily, it was progressing very quickly. Duncan's lab had been spared during the attack and he immediately took up residence there.
The night had been filled with calculations, research, and intense study. Cup after cup of coffee was downed. He would not let her die . . . not if he could help it.
When the sun rose, he came to his conclusions and summoned those he needed to save the Sorceress.
Teela watched as Adam pushed the wheel barrel across the courtyard. Not for the first time, she wondered about her feelings towards him. Since Serpos and the Inferno's Heart affairs, Adam seemed . . . different. More mature, more responsible. And that newness was affecting Teela very warmly. Though they were both busy with the reconstruction, she found herself lingering towards him.
'What is this I'm feeling?' she often wondered. 'It was only a kiss, right? For good luck.' The two had kissed before Adam set off to find He-Man during the issue with the Inferno's Heart.
'What if this is more . . . ? What if . . . ?' Her eyes widened in wonder.
"MAN-AT-ARMS TO TEELA AND ADAM. PLEASE REPORT TO MY LAB." Her father's voice cut through her thoughts. Teela replied into her communicator and jogged across the courtyard ahead of Adam.
When she entered the lab, Duncan was already joined by King Randor and Orko. Adam caught up with her, but she purposely side-stepped him.
"Thank you all for coming," Duncan began. Teela's father looked drained and weary. She had seen him like this before; it meant he hadn't been sleeping. What was he working on?
"As you are all aware, during the attack on Castle Grayskull by King Hsss, the Sorceress was assaulted. King Hsss released a very potent venom into her system. For the past several weeks, the Sorceress has been able to keep the venom at bay. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. The Sorceress is dying. She has days, if she's lucky."
Teela blinked. The Sorceress had saved her life through a blood transfusion. And even so, she had barely seen the woman. She always seemed like a mystical , mysterious woman who was almost larger than life. To learn that she was dying . . .
Teela glanced at Adam. The boy looked stunned and more concerned that she would have believed.
"We have only one hope of saving her," Duncan continued. He looked straight at Teela. "Teela's blood type matches that of the Sorceress."
Teela nodded. "She needs a transfusion?" she asked. "If she does, she can have some of my blood . . ."
Duncan shook his head. "It's not that easy. The venom has caused a sort of blood poisoning."
"Then what can stop it?"
Duncan sighed and presented them with a holographic image. "This is the last remaining part of the pillar that King Hsss was using to channel the Serpent's Ring. While most of it was thrown into the sun by He-Man, this piece fell to the ground. It's currently down in the vault. It is still infused with the transformation magic of the Serpents Ring. All it needs is some coaxing . . ."
"What are you saying, father?" asked Teela.
"We will need to expose you to only a fraction of its power. Only enough to transform some of your blood into that of a Snake-Man. Once we are finished with the transfusion, we can revert you back."
"You – you want me to become a Snake-Man again?"
"No. The effects will barely be felt." He looked into her eyes. "I wouldn't have even proposed this if it was going to harm you."
She knew he meant that. He had been under the same spell as she. It hadn't really been that long ago that their bodies and minds were transformed; becoming obedient to King Hsss and acting out of reptilian urge to defend oneself from mammalian attackers. It had been a blur to her – a rush of sounds and imagery, coupled with thoughts that she could not imagine herself having.
It sent a shiver up her spine to even think about transforming into that thing again. But . . . but Teela trusted her father and the Sorceress had saved her life once. She had a debt to pay.
"Okay, father," Teela answered. "I'll do it."
Duncan nodded a little and glanced at King Randor. "Your highness?"
"You have my permission. Adam and I will go to the vaults and retrieve the stone." Only King Randor and Prince Adam were authorized to do such a thing; Duncan, Teela, and Mekaneck were forbidden because of their previous exposure to the Serpents Ring.
An hour later, King Randor and Prince Adam had returned, the stone in tow. It was no bigger than brick and was made of limestone. Part of a snake was carved into its side.
"There, Adam, on the pedastel," Duncan pointed out.
Adam complied. "Do you think He-Man should be here?"
"Yes. After we're done, he will be needed to destroy the stone."
"Okay. I'll go get him." Adam looked up at Teela. "Good luck."
"Thanks," Teela responded. They had kissed previously for good luck. It had been nice.
Adam left the lab. A moment later, He-Man arrived, his armor upon his huge muscles making him appear even bigger than normal. "Hello everyone."
"He-Man, glad you're here," King Randor said. "How is the Sorceress?"
"Um, not well, your highness," He-Man replied. "Teela, you are doing a brave thing."
Teela shrugged. "Thank you."
"Okay." Duncan immediately began to issue directions. Teela was placed on a chair on a metal platform. A robotic nurse hovered next to her. A circular device hung above her, with cables that ran back to the pedastel and connected with the stone. Orko floated above the stone, his new wand in hand.
"Ready when you are, father," Teela said, her voice masking the apprehension.
"All right everyone. Let's start this off. Orko?"
The Trollan tapped his wand against the stone. There was a spark of green magic. The circular device next to Teela sent the energy to her. Teela felt nothing more than a slight tingle. The medical robot took a quick scan.
"Damn," Duncan grunted as he read the data read-outs. "Not enough. Orko, again."
Before Orko could even touch the stone, the stone exploded. Green lightning bolts shot across the room and slammed into Teela's chest. The medical robot went spinning back; the device exploded as the last of the spell blew it out. Green, sepertine magic began to revolve around Teela.
"NO!" Duncan shouted.
Teela felt her senses go dim. Her thoughts were losing cohesion and her preceptions became jumbled. She blinked and saw her father, He-Man, and King Randor. She blinked again, and couldn't help herself. She didn't see friends and family – she saw enemies. They wanted to . . .
Teela, her mind warped by the transformational magic, embraced the changes being made to her body. She needed to attack, then escape. She needed to find the one response for this. The Sorceress . . . that was why she was here? She needed to kill the Sorceress.
He-Man stared in shock as the transformation overcame Teela. Her skin became scaled and green. Her face was that of a Snake-Man, and just as before, a long tongue emerged from her mouth. But this time, a pair of fins rose up on either side of her face. Her red hair became frizzy and dark. Her legs merged quickly and transformed into a long tail that stretched out several feet.
Teela rose and hissed.
"TEELA! STOP!" Man-At-Arms shouted, but he was smashed into He-Man by the end of Teela's tail. A gas fumed out of Teela's fins and King Randor and Orko tumbled backwards, suddenly disoriented. Teela turned to the wall and spray acid from the fins. Within second, part of the wall corroded and she was out.
"INTRUDER ALERT! SECURE THE PALACE!" roared Man-At-Arms into his comm-set.
He-Man was after her in a flash.
In the courtyard, three guards were rushing towards. Teela snarled. A stream of acid melted their weapons and strong swipe of her tail sent them colliding with the floor.
"Teela! Stop!" He-Man shouted, rushing after her.
Teela could feel the footfalls. She crashed her tail into him and then dove for the nearest sewer grate. In less than a second, she was gone.
A corroded sewer grate was tossed onto Man-At-Arms worktable. Fisto stood on the other side with a grimace. "What did you do to my niece?"
Man-At-Arms gave his brother no reply. Instead, he grabbed his grapplor and reloaded.
"I said - "
"I heard you," Man-At-Arms fired back. "And she volunteered for - "
"For what? To be turned into a monster?"
"Gentlemen," King Randor stepped in. "Arguing will get us nowhere. We need to focus on finding Teela." He looked to Fisto. "You said this came from the north side?"
Fisto grunted. "Yeah. By the swamp."
"She's going after the Sorceress," Man-At-Arms deduced. "She blames her for her capture."
"Capture?" Fisto questioned. "Just how in the hell do you - ?"
"It's who I would go after." Man-At-Arms placed a new battery into his stun cannon. "I've been transformed like that. I know how things get twisted up in there."
"You were – you mean - ?"
"You need to get caught up on our files, Fisto," Man-At-Arms chided. "Meet Stratos and Stratos in the hanger bay and head northeast. Track her as best you can . . . but be careful. Understand?"
Fisto looked at the stern face of his brother, then nodded slowly. Without a word more, he left the room. He-Man, Orko, and King Randor were all that were left. "How did this happen, Duncan?" He-Man asked, his arms folded across the chestplate of his Snake Armor.
"It's my fault, wasn't it?" Orko sighed.
"No. It was mine." Man-At-Arms lifted up his helmet. "There was more magic in that stone than I believed. You didn't do anything you weren't supposed to, Orko."
"Do we know how to reverse the spell yet?" asked King Randor.
"He-Man's already destroyed the stone," Man-At-Arms answered. "It worked last time, but not now."
"There's no magic left in it," Orko followed up. "All of it went into Teela."
"Great," He-Man sighed. "Have you contacted the Sorceress yet?"
"Not yet, but I plan on doing that next. I'm not sure if she'll be able to help, though . . ."
The Sorceress awoke to a knock on her door. She rose slowly, her joints aching and a fever building. Clutching her staff, she walked to the door and opened. Zodak stood before, his helmet in his hands.
"Sorceress. You should be resting."
"Why are you here?"
"Your daughter is in danger."
"Man-At-Arms exposed her to the left-over power of the Serpent's Ring in an effort to concoct a cure for you. He made a miscalculation."
The Sorceress firmed up. "Then we must work to save her. Come with me."
"You must rest."
She shook her head. "The life of my daughter is far more valuable than my own. She must be attended to."
"You are not strong enough - "
"I will be."
Man-At-Arms finished arming himself when the Sorceress called out to him.
'I was going to tell you,' he replied to her telepathic call.
'What is done is done. Zodak and I have determined how to restore her. Teela's mind is currently buried beneath the power of the Serpent's Ring. To restore her, you must find a way to bring her mind to the surface. With that occurs, Zodak and I will be able to break the spell and remove it from her system.'
'How do we do that?'
'Appeal to her, perhaps. Find away.' The Sorceress paused. 'When this is over, Duncan. You and I will have words over this.'
'Indeed . . .'
Man-At-Arms sighed as the Sorceress left his mind. He reinforced his armor and strapped his grappler to his back.
"Duncan!" He-Man shouted, rushing down the corridor. "She's been spotted!"
Man-At-Arms pulled his helmet on. "Have them attempt to subdue her and inform them that we are on our way."
"I don't like this," Ram-Man grumbled from the back seat of the Wind-Raider. "I mean, it's Teela! Our buddy!"
"I'm with you, Rammy," Mekaneck agreed. "Unfortunately, we don't have much of a choice. I've been under that influence before. You lose all sense of yourself. Everything becomes primal. Instinctive. It's . . . not fun."
Sy-Klone lowered his hand from the side of his head. "Just received word from He-Man. We are to attempt to subdue her. He-Man and Man-At-Arms will be here shortly."
"Fun. Rammy, you're up first!"
Ram-Man leapt down the Wind-Raider. The ground beneath him rumbled as he landed right in front of Teela. Trees shook. Animals scurried. Ram-Man stomped. Teela paused, her body rising high, her fins widening.
"I'm sorry, kid," Ram-Man sighed and thundered forward, his massive body giving him the momentum he needed.
Teela spun out of the way, then lashed her tail at Ram-Man's arm. It wrapped around it, and she used his speed to turn him. Ram-Man slammed into the Wind-Raider. Sy-Klone was thrown free, but landed hard against the ground. Mekaneck rolled out and rose to his feet, his club at the ready.
"Teela, listen to me!" Mekaneck attempted, being sized up the young woman. "Listen! I know what it's like! I was just like you, remember?"
Vapor shot out from her fins. Mekaneck's head shot up to avoid it, but a spray of acid struck his shoulders, immediately damaging the servos for his neck.
Teela wrapped her tail around Mekaneck's body and she eyed him carefully. Mekaneck's neck sparked and spurted, completely inoperable.
There was a shriek of engines from above and in a blur, two claws grabbed Teela's arms and chest and pulled her back. Teela tumbled back, He-Man standing before her, triumphant.
"Stop this," He-Man commanded.
Teela struck fast, vapor pouring out faster than He-Man could act. In seconds, everything around him began to spin and he fell to the ground.
The newly arrived Battle-Hawk brought Man-At-Arms. He leapt off and shot a round of laser blasts at his daughter. The ground exploded, keeping her at bay. Man-At-Arms came face-to-face with his daughter.
"Teela. Listen to me. This is your father. Duncan."
Teela hissed again, her tongue snapping out of her mouth.
"You are lost in the magic, but you have to resist. You have to try and push yourself out. It's the only way. Please, Teela, if you can hear me, please give me a sign. Please push yourself through the haze of confusion and magic. Please."
The creature that Teela had become paused and lowered itself a bit.
"Yes," Duncan said. "That's right."
Acid shot out, dousing his armor from shoulders to shins. She struck against, the metal corroding quickly. Teela then slammed her tail into Duncan, crashing him against He-Man. She slithered between the two of them, gathered herself onto the Battle-Hawk, and then guided it to Castle Grayskull.
The Sorceress clutched the crystal ball and lowered her head. "They've failed. She is coming to kill me."
"I will stop her," Zodak said. "By any means."
"I will not see my daughter dead," the Sorceress responded. Her face was gray and gaunt; green veins pulsed beneath her skin.
"If you die, she will become the Sorceress of Grayskull. In her state, it will be a disaster. If she cannot be stopped - "
"He-Man can still stop her. If not, perhaps a direct telepathic assault will weaken the magic enough."
"You are not nearly strong enough," Zodak replied.
The Sorceress felt a tear slip down her cheek, running across the feverish skin. "If she kills me, Zodak . . ."
Zodak nodded grimly. "I will do what must be done."
The Sorceress did her best to compose herself. 'He-Man . . .'
'Sorceress?' answered He-Man telepathically.
'I have summoned Battle-Cat for you. You must reach Castle Grayskull at once. Teela is nearly here. Only you can stop her.'
'I can't fight her, Sorceress. I . . . I care too much about her.'
'Fight her any way possible. Reach her in any way possible. Please. I . . . I care for her too . . .'
He-Man paused. 'I have an idea, but it's risky.'
Castle Grayskull rose above Teela, huge and mighty, partially hidden by fog. Home of the Sorceress, the one who forced her imprisonmenet. The one that must die. She must die so that . . . so that . . .
So that she would no longer be imprisoned?
The transformed Teela felt a strange doubt ripple in her animalistic mind. Was there something more to this? Why did she feel so much anger . . . and why was she driven here?
Teela watched as a figure emerged ahead of her, out from the fog. An enemy, yes. A victim. Prey.
"Stop Teela," said the figure. Adam stood before her, now. Defenseless, weaponless.
Teela felt a hunger and a hatred for the mammal.
"You need to stop and listen."
Teela slithered towards him, rising up onto her tail, the end of which was rattling. She could taste his pheromones with her tongue.
"It's me, Adam. Your friend. Your best friend. We've known each other since we were kids. Babies, really." Adam rubbed the back of his head and grinned a little bit.
"This isn't you. You know it isn't. You've been infected by evil magic, Teela. You need to fight. The Teela I know would fight it. You need to fight it. The people in your life need you back. I need you back. I need my friend back. I care about you, Teela. I lo - like . . . being with you."
Teela snarled, but couldn't help but remember kissing this mammal in this exact spot some time ago. Why would she do that? Why? This was a mammal . . . this was . . .
"Please, Teela. Fight. Fight against the magic. Fight. Please. If not for me, then for yourself. For the girl I care about more everyday I'm with. Fight it, Teela! Fight it!"
Teela lowered her head, her tongue flipping. "Adam."
There was sudden burst of sound and light. Zodak slammed onto the ground between them. His arms spread wide and blue energy smashed against Teela. Teela recoiled and staggered. Zodak slid right up to her and put his left point and middle fingers on her forehead. He flattened his right hand. Energy began to quickly form around them. Then, with a sudden explosion of speed, his hands switched poses.
A ripple of blue magic shot out.
Two serpentine energy snakes came firing out of Teela.
She collapsd to the ground in a heap, human again.
The serpentine magic coiled in between Zodak's hands. A cube formed around the magic and started to shrink it down, containing the vile magic. This cube was shrunk down to a square inch. Zodak then contained this within an energy sphere, and then contained that in a small metal pyramid.
Finally, Zodak fired off into the air, holding the trapped magic.
Adam and Cringer were at Teela's side in a second. Her eyes slowly opened.
"Adam?" she questioned. "ADAM!"
Her arms swung around his neck.
"Are you – are you okay?"
Teela held him closer. "Yes." She closed her eyes. "I am now."
The sound of a hastily repaired Wind Raider interrupted the reunion. Man-At-Arms leapt out and rushed towards his daughter and the prince. His outer armor was gone, leaving him in only his green outfight underneath.
"Teela!" He wrapped her up in a big hug. "I'm so sorry."
"It's okay," she said to him. "It's . . . it's okay . . ."
Duncan withdrew from her. "I need a blood sample . . ."
She nodded. "Go ahead. It's what started this whole thing, right?"
Duncan said nothing, just retrieved a blood sample. When he looked back up at her, there were tears in his eyes. "I'm so, so sorry."
"It's over now, father." Teela looked between the blood in the vile and Castle Grayskull. "It's over."
"The blood sample proved right. This solution will counteract the poison. You should be healthy in a few weeks." Duncan lifted the Sorceress' arm and injected the anti-venom.
The Sorceress rubbed her arm. "I can feel the effects waning already."
Zodak, who stood at the foot of her bed, raised his head . "Then this was not done in vain."
"I suppose not." Duncan shook his head. "Still . . ."
"It is finished, Duncan," the Sorceress said. "We both faced hard decisions. Life and death decisions. Poor choices. We must learn from them."
The Sorceress exchanged a glance with Zodak.
"I suppose you're right," Duncan said.
"You were right, besides," the Sorceress continued. "She is not ready to become the Sorceress. Not yet. She and I both have many years ahead of us, thanks to He-Man and yourself. And Zodak. Let us enjoy them while we can. Let her enjoy them while she can."
The moons rose into the late evening sky. Adam sat at the edge of the pond in the garden of the courtyard. He watched as Teela rounded the path and headed towards him.
"Hey," she said.
"Hey," he replied.
"Feels good to have legs again. Tails are cumbersome." She tried a smile. It didn't quite work.
"How much do you remember?" Adam asked. Teela sat down next to him.
"A lot of it is a blur, just like last time. It was all urges and twisted, up-side down thoughts." She sighed and rubbed the back of her neck. "But it's over and the Sorceress is saved and I can put this all behind me."
"It's a win, I guess," Adam answered. "You don't remember anything?"
Teela looked up. "Well . . . I remember you. I remember what you said."
Teela shifted uncomfortably. "It was . . . very brave of you to do that. To be there, to say those things to me. It shocked me, brought me back long enough for Zodak to do his thing. Very brave of you."
"Well . . . I meant what I said."
"Yeah. I . . . kinda figured as much . . ."
"Um . . ."
Teela's cheeks pinked. "I'll be honest . . . I've been . . . um . . . I've been caring about you. More. More and differently. More differently." She was completely blushing now. "It's . . . ."
"Today was crazy."
She looked up at him with those beautiful green eyes. "Yeah."
"Maybe we should just take things one step at a time." Adam cleared his throat. "I care about you. You care about me in the same way . . . right?"
"Well, then, let's just . . . leave it at that."
Teela grabbed him by the shoulders, pulled him forward and kissed him. He gave into it a second into the kiss. After they broke, the two of them were blushing.
"Huh. Wow." Adam blinked. "That was cool."
Teela patted his hand. "One step at a time, right?"
"Y-yeah. Sure thing. One step . . ." He blinked again. "Does that mean we can kiss again?"
Teela smirked. "Maybe."
The captain stood up and started walking off. Adam grinned and chased after her.
Above them, the moons rose to their full, the day long over, and a new one coming soon . . .