By T. F. Cooper (Based on a story by Gary Cohn)
The ghost, painted in pale, green light, stood at the center of the rocky chamber.
Stretching its arms out from its body, as if to grasp something the air refused to give it. Its eerie green glow grew brighter with intensity, as a thin cord of electricity, no thicker than a common tree branch, rippled through the empty space between its hands. White-hot, it glowed, until the current of energy became solid gold, ..a staff, shaped as a hooded, desert cobra.
Captain Teela, even in the throws of her madness, drew back from the faceless shade, crossed the Fangs of Dunamyr before her naked chest and assumed a defensive position against it. The phantom stepped toward her - its arm outstretched in a welcoming gesture - but Captain Teela attacked it with a hail of savage sword blows, ..all of which her opponent deflected with the golden staff, which rippled in its hands as if formed of lightning! The Captain pressed her attack forward with a speed beyond human capabilities, but the faceless maiden, undaunted, swept the weapons from her hands with a single stroke of the staff ..and sent the mad captain to the ground!
The phantom woman, hovering over her victim, raised its staff high above its head. The spear-like butt of her weapon, over Teela's chest ..
It thrust its arms downward, hurling the weapon at mad Teela's heart.
Her serpentine weapon twisted itself around Captain Teela. She struggled to free herself, but the golden metal of her enemy's staff twisted itself around the young warrior's arms and over every supple curve of her nudity, ..forming the divinely tempered armor of a warrior goddess! Unsteadily, Captain Teela struggled to stand upright, her legs trembling under the sheer weight of the armaments, and turned her attention to the vile king of the Shadow Lands.
Though Man-At-Arms' daughter stood before him, Skeletor could not deny what his hellborn senses told him.
The voice gave more than sound. Earthquakes, hammer-blows and atomic explosions rang within - forces, which might level cities in their wake! And something stranger still, akin to lightning, flashed beyond the green of the lovely Captain's eyes, ..which were no longer her eyes, but windows, behind which raged fierce apocalyptic power.
knew, without doubt, that he was beholding his ancient foe,
..the inviolate warrior-goddess Teela herself!
The demon-king of
"Here stand the Ancients as one, in this Rod of Order, ..and we will never allow you to breach this vault!" Mighty Teela extended her weapon, and the walls of Point Dread shook. Several cracks formed in its very stonework, as though the ancient fort would rumble apart.
"Grayskull will be mine!" screamed the Lord of the Wastes, in defiance. "Like me, it is a thing sprung from the mind and soul of men, ..and its halls stretch through every limb of reality! In seconds, Point Dread will call forth from it all the power mankind has ever dreamed of ..and give it to me."
"Then, let man dream of vengeance." Teela gestured toward Skeletor again, and from the granite of the throne behind him, a stone spike burst forth through his chest. "Warrior, in the name of all mortalkind, ..strike down the Enemy of Man!"
The demon screamed in agony.
Tearing at his ebon robes. Unable to control the violet, hell-born fires of his own magic, as they engulfed him. Unable to see the head, shoulders and torso taking shape from the stony frame of his throne, ..or the mighty arms that drove the spike deeper still, ripping his soulless body apart from the inside, as he danced frantically on its end.
A grotesque, burning, shrieking puppet.
His back against the chamber wall, Man-At-Arms forced his eyes to focus. Though, he recognized a familiar face, he no longer trusted his senses. "Ruinzo? Is - is it ..you?"
For a brief moment, the proud sergeant, whom Skeletor had turned to solid rock, beheld his Teela once more. For mere seconds, as he stood over the Enemy of Man, he felt the heat of war upon his stone face, as he had in life. The battle hymns of his homeland echoed in his granite chest. Valor and passion pumped through his veins again, and Ruinzo felt himself a man. Then, just as suddenly, the doomed Cirsalian faded back into the flat, dark granite of the chair's surface, ..until only his whisper remained ..
"Remember me, beloved ..."
The wounded Lord of Destruction slumped forward from his throne and fell to the floor. On his knees, he pushed himself up on one gauntleted arm and raised the Havoc Staff against his celestial enemy. "Goddess of nothing, ..I am your master! Did you forget that I called forth your flesh from these very rocks?! Though I descend into Oblivion, I take with me that which I gave you, twenty years ago, ..your mortal LIFE!"
From the rock of the floor, stone-skinned warriors rose up.
As if in a great, ebon tide, they rushed forth to seize the Goddess. In their hands, were weapons of every conceivable size and purpose, ..but Mighty Teela strode over them, as though they were nothing - reducing their multitude to rubble under her boot heels and the swinging of her staff! Even as the dread lord's power raised fifty more from their ruins, the Holy Warrior hurled her golden weapon against them. Her teeth bared in righteous outrage, she fought, breaking their rocky backs and skulls in her wake!
Not in twenty years, had
"I am whole once more,
demon!" Mighty Teela roared, holding the Rod of
Order before her armored bosom. "I have reclaimed the part of me you stole
twenty years ago ..and Grayskull
is once more beyond your reach! Get thee back to the
A blinding, golden light emanated from where the Goddess stood, and when its work was finished, nothing remained of Lord Skeletor or his benighted minions.
He-Man, Skeletor, Eternia and all associated
characters, names, images, comic books and minicomics
are registered copyrights and/or trademarks of