“Stupid She-Ra. Stupid Adora!” Glimmer’s furious. She’s not only out of teleports but Adora stuck her in this tower to ‘keep her safe.’ She could keep herself safe thank you very much! She wanted to punch in those horde bots with her fists, she doesn’t need her powers! So what if she felt weaker than usual when out of magic? She promised herself she’d never stop fighting.
“I won’t stop!”
Glimmer turns around in the direction of the voice. She’s met with the face of a boy not much older than her. He looks familiar but she can’t place where she recognizes him from.
“Please? You’ve been practicing for hours.” This time, Glimmer doesn’t have to look to recognize the sound of her Aunt Casta’s voice.
Still, she turns. Instead of seeing the aunt she’s known her whole life, the princess is staring into the eyes of a younger version of her aunt.
That’s when the whole room shifts. She’s no longer in a tower to keep her safe while she’s ‘weak.’ Instead, she’s in Mysticore.
“Wha-“ the scene unfolding doesn’t give Glimmer a moment to think.
“I have to. You know th-“ the boy begins speaking again but is interrupted by the young Casta.
Micah? Micah! Glimmer looks back at the boy. This time she really looks. She notices his eyes, his energy, and his hair that just so happens to be styled similarly to hers.
She reaches out to him, “how?” But when her hand makes contact with his shoulder, she’s met with pixels glitching in the air instead of the soft feeling of her father.
Glimmer sighs. It’s just a simulation. Duh. She should’ve known.
Despite knowing it’s all fake, something about it feels real. Maybe it’s the way her heart feels fuller, like the gap her father’s death made in it was filled. Or maybe it’s how she’s able to feel the breeze in the warm Mysticore air. Or maybe it’s because she wants, more than anything, for it to be real.
“We should be out there, fighting!” Micah complains. “We can’t let anything else happen!”
“The princess from Brightmoon is here and the others are on their way. Let’s play a game while we wait!”
Glimmer looks down at herself. They couldn’t possibly be talking about her? Could they? Isn’t this just a simulation
The voice of her young father interrupts her thoughts. “If princess Angella is here, I’ll go speak to her. I need to help.”
Glimmer watches intently, waiting to see what happens next. Her mother never spoke of her youth with Micah and Glimmer didn’t dare ask. Her eyes follow as young Micah makes his way to the door but then the simulation glitches. It’s gone as quickly as it appeared.
Now the princess is alone and back in the tower. She clasps her hands tightly around the staff she carries with her. The poor girl is locked in this crazy tower, people are telling her she’s weak, and now she’s missing her father more than she has in years.
Glimmer drops to the ground, deciding she might as well rest if she’s going to be here awhile. Plus, she’s already feeling weak and with the simulation she just experienced she’s not sure if she can continue holding back the tears that’ve been forming since she entered this place.
It’s a good thing she decided to sit because as soon as she’s on the ground, a tear falls from her closed her eyes. Another one follows. And another... and another until she’s sobbing. She’s not quite sure what she’s sobbing about anymore but she feels a bit of relief when she feels herself being lifted.
The movement causes her to open her eyes to another simulation. This time, she’s looking at the man she grew up calling dad. She reaches up, clasping into his beard. She tries to call out but only babbling comes out of her mouth.
That’s when she realizes she’s in the body of an infant. This scene feels familiar, almost like a long forgotten dream. Perhaps this was a long forgotten memory. Could this place really do that? Bring memories that she didn’t even have consciousness during to life? And before? Was that real too?
“She always calms down when you pick her up.” Glimmer immediately recognizes her mother’s voice. “She really loves you.”
“She must’ve gotten that from you.” The young princess watches as her dad chuckles at himself and her mom’s smiling face leans over to look at her child.
“Of course,” the queen responds before pressing kisses to both Micah and Glimmer’s foreheads.
The moment is short lived and the smile on Queen Angella’s face falters as she lets out a sigh. “If only it could stay like this.” Her delicate hand moves closer to Glimmer who instinctively reaches up to wrap a tiny hand around her mother’s finger.
“Angella,” Micah’s face grows serious. “We’ll make this last. Our love will outlast this war and eventually we’ll have an abundance of time to spend like this.”
“Yes.. you say that,” the woman responds, “but how long until then? Your life span... her life span... wars can last lifetimes. Time is limited.”
The room is silent for a minute. Glimmer is scared the simulation has ended until she feels her father shift her to one arm and her mother come closer. She assumes her dad pulled her in. He was always good at comforting people.
“Well, we have now. Let’s make the most of it.”
Comforting arms shift to a cold floor as the scene comes to a close and tears once again drop like stones from Glimmer’s face.
“Now,” Glimmer chokes out the word as her surroundings shift once again.
She stands outside her parents cracked bedroom doors. She vaguely remembers this. The princess had woken up from a nightmare and not yet having control over her teleportation at the age of 5, she walked to her parents bedroom.
She was about to enter the room but the sound of quiet sobs stop her.
“It was just a dream,” the loving voice of King Micah says. “It’s not real.”
Glimmer realizes her mother must’ve had a nightmare too.
“But it could’ve been!” The queen’s voice rises a bit before she quiets herself. “If they come for us, they’ll come for her. I couldn’t.. what if they hurt her?” Oh. Oh...
“We won’t let them.”
Glimmer listens to her mother’s sniffles before she begins speaking again. “Yes but... the horde is stubborn... they’ll keep coming no matter what.”
“Good thing I’m even more stubborn,” Micah says as his wife lets out a shakey laugh.
“Yes... thank you.” A few sniffles can be heard. They become more spread out until they eventually stop and the queen speaks. “I’m going to check on her.”
The bed creaks and moments later the doors open in front of the young Glimmer.
“What’re you doing here?” Her mother asks but she doesn’t need to answer. She can tell by the look in her daughter’s eyes that she also was a victim of her dreams. Almost immediately Glimmer is being scooped into her mother’s arms and after shutting the door, Angella brings them both to bed.
Glimmer snuggles up as both her parents wrap their arms around her. Laying there, in a sandwich of love, everything feels alright.
She actually manages to fall asleep. The princess doesn’t wake up until she hears her mother’s voice in the conference room. She reaches for the table to help her up but her hand slips through. She isn’t part of the story this time.
The girl stands on her own, only catching the end of her mother’s words. “You’ll leave at dawn.”
Glimmer’s father stands, “we’ll finally take a proper stand and end this!”
His words are met with cheers from around the full table. The last time the table was this full was...
The scene fades and suddenly she’s sitting in bed, hugging her dad. “When will you be back?”
Now this, Glimmer vividly remembers. She’s had this moment on repeat since the day it happened. To this day she would still have dreams about her final moments with her father.
“Soon,” his reply came quickly. “And this time, when I return, I’ll never leave again.”
“Really?” The simulation faded as the excited word became mournful.
She’s silent. The sparkling princess hugs her, no, her father’s staff close as if she was hugging her father again.
At least that must be the end. She figured, since all of these have revolved around her father, there can’t be anything after that. A few minutes pass in silence and she assumes she’s right and decides maybe she’ll try to nap and maybe relive the feeling of being cuddled between her parents.
But then she’s on the battlefield. She watches as blasts from both the horde, and Brightmoon soldiers fly throughout the air. A few pass through her, proving she isn’t a character in this story either.
Unlike her, when the blasts hit soldiers, they fall like bricks and don’t get up.
“Sir! We should retreat!” A voice calls out.
“No!” King Micah pants as Glimmer spots him on the frontlines. She runs closer and he shouts while blasting magic. “We’re strong enough! We’re ending this now!”
The brave king gathers a large ball of magic in front of him, clearly putting all his energy into producing it. He uses his last bits of strength to blast it towards the Horde.
“Dad!” Glimmer calls out but her words are lost as the blast knocks back hundreds of horde soldiers.
A force captain calls “retreat!” and they do as order. Everyone, besides one. A shadowy figure, out of range of the blast comes charging in.
The familiar, sinister voice of Shadow-weaver sends chills down Glimmer’s spine. “Oh Micah... why’d you let it come to this?” Thats when it happens. The blast that changed everything. The King’s body fell limp as the remaining soldiers charged towards the shadowy woman but it was too late. She was gone as quickly as she appeared and Glimmer’s screams pierced throughout the air.
“Glimmer! Glimmer!” She heard Adora and Bow’s shouts followed by the sounds of the She-Ra detransformation. She feels the arms of her friends wrap around her shaking body.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have been so reckless out there. One mistake and everything could be ruined...”
“We’re just glad you’re okay,” Bow squeezes her.
“Come on. Let’s get out of here,” Adora helps her friend up. “This place can really mess with your head.”
“Yeah,” Glimmer almost laughs as she begins walking out.
Pressed between her two friends as they make their way into the light, Glimmer makes a promise to herself that she’ll never let the bad moments in history repeat themselves. But as the warmth of her friends engulf her in a hug sandwich, she’s glad she can relive some moments in reality.