Jack makes a bold move to go back and defeat Aku...is he being foolhearty or hasty?
|As Jack, Bow, Glimmer, and Adora walked through the spooky Whispering Woods, it was their hope that the knowledge they had learned from the library run by Bow's dads could be used to help Etheria. Unfortunately, it was nighttime so there was little hope they could help anyone, anywhere. While they wanted to rest and relax, this seemed unlikely with the trials and tribulations ahead of them.
Suddenly, a tremor shook the ground and cracks started forming. They all ran in terror, out of the Whispering Woods. Jack, unlike the others, had a sense that a portal was opening. He ran in the direction that his sense, his inner compass directed him: the Fright Zone, where tremors were the strongest. This place, which existed in a barren wasteland, full of pollution and broken-down machines, comprised mainly of technology, looked very unnatural compared to the rest of the planet. Bow, Glimmer, and Adora shrieked in terror as they saw him running this direction. They warned him to slow down, but he would not stop. There was no stopping him in his quest to return to Earth and defeat Aku once and for all.
When they had finally caught up to him, they realized he was nowhere to be found, meaning that he had gone deep into the Fright Zone itself. This concerned Adora, who knew the Fright Zone the best, as she had grown up there.
"Where did Jack go? It's not safe for him here! If they capture him, its game over! They could manipulate him and turn him against us. It would be an utter tragedy."
Although going into the Fright Zone made her uncomfortable, she agreed with Bow and Glimmer that they had no other choice. After all, friends stick together, through thick and thin. Unfortunately, there wasn't much time to form a plan, angering Adora without question. She wished there was someone there who understood her need for organization and order, even as a fighter of the Rebellion. While Bow and Glimmer did fulfill these characteristics, she would meet such a person but not until sometime in the future when they accidentally arrived in Bright Moon with their group of friends. However, the need to delve on what could be rather than the reality wasn't a luxury they could afford at the time.
In the meantime, Jack ran breakneck speed through the Fright Zone, able to disperse the guards with his magical sword. They stood no chance against him. Soon enough he was in Hordak's inner sanctum, as some liked to call it. As he entered, Entrapta, the princess who had joined the Horde, greeted him with a friendly, and warm, smile, with Hordak nowhere in sight.
"Hello, fellow traveler, what brings you here?"
Jack explained how he had accidentally come to Etheria through a portal, which had sent him across dimensions, when he meant to go back in time. Entrapta told him that this was "fascinating" and remarked that he must have been the one she detected as arriving in the Crimson Waste. It intrigued her that Jack came from another world and she wanted him to tell her "everything."
As Jack began to tell her his life story, respecting her as an intelligent, although hyperactive, person who was kind to everyone she met, Adora, Bow, and Glimmer burst into the room. They told Jack not to listen to her, reminding him that she was on the side of evil and may have no conscience whatsoever. While they said that, Entrapta began speaking about what she had discovered about the First One's technology, telling them she was aware of the existence of a computer system which had been created by the First Ones. Each of them nodded in agreement to Entrapta and she told them, once again, as she had said in the past, that she was happy in the Fright Zone and had no reason to return to Dryl or join the princesses. This obviously dismayed Adora, Bow, and Glimmer, but they still accepted her choice, even though they profoundly disagreed with it.
Jack was not moved by the pleas of Adora, Bow, and Glimmer that Entrapta embodied the evil they were fighting. He saw a 30-year-old woman who was kind, but lonely, having a positive outlook on life, and dedicated to pursuing knowledge and discovery through her experiments and research. It filled him with joy to meet someone thrilled with learning new information, although she seemed a bit obsessive in this process. Even so, he could see that such dedication would lead to a disregard of morality, meaning she would not recognize that her work could hurt others. In a thundering voice, he told the rest of them his intentions and why he had come there.
"This woman created a portal which I will use to go across dimensions and back in time to defeat Aku. What issues you have with her is your business. I see an opportunity and I am going to take it!"
Entrapta gladly appreciated the enthusiasm but his intention to use the portal concerned her. The portal was nowhere near complete and it had a high potential of error in the process of dimensional, or even time, travel. In a distressed tone, she directly addressed Jack.
"I appreciate you would like to use the portal I made, but it is not ready. The possibility of error is astronomical. I recommend you do not use this portal and find some other way to get home. I'm sorry I cannot help you, Jack."
Stubborn as ever, Jack insisted on using it. Entrapta felt a sense of obligation to help this fellow traveler despite her reservations about the safety of the portal itself. Adora, Bow, and Glimmer screamed in terror as the portal opened, throwing them across the room. There was nothing they could do to stop Jack from using it, despite their best efforts. If the portal tore him torn apart into 1,000 tiny pieces, all they could do was watch in horror. They felt that his determination had got the better of him and that rationality had completely slipped his mind.
Jack stepped into the portal and wished them all goodbye, bowing and telling Adora, Bow, and Glimmer that their good deed of helping him since he arrived in the Crimson Waste would not be forgotten. The portal whirred and he disappeared in the blink of an eye. Afterwards, speakers nearby let out a harsh and horrid warning sound. Something had gone wrong, and Bow asked her what had happened.
"Entrapta, what is happening to the portal? Can it be stopped? Is Jack ok?"
She lamented that nothing could be done other than shutting down the whole portal, which would be dangerous since Jack was still inside the dimensional gateway. She noticed a major error: the portal continued to transport Jack through dimensions, but the ability for time travel wasn't working. While she couldn't predict where he would end up, she guessed it wouldn't be Earth, but would rather be somewhere else.
Little did Entrapta know but the portal had tapped into a channel of sorts from Etheria to Homeworld, where the Diamonds lived out their lives. They were still shaken from what had transpired when Steven and the other Gems had come to change their minds. Jack was thrown out of the portal and into the Diamond throne room, with Yellow, Pink, and White Diamond looking at him with interest. At this point, Entrapta had closed the portal on her side, so there was no going back to Etheria. Jack stood before three giant beings on another planet foreign to him.
As he looked up at the Diamonds with terror, White Diamond, the most domineering of them, opened her mouth to speak. She wanted to know why he had come there.
"Starlight, what brings you to our chambers? We were not expecting a visitor here so soon after our last ones left with a bang."
He told them how he used a portal on a distant planet, hoping it would send him across dimensions, and back in time. But that had failed, as the portal had malfunctioned, sending him there. As he stood before them, the Diamonds announced that they had to excuse themselves, but would be back in a minute.
In private, White, Blue, and Yellow didn't know what to do. Blue had an idea: contact Steven, a human-gem hybrid with Pink Diamond's gem, since they were all family. They readied their transmission and broadcast it to Earth.
Back on Earth, Steven felt his Diamond communicator, which the Diamonds had given to him after they had healed the corrupted Gems, vibrating. As he opened it, a video message by Blue Diamond began playing.
"Steven, a human arrived here on Homeworld. He calls himself Jack and tells us he wanted to go back in Earth to fight this being he named Aku. We have no record of anything of the sort, so we hoped that if you found the portal he speaks of, the Diamond communicator we gave you can be used to triangulate its connection, so he can go back where he belongs."
Steven nodded in agreement and went back to his daily chores of cleaning up the wreckage from the Gem battle near Beach City after Garnet's wedding. He quickly forgot about this message and went on with the rest of his day.
Back on Homeworld, Yellow Diamond began asking Jack questions. Her interest, especially, was in the distant planet he spoke of. She saw it as a problem that should be dealt because others could come through such a portal, meaning this problem needed to be nipped in the bud. Jack turned to her, talking about where he had been.
"Just my arrival here, I accidentally came to Etheria through a sort of dimensional drift. The armies of evil, calling themselves the Horde, had recruited this woman, who was technologically savvy, to build them a portal, new weapons, and technologies. They were fighting against this group of Princesses and other rebels, who were trying to restore balance and order to the planet."
White Diamond was intrigued. The names "Etheria" and "Horde" rang a bell. However, as she did not have a new Pearl since her Pink Pearl, formerly under her mind control, no longer served her. As such, White asked Blue for a favor, to ask her own Pearl to look up these words in the Diamond Authority Archives, DAA for short. She complied with this respect, with her Pearl, Blue Pearl, bowing before her, telling her: "My Diamond, I will do this task forthwith."
What she uncovered confirmed White's suspicions. Pink had reported on the planet years ago, describing it in detail, with entries not only about the abundant life there, in hopes that the planet become another one of her colonies, but noted an evil force called the Horde. Other records showed that the Horde knew about the Diamonds and had amassed a fleet near the planet of Horde Prime, searching planet after planet for the Diamonds so they could be the unquestioned conquerors of the universe. White, Blue, and Yellow were enraged. They would not allow such a force to one-up them and challenge their dominance. This force needed to be dealt with once and for all. Thanks to their efforts in conquering planets on their own, the Diamonds had their own impressive fleet of warships which could be easily readied for battle.
Even so, it seemed unlikely that Jack would fight alongside, or even lead, their forces. Using their powers, they all directed their energy at him, which he tried to block with his sword. But he failed. They were able to mind control him, meaning that he still had his powers as an excellent samurai warrior but was under their control. Although Steven had the Diamond communicator, Yellow Pearl, at the request of Yellow Diamond, remotely activated it. This device, little did Steven know, was configured in such a way that when it passed through a portal, like the one Jack had gone through, the location of the Horde fleet would be revealed. While such a strategy did not have a sure chance of success, it seemed probable considering that the portal sat on Etheria. To ensure that Steven and his Gem friends would visit in the near future, they implanted a memory into Lion's mind so that he would warp them to Etheria next.
Once they had the location, the Diamond fleet could immediately warp their ships there and catch the Horde fleet by surprise, destroying it in one single blow. The threat to the Diamonds would be smashed and no one except themselves would know. This would not be something they would share with Steven because he would not only oppose it, but would feel they hadn't really changed their minds. They would seem as power-hungry and imperialistic as ever, wanting to expand their empires without question. On the other hand, such a battle was, from the perspective of the Diamonds, an act of self-preservation rather an imperialist venture.
Back on Etheria, Adora, Bow, and Glimmer stood in front of Entrapta, demanding to know what had happened to Jack. She explained that he had arrived in another dimension, but it was not Earth. By her calculations, she remarked, he was safe and sound, although he hadn't arrived where he wanted. They could hear Hordak's footsteps coming down the hallway. As the sounds of his shoes got closer, they told Entrapta that she couldn't tell Hordak about this under any circumstances. She agreed with them since this test was a failure, and revealing the operation of the portal for a purpose other than helping the Horde would cause Hordak to immediately distrust her, cutting her off from any supplies she needed in future experiments. In the nick of time, Adora, Bow, and Glimmer teleported out of Hordak's inner sanctum and into the hangar bay where the skiffs were kept. Without anyone noticing, they proceeded to steal a skiff, riding it to the edge of the Whispering Woods, where jumped off, exploding it to destroy evidence of their escape. From there, they set off to Bright Moon, so they could attend the upcoming war council meeting, where they would tell everyone else about Jack's disappearance while planning their next moves against the Horde.
In the Fright Zone, Hordak approached Entrapta, asking why she wasn't asleep at this late hour. She lied by omission, although he didn't know that, cheerfully talking about her progress on the portal and how it would soon be ready. Hordak smiled creepily and praised her for such work.
"Thank you for sticking with this project. Soon, I hope, I will be able to send a message to Horde Prime so they can dispatch their fleet here. Then the Rebellion can be wiped out once and for all. I will be hailed as a hero by the rest of the Horde rather than an outcast and an upstart."
Back in the Whispering Woods, Adora, Bow, and Glimmer continued walking until they were too tired. They fell asleep in a nearby clearing, resting for the night, and would continue their trek to Bright Moon the following day.
After waking up at an early hour, by mid-afternoon, as they continued to walk through the Whispering Woods, progress on the journey was swell. Not very far away was the sparkling kingdom of Bright Moon! They were just in time for the war council meeting to start! Bow and Adora walked into the room, beat from their journey. Sitting down in their chairs, each of them told everyone of Jack's disappearance and the existence of a portal in the Fright Zone. This worried Angella, especially, since Glimmer did not come with them into the room. As she readied her mouth to ask about her daughter, Glimmer ran in, recharged by the moonstone, excited for the meeting to start. Angella chided her daughter on such reckless behavior.
"You were in the Fright Zone...again? You could have gotten hurt! You need to be more careful next time! We can't always mount a rescue mission to save you...like we did last time...and that time you were corrupted by Shadow Weaver!"
Glimmer understood her mom's concern, hugging her, reassuring her she was OK. She then turned around, telling everyone they needed to come with a plan to defeat the Horde once and for all. Little did anyone know, but soon a group of strangers would warp into the room from another planet, surprising them all, leading to a whole new set of adventures...