That word floated through his mind, pushing every other coherent thought he might have back. He should be familiar with it. Ever since he launched the accursed attack on the Hall of Wisdom he had suffered it at the hands of the hero. A constant companion to every brilliant plan he had hatched in the past. And though the Masters had thwarted his plans he always had been able to pick himself up. This time, however, it was different. He had been utterly destroyed. This time, he was sure he would not come out of it alive. And what hurt him most was the fact, that his Second in command, his former lover was the source of his bitter loss.
He sighed heavily, trying to shift his weight a little, but the sturdy iron bands his wrist, arms and neck were bound together only bit deeper into his flesh.
Skeletor was gone, left behind was the shell of the man he once had been. A broken spirit in a beaten body. When Hordak returned, he had restored his face, yet made sure the acid burns were still fresh. It left him half blind, half of his face, lower arms and hands raw and painful.
His magic was gone. As much as he wanted to throw a ball of fire into the enemy's face, or at least heal the worst wounds a little, he found himself unable to do it. The powerful feeling of magicka that had surged through his veins for so long was gone. It left him feeling impotent and helpless.
His Evil Warriors were no more. Most of them had followed Evil-Lyn's lead. They had revelled in enacting their revenge on him. Revelled in seeing him helpless, in pain and at their mercy. He had been beaten and whipped and silently he wondered why he still had all his limbs. Those few who were loyal to him had been slain. Panthor, his one true friend, had been butchered and skinned right in front of him. The look in the big cat's eyes still haunted him. It had pleaded for help, but he could do nothing but watch.
The Hordetrooper next to Keldor shifted his weight a little, bringing the man out of his brooding thoughts. A small frown appeared on Keldor's face. He still could not understand how Evil-Lyn had been able to summon Hordak back to Eternia. Skeletor himself had destroyed the last sanctuary. His best guess was, that Skeletor in his misguided believes and arrogance had quite simply overlooked something. Something important. And Lyn in her absolute lust for power had brought a force here, which would destroy them all.
Again Keldor sighed deeply and raised his gaze to a small hill. There, black against the red sky stood a hastily constructed gallows. Soon he would take his last breaths there. Soon the hunger, that burned through his body, eating his insides up and made him dizzy would end.
Where is that accursed hero, when I need him?
He thought bitterly, chuckling at his own foolish thoughts. His little outburst was rewarded by a sharp yank on his chains. Keldor hissed through clenched teeth as the throbbing pain in his shoulders intensified tenfold. He bit his bruised lower lip. There would be no hero to show up. There would be no one to save him from his end, for he was not worth saving. He – Skeletor – had done things, that simply could not be redeemed. He had murdered and defiled, enslaved those who dared to live too close to Snake Mountain. It was only right, that he was now on the receiving end. And even if he was saved, he would never be able to do any good. He was utterly helpless. Half blind, with burned hands and without any magic to rely on, he would only be good as a beggar on the street.
Keldor shook his head. No. He would end today.
At least I don't have to suffer under Hordak's reign any longer.
He thought gloomily, eying the gallows pole wearily.
At least I don't have to suffer through yet another defeat...