Hello there Orko, my old friend...

"Are you going to constantly follow me around, Battle-Cat?" Ash asked, looking down at Battle-Cat from atop her chair.

Letting the bone he'd been chewing on slip from his mouth, he looked up at her.

"Rrrr... Vader suggested I take things slow with you," Battle-Cat replied.

"I'm not completely a cat, you know. We aren't what one would call physically compatible," Ash said, looking a little uncomfortable.

"Oh, that's a matter of persistence," he said and what little flesh remained on his face distorted into the undead bastardization of a smile.

The claws of her right hand elongated and twitched. Then, sighing heavily, she curled up on the chair and rested her chin on her knees.

"I don't think I should stay with all of you. Something nasty is going to come for me eventually and I really don't want to pull you into it." Her gray eyes were on Battle-Cat again.

"Rrrr... Tell me who has vexed you so, my pretty. Tell me and I will hunt them down and claw out their throat. And then we can finally express our true feelings atop their freshly slain body," Battle-Cat replied with a sickening snarl.

"She's hiding something..." Sun muttered.

Battle-Cat glared at the elf, then snapped his bone in half and swallowed it. Where it went was anybody's guess as he had no stomach or intestines left.

...Meanwhile, in a barn on the edge of town.

Vader's eyelids grew heavy until he could no longer resist the unnatural drowsiness that inevitably followed an evening spent with Lady De'Lyons. Blackness enveloped him and he was transported to a distant land, long buried in memory.

He held up his hand to shield his eyes as bright daylight flooded in. Around him, he saw the unmistakable landscape of Eternia with the the Royal Palace in the background. Before him, a floating figure dressed in a red robe and matching red wizard's hat was speaking.

"Magic is tricky stuff, Prince Adam," a familiar voice said.

"Orko?" Vader said, dazed.

"Well who else?" he replied.

"I...," Vader trailed off.

"Anyway, as I was saying... Magic can be quite tricky. For instance, that twinky in your inventory. It was meant to break Corruptus' hold over you. I wasn't expecting it to give you the power to throw orbs of pure fear! I don't know how that even happened," Orko said.

"This... isn't just a dream, I take it," Vader said.

"Right-O, Prince Adam! You catch on fast!" Orko said.

"Why am I here? What do you want?" Vader asked.

"Well your highness, there aren't a lot of ways to communicate with you from Trolla. Do you know how frustrating it is, waiting for the 'restless dead' to take a nap?" Orko said.

"Orko, your blathering on. Hurry up! I could wake at any moment," Vader said.

Orko's eyes widened with understanding and he began to hastily speak, "Oh, of course! Well, you see... there's more to your origin story than just Prince Adam! And the time has finally come to reveal your true identity to you! Before you were brought to Eternia and were adopted by King Randor, you were known as-"

And then Vader woke up.

"Orko, gods damn it!"

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