A quick introduction to Darna (partially) from her Wikipedia page:
Narda is a woman who finds a small white stone, a tiny meteorite from outer space. When Narda swallows the stone and shouts "Darna," she becomes a mighty warrior named Darna who is ready to defend Earth from evil forces. In her stories and shows, she is usually accompanied by Ding, a young boy who is a friend/brother to Narda.
Her villains include Valentina, a snake-woman who can control snakes, Babaeng Lawin (tl: Hawk Woman), a speedy winged android, and many more. Their usual motivation is to take the stone that is the source of Darna’s powers to use it for themselves.
I told him to run away, I told him! Damn it, why didn’t he listen?!
Wind whipped past Darna’s face as she tore through the skies in furious pursuit of Hawk Woman, who was flying several meters ahead of her. In the clutches of the silver-winged android was Ding, screaming all the while as he dangled almost a mile off the ground.
“DARNA, HELP, HELP! AAAAHHHHH!”
I’m coming! Darna tucked one of her arms to her body, stretched her other arm forward as though she were reaching out in front of her, and willed herself to fly faster. Her eyes started to water and her lungs burned from exertion as she quickly gained on Hawk Woman, but she didn’t care. She had to save Ding.
Come on, just… a bit… more!
The wind howled in Darna’s ears as she inched closer and closer, until Ding was barely within arm’s length of her. She reached out with both hands and lunged in the air to wrench him away from the villain… and missed, as Hawk Woman took a sudden nosedive into the trees below them.
Darna was stunned for a moment as Hawk Woman and Ding disappeared under the forest canopy. Then she gave chase again, but as she dove headfirst into tree branches and foliage, Ding and his captor vanished from her sight. She hovered in place and slowly floated down to the forest floor, her head on a swivel as she tried to find them again. As her eyes looked downward, she saw a small boy in a plain white shirt standing just by the roots of a massive tree. She let herself fall and ran over to Ding as soon as her feet hit the ground.
Ding’s eyes met hers, and they widened in fear.
“Darna, no! Don’t get close! Hawk Woman, she’s- she’s behind you!”
The heroine didn’t even get a chance to look behind her when something barreled into her back and tackled her to the ground.
She cried out as her body hit the dirt, and yelped again when a metallic hand grabbed her wrist, wrenched her arm far behind her back, pinning it there. Another hand clamped down on the back of her head and pressed her face against the ground. Muffled sounds came from her as she tried to raise her head, but Hawk Woman’s grip only let her turn her head to the side. The frustrated Darna spat dirt out of her mouth and continued to struggle.
“Ngh… resorting to cheap tricks like these? You’re scared to fight me fair and square, aren’t you?”
“I’d still beat you, but this is more fun.” Hawk Woman punctuated her words by wrenching the heroine’s arm even further back.
“GAH! You won’t be so smug once I get out of this and teach you a lesson!”
Darna pushed against Hawk Woman’s weight, trying to twist and roll over to get the villain off of her. She struggled with all her might, but she didn’t have the leverage to break free from the hold, and the silver-winged cyborg’s strength was not to be denied.
How do I get out of this?! Think, Darna!
But before an idea of how to escape could come to her head, a hissing sound in the air grabbed her attention. Leaves rustled and twigs snapped under the approaching footsteps of a person that Darna couldn’t quite see. But when she heard the hissing in the air grow louder and multiply, she knew exactly who it was.
“Good work, Hawk Woman. We don’t see the great Darna like this often, do we?”
Darna’s eyes went wide. She knew that voice.
“Lift her head up, would you? I’d like to see the look on her face when she’s been beat.”
Hawk Woman pulled on a fistful of Darna’s hair to yank her head up roughly, making her wince and cry out. It also forced her to look up into Valentina, and a chill ran down her spine as she saw a victorious smile plastered on her icy face. The countless pairs of beady eyes that were trained on her from the snakes on Valentina’s head only magnified her dread.
Valentina and Hawk Woman working together like this?! This is bad… I can’t stay pinned like this!
Darna grit her teeth as she squirmed and tried to knock Hawk Woman off her back again, but the villain quickly tried to stop her by slamming her head back down to the ground, driving her face hard into the dirt.
But Hawk Woman wasn’t done. Pain shot through Darna’s scalp as a hand once again pulled her hair to yank her head up, and there was nothing she could do as her face was slammed against the ground one more time.
A sick smile crept up on Hawk Woman’s lips as she listened to Darna’s muffled cries of pain. She’d almost beaten her in many of their previous encounters, only to come up short as the heroine mounted a comeback every time. But this time was different, and Hawk Woman knew it. She tried to pull Darna’s head back to slam it down yet again, but-
“I think that’s enough. Let me talk to her, will you?”
Valentina crouched down to level with Darna and cupped the heroine’s chin in her hand to lift her head up slightly. Her face was smeared with dirt and was screwed up in a look of frustration. And if looks could kill, the glare that Darna cast would have turned the snake-haired woman to ashes on the spot. Valentina didn’t care.
“Looks like you’re in a bit of a bind, Darna. You can’t take on both of us at once, and certainly not from there. So why don’t you save yourself from a lot of pain, and give us your magic little stone?”
Darna wasted no time in replying. “You can try to do whatever you want to me, but you’re never getting that stone!”
“You know what, Darna? I believe you,” said Valentina as she stood back up. “You won’t give up the stone no matter what we do to you… but what of your little friend here?”
Valentina reached her hand out to the side and scales started forming up her arm as it transformed into an impossibly long snake that shot itself towards the tree Ding hid behind. The terrified boy tried to run, but he was too slow. The snake coiled itself around him and dragged him kicking and screaming to its owner.
Darna’s blood ran cold. “You monster! Don’t hurt him, this is between you and me!”
“You’re in no position to make demands, Darna. But I will give you a choice: surrender the stone, or I will kill this boy. If you value his life, then this should be an easy choice, no?”
Valentina’s snake transformed back into her arm, which she put around Ding’s shoulders. A small snake slithered from the villain’s hand and stayed on his collar.
“So what’s it going to be?”
Give up the stone, and I’d give up all my powers and let Valentina rampage unimpeded. There’s no way I can let that happen, but...
Darna looked up at Ding, who was silent as he stood stock still. He was biting his trembling lips as the snake on his collar rose its head to his cheek. The fear written all over his face made Darna’s heart sink.
I’m so sorry you were dragged into this, Ding. I’m not going to let them hurt you, no matter what.
“You win,” sighed Darna. “Let him go, and I’ll give you the stone.”
“Stone first. Not taking any other deals, Darna.”
No choice, thought Darna. A bright light emanated from her as she started to transform back to her regular human form. Blinded, both Valentina and Hawk Woman covered their eyes with their hands.
And when the light faded, Valentina saw Darna standing in front of her, unchanged and in the middle of throwing a haymaker at her face.
Valentina cried out as Darna’s punch hit her squarely on her jaw, and floored her instantly. She stayed down for a few moments, groaning and holding her face in her hand. Meanwhile, Hawk Woman was getting back up behind Darna.
There was a flash of light, I let go of Darna, got hit in my head and knocked on my ass- oh, you sly dog. I’ll get you back for that!
The cyborg woman flew straight at the heroine while her back was turned, intent on tackling her down and pinning her again. But instead of ramming into Darna’s back, she flew face-first into her elbow.
Stunned, Hawk Woman hovered in place and held her nose. She never saw Darna slash a hand through the air to chop her on the neck. A cry escaped her, and then everything went black as she hit the deck.
“Ding, come on! We have to get away before they get up!”
Darna whipped around to face Ding, ready to carry him and fly off. He was still rooted to his spot, looking down intently at his arms.
“There’s scales… why are there scales on my arms, Darna?”
He turned his head up to look at Darna. His eyes were a deep, golden yellow, with wide slits in the middle instead of having pupils.
“I feel kinda weird...” was what Ding tried to say, but Darna only heard a hissssssss as a forked black tongue emerged between his lips. She could only watch in stunned horror as brown scales started climbing up his arms and legs, covering them and replacing his skin.
How- wha- what’s happening?! But I saved you from Valentina! So why-
Her train of thought stopped in its tracks as her eyes fell upon a small, red blot on the collar of Ding’s shirt. Horror gave way to anger as Darna turned in Valentina’s direction.
“Valentina! What did you do to him?!”
Valentina, who was back on her feet, only laughed in return. An enraged Darna shot herself like a bullet at Valentina, grabbing her by the shoulders and ramming her into a tree behind her.
“WHAT DID YOU DO?!”
“We came up with a new formula to create stronger soldiers for me, and your friend here was my first test subject,” Valentina smiled and peered behind Darna. “It’s looking pretty successful so far, wouldn’t you agree- UGH!”
Darna slammed her against the tree’s trunk, hard. “Change him back, now!”
“Even if I knew how, I wouldn’t do it. By the way, you should look behind you.”
A massive shadow loomed over the two women, and Darna could hear hissing from above. She turned around to see a beast completely covered in brown scales, towering over her as it stood on two legs. Barely hanging onto its massive body were the ripped remains of a familiar white shirt. A black, forked tongue flicked in and out of its mouth, which was just a slit on its human-shaped face.
“Ding, no... this- this can’t be...”
At Valentina’s command, the giant snake-man lifted its arm and batted Darna away with a backhand swing to the face. It hit her hard enough to blow her off her feet, knocking her sideways and sending her crashing face-first on the ground.
“Ugh!” Darna propped herself up on her elbows, trying to shake off the ringing in her head. She was slow to get back up on her feet, and this let the transformed Ding run up to her side and punt her in her midsection.
The kick lifted Darna’s whole body clear off the ground, blasting her away by a few feet. She crashed on the ground again, and her momentum made her roll a few times before coming to a stop.
“That… hurt… ”
Thudding footfalls rapidly grew nearer to Darna, and she knew that she would get hit again if she took the time to recover. Ignoring the pain that she felt, Darna stood up quickly and leapt out of harm’s way just before Ding’s fists could crush her.
“Ding, it’s me! Darna! You have to- AH!” Her sentence was cut off as she jumped backward to avoid a lunge from Ding. As she opened her mouth to speak, she took a few more steps back to put some distance between them.
“You have to get a hold of yourself, Ding! This isn’t you!” But Darna’s words didn’t stop him from lunging at her again, and she was once again forced to jump out of the way. As she continued to back away from the transformed Ding, she saw Valentina out of the corner of her eye.
“He won’t listen to you,” called Valentina out as she walked to them. “Your friend is gone, Darna. He’s nothing but another loyal soldier to me now!”
A heavy feeling of dread weighed on Darna’s chest as part of her realized that her enemy wasn’t lying. Ding - if the snake-man was still Ding - clearly couldn’t recognize her, and was still trying to hurt her. There was nothing she could say to snap him out of this spell.
No, I can’t let her get to me! I can’t think that Ding is gone, there has to be a way to save him! But how do I break him out of her control...
...that’s it! If Valentina’s controlling him, then maybe he’ll snap out of it if she goes down!
Without warning, Darna turned towards Valentina, kicked off the ground, and flew right at her as fast as she could.
I won’t be able to fight both of them at once, so I’ll have to take her down fast!
The villain reacted quickly, turning her arm into a massive snake that shot through the air at an impossible speed. It bared its fangs as it raced to meet the charging heroine, ready to clamp its jaws down on her neck and take her down.
But Darna saw it all with utmost clarity. She dodged the snake’s bite without losing any speed and grabbed its body with one hand as she got closer to Valentina. Then she pulled hard on the snake-arm, sending Valentina hurtling towards a collision with Darna’s surging fist.
This has to work... please, let this work!
Darna poured every last drop of her strength into this single punch to Valentina’s face, and it blasted the villain with enough force to send her flying high into the air. Her transformed arm was torn off, left in Darna’s hand. She plummeted back to earth, and landed hard on the forest floor.
Valentina didn’t move.
She’s down. Darna’s heart pounded in her chest, and her hands suddenly felt cold and clammy. If her theory was right, then Ding should’ve at least returned to his senses. The fear that it was wrong gripped her tight. There was only one way to find out.
She threw Valentina’s ripped arm away from her and turned around to see if her plan worked. As she did, a huge, scaled hand grabbed her by the throat and squeezed.
“UGHK- Ding!” Her voice was reduced to a hoarse whisper, her words barely intelligible as the monster choked her. “Please, you have to- ngghhk- have to be in there somewhere…”
The snake monster didn’t even seem to hear Darna’s words, and it simply continued to constrict her neck. Its half-snake, half-human face was completely expressionless even as the trapped heroine started banging her fists on its hand, trying to break free.
No, no, no, no, no… Though Darna’s instincts had her fighting against the monster’s chokehold, her conscious mind dwelt on the fact that Valentina’s defeat meant nothing. Ding still wasn’t himself, and Darna didn’t know what to do. She could only keep banging at the monster’s hand, and it finally let go of her after what seemed like an eternity.
“haahhh... gahhh… ”
Darna fell to the ground on all fours, taking greedy gulps of air in between her coughs. Her head was swimming in an unpleasant mixture of pain and nausea that she couldn’t just shake off. She was worn down from all the fighting, but what took the heaviest toll on her were the thoughts in her head.
I don’t know how to get you back, Ding, I’m so sorry…
Maybe I could subdue him and take him to someone who can save him, but-
Darna screamed in pain as the monster stomped its heavy foot on her back, dropping her to her stomach. It kept its foot there and put more pressure on Darna’s back, crushing her against the forest floor and making it hard for her to breathe.
“aggghhh… please, stop...”
Her pleas went unheard as the monster continued to crush her. Darna didn’t have the strength to escape her predicament, so she could only shut her eyes and bear the pain.
Damn it, I did everything I could… I did everything, I have nothing left in me, and I still couldn’t- couldn’t save Ding…
The beast suddenly took its foot off of Darna, grabbed the back of her head with its hand, and pulled her up to a standing position. As she stayed in its grasp, she looked deep into its sickly yellow eyes, desperately trying to find any trace of the small boy she once knew. All she found was the cold, hard truth she’d been trying to deny.
Ding is gone.
Darna only watched the snake monster rear its fist back to smash her guts. She was too hurt, too tired, and too devastated to save herself as the monster launched a huge uppercut into her stomach.
Darna folded like a lawn chair over the monster’s fist and exhaled sharply, robbing her of her breath in one swift move. The intense agony in her stomach was only made worse by a stabbing feeling in her chest as she found herself unable to breathe properly. And again, there was no way she could defend herself as the monster drew its fist back and shot it up her belly once more with tremendous force.
This time, Darna’s knees sank to the ground and she made a horrible retching sound. Her mind went blank, unable to form a conscious thought as pain flooded her senses. She could barely even notice a scaly hand pulling her up by her forearm, standing her up to get pulverized again by another heavy uppercut to her stomach.
The monster released its grip on her, letting her crumple onto the forest floor. Darna was a pitiful mess; she couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, and couldn’t think as she lay on her side, groaning and clutching her poor stomach. Even breathing proved torturous for the downed heroine.
“Oh Darna, you really should have just given up the stone. I wouldn’t have been forced to transform that child if you didn’t pull a fast one on us.”
“But you just had to be a hero, didn’t you. You just had to try and save both the stone and your friend. And look where that got you.”
The voices of Valentina and Hawk Woman only furthered Darna’s despair. With both of them back up, her already-slim chances of escaping were gone completely. And though she knew better than to believe what they just said, their words still weighed heavily on her.
I couldn’t- could never let them have the stone. Giving it to them was never a choice I could make, but...
A snake from Valentina’s remaining arm coiled around Darna’s torso, pinning her arms to her sides and somehow pulling her up. When she rose to her feet, she was greeted by the sight of Hawk Woman and Valentina standing in front of the monster. They both looked worse for wear, but they wore triumphant and malicious grins on their faces.
“It’s over, Darna. We’re going to take that stone, even if we have to pry it off your cold, dead body,” spoke Valentina. Then her snake began to constrict Darna, crushing her in its tight hold and depriving her of precious air.
“Ngghhh...” I can’t fight anymore, and I can’t stop them from taking the stone by force.
Darna’s eyes were forced shut from pain as the snake squeezed the life out of her. Her instincts screamed at her to breathe, which she simply could not do in the snake’s hold.
I lost Ding, and now I’m going to lose the stone, too.
She felt the last traces of her strength fade as her body grew numb.
I couldn’t save either in the end…
Darna’s eyes glazed over and fell shut as she went completely limp in the coils of the snake. Valentina’s snake-arm uncoiled itself, letting the beaten heroine slump to her knees and collapse on the ground. She lay at the villains’ feet, unmoving and barely even breathing.
Hawk Woman pushed Darna from the side with her foot, rolling her onto her back and letting one of her arms flop to the side. Both she and Valentina looked over poor Darna’s unconscious figure, searching for any sign of the magic stone. They found none.
“Where is it?! We beat her already, but we still can’t get it!” A frustrated Hawk Woman kicked Darna’s sleeping face, knocking it on its side.
“Relax, it won’t get away from us as long as we have Darna. It’ll only be a matter of time before we find out how to take it from her and possess its power.” Valentina turned to her half-snake, half-human monster, hissed a command, and started walking deeper into the forest along with Hawk Woman.
The snake monster hauled the broken and defeated Darna onto its shoulder and followed after its master. Darna stayed unconscious the whole way, her limbs dangling uselessly as her former friend delivered her to an unhappy fate...