Disclaimer: The author realizes that the song "The Rose" was performed by LeAnn Rimes and takes no credit for the lyrics.
I closed the door to my locker and shoved a folder into my book bag. I stood their impatiently waiting for the other seven people in my group to meet me so we could all finish the project at my house. My house! I dont even have a house! Well it's kind of a one story room with a fire area and a few blankets for our beds. I guess you could call it a shack, even though I hate to admit I live in one. Dulcea and I live there and while I'm at school she sells other people's food at a near market place; she gets money from the owners of the food. Then she buys dinner for us with the money.
So anyway I really didn't want them to come to my place and laugh at me, or even worse pity me. Dulcea, she's my guardian, thinks that a simple life is the best character building life anyone could have. I guess she's right, I mean I have no electricity, which means no TV, VCR, radio, boom box, or stove. If we eat, one of us has to earn it. I know that sounds harsh, but it's helped me not take things for granted. Of course when I was little she'd earned extra food for me. We almost never go hungry.
Oh, sorry, got off topic. I wanted to go to someone else's house, but it had been settled with drawing straws; I had pulled the smallest from the stack. This was going to be a long evening. As I looked down the hallway, I spotted Trini Kwan walking toward me. Trini and I look pretty much alike. We both are of Asian descent and have jet black hair. Her hair flows down to her mid back and mine ends at my rear. She's five four while I'm five seven. Trini's quiet and peaceful, it takes alot to get her mad. She's a sifu, that is an expert in Kung Fu. Adam, another friend of mine, is also an expert in Kung Fu, but he's a degree lower than her.
She leaned against the lockers and sighed. I asked her, What's wrong?
" I just can't figure it out."
" Figure out what?"
" Why Billy suddenly wants to learn Kung Fu."
Billy Cranston's a genius; he knows more information than the scientists with Doctorate degrees. He's also really shy. Most of his activities are cerebral.
" Well maybe he just turned a new leaf."
" Hey," Kimberly said cheerfully. Trini and Kim used to be best friends when they were toddlers; then they'd grown apart. Kim's more interested in shopping, gossiping, fashion and gymnastics. They're still friends though.
Aisha Campbell walked quickly to us. "Hide me!"
" Why?" Trini asked.
" Zack won't leave me alone."
" Well he does have a huge crush on you, Aisha," Kimberly said. Aisha and Kimberly are best friends. Aisha has the same interests as Kim, but Aisha's a dancer not a gymnast.
" Aisha, Zack's gonna come meet us here anyway. What's the point in hiding?" I asked.
" Oh, good point," Aisha replied.
Sure enough a few seconds later, Zack came strolling down the hall. He's not really bad, he's just really cocky. He's fun loving and great with people, especially kids. Zack teaches a twelve year old class for his own martial art, Hip Hop Kido; it's a mixture of Karate and hip hop moves.
" Adam is teaching Billy some moves in the Youth Center. Rocky's with "um," Zack said, "They want us to meet them there."
" Cool," I said, "Let's go."
We walked in the place and sat at our usual table. I glanced across the room and saw Adam and Billy practice. I heard Adam say," Billy, you need to make your moves more gracefully. Billy first the left side kick, then the punch, block, then upper cut. Your yellow belt test is coming up. You need to get this right. Now try again." Adam's really patient. He's shy like Billy, but he's confident enough to stick up for himself. "Good. You're getting better."
" Rocky's doing great, isn't he?" Kimberly asked. Of course Kimberly would say that; she is his girlfriend. Rocky's really outgoing and friendly. He's also an expert in Karate, which is what he was practicing by himself.
" Yea," Aisha replied. Adam, Rocky and Billy walked over to us; we left to go to my house.
After thirty minutes of driving we arrived. I saw Kimberly send Aisha a side ward glance. Someone in black was thrown out of my house where a window would be. We scrambled out of the car. I reached my house first; I saw Dulcea kicking some other guy in the stomach. He crouched and struggled to get up; he ran away as he called," You can't escape! Ahriman will destroy you!" I didn't know what that meant then, but I wish I had known.
" Dulcea, are you alright? What happened?" I demanded.
" They were trying to steal something," she looked past me," Who are they?"
" They're the people in my group for school," I answered. I was almost shaking. I felt like I'd done something wrong.
" When is the project due?"
" In three days," Trini answered. Trini's the only person who's ever seen Dulcea before. The others were gawking at her, especially the guys. She normally wears a green bikini and skirt which is exactly what she was wearing. I handed Dulcea her shawl; she put it on.
" Then they can come back tomorrow. They cannot stay, today."
" Why, not?" I protested," I told you we were coming today and we need to get this project done."
" Diana, do not argue. They can come back tomorrow."
I turned to my friends, "Sorry, guys. You have to leave." They were too stunned to argue. They left silently. She sat down. I turned and glared. "What did you do that"
" Complete all the forms of every martial art I have taught you." That was why she threw my friends out? I've trained every single night since I was three in Shaolin Kung Fu, Mantis Kung Fu, Karate, Vovinam, Tri-Ksiu, Yi Chi, and Phae-Leik.
" Now!" She'd almost shouted. She never shouts; she meant business. So, I began to perform non stop. Hours later I was done. "Repeat your vow."
" I will use all you teach me for good. I promise to protect the weak and innocent. I will pass on my skills to my children. I will do whatever it takes to defeat evil. I swear by my honor, blood, and life."
" Then take this to protect others and to symbolize your hard work." I froze. This wasn't apart of the normal ritual. She'd normally nod or bow her head. She took out a silver dagger. I nelt down on my knees as she placed it in my hands. On the white hilt was the face of a wolverine. The wolverine was a solid silver color. The blade was the same silver. "Diana Argent, you are now and forever a Master of Ninjetti."
I looked at her. "W....W...What?"
" You know everything I can teach you. You know everything I know. Congradulations." I smiled and hugged her. "I am sorry I yelled at you earlier. You needed to earn it now."
" You will know in time. Get some sleep. I will wake you at sunrise to do your homework." I nodded and went to sleep.
I walked to school after I'd done my homework Dulcea had been acting a little strange that mornig. She'd been really sentimental. Her behavoir that morning was on my mind. She'd said, "Diana, I want you to know that you are like a daughter to me. Your father would be proud of everything you have accomplished. No matter what will happen in the future, you must go on and do what is right."
"I will. Thank you. You have always been a mother to me." We'd hugged after that. Why did I feel like I was saying goodbye?
As i'd walked out the door, she'd called to me," Stay strong!"
" I will!" What else could I say?
I went through my normal school day, but I felt this empty feeling inside. I tried to shake it away, but it lingered in me like a fish stuck in water. I felt like something was missing; something very important.
At the end of the day, I was thinking of telling Dulcea of how I was feeling. Once my thoughts uttered the word Dulcea a wave of nausea washed over me. My lungs felt tight, like someone wringing out a rag. I grabbed on to my lock for balance.
" Hey, Diana! The others wanted to" then Trini saw my face as I looked at her. "Diana!" She grabbed me roughly and dragged me into the Ladies' Room. I looked in the mirror. My face was pale. She splashed cold water on my face. Kimberly and Aisha burst into the room.
Kimberly said," Everyone's here. We can leave whenever you're"
Aisha blurted," Diana, you look terrible!"
What did you expect? I feel terrible!I thought miserably. I need to go home!" I yelled aloud. I ran out the room into the almost deserted hallway. Suddenly a rush of complete despair washed over me; I collapsed under its tremendous weight.
" Diana!" I heard Adam yell. He ran toward me and nelt beside me. He looked at me with troubled eyes.
Again I cried my plea," Please take me home!" Adam picked me up and carried me to Rocky's van. All eight of us got in the vehicle and Rocky drove us to my house. I ran in my house as fear clutched my breath away from my lungs. I stared. I started breathing again as soon as the others came up behind me.
Dulcea lay limply on the floor. Her right hand was in the middle of the fire place; her other hand's fingers dug into the dirt. I smelled fresh blood. I saw blood gush from a fatal wound in her stomach. Then behind her I saw a man dressed in black; the man who yelled at her yesterday! He was covered with blood and not moving. I took it all in, as I approached her body. "Are you crazy! She's dead!" Rocky hissed. I took out my dagger. I almost placed it beside her when the fire place started burning. Kimberly began to run out the door, but it slammed shut. Kimberly screamed. I noticed a scroll in the fire started glowing. A voice came from the scroll, like a recording.
"I am Dulcea, Guardian of the Ninjetti Temple and Master Warrior of the planet Phaedos. Ahriman is coming to earth. He's a destroyer of Worlds, and millions of Galaxies across the Universe. He's already destroyed Phaedos, Eltar, Triforia and Edonei and now he wants Earth. Dopplegangers are his portal group who shape shift into any human that Ahriman has killed. There is a power that can stop him. It is called Ninjetti. Diana is half Phaedosian and half human. Her mother let me raise her and she was born with the Ninja Power. Diana is a Master Ninja. Her power I kept dormant so attention would not be drawn to us. All you have to do is touch the fire and the power will be yours."
I looked to my friends. "I never knew any of this!"
" Some people might come back for the body or something. We have to decide," Zack said.
" If Dulcea says to, I say we do it," Trini said.
The others nodded; they respect Trini's wisdom. We touched the fire in a semicircular formation. The scroll glowed.
"Aisha you are the Bear, fierce and unstoppable. Your color is green.
Rocky, you are the Ape, smart and flexible. Your color is red.
Kimberly, light as a feather, you are the agile Crane. Your color is pink.
Zack, you are the Fox, clever and brave. Your color is black.
Billy, cunning and swift, you're the Wolf. Your color is blue.
Trini, the quick and lithe Cheetah is your spirit. Your color is yellow.
Adam, you are mysterious and courageous, you possess the Frog. Your color is White.
Diana, you're the Wolverine, possessing inner strength and the heart of a fighter. You are to overcome all obstacles. Your color is Silver." The power flowed into each of us. I felt the tingling of the power as a suit covered my body. Dulcea's voice continued," The power has become one with your souls and can never be taken away or passed to another being." The last words she recorded stung me the most. " The Power will go with you to your graves.... I love you, Diana." I looked at my uniform. It was all silver except for the white band across my waist. A white and silver skirt was only on the front side of my body. A gold circle was on each of our chests showing the head of our own animal spirit. The guys didn't have skirts.
The scroll disintegrated in the fire and the suits disappeared.
" Okay, now let's get out of here," Rocky said.
Wait," I said. I looked at Dulcea's hand in the dirt. It was bent as if trying to grab something. I dug under it and grabbed a small book. I shoved it in my pocket. I stuck my knife beneath my belt strap. Dulcea's body disintegrated.
I heard footsteps. Adam whispered," We have to get out of here now!"
We opened the door and ran into Rocky's van. The engine roared as we sped away from my house until it became a dot on the horizon. " What kind of witch did you live with anyway!" Kimberly yelled at me. I felt as if I'd been slapped across the face. I glared at her; tears filled my eyes from frustration, fear and anger.
" Dulcea was not a witch! She's alien. So, am I, Kimberly."
" We're going to get killed because of a psycho!" Zack yelled angrily.
" I don't care what she is, you two! I care about who she is, and right now she's on our side, so stop trying to blame her for the situation! Kimberly switch places with Trini!" Adam shouted >from the passenger seat.
Kimberly did as she was told. I believe we have found our leader, I thought to myself. Trini sat beside me and put her hand on my shoulder.
Rocky yelled frantically," Guys, there's a lake in front of us!"
" What are those things?" Aisha cried pointing to the rear-view mirror. I looked out the back window.
They were green skinned with large powerful legs, and clawed hands. They had long spiked tails and oval shaped heads. They could only be one thing. "Dopplegangers!"
" They kill people!" Zack declared, "We're dead!"
" If we go into the water they'll get us for sure," I said, "We can't outrun them."
" So what are you suggesting?" Adam asked.
" We fight."
" Are you nuts?!" Rocky exclaimed.
" Dulcea gave us the power for a reason," Trini said.
" Diana was born with it," Zack retorted," Dulcea gave her nothing."
" Diana, just incase we die, I'm sorry for yelling at you and calling Dulcea a witch," Kimberly said in a rush.
" It's okay, Kim. You were just scared. We all were."
" Were? What do you mean were scared. I am still scared!" Rocky exclaimed.
" We need to stop them from hurting us, first," Billy spoke up," We can dispute further action later."
I thought about the Wolverine. I pictured the spirit in my mind. I locked my hands together and out stretched my arms in front of me. I cried," Silver Ninja Ranger Power!" Suddenly silver energy shone and my suit appeared. I focused on the Wolverine again. I thought, out of the car. I felt a jolt of energy and suddenly I was standing on grass. I glanced behind me at the van. There was smoke dissolving from my teleportation. I turned and saw about twenty Dopplegangers running straight for me.
I saw their round golden eyes shine a murderous gleam.
I kicked the nearest enemy. Adrenaline rushed through my body as I fought. My heart pounded rapidly in my chest. I heard a loud bang and saw large cloud of smoke. My friends leapt out of the mist and joined the battle. I saw the ninja in yellow spin and kick Dopplegangers that surrounded her. One of the Dopplegangers managed to kick her in the stomach. I thought, Speed. If only I could get there fast enough to help her.
I felt a jolt of energy. In less than a millisecond, I was standing beside Trini. "Hey." I said as I blocked punches and kicked an enemy.
"What? You were all the way over there. How did you get here so fast?"
"Think speed. Then think where you want to be."
"Okay, Hiyaa!" She punched a Doppleganger to the ground. We saw the ninja in blue get thrown into a pile of rocks. Trini yelled, "Billy!" She hyper sped over there and kicked the enemies away from him. I twirled and kicked a Doppleganger. The ninja in white came over to me.
"We need to retreat. There are too many of them," Adam told me.
I stared at him. I can't lead, I thought. But then it hit me. He wasn't asking me to yell retreat. He wanted to know if we could all teleport to a far away place. "We should take the van. They could read the license plate. Get everyone to the van."
"Guys, to the van!" Adam yelled. I back flipped to the van. Once everyone was there, I thought,To Trini's room.
An instant later we stood in that room. Luckily her house was empty. "That was kinda fun," Zack said.
"Fun? Fun? We could have been killed!" Rocky exclaimed.
I sat on the bed. I cupped my hands to my face trying to stop the tears that were beginning to flow. The word 'kill' had reminded me of Dulcea. Adam sat beside me and put his arm around me for support.
"Great! Now she's crying!" Rocky declared throwing up his arms.
Trini went straight for my defense. "Her guardian just died. She's allowed to cry."
Rocky went on," And you," he pointed to Billy, "can't fight."
"He's just learning how," Trini protested.
"You had to save him."
"Billy can learn. And he's a genius. The aliens probably have computers. Billy would know how to use them."
"So? That won't help him in a fight!"
"So he'll learn," Trini said sternly.
"He can't even stick up for himself. How do you expect him to fight against someone else!?"
"The van!" I yelled.
It started materializing in Trini's room! "OH MY GOSH!" Trini yelled. The van didn't land on us. The van was taller than the room so the roof broke above it. Then the floor started to make sounds.
"Holy cow," I whispered in disbelief as the floor gave way. We fell down. I heard Kimberly and Aisha shout ear piercing screams. Everyone else screamed too, but it wasn't as high pitch. Bits and pieces of wood pricked and slammed against us as we fell. Miraculously none of us were hurt. I guess the special cotton polymer suits saved us. "I'm so sorry, Trini!"
"It's not your fault. We had to bring it with us."
"Yes it is! I teleported us here. I could've put us somewhere else."
"Why, did you put us here?" Aisha asked.
"I felt that it was the safest place. Trini's parents are away on a cruise, so there's no one home. I wanted to keep us away from prying eyes." I felt terrible. I had tried to be careful and it had ruined my best friend's house.
"This was the safest place? With a van?!" Zack exploded.
"Look, the point is, she tried to be cautious. Now we have a problem. Stop yelling and let's deal with it!" Adam ordered.
"How are we gonna get this van outta here?" Zack said.
Rocky declared, "Great! How are we going to clean this up, Billy? Since your sooo smart, you should know how to clean up a damaged house by tomorrow."
"Rocky, I don't need your attitude," Adam scolded.
"Come on, Billy. Don't be shy," Rocky taunted.
"I can't. Remember, you said I was useless," Billy retorted.
"You are not useless, Billy," Trini said sternly as she walked over to him and stood in front of him.
"According to someone, I am."
"See, I was right!" Rocky said.
"Billy don't listen to him. He's just provoking you," Trini said.
Rocky said," Trini, stop making him your charity case."
She spun around and her face was like solid stone. "He is not my charity case. He is my friend." I could have sworn I heard her growl.
She's happy, I thought facetiously.
"He's no use to us as a wimp!" Rocky argued.
"This has got to end. Trini's parents are coming back tomorrow from their cruise," Aisha said.
"Look, Billy's really smart. We could use that," Kimberly said.
"Use? You could use that?" Billy asked her moving towards her.
"I meant it's one of your assets," Kimberly stammered.
"Don't you dare think about ganging up on my girlfriend." Rocky walked in front of Billy. Billy and Rocky have been getting on each others nerves lately. Billy says he's too careless and takes nothing seriously, and Rocky thinks Billy's too logical and takes everything seriously. Rocky punched Billy's head. I couldn't believe he did that. As Billy staggered, Trini grabbed him away from Rocky. This was my opening.
I grabbed Rocky from behind. I twirled him swiftly. My feet danced against the floor and I backed him against some rubble. I placed my dagger against his throat. I said tersely, "Who's in a death situation now, Rocky? If you're such a good fighter, then why can't you escape?"
I pivoted my foot to the right. I put most of my weight on my other leg. Rocky's eyes were filled with fear. He stared at the blade. The others stared at me in disbelief. "Rocky, you can get away," Billy said.
"She has a knife to my throat!"
"Her back leg has no weight on it. You can push her away."
He pushed me and I fell backwards as Adam caught me. "Now, who just saved you, Rocky?" I asked him.
"Okay, okay. I get it. I get it. It's good to have brains to keep the dumb ones out of trouble."
"That's one way of putting it," I said.
"I'm really sorry, Billy. I get angry sometimes and I can't control it. I'm sorry. Let me get you an ice pack."
"Apology accepted. Thanks."
They're okay, but I knew it would be awhile before those two did anything as a two- some. "Alright, now how do we fix this problem?" Adam asked.
"I think I can put everything back with the power, but someone else has to get the van out of here," I said. Once everyone else hefted the van into the drive way, I put the house back together with the power.
"How do we get these suits off?" Kimberly asked.
"One sec." I focused on the Wolverine again. "Ninja Ranger Power Down!" My outfit disappeared. The others said it all at once and the same thing happened; we were back in our clothes.
Adam said, "Okay, now to our next problem. Diana has no where to live."
"Wait. Before you go on, Adam, I found this in Dulcea's hand," I said as I pulled out the book.
"Read it," Zack said eagerly.
"Ok, Here it goes." I opened the thin book carefully. There was a tainted yellow piece of paper that took up two pages in it. I gasped. I looked at Trini. I handed her the paper.
She read it aloud, "On June 20, 1980 was born Diana Argent. The child was illegitimate. The mother, Sagra Argent and Aunt of the child, Dulcea Argent are present at the child's birth. The father, John Kwan, does not know of the existence of this child by will of the mother. The mother wishes her sister to look after this child."
"Dulcea was my aunt? Your dad was....is my father?" I whispered barely able to breath.
She nodded, her eyes wide. "I never knew."
"Read more. Maybe it will explain," Adam suggested.
Trini turned the page, "The prophecy has been fulfilled! Diana is the first to ever be born with a silver Ninja power. There has never been such a power within Ninjetti. You are destined to overcome all obstacles and defeat evil. You have many things in store for you, young one. I hope I can prepare you for them.....That's all it says."
"This is weird," Kimberly said.
"Tell me about it," Aisha agreed.
"Guys, the other pages are all blank," Trini said.
"Let me see," I said. I flipped through them. "Yep, all blank."
Billy said," You should confer with Mr. Kwan when he arrives tomorrow."
"I can't believe I have a sister!" Trini cried.
"Well, um....at least you guys are best friends. I mean it would be pretty bad if you weren't, right?" Kimberly said.
"I wasn't saying it was a bad thing. I was just surprised," Trini replied.
"What about your mom?" I asked.
"What about her?"
"She most likely won't be happy about this."
"Yikes, you're right!"
"Say, hey, mom! What would you do if I had a sister?" Zack said. We all laughed at his joke.
"Until we can figure out more, let's just go on with are normal lives, okay?" Adam said. We all agreed.
The next day before Trini's parents came home, Trini and I made dinner. The front door opened and Trini's folks came in. "Hmm. Smells good. What do you want?" Mr. Kwan said as he eyed the table.
"Oh, hello Diana," Mrs. Kwan said as she put some bags down. "Ohh, nice dinner." Okay, okay, so we put fancy dishes, and a tablecloth on the table.
"Let's get this over with," I said.
"Here dad." Trini handed it to him . We'd ripped the page about my powers out of the book. I waited nervously as he read the paper.
"Where is your Aunt now?"
"She's dead," I answered.
He handed the book to his wife. "I don't believe she would keep this from you."
"Mom, what do you mean? You knew?" Trini asked.
"I knew that your father had a sexual relationship with Sagra in his senior year in High School. Sagra was a friend of mine. But I never knew about Diana."
"I didn't either," my father said.
"I know you didn't. Why wouldn't Sagra want to tell you?"
"I don't know."
"Well, let's eat," Trini said. We ate a wonderful dinner. I got my own room next to Trini's. We have to share the bathroom.
"I don't need any of this," I said as we walked in the store.
"You need it if your going to live with Trini," Aisha argued, "You live in a middle class family now. You need to look like it." She held up an orange mini skirt. I laughed. It was a clever answer.
"I don't feel comfortable in short clothes," I said.
"You have the body for it," Aisha replied.
"That doesn't mean I feel good wearing them."
"Have you found anything?" Kimberly asked.
"Nope," I said.
"Diana, what do you like to wear?" Trini asked.
"Jeans, shirts, jackets, vests- no skirts."
"Okay, okay. How are these?" Aisha held up a pair of tight black jeans. She handed them to me.
"Yea, we found something she'll wear! Quick, what's the brand name?" Trini said.
"Bison." Aisha replied looking on the back of the jeans.
"They're a total fashion 'don't'," Kimberly said, "Skorts are in, not jeans."
"Kimberly, fashion isn't that important to me. No offense," I said.
"Don't blame me if hot guys don't ask you out," Kimberly replied.
We went to the Bison section. "Welcome to Mooseville," Aisha joked.
"Moose aren't related to Bison," I replied.
"Okay, now what colors do you like?" Trini asked.
"Black, gray, silver and white."
"Okay here," Trini said and gave me two pairs of jeans, one gray and one white. By the end of the shopping spree, I'd gotten the three pairs of jeans, three shirts, and two pairs of shoes.
I woke up the next morning feeling pretty good. I took a shower and rummaged through my closet. I pulled out my black jeans and silver top. I put on my black tennis shoes. Then I went down stairs for breakfast. "Good morning," I said.
"Good Afternoon," Trini replied eating toast, "I slept in late too." I sat beside her and gulped my vitamins down with orange juice. Dulcea had never given me vitamins, but my body didn't seem to have a problem with them. I ate toast and cereal. I glanced at the clock which read eleven thirty. I had to be at the daycare center in a couple of hours. While Trini went to teach Kung Fu class, I read a book until it was time to go. I hopped on my motor cycle, which Trini had taught me to ride a year ago, and sped down the road. I parked and entered the building. A lady was at the information desk.
"Hi, I'm Diana Argent. I'm here to volunteer to watch the kids."
"Down the hall, to the right."
I walked into the room. Kids were everywhere! Toys were tossed and scattered carelessly across the room. A lanky woman came toward me and extended her hand. I shook it, "You must be Diana. I'm Miss Kein, but everyone calls me Miss K. All you really need to do is watch and interact with the children." She walked away to stop a child from whining about a toy. I went over to a small boy who was staring at the wall. "Hey, what're doing?"
"There's a way to see into the Play Room," the boy said as he turned to face me.
"I thought this was the Play Room."
"Not the play room. The Play Room." He emphasized the second 'play'.
"Huh?" He moved to let me see.
There was a small peep hole to look into. I saw a man crying as he stood with a large green arm holding him. "Please don't kill me. Please..." Then something in front of him stabbed him. The figure in the shadows laughed.
"Neat effect, huh?" the boy asked me. I glanced back at him and looked back into the hole.
The pale man fell to the floor, lifeless. I saw fresh blood. This wasn't a play. The boy thought it was a play as in a theatrical production. This wasn't an effect. It was real. A Doppleganger came out from behind the man. "May I, Master?"
"Yes." Then the thing who stabbed the man came into the light of the small light bulb hanging above him. I had never seen him before. He was eight or nine feet tall, with broad shoulders, four legs, and six arms. His skin was dark blue; he had a long spiked tail and round black eyes.
The Doppleganger began to eat the man. I covered the boys eyes and mouth. He couldn't see, but I wanted to make sure. My stomach churned and I felt sick. Once he had finished his meal, he began to change into the man. I realized, they have to eat anything they morph.
I turned to the boy again. "Yea, that's a neat special effect. Now why don't you go play with some toys." He nodded and went to play with some blocks. I felt tears in my eyes. I forced them not to fall. I could have went home and got the others, but by that time they could kill more people. I needed a way into that room without anyone noticing I was missing.
"Miss K, someone asked me to get supplies from next door." Next door is an arts and crafts store that the daycare bought supplies from.
I ran into the restroom. My stomach was very queasy. I bent over a toilet and the contents came out. I wiped my mouth with a paper towels. I looked in every stall to make sure the room was empty. I locked my hands together as I had done before, "Silver Ninja Ranger Power!" My ninja suit appeared. My identity was concealed behind my mask. I pictured the room I wanted to be in, more importantly, the shadows of that room. I willed the smoke not to appear as I landed. I was hidden behind a large crate. For a few minutes I couldn't breathe. Then I let my air out slowly knowing I was safe. Well, kind of. I listened.
"Banderdash!" the blue skinned one yelled. I wondered, Why can't the children hear him? Carefully I craned my neck, and saw a force field encasing the room. I thought of shutting it off, but then an image of screaming helpless children getting killed by the Dopplegangers, stopped me from pondering the thought any further.
A really short, hairy, troll like, alien came running. Bowing his head, he said, "You summoned me, Lord Ahriman?"
"Are you down with the Anti- gravitational Neutrino Device?"
"When will the sun be in range?"
"Two hours, my Lord."
He laughed, "In exactly two hours, I want you to fire at the sun. Without their star this planet is helpless!" Ahriman laughed wickedly, "Bring me my wonderful machine!"
A large slender cannon was rolled in on wheels. It was made of a sturdy brown alien metal. "Tonight we will go to the tower and watch the destruction of this puny planet full of meat food!"
Well, that did it. They were definitely not vegetarians. I had to find the others. I was about to teleport, when I heard Ahriman say, "What of Dulcea? Has she been eliminated?"
The Doppleganger answered, "Yes, Master. But at the lake yesterday, there were eight ninjas. They most likely have the Ninjetti power."
"Curse that Dulcea! Her and her soothsayer abilities!"
Soothsayer? She could see into the future? That would mean- No!
Why Dulcea? Why? I couldn't move. My limbs felt like lead and my lungs a sack of flour. I fought the tears in my eyes. She knew!! Dulcea knew she'd die! Rage boiled inside me. I opened my mouth to scream. I moved my hand to cover my mouth before a sound got out. The crate began to rock. My hand had hit it! My body froze. Fear held me to the floor. I had to get out of there! Bathroom! Bathroom! BATHROOM!
The teleportation wasn't working! Panic was clouding my concentration! I couldn't risk a fight. They could hurt the children. They could capture me and my friends wouldn't know anything. Twenty Dopplegangers came toward me, swords extended, raised for the kill.
I screamed BATHROOM!. A tremendous energy rush occurred and I teleported. I landed in a bathroom stall, demorphed, and ran to the supply store.
I was feeling dizzy from the energy exertion, but I ignored it; I had to hurry. I placed an order for crayons. As I picked up the receipt, I noticed a brochure rack. One caught my eye. Then I noticed it was for Angel Grove Tower. I picked it up and stuffed it into my pocket. I ran back to the daycare and told Miss K I had to meet my mom for a doctor's appointment. I hopped onto my motor cycle and sped to Trini's house.
" Trini!" I yelled as I opened the door.
" We're in here, Diana!"
I ran into the Living Room. " I thought you weren't coming back til six," Zack said.
" Ahriman is going to destroy the sun."
" What!???" My friends stared at me incredulously.
" His base is behind the daycare's Play Room."
" Diana, what did you do?" Adam asked, his eyebrows raised.
" I spied on them. We have two hours before the sun's in range."
" In range?" Zack asked.
" They have a machine called......Anti-gravitational Bombardment Device."
Billy's eyebrows raised," That sounds like it could accomplish their objective."
Adam said, " Okay, let's go over everything we know......First, Ahriman wants to take over our planet with Dopplegangers"
I interrupted," Dopplegangers have to eat what they change into, in order to morph."
" Alright, and we know that Ahriman has a powerful machine to blow up the sun. He'd wipe out the entire planet in two days. We know we have to do something to stop them. We have Martial Arts, super speed, and teleportation to fight with. They have a whole army of Dopplegangers and who knows what else."
" This doesn't look good," Aisha said.
" I found out more information. Dulcea was a soothsayer. That would mean she would've known what would happen in the future."
" So, what are you saying?" Rocky asked.
" Dulcea knew about Ahriman. She knew she would die. She kicked you out, so you would have a reason to come back the next day to get the power." Everyone was silent. We all bowed are heads in reverence to her sacrifice. " They said they would be at the Tower."
" Angel Grove Tower. It's the tallest building in Angel Grove," Aisha said.
" We gotta stop them, now what do we do?" Kimberly added.
" We have to stop them," Zack said.
" How?" Trini looked thoughtful," We've never been in that building. They probably know more about it than we do."
" With this," I answered. I pulled the pamphlet out of my pocket, unfolded it, and placed it on the table.
" How did you get a map?" Rocky blurted.
" I want to an Arts and Crafts store. I knew they were going to the Tower......"
Adam smiled," The front and back doors should be heavily guarded. We should go in the alley and enter the place there..........."
I said," Then we climb the wall. We go to the roof. If we teleport on the roof. then we could get surrounded easily............"
Adam caught on, " We climb and surprise them."
" Yea," Kimberly agreed.
" Let's go," Adam and I said at the same time.
" The entry way shouldn't be heavily guarded?" Zack said.
" I guessed," Adam whispered back. There were about fifty Dopplegangers guarding the alley. We were across the street, hiding behind bushes.
" You Assumed there wouldn't be many guards," Kimberly corrected. " You know what happens when you assume, don't you?"
" I get it, Kim."
" At least we won't have to worry about the test tomorrow," Rocky said facetiously.
" I plan to stay alive, Rocky," Trini said determinedly. After that it was silent for a few minutes. I felt sick. I thought of that man and how any other people had already been killed by Dopplegangers. Hundreds? Thousands? Who knew? We had to stop them and now was our chance. We had an obligation to stop him.
We were out-manned, out-gunned, and this was only one side fo the building! The plan was being ruined be. I saw a fire alarm. We don't have to fight them. We have to get them to fight something else. Something that will hurt them. Something they'd run from. " I'll be right back," I whispered.
I teleported to a drugstore. I demorphed and bought six patch of matches and paper. I morphed and teleported back to my friends.
" Diana?" Billy cried.
" We make them run. Then I'll speed in the building" Something stopped me. I sawpictured Dulcea with her hand in the fire. " I can control the fire to stop."
" How do you know that?" Trini asked.
I must have sounded sure of myself because Adam said, " Okay, but be careful. We'll speed in, once they're all gone."
I lite the matches and papers began to burn. Strangely, the heat wasn't bothering me. I ignored the thought and threw the papers. The fire lite up the night. The Dopplegangers began to scream. I guess fire scares them to death, because they ran like a panicked stamped of buffalo being chased by hungry lions.
As the fire got an inch away from my fingertips, I threw the paper toward the enemy. The heat even that close, didn't bother me one bit. I ripped another piece of paper out of the large notebook. I lite it, and threw it as it soared through the air. Then I saw seven blurs rush onto the stairs, on the side of the building.
Adam and Billy kicked a Doppleganger; the enemy fell to the concrete. I made a cutting motion with my hand and the fire stopped burning. I joined my teammates. The stairs only went to the second floor.
My fingers clung to the crevices of the brick wall as I hefted myself off the stairs; I began to climb the wall. Rocky and Kimberly climbed side by side, helping eachother. Aisha tried to race Zack up the wall to get away from him. We climbed some more. I saw the sun shine it's final ray of light as it sunk, enveloped by the darkness. It must be six thirty.
I looked down and saw Trini clinging to the wall, but not climbing. I climbed down toward her and heard a tight, muffled, humming sound. It was coming from Trini. Then I remembered, Trini has a phobia of heights. Billy was the first to get to her, I was next.
" Trini, it's okay," I tried to comfort her. Billy put his arm around her shoulder and clung to the wall.
" Trini, my hand is right in back of you. You won't fall. I won't let you fall."
" Come on, Trini. I'll be right beside you," I told her. This seemed to put more confidence in her because she started to climb.
Adam came up beside me and asked," What happened?"
" She's afraid of heights. She'll be okay, though."
" Let's hurry."
" Isn't this night vision cool?" Rocky exclaimed.
" It sure does help," Aisha replied.
Adam said, " Guys, we're here."
" More of them?" Rocky asked. A herd of Dopplegangers guarded the boundaries of the roof.
We leapt, flipped over the Dopplegangers and kicked them off the roof. I spun around quickly and pulled out my knife from its sheath hanging from my white belt sash. I blocked the sword of a Doppleganger with my blade. I kicked him in the stomach. I kicked him between the legs and punched him in the face. He ran toward me and I moved to the side as he fell off the roof.
I saw Trini get tripped by an enemy. Her mind must be pounding from all her mental exertion. She can't concentrate correctly; it must've taken all her will power to climb up here and probably her last ounce of strength to flip. Dopplegangers were surrounding everyone! No one could get to Trini.
Then I saw the Ninja in blue leap over Dopplegangers and tornado kick the Doppleganger off of Trini. Then Billy leapt and kicked him so forcefully, that he landed pounding his head against the brick floor. Billy picked Trini up. Now does Rocky think Billy can't fight?
" Billy, teleport Trini to safety!" Adam yelled. Billy did so. "Safety" was Billy's garage. His dad was out of town; no one was home. We fought off the surrounding enemies and advanced toward the machine.
" I don't think so, Ninjas!" A woman exclaimed. " I am Scorpina! Banderdash! Thorn! Attack!"
A green-skinned alien with spikes all over his body, charged at Adam, me and Rocky. " I am Thorn!" He looked like he was on steroids or something.
" I am Banderdash! I am the strongest Trollarian in the universe!" He attacked Aisha, Kim and Billy. Wait. Billy? Oh. I saw smoke; he'd teleported back here.
Ahriman's device was glowing brightly as it sucked energy from the power plant. I saw lights go out of windows and buildings. A blackout.
Thorn's breathing began to change to gasps. He sunk to the floor. I started breathing harder. I didn't have any trouble with theheat! Heat! That was it! Banderdash collapsed too. Rocky looked like he was going to keel over.
Of course! If Thorn and Banderdash can't handle it, then how could humans? Then the others passed out as well. I ran to them. Adam was still conscious, but he was laying down. " Adam teleport everyone out!" White energy engulfed the six of them and they disappeared.
I turned and faced the machine. Scorpina stood there, grinning at me. " You're all alone, Silver Ninja."
" So are you," I countered.
She narrowed her eyes, angered. " I can withstand the heat because I'm half scorpion. What's you're excuse?"
" Half of my blood is alien."
" Well, shall we?" We started fighting, her with her sword and me with my knife. We twirled and kicked eachother, but both of us could avoid each others' attacks. I still can't believe she knew so many martial arts. I was using everything Dulcea had taught me.
Then Scorpina slashed on my knife's hilt and it clattered to the floor. She stood an inch away with her blade centimeters from my throat. I could see the evil triumphant pleasure in her eyes.
Now there were two ways I could escape. Back flip, hoping I barely jerked my head, or it would hit the blade, or I could duck and sweep her from below. Either way, I might get my head chopped off. So I chose my first plan.
Most of my muscle tension came from my legs. I had to bend back, without falling over. The blade was an inch from my throat, instead of centimeters.
I cried, " HIYA!" I flipped, and knocked the sword away from Scorpina. I grabbed its hilt as I landed on my feet. She blasted me with an energy bolt from her hand. I cried out in pain as I fell. My shoulder burned!
I looked at my adversary. Her expression changed. Instead of looking completely satisfied with my dilemma, Scorpina looked remorseful.
Scorpina's head jerked away from me to see the intruder. With her distracted, I began to charge up energy of my own. The crackling power glistened a bright silver, as it fumed in my hands. I could have fired; the blow would have badly hurt her. But I didn't fire. I couldn't fire. For some reason I just couldn't hurt her.
Maybe it had been the remorseful look in her eyes, after she'd shot me. " Scorpina, leave or fight two of us."
Scorpina stared at me and then at the intruder hiding in the shadows. " This isn't over." She disappeared.
" Trini?" I called. Trini came out. " How can you withstand the heat?"
She pointed to her wrist. On it, was a metallic band. " I woke up and saw the others passed out on the floor. I guessed it was heat from the scanner readings. This is a Heat Coolant." Sometimes trini amazes me. She made her own device out of stuff from Billy's garage. " I don't have that much time. We have to hurry."
" Okay. How should we do it?"
" I'll shut it down and then you can teleport it to a dumpster." While Trini fiddled with the controls, I kept my eyes out for enemies. I felt the heat in the air lessen. The machine shut down. " I'll go back to the others. Good Luck, Diana." She teleported in a flash of yellow light.
" Here goes nothing." I focused. The silver energy poured out. I was lifted by the power and landed in a dumpster far from civilization. I looked at the garbage crusher in front of me. I levitated the machine and watched it get destroyed by the crusher. I waited until the machine was almost all reduced to bits and pieces. I teleported to Billy's. I was glad; we had conquered our enemies.
" Is everyone okay?" I asked them.
" Yea," Rocky answered.
" Good job," Adam told me.
" Thanks." I saw Billy and Trini hug for a few seconds. A few minutes later everyone went home.
I woke up around midnight. I put on a pair of leggings and shirt. I morphed. I took my knife out of the drawer and unsheathed it. I snuck out to the backyard.
I knew what I was doing was dangerous, but I had to do this. For Dulcea.
Some say love
it is a river that drowns the tender reef
Some say love
it is a razor that leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love
it is a hunger
an endless aching need
I say love
It is a flower
and you its only seed
I began to move my hands very slowly; I was beginning the Owl Form of Phae-Leik. I performed ballistic like movements as the Form progressed. The Owl was Dulcea's Ninja Spirit.
It's the heart afraid of breaking
that never learns to dance
It's the dream afraid of waking
That never takes the chance
Its the word who won't be taken
Who cannot seem to give
and the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live
I tornado kicked the air. I twirled and took out my knife. I did some fast moves with my dagger.
And the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think
that love is only
for the lucky and the strong
I finished the Form by extending my arms like the wings of a bird. I jumped up and descended. I tucked my knees as an Owl would, catching its prey. I landed and folded my arms back. I arched my back; I was supposed to look like a perched owl.
in the winter
far beneath the bitter snow
lies a seed
That with the sun's love
In the spring
Becomes a Rose
To me, Dulcea was like a mother. Through all the snow in my life, she'd always been my Sun. She gave life to me, like a sun does a rose. I'll always love her. Always.