Trouble with Physics

Story by ArkansanDragon

Characters borrowed from the Disney Channel cartoon series:

American Dragon:Jake Long

(I do NOT own American Dragon. That belongs to Disney,

without whom there wouldn't be a show.)

It was evening. In a back alley in New York City; the air was filled with the sounds of battle. A young red and gold dragon was locked in combat with a young ninja huntress. A blood-red amulet hung around the dragon's neck.

They circled each other. "Tell me again, why the Huntsmaster wants this thing so badly?", the dragon asked her. She charged at him. He gripped her staff in his claws and grappled with her.

She leaned in close to him and whispered, "I told you before Jake, the Huntsmaster has tracked down the location of another Aztec crystal skull. The problem is that the skull is in another dimension. He needs that amulet to open an inter-dimensional doorway. We have to make sure he doesn't get it."

Jake smiled slyly at her, "Then let's make sure he doesn't get it."

Jake pushed her away and spat a fireball at her. She dodged it easily and came at him again. At the other end of the alley, the Huntsmaster was fighting with a dark blue and gold, Chinese dragon; Jake's grandfather, Lao Shi. The Huntsmaster grappled with the old dragon; his black eyes gleaming with malice from inside his dragon's skull helmet. The old dragon knocked him away and spat a jet of flame at him. Huntsmaster barely dodged it, the flames singeing his cape.

Now hunter and huntress stood side by side at one end of the alley; while Jake and Lao Shi hovered at the other end. The Huntsmaster called to Jake, "Surrender the amulet, and I promise you a quick end."

"And let you use the Aztec skulls to wipe out all magical creatures? Not on your life Huntsfool!", cried Jake.

The Huntsmaster glared at him, "It isn't my life you should be worried about, boy." He turned to the girl, " Huntsgirl finish him!"

Huntsgirl charged at Jake, swinging her staff high. Jake flew over her, the staff's deadly blade just missing his gold belly scales. The Huntsmaster fired a plasma bolt at Jake from his own staff. The bolt struck the amulet around Jake's neck, knocking him backwards into Huntsgirl. At that same moment, the amulet flashed a blinding red light.

The next thing Jake knew, he and Huntsgirl were falling, a whirl of colors rushing past them. Then, everything went black...

Jake slowly opened his eyes and looked around. He was in a courtyard, surrounded by what appeared to be large sandstone obelisks. What appeared to be a granite Aztec pyramid loomed before him. At the top of the pyramid, a gold pillar with a crystal skull atop it glistened in the light of twin suns set in a violet sky dotted with islands. Wait a minute, twin suns? A violet sky? Floating islands?! Before Jake could think about this, however, he heard a groan nearby and looked down. Huntsgirl was lying on her back beside him. She sat up and looked around, her blue eyes growing wide with astonishment.

"Jake," she said, "I don't think we're in New York anymore."

"Yeah, "said Jake, "I noticed." He looked at her with concern, "Are you all right, Rose?"

"Don't worry,"she said, brushing her golden braid away from her face. "I'll be fine." She stood up and pointed to the top of the pyramid, "Now let's get that skull!"

Jake winked at her,"I'll race you to the top!"

"You're on, Dragonboy!" With that, she ran toward the pyramid calling,"Catch me if you can!"

Jake, not wanting to be outdone, leapt into the air... the next thing he knew, he was about 1,000 feet above the pyramid! He hovered there and looked around. "Whoa," he said, "How did I get way up here?"

He folded his wings for a dive, but nothing happened. "Say what?! What's going on here?!" he flapped his wings, and floated down a few feet. He flapped again and drifted down some more, like a giant feather. "Aww' man," he whined,"This is gonna take forever!"

As he kept flapping, he looked down and saw Rose running up the steps of the pyramid. He looked closer, Rose was running at top speed, and a lot faster then normal. If Rose doesn't slow down, thought Jake, She'll go flying right off the top of the pyramid!

Rose apparently realized the danger she was in. As Jake looked on, he saw her hunting staff glow a bright green. The next moment, her staff became a whip. As she ran toward it, Rose lassoed the top of the pillar and started swinging around it. But instead of slowing down, she only went faster and faster, until-

"Rose! Look out for that-"

WHAM! She slammed into the bottom of the pillar. The shock from the impact made her whip return to it's staff form. Jake looked down at her and winced. "Ooh, she is not gonna be happy when she wakes up."

Two hours later, with Rose revived and the skull in hand, they were back at the bottom of the pyramid.

"Okay," said Rose, "So we've got the skull. Now can we get out of here?"

"Yeah," said Jake, not meeting her eyes, "about that..."

Rose glared at him. "Are you telling me that you have no idea how to get us back home?!"

"I didn't say that. Now just calm down and let's think about this." He thought for a moment, then he caught sight of Rose's hunting staff. "Can't you just use that hunting staff of yours and teleport us home? I must've seen you and the Huntsmaster do it a million times by now. I've been teleported by those things." He shuddered at the thought, "I don't think I'll ever get used to that."

Rose glanced at her staff, then back at him. "Oh, sure. I could teleport us home." she said, "If you don't mind getting turned inside out, or losing a limb on the way back."

Jake grimaced. "That's happened before?"

"No," said Rose, "but I wouldn't dare try to teleport from here. Teleporting from place to place around New York is one thing, but teleporting between dimensions; that's something else." She looked at him, puzzled, "What about using the amulet?"

"Oh yeah! I completely forgot about it."said Jake, looking at the amulet, which was still around his neck. "But, how does this thing work?"

Rose looked at her staff thoughtfully, "The amulet was activated when the Huntsmaster shot it. My staff has the same kind of firepower that his does, so maybe..." She looked at Jake. "Jake," she said, "I need you to hold the amulet out for me, so I can get a clear shot at it."

Jake hung the amulet on the end of his tail and held it as far away as he could. He looked at her nervously. "Are you sure this is a good idea? I mean, you did hit that pillar pretty hard."

"Don't worry," she said, "I'm not going to hit you. Besides, even if I do, my staff is set on stun, so you'll only be out for 10 to 15 minutes."

"Thanks," Jake said dryly. "That makes me feel a whole lot better."

"Trust me." she lined up her staff and took aim. Jake shut his eyes and covered his head with his wings. The staff buzzed and crackled as bright green plasma energy gathered around the blade. The energy increased for a moment, then flickered and died.

Jake peeked out from under his wing. "Did it work?" he asked.

Rose examined her staff carefully. Then she found a long crack running down the length of the shaft. "Oh no," she said, "It must've been damaged when I crashed into that pillar."

"Great," said Jake, "Now what do we do?" He spat a fireball in frustration. This gave Rose an idea.

"Jake," she said, "Why don't you try breathing fire on the amulet?"

"What good will that do?"

"Well," she said, "It was plasma energy that activated it, right? Natural plasmas are found in fire and lightning."

"Alright," he said, "I'll try it, but you might want stand back. Time to turn up the heat, yo!" Rose backed away. A huge jet of flame shot from Jake's mouth and engulfed the amulet. After a few minutes, he stopped and looked at it. The amulet glowed with a bright red light, but no portal opened.

Jake stared at it in shock. "Say what?! But that was my strongest flame! Why didn't it work?"

Rose laid a hand on his arm. "It isn't your fault, Jake," she said, reassuringly, "We just need more power, that's all." She thought for a moment, then said, "The only other thing I can think of that will work is lightning."

"We may be in luck," said Jake, "look." He pointed off to their left where storm clouds were gathering on the horizon.

"We need to be at a high place where the lightning will strike." said Rose, "That gold pillar on top of the pyramid might be our best chance."

As the storm came closer, the islands began drifting away. Jake and Rose were back on top of the pyramid. The huntress turned to Jake. "You know," she said, "If this works, we can't let the Huntsmaster see us together. We need to come up with a plan. "

Jake looked at her. "Maybe you could fake an injury, or something. That way he'd have to take you back to... wherever it is you guys are hiding now."

Rose shook her head. "That wouldn't work. He'd know I was faking it. I'd have to come back actually hurt." She suddenly stared at Jake, and there was a strange look in her eyes.

Jake backed away slightly. "Oh no," he said, "No way, Rose. I'm not gonna hurt you just so we can fool the Huntsmaster. Forget it."

She glared at him, her tone serious, "You know what will happen if we're seen together. He's getting suspicious of me as it is." Her expression softened, "I don't want to put you in danger because of me."

Jake took her hand in his claw. "It doesn't have to be that way." he said, looking into her eyes, "Come with me. Get away from him and the Huntsclan."

She pulled away from him, a painful look in her eyes. "You know why I can't do that." She held up her right hand, palm out, to reveal a red, dragon-shaped birthmark. The dragon's head, forelegs, and wing were across her palm, while its tail curled around her wrist. "You know what this is." she said.

Jake looked at it, his eyes full of sorrow. "The Mark of the Huntsclan."

"Jake," said Rose, "If I try to leave, it'll put us both in danger." She looked at him. He saw fear and sadness in her eyes.

"But it's only dangerous if I'm around you as a dragon." said Jake, "As long as I'm in human form, what's the worst that could happen if we're together?"

She stared into his eyes, her tone firm. "I almost lost you once." she said, "What if that happens again? What if I can't save you next time?"

"But, Rose..."

"Listen to me, Jake." she said, "If the Huntsmaster finds out we're together, he'll try to take advantage of it. He'll try to use me to get to you." She looked away from him, " I can't let that happen."

"I won't just leave you with the Huntsclan." Jake said firmly.

Rose shook her head sadly. There was pain in her voice as she said, "There's nothing you can do. I told you before, Jake; you can't save me."

He gently touched her face with his claw, then pulled her into his strong embrace.

He held her to him and whispered, "I won't give up on you, Rose."

She leaned against him, laying her head against his chest, "I know."

Thunder boomed and lightning flashed overhead. The storm had reached them...

An hour or so later, at the top of the pyramid...

"Shouldn't this thing have been struck by now?" asked Jake.

Rose looked at the pillar thoughtfully. Lightning danced in the clouds all around them, but none had struck. "I don't get it." said Rose, "Lightning strikes the tallest object, and this is the tallest object around here. At least since all the islands floated away."

"Maybe we just need a different metal?" suggested Jake. While they were searching for metals, they discussed how to get the skull away from the Huntsmaster when they got back. They finally decided that when they got back through the portal, Jake would knock Rose unconscious, so that the Huntsmaster would have to get her to safety and leave the dragons with the crystal skull.

Two hours later, they were still atop the pyramid with an array of objects scattered around them and still no luck. Rose threw up her hands in frustration. "I give up!" she cried, "We've tried every scrap of metal around here, and nothing works!"

BOOM!!!

Just then, a huge bolt of lightning struck a small obelisk of what appeared to be sandstone. The lightning struck there again, and again, but nowhere else.

Jake turned to Rose. "Come on," he said, "We'd better hurry before the storm clears."

A few minutes later, they were at the obelisk. Jake held out the amulet just as another bolt of lighting struck. The lightning raced down the obelisk and lashed out at the amulet. But as the lightning was drawn in, it forked suddenly to Rose's hunting staff!

"Rose!"

There was a blinding red flash, a whirl of colors, and they were back in the alley.

Rose collapsed at Jake's feet. Jake stared down at her, numb with shock, the skull and amulet still held in his claws.

A plasma bolt struck his chest, knocking him against a dumpster.

The young dragon opened his eyes, the Huntsmaster was standing over him, his staff blazing, and eyes full of rage. He raised his staff for a killing blow, looked Jake straight in the eyes and said, "Dragon, prepare to meet thy doom."

ROOAAARRRR!!!

Jake's grandfather slammed into the Huntsmaster. He hit the wall and slid down it, unconscious. Lao Shi pulled Jake to his feet. "Are you alright, young one?" he asked anxiously.

"Yeah," said Jake, "I'm fine. But what about the Huntsmaster?" Fu dog, a Chinese Shar Pei, and the dragon's sidekick, was looking at the Huntsmaster.

"Don't worry, kid" said Fu, "The ol' man didn't hit him that hard. He'll only be out for about 20 minutes." Jake went over to Rose and found his grandpa kneeling beside her. Jake looked at her with concern.

"She's gonna be alright, isn't she, Gramps?"

The elder dragon smiled reassuringly at him. "Not to worry, Jake" he said, "She'll be fine after a few days rest. But now we must leave, before the Huntsmaster wakes up." Lao Shi crouched down, and Fu dog clambered onto his shoulders.

Jake stayed where he was, looking wistfully at Rose. "I can't just leave her here." he said

Lao Shi caught Jake's eye, his tone grave. "We cannot take her with us, young dragon." he said, "If the Huntsmaster awoke to find her missing, it would arouse suspicion and would only put her in greater danger."

Fu tried to reassure Jake. "Don't worry, kid. The Huntsmaster'll look after her. After all, she didn't get to be his protégée for nothin'."

Jake looked down at Rose, then smiled, knowing Fu was right. Then he turned to the other two. "So," he said, "What happened while we were gone? I thought the fight would've been over by now."

Fu gave Jake a puzzled look, "What are you talkin' about, kid? You and Rose were only gone for about two minutes."

"Say What?!" said Jake, "But we've been gone for hours!" They both raised an eyebrow at him. "Never mind." he said, "Let's just get the skull and amulet locked up back at the shop and call it a day." As they flew off into the sunset, Jake looked back at Rose one last time. I'll find a way to free you from the Huntsclan, Rose. He said silently, I promise.