The Sacred Trinity Treasures
Prologue: The Past
Last Revised: June 19, 2007
Summary: Over a millennium ago one brave soul sacrificed her life to protect something of incredible cosmic power from a ruthless alien race bent on conquering the universe. Hidden and protected for hundreds of years by chosen guardians, the artifacts are now being hunted by the forces of good and evil. But the lines have blurred and no one's sure of anyone's true intentions anymore. Dark times are ahead.
Rating: M, though may go higher
Ship: you'll see
Disclaimer: I don't own PR, nor do I own the legend of the Imperial Regalia of Japan.
Dedication: To Shawn, because without you, I would have never attempted this one.
Author's Note 1: As posted on Wikipedia:
The Imperial Regalia of Japan三種の神器Sanshu no Jingi), also known as the Three Sacred Treasures, consist of the sword, Kusanagi (草薙劍) (or possibly a replica of the original), the jewel or necklace of jewels, Yasakani no magatama (八尺瓊曲玉), and the mirror, Yata no kagami (八咫鏡). Also known as the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan, the regalia represent the three primary virtues: valor (the sword), wisdom (the mirror), and benevolence (the jewel). These may be connected with Buddhist thought.
Due to the legendary status of these items, their locations are not confirmed, but it is commonly thought that the sword is located at Atsuta Shrine in Nagoya, the mirror is located in the Grand Shrine of Ise in Mie prefecture, and the jewel is located at Kokyo (the Imperial Palace) in Tokyo. One or more of these may not be the originals. The Yata no kagami is also said to be in the Kashikodokoro, one of the Three Palace Sanctuaries.
Since 690, the presentation of these items to the Emperor by the priests at the shrine are a central part of the imperial enthronement ceremony. This ceremony is not public, and these items are by tradition only seen by the emperor and certain priests. Because of this, no known photographs or drawings exist.
According to legend, these artifacts were brought by Ninigi-no-Mikoto, legendary ancestor of the Japanese imperial line, when his grandmother, the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, sent him to pacify Japan. The origin of the items remain a question today. There is speculation that they are from Bronze Age China or Korea, which were among the first countries to reach Japan, where bronze was still unknown, near the threshold from prehistory to history. Traditionally, they were a symbol of the emperor's divinity as a descendant of Amaterasu, from which he derived legitimacy as paramount ruler of Japan.
According to legend, when Amaterasu hid in a cave from her brother Susanoo, thus plunging the world in darkness, the goddess Ama-no-Uzume hung the mirror and jewels outside the cave and lured her out of the cave, at which point she saw her own reflection and was startled enough that the gods could pull her out of the cave. Susanoo later presented in apology to Amaterasu the sword, Kusanagi, which he had obtained from the body of an eight-headed serpent, Orochi.
During the Northern and Southern dynasties period in the 14th century, the possession by the Southern Dynasty of the imperial regalia has led modern chroniclers to define that as the legitimate dynasty for purposes of reign names and genealogy.
Author's Note 2: Lots of credit goes to Shawn for some of these amazing ideas. So give him lots of love!
Lyconian Jetpack – THANKS SHAWN!
Chihaya - consists of a dark red hakama, pleated pants, a white kimono shirt with very long and wide sleeves, and tabi socks. White or red ribbons often adorn their hair.
Approximately 690 AD
There was only one place left in the galaxy where the three powerful magical artifacts could be hidden safely, and she knew that only she could get them there. Her ship was badly damaged – she'd suffered multiple attacks from Shadow forces and their allies, her life support system was approaching critical - and despite having out maneuvered them, her pursuers were getting closer and closer by the hour. She knew that she would never again see her home, her family, or make it off the planet where she was heading. She would die there, but if it meant keeping the treasures she carried safe, then so be it.
Corrupt and unjust were her home world Government's current definition of order, and so she had to act on the preservation of her people despite the likely cost of her own life. The Shadow's endlessly violent war with her once peace loving home had done such damage that now the three artifacts of legend were sought to wage death on their mysterious enemy. When once using them was unthinkable, now under a guise of defense the artifacts would be used to conquer by the High Authority of her world.
Alas, her final desperate act would cripple their plans as the temple was now empty. The Guardian and the talisman were but memories, the temple vacant any clue of their whereabouts. The Shadow had to be stopped before all was lost. Not just for her home world, but the entire universe. They were a soul-less legion of darkness who devoured entire worlds in their quest for dominance, with no rhyme nor reason for the utter destruction they caused. Little was known of where they came from and when, only that they were without mercy.
It was rumored that Zordon of Eltar, the great warrior wizard who'd created the legendary, universally known protectors - the Power Rangers - had chosen a tiny, out of the way planet that was sparsely populated, to be his command post in the fight against evil. She wasn't sure if the rumor was true, but she had to take that chance. Her precious cargo couldn't fall into the hands of the corrupt members of her own government, nor could it fall into the hands of those known as The Shadow.
She heaved a sigh of relief when the planet came into view. It looked lovely with swirls of blue, green, white and brown all over it. Sitting back, she commanded the computer to locate one of the less populated areas so she could set down, preferably somewhere that she wouldn't be able to be found. It took the computer more than five minutes, but it finally beeped its answer to her before showing a holograph of the general area. It was a large land mass with what appeared to be islands off its coast. There were life forms located, but not many. "Perfect." Just as she was about to set course for the isle, her ship was rocked by what she knew to be laser fire and missiles. "Damn."
Taking evasive maneuvers, she managed to avoid the next couple of attacks, but she bit back a curse when she saw the large, heat-seeking missile headed her way. "Oh that's just perfect," she muttered to herself. Shaking her head, she fought to buy herself some time. Expertly, she cut all the systems inside her small craft except for the life support system. She'd made sure that the ship was headed for the destination she'd chosen before she raced back into the ship and grabbed the special case that contained her cargo. She quickly donned her Lyconian Jetpack and made ready to jump. As she opened the door, the tiny ship was rocked by the explosions set off from the missile hitting the hull. Taking a deep breath and holding onto the case tightly, she jumped from the door.
She found herself on her back as she dropped through the atmosphere, watching as her ship exploded and was surrounded by her pursuers. It would take them some time to realize she'd jumped, if they hadn't already, and it may just give her enough time. A scream tore from her lips as she righted herself and found that she was in a rapid free fall toward the ground. She worked to get her jetpack to start, and succeeded right before she hit the ground, hard, and passed out.
She was found by a young man some time later. Unfortunately, she'd been fatally injured in the fall, and knew that she would not make it for much longer. Even as sick as she was near the end of her life, she was amazed to find the young man who spoke to her spoke a dialect she very nearly understood. "You fell from the morning sky."
"I know," she softly responded, her lips parched and bleeding. "I was carrying something, did you find it?"
He nodded. "A large box."
She looked into his eyes, and thanks to years of training and honing her ability to read the heart and soul of a person, she knew he was a good person "I'm not going to make it," she softly whispered.
"I know." Even if she hadn't just fell from the sky hours before, literally landing in his lap, the young man knew just from the look of her, not to mention the sheer power radiating off her in waves that she was someone of great importance. Perhaps a goddess sent to help him find his destiny.
"I must ask for one more service of you."
"Anything you wish," he told her, knowing her time was very short.
She smiled sadly. "Take the box, separate the objects you find inside. Keep one and guard it with your life. Hide the others. Each generation, a new guardian must be chosen for each. No one but whomever you choose to guard the pieces, and those of your family may see them."
For a moment he was speechless. For a good portion of his young life, he'd been searching for a purpose, for a reason for his being alive, and in this woman's absolute final moment, she was entrusting him with a precious job, something to give his life meaning. He felt the weight of the responsibility settle into his heart, and knew he would do as asked. "I will guard them with my life."
"A time will come, when the foretold guardians - the true crane, the white falcon and the wolf - will come here and claim the artifacts in the box. Those who I've fought against will come here, seeking the artifacts, and will try to destroy your planet. Make sure the artifacts aren't found by anyone but the guardians, I beg of you. If they're found, it'll mean the destruction of all."
He tried to ease her pain by letting her sip water from a bowl, but she began to cough, hard, body-wracking coughs that soon had her leaning over and spitting up blood. "Promise me, please, promise me."
With those two words, he watched the life literally drain out of her body. He pulled back in surprise as her body began to glow an unnatural shade of pink, the light building in intensity until her body was blotted out by color. The pink made one final burst, making him cover his eyes as it started going hot white in color before dying down, leaving nothing but a handful of sand on the bed where a woman had just been. When he opened his eyes, he was shocked to find her gone, and his eyes immediately went to the black lacquered box in the corner.
Her eyes remained tightly shut as she felt herself rematerialize on firm ground. It had been over a year since she'd last teleported such a long distance, the last time having been during the quest for Ninjor and the Temple of Power. She shook off the familiar queasiness and slowly opened her eyes, dropping her duffle bags by her feet and looking around.
The beautiful and serene environment around her surprised her. She found herself staring at buildings she'd only ever seen in photographs. "When he said he was sending me somewhere for help, I didn't think he was seriously sending me around the world from home," she gasped softly, spinning around slowly to take in the temple grounds.
"Welcome," a firm male voice announced, causing her to squeak and spin around to face its owner.
"Um, hi. I'm…"
His nod and words cut her off. "I know who you are, daughter of the Crane. Your arrival here is no surprise. The one of white magic has already spoken with me."
"Yes. I am Master Ito, head priest of the Atsuta Shrine," he told her, bowing to her. Recognizing the gesture, Kimberly bowed back, deeply. "Come, I will get you settled, then I will show you around the shrine and we will discuss your training."
"Domo Arigato," she spoke in clear Japanese. Master Ito spoke nearly perfect English, the least she could do was say thank you in his own language.
"You are welcome, daughter of the Crane."
The days seemed to run together in an endless circle for her. She woke well before dawn to shower and dress for the day; she wore the traditional robes of a Shinto maiden, the chihaya. She prayed for hours on end, and then began her physical, mental and spiritual training in the afternoons with Master Ito. If Zordon hadn't told her some months before that this was necessary to undo the damage that had been done to her, she wouldn't have ever agreed to it.
The first few months were yet another layer in her lesson to make herself mentally strong. When she'd first began her training for Pan Globals, she'd suffered from major bouts of depression because she missed the familiar surroundings of home and family, not to mention her friends and being a Ranger. Seeing them right before their high school graduation had only increased the dark feelings within her, Maligore's magic not withstanding. All the major changes in her life for the last two years were almost too much to bear.
Gradually, she learned to block out everything, as she slowly struggled to accept what had happened to her, and then one by one she took each hurt and pain and disappointment and faced them in their own right. She knew she'd lost her innocence when she had become a Power Ranger, but the true extent of that had not been known to her until she'd come to Japan. In the serene mountains of Nagoya, she'd learned to face the demons of her past. They would always be with her, but she accepted that the darkness she'd once found in the boy she had loved beyond measure now dwelt deep within her, having been freed, if only momentarily, by Maligore and his evil magic. Of course, even the path to healing is spotted with obstacles that must be overcome.
She'd been sitting in the gardens, meditating, when a sharp pain burst through her, almost as if something had exploded inside her head just behind her eyes. All she would ever remember from that day, other than the horrible pain and her own screaming, was the deep seeded knowledge that Zordon was dead. Her last tie to the life she'd left behind was now gone, forever severed to spare the universe of the evil that had plagued it to that point.
Months of mourning had followed. She'd often wondered if the others had felt the searing pain, the horrible guilt, and the raging grief she had; she knew on some level they did, but only one had ever been linked to Zordon as she had been, so she knew her grief was probably only eclipsed by the other person who'd shared power with the Eltarian Wizard. On the eve of the new millennium, she finally tucked away the last vestiges of her childhood and youth into the recesses of her mind, truly accepting that they were her past, and that she must move forward into the future.
The years seemed to come and go with the changing of the seasons for her. She didn't call, didn't write, and didn't see anyone save for her family until the death of her best friend. She knew there were whispers from the others who'd shared the duty of protecting Earth with her when they'd seen her at the funeral home; she'd ignored them all, allowing the shock of how many teams had come after the originals wash over her. She didn't speak to any of them, except for Jason, Zack and Billy, the three who'd shared the burden of being the first with her and their now gone friend. She'd been grateful the three had withheld questions about where she'd been and what she was doing. She hadn't been ready to speak of her training, nor was she in the mood for it. The hardest of them to face, next to Trini's parents, had been Tommy.
She'd just stared at the man who'd once been the center of her very world when he'd been an unsure teenager. Years had changed him, just as they'd changed her, but the moment he'd reached out to hold her, it shot her back to a time when she'd craved his touch over everything else, when she'd wanted nothing more than to be safe and secure in his arms. It hurt her to realize that the center of her world was no longer the boy who'd been on the verge of manhood, or the feelings he'd brought out in her. The hurt she'd caused him was forgotten for a few moments while he held her and they shared the pain of having lost a friend. She didn't cry, she just soaked in the presence of someone who'd once known her better than she probably knew herself.
Once Trini had been buried, she had quietly slipped out of town again, making sure the others didn't see her go, and returned to Japan to begin training again. However, she'd left a note for each of her friends to find, letting them know that she wouldn't go another five years without contacting them to let them know she was okay.
The years passed quickly, her training growing more and more intense as the months, weeks and days flew by. Eventually, Master Ito deemed her ready to leave the temple, and so she did, but she didn't go far. She settled in Tokyo, began taking courses at the university, and earned a degree in an accelerated time. With her degree in hand, she opened her own antiques shop, and this is where our story begins.
In the next chapter:
Old heroes return, new villains appear, a new mission is laid out, and someone takes a dive off a balcony.