The Blade and the Bloom
Summary: This story takes place 3 years after the graduation of one Kimberly Anne Possible and Ronald Dean Stoppable from High School.
Ron has finally come into his own with his powers and KP is not adjusting well. It also goes slightly AU in that Kim never actually found out about what Mt Yamanouchi was about until now.
Many characters and locations to explore with this particular tangent, If you see an interesting direction for the story to take I would love to hear it. I will do my very best to reply to every remark sent. Please review!
NOTE: Character's personal thoughts are detailed as italics.
Disclaimer: Of course I don't own Kim possible or even a small share in any of the stuff I may mention in this story. I call dibs on any cool characters I do come up with though!
Mt. Yamanouchi, Japan
The wizened old man sat cross legged on the floor of the shrine. Before him was a katana blade resting in its dark cherry wood mount.
The blade would seem to be merely functional. No ornamental frills, just a perfectly razor sharp blade, hilt and flawlessly but simply wrapped handle. One would not suspect its origins or how old it truly was.
The man knew. Known only as "Sensei" by the students here at Mt Yamanouchi, he was there when the blade was forged in the depths of this very mountain…over 2000 years ago. Through that time this blade had been part of many a young warrior's destiny. Seemingly sentient in its ability to choose whom would be blessed with its calling it had proven the decisive factor in many a critical battle over the centuries.
Through it all "Master Sensei" as the most recent chosen warrior had come to call him; had trained and evaluated these young men and occasionally women who sought or were called by the blade. However none had proven worthy of the blade's full potential. Without fail the blade had served a key role in guiding the warriors on their rightful path and had then returned here to its resting place to wait the next generation or longer until the Lotus Blade's true destiny would unfold.
A familiar tingle went up Sensei's spine, followed by a slight breeze that brought in the smell of cherry blossoms and lilac from the courtyards outside. He opened his eyes from his meditation only to confirm what he knew he would see.
A faint glow had begun to radiate around the blade. As he had done so often before he stood and approached the blade with a flicker of hope in his heart. It seemed all the key components were in place to bring the prophecy to fruition. The boy had all the promise, he had a fierce ally in his red headed companion and Sensei even thought that he himself may have found the student to fill his shoes (or sandals as it were).
If only the 2nd sign arises. He reached not for the blade as one may expect but for the stone pedestal its stand resided on. There inlaid into the very granite was the emblem of the Lotus flower. Made of pure silver and with amazing craftsmanship the tip of each flower petal was graced with a gem reflecting each of the primary colors.
Sensei held his hand over the emblem and concentrated. He was soon rewarded with each of the gems glowing and a drawer glided gracefully out of the stone itself; carefully presenting the true destiny of the Lotus Blade.
Resting in its century's long slumber on a bed of white satin was perhaps the most beautiful samurai sword ever created.
Where the Lotus Blade was a testimonial to function and lethal warrior practicality...
The Lotus Bloom was the very embodiment of martial splendor.
From the tip of its perfect katana blade through its functional yet sculpted flower hilt inlaid in platinum and other unknown sturdy metals and culminating in its magnificently wrapped handle; the blade seemed too perfect for any mere mortal to wield. But this is not what he was interested in, he had but one question and looked to the single jewel at the center of the elegantly crafted flowered hilt to find his answer.
At first glance you would assume it to be a diamond of flawless clarity; and it had held that clarity since it was placed there all that time ago. But according to the prophecy, when the next person to wield the Lotus Blade was becoming ready to take his place and accept his destiny, the Lotus Blade would begin to radiate a color reflecting his spirit.
This had happened many times and had reflected every color variant possible of the gems in the emblem in the stone. However when the true Master of the Blade approached this point, this "diamond' in its companion blade would turn to reflect the color of his soul mate's spirit.
This would also herald the era when the venerable old man would pass on his knowledge to his replacement and finally embrace a well deserved respite into his next life.
So it is no little wonder that he was taken aback when finally after all these years of repeating this little inspection that he was taken back when the jewel began to glow. First a brilliant white glow that seemed to falter a bit and finally resolve into a faint glimmer of a perfect emerald.
Yori had been holding her standard vigil while her "father" as she liked to think of him performed his meditations in the shrine. It had been her honor to guard outside the door for him like this for the last two years whenever he felt it necessary to perform these rather long introspections at the shrine.
Her heightened senses went on alert when she heard the gasp of air. At first she went into a combative stance thinking someone was assaulting from outside, since she had never heard so much of a whisper from Sensei before. Once she scanned she heard it again from inside and went to investigate. As she entered respectfully and addressed him she noticed he held his hand over the emblem of the Lotus in the stone and could have sworn she thought it was glowing slightly as did the blade it self for a moment.
She blinked her eyes forcefully and when she opened them again all was normal as Sensei turned and addressed her. "Ron will be arriving soon, and we have much to prepare for him, his guest and for you…"
The VERY Top of the Space Needle
"Uh, KP if I didn't know any better I would swear you were thinking about doing something I would NOT be happy about!"
"No Big, Ron I just grab this knucklehead by the collar jump off the edge, hook him to the grapple hook and use my glide chute to sail down to the convention center below"
"But KP, look to your left…"
This is so like her; make a plan, execute and leave me in the dark. Ron thought as he watched his best friend/girl friend leap out at the latest mad man bent on world domination.
Today's "Freak of the Week" as he had come to think of them was a disgruntled medical research technician who had been working in a local lab until recently. It seemed his bosses were none too pleased that he had taken their research on mind wave mapping to the next level and delved into actual mind control. After his prompt firing he decided he would conduct an "experiment" to prove his theories on the Pacific Northwest as a whole by amplifying his signal with the unique capabilities of the Space Needle.
And that's how we come to find our two hero's in a rather one sided debate concerning how to handle this "sitch". It wasn't that he doubted her ability to handle this creep or the several hundred foot drop, especially with her skills and the recently upgraded "glide" feature Wade had installed on their battle suits. It was simply she never asked his thoughts before acting, as if he could not have possibly come up with any valuable input on the mission.
For a partner I am seemingly more and more of a sidekick again. After he had returned from Yamanouchi last summer he had finally confided in Kim about his regular training visits to the Ninja school and what his "Magical Monkey Powers" actually entailed….
She had listened rather thoughtfully, and asked him to demonstrate what he meant by "far more graceful than I have let on in the past". Since they were at the park for his "big talk" with her he stood up looked around to ensure no one could see and seemed to fall into a kind of relaxed state…and began to glow a faint blue!
Needless to say this alarmed Kim a bit, but before she could do anything he sprung from his spot with a double back flip into a nearby tree where he swung from there to a billboard where he simply bounced up to the top of a flag pole where he perched him self gracefully as a bird stopping for a rest.
After seeing the stunned look on her face he simply stepped off the pole face first, hooking his legs around the pole and slid head first to the ground where he bound over to a speechless Kim Possible.
The look on her face startled him and he wondered if he had just made a big mistake as he began to explain.
That was almost 8 months ago and you would have thought with his increased usefulness to Team Possible and ability to step up and offer more than a "distraction" in missions she would value him as much more of the "partner" that she claimed him to be.
This did not seem to be the case as she leapt off the edge of the futuristic looking building with a rather surprised ex-scientist in tow, leaving Ron to simply contact Global Justice to come and start clean up of a mission completed.
He brought the GJ vehicle that he snagged around to pick up Kim as the media mob began to die down.
"Reporter Vultures! Save the world and all they want to know is what's your secret diet to stay fit and who you are screwing- don't they realize they were 5 minutes away from being zombie slaves to that freak!" Kim was in rare form as she dove into the car and they sped off to an air field near Sea-Tac International for a discreet pick up.
"Should have told them it's Naco diet at Beuno Nacho. Would help with the royalty checks to fund some of these last minute trips". heckled Ron.
"I told you I would pay you back when I get a chance!" replied Kim with a bit more force than she intended.
"I am not interested in the money and you know that-Hello trying to make a joke!?!" he retorted.
"Sorry I guess I am a little amped after that one- the glide wings in this suit have a little more speed than I was expecting-I almost wore a Starbuck's Coffee cart as a hat on landing"
"No big- they have plenty of them; besides I always liked you in green"
"All right smart ass, what was all that about up there with you anyways? I thought you understood I make the calls on the missions, how come you doubted my plan?"
"I didn't doubt your plan or your abilities-it's just I may have had a suggestion or alternate plan that might have made life a little easier than wearing an umbrella as an evening gown on landing!"
"Such as the idiot had left the damn extension cord to his device strung right by our feet. I could have unplugged the whole contraption and we would have been able to hand cuff him and use the frickin' elevator instead of a winch system to get the bad guy off the roof.."
"I swear between your adrenalin fixes and hard headed need to be in charge I am surprised we've lasted 3 days much less three years as a couple".
"WHAT! Where did that come from? We're both safe, we got the bad guy, and if we hurry we might get home in time to finish that trip to the cabin we had planned this weekend".
"Yes I am happy your safe, but don't try to change the subject to our travel plans, WE didn't do anything up there that was the total KP show plain and simple."
Whoah-he never has unloaded like that before; I wonder where this is coming from? Did he want to talk to the media this time? No he hates reporters. Maybe the tension we have had as a couple is finally bleeding over to the missions. I guess I do need to spend a little more time with him and focus a bit on "us". He'll get over this.
While Kim worked this through her head Ron pulled the vehicle up to an awaiting Leer Jet with GJ marked plainly on the side near a hangar at the end of a small air strip. She got out and grabbed her gear and noticed the car was still running and Ron hadn't moved.
She walked around to the driver side window which was open. She was almost expecting to see him crying and wanting to talk through this and was stunned when she saw him with an almost calm smile and punching something up on his version of the Kimmunicator.
"Come on Ron we can talk this out on the plane ride home"
"No Can do KP, I think I need to spend some time where people actually listen to what I have to say"
"Listen I know I may have been rash up there and haven't been the best girlfriend lately with school, missions and stuff. But come on we always pulled through this sort of thing before"
"No Kim I have always simply let you set the terms and rolled with what you said. Even after I proved I could be a bigger part of this team. I know that may be slightly scary for you that goofy old Ron might have something more to offer than a distraction and a laugh when his pants fall down. Frankly I am wondering when you will ever look at me as the man in your life or will I always be your boy-friend."
Stunned once again by this stern, assertive fusillade Kim reached in and wrapped a hand around his neck.
"No Kim don't try and smooch this away"
"I'm not. I am looking for the micro ship or whatever is making you act like this."
"And there is my answer" As he sped off away from her, Kim Possible had the sinking feeling that something huge was going on and she was just outside the loop.
She pulled out her Kimmunicator and Wade's friendly teenage face asked;
"Good job on the Needle gig…uh, what's wrong?" She hadn't realized a sole tear had started to trail down her cheek.
"Oh something with Ron, I don't know. Do you still have the chip in his neck?"
"Yeah, but you know I don't like to use it…he deserves some privacy!"
"Just track him Wade" She snapped and added "Something is just off about him".
"Oh did he finally tell you to get off your high horse?" Smirked the boy, he seemed to be growing up faster than she realized? Her startled look must have showed because he continued
"Listen this isn't a new thing Kim, I figured being his girlfriend you would have noticed. He mentioned to me a while back that he felt left out of the picture and not much of a partner as you said he'd be. Do you know that he is trained in more martial arts than even you? I had his dojo wired for security; the guy can do more with a staff and blade than Chuck Norris with an arsenal!"
"He never said anything to me…" and then she remembered the park and how she was really taken aback by his "display" as she had come to think of it. Maybe it showed more on her face than she realized because his first words when he came off the flag pole were…
"I know that seemed a little weird, but I am the same Ron, just a little improved if you will"
"What do you mean improved?"
"Well it turns out that Mystical Monkey power I got zapped with wasn't the source of my abilities. It seems they were within me all the time; it just unlocked them a little earlier than planned. Master Sensei, he's the head school master at Mt Yamanouchi said that I am not the first to wield these powers but he felt there was something unique in the manner I employ them. Something about a pure heart in a reluctant warrior, I don't pretend to understand all of his cryptic sayings but either way that is what I have been doing for the last several summers and why I seem a little different; like no more pants falling down-heh, heh" He nervously added the laughs to ease her out of a disturbing silence she had fallen into.
"So you are a Ninja? You MY Ron, have become a Ninja with magical powers that no one else on Earth can posses?"
"Well I guess that's the cliff notes version"
"THAT'S all you can say-Hmmmm?" He really did not like the way she was looking at him as if she had never seen him before.
"Well what do you want? I am trying to let it all sink in"
"KP, don't sweat it, if it's easier forget I mentioned it" He wanted to make this easier on her as she obviously was not taking the news well.
"No, I um well I think this is great, you obviously have been improving yourself, and while I don't like that you were keeping this from me I can understand that this Sensei guy is someone you respect and did not want to betray his trust. So why tell me now?"
"Well I wanted to be able to stop holding back on missions and be a bigger part of Team Possible. I have learned so much and can help more than you realize"
"Well let's just let me adjust to the new Super Ninja Ron, before we talk about any big changes."
But the talk never came; she noticed his new confidence and capabilities and was happy to have a stronger person to watch her back but in a deep corner of her brain she was not happy with the shift of power that represented in their relationship.
It was gradual of course as only these things can be. A small remark here, an abrupt statement or gesture there and eventually they began to loose that synergy that they used to have.
She couldn't predict his moves ahead of time because, hell he never HAD moves before and now he had all sorts of new stuff to bring to the table.
Consequently she took a more heavy handed approach to laying out THE PLAN for each mission and he started to chafe under the tighter reigns. Still he loved her and would do just about anything for her, but he steadily found him self bristling at her attitude and things that used to roll off his back.
And that is how Kim Possible the girl who can do anything found herself watching the fading tail lights of a car on a brisk evening.
How did this happen? She honestly thought to her self. Her pride simple not letting herself look at the obvious; that her best friend since Pre-K may have just walked out of her life.
He didn't know where he was going. He had only decided at the last moment to leave his girlfriend and what felt more and more his whole life behind him.
He wasn't doing all that well in school anyways and frankly something started running through his head more and more when his Ronnicator had beeped while Kim was outside of the car. He had received an e-mail from Yori passing along a message from Master Sensei:
"Fate and destiny are linked only by the man willing to ask the true question". Damn I hate his cryptic crap! What does he mean -question?
But he knew; and as Kim wrapped her arm suspecting him to be micro chipped or something for having told her how he really felt…he knew his answer as well.
As much as it pained him to admit the question and answer were simple. Who am I? & I don't know anymore.
"Well let's let fate take the wheel and see where this takes me…"
Same time frame
Dr. Drakken's Recent Layer in the Northern Rockies.
He wasn't sure if it was the green plasma ball that just narrowly missed his head or the look in her eyes that indicated Shego was less than pleased with his latest "brilliant' plan to take over the world. Dr. Drakken considered himself an intelligent man but just could not grasp why the beautiful, green toned villain would not see reason.
So he suggested that she seduce the CEO of a Wilch/Myers Pharmaceuticals so that she can gain access to his impenetrable security system. He really needed the plans for their recent break through!
"Shego, please see the up side of this plan" he pleaded as he dove for cover again.
"Drew Percy Lipsky, and yes I used your whole given name to make this as clear as possible; I AM NOT YOUR WHORE!"
As the onslaught of green plasma settled down this time he felt he may be starting to see where his pitch may have gone astray. "It's not like that She--" Another green ball of fire promptly ended his explanation.
"Listen up and listen good you sniveling moron; I am sure somewhere in your moronic melon of a brain you thought this was a simple plan but you managed to hit one of my major buttons and for the safety of your pitiful existence and my future employment checks I am going to take an extended PAID vacation. Don't try and track me I will be back when I am back"
And with that she grabbed her bag which she always had packed incase the little Princess ever stopped by for a little visit and her bumbling partner managed to find the big red self destruct button she kept pleading with Drakken NOT to install (or at least paint another color).
As she got behind the wheel of her 71' LeMans Convertible and revved up the 350 stock, straight 8 under the hood she let herself relax a bit. She loved this car, dark green exterior with silver trim and a refurbished black leather interior. She had actually done most of the work her self.
Two little known facts about Shego she did not get out much in the way of a social life as most people considered one to be. Most men either were afraid of her or wanted to get her in the sack to claim the exotic beauty as a unique notch on their headboard.
So she had to find another type of passion and while most were aware of her excellent martial skills and extensive practice few would suspect she was a bit of gear head. Working on classic muscle cars like this allowed her to loose herself in down time between Drakken's various ridiculous & doomed plans.
So as she barreled out of their remote lair and headed for the interstate she thought it was kind of fitting when an old Bob Seger song came up on her play list "Roll Me Away' seemed to describe her thoughts exactly…
"West it is. Let's see where this road will take me".
Mt Yamanouchi, Japan
"What do you mean my new training, Sensei? Am I not doing well in my instructions to the younger students?" Yori was worried she had failed somehow in her tasks and that the odd change in the old master had something to do with her mistakes.
"No child, quite the contrary…sit-no here" Sensei motioned for her to sit beside him versus her natural place as a student in front of him.
They both sat cross legged in a long silence and appreciated the dazzling vista before them. Being late spring the snow melt at this altitude was giving way to a splendid array of blooms beyond description. Although a bit brisk the early evening breeze brought on it the aroma of re-birth and renewal in form of blossoms and fruit. Sensei broke the silence first;
"Change is upon us, change can be good, challenging and even frightening but we must embrace or run the slow death of indifference and stagnancy."
"What is coming, Sensei"
"Daughter there are forces in motion I can not predict as they have never happened in all my many years. There is much I must reveal to you about myself and this place and most importantly bout the Lotus blade. It may disturb you to hear it all but I see it's your destiny, if you choose to claim it".
It was much for her to absorb and possibly the single longest statement she had ever heard him say. But what captivated her most was not the content, but the opener.
He called me daughter!
Since he had taken her in as a small child she had always revered him as a stately father figure and he had always treated her well and imparted his caring and knowledge freely. But never had he let that word pass his lips until now.
She was a highly trained Ninja but was totally caught unawares by that simple word and it's affect on her. He continued as if reading her mind…
"Yes, Yori I have always been fond of you and regarded you as my most prized student. However recent events have led me to believe that you were not merely left at the doors of this school by accident but were rather destined to embrace what is to come. If that is so than you are truly by the powers that granted me my place here…my daughter. I could not have chosen better my self and I thank the fates for doing so in my stead."
"What is to come? And what can I do to help?"
Sensei smiled his crooked smile and rose to his feet, "That daughter is up to you, the training will be harder than anything you have ever experienced and it will pale by the trials ahead but the path does have its rewards. Do you accept this challenge?"
"It will be my honor to accept, Sensei-when do I begin?"
"You already have" And with that the old man belied his looks with a sweeping forearm strike to the left side of her neck that immediately left her unconscious.
"Forgive me child, this road will be anything but pleasant"
Somewhere on the far side of Mt Yamanouchi
He couldn't have? Why would...where am I? What has happened?
The diminutive Ninja sat up and shook the cob webs from her brain and took stock of her situation. She had a bo staff laid next to her with a note; "Return with your honor clean".
What was that supposed to mean? She looked around and realized her next concern; she was completely naked. Well this should make things interesting.
Her nipples were announcing that she was rather cold and that perhaps she should get moving or at least find shelter.
But where is here? She looked around the exceptionally dark night- no moon and from the stars she could tell it was late into the night. She knew that these particular Lotus flowers only grew on Mt Yamanouchi so she at least knew her rough proximity. But nothing looked familiar.
She resigned herself to the fact of making do but what she wouldn't give for what her American friend called "RonShine"; that made her smile despite her predicament. She had not seen him for some time but he still warmed her with a simple memory.
I am sure he would have some joke or silly statement to make this more enjoyable she pondered as she looked for something to serve as shelter until morning.
She found a shallow cave for shelter and some pine branches to protect form the cold. Once she got enough dry wood together she even managed to get a small fire going to warm herself. Food could wait until morning.
Despite her predicament she found herself thinking of him again as she nodded off to sleep;
I hope Ron is doing well where ever he is…
North Cascade Range
Ron was in fact NOT doing all right.
For all his Mystical Monkey Powers he couldn't navigate a road map to save his life and the GPS in his Ronnicator seemed to not be getting any signals with all these mountains.
To boot a major storm had damn near washed him off the road and between the torrential rain and regular lighting strikes he considered himself lucky to have found a small diner/post office/gas station to pull up to and sleep in the car until morning.
In hindsight it was likely the sunlight cresting over the high ridgeline that woke him. However that would not explain why the large horse was asking him if he was OK.
Ron was well practiced at evaluating situations, but this was just a bit much for his sleep addled mind to compute.
"Are you OK mister?" Damn this horse was persistent. Maybe if I play possum it will go away.
"Hey mister if you don't wake up I am getting my Dad to bust in there!"
Dad? Slowly Ron inched his throbbing head up and chuckeld as he realized what was happening.
The horse head that dominated his driver window and looked like he was talking – was a normal horse licking the sweet coffee that he had spilled on the window last night, and it's "voice" was actually a young boy on it's back out of view from his position in the small car.
Man I have got to either get some caffeine or more sleep cause that was weird.
"Yeah I'm fine kid-thanks for asking; by the way where the heck am I?"
"You're in Loomis, Washington-bout as far north as you can go in the Cascades before you're a Canadian".
"Thanks again-I owe you; what's your name by the way?"
"Jesse and this here is Troop" said the freckled face boy of about ten.
"Alright Jesse and Troop-thanks again can I get ya a candy bar or juice or something in the store there?" Asked Ron as he got out of the car and stretched.
"Wow, that would be.."
"Jesse get on back home now." Said a stern voice from behind Ron's vehicle.
"Ahhhh, Maann…..but Dad!"
"But Nuthin-get movin'! You in the car, you alive in there?"
"Yes, sir; just in need of coffee & a road map that doesn't lie" stated Ron nervously from his odd position across the front seat.
"Jeb said he saw you in there when he opened up, your' not sleeping off a bender or anything I need to know about are you" asked a rather built police officer who came into Ron's view with a hand casually ready by an unbuckled but holstered .45 caliber Kimber Custom.
Only Ron's heightened senses allowed him to realize that the man was far more on edge than he was letting on.
Stay cool any po' dunk cop that has that sort of hardware is a bit more than he appears…
"Nope officer, just got lost during the storm and thought I'd ride it out here instead of giving you some work fishing me out of a river this morning".
Ron felt like the seasoned cop looked straight through him, sized him up, recognized something and made a decision in the span of 2 seconds.
"Well come on into the diner, I'm sure Martha has some fresh coffee on, I'll buy ya a cup- the name's Brent."
Relieved that the cop seemed to accept him at face value he got out to comply with the very reasonable request.
"That's awful nice of you…Brent; my name is…"
"Ron Stoppable, partner in crime fighting to Kim Possible".
Stunned all Ron could think to say as they entered the diner was "you know MY name?"
Chuckling Brent replied "you know we may be in the sticks, but we do get satellite & cable and your little Space Needle escapade made big news last night."
"But hell I knew who you were from some of your previous cases, I am in Law Enforcement and it pays to keep up on the big players out there on the off chance something finds it's way into our sleepy neck of the woods."
"Makes sense,... thank you mam'" Ron stated as Martha brought them some coffee.
After they made an order for breakfast and chatted a bit about the previous night's storm Brent looked at Ron a bit oddly and asked, "Mind if I ask a question about that Space Needle gig?"
"Sure go ahead"
"I don't like to play Monday morning quarter back but I have to know something"
"What's that?" Asked Ron his own curiosity a bit piqued.
"Is Kim a major adrenaline junkie or something?"
Chuckling a bit Ron agreed that she was a bit and encouraged him to elaborate.
"Well I saw the Sky Cam footage and wondered…why didn't she just unplug the extension cord at her feet?"
The officer thought he had pressed too far when the young man slapped himself square in the face and let out a groan. He was even more surprised when a smiling Ron looked up and said;
"You and me are going to get along just fine…"
I-84 just south of Boise Idaho
"Well this is just great!" bellowed a raven haired beauty who was dangerously close to blasting the big rig truck in front of her with enough plasma to give the driver a 2000 degree enema.
"First this rain, then lightning, thunder now this jerk is sliding over all the lanes!"
Now it may have been the storm, the trucker or perhaps the fact she was ranting out loud to herself that caused Shego to completely miss the school bus coming up on her left that suddenly swerved towards her driver side door!
Only her well tuned instincts enabled her to jerk the wheel hard to the right and control her fish tailing enough to make the next exit.
She pulled off the road to catch her breath and noted the off ramp sign indicating an airport.
"Well at least I will be able to find a bar in the airport and a hotel near by; I need to get off the road."
After leaving her car in the garage she found her way into the Pilot's lounge, got a stiff drink and faded back into the darkest corner to be found.
Being a somewhat experienced pilot her self she was able to follow the conversations going on about her and get a feel for the local flight "scene" if you will. Not being an overly large airport it had its fair share of crop dusters and private planes but what caught her ear was the charter and "adventure" trips gaining in popularity.
Sounds like fun, at least keep my mind of Blue Boy's crack pot schemes for a while.
So she struck up a conversation with one of the younger & more impressionable of the adventure pilots, applied some of her feminine whiles to get his attention and before long she was signed up as co-pilot/adventure guide on their next trip up to Canada. They would leave as soon as the storm let up….
Far side of Mt Yamanouchi, Japan
Yori awoke just prior to dawn from the cold. Her fire had gone out and the shrill breeze gusting up the ravines and gorges tore at her nude form even in the relative protection of her small cave.
"Return with your honor clean? What does that mean? Does he expect some sort of trouble, or for me to do something wrong?"
Yori mused over her current mission as she tried to rub some sensation back into her feet and hands prior to her departure.
"There is no wisdom in remaining here and being a "vegetable" as Ron-san would say"-Oh how I could use his warm body right now!
More to keep moving than to get her bearings Yori decided to climb one of the larger nearby trees.
She did not think that she would be able to decipher much in the thick jungle but fortunately she was in luck! There was a small break in the foliage that allowed a glimpse of a small house/shack about a kilometer away to the east.
"Sensei was right, never forget that life as well as the battle field is 3 dimensional, opponents & opportunity may be just above your head."
Starting at a brisk jog to shake off the chill Yori became less and less concerned with covering herself. Always a humble and modest girl it surprised her that she soon became at ease with being in the "buff" in public. Granted there was not much out here but critters to object but…
Its was sort of liberating walking through nature with only what nature gave you and a simple bo staff that your Sensei left you…
after leaving you in the middle of no where…unconscious…naked…hungry…alone…with…
NO! I will NOT let the FEAR take over or PANIC set in…MUST center and focus myself.
Up ahead she noted that she was approaching the small house and secluded herself in some thick brush with a good vantage point to observe the house.
She decided to lightly meditate to get her self under control and survey the place before approaching. Calming her breathing and letting her senses stretch out Yori was readily able to get a "feel" for her surroundings.
The birds, animals, even insects soon accepted her un-intrusive form as part of the scenery and carried on with their days.
Giving her attention over fully to her surroundings, she closed her eyes; no smells of humans in the area, not even compost or garbage much less cooking or cleaning.
No sounds other than the natural symphony of nature, predator/prey, water over rock, insect to flower. Her mouth was too dry to really taste anything.
But what was really odd to her was that despite her initial glimpse of a rather recently built house of contemporary Japanese architecture this place just "felt" very old. It was hard to put her finger on it but even though it was a normal enough looking house she instinctively regarded it with a sort of reverence similar to a temple or church.
"Always save sight for last when assessing a place with your senses- it is the most finicky and often easiest fooled" Sensei had drilled into her from a very early age.
Heading his advice she at last opened her eyes and found something she had missed earlier. Behind the house was a clothes line with a Ghee about her size and even some well treaded shoes at the base of the post.
She clandestinely circled behind and approached the house- no one could have heard her approach as she had not even moved a twig. When she was within about 100 ft of the back edge of the yard she noted something else, their was a steaming bowl of rice and another of fruit on the back porch with tea and water!
She instantly ducked lower into the brush and paused since she knew the sight would certainly cause her starved stomach to audibly rumble, as if on cue a grumble and rumbling that would have made even Ron or Rufus's cavernous stomachs proud issued forth and she was certain that perhaps her favorite boy & mole rat had even heard it all the way in America!
She paused some time to let her stomach settle and reach out with her senses again. Right off the bat she felt that over whelming sense of almost awe. Again no unnatural sounds, despite fresh laundry & food sitting out back.
And now the really odd thing was she could not smell the food even though she made sure to approach from down wind and was certainly within range that she should smell SOMETHING.
She had to make a choice & considered her options: either brazenly walk up to the house and ask for aid, food & clothing in the nude; or stealthily acquire what she needed- or just move on down the forest in an unknown part of the forest...with no bearings…no food…no clothes…no water…no hope-STOP! Must remain calm & focus.
Hard to think when your so bloody hungry! OK so much for option 3. Perhaps the acquiring, I AM a Ninja aren't I?
No I will not cloak stealing in fancy words to suit my needs. I may be a Ninja but I am NOT a common thief.
But could I really walk up there naked and ask for help? And what if there are people there that would do me harm?
After a bit of deliberation she steeled her resolve, grabbed her staff and stood.
"I am a trained Ninja of the Yamanouchi School, my wits & my hands are all I need to succeed in this world. I have nothing to fear from the unknown and am now comfortable in my own skin. I will not dishonor myself or Sensei with theft but am humble enough to ask for help." With that she began to stride towards the house and blinked repeatedly as it …disappeared.
Where the house, the food and the clothes had stood only a barren old training field remained. In the center stood a small chair with a lone cup of water. She walked to it and stood over it.
Her mouth was so parched and she was so disoriented by recent events that it did not even occur to her to be startled when a presence moved up beside her and spoke.
"You chose well to resist temptation and the easy comfort of theft. Your reward is this cup of water to quench your thirst young warrior and gain strength, you will need it".
Yori turned and took in the sight of a ninja in full Samurai armor of a very old & elegant design. Deep crimson was the tone of all the hard strike point armor with fine cut bamboo weave throughout accented by a beautiful Jade green trim. The armor was culminated by what could only described as a clan crest on the center of the breast plate; A red rising sun giving way to a coiled serpent.
The truly disturbing point of this visage came when Yori remembered Sensei's lesson of a 3-dimensional world and looked down- the Samurai had no feet or legs below his thigh armor! Just a light fog/haze below the hovering form of a spectral warrior. As calmly as possible Yori addressed the ghost after she bowed respectfully;
"Thank you for your kind words and offer of nourishment. Please take no disrespect but I have obviously continued in my trials by wits before wiles and it would be fool hearty of me now to accept gifts from a bearer of the serpent."
"Well spoken and played…for your respect you gain one minute, your humility-one minute and your wisdom-one minute" echoed the voice of the ancient ninja.
"Samurai-san please forgive my ignorance… 3 minutes for what?"
She swore she could almost make out a smile break wide under his mask as a dozen armor clad, spectral Samurai spread out behind him.
"A head start…now go!"
And so the hunt began…
Kim Possible's Room
"What do you mean the chip doesn't work!" bellowed a very upset teen hero at her computer genius.
"Kim, relax the last track I had on him was Everette, WA heading North East. That is some pretty rough country up there, I probably am just not getting a good read off the satellite due to the terrain" responded Wade.
"Just keep on it- this is SO not like Ron to stay out of touch and not answer our calls"
"Honestly KP do you really know what 'like Ron" is lately? I mean he has spent more time at my place and at the park meditating lately than he has with you."
"What do you mean! He is MY boyfriend! Of course I have spent time with him,just the other day we…I mean last week we…Uh…I know we have…"
"Kim I am not trying to berate you here, I am sure this is just a normal slump or something but I am trying to point out Ron's point of view"
"Why" asked a dumbfounded Red head.
"Because Ron cares too much about you to tell you himself"
"Thanks Wade, I probably needed that. Could you just please keep trying to find him and let me know the moment you know something?"
"Will do, KP & don't worry I'm sure this will all work out" signed off the wiz kid.
The girl that can do anything suddenly did not know what to do. She had operated without Ron before and done fine. When he was sick, or at Camp or hiding in a Panic Room; she knew she was capable of functioning without him.
It just seemed the sudden impact of him LEAVING with out her and not returning when beckoned was disorienting. It almost felt as if she was on a boat in a good current that had lost it's rudder; she was going somewhere-just not sure where.
"Well I guess I can go see what Monique is up to and catch up, maybe do a little shopping to chill the mind until Wade finds something."
Driving over to Monique's place she chided herself for not calling ahead but figured what the heck, if she isn't home she'll most likely be at the mall and if she has a guy over she has no issues being blunt enough to tell her best GF to bugger off.
Pulling into the drive way she noticed a car she had not seen before and almost decided to try that call anyways when the front door opened. Deciding to meet her friend at the door Kim got out and was surprised to see Felix roll out on his cybernetic wheelchair ahead of Monique.
They seemed to be leaning towards each other a little closer than usual before they noticed her; "Hey KP!" They both called out although Monique suddenly seemed a bit apprehensive.
"What's up you two?! What trouble a have you been stirring up now?" she tossed back with a smirk.
"Just me." Stated a tall blonde closing the front door behind Monique. He was sporting a fashionable leather coat and was groomed as if stepping off the cover of GQ which he had in fact done the year before. He was the last person she had expected to see and oddly enough…excited at the sight of.