Fan fiction: Xiaolin Showdown © Christy Hui
Chapter 8: The Aerial Ace
By the end of the day, everyone had managed to make their Shen Gong Wu react to their chi, some more successful than others. Clay was sporting a black eye from the Third Arm Sash lashing up at him while Kimiko's hair was a tad singed from the Star of Hanabi's misfiring. Selia had managed to get the Two-Ton Tunic to react, but only sections of the tunic would activate and cause her to topple from one side to the other unexpectedly. She sported more than a few bruises and scrapes for her efforts. Those with the most success had been Omi and Raimundo. Rai had summoned up the powers of the Sword of the Storm to create a strong gust, while Omi's water element was able to form and stay in a concentrated sphere. To say the least, these monks were all chi-ed out. After sleepily munching on their supper of pork and rice, they passed out as soon as their heads hit the pillow and were not to stir 'til morn.
But not all were peacefully resting this night…
Things were already going afoul deep within the recesses of a mountainside mansion. The slumbering monks were under careful observance by a set of cruel eyes familiar to our warriors. The particular moment he was viewing were the dreams of a few of the monks at a time using the Shadow of Fear in his possession. Chase Young, although a genius in his own right, the feared villain that he was, continued to struggle with how to separate the accursed Dragon of Chi from the others. She was influencing them far too much towards their greatest potential. He'd toyed with the idea of creating a crisis back at her home, it was simple enough. But news travelled too slow for it to have an immediate impact. So for the past few weeks he'd been monitoring the monks in their daily interactions closely, trying to spot any weak bonds, or possibly strong enough to be manipulated.
"But what to do and how to do so tastefully…?" He mused, as he watched a scene from Selia's dream. Her dreams made little sense to an outside observer at first: her views of the world were far from what one expected. Since she had no sight of the actual world after her childhood, she made things up. This scene consisted of her talking to some boy in a hat. He stared at the dream for awhile, trying his best to figure out who the boy was. His reptilian eyes widen with realization as he saw the boy was dressed in similar garb as her and, although the colors and style were different, they were distinctly the robes the monks wore.
"So she fancies the lumbering fool in the group? Either that or trusts him enough as a friend…" Chase trailed off, his eyes staring past the dream in front of him, deep in thought. He continued to stroke the head of one of his lion warriors with his right hand, cupping his chin in the other. In an instant the mind of the evil mastermind clicked, and everything fell into place. A wicked smile spread across his usually placid face, gold reptilian eyes sharpened as his fangs seemed to lengthen just a tad.
"Perfect… But should it be short and abrupt, like a stab to the heart? Or slow and painful, to make her really hurt…?" Chase's eyes focused back on the dream: it had changed. Selia was back in that field he'd intruded on last time, but this time with the boy wearing the hat, talking with him while sitting on the grass. The wicked smile returned.
"Slow and painful it is…" He almost purred as he snapped his fingers. Two tiger servants walked up, carrying the Yin and Yang yoyos on a pillow…
A few weeks later…
"Lightning Shard!" Jack shouted over the roar of the wind, temporarily freezing time. He panted, catching his breath, the Lightning Shard clutched tightly in one hand, Monkey Staff in the other, held in front of his face reflexively. Why's that? Well, just before calling upon the Wu, Jack was looking forward to a Fist of Tebigonging to the face, courtesy of the country bumpkin. The showdown had gotten ridiculous, at least from this Boy Genius' perspective. The day had started out so well, too…
That morning had led to near completion of his two month project: the perfect pudding cup maker. If it hadn't been for Wuya shooting straight through his chest, practically stopping his heart, he would've been enjoying banana-flavored pudding cups along with whatever other flavor he desired to his hearts content! She'd been shrieking about some new wind-based Shen Gong Wu and wouldn't leave him in peace until they'd left for the tundras of Africa. The ride in his low-altitude flight vehicle wasn't short enough with Wuya babbling on and on about this Aerial Ace Wu. The only thing that caught his attention was the possibility of using its abilities for flight over short distances. That'd definitely make trips to the local evil genius market a lot more fun, let alone impressive!
Sure, finding the Wu wasn't all that difficult, but as usual the Xiaolin Losers were there, ready to rob him of what was rightfully his for the taking. This Aerial Ace was contained in a box, one similar to the puzzle box he solved that released the intangible nuisance that was always following him around. He had no idea what the Aerial Ace looked like, but it HAD to be good! So, making a mad-dash for it, Jack jumped and reached out to get it, but Kimiko beat him to it. She'd kicked it out of the way elegantly and sent the box flying straight towards her annoying teammates. The box flew over the blind girl's head, and was caught by the Brazilian kid. Jack activated his HeliPack and took off into the air, swooping in on the Brazilian and snatched back the box.
"Hah! Looks like all your training is no match for my MAD skills, Xiaolin Loooosers!" Jack gave his rather witty taunt, and with a brandish of his cape he set off for home… Until that cowboy grabbed hold of the HeliPack and dragged him back to earth rather forcefully. Jack lost grip of the box. He quickly reached out for it. It glowed.
"Aw man!" Jack groaned. A showdown was the LAST thing he wanted! Especially against anyone that wasn't Kimiko… So much for celebrating with pudding cups over a clean get-away.
And back to the big picture: Jack was in a Xiaolin Showdown with Clay Bailey, Jack wagering the Monkey Staff and Clay the Fist of Tebigong. Jack had obviously cheated by grabbing the Shard of Lightning to buy himself some time. The goal of this showdown was to knock your opponent out of the ring. A few problems, though: thanks to the magic of the Xiaolin Showdown, the showdown ring turned into a pillar hundreds of yards up in the sky during a freak desert storm that was amped up to the max. Jack knew he was no match against an ox like Clay, so like he always did he reverted back to his "Evil Boy Genius" ways of thinking. Taking advantage of this frozen moment in time, Jack chuckled while relocating Clay on the pillar right to the edge, Clay's momentum aimed for off of the pillar. Just as Jack finished this, the effects of the Shard of Lightning wore off and real time continued its course.
Clay found himself suddenly tumbling off of the pillar's edge and flailing desperately. He called upon the Fist of Tebigong with all his might, his Chi flowing into it. The Fist of Tebigong did something it hadn't ever done before: it unclenched its fist and got a vice grip on the rocky ledge, saving Clay from the tumble. Clay quietly thanked Master Fung for all of the hard days spent training those past weeks to get in tune with his chi, taking note to tell the master this later. Swinging for momentum, Clay caught his leg on the ledge and pulled himself up. Meanwhile Jack was dumbstruck with what he just witnessed with the Fist of Tebigong, and upon further reflection, without the country bumpkin saying a word! As Jack realized the cowboy was back up on his feet, he had two words of his own to say:
"Fist of TEBIgong!" Clay shouted and the punch sent the monkey boy sailing. As the monkey shrieks and screams of Jack faded the further he fell down, the showdown came to a close, and everything reverted back to normal. Clay straightened his hat with one hand, the won Shen Gong Wu appearing in his other. Clay wasn't that bad off, aside from some sore muscles and bruising from his last minute save. The Fist of Tebigong still on his hand, the Aerial Ace in its box and the Monkey Staff nestled in his arm, Clay was beaming. A couple of yards off, Jack could be seen as a rather odd-looking pancake in the ground. Least to say, he'd left quite an impression.
"You FOOOOOOL!" shrieked Wuya at the less than graceful Boy Genius as he forced himself out of the Jack-shaped hole in the ground. "WHY did you freeze at such a critical moment? You could've shoved him off the last INCH! Victory was OUUUURS!" she howled, punching her intangible fists through Jack's head.
"Hey, hey, hey! Stop it, I'm getting a migraine!" Whined the pasty redhead, brushing dirt and what grass stains he could from his coveted cape. He threw a dirty glare in the direction of the Xiaolin Warriors, most pointedly at Clay whose back was to him. 'He pulled a trick out there himself… I know it!' he thought darkly, the boy genius overlooking the fact of his blatant cheating, of course. Feeling that he had no need to be here any more, Jack activated his HeliPack and headed back home, looking forward to pudding cups and finding ways to shut Wuya up.
"Dude! That was a close one!" Raimundo said in reference to Clay's lucky save. "How'd you manage that one?"
"Was nothin', really. Th' Fist of Tebigong did most of th' work," The cowboy shied away from the compliment. "I just acted on th' fly and th' Wu opened its fist, grabbin' hold of th' edge. Gotta be grateful fer all th' Chi trainin'." Clay said, giving a chuckle.
"No need to be so modest," said Selia, using her carved walking stick as her guide. It bumped into Clay's boot and she reached out to find his shoulder for a playful punch. "You've been training close to night and day to get to where you are."
"Yes, Clay has put forth much effort," Omi complimented. "It's too bad that he doesn't possess angry skills like I do!" Raimundo wasn't even going to bother correcting the little monk at this point. "For I can unlock the power of ANY Shen Gong Wu with a handshake!"
"I'm thinking that was 'a wave of my hand,' but I'm not all that sure…" Selia giggled. She was currently examining the Aerial Ace with her hands, feeling the design carved into the box. "So, is this box the Aerial Ace or is it just for show?"
"Let me see," said Kimiko, grabbing the puzzle box. "Looks kinda like the puzzle box Rai used to seal Wuya, doesn't it?"
"Yeah, except it's already locked up." Raimundo noted, having snatched the box away from Kimiko. "Wonder how we're gonna open it?"
"Jack Spicer was the one who opened Wuya's puzzle box the first time, maybe we can ask him to do the same for us." was Kimiko's suggestion.
"But so did Katnappe the second time around," Raimundo combated back with. "Besides, we haven't even tried it ourselves yet."
"Alright kids, let's get back to the temple!" Dojo cut in, inflating himself to his natural size. "We'll solve this puzzle box later; probably look through the scrolls in the records room for some help." And with that, everyone mounted Dojo's back and flew back for home.
Once at the Xiaolin Temple
"Ok everybody, let's work on this puzzle box!" Raimundo urged the others, he being the most eager to unlock the Aerial Ace. No one could blame him: it was the Wu specialized for his element. Everyone had gathered inside one of the many meditation halls due to the heavy rainstorm that had picked up since their return. The five monks sat down in a circle and took turns at trying to open the puzzle box. After the puzzle box's third trip around the circle, Selia had it and she decided to try a different approach than the others: she tried activating the Wu from inside the box with her chi. She came across something blocking her chi's flow. Puzzled, she tried to explore as far as her chi would reach.
"That's odd…" she muttered.
"What's up, Selia?" said Clay.
"The puzzle box is stopping my chi from flowing into it," she said, becoming frustrated. "I know where my chi needs to weave through, but there's some kind of barrier… Like it doesn't want my chi to go there…"
"Let me have a go at it," said Clay. Box in hand, he closed his eyes to concentrate and found the same problem occurring with his chi. "Hmm… Maybe our chi isn' th' right kind of chi this Wu is wantin'…" He speculated aloud. He looked across the circle at Rai and a light flicked on. "Rai, how 'bout you try it next?" Without waiting for a response Clay tossed the box over to Rai.
"Hey! Watch it!" Raimundo retorted, barely catching the box before it knocked him in the head. "Why would it like my chi?"
"Jus' try it, Rai," Clay said, egging the Brazilian monk on.
"Whatever, man," He shrugged, and furrowed his brow as he studied the puzzle box. He concentrated on manifesting his chi into a thread and sent it into the box. Things began to happen quickly. The puzzle box took in his chi greedily and the thread speedily zipped through the chi-based maze inside. Before Raimundo could understand what was going on the puzzle box began to shake and glow, and cracks began to open all over the box. The parts of the puzzle box flew apart, surprising everyone as they reflexively shielded their faces with their arms. Once the debris stopped flying, Raimundo braved opening his eyes and glanced under his arms at the floor. He was rather surprised at what he saw.
"A ribbon…" he said, dumbfounded. "The Aerial Ace… is a ribbon…?"
"Now I wouldn't be callin' it a 'ribbon,' per say… More like a headband," said Clay. He reached out to pick up the Aerial Ace. "Though I gotta agree; I was expectin' somethin' more of a whoop an' a hollar than this…" He studied the Aerial Ace, noting its coloration. Its background was the color of the sky, though slightly faded over its many centuries of existence. Purple lines swooping down the Aerial Ace dyed in the style Chinese artists would depict the clouds and gusting wind in ancient minimalist paintings. The ends were tailored with dragons in the design. He handed the Aerial Ace back to Raimundo and smiled. "Looks like we got us another elemental Wu in our arsenal."
"Yeah, but what does it do?" Raimundo raised an eyebrow at the so-called ribbon in his hands. "Should I just ties ribbons in my hair and see what happens?" That got giggles from everyone.
"Then let us go out and give it a circle!" said Omi, getting up on his feet in a flash.
"We can't go out and give it a spin, Omi. It's still raining outside," Kimiko reminded the short monk. "We'll try it out in the morning."
"We should lock it up in the Wu vault, then," said Selia, these being unexpected words coming from her. "Y'know, just incase… Jack might come back for it…?" The silence she was greeted with was rather unsettling.
"There's no reason to worry about that accident-prone geek," Kimiko scoffed. "I mean, what's the worst he could do to us? Throw puddings cup-making robots in our general direction?
Jack was moping around eating his beloved pudding cups. To make himself feel better, Jack reviewed some of his blue-prints and concept designs to decide on his next project, all the while Wuya was doing her best to make his life as miserable as possible. As Jack slipped on his headphones to block out Wuya's ranting and raving, he thought he saw movement out of the corner of his eye. Suspicious, he sat up slightly and looked to his right where the suspected movement had been. There was nothing there. Wary, Jack slowly settled himself back into his chair and gave one last glance around the room before returning his attention to his plans on the table
"Good evening, Spicer," Jack nearly hit the ceiling when he jumped at hearing the cold, powerful voice of Chase Young next to his right ear.
"GYAH-A-HA-? C-Ch-Ch-Chase?" Jack peered at him from under his chair, having somehow managed to get himself UNDER there after initially hearing Chase Young speak not two seconds before. Chase did his best to hide his disgust at the pathetic worm of an 'evil' genius.
"I have a proposition for you…" Chase began, his tone its usual nonchalant, with a hint of that tone indicating he was giving Jack a chance to prove himself worthy of being in his presence. Hearing this Jack got himself upright and out from under the chair quicker than you could say "fanboy" and was as close to Chase's side as he could get, which was about five feet away.
"How may I be of assistance to you, Chase…?" said Spicer, eager but nervous. Last time Chase asked for his presence in a plan he'd failed miserably and about got himself fed to the lions even though Chase managed to get it all to work out. It was like Chase Young expected him to fail each time, so he had a plan B in the wings. This time he was making sure he didn't fail his idol.
"A minor Wu will be activating soon, and whether you get it or not is of no importance to me," Chase began, slowly walking around the cluttered table as Jack stood stock still, not daring to even breath as Chase walked past him. "All that I ask of you is to make sure a showdown occurs, and that it happens…" He trailed off, before pulling out the Yin-Yang Yoyos. "In the Yin-Yang World."
Jack shuddered at the thought. The Yin-Yang World was such a bizarre place, and if he lost even one of the yoyos, he'd come out as a goody-two-shoes and he HATED that polar opposite version of himself. But this was Chase Young, and he'd make sure Jack wouldn't be trapped in that realm, right?
"What's in it for us, Chase Young?" Wuya said after getting over the initial shock of this formidable fair-weather ally showing up out of nowhere.
Chase eyed the incorporeal hag as he mulled over an appropriate response.
"Should Spicer succeed in this task I have set before him, I promise you several powerful Shen Gong Wu, such as the Golden Tiger Claws, the Shard of Lightning and the Reversing Mirror. Sadly, I won't be providing you the Serpent's Tail any time soon…" was the offer he presented, a wicked smile on his face.
"But both the Shard of Lightning and the Reversing Mirror are in possession of the monks!" Wuya said in protest. "How will-?"
"You DARE question my generous offer, witch?" roared Chase Young, causing both Wuya and Jack to shrink back, Jack practically under the table once more. Quickly composing himself, the immortal sighed and set the two yoyos on the table. "You know I'm a man of my word, Wuya. Keep your end of the deal, Spicer, and you'll soon possess the powerful Shen Gong Wu I have offered in exchange for your services, should you perform this simple task flawlessly…" and as if to prove his point, Chase pulled out the Golden Tiger Claws and let the light sheen off of them. "But, should you fail me…" he accentuated 'fail' with a swipe of the Golden Tiger Claws, ripping open a rift to who knows where. With one final glance at the shaken boy, Chase stepped into the rip and disappeared.
Jack forced himself to stand back up, knees wobbly. The Yin and Yang yoyos complimenting each other so well just sitting there on his desk.
"Whatever you're up to, Chase, I'm more than willing to help if it means I can get back at those Xiaolin Losers…!" he said with growing confidence. Picking up the yoyos, a smile crept across the boy genius' face, and he couldn't help but break out into his signature evil laugh. Though this time, it definitely sounded less silly and more sinister as Wuya joined in.
Author's Notes: And thus we end on a cliffhanger with chapter 8 – the first original chapter in a long while! Finally done rewriting, now I can focus on writing some new material! Please let me know what you think – R&R, C&C. Look forward to chapter 9, coming as soon as I can between work, school, and life ^_~