Life and Letters
By sunset the next day, the Nieli clan, plus the Robot Monkeys, had returned to the little robin's egg blue house. The suburbs seemed unnaturally dull and vacant upon their return. Chiro stood at the edge of the slope, the one attached to the beach. The Gateway Bridge connected the city and the jungle, with no true connection between the two environments. Meanwhile, Shuggazoom's highest skyscrapers had not even remarked at the family's absence. Being a naturally introverted family did that to you. Neighbours expected you to disappear. To fade away.
School would start tomorrow. Chiro would meet up with BJ and Glenny for the first time in a few weeks. Yet despite being his best friends, he knew that what had happened should just remain a secret between the Nielis and the Robot Monkeys.
Chiro sighed and stepped out of the back door. His parents and siblings were crowded around the five Robot Monkeys.
'It was a pleasure meeting you,' Gibson was saying, shaking the hand of Ren, then Kyou.
'Uh, sure, same,' said Ren.
'When you come back, you'll teach me some more battle moves, right?' asked Nahara, facing the team's resident warrior.
'It's a promise,' Nova grinned. Rather hesitantly, she hugged Nahara, but quickly let go after Ren cast a suspicious glance in their direction.
'We'll be seeing you, kid,' Sprx said. Chiro looked up. He hadn't even registered that Sprx had approached, Nova and Otto right behind him.
'Yeah, you see any Formless, kick their butts for me,' Nova gave him a thumbs-up.
'Bye!' Otto waved.
'This has been great,' grinned Chiro. He shook their hands in turn. 'I hope to see you all soon.'
The three of them then ventured over to Sunni, the young boy cowered off to the side of the farewells and looking very distraught. Chiro only had eyes for Antauri. He made a beeline straight to the Hyperforce's solemn leader, overlooking the group with a stature of protectiveness. Antauri weakly smiled.
'Thanks,' Chiro said. He shook Antauri's hand. 'For everything.'
'And I thank you,' Antauri bowed, of all things.
Chiro stared at him in confusion.
'I am...sorry to hear that you will not join us,' Antauri said.
'If...If my family wasn't around, I probably would,' said Chiro. 'But – But I can't, Antauri. I can't leave my family. They need me more then the galaxy does.' Chiro rubbed the back of his head, grinning sheepishly. '...Uh, that might've sounded a little strange, but from my perspective, my family means more to me then anything else. No offense.'
'No, if I were in your position, I would have drawn to the same conclusion,' Antauri nodded. 'Chiro...There is something I must ask of you before the team departs.'
'Watch over your family,' continued Antauri. 'But watch Shuggazoom, as well. Those abilities you have are not fully developed, but as you grow older, they will become more difficult to control. You, Nahara, and Sunni have been gifted. If the Hyperforce ultimately fails in stopping Skeleton King, it may be left to you three to defend your city. Maybe not for a few years. But practice. Please...try to be prepared for what may happen.'
Chiro swallowed. 'I will.'
After an awkward pause, Chiro chuckled.
'What is it?' asked Antauri.
'I was just thinking,' he said. 'Chiro of the Shuggazoom Suburbs. If all that stuff you said will come true, and I have to protect the city, I'll be known as Chiro of the Shuggazoom Suburbs.'
Antauri smiled. 'Define power, Chiro. That is the key. A balance of good and evil will help society heal, if war does come.'
'I'll remember that,' said Chiro. 'Hey, you really will come back, right?'
'...I do not know. My team and I are at the mercy of fate, itself.'
'Well...don't crash when you get back.'
Behind Antauri, Sprx stood in entrance of the partially concealed Fist Rocket 3. Gibson, Otto, and Nova flocked around him, about to enter themselves.
'Good luck, Chiro of the Shuggazoom Suburbs,' Antauri said.
'You too,' said Chiro.
Antauri slowly backed away from Chiro, then followed his team into the Fist Rocket. The others followed. Except for Gibson. Just as the scientist turned his back on the humans to go inside, he paused, and slightly turned to catch Chiro's eye. Gibson wanted to say something. But he shook his head, tailing after the others.
The Nieli family shielded their eyes as the grand Fist Rocket took off the ground, casting violent gusts of wind in all directions. The trees trembled back and forth, as though waving themselves. The first few autumn leaves were torn off in the process and scattered across the yard. Then the Fist Rocket hesitated over land, before shooting back towards the jungle. Back towards their grand war machine and the rebellion they had to suppress.
Chiro, Nahara, and Sunni did not stop waving until long after they'd disappeared. One-by-one, the Nielis returned to the house. Chiro was the last to do so.
As Chiro trudged up the creaking stairs, he realized that life had quickly returned to normal. Downstairs, he heard Kyou turning up the volume on television. However, it was possible that he was doing this to cover up a private conversation between him and his wife. The stair still characteristically creaked, much louder then the others. Chiro paused.
Everything was always turning back to normal.
Chiro darted up the stairs and rounded the corner into the twins bedroom. Sunni was balancing himself against the wall, a book at his feet and holding onto his eye. Nahara was across from him with her hands on her hips.
'You could at least try!' Nahara shouted. 'Oh, hi Chiro. I was just trying to get Sunni to do that...glowy...purple thing again. I think it might've been a shield of some sort...'
'You didn't have to throw it so hard!' said Sunni.
'How did you do that?' whined Nahara. 'How come you two get super cool glowy power stuff and I don't have anything?!'
'Just, uh, give it some time, Nahara,' said Chiro.
'Yeah, it might be different 'cause your a girl,' Sunni pointed out.
'THAT IS SO SEXIST! Wait until I have superpowers, then I can kick you all the way to Ranger 7 easy!'
Chiro shut the door to leave them to their bickering. He crossed over to his room. It seemed a lot smaller then it had before, but nevertheless messy. Yeah, Sprx had been cowering right there in the corner, attempting to get as far away from his maniac sister as possible. They'd crawled through that window in a hurry to avoid their parents. That's the picture of his grandfather Sprx had been staring at in a trance.
It was the same. Nothing had changed. You'd never know that Robot Monkeys had once passed through here.
But there was one difference.
Rotating to examine his room, Chiro did a double take of his grandfather's picture. An envelope was sitting in front of it. Without thinking, he grabbed it off the shelf and tore it open.
By the time you read this, the Hyperforce will have departed Shuggazoom, possibly for good. I appreciate all the help you have lent to us, as well as your patience.
Everything that will happen from this point forward will be difficult. For you, and for the citizens of Shuggazoom. With the Hyperforce planning to take the war to Skeleton King, first, everything about your world's social structure will change. I say "your" world because I now consider it your responsibility to look after it. But whether or not you accept my word for it, is your personal decision.
Shuggazoom needs a defender. Shuggazoom has always had its share of heroes of folklore, and the Hyperforce has already faded into one of many groups. I believe that you, and quite possibly Nahara and Sunni, are the next to inherit this title. You displayed great power at the confrontation with the Formless. I do not know what precisely happened, but you have the potential to be the one. The protector of Shuggazoom. Again, the acceptance of this is your choice.
Power, Chiro. Power corrupts. Power destroys. But, used properly, power protects
I believe you made the correct choice by staying with your family. I was wrong to try and force you away from them. I realize that now. Perhaps I was also incorrect that leaving to confront Skeleton King is the best option.
You, Nahara, and Sunni make an excellent team. They have the potential to also become your team, as you grow older.
I want you to protect them and yourself. Your family, at the very least, deserves that.
We will meet again.
A/N: Oh? Am I done? PHEW! That's a relief. Well, my birthday's in two days and I wanted to get this done before then.
The ending...a little rushed.
The tone of "Chiro of the Shuggazoom Suburbs" was certainly different from what I'm used to. I must do more like this in the future.
Anyways, too exhausted to really have anything else legitiment to say. Sorry if the ending wasn't what you expected...I'm a little disappointed with how it turned out. Thanks to katamariape for the idea. Farewell!