Disclaimer: I do not own Jackie Chan Adventures, it is the property of the respective owners. I do feel a certain claim to any OCs that may appear, but since there is no money I feel we should all be fairly mellow so long as matters are handled in good taste.
Project Dark Jade Presents
Queen of All Oni
A Jackie Chan Adventures FanFiction
Written by Eduard Kassel
Beta'ed By Zim'sMostLoyalServant
Concept Aided Greatly by Nocturne No Kitsune
Danke schon, you were all indispensable
Warnings: This is AU diverging at he onset of the Shadowkhan arc, so do expect events to follow canon. While I aspire to remain true to the characters my style calls for a "somewhat"t realistic approach, so expect light gore along with occasion appropriate cursing. Additionally expect mental issues to come to the forefront on occasion.
Now that the formalities are concluded, on with the show!
For Want of An Herb
Or, Why one should never improvise on a potion recipe
The prison kitchen stank of grease and onions, the odors of the dinner meal lingered as the dish detail cleaned the area in preparation for the next day's breakfast work. The convicts assigned to this duty though had far more on their mind. In fact only three of them were tending to their duties; a fourth watched the fifth and final criminal sit before a pot on the floor.
Hak Foo narrowed his eyes in critical observation of the ancient Dark Chi wizard. Once the man had seemed to radiate power, and the well-founded confidence of the victor of countless wizard duels. Now he seemed nothing but an arrogant old man grasping for a fraction of what he once possessed. Just because Hak Foo preferred doing to thinking did not mean he was a fool.
"This had better work, wizard," Hak Foo growled. The Enforcers paused in their washing, Turing their attention to their red-maned colleague and former master.
Daolon Wong had seen better days. While never large he seemed smaller than before; being stripped of the power that had defined him for much of his existence had indeed diminished him. Frankly he was looking more his age, hair thinning, skin looser, movements more strained, and the orange prison uniform did anything but compliment his complexion… to the casual observer he was easily the least dangerous of those present.
Yet the eyes that lifted from his materials to meet Hak Foo's gaze still held the malevolent spark of one prepared to command the underworld's own legions. The words the fallen wizard spoke were true enough.
"Though I have been disenchanted, I am Daolon Wong. I have knowledge of the mystic arts far surpassing a Chi Wizard who has yet to live beyond his lifetime," Daolon Wing answered evenly but strong.
Having met the challenge to his authority Wong turned his attention back to the collection of bottles and herbs before him. The spell he had in mind was simple enough for a wizard of his former caliber. It was alchemy rather than pure magic drawing on the potion and only requiring a catalyst from him, a task he was certain he was capable of in this state.
The problem was the potion itself. The enforcers and Hak Foo had scoured the prison and contraband market for what he required to brew it, but it was simply impossible to obtain certain substances in this place. Thus he had been forced to improvise, and what now formed before him was almost but not quite what he needed to summon minions capable of freeing him. In magic "almost" was almost always not nearly good enough; and tended to bear dire consequences.
The wizard still had no choice but to try and make it work. His control over these fools was rapidly fading and without them he would not be able to escape in time to gain what he needed to replenish his fading life and power. As it was they had already demanded an agreement that upon escape they would go their separate ways. The fools did not even realize the laws of magic meant he needed to accept their deal; he had hoped to use them for the potion of longevity he needed.
Pushing aside his frustrated musings Wong directed his attention to the potion; the time to act was at hand. Lifting his hands he began the chant, the words flowing sweetly over his tongue and leaving a bitter taste in their wake. The potion began to shine dully by its own light, a brilliant red line sprang into being on the surface, turning and twisting upon itself in rapid succession. At last the seal of the Shadowkhan was engrave upon the liquid, if one were to gaze upon it you would feel its gaze fall on you in turn. The wizard allowed himself a smile at the familiar sensation of the dark forces being pulled into the physical world.
"Arise and liberate us, Shadowkhan," Daolon Wong commanded, his voice an echoing whisper wrapped in power. The seal flared, the lights flickered, and for a moment the taps ceased to run… and then nothing happened.
"Eh?" Daolon Wong sounded, his left eye popping open. The Enforcers looked confused at the wizard apparently drawing a blank. Hak Foo for his part seemed to simply come to a conclusion.
"It would seem Chan's uncle did strip you of your power. I will find my own escape," the mercenary announced, taking his leave. Wong barely heard him, his attention focused on the steaming potion.
"That was not a dud, the spell did something… the balance began to tilt as it always does with a summons. Hmm," The fallen wizard pondered.
Uncle's Rare Finds, San Francisco
Jade Chan was wrapped deep within her blankets; she had never been a tidy or particularly calm sleeper, inevitably burying herself to gain the most warmth and comfort from her bedding. This night she was blessed with a deep sleep, her mind untroubled with a nearly formless dream.
As such she did not know of the bitter wind that rattled her window, and – despite wood, glass, and brick – flirted across the room, lightly disturbing her scattered possessions. Though as it pierced her cocoon of cloth she did begin to stir anew as her dream formed and twisted into something it was not meant to be.
* * *
Tohru rose from his chair with a yawn, eyeing the pair of artifacts before him with some small animosity.
"One more thing Tohru! Uncle requires tea not your nasty coffee, do not mix them up!" Uncle called from his own workstation. Tohru sighed and nodded to the affirmative, his sensei would know if he did otherwise, somehow.
The apprentice wizard would much sooner be in bed than appraising these new additions to the stock of antiques. He understood it had to be done but surely the work could wait until the sun had risen.
"No point complaining," the sumo thought as he made his way to the kitchen to replenish their supply of fatigue defying warm beverages. That is when it hit him.
It was like the cold chill that on occasion runs up one's spine and a static shock rolled into one. It started at his ankles and rose up his legs and back to escape through his mouth as a strange kind of shudder. Tohru stood on that spot for a moment, surprised and confused at what just happened. Oddly enough he felt a need to look in on Jade.
Turning to ascend the steps to the second floor he soon found himself at Jade's door. Tohru was puzzled why he was checking on his friend all of a sudden, but decided there was no harm as waking her was unlikely. Opening the door slowly he peered in, the moonlight from the window providing some illumination. He could not see the girl directly, but could easily make out her covered form on the bed, apparently in the midst of some dream. Gently closing the door he smiled with the reassurance that his young friend was well.
"Tohru! Where is Uncle's tea!?" the wizard/shop owner's tore through the quiet of the building. Tohru cringed at the shouting only to sigh.
"Coming sensei," he answered with far less volume as he descended the staircase.
* * *
Morning came as it usually did. Uncle, already having eaten his meager breakfast, sat at the table reading a book while sitting tea, Jackie held a folded newspaper in one hand as he enjoyed his own breakfast, and Tohru cleaned up the leavings of his sensei's breakfast while preparing Jade's cereal.
Jackie looked up from his paper as Tohru sit the bowl of cereal down at Jade's empty place at the table. He frowned slightly at his niece's tardiness.
"Jade! Your breakfast is ready, you'll be late for school!" he called towards the stairs. A few moments later he was rewarded with the sound of footsteps descending the staircase. Any comment he would have made was forgotten as his niece entered the room.
Jade was not exactly a morning person, but still she did not look good. Her hair seemed to have been rushed, her face was still moist having not been properly dried and there were black marks under her eyes.
"I didn't sleep well," Jade answered the unasked question, making her way groggily to her seat.
* * *
Jade had known when she woke up it was just going to be one of those days. She felt tired after sleeping, never a good omen. Sitting at her desk, head propped up by her right hand, all she wanted to do was lay down her head and close her eyes. The lights of the classroom seemed much brighter than usual making her squint and the inane prattling on the teacher reminder her of Charlie Brown. She was starting to get a headache.
"Jade Chan!" her teacher's voice cut through the fuzz in her head. Jade straightened bolt upright in her seat reflexively her eyes opening wide, the last being a bad idea, as she was forced to blink repeatedly to bring things back in focus.
"You seem to know the material well enough to not pay attention. Could you tell the class who was the General that surrendered to Washington at Yorktown ending the American Revolution?" the bespectacled woman pressed. Jade's eyes darted to the chalkboard in the vain hope it held some answers. That failing she grasped for the name of any famous British general.
"General Wellington?" she offered softly.
"The Duke of Wellington, the Iron Duke, a major figure in the Napoleonic Wars. Had you been listening you would have plainly heard that the major British Commander in the Southern United States was Lord Cornwallis," The teacher corrected her. The class filled with snickers at both her mistake and being caught spacing out.
"Who cares!? He was the loser, isn't it the winners that matter!?" Jade challenged. The room went silent as Jade realized she had just shouted, really shouted at the teacher.
"One demerit for not paying attention and two for disrupting the class," the teacher responded sternly. Jade wanted to melt through the floor as the other kids snickered.
She did her best to pay attention in order to avoid a repeat performance. She doubted the lesson did anything but go in one ear and out the other. She scribbled down some notes, real ones and not her usual doodles, but it wasn't doing any good. She had felt lousy waking up and breakfast had helped, but now things seemed to be getting worse. What started as a headache was now including aching joints and her stomach was churning. It took her a moment to recognize the recess bell, cringing as the blaring noise bounced around her head like a billiard ball.
Once she was on the playground she was quick to separate herself from the other children, not wholly unusual. Her "tall tales" had initially gained her some notoriety but the kids had since come to think she had taken it all too far. She could get company when she wanted it, Simone Magus came to mind, but most people were content to leave her alone.
Rather than one of her usual spots she sat down leaning herself against the school wall, the shade a welcome relief. She let her eyes close fully intending to sleep when she actually felt someone run up. Jade groaned internally already knowing who it was.
"Quite the performance in American History Jade," Drew taunted her. Jade forced her eyes open and regarded her classmate; if not for Uncle he would probably have given her an inherent dislike for people with glasses. So instead he had made her hate yellow hats.
"Not now Drew, I'm not feeling well," Jade answered dully. The boy was a bit put off that she hadn't risen to his challenge or gone on about some fantasy nonsense. It was actually a bit disturbing since energetic was the first thing that came to mind with Ninja Girl. But regardless of these thoughts he decided it was better to take advantage of the opportunity.
"What's the matter, wear yourself out fighting ninjas all night? Or did a demon cast a spell on you?" Drew taunted. Jade rose to her feet and walked away from him. Drew was pleased that his barbs seemed to be hitting particularly well today. While true, that had nothing to do with him and everything to do with Jade's aching head. She continued to walk about the playground and he pursued slowly.
"Maybe you should get some of those ninjas to help you study, or at least snag the answer sheet. I bet that wrestler could tutor you in Spanish," Drew went on.
A particularly troublesome throb went through Jade's head, prompting her to stop, pressing her open hand to the top of her hand as if to still the inside of her skull. Dwayne unfortunately had been walking behind her and not really paying attention, thus walking into the troubled Chinese girl's back.
It wasn't much all things considered. It just surprised her and set forward two hasty steps to recover her balance. But as is often the case with such incidents, it is not so much spark as the powder that has built up that causes the explosion. Frustrated to no end with how she felt and the embarrassment in class adding too the annoyance of Drew, misplaced aggression had come out to play.
She twirled around and, recalling reflexively what she had been taught, came up to him in stance and hit in the face. Hard. Looking down to were Drew cried on the ground, hands clasped over his mouth, a small trickle of blood leaking out, snapped Jade out of her daze.
"So not good," she muttered, the monitor blowing her whistle as she came onto the scene.
The principal's office was unimposing. The walls a light blue colored, adorned with landscapes, certificates, and a plaque holding some kind of slogan. The desk was big, but not unusually so and seemed to be decorated with family photos. All in all, very approachable. The atmosphere, however, was awkward and a little tense. Across from the balding gentleman who presided over the school sat Uncle looking rather disinterested and a bit impatient, a flustered Jackie Chan rubbing the back of his neck, and Jade slumped into her chair.
"I am so sorry for this Mr. Groves. There is no excuse for Jade's behavior," Jackie apologized profusely.
"Mr. Chan it is a sad fact that fights happen in public schools, but this is the second time Jade has caused such an incident. Frankly I am concerned, and her teacher has also expressed concerns regarding her performance. I understand you have been teaching her karate?" The principal asked putting his hands together.
"Yes, but I have made it very clear they martial arts are not meant to be used like this," Jackie answered firmly. The archaeologist turned a disapproving look onto his niece, but she hardly seemed to notice.
"Bah, is anything broken in the boy?" Uncle asked.
"Two of his teeth have been loosened," the Principal offered.
"Boy is very young, he'll grow new teeth. He should take it as life lesson on bad karma coming back to you," Uncle waved dismissively. Jackie cringed at Uncle's statement as Principal Groves lifted an eyebrow.
"Mr. Chan, while I do believe in holding children responsible to an extent, I have found in nearly every case like this the root of the problem is in the home environment. I understand your job requires a great deal of time and travel. Perhaps this is about attention? Though it could also be certain negative influences in the home," the principal espoused, his gaze glancing over to Uncle.
Jackie felt like sighing. His job required travel; the Principal thought the problem was him not being around. Jackie had trouble recalling a research trip Jade had not managed to invite herself on, and how many ended up involving a lot more than research. As for bad influences, with the list he could make Uncle's stubborn ways were definitely the lesser evil.
Uncle himself was unaware of the scrutiny he was under, or perhaps aware and not caring. He was glancing over at his niece studying her reactions. They were very interesting in that she seemed to not be reacting at all. Much like Jackie (and Uncle himself though he would never admit it) Jade had a tendency to overreact to things, but she was just sitting there.
What's more he felt something… off, about her. Uncle was not sure what exactly, but Chi Master Fong had taught him that to ignore one's honed intuition was to invite peril.
Uncle's Rare Finds:
The drive home was in silence; Jade had been suspended for the next day to return to school on Monday with detention. Jackie was angry, disappointed, and in general frustrated. The last one being directed a good bit at himself… no matter what he did it seemed he could not provide Jade the stable environment she needed to mature into a responsible person. Why was it that he had to be forced into a parent role just when his life became an endless struggle against the evil of the month?
He decided to wait until they got home to let the hammer fall.
"Jade, I am very disappointed in you. I have been teaching you the martial arts to defend yourself, not to hurt others! I only agreed to instruct you because I thought you had learned enough to know when to use what I taught. It seems I was wrong," Jackie stated. He could tell that last sentence in particular hit her hard; she shifted on her feet looking at the floor. With a sigh, he continued.
"You're grounded for the rest of the month, straight from here to school and back again. Your allowance is gone until further notice too," Jackie told her. She just nodded in response. Jackie frowned at that response; Jade was never this quiet even under circumstances like this. Going down on his knee he gently tilted her face up; she looked hardly any better than that morning, though he could see now her eyes were a little bloodshot.
"Jade, are you alright?" Jackie asked, his voice having lost its edge.
She briefly told him what she felt like to which he nodded before rising again.
"We'll get you an early dinner and something for your head and stomach, then it's off to bed," Jackie decided.
"I didn't mean to hurt him. The day was just going so lousy and he wouldn't leave me alone," Jade offered softly. Jackie put a hand on her small shoulder.
"I understand, but that is not an excuse," Jackie told her.
A Few Hours Later:
"I think something may be wrong with Jade," Uncle declared from his desk. Jackie looked up from the quarterly he was reading at Uncle's words. Uncle had called him to the library to talk openly, only to loose himself in some massive book. Tohru had even come in to serve Uncle's tea while he was waiting.
"I know what you mean, this is the second time he has punched a classmate. It's just not healthy having her involved with Shendu, the Dark Hand, and all the others we keep running into," Jackie admitted. At some pint Uncle had gotten up and now struck Jackie over the head in his patented two fingered strike.
"Wrong! Uncle is not talking about rude boy being struck. Jade's behavior has been strange today; the feel of her chi seems changed. Some foul sorcery may be at play," Uncle mused.
"Uncle, just because she is not feeling well does not mean some dark force is at work," Jackie almost chuckled at Uncles protective paranoia.
"Sensei. Last night I felt something amiss, and I felt the need to check on Jade," Tohru admitted sheepishly. Uncle scowled, seizing on the "evidence".
"You see, my apprentice is becoming more attuned! Jade possesses unusually high chi, even for one so youthful. Such a gift is bound to draw the notice of those who crave such," Uncle declared cryptically.
"We left the chi vampire in China, Uncle. Did you feel anything last night?" Jackie inquired. He took Uncle's lack of response as a no.
"Look Uncle, if Jade does not feel better in the morning I will take her to see someone. Maybe after that we will think about dark magic headaches," Jackie answered. Uncle gave another strike to his nephew's head before returning to his book.
"I hope we will not be sorry Jackie," Uncle thought as the hero took his leave.
* * *
The next day came and when Jade chose to sleep in rather than join the rest of them for breakfast no one thought much of it. Jackie had some business with the University and departed for the bulk of the day, while Uncle, as per usual, busied himself with his relics and books.
It was Tohru who, in the midst of his duties, took note of the time, and decided to check on Jade. Setting his broom aside he made his way down the hall to Jade's door. He rapped on the door with one massive knuckle and waited for a reply. She definitely replied but be could not quite make out what she said. With a slight frown he opened the door a smidge and waited; when no objection was voiced he opened it the rest of the way.
Jade's room was dark despite it being late morning, the lights were off, and she had even drawn her curtains. The only illumination was coming through the doorway around him and the odd sunbeam piercing the blinds. This was quite sufficient to make out Jade laying down on her bed, atop of her unmade blankets, and still wearing her pajamas.
"All you alright Jade?" Tohru asked, stepping into the room.
"No, close the door, please," Jade answered, the last word thrown in quickly as if she had forgotten it. Tohru obliged, closing the door and stepping up to her bedside. The Japanese man placed two fingers on the girl's forehead and gave a small nod to himself in confirmation.
"You have a bit of a fever; do you feel worse than yesterday?" Tohru inquired. Jade shook her head in response, her apparent lack of energy more unusual than the darkness she was keeping herself in.
"I did have some strange dreams," Jade admitted.
"Really?" Tohru responded, perhaps with a bit more emphasis than he intended. At her words he felt a brief prickling on his neck, an old instinct that something was not right. It was gone so quick he could not be sure it had been more than imagination.
"You need to come down for breakfast," Tohru decided. Jade crossed her arms and turned her head away from him.
"I'm not hungry," Jade told her friend. No sooner had the words left her mouth than her stomach voiced its own opinion. Positioned as he was he could not make out the sheepish and embarrassed look Jade got when she was found out, but was glad he could tell that was unchanged.
"How about I fix you a breakfast miso?" Tohru offered in a diplomatic tone. Jade perked up at that offer. Apparently it was not as bad as she could pass up a chance at one of her favorite foods. Tohru knew he was no chef but he was glad to have brought the cuisine of his homeland to an appreciative person.
"Cheater," Jade grumbled, but got out of bed following him out the door. She paused rubbing her eyes as he opened the door, but soon joined him in the kitchen, rifling through the day's newspaper for the comics and sports while he made the miso. She ate the brown stem with a normal pace, which was anything but normal for Jade; the incident with the rooster talisman had not dulled her liking for soup in the slightest, much to Jackie's dismay.
Recalling that night made Tohru pause in his clean up. While he pushed the memories and self-loathing back down he missed Jade finish and offer him a thanks before departing. When he looked up to find her place empty he was certain the knot he felt in his stomach was solely for what had happened back then.
* * *
It was not long after that when Uncle called for him in his typical nerve grating yell and the large man spent several hours dealing with a number of "one more things." Thus preoccupied it was not until well after Jackie returned and dinner was being ordered that anyone thought of Jade. It was actually Jackie who broached the topic as he finished placing the take out order.
"So is Jade feeling better?" He asked, putting down the phone.
"Uncle has not detected any dark chi intruding into the shop," Uncle informed them from his seat.
"Right," Jackie allowed. Uncle was starting get him a bit on edge with his talk of some dark force, but not everything that happened around them was rooted in the battle between good and evil. Really it wasn't!
"Jade had a bit of a temperature this morning, but she was well enough to eat her breakfast. She did say something about having strange dreams," Tohru added the last bit as an afterthought. While he was uncertain why he added that bit, Uncle's eyes lit up and he rose to whack Tohru with his elder fury strike.
"Why you not tell this to Uncle earlier?! What did she dream?" Uncle demanded.
"She did not tell me," Tohru admitted sheepishly. The truth was he had forgotten that bit of information until just then, and the fact that it had bothered him then lent some weight to his sensei's anger.
"Dreams mean nothing or everything! Jade's dreams may hold a clue to what is going on," Uncle declared.
"Uncle do you have any reason to think this has anything to do with magic?" Jackie demanded. As much as he respected Uncle's wisdom and knowledge he honestly could not see how his uncle took Jade's state and could honestly cry "bad magic".
"You do not trust your Uncle's intuition?" Uncle countered. Tohru interceded in the exchange.
"Jackie, Sensei, why don't we ask Jade?" the large man suggested.
Uncle's expression remained displeased, but Jackie seemed relieved that a pointless argument had been averted.
"Jade!" Jackie called. When no response was forthcoming Jackie began to move towards the kitchen doorway but the sound of a door closing confirmed the message had been received. It took longer than normal for Jade to make her way to the kitchen, and she raised Tohru's and Jackie eyebrows when she got there.
Jade did not look good. He hair was untidy and stuck to her head in places while hanging limply in others. Her complexion had clearly become fainter making the bags under her eyes all the more apparent. Finally, judging by her pajamas and smell she had not cleaned herself this morning and possibly the night before.
Without a word Jackie stepped up to Jade and kneeled, placing his palm on her forehand.
"Jade you're burning up," Jackie stated frowning.
"I don't feel so good," Jade admitted.
"Jade, have you been into Uncle's magic materials?" Uncle demanded. Jade turned to face Uncle, a perplexed look filling her face.
"What?" she asked.
"Have you been meddling with magic again and called down some manner of dark magic on you?!" Uncle demanded, raising his voice. In all fairness Jade did have a record for disastrous forays into the realm of chi magic.
"No, though I could use the Horse Talisman right about now," Jade answered. Uncle continued to regard Jade critically before turning on the spot and quickly walking off.
"This could be serious, you're going to see a doctor," Jackie told Jade. While normally she hated doctor appointments, she was more interested in feeling better.
"Take Jade to Section 13," Uncle called from outside the room.
"Yeah, old Doc Horsie will fix me right up," Jade perked up some at the thought of the healing talisman.
"No, the Talismans are not to be used lightly. You're going to see a real doctor and we'll find out what the problem is. Now you need to get dressed," Jackie said firmly.
Jade pouted at his assertion before heading back to her room. Jackie had never shared Jade's enthusiasm for the talismans after all. He was not a magic hater, but the less contact one had with dangerous artifacts like the Zodiac Talismans the better. He recalled how easily the Ox Talisman had taken over El Toro's life, and Viper would likely have become dominated by the Snake's abilities if he and Jade had not removed the temptation. They were strictly for emergencies.
"You are not going for Talisman! Doctor is expensive, Section 13 is free," Uncle shouted as he returned. He was carrying a long thin brush and a small fat clay bottle. Uncorking the bottle, a thin trail of green smoke rising from its depths, he dipped the brush lightly into whatever it contained. Jade returned as well, now clad in her usual hoodie and jeans. Uncle quickly turned his attention to the sick girl.
"Jade, hold still," Uncle commanded. Jade glanced to Jackie, who was also puzzled as to what Uncle was up to. Leaning down Uncle placed the bottle on the floor and held Jade's bangs back from her forehead, before plucking up the brush with his free hand. Without a word of explanation he began to draw on Jade's forehead crafting a strange character.
"Uncle?" Jackie asked.
"Ward against evil, drawn with magic ink. You take her to doctor, I draw ward, we see what works," Uncle declared. The ink was a bright green in color, glowing for a moment in the brush's wake before dulling and drying with unnatural haste. In a short time three green characters contained in a rectangle adorned Jade's forehead.
"I'll give you a call when we get to Section Thirteen," Jackie reassured his friend and uncle as he and Jade stepped out. Stepping out into the sun, Jade squinted at the bright light pounding her head and pulled up her hoodie, Jackie mistaking the act as an attempt to conceal the odd marks on her face.
Daolon Wong glared at the ingredients spread out before him on the kitchen floor. The scene was practically the same as last time, though the odor of onions was replaced with tomatoes. More relevantly, Hak Foo was not present. The mercenary had been true to his word and attempted to escape on his own, and failure had landed him in solitary confinement.
The wizard scowled at the turn of events. Hak Foo had been his one reliable servant; had he possessed the warrior's might all along he may have gained enough talisman power to crush his wizardly adversary. Now he had to rely on the Enforcers for aid, a grim turn of events considering their many defeats even when empowered by his magic. Yet even they were slipping from his grasp! The red haired one in particular seemed to think he was a dog that had lost his teeth.
Tonight's ritual was key; if he gained his freedom it would be only a matter of time until he regained the basic level of magic power that would let him unlock his true power. Failure would mean losing his control over the fools and having to carry out any further plans by himself.
For all this knowledge on what was needed he still had only the same materials as last time. That only made him uneasy, while he could tell the spell had some effect last time he could not determine what he had failed to summon. He had used the implements of the kitchen to etch magical markings on the pot; they would significantly boost the potency of his alchemy. Performing a spell when you do not know what it does is the height of folly among wizards. Yet placed in between a tiger and ravine Daolon Wong knew his only choice was to jump and hope it was not to his doom.
Having settled on his course the dark wizard banished all doubts and set to work.
Section 13: Medical Center
Jade sat slouching on the edge of the raised bed/table in a medical examination room. Her expression was put down and with her feet dangling in the air she seemed smaller than normal. The doctor assigned the task by Captain Black ignored the attitude, though he himself was hardly focused. He was no pediatrician and did not appreciate being used in what he saw as just a sort of nepotism. But the man with the receding hairline was a professional and looked over the symptoms and results of his examination thus far with a critical eye.
"Any ideas?" Jackie asked from where he was stared off to the side.
"The examination is not yet concluded, Mr. Chan," the doctor answered. As he did he looked up from the clipboard to fix Jackie with a look that said "given a choice I would not even be here, so do not bother me with stupid questions." You can say a lot with a look it turns out. He fixed a particularly disgusted look on the green makings adorning Jade's forehead… some kind of Asian medicine he had been told.
Tapping an entry on the symptoms column he made a speculative "hurm" before withdrawing a very tiny narrow flashlight from his instrument rack. Walking over to Jade he turned the light on.
"Please look directly into the light for as long as you can," the doctor ordered. He directed the light to shine directly into Jade's right eye, which almost immediately began to water and snapped shut before the Doctor even counted to five.
"Optical sensitivity is unusually high, and no record of any such problems," he thought to himself.
"Well nothing solid so far, but some of the symptoms cold result from prolonged insomnia. When was the last time she slept and for how long?" he inquired.
"Hey! I slept last night! I had a dream about ninjas so I know I was sleeping," Jade snapped. The doctor affected a long-suffering expression as he crossed that idea off the board.
The Enforcers had abandoned their tasks to watch as the wizard set himself to chanting. This was it, in a few minutes they might actually be free, and clear of demons, wizards, and the rest of the fantasy section.
As before the potion began to steam and bubble, the mark of the Shadowkhan etching itself onto the liquid. Now though, the characters etched on the pot flared to life burning with blue fire. The potion came to a fierce boil, while the mark's light intensified to cast the kitchen into red and black. The pot cracked and then split in two as red light exploded outward. The lights went out and darkness swallowed the chamber.
Section 13 Medical Center:
The doctor was depressing Jade's tongue with the traditional wooden device to inspect her throat when her jaws abruptly snapped shut, splitting the depressor in two. Surprised, the Doctor reflexively jerked back and prepared to scold Jade when he registered her falling back onto the bed jerking violently.
"Crap!" he cursed. Rushing forward his first act was to swiftly pluck the depressor from her mouth, eliminating the choking hazard. Pinning the thrashing child by the shoulder he pulled out his wallet and shoved it in her mouth to protect her tongue. No sooner had he lodged the piece of leather between her jaws did her knee rise up to strike him in the chin. Intentional or not it had power, sending the medical man falling back onto his ass. Rubbing his jaw, he recalled Jackie and called out to the shocked man.
"Hold her still as best as you can! I'm calling help," the doctor declared. As he grabbed the phone built into the wall Jackie sprang into action, pinning Jade's writing limbs with ease against the led. The poor man's panic was compounded as foam started to form around the wallet jammed in her mouth.
It was when his frantic gaze strayed upward to her eyes that a piece of ice dropped into his stomach. The prominent veins in her eyes were glowing. As he watched helplessly and speechless the red glow expanded, joining together until her pupils were black pits in seas of crimson. As the black spots were swallowed a dreaded memory was coming to life before him.
"Call my uncle! Tell him he was right!" Jackie screamed at the doctor. A hissing sound snapped his attention back to Jade; steam was rising from her brow as Uncle's ink began to run. Seeing no other option Jackie released Jade's legs, slapping his now free hand onto his niece's forehead in the hopes of somehow keeping Uncle's spell intact.
As Jade's cheek started to darken, one of her feet slammed into his cheek. Jackie took the blow, not compromising his grip on the girl, and realized with confusion that her leg was bare of any tattoo.
Jackie was too preoccupied to notice and the doctor too shocked to warn him as a pair of black clad ninjas emerged from the room's shadows, crimson eyes aglow. Ignoring the man in white they struck swiftly, yanking Jackie off of Jade and slamming him into the tile floor. One seized the archaeologist's arms, pining them behind his back as he held him down. The other placed a steadying hand on Jade's shoulder as her movements stilled.
Managing to shake the stars from his eyes Jackie pulled his face from the tile and looked to the side to see a wallet plop to the ground.
"Eck!" he heard an airy exclamation.
Already dreading the sight he craned his neck to look up. Jade was floating over him, in front of the bed, her skin that same shade of blue, her hair flowing as if in a ghost wind, and a pair of red eyes coldly regarded him. It got worse as her face was split by a grin overflowing with foul mirth that revealed a mouth full of pointed teeth.
"Well it looks like I'm not 'grounded' anymore," the Queen of the Shadowkhan sneered.
AN: Finally! I started work on this idea back in August and now after the idea spread out into project Dark Jade and other ideas coming up it finally bursts its way into my control room to take the muse hostage! Be sure to check out Nocturne no Kitsune's take on Queen Jade in "Queen of Shadows."
Review Please: The button beckons, can you resist its clicky charms?