Chapter Eleven: One that Burns
Note: I do not own Power Rangers Jungle Fury or Ninja Storm, nor do I make money from writing this. I'm just amusing myself.
Crossover: Ninja Storm/Jungle Fury
Timeline: About 7 months after "The Final Fury"
Prompt: Electrocution (angst_bingo)
My morning begins with Master Swoop greeting me at breakfast. He walks in and due to his size; everyone stopped eating and stared at him. He didn't break stride and sat down next to me. I held out an orange and he accepted it. Dustin began to head this way then spotted Swoop and sat all the way at the other end of the table. I laugh into my oatmeal and even Master Swoop smiles.
"I think he's going to avoid you for a while," I tell him as I resume eating.
"Probably. Little does he know you two have my blessings if you do peruse your relationship, not that I have to, you're an adult," he says mildly.
"Thanks Master Swoop, that does make me feel better. But what bring you by this morning?"
"To see how my ward is doing. That and I think its time you knew that your Uncle has left you all of his possessions."
"No offense, Master Swoop, but he was a hermit. What did he have to give?" My Uncle in his old age was against materialism and I respected him for that. I loved him, not the possessions he may leave me one day, it never mattered to me.
"His house for starters, the possessions within, for example there is a Warrior's chest for you, he had prepared for this time of your life. There's also his money. He had invested his money long ago in the intentions to pass it down to his heirs. But since your family abandoned him for lack of better words, all of it, is going to you."
"What? How much?" I don't even want the money but for my Uncle to give me everything…
"Let's just say you're set for life. You do not need to worry about anything," he says and I feel my eyes bulge.
"Are you kidding me?"
"Why would I joke about that?" he asks with a straight face.
"Well, you wouldn't but don't we have to go through legally to get all this in my name? Won't that take time?" He smiles at me.
"What do you think I've been doing with my time?" he asks, "I do watch over you but you are an adult and can stand on your own. I've been dealing with the lawyers to have everything transferred in your name," I hug him and he laughs. "It's been my duty since his passing to watch over you and to make sure you're alright."
"Thank you, Master Swoop, I don't think I could ever repay you for your kindness," I tell him, honestly I'm surprised by how much he cares.
"Just knowing you're happy is enough. I must go I have a meeting in an hour," he says, looking at a clock. I have no idea how in the hell he's even reading it. He hugs me once again and then leaves, once again all eyes are on him. As soon as he's gone there's a plop next to me and Dustin is back to my side.
"I thought he was going to kill me on sight or I woulda came over," he says, I laugh and he gives me a kiss on the cheek.
"Oh he's fine. He's not going to hurt you and in fact he says he supports our relationship," Dustin looks visibly relieved. Sirena and Shane drop down across from us as Tori joins on one corner and so does Cam…and then Kapri and Marah cram in on either side of him. We're one big happy family…extremely dysfunctional but happy. And it's just what I need, what I've been looking for, for my whole life.
"Hey Bambi!" Dustin calls to me as students flood down the stairs to go outside for the exercises. He worms his way through the crowd, and reaches for me. "Aren't you coming?"
"Master Swoop told me that my Uncle's place is mine and there are things there for me. Would you mind if I went and checked it out?" I asked, he shook his head and smiled.
"Nah, you'll be able to pick up today's lesson later. You're usually the first one to get it right anyways," he dropped another kiss to my cheek and gave me a hug. "Family comes first, so go on."
"Thanks," I tell him and he jogs down the stairs and outside, I watch him go with a smile on my face.
"BOO!" Sirena leaps next to me and scares me half to death. She laughs and hugs me tight. "Where you going kiddo? I see you're skipping class,"
"I was going to my Uncle's. Its mine now apparently, there's stuff there for me, I wanted to check it out," she smiles.
"Want some company?" she offers, I smile back.
"Sure! And pardon the look of the place when we get there. My Uncle was a bit of a hermit," I say and she links her arm in mine.
"Then lets head out," she says.
As we reach my Uncles Cabin, the air around it feels really weird. I, mean, it always has because according to Uncle is on the edge of the Mystic Realm. Magic is everywhere around it, the air, the Earth. As I get closer, Sirena suddenly stops.
"What?" I ask, she looks to the ground, and up at me.
"I can't move. I'm stuck! Are you doing that? It feels like the Earth has ensnared my feet," she tells me, struggling.
"No, it's not me," I tell her, as suddenly my breath becomes visible in front of me. She blinks at me, and I lift my hands, willing the Earth to shift so she could move. She got one foot free, and then I felt like I'm covered in static electricity with every move I make. I try to tell her, to warn her, she's looking at me with fear in her face and it's too late…I feel like I'm burning…
The day dims, then there's a bright light and silence and all around me is a field of light pastel flowers. There is no breeze, there is no scent, and in the silence I feel eyes on me. A woman flanked by two men enters the field and I see the symbols on their chests and I know who they are.
Master Guin. Master Lope. Master Rilla. The lost Masters of Pai Zhua, who have been dead for thousands of years. My Uncle told me of them, of their pain and loss in the War, where they remain. I am in the spirit realm, where the Masters souls rest as they pass on or remain in purgatory. This can only mean I am dead.
I fall to my knees and begin to cry, but I feel like I'm not making a sound. I can't feel, I don't even know what happened, all I know I'm too young for this…
I hate hospitals. They make me think of my Mom. I stayed with her everyday until she died. I don't like to think about it. Master Swoop is standing at the door, looming silently as usual. He looks at me, doesn't look at me, whatever.
"Dustin, I will find out what happened. We are fortunate neither Gabriella or Sirena were killed," Swoop tells me.
"Gabby almost died! She's in a coma! How is that any better?"
"For one who usually so chipper, you're certainly not looking to the bright side," he says flatly.
"Well no shit Sherlock, she's my girlfriend. I won't be happy until she opens her eyes and I hear her voice again. Especially given you mentioned this was intentional, I'm going to be pissed!"
"I will do everything in my power to find out who set up the barriers around the home and to make sure she comes through this safely," I look up to him and I see his eyes glowing behind the dark shades. It's really creepy, "I'll return soon," he says and pretty much vanishes which was impressive for his size.
I take her hand and look at her still form. She's filled with IVs and tube is placed in her nose. Her heart monitor is slow but steady and I pray we get some answers soon and to see her open her eyes.
"Hello Gabriella," Master Guin says softly, I bow to them and she comes forward. She gently runs her hand down my face. It's cold but it doesn't bother me, I feel a mix between tingling like I've lost all feeling and numb.
"Master Guin," I greet her in a whisper, I expected her to leave, to walk away but instead she embraces me like she would a daughter. I am surprised but I stay in her grip.
"We all have trials to deal with, my dear. You have overcome yours, your spirit has awakened but you haven't been able to hear over the Earth's distress cries. Now, we have the opportunity for her to reach you." Master Lope says, bowing to me.
"Come, Girl, your guide waits," Master Rilla says, as I bow to them. He gestures to a path behind them and that disappears into the woods. Master Rilla's hand lands heavily but light as air on my shoulder. "The path may seem dark but what it holds will strengthen you and grant you with the knowledge of what we have been burdened to witness, unable to help." With one last bow, I look at my path and drawing a breath I begin to walk.
As the light on the path begins to dim, I hear one voice calling to me. I feel something within me stir and I feel a rush of energy flow out of my chest and before me a ball of energy hovers. Instinctively I know it's my spirit animal, I feel her now. She's been so muffled with all that's gone wrong, my own distractions, I feel guilty that I couldn't sense her, couldn't hear her calling for me. I reach out and my fingers touch the energy. Before my eyes she takes shape and a lovely pink tinted doe stands there.
"Hello," I tell her and she nudges my hand.
"Hello little one. Seems your friends gave you the right nickname," She has humor in her voice.
"I guess so. I'm sorry I couldn't hear you." I tell her, she nods.
"It's alright. The Earth's screaming for a reason, child. You are here to learn why. Come with me, the path still is long but when we reach the end, you will have your answers."
I follow her through the darkness, her strides become my own. As she speeds up, I match her pace, my sight has become clearer, it's like I was blind, how clear and focused everything was. Even in the darkness, everything is perfectly clear. I see a light in the distance, even at a full sprint it seems so far away.
"What is that?" I ask, my doe at my side looks to me with such a saddened look in her eyes.
"The future. Brace yourself now, my girl. It's what's to come not just here but the whole world. This is why the Earth sings and cries. She needs us all. But I am not the one to tell you, someone else deserves that honor,"
As I see the light grow brighter, a figure steps onto my path. I stop dead in my tracks and feel my throat clench.
"Uncle…" I say and begin to cry. He takes me into his arms and holds me tight.
"I've missed you, my girl," He whispers.
I've lived a long time, visited these woods many times, but that force field was never there. I would have never sent Gabriella there had I known. I see it faintly now, and from my perch I hear voices approaching. Three people in long cloaks appear, I can hear the thick leather blowing in the breeze, and they seem confused.
"There's nothing here, I really think setting up that force field was a bad idea. It keeps giving false positive readings," the male said.
"No shit, it was probably a bird again," a girl replies.
"Well if it wasn't, I hope whoever it was is ok," another girl replied, she wraps her arms around the other one, "That's still a powerful spell Sis, they could be hurt or worse," she says.
It seems they put it in place, and as I sense their energy, I realize who they are. Mystics, I thought they were an extinct race, long wiped out in their own war. These ones are young, early twenties…then I sense another pressure. A familiar power…
"Rangers?" I call out and drop down from the branch I was sitting on.
"What the hell?" The one practically glowing Pink says, "Who the fuck are you?" and I hope the others are more polite than this girl.
"Yes? How may we help you?" her Sister says, I'll speak to her, she seems more sensible.
"You were the ones who placed the spell upon that house?" I ask.
"Yes, we were following orders. We were told if the old man ever passed, we were to seal the house to protect it from anyone who may come investigating to steal stuff," Yellow says.
"Udonna, she was our Mentor. She's away now but left a series of notes of what we were supposed to do until she returns. It was a deal that the old man made with her years ago. We would let him live on the edge of the realm and power his home and we'd leave him in peace. He assisted in creating our home here in the Mystic Realm-Rootcore. Udonna was all alone after the war, raising her Niece, she needed a home. He helped build it for her. Apparently though he became a hermit, he was a nice man," the girl radiating Blue replied, "I'm Madison Rocca, by the way, that's my sister Vida and this is Chip Thorn. And you are?"
"Master Swoop, I am Pai Zhua, like the old man was. We also became Rangers for a short while. It was the projection of my soul and spirit, I was the Bat Ranger. It seems Rangers gravitate towards one another. Past this home, on the East end is the Wind Ninja Academy. Home to the Ninja Storm Rangers."
"Oh! Tori! Xander, our Green Ranger, told us about them!" Chip said, excitedly.
"But I came here under grave matters. Madison, your fears are confirmed. Earlier you injured Master Phant's niece and a Lieutenant from the Academy. The Lieutenant is alright, she only sprained her ankle but his Niece was electrocuted and has fallen into a coma," Madison gasps and Vida tenses and Chip feels guilty.
"We put levels on the shield; she must have gotten through to mine. Where is she? We can help! We have spells, potions and I can remove what electricity that may linger in her body," he says, I nod.
"That would be a wise idea. She will need it," I tell them, and then I see Madison lift her arms and snap her fingers. Suddenly I have no idea where I am, I know we are no longer in the forest but I'm now disoriented.
"Master Swoop, are you alright?" Chip asks, he grabs my arms and holds me, as I regain my stability I realize they have teleported to the hospital.
"I'm blind. I rely on echolocation from my Bat spirit to see. That was…unnerving to say the least," I tell them, removing my glasses and turning to look at them all.
"I'm sorry," Madison says, she's nearly glowing red from embarrassment.
"It's alright. You didn't know," I tell her gently and place my glasses back on.
"Master Swoop, Dustin, my name is not Dude," I immediately cut him off as he comes to the doorway and looks at us in the hall.
"Master Swoop, who are they?" he asks.
"Chip, Vida and Madison. Mystic Force Power Rangers, they have magic abilities that will help us with Gabriella."
"Sweet. Oh! So you're the others Xander told Tori about!"
"Yup. Here we are," Madison says.
"Good! Now fix my girlfriend!" he said, angrily.
"We got this," Chip says and heads in with the girls at his side.
"Let's hope," He says, shadowing them.
Its hits me hard how much I've missed him as I walk beside my Uncle. Just having him near me, I'm at peace. As always, I look to my side, my doe is gone.
"Where'd she go?" He smiles and laughs softly.
"She's within you, my dear. She's in your steps, in your soul," he says, his eyes fall on the light in front of us, and his face is grave. "It's time you knew why I asked with my dying request that you enroll in the Wind Ninja Academy."
He takes my hand and we walk towards the light and the woods and path end. We walk out into a barren land.
It's a wasteland.
In the distance, a dome covers a city.
The Earth is dying, she's barely alive. I can feel her pain and it tears through me. Its pain I've never known. Within the pain there is rage, she is screaming for her warriors to rise and fight. She needs to be saved. If we are to survive, she has needs to.
"Gabby, this is Corinth. This is the last free city on the planet, sealed in a dome to protect the people from an unstoppable virus that has taken control of the world. No amount of changing history can stop this from coming; it has to happen for the world to rebuild until it eventually becomes a Utopia. It is why I wanted you to go to the Wind Ninja Academy, to learn to fight, to learn to communicate and use the Earth to help her survive."
"But Uncle, I have an animal spirit," I tell him, he smiles sadly.
"I know, I've always known. It came to me in a prophecy from the Mystics, as did this future. The great powers and Academies have their own versions of it but it's generally the same thing. Gather the defenses and prepare for the end of the world, a world that will die and be claimed by metal," he says, "But now you must attend Pai Zhua to learn to control and summon your spirit animal."
"But…but I'm finally home at the Wind Ninja Academy! I'm doing well there and I have friends and Dustin!" he smiles at me and I begin to feel lighter. I reach for him and my hand goes through him.
"You have to let him go for a while so you can learn. I love you Gabriella and trust me, your love will transcend distance," he says gently, then I feel wet, like water rushing over me. It's so strange.
"I love you," I tell him and he smiles at me, and I want to hug him but I can't.
"I love you too, Gabby. But its time for you to go, take heed and spread the word of the Earth Song and Corinth. It's the only hope the Earth has left," he says, I bow to him with tears in my eyes. They fall to the dry soil beneath my feet.
"I will, good bye, Uncle."
"Good bye, my Dear. Take care I'm so proud of you," he says, and then the light grows too bright, I shield my face and feel something resonate through my body.
Then, I wake up.
To be Continued