Chapter 14

Tatsuya was taken aback by what Ryoko had said. "What? Are you serious?" Ryoko nodded. "She's still in pretty bad shape, but she's recovered enough to hold a conversation of decent length. And, she wants to talk with her son." "Tatsuya, who is this woman?" Mrs. Higurashi asked. "This is Ryoko. She's the human form of one of the ultras here on Earth that's helping me train to be a better Ultraman. Her true form is known as Yullian, and she's the princess of the Ultras' world." "A princess?" Mrs. Higurashi quickly bowed and the rest of the family followed, along with Hitomi. Only Tatsuya and Sakura stayed standing upright. "Tatsuya! Sakura! Your in the presence of royalty! Show some respect and bow!" Mr. Higurashi said. "It's quite alright. None of you need bow before me." Ryoko said. "But…" "Please, rise." The Higurashi family and Hitomi nodded and rose up. "Thank you. Oh, and thank you for bringing this courageous young man into the world, Mr. and Mrs. Higurashi." Ryoko said, gesturing over to Tatsuya. "Stop it, Ryoko. Your embarrassing me." Tatsuya said, scratching the back of his head. "I take it you all know his secret?" The group nodded. "But, I'm not sure right now whether I should be upset with him for not telling me about this or proud of him for having the courage to step up. All I do know is that he told me to trust him, which as his mother, I naturally do." Mrs. Higurashi said. "Good. And let me say, your trust is well placed. As for what you should feel, all I can say is, if Tatsuya was my son, I'd be extremely proud of him. He and Riser have done a fine job. They may even make brother." "Brother?" Setsuna asked. "Oh, right. You don't know what that means. Well, it means that they could be made a high ranking officer, which we call a brother, in our space garrison, which you could liken to a military base here on Earth. It would be like a private rank officer in the military doing something incredibly courageous and receiving a several rank promotion for it." "I see." Setsuna said, nodding in understanding. "Alright, I hate to rush things but, Marie is waiting for us, Tatsuya." Ryoko said. "Right, let's go." "Wait! Who is this Marie?" Mrs. Higurashi asked. "Riser's mother." Tatsuya said. "What?" "She's also known as Ultra Mother." Ryoko said. "Ultra Mother? My and Hitomi's grandfather saw her once when he was just a kid. Remember, Hitomi?" "Oh, yeah. It was just after his eyesight came back. Yeah, I remember hearing that story from Grandpa Takashi." "Hmm, your grandfather saw her as a child and now your son is the human host of her son. How's that saying go? 'It's a small world.'" "It sure is. So, why is Ultra Mother here on Earth?" Ryoko explained the situation. "Oh, poor Ms. Marie." Setsuna said. "So, you see why I must hurry and take Tatsuya to her. I don't know when she might loose consciousness again. We must take advantage of this time." "Um, Princess?" Mrs. Higurashi asked. "Please, call me Ryoko." "Alright, Ryoko, do you think it would be alright if we came along with you?" Mrs. Higurashi asked. "Well, I don't think having all of you present is such a good idea. You know the rule about too many visitors. But, I suppose it would be alright for you to come, Mrs. Higurashi." "Just me? But…" "Go on, Dear. As the mothers of Titan, you and Marie have a lot to talk about. You can tell us about her later." Mr. Higurashi urged. Hitomi and Setsuna nodded in agreement. "Well, alright. Would she mind if I took a picture of her?" "I don't think so." "Alright, let me go get my camera." Mrs. Higurashi ran inside. Sakura meanwhile, began to head towards her house. "Sakura…" Tatsuya said. "Too many visitors, remember? You can tell me about her later." Tatsuya nodded. Sakura took three steps and then returned. She kissed Tatsuya's cheek and said 'you really did do a good job today. Just like you always do. Well, see you tomorrow. We can go to the movies or something." "Like on a date?" "Exactly." Sakura said before walking back home. Just then, Mrs. Higurashi came back out. "Where's Sakura?" "She went back home." Mr. Higurashi said. "Oh, I see. She must be tired. Alright, Ryoko, let's go. We can take my car." "Alright, let's go. Come on, Tatsuya." "Right." The three loaded into the car and drove off.

The drive took about thirty minutes. The Higurashi's found themselves at an abandoned house. "Come along, she's in here." Ryoko said. The three entered the house and headed up to what would've been the master bedroom. "She's in here." Ryoko then knocked on the door. "Marie, are you awake?" "Yes, I am." "Alright, we're coming in then." Ryoko opened the door and the three walked inside. Inside of the room, sitting in a chair, was a woman wearing a green crossing guards outfit. She had a slightly chubby face. Overall, she had a very cheery look to her. Tatsuya took in her sight. She hadn't said one word to him and he already felt as comfortable as he would if he was he was looking at his own mother. "So, this is him, eh, Princess?" Marie asked. "Yes, this is Tatsuya Higurashi, the one bonded to your son. And this is his mother. Don't worry, she knows about everything." " I see. Tatsuya, Mrs. Higurashi, please, come sit with me." Tatsuya and Mrs. Higurashi walked over to Marie. Mrs. Higurashi sat in the chair next to Marie. Tatsuya, meanwhile, went to go sit on the nearby bed. As he bent over to sit on the bed, Marie suddenly grabbed his left cheek with her hand. She led him to her this way and then kissed his cheek. "Thank you, Tatsuya." "Uh, for what?" "For helping Riser. He needs all the friends he can get. So, thank you for being his first friend here on Earth." "Hey, what else was I supposed to do? I'd probably be dead right now if it wasn't for Riser. Being his friend and helping with his mission is the least I could do." "Um, Ms. Marie?" Mrs. Higurashi said suddenly. "Yes?" "Um, I'd like to thank you." "For what?" "Well, for giving birth to Riser. If not for him, I would've lost my only son. And, he wouldn't be around if not for you. So, thank you." "Heh, I've never been thanked for giving birth by anyone other than my husband." "Well, I just thought it was appropriate." "Well, I appreciate the sentiment. Now then, Tatsuya?" "Yes?" "Could you please transform?" "Um, okay, but, why?" "I wish to see my son. I want to see what he's become in person." "Alright. Riser, you know what to do." "I'd be more than happy to, Tatsuya." Riser produced the gauntlets and Tatsuya went through the arm movements. He shouted Titan when he finished and was covered in golden light. When the light faded, a Tatsuya-sized Titan stood in Tatsuya's place. "Riser…" Marie said, while reaching for Riser. Suddenly, Titan wrapped his arms around his mother and hugged. "I'm so glad to see you, mother." Tears began to form in Marie's eyes as she hugged her son. "I'm glad to see you to, Riser." Marie then pulled away from Riser in order to get a better look at him. "My, look at you. Your all grown up and so strong. Truly, the power of the plasma spark is great if it changed you this much." "Well, I think this plasma spark's power just sped up the growth of the, well, let's call them the 'seeds of heroism' that you planted, Ms. Marie." Mrs. Higurashi said. "I think everything Titan is was already in Riser because of you and your husband and the power of the spark simply gave it more power. Basically, the spark finished what you started." "Hmm, maybe so. By the way, Mrs. Higurashi, let's not forget that half of Titan's heroism comes from Tatsuya. And I think he has that much courage because you raised him right. So, I say, give credit where credit is due." "Hey, that's my line." Mrs. Higurashi said. "Why don't you both just take the credit? Cause you both deserve it." Ryoko said. The two smiled and nodded. "You know, you two just met and yet you act like a couple of old friends." Ryoko said. "You know, I like the sound of that." Marie said. "Like the sound of what, Ms. Marie?" Mrs. Higurashi asked. "Of calling you a friend. I mean, we're in the same boat, so we should be friends, shouldn't we?" "Good point. Well then, let's be friends, Ms. Marie." "Please, if we're going to be friends then just call me Marie." "And you can call me Akane." Marie nodded and shook hands with Mrs. Higurashi. They then took a picture. Tatsuya smiled within Titan as he watched this. Riser enjoyed it as well. But then, he remembered that his mother was the head of the silver crusaders, the chief healing crew of the land of light. He then wondered if his mother could revive Taro. "Mother?" "Yes, Riser?" "I was wondering, could you revive Taro once this is all over?" "Ah, yes, Taro. I sensed his fall. It broke my heart, for I had already sensed Ace's fall as well." "Wait, Ace is gone as well?" "Yes. It pains me to say it but, yes." "Please tell me Mebius is okay!" "I didn't sense anything involving him. So, either he's been frozen or taken captive by the monsters." "I see. Well, Tatsuya and I will save him regardless of the situation." "I'm sure you will." "But, what about Taro and Ace? And all the others that fell in the invasion? Can you save them?" "Perhaps, if I was back at full strength." "Then please, let me heal you. I'm sure with the power I've gained that I could heal you. Can't believe I didn't think of this before. Oh, and Ryoko, I could take care of any injuries you may have left." "I'm fine, Riser. But, if you could heal Marie, I'd appreciate it. It pains me to see her struggle along." Riser nodded. "Alright, mother, let's do it. Hurry up and transform. I think the healing will work better if your in your ultra form." "Riser, I've come along way but, I'm still too weak to transform on my own." "Then…." Riser looked to Mrs. Higurashi. "Mrs. Higurashi, Akane, whatever you want me to call you, I beg you, please, lend my mother your strength. Merge with her, just this once, and she should have the strength to transform just long enough for me to heal her. It's nothing permanent, it's just this once. Please!" Akane thought about it for a moment and then nodded. Tatsuya felt proud of his mother at this moment. "Let's do it, Marie." Marie nodded and grabbed a hold of Mrs. Higurashi's hand. She glowed with a golden light and slowly, this light worked it's way over to Mrs. Higurashi. When it had completely worked it's way over to Mrs. Higurashi, Marie ad disappeared. Once the merger was complete, a blue band appeared on Mrs. Higurashi's wrist. "I guess that's it. Now what?" Mrs. Higurashi heard Marie's voice inside her head. "Touch the band on your wrist and then say my name." "Um, alright." Mrs. Higurashi touched the band and then shouted 'Marie!' Suddenly, Mrs. Higurashi was bathed in light. When the light faded, she stood as Marie. "Wow, this is amazing!" "Alright, are you ready?" Riser asked. Mrs. Higurashi quickly gathered herself and nodded. Just then the timer crystal on Marie's chest began to blink. "That can't be good. Hurry, Riser." Riser nodded. He then placed his fists on either side of his timer crystal and charged energy. He then extended his arms and emitted the energy he had charged as something that looked like a mist. This mist was absorbed by Marie's crystal. The blinking stopped and the crystal glowed a solid blue. "Well, how do you feel Marie?" Ryoko asked. "Better. Much better. Better than I have been in a while. Ah, thank you Riser." Riser nodded. "Alright then, time to split up." Marie then split from Mrs. Higurashi and resumed her human form. "That was incredible. I wouldn't mind doing that again sometime." Mrs. Higurashi said. "Who can say? We might need to do that again some day." Marie said. Mrs. Higurashi nodded. She then noticed that the band wasn't gone from her wrist. "Um, Marie?" "Yes, Akane?" "This band didn't disappear. Tatsuya's gauntlets disappear when he's done, so why didn't this band go away?" "Because I didn't want it to. I made a copy of the original band that I wear and I'm giving it to you as a gift. It's called the mother blue bracelet and it can summon me to you. In case you ever need anything, just touch the bracelet and say my name. You'll instantly be connected to me, no matter how far apart we are. I figured that the mothers of Titan should always be able to get a hold of each other." "Wow, thank you, Marie." "Hey, what are friends for?" Mrs. Higurashi nodded. Then, a thought popped into her head. "Say, um, can you explain something to me?" "Sure. What is it?" "Well, I know that that crystal on your chest, well, that was on our chest and one on Titan's chest is some sort of power slash health meter and it'll start blinking red when an ultra man's hurt and low on power. But, he didn't tell me what happens if it goes out. So, what happens?" "It's simple. If the light goes out, the ultra dies." "What? So, so then, if Titan's light goes out, then Tatsuya will…" "Don't worry, Mrs. Higurashi." Ryoko said. "Ultraman, Ultra Seven and myself are training Titan. And we're doing our best to make sure he's ready for anything. That way, we'll never have to worry about Titan's light going out." "Okay. Please, train him well." "We will." Just then, they noticed Titan's timer begin to flash. "Looks like your nearing you limit, Riser. You'd better change back." Marie said. Riser nodded and reverted back to Tatsuya. "Well, now what?" Tatsuya asked. Mrs. Higurashi checked her watch. "Well, it's getting late. So, we should be heading home." "Okay." "And you two are coming with us." Mrs. Higurashi said, looking at Ryoko and Marie. "What?" Marie asked. "Well, an abandoned house is no place to be living for kind of person. Not when you've got friends. So, come on. You can stay in our guest bedroom." "T-thank you, Akane." Marie said. "Heh, I told you mom's got a big heart, Riser." "She sure does." "Alright, everyone let's go."