A/N: Hello there everyone! Yes, I know what most of you are thinking. That I should be focusing on my other fics but I simply had to write this one down. I got the idea thanks to a wonderfully done AMV of Mai Otome doing a parody of the Deka-ranger; which is a show of the Power Rangers type.
I promise I will try to go back to my other fics as soon as possible. Also I plan on keeping this story short, but hopefully I'll be able to keep it that way, since I've said the same about other stories and…well, I haven't done such, hehe.
Much thanks to my wonderful beta and friend Leebot for betaing this fic. – hugs –
This story uses characters of Mai Hime.
Hope you enjoy it!
Please drop a review!
Disclaimer: Sunrise owns Mai Hime. But not for long… - evil laughter-
Henna Ranger Natsuki – chapter 1
What the hell had just happened? Those were the thoughts of a raven haired girl with deep emerald eyes that was incredulously standing there, in the middle of the street, in front of a horde of monsters and minions, and, most important of all, dressed in a suit she never thought she would ever wear in her life, at least not willingly.
Her mind traveled back to those past times before her life took a drastic spin without her knowledge.
x-x-x-x-x-x- FLASH BACK -x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
It was a normal Sunday in the town of Fuuka. A raven-haired girl was walking down the street leisurely; it had been a long time since she had allowed herself to do this. She was always worrying and busy with her problems or business, but at least all of that was over. Now, it was the time to enjoy her 'freedom'. She was not riding her bike as usual; she had parked it in a near park. This time, she wanted to wander around town more slowly than usual. This was something rare for her, since she always wanted to go faster – she was a lover of speed. But just this time, she decided to slow down a bit and enjoy the town as a normal girl. Even though she wouldn't pay much mind to speed today, she was aware of the time every moment, since she had to meet with her most important person in a couple of hours.
From time to time, she stopped to see the stores and even buy a small gift for her special someone. As she was about to turn around a corner, someone called out to her.
It was a busty girl with orange-ish hair.
- "Mai." - replied the raven-haired girl.
- "Hey, have you seen Mikoto?"
- "No, why are you asking?"
- "She got all excited after Midori told her about the Deka-Ranger show that would take place near the mall. So she ran off and I couldn't keep up with her. You know how fast she can run when she's hyper."
- "Yeah, I know. I haven't seen her, but if I do, I'll call you and let you know."
- "You're not helping me look for her?" - asked Mai, a bit disappointed.
- "I have to be somewhere else soon Mai, and I don't want to be late."
Mai looked at Natsuki skeptically, but then a smile formed on her lips.
- "Are you seeing Fujino-san?"
Natsuki just blushed and turned her head in embarrassment. Mai didn't need to know anything else after seeing this reaction, so she simply said.
- "I understand Natsuki. I wouldn't like to be the reason for your tardiness with your date."
- "It's not a date!"
- "Yeah, what ever you say. But, please, if you see Mikoto tell her to wait for me in the showbiz place."
- "Don't worry Mai, I'll do that. And also don't worry about Mikoto; she can take care of herself."
- "I'm more worried that she might come across Midori and get more influenced with all that Deka-Ranger stuff thanks to her."
- "Oh yes, that would be troublesome."
- "Well, Natsuki I really should go and stop that from happening."
- "Alright. See you around, Mai."
After that, Mai ran off in the direction of the mall to find the girl that was causing her so much trouble. Natsuki continued with her walk. She wandered more around some stores on the streets and, without her notice, time flew by in a blink of an eye. She looked at her watch and noticed that she could still make it in time for her date, if only barely.
She was supposed to meet Shizuru at the entrance of a small store near the mall, since it would be less crowded there. Now, though, she was a bit far from it, and the only way to make it before Shizuru arrived was to run all the way to the other side of the mall. Fortunately she knew a shortcut, and she would have just enough time if she took it. She didn't go that way too frequently, but she felt that today she had to take that particular shortcut.
She began to walk back along the street that was behind the mall and then turned onto an alley that had some doors there for staff only. That was when she noticed something – or more like someone – leaning on the wall tiredly. She noticed the strange clothes that the person was wearing. They were very similar to the costumes of those Sentai characters Midori liked so much, so Natsuki thought that perhaps this person was part of the cast from the show Mai had mentioned to her earlier.
Natsuki was about to pass the person when all of a sudden the body slumped forward and fell almost lifeless to the ground with a powerful thud. Natsuki ran to the person and noticed that he was wearing the full sentai-suit, even the helmet, so Natsuki couldn't really see the features of the person. Natsuki knelt by the man's side and turned him around, since he had landed with his face to the ground. She was left speechless at the man's injuries, however what stunned her most was the amount of blood drenching his clothes and pooling around him. Natsuki wondered for a moment if this person had been attacked by thieves. But even so, the injuries were too much and too deep; they also looked very strange, as if they hadn't been caused by common weapons. But also, the blood seemed to be… orange?
- "Hey! Please try to hold on! I'll call an ambulance, so try to hang in there!"
Natsuki took her cell phone out, and she was about to dial the emergency number when a hand stopped her. She turned her gaze to the man who was now holding her by the wrist with his bloodied hand. He turned his head to her and said in a low and raspy voice.
- "There's no time…they're getting close…"
- "What? Do you mean the ones that did this to you?" – asked Natsuki, thinking that maybe a dangerous gang would come to finish their job.
- "You must stop them…"
- "ME?" – asked Natsuki, shocked at these words. Did he really expect her to fight a bunch of murderers unarmed?
- "I've failed and my time is almost up… now it's up to you…"
- "Wait! What are you talking about?"
- "There's a reason as to why you are here..."
- "It was just a coincidence…" – whispered Natsuki.
- "There's no such thing as coincidence in this world…only the inevitable…"
The man took Natsuki's hand that was still holding the phone, and he placed his own hand over the device. Then, out of nowhere the phone began to shine, and its shape changed a little. When the light faded Natsuki could see that her phone now had strange marks forming the shape of what seemed to be a fox with nine tails.
Unknown to Natsuki, the man smiled under his helmet. He had felt how much power this girl had, and now he had confirmed it with the mark left on the device. The man let go of Natsuki's hand and let it fall to his side.
- "The power that was once bestowed to me is with you now."
- "What are you saying? What power? Why me? What am I supposed to do? I don't quite understand…" – said Natsuki unsure as to what was happening.
- "Do not fear, young girl. I can sense that you are a strong one. You will know what to do and understand it in no time. 'It' will guide you…"
And with those last words, the body of the man became still. It then shined as rays of light left his body, and, when those faded, so did the body of the man.
Natsuki was still kneeling there, totally stunned at what had just transpired in that alley. For a moment she thought that maybe it was a prank by some TV show, or maybe a prank by some members of the cast of Deka-Ranger – after all, they had access to all kinds of flashy equipment and devices. She even thought that perhaps everything had been just a hallucination due to the hot weather that was starting to hit the town and was taking its toll on her now. Unfortunately for her, all those hypotheses crumbled to smithereens as soon as her eyes fell once more upon the device she was still holding in her hand. Despite the unusual shape it had now, that was her phone wasn't it? Natsuki brought the device closer to her eyes to better analyze it. She quickly realized that that had been a bad idea. Once it was at eye-level, a red light came from it, and it scanned her face and her eyes. Then the device beeped and, with an electronic but deep voice, it said.
- "Scan completed. Preparing fingerprint scan."
- "Woah!" – said Natsuki, taking the device away from her face and holding it with both hands.
However, that wasn't a good idea either. The phone began to shine again, but this time in a silver hue. Natsuki felt her fingerprints burn when the light touched her fingers. She let go of the device, making it fall to the ground with a dull thud.
- "What the hell?" – yelled Natsuki, blowing at her fingertips, trying to cool them and erase that burning sensation from them.
When Natsuki looked again at her phone, it was still shining, but this time the color was blue instead of silver. The electronic voice from before came out from the object again.
- "Fingerprint scan completed. Voice acoustic parameters confirmed. All security systems completed. Status: ready."
- "What...? What's going on?"
Before Natsuki could ask anything else, her phone started to tremble slightly on the ground, and all of a sudden a holographic projection came from it. Natsuki couldn't tell if it was man or woman – it was simply androgynous if Natsuki had to describe it. The figure was wearing a mask that had a fox shape; it resembled very much those masks that children used to wear in festivals. The figure was also wearing some clothes that looked very similar to those of the ancient Lords of the feudal era mixed with a shrine's priest's attire. It was indeed a rare combination, but Natsuki wouldn't question that to the figure. She just wanted one question answered right now – well, a couple of questions.
- "Who are you? Or should I say: what are you?"
The figure stared at Natsuki and replied with the same deep voice the device had spoken with before.
- "I have had many names, young lady. In this land, I am known as 'Inari.' I am the guardian of an extraordinary power, which has been used to fight against evil for a long time."
- "What do you want from me?"
- "You have been chosen as the new holder of this power, as the previous vessel perished in the course of his duty. Only those of a just and pure heart can possess this power and fight the evil that will soon encroach upon this realm."
- "Wait, wait, wait… are you saying that I have superpowers now? That I became some kind of Ultraman? That I'm a contemporary Gatchaman or something?"
- "I am afraid that I do not understand those terms, young lady, but I believe you do understand. You have indeed gained power, but you must be aware that this is only when you use this device."
- "And you expect me to fight some sort of evil with it… are you serious?"
- "I am indeed serious. You have been chosen, and you must now face your destiny."
Natsuki looked intently at her phone, which was still lying on the ground, and then at 'Inari.' Inari noticed the anxious features on Natsuki's face and how her gaze moved from the device to him, back and forth several times. Misunderstanding the motion the fox-like creature said.
- "It would appear that you are eager to test it. You may activate its power by simply saying the word, 'Deculture.'"
At this, Natsuki did exactly what she shouldn't have done. She repeated the word.
And so, much to her dismay, the phone jumped straight into her hands and, after scanning Natsuki's full body this time it shone again, covering Natsuki in a silver and blue light. Natsuki could only close her eyes and let out a short surprised scream. When she opened her eyes again, she was now on her feet. Apparently, not much had changed, or so she was thinking until her eyes fell on her own body.
- "YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!" – yelled Natsuki, taking a step back and analyzing the clothes – if the garments could even be called clothes – that she was wearing now.
- "Is something wrong, young lady?"
- "Everything is wrong here! From all the costumes to pick, you just had to choose the Sentai one, didn't you?"
- "That is the uniform that has been used by all of the holders of this power. It varies its form to adapt itself to the new proprietor according to his or her persona. I do not understand why you seem to be perturbed by it." – said Inari as a matter of fact.
- "I shouldn't be wearing this! I'm not the sentai-maniac in the group! Midori should have been the one chosen for this; I bet she'd enjoy it! Scratch that, she'd love it! But not me! I really don't like this."
- "All this fuss just over the clothes that you are wearing, young lady?" – asked Inari, completely puzzled.
- "For some reason, these clothes are making me do odd movements and poses I never intended to do ever!"
- "I do not believe that I follow, young lady…"
- "For instance, after that light covered me and I was wearing this uniform I was holding a strange pose! Why would I have my hands over my head as if they were ears as one of my feet is raised? I can assure you that I would never do that of my own volition!" – said Natsuki, moving her arms in different ways and nodding constantly – "Also, I move my head and arms very frequently, why the hell would I do that?" – after she said that, she nodded – "See? I just did it again!"
Inari just looked at Natsuki with a huge sweat drop appearing on his head.
- "Ahem… I see that you are still slightly confused, but, alas, we do not have much time. Danger is approaching and you must stop it."
- "How am I supposed to do that?"
- "This device will provide you with almost everything you need to fight it. You will be able to summon many types of weapons and vehicles with it." – said Inari, pointing to the phone. – "Now take it, you must go! They are coming near!"
- "Go? Go where?"
- "Your instincts will guide you. Now move!"
As if Natsuki's body now had a mind of it's own, she got near the phone and, picking it up, she began to run in the direction of the mall. While running, Natsuki's mind just kept screaming 'This is a nightmare!' 'This is a prank!' 'What the hell is going on?'
She soon made it to the street in front of the mall. As if cued by her arrival, dozens of humanoid figures appeared in front of her.
x-x-x-x-x-x END OF FLASHBACK x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
When the monsters appeared, havoc descended on the street. People began to scream and run away from those humanoid figures. As soon as Natsuki arrived, all the fiends turned to her as if detecting that she was the hero and consequently their enemy.
Her last thought in the moment before they attacked was.
- "Oh, crap…"
I hope you enjoyed it. Oh, I almost forgot. Henna is the Japanese adjective for odd, strange, eccentric, funny among others. So now, you have a better understanding of the title. I also used some anime references in here, can you tell them?
Please leave a review and share your thoughts and opinion.
See you around.