There were three armors created by the powerful priestess Myra: Sun, Moon, and the Stars. She passed on these armors to her three, also powerful daughters: Oura, Becka, and Kindra. The armors brought out the worse in her children. Some worse than others. Her daughters fought with one another till each was wiped from this reality. The youngest survived the longest of her sisters. She passed on the tale of her family to the writer, Greena, who penned her tale into a manuscript that was to be worshipped and studied for years to come. The key word there being "was."
I thought Oura had killed Greena. I was there…sort of. I thought Oura was out to harm me. Maybe is she. Maybe she's not. Now that I think about it, I assumed a lot about Oura. And now, it is empty and lonely in here. And I am here, having a deep conversation with myself. Story of my life.
School has been cancelled for the rest of week. Authorities are still trying to figure out what happened on top of the roof of the public high school. The guys have taken over my house again. I am under house arrest, again. I am allowed visitors so Clara is staying here too. She wants to make sure I'm okay. I am. And I want out of here.
Yeah, the woman and the kid have been stopping by daily with books and old tales and legends. Anubis even showed up yesterday and then disappeared. Where he goes, I do not know even want to know.
"It's been three days now," whispers Clara. "It's now or never, homegirl."
"They've got the roof under surveillance, the door guarded, and they have the cat," I reply.
We are sitting across from one another on the floor of my bedroom. We are whispering because one of the guys is on the other side of the bedroom door. We don't know who but if we check; they'll know we're on to them. We are planning on bailing tonight. No idea how but it is going to happen.
Clara has heard from a friend of a friend's cousin's boyfriend that Rebecca lives on the other side of town, right on the school district line. If we haul ass tonight, we could spy on her and make it back here before morning.
My folks are currently off on a business trip. More like a "yay, the older kids are home to watch the little kids while we go on a mini-vacation" trip. Just five guys, occasionally a woman, another little kid, an ancient guy, a tiger, and the Rei Fuan siblings. Why is it that when family members leave the house, more people show up to refill the house?
A light bulb goes off in my head. My bedroom light shines a little brighter for a moment.
"Nice visual representation of the formation of a new idea," says Clara.
"We need outside help," I whisper.
"WAHHHHHHHHHH!" screams Chun Fa through the upstairs hallway. Kento is close on her tail and Cye is close on his tail. Sage is now walking up the stairs to observe the commotion. Ryo and Rowen, the boys without siblings, are safely staying in the living room downstairs. Sage soon rejoins them.
"I can't see the tiger," whispers Clara.
"He's either with Ryo or in the backyard," I reply. "We stick to the window and avoid the roof, we should be okay. We have to hurry though; she's almost out of steam."
Clara and I are watching as much of the bedtime drama as we can through the small crack opening of my bedroom door. For five bucks, three pixie sticks, and a promise to the park, Chun Fa can do the little sibling distraction work that Mei Ryu and Yun would charge 50 bucks for now.
Dressed in our makeshift ninja disguises (any piece of black clothing I had in the room), we quietly sneak out the bedroom window. I float us down to safety and then we are gone. We pull our hoods tight over are heads. It is a little chilly tonight. And we got some serious walking to do.
Once we hit the city, we catch a bus to Rebecca's side of town. Our plan is simple: spy on her and see if she has the second part of Greena's manuscript. I am even more curious now as to what is written in it. I haven't had any dreams I could recollect since the fight on the roof.
Rebecca lives in a pretty expensive apartment building. But even expensive apartments have fire escapes. We do not know which apartment she lives in so we climb the fire escape as high as we can, looking for any signs of Rebecca. Nothing.
"We probably should have thought this out more," sighs Clara as we reach the top of the fire escape. "This is so much easier in video games."
"She has to be here," I say. "Let's try the other side of the building. I did not come this far to leave empty handed. I know she has the manuscript."
We walk across the roof to look for the fire escape on the other side of the building. Something sparkles and catches the corner of my eye. I quickly turn around to find nothing there but an anxious feeling in my stomach or too much Diet soda.
"What is it?" asks Clara.
"I think we're being watched," I reply, still scanning the roof for anything suspicious besides us.
"It isn't Rebecca. She would have attacked us by now," says Clara.
"Oh, it isn't Rebecca," I say, staring at the rooftop door or rather, what is crouched on top of the cement doorway entrance/exit.
A girl, also all dressed in black (actually looks ninja legit), stares at us with her big blue eyes. Her long black hair blows slightly to the side from the chilly night's breeze. If she didn't just blink, I would think her a statue.
"Oh great," exclaims Clara, throwing her arms up. "Here we go again. Can't we for once be able to break and enter into someone's home without another bitch already breaking and entering?"
"So you are the little reincarnation of Kindra?" she says, quietly leaping from the doorway and landing in front of us. Her voice is soft and mesmerizing. Just like her, big dolls eyes. I don't recognize the girl from school. She may be a year or two younger than us.
"Let me guess," I say, trying to sound assertive and in control of the situation. "You are Oura's little human."
"Part of me, anyways," she replies. "But you changed all of that when you threw Oura to the wolves and let Becka mess things up more than they already were."
"I saw Oura leave when I fought Becka," I say. "I saw her leave me."
"You saw a part of Oura. Just like you probably saw a part of Becka too," she adds, walking a little closer to us. Clara backs up behind me. We should have brought the damn tiger.
"Who are you?" asks Clara.
"My name is Olivia," she replies. "And it seems I am the only one who has some idea of what is going on here."
A strong breeze blows from the left of us. A familiar chill.
"Are you after the second half of Greena's manuscript?" asks Olivia.
"Yes," I reply. "I need it to figure out what really happened. Who to really trust. You can come too, but if you intend to fight with me, I'd prefer to get it over with now."
Olivia smiles and pulls off the black backpack she had on. She pulls out an old book.
"Damn," says Clara. "She is better than you."
"Do you want to know what it says?" asks Olivia.
"You've already read it?"
"Do you or don't you?" she asks again. The uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach returns. Something not good is written in those pages. I have a feeling it is something about me or what I am turning into.
"Give me the book, Olivia," I command, doing my best to remain calm. My body is still sore from the battle on the school's roof and who knows what I can do now that Oura has left my body.
"Take it," replies Olivia, her voice now deeper and darker. She holds the book out just far enough so I would have to reach for it. "You want it so badly then come and take it." Clara grabs my arm.
"I don't like this, Rinfi," she says. "Something ain't right about her. No one gots eyes that big."
I reassure Clara with a pat on her hand and walk closer to Olivia. I am afraid. Clara is right. Something is off about this girl. Maybe Oura is now in her. But Olivia said only part of her is Oura. Which means someone else inhabits the other part of her. I take the book from her. No fight.
Olivia sighs a big air of relief after the book leaves her possession. I can feel something very heavy about the book. There is a very strong presence in this book. I have a feeling no one was supposed to very find this manuscript.
"Thank you," says Olivia. "I did not want to carry that thing anymore." Her voice is back to normal. Soft and kind.
I examine the book. Rebecca didn't open this thing and Olivia certainly did not.
"How can you know what is in this manuscript?" I ask. "This hasn't been opened."
"How would I know what is written in it?" replies Olivia. "I have just been following you."
"Hold on, homegirl," says Clara. "You just said like seconds ago that you knew what was in this book and then you egged Rinfi on to take the book from you." Olivia looks surprised but not too surprised.
"She comes out sometimes, doesn't she?" I say. "You can't really control it. It's like watching a TV episode with you as a character. You're just a part of the audience."
"I—I should go," stammers Olivia. She flips back onto the doorway and then flips into the night, disappearing in black ribbons.
"I would say that was odd but from what I have seen in the past couple of days that was rather normal," says Clara.
"We should go," I say. I can see it in my mind. Becka is waking up from a weird dream about three little girls watching their mother paint a beautiful painting of them. Rebecca then wakes up with an uneasy feeling. She lifts the mattress of her futon and pulls out the long box she keeps hidden under her bed. She opens the box and screams. It is gone. They must have taken it. She is going to kill them.
Fortunately, Clara and I are blocks away when we feel the scream scratch across our backs. The windows of the store next to use form little cracks and then shatter into larger ones.
"Didn't they just get done cleaning this place up?" sighs Clara, holding the manuscript close to her chest.
"Run now." Clara actually listens this time and starts to run down the sidewalk. I clinch my fists and ready myself for what is running down the sidewalk behind me. I turn around to face her and—slam! I slam into the side of the building across the street. It is amazing how much my body has changed. It only felt a little like I just got body slammed into a brick building.
"Armor of the Sun…TRANSFORM!" Gold ribbons fill the street and circle around me, wrapping me in my gold armor. My gold armor. This armor is mine now. Something is different in me. A feeling of freedom and power. I am going to kick her skinny ass.
Rebecca stands in the street, fully armored. She charges, sword drawn. I snap my fingers and my staff appears in my hand. I run for her. Cue the fight music. We are about to destroy each other. Olivia jumps between us.
"STOP!" she yells. Rebecca slams her feet into a ground, coming to a stop. I slam my feet into the ground and fall over. Too top heavy.
"Don't you see?" she asks. "Don't you see this is what she wants us to do? Kill each other?"
Olivia turns to Rebecca, stretching her arm to reach out to the crazy blonde.
"Rebecca," she says. "The worst side of your guardian is being allowed to overwhelm you and blind you from your friends before you. She knows you will to do anything to succeed. And she knows Rinfi is too stubborn to let you win without a fight."
"Well, duh, everyone knows that," says Clara, returning back to the scene from her jog down the sidewalk.
"Got your back, homegirl."
"Who are you?" asks Rebecca, pointing her sword at Olivia. Olivia is in black armor but she does not look like the older Oura I had previously morphed into. I am confused and judging by the look on Rebecca's face, she is confused too. A new experience for both of us. We don't know what is going on.
"She's Olivia," I answer. "She's Oura's human."
"So now we are all together at last," says Rebecca. "Give me back that book."
"You won't be able to open it," explains Rebecca. "Only Rinfi can open it."
"What?" asks Rebecca.
"Wait—wouldn't you know that, Rebecca? You must have tried to open this book." Rebecca does not reply but looks ashamed. Ashamed she couldn't open this book. But wait, why can't she and I can?
"The final half of the manuscript was written for us, here and now," continues Olivia. "Before she passed, Kindra told Greena all of her family's deadly secrets in hopes that history would not repeat itself with us and that we would be able to destroy what had destroyed her family. Only when we are together can it be opened and read and only Kindra's human and open it."
"Deadly secrets? There are no deadly secrets," says Rebecca, pointing her sword again at Olivia. "Oura started this whole thing and we should finish her now. Kindra did nothing but watch Rebecca and Oura burn to nothing back then. That is not going to happen again."
"I think Kindra was more involved in that," I say. "I think Myra didn't really leave her daughters, and I think Kindra knew that."
Olivia, Rebecca, and I say nothing to each other for a while. Olivia stares off into space. Rebecca watches Olivia space out. I stare at my feet and the concrete under them. Clara is antsy from the awkwardness and suspense.
"Oh, to hell with it," says Rebecca. "So are you two saying that we're going to have to put our differences aside and work together to destroy something bigger and more powerful than are feud here?"
"Yes, I'm afraid so," adds Olivia. "Though, there really shouldn't be a feud better us. I have no harsh feelings towards you and you shouldn't have any towards me or Rinfi. We are the human transports of our former selves, not our actual former selves."
"Whatever," sighs Rebecca. "Just open the book, Rinfi."
And I do. I untie the leather tie around the book and slowly lift the cover up. I don't know what I am expecting to pop out at me when this book opens. Nothing happens but judging by everyone else's faces, we all were expecting something to happen. We watch way too much television.
"My three daughters," reads the first line. "Welcome home."
After I read the last word of the first line, the world turns black and white and loud. The roaring of fierce winds blows through the street. Lightning crashes near our feet. My armor is melting off my body, now a gold puddle beneath my feet. The other's armors have melted too. I have a feeling something is taking us away from our little meeting in the middle of the street.
"Clara!" I yell over the wind. Clara is hiding behind a city postbox. "Tell the guys what is happening! I don't know where we are going, but I don't think I'll make it back before morning!"
"Rebecca yells something back, but I can't hear her over the wind. I hope she heard me. Before I can yell again to her, we are swept up in a tower of light and wind.
We land on the cold floor of a familiar room. It is the room from my dream. There stands the large temple of Myra and there stands her three daughters, arguing. We are the audience, standing there silently in our under-armor. The scene plays out just like in my dream. Becka and Oura run off and Kindra is left alone.
"I don't get it," says Rebecca. "What is going on?"
"I don't think Oura was the 'evil' sister. I think Kindra played her sisters against each other so they would kill each other off. I think something possessed Kindra and that something has been raising Hell for us."
"That's a very big assumption, Rinfi," says Greena voice. "You see before Kindra died, as I'm sure you know, she confessed toe a great deal of terrible things she had done to her sisters. Problem was, Kindra did not remember doing any of the terrible things she described to me. The last thing she remembered was this scene with her sisters. When Kindra awoke from her possessed sleep, she was grown, her sisters were presumed dead and a path of death and destruction followed behind her.
"Who's the voice in the statue?" asks Olivia.
"I do not know her name, but I do not think the voice is that of Myra's," replies Greena. "This is the proof I have of her existence, whomever this voice belongs to. I can say for certain though, that Kindra did not destroy whatever possessed her."
"So it's most likely in our world," says Rebecca.
"It's the woman in black armor," I say. "She attacked me and the Ronin Warriors on two separate occasions. I had originally thought her to be Oura. I even thought her to be Kindra not too long ago."
"Who or what is this woman after now?" Rebecca asks. "We have the armors. Obviously the armors weren't hidden in another world otherwise we wouldn't have them."
"Our former selves are hidden in another world though," I add. "I've seen it."
We are transported back to our world, falling from the early morning sky and quickly approaching the Earth below. We—I mean, I, frantically call upon my armor. I do not see Rebecca and Olivia. Maybe they are falling somewhere else in the city. My armor does not appear. Panic. I'm going to be flattened like a pancake. Flatter than a fashion model's chest. The analogies keep on coming as my mind races.
A soft blue light circles around me, and I am no longer falling. I am sitting in a blue bubble with the blue love of my life.
"Rowan!" I exclaim, hugging him.
"You really gave everyone a scare again, Rin!" says Rowan. I don't even care that his arms are actually around me. My fear of falling to my death and relief that I am not longer falling to my death overpower my social awkwardness.
Clara and the guys are there when we land on the ground.
"Rebecca? Olivia?" I ask Clara.
"No sign of them. Just saw you falling like a rock. Lucky for you that the blue boy wonder can fly," replies Clara. We exchange glances of death at each other.
I am the greeted with the sighs of relief from the guys that I am alive. Kento hugs me hard, lifting me off the ground, and happily informs me he has installed new locks on my bedroom door and window.
Sage stares at me intently our entire trip back home. I try to keep my thoughts calm and neutral. But in reality, I am anything but calm. Rebecca and Olivia are gone. There is something evil out there right now that I haven't yet encountered yet and my former self or guardian or whatever might have really tried to kill her sisters and maybe even killed their mother too. And the book is gone. Maybe I dropped it when I fell or maybe it disappeared after its opening. Whatever the reason, the book is gone. What else was written in its pages? So many terrible thoughts running through my head.
These thoughts continue as I crawl up the stairs to my room. I open my bedroom door. Yep, three new locks. Kento has really applied himself. I am about to close the door behind me when a hand comes between the door and the wall.
"Rinfi," says Sage. "A nightmare is only a nightmare when you are not in control. Good night." Sage then disappears. For a second, I think I am dreaming. And then the door dissolves into a pile of black goo. And then I don't think anymore. I know I am dreaming.
My room transforms back to the temple where I had just previously been before returning home. Rebecca and Olivia emerge, looking just as startled as I am.
"Well, isn't this nice," says Rebecca. "We're back here, again."
"There must be more to this flashback," says Olivia, touching a wall. "We can now interact with the environment." Olivia wanders the room, touching everything.
"Where's the book? You lost it, didn't you?" Rebecca asks. Bitch doesn't miss anything.
"It disappeared. I didn't lose it," I snap back. I should be having wonderful, Rowan filled dreams right now.
"Quiet, both of you!" says Olivia. "Someone is coming." We hide behind pillars of the room, watching the only entrance and exit to the room.
Kindra returns to the room and bows before the giant statue of her mother. Kindra looks older, years older. Time has passed from the first flashback.
Kindra stands and places her hand on the statue. A dark power emits from her hand and the statue slides to the side, revealing a hidden passage underneath it.
"Son of a bitch," mouths Rebecca. Kindra walks down the underground passageway. A minute or two pass. We emerge from our hiding spots.
"We shouldn't follow her," I whisper. "This has 'trap' written all over it.
"A trap?" whispers Rebecca. "This is hundreds and hundreds of years in the past. How could she set a trap for us?"
"We don't know if that entrance is also the only exit. We would get caught for sure," I argue. Rebecca places her hands on my shoulders. I place my hands on her shoulders. I believe in the animal kingdom we would now roll around on the ground till the other submits. But we do not have time for that because Olivia is gone.