"I think Jasmine should tell her story next," said Po.
"Agreed," said Viper.
"We should know what started this all in the first place," said Shifu.
"Alright then," said Jasmine. "I'll first need to explain how I became Kalifilak." She leaned back against her chair and popped her back. "You know that I was in prison for two years because someone framed me. Well, I didn't begin my organization right away. After getting out of prison at the age of twenty, I got a job as a farmer's aide with my friend Gretchen, a lioness who was my cellmate and got out the same day as me. We worked on that farm for about a month until we were able to get enough money for what we had planned. We travelled through Tenessee for three days until we found my hometown. Gretchen came with me because she had nowhere else to go. When we got there, I was welcomed by my childhood friends, or my Sisters In Spirit: Suzette Brine my best friend and a doe, Destiny Shire a hawk, Anna Crescent my foster sister and a chimp, and Julie Dandelion who you guys have already had the pleasure of meeting." Kalifilak spat out Julie's name like poison. "She was Destiny's best friend. You know? Julie and I were always rivals, we competed over everything when we were kids. Who was faster, who was braver, stuff like that. It was fun, but now that I know who she really is, I can't help but wonder... Was it competition to her? Or was it desire?" Jasmine scowled. "I picture her now and I just imagine myself wrapping my hands around her neck, squeezing harder and harder until her head po-"
"Uh, Jasmine? You're going off topic," said Po.
"Right!" Jasmine said as she rubbed her forehead and sighed. "Okay, where were we? Oh yeah!"
We met up in my foster parents' home. Francis, my so-called "father" was out drinking as usual, so he didn't learn about our plan until we were gone. Ma was there though, so we were able to share out goodbyes when we gathered.
We were sitting in the kitchen, ma was cooking some tofu for us.
"It's so good that you're back home, Jasmine," said Anna. "We missed you a lot."
"Thanks, Anna," I said back as I smiled in her direction. "I want you girls to meet Gretchen. We were friends while we were locked up." I didn't bother pointing, since I don't know where she was sitting.
"Hey," said Gretchen in a low and gruff, but still easily female voice. "I hope you don't mind me coming over."
"Not at all," said Destiny, the most outgoing and sociable of my friends. "Any friend of Jasmine's is a friend of ours, right, Jules?"
"Of course!" said Julie. "Always happy to meet someone new!" Yeah so she can stab them in the back, no doubt.
Stay on topic...
"Well, Suzy? What do you think?" Destiny asked.
"I think it's nice. And you know I don't like being called Suzy," Suzette said softly.
"Hey, Suzette, mind if I borrow your glasses?" I joked.
"Sure, what for?" Suzette asked. I heard the clicking sound of her taking off her glasses before she paused. "Wait..."
"Gotcha!" I said. Everyone bursted to laughter as I waved my hand infront of my blind eyes. Even Suzette giggled a little.
"Nice one, baby!" said ma. "For someone who just got out of the big house blinder than a bat, you sure are cheery!"
"Better to laugh than to cry, Mrs. Crescent!" said Destiny.
"So true," said Anna.
"Okay, girls, so I have something I wanted to share with you," I said.
"What's that?" Anna asked.
"Yeah, what is it?" asked Julie.
I unhooked a leather purse from my waist and set it down on the table. "Gretchen and I worked at a farm for a month before we came here and raised enough gold to rent a caravan for six people all the way to California. I figured we could move there, Destiny obviously would fly. We could pull together our savings and buy a farm when we got there. We can leave this hellhole of a town by tomorrow and get a fresh start!
"Jaz... Are you serious?" Destiny asked in shock.
"You mean to actually move away and never come back?" Suzette asked.
"That's a big leap of faith," said Julie.
"I'm completely serious," I said. "Gretchen and I planned it all out while we were in the slammer. The two of us have savings that weren't touched in two years. Suzette, you always said you wanted to be an engineer. Julie, you can pawn off that book collection your grandma gave you when you were fifteen that you never even touched."
"Way ahead of you on that one," said Julie. I heard the rattling of gold and smiled.
"Great! You see? We can leave, all seven of us!" I said excitedly. "So whadaya say?"
"Count me in!" said Destiny.
"Me too!" said Julie.
"Defitinitely me!" said Anna.
"You've convinced me. Yes," said Suzette.
"Well, ma? Are you in?" I asked.
I could hear her hesitating. "I'm... I'm not so sure, dear. I couldn't just leave you father like that..."
I scoffed. "You mean Frank? The drunk bastard that's been cheating on you with my teacher since I was ten?"
"I... I just can't. I can't imagine how he'll act when we tell him!"
"We don't have to tell him, by the time he finds out, we'll be out of the state!" I explained. "He doesn't even know I'm back yet!"
"Come on, ma, this is our chance!" said Anna.
"I... I need to think about it," ma said.
I sighed and nodded. "Well... I understand. In any case, for those of you that are coming, we're meeting at the Sarenwood Stables at noon tomorrow. If you decide not to come, ma, I'll understand. Suzette, is it alright if I spend the night at your house?"
"Of course," said Suzette. "But I'm afraid I don't have room for Gretchen."
"She can sleep at my house," said Anna. "I'll sleep on the ceiling while she gets the bed."
"Thanks," said Gretchen.
"The next day came and we met up at the stables as planned. Ma didn't show up, so we used the money to get Destiny a seat so she wouldn't have to fly the whole way. We got on the caravan, and our new life was ahead of us. I never met ma or Francis again after that."
"Wow, I can't believe she didn't go with you," said Po.
"She must have had her own reasons," said Viper.
"What happened next?" Tigress asked.
"Well, that's where things really take off," said Jasmine.
The first few chapters will tell how Jasmine became Kalifilak. After that, we'll fast forward to the events of the necromancers' assualt on China.
We do not own Kung Fu Panda. All the OCs in this story belong to Mark.
Mark: In other projects that I'm working on, Gretchen is a tiger. I changed her to a lioness for this story so she wouldn't seem too similar to Tigress. Destiny is a dragon, but we changed her to a hawk because it would contradict with the three dragon eggs being the last of their kind. Anna is a human, but was changed into a chimp for obvious reasons.
You all get one chance to guess how Jasmine went blind. If you get it, we'll put a notice for you in the next chapter. If not, you'll have to wait until the last chapter of the fourth story to find out. You don't have to guess now. You can wait until more of the story is written and you get more clues as to how it happened.
Next chapter: The girls discover their Arts.