Ultraman Zenith: The Cerinian Days
In the legendary Land of Light, there exists a race known as the Ultras. These people have sworn to protect the universe from evil and darkness. However, there was a threat that even they found concern upon; threats from universes beyond thier own. Discovering the Gate Way, the dimensional door way to between time and space, which they called the Cross Roads, The Ultras have sent thier numbers to the far reaches across the gulf of space/time. These select warriors would act as the vanguard against threats from other realities. One warrior staved off a crisis in the system known as Lylat. This Ultra, was the warrior known as Zenith. However, Zenith's father, the legendary Ultraman Hayata himself, decided to take a leave of absence to do the thing he wanted most in his life; to raise the son he never got to have. However, with the help of a Cerinian named Xetulu, he was granted his wish, and now resides in the twin reality to the one his son lives. However, fate has decided that it was not quite done with him just yet, and that the other Zenith's true destiny is about to unfold.
Morning: The young kit awoke to the sound of birds at her window. She got out of her bed, sitting next to the window, and gazed out to the morning scene; the sun was just over the horizon, with the green hills sloping in front of her and the forests in the background just behind them. She breathed in the fresh air, and looked behind her. next to the bed, there was a sleeping mat with the covers folded open, like someone had just gotten out of it. The kit sighed in frustration. 'Why does he always let me sleep in so late?' she thinks to herself. The kit, clad in a night gown that reached her ankles, exited the door leading out of her room. After making down the stairs, she found her mother and father and one other at the dining table. The two vulpines looked like her, but the other was not a vulpine at all; he wore a tan tunic with vest and pants, boots, and a belt. His skin was white, with a mass of black hair on top and bright brown eyes situated in a stern looking face that looked like it could soften as well. Her mother, already dressed in a tunic of her own reaching to her knees, looked at the kit and smiled. "Well, good morning Krystal. We were wondering if you were going to get up this morning." she said, sweetly. Her father and the man look at her, with thier own smiles. However, Krystal wasn't smiling.
"Where is he?" she asked.
"Where is who, dear?" her father asked.
"I think she means my son." the other replies, smiling sheepishly. "I think he said he was going to get some practice in early and left for the training grounds."
"Ohhhh, he was supposed to wake me up this morning!" she shouts, and practically bolted out of the door. Or rather, she was inches from it when she was scooped up by her mother.
"Now Krystal, you have to get dressed first before you start running around." she says, a tad bit more sternly while the kit struggled against her mother. While both of them went upstairs, the man and her father laughed a bit.
"I'm starting to wonder if bringing Zenith here to raise and train him was such a good idea." the man said.
"What makes you say that, Hayata?" the vulpine asked. Hayata turned to look at him.
"Because if she's anything like her 'other self', Xetulu, both ofthem are going to be a real handful." Xetulu laughed at this, and replied.
"Yes, I'm sure they will be. However, that's the cost of parenthood, I suppose. We both saw this coming when we made this choice."
"And I wouldn't have it any other way." Hayata replied. He remembers when both he and his son arrived here a little over a week ago. Zenith and Krystal really hit it off with eachother. Being in their early childhoods, it was easy to see how and why. Krystal was ecstatic to learn that she was going to have a new friend stay with her, while Zenith saw this as some sort of adventure. Almost immediately, Hayata began to train his son in becoming a Warrior of Light. While at this young age, he was unable to summon his Ultra form, the form that the members of his race use to access their incredible power that they were famous for, at least, not until he reaches his adolescence. However, that didn't stop Hayata from training him in basic hand-to-hand combat and survival training. The boy was taught the basics of self-defense, though he hasn't really gotten it down yet. While he was learning this, Krystal kept him busy as well. They became friends early on, and Krystal wanted to spend almost every minute with him. At that moment, Krystal ran out the door, clad in a blue dress while her mother ran after her.
"I don't think you'll be able to catch her, Neera. Not with the energy that she has." Xetulu says when he sees her wife in the door way. The vixen turned to face her husband.
"I know. I just wish that she'd have a little bit less energy, than usual." she says, wearing an exhausted smile.
"If I remember correctly, you were hardly any different from her at about that age." Xetulu replied. Neera smiled as she joined the two men at the table.
"Of course, I didn't have surprise visitors coming either. Hayata, how long will you be staying here again?"
"Your husband told me for as long as I need to. If you need for us to find another place to stay, we can-"
"No!" she practically shouted. Hayata and Xetulu turned to look at her. Neera blushed in embarrassment, and regained her composure. "I mean, I don't want to chase you out. I agree fully with my husband. It just seems a little bit unusual for you to be staying here."
"Well, your husband and I go way back. I'm sure that he's told you before about working with me on something, and becoming friends afterward. I told him that I might need somewhere to train my son into becoming a warrior to take my place after I retired to pass on the family legacy, and he offered your home." he smiled as he spoke. "He practically insisted that we stay."
"And I nearly took his head off when he told me." Neera replied, laughing.
"Just think of them as distant relatives." he told her, smirking. Neera returned the smile.
"That's what you told me last time. The reason why I'm putting up with this, is because I think that our daughter having a close friend like this will be good for her. She hardly has any friends of her own, and you hardly let her go out into the village alone."
"I know. Maybe I'm just overprotective of our daughter, but I feel one can never be too careful with one's child." Hayata nodded in agreement, suddenly remembering one of the reasons why he brought his son out here in the first place.
Krystal ran along the path that led into one of the fields. The field, which was nestled in between several hills, was covered in all sorts of wild flowers, while a lone figure looked like he was practicing throwing punches and kicks at an unseen enemy. She grinned when she saw who it was; the figure looked to be between eight to ten years old, like her, a high-pitched voice typical for a boy his age, blonde hair and fierce blue eyes. He was clad in the same outfit the older man wore, only without the vest and robe. With each strike and movement, there was a shout. She snuck up behind him, crouching low to the ground, practically moving on all fours. In the tall grass, she was unseen. However, her blue fur did make her stand out a bit more, but the tan colored dress did help conceal her better. The boy was totally engrossed in his practice that he didn't notice the grass moving behind him, or the crouching kit that was a mere few yards from him. When he turned around with a kick, that's when he saw something leap up from the grass, and land on him, sending both to the ground. They rolled around in the grass, before the boy came up and looked down at the blue-furred kit that was playfully growling at him while wearing a toothy smile. "That's what you get for not waking me up, Zenith." the kit said before rolling over, taking Zenith with her and ending up on top of him. She pinned him down while he struggled to get up. However, she would not relent. "Give up?" she asked.
"An Ultra warrior never gives up." Zenith answers back. Then, he began to rise up, and pushed the kit off of him. However, Krystal tried to jump back on him, but Zenith rolled out of the way, and jumped on top of the kit, pinning her to the ground. "I suggest that you give up." he says, smiling triumphantly. Krystal struggled against his grip, but relented.
"Fine." she says, not looking him in the face with a pouty look on hers. Zenith laughs, and gets up off of her. However, that's when she decides to turn the tables on him; Krystal jumped him as soon as he turned his back, and both went back down into the grass. She was laughing at this point, with Zenith joining her. He got up to a kneeling position while Krystal had him from the rear, hugging her body to his. Then, Zenith reached behind him, and leaned forward, throwing the kit off of his back, and into the grass before him. However, Krystal merely got up, and pounced again. However, Zenith was ready for her. As they went down for a third time, Zenith's hands went to Krystal's sides. She squealed in laughter as she felt a tickling sensation at her ribs and stomach, and jumped off of him, but Zenith followed her to the ground, and she curled up into a ball from the tickling that she got from him. Zenith stopped, and stood over her triumphantly. Krystal looked up, her face having the pouty look again.
"No fair." she says.
"That's what you get." he replied. Krystal got back up, and dusted herself off with Zenith helping her here and there. She turned to face him, while he smiled at her. Krystal returned the smile, and both made their way to the house. Situated on one of the bigger hills in the area, the home overlooked the village that sat just before it. It was easily two stories tall, looking like a Roman-like structure carved out of marble. There were vines going up along the side of the house, giving it an aged appearance, while various runes were inscribed along the sides. The doorway looked like it was solid stone, but was no more than a few inches in width, the knob of polished silver. As the pair went in, they were greeted by their parents.
"Did you get in a good practice session, Zenith?" Hayata asked. Zenith nodded at his father.
"I even had a little bit of help." he said, gesturing to Krystal. Hayata chuckled, and ruffled his son's hair. Krystal walked to Xetulu.
"Father, I was wondering if…I could take Zenith with me into the village today."
"Krystal, you know how I feel about you two going there on your own. Perhaps later today, if it is not too late." Krystal looked disappointed, and walked back up the stairs, followed by Zenith. Hayata turned to the vulpine, as did Neera.
"Are you sure that is wise, dear? She hardly ever ventures far from the home."
"I don't want her to get lost and vulnerable." Neera was about to say something, when Hayata restrained her.
"Xetulu, the best thing for you to do is to act as if there is nothing wrong. Shutting your daughter in like this will undoubtedly cause someone to notice. Also, as your wife states, she hardly ever goes out. Don't you think it is for your daughter's best interest to go out more?" Xetulu sighed as he sat down heavily into his chair in the den.
"Hayata, if you knew about the position I was in, you would probably understand more."
"I do. And, that is part of the reason why you asked me to be here, isn't it?" Xetulu looked up, and saw his friend's face. He sighed, and nodded.
"I suppose it is." he said, sounding defeated. Hayata looked at Neera, and nodded, while she smiled. In Krystal's room, the blue-furred kit was busy staring out at the village that laid beyond her window. Zenith was busy folding his mat back up, and looked at Krystal. She had a far-away look on her face as she stared out.
"What's wrong Krystal?" he asked.
"It's just not fair." she said. "I never get out to the village. I may have been there twice my whole life, and even then, it was because my father had to take me somewhere. I've never really been anywhere." she plopped down on the bed, and looked at her friend. "You're lucky, you know. You don't have to stay here with me. You could go out whenever you want, while I'm just stuck here."
"I wouldn't do that to you." he said. "I wouldn't leave you behind. I'd take you with me." he replied. Krystal smiled at that.
"I know you wouldn't." she replied. The door opened, and Hayata was standing in the doorway, wearing a slight smile. Zenith looked at Krystal, who wore the same perplexed expression as he did.
"I figured you two would be here." he said.
"Where else would we be?" Krystal asked.
"I was thinking about taking you two into the village with me, if you'd like." Krystal's ears perked up when she heard this.
"Really?" she asked, enthusiastically. Hayata nodded.
"I'll be going in a few minutes. I suggest you get downstairs." Krystal practically bolted out of the door, and nearly ran down the stairs. Zenith followed her, but walked beside his father. When they reached the stairs, Krystal was already waiting by the door for them. Her father stopped Hayata at the last minute, and pulled him aside to converse in private.
"Be on your guard. There are some shady dealings that sometimes go on in that village despite its appearance, and also..."
"You forget that you are speaking with a former member of the Ultra Brothers." Hayata replied, cutting Xetulu off.
"And you forget, that I've lived here most of my life. I know these people and some of them are far less than reputable. Just be careful, that's all I ask." Hayata nodded, and escorted the two children out the door. Xetulu could not shake the dread that he was feeling right now, even with Neera's comforting hand upon his shoulder.
Krystal nearly skipped all the way to the village that lied in front of her, while Zenith and his father walked at a more leisurely pace behind her. They reached the village entrance, which was guarded by two guards who wore chain mail along the legs and arms, while a type of polished armor guarded the right arm, from shoulder to elbow. Both wielded staves with a round end and a pointed crystal at another. When they saw the three figures coming, they instantly brought up their staves in a defensive manner. However, Hayata pulled out the seal that he was given by Xetulu and showed it to the guards. They relaxed, and let the three pass. The village itself was surrounded by a high wall, with the guards at the only entrance. Even though the wall was several meters high, and looked like it was carved out of solid stone, one could see the structures that lied within the barrier, and it was this that Krystal gaped at in child-like wonder; Cerinian vulpines like her went to and fro with their daily lives, while some managed the shops in a market square. Some were dressed in robes, togas, even in little more than loin clothes, but almost all of them bore a tattoo on their bodies. Each having their own unique design, the tattoos were placed at different parts of the body, some had them on their faces, others along their arms, even along the stomach. Only the young children who looked to be no older than Krystal and Zenith were unmarked as they ran in between adults, laughing. Krystal saw this, and laughed herself as she tugged the both of them along with her to see more of the village. Hayata grinned at the kit, seeing her smile like this being a rare thing for her, and he hopes to see more of it. They passed several shops that were maintained by store keeps, while the two humans received stares and funny looks from the people around them. Zenith noticed this, and felt uneasy about it. However, his father's strong grip on his shoulder made him try to shake the feeling from his mind, albeit only a little. Krystal, however, was oblivious to the stares that her companions were receiving. She even found a group of children that invited her to play with them. Zenith saw her join the others in tossing a ball around, but hesitated in joining them himself. "Something wrong, son?" Hayata asked. Zenith looked up at his father, then back at the group of children.
"I don't think I'd fit in there." he said, almost silently. "I feel like an outsider here. Did you see the way the people were staring at us? They're doing it even now." he said, looking at a couple who looked at them for a moment, then turned away. Hayata understood, and sighed.
"You have to remember that these people are not used to seeing our kind. They do get visitations from other races periodically, but not from us. The only reason why Xetulu knew me, was from before you were born when he helped me with a crisis that myself and others were going through."
"What sort of crisis?" Zenith asked.
"I'll tell you when you're a little older to understand." Hayata replied, putting a hand on his son's shoulder. It didn't really help much, since the people were still giving them stares, and making Zenith feel more uncomfortable. However, there was nothing at the present that could be done. It was then that Krystal noticed Zenith standing beside his father, and waved him over, holding the ball above her. The boy looked, then looked away when he saw the other children stare at him. "It would seem that Krystal would like you to join her, son." Hayata said. Zenith looked up, and his father nodded at him encouragingly. However, Zenith seemed hesitant. Krystal waved him over again, and this time, the boy relented. He moved toward the group of children while his father watched from a distance. His robe was trailing slightly behind him while he made his way to the group. It was then that the other children got a better look at him, and stared at the alien being before them.
"Who is he?" one of them asked.
"He's my friend." Krystal replied.
"What sort of friend is he?" another asked, a girl that looked a little younger than Krystal. That's when Zenith felt it; the sensation was like someone was literally touching his brain with unseen hands. Then, the feeling intensified as the others concentrated on him, as if they were feeling his brain. Zenith grasped his head in surprise, then groaned in discomfort. Hayata saw this, and that's when he remembered something that he should have told his son; Cerinians are telepaths in nature, and can read thoughts and emotions just as well as any Ultra can. Krystal saw her friend get down to a knee as the feeling became more painful as the examination intensified. She got in between the group and Zenith.
"Stop it! What are you doing to him?!" she nearly shouted. They seemed surprise by her sudden attitude.
"We were just…seeing who he really was." an older male stated, raising an eyebrow in confusion. Zenith unsteadily got back to his feet while the headache he has feels like it will last for an eternity.
"Well you were hurting him." Krystal replied, getting next to him. That's when another kit stepped out.
"Well, he's a stranger here! The supposed place he comes from, this 'Land of Light', and the other beings that we saw, it was just too strange! Either he's crazy, or he's some sort of alien!" he said, pointing accusingly at the young boy. He turned to the others. "Come on. Let's get away from the freak and his girlfriend." The others obliged, and moved away from the pair. Zenith looked away, apparently saddened by the turn of events. However, his father came up from behind the two, and placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Let's see more of the village, shall we?" he asked.
"No." Zenith replied.
"What?" Krystal asked. Zenith turned to face his father.
"I don't want to be here, anymore. The people stare at us, and the children are mean. I just want to go home!"
"But, Zenith…" Krystal began, but a sharp look from the boy made her mouth shut. Hayata sighed.
"Alright. You can go back. But Krystal and I shall remain." Zenith walked back to the gate, and out of the wall. He remembered the way back to the house, and when he reached it, Neera was in the den, reading a book, while Xetulu was going over some documents in the study. Neera looked up, and was quite surprised to see the boy walk in.
"Zenith, what are you doing back?" she asked. Xetulu also looked up, but the boy ignored them, too wrapped up in his own thoughts to really notice them. Neera followed Zenith to the stairway, but when she heard the door to Krystal's room closed, she turned to Xetulu, concern written on her face. The blue vulpine felt the same way, and hoped that everything was alright.
While Krystal and Hayata wondered about the village, taking in all the sights and sounds of the people and things around them, they were oblivious to the people watching them, some even staring at him from a distance. While this went on, Krystal and Hayata moved from vendor to vendor, looking at all the wares that the shop-keep had to offer. While they did eye Hayata with suspicion at first, this did not impede on their merchant sales' pitch to sell something to the pair, while others had dealings with off-worlders before and opened up with a more friendly disposition. While Hayata did buy the girl a few things, he was not frivolous with the money he had. It was nearly evening when the pair decided to head back to the house, having eaten their fill at some of the shops that sold bakery goods and fruit. When Hayata and Krystal entered the door, Neera was there to greet her daughter, while Xetulu looked at Hayata.
"Did Zenith make it back alright?" he asked. Xetulu nodded.
"I was wondering what had happened. He had been gone little over an hour before he came back."
"I forgot to tell him that your race is telepathic. Some of the children tried to mind-scan him, and it had an adverse affect on him, not to mention that he and I were getting stares from the villagers as well. It didn't really set too well with him."
"I understand the people's reaction to him, but why would a simple mind-scan affect him so abnormally. Even if it is with a group of children, it shouldn't hurt anyone. And also, isn't your race capable of the same thing."
"We are but not the way that you think. Unlike you, we don't develop our mental abilities, or any abilities for that matter, until we hit at least puberty. Zenith still has a ways to go yet before he can use his own powers. Also, as children, we tend to be more sensitive to telepathic reception. That's why he acted so adversely."
"I see. I hope that this won't affect him too badly."
"He just had a bad start, that's all. Given time, hopefully, the people will get used to us. Where is he now?"
"He went out a little while ago, to train he said. That was the last we saw of him."
"Hayata?" Krystal asked, moving up to the man. He turned, and knelt to her eye-level. "Do you think it will be alright if I went to see him?" Hayata nodded.
"I'm sure he'd like that." Krystal went out the door, and was headed for the training spot that Zenith normally frequents. Xetulu and Hayata looked at eachother, then back out.
"At least he has a friend here. I'm glad that Krystal was able to get out of here, even if it was for only one day. Hopefully, once all this blows over, I can take her to the Cerinian capital. That is truly a sight that she will never forget. And hopefully, you and Zenith will be there as well."
"I'm sure we will." Hayata replied.
Out in the field, Zenith was practicing his fighting stance and strikes under the setting sun. He was so into it, that he again failed to notice Krystal sneaking up on him. However, unlike last time, she wasn't trying to conceal herself. She simply walked up to him, and when he turned around suddenly, he saw the kit standing in front on him. He saw that she was wearing a necklace that she had gotten from the village, while she was holding something in her hands. "What do you want?" he asked, albeit sharply. Krystal cringed a bit, but recovered.
"I came to see how you were doing." she replied.
"I'm fine." he replied, and turned back to face his unseen opponent. He got back into his combat stance, and continued to practice his strikes. That was when Krystal moved just a bit closer.
"You know, it would have been more fun at the village if you had been there." she said. Zenith didn't stop, but continued to practice hitting the unseen target. He still remembers the mind-scan, and the unpleasantness that it had, like someone were raping his brain. "Are you listening to me?" she asked. Zenith finally stopped, and turned to look at the kit, annoyance showing on his face. "I brought you something, from the village. Your father gave it to me, and I wanted another like it to give to you." she held out the necklace that she was holding, while wearing a hopeful smile. It had a gold chain, while a ruby was centered in a silver amulet. Krystal wore something similar, only it was an emerald in gold. Zenith took it, and placed it around his neck. He looked at the kit, who still wore the hopeful smile. "Do you like it?" she asked. Zenith simply nodded, and turned back. Krystal was surprised by this. "Hey, don't turn your back to me! I was just trying to be nice!" That's when Zenith turned.
"Nice?! You think that this trinket wipes away what happened earlier today?! Your people treated me like a freak, while they entered my mind, and thought me a monster! Both me and my father felt it. They probed our minds while we walked with you, and we felt their thoughts as they felt ours. They thought us as monsters!"
"Well that's because they don't know you!" Krystal shouted back. Zenith was a little surprised by this, and took an involuntary step back. "Did you really expect the people to just accept you like this? I think it lucky that you didn't get chased out. You must give them time to get used to you, first." The kit nearly had tears forming in her eyes. Zenith looked away, then felt something collapse against him, and saw the kit embracing him. "Please…don't take it so hard. Things will get better, you'll see." She continued to hug him, as the boy returned the embrace. And, it was then that the two amulets started to glow.