Author's Notes: Yay!! This one is mine! No need for a disclaimer! ^_^ Thanks to Michelle and Marie for the inspiration of lots of ideas. And thanks to Cynthia for beta-reading. Anything that even remotely looks like it came from somewhere else was not intentional. Comments and criticisms as usual are appreciated.

Setting the Stage
by: Catherine Lee


In every generation, there are those born of evil. And in every generation, there are those born to combat the evil. In the late twentieth century, one such creature of evil was brought forth into the world. Hardly born by conventional means, he was brought into this world by magic. His name was Onyx, the Dark Lord of the Jewel Council. Having been trapped centuries ago, he has come again to wreak havoc upon the land. Now, the chosen ones must come forth to fight the Jewel Council once again.

* * *

"Hey Suzy, here are the new books that came in." The young librarian looked up to see her friend, carrying a large, and what looked to be heavy, box. She immediately scrambled up from her desk to help. Once the box was set down on a nearby table, she looked inside.

Giving her friend an incredulous look she asked, "New? You sure about that Nathan? These looked positively ancient!"

He shrugged. "I don't know. The delivery people said that these were the new books for the library."

She rolled her eyes and began rummaging through the texts. "Well, these are in good condition. That is surprising. I'll take a look through them, see if we can use them here."

Nathan Winters nodded, knowing that she would be looking through all of them. Suzanne Miyazaki, or Suzy as he called her, was a dedicated librarian. Although you probably would never see that by looking at her. Her look was hardly that of the 'traditional' librarian. Her black hair was cut short, with long bangs framing her oval face. Her small brown eyes were colored with light lavender eyeshadow. Her outfits were usually not what one expected a librarian to wear either. Today, for example, her outfit consisted of a bright blue baby tee, black pants, large-strap black sandals, and a short-sleeve black jacket. Platform sandals completed the look. To top it off, she had a large plastic ring on her right hand, and a watch-ring on her left hand.

That watch-ring was reading 10:30 p.m. when Suzanne was poring through a particularly long text. Normally, she wouldn't have been taking so long in reading one book, but this one held a fascination for her. At first, she had thought that it was a fantasy novel, full of stories about epic battles between good and evil. But as she read along further, she wasn't so sure. The stories were very detailed; the information about the people quite extensive. But that couldn't have been right; the language in the book was too modern for it to be from ancient times. She read one passage out loud.

"And when the gods could no longer be of aid, mortals were called upon in their place. Six warriors, each implanted with one of the God-stones, went against the evil that was Onyx. The balance of good and evil had been threatened. The magical battle ensued. But Onyx's Jewel Council was no match for the Gemstone Soldiers. Their powers overwhelmed the Jewel Council. The Soldiers managed then to lock the Evil Jewels away, knowing that nothing could ever destroy the Jewels. But, the bodies would die, taken away from their power.

News spread across the lands that the Chosen had won against the great evil. Parades and celebrations were held in honor of these great heros. The land was finally free from Onyx's tyranny. For many years the Gemstone Soldiers were honored for their achievements. Many statues and portraits were created. But, the novelty for the people, began to wear off. The people no longer wanted to give their time and money away to the Soldiers, who hadn't asked for them in the first place. Citizens didn't know what to do with their soldiers. They had been useful, yes, when fighting Onyx, but what to do now? They were getting old, and in the eyes of the people, useless. A decision was then made.

The original Soldiers were stripped of their power. A spell was set upon God-stones, implanting the magical gems into a babe in every generation. That way, should the need ever arise that the Soldiers were needed again, the people could call upon them. One hoped that the Gemstone Soldiers would never be needed again."

Suzanne felt tears begin to run down her face, although she had no idea why. She felt saddened by the story, but it was more than just reading a sad story. It was if she had experienced this herself. Unbeknownst to her, Suzanne's eyes had begun to take on a purple tint.

* * *

It was bright and sunny the next day at the Science and Space compound. A group of scientists had come to view the latest findings of Dr. Stephen Mills. He was a renowned scientist, specializing in archeology. His latest expedition had apparently born fruit and the results were being shown off for all to see. Currently, there were six other scientists looking over Dr. Mills' work. They were crowded around a glass case, covered with a black velvet cloth. With a grin, the scientist removed the cloth.

"What is this?" One observer pointed to the case. A dark jewel, along with it's six other companions, were held inside it. Dr. Mills then removed the glass covering.

"It is an onyx," he replied, picking up the large black jewel. He turned it from side to side; the gem seemed to absorb all the light that it touched. There was no reflection off of it.

The other scientists looked at each other. This was Dr. Mills' latest finding? A simple jewel? One of them cleared his throat, "Um, Dr. Mills. How could you call that an exciting new find? Granted, onyx jewels may not be very common, but they are certainly not that rare. What is it that is so special about this jewel?"

Dr. Mills' black eyes became even darker as he grinned wickedly, "Why, these particular jewels hold a special power. They were buried long ago because the people were frightened of their sheer force. Now that all have been released, we are ready to set forth on our mission once again." A dark aura had begun to surround the scientist, casting an eerie light upon the observers.

"W...what are you talking about? What mission?" stammered one of the scientists. Dr. Mills turned to the speaker and smiled evilly.

"Why, the mission to take over the universe." he said, his voice now a deep echoing baritone. "Ladies and gentlemen, Onyx has returned," Raising his hand, he passed it over his face, transforming it. His hair grew, transforming from grey to black. His eyes were now as dark as midnight. Then, the clothing changed from a suit and a lab coat, to a dark tunic with a long, black leather coat. The other scientists could only stand still in shock. "And you, will become my Council." His right hand began to glow as he sent the other six jewels into the air. With a quick movement, he pointed to each of the frightened scientists. "I summon forth each of you! Pearl of Air! Emerald of Earth! Garnet of Mind! Zircon of Ice! And the Twins of the Sun, Citrine and Topaz!" One by one, the scientists were implanted with a Dark Jewel. The screams soon died down as the Jewel personality took over.

The first scientist opened her eyes. Looking at her surroundings, she frowned. "You could not have picked a better place for us to return, Onyx?"

"This was where the man worked Pearl," he answered, looking at her, "Besides, this was the best place to gather host bodies for the rest of you."

Pearl looked at herself. The stout body of the scientist had now been transformed into that of a tall, willowy woman. Her pale blond hair was pulled back into a high ponytail. Her pink eyes glittered a bit. A form-fitting pale pink dress clung to her body, ending off in a short skirt that showed off her legs. Pearl then closed her eyes. A sharp cracking sound was heard. Two openings on her back formed, and soon large feathered wings appeared. They were at first wet, but with a few quick flaps, they soon dried.

"Indeed," agreed a man dressed in red. His dark brown hair was slicked back and his red eyes shone as he observed the area. He looked over at Pearl, "Don't be such a spoiled brat. We can make ourselves a palace later on." This scientist's overweight body had been transformed into one of a well-muscled man. The lab coat and suit had become black, with many red highlights. The man had on a high neck, long sleeve black shirt. Covering that was a heavy dark red, leather vest. He wore black pants and thigh high black boots with red laces. A red ring rested on his right hand. A short dark beard covered his well chiseled face.

"You needn't talk to her like that Garnet," another voice said. This man wore an blue ensemble. The outfit matched his skin, which was ice-blue. The thin scientist's body had filled out, forming into muscle. His short hair was a shocking white, in contrast with his deep blue eyes. He wore a short simplistic vest in white and tight dark blue pants. This was contrasted against his black boots, laced up with blue ribbon. An earring with a light blue crystal decorated each ear.

Garnet snorted, "Oh come on Zircon. You know that she'd want a multitude of wealth and power from the word go."

Pearl rolled her eyes and turned to a dark man in green. "Emerald, what do you think? Am I right, or is he?"

Emerald was a large man, towering over all the others. A long, dark green coat covered the black shirt he wore underneath. Black pants were tucked into black boots, decorated with green markings. He had no hair, leaving his black head shown. He wore no jewelry except an emerald ring upon his small right finger. "We should be living in a better place. But that can come later."

Garnet smirked at Zircon and Pearl. Onyx groaned as he watched his warriors. "Stop this bickering! We must begin to plan! A chance has been given to us to complete our conquest of this land. And this is a chance I do not intend to give up."

* * *

Stepping out of the Pyper Models studio, Kianne Eagle turned her sunglass-covered eyes towards the sun. For a moment, everything turned black, as if a dark shadowed had descended over the city. But, just as quickly as it came, it vanished. Frowning, Kianne whispered one word, "Onyx." She then realized what she said. "What in the world did that mean?" Shaking her head, she continued on her way, ignoring the growing instinct that something was wrong. Kianne never noticed as her blue eyes became a brilliant green.

* * *

"We are ready," growled Onyx, "Centuries have passed since we were trapped. No one even remembers us anymore. It is a perfect time to strike."

"We'll certainly give the people a surprise," giggled Citrine, her eyes glowing a brilliant orange. Unlike Pearl, her own outfit was made to dazzle. She wore a glittering gold bikini top. This matched the golden pants that she wore. On her feet were black ankle boots, tied up in gold lace. Her wrists were decorated tight gold bracelets. There was even a gold bracelet on her left upper arm. Her brown hair was done up partially; the rest falling down in a chestnut colored waterfall around her face. Golden glitter sparkled on her cheeks and gold colored eye shadow decorated her eyes.

"Yes. All the constellations are in the perfect position for the spell. And the hour is close at hand. We shall set the Circle, and the Power Rite will be performed," said Onyx. The rest of the Council nodded in agreement.

"Have you found a place?" asked Topaz. He was sitting on a nearby bench in his own outfit. Unlike his sister, his color was not gold, but more of a deep yellow. It consisted of a long sleeve, yellow shirt, button up half way, revealing his smooth muscular chest. The shirt was tucked into a pair of dark brown pants. His feet were covered with brown leather boots with black lacing. His dirty blond hair was tied back into a braid reaching his shoulder. A topaz earring stud was on his right ear.

"Actually, yes." Onyx grinned, conjuring up a map for them all to see. He pointed to a park. "This will be the perfect place to set the Circle. There is a large focal point of natural magic there."

"It looks lovely," breathed Pearl. The others could not disagree.

"Then let us prepare."

* * *

"Hey Asia! You coming with us to the library?"

The 18 year old turned towards the voice. Smiling, she said, "Of course, just let me get this stuff into my locker." She began turning the combination on the lock. Suddenly, she dropped her books as her hand became numb and she began trembling. But, the sensation soon passed. Looking beside her, she noticed that her friend was looking at her, a concerned expression upon her face.

"Asia, you okay?"

She nodded, one thought coming to her mind, 'The Council has returned.' She didn't know what that meant though. She picked up her fallen books. Shaking her head, she opened her locker and dumped her things inside. Smiling at her friend, Asia said, "Come on Daisy, let's go. I'm alright." With that, the two friends headed out of the school. Neither noticed Asia William's grey eyes taking on a yellow tint.

* * *

Onyx smiled as he looked around. The clearing in the park made for a picturesque scene. Trees boasted emerald green leaves, matching the grass on the ground. The sun shining through made a perfect spotlight for the setup. The best part was that there was no one around. The dark lord knew that no one would disturb their work.

He looked to Emerald, "Begin the setup."

The mage in green nodded. His hands were held limply at his side, but glowing with green light. Then, he began to slowly lift them up. As he did so, a rumbling could be heard. An audible cracking noise sounded, followed by a circle of stones appearing. The stones were all smooth, all forming into a perfect circle. Emerald then thrust his right hand out, pointing to seven spots around the circle. Where he pointed, pillars of stone appeared, each about four feet in height. The pillars were cylindrical, with a flat top. Small claws formed another small circle at the center of the platform of each pillar. The green warrior then turned to Onyx.

"It is done."

Onyx nodded in satisfaction, then turned to Zircon. "Bring forth your Ice Men. We cannot be disturbed during the Rite."

"Of course." Zircon closed his eyes, his glowing blue hands in front of him. A small patch of ground began to freeze. It soon became a small mound of ice. The ice continued to build, climbing up, until it formed into a humanoid shape. The Ice Man was huge, with monstrous arms that looked like they could crush anything. Zircon then forced his arms apart. This resulted in the one Ice Man splitting into dozens of Ice Men. The Ice Warrior smiled, his work done.

"My turn," proclaimed Garnet. Between his two hands, he formed a ball of red energy. Once it was the size of a basketball, he threw the ball at the Ice Men. It hit one, spreading to all the rest. The eyes of the monsters each glowed as the energy spread to them. "Now, they have minds to think with."

Citrine and Topaz held hands, raising them into the air. Then, they held their free hands out in front of them. Together they said, "And energy of the sun for strength." Their outstretched hands glowed yellow, sending a wave of mock-flames at the Ice Men. Soon, the flames had spread to each of the monsters.

"Good," smiled Onyx as he watched the work being done, "Now, everyone in their positions." Each member of the Council stood behind a pillar. "Put your weapons upon the platform." Pearl placed her glowing orb upon her platform. Topaz and Citrine each placed their daggers on. Emerald his scythe and Garnet his hammer. Zircon put his axe on his pillar. Finally, Onyx set out his black sword. "Pearl, you know what to do."

The winged villainess nodded. She spread out her arms, glowing a faint pink. A large shield materialized over the Council. Pearl smiled as she faced the circle. "We can begin."

* * *

"What is that?!?" shouted someone pointing to a swirling mass of clouds in the sky. Outside of Sherton Community College, people were gathering to look at the unusual weather phenomenon. All eyes were focused on the sky above Centennial Park. One person in particular was interested in the sighting. His eyes had begun to take on a red tint.

"The Rite of Power," he whispered. His friend beside him looked at him oddly.

"What are you talking about Dan?" he asked.

The young man shook his head, looking at his friend. "Um, I don't know....... But I feel like that thing is major trouble." He looked towards the park again, "Definitely major trouble."

* * *

The swirling mass of clouds was wreaking havoc on the computers at the Computer Science Technology Institute. One student moaned in despair as he watched his terminal blink a few times before fizzling dead. Another student, despite all his teachings, was banging his monitors, trying to activate the long-gone data. One by one, each computer went dead to the despair of all in the room.

A young man went to the windows to see what was going on. His green eyes momentarily flashed blue as he watched the clouds swirl in the sky. They had begun to form a funnel, and if one looked closely, colors could be seen emanating from inside. He frowned as he watched the ever-growing mass. "The Council must be stopped." Before anyone could stop him, Alan Stykes had run out of the classroom.

* * *

The entire Jewel Council was concentrating their energies into the funnel, which had opened at the centre of the stone circle.. In a few minutes, the cloud would burst, opening a portal to a dark realm. They would then be able to sap the energies from the portal and the realm itself, doubling, or tripling their own energies.

Suddenly a beam of blue energy hit the shield.

One by one the Jewels opened their eyes. There, standing outside the shield was a figure dressed in a long-sleeved blue tunic. This was contrasted with a long black vest and black pants. Knee high black boots completed the outfit. His long hair was a light blond, with thin streaks of blue. It was right now tied back with an ice-blue ribbon. The Soldier was holding a long sword, apparently made from a brilliant blue crystal. He looked at them all, an aura of power emerging from him. The Jewels immediately recognized him for who he was.

"Sapphire," growled Onyx.

The young man's blue eyes flashed, "Yes Onyx. You and your Council will cease what you are doing, or I will...."

"You'll do what?" taunted Zircon, "You're all by yourself Water boy."

"Indeed," agreed Garnet, "Where are your companions?"

For a moment, Sapphire looked confused. "What are you talking about?"

"You are fooling with us," said Pearl, "Where are they?" Before anything else could be said though, Onyx interrupted.

"Never mind that!" he ordered, turning to the Ice Men. Briefly, he turned a small amount of his energies to activate the monsters. With a flash of black energy, they charged towards Sapphire. He flashed his crystal blade in front of him, ready to take them on. Soon sounds of crystal crashing through ice were heard. And while Sapphire was kept busy, the Council continued on with the Power Rite.

* * *

Hidden amongst some trees, a figure in green watched the battle. I must help. She kneeled down on one knee, and touched a finger to the ground. A green glow streamed from her finger towards the circle. A rumbling was heard, cracking against the shield.

Onyx roared at yet another disruption. "Who dares to do that?"

She stepped out from behind the trees. The young woman was dressed in shades of green. She had on a dark green bikini top; this was overlaid by a sheer green, long sleeved shirt. Black pants ended where her dark green boots started. A silver ring decorated her thumb. Her hair was jet-black, done up in a high ponytail, with four thin braids falling from it. In her right hand, she held a glowing green whip. She spoke quietly, "It is I, Jade." And with that, she let loose a ball of energy at the council. It only hit the shield, then dissipated.

Sapphire only got a momentarily glimpse at the new fighter as he continued his battle against the Ice Men. They were strong, and coming at him in large numbers. He knew that he needed some help; however it looked as if Jade had her own problems to deal with. With a flick of his fingers, Onyx sent a stream of black energy towards the young woman. She was thrown back against a tree, knocking her unconscious. The Blue Soldier knew that he had to help her, but only after the Ice Men were destroyed.

Suddenly, a stream of flames whizzed past him, hitting an Ice Man square in the chest. With a guttural moan, the monster began to melt at a rapid pace. He looked around, wondering who had come to help. From the trees, a young man dressed in red appeared. He was holding a large golden bow in his gloved hands, with an arrow of flames notched in it. His head was bald, showing off his dark skin. His eyes glowed red. He wore a dark red, vest tunic, with a flame design on it. This was tucked into his black pants. Dark brown gloves covered his hands, matching the boots that covered his feet. A gold earring, with a small red jewel hanging from it, dangled from his left ear.

"Ruby," scowled Zircon. Without warning, the evil Jewel sent force a blast of ice. Ruby easily side-stepped the attack.

Onyx frowned at Zircon, "We must concentrate our energies on this!" The Council continued to widen the portal.

Ruby turned to Sapphire, "Need some help?"

Sapphire gratefully nodded, "These guys are such hard heads!" He sliced another Ice Man with his crystal blade. Ruby himself, was attacking the monsters with his bow. Sometimes he used it like a staff, other times he let loose a flame arrow. The number of monsters soon began to dwindle.

* * *

Running through the woods, a young woman dressed in yellow heard sounds of fighting ahead. She knew that she was close. Her blonde hair whipped behind her as she continued to run, her long yellow-orange vest flapping from behind. Under the vest was a light orange halter top. White sleeves matched the white pants, tucked into her tan-colored boots.

To her right, there was a sudden flash of purple. The young girl watched as someone appeared from the light. It was a hooded figure, dressed in a mauve cloak. Yet, even with the heavy cloak the young girl knew that this person was female. The cloaked figure was holding a large staff, with what looked to be a glass globe at the top. Within the glass globe contained a purple gemstone. The hooded figure then began to run towards the sound of battle.

"Guess she's here to help." She then peered through the trees. She saw two men, one in blue and the other in red fighting monsters made of ice. The Jewel Council was situated in the middle of the clearing, in the middle of the Rite. She then spotted another person, dressed in green, slumped against a tree. The girl in yellow went up to her. "You okay?"

Jade nodded, wincing at the pain in her head, "Yeah, I'll be okay." She looked over towards the battle. The hooded figure had joined in, lifting the ice monsters and crashing them against the ground. When she wasn't doing that, she was smashing them with her staff. "Okay, since those three are doing fine, we've got to do something about that." Jade pointed at the Council.

The young woman nodded, "Right." She helped Jade up. "That shield has got to go." She held out her right hand. There was a brief flash of light, then a gold mirror appeared in her hand.

Jade crashed her whip against the forcefield, crying out, "Power of Jade!" From the whip, green light poured out, hitting against the shield with incredible force.

The young woman held her mirror towards the field, letting loose a powerful light. "Power of Amber!" Yellow light joined the stream of green.

Pearl's energy faltered as she felt the energy hit the barrier. "We must hurry!" she cried out painfully as another wave of energy hit the shield.

"The portal is almost open!" shouted Onyx.

"No!" cried out the cloaked figure. She plunged her staff into the ground. A glow surrounded her as she raised her arms. To the surprise of Sapphire and Ruby, the Ice Men lifted off the ground, each covered in purple light. The light vanished, and the monsters crashed to the ground, breaking into dozens of pieces. The cloaked figure then turned to the two men, "We must stop the Power Rite!" Taking her staff, she ran towards Amber and Jade. Pointing her staff at the shield, she cried out. "Power of Amethyst!" Her energy however, was not as strong and she found herself weakening.

Ruby and Sapphire were close behind, each pointing their own weapon towards the Council.

"Power of Ruby!"

"Power of Sapphire!"

Pearl cried out as she felt the additional power. "I can't hold onto the shield!" She fell to her knees. "I must release it!"

"No!" roared Onyx, "Citrine, Topaz, add your energies to the shield!"

"We cannot..." groaned Citrine, her eyes shut tight. She reached out for her brother's hand.

"The portal..." continued Topaz, grabbing Citrine's hand.

"Will not hold...."

"Without all our energy."

"We are too close to fail!" shouted Onyx, breathing hard. He would not let the goody-two-shoes destroy his work. The portal was almost open, a few more seconds and the energy could be released upon them.

"It's working!" cried Sapphire, "Keep at it!"

"What do you think we're doing?" retorted Amethyst as her staff continued to pulse with power. They could all see the shield weakening; it was on the verge of collapse. The wind whipped up, throwing the hood off her face. One could see that she had brilliant purple hair, cut short around her face. Her eyes flashed purple as she poured her energy into her staff. We cannot let them win!

"Ah!" screamed Pearl, holding her head. "I can't... hold...." She collapsed to the ground, and in doing so, made the shield collapse along with her. The five were quick to take the advantage. They all raised their weapons at the Jewel Council.

Sapphire stepped forward, sword raised. "Alright Onyx, you cannot finish the Power Rite without Pearl. Give yourself up."

"And be trapped for another few centuries?" sneered the Dark Lord, his chest going up and down heavily, "I don't think so." He was ready to fight the Soldiers, but knew himself to be too weak to win. His power, like the others, had been severely taxed by the spell casting. His eyes flashed in anger; he hated to lose. Picking up his sword he growled, "You have won this round. But we are not giving up!" With those words, he shot his hand in the air. Black light surrounded the entire Council. When it vanished, so had they.

The remaining fighters now looked at one another uncertainly. In a time of crisis, they had joined together to defeat the enemy. Now that the danger was averted, they were wary of one another. After all, to each other, they were strangers. They each knew now that they weren't the only one with the Gem power; but could they share their identities with one another?

Amethyst spoke first. With her powers, she could tell what each person's emotions were. "Alright, we're all a little wary of each other. And with good reason. Now, I can recognize each of you by gem, but not as the actual person. I say that it would be a good thing if we introduced ourselves to each other." They all turned towards a distant sound; people were coming towards them. "But in a less public place."

Everyone still looked wary, but Sapphire nodded. "I agree. We cannot be seen in public like this." It was a sudden fear they all experienced; they knew that they couldn't be discovered. One by one, the rest of the Gemstones nodded.

"Okay, where to?" asked Ruby. Everyone thought for a moment.

"I know where we can go," said Jade quietly. "My apartment. I live alone, no one will disturb us."

"Can we teleport there?" asked Amethyst. The others looked at her in confusion. "You have no idea what I'm talking about?" They shook their heads. The voices were getting closer. The Purple Soldier sighed, "Very well, Jade, hold my hand. Think of your apartment, and think of it clearly." Jade did as she asked. "The rest of you, each hold hands, then one of you take mine." Amethyst closed her eyes. She felt someone's hand on hers. "Let's hope this works." In a multitude of colors, they all vanished away before anyone could see them.

* * *

The five of them reappeared in a small apartment. It was nicely decorated in neutral colors. They were standing in what appeared to be the den. Attached to the right was the kitchen. On the wall to the left, were two doors, probably leading to the bedroom and bathroom. The den itself was sparsely furnished. There was a square mat at the centre, surrounded by a beige couch and matching chair. Both faced a small T.V., situated on a small table. There was a small stereo underneath, creating a mini home entertainment center.

"Nice place," commented Amber, looking around.

"Thanks," answered Jade quietly. Silence followed. No one was sure what to do. Should they reveal who they were? Perhaps how they had found where The Council had set up. Or why they had received their powers. Actually, most of them had no idea how they had ended up like this.

"I'll go first," Amethyst said suddenly. They all looked at her as she removed her cloak. She was dressed in a simple outfit. She wore a dark purple, spaghetti-strap tank top with magenta embroidery over tight black pants. The pants matched her black ankle boots. Two bands of purple decorated each wrist and upper arm. Finally, around her neck was a black ribbon. Looped through it was a piece of purple gemstone. "Look, without trusting one another, we'll never make it through this." She spoke as if she knew what was going on. Closing her eyes, she let go of her staff, which then vanished. There was a shimmer of purple light, and she began to transform. Once the transformation was complete, she opened her eyes again. She smiled once before suddenly collapsing to the ground.

* * *

"We failed," growled Onyx, pacing around the showroom of the Science and Space compound. "We failed!"

"Yes, I believe that we can see that," said Garnet angrily. "Would you stop your pacing?? It's giving me a bloody headache."

"I think that was just from the spell casting stupid," moaned Zircon, holding his own head. The Red Jewel glared at him.

"No one expected the Soldiers to show up," said Emerald, his baritone voice quiet. "Had we thought they would actually show, we would have been more prepared."

Onyx shook his head. He hated to lose, especially to the Soldiers. A few thousand years of captivity had made him very vengeful of his good counterparts. "Yes, that is true Emerald. But, now we know that the Soldiers have been awakened. Probably by our own emergence."

"Of course," said Pearl with a careless air. Her disposition was much better now that her head had stopped aching. "But did you notice the way they were acting? It was as if they hadn't known about one another. I do believe that they were working purely from instinct. Sapphire and Ruby didn't even try any major attacks against the Ice Men. And Amethyst, well, she only used so much energy because she was desperate to stop us."

Onyx nodded, "I agree. Her powers do increase with her emotions. Acting purely on instinct though? Not exactly. More like memory. They do not have full access to their powers. Or, if they do, they do not know the full extent of them. And, they probably wouldn't know how to use them."

"Then that...." said Topaz, slowly smiling.

"Can be used to our advantage...." finished Citrine, an evil grin spreading on her face.

Onyx's eyes glowed black, casting an eerie shadow upon his face. "A new plan must be made."

* * *

She blinked a few times; her eyes adjusting to the sudden light against the darkness. Off in the distance, she could hear voices. A moan escaped her lips, for she couldn't force her lips to form words. Something cold was pressed against her skin; a welcome relief for her hot skin. Slowly, she began to realize where she was. A glance to her left presented her with the sight of a couch cushion. Apparently her head was on one as well. To her right, she could see others gathered to one side. Now I remember. They must know what I do. The upcoming battle......

"Hey, you alright?" She looked up to see the face of Jade. Amber, Sapphire and Ruby were behind her. None of them had transformed yet. Probably too scared to. After all, look what happened to me! They all looked concerned.

She nodded, "Yes, I'm alright. I was just weak..... Used too much of my power in battle."

"So, do you want to tell us who you are?" asked Ruby.

"My name is Suzanne Miyazaki," she stated, "Most people call me Suzy. I'm a librarian at the Centennial Public Library." She looked at the others, "Are you willing to show yourselves now? Once you have, I might be able to explain some of our situation. I hope."

Ruby stepped forward. "Alright, I'll do it." He closed his eyes, concentrating on his original form. There was shimmer of red light and he changed. When the light vanished, a young man stood. There was no indication that he had ever been Ruby, except for his dark skin. He now had hair, though very closely cut to his head. His eyes were now dark brown instead of red. He was slim, yet muscular, wearing a blue t-shirt and dark blue jeans. On his feet were costly looking basketball shoes.

Unlike Amethyst, he didn't collapse. Instead, he smiled in relief. "I'm Daniel Carter. Forth-year student at Sherton. My friends call me Dan."

"I'm next." Amber stepped forward, a smile upon her face. Yellow light shimmered around her, fading away as she transformed. Once completed, a young girl stood. She had short brown hair, cut into a bob; a complete contrast to her previous long blonde hair. Her grey eyes sparkled with amusement. One could tell that she was athletic. Her v-neck, short sleeve shirt sported a number 29. This was over her black track pants, with thick white stripes at the sides. Her feet bore a pair of athletic shoes. "Asia Williams. Grade 12 student at Belmont."

Sapphire went next without a word. Blue light shimmered over him. His streaked blond hair became shorter, and lost the blue, until it was a spiked, trendy short cut. His blue eyes changed to a dark green. His clothing became a green polo shirt, tucked into a pair of khakis. His boots became simple black loafers. "Alan Stykes," he said, an Australian accent showing, "Third year at CSTI."

"I guess I'm last." Jade spoke softly. She was surrounded in green light, changing her back to her original form. Her black hair lightened, until it was a rich blond hanging over her shoulder. Her green eyes became blue. Her previous severe makeup had even lightened, leaving the girl with just pale pink gloss. Small butterfly earrings could be seen on her ears. Now, she was wearing a thin strapped pink tank top, over a pair of black dress pants. She wore thick strap sandals at her feet. "I'm Kianne Eagle. I study at Sherton College." She noticed Dan looking at her. "Correspondence actually."

"Alright, now that the introductions are over," said Alan turning to Suzy, "You said you had some information about..... us. Frankly, I would really like to know what is going on. I mean one minute, I'm in class. The next, I've bolted out of the room, ready to fight some bad guys I don't even know."

"It's all in this book I read last night," answered Suzy calmly. "It didn't give me much information, but I can tell you what I know." The others looked at her expectantly. "From what I can tell, we are the Gemstone Soldiers. A group of people, chosen at birth, implanted with what is known as a God-stone. We were chosen to fight Onyx and the Jewel Council if they arose."

"God-stone?" asked Asia.

"I'm not exactly sure what that is," said Suzy, "A very long time ago, Onyx and his Council were trying to take over the world. But, the Gods, I think, tried to stop them. Somehow, the Gods could no longer help. So, warriors were chosen in their place. Each one was implanted with a God-stone, a conduit of sorts of a God's power. The warriors, now known as the Gemstone Soldiers, managed to defeat the Council in a great battle. They locked up the Jewels, and allowed the host bodies die."

"What happened to the Soldiers?" asked Daniel.

"They were celebrated, for a while. But, when the people did not want to honor them any longer, a spell was cast upon the Stones. In every generation, each Stone would be implanted in someone, in case the Soldiers were ever needed again. Once used, the Stone would then transfer upon the chosen's death." Suzy answered slowly.

"Is there a reason why we were chosen?" asked Kianne.

Suzy shook her head, "I have no idea. The book that I got this from didn't go into much detail. Before any of this, I had thought it was some fairy tale."

"Well, now we know." said Daniel. "But, if we were the ones implanted, shouldn't we have known about each other?"

"Not necessarily," Alan said thoughtfully, "If the Stones were not to be used, then there was no reason for any of us to have ever met one another. And perhaps, the power might have faded away some, with all the transfers that had been done."

"Could be," nodded Asia.

"So, what now?" asked Kianne, "We know of each other, and of the Council. And you heard Onyx, he won't stop until his mission is fulfilled."

"We do what the last Soldiers did," proclaimed Alan, "We fight the Council. No matter what. We can't let them win. Are we all agreed?" Each of them nodded in determination.

"You know," said Asia, an impish smile on her face, "This so reminds me of Power Rangers."

Daniel raised an eyebrow, "Power Rangers?"

"You know, that show with those costumed superheros," grinned the 18 year old, "I still watch it sometimes. Big powerful bad guys. And us, the colored superheros."

Suzy laughed, "I do believe she's right. We've made a pact, to fight evil. And we don't stop till we win."

"Our powers, they're still mostly unknown to us," said Alan, "I recommend that we meet again, this time with Suzanne's book. Maybe it can help us learn more about our abilities."

"Makes sense," said Kianne, "And I guess my apartment will do for a meeting place."

Asia suddenly looked at her watch, "Oh, my mom is going to kill me! I was supposed to be home half-hour ago!" She looked at Kianne. "Where exactly are we?"

"Corner of Pender and Main."

Asia smiled in relief, "Good, about five minutes from my place!"

Alan and Daniel both looked worried as well. "I ran from the middle of my lab class," groaned Alan as the realities of the world hit upon him.

"And I skipped my last class of the day for the battle," said Daniel, "Saving the world from evil is already cutting into my time."

"Okay, since we all have places to get back to," said Suzy, "Let's at least exchange phone numbers." Kianne quickly got some paper and pens from her room. Everyone wrote down their phone numbers for each other. "Good, with this, we can stay in contact with one another this way. At least, until we can figure out another way."

"When do we meet next?" asked Asia.

"Tomorrow, after six." suggested Suzy, "The library will be closed then. I can bring the book, and some other things here."

"I could live with that," said Asia, nodding.

"Shouldn't be a problem," agreed Alan.

"I'll be here," said Daniel.

"Good," said Kianne, "And hopefully, we can get some things done." With that, each of them left, all lost in their own thoughts. This had been a big day for them; who knew what tomorrow might bring?

Kianne herself really didn't want to know. The last thing that she had expected when she had woken up was to suddenly inherit superpowers. It was a strange sensation, overwhelming really, to know that she was now helping to defend the Earth. I need some sleep, she thought, feeling suddenly drained. Maybe, tomorrow, I'll wake up and find that this was all a dream. But somehow, she knew that wasn't going to happen.

* * *

"The first thing is finding a base of operations," said Onyx. He made a sweeping motion with his arm, encompassing the entire Science and Space compound. "This place is no longer suitable for our needs. We won't be able to stay here much longer anyway. According to the information I retrieved from this human's head, other people use these facilities as well."

"I could easily force their minds though," suggested Garnet.

Onyx shook his head, "No, that would take too much valuable time and energy. I'd rather find another place for us. Besides, the equipment here we won't need. What we do need is a place with much space. Somewhere that is isolated."

"This host body has someplace that is fairly isolated," said Zircon, his eyes glazing over momentarily. "Yes, and he does live alone. It could be suitable for our needs."

"Very well then," said Onyx, "Then we shall go check it out. Zircon, if you would please?"

The Ice Warrior nodded. With a wave of his hand, he encompassed the entire group in a globe of blue energy, teleporting them away.

* * *

The next day, Daniel went through his classes with a monotony he usually didn't display. Although he was usually an attentive student, he barely managed to pay attention in class. The events of the day before were firmly etched in his mind. Certainly one of the strangest days of my life. Me, magic powers? Unbelievable. Well, he would be finding things out for himself tonight.

Precisely at six, Kianne heard her doorbell ring. Opening her door, she saw Alan and Amber standing behind it. Taking a breath she smiled. "Well, come in." They both looked a little nervous; this had been only the second time they had met. Hopefully, the others would come soon. Daniel rang the doorbell a few minutes later. Walking in, he saw that he hadn't been the first to arrive. He nodded a greeting at the silent group.

"I guess we're waiting on Suzanne then," said Alan quietly. He was as curious as the others about the extent of each of the powers. The only thing he really knew was that his power was based upon water. Other than that, he was in the dark.

"Yeah, I guess so," Asia nodded. She wished her powers of light could shed some upon this whole thing. She had been walking in a daze since that morning, trying to figure out what had happened to her last night. This is just too weird.

The doorbell rang again. Upon opening it, Kianne let Suzy in. She looked at all of them, the same nervousness on her face as the others. A coffee table had been set up in the room; it rested on the square mat. She herself was holding a large book, bound in a hard engraved cover. Two other books accompanied the large text, both smaller in size and bound in leather. When Suzy set them down on the table, the others could see that the smaller volumes titled by hand. Unfortunately, none of them could read the writing.

"What does that say?" asked Kianne, peering over Suzy's shoulder.

"I'm not exactly sure," admitted Suzy, "I checked the book this morning, and I could still read the inside. But, I couldn't read what the title said. It was kinda strange." She opened up the hard covered text to a marked page. The handwriting upon the yellowed pages was impeccable, almost artificial. At first, the language seemed foreign to them all. But, within a few seconds, the words seemed to shift, becoming understandable. "A little strange isn't it? I had thought that this text had been too old to have understandable English written in it. So, I had thought it to be some fairy tale. But now, I think it is written in some obscure language; it's our powers that allow us to read this."

"You said that you read this a couple of nights ago?" asked Dan.

Suzy nodded, "Uh huh, it had been dropped off at the library that morning. We were supposed to have a delivery of new books this week anyway. When these arrived, we assumed that these were the books. Of course, given recent events, these books obviously weren't meant for the library. I'm beginning to think that hadn't not been a coincidence that they did arrive though."

"Fate?" suggested Amber, a faint bit of amusement in her eyes.

"Don't know," answered Suzy, "But, this is what I found on the powers of the God-Stones." She pointed to a long passage on the marked page. "As I said before, the Stones were conduits to the powers of the Gods. Thus, each stone is a representative not only to a certain element, but to a god power as well." She began to read the passage. "The six God-Stones...."

"Wait," interrupted Alan, "Six? There are only five of us here."

"I know," replied Suzy, "I don't know where or who the missing person is. The missing power would have been Quartz though." She continued to read.

The six God-Stones were used to fuel the powers of the Soldiers. Each one was created by the Gods themselves, as a conduit for their great power. The elements that were used for the Stones were Fire, Water, Light, Earth, Psychic, and Healing.

The Ruby was forged in the fires of Tartarus. The Underworld God, Hades created this Gem, allowing the bearer to control the element of Fire. A bowman had been chosen to carry the Fire God-stone; thus the Magma Bow was created as the Ruby weapon. The bow itself was created from the finest gold in the land, with a piece of the God-stone lodged in it. Arrows weren't needed for this weapon, as the Bow created it's own. These arrows were made of flames and able to travel far distances.

The Power of Light was forged into Amber, created by Nyx, one of the Goddesses of Light. It was decided that manipulation of light energy would be Amber's ability. Because of that power, a mirror was chosen to be the weapon for this Gem. It was a hand mirror; the frame made of gold with an intricate design carved into it. The magic glass was made by Hephaestus, who gave it the ability to deflect any type of energy, mystical or otherwise.

Because the Pearl of Air had been stolen from Poseidon long ago, the aquatic God created the Sapphire of Water. The Pearl had allowed land-dwelling residents to breathe in the water when visiting the oceans. It was believed that Poseidon had given Sapphire a mission of retrieving the stolen gem. However, it could not be done, as the taint of evil had already spread to it. Poseidon had a crystal blade constructed for the soldier; one that was indestructible and very sharp. It was set upon a hilt of silver. Sapphire could control the movement of the oceans with the blade.

Demeter was responsible for the creation of the Jade Stone. Originally, the Jade was to compliment the Emerald. But, when Emerald was made a part of the Council, Jade was made to counter the now-evil Jewel. Like Emerald, the powers of Jade stemmed from earth. Had Emerald not been stolen, the powers of both Gems could have been combined, creating a powerful force. Thus, Jade's weakness was Emerald. The whip, created from special fibers of Nature was able to conduct earth's power. A single crack from it could create a chasm of great magnitude.

Quartz was the product of Apollo, a God of Healing. Apollo used the sun's own rays to create the God-stone of Healing. It allowed the bearer to heal, using Quartz's power. It was soon discovered that really did mean using the Soldier's power. Healing left Quartz drained temporarily. The weapon, if it could be called a weapon, given to Healer was a scepter. Unlike the other weapons, this one was simplistic. The handle was made of White Wood, with silver claws set at the top. The claws held the God-stone within them.

The Psychic ability of Amethyst was created by Aphrodite. The Goddess of Love was used because of her talent to sense the emotions of mortals. A seer had been chosen to carry this God-stone. Thus, the clairvoyant abilities, and the empathic abilities were forged into the Amethyst. She was given a staff made of silver with a crystal globe at one end. The crystal itself was unbreakable, and it held a piece of God-stone within it. By channeling her powers through it, Amethyst could increase her powers exponentially.

"You notice that Amethyst was the only one referred to by gender?" commented Asia, a hint of amusement in her voice.

"Probably because the seer was female," Kianne suggested.

"Does that mean though that the other Jewels could be either gender?" asked Daniel.

Suzy nodded, "Probably. The passage doesn't make any reference to gender for any of the other Gems."

Alan frowned, "That will make Quartz a lot harder to find then."

"We're going after Quartz?" Daniel looked at him.

"We have to," answered Alan, "When I was fighting as Sapphire, the Council asked me where the rest of my companions were. I had no idea who they were talking about. And if I'm right, they know that we don't have Quartz on our side. My guess is that they will go looking for whoever it is themselves."

"Damn," muttered Daniel.

"But wouldn't he or she know that the Council is evil?" asked Asia, "I mean, we knew didn't we?"

"Maybe not," Kianne shook her head, "We might have just been drawn by the Power Rite. We knew that the spell itself was evil, therefore whoever was casting it was evil. That was mainly instinct I think. If the Council approached Quartz innocently, he or she might be fooled into thinking that the Council are their allies. After all, like Alan said, we didn't know about each other."

"Great," muttered Suzy, "It'll be like looking for a needle in a haystack."

* * *

Pearl had waken up that morning with a smile as she reviewed last night's events. Although the Council had been unsuccessful in achieving the Power Rite, a new headquarters had been found. It was the house of Zircon's host, a Dr. Tyler Morgan. As Zircon had said, the house had been isolated, the nearest neighbor a good ten kilometers away. It was situated on the outskirts of the city, nearer to the farming region.

Unfortunately, the house hadn't been very big; it had only been two bedroom complex. However, with a few magical touches, the Jewel Council created enough space for all of them. It was now as grand a palace as Pearl could've wished for. Additional bedrooms had been created for everyone, giving each of them a room akin to a luxurious suite. The small kitchen had been transformed into a large dining area. The food was to be created by magical servants, who would be taking care of the entire place. A large spell room had also been added in. Emerald had supplied many of the plants that now were there. But to keep up appearances, much spatial warping had been done to the inside to preserve the exterior spacing. Thus, anyone looking at the outside would never be able to tell just how much space there was now inside.

The winged maiden had arrived in the dining area to find that most of the others were already there busily eating. She sat herself gracefully down just as one of the servants placed a silver-domed dish in front of her. It was a few minutes later that the rest of the Council gathered as well.

"Alright," said Zircon between mouthfuls, "What is this new plan Onyx?"

"As we said yesterday," Onyx answered, "The Gemstones obviously are not up to full capacity. We have to take every advantage of that. And so, the first thing will be to capture their missing member, Quartz."

"I did wonder where he was," said Garnet. "If I remember his personality correctly, he wasn't much of a warrior. Yes, more of a non-combatant, but he did participate nonetheless."

"But, wouldn't he..." started Topaz.

"Have been awakened by now?" finished Citrine.

"If he has, then he'll be quite confused," said Pearl, waving her fork, "Think about it. Those other ones were acting on memory. They knew only that the Rite was evil. I'm willing to bet that Quartz doesn't know who he is, and doesn't know what to do."

"You're saying that whoever Quartz is, he isn't fully awake yet?" asked Garnet. Pearl nodded, giving him a 'Must I explain everything to you?' look.

"That makes sense," said Zircon, "And that will make it much easier to manipulate his mind to do our doing. With the power of Quartz on our side, we can surely beat the other Gemstones easily."

"Then let us begin our search."

* * *

"What's in the other books?" asked Asia, picking up one of the smaller, leather-bound books.

"Journals, I think," answered Suzy, "I brought them because they make some references to the God-stones. I actually haven't checked through all of the books that were delivered that day."

"Do you think that they all have some reference to the God-stones?" asked Dan.

"Very possibly," said Suzanne, pointing the hardbound text, "So far though, that's the most complete one on our powers."

"Well, let's see if any of these can tell us how to find Quartz," said Alan as he began flipping through the other leather-bound book.

"Or if they can tell us something more about our powers," said Kianne, "After all, we're gonna need all the information we can get."

"For that, I'd suggest just training," Dan stood up, walking to the sliding door windows. "We all know what our abilities and elements are; it's just a matter of us discovering how far those abilities go."

"Like that teleporting thing you did," Asia addressed Suzy from her position on the chair. She was still thumbing through her volume.

Kianne nodded, "Exactly."

"Well I wish I could tell you how I did that," answered Suzy, "But that was instinct. I know about as much as you do on it." She shrugged. This is so surreal. We barely know each other, yet I feel like I can totally trust them. We are comrades-in-arms aren't we? Not exactly friends, but more than just acquaintances I guess. We're discussing powers, how to find another member of our team; but I know so little about any of them. I suppose I ought to be grateful that there isn't a really big age gap. From what she could tell; she was the oldest of the group, with Asia being the youngest.

"And that's where training comes in," said Dan, "We just try and figure out what we can do. Maybe the rest of us can't teleport like Suzanne here. It could just be part of her Psychic powers."

"We'd need to find a place to do so," murmured Kianne.

"Hey, I think I found something," interrupted Alan, quickly reading through a page. Everyone turned to look at him.

"Well?" asked Asia.

"Take a look at this," Alan pointed a passage in the book.

The battle was almost lost today. We've fought so many of them, I've lost count of them now. But this one was fierce; took out many of the mortal soldiers. I wonder when I started to think of them in those terms. Mortal soldiers. They used to be my comrades. Now, I've stepped onto a new level. The Council's level. The power that I fight with, it scares me at times. And the secondary mission that I had been placed on.... I do not believe that I can return the Pearl back to the Master. It is tainted now. Poseidon would not want an evil Jewel.

I watch as Quartz heals Jade. He is a great healer, he was even before he obtained the God-stone. Looking closely, I see that something is slightly different about this. He is pouring some of his energy...

"It stops there," said Alan, pointing, "I think Sapphire resumed his writing afterwards. It continues from here."

Our healer is apparently foolhardy or brave, I cannot decide. Jade's injury had apparently been magical in nature, attacking the very God-stone itself. Quartz used some of his powers to try and boost the energy within the Stone. Unfortunately, that drains his own powers as well. Again, I don't know whether to regard his action as foolhardy or stupidly brave. I think it does have a side-effect though. A link, of some sort, has been formed between them. A mental bond I believe, something similar to when Amethyst mind-speaks to us, but stronger. I guess that is just another new ability we have learned about one another. I do wonder how many more we will learn by the time our battle with the Council is over.

Everyone turned to look at Kianne. She immediately raised her hands. "Now wait, I have no idea how to find Quartz. No matter what that thing says."

"Well, it's a start nonetheless," said Alan, "It is more than we knew before." He continued to read on.

It wasn't until six that Asia had to leave. Suzanne allowed her to take her book, to see if any information could be obtained from it. With other commitments the next day, everyone decided that it would be best to meet at the library in two days. It would give them all a chance to absorb the information that they now knew, and to possibly learn some new things. And, as Alan said, they would be able to find out what resources were at their disposal.

In a world where magic is thought to be an archaic art form, a war between the forces of good and evil has begun once more. Instead of swords or guns, magic would be the only weapon. Beginning well over a millennia ago, the battle has now come to a head in the twentieth century. There was the Jewel Council, an ancient force of darkness, preparing to take over Earth. And the newborn Gemstone Soldiers, who are just learning about who and what they are. The stage had now been set.