[See Act I for Disclaimer.]

The Shallow Grave
By: Ab. Velasco

Act II: Underground Ninjas

The night skyline of Tokyo was mesmerizing. The city believed in brightness and all the lights would be turned on so that the city never received any sleep.

Trini had learned to adjust to the Japanese lifestyle. When she was at Angel Grove, USA, a typical night would be curling up in the bed with Mr. Ticklesneezer, her favourite doll and reading a romance novel. For some reason, during her entire course as the yellow ranger, Rita and Lord Zedd never attacked during nights. And for that, she was extremely grateful.

"Ryu, thanks again for cooking dinner tonight," Trini said as she steered her Porsche into an empty parking space. She pulled out her key and sprung out of her car seat. After Ryu had gone out, she set on the car alarm. There had been robberies reported by a bunch of masked "ninjas" and Trini did'nt want to take the chance.

"You're welcome," Ryu finally managed to reply after scanning Trini's appearance. She was clad in black Calvin Klein dress pants and a beige silk Versace top covered by a yellow Anna Sui jacket. "I must repeat again just how incredibly mesmerizing you look tonight."

"Hey, it's Maria's birthday tonight and I intend to look the best for my best friend," Trini said. Yes, she did miss all her old friends such as Billy Cranston, Kimberly Hart, Zack Taylor and Jason Lee but Maria was another story. The two had known each other as children but were separated. They met again in Switzerland and decided to move to Tokyo together. And Maria Consuelos was also the most outgoing person she had ever known; even more outgoing than Kimberly Hart, former pink ranger and that was scary enough.

Ryu held the door open for Trini and walked in behind her. The dance club permitted people of eighteen years and over inside. This was Trini's third time ever going to a dance club, but she was warming up to its loud and exciting atmosphere.

"Trini!" Maria shouted excitedly. "Welcome to my party! Or should I say, THE party!"

"This is the bomb!" Ryu shouted and exchanged high fives with his two best friends Saka and Jetsu. He then bent down to give Maria a heartfelt kiss. "Happy eighteenth birthday, Maria. May this be the year you finally score!"

"Get laid!" Jetsu said.

Ryu looked over his friends shoulder at a tall and skinny waitress capped with a leather hat and licked his lips. "Maybe that won't be such a bad idea."

"Guys," Trini said and handed Maria her present. "Hi Sukie...Czaee, Lola." Maria's other friends had just returned from grinding it on the dance floor with strangers.

Trini's older friends were never this wild, with the exception of the Zack man; but then again, they were much younger then. Trini had left Jason and Zack on very good terms. But she had not returned to visit her old friends. They had exchanged brief letters during the first few months that Trini had left Angel Grove; but ever since, the interval between each letter grew longer and longer.

"Trini!" Maria gasped and bursted Trini at mid-thought.

"Sorry, Maria," Trini said.

"See the guy there, he's asking you to dance," Maria said and the girls giggled.

Trini blushed and looked over at the bar table where a distinct tall man leaned against the counter and exchanged looks between her and his friends who circled him.

"Go!" Czaee urged. "Before I finish my drink!"

"I..." Trini paused. "I promised Ryu my first dance."

"Well, Ryu's dance his ass away with that girl," Lola said. "Go! It's not like you're going to get engaged or something."

"Fine," Trini gave up. She was extremely nervous. Trini had only liked two people in her life. One was Richie but she didn't know whether he felt the same for her and the other was...well, she didn't like to think about him. It only reminded her of a huge opportunity that she completely blew.

"Hello," Trini said. "I..."

"My name's Dan and how are you my fair lady," the man said and placed an empty tequila glass on the bar.

"Um..." Trini said and smelled the foul liquor in his breath. "Maybe this wasn't such a good idea." Trini quickly turned around and saw her friends smack their heads with the front of the hand. Trini felt as if all eyes were turned on her.

Suddenly, Dan's hand grabbed her in a strong hold.

"I'm sorry but I can't let you go!" Dan said.

Trini turned around and yanked her arms away. "Excuse me, but I don't like the liquor in your breath."

Dan's eyes began to glow red and his friends circled Trini.

"What's going on there!" Maria shouted and began to panic. "Ryu! Guys!"

Caught in the middle of the circle, Trini began to break into heavy sweat.

All of Dan's friends had red eyes as well.

"You may refuse me the honour of a dance, my fair lady," Dan said, "but you will not refuse me the honour of killing the former yellow ranger!"

Next: Who are the underground ninjas? And what do they want with Trini?