Thanx: As always I would like to thank Don Berry and AkikoKF for critiquing all my fics. I would also like to thank PRGal friends 'Cassie' and 'Aisha' for helping me with the Adam-Sara problem.
Trini Kwan sat across the table from me at Erine's Juice Bar in Angel Grove California. I tried to study the expression on her oval shaped face as she stared past me toward the end of the room. Her dark eyes were narrowed and her lips were a thin line. " What's wrong?"
She looked at me, startled. " I'm sorry, what were you saying?" Now I knew something was wrong. Trini's a straight A student and rarely spaces out like that.
"I wanted to know what was bothering you."
She tilted her head as if pointing in a direction. I glanced where she had been staring. Billy Cranston was there with a brunette I had seen in my Science class that afternoon. Her name was Margerrite Fenton and she had gotten switched into our class because of a schedule change. When she introduced herself, she'd called herself Marge. She seemed pretty nice.
She and Billy were laughing. It seemed like they were having a good time. Then I saw Trini's look. Ok, I thought, them having a good time is not a good thing.
Bad. This was bad. Then I remembered a project she and Billy had been working on. "Trini, how's the tracking device coming?" "We never finished it." "What!?" I exclaimed, totally surprised," why not? You started it two weeks ago!" "Billy had to help Marge with homework. She's really good at science and computers." Uh-oh. A rival for Trini. Someone who was good at technology and Billy speech. I said carefully, so as not to incur her wrath, "Do you think you're jealous?" She stared into space for a second," Yes." I was shocked. Trini's not the type of person to get jealous, but then again, everyone's human.
Maybe that wasn't the right thing to say. I'm not human. Well not completely. My mother was alien and my father is Mr. Kwan, Trini's father; we're half-sisters.
Until a month ago, I had been living in a shack with my aunt Dulcea. Then one afternoon, my friends and I had gone to my house to find her dead. She'd been murdered by Dopplegangers, footsoldiers of Ahriman.
Ahriman. The one who wants to destroy Earth. The most evil being I have ever seen.
There are eight of us with the Ninjetti power. Its our only weapon against Ahriman. Dulcea's magical fire gave it to us. She'd commanded it to before she died.
"Hey," said Rocky, walking up to us," who are you guys going to the dance with?"
I inwardly groaned, "I'm going stag." I do want to ask someone, but Adam doesn't know I like him. Besides he has a girlfriend, Sara Dias.
"Me too," Trini said.
"What? You exotic beauties don't have dates?"
"Correct," I said," What does he win, Trini?"
"A trip to Hawaii," she said playing along.
"Yeaaaaa!" Rocky cheered," I won a trip to Hawaii!"
The next night, Trini and I walked over to the Youth Center for the dance. We were late. We didn't really care. What if we didn't want to go there and see the guys we like dance with other women? We walked in the hallway; I saw a poster on the wall. It read:
Come jam the night away at the Teen Club! Come party!
It had an address and telephone number to call. Then I saw a poster advertising the dance. I looked for the sponsors. Teen Club was one on the list.
"Hey, Trini, look." I showed her the poster.
"Cool, maybe we can go there afterward."
"Well hello lovely ladies," said Mr. Kaplan, the school principle, "You both look smashing tonight." Well I must admit, I thought we looked great. Trini was wearing a yellow sundress and I was wearing a silver sequin sleeveless dress.
"Thank you," we said politely. But I knew there was more to it than just compliments.
"Could uh, you ladies do me a favor?"
"Sure Mr. Kaplan," Trini said.
" Here are flyers for the Teen Club. I need them passed around to every student that's on this list." He handed us the flyers and the list.
" Why the people on the list?" I asked.
"Because they don't belong to the Teen Club. The Teen Club executives thought it would be rude to pester their members."
"Oh, ok, Mr. Kaplan. You can count on us," Trini said confidently.
"I know." The principle walked off.
"Now we won't have to sit there and drink punch and mope," Trini whispered to me.
"Yep." I smiled. This was a good distraction.
I passed out almost thirty flyers, before I spotted Adam and Sara at the punch table. They were laughing. Now I know how Trini felt yesterday. Jealousy is a terrible emotion to feel. It can bring out the worst in people. I felt bile in my throat. I swallowed. Hate burned like a wild fire inside me. I saw petite Sara with her dark complexion, spaghetti strap black dress, thick black hair and dark round eyes. That only made the flames get more oxygen. I'm the opposite of little miss Sara. I'm five seven and I have long black hair that flows to my rear. I'm Asian and I don't wear spaghetti strap dresses. I hate spaghetti strap dresses. I abhor spaghetti strap dresses.
Okay, I really don't abhor them, but I was pretty mad.
"Hey," I said casually," Here are some flyers about the Teen Club." I handed a flyer to both of them. "See ya around."
Adam smiled," Thanks."
I tried my best to sound sweet, but I don't know if I succeeded.
I saw Trini and walked over to her. "I'm done, are you?"
"Yep," she said," I gave Billy one. He was on the list."
"What about Marge?"
"She's already a member. She said she and Billy are going there in little while."
"I gave both Adam and Sara a flyer."
"Can we leave now?"
"Yea." I said remembering my feelings when I saw Adam and Sara.
I put the list and some extra flyers on my bed. I lied down and looked blankly at my fan for who knows how long. I picked up the list and stared at one the executive names; it was a weird name: Namirha. Then I tried to make up words from this guy's name. Mira. Ana. Nam. Ham. Then I looked at it backwards. I gasped. I wrote it on a piece of paper just to make sure. "TRINI!"
She ran into my room," What's wrong?"
"Look at this sponsor's name." I pointed to Namirha.
"So spell it backwards. What does it say?"
"Ohmygosh! It spells Ahriman!"
"Namirha is the top executive at the Teen Club. And he sponsors the dance to get other kids to join."
"So the dance that they dance there is their last." Trini began to run out of the room.
"Trini wait!" I yelled.
"What?" she stopped running.
"You said Marge wasn't on the list. Billy and her are going to the Teen Club." I swallowed. "Trini, Marge is a Doppleganger."
We ran to Ernie's since Trini's car was broken. I gasped; my lungs were on fire once I got to the gym. "What? You guys couldn't wait to get here and help us clean up the dance?" Zack joked.
"Billy............needs...........our...............help," Trini sputtered out.
"Why? Where is he?" Kimberly asked.
'The Teen Club," I answered.
"Why does he need our help if he's at the Teen Club?" Aisha asked.
"Diana, are you sure he's there?" Rocky asked concerned.
Trini gave them the posters." Look at Namirha. Spell it backwards."
"Ahhhh!" Kimberly yelled.
"Now think," I said," Ahriman gets all these kids psyched about the club. Then they gas the non-members and the Dopplegangers come and kill everyone."
"He'd wipe out half of Angel Grove in one night!" Kimberly cried.
Zack said, "That means the members are Dopplegangers."
"And Marge is a member," I said," Kaplan gave us a list of everyone who isn't in the club. Marge's name wasn't there and she told me that she is in fact a member."
"We have to help Billy!" Trini cried.
"Adam!" Rocky yelled. Adam ran into the room. We told him what happened.
We ran outside and teleported to Teen Club. I flipped over a fence and shouted, "Silver Ninja Ranger Power!" Everyone else followed suit. I donned on my silver suite and unsheathed the dagger Dulcea gave me. I saw many Dopplegangers outside the one story building.
My heart pounded in my chest as the enemies charged. I flipped over one and side- kicked him in the back. I saw Rocky and Adam double wammy an enemy. I saw Aisha and Kimberly slam their adversaries against the wall of the building. Zack kicked the doors open. We ran into the Teen Club. There wasn't any music playing. I couldn't hear anyone laughing.
Then I saw Billy sprawled on the floor with Marge hovering over him. I saw a flash of yellow and Trini kicked Marge away from Billy. Trini fought Marge with such ferocity that I began worry. It was like Trini was a cat hurting its prey. Like Trini had lost control and was succumbing to the cat. I saw the others fighting more Dopplegangers.
I punched a Doppleganger. I saw a large golden armored blue skinned alien walk out of the shadows. "Goldar, destroy her!" I know I've heard that voice before. I couldn't place where I'd heard it. The alien charged. I ducked his slashing sword. I rolled and then I saw it off in a corner. A tube with swirling blue energy inside. The energy glowed as it yelled, "Destroy the Silver Ninja!"
And then I knew where I'd heard that voice. Ahriman. The energy was Ahriman. The real Ahriman. The one I'd seen in the Play Room, was a form he could shift into. "What are you an energized shapeshifter?" I shouted as I kicked Goldar in his head.
"Such a human concept for a half Phaedosian. But then again part of you is human."
How did he know that? I tripped Goldar and slammed him into the wall. I felt power. Immense power and I realized it was my own silver energy. "Time to blow this pop stand!" I let the power out and a small explosion occured near Ahriman.
"Ahhh!" Ahriman yelled. All of his Dopplegangers were beaten. He and Goldar disappeared in smoke.
Then I saw Trini kick Marge in her neck. Marge fell and didn't get up. I noticed the cat, the animal, subsiding and Trini emerging. Trini knelt down and cried over her victim. I ran toward her and hugged her fiercely. "It's okay, Trini. You did it to save Billy." But I knew that was only partly true. Trini had tried to save Billy, but she'd killed Marge out of pure anger instead of necessity. She'd just acted against everything the martial arts taught, but more importantly she cast away everything she believed in. She'd sacrificed everything she was for him.
"One.... kick .....would.... have.... gotten.....her....... away.... from.... him." Trini muffled between sobs, "I killed her. I murdered her."
"You killed her, but you didn't murder her." I couldn't deny what she'd done, but I couldn't let her think she was a murderer. I helped her off the floor. I put her arm around my shoulder and helped her walk out of the building. We demorphed. Adam and Zack got Billy. We walked three miles and made it to Ernie's. I helped Trini the whole way to Billy's house. She was too emotionally shaken to stand up on her own, not to mention walk.
We laid Billy on the couch. Trini sat in a chair still crying and hugged herself. Oh Spirits, please be with her. Then through the power of Ninjetti, I felt a quiet and powerful presence of the Cheetah, Trini's Ninjetti spirit. The Cheetah was watching over her and trying to comfort her the best it could.
Billy began to stir. Adam and Rocky helped him sit up. "Marge is a Doppleganger."
Adam whispered, "We know Billy. She's dead."
"They know who I am. They said they heard my name called in the first battle. Now they probably know who you guys are too."
"Ahriman knows I'm half Phaedosian."
"How?" Rocky asked.
"I have no idea."
Then a loud sob escaped Trini. Billy turned, "Trini, what's wrong?" When she didn't answer he looked hopelessly at Adam.
"She fought Marge."
"Why is she so sad?"
"She killed Marge."
I think Billy got some of it from Adam's answer, but he still had a confused look on his face. "She killed Marge when it wasn't necessary," I clarified.
"Guys, could you leave us alone?"
"Sure, Billy," said Adam, "we should be getting home anyway. It's getting late."
Everyone left, leaving Billy and Trini alone to discuss their problem.
When Trini told me about her conversation with Billy, I almost cried. She told me the story in complete detail. She said it was the easiest way for her to tell me, by being so specific.
Billy walked over to Trini, put his arms around her and helped her to the couch. He held her for a few minutes until she stopped crying. "I'm sorry, Billy." she pulled away from him.
"I lost it."
"What do you mean? How did you lose it?"
"I was fighting her to get her away from you and I couldn't get myself to stop. Then after the fight was over, I killed her." Tears streamed down her face.
"Trini......." he gasped, taking it all in.
"I know, Billy. I'm a killer."
"You may have killed her but that doesn't make you heartless."
"Yes, it does, Billy. You don't know why I fought her so fiercely."
"Then tell me and help me understand."
She looked at the floor," She took you away from me. I.........I was.......jealous of her. You liked her and not me." She glanced up to see Billy's small smile.
"Trini, I only went to the dance with Marge because I wanted to be nice and because I was too afraid to ask you."
Trini stared at him, dumbfounded.
"Hold on a sec." Billy got up and walked out of the room. Once he returned he was carrying a shoebox. "It's not wrapped, but I never really expected to get the nerve to give it to you."
"Billy, you shouldn't have. I don't deserve a present."
"Yes, you do, Trini."
Trini took the box and opened it. The object almost filled the box entirely. The wood was delicately carved into a standing cheetah. "Oh, Billy it's so beautiful!" She looked at him. " Did you sculpt this?"
Billy silently nodded.
"I never knew you sculpted!"
"My mom taught me to. She was a sculptress. I stopped carving when she died of cancer. But after our first mission to the tower, I was inspired."
"Can I talk you into eating frozen dinners with me?"
While Trini and Billy had been talking, Adam and I walked toward the High School. The others had gone home. Adam had forgotten his Dad's jacket. I offered to walk with him so he wouldn't be alone.
As we went toward the picnic tables, we spotted a tall guy with long brown hair pulled back into a ponytail. He was kissing someone with dark hair. As we got closer, I knew it was Sara. In the streetlight's light, I saw Adam's stricken expression.
"I can not believe this! Tommy, Sara, how could you do this to me?" Adam said. He ran away toward the school.
Tommy and Sara stopped kissing and Sara bolted after Adam. I glared at Tommy.
Tommy hung his head in shame, "Well, Sara wanted to break up with Adam 'cause she wanted to be just a friend, not his girlfriend. But she didn't know how to break it to him and I couldn't give her any advice 'cause I'd only met him once. I'd taught Karate with him and Rocky."
I cut him off. "So you decided to do it behind his back and then try to break it to him?"
"Yeah. Look, I know it was stupid. Okay?"
"Fine." I didn't add more dialogue to the argument. This was basically Adam's problem. I could be there for him, but I can't fight his battle for him.
Then I saw Adam walking back with Sara. He patted Tommy on the back, "Have fun."
I knew this was just to save face, because on the way to get his jacket, I saw tears stream down Adam's cheeks.
I wanted to hug him, to tell him everything would be okay. But I couldn't. A part of me was feeling guilty of being jealous and the other part was happy that I might have a chance. Jealousy's great, isn't it?
I felt empty once I got home. "Late night?" my stepmom teased. " Billy and Trini are upstairs, I don't think they want to be disturbed."
Well, that just roused my curiosity. I walked by Trini's room to get to mine. I saw Billy and Trini, sitting on the floor, holding each other. I could guess what they'd been talking about from Trini's quiet sniffles.
I walked to my room, closed the door, and tried to think of my own solution to my problem.