"Please pass the salt," I asked my Dad at the dinner table. He smiled and passed it to me. I sprinkled some on my fries and put it down. Dad's normally not this quiet. Something has to be up. "What's up, Dad?"
"Yea, you've been too quiet to not have something on your mind," Trini said, looking up from her plate.
"Well, I can't put anything past you observant young ladies, can I?"
"Nope," I said,"No one can keep a secret from us!"
"Right," said Trini, with a laugh.
He took a deep breath. "Well you both know that Mother's Day is coming up and I'll be out of town for a meeting with the President of the corporation. I was thinking of going out as a family for Mother's Day."
"When?" Trini asked.
"The Friday before."
"Cool!" I said.
"Isn't that tomorrow?" Trini asked.
"Yep," Dad said.
Then everyone fell silent and kept eating. Then a thought occurred to me. I didn't know what to get Mom.
Mrs. Kwan, or Mom as she wants me to call her, is my stepmom. I just moved in with the Kwan's two months ago when my aunt was killed. Murdered might be a better word to use. Aunt Dulcea was the Master Warrior of Phaedos and Mistress of Ninjetti; she was murdered by one of Ahriman's footsoilders. Ahriman is an alien who wants to take over earth so he can feed humans to his army. Dulcea's magical fire gave seven of my friends the power of Ninjetti. I was born with it. The fire just let me activate it.
Dulcea's sister, Sagra, was my "real" mom; she would never tell me anything about her. I've always wondered why Sagra left.
"Diana, are you okay?" Trini asked me.
I stopped playing with my spaghetti and looked up. "Yea. I'm fine." She gave me a quizzical look, but didn't say anything.
That night I walked into Trini's room, through our joined bathroom. She looked up from the pages of a book. "Hey."
"Hi," I said. "Do you have a minute?"
She put a bookmark in the book and propped her head on her hands. "Sure. What's up?"
"Well......this is gonna seem silly. I.......I've never really celebrated Mother's Day before. Dulcea never wanted me to give her anything because she wasn't my mother."
"So you don't know what to get Mom or you're unsure if you should get Mom anything because she's not your fraternal mother," Trini finished for me.
I nodded slowly. "I don't want to insult her if I don't get her anything. I feel like I'm obligated to get her something. Besides Dulcea, your mom, has been the only other 'mother' in my life. My maternal mother left me right after I was born," I sighed. "I feel like I'm cheating Sagra if I get your mom something. I can't believe I'm worrying about some woman's feelings who abandoned me and I've never met!"
"It's not wrong to want affection from the woman who gave birth to you. That's not wrong at all."
I left and began to cry.
All day at school, I kept thinking about what Trini had said. By last period I'd decided to get Mom something. Now all I had to figure out was what to get her. I saw Adam sitting alone at a table in the Juice Bar. I sat down across from him. "Hey."
He looked up. "Hi. You okay?"
"Yea." How did he know that I was troubled?
"Well..Is it that obvious?.....I'm not sure what to get Mom for Mom's Day."
"Oh....well.....this problaby won't help, but I'm getting my mom jewelery. She likes gold."
"Cool. I'm not sure what to get her. I feel that buying something for her is.....not enough. I want something that gives a part of me to her. Does that sound strange?"
"A gift from the heart? No, that's not strange at all. The best thing to do for that is to make something."
"What do I make? I can't draw worth a rat's rear. I'm not an artistic person."
"You're missing the point. The gift will come from the heart. I don't mean to sound too cliche, but let your heart guide you."
I laughed. "Thanks, Adam. That helps alot."
Rocky came up behind Adam and slapped him on the back. "You wanna spar?"
Adam looked at me and I could tell he wanted to know if our conversation was over. See? Isn't he polite and thoughtful? Can you blame me that I've fallen for him? "Sure, go ahead. I'll watch."
Rocky said,"We would ask you to come but you're--"
I bristled expecting him to say because I'm a girl, but Adam quickly interrupted his blunt friend. "You'd beat us up." He glared at Rocky.
Rocky scratched his head," Right."
I sighed and watched them head toward the mat.
I saw Trini and Billy holding hands as they entered. I felt a little jealous that Trini had Billy and I didn't have Adam. They sat down. "Diana, what's the matter?"
"I........I think I'm going to make something for Mom," I told Trini.
"Huh?" Billy said, confused.
"She wants to make Mom a Mother's Day present."
"Did I hear someone say present?" Kimberly Hart said as she and Aisha came toward the table.
"Yep," Billy said.
"Well, that definitely means we need to shop," Aisha pointed out.
Ten minutes later, sure enough, all eight of us were walking through AGM. Zack Taylor hopped ahead of us as we headed toward the crafts store. "Hey, look twenty-five percent off all merchandise! I can get my mom something really stylin'!"
Maybe we were too happy. Maybe that's why they chose that time to pull the plug. Seconds later the lights went out and we all yelped in surprise. We stayed frozen for a minute, not sure whether this was a trap or just an ordinary blackout. Silence filled my ears and I realized that no one else had made any sound.
I turned and saw all the other shoppers come toward us as they grinned maliciously. Dopplegangers! I cried silently,It's a trap!
"Morph!" I yelled. "Silver Ninja Ranger Power!" The silver suit appeared on me and I flipped over a Doppleganger. The others had morphed just in time as the footsoilders attacked them. I ran up a wall and jumped off it. I kicked my enemy in the face as I decended.
I landed and a golden tail struck me; I keeled over and fought the pain in my back. I looked up and saw Scorpina. I felt something prick my arm. I looked down and saw a tranquilizer dart.
"Diana!" I heard Adam yell as I fainted.
I opened my eyes and felt slightly numb. I tried getting up, but I was chained to a chair. I tried turning my head but that just made me dizzy.
"Look who's finally up," someone said.
I turned my head ever so slowly. "Scorpina, what do you want?"
"You. Why do you think I went through so much trouble to capture you?"
"Then where's Ahriman? He'd probably reward you for taking me prisoner."
"He doesn't know I have you."
"What? Why not?"
"Because if he did, you'd be dead."
"So?" I shrugged my shoulders,"it's not like I mean anything to you. If I were dead your life would be much easier."
"Maybe." She looked at the floor. "You were raised by Dulcea. She taught you well. When we fought on the Tower I knew you were a Ninjetti Master. I trained with Dulcea on Phaedos. I could tell from your fighting style that Dulcea was your teacher."
"So you guessed I was half Phaedosian and you told Ahriman."
"Dulcea's the only connection we have and she's dead. There's nothing else between us."
"There is something else that connects us. I did a DNA scan on you and me when you were uncounsious. I'm full blooded Phaedosian. The scorpinon venom and blood were added to me later. Then I went to Earth."
"So what if we lived on the same planet?"
"You're not understanding this. I went to college and met John Kwan. I fell in love with him and we had a child that I never told him about. I left you with Dulcea......"
She held up the scanner to my face. The readings were still there. She erased them and scanned us again. The readings were the same.
I felt like someone had punched me. "You're....my mother?"
"Yes. And here we are many years later as enemies."
"Why did you leave Earth?"
"Ahriman ordered me to. He sent me to attack Eltar. I couldn't bring you with me to a battlefield and I couldn't be rendered useless for having a child. They would've killed us both."
I didn't know what to think. My mother had left me to go fight a war for evil and kept both of us alive by following Ahriman's orders.
But she's still evil, I argued. She'd kill me if it suited her. Why would it suit her to keep me alive?
"Why are you telling me all this?"
"Why, Diana, you're my child. We're on different sides of this war, but we're still family. I don't think I'd be able to fight you. So how about we make a deal?"
"You don't attack me in battle and I won't attack you in battle. We don't fight."
"What? So you could hurt one of my friends and I won't be able to stop you?"
"And if you attack one of my people, I won't be able to stop you either."
At the time it had seemed like a fair bargain. We wouldn't fight eachother. But at what cost? One of my friends could get killed fighting her. Would I betray my friends so I wouldn't have to fight my vile mother? Would I deliberately not help them in battle? I looked down at my feet. "Deal."
"Diana, there's another way. We could be a family. We can escape now. There's a ship on Deck 4. If we can get to it then we can escape the war. We could hide," she grasped my hands in hers," We could be together as a mother and daughter should be."
I looked into her eyes. "Okay," I whispered.
"Great!" She unchained me and helped me up. She led me to a door. "Daughters first."
I walked out into a wide hall. I jogged a few feet into an oval room. I saw a railing encircling the room. Five Dopplegangers were on each side, pointing their guns at me. I looked at Scorpina; she just smiled and spoke into a communications device. "Ahriman, I just captured this snoopy Silver Ninja!"
Traitor!! I wanted to scream. Traitor! But that wouldn't do anything. She'd tricked me. She got me out here to make it look like I'd snuck in to the base instead of her capturing me and hiding me from Ahriman. But I didn't have any proof. If she was really just bluffing to cover up our "escape". It I showed any mistrust it might ruin everything or I might be walking right into her trap.
Then I heard a loud bang. I turned and my friends were standing in defensive stances ready to rescue me. "Diana!" Adam yelled. The Dopplegangers jumped from their balconies. I jumped off a Doppleganger and kicked another one in the chest.
I saw Adam and Scorpina fighting. She knocked him down and then she came toward me. I took my daggar out just in case.
"There's only one thing I regret. It's not killing you when I had the chance." Then she drew her leg back and slammed her foot into my stomach. She bent down and whispered," I'm sorry you were ever born. Now I'll undo that mistake." She lowered her sword to my throat.
Then I saw a white blur and Scorpina was knocked to the ground. Adam held me as I lay on the ground.
"Anytime. Anytime, Diana."
He sounded so serious, but I didn't have time to think about that. "Help me up." I looked at him and he seemed so distant. "Please."
I let go of him.
"I'm okay." Or at least I will be, when my mistake is corrected.
I just let go of all my emotions; I didn't just consentrate on one, but all of them started to swirl into a cloud mural in my mind. The energy poured through my veins. My hands glowed with power and my entire body shimmered silver.
"Scorpina!" I screamed.
She turned around and looked at me from across the room.
I extended my arms infront of me and the power exploded. The ship shook violently. Scorpina looked at me and had guessed what I'd done. "You wouldn't!"
She ran toward me. "You can't abandon me!"
I jumped and kicked her---hard. I landed and shrugged my shoulders. "You did." I turned to my friends. "Let's go." As we teleported back to Earth, the ship exploded. I felt hot water on my face and for the first time since getting on that ship, I knew I was crying.
We landed in the woods. That night I went to Trini's room and told her everything.
"So who am I now?"
"You're Diana Argent," she picked up a book and flipped through some pages,"and in Latin that means divine silver."
"Divine silver, huh?"
"That still doesn't explain who I am."
"You aren't evil, Diana. Sagra chose to be evil. You have a choice. Your choice was goodness. Being evil or good isn't hereditary. You are who you make yourself to be."
"Have I ever told you, you should be a psychologist?"
"Well I just did."
A few days later, I was doing homework in my room and someone knocked on the door. "Come in!"
I turned and saw Adam standing there. "Hey. What's up?"
"Um.....look, I just wanted to let you know that Trini told me what happened and well, I wanted to give this to you." He handed me a velvet case.
"Adam, I can't--"
"Just open it."
So I opened it and I held the most beautiful silver necklace I have ever seen. The pendant of the necklace was a silver heart. "Adam, it's beautiful."
"Look on the back."
I turned it over and inscribed into the heart it read: To Divine Silver. I stood up and hugged him. "Thanks."
Then he did something I didn't expect. He kissed me.
"You do not know how long I've been waiting for you to do that," I told him truthfully.
"Well, I'm better late than never."
"What did you get Mrs. Kwan for Mother's Day?"
I held up paper miche box with uneven lettering that said : To the Universe's Best Mom.