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This is a story by Sensei Purplebrick. Please do not modify except for technical issues. Thank you and I hope you like it! ^_^
PurpleBrick was wandering around one day trying to think of a good Ninjago story idea (as if she needed any more XD). Suddenly the idea of writing from the perspective of a "bad guy" came into her mind. A little later, this still on her mind, she heard "Healing Begins" by Tenth Avenue North (look it up! It's awesome!) and when it came to the line "The light meets the dark" something clicked and a story was born.
The dojo was alive with movement and sound. Posts spun, bags swung and dummies fell over as a blur of black and another of yellow raced around the training area. Like a well-trained orchestra playing its favorite symphony they flowed through, without a single mistake or collision.
But all became quiet as the door opened and the Old Master walked in. The equipment stilled and the blurs came to him and took the form of two girl ninjas, one of Light and the other of Shadow, removing their hoods and bowing.
"You girls have been wonderful pupils." The Old Master began in his slow and majestic way of speaking. "I am very proud of you both."
"We are honored to be under your training, Master." The ninja in yellow replied. Her bright smile flashed and her blond braid swung as she made another quick bow.
I am glad, Allie . But now you have learned all I can teach you."
The other ninja, Keara , protested. "Why, Master, certainly there is more to know about being a ninja."
"Of course, there is," he replied, "but much that is learned cannot be taught by even the wisest sensei. And you will both find that out soon enough."
"What will we do now, then?" Allie asked, eyes showing worry.
Her beloved Sensei smiled. "You weren't thinking I'd throw you out, were you? By all means, stay until you are ready. You should never take the next step in your life unprepared."
"Oh, thank you, Master!" she exclaimed. Allie hugged him and trotted out of the training area. Keara, much less emotional than her partner, simply smiled a little before slowly following.
The Old Master watched them go. They are so much like their elements, he thought. Allie - Light; pure, hopeful, beautiful... his smile faded slightly. Keara - Shadow; good at times, has its place, but uncertain, hard to see through. Ah, Keara, he reflected, I'm just not sure about you...
"We'll stay together, won't we?" Allie said to Keara as she entered their room.
"Yeah, of course we will." she replied, sitting on her bed.
"Great! I'm so glad. You're my best friend, and I was afraid you'd want to go on your own,... Or worse, find someone else to team up with."
"You're all I have, why would I ever leave you?"
"Sometimes you never know..." Allie responded.
Chapter 1 - Keara's ChoiceEdit
Keara looked up from her book into the woods. It had been a couple days since she and Allie had finished their lessons with the Old Master. They had a plan, and were almost ready to go. Now, it was time to relax- or so she thought. Her black ponytail swung as she scanned the trees for the one who had whispered. Oh well, guess it's my imagination, she thought. She returned to her story.
"Keara." it called again, quiet but clear.
Seeing that this was not her imagination, she got up and walked towards where she thought the voice came from. So much for being alone, she thought.
Her hearing was correct. A few moments' walking brought her straight to the owner of the voice. The speaker was tall, cloaked but not hooded, and had rather long, black hair which attempted to cover a mark over his right eye. Keara knew that mark well.
"So, Deorc, you have returned." she said coldly.
"Yes I have. What's the matter, am I too early? You can't complain, nobody ever sends me a schedule. And by the way, it's-"
"Supposed to be Lord Deorc , I know. But don't expect to hear me calling you that."
The evil lord laughed. "Actually, young one, I might be soon."
"And what is that supposed to mean? If you remember, last time we met, I emerged the victor."
"Yes, but not without getting a mark." He reached out his hand and traced the long, thin scar running along her right jaw.
The ninja jumped back. "Don't touch me!"
He laughed. "Face it, child, you were lucky. You surprised me. I was not particularly determined that night. You managed to grab me. I missed your throat. But maybe next time... You won't get off so well."
"You are right. But I was still learning at that time, and will continue to learn. I have gotten better, and will keep getting better."
"You will. But that will never be enough. You could still become greater... With help. I can see the power in you. You are more than just a master of Shadow. You are a powerful elemental master, a great fighter, and..." He leaned towards Keara's face. "A natural leader."
"What's the meaning of all this, Deorc?" The girl stepped back.
"The meaning of it is that you belong in a place of power, of greatness. A ninja's life is too low for someone like you."
At this Keara took a sudden interest. "Are you saying you can give me better?"
"Yes, Keara, much better. You are good now, but join me, and I will make you much greater, who you deserve to be."
"I don't know... What about Allie?"
"Bah! that goody-goody little girl? Don't worry about your worthless friend. This is about you!"
Keara thought for a minute. He was very persuasive. Yes, Allie would be upset with parting, but she made friends easily. She wouldn'be lonely for long. "Well... Alright... When do you want me to come?"
"As soon as you can."
"I can be here, and ready, by sundown." It was already getting late.
"Good. I like a girl who takes swift action. A pleasure doing business with you, Keara. Farewell." And with a puff of smoke, Deorc vanished.
Keara had returned to the dojo, silently slipping her belongings into her bag. Among the various clothes and keepsakes she picked up a bracelet. She couldn't help but smile just a little. Allie's father made jewelry for a living, and had crafted matching bands for the two. Friendship bracelets, they called them. Keara then sighed, then quietly said, "If that's indeed what they are, then I guess I'd better not keep it." She dropped the band, watching it fall to the bed, its beads clattering softly as it struck the soft surface.
Keara thought she heard footsteps. She jumped, but they stopped. Ok, she reassured herself, just another minute to slip out the door, and it'll be over-
"Keara?" The door opened and Allie came in. "Are you in here- Oh! You are!-" she saw the bag and her friend's startled and guilty look. "What are you doing?"
Keara tried to hide the bag. "Nothing..."
"Why are you packing that small bag, and now? We've got better ones, and we weren't going to pack until tomorrow-"
"I won't be needing one. And you'll just have to pack by yourself tomorrow. "
"Well, I suppose we could leave a little early, but... Why are you like this? Are you alright? "
"I'm just fine Allie, but I'll be even better once I leave. So if you'll excuse me-"
"You're leaving?" Allie cried. "But you said-"
"I know what I said! But things have changed. I've got something better coming. And I'm sorry, but it doesn't involve you. "
"Bu-, but,- you're working with Deorc now, aren't you?" Allie's tone changed to a more bitter one.
"I won't ask how you guessed, but if you'll excuse me, someone is expecting me at sundown." Keara headed for the door.
"Alright then, I won't stop you." Allie replied calmly. Keara turned. Where was the fight, the pleading to not leave? There was no coldness in the Light ninja's voice, nor on her face. As Keara walked away, the last thing she saw of Allie was her with wide eyes and quivering lips, a look of shock mingled with deep sorrow.
Keara never forgot that look.
Chapter 2 - Allie's ReactionEdit
Allie silently watched her best friend desert her for the evil path. As soon as Keara was gone, she turned around to view the bedroom. On Keara's bed lay her friend's friendship bracelet. Allie strode over to the bed and picked it up. I guess this means you're serious, Keara. How symbolic of you. She released the chain, watching it fall. The beads clicked together as they once again struck the bed, making the song of a lost friendship. Allie then laid upon the bed and began to cry.
Some time later the Old Master walked in and found Allie there, still crying. He nearly dropped his staff as he hurried to her. "What is wrong, Allie?" He asked gently. "It-it's- Keara," The girl sobbed, "She-she said she'd stay with me."
"Keara is leaving?"
"She already left," The girl sat up and looked at her sensei. "But not just that, though that alone is painful enough. She's working for- for- Deorc!"
"What? But why?"
"I don't know, Master, I just don't know. I wish I did."
The Old Master sat on the bed and embraced his sobbing pupil. He too, shed a few tears for their lost friend. He was very sad, but he had suspected something like this would happen. Just not this soon. And now there was Allie to look after. "Allie, my child..." He finally said.
She sniffed. "Yes Master?"
"Do you want to stay here for a while? Maybe find another ninja to work with?"
"I would love to do that, and I thank you for your offer, but though Keara has turned from me, I will not abandon her. There is still hope that she will return to us, and I won't have anything standing in the way of that."
"I understand, Allie, but you can't deny everything and everyone for that. Please, do try to find someone, do it for me. It would break my heart to see you like this always."
The ninja of Light looked her sensei in the eye. "You really want me to?"
"Yes, I do."
"Alright, then, I will. For you."
Despite the painful circumstances the Old Master couldn't help but smile a little. But his face became sad again as he hugged Allie. He got up and left the room, heading into his own.
He leaned upon his staff and sighed deeply. "Oh, Keara, how could you do this? You were like a daughter, one of my own! Now your darkness shows." The Old Master sighed again. "Allie, so bright, so happy, so innocent! You least of all deserve to go through this. Ah, may I not see such dark times, with those who are so close! It is more than I can bear."
Chapter 3 - Into the DarknessEdit
Keara walked to the gate of the fence surrounding the small dojo. She opened it, stepped out, and closed it behind her. And so I also close a chapter of my life, the master of Shadow reflected. The young ninja began to run to where she would meet her new master. She hoped he had time for a little talk.
When Keara arrived, no one was there- or so she thought. Suddenly, out of nowhere he appeared. Keara was startled at first, but then remembered that Allie was capable of the same. Allie...
"Ah, now here's a person who doesn't need a schedule to be on time! Welcome back, young one." Lord Deorc cut her thoughts short. "Come with me now, and I shall show you your new home."
Keara followed without hesitation. But on the way, she spoke. "Deorc?"
"Before I do anything for you, will you promise me something?"
"That would depend upon what it is, young one."
"Please don't make me do anything to Allie while I am in your service, will you? I promise to do anything else you ask, but don't make me hurt my old friend."
They walked on silently for a minute, Deorc deep in thought. He finally spoke. "Alright, as you wish, Keara. But you must do anything, and I mean anything, else I request."
"I will, my lord." Keara bowed. She quickly stood up. That was the first time she had bowed to anyone but her old Master. It seemed a little strange to do so, but, as the ninja told herself, she would have to get used to that.
Soon they came to the entrance of a cave, sealed by a large stone. Deorc used his elemental powers to open it. He stood to the side. "Ladies first." Keara stepped inside and he followed. Once they were both inside he colsed the door. "Don't worry, your powers should work on the door too. And inside, there's another method." He pointed to a lever.
They continued to walk through the cave. "Do you live here alone, Deorc?" Keara asked.
"Certainly not," he replied. "One can't be an evil genius without a horde of henchmen to cover him up!"
"So who are these henchmen?"
"You shall see soon enough, my dear." Deorc pulled a whistle from somewhere in his cloak and blew into it. Instantly hundreds of small, dark, humanlike figures ran into the room. "Form ranks!" Deorc called.
Suddenly chaos broke out. The henchmen scrambled to their positions and tripped over each other and knocked their mates down. In the end everyone was on the floor except for one at the front, looking like nothing had ever happened behind him. He stood there, tall (quite literally, as he was taller than the others) and expressionless, rather like a guard of Buckingham Palace, only they do not have grey skin and red eyes.
Raxxon nodded and bowed slightly. "Always a pleasure to meet an ally of my master's."
"Raxxon, this is my new assistant, Keara. I'm afraid I've already promoted her to second-in-command, so you'll be third from now on."
Raxxon scowled but simply said, "As you wish, my lord." He then proceeded to pick up and somehow throw his fellow Darkthings into their positions and on their feet.
"Wow..." Keara stared.
"My morning exercise, Commander," he said casually.
"Oh! That's right, the Darkthings will call you Commander from now on. Well now, I have dark scrolls to study and evil plans to make. Oh, and give Keara this, Com- Captain Raxxon, after you show her around." Deorc spoke quickly before taking a glass bottle off a nearby shelf, handing it to him and heading through a door.
"Of course. This way, Commander." The Darkthing took her arm and led her down the hall.
Chapter 4 - A New FriendEdit
Aaron walked along the hard dirt path away from the center of the village. When he'd asked to get out of the dojo while doing something useful, playing messenger pigeon wasn't what he had in mind. But his Mistress had started looking rather desperate, so he took the message anyway.
Little clouds of dust kicked up under his feet as he wondered what was so important. What did Millie tell her that put her so on edge? What had made his sensei decide to reach out to a friend she hadn't seen in years? And why wasn't he able to know more?
Aaron's wondering came to an end as he reached his destination: an old monastery. The gate was open and he stepped right up to the door. The ninja knocked loudly, hoping the old man would hear him.
He was surprised as the door opened almost immediately. But what surprised him even more was that behind it was not an old man, but a girl about his age, and a ninja too. He found himself stammering, "I-I have a m-m-message for your... Sensei."
Fortunately, he was saved further awkwardness by the appearance of the person in question. "I am he."
Aaron handed him the note. "This is for you."
The Old Master opened it and read over its contents. It went something like this:
Dear old Friend,
One of my students spotted Deorc the other day. He's probably after either you or me, possibly even both of us. I'm not afraid, but now that my husband is dead, I'm worried about how bold he'll become. Protect yourself, and any advice you can give to me on him would be wonderful.
Also, keep an eye on your students, if you have any. You know how persuasive he can be.
The Old Master looked over the note without speaking, then folded the note and put it somewhere in his kimono. Aaron and Allie were still awkwardly staring at each other. Hoping to break the silence and perhaps score a new friend for Allie, he said, "Young ninja, do come in and tell me how your sensei is doing. Is she well? I have not spoken to her in years. Allie, maybe you could bring out a few of those biscuits you made earlier."
Allie took advantage of this and fled to the kitchen, not bothering to mention that it was actually Keara who had made the biscuits. Aaron tried to look casual as he checked to make sure every short, red hair on his head was in place. Somehow, everyone got into the dojo in the same room, and eating biscuits.
"Thank you so much for bringing the message and telling me of your Sensei." The Old Master rose. "But I am tired now and wish to rest. Allie, continue to entertain the young man please, unless he wishes to return to his Master, of course."
"Yes, Sensei." The ninja of Light quickly stood up and bowed. As her Master left, she shyly turned to the other ninja. The two had not spoken to each other during the whole visit, and still sat silent for another minute or so before Allie finally managed an "Ummm, hi."
"Hello... I'm... Aaron, Master of Lightning." He replied, finally getting control of himself.
"I'm Allie, Master of Light."
Another minute of awkward silence passed. "Are you the only student here, Allie?"
"Well, technically I've finished and am no longer a student, but... Yes and no."
"What do you mean?"
"Well... I trained with my friend Keara, but then she turned away and joined Lord Deorc just a couple days ago."
"Oh, really? I'm so sorry."
"It's nothing you should worry over..." Allie's voice showed no sorrow but her eyes slowly filling with tears told otherwise.
He stepped closer and laid a hand on her shoulder. "Maybe I should."
Allie smiled through her tears. "Thanks."
"No problem." He said, trying to ignore the pierce in his heart from that smile.
They spent a little while longer together, then Aaron left, promising his return tomorrow.
Chapter 5 - ReflectionEdit
"Now that you have seen all you need to, here is your room, Commander." Raxxon opened a door in the hall and they walked in.
"Thank you, Captain." Keara looked around the room. It was mostly gray, due to the stone walls and floor, and had a bed, a chest of drawers, a table, two chairs, and a mirror.
"Hope you won't mind the lack of feminine decoration," the Darkthing captain half-smiled and gave a slight chuckle. He only ever appreciated his own humor.
"This is fine, thank you."
Raxxon pulled out the glass bottle Deorc had given him earlier. "Lord Deorc wanted you to drink this when we were done. I will leave you alone now, you should not be needed for a while." He headed for the door. "Oh, and by the way," he looked back at her, " I would suggest doing it while sitting down."
The door slid closed and clicked shut as Raxxon exited. Keara stared at the bottle she now held. The contents were dark, almost black, also very thin and watery. It seemed to be mixing and swirling on its own. Why had Raxxon told her to sit down? Why was she drinking this in the first place? Keara was not familiar with potions, so she decided it would be best to take the Darkthing's advice.
She sat down on the bed and opened the bottle. She smelled it, but couldn't put a finger on what the scent resembled. Slowly the ninja brought it to her lips. "Well, here goes nothing..." Slowly she drank the dark liquid.
It didn't taste bad, really. Again, Keara couldn't match it to anything she'd ever tasted. Nothing happened at first, but suddenly she grew very dizzy, her vision blurred and she fell backwards onto the bed, passed out.
Strangely, in this unconscious state, she began to dream. Only it wasn't really a dream. It was a memory...
It was dark, and all was quiet at the monastery. All the world seemed asleep. Except for Keara, that is. Try as she might, she could not bring herself to sleep. Something felt wrong.
Finally, Keara gave up trying to sleep. She slipped out of bed and crept out the door, so as not to wake Allie, who slept nearby. Keara wondered at her friend's completely peaceful state. But then again, she was always at peace. Keara wished she was the same.
Slowly and silently the ninja of Shadow made her way to the front door. She sensed the trouble - if there really was any - was outside. She opened the door and stepped out. The moon was giving some light, and Keara used her powers to move from shadow to shadow, scouting the yard surrounding the monastery.
Suddenly she saw it - a figure creeping among the shadows, approaching the monastery. Quickly she followed it as it slipped along. Then Keara saw a glint- the gleam of a knife blade. Without another thought, she jumped.
He had no idea she was there, and was taken completely by surprise. In a flash Keara was pinning him to the ground. The intruder reached up and slashed at her with the knife he held in his hand, hoping to get her neck, but he missed and only got her cheek. Undaunted by this injury, Keara grabbed the hand holding the dagger and pushed it to the grass.
"Who are you, and what do you want?" She snapped.
"I am Lord Deorc, and my business is my own." He struggled, but was held down tight.
"What if this business interferes with mine?"
"It's not yours, only your Master's."
They were cut short by the monastery door opening. Keara looked up to see Allie standing there, closely followed by her sensei. Seizing his chance, Deorc pushed Keara off of himself and fled into the night.
"Who was that?" Allie asked.
The Old Master drew his mouth into a straight line. "I am not sure, but I do not think we will be seeing him for a while."
The vision faded and Keara woke up sprawled across the bed. Her head ached, but everything else felt normal. What on earth was the potion for, then? She wondered as she sat up. Slowly she slipped off the bed, planting her feet on the cold, stone floor. Still nothing new. The ninja looked down at her hands. All looked normal, but she was wearing gloves, so it was hard to tell for sure.
Keara was about to pull a glove off and check, when she caught a glance of her reflection in the mirror. She gasped and ran closer. Immediately, it was clear what Deorc's potion had done.
Her dark eyes had become a bright, vivid red. The black ponytail she wore was coarser and shaggier. But the most noticeable difference was her skin. It had changed to a dull gray. She touched her face, and jumped at the coolness of her own flesh. Cautiously she peeked underneath various parts of her clothing, but color was the only difference.
Her eyes traveled back to the mirror. In all the new additions, something was missing. It was a few seconds before Keara realized it: her scar was gone! But why had it disappeared? None of her other features had changed form, except her hair, only color. Keara stared at the mirror and let her thoughts slip to where that scar came from..
The Old Master carefully cleaned Keara's bleeding cheek. Though not very harmful or painful, the cut from Deorc's knife was deep and messy. "I will do the best I can," the sensei said, "But I do believe it will scar just the same."
"Such a shame for Keara to have a mark on her face." Allie, who stood nearby, commented.
"It's fine, Allie," Keara reassured. "I'm not bothered by it, really."
"Besides," added their teacher, "It is the mark of a good deed. You saved us from invasion, perhaps even our lives. Wear this scar with pride, my child." He picked up a bandage and placed it over the wound.
The mark of a good deed... Keara wondered if maybe, strange as it was, if that was why the scar had vanished. However, further speculation was interrupted by her door bursting open and two rather young Darkthings stumbling in. They looked a lot alike somehow, but one appeared to be male, the other female. "I told you the new Commander was in here!" The one who looked like a girl said.
"No, I told you!" The other argued.
"Well maybe I said it or maybe you said it. But what I DID say is that we shouldn't go in without knocking first!"
"You're the one who opened the door!"
"I did not!"
Suddenly they switched from arguing to yelling "AUUGH!" As they were picked up by their shirt collars and tossed outside the room by Raxxon. "I apologize for their behavior, Commander." He bowed slightly as he entered.
Keara shook herself out of her confused stare. "Not a problem, Captain." She replied. "Who are they, anyway ?"
The Darkthings in question popped up in the doorway once more. "I'm Gorkel!" The male one said.
"I'm Norkel!" The female one cried at almost the same time.
Raxxon turned and glared at them. With a startled cry, the two vanished. "Anyway, I came to tell you that Master wishes to see you."
"Thank you, Captain." She exited the room and passed him, going out into the hall.
Chapter 6 - The SearchEdit
"What has my little spark glowing so bright today?" The old Master smiled as he observed Allie's excitement while she eagerly looked out the window.
The ninja blushed slightly, stepping away from the glass. "Oh, nothing, Master, I'm just waiting for Aaron." But she found herself checking again. Really, Allie wasn't sure why she was so excited. After all, they'd only just met. Could she even call him a friend yet?
Allie did not have much time to think about it, for he suddenly appeared, coming over the slight hill the dojo stood upon. "Here he comes!" She squealed without thinking.
He didn't even have to knock. As Aaron stepped up to the door it was flung open. "Hi!" Allie beamed.
"Hi." The lightning ninja grinned back. He might have actually been even more excited to see Allie than she was to see him, but he hid it a little better.
The two were so busy smiling at each other, they didn't notice the old Master standing nearby. "Well, well, now there are two little sparks in my dojo. Maybe I will finally have enough light to see in the attic!"
He chuckled. Allie and Aaron were so unsure of what to do they laughed too.
The old Master composed himself and headed towards the hall. "That reminds me. It just so happens I've been needing something out of that attic. Or at least I think it's there..."
"Do you need me?" Allie asked.
"Or perhaps both of us, since it's so dark?" Aaron joked.
"Oh, dark as it is, Allie's light is plenty bright enough for up there. But don't worry, I will make a candle work." He smiled and went his way.
After he had left, Aaron attempted conversation. "By the way, those biscuits you made the other day were delicious."
Allie grinned sheepishly. "Oh, Keara actually made those. I guess Master forgot. Though, that is rather strange he did. Keara has always been better at the practical things. She can cook, bake, care for the garden... Me? I'm doing good if I get my own laundry clean!"
"Oh, I'm sure you do just fine with those things."
"I suppose if you want to make me into a Mary Sue, you can. But mind you, they make horrible characters."
"True. Well if you're not a good housekeeper, I'm sure you must be a master fighter."
"One could say that, I suppose... Keara and I are about equal on weapon and element skills. Master said he's lost track on who's won more duels."
"What weapons do you use? I use various, I've never been able to stick to just one."
"I use two katana. I like having both my hands busy in a battle. Keara used a special two-bladed dagger. I don't know how she does it, using that thing against my big blades-"
The ninja of Light stopped. She hadn't noticed her friend's growing annoyance until now. "What's wrong?"
Without thought, he quickly spilled his thoughts. "Why is everything about Keara? She's not even your friend anymore! She's working for an old enemy of both our Masters!"
"But it's only been a couple days-"
"Just think about what she did! You could have been a powerful team, defending our home Lucinox! But now she is probably helping to plot its takeover, or even its destruction! And yet you speak of her so fondly?"
At his speech Allie became the closest she'd ever become to angry. "Keara is not our enemy! Deorc is. Besides, things have only begun! If I can find her, I'm sure there's a way to bring her back! I don't believe she's too far gone. And even if she was, she's still my friend, even if I'm her enemy now! I will never give up.
"You know, I was hoping you'd be willing to help. But that's alright, I'll just do it alone." As she finished, the fiery spark in her eyes was replaced by tears.
Aaron stood there for a moment. What had he done? Immediately he apologized. "I'm sorry, Allie, really. I shouldn't have said those things. I didn't understand. Of course I'll help you. I just... Don't know what to do."
"I'm not sure either. But one thing I do know: It won't be as hard, with you beside me." The tears fell but Allie smiled through them.
"Is everything alright down here?" The old Master suddenly appeared in the doorway.
"Well, sir,- I'm so sorry, I didn't mean it-" Aaron started.
"Actually, everything is just fine, Master," Allie interrupted. "And guess what? Aaron is going to help me find Keara!"
"That's wonderful. Aaron, our weaponry and supplies are at your disposal. Just try to bring the good katanas back in one piece, alright?" Mildly confused after hearing raised voices, but not too concerned now that all seemed well, he did not question further. He watched as their chatter continued normally. He looks like a fine boy, the sensei thought. It's not easy on my legs, but maybe I can make a trip across the village to see his sensei just once. I owe her one...
I don't have this story thoroughly planned, but by my estimations, this is about half of the way through! So let's have some fun!
Chapter 7 - Dark PlotsEdit
With Raxxon following, Keara made her way to the main hall. Curious about her new assistant, she questioned him along the way. "So why do you and your kind work for Raxxon? Does he make you?"
"No, Deorc never makes anyone join him. With us, he saw our need for order and direction, and talked us into following him."
So Deorc isn't completely cruel, Keara thought. She studied the muscular, scarred figure beside her. But what about this one?
Soon they reached the room where Deorc waited for them. Upon seeing Keara he smiled. "Ah, I see my potion has done its work."
"Why did you make me like this?" Keara demanded.
"Now, now, I didn't make you like this, the potion did. A pretty good one, if I do say so myself. It was a struggle getting rid of the sweaty sock taste but-"
"Would you please answer my question, or you might find yourself putting Raxxon back as second-in-command."
"Ah, we wouldn't want that, now would we?"
"I would," mumbled the Darkthing captain.
"What was that?"
"WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE ANSWER ME?" Keara snapped.
"Oh, yes yes, sorry. I had you do this so that the Darkthings would feel more comfortable around you. They're very distrustful of humans."
"Fair enough. Are there any... Effects? Besides the obvious."
"Yes. You gain their enhanced strength, better health, excellent night vision, and possibly their allergy to peanuts..."
"Anything important I need to know?"
"Yes, actually. You also gain their one major weakness: Light. A direct beam has a similar effect to a Darkthing that water has to a ghost. Dimmer glows may also irritate you and hurt your eyes."
"Master," interrupted Raxxon, "Are you going to explain The Plan to her?"
"Ah, yes, The Plan. Really need to come up with a better name for it. The Plan is... A plan. One for vengeance. Vengeance against Lucinox."
"Do you know of any other village with the woman who betrayed me, the man who exposed my evil, and the other man who foiled my greatest plan?"
"The latter man is dead, my lord," Raxxon reminded him.
"Oh, yes, that's right. Good riddance. Became the husband of the lady no less."
"I see your point, please continue before you go off on a baskstory tangent." Keara said.
"Ah, good, good. Yes, I may have grown up in this village, but it has done nothing but hate me since I... Well, I won't go into that. I plan to make it so that it never sees the light of day again! Well, not until they give me control of the village."
"Is that where I come in? The darkness?"
"Yes. On my own I'm not powerful enough to do it, even with the shadow generators I've planted around the place."
"Yes, devices I created that enhance elemental ability. Don't have a better name for them. We create the cover, the Darkthings wreak havoc around the place. It's almost too simple. But actually, I have something for you to do first."
"And that is..."
"Well, actually for now, it's just that I need you to try and see if the generators will be enough for you. I've been needing to check on them anyway. I don't think anyone would find them, but just in case..."
"When shall I start?"
"Right now would be good. Take a Darkthing or two, they might come in handy-"
Suddenly the door burst open and once again two of Deorc's minions made their way in. As you probably guessed, it was the twins. "Whatever's going on, I volunteer!" Shouted Norkel.
"No, I do!" Yelled her brother.
"AAAAAUGH!" They were flung out the door once more by Raxxon. "I'll assist you, Commander," he brushed his hands together. "I don't trust anyone else out in the light."
"Fine by me. Let's get going." Keara spotted a cloak hanging on the wall nearby and walked over to it. "May I use this?"
"I suppose, if you want..." Deorc shrugged.
She picked it up. It was old, and rather ragged, but Keara somehow liked it that way. She threw it on and went out, Raxxon close behind
Going out then was a good call, as most of the devices were in at least partial shade at that time. Keara slipped from shadow to shadow, then created a dark path (quite literally) for Raxxon to follow.
Coming upon the first generator she summoned her powers, using them to surround it. She gave a startled gasp as the machine whirred and her dark cloud suddenly became much bigger. Quickly she dispersed it, hoping no one had seen it.
"Does this work on any other elements, I wonder?" She asked.
"We can try..." Raxxon casually walked over and created a yellow-green cloud. Soon the air was filled with toxic fumes before it all vanished.
Keara stared at the Darkthing. "You're a Master of Poison?"
"Technically, yes. However, I'm nowhere near as powerful as a human can be. You won't see me use it much." He didn't seem to care about his special ability.
"Well, let's check the rest of the generators before we blow our cover." The master of Shadow moved on, wondering what else this captain kept hidden beneath that cold, gray surface.
Chapter 8 - Stars In the NightEdit
The light over Lucinox faded as night fell in the city. In the open doorway of the dojo Allie stood, watching. Her usually bright face was clouded by sorrow as she thought of Deorc, Keara, and the growing darkness around her.
"Even in the darkness, there is always a light that can be found." The Old Master came up from behind Allie and put his old, worn hand on her shoulder. He smiled. "I should think you of all people would remember that."
As he spoke, the stars appeared, shining through the dark sky above. Despite her sadness Allie returned his smile. But it faded. "The shadows still remain, and must be fought." she sighed.
"But you will not face them alone. Even when I am no longer here, there will always be someone ready to help you."
"Maybe there won't be, if I can't bring Keara back," Allie hung her head.
"Where is the hope you had just a few hours ago? You seemed so sure of her return then."
"I did, but... Aaron didn't. I'm sure he'd never admit it, but I could see it in his eyes. He doesn't believe it. He's only doing it for me. It's plagued me ever since, maybe he's right."
"Now, Allie, you know that is not true. Yes, he is doing it for you, but he cares about all of us, and our home. He only does not believe because he knows no better. Keep showing him your light, and he will find his own."
The ninja of Light finally managed a small smile. "I guess you're right, Master."
They stargazed together in silence for several minutes. Then Allie spoke again. "Master?"
"Yes, my child?"
"Why did you take me and Keara in? I mean, what do you gain from training us? What makes it worth your time and trouble?"
"Well, one does not have to gain from something for it to be worth the time and trouble. But why I decided to take you and Keara in and train you, was not for me, but for you. Do you think Keara would be as powerful as she is now if she worked on her own?"
"No, probably not..."
"And you, you were not even aware of your powers before you came here."
"That's another thing, how did you know I had an element?"
"You would not know, but I knew your birth family before you were born and I came here. When I saw you with your adopted family, the first thing I noticed was your strong resemblance to your real father, the Master of Light. That was just another reason for me to wish to help you."
"When I first met Keara, she knew of her abilities, but I saw her potential with them. I was vaguely acquainted with her father, and I knew her lonely situation at home. I knew if I helped you both, I was helping the village by training two great elemental masters. And that was reason enough for me.
"But your friend... Mistress Min-Li, she trains ninja."
"So she does. But you would never have gone there unaware of your power, and Keara... Well, I do not think she would have wanted to train in that manner. I think one fellow student worked better for her than several."
"I guess you're right, again," the young ninja said. "So then... Was it worth it? Even after-"
"Of course it was worth it, Allie. I have never been happier than while I trained you two. And, believe it or not, you taught me."
"We taught you? Taught you what?"
"Many things, too many to list, with too many of them beyond your understanding. Perhaps if you become a sensei yourself one day, you will know."
"Maybe. Well, I think I am done with the stars for tonight. Good night, Master."
"Good night, child." Silently they went back inside and the door was shut.
Hidden in the bushes nearby, Raxxon watched. "This next step will be even more painful than I thought..." He chuckled to himself. "I only hope she can pull it off." Quietly he stood up and headed back to
Ninjago woahoh taking off for Ninjago woahoh the secret cave.
Chapter 9 - What You WantEdit
Keara had spent the past two days scouting and spying, with the help of several Darkthings, checking shadow generators and target points throughout the city, to make certain the Plan was ready to unleash. Now she was summoned again, but this time it seemed especially important. "You wanted to see me, Master?" She asked, now quite used to connecting that title with him.
"Well if I didn't want to see you, I wouldn't have sent someone to get you now, would I?" He said, with the face of one holding back some nasty, exciting plan. (What that face would look like, I'm not sure, but...)
"Well, yes, I suppose..."
"Now, as you have done much to double check my previous and current work, we are ready for the next big step. And I have a special mission, reserved just for you."
"And what is that?"
"There is a certain man in this village that him being held under my control with the rest of the people here is not enough for me. Only his death will satisfy my vengeance. I want you to make sure this happens."
Keara was slightly surprised. "I did not know you ever felt the need to take... those sort of... measures, Master."
"Normally I don't, but that doesn't mean I never do. Why be evil if you're going to draw lines for yourself?"
"Fair enough. But you shall have to tell me who he is in order for me to... Finish him." Even for solid, emotionless Keara, murder was a rather uncomfortable subject, especially when she was the one about to commit it.
"Ah, of course, but I'm just saving the best for last. Our victim is..." He paused several seconds for dramatic effect, long enough for anyone except Keara to lose patience. He grinned wickedly as he finished his sentence. "Your old Master."
Keara almost fell to the stone floor. One did not have to have much emotions to feel this shock. Trying not to scream, she protested, "This can't be! You promised I wouldn't have to hurt them!"
"I promised not to make you hurt your friend, not your former master."
She hated to admit it, but she remembered he was right. Still she fought for a way out. "Why can't you do it?"
"The question is not why I can't, but why you should . What better person to kill him than a former student? Besides, you're the Master of Shadow! Stealthy, quick, and... Dark. You will be the best for it."
Keara felt too weak to continue resisting. He had made up his mind; there was no escape. "A-as you wish, M-master." She bowed.
"Now, before you go, get Raxxon to come with you. He may be of use if you are... Caught."
Keara tried not to think about what that implied. Conveniently a distraction appeared as once again the door was opened and two very familiar Darkthings ran in. They threw themselves at Keara and Deorc's feet. "Please have mercy!" They cried at once.
As they huddled there shaking, another well-known face appeared, racing after the troublesome twins. "I have told you for the last time-" Raxxon reached for them.
"Wait!" Deorc shouted. "Very nice of you to show up, I want you to accompany Keara on her mission."
"Us?" The twins' heads shot up and they grinned hopefully. Raxxon glared and their heads went back down.
"Aww, man," Norkel said.
"He always gets to do the exciting stuff." Gorkel whined.
"You shouldn't complain about him! He's above us!"
"Yes I should!"
"No you shouldn't!"
"ENOUGH!" Deorc yelled. "Fine. If you two are so eager, I'll take you with me. I have something almost as exciting to do."
Both Keara and Raxxon looked at him, confused. "What?"
"Slight change of plans, take too long to explain."
"Yay!" The twins cheered, getting up. "Now, where were we?" Gorkel said.
"This is usually about the time we, uh, get picked up and-"
Before Norkel could finish, it happened. Once more they went flying out through the doorway, landing in a heap in the hall.
Keara tried to ignore the growing knot in her stomach as she approached the dojo. Trying to settle herself, she ducked behind a bush just outside the fenced-in yard. Raxxon was close by and joined her. "What now, Commander?"
"I... Forgot to check if my old sensei is alone now." She replied.
"My scout Zagor informed me just before we left that she had left here earlier, accompanied by a blue ninja."
"Blue ninja?" Unlike her, Allie had friends, but she hadn't ever mentioned any of them being ninja. But she had more important things to worry about. "Well, it doesn't matter. You wait outside, in case anyone comes. I'm going in."
She slipped into the shadow of the bush, appearing in the shade of a tree in the yard. Then she faded from sight again, this time showing up in front of the house.
She took a deep breath. Maybe it will be easier if he doesn't recognize me, she thought. The Darkthing look she now had of course was a great disguise, but just to make sure, she undid her ponytail and slicked back her bangs to blend with the rest of her hair. She glanced inside the window. Lucky for her, there was not enough good lightthat she woukd be harmed by it. He was not in there, and there was a convenient shadow cast by a wall. She didn't even have to open the door to sneak in. In a moment she appeared inside, watching for the Old Master.
She was about to move when he came into the room. He hadn't seen her yet, so Keara took the chance and jumped. But though she surprised him, as soon as she grabbed him he faded into a cloud of- smoke.
Keara had almost forgotten about his element.
She growled, searching for him. He had reformed on the other side of the room. She rushed, but as soon as she had her blade drawn, he vanished again.
This time he drifted into the dining room before he became solid. He looked at his strange opponent. He had never seen a Darkthing up close, but this one reminded him of someone- he dodged and faded as she leaped again.
Keara changed tactics. The room was not well lit, and there were several shadows just big enough for her to travel through. Slipping from shadow to shadow as he went in and out of his smoke form, they traveled around the room as she tried to sneak up behind him.
Finally, she managed it. He stood with no cover, and she was right behind him. She jumped and spinjitzued right into him. Only Keara had never been good with spinjitzu, and merely succeeded in knocking him over.
But as she pounced, he did not move. It had all come together for him. The shadow powers, the face, and lastly the clumsy spinjitzu, gave her away to him. "Keara?"
She stopped. "Sorry, but it's Master's orders." She raised her double-bladed dagger.
"What did he do to you?"
"He showed me my true form. Now I will show it to you." He wasn't resisting, though he had to know by now what she intended to do. She made sure her aim was right, closed her eyes, and drove the blade in.
He gasped, and groaned.
She opened her eyes and looked at him. "Why didn't you fight?"
He coughed before replying,"I did not think you would really do it. But I guess I was wrong."
He dropped fully back to the floor and closed his eyes. He was not dead yet, but Keara chose to leave him. Then she sensed someone behing her and turned to find Raxxon there, a dagger drawn and ready to strike. "Raxxon? I thought I told you to stay outside."
The Dadkthing quickly tried to hide the dagger. "I thought I heard you call for assistance," He said casually.
"Well, you better hope nobody comes in on us." She was still slightly confused. If he had come to help, why did he pull out his dagger, and not his sword? It didn't seem right.
But she refrained from further questioning and stood up. "No matter, I'm done here. Let's go before we're caught." They cautiously moved, expecting to have to avoid sunlight through the windows, but it was dark. They went out and realized that though it had been clear before, it was now clouded and gloomy.
"Strange, but makes things easier for us. Let's go," Keara ran as fast as she could towards the base. All she wanted to do now was get away.
Chapter 10 - Any Other WayEdit
(Chapter titles are getting kinda random now, I know...)
Allie decided to wait for Aaron to come in, but only because she knew her sensei would want to say hello to him. She opened the door and called for the Old Master as soon as he knocked.
After an exchange of greetings and a brief chat, Allie was practically dragging him out the door. "Come on! I have an idea for where we can find her!"
"Well, OK, then..." Aaron followed her back outside and across the yard.
She led him to the forest nearby and started to explain. "Keara had a special place in these woods where she liked to relax and often read."
"And why do you think she'd be there?"
"Keara spent a lot of time here. I thought she'd probably still use it. Even if she isn't there now, we can find some sign of her current location or just wait until she shows up. Maybe Deorc doesn't even know about it, and we can-"
"Wait, wait, Allie. Quick question: Do you really think she would hang out in a place where she could be found by you so easily?"
"Well I-" Allie was at a loss.
"See? She wouldn't."
"But do you have any better ideas?"
Now it was Aaron's turn to lose. "No..."
"Well then, come on! It's just this way."
They continued on through the trees until they came to a large elm, with the fallen leaves cleared from its base and the grass flattened. Quickly they hid, for someone sat there, looking to see whom she had heard approaching. Despite her changed look, Allie recognized her in a second. "Keara!" She burst from her hiding place to stand in front of her friend.
The master of shadow stood up. "Why are you here?"
"What has Deorc done to you?" Allie cried.
Keara's face grew sad, and she looked to the ground. "I don't know..."
"Keara, you don't have to be like this! You can come with me, and we'll be together again! Deorc doesn't want you for who you are, he only wants your power."
"But look at me, Allie! I'm a freak! I look like one of his Darkthings! I can't go back, not yet."
"There must be a way to change you back. We'll find a way."
"Wait! I realize what I've done is wrong. Deorc must know how to remove this. I'll go back and demand he make me normal and let me leave."
"I'll come with you," Allie grabbed Keara's hand.
Keara grinned. "Yes, please, come with me..."
Allie stopped, looking at her. "Wait, that's not your voice..." She then watched in horror as "Keara" changed into the dark master himself: Deorc.
Allie tried to pull her hand free, but he only clutched it tighter. "It's too late, child. You are mine now." He let out a loud cackle and started to pull her along.
"Not on my watch!" Aaron leaped from behind the trees and confronted his enemy, sword drawn.
"Well, if it isn't one of Min-Li's little pupils come to save the day."
"You know, that's a really cliché remark."
"Like yours was any better. Gorkel! Norkel! Where are you?"
The twins appeared, blades at the ready.
Aaron thought quickly. He pretended to face the Darkthings, then reached out and shot lightning at Deorc. He nearly hit Allie in the process, but it was enough of a shock (eheheh) to make Deorc release her. "You take on these two. I'll deal with him!"
"Aaron, no! This is my fight. For Keara." She faced her friend's master. In a flash both her katana were in her hands, and he did the same.
Had Deorc been more in practice, the fight might not have been so equal. But sending your evil minions to do everything doesn't exactly keep you in your best form.
Gorkel and Norkel weren't bad fighters either. Together, they were enough to keep Aaron busy enough that he couldn't help Allie against Deorc.
The Darkthings and the lightning ninja turned when they heard a strange sound and a short cry from Allie. Deorc had suddenly switched from weaponry to elements and used a sound wave to knock her back.
She sat up from the ground. "Alright, if that's the way you want to play..." and a beam of light pulsed from her hands into his face.
"Agggh!" He staggered back as Allie charged another light attack.
"Allie!" At the same time she struck, Aaron knocked back the twins and shot lightning at Deorc.
Then something strange happened. The light and lightning fused, striking Deorc much harder than either one could have on its own. With a scream Deorc collapsed to the forest floor, and ceased to move.
Allie's eyes became very wide. "Did we just create..."
"...Some kind of makeshift energy or something? " Aaron finished. Deorc remained motionless on the ground.
"Master!" Gorkel and Norkel cried, running to assist him.
Aaron was about to use his lightning again, but Allie stopped him. "Let them go. They won't fight anymore now. Let them take care of their master."
He listened to her, then looked up. "Hey, Allie, were there clouds covering the sky a few minutes ago?" "I don't think so..." Allie gazed at the sky with him. "Oh Aaron! I've got the most horrible feeling about this! We need to get back to the dojo, now!" She grabbed his hand and ran for home.
Even the speed of his element could hardly keep up with the pace at which Allie went. In no time they were back, and she flung the door open. "Sensei!" She called. Then she spotted him on the floor, bleeding from a wound on his chest. "Master!" The light ninja rushed to kneel by his side.
"Allie..." He trailed, a faint smile on his face. "I was hoping I'd get to see you again."
"What happened?!" Allie was losing control, almost screaming.
"That is a truth more painful than this wound I have received from it." He said. Tears filled his eyes as he looked upon the beloved pupil he was about to leave.
"You mean... Keara?-"
"I am afraid so, my child. Please, do not be angry with her over my life. It would have ended one day just the same... Allie, remember who the real evil here at work is."
"I'm not angry, Master... I know the real enemy."
"Good, my child. My student. My young ninja. If you ever see Keara, tell her that I love both of you, no matter what path you take in life..." If he wanted to say any more, he was unable, as his eyes closed and the Old Master's life passed from him at that moment.
"No..." Allie's eyes grew moist. The tears fell in droves as she wept, trying to accept the death of her sensei.
Aaron had stood back to give the two some space, but now he came over, wrapping his arms around his friend. She sobbed on his shoulder as his eyes watered. "I'm afraid it's not over yet," he said.
"No, it's not. But it will still have to wait. Are we even ready for what's up ahead?"
"I think we're about to find out." They sat there in silence, mourning the loss of a great master, wondering how things could ever be right again.
Chapter 11 - Don't Stop the MadnessEdit
When Keara and Raxxon returned, they were greeted by many excited Darkthings. "Mission accomplished?" Asked Zagor eagerly.
"Yes, " Keara answered. "Where is Lord Deorc? "
"Lord Deorc left not long after you did, taking Gorkel and Norkel with him. Didn't say why, but he put me in charge until you arrived. "
"He must be working on that 'slight change of plans' he mentioned," Keara said.
"Well, what should we do, Commander?" Raxxon asked.
She blinked, momentarily unsure of herself. This was the first time she had actually been in charge, with more than a couple people looking to her for direction. But she would have to get used to that quickly. "Well, I guess we'll just wait. I'm sure it won't be much longer."
However, quite a while passed, and none of the absent trio appeared. Most of the Darkthings wandered off to do other things, while Keara and Raxxon continued to stand at the entrance in anticipation.
Finally, a cry was heard. "Open the door, quick!" It was Norkel, and she sounded rather panicked.
Raxxon yanked the lever to open the door. The twins stumbled in, breathless, carrying a limp Deorc. "We came as fast as we could," Gorkel panted.
"What? What happened? What did you do?" Raxxon stormed.
They laid Deorc on the stone floor. "We don't know! We didn't do anything! That Allie girl and her friend were fighting us, and then something blew up, and next thing we knew, Master was like this!"
"And he hasn't moved since we picked him up!" Added Norkel.
"Okay, calm down," Keara said. "Now, you mentioned an explosion? What exploded?"
"Well, ma'am, it wasn't exactly an explosion, or at least not what you usually think of as one... The Allie girl has light powers, y'see-"
"I know, Norkel."
"And her friend's got lightning, so they used their powers at the same time, and they somehow combined and there was this bright light, but it seemed like it was really powerful, and it hit Master... " The Darkthing girl started to choke up.
"Norkel, control yourself," Raxxon scolded.
"Hey, my sister's got a reason to cry!" Gorkel cut in. "You would too, if you had any feelings! As she said, ma'am, the light explosion, or whatever it was, hit Master and he fell to the ground. We ran to help him but he wouldn't get up, so we carried him-"
"They let you go?"
"Yeah, guess so."
"Why were they even there?" Keara interrupted.
Norkel picked the story back up. "I don't know, ma'am, but Deorc thought they would go there, so he pretended to be you so he could-"
They were interrupted by a groan. Deorc had at last awoken. Everyone gasped, and Keara dropped down beside him. "Master?"
He breathed heavily before responding, "Keara? Ah, did you do it then? Wait, where am I?"
"You're back at the lair. You were knocked out-"
"Ah, I remember. They managed to blow me away, quite literally, in fact, heh heh." A half smile creeped across his weary face.
"Well at least his sense of humor wasn't damaged," Raxxon muttered.
"Anyway, I don't know what happened exactly, but it wasn't good... I don't think I'll be here much longer."
"What?!" Keara gasped. Raxxon's eyes widened.
"I'm not as young as I used to be, kid, I don't handle these things as well. Of course that... Energy... They created was enough to give anyone heart problems. But what's important right now... Did you do it?"
"Yes... Yes, Master, it is done." Keara fought back her shock to speak.
"Good, good. Funny, I get to die right after he does. Now... Will you continue what I've started?"
" I... Don't know if I can. "
"Of course you can! This is exactly what I chose you for. Not that I planned on me dying this soon, but this is your chance to take control! Be the master you were meant to be."
"Yes, yes, I see... I will. I'll see to it that you had your vengeance, my lord."
"Good... Good..." Deorc's smile faced into a cough as his life drained from him. A few moments later, he was gone.
"No..." Keara whispered. Norkel began crying, sobbing into her brother's shoulder.
In a way almost moved by this display of emotions, Raxxon spoke up, in a more gentle tone than normal. "Well, I'll let you all shed your tears. Don't worry, I will take care of our Master." He picked up the body and walked out of the room.
When he had left, Gorkel, still holding his crying sister with tears in his own eyes, looked at Keara. "... It's okay if you want to cry, ma'am, we won't judge."
She was a little surprised by his statement, but simply shrugged slightly. "I've never really been one to cry. I'm sorry... For your loss. I know he must have meant a lot to you."
"Thank you," Norkel looked up.
"Now, what you two need is some rest. That was quite the feat, carrying him back in such a short time." She smiled a little at them.
"Thank you ma'am, we will." They hugged her her before heading deeper into the lair.
Keara didn't care much for hugs, but she let them be. But it made her remember the last person who hugged her... The same girl who had just accidentally killed her Master.
Chapter 12 - A Better WayEdit
Over the next few weeks after the Old Master's death, Aaron watched Allie closely, but also with mild frustration. He wanted to be there for her in her time of grief, but the thing was - she didn't appear to be grieving. The old man was buried, a funeral was held, Allie lived in the dojo alone, but she showed nothing. She was quieter, but easily spoke when spoken to. She wasn't angry, crying, or denying anything.
Aaron was sitting in the living room with her, checking on her again, the beginning of a scowl on his face. He'd heard of the different stages of grief, but which one was this? He hardly knew the man, but seemed more affected by the Old Master's death than she was.
Finally, she noticed him. "What's wrong, Aaron? Is the tea too bitter? Ive never used this herbal blend before -" "No, no, the tea's fine, Allie. It's just that... With everything that has happened... You know, with your sensei...You don't seem upset. Are you just hiding it? It's not like you."
"Well, first of all, I'd like to note that we've only known each other for about a month, therefore you can't really say what's like me and what's not. But, yes, I can understand how I'm confusing you.
"Of course, I miss my sensei. I've cried almost every night for him. But otherwise... I'm at peace about his death. Just because he was at peace about it." "What will you do now? We may have stopped Deorc once, but he's far from defeated... Or at least Keara is. They might even try to capture you again." "If we hit him as hard as it looked like we did, he won't be in action for a while. And somehow... Even after Master... I don't think Keara could do that to me. After all, I'm -"
They were cut off by a loud noise outside. "What was that?" Allie got up and headed for the door. "Wait! Don't -" but she had already opened it and stepped out. Almost immediately , it was as Aaron had feared - Someone grabbed her. "So tripping over that stool turned out to be a good thing, Gorkel." A deep voice said. "Never thought it would lure her right out, defenseless to boot." "But not completely!" Aaron leaped out to confront Raxxon, who held Allie in a firm grasp. "Heh, that's a little better than the last one, from what I heard." He slipped vengestone handcuffs onto Allie's wrists and threw her to the twins. "Hold on to her, while I deal with him."
Norkel and her brother wondered how they'd ever manage to keep a ninja, but Allie wasn't resisting. She was looking at the sky, wondering how it was so dark. Was Keara creating a cover for this mission?
Free of his captive, Raxxon faced the lightning ninja, sword drawn. Aaron leapt forward, and he calmly knocked him back. Almost immediately he had to do it again. Raxxon knew he would not be able to keep up with this speed, and switched from his usual defensive style to attack mode. He could never outpace him, but could easily outmuscle him...
The two met with a clash of blades. Aaron wasn't as quick to analyze his opponent, but he knew his own weaknesses, and did his best to stay out of reach. One punch, or a good swipe of the blade, and the ninja would be sent flying back, but if he managed to outsmart him and use his speed-
Aaron got in the perfect hit to Raxxon's lower half, but it may have well have struck two trees. He stumbled back, shocked. How do you take a strike to the legs like that without falling?
Raxxon looked at his dumbfounded opponent and smirked. Then he swung a punch to Aaron's head, making him crumple to the ground. "Come on, you two!" He called to Norkel and Gorkel, grabbing Allie from them and slinging her over his shoulder. Aaron was only mostly unconscious, and rose in a few seconds. However, they were already getting away. "Allie!" He cried, running after them. She lifted her head and looked at him. "Don't worry about me! I know this is for the best. But I need you here, to defend our home. Goodbye!" He stopped, listening to her words. Had Allie really just said that? She wanted them to take her. Then two things struck him: getting captured was a ticket straight to Keara, and Allie was probably the one thing standing in her way! He watched them disappear into the woods. There was only one thing he could do now: he had to get everyone ready. It was actually pretty easy. You have to remember, he knew a whole school of young, capable fighters. "How do you know he is coming?" His sensei asked . "I'll admit, I don't know for sure. But they've taken my friend, the Master of Light, and as Deorc's assistant is a Master of Shadow, I would bet anything that she's the main thing in their way right now."
" What do we do? " Millie piped up.
"We have to be ready to fight his Darkthings."
"That will be difficult without your friend, I am afraid, " Min-Li shook her head. "Those minions of his can only be destroyed by light. And it cannot just be any faint glow, it has to be a bright beam."
"We'll make do. After all, we can make some light, " he held a blue spark in his hand. Lewis, standing in the back, responded with a flaming thumbs-up.
"Well, what now?" Millie said.
"We'll make more plans as we figure out what Deorc is doing. So for now... We wait. And be ready."
Chapter 13 - LosingEdit
Allie did not cry or struggle as Raxxon, Norkel, and Gorkel went through the woods with her as prisoner. She allowed them to arrive at the base without any problems, except the twins did get into a pretty heated argument about some small matter. A threat to be sent to clean the deepest, darkest bathrooms of the lair was enough to settle that fight.
Gorkel pounded on the stone entrance, and it was soon opened to let them in. Raxxon dumped the light ninja to the ground in front of Keara. Allie rose to a kneeling position, a glare from her captor preventing her from continuing to fully standing.
"We have her, Master," Norkel reported, grinning.
"I can see that, " Keara smirked. She couldn't help but imagine Deorc's reply.
"Of course you have her! Who do you think you just dumped on the floor in front of you?"
But he was no longer here... And this was her responsibility.
Before she could say another word, Allie spoke up. "Wait, Master? You're in charge now?"
"Yes, I am, in fact, " her old friend replied.
"Don't you know? You and that friend of yours killed him!"
Keara paused. It had been a complete accident? She tried not to act like this bothered her, and continued. "His- my- minions brought him back from your fight, weak and dying! Now I must continue his plans for vengeance without him."
"So... Capturing me was your idea then?"
"Actually, it was Raxxon's. But I let him, and provided the sky cover so they could work in the light." The last few weeks had hardened Keara, and she spoke as if she was very proud of this accomplishment.
"You... You did this on your own... Nobody made you take me." Allie had been staring at the stone floor but raised it to look at her former companion.
Keara met her eyes with a cruel stare, but watched as Allie's face took on a sad, stricken look.
The master of Shadow stepped back. It was the same look she had seen when she first left...
"Bu-, but,- you're working with Deorc now, aren't you?" Allie's tone changed to a more bitter one.
"I won't ask how you guessed, but if you'll excuse me, someone is expecting me at sundown." Keara headed for the door.
"Alright then, I won't stop you." Allie replied calmly. "Goodbye, Keara."
... A look of shock mingled with deep sorrow...
Keara envisioned their last interaction vividly, but shook herself. "Take her to a cell," she ordered the Darkthings. "We have work to do."
She smirked at Allie as they dragged her away. "Now that we've got you, it's time to start the Plan."
"Keara! No! It doesn't have to be this way! If he's gone, you're free now! You don't have to do this!"
"Who said I felt like I had to?" Keara snapped before the girl left her sight.
When Raxxon returned, she was putting her cloak on. "If she's secure, gather the Darkthings and get them suited for battle. We leave a little before dawn."
"As you wish, Master, " the captain nodded before racing to the Darkthing quarters.
"Tomorrow, darkness shall have not only its revenge, but also its victory!" She proclaimed. Lines like that were easier to deliver when there was no audience.
A while later, the army was gathered at the edge of the woods, awaiting Keara's orders. They were eager, thrilled that their beloved Lord Deorc's plan was being implemented even after his death. In fact, some of them had a regard for Keara similar to the one they held for him.
"First things first..." Their new Master began.
"I'mma say all the words inside my head-" Gorkel sang before receiving a slap from his sister.
"... I'm not going to ask how you know that song. Anyway, first, I will activate the shadow generators. When you hear me give the signal, charge. Show no mercy to those who resist."
"What's the signal again?" Piped up Norkel.
"... You'll know. Just be ready when I call." The shadow mistress broke from the group and headed for the first generator. She foundand activated it, sending up a huge cloud of darkness, visible even in the present though fading nighttime.
It was hard for the Darkthings to refrain from cheering as Keara moved about, creating and spreading more and more of her pitch black element. There were supposed to be a half-dozen of the generators, but when she came to the last, it was not there. She nearly called the attack off until the next day, but knowing that the villagers would soon wake up and see the surrounding shadows, she closed the gap and walked into Lucinox.
As expected, she could hardly see a thing. Fortunately, she knew her way around the village well enough to reach its center.
Keara watched as confused and frightened people came out of their homes. It was custom for the citizens of Lucinox to gather near the middle of town when trouble arose. She climbed on top of a tall shop and thinned out the darkness just enough that they could see her.
"All who face the shadows, turn to me!" The shadow mistress cried. They all looked at her, eyes wide with fear.
Keara froze. Her mind had just blanked the epic speech she had intended to give. She took a breath and decided to try her best.
"I have come for the revenge of my Master! Long have you despised and rejected this member of your city. Twice, you have foiled his plans. Twice, you have left him to shame, wandering in his darkness. Now, though he is no longer here, you shall see the dark you gave to him! Will you yeild?"
"No!" Cried all of the villagers who were not still too scared to speak.
"Then I shall make you! RELEASE THE SHADOWS!" She roared.
On cue, the Darkthings charged into the city. The people tried to flee, but they were surrounded, trapped in the center of town. But suddenly a few small glows were seen in the crowd. "Ninja -go!" Cried several young voices.
Keara blinked in shock. She hadn't even seen them in the crowd. Some observant, watchful ninja you are, she thought.
She wanted to go down there and put an end to it, but the sun was rising, and she needed to focus on the shadowy shield. But she also knew it was a hopeless fight for those ninja.
Chapter 14 - Strong Enough To SaveEdit
When Aaron woke up to complete darkness, he knew exactly what had happened. They had come.
The lightning ninja rushed to waken his classmates and sensei. They all headed for the center of the village, where a crowd was already forming. The group was surprised to find only Keara there, with no sign of Deorc.
"Hide, students! Do not let her see you." Min-Li whispered. Her ninja obeyed, slipping into little nooks and crannies of the village buildings.
As Keara spoke to the villagers, they snuck their way back into the middle of the crowd, ready to protect their friends, family, and neighbors.
When the Darkthings invaded, the team sprung into action. With a shout of "Ninja-go!" they burst from the gathering of people in a flurry of spinjitzu tornadoes.
But it didn't seem to do much. While the glow of elements and the force of the spinjitzu made the Darkthings fall back some, they seemed barely affected by it.
"What do we do, Aaron? These guys are as tough as stone warriors!" Lewis exclaimed , spewing a burst of flame in the faces of several enemies. They merely stepped back, unfazed. They had been fighting for a while, but had taken very few down. Fortunately, none of the ninja had been significantly injured yet.
"I... I don't know," the lightning ninja faltered.
"How about you surrender already?" Keara called from the rooftop.
"NEVER!" cried the elemental masters in reply.
"Hey, I've got an idea!" Millie said, quietly enough that Keara couldn't hear. "Aaron, we'll hold these guys back. Go find your friend! She's the only one that can help."
"I don't even know where she is! And if I did, I'd never get away from here without being seen."
"They won't if you do it fast enough!" She grabbed his hand.
"Millie, what are you doing?-"
Suddenly they were moving so fast, everything was a dark blur. Millie was using her element and managing to drag him along with it.
In several seconds, they were outside the dark bubble surrounding Lucinox. Aaron looked at the younger girl, panting and gasping by his side. The effort had drained her.
"Now, go, Aaron..." She managed between breaths. "I've... Got to get... Back."
" No, don't! You're exhausted, you can't fight anymore."
"I can while my city still needs me. Please, find Allie."
" I will do my best. ... I love you, sis, " He wrapped an arm around her shoulders.
"I love you too, big brother. Now scoot!" She shoved him forward.
He nearly stumbled, but regained his footing as he headed for the woods. Something drew him deeper in as he dodged the tall trees and bushy shrubs. Soon he reached a sealed cave.
He knew as soon as he saw it, that it was where Allie was. But the door would not open, neither by force or elemental power. He sank against it in defeat.
That was when he heard a familiar voice. "Who's there?"
Aaron jumped up. "Allie! How did you escape?"
"Aaron!" she replied. "they didn't leave a guard. I managed to break the lock." Yanking the lever on her side, the door slid open, and the two friends met in a loving embrace.
But Aaron only let it last a moment. "Come on, we need you," he pulled Allie along.
They ran full speed back to Lucinox. "What have they done?" The ninja of Light stared in awe.
" I'm not sure, but Deorc isn't here-"
"He's dead. We... Hit him pretty hard."
" ... Oh... "
"Anyway, where's Keara?"
"The center of town."
Allie turned invisible and ran that direction while he stayed on the outside, sneaking up behind a group of Darkthings. The light ninja spotted her friend climbing off the roof and into a second-story window. She ran around to the door and went in.
After climbing the stairs, she found Keara in the hallway. Right as she made herself visible again, the master od shadow turned to see her.
Her jaw dropped. "How did you escape!?" She screeched. "You forgot to post a guard," Allie smirked.
Keara growled. "Well I guess there's only one way to settle this," she drew her blade and rushed at her old friend. Undaunted, Allie whipped out one of her katana and blocked it. Calmly she matched every move Keara made, adding to her friend's frustration. "We trained together, Keara," she said. "I know your every move. I'd suggest you stop before you wear yourself out."
"You're right, it can't be done this way... So let's settle it like this!" Keara summoned a spherical cloud of shadow . Allie created a ball of light in preparation. At once, they aimed for each other, causing the opposite elements to collide. Both strained to put more power into their stream, but neither one could overcome the other.
As both put nearly their full strength into the elemental battle, it formed a yin-yang symbol. Before either could react, it exploded into a shockwave, sending them both flying back to crash on the floor.
Chapter 15 - Healing BeginsEdit
The force of the wave caused Keara to see stars as she was thrown to the hard wooden floor. But she was immediately up again, racing towards her former teammate.
Allie, several feet away, had been knocked unconscious for a few seconds by the impact. By the time she woke up, Keara was leaping on top of her, pinning her where she already laid.
"You've ruined everything!" She screamed. "You killed my master, made friends with that boy and his ninja team, and now you've escaped to try and destroy me! Well, if I don't let that last thing happen, maybe I'll have a chance! " The master of Shadow raised her blade.
"Keara, wait! Deorc lied to you. You weren't meant for this! Now is the time to turn back, before you've gone too far! You're free from anyone's power but your own."
The former ninja hesitated, starting to feel a little torn. Allie was right, but she had chosen this path, and it felt like it was right for her. Besides, she was doing this for Deorc in his absence. "I know I'm not under anyone's power! But this is my choice. I shall seek the vengeance upon my Master's downfalls! Lucinox will be mine!" She drew the blade closer.
"No! Don't you remember who you were, who you still are within? Do you remember who I am? We trained under the same sensei! We grew up together! We fought by each other's sides, promising to never part!"
"And why should that mean anything to me now?" Keara fought back doubts as she snarled, continuing to lower the blade towards Allie. She could count the inches between the point and her chest. 4 inches...
"I still love you."
As Allie's last words entered her mind, everything flashed before her. The day they first met at the Old Master's dojo. Their first full practice duel. Learning spinjitzu together, even though Keara could never master it. When she saved them from Deorc...
The day she abandoned Allie. The times thoughts of Allie flashed through her mind but she shoved them back. Raxxon and the twins holding the girl captive while she mocked...
But Allie loved her. She always had, she always will.
And she was repaying it with this?
Keara knew what she had to do. Lifting the blade, she struck.
Allie gasped. She hadn't noticed the Darkthing approaching from behind. it now had Keara's weapon stuck into its thigh. Keara stood up and turned to knock him over and finish him off.
Finally free, Allie rose to her knees. Had it worked? There was only one way to know. "Keara?"
The master of shadows fell into the light ninja's arms. "Allie!" Tears filled her eyes and spilled down her cheeks as she cried for the first time in years. "What have I done?"
"You have done much, but that doesn't matter right now. It's alright... Just hold onto me. "
By now Keara was sobbing too hard to do anything else. Allie supported her, arms surrounding the once strong and unmoving girl, now trembling with more emotion than she had probably ever experienced before.
After several minutes, Keara tore herself from her friend's embrace. "We have to stop the Darkthings before they defeat your friends!"
"We? Don't you command them?"
"Not anymore. Your light is the most effective way to destroy them. Just aim as many beams at them as you can!"
"I don't think I understand- hey, do you smell something?"
Keara looked up. A large green cloud was billowing toward them. "Poison gas!" She jumped up, pulling Allie along. The shadow ninja dragged her friend to the nearest window, opening it.
"What are you doing?" Allie asked.
"I'm saving you. Get out there and do what I told you! I'm staying here. "
"But you'll be -"
"This Darkthing potion makes me resistant to the fumes. Besides, I have an idea of who is doing this. Now go! " She forced Allie through the opening.
After making sure she had made it to the ground safely, Keara held her breath and walked through the poison cloud. On the other side stood what she had guessed: Raxxon, plus the missing shadow generator.
"So that's where it went. Well, I regret to inform you that the Master of Light has escaped... And I'll see to it that she stays that way. "
"And now you're backing out? Hmm, just another reason for me to get rid of you." He deactivated the generator. "You see, Commander, she would have been just a bonus."
Keara held her blade at the ready. "I should have seen this in you before. But as Allie liked to say while training, better late than never."
They leaped towards each other at the same time, and an intense battle, one that was long in coming, ensued.
Allie stood up after her tumble out the window. Almost immediately, several Darkthings surrounded her. Backed up against the side of the house, there was no avoiding them. The light ninja remembered what Keara had told her. Use your light! It's the only way!
Still uncertain but having no other ideas, she fired a beam of light at the oncoming enemies. Suddenly, there was one less, gone without a trace.
"Yikes, she wasn't kidding!" Allie summoned a larger pulse and destroyed the whole band. More came running. She started spinjitzuing into them, shining rays of light around her tornado.
Keara straightened after her fight with Raxxon. Clutching her blade, now stained red, she shifted from the darkness of the hall to outside the house. It wouldn't be easy, as she still had to avoid light, but she had a lot to clean up.
Aaron and the other ninja spotted Allie, still in the heat of her attack. "She's back!" They cried, taking on the Darkthings with renewed confidence.
But it turned out to not be necessary. The shadow cover started lifting, and the light of the sunrise poured into Lucinox, wiping out the Darkthings in a wave.
The ninja stopped fighting to stare in surprise. Why was it disappearing? Had Keara -?
Their questioning was cut short by a cheer from Allie. The citizens followed, creating a victorious roar that would carry for miles.
Allie was making her way towards Aaron when he saw something that made him gasp. "Millie!" He ran to the girl who was now lying on the ground.
"Millie?" Allie raised an eyebrow.
"His sister," Lewis explained.
The younger girl heard her brother's cry and lifted her head. "Aaron?"
He came to her. "What's wrong? Where are you hurt? What did they-"
"Bro, stop! I'm just fine! I tripped over something. You didn't give me time to get up!" She laughed, jumping up to hug him.
He chuckled at his own silliness. "I'm proud of you, sis."
"And I'm proud of you! But I think someone is waiting for you. Go on now, " Millie indicated Allie with a smirk. Aaron turned to see her, and they raced towards each other with arms outstretched -
"Erm, excuse me," Lewis interrupted . "But what am I supposed to do with these two?" Everyone looked to see Norkel and Gorkel in the shade of a house.
Having their attention, he explained. "When the shadows dissipated, they were so terrified, they were shaking and clinging to me. I couldn't bring myself to hurt them. So I told them to wait here until I got the rest of you."
"I'll handle them," said Allie, walking towards the house. The twins cowered at her approach.
"Please don't hurt us!" Whined Gorkel.
"We're sorry for kidnapping you and terrorizing the city and, well, everything!" his sister added with a shaking voice.
The Light ninja smiled. "It's all forgiven. You are young, and haven't known any better. If you promise not to cause us any more trouble, you can go back home."
"We promise! But, there's nobody at home..." Gorkel said.
"That's true. Well, if we can find a way for you to stay out of light, maybe you can come visit us sometimes."
"And if you do," added Min-Li, "perhaps you can come learn the ways of a ninja. I think I have room for two more talented students."
"Cool!" They said.
"Good. Now, where was I? Oh yes..." Allie ran back to Aaron and kissed him on the cheek. His face became (almost) as red as his hair, then he picked her up and spun her around.
"I SHIP IT!" Norkel squealed.
Everyone laughed as both ninja now blushed. But soon they were able to join in, and even kissed again for the crowd. "I do too, Norkel," Keara suddenly appeared in the shadow next to the Darkthings.
"Keara!" Allie pulled free of Aaron's arms and rushed to her friend. She embraced her and stepped back into the light, hoping Keara would follow, but the shadow ninja held back.
"Allie, I'm sorry, I can't... The Darkthing spell..."
"Sure you can! It's not like you're a real one. The best thing to cure the darkness... Is always light." She held out her hand.
Keara hesitantly stepped from the shade and took Allie's hand. "Ah!" She squinted as the light hurt her eyes.
But slowly, the pain lessened. As the light washed over her, the red in her eyes was replaced by dark brown. Her gray skin became a normal tone, and the scar on her cheek reappeared. As the effects of the Darkthing potion wore away, so did the evil and darkness within Keara.
As the last speck of gray faded, Keara smiled. She smiled. Not the fleeting upturn of the corners of her mouth at some amusement, but the genuine smile of true happiness.
She turned to everyone around her, sharing her smile. "I'm deeply sorry for what I've done, but judging by your faces, you've found it in your hearts to forgive me. I don't know if you're just very kind, a little crazy, or if Allie brainwashed you or something, but thank you just the same."
Everyone cheered. Allie grabbed her in another hug.
"And a special thanks to Allie, who, even when I did the worst of things, never gave up. She showed me that evil can be made good, if you show enough love. When the light and shadows collide, things change. That's what happened when Allie confronted me during the attack. Much like the sunrise, ending the night and starting a new day...
"That's where the light met the dark."
Don't forget to squeal in the comments below!
Stay tuned for spinoff shorts plus the revised & expanded version!
- The original cast of TLMtD was much smaller, not having Gorkel, Norkel, or Min-Li, and Aaron, Millie, and Lewis had barely more than a cameo.
- When Norkel and Gorkel were first created, they were originally planned to be scripted more like Chope and Kapau from Season 4. Niw they are much more comparable to the skulkin generals Kruncha and Nuckal.
- Aaron originally had Amber as his element, then had no element when his role was drastically expanded, then was granted Lighting powers.e
- This is probably not surprising if you've read Min-Li's article, but Lewis is her grandson.
- The reason the Old Master's attic is so dark is because there are falcons nesting over the skylight on the roof.
- Keara's fight with Deorc was created to explain her scar, rather than the other way around.