Tracy's parents have always been telling her that her older brother Chris is going to be the Silver Ranger. On the way home from the mall she gets the message arrow. Now she is confused why she got it, instead of him. How will she handle the stress of learning that she has become a samurai ranger?
This story is a rewrite of The Silver Samurai. I decided to do it since I have different ideas I want to try. FYI in the version, Chris is 20, The Triplets are 5, Tracy's mom is still working as a nurse, and her dad is a seventh-grade math teacher.
Chapter 1: The Mall and A Message Arrow
My mom tells me to bring Angela and Amelia with me to the mall. I don't want to since I've planned this day out for weeks. Ashley and I have to work around our work schedules to make sure we could do this. It was going to be our girls day. I have no choice since dad took Aaron on a fishing trip with him. Mom can't watch them since she got called into work. She works as a nurse at the local hospital in the emergency room. As we walk around the mall, I still can't believe that there are any stores in it since I read in the paper about how much the rent is.
"Sissy, can we go to the arcade?" Angela and Amelia ask.
Angela and Amelia drag me into the arcade and over to the claw machine. They let go of my wrists and each point at the toy they want me to 'win.'
Now I have to spend almost ten dollars to win the bunny Isabella wants.
I take my wallet out of my purse and put a five dollar bill into the machine. After six tries I win the bunny. I hand it to Angela.
"Thank you, sissy," Angela says.
Then I put another five dollar bill into the machine. After I try three times, I hear my cell phone ring. I nod to Ashley, and she takes over while I go to answer my phone.
"Hi," dad says.
"Hi, dad, what's up?"
"I just wanted to make sure that you'll be home for dinner," Dad says.
"I caught a fish and daddy says its big enough to eat it," Aaron says.
"Good Job Aaron, and don't worry dad. We'll be heading home in five minutes."
I walk back over to Ashley and my sisters. I smile when I see that Ashley managed to win the poodle Amelia wanted.
"Do we have to leave Tracy?" Amelia asks.
We start walking out to the parking lot. When we approach my car, I see an arrow fly past the door and land in the hedges next to the tree. I open the back door and tell my sisters to get it. Once they are buckled in, I closed the door. Ashley and I go over to the hedge, and I pick up the silver arrow.
"So, I guess this means its time for you to become a Samurai ranger," Ashley says.
"Why, am I getting the message arrow? Chris is the oldest and has done all of Samurai training and mastered all the symbol power."
"I guess you'll have to ask your parents. I'm just as confused as you Trac," Ashley says.
I'm heading home from talking with Tracy's boss. He was understanding when I handed him Tracy's two-week notice that she'll be leaving to fly to California due to a family problem. I stop at an intersection that has a four-way stop sign. I believe that it should be a stop light since there have been five serious car accidents here in the past few weeks. It's my turn to go, so I slowly pull out. The next thing I know the car is spinning around and I slam into a pole.
"Mr. Burlew, our systems show you were in an accident, Are you okay?" my OnStar Advisor asks.
"Everything is blurry," I say.
"Emergency services are on their way. Everything will be alright, Mr. Burlew," my OnStar Advisor says.
The sound of sirens was the last thing I remember as things fade to black.
We go back to my car. We get in, and I set the arrow down in the space in between the seats before we buckle up. I start the car and drive to Ashley's house. I park and turn around to face my little sisters.
"I'll be right back, so don't try to get out and follow me,"
"We won't," Angela and Amelia say.
Ashley and I walk up to the front door.
"One good thing is that the arrow didn't hit the door and got stuck," Ashley says.
"Yeah, my parents would have a hard time trying to explain it to the insurance company. I wonder why you didn't get yours. I thought everyone would get them at the same time,"
"I thought so too; maybe there is some reason why you got it before I got mine," Ashley says.
I hope Chris is okay. I may be the second oldest, but I'm not even sure if I inherited Mom's symbol power. If I did, I'm not good under pressure or making split-second decisions.
A few seconds later, I jump when I hear the honk of my car's horn. After I recover, I turn around to see Amelia waving to me. I spin around and say, "Sorry Ash, I got to get going, my passengers are restless."
I'm about to punch out when I get a call about a 20-year-old male automobile accident victim. I run to the ambulance entrance. My heart sinks when I see Chris being wheeled in on a stretcher. I try my best to forget that Chris is my son, and just treat him like any other patient. My maternal instincts kick in, and I rush over to him.
"Mom, I'm sorry I crashed the car you and dad bought for me. Plus, I might not be able to help Tracy deal with her new responsibilities," Chris says.
"Christopher, don't try to talk, your father and I will deal with the insurance company. Don't worry about Tracy. Just relax, everything is going to be fine,"
The head nurse, Holly, pulls me aside and says, "Ballade, I'm afraid you can't help the others with Chris. Since he is your son, this case is too personal for you."
I know Holly is right. My maternal instincts are in control right now, so I'd be getting in the other nurses' way while they try to help Christopher. So I punch out and sit down in the waiting room.
I park my car and start to get worried when I don't see Chris's car.
I know work is twenty minutes away. Chris should have been home by now. I hope everything is alright.
"Tracy, how come Chris isn't back yet?" Amelia asks.
"I'm not sure, but I'll call him. Let's head inside, and I'll make us some lunch,"
I pick up the message arrow, put it into my purse, and get out of the car. Amelia, Angela and I head inside. I hang it on the coat rack and hang the keys on the hook next to the door. We head to the kitchen and I start making lunch. After I set their food on the table, I hear the sound of a car door closing. I leave the room. I walk to the front door, take the message arrow out of my purse, and open it to see Aaron run up.
"Mom and dad told me they wanted me to tell you that they wanted to talk to you," Aaron says.
"Thank you for relaying the message," I say
I place my left hand on his head and start to ruffle his hair. I chuckle when he starts to complain that I am messing up his hair, so I stop. Then I head over to mom and dad. My stomach is churning, and my heart starts to race when I don't see Chris's car parked behind dad's.
"Tracy, I'm sorry, sweetheart, I was leaving work today. Chris was in a car accident," Mom says.
"Oh my gosh, is he okay?"
"The doctors said he has a broken jaw, along with his right leg, and several lacerations. He also has a concussion." Mom answers.
"He will be coming home, right?"
"Right now he is in a medically induced coma," Dad says.
I hand dad the message arrow as tears start to stream down my cheeks. Mom hugs me as I continue to cry into her chest. Two minutes later I stop crying and look up at her. She moves my hair away from my eyes and kisses me on the forehead.
"Sweetheart, I'm afraid that you're going to have to take Chris's place and become the Silver Ranger," Mom says.
"Mom, I can't. I want to help you and dad while Chris is in the hospital. How are you going to handle taking care of Amelia, Angela and Arron, if you have to work another job to help pay for the hospital bills - not to mention the car insurance?"
"Don't worry, sweetheart, I contacted Ji. He is the mentor to the rangers." Dad says, "He offered to let you and the triplets stay at the Shiba house,"
"Won't that complicate things and be putting them in danger?"
"Tracy, don't worry, everything will be okay," Dad says.
"How long do I have to train until Master Xandred shows up?"
"It hard to say, honey, but you, me and the triplets need to leave as soon as possible," Dad says.
Great, so I'll have to worry about you figuring out how I'm going to learn how to be a samurai ranger, not to mention if Chris will even remember us once he wakes up. No pressure or anything. I'm starting to wish that I didn't go to the mall today.
Jayden and I finished preparing the bedroom for Tracy's younger siblings. We walk into the kitchen, and Jayden sits down at the table. I pour us some lemonade and set it on a tray with some snacks. I walk over to the table. Before I sit down, I place it down on the table and sit down in the chair next to me.
"Are you sure having three five-year-old children staying here is a good idea?" Jayden asks as he picks up a glass of lemonade.
"Jayden, I can assure you that Tracy's father, Fiacre, will make sure the triplets will be on their best behavior while they are staying with us,"
"Has Tracy done any training?" Jayden asks, placing the empty cup back on the tray.
"No, he and his wife just focused on training Christopher to become the silver ranger,"
"What happened to Christopher?" Jayden asks.
"He was in a car accident,"
"That's terrible, Is he going to be alright?" Jayden asks.
"All I was told the doctor put him in a medically induced coma,"
"So, Tracy has been living a normal life for 18 years. Now, she has to take her brother's place. Tracy must be feeling pretty scared and nervous. She has had a lot of responsibility and pressure thrown at her all at once." Jayden says, "She must be worried about Christopher too. Do you know anything about Tracy that might help me while I'm training with her?"
"Fiacre did mention that she loves to sing and has been taking Ballet classes since she was four."
I still can't believe that I'm going to have to become the silver ranger. I guess that means even if I get accepted to one of the colleges I applied to it won't matter since I can't go. Plus, I still need to decide if I want to become a Veterinarian specializing in reptiles or inspire young dancers to follow their dreams and get a bachelor's of fine arts dance degree and open a dance studio.
I guess I shouldn't think about that. Now, I need to start packing and focus on becoming a ranger. Not to mention making my parents and my brother proud and not letting anyone down.
We head inside, and I go to my room. I take out my phone and decide to open a new conversation to text Ashley instead of calling her. I don't want to start crying - again.
'Hey, Ash, I found out why I got the message arrow instead of Chris.'
'Why did you get the arrow?'
'Chris was in a car accident.'
'OMG, is he going to be okay?'
'He is in a medically induced coma. Now I have to take his place as the silver ranger,'
'I'm sorry, Tracy, *hug emoji* and don't worry you'll be a great ranger.'
'Thanks for the vote of confidence Ash. I need to start packing. My dad and siblings are going to come with me to the Shiba house.'
'You're welcome, and I told my dad about getting my arrow. He told me that I'd be leaving too, so I can help you train,'
'Great, having you there, will help me be less nervous about this whole thing,'
'See you soon BFF,'
I put my phone back in my pocket. I go over to my closet, take out my suitcase and go over to my bed. I put it down and open it. Five minutes later, I close the suitcase and zip it up. I pick it up and hear a knock at my door.
I turn around, and dad walks over to me.
"Are you ready to go?" Dad asks.
"Yes, and dad when Chris gets better, will he be taking my place since he was supposed to be the silver ranger? Do you think I can fill his shoes?"
Dad moves my hair away from my eyes before he kisses my forehead and says, "Sweetheart, when Chris does get better it won't be a good idea to have him take your place. Your mother and I never compared you to him when you were going up, and we don't plan to start now."
"Are you and mom going to be okay when Chris does get released from the hospital when I'm away?"
"Don't worry about us sweetheart. I called Uncle Matt, and he'll be flying out tomorrow. Just stay focused on your training to be ready to fight Master Xandred." Dad says.
Dad and I head downstairs to the kitchen. We walk into the room, and I see a box on the table. I walk over to the table, set my suitcase down and pick up the box. I look over at dad, and he gives me a reassuring nod. I slowly open it. I set the lid down, and the snow leopard folding zord jumps out of the box. I scream and fall backward and land on my back. The zord lands on my chest. It walks up to my shoulder when I start to sit up.
"Dad, why did the zord do that?"
"I'm not sure sweetheart, but are you okay?" Dad asks helping me up.
I look inside the box and see my morpher and the sliver power disk. I put them in my pocket and turn to face mom.
"Mom, I know you and dad believe in me, but I'm still scared that I might let you down,"
"Tracy, your father and I love you, and we know you'll make us proud. You're going to be a great power ranger," Mom says.
"Thanks, mom, but you will call to tell me any changes in Chris condition, right?"
"Yes, honey, I will," Mom says.
"Come on, Sweetheart. We need to get going. We don't want to miss our flight to Panorama City," Dad says.
I look at my ticket, and it says we are flying on American Airlines. I decide to find out what time we'll arrive at Panorama City and discover that we'll get there at 11:32 pm.
Great, it will be dark when we get there.
We arrive at the airport parking lot. As we are unpacking the trunk, out of the corner of my eye, I see Ashley and her parents walk up. I pick up my suitcase and turn around to face them.
Okay stay focused on your training, Chris will come home.
"So, Ashley, I can't believe we are going to be Power Rangers,"
"Yes, this is going to be an amazing experience for both of us," Ashley says.
We get onto the shuttle, and it takes us to the terminal. After going through all the security checks and grabbing a few snacks for the flight, we arrive at our gate.
"Dad, how long are we going to be on the plane?" Angela asks.
"Seven hours and twelve minutes," Dad answers.
That's only the estimated time. It may take longer depending on the weather of the other states we have to fly over,
Mom says goodbye to the triplets and hugs them. She hugs me too and tells me not to worry about Chris. We board the plane. Ashley's parents had managed it so Ashley could sit by me. We sit down and listen to the flight attendant go over the preflight safety announcements. As I feel the plane start to take off, I look down and see my hands begin to shake.
I've been on a plane before. Why am I so nervous?
I look up and see my dad turn around. He reaches through the space between the seats and places his hand on top of mine. He gently squeezes it, reminding me that everything is going to be okay. Then he lets go and sits back down in his seat.
An hour into the flight I take my IPod out of my purse. I look at the screen and see that the battery is at 35%.
So much for using music to distract me. I'm worried about how the other Rangers will react when they find out that Chris is supposed to be the silver ranger.
I put it back into my purse. I see a TV on the headrest of the seat in front of me.
It looks like I have Uncle TV to distract me - that will work. I hope I can watch my favorite show.
I turn it on and scroll through the available show to watch till I find my favorite show -Static Shock. I put on the headphones and start watching the first episode of season 1. After the tenth one, I start to get tired and turn it off. I look to my left and see the flight attendant come up to me and ask if I'd like something to eat.
"No, thank you,"
The attendant nods and pushes the cart to the next aisle.
Jayden and I are putting away the dinner dishes. I hand him the plate I finished drying off, and he puts it on the shelf then closes the door.
"Do you know what time their flight will be in?" Jayden asks,
"Yes, we have six hours till we have to head to the airport to pick them up."
"I also got a call from the white ranger's father, Fiacre. He told me his daughter Ashley would come early as well to help Tracy train," I say, "So, we have something to do before we have to head to the airport,"
Jayden and I discover that we have enough rooms for all the rangers to have one. Since Tracy's family will be staying with us while she is training, we don't have enough now. The only solution to the problem is that Tracy and Ashley have to share a room.
"Do you think Tracy and Ashley will be okay with sharing?" Jayden asks as we put Ashley's bed down.
"Fiacre also told me that Ashley and Tracy are best friends. They have sleepovers a lot, so I think it's safe to assume that they'll be fine with this arrangement,"
Jayden and I go back out into the hall and move the dresser into the room. Once we move the last piece of furniture, Jayden and I head to the kitchen to take a break.
"When are you going to call the other rangers?" Jayden asks.
"Soon, Jayden, we should let the girls get used to the house first before we spring more guest on them,"
I look up at the clock over the sink and am surprised by how fast time seems to fly by while we were getting the room ready.
"Jayden we need to get to the airport. The plane will be landing in twenty minutes."
Jayden and I get to the airport with five minutes to spare. We race inside to the information desk to find what gate we need to be at to meet everyone. We sit down in the chairs and catch our breath.
"Flight 290 from Detriot Metro Airport now arriving at gate 20," plays over the intercom.
I get up and walk over to the gate when I see three five-year-olds and their father walk out.
"Hello, Fiacre it's nice to meet you. I'm Ji," I say holding out my hand.
Fiacre shakes my hand and introduces me to the triplets. I have a feeling that I'm going to have a tough time telling Angelia and Amelia apart. I see two young women walk out of the gate over to us. One looked like an older version of Angelia and Amelia. The other one must be Ashley.
"Hello, girls, I'm Ji,"
"Hi, Ji, I'm Tracy," Tracy says.
"I'm Ashley, Tracy's best friend," Ashley says.
We walk over to Jayden. He introduces himself to everyone. Then we go over baggage claim so they can get their bags.
Jayden and JI help us put our bags into the back of an SUV that has the Shiba family crest on it. I open the back door and count the seats.
"We have a problem. There aren't enough seats for all of us," I say, "So, that means Ashley and I will head to the Tengen gate,"
"Why do you need to go there?" Jayden asks.
"Dad told me I had to get a few things from the Guardians," Ashley answers,
"Sorry girls, you'll have to go tomorrow. A night hike through the forest isn't the best idea after an eight-hour flight," Dad says.
"I'm sure Jayden knows a Symbol that could teleport us there,"
"Tracy," Dad scolds.
"Fine, we'll go tomorrow, but how are we supposed to get to the Shiba house?"
Somehow on que, another SUV drives up and parks in the spot next to us.
Okay, that was creepy. I wonder if the Guardians know about the car accident and that I have to take Chris's place as the silver ranger.
I walk into the hospital and go to my brother's room. I step inside and see Chris lying in his bed. He is connected to a ventilator and a few other pieces of medical equipment used to track his vitals. A few seconds later, a doctor walks in and starts disconnecting everything.
"Why are you doing that? Are you going to start to wean him off the medicine?"
"No, I'm afraid that your parents believe he isn't going to make it," the doctor says.
I sit up in my bed as tears roll down my cheeks.
Thank goodness it was only a dream.
I quietly get out of bed, pick my glasses up off the nightstand, put them on and go to the bathroom. After I finish drying my eyes, I head to the kitchen. I take a mug out of the cabinet and go over the fridge. I pour some milk into it and go over to the microwave. When it dings, I hope that it doesn't wake anyone else up. As I open the door, I carefully take out the mug, close the door and go over to the table. I sit down, take a sip of my warm milk and hope it will help me fall back asleep.
I wake up and check on the triplets. I open their bedroom door as quietly as I can and smile, seeing them still fast asleep. I close the door and go to the kitchen. I walk into the room and see Tracy sleeping at the table. I walk over to her and gently shake her.
"Morning dad," Tracy says.
"You had a bad dream about your brother, didn't you?"
"Yes, the doctor said you and mom believe that Chris won't make it," Tracy says wiping the sleep from her eyes.
"Honey, I know you're stressed about having to take Chris's place. His injuries weren't life-threatening. The doctors only put him in the coma so he wouldn't be in pain while he recovers."
"Dad, are you going to make breakfast?" Tracy asks, "The last time you tried to make scrambled eggs they were a little crunchy. The only thing that is meant to be crunchy is peanut butter,"
"Honey, I'm not making breakfast. Ji said he would be making all the meals,"
"Got it, I'm going to change. I know the guardians don't want to see me in my pajamas," Tracy says, leaving the room.
After breakfast, Ashley and I head to the Tengen gate. Ji tolls us that Jayden would come too, so we have someone to guide us home, so we don't get lost. We are a few steps away from the entrance to the gate. When a Shiba Inu puppy limps up to me. It collapses in front of my feet. I kneel down and scoop it up. I notice several cuts covering its body and the poor thing looks exhausted too. Ashley starts to pet the top of the puppy's head gently and the puppy finds the strength to wag it's tail
"How did it find us?" Jayden asks.
"That's my fault Jayden. Stray or injured animals seem to know when I'm close by, but I have no clue why they come to me." I say, "Let's hope one of the guardians can help me treat her injuries."
We run up to the entrance and quickly bow before running inside. We go past the alter commemorating where the first samurai rangers battled the nighlock army. Ashley pulls me back by the arm to keep me from running into Daisuke.
"Hello, Tracy, what's the rush?" Daisuke asks.
"We have an emergency," I say holding up the puppy, "This little one found me, and she is in bad shape."
Daisuke asks one of the guardians to help me while he leads Jayden and Ashley to another room to gather the items Ashley came here to get. The Guardian and I walk into one of the rooms and I set the puppy down on the pillow.
"Could you bring me two bowls of water, a towel and some bandages?" I say, "Are there any Calendula flowers growing the garden?"
"Yes, we do, I can have someone bring them to you while I go gather the other items you need," the Guardian says.
"That would be great, thank you."
"How did you know that Calendula flowers would be good to use on the puppy's injuries?" the Guardian asks.
"I worked a paid internship at a veterinarian hospital during my senior year of high school."
A few minutes later the guardians walks in with everything I need. I get to work . While I clean the puppy's injuries it doesn't even flinch once. After all the cuts are clean, I mash up the Calendula flowers into a paste and put it onto some gauze. I ask one of the guardians to hold it in place over the cut on the puppy's front leg while I wrap a bandage around it. We repeat this process till all the cuts are bandaged.
Daisuke shows Jayden and me around before we sit down in a different room. He hands me a wooden box. I open it and see a crane with the time kanji on it wings, along with a white spin disk and a gold cell phone.
"So, my morpher looks like an old flip phone from the nineties?"
"Yes, but it also has a calligraphy brush inside," Daisuke says.
I put my morpher and spin disc into my pocket. My zord stands up and flies over to me. It lands on my right shoulder. We start to leave as Tracy walks in carrying the puppy in her arms.
"Well, Doctor Burlew, how is the patient?" I joke.
"Very funny Ash, I'm not a veterinarian yet. This little girl is tough. She didn't flinch or put up a fight while I was bandaging her up." Tracy says.
"I really think we should name her,"
"If we name her we'll get attached to her. Then it will be harder to give her away when we take her to the animal shelter so they can help her find a forever home," Tracy says.
"I think we should wait till she is healed before we take her to the shelter. We don't want the people in charge to get the wrong impression of us," Jayden adds.
"Okay, we'll name her," Tracy sighs, "But, when we bring her back to the house, you two are going to have to deal with hearing Angela, Amelia and Aaron begging dad if she can come home with them when they leave."
"So what are you going to call her?' Daisuke asks.
"Tracy, you were the one that the puppy chose to help her, so I think it's only fair that you name her," Ashley says.
"I agree," Jayden says.
"Okay, how about we call her Luna," Tracy says.
The puppy starts to wag her tail and lets out a happy bark.
"I think that means she likes it."
"Okay, Luna, let's head back to the Shiba house," Tracy says.
Jayden, Ashley and I sit down on a log to take a break. I carefully put Luna down on my lap.
"Guys, could we stop at a Vet Clinic on the way back to the house?"
"You want to make sure the cuts aren't the only injuries Luna has, right?" Ashley says.
"Yes, also I'm curious if anyone at the clinic has seen her before,"
"I'm okay with it," Jayden says.
"Well, then Jayden lead the way,"
We stand up and continue to walk out of the forest. As we approach the entrance, I hand Luna to Ashley, so I can reach into my purse to take out my phone. I dial dad's number and patiently wait for him to answer.
"Hi, sweetheart, when will you be home?" Dad asks.
"We'll be home soon, and I apologize in advance because an injured puppy might have found me on the way to the Tengen gate,"
"Tracy, sweetheart, you don't have to apologize for having a good heart. That is just one of the qualities that others like about you." Dad says, "So, I'm guessing you named the puppy?"
"Yes, her name is Luna,"
"So, you're taking Luna to see a Vet?" Dad asks.
"Okay, just come straight home afterward. You need to start training," Dad says.
I hang up and put my phone back in my purse. Ashley hands Luna back to me. Jayden leads us to the Vet clinic. We walk into the clinic, and one of the Veterinarians walks up to us.
"Hello, I'm Dr. Santiago. Ji is one of my closest friends. He called me and said you three would be coming," Dr. Santiago says, "Follow me to my exam room."
I set Luna down on the scale to get her weight. She was 7.5 pounds. I pick Luna up, and Dr. Santiago leads us to the exam room.
"Wait, Ji never told me that he was friends with a veterinarian," Jayden says.
"Ji and I haven't talked much since the whole Samurai Rangers thing," Dr, Santiago says, "So, does this little girl have a name?"
"Yes, her name is Luna. My friends and I were taking a hike through the forest. She found us," I say, "Dr. Santiago, I'm aware that I'll have to pay to have you to look at her, so go ahead and do all the necessary tests."
"Don't worry. I'll waive the fees this time." Dr. Santiago says.
"Thank you, Dr. Santiago,"
Dr. Santiago starts to examine Luna. I let out a sigh of relief when I see that she isn't dehydrated.
"Dr. Santiago, have you seen any dogs that look like Luna around the city?"
"No, but I heard the police located and closed down a puppy mill in the next town over," Dr. Santiago says.
"What is a puppy mill?" Jayden asks.
"It's a terrible place that breeds puppy to sell them. The females are breed at every opportunity, and they don't even get time to recover before having another litter." I explain, "Is there a chance that Luna is one of the puppies from the mill?"
"It would explain why she has a mild case of exhaustion," Dr. Santiago says, "Who treated Luna before the three of you brought her here?"
"That would be Tracy, she is thinking about becoming a veterinarian," Ashley says.
"Well, Tracy you must have done some volunteer work at a clinic. Most good Samaritans don't know about using the petals from a calendula flower for first aid." Dr. Santiago says, "You'll make a fine Vet one day,"
"Thank you, Dr. Santiago, so is there a way to find out if Luna came from that puppy mill?"
"You can call the shelter in the next town that took the puppies while I take Luna to the back to run all the tests." Dr. Santiago says.
I leave the room and look up the news article then call the shelter.
"Hello, Harwood County animal shelter, how may I help you?" The woman asks.
"I'm Tracy Burlew. I read an article that your shelter took in all the dogs rescued from the puppy mill the police located. I found a Shiba Inu puppy today and was curious if it could have been one that came from the mill."
"Was the puppy you found a female?" The woman asks.
"Thank you so much for calling Miss. We were worried sick about her. The volunteer who took the puppies to the vet said when he opened the back door of the truck one puppy jumped out and took off into the woods." the woman says.
Did fate guide Luna to me?
"Miss, are you still there?" She asks, "You are welcome to keep her. I have a feeling you two are meant to be together."
I thank her before I hang up and go back into the exam room. As I enter, Dr. Santiago comes back with Luna. He sets her down on the exam table.
"So, Dr. Santiago, it looks like your hunch about Luna is correct. She did come from that puppy mill, so how did Luna's test come out?"
"All her tests came back negative which is surprising since in all the puppy mills I've read about the owner normally don't concern themselves with the health of the dogs." Dr. Santiago answers.
"So, when is Luna going to be strong enough to be taken to a shelter so they can find her a forever home?"
"She should be back on her feet in two then, follow these instructions to prevent any infection as well as the feeding schedule to help her regain the strength in her muscles. Make sure she gets socialized with children." Dr. Santiago says.
"Don't worry, Dr. Santiago. I'll follow your instructions to the letter. Thank you again for everything,"
I pick up Luna, and we leave the clinic to head to the Shiba house.
I know the triplets will want to help me with taking care of Luna, so she'll have a chance to get used to children.
Jayden, Ashley and I walk through the front gate. Ji and my dad walk up to us.
"Dr. Santiago called me and said that the puppy was from a puppy mill," Ji says.
"That's terrible," Dad says.
"I decided to call her Luna,"
"I think that name suits her," Ji says, as he reaches out his hand to pet her.
Luna jumps out of my arms and hides behind my legs.
"Sorry Ji, Luna just needs to know you." I apologize.
"You don't need to apologize; Luna just needs time to adjust to her new surroundings," Ji says.
"I helped Ji set up the recovery room for Luna," Dad says.
I turn around and pick up Luna. We walk into the house to go to the recovery room and I hear running footfalls as soon as I step through the doorway. Amelia and Angela stop in front of us. Luna jumps out of my arms and hides behind me again.
"Why did the puppy run away from us?" Amelia says.
"We wanted to pet it," Angela adds.
"Luna has had a rough life, you two. Some nice people from a shelter in Harwood county rescued her and several other dogs and a few puppies from a puppy mill." I explain.
"What if we help you take care of her?" The girls say.
"Dad, would that be okay with you?"
"They do need to learn responsibility, so it's okay with me," Dad says.
"Let's take Luna to the recovery room to get some rest,"
"Can I carry her?" Angela asks.
"Sorry, but Luna is too heavy for you. Angela better let me do it okay?"
Angela nods, and I pick Luna up again. We walk to the recovery room. After Ji opens the door, I go over to the dog bed and gently put Luna onto it.
"Tracy, while you are training, I'm going to take the triplets to the park," Dad says.
I turn around and start to walk over to everyone. I get about three or four steps away before Luna begins to whimper.
"Well, Tracy, it looks like Luna has already decided that you are her new family. She doesn't want you to leave her side." Ji says.
"Aw, but dad we were going to ask if we could take Luna home with us," Angelia and Amelia say.
"Sorry girls but Ji might be right," I say, "So, I guess I could move the bed outside so she can still see me while I'm training,"
Luna stops whimpering, and I turn around to pick up the bed then head outside. I put it down on the front porch in a beautiful spot where she could feel the sun hit her. I go back inside to get her food and water bowls. I put some puppy food and water into them. Then I help Jayden and Ji set up some easels. I turn mine away from Luna and the sun to keep the ice or snow I create with the symbol power from melting.
I wave goodbye to dad and the triplets as they walk out of the gate. Ji shows me a picture of the ice kanji. I start to have a flashback from when I was five.
I walk out to the shed with a glass of lemonade for Chris. I open the door and see him painting something on the easel. I go over to him and hand the lemonade to him.
"Thanks, Trac," Chris says.
"Working on my symbol power," Chris answers.
I look at the symbol and ask, "Was something supposed to happen when you finished painting it?"
"Yes, ice was supposed to fly off the paper," Chris says.
"Maybe you did something wrong. Can I try to paint it?"
"I guess so," Chris says.
He sets the cup down and flips over to a clean page. Then he moves out of the way, and I pick up the paintbrush. He teaches me how to make the symbol and when I paint the last stroke, we see a bunch of tiny pieces of ice fly off the page. Chris pulls me out of the way, so none of them hit me.
Back in reality, I pick up the brush and paint the symbol the same way Chris taught me that day. When I painted the last stroke this time, three giant balls of ice pop off the page, I jump to my right to dodge them.
"Wow, I'm impressed, but how did you know the correct order for the stroke?" Ji asks.
I tell him about the flashback I just experienced and how Chris and I were surprised that something happened the first time I made that symbol and yet nothing occurs whenever he practices it.
"Your mother was the last member of your family to be the silver ranger, right?" Jayden asks.
"Yes, but what does that have to do with me being able to activate the symbol power when I was five?"
"Maybe your brother didn't inherit the symbol power, and you did," Ji says.
"So, the symbol is gender specific,"
"It could be since is it passed down from parent to child. Maybe only the girls in your family can use the symbol power," Ji says.
"Maybe, so for now we should just keep working on my symbols,"
"Okay, but only for ten more minutes. You need to learn how to wield a sword as well," Ji says.
Chapter 8: Training Begins Part 2, - Samurai and Ballerina Don't Mix
Ashley, Jayden and Ji put the easels away. Ji tells me that I can take a short break since I was feeling a tad drained from symbol training. I sit down next to Luna. She gets out of the bed, walks over to me and lays down on my lap.
Okay, no ballet moves. I'm training to be a samurai. I'm supposed to be a warrior now, not a ballerina.
Jayden and Ashley are standing on the platform holding bamboo swords. They go into a ready stance. Ji walks over to me. Then we watch them begin to spar. Even though they have just met, it is like they've been training together for years. They can anticipate the other's attack. When their swords bang together, Luna covers her ears with her paws. I pet her on the head to calm her down. When she turns around and tries to block the sound by hiding her head underneath my shirt, I pull her out and slowly stand up. Ji looks over at me. He walks to a door that is behind the bench on the porch. I smile as he opens it, picks up the dog bed and puts it down on the floor. I go over to him and put Luna down on the bed.
"I think the noise from the swords shouldn't bother Luna if she stays here," Ji says.
Ji and I walk back outside and continue to watch the match. Jayden swings his sword at Ashley's feet, and she lands on her back. Jayden taps his sword on Ashley's left shoulder.
"Nice one Jayden, I guess I need a refresher course," Ashley says.
"Don't beat yourself over a lost point," Jayden says helping her up.
They walk over to us. Ashley sets her swords down and makes a fist. Then I see her crack a smile. I chuckle and then make a fist too. A few seconds later we do the handshake we made up in second grade. After we finish, she hands the sword to me, and we look over at the others.
"What was that handshake for?" Jayden asks.
"It's our good luck ritual," Ashley says,
"I would say we've used this handshake more for us to give each other a confidence boost than for wishing each other good luck," Tracy says.
"Why would you say that?" Ji asks.
"The first time we did it was when Ashley was in the second grade spelling bee. She was scared that we wouldn't get past the first round," Tracy says.
"Yeah, I remember now, you're right. The next time was when we were competing in the all grade talent show. You were afraid that you'd forget the routine," Ashley says.
Ashley hands the sword to me, and Jayden walks over to the platform. The only problem is my feet won't move. I am scared that I will end up dancing, instead of sparing. Ashley gives me a friendly shove, and I go over to the platform. Jayden gets into his ready stance. I slide my right foot until its' heel touches the inside of my left foot. I have my left arm in close enough to my body till my fingers almost land on my thighs. I hold the sword in my right hand and raise it until my fingertips are even with my hips.
"Begin," Ji says.
When Jayden moves in to attack, I make a "v" with my feet and bring my right hand in towards me. When both of my hands are on the handle, I close my eyes and hear a banging sound. I slowly open my eyes and smile when I see I managed to block his attack. He attacks again so I try to think of something I can do to dodge it. I do a quick Foruette Turn. I hear a groan when I put my left leg down and see Jayden laying down on his back, on the grass near the platform. I set my sword down and run over to him.
"Jayden, I'm sorry. Are you okay?" I ask.
"Yes, I'm okay," Jayden says as he stands up.
"That's good. Should we keep going?" I ask.
"Yes, but a true Samurai doesn't fight an unarmed opponent. Go get your sword," Jayden says.
I did a back walkover then went into a handspring. I land right next to my sword and pick it up.
Stop it, Tracy, this is a sparring match, not a dance competition.
When Jayden runs up and swings his sword at my feet, I try to think of some way to recover to get in a position to counter-attack. I do a flip to dodge Jayden's attack and then do a one-handed roundoff. I stand up to attack and see Jayden on his back again.
"Jayden, let's stop. I need to forget everything I learned in my ballet and acro dance classes if I want to become a true samurai and the silver ranger," Tracy says.
"Tracy, you don't have to change who you are to become a ranger," Ashley says.
"Ashley is right. Tracy, you can still be worthy Samurai and an excellent ranger. All we need to do is figure out a different way of teaching you, that's all," Ji says.
Ashley is about to put her hand on my shoulder. I push her away and go to the front gate. Luna walks up to me. I kneel down and pet her on the head. She follows me as I head into the forest.
I know I shouldn't run away, but I need some space.
I look down at Luna when we are halfway into the woods. She is panting due to all the walking we've been doing. I sit down on a stump and take out my morpher. I'm about to draw the snow symbol so Luna could eat it to get some water to rehydrate after our hike when a boy with short black hair pulling a fishing cart walks up to me. My heart starts to race as he gets closer to me.
Calm down, Tracy. It's only a boy - he is super cute and handsome.
"So, Bonita, does this cute puppy have a name?" The boy asks, looking over at me.
"Yes, her name is Luna. I'm Tracy," I say after swallowing the nervous lump in my throat.
"Hi Tracy I'm Antonio Garcia," Antonio says.
I watch him bend down to pet Luna. She is worn out from the hike, but I had a feeling she will try to hide from him. I smile when I see that Luna doesn't flinch. She wags her tail and even licks his fingers when he pulls his hand away.
"So, what are you two doing out here?" Antonio asks.
"I'm not sure if I should tell you this, but I'm training to be a samurai," I say.
"That is amazing, I'm not only a great fisherman but also a samurai myself," Antonio says.
"That's great! Maybe you can help me. I need a way to forget everything I learned from my ballet and acro dance classes to become a warrior,"
"Why would you think that you need to change who you are to become a samurai?" Antonio asks.
"It's the only way I can learn everything I need before Master Xandred attacks and the nighloks show up," I reply.
"All you need is someone who knows how to turn all your dance moves into a unique fighting style, that's all," Antonio says.
"Jayden, Ji and even my best friends Ashley said that same thing, but do you know someone who can teach me?" I ask.
"Yes, I do Bonita, I'd be happy to take you under my wing and teach you," Antonio says.
Then I hear Luna bark, telling me she is thirsty.
"Sorry about that girl," I apologize petting her on the head.
Antonio turns around and opens one of the lids on the cart. A squid flies out holding a water bottle. A few seconds later my leopard zord crawls out of my pocket and sits down on my shoulder. Antonio unhooks the lid and sets it on the ground. He takes the water bottle form the squid, open the water bottle and pours some into it.
"So, how did Luna get hurt?" Antonio asks.
I tell Antonio about how Luna found me and Luna's past (about her being born in a puppy mill in the next town over).
"That is amazing. So Luna is one tough pup," Antonio says.
"Yes, and I'm surprised that she let you pet her since she was rescued from the mill yesterday. When she didn't let Ji, Jayden, Ashley or even my younger siblings pet her." I reply.
"I guess Luna must think we might have something blooming between us," Antonio says in a flirty tone.
"What makes you think that?" I ask.
"My mom said that a dog can tell if a boy is good boyfriend material," Antonio says.
"No offense to your mom Antonio, but I think she can tell you're a kind, confident and caring person. So we have a few things in common,"
Then the wind starts to pick up, so some of my hair gets blown into my face. I reach up to fix it, and when I open my eyes, I see that Antonio's hand and mine are touching. Our eyes meet for the first time, romantically. The butterflies in my stomach start to flutter, I suddenly get a coppery taste in my mouth, and my cheeks begin to feel warm.
"Your eyes are amazing," I say in my cute voice.
"Thank you, Bonita, you're the first girl to say that, and I'd like to add that you have gorgeous blue eyes too," Antonio flirts back.
"Thank you, but could you move your hand?" I flirt back.
Antonio nods and picks up the lid then puts it back on the cart. The squid flies back over to it and goes inside. He closes the top. Then we hear a loud rumble of thunder and Luna jumps onto my lap and tucks her head underneath my shirt.
"We should head to my cousin Gracie's apartment, I know she won't mind if you ride out the storm," Antonio says.
I nod and pull Luna's head out from underneath my shirt. She lets Antonio pick her up. I stand up, he hands Luna back to me, and we head to his cousin's apartment.
Antonio and I walk up to the entrance of the apartment complex. I set Luna down since my arms are getting tired. Another loud crackling sound startles her, and she runs up to the door. Once it opens I chase after her when Luna runs into to lobby. I look around and see there are too many places in the lobby that Luna could hide.
"Tracy, I'll help you find Luna," Antonio says.
"Thank you," I say.
Antonio and I split up to look for Luna. A few seconds later a man walks up to me.
"Hello, I'm Lupe Hahn, the landlord. I'm curious, was the scared puppy that ran into my office and jumped onto my desk chair, belong to you, young lady?" Mr. Hahn asks.
"Yes, Mr. Hahn, I just adopted her. I found out she was rescued from a puppy mill."
"That would explain why she didn't let me touch her," Mr. Hahn says.
Antonio walks up and says, "Hi, Mr. Hahn have you seen an adorable Shiba Inu puppy?"
"Yes, Antonio, I have. I'll take you to her," Mr. Hahn answers.
Mr. Hahn guides us to his office. As we enter the room, I hear Luna whimpers of fear as rain pounds against the window. I walk over to Mr. Hahn's desk since he told me she is hiding. I pull out the chair and kneel in front of it. Luna is curled up into a ball. She slowly lifts her head, and I smile at her. A few seconds later she quickly stands up and jumps into my arms when a tree branch tap against the window.
"It's okay Luna you're safe."
I use my elbow to push the chair back underneath the desk then walk over to Antonio and Mr. Hahn.
"Mr. Hahn is the complex pet-friendly?"
"Yes, it is. A few of the tenants have dogs." Mr. Hahn says.
A few moments later I feel my pocket vibrate, so I hand Luna to Antonio. I take out my phone to see that Dad is calling, and I answer it.
"Hi, dad, and don't worry Luna and I are fine. we're riding out the storm at a pet-friendly apartment complex,"
"Okay, sweetheart, come home as soon as the storm passes," Dad says.
"I will," I reply.
I hang up and put my phone back into my jacket pocket. I'm about to tell Antonio that he can give Luna back to me when I see Luna fast asleep in his arms. I let him carry her since I don't want to wake Luna up. We say goodbye to Mr. Hahn, and Antonio leads me to Gracie's apartment. When we arrive, I see a woman with medium length brown hair who is very tall standing next to a man who has the same appearance as Antonio, but a little taller. They are standing in front of the door. I guess they must have seen us walking up since they turn around to face us.
"Hello, son, is this beautiful young woman tu novia?" the man asks.
"No, papá." Antonio says, "Tracy and I just met."
I'm trying my best not to blush since Antonio's dad thought I was Antonio's girlfriend. Even though I think my heart is telling me that I'm ready to start dating again after what happened with Adolph Weller. I'm about to say something when I hear the door open.
"Hola, everyone, come on in," a girl says.
We turn to the right. I see a girl who looks to be two years older than me. She is wearing a tie-dyed shirt, a puffy skirt, leggings and ankle boots.
"Tracy, this is my cousin Gracie," Antonio says.
Gracie walks up to me and grabs my hand. She excitedly shakes my hand. I wince in pain as I start to lose feeling in my hand.
"Gracie, you can stop shaking Tracy's hand. It's turning blue," Antonio says.
Gracie lets go of my hand, and we walk into the apartment. Antonio lays Luna down on a dog that was next to the couch. Then we walk into the kitchen.
"So, Gracie, you have a dog?"
"Yes, I do, his name is Angelo," Gracie says.
Gracie calls the dog's name. A few seconds later a tricolor Coton De Tulear puppy runs into the room. Angelo jumps on me, and I fall to the floor. I use my right hand to break my fall, and I wince in pain when I land on the floor.
"Angelo, bad dog. Tracy, I'm so sorry about that. I just signed him up for a puppy training class, so he still learning that he's not supposed to jump on people," Gracie says quickly picking Angelo up off my chest.
"It's okay." I say as I push myself back up using my right hand, "I'm fine," I sit back down when a sudden rush of pain flows through my wrist.
"Here, let me help you," Antonio say holding out his left hand.
I put my left hand on his. I try not to blush as he helps me to my feet. I quickly take my hand away when I realize that I was holding his hand. I try to brush it off but couldn't think of anything.
"Tracy, your wrist is starting to swell," Mrs. Garcia says, "I'm a nurse. Is it alright if I take a look at it?"
I turn to face her and nod. Mrs. Garcia and I go over to the table. I sit down, and she asks me to make a fist. Then she places her left hand on my wrist. I sharply inhale as another wave of pain flows through it.
"Mom, is it broken?" Antonio asks.
"It doesn't feel broken. Tracy, could you straighten your finger for me?" Mrs. Garcia says.
I nod and slowly extend my fingers. I'm able to go out about halfway till I quickly bring them back in towards my hand.
"I'm sorry Mrs. Garcia, I can try again,"
"No, Tracy, it's fine. Also, you can call me Sonia. You have a sprained wrist, so try not to move it for the next 3-5 days." Sonia says.
Sonia lets go of my wrist. Mr. Garcia hands her the first aid kit and she wraps my wrist with a bandage.
Great now Antonio will have to come back to the Shiba house. I hope dad won't embarrass me.
I'm anxiously waiting for the storm to pass because I know that my father would embarrass me for sure. Ten minutes later, the rain stops and the wind dies down. Antonio and I say goodbye to his parents and Gracie. Antonio picks up Luna and we start to walk back to the Shiba house. Luckily, when we arrived my family isn't around, so we walk inside the house. Ji, Jayden and Ashley walked up to us.
"JI, where did my dad and the triplets go?"
"They went to the store to get some things for dinner," Ji answers.
"Okay, so Tracy, who is the handsome guy you brought to the house?" Ashley asks.
"It's Antonio. He is my friend," Jayden says.
Jayden introduces Ashley to him. We go to the recovery room, and the whole way Ashley keeps flirting with Antonio. As we enter the room, Antonio walks over to the dog bed and sets Luna down on it. I know Luna will start to whimper as soon as I leave, so I ask Ashley to get the pillow out of our room. I made the pillow from a t-shirt and I put one of my senior pictures on it.
I look over at Tracy and notice she is trying to hide the fact that she is jealous of Ashley flirting with Antonio. I offer to go since Ashley is distracted by Antonio. Tracy thanks me and I leave to go to Tracy and Ashley's room. Ji follows me.
"Jayden, so I take it you've noticed that Tracy may have feelings for Antonio?" Ji asks.
"Yes, and that would explain why she is jealous of Ashley,"
"I'm sure they'll talk about it tonight," JI says.
I know, Ji, they will, but what if they don't? Would they risk their friendship over one boy?
JI heads to the kitchen when I get to the entrance to the hallway leading to where the rooms are. I walk down and go into Tracy and Ashley's room. I find the pillow, and I'm a little dubious that a picture of her will keep Luna from whimpering when Tracy leaves the room. I pick it up and go back to the recovery room.
Jayden returns and walks up to me. He hands me the pillow. I set it down so the picture is facing Luna so she can see it. Luna sniffs it then licks the photo before grabbing it with her front paws and snuggling it. We walk out of the room while she is distracted.
"Tracy, how did you know that pillow would keep Luna from whimpering?" Antonio asks.
I explain that I read online about how to calm a dog with separation anxiety. I found out that leaving an item with a familiar scent will help keep the dog calm.
"That was smart, so, to change the subject slightly, what happened to your wrist?" Jayden asks.
Antonio explains what happened at Grace's apartment. We walk into the kitchen. I try to ask Antonio a few questions to make sure we are compatible before I even consider risking my friendship with Ashley over this. The only problem is that Ashley won't let me get a word in. So, after we have a light snack, I go outside and sit down on the bench on the front porch. A few seconds later I hear the front door open. I turn my head and see Ji.
"Tracy, you like Antonio don't you?" Ji asks.
"I don't know, Ji, I might but after what happened with Adolph Weller, I swore I was never going to date again."
"Tracy, I'm not going to ask what happened while you were dating Adolph, but sometimes life works out in ways you don't expect," Ji says.
"I know, but Ashley and I've been friends since we were four. Even when we started middle school, we promised we'd never let a boy get between us. But, it looks like Ashley forgot about the pact we made."
Ji walks over to me and puts his hand on my shoulder and says, "Tracy, you need to talk to her."
"I know," I sigh.
"If you have been friends for over ten years, I'm sure you'll work things out," Ji says confidently.
Then he pats my shoulder before heading back inside the house.
What am I supposed to tell Ashley? Ashley, I noticed that you have a crush on Antonio, but I did meet him first. No, if I say that she'll think that we'll have to compete for Antonio's heart. I may not know him that well, but I don't want to hurt him. Man, I wish that we never got those message arrows. Still, Ashley should have picked up on the cues that I like Antonio. So I'm not talking to her until she brings it up.
Chapter 12: One of Tracy's Fears Arises and Ashley Apologizes
The daily routine around the Shiba House has changed a lot in the past three days. Antonio has moved in. Ji told him and Jayden that they would be sharing a room. It allowed them to catch up, so the boys didn't mind the new sleeping arrangements. Tracy still refuses to talk to Ashley about the situation with Antonio and their feelings towards him. Dr. Santiago made a house call and was amazed by how quickly Luna recovered and told Tracy that Luna was clear to start training tomorrow.
Tracy and Antonio are in the dojo. Tracy is lying flat on the floor. Tracy lifts both of her legs toward the ceiling and goes through the five ballet positions. She slowly brings her legs back down and goes into a rollback to get back on her feet, then walks over to Antonio.
"I know how important it is for me to be ready to fight when Master Xandred finally shows up. I shouldn't be wasting time stretching," Tracy says.
"You don't have to apologize. I don't want to see you get hurt again. Now, let's get to work. I hope that I can teach you how to become a good fighter like me," Antonio says.
Antonio takes hold of her wrist. He leads her to the middle of the room. Tracy slowly slides her hand out of Antonio's grasp and starts to blush when their fingers brush against each other. She places her hand over her heart and feels it beating so fast that Tracy is scared it will pop out of her chest. Antonio looks over at her and asks, "Are you okay?"
Tracy takes a deep breath and looks over her shoulder, "Yeah I'm good,"
Antonio chuckles as he steps closer to her and starts to show her some of the moves he learned from Jayden. After Antonio feels she has mastered them, they are standing in the middle of the room. Tracy is facing him. Her back is towards the wall where the swords are setting on a stand. He cups his hands and tells Tracy to place her right foot on top of his hands. Tracy lets out a quiet gasp of fear before starting to walk backward. She is moving so fast that she trips over her own feet and groans as she lands on the floor.
"Tracy, are you alright? You didn't hurt your ankle, did you?" Antonio asks, dashing over to her and carefully helping her to her feet.
"I'm fine Antonio, but we can't do that flip," Tracy says in a shaky tone.
"Why not?" Antonio asks as he sees a few tears start to build up in Tracy's eyes.
"Because I've never tried to do that flip since what happened the day my ballet teacher had me try it two years ago," Tracy says through the tears, "I'm scared the same thing will happen again, so can we do something different please?" Tracy continues.
Antonio moves his right hand and gently wipes away Tracy's tears with his fingers. He thinks his heart will split in half hearing the fear in Tracy's voice and seeing her crying.
"Tracy, I never meant to scare you like that. I want to help you, but if you don't feel like talking about it now, I can move onto something different," Antonio says.
Tracy takes a deep breath to calm herself down. Then she dries the rest of her tears.
"No, Antonio, I should have told you about this before we started training," Tracy says, "I'm okay with talking about it now."
Antonio walks her into the living room. They sit down on the chairs. A few moments later Jayden and Ji come into the room.
"Antonio, why aren't the two of you training?" Ji asks.
Antonio explains what just happened in the dojo. The three of them sit down. Tracy says it is okay for them to hear her story too, even though Ashley already knew about it since she was there that day also. Antonio moves in closer and puts his hand on Tracy's shoulder.
"It happened two years ago in my acro class. My teacher just paired me up with one of the boys in the class. We were working on a routine for the competition coming up at the end of the month. It was the first day we were practicing the trick." Tracy sighs, "After my teacher tells us how we are supposed to do it, I was getting myself into position when my partner flipped me up so high I didn't have much time to react. My right foot slipped on the mat when I tried to land, and the next thing I knew I was waking up and I couldn't breathe for a few seconds."
"It sounds to me like your partner was too impatient," Ji says.
"Yes, but you shouldn't be worried about that happening again with Antonio as your partner," Jayden says.
Tracy looks over at Antonio. He slowly moves his right hand and uses his fingers to wipe the tears from her eyes - again.
"Tracy, as I said earlier, I don't want to see you get hurt again. Plus, I'd never forgiven myself if I was the one responsible for your injuries." Antonio says, "When you feel like you're ready to conquer this fear, I'll be right by your side to help you."
Tracy reaches over and hugs him. Antonio embraces her back. When they break apart the duo freezes when their eyes meet Ji brings them back to reality by loudly clearing his throat.
"I have nothing against the fact you two having feelings for each other and may start dating, but training needs to come first. we don't know how much time we have left before Master Xandred or his mooger army start appearing in our world," JI says
The duo turns their heads towards Ji and say, "Yes, Ji,"
I go outside to talk with Tracy to ask why she refuses to speak to me. Tracy is working on her symbol powers. She finishes painting the blizzard symbol. Tracy quickly moves out of the way when it activates a bunch of ice. Snow flies towards me. Tracy turns around and takes out her morpher. She draws a new symbol. This one manages to control the blizzard, so everything only hits my shoulder and freezes it.
"Thanks for saving me,"
Tracy rolls her eyes and turns back around. She starts to paint a different symbol. I walk over to her.
"Tracy, how much longer are you going to be giving me the silent treatment?"
Tracy stops painting and turns the easel, so it is facing the sun. She picks up the brush and gets back to work.
"What did I do to get you so upset?"
This time Tracy finishes the symbol, and a massive block of ice surrounds her once it activates. I sigh in defeat and head back inside to see if Jayden can help me get to the bottom of why Tracy froze my shoulders and suddenly decided to shut me out. I walk down the hallway to Jayden and Antonio's room and knock on the door.
"Come in," Jayden says.
I open the door and walk in. Jayden is sitting at the desk. He is working on his symbol power. When I get to him, he sets down his brush and turns around to face me. I see his eyes widen in shock seeing my shoulder encased in ice.
"Ashley, what happened?" he asks.
"I go outside to talk to Tracy about why she stopped talking to me. She was working on her blizzard symbol, and it was heading toward me. Tracy drew a different symbol to control it, and this is the result."
"Using her symbol power on you is wrong, but the bright side is that it looks like Tracy has mastered the blizzard symbol," Jayden says.
"I guess so," I say, rolling my eyes.
Jayden picks up his morpher and draws two small fire kanji. He activates them, and I sigh in relief when the ice melts. I roll my shoulders and go over to the bed and sit down, placing my elbows on my knees then rest my chin on my hands.
"So, why did you come here to talk to me?" Jayden asks.
"I was hoping that you know why Tracy has stopped talking to me."
"Yes, I do. Tracy introduced Antonio to you, and a few seconds later you started to flirt with him." Jayden says.
"But why would that cause Tracy to give me the silent treatment?"
"Ji and I have noticed that Tracy is developing feelings for Antonio," Jayden says.
"Wait, you're saying Tracy was afraid that I would ask him out?"
"Maybe, but Tracy started to be jealous that you were flirting with Antonio," Jayden says.
"I can't believe that I didn't pick up on Tracy's cues that she likes him," I say, standing up then pecking Jayden on the cheek, "I need to go back outside and apologize,"
I chuckle softly seeing Jayden blushing once he realizes that I just kissed him. I leave and go back outside to try to apologize to Tracy.
I walk back outside to work on some of my fighting moves after putting away the easel. I'm about to step onto the platform when I hear the front door open. I do an aerial to pick my morpher up off of the bench. When I see Ashley walking over towards me, I draw the glacier symbol and activate it. A thin wall of ice appears between us, and I turn around, so my back is facing Ashley.
"Tracy, I just talked to Jayden. I found out why you are mad at me." Ashley says.
I quickly turn around and see tears starting to form in Ashley's eyes. Ashley's voice begins to crack when she says, "I'm sorry for being so dense about not noticing that you like Antonio."
"You're right you should have," I snap, "We've been friends for so long, and you also didn't realize how your actions hurt me."
"I'm sorry about that too," Ashley says through her tears.
"How can I be sure that you're just not crying to make your apology seem sincere?" I snap again.
"Tracy, I never act like that, you know me better than that," Ashley says, still crying.
"True, but you should have figured this out sooner," I shout.
My throat starts to hurt from all the shouting I'm doing. I begin to cough and go back over to the bench. I pick up a glass of water and drink some of it. Once I stopped, I turn around and see Ashley drying her tears and drawing a symbol to summon her sword. She cuts through the ice and walks closer to me.
"Tracy, I want you to ask Antonio out," Ashley says.
"Why? Don't you like him?"
"I thought Antonio and I had something in common, but we aren't as compatible as I thought. He likes fishing, and I can't stand the smell of fish." Ashley says, "While I was trying to get to know him, he did mention you a lot. Can we start over and forget this ever happened?"
I make a fist with my right hand and hold it out in front of me. Ashley smiles and makes a fist too. We do the special handshake that we made up in first grade.
"So does this mean we are friends again?" Ashley asks.
"Yes, since you found out that you and Antonio aren't compatible. So, you have a crush on Jayden?"
"Yes, and I think he might like me back," Ashley says.
"Really, how did you come to that conclusion?"
"When I kiss him on the cheek he starts to blush," Ashley answers, "So, are you ever going to tell Antonio how you feel?"
"I'm not sure if Antonio and I are even compatible since I don't know him that well," I say, "Once I learn that, I'll find the courage to tell him how I feel,"
A month goes by, and Fiarce is confident that his daughter is ready to fight master Xandred. He is sitting at the desk and hears his phone ring. He sees his wife's number on the screen when he picks it up.
"Hi, honey, is Chris coming home soon? You know that Tracy is worried about him," Fiarce says.
"I know Fiarce, but the doctors found a tumor on Chris's last CT scan," Ballade asks.
"Is it cancerous?" Fiarce asks.
"They did a biopsy, and it came back benign, and his surgery to remove it is on Friday," Ballade says.
"Should I tell Tracy?" Fiarce asks.
"Not yet. I called Derrial, and he will fly in to help take care of Chris while he is recovering, " Ballade says, "I'll be flying to Panorama city. We need to tell Tracy about why we didn't start to train her when we found out that she inherited the symbol power,"
They hang up, and Fiarce sets his phone back down on the desk. He puts his hands on his temples and rubs them while he is trying to process that Chris has a benign brain tumor. Meanwhile, Luna wakes Tracy up to take her for her morning walk. They walk into the park. A lump starts to form in Tracy's throat when a boy, around 5'4'' with hazel eyes and brown hair and a girl around 5'8'' with green eyes and chestnut brown hair, walks up to her. Luna senses that Tracy doesn't want them to get too close to her, so she stands in front of Tracy's feet. These people are Tracy's ex, Adolph, and his girlfriend, Antoinette Corielli.
"Tracy, did you move out here?" Adolph asks.
"It is nice to see you again," Antoinette adds.
Tracy swallows the lump and takes a deep breath to calm herself down before she says, "No, one of my mom's friends called and asked if I can come out here to help with his service project. So, what are you two doing here?"
"We are just visiting to spend more time together before we go off to college," Antoinette says.
A wave of anger and shock rushes through Tracy's body when she hears Adolph ask, "Tracy, do you think we can be friends?" Tears begin to form in Tracy's eyes when she says, "Adolph your name may mean noble wolf, but you're nothing but a devil in disguise. There is no way I could even be friends with an insensitive pig-headed jerk like you,"
"What do you mean saying that Adolph is an insensitive and pig-headed jerk?" Antoinette asks.
Tracy couldn't hold back her tears anymore when she says, "Antoniette I'd hate to see you two break up after I answer your question, but you need to hear this." Tracy wipes her tears away the best she can, but it is no use. They keep escaping from her eyes. She explains that she was completely honest with Adolph and opened up to him. The only thing he did was fake a smile and spat out a few compliments that he didn't mean. Tracy lets out another shaky sigh when she reminds Adolph that he asked her to Prom, giving her the ticket. The night of the dance she finished getting ready and was sitting in her room waiting for him pick her up. He texted her and Tracy hiccups as she recites the message, "Tracy thanks for doing such a good job pretending to like me. You made Antoinette Corielli so jealous that she admitted that she liked me and asked me out. So, I'm taking her to prom instead of you. Also, we don't have to hang out anymore.'
Tracy drops Luna's leash and runs away. She didn't want to see through her tears what would happen next with Adolph and Antoinette. Luna picks up the leach and runs after her. Her vision is fuzzy from her tears, so she doesn't see Antonio walking down the path. She bumps into him and starts to fall to the ground. Antonio lets go of his fishing cart and takes hold of her wrist to save her from falling. He gently pulls her towards him. After Tracy is back on her feet, she looks up and sees Antonio untie his scarf as he uses it to dry her eyes. He puts it in his pocket. He hands her a bottle of water, and Tracy nods to thank him and drinks about half of it before putting the lid back on.
"Tracy, why were you crying?" Antonio asks as he lets go of her wrist.
"I ran into my old boyfriend from high school, and he asked me if we could be friends," Tracy says.
They walk over to a log and sit down. Tracy smiles when she sees Luna run up and sit down in between her and Antonio's feet.
"Tracy, if you don't want to talk about the details, it's okay," Antonio says.
"Thank you," Tracy says placing her head on his chest.
Antonio is in shock when she suddenly hugs him. He recovers quickly and hugs her back. They sit like that for a few minutes before Tracy lifts her head and backs away.
"We should head back to the house, so we aren't late for training," Tracy says.
Antonio nods and they stand up and head back to the house. On the way, Tracy summons up the courage and wraps her left hand around his right arm. Antonio stops and looks over at her. She turns her head, and their eyes meet. They smile at each other and let the moment play out till Luna barks, bringing them back to reality.
"I guess you want to hold my hand?" Antonio asks.
"Yes," Tracy answers.
She lets go of his arm and slowly moves her hand down, so it is a few inches away from his. Antonio turns his right hand up towards Tracy's. Tracy feels her heart race as she puts her hand on top of Antonio's. Antonio laces his fingers in between hers. Tracy is amazed by how perfectly their hands fit together. Before they continue walking down the path, Tracy sets her head on Antonio's shoulder. He looks down at her.
"Sorry, Antonio, I guess I'm getting too bold," Tracy says.
"You don't have to apologize. But, what would someone, by that I mean your father, think we're dating if we walk through the front gate like this?" Antonio says.
Fiacre is sitting on the bench on the porch waiting for Tracy to come home. After the front gate opens, he feels his blood start to boil when seeing his daughter holding Antonio's hand and rest her head on his shoulder as they walk through.
I'm going to make sure this relationship doesn't start. I don't want my daughter's heart to get broken again. Fiacre thinks.
The loving father takes a few deep breaths to calm himself down before standing up and walking over to his daughter and Antonio. Tracy lets go of Antonio's hand and takes her head off of his shoulder as he approaches them.
"Tracy Anne, are you and Antonio dating?" Fiacre asks.
"No, dad we aren't. I'm hoping we will become a couple someday," Tracy answers.
"Tracy, I'm afraid the two of you will never become a couple," Fiacre says.
"Why can't we become a couple?" Tracy asks.
"If you and Antonio start dating, mistakes could be made on the battlefield if you two let your feelings for each other take over," Fiacre answers.
"Dad, Antonio and I have been training together for a month. We've had no problem acting professional," Tracy says, "Also, Ji is okay with us becoming a couple,"
"I don't care if Ji is okay with it. I'm your father. So, you two are not going to date," Fiacre snaps.
Antonio looks over at Tracy and sees tears forming in her eyes. Tracy drops Luna's leash and says "Dad, I hate you." before she runs into the house. She runs to her and Ashley's room. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, the triplets are helping Ji doing the dishes. The Burlew siblings jump when they hear their old sister slam the bedroom door shut.
"Ji, why is Tracy upset?" Aaron asks.
"I'm not sure Aaron," Ji answers.
Back with Tracy, she leans her back up against the bedroom door. Then slowly slides down and sits on the floor. She pulls her knees to her chest and continues to cry. When she hears the faint clicking sound as Luna runs down the hall, so she slowly reaches her left hand up to open the door to let the puppy in the room. Luna puts her front paws on Tracy's knees and licks her face to dry the tears from Tracy's cheek.
"Thank you, Luna, but I wish dad would stop being so suborned. We've been living in the Shiba house for a month and refused to get to know Antonio." Tracy says petting Luna on the head.
I have a hunch that Antonio will be showing up soon since he wants to make sure I'm okay. Once I stop crying, I unclip the leash from Luna's collar before I stand up. Luna follows me over to the desk. I set it down, and use a couple of tissues to clean myself up. A few seconds later I hear a knock at the door.
"Tracy, can I come in?" Antonio asks.
"Sure, Antonio," I answer.
I look over towards the door and smile seeing him walk over to me. He stops so we are about a shoulder's length apart from each other.
"Antonio, I'm sorry about my father,"
"It's okay. Your father is upset about you dating again I guessing that Adolph didn't treat you with respect and hurt you." Antonio says.
"You've got that right. Adolph is nothing but an insensitive, and pig-headed jerk. He only asked me out to make me out to make another girl Antoinette jealous enough to ask him out. What hurt me, even more, is that Adolph believed that would pretend to have feelings form him."
Antonio moves closer and places his hand on my cheek. I feel my heart begin to race as he leans in and his lips were a few inches from touching mine.
Is he going to kiss me? Am I finally going to have my first kiss?
I see Antonio moves his lips away from mine and kiss me on the cheek.
"Your father shouldn't ban you from dating. You didn't do anything wrong. It was Adolph. He never learned that any girl's feelings are important, they are humans too and are not some pawn in the game of love, and her heart isn't a yo-yo." Antonio says.
He starts to walk away. I grab his wrist and turn back around.
I know my father doesn't want us to be together, but I have to follow my heart.
I pull him back in towards me then quickly kiss him on the lips. I walk back towards my bed and nervously wait for Antonio's response. My heart is beating so fast I'm nervous it may jump right out of my chest. As Antonio walks over, I lean back and begin to fall onto the bed. He grabs my hand and pulls me back onto my feet.
"Thanks for the save, and Antonio am sorry about the kiss. I wanted to see..." I say getting cut off as Antonio kisses me back.
Antonio backs away, and all I can do is smile.
"So, does this mean we're going to work together to show my dad that we can date and still be rangers at the same time?"
"Yes," Antonio answers.
Tracy, Antonio, and Luna go to the kitchen. Ji and the Triplets just finished putting the dishes away. Amelia turns around and sees a big smile still plastered on her big sister's face.
"Tracy, did you and Antonio kiss?" Amelia asks.
"Amelia, why would you think that?" Tracy answers.
"Becuase you are smiling a lot," Amelia says.
"Yeah, mom said girls do that a lot after their first kiss," Angela adds.
"Ew, stop talking about that gross stuff," Aaron complains.
"Calm down you three, trust me someday you'll start dating, and you'll have to deal with mom and dad reactions," Tracy says.
"When we dad, let me and Angelia date?" Amelia asks.
"Yeah, I want a boyfriend," Angela says.
"Not me, I'm never going to have a girlfriend. Girls will always have cooties," Arron says.
"Girls, dad probably won't let you start dating till you're 17," Tracy says.
"Why do we have to wait so long," Angela and Amelia complain.
Tracy lets go of Antonio's hand and walks over to her little brother. Then she ruffles his hair and says, "Arron, believe me, one day you'll meet a pretty girl, and also cooties aren't real,"
The next morning I wake up and still can't believe that Antonio kissed me since we haven't admitted our feeling for each other. I'm confident that we have a connection just like he said the first day we meet. When he kissed me, I felt such a string spark between us it has to mean we are meant to be. I change out of my pajamas into a tank top with a built-in bra and a camo t-shirt on top, a pair of work out pants and my tennis shoes. I watch Luna quietly take the leash off of the desk. Then she walks over to me and sets it in front of my feet.
"We'll leave for your walk after we eat something, okay girl?" I chuckle reaching down to pick it up.
Luna wags her tail happily, and we go to the kitchen. I thought Antonio left to go fishing since he likes to head out to the stream in the forest early in the morning. So, I'm surprised to see him when Luna and I walk into the room. He is cooking scrambled eggs. I smile seeing he already filled Luna's bowl with food. She walks over to it and starts to eat. I set the leash on the table before I go over to the counter and pour myself and Antonio a glass of orange juice. Antonio walks over and sets two plates down in front of our seats.
"Good morning, I thought you left to go fishing,"
"Not this morning, I'd thought we could get to know each other better while we take Luna for her morning walk through the park," Antonio says winking.
I start to blush as I set my glass down in front of my seat. Then we sit down and start eating. After a few bites I put my fork down and says, "Antonio, you didn't have to feed Luna."
"I know, but I wanted to, Luna already thinks we're are made for each other and will get married someday," Antonio says.
"Don't get ahead of yourself, Antonio, we still need to convince my father to lets us date first before you even think about buying an engagement ring," I say giving him a friendly shove.
I look down at my lap and see Antonio's left hand on top of my right. I try not to blush for the second time this morning as I quickly turn my attention back to my breakfast and start eating again. After we finish eating I feel Luna gently pulling at my pant leg. I get up and go over to the table pick up the leash and attach it to Luna's collar after she sits down in front of me. As I stand up, Antonio comes up to me.
"Shall we Angel," Antonio says.
"I'm happy you''re trying to come up with a pet name for, but you may need to come up with something else so Angela won't get confused,"
"I'll work on it," Antonio says before he kisses me on the cheek.
"What about the dishes?" I ask.
"Don't worry sweetheart. I'll do them," Mom says.
I jump and accidentally step on Luna. She yelps in pain and I kneel back down to check on her.
"Sorry girl," I apologize.
I chuckle when Luna's licks my cheek.
"I guess that means she accepts your apology," Antonio says.
I stand up and turn towards the doorway to the kitchen. Then see my mom walk over to us.
"Tracy, you didn't tell me you had an older sister," Antonio says.
"Mom, this is Antonio. Antonio, this is my mom," I say.
Antonio shakes my mom's hand.
"Tracy, this one is a keeper. I'd have no problem with him being my future son-in-law," Mom says.
"Mom, you may not want to start planning the wedding yet. Dad is forbidding us from even dating,"
"Don't worry sweetheart. Your father will come around in time," Mom says.
"I hope so Mom. Now to address the elephant in the room, what are you doing here?" I ask.
"Your father and I need to discuss something important to you and the triplets. After you and your handsome boyfriend take that adorable puppy for her morning walk," Mom says kneeling down to pet Luna.
Luna doesn't back away from my mom's hand when she reaches out to let her sniff it. Luna licks it then rubs her heads against the palm and lets mom pet her.
"So does this cutie have a name?" Mom asks standing up.
"Yes, her name is Luna,"
"So did you find her or did she find you?" Mom asks.
"Luna found me," I say.
"Why am I not surprised," Mom says.
I chuckle as Luna gently pulls me towards the door. Antonio follows behind me. Ten minutes later, we arrive at the park and walk down the path leading through the forest. I'm so worried about what mom and dad are going to tell me I didn't see the tree root. Luna jumps over it, and Antonio grabs my wrist. I drop the leash when he pulls me towards him.
"Tracy, you seem a little distracted, are you okay?" Antonio asks as he lets go of my wrist.
"Yes, I'm fine thanks for the save."
"You're welcome, so what's bugging you?" Antonio asks.
I walk over to a log and sit down.
"I'm just worried about what my parents want to discuss. It could be about Chris,"
"Maybe or you never know one of your cousins, Nina, she could be having a baby," Antonio says sitting down next to me and placing his hand on top of mine.
I hope Nina is having a baby. I don't want to find out that Chris has Amnesia or worse the doctors discovered a tumor on his brain.
After I finished cleaning up the dishes from Tracy and Antonio's breakfast, I wake up my husband and the triplets and take them out to a nice restaurant in the city. We sit down at the booth and order our drinks. When the hostess leaves, it takes the triplets two seconds to start asking questions.
"Mom, did we do something wrong?" Aaron asks.
"No, sweetie, no one is in trouble,"
"Why are you here?" Amelia asks.
"We are going to have a family meeting once we get home,"
"Are you going to have a baby, mom?" Angela asks.
"No, Angel, our family isn't going to get any bigger,"
"Why did you think your mom was going to have a baby, Angelia?" Fiacre asks.
"Tracy and Chris told me the last family meeting you had was when you told them we were going to be born," Angela says.
"Your father and I have something to tell all of you about your brother, that's all,"
The waitress walks up, and we order our food. After we finished, I thought the triplets would ask about him, but instead, they start coloring the picture on their menus.
As we leave the park, I let Antonio walk Luna because my arm was starting to get tired. Plus, I'm still distracted by the anxious thoughts rolling around in my mind. Not to mention that my stomach is still in knots. We walk inside the house, and Antonio unclips the leash from Luna's collar. She goes over to the bed in the corner of the living room near the window and lays down. I sit down on one of the chairs around the coffee table in the living room. Antonio sits down next to me. We wait for my family to show up. My heart leaps out of my chest when I hear the front door open. I start to fall. Antonio quickly stands up. He grabs my hand and pulls me towards him to keep me from hitting the hardwood floor. I thank him for the save, and we sit down again.
We walk to the living room; I see Tracy and Antonio sitting on one side of the coffee table. The triplets go over and sit down on the chairs across from Tracy and Antonio. My husband and I walk over and stand at the head of the table. I watch Antonio start to leave.
"Antonio, I want you to stay," Tracy says, quickly grabbing his wrist.
"Tracy, this is a personal conversation for your family. I don't want to intrude," Antonio says turning around to face her.
"Antonio, I want you to become a member of this family someday no matter what my dad says," Tracy says.
"Antonio, honey, I'm giving you my permission to stay,"
"Ballade, why are you doing this?" Fiarce asks.
"Firace, you need to put your stubbornness aside. Tracy wants him to stay, so Antonio is going to stay,"
Tracy lets go of Antonio's wrist, and he sits back down on his chair. I see my daughter's hands start to shake when she places them down on the table. Antonio puts his right hand on top of her left and gives it a comforting squeeze.
"Did Chris get an infection while he was in the coma?" Tracy asks.
"Chris didn't get sick," Firace says.
"Is he coming home from the hospital?" Amelia asks.
"He will in a few days,"
"Will we get to play with him when he gets home?" Aaron asks.
"Not for a while Aaron," Firace says.
"Why not?" The triplets ask.
"The doctors discovered Chris had a tumor on his brain,"
"Tumor, like what uncle Rudy had on his brain," Amelia says.
"Yes, Amelia, but the one on Chris's brain isn't cancer like Uncle Rudy's,"
"Did Chris do something wrong?" Aaron asks.
"No, sweetie, your brother isn't being punished,"
"Is Chris going to be okay mom?" Angela asks.
"Yes, Angel, Chris will be okay. He will have surgery on Friday to remove it. Your Uncle Derrial will be coming to help out while he is recovering,"
I take my hand out of Antonio's and quickly stand up. I move so fast I flip my chair. The clattering sound is enough to distract everyone so I can get out without anyone seeing me. I take out my Samurizer and draw the blizzard symbol. I activate it and then quickly run out of the room. As I run down the path in the forest behind the house, I switch between freezing the branches on the trees and breaking them off by slashing them with my spin sword.
How can this be happening? Why couldn't mom have just said that Chris is home? I'm happy that the tumor is benign, but I'll have to wait up to 12 weeks to see him again.
I make it to a clearing. I use my symbol power to create six big blocks of ice. I pick up my sword and start cutting away at the ice. After destroying the third block, I feel a sudden gust of wind. I turn around and wipe the tears from my eyes. Then I see a nighlok with a red, skull-like mask with many white parts of armor covering its body. I get into my ready stand and hold my sword in front of me to protect myself when it tries to attack me.
"What are you doing here Nighlok? Do you work for Master Xandred?" I ask.
"No, Silver Ranger, I don't work for Master Xandred." It says, "I'm just looking for a worthy opponent for the ultimate duel,"
My vision starts to get fuzzy as a dizzy spell hits me. I think I'm losing it. I'm able to make out the nighlok turning into a human. A man runs up and catches me. Exhaustion must have taken control since I'm fighting to stay awake.
Do you have a name?"
"Yes, it's Deker," the man says.
"Deker," I whisper.
I hear my sword make a clanking sound when I feel it slide out of my hand before everything fades to black.
I lay the silver ranger back down and walk around to look at the ice blocks she created. I see piles of thin ice shavings on the ground where the blocks once were.
Well, it looks like I found a worthy opponent for Uramasa sooner than I expected.
I turn my attention back to her once I hear a rumble of thunder. I run over to her, pick up the silver ranger's sword and manage to put inside my carrier next to my trusty sword, Uramasa. Then hear her let out a low moan as I pick her up. I cradle her in my arms as I head towards the cave.
The Burlew family and Antonio look around the room, and everyone starts to get worried when Tracy is nowhere in site.
"Mom, where did Tracy go?" Aaron asks.
"I'm not sure, but we need to find her," Ballade says.
"Mom, why did Tracy run away?" Amelia asks.
"She was upset about hearing the news about your brother, that's all," Ballade answers.
The triplets jump again and scream when another loud rumble of thunder echoes through the sky. Amelia runs over to her father and hugs his leg. Arron goes to his mother and gives her a bear hug. Antonio lets out a soft chuckle when he looks down to see Angela's eye asking him to protect her from the storm that is beginning to roll in. A few seconds later she jumps into his arms when the sound of lightning crackling in the sky startles the already scared child. Antonio wraps his arms around her. His heart is breaking since she is shaking like a leaf as he brings her in towards his chest, hoping the sound of his heartbeat will calm her down. Angela's reactions to the storm rolling in reminded him of his cousin Sofia. She and the triplets share the same fear.
"Antonio, you'll protect me from the storm monsters, right?" Angela asks.
"You bet Angela," Antonio says.
I have enough time to make a bed from twigs and gathered water from the lake as well as some things for that burnt down cabin in the forest before the rain come down like a waterfall. I found some wood to make a fire after it was roaring. I go over to the silver ranger. The damp rag I put on her forehead sides off and lands in her lap when she quickly sits up. I'm about to place my hand on her chest to lay her back down. She smacks my hand away.
"Wow, you may be exhausted, but your reflexes are still sharp," I say, rubbing the back of my hand.
"Thanks for the compliment, I guess, and for your help, but I need to get back," she groans.
I watch her arms shake as they struggle to hold her weight. She gets her body a few inches off the ground before her arms give out and she faints.
Where did you acquire this stubbornness?
I put a new cloth on her forehead then walk over to the cave entrance and watch the storm.
The triplets calmed down enough that they fell asleep in the arms of their 'storm monster' guardian. Antonio and Tracy's parents walk to the triplets' room so they could rest in their beds. After they leave the room, the group goes to the kitchen.
"Antonio, that song you sang to Angela was beautiful," Ballade says.
"Thank you; it was a song my aunt Micaela sang to Sofia," Antonio says.
"I'm guessing Sofia, and the triplets both share a fear of storms," Ballade says.
"Yes," Antonio says, "Now that the triplets have calmed down. I'll go look for Tracy," Antonio continues.
"Antonio, I appreciate your concern for Tracy, but it's too dangerous to go searching for her right now," Ballade says.
"My wife is correct, Antonio, you can go look for her once the storm lets up," Fiarce says.
My eyes dart open as I sit up. I'm happy. This time when I try to move, my arms aren't shaking. I turn to my left to see Deker making stew.
"Good, you're finally awake," Deker says looking up from the pot.
"The smell of that stew is what woke me up,"
"I don't mind sharing. You need to eat to replenish your strength after using all that symbol power making those ice blocks in that clearing," Deker says.
"I know politeness is a part of the samurai code, but aren't we supposed to be enemies?"
"The war hasn't begun yet," Deker says, "So, for now, I'm free to do what I think is right." Deker continues, handing me a bowl and spoon.
I'm hesitant to take it from him, but the loud growling sound echoes off the cave walls. I blush from embarrassment and wipe the drool from my lips. Deker chuckles as I quickly snatch the bowl and start eating. When I finish eating, I give everything back to him.
"Thank you," I say as I start to stand up.
"You might want to wait a little longer," Deker says.
"What do you mean?"
I walk up to the cave entrance and squint when some rain hits me in the eye. I stumble back and manage to do a back walkover and seamlessly transition into a handspring to keep the head from hitting the cave floor. I dry my eyes and turn around to see a look of shock on Deker's face.
"Where did you learn how to do that?" He answers.
"My Acro dance class,"
"It that where you learned how to move that gracefully?" Deker asks.
"I'd like to think it was my ballet class. Although, both of my teachers did say I have a lot of natural talent," I say
I walk over to the bed. I feel my anxiety level skyrocket when I don't see my sword, so I spin around to face Deker.
"Where is my sword?"
Deker takes my spin sword out of a holder where he keeps his sword. He hands it to me.
"How did you find me?"
"I heard your screams as you unleashed all the emotions you had built up over something that upset you," Deker says, "Why were you upset?" Deker asks.
"Before I came here my older brother was in a car accident. The doctors put him in a medically induced coma." I say letting out a shaky breath, "I've been waiting an entire month to get an update on his condition" I growl as a small wave of anger flows over me. I turn back around and start to slash the wall near me before I continue. "Then my mom shows up to finally tell me some news." I continue before I slash the wall again, "Instead of telling me that he is back home resting, she says that the doctors found a tumor on his brain,"
The silver ranger walks back towards the entrance to the cave. I see tears starting to form in her eyes. I try to stop her from running off into the rain by grabbing her wrist. She turns around and kicks me in the stomach. I quickly drop to my knees. She slides her hand free from my grip and sprints off into the rain.
Tracy slowly opens the front gate and hears a sloshing sound as she walks up to the porch. Before going inside, Tracy rings out all the water she can from her hair and clothes. Then tapping the toes of her shoes on the hardwood to drain the rain out of them, Tracy lets out a frustrated groan as her sneakers squeak as she walks through the front door. Inside the kitchen, Antonio and Tracy's parents turn around as the sound of Tracy's shoes alert them to her entering the room. Tracy stops in the doorway, and a tiny puddle forms as some excess water drips off her hair. Ballade sees her daughter's tear-stained puffy eyes and red nose as she walks over to her.
"Mom, I'm sorry for running away. it wasn't a mature way for me to respond to the news." Tracy says.
"Tracy, sweetie, your father and I aren't upset," Ballade says then kisses her on the forehead before continuing, "We know that learning about a tumor wasn't the news you were expecting,"
Fiacre walks up to his daughter and fixes her hair by putting it behind her ear. Then he says, "Your mother is right. we are happy that you're alright,"
"Now, go change before you get sick," Ballade says.
I nod. I have a towel wrapped around my hair to dry it off. As I walk in the room, Ashley runs up to me.
"Tracy, what happened?"
"I ran away after mom said that the doctors found a tumor on Chris's brain."
"I'm sorry, is the tumor cancerous?" Ashley asks.
"No, thankfully it is benign," I say, swallowing the lump in my throat to keep myself from crying.
"Did you run around in the storm?" Ashley asks.
"Kind of and I'll explain everything else that happened at dinner,"
"Okay, I'll leave to give you some privacy to change," Ashley says.
After she leaves, I go over to my dresser and take out some dry clothes. I change into the Sparrow - Berry Pink crop top, and high-waisted denim mini skirt. I completed my new look with the Acer black studded sneakers Aunt Mary bought me for my birthday last year. As I slip the right show onto my foot, I hear a knock at the door.
"Tracy, is it safe?" Antonio asks.
"Yes, you can come in,"
I stand up and see Antonio walk up to me. I smile when noticing Angela riding on his back.
"So, did my little sister ask you for a piggyback ride?"
"Yes, I did. Antonio protected me from the storm monsters too," Angela says.
"He did, was Antonio able to keep them away?"
"Yup and he even sang to me," Angela says.
"Really?" I gasp.
"It was a song my mom sang to me when I was little. I thought it might help her calm down," Antonio says.
"Thank you for helping my little sister. Storms tend to scare her as well as Arron and Amelia,"
I step closer and am about to kiss him when the sound of Angela giggling causes me to quickly back away.
"Sorry, little sister, but you need to thank Antonio for the ride. I need to talk to him." I say carefully taking her off Antonio's back and placing her down on the floor.
Angela says a quick thank you then hugs him. Antonio chuckles. After she lets him go, Angela runs out of the room giggling.
"Hey, you know not to run in the house," I shout.
"Sorry," Angela shouts.
"You just didn't want her to see us kiss, am I right?" Antonio asks as he gently pulls me back towards him.
Tracy nods. Antonio tucks some of Tracy's hair behind her ear. Then their eyes meet as he leans in. Their lips are a few inches away from the other's when there is another knock on the door.
"Sweetheart, I thought I would do a little laundry. I could wash those clothes you were wearing," Ballade says, standing in the doorway holding a laundry basket.
Come on, mom, you couldn't have waited for one more minute, Tracy thinks.
They back away, and Antonio steps to his left to stand next to Tracy.
"Thanks, mom," Tracy says politely.
"I wasn't interrupting something was I?' Ballade asks, seeing the duo trying to keep themselves from blushing.
"No," Tracy and Antonio answer together.
Ballade chuckles as she walks into the room.
"You two look even cuter together when you try to hide the fact that I kept you two from kissing," Ballade says.
"Wow, she's good," Antonio says.
"Yeah, it's one of those things a mother is good at," Tracy adds.
"I promise not to ruin the romantic moment next time," Ballade says.
She bends down to pick up the wet pile of clothes and the towel Tracy used to dry her hair. She puts it in the basket, as well then leaves the room.
"So, how about in a few days we go into the forest to look at the stars?" Antonio asks.
"Would that count as our first date?" Tracy answers.
"Yes, is that okay with you?" Antonio asks.
"It sounds great," Tracy says.
An hour later, everyone is in the kitchen sitting down to eat dinner. Tracy, Antonio. Jayden and Ashley sit down at the island area near the sink. Everyone else gathers around the table.
"So, Tracy you said that you would talk about what else happened while you ran off," Ashley says.
"Right, after I got to a clearing and used my symbol power to make some huge blocks of ice. I broke them by slashing them with my spin sword," Tracy says.
"Why, did you do that, sissy?" Aaron asks.
"Your sister was letting out her frustration about what we told you about Chris," Ballade says.
"What happened, next?" Jayden asks.
"After destroying the third block, I felt a sudden gust of wind. When I turned around, I saw a nighlok with a red, skull-like mask with many white parts of armor covering its body standing a few feet away from me. The nighlok said that its name is Deker" Tracy says.
"Is Deker working for Master Xandred?" Ji asks.
"No, Deker is looking for a worthy opponent for the ultimate duel," Tracy says.
"Is there anything else we should know about Deker?" Jayden asks.
Antonio, Jayden, Ashley, Ji and my little sisters are standing a safe distance away from me. While I stand in front of the big rock at the other training area, I take out my samuraizer and draw the ice symbol to activate it. I smile when I se the stone encased in ice when it hits it. A few seconds later, I hear running footsteps as I see Amelia run up to me.
"Can I try?" Amelia asks.
"I don't know, Amelia," I reply reluctantly.
"Why not?" Amelia asks.
"Because Amelia, you and Angelia have been told several times that my samuraizer isn't a toy," I answer.
"But, Trac, it wouldn't hurt to let her try this one time," Ashley says, walking up, "What's the worst that can happen?" Ashley asks.
"Fine, but this is the only time," I sigh.
I give my samuraizer to Amelia. I watch her draw the snow symbol correctly. When she activates it, three snowballs bounce back as they hit the frozen rock. They hit me in the chest and knock me to the ground.
"Sorry, Tracy," Amelia says.
"It's okay," I say, as I get to my feet.
Then I see Angela run up and tries to take my samuraizer from Amelia.
"It's my turn," Angela says.
"No, it's not," Amelia argues.
"Yes, it is," Angela says.
Then they start to fight over my Samuraizer like it is their favorite toy. I take it away to stop their argument.
"Angela, why do you want to try?" I ask.
"Because mom said that our family symbol power is being passed down from generation to generation and we are in the same generation. Would that mean I can use the power too?" Angela says.
"Not necessarily, but if you want to try, I'll let you. But, if mom finds out this wasn't my idea,"
Angela nods. I sigh again as I give it to her. Amelia, Ashley and I go over to the others as Angela stands in front of the rock. She draws the snow symbol, and five bigger snowballs appear when she activates it. Three bounce back and hit me in the shoulder. I close my eyes as the last two come toward my face. I slowly open them. I hear a splashing sound and look to my right.
"No problem," Jayden says.
"Tracy, how old were you when your first tried painting the ice symbol?" Ji asks.
"I was five. Why?" I reply.
I gasp when I see what Amelia just did, so I run back to the house. I burst into the kitchen.
"Fiarce, we have to tell Tracy the truth about why she, Amelia and Angela can use our family's symbol power," I say, out of breath.
Fiarce walks over to me with a glass of water and asks, "Ballade, honey, what did you see when Tracy was training today?"
I take the glass and take a few sips, "Tracy let Angela and Amelia draw some power symbols, and the same thing happened when Chris let Tracy draw the ice when she was five."
"It could have been a fluke," Fiarce says.
"No, it wasn't Fiarce. The girls are the same age that Tracy was when she first discovered that she could use the family symbol." I sigh, "We need to tell Tracy and the girls the truth."
"Are you sure that Angela and Amelia are old enough to fully understand why only the woman in our family inherited the symbol power?" Fiarce says.
"Even if they don't, the girls deserve to know," I say, "We'll tell them when they come back inside,"
I'm still in shock about what just happened. Amelia and Angela created even more snow than the first time I tried using that symbol. I hope mom and dad will explain why only we can use it, and Chris can't. We go back to the house for the next part of my morning training to work on my swordsmanship. I let Angela and Amelia do it too since I had a feeling that they would beg or use their cute face until I gave in, so I just told them that they could train with me. I have to admit it did make it a little more fun. It was like we were doing the training montage from the first part from Mulan 2 when she was teaching the kids from her village how to be tough and gentle.
"Tracy, I think you and Jayden should spar again so you can see how far you've come in the past month," Ji says.
I nod, the girls walk over to Antonio. They stand on either side of him. I take a few steps back and get into my ready position, as Jayden walks up onto the platform. We wait for Ji to tell us we can start.
My husband and I walk outside to see Tracy and Jayden are about to spar. We sit down on the bench on the porch to watch the match.
"Begin," Ji says.
When Jayden moves in to attack, she makes a "v" with her feet and brings her right hand in towards her, so both of her hands are on the handle. She blocks it and does a Foruette Turn. Jayden jumps to his right to avoid Tracy's left leg as it swings at his hip. We smile as Tracy does an aerial to get in front of Jayden again. When she brings her right hand up, it knocks Jayden's sword out of his hand. Then she swings her left foot behind his right legs and lightly kicks him on the shin. He flips into the air and lands on his back. Tracy sets her sword next to her on the platform and kneels in front of him.
"Sorry, Jayden, are you okay? I wasn't trying to hit you that hard- honest," Tracy apologizes as she helps him up.
"I'm okay but was that a new move? You have done that before," Jayden says.
"Yes, that was asombroso. When did you come up with it?" Antonio says.
"Sissy, what's asombroso mean?" Amelia asks.
"It means amazing," Tracy says. "Thanks for the kinds words Antonio, and I just improvised it,"
"Tracy, your father and I need to talk you and your sisters about a family matter," I say.
Everyone turns to face us, and I see the scared look on Tracy's face. She slowly picks up her sword and gives it to Jayden. Amelia and Angela give their swords to Antonio. Then the girls walk over to us, and we go inside to the living room. The girls sit down, and we stand in front of the coffee table. The girls are confused about seeing the two small boxes on top of it. The leopard zord is folded up in between them.
"Mom, what's with the boxes?" Amelia asks.
"Yeah, the triplets birthday isn't till next month," Tracy says.
"The boxes aren't birthday gifts," I say.
"So can we open them?" Angela and Amelia ask.
"In a bit, girls, for now, your father and I feel it is time to tell you, girls, why only you three can use our family's symbol power."
"Is it just because we are girls?" Tracy asks.
"No, Tracy, we didn't want to believe that our family's power was gender specific. When Chris was born, we believed he inherited it since he was the first born child," I say.
"So, when he was five we started to train him," Fiarce continues, "But nothing happened when he practiced it,"
"We thought that he wasn't ready, so your father and I stopped his training. We started it up again when he was a little older," I say.
"When he still couldn't make anything happened we got worried," Fiarce adds.
"So, when I was born you got scared that I was the one who inherited it," Tracy says.
"Yes, sweetheart, but we had to wait till you were old enough to see if you did," I say.
"So, that day Chris told you that I made ice appear, you decided to keep it a secret from me and not have me train." Tracy snaps as she quickly stands up.
"Sweetheart, I didn't want to put my baby girl in harm's way," Fiarce says.
"So, to keep me safe, you and mom decided to keep this a secret from me for thirteen years." Tracy snaps as a few tears begin to form in her eyes, "You told me that family doesn't keep secrets from each other. So, was that a lie?"
I watch the tears roll down Tracy's face as she continues, "What kind of lesson were you and dad trying to teach? That to keep something a secret is more important than someone's safety?"
I walk over to her and try to get her to calm down. Once she calms down, I dry the tears from her eyes and kiss Tracy's forehead.
"Tracy, honey," I say, "You have every right to be upset with us. Your father and I shouldn't have kept this a secret from you for as long as we did,"
"Sweetheart, your mother and I will never keep a secret from any of you ever again," Fiarce says as he walks over and hugs her.
Tracy walks back over and sits down in between Angela and Amelia.
Amelia and Angela happily untie the ribbons on their boxes and rip off the paper. Tracy's eyes widen in shock, watching her younger siblings take a samuraizer out of them. She's dumbfounded that her parents would even entertain the fact of allowing two kindergartners to fight Master Xandred and his nighlok army. The girls happily jump off their chairs. They go over to their parents and give them a bear hug. Tracy doesn't want to hear an explanation of her younger sister's powers. She gets up from her chair and starts to leave the room.
"Sweetheart, where are you going?" Fiarce asks.
"For a walk. I have a hunch that no matter what my feelings about this idea or my opinion will get you to change your mind," Tracy replies.
Tracy didn't allow either of her parents to say a word. Amelia turns around and watches her older sister walking out of the room.
"Did we do something wrong?" Amelia asks.
"No, sweetie, your sister needs some space," Ballade says.
"Your mother and I still have to explain why we gave you two those samuraizers," Fiarce adds.
Angela turns around and runs after Tracy. Fiarce tries to stop her but is unable to catch up with his daughter. After catching his breath, he goes back to the living room.
"You weren't able to catch her, were you?" Ballade sighs, seeing her husband return with Angela.
"No, she must have gotten her speed from your side of the family," Fiarce says.
"Angela won't follow Tracy, will she?" Amelia asks.
"If she did I'm sure Tracy will stop her before she makes it out of the house," Ballade says.
"So, Angela and I will be the silver ranger too?" Amelia asks.
"Yes, sweetie, but you and Angela's ranger powers have limitations," Ballade replies.
"Limitations, what does that mean?" Amelia asks looking are her parents lightly confused.
"It means you have specific rules for you and Angel's powers," Ballade says.
"What are the rules?" Amelia asks.
"You and Angela can only morph three times a week," Ballade says.
"Both of you can use symbol power alone, but your powers will work better together," Fiarce adds.
"Why do we have to be together?" Amelia asks.
"Because each of you only inherited half of the family symbol power," Ballade explains.
I walk past the kitchen and am about to go out the back when I hear running footsteps and turn around to see Angela sprinting down the hall. I pick her up to prevent her from colliding into me.
"You know the rules, no running in the house," I say as I put her down on the floor in front of me.
"Do you hate me because I'm going to be a ranger like you?" Angela asks.
"No, of course not, I don't want you and Amelia to have to fight in this war. So, I'm going to figure out how to stop it from starting." I reply.
"Can I come with you," Angela asks.
"No, this is something I have to do by myself," I say.
I walk away as fast as I can to the back exit. I know that I need to go back to the clearing where I first ran into Deker, so I can safely release my pent-up anger without hurting anyone. I sprint down the path and reach it. I walk to the center and take out my morpher. After drawing the blizzard symbol, I activate it, and a massive snowstorm appears. I must be angrier than I thought because it was so strong, a mighty wind whips through making small snow tornadoes.
I use my left hand to block some of the snow from flying into my eyes. I look towards the path, and my heart starts to race when I see Angela running up. A large tree branch breaks off due to the snow piled on top of it and falls towards her. I had to save her no matter what since I know mom and dad would be mad at me. I quickly draw one more symbol. An igloo appears around her. I barely hear a crashing sound when it falls on the ground. My vision begins to get blurry. I must have used all the power I had left to protect my little sister. Then everything quickly fades to black.
My mentor, Francesca, mom, and I are taking a short break from my training to master the sealing symbol. We go for a walk and look up to see a snowstorm off in the distance.
"Do you think Ballade's daughter made that?" Francesca asks.
"Yes, Francesca, I did get a letter from Daisuke. He said that she and her younger siblings would be staying at the Shiba house," Mom says.
"Do you think she might need our help?" I ask.
"We should investigate to be on the safe side," Mom says.
We run towards it and arrive. Luckily for us, the storm faded. We see an unconscious young woman lying in the middle of the clearing buried in a small pile of snow. Mom and Francesca gasp as we continue to look around and see an igloo on the path on the other side of the clearing.
Isabella's aka Lauren's mom POV
"Lauren, Francesca and I will go see who is inside that igloo. You go help the woman trapped underneath that snow pile," I say.
Francesca and I run over to the igloo. A five-year-old girl crawls out of it. She turns around and gasps, seeing a huge tree branch on the ground next to it. The child spins around on her heels and runs towards us. I pick her up since she is close enough to us.
"Slow down sweetie. What's your name?" I ask.
"Angela, can you put me down, please? I have to help my big sister," Angela says.
"Don't worry about your sister. My daughter is helping her," I say reassuringly.
"So, what is your sister's name?" Francesca asks.
"Tracy," Angela answers.
I see a smaller version of the morpher on the ground next to Angela.
"How did you get this?" I ask, picking it up.
"My mom and dad gave it to me today," Angela says.
"Why did they give it to you?" Francesca asks.
"Because my other sister Amelia and I inherited our family's symbol power," Angela says.
I hand it back to her, and we walk back over to Lauren.
I use my symbol power to melt the snow pile. I hear a small groan and kneel in front of her and see the young woman open her eyes. I help her sit up.
"Thank you for freeing me," She says.
"You're welcome. I'm Lauren, what's your name?" I reply.
"Tracy. I know this is a strange question to ask someone who you only met a minute ago, but you and my friend Jayden look alike. Are you two related?" Tracy asks.
"Yes, we are. Jayden is my little brother. I'm his older sister," I answer.
Tracy tries to stand up on her own, but her arms are shaking as she gets a few inches off the ground. I help her stand after she tries two more times to get to her feet. I hear running footsteps and turn towards the sound. I see a five-year-old girl let go of my mom's hand. Tracy groans and the girl gives her a bear hug.
"Thank you for helping me, sissy," the girl says.
"You're welcome, Angela, but you shouldn't have followed me. I told you to stay at the Shiba house," Tracy says.
"So, Angelia is your little sister?" I ask.
"Angelia is one of them. I have one more little sister, Amelia, and little brother, Aaron. They are all 5." Tracy says.
After Angela lets her go, I feel Tracy's left arm slide off my shoulder. She drops to her knees and then rubs her temples. I see Tracy's morpher fall out of her jacket pocket. She picks it up before slowly standing back up. I catch her as she starts to fall back toward the ground.
"Sissy," Angelia shouts.
Tracy turns her head to look at her and says, "Don't worry Angelia, I'm okay I just got dizzy,"
Tracy starts to shiver as the wind begins to pick up. Mom and Francesca run up to us, and Tracy faints. Her face is slowly gaining a feverish appearance.
"is Sissy going to be okay?" Angelia asks.
"Don't worry, sweetie, your sister must have worn herself out by using all her symbol power to make that igloo to protect you from getting hit by the tree branch," Mom says as she crouches down and places her hand on Tracy's forehead.
"We should take her back to our place to rest," Francesca suggests.
"Good idea, I don't like the look of the sky," I say, looking towards the sky seeing dark cloud rolling in.
A few seconds later, I hear a stomach growl. I look over to see Angela's cheeks turn red and chuckle softly.
"it must be getting close to lunchtime," Mom says.
"I'm not sure cause' I'm still learning how to tell time and I don't have a watch," Angelia says.
Mom picks up Angelia, and we start heading to my secret training spot.
As we enter the cave, Lauren hands Tracy to Francesca. Lauren takes out her morpher and draws a symbol to light the fire. I see Angelia's eyes light up, watching my daughter use her symbol power. Lauren activates one more symbol, and a cot appears near the fire. Francesca walks over to it and lays Tracy down on it. She gets a blanket and drapes it over her. Then she picks up a bowl and fills it with water and dips a rag in it and puts it on Tracy's forehead. I set Angelia down as Lauren comes over to us.
"Why can Lauren use the fire symbol power? Isn't that Jayden's?" Angelia asks.
"Lauren is the red ranger too. She and Jayden are brother and sister." I reply.
" Why are they apart? Aren't families supposed to be together?" Angela asks.
"Lauren is training to master a special symbol to seal away Master Xandred," I say.
"Has she mastered it?" Angela asks.
"Yes, I have, but I need to stay here," Lauren says.
"Why don't you want to see your brother?" Angela asks.
"I do want to see him, but I have to wait till the right time," Lauren says.
"Why do you have to wait? Can't you come back to the Shiba house when Tracy is better?" Angela asks.
I look over at my mom before I answer Angela's question. Mom nods and I smile when I realize I finally get to see Jayden again.
"Yes, I can, but I'm not sure if I can stay,"
"Why can't you stay isn't the Shiba house your home?" Angela asks.
"It is, but there can only be one red ranger to lead the samurai rangers in the battle against Master Xandred and his nighlok army,"
"Why can't one of you act as a back up like how Amelia and I are going to be? What about training Jayden to use the secret symbol too?" Angela asks.
"Wow, Angela you are pretty smart for a five-year-old."
"Thank you, my mom says all the girls in our family are super smart," Angela says.
"Angela did make some good arguments to why I should stay at the Shiba house with Jayden and the other, so can I mom?" I ask.
"I'm fine with it, but we'll have to see what Jayden and Ji think," Mom says.
"I know they'll say yes," Angela says confidently.
"We'll just have to wait to find out when we get there," I say.
"Until then I'm going get started making lunch, I'm sure that Tracy will want something to eat when she wakes up," Mom says.
Twenty minutes later Tracy is gently awakened by the intoxicating, delicious aroma wafting from the pot over the fire where Isabella was finishing up the soup she made everyone for lunch. When Francesca notices Tracy's eyes begin to flutter and slowly open, she removes the cloth off of her forehead then replaces it with her hand.
"Good afternoon, Tracy, how do you feel?" Francesca asks.
"Much better, so what's lunch? It smells amazing," Tracy replies.
"Isabella is maker her signature energy restoring soup she makes for Lauren every day after she finished her morning of training," Francesca says.
Tracy get up, and they walk over to the others, Lauren looks over at Angela and sees a big smile quickly appear on the child's face watching her big sister coming over to them. Then everyone sits around the fire as Isabella starts to serve everyone.
"Thank you, for the soup," Angela says.
"Yes thank you for the food and for helping me out as well," Tracy says.
"You are very welcome," Isabella says.
After they finish eating, Isabella asks Lauren to get some more water from Spring Valley, so they have some to make dinner tonight and to do the dishes as well.
"I want to help bring the water back too," Angela offers quickly standing up.
"I think we should head back to the Shiba House. I'm sure that everyone is getting worried," Tracy says.
"We should help out since they helped us. I thought you say that paying it forward is the right thing do to and times like this," Angela says.
"Fine, Angela, you can help Lauren just listen to her and do what she says okay," Tracy sighs.
"I will I promise," Angela says.
Isabella chuckles as she watches Angela eagerly drag her daughter away down the path.
"I heard from Daisuke that you have an older brother, how come he isn't the one who is using your family's symbol power?" Francesca asks.
"Mom said that our family ice symbol passed down to the girls, so that meant that my brother Chris didn't inherit it like they thought when he was born," Tracy says.
"Is that why Angela has a morpher?" Isabella asks.
"Yes, and I know that I can't be mad at her or Amelia for inheriting it. Since neither of them can control that, but what hurts me the most is when I was their age, and Chris told them I could use it. They decided to have him continue to train even though they knew I was the one who was supposed to become the silver ranger." Tracy says.
"So, your parents decided to keep your destiny from you and let you live a normal life," Isabella says.
"Yes, and now I have to find some way to stop this war before things get too far out of hand," Tracy says.
"How to do plan to do that?" Isabella asks.
"I'm hoping that Daisuke knows if my family has some sealing symbol I can learn to keep my little sisters from having to fight," Tracy says.
Meanwhile, in the forest. Lauren and Angela arrive at Spring Valley. They walk up to the edge of the lake. Lauren didn't have any time to react to save Angela as they get blown into the water by a strong gust of wind. Lauren coughs as she clears her lungs after swimming back to the surface. The young woman hears a loud, frantic splashing sound behind her and turns around to see the Angela landed in the deepest part of the lake. The five-year-old is struggling to keep her head above the water. Lauren's heart skipped a beat as she watches Angela start to stink. She takes a deep breath and dives down to rescue her. As she brings her back to the surface, Lauren brings her back to the shore. She breathes a sigh of relief as Angela starts to cough clearing the water from her lungs.
"Angela, are you okay," Lauren asks.
"I think so, thank you for saving me," Angela says.
They stand up then Lauren quickly morphs when she hears footsteps and an evil laugh. She takes out her sword and tells Angela to go over the group of trees near her till it was safe to come out.
"I want to help you fight," Angela says taking out her morpher.
"You don't know how to, for now, the best way you can help is to get to safety," Lauren says.
Angela nods and runs over to where Lauren told her to hide.
I know Tracy would keep Angela safe if something terrible happened. I'm still worried that they haven't returned. My heart nearly jumps out of my chest when I hear the gap senor sound.
"What is that sound?" Amelia asks holding her hands over her ears.
Ji nods, and I press a button on the wall to put the sensor on silent mode.
"That's the gap sensor," Ji says.
"It tells us when a Nighlok has escaped the netherworld and come into ours," I add.
"So where is it?" Ashley asks.
Ji taps his hand on the coffee table in the living room. Amelia's eyes widen in amazement seeing the map appear.
"Spring Valley," Ji answers.
"I do not doubt our strength or anything, but do you think the three of us can handle this," Ashley says.
"I'll call Tracy, they rest of you get going," Ji says.
"Okay, Ji, let's get going rangers," I say.
We sprint outside and summon our horses. Then I nod to Antonio and Ashley.
"Go, Go, Samurai," Ashley and I shout.
"Samurai Morpher! Gold Power!" Antonio shouts.
After we morphed, we get onto our horses and race off through the front gate.
Tracy starts to get worried since Lauren and Angela haven't returned. A few seconds later, she jumps when her Samuraizer rings. After her heart rate returns to normal as it can be since she is anxious about her little sister's safety as she slowly puts it up to her ear.
"Tracy, the nighloks started to invade there is an attack at Spring Valley. Jayden, Ashley, and Antonio will need your help," Ji says.
Tracy's heart is about to leap out of her chest as her anxiety turns to pure fear as she prays the Angela and Lauren are not in the middle of the attack. She tries to remain as calm as she can as she tells him that she's on her way. They hang up, and Isabella watches Tracy's hand is shaking like a leaf as she gets ready to morph for the first time. Isabella places her hand on top of Tracy's, and the silver ranger looks over at her.
"You're having doubts about whether you're ready to this right?" Isabella asks.
"Yes, and no offense but I'm not sure if there is anything you can say to help me since you haven't seen me train," Tracy says.
"I may not have seen you train, but I know you're ready. You were exhausted, and you still made that igloo to save your sister. Plus, it didn't crumble when a huge tree branch dropped on it. That proves how strong your symbol power is even when you don't have much left. You have to believe in yourself," Isabella says.
Tracy nods and Isabella moves her hand away as Tracy takes a few steps back from the entrance to the cave.
"Go, Go, Samurai!" Tracy shouts.
After she morphed, Tracy runs out and draws another symbol then her horse appears. The silver Ranger gets onto it and rides off. Two minutes later, she catches up with the others.
"Tracy, where were you," Ashley says.
"Yeah, we were starting to get worried," Antonio says.
"I meet Jayden's sister and his mom too," Tracy says.
"What," Ashley and Antonio gasp.
Meanwhile, Lauren back over to the lake and charges at the nighlok. It blocks her attack then kicks her. Lauren flies back into a tree. She lands on the ground demorphed and lifts her head to see the nighlok walking up to her.
"That little girl can't be the head of the Ice Shiba family, where is she?" the nighlok says.
"Why do you need to know?" Lauren asks.
"The fire Shiba family isn't only one with a sealing power," the nighlok says.
Lauren stands up and quickly morphs. Then picks up her sword and is about to spin the power disc.
"Blazing Strike," Jayden shouts.
A wave of flames flies over to the nighlok. It flies towards the lake and lands in it. Jayden and the others ride up to her. As Jayden gets off his horse, the other rangers are in shock as they watch Jayden and Lauren suddenly demorph.
"That proves to of the same ranger power can't be on the field at once," Tracy says.
"Look, we still have to deal with the nighlok," Jayden says. "I'll explain everything when we get back to the house," Jayden continues.
The group turns around to see an army of Moogers headed towards them. A few seconds later, Angela leaves her hiding spot and runs over to them.
"Angela, get out of here," Tracy shouts as she takes out a few moogers.
The nighlok sprints up, and Angela screams as it snatches her up. Then Tracy sees tears begin to form in little sister's eyes as the nighlok hovers its sword a few inches away from Angela's neck.
"Put, the girl down nighlok," Tracy demands.
"Not until you give me what I want Silver Ranger," the nighlok says."Give me the ice Shiba family sealing power or this little one will meet her end," the nighlok continues as it raises its sword about to slash Angela's throat.
"Hydro bow," a voice shouts.
They see the blue ranger running up holding his weapon in hands. Then he realizes the string and a blue blur fly over to the nighlok. It is sent flying back into the lake again. Antonio uses his super speed and zips over to Angela. He jumps into the air and catches her in his arms. The kindergartner warps her arms around his neck and starts crying. The other watch the nighlok get out of the water and watch as cracks being to form on its skin.
"You got lucky rangers, I'm drying you, but I'll be back," The nighlok says as it sneaks into a gap.
Tracy and Ashley demorph, then the group runs over to Antonio just the blue ranger comes over as well. Antonio carefully stands up and hands Angela to Tracy. Then he demorphs as well.
"So, what's your name?" Ashley asks.
The blue ranger demorphs and the young man holds out his hand, "I'm Kevin, it's nice to meet all of you, but I didn't know there is a gold ranger. I read the archives several times, and there is no reference to one."
"Yeah, I trained myself to be a samurai, and I built my morpher," Antonio says as he shakes Kevin's hand.
"Thank you for helping my sister, I owe you one," Tracy says.
"You're welcome, but why is she out here?" Kevin asks.
"I'll explain later," Tracy replies.
"I'd like to know how you got your morpher?" Ashley asks.
"How about we head back to the Shiba house," Jayden suggests.
"Good idea, it's a much safer place to talk than here," Tracy says.
The entire walk back to the Shiba house, all Tracy could think about was how she failed as the Silver ranger as well as a big sister. Angela could be dead or seriously injured if Kevin didn't show up when he did. Also, she was curious if what the nighlok said was true about her Shiba family having a sealing power.
Ten minutes later, the group reaches the entrance to the forest when some more moogers attack them. Tracy looks down at Angela and kneels in front of her, placing her hands on her little sister's shoulder. She realizes that she is going to have no choice but to have her help them fight them. Since she and the others haven't fully recovered from the previous battle.
"Angela, I know Kevin may not like this idea, but we are going to need your help fighting off these moogers," Tracy says.
"You're right, Tracy, I think your idea is terrible. I mean how much damage can a five-year-old to a mooger when it's twice her size?" Kevin says.
"We don't have to argue about this Kevin, none of us have much symbol power left after fighting that nighlock earlier," Ashley says.
"So, do I get to morph?" Angela asks.
"Yes, so that means I won't be able to. Are you ready?" Tracy asks.
Angela nods confidently and eagerly takes out her morpher. Tracy smiles as Anglea mimics her older sister and perfectly paints the ice symbol then morphs into a mini silver ranger. Everyone but Tracy and Lauren morph again, and they charge in towards the moogers. Kevin takes over the five moogers that ganged up on him and is impressed when he looks to his right, seeing Angela copying his last attack with her sword as she takes out a mooger.
Tracy turns around to see the moogers deiced to pick off Angela. They thought she was an easier target due to her size and lack of training. Tracy decides to help her little sister out. She uses her blizzard symbol power to make a mini ice rink underneath the moogers feet.
"Angela, how about we teach these moogers what the words Teke, Ruka, and Teleza mean in English?" Tracy shouts.
Angela jumps into the air while Tracy flips over to her sister's side. They land on top of the ice. The sisters shout Teke as the girls perform a stomp kick to the moogers stomach. The moogers fall into their backs and slide down the ice and make the rest of them fall over like dominoes. They crash into a tree; then slowly start to stand up.
"Can we do a double finishing move?" Angela asks.
"I don't think I have enough symbol power left to do that, so I'm going to have to tell you how to do it by yourself," Tracy replies.
After Tracy gives her sister the directions on how to do it, Angela follows her sister's instructions exactly.
"Frostbite," Angela shouts as she jumps into the air slashing it with her sword.
Kevin and Lauren are in shock. Angela's attack didn't take the moogers that attacker her, but the reminisce also destroyed the ones they were fighting as well. Tracy jumps into the air and gets behind her sister when she sees the kick from the attack sending Angela flying backward towards a tree. The last thing Tracy remembers before things faded to black is her teammates shouting her and Angela's name, as well as the clacking sounds from their swords as they hit the ground.
I wasn't too concerned when Lauren didn't return so I told Francesca that we should head to the Shiba house. We met Tracy's family and learned more about the oldest child Chris. He was in a car accident, and the doctors found a tumor on his brain.
"I'm sure Tracy was upset when you told her about the tumor," I say, "Even though I'm sure she is happy that it's not cancerous, Tracy must be worried about how Chris will be after he recovers from the surgery," I continue.
"Wow, I'm amazed how well you can read into our daughter's thoughts and feelings, especially after knowing her for only a few minutes," Ballade says.
"Believe me, Ballade, one mother to another, I'm just following my maternal instincts and nothing more," I say.
A few seconds later, Arron bursts into the room with tears rolling down his face.
"Arron, what's wrong sweetie?" Ballade asks.
"Tracy and the others are back. They got attacked, and Sissy and Angela got hurt," Arron answers trying to hold back his tears.
Ballade, Fiacre and I quickly get up from the table, and we immediately leave the kitchen then head to the recovery room. We enter to see Francesca place a damp cloth on Angela's forehead then wraps her right wrist up with a bandage. Ji is carefully trying to stitch a cut closed on Tracy's back. I go over to him to help him. I see several splinters stuck in her back.
"Ji, what happened during the fight?" I ask.
"Tracy had no choice but to have Angela morph to help the other fend off some moogers. When she had Angela use their family's final attack, the backlash sent Angela flying back towards a tree." Ji explains.
"I'm guessing, from how Tracy has more serious injuries that she must have used her body as a shield to protect Angela," I say.
"I wouldn't put it past her since Tracy was just doing what she thought was right, being her older sister," Ji says.
I help him wrap a dressing around Tracy's back to cover the spots where the splinters where removed. Then Ji carefully rolls her over to lay her down on the bed. A minute or two later, Tracy's eyes dart open, as she winces in pain when she quickly sits up. Then Arron runs up and gives her a big hug.
"Arron, careful, sweetie, your sister is going to be sore," I say trying to pull him away.
Tracy turns her head, and I see tears begin to form in her eyes.
"Tracy, what's wrong?" I ask.
"I knew we were tired from battling a nighlok before the moogers attacked us. But I still made the wrong decision asking Angela to help us. She could have gotten seriously injured," Tracy says.
After I pry Arron away, Ballade and Fiacre come over. I hand Arron to Fiarce. Ballade wipes the tears away from Tracy's eyes, before slowly laying her back down on the bed.
"Tracy, Honey, you shouldn't be beating yourself up like this," I say, "Even though right now it may feel like you've made the wrong choice. But, you didn't, having Angela help you was the only option all of you had at the time," I continue.
"Isabella is right. Tracy, no one is going to get mad at you; all you were doing was trusting your instincts." Ballade says.
"Yes, and for that, we're proud of you," Fiarce says.
"Don't worry about Angela. She is going to be fine. All you need to do right now is try to get some rest," Ballade says.
Antonio and I are walking around the park with Aaron and Luna. I let my little brother hold onto Luna's leash because I'm confident enough that he can control her and that Luna wouldn't pull at all. Once we reach the playground, Aaron quickly gives the leash to me before running over to a group of kids. I hear him ask if he can join in their game of hide-and-seek. One of the kids says yes. Once the little boy who was it finished counting, he went off searching for the others. He finds Aaron first, and they go over to an alleyway. Antonio and I follow them to make sure they don't try to climb into a dumpster. The little boy looks into a gap, and a few seconds later, a group of twenty or so moogers appears. Antonio runs over and saves the little boy before a mooger can hit him with its sword. Aaron sprints over to me.
"The crack in the wall was a gap, right?" Aaron asks.
"Yes, I'm going to send you back to the house. Antonio and I can handle the moogers," I say, double-checking that no one can see me, then I activate the teleport symbol.
I draw the blizzard symbol while the snow whips around the moogers temporally blinding them. I quickly morph. Then I draw my sword and charge towards them. I'm able to take out ten then glace over towards the gap to see more moogers escaping, along with the nighlok that attacked us, at Spring Valley appear. After the army of moogers back me up against the dumpster, I take out my morpher and use the hail symbol to drive them back. I must have used my full power because I groan as the kickback from activating it sends me flying backward.
Tracy demorphs when she lands and looks up to see the nighlok charge her. She tries to get up as quickly as possible to defend herself, but a dizzy spell hits her, then collapses to the ground. Antonio morphs and uses his super-speed to go over to her taking out the moogers along the way. He helps her up, and they see their teammates running over to them. Tracy takes a few steps away from Antonio. She tries to morph again but passes out a few seconds later. Antonio nods and heads back to the Shiba House. Lauren and others manage to get the nighlock to dry out, and it escapes back to the netherworld through the gap. They gather in front of the crack in the wall.
"Lauren, I think we need to contact the rest of the team," Ashley says.
"You may be right, Ashley. The nighlok attacks have escalated over the past week." Lauren says."Let's head back to the house," Kevin says.
The group arrives at the house and walks into the recovery room. Tracy is sitting up in the bed. She has her right arm in a sling.
"I'm sorry about not being there to help you guys. It looks like I need to train harder," Tracy sighs.
"Tracy, don't be so hard on yourself," Antonio says, "The moogers and that nighlok ambushed us, and they were relentless. Any strong warrior would have run out of steam after a difficult battle like that," Antonio continues.
"Antonio is right, even when we had four rangers to fight that nighlok we couldn't defeat it. " Ashley says.
"So, does that mean it's time to contact the other three members of the team?" Tracy says.
Lauren nods, and Ji walks in carrying a bow and a sheath with three arrows inside. Each one has a colored ribbon attached to it, the same one as their respective receipts ranger color. Antonio helps Tracy out of bed, and everyone heads back outside. Ji hands everything in his hands to Lauren. She walks down the stairs, and Tracy notices her hands shake as she shoots each arrow into the sky.
An hour later, Lauren and Tracy, along with Isabella, head to the airport to meet the rest of the team. Tracy is tapping her fingertips on the armrest as the trio sits in chairs, waiting for the plane to land. Isabella places her hand on Tracy's wrist, "Hey, I know you want to make a good first impression, but Lauren should be more nervous than you. She is the leader after all,"
"I know, but I still haven't found out if my family has a sealing power or not," Tracy says.
A few seconds later, the announcement for the plane the rest of the rangers were flying in on was landing came over the speaker. They get out of their seats and look over at the gate and sees a 5' 8" tall boy with brown eyes wearing a green jean jacket and black jeans. Just by how he keeps his hands in pockets as the group stands in front of them, Tracy can tell he has a very laid back personality. The two girls, one with long black hair and brown eyes, is wearing a gray long-sleeve cover all and a gray and black striped tank top black leggings and tennis shoes. Tracy can easily pick up on her caring nature, so she is happy there will be another older sister figure for Amelia and Angela to have by there side while they train as Samurai Rangers. The other has long blonde hair and black eyes. She is wearing a yellow sweater layered over a white shirt, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes, with a book bag on her back. Tracy could sense that the girl is nervous like she is trying to fill someone else's shoes - like she wasn't the one who was supposed to be the yellow Samurai Ranger.
"I think we should continue this in the car, to you know to protect our identities," Tracy says.
"Good idea," Lauren says.
Everyone heads out to the car, and Lauren lets Tracy sit in the front seat. After Lauren introduces herself to everyone, the girl that gave Tracy a big sister vibe is the first to say a word.
"I'm Mia, the pink ranger," Mia says.
"I'm Mike, the mighty green ranger," Mike says.
"I'm Emily, the yellow ranger," Emily says.
"I'm Tracy, the silver ranger. Also, my little sisters, Amelia and Angela, are rangers too." Tracy says.
"How old are they?" Mike asks.
"They are five," Tracy says, "But, we only found out a few months ago that the girls can only use our family's symbol power. I spent all of my life living like a normal kid. I've been taking ballet classes since I was four. When I turned thirteen, I dream about one day getting into Juilliard. My ballet teacher told me that I need to have some modern dance skills as well, so I signed up for those classes," Tracy continues.
"Your mother told me about how last year the school picked you out of all the other students in your age group to apply to Julliard and even paid to fly you and your parents to New York for the audition," Isabella says.
"Yes, and I was beyond nervous that I wasn't going to make it past the Modern round of the Audition," Tracy says.
"Did you get in?" Mia asks.
"I got an email a few months ago that said I'm on the waiting list, but after I did some research, I learned that the school only accepts four students off the list a year," Tracy says.
An hour later, everyone is sitting around the coffee table in the living room. Isabella suggests the team plays a game of shoots and ladders with their zords as a way to get to know each other more. Tracy never really liked the 'breaking the ice games' back on the first day of freshman year in high school, so she lets one her little sisters take turns and activates the zord to make it move around the board after one of the girls rolled the dice.
"Yes, team snow leopard wins again," Amelia cheers as the folding zord reaches the end of the path for the second time.
"How come they kept getting double sixes every time either one of them rolled the dice?" Mike groans.
"Mike, I did warn you that my little sisters are good at board games," Tracy says.
"Fine, let's go again, but this time I want Angela to team up with me," Mike says.