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Ninjago Series Inspirations


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I receive my inspirations from so many different sources, some you may not understand how, but here they are. :)

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Great Ninja Movie! Ninja Assassin!

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Key Locations in Ninjago along with Chosen Themes

Some of the locations are actual locations in Ninjago while others are strictly fictional. The themes that I have chosen for these places are for my own enjoyment and inspiration and belong to their respected creators. Please enjoy!!

Sasha's hometown: Poseidonia www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQhtMP… or if link doesn't work Final Fantasy 7 ost Costa De Sol

Kai and Nya's hometown: Ignacia *real location* www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV-ex7… starting from 0:55 and loops (couldn't find the title of said song)

Jay's home in the Sea of Sand *real location* www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl_9EJ… or if link doesn't work Ratchet and Clank 2 ost Tabora Mining Area

Cole's hometown: Temblor www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mn_PI… or if link doesn't work Assasin's Creed 2 ost Home in Florence

Ebony's hometown: Twilight City www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4eN6y… or if link doesn't work Kingdom Hearts 2 ost Sacred Moon

Zane's birthplace: laboratory (located in Birchwood Forest east of Malcalania Forest) www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Yzcc0… or if link doesn't work Final Fantasy 8 ost Find your Way

Dominique's hometown: Ninjago City *actual location* www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQMiQZ… or if link doesn't work Kingdom Hearts ost Traverse Town

Ayane's hometown: Shika www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qXX6o… or if link doesn't work Final Fantasy 10 ost Servants of the Mountain

The Destiny's Bounty: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ld8t8o… or if link doesn't work Ninja Gaiden ost Monastery Destroyed

The Forest of Ramza: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fwkjz-… or if link doesn't work Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Forest Temple

Music is one of my most inspirational sources to go to for my fanfiction. I hope you've enjoyed these fine tunes and I'll probably add a few more down the line once more locations are revealed. :D

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Elemental Dragon Names and Descriptions

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 11, 2015, 10:52 AM

Lloyd’s Dragon: Tengri

He shrieks to signal his deadly approach and has scales as turquoise as jade carvings and green as forest emeralds. He utilizes his Flare breath occasionally, but prefers the intoxication of CQC (Close Quarters Combat). His golden, razor-sharp claws and flashing white teeth make him a fearsome combatant.

Kai’s Dragon: Ryadron (Flame)

He howls like a banshee when scorching fire and his scales shine and glow like blood-red rubies under flames. His mane and tail consist of pure conflagration that shimmers and flicks off embers. When enraged, he ignites his entire body and attacks by charging and twirling, creating a blazing inferno.

Jay’s Dragon: Virtozz (Wisp)

Somewhat like a chameleon, Jay’s dragon changes shades of blues depending on his mood. He is very intelligent with dexterous claws. He is actually a competent crafter. He is the best flyer as well as has the loudest roar of the dragons. In combat, he can summon a single bolt of lightning to zap enemies from an extremely long distance for precision hits or utilize his Thunderstorm breath to strike multiple enemies on the battlefield.

Zane’s Dragon: Zoxsom (Shard)

He is a white dragon with scarred pearlescent scales that glow like the moon under water. He is quiet and dangerous, thorough and precise. His Blizzard breath consists of both freezing winds and chillingly sharp icicles. His wings are impeccably silent, allowing him to stealth-kill many of his enemies by dive-bombing them and slashing with deadly accuracy.

Cole’s Dragon: Tetra (Rocky)

Despite his earthly tones, his scales give a lustrous shine of bronze, black, and gold. He harbors deep feelings for Nagendra, the water dragon, but unfortunately the dragoness rebuffs him out of stubbornness and pride. He is the cunning leader of the dragons and utilizes brute strength above all else. The thick armor and horns along his head and snout allow him to charge through almost anything, and the heavily spiked-ball on his tail is utilized quite often in combat for strategic jabs or just relentless pummeling. 



  • Mood: Rage
  • Listening to: Disturbed....Can you blame me...
  • Reading: Seekers: The River of Lost Bears
  • Watching: Seinfeld
  • Playing: Devil May Cry....Again, can you blame me...
  • Eating: Chicken
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew
When I finally make it out onto the deck, the battle around the Destiny's Bounty is in full swing. War cries sing a threatening ballad through the air as weapons clash and clang in cacophonic dissonance. The stench of charred flesh and fresh blood is almost overpowering, and I quickly pull my hood back on to stifle the smell.

Ahead of me, I can see a wall of inferno in the distance, the flames herding and pushing constantly to the left, destroying and burning the ranks of Serpentine as they try to push through and get to its caster. The sky darkens and rumbles with thunder, and in a quick flash of white, blue bolts of lightning strike down from the heavens to my right. As for the left, I can see the large, royal purple funnels touch down from the dark sky. Twisting and engulfing various and multitudes of Serpentine in their wake and flinging them like ragdolls in the direction of the gaping ravine.

Everyone is using so much of their elemental powers in creating this destructive defensive line, but none of it would've been possible if not for the element of Darkness. Hundreds—maybe even thousands—of shadowy representations of my sister stretch far and wide across the battlefield. Kicking, punching, stabbing, and choking, the enemy around us, but that's not all they do. I have seen them defend also. Some of them have sacrificed themselves to save the others from what would be killing blows.

I smile happily beneath my hood. Ane, you are doing what you said you'd do… You're amazing!

I know right then and there that I want to see her in action. I look around once to make sure the deck is clear, and then make a dash for the back of the ship. I leap up onto the ship's cabin, take some strides forward, and that's when I see her far, down below, standing with her back against the rock wall of a gorge.

Menacing silver and black waves surround my sister's body and her mother's long black scarf blows majestically in the wind, but…

I peer at her form closer. Large leathery wings expand to their full length, and a long scythe-bladed tail sways gamely behind her.

Awesome! Ebony's in her Aga form! I've only seen it once and that was briefly during her Trial. And obviously the Serpentine have never seen her altered state, for they are hesitant to even come close to her, despite having her surrounded. Several foes either lay dead at Ebony's talons, or are impaled on the multiple outcropping around the area. She is in total control of this battle's flow.

I watch intently as a Venomari suddenly rushes her, but as he follows-through with an arcing swing of his sword, Ebony disappears in a wisp of slivery-black. She then materializes right behind the snake with her back to him, and simply runs him through the heart with her sai. She dislodges her weapon and the Venomari drops to the ground in a dead heap.

Ebony points her bloodied weapon at the rest of the gathered Serpentine. "Hear me now, Acidicus!" She yells out, her voice strong and brimming with fortitude. "Sound the retreat! Or would you send more your people to their demise?!"

I hadn't even noticed one of the Serpentine Generals was present, but now as I look for him, I can easily spot the long dark green tail of Acidicus as he slithers to the front.

"And you hear me, Demonesss!" He bellows, pointing one of his lethal pole axes at my sister. "This is far from over!" The axe is suddenly thrust up in my direction. "Look!"

Ebony whirls around, eyes wide and staring straight at me. "Lloyd! Look out!"

Huh…? I quickly turn around, feeling my senses prick. Oh Crap!

I narrowly evade the downward stroke of a halberd with a roll and quickly get back up to my feet. A female Serpentine stands before me, but…this is the biggest one I've ever seen! It had to be over seven feet tall from its golden helmed-head to its rattling tail! The golden armor is familiar as is that stupid whip-like tail, but what gets me is the new choice of weapon and shield. The heavier halberd granted much more power than a spear, although what it made up for in power, it lacked in maneuverability. The shield, however, is a different story altogether. It looks to be made out of pure energy and created a sort of diamond-shaped barrier with a large silver spike at its center.

The crescent blade of the halberd had embedded itself in the roof, but with a single powerful yank from that muscled, scaled-arm, the weapon extracts itself. The female hisses a threat and faces me once more.

"What mutant lab did you escape from…?" I growl just as the female launches itself in the air and aims another death-dealing strike at me. Too fast to evade, I cover my arms with the Earth element and lift them over my head to block the attack.

"Ugh! AHH!" The sheer downward force of her assault results in both of us crashing through the roof of the upper portion of the cabin.

"AAAAHHH!"

That scream… Dust, broken beams, and steel platting are everywhere when I land hard on the grated floor. Precious wind flies from my lungs, but the sound of furious hissing has me scrambling hurriedly to my feet.

"L-Lloyd?!"

My eyes immediately affix on Dom and Dusk. "Dominique! Run! Run!"

*FWAAP!*

"GYAAH!" The female's tail had cracked like a whip and collided with my chest, lifting me clean off the ground and throwing me against the bridge's computer screen. Glass cracks and sparks fly as I fall and roll off the console onto the ground. All I can register is pain, my head feeling like it's about to split open. I grunt and struggle to get some type of bearing as my vision dances for a bit. I get to my hands and knees.

"Hissssssss…."

I try desperately to follow the sound and find the towering female with her back to me, her focus…Dominique. Dom's back is plastered to wall, her eyes wide and fearful as she stares at the advancing female. Her entire frame shakes with terror and her arms are wrapped tightly around a viciously barking Dusk.

"Dom! Get going! Run!" I holler, but she doesn't make a move to escape, only trembles with fright. No, fear has gripped her! She can't move!

And then, Dusk does something that I'd never thought he'd do…he bites Dominique's hand. But fortunately, that does the trick. Dom yelps, coming out of her shock, and books it for the door. But the female moves fast to intercept. Dom flings open the door and the female runs right into it with a loud *CLANG!*

Dom gets out, but the female recovers with a quick shake of the head and slithers after her. I manage to climb to my feet, fighting through the blaring ringing in my head, and give chase. Dom is surprisingly fast but so is the female, for that big beehive of a rattle tail is already turning the corner outside the den.

"Dom!" I call out, turning the corner also and seeing nothing but the bulk of the female's back and its long pink tail. "Head deeper into the ship! It's big! Get to the Ninja hallway where it's narrower! That should slow it down!"

It's a good plan, at least. The ceiling gets a bit lower once the front hallway connects to the Ninja side of the ship. With how tall the female is, its maneuverability will be limited even more and I'll definitely have the advantage. I'll be able to kill it.

But luck doesn't appear to be on our side as the armored snake from Hell performs a classic hunting-reptile maneuver. It lowers its front almost to the floor while still gripping its weapon and shield, and jumps on the wall, sending some of Cole's framed artwork shattering to the ground. Slithering quickly, it manages to overtake Dominique and land in front of her, stopping her in her tracks.

I growl and pick up speed. Fine! We'll finish this outside then!

Dom is near the double doors leading out to the deck, so we'll head out. Probably better anyway to get this stupid snake-woman thing out in the open instead of playing ring-around-the-rosie with it and letting it wreck havoc on our home.

The female charges forward, but I'm already there. I grab Dom's arm and pull her behind me while simultaneously flinging open one of the deck doors. I smirk when I hear another satisfying *CLANG!* as the female runs right into it.

"Lloyd! Ahead!" Dom screams and I jerk my attention to the front. A Hypnobrai and a Constrictai are attempting to climb over the railings onto the deck. Hmph! Not on my watch!

I release Dom's arm and summon a ball of conflagration in my hands. "Get the hell out!" I thrust the flames gathered in my hands forward and shoot it at the Hypnobrai. The snake shrieks in pain and topples back over the railings in a scorched and blazing mess.

"Well if it isn't the Green Midget Demon," the Constrictai snarls and readies his battle axe. I don't bother with pointing out that he isn't much taller than me, and charge my body with the Lightning element.

"Lloyd!" Dom's fearful shout alarms me enough to slow my attack, and the short Constrictai takes full advantage of possibly landing a killing blow. Desperately, I pivot in a dodge and use my hips for momentum to launch a right hook at the flat side of the axe. If effectively connects, diverting the axe's direction, but because my body is not reinforced by the Earth element, I can literally hear and feel the snap, crack, and shatter of the bones in my hand and wrist.

The surge of electricity jumps from me to the weapon and fortunately to the wielder, and shocks him bad enough to send him flying and screaming off the Bounty. My right hand feels numb, the adrenaline in my veins most likely blocking the pain I'm supposed to be feeling.

I whirl around, but before I can take a step, I'm suddenly tackled to the ground by a Venomari. I roll and struggle furiously with the snake in an effort to throw him off, however my attacks are thwarted by him flipping me on my stomach and pinning my hands behind my back.

Angered and pained, I grit my teeth harshly as the snake's claws dig deep into my injured hand. My hood is forcefully pulled back and I'm brought to kneel on my knees.

"Who would have thought that such a little boy would become such a big nuisance-sss!" The Venomari hisses in my ear. "How do you like our new elite femalesss, boy? Impressive, yesss?"

Claws grab my hair and yank my head up, forcing me to look ahead. My heart pounds in terror at the scene in front of me. "Dominique!"

At my shout, Dominique glances frightfully at me and then back to the slowly approaching, now disarmed female as she retreats step by step towards a dead-end. Dusk is still in Dom's arms barking maniacally at the advancing reptile and even wiggling to escape his master's hold. And he does, and abruptly launches himself from her arms, mouth gaping wide, little fangs prepared to protect. But the female carelessly backhands the kit, and sends his small body flying through the air. Dusk lands on the deck with an agonized yelp and tumbles until he stops just a few feet in front of me.

I stare in hopeless mortification at Dusk's broken body, his legs barely twitching, as dark red blood trickles from his opened mouth.

"Dusk!"

My sight snaps ahead in time to see Dominique try to run towards us, but is caught by the back of the throat and lifted easily into the air by the female.

Dominique thrashes her legs around and claws desperately at the fingers around her neck.

"Dominique!"

"Ohhhh, why the look, boy? Were you planning to have that little girl as your future mate?"

My heart and the snake's voice sound loud in my ear, but I can do nothing but stare ahead as fresh tears start to flow from Dominique's eyes.

"Yesss…she is rather pretty, isn't she? How unfortunate that she is so young, for her beauty would've befitted a fine Serpentine bride if she were older… Perhapssss even mine…"

My voice is locked in my throat. I want so bad to reassure her, to guarantee that both of us are going to be okay…but I can't. I can only stare.

"Yesss, that'sss it… Don't blink now… Or you may missss it…"

I watch with horror as the female brings Dominique close to her and extends the claws on her other hand. Purposeful and deliberate, the female positions a single claw over Dominique's stomach.

My breathing had become harsh, and my body feels overheated. And at Dominique's next scream of pain, all I see is a starburst of red exploding before my eyes.

"NOOOOOOOOO!"

*~PoA~*

Lloyd's heart-wrenching scream at seeing Dominique's blood spilled upon the deck was completely inhuman. His eyes flared a deep blood-red as his body was completely engulfed in emerald and onyx fire, reducing the Venomari who held him to nothing but ash within seconds. The rocky terrain quaked and splintered further as the blazing green fires tainted by black hatred gradually took shape, and thus…Lloyd became a fearsome manifestation of a dragon! With a body of Fire, a tail of Earth, twin horns of Lightning, claws of Ice, and wings of Flare, the ancient dragon deity, Flaragon, was reborn!

The dragon's eyes burned a blood-thirsty scarlet and opened its flaming maw to release a mighty roar that echoed across the battlefield and split the very heavens in two. The female Serpentine dropped Dominique and slithered quickly to retrieve her weapon and shield, but Lloyd/Flaragon's enraged ruby gaze bore down on her, and he deftly snatched her up in his frigid claws.

"You…" he snarled bitterly.

Lloyd/Flaragon brought the struggling serpent right up to his face, before his bloody eyes. "You and every one of your despicable kind will DIE!"

With a menacing roar, Lloyd/Flaragon solidified the female and pulverized her body into bloody, frozen chunks, the crystallized pieces falling over the edge of the Bounty and into the wide zigzagging cracks of a bottomless crevasse.

Suddenly, more roars filled the sky, ones not made by Lloyd/Flaragon and the great deity cocked his head upward as five radiantly colored dragons soared into view.

Staying aloft, the dragons beat their powerful leather wings and hovered over the battlefield. "Milord!" One dragon shouted, his scales as turquoise as jade carvings and as green as forest emeralds. "We are here! What will you have us do!?"

"Kill them!" Lloyd/Flaragon bellowed. "Kill the snakes! KILL THEM ALL!"

"Geez… Someone's angry…" An azure dragon muttered, and used a pearly white claw to scratch idly at his snout. But one dragon zipped passed the others, his crimson panzer shining and glowing under the late afternoon sun like crushed blood-red rubies under flames.

"Ryadron! Wait!" A massive bronze dragon roared anxiously, but shook his horned head at the red one's fiery impulsiveness as he tore through the sky in battle-driven lust. "That flaming hot-head…" he growled, and then turned to the dragons flanking him. "Virtozz, Zoxsom, be wary of using your breath, our masters could be down there."

Virtozz, the sapphire dragon, cocked his head curiously. "Hmm, if only Ryadron would've heard that…" he said, his growl obviously sarcastic.

The Earth Dragon turned his glowing white eyes to the battlefield below and saw his feisty ruby-scaled comrade breathing raging conflagrations at the terrified and fleeing Serpentine, howling like a banshee all the while.

The Earth Dragon bared his fangs angrily. "Ugh! By Bahamut's wings, why does he have to be so frustrating!?" He roared. "Virtozz, Zoxsom, get down there! And fight carefully!" Blazing white scanned the rugged battleground with the supremacy of a war-hardened veteran. "Although, it appears the enemy is already on the retreat in an effort to limit casualties… Simple."

"Yes, Alphadrake Tetra!" The blue and white dragons respectively dipped their heads at the Earth Dragon and dived down to different parts of the battlefield. Tetra turned to the one left beside him.

"Tengri, you best go and see if you can rouse Lord Flaragon's reincarnation back to his senses. He is not in the right state of mind."

The emerald dragon inclined his head. "I shall do my best."

And with that, Tengri folded his wings and dived down towards the Destiny's Bounty, for Lloyd/Flaragon had not moved from the ship's head.

"Milord!"

Lloyd/Flaragon snapped his flaring gaze in the landing dragon's direction. "What are you doing?!" He bellowed furiously. "Why aren't you helping with the purge!?"

Tengri approached the terrifying Elemental Dragon cautiously. "Milord, you are angry…"

"Really?! What tipped you off, Genius?!" Lloyd/Flaragon roared, flailing his Earth-imbued tail wildly behind him. The large spiked-ball at its tip slammed repeatedly against the ground, macerating boulders and creating craters. "Look what they did! Look what those vile serpents did to my precious Aurora!"

Dominique barely clung to life as she lay unmoving in Lloyd/Flaragon's claws. He handled her like a priceless porcelain doll, and tried futilely to wipe away the blood spilt from her mouth with the tip of his wing.

"I promised I would protect her, but I couldn't! And now…" The Dragon Lord suddenly threw his head back and roared his grief and sorrow to the heavens, causing the earth underfoot to once again tremble violently and the dark clouds of a thunderstorm to brew and gather overhead. At seeing a bolt of lightning split the glum from his lord's electric-surged horns, Tengri gave a huff of trepidation.

"Milord, I beseech you…" The emerald dragon tried again, inching closer. A roar of thunder bellowed menacingly overhead, and Tengri thought quickly. If the Dragon Lord fell further into the pits of despair, the results could be catastrophic for this realm. Lloyd/Flaragon could very well inadvertently cause Armageddon to befall Ninjago prematurely! "It is not too late. Lady Aurora's reincarnation needs you, but you cannot aid her in your current form."

"You mean…" Lloyd/Flaragon lowered his flaming head, his horns of Lightning no longer sending erratic jolts and bolts upward, "…she's still alive…?"

"Yes," Tengri whispered softly. "Listen…" The two dragons then leaned close to the fallen phoenix and sure enough, they could hear her breathing, however haggard it was.

"…L…Lloyd…"

Lloyd/Flaragon's crimson eyes widened incredulously. "You see?" Tengri persisted in the same soft tone. "Breath remains in her yet. She calls for you, Milord. She needs you."

Lloyd/Flaragon felt his heart beat vigorously. There was still time! He could save her! "D-Dominique…?"

And at once, all of the elements expressed outwardly in the form of the ancient dragon, receded into streams of their respected colors and returned to the core of Lloyd's soul. And the boy's human body reappeared from amongst the flames of green and black fire.

*~PoA~*

I'm not sure what happened to me earlier, but I don't have time to think about it now. I kneel down beside Dominique's prone body and cradle her head in the crux of my arm. My right hand is useless and decrepit, but I ignore that and the incredible pain emanating from it, and use it to staunch the flow of blood oozing from the deep cut going across her stomach.

"Dom… Dom…" My voice is crippled and weak, and tears blur my vision. "Dom…it's me, I'm right here. See?"

Her face is so pale, the soft honey glow all but faded. She grimaces in pain, but her eyes remain shut. "Dom…come on…c'mon open your eyes! I want to see them! Please, Dom!"

Her eyelashes flutter against her cheeks and I can tell she's struggling to do what I asked. She groans painfully, but finally those violet pools peak from under hooded eyelids. She visibly swallows with effort. "…Lloyd…?"

I can't stop the bright smile from plastering itself on my face. I let out a strangled choke of laughter. "Heh, yeah… I'm here, Dom. You're gonna be fine. Don't worry, okay? J-Just keep your eyes open for me."

"Great Sylph! Dominique! Lloyd!"

I look up to see Nya running towards us, her purple suit has multiple rips and tears in it as well as is a little dirty, but other than that she looks fine. She slides to her knees and stops on the opposite side of Dom, her eyes wide and fearful.

"She needs Ayane," I say in a rush. "Where are the others? Why aren't they here yet?!" My voice had steadily risen in volume until I was shouting anxiously, but Nya takes my outburst in stride.

"Kai and Jay took two of the dragons and are heading over to Monsoon to investigate," She reports swiftly. "They'll find Ayane and the others. They—they'll get here in time." Her hand trembles as does her voice as she reaches to help stop the flow of blood on Dom's stomach. "They will, Dominique."

Nya and I share nervous glances with each other. I can tell that she also felt that Cole and the others should've been back by now. If the dragons hadn't shown up, who knows how long we would've lasted?

Just then, deep guttural voices growl overhead. "Monsoon? Is there supposed to be a human rookery near here?" One of the dragons question, but I don't bother to look up. My focus remains on Dominique. "Zoxsom, Tengri, did you see anything?"

"No." One dragon responds, the voice sounding vaguely remember.

"Negative, Alphadrake Tetra." Another sounds, but this voice is just as new as the one who asked the question. "I saw nothing but a deep cavernous wound in the earth amidst the damp vegetation and wetlands…no human rookery. Although, that is not to discount the amass of humans gathered along the outskirts of the wound."

The dragons continue to converse among themselves above us, but I tune them out.

Dominique blinks sleepily as Nya wipes some of the blood from her chin. "D-Dusk…?"

"Dusk is still alive, Dominique."

I give a start and look up to see Ebony kneeling down beside Nya, the injured and shaking fox kit wrapped up in her scarf and cradled gently in her arms. She had returned to her human form, and asides from some loose debris clinging to her suit and hair, she too looked healthy, but also a bit winded.

"He's hanging on just like you are. So you must be strong." Ane still speaks with that unbreakable strength she confronted Acidicus with. "Prove that you are a survivor."

I put more pressure on the wound—ignoring the white-hot pain that shoots through my arm—as Dominique's body convulses and she emits a few wet coughs. I grit my teeth when I spot more blood trickle from the corner of her mouth.

"Ryadron and Virtozz have just located the other masters." I turn quickly to the one who spoke, my memory now quickly connecting the soft growl to the one that brought me back from my subconscious. A green dragon. He and the other two dragons around us, a white one and a brownish one, are looking down at us from around the Bounty. How they got here or why they came when they did is a complete mystery to me, but again, I can't think about anything else except Dominique. She is by far more important. "They are on their way back now."

"Dom! Did you hear that?!" I yelp excitedly and turn back to her. "They're coming! Ayane's coming! Just hang on for a few more minutes, okay? Just a few more minutes… Dom…?"

I look at her. Her lips are moving slowly, but no words or sounds follow. Beads of sweat dotted her brow, and her eyelids droop so heavily that only slivers of violet are visible. Her complexion is turning ghostly white and waxy, and I rightfully panic.

"Dom?! Dom?!" What is happening?! Is delirium setting in?! Did her wound somehow get infected!? What am I supposed to do!?

"Listen to her, Lloyd!" Ebony suddenly commands harshly. "Her voice may be silent, but she still speaks! Look and listen…"

Hearing my sister, my eyes scour over Dominique's face until they land solely on her subtly moving lips. I focus hard, remembering my training in reading lip movement, and hear Dom's silent words.

"I…I can…hear her… Ayane… I can…hear…her…voice…" Then…nothing. Dominique's lips stop moving…and her body goes limp in my arms.

"Dom…?" My gaze lifts to her eyes…closed. No…No… Anxiety and fear feast greedily on my heart as I call her name again and again without getting a response. Black despair was taking root, and Nya's whimpering stabs viciously at my soul.

I shake my head. "No, you're not…" I quickly put my ear to her chest, praying against fate that I would hear the steady beat of her heart…but I hear nothing… Nothing at all. The tears that I had kept at bay with sheer force of will finally spill down my cheeks and I close my eyes.

I pull her still body closer and hold her tight, absolutely refusing to let go. I tried my best, Dominique. I tried my best to protect you, but I couldn't. I'm sorry I failed you…

I let my mind drift away to a recent memory, a sweet memory that came about during the chaos and bloodshed. One of Dominique and I standing in the Command Room wrapped in each other's arms. I rail against the heavy stench of blood and sweat, and recall the sweet flora scent that had wreathed around me while I held her close and pressed my face into her soft, curly hair: gardenias.

I remember how I relished that moment. And even though the feelings I had felt at the time weren't mine, but Flaragon's love for Aurora, it had felt nice to hold her—it had felt wonderful. But now…

My ear is still pressed firmly against Dominique's chest, and just then, as I listen, I hear a faint *ba-dump* sound, and Nya's soft gasp has me pulling back to peer at Dominique's face.

"Her hair…it's glowing…and Dusk is as well…" Ebony's awed whisper seems far away as I stare transfixed at Dominique's hair. It shines the same lustrous whitish-gold as Ayane's does when she uses her healing powers.

Does this mean…that she unlocked the element of Light inside of her? Did Ayane's voice…do this…?

Pure, comforting warmth emanates from Ayane's body and surges through mine as well. I look down at my right hand, feeling a calm, golden anesthetic engulf the appendage as the bones inside painlessly shift, reconstruct, and mend. I lift and flex my glowing hand experimentally. And it feels absolutely perfect.

Snapping out of my trance, I hurriedly move to lift Dominique's torn shirt to reveal her stomach and breathe a deep sigh of relief at seeing her now healed wound. A long, angry red scar remained in its wake, but not a drop of blood can be seen.

I turn back to Dom's face and smile. Her healthy honey complexion had returned too and although she still slept, she looks refreshed and at peace, and her breathing is blissful and serene.

"Dominique!"

Ayane and Sasha suddenly drop from the sky and Ayane kneels down near Dom's head. "Oh thank goodness!" She breathes and kisses Dominique's brow. "Praise Amaterasu my prayer reached her!"

Heavy beats of wings buff my hair and more feet land on the deck. All the members of the Nomad Clan are together again.

"Is everyone alright?" Cole asks anxiously, looking more than a little disheveled and stressed.

"Yes, I believe so." Ebony stands up with Dusk still bundled in her arms and faces to address Cole. "The crisis has passed."

Has it? My hold on Dominique tightens as I look at her sleeping face. Dominique almost died because she's here with us! No one was able to protect her! Not even me!

"Lloyd? Are you okay?" Ayane's hand runs soothingly through my hair, but I recoil away from her touch and stand up with Dominique nestled protectively in my arms. I whirl on the others.

"Are you all really this oblivious!?" I yell at them viciously, and everyone falls silent, their eyes wide and focused on me. "Dominique doesn't belong here! Can't you see that?! We tried to protect her, but we failed! I failed!"

Dominique's scream of pain and torment resounds throughout my head and I grit my teeth against the horrid memory. "We need to take her back to Ninjago City, that's where she truly belongs. Safe and away from us!"

"Lloyd…" Ebony eyes me with concern. "I know today must've been frightening for you and for her, but Dominique must decide her own destiny. You do not have any say in the matter."

My eyes narrow at my sister. "Wouldn't you like it if she was gone!?" I challenge. "Then you wouldn't have to worry about her possibly slaughtering your people!" Ebony visibly flinches and I let my words cut deeper. "Or would you have been happier if Dominique actually died today!?"

"Lloyd, how can you say that?!" Ayane shouts from behind me, but my eyes are locked on the dilating pupils of my sister. Hurt and sadness darkens her face, but then her gaze sharpens and I instantly regret what I said at her next words.

"Never…would I wish death…upon Dominique," she says quietly, her voice quivering with barely suppressed emotion. "Never. And if fate is actually cruel enough to pit me against her, and I feel it in my heart to defend my mother and people…then yes, I would fight and ultimately succumb to death beside them. And do you know why, Lloyd?"

I swallow and shake my head. My sister walks towards me. "It is because of what I feel for her now. I am conflicted because of while I do love my mother, I also feel it in my heart that I as well care deeply for Dominique and want to protect her. She is my phoenix. And if she so chooses to remain here, then I will—without hesitation—train her to help her fulfill her destiny."

She brushes passed me and I bow my head in shame. "All I want is for Dominique to be safe, ane. That's all," I admit softly and Ebony's silken tone flows back to me.

"I understand, Lloyd. She is your…"precious Aurora" after all."

My heart thumps hard in my chest. No, that wasn't… That wasn't me…was it…?

I hear Cole sigh tiredly. "Jay, see if you and Nya can get the Bounty up and running again and…plot a course for Ninjago City."

I lift my head and see Cole standing with his arms crossed, his sights directed at me. "When Dominique wakes up, and if she decides that she wants to go back home, then we'll already be on our way."

Jay rubs irritably at his left eye and closes it with a wince, and Nya is right there beside him, lending her shoulder to him for support. "Okay. Got it…" he says. He and Nya start forward, but then Jay calls up to one of the dragons with a wave. "See ya later, Wisp—I mean Virtozz!" And it's the blue one that lifts a large claw and waves back. Soon they too, pass me.

Cole starts talking quietly with Zane, but when my gaze strays over to Kai, I have to gulp out of nervousness at inadvertently locking with his golden, fury-filled eyes. His form practically radiated vehemence…and it's all being directed at me.

Oh crap…

"Here, Lloyd. Give Dominique to me, I'll put her to bed." With some depraved difficulty I manage to avert my eyes from Kai to Sasha as she crouches down before me. I carefully place Dom in Sasha's waiting arms, casting one last look at her sleeping face, and step away. "Ayane, can you get the door?" Sasha asks, and Ayane complies, looking withered and sad.

I watch them leave and move to follow, when a hand suddenly lands heavily on my shoulder. I inwardly and outwardly flinch when the hand squeezes, and judging from the rapid increase of temperature the air around me undergoes, I already know who's behind me.

Oh crap…

I open my mouth to explain myself. "Kai, I really didn't mean to—"

"Whatever, Lloyd." His tone is scathing and I can already guess at the emotional wounds his tongue-lashing is going to cause me in the near future. "You and I are going to have a nice, long talk. Right now. Go."

He pushes me forward and I stumble a bit before righting myself. I lower my eyes to the floor and begin a slow, unhurried walk towards my verbal execution.

My heart clenches when Ebony's hurt face appears in my mind. I'm really sorry, ane…
Power of Aura Chapter 17

What a blast! I absolutely loved writing this and I hoped you enjoyed reading it, everyone! Well, you all voted for the dragons to return, so here they are! I'll be posting some brief bios for them on my profile as well just in case you want to get a closer look at them. A lot has happened here with our heroes and heroines, and the climax to conclude this book will be the next chapter.

It blows my mind to see how many people want "Genesis" reinstated in TaT! I will admit though that it would be a pleasant change of pace. I'll be keeping it up for one more week, so on 4/17 I'll be taking it down and tallying up the votes. If you want your voice heard, then remember to cast your vote!

Lastly, show your support for my series by faving, following, and reviewing! Remember that every little bit helps me very much, and I'll see you chums next time!

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We all stand gathered on the bridge, the ship's communication link online so that we can talk to our four absent comrades. I glare with utter hatred at the enlarged radar display. Hundreds of red blips surrounded our home, inching closer and closer, while we stand here debating on what to do!

(Then what are you guys waiting for?!) Cole shouts from the comm. link. (Get the Bounty airborne!)

Jay face-palms. "Gee! Now why didn't we think of that? Oh wait! We did!" He then slams his hands on the ship's console. "We're grounded, Cole! The black showers have somehow rendered our flight controls useless! The engine's all out of whack!"

(Well we have a situation down here in Monsoon too, Jay! Zane and Ayane are on their way now to regroup with us! And once they do, we'll all make a beeline back to the Bounty, okay?!)

"And what are we supposed to do in the meantime, huh!?" Jay counters hotly. "Roast marshmallows by a campfire and sing 'Kumbaya'!?"

Kai suddenly unsheathes his Dragon Sword of Fire, the blade's length doused with as much inferno as its wielder. "Screw it!" He growls, eyes blazing. "We meet the Serpentine's attack head-on!"

"What?!" Jay screeches, then points incredulously at the radar display. "Do you not see the incredibly large number of red dots on the screen, Kai?! We're heavily outnumbered here!"

"Then what do you propose we do then, Jay?!" Kai challenges angrily. "Sit on our asses and wait for the Serpentine to knock down our doors and slaughter us?!"

A small gasp of fear has me turning my head to the source. Dominique. She stands off to the side with Dusk in her arms beside Nya, her violet eyes as wide and fearful as I've ever seen them. Nya places her hands on Dom's shoulders in an obvious act of comfort, but I just frown at them and turn my attention back where it belongs.

"Don't forget, we took on countless of Serpentine during the battle at Ouroboros, their home turf!" Kai carries on confidently, giving his sword a practice twirl. "We survived their onslaught then and we can do it again!"

"I'm going to have to agree with Kai this time, Jay." I look over at my sister. Her voice had sliced through the growing tension like a fine blade. She's been silent since we first assembled in here, and stands on the outer circle between Kai and Jay. "We have no choice but to engage the enemy."

"Argh! I know! It's just…" he turns to glance at the radar display, his mouth downturned into a hard frown, "…the odds are so not in our favor. We could easily get overwhelmed while we're out there. He closes his eyes briefly and the shadows of despair creeps upon and darkens his face. "And I don't want to lose anyone." He looks at Kai, and from his forlorn expression, I can already tell what he's about to say. "Not everyone survived the onslaught at Ouroboros, Kai."

Grief flashes across Kai's face, but Ebony suddenly steps forward and places a hand on Jay's shoulder. "History will not repeat itself. I'll make sure of it."

Jay cocks an eyebrow at her. "Huh? How? Do you have some type of strategy up your sleeve?"

"A strategy as well as a technique," she nods. "And it was derived from the very mind of the first Master of Spinjitzu himself, Bujingai." Her gaze falls on me. "Our grandfather, Lloyd."

I know that name well. Very well. When I first got here months ago, most of the bedtime stories Sensei Wu told me surrounded the many exploits and adventures he and my dad had with Grandpa Bu. And boy were they amazing! Grandpa was so powerful that he was almost revered as a God! But because of his mortality and humbleness, he never sought such reverence. With a heart and mind strong enough to harness and master every element known to our realm, very few stood against him. But those who foolishly did received the butt-whoopin' of a lifetime!

Sensei Wu once showed me a scroll that inscribed all of Grandpa Bu's special techniques, those of which only our family can execute. But since they were all so ridiculously complicated, I couldn't comprehend any of them. I had, of course, been frustrated by this at the time, but Sensei had placated me by saying:

"Age breeds wisdom, Lloyd. When you are older and your mind and heart accrues more knowledge and courage, I have faith that you will be able to master some of these techniques…"

Ebony and I share the same blood, so no doubt our uncle showed her the scroll too. My heart beats excitedly as I stare at my older half-sibling.

Ebony's incredibly smart, and with her Ascension and Aga powers, her element could be at its strongest! Strong enough to pull off Grandpa Bu's Ultimate Darkness Technique: Apocalypse!

I hold her gaze. "Ane, do you really plan on using Apocalypse?"

There's a strange gleam in those earth-toned rubies, a light that has me suddenly more aware. "If the situation turns desperate enough, yes."

Kai suddenly steps forward and takes a hold of her arm. "Wait, what's Apocalypse?" He asks, frowning. "Ebony, don't do anything rash."

A cool pure white eyebrow lifts. "Says the man who wants to charge headfirst into the fray without a plan," Ebony retorts smoothly, but then reassures him with soft eyes. "Don't worry, Kai, I said I'd only use it as a last resort. I'm quite confident that my doppelgangers will be enough."

(Your-angers?) A buzz of static wavers over the line, causing Ayane's voice to filter in and out in mangled distortion. (But Ebony, doesn't-gangers-lot of power to create?)

"Yes," Ebony replies steadily, understanding Ayane's contorted slew of words, "once upon a time they did. However, I am much stronger now, and with the help of my Ascension, I will cloak this battlefield with enough shadow clones to push back the enemy!"

Black and silver tendrils at once start to manifest from Ebony's body and curve around her form in slow, deliberate rotations. Jay's eyes widen while Kai's narrow, and he holds fast to my sister's arm. "I will prove to all of you that my element is not just meant to corrupt and destroy, but also to protect and save!"

Ane…?

"Ebony, no one here doubts you," Nya says from behind me, her voice, pleading. "So please, calm down and remember that we're all in this together. You're not alone."

Ebony's gaze drifts down and fastens on Kai's hand. "I know, Nya," she says quietly. "I'll never forget that…" A subtle upturn of lips becomes clearly visible. "And if you recall, there is no one as calm as I."

I can't help the broad smile that splits my face. We can do this! We can! There's nothing we can't do!

My sister gives a firm nod and the faint smile fades quickly into oblivion. Calm detachment readily in place. "Now enough talk, we have to move." She steps in between Jay and Kai and glares down at the intercom. "You all just need to focus on what you're doing and get here as soon as you can. I'm terminating the communication."

(Wait! Wait! Ebony, wait-) But Ayane's desperate pleas are abruptly silenced by Ebony's finger pressing down on a button. She then turns to us, a fierce, grim look of determination etched across her face like an experienced general addressing her soldiers before battle.

I automatically stand up a little straighter.

She points at the radar display. "Look at the geographical layout. We are surrounded by deep gorges and ravines. If we position ourselves in a standard Shuriken Formation, we'll be able to push the enemy counter-clockwise and into those gaping maws."

"That's brilliant!" Jay erupts, his awed tone matching his slack-jawed expression. He suddenly puffs out his chest and smirks. "Boy, am I the best teacher in the world, or what?"

Kai rolls his eyes. "I'm gonna go with: or what?" He too, then turns serious and eyes my sister. "Alright, I get what you're saying, but how would we position ourselves?" He nods towards the geographical layout displayed on-screen. "There are way too many jagged outcroppings and crooked slopes. We may end up getting pushed in ourselves if we're not careful."

"That's why this strategy is going to take both precision and timing," Ebony explains with haste. "We have the right Elemental Masters here to execute this plan. My doppelgangers will serve to both disorient and stall the enemy advance. So I'll be positioned in the south. Once my clones are deployed, Kai, you'll need to use your Firewall technique and begin the push backward, herding in as many Serpentine as you can towards Nya. So you'll be in the north."

Ebony's sharp eyes then cut over my way, but to my disappointment, they're focused above and passed me. "Nya, you have the fun spot. You're in the west where the first wide ravine is located. When Kai's fires start closing in from your right, that'll be your cue to use Senpuu Tatsumaki—one of your more devastating techniques. The force of your winds will, no doubt, cut through as well as send the enemy careening into ravine below. And any foes you send my way, I'll make sure they're impaled on the jagged outcroppings that rive my area."

She pulls her mask up over her face and unsheathes her platinum sais, holding each by their hilts so that the three sharp points are directed downward. "I need to find out how far my power will take me…"

There's that strange gleam again, but as soon as it ignites, it dissolves, and she nods to Jay. "The east is yours, Jay. The Bolts of Odin are your best bet for striking down the enemy quickly and forcing them to form ranks back towards Kai's position."

"And then the whole thing starts all over again!" Jay exclaims with a hearty fist pump, and throws on his hood in a wink. "We're thrusting the Serpentine into a sorta clock-like gauntlet… Damn, we're so wicked!" He then strokes his masked-chin and raises a finger. "Yanno, it's almost like the 75th Quarter Quell that took place in Catching Fire. Only, yanno," he shrugs, "we're not a corrupt government."

Nya giggles. "Don't let Ayane hear you talk about Catching Fire, Jay. You know how much she adores Finnick Odair."

Jay laughs outright. "And don't let Zane be in the vicinity while she's gushing. He gets craaazy jealous! Haha! Do you remember that time when we were watching Rise of the Guardians and Ayane swooned over Jack Frost?! The whole room got "suspiciously" cold all of a sudden—"

"Hey! Focus, people!" Ebony snaps, glaring heated daggers at Jay. "We're still surrounded here, remember?"

"Oh. Right," Jay sighs, somewhat deflated. "Sorry, Eb."

"Hold on, Ebony…" Kai had been looking intently at the radar display, but now turns to my sister. "You'll be in the south? But that's where the brunt of the Serpentine are gathered! How are you going to—" He rapidly shakes his head. "No! We'll switch positions! I'll—"

"No Kai," Ebony moves very close to Kai and places her hands on his chest, while his find a place on her hips. "This is the only way, and I can do this. Believe in me."

Kai, at first, looks like he wants to protest. But soon, while the fires in his eyes are still hot, the vehemence prior within them ebbs away. And not a single shred of hesitation can be found in his reply. "Always and forever."

"Black fire…"

The scent of gardenias touches my nose and I feel Dominique move to stand next to me. She doesn't say anything else and I don't think anyone heard her soft whisper but me. I look at her strangely as she stares unblinkingly at Kai and Ebony.

Black fire…? Is she seeing something between Kai and Ebony…?

"Now there's one last thing we should take into consideration before we move," Ebony says. She steps away from Kai and regards us with the same cool calmness she's known for. "And that is that this plan is not foolproof, it has holes." Her gaze finds mine again and the blood in my veins stirs with anticipation. "And this is where you'll come in Lloyd."

"What is it?!" I ask anxiously, my whole body is trembling with excitement! "What do you want me to do?! I'll do anything!"

She walks right up to me and crouches down some to look me square in the eye. Her hands land on my shoulders. "If any enemy happens to get passed our line of defense, it'll be your duty to take care of them, Lloyd. You will be our last wall that protects our home, as well as the last wall that protects Dominique. Can you do that, otōto?"

I take a deep breath, my heart thundering. "Yes, I can, ane," I say seriously, and her grip on my shoulders suddenly tightens.

"Stay aware, stay alive… You'll be on the deck." Her masked-lips press lightly against my brow, and my hood is pulled on for me by her hand before she rises.

"Alright Shinobi," Kai rallies, "let's hustle! We're gonna show those snakes what a counter-offensive really looks like!"

"Yeah!" Jay chimes in loudly. "We'll teach those impolite lickety-lickers not to attack during mealtime! They always do this! Isn't that right, Eb?"

My sister sighs as she places her hand on her hip and eyes the lightning ninja over her shoulder, but nonetheless, I can tell she's smiling beneath her mask. "Yes, Jay."

"Let's do it, everyone!" Nya choruses, and as one, we shout our trademark phrase in unison.

"Ninja-Go!"

The four Ninja and Kunoichi charge out of the command room with weapons drawn and gleaming, and masks and hoods pulled up and over, but I hesitate before following them.

I turn to Dominique and she stares wide-eyed at me. "Lloyd…"

I can tell she's scared, any normal person would be, after all, and so… I feel I can't leave yet. Another ancient and instinctual urge has pulled at my heart. I have to reassure her. I don't…want to see her scared.

"Dom…" I do the exact same as what my sister did to me, and take hold of her shoulders. "Dominique, everything's going to be fine. Stay here, okay?"

She nods slightly. "Okay, but…what about you…and the others?" She asks, her voice barely above a whisper.

"We're all going to come back, you'll see. And I will protect you no matter what… I'll get you home, Dominique."

"Huh…?" Her eyes search mine, and I can see the bafflement. "But Lloyd…"

"But Flaragon…"

I blink. My vision had flashed white for a second. And instead of Dominique, I had seen as well as heard the voice of, a violet-eyed firebird. A phoenix. It had to be. Could that have actually been…Aurora…?

What's… What's happening to me…?

That name… Flaragon…continues to echo through my mind.

And it happens again. Only this time the vision lasts longer. Beautiful pupil-less violet pools look worriedly up at me, and I can feel the warmth and heat emanating from the phoenix's firestorm plumage.

"I will protect you no matter what, Aurora!" That's…not my voice… That's…

My throat feels hot, and when I open my mouth, words that are not my own spew forth in a deep guttural growl.

"While breath remains in me, I will get you home! The Black Phoenix will not take you, I promise!"

Another flash of white and once again, Dominique replaces Aurora, only this time in blurry, spinning images. Vertigo assaults me viciously and my world tilts as I stagger away from Dominique.

"L-Lloyd?! My gosh what wrong?! Your aura it…!"

Trembling and gasping, I shakily throw my hood off the second I feel the bile rise in my throat.

"Gyuk! Gyaah!" My stomach empties itself onto the Command Room floor and I collapse to my knees, continuing to dispel every scrap of food I've ever eaten in my life. I can feel hands on my back and hear the yip-yaps of barking from somewhere, but my mind is too clogged and befuddled to make any sense of my surroundings right now.

After what feels like an eternity, my vision stops swimming and I'm reduced to painful coughing and spitting. I wipe my mouth with the back of my hand and try to climb back up to my feet.

"No Lloyd!" The hands belong to Dominique I realize, but her voice sounds like she's yelling through a wind tunnel, and not just mere inches away from my ear. "You cannot go! You not good!" She cries, and tries to tug me back down.

I buckle and growl. "Let go." My voice is weak and hoarse, and Dominique's hands just hang onto me tighter.

"No! Stay with me! Please!" The desperation and growing loudness of her voice only makes the throbbing behind my eyes worse, and I try my hardest to pull away from her. I grunt and manage to stand despite her stupid tugging, but stumble back and fall weakly against the nearest wall.

My legs are barely supporting me. C'mon Lloyd! C'mon! You have to get out there!

I brace the palms of my hands against the surface of the wall behind me and close my eyes tight as I try to straighten up, but the feel of soft hands framing my face has me snapping my eyes wide open.

Dominique. Her eyes are wet and shimmering. She's crying. I caused her to cry…again.

"You cannot go." Strangled and small, she keeps on pleading desperately to me. "You go, you die. Do you understand? Please… I want you here with me, Lloyd."

I wipe my mouth again when I feel a bit of left over spittle drip from my chin. I really don't have time for this! The others are counting on me! My sister is counting on me!

My eyes narrow at her tears. She doesn't understand…

"I'm a ninja," I get out with force. I don't care how hoarse I sound, I'm going to state my resolve. "And not just any ninja. I'm the legendary Green Ninja of Creation! I'm the master of all four Natural Elements! And either I fulfill my destiny, or die trying-!"

My heart leaps up into my throat in shock. She had…unexpectedly thrown her arms around me. Dominique…is hugging me.

"I know you strong," she whispers. Her lips are right next to my ear, and I can hardly suppress a shiver when her breath tickles it with each purred word spoken. "I can feel it…now. Your aura…it is…pulsating, beating with your heart. But there…is something else too. Can you feel it, Lloyd? The dragon, Flaragon's spirit? Inside you?"

Did she see it too? The vision I just had? Or maybe…she had experienced similar waking dreams? Yesterday, she said she dreamt… Ugh…it's so hard to concentrate right now. I have never been this close to a girl before, not one my age, anyway. And it's…not as bad as I thought it'd be.

My arms are hanging limp at my sides… Should I…hug her back? My face feels hot. Her hair… If I wanted…I could rest my head against hers. Maybe I should…for a second… Just to see what it feels like.

I will my arms to move and very slowly, cautiously wrap them around Dominique. I can literally feel the heat rising from my cheeks, but I don't stop there…not when I'm so close in fulfilling a maddening, instinctual urge.

I lean my head gently against hers and turn my face into that thick, curly, cinnamon sable forest. I inhale deeply and, at once, I am swathed by her scent. For a single frame of time, Dominique and I are not on the Destiny's Bounty in the Command Room surrounded by shouts of battle echoing off the walls. No, for a single moment, we are locked in an embrace out on a field, amongst a grove of gardenias and other beautiful flowers.

Just for a single moment…

"Lloyd…?"

She pulls back and I let her. Her eyes lock with mine, and all I can do is stare into them helplessly. I can't get over how incredible her eyes are, how pretty she is, how great she smells. Dark amethyst gems shimmer and glisten, and hopefully the last tear I cause rolls down her cheek. My hand moves again of its own volition and I wipe away the cascading drop with my thumb, something I've seen Zane do for Ayane plenty of times.

A small smile curves on her lips. "We can find out…together, what the visions mean. Flaragon and Aurora, their story…is what lines the walls in our rooms." Dom suddenly pulls back further and grabs both my hands. "I want to see this through, I will stay."

And just like that, the spell I'd been under is broken. I get it now. These feelings, this attraction towards Dominique, aren't my doing at all. I'm being influenced by Flaragon. The spirit inside me must believe that Dominique is the phoenix, Aurora, and he loved her.

But I don't love Dominique, how can I? I barely know her.

I have to resist these ancient urges and desires, for they are not my own. I can't let some empty disembodied voice screw around with my emotions, and make me do things I have no business doing.

As for her staying here, I'll deal with that later.

I force my hands out of hers and glare hard at her. "You won't be "staying" anywhere but on the ground dead if you don't let me get out there and join the battle," I sneer at her, and the smile on her lips drops. "You can ultimately do whatever the hell you want, but as for right now, just wait here and try not to do anything stupid."

And with that, I hurriedly make a dash for the door before she can say anything back. I've already wasted enough time with her.

Above all else, my resolution comes first.
Power of Aura Chapter 16
The first half of the next to last chapter, peeps! Enjoy! 

Stupid DA! The stash. editor is screwed up again! I'll have to revise later! Sorry!
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Genesis Poll! Cast Your Vote Now At FFN Only!

Journal Entry: Fri Mar 27, 2015, 11:51 AM

Now, I'm going to make this as short as possible, but I feel I need to consult with you all about something. In the original rough draft of this series, there was a book entitled: "Genesis" which I had planned to come after the book entitled: "The Catalyst". The plot for "Genesis" was to be told entirely by the Serpentine generals, King Skales, and the female OCs that would join Genesis and become their mates. The reason why this book got scrapped was because I thought that no one would take interest in an entire book where the Ninja and Kunoichi make no appearances. But my two betas have brought it to my attention that the book could possibly bring in a wider range of readers who like the Serpentine and want to hear their side of the story. So, I've decided to leave it to votes. Please go to my profile on Fanfiction.net and cast your vote on whether or not you would like for me to reinstate the book entitled: "Genesis" or just omit it and have it be casted as one of those "behind the scenes" things and let the story unfold with just the Ninja and Kunoichi at the helm.

Now, if you DO want "Genesis" to be reinstated into Trials and Tribulations then I would like to ask for a little help. Please give me some female OCs! And these OCs have to have tragic and depressing backgrounds, enough so that they have a reason to join "Genesis" and want to start a new life. In these character sheets and bios, I ask that these young women be 17 years or older. And please, do not be shy of details and descriptions. These are YOUR OCs, and if I decide to use them then you will receive full credit for your character and best regards from me. And if you want, you can even include which Serpentine you wish for your OC to be paired with. I will list them now just in case anyone forgot their names: King Skales (Hypnobrai), General Acidicus (Venomari), General Fangtom (Fangpyre), and newly appointed general, after Skalidor's demise, General Bytor (Constrictai). Please feel free to share your ideas for "Genesis" too. If you have any special instructions for me on how you would like your OC and chosen Serpentine to get together, then please don't hesitate to include those prompts as well. Lookin' forward to hearing from you guys!

PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR MY SERIES BY FAVING AND COMMENTING!

P.S. 

Those of you who are wondering how my pictures are coming along, I'm just waiting for Sasha's and Dominique's portraits now! I know they are taking some time, but I've been very particular about how I want my OC's depicted. But no worries, they will be uploaded here on DA soon enough!



  • Mood: Rage
  • Listening to: Disturbed....Can you blame me...
  • Reading: Seekers: The River of Lost Bears
  • Watching: Seinfeld
  • Playing: Devil May Cry....Again, can you blame me...
  • Eating: Chicken
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew
Ayane's earlier speculation proved to be true, for the black showers lasted only an hour more before they retreated completely, back to the diabolical Kraken from whence they came. And the dissipation of the Kraken's dark influence was like the coming of a new dawn. When Old Verdant's leaves parted and allowed the first rays of sunshine to dapple over us, the forest came alive instantly.

The light-hearted chirping of birdsongs fluttered through the air and the busy buzzing of insects filled our ears. We had even witnessed a family of flying squirrels gliding from branch to branch in order to harvest a few of Old Verdant's acorns.

It was a truly tranquil event and nothing made me happier than to see the beautiful shine radiate from Ayane's eyes. However, we couldn't forget why we were in the forest in the first place. There is a mission, and from Cole's message that I received twenty minutes ago, we were reminded of that important fact.

"Alright, boys! Just ignore the lingering humidity from the black showers and let's bag us some nice fat water bucks and whatever else we can find out here!"

An older gentleman with a scruffy graying beard and an overall unpleasant expression shouts huffy orders to his fellow cavaliers as they travel by horseback on the mudded trail from Monsoon. The mounted men adjust the straps on their rifles and look somewhat lazily ahead at the open forest road.

"Not a very big hunting party," Ayane observes in a quiet whisper. "The old guy's playing point, two manning the caravan, four on flanks, and one rearguard."

I look at her as her brow knits in concentration, her mask firmly back in place. "Only one rearguard? That's kinda sloppy…"

"Not as thorough as the Hunting Pack?" I ask curiously and she shakes her head.

"Not even close," she murmurs. "The flanking formation is too loose regardless of them being on horseback, and unless that one rearguard is an impeccable shot and astute observer—which I doubt he is--then two or even three rearguards are needed to cover blind spots. Uncle Dai wouldn't like this at all if he was in charge here…"

Ayane's sharp two-toned eyes rove over the hunting party once more before focusing on me. "We better keep an eye on these guys, Zane. Something doesn't feel right… They shouldn't be this disorganized."

I concur with a nod and together, we proceed with shadowing the caravan. The posse soon heads into a wide and beautiful glade and stops. The older gentleman swerves his horse around and addresses his men with a frown.

"Okay, this here's the spot so time to fan-out! And none of y'all better come back empty-handed! Move!"

At once, the gathered men chorus their vigor—which I notice Ayane rolls her eyes at—and disperse into two groups, both heading in opposite directions back into the thick of the forest. The older gentleman stays behind and looks to the two men stationed atop the caravan.

"Guard duty. Y'all know the drill, so stay put." The older gentleman then gathers his reigns, but one of the other two men calls out to him.

"One moment, Montgomery sir," he says with a smirk, and I have to cock an eyebrow at the emphasis and snickering that follows. "Steve and I were just wondering if maybe we can get on with it. I mean, do we really have to watch this pile of crap until the others get back?" He asks, jutting a thumb behind him at the caravan's cargo hold.

"Yeah, ya do. Hole's gettin' full, have to scout around for a good place to dig a new one." He glares at the two men pointedly. "So we don't need that thing clankerin' about makin' trouble for the others."

The two men laugh. "Come now, you can cut the hillbilly act—"

"Silence fools!" The one called Montgomery shouts belligerently and jerks on the reigns, causing the animal to whinny. And the two men fall instantly silent and pale-faced, which is a feat in itself considering how pale they already are.

I watch closely as Montgomery bares his teeth. "No screw-ups," he hisses. "Now do your jobs!" And with that, he gallops off, heading north and down a winding path.

Ayane settles down beside me. "Zane, did you hear that? Something's up," she whispers.

"Yes," I reply softly. "But what?"

"The caravan's obviously important, but what about what Montgomery said? What did he mean by: "Hole's gettin' full…" What hole?"

"That is the question, isn't it? But what is also moot, is the very demeanor of the men. Montgomery is putting on an "act"? What could that mean? From our past experiences, Hypnobrai hypnotism doesn't work this way."

I push down on the branch of leaves in front of me to better view the caravan. "Ayane, hunting caravans are normal, yes?"

"Oui, in most cases. Caravans are mainly used to pack extra ammo, supplies, and killed game. The only reason we Shikians don't use them is because there's an ancient law that each and every Village Chief must abide by. And that is that no man-made architecture may be built on or run through Asuta Jingu. Which, of course, means no roads."

"I see. Or incur the wrath of Lady Amaterasu?"

"Oui," she responds simply.

"Hmm…" I scrutinize the caravan and watch as the two men talk idly amongst themselves. The indolent way they conduct their duties is shameful by any standards, and it's obvious that the "pile of crap" they are guarding has no real value to them. "I do not believe such valuables are inside this particular caravan, my dear."

"Yeah, I don't either," she replies, unsheathing her platinum recurve bow from her back. "I may not have a sixth sense like you, but I have my other senses. This forest has a surplus of game, so why haven't any of these so-called hunters returned yet to unload? And notice how we haven't heard one gunshot? Are they having trouble tracking or something? Seems unlikely, unless these guys are just that inept."

I quietly summon my golden shurikens. "Our primary objective shall be discovering the true contents of this caravan here, and then we can track down Montgomery, but before we incapacitate these men, let's listen for a moment. The information we uncover may be of use."

Ayane nods and we stay crouched low on a verdant tree's branch overlooking the clearing, our ears keen and perked on the voices below us.

One man, presumably named "Steve", slouches down in his seat and folds his arms behind his head. "Wonder what has ol' Monty's panties twisted in a bunch. Wouldn't kill the old reptile to relax a bit, everything's fine."

"Oh, you didn't hear?" The other man—let us dub him "Smirks"—smirks and cuts a conniving eye towards his colleague. "Two strangers—a man and a woman—checked into the B&B early this morning," he says, retrieving a pack of cigarettes from his coat pocket.

"So what?" Steve shrugs. "Strangers check in at the B&B all the time."

"Nu-uh, see…" Smirks shoves a cigarette in his mouth and lets it dangle, then points the pack in a random direction. "Monty says that there's a familiar smell about them." His eyebrows lift expectantly. "They could be…Ninja."

Ayane inhales a soft gasp and my eyes narrow in suspicion, unconsciously grasping my shurikens a little tighter.

Steve sits up straighter. "Could be? Everyone has the Ninja's scents, so how come he doesn't know for sure?"

Smirks lights the butt of his whiter cylinder with a match and takes a few idle puffs before answering. "Well, our senses are dulled when we take human form. He doesn't want to make a move without certainty." He tosses his pack to Steve who simply pockets it for him. "I know what Fang-Suei is doing," Smirks continues, white wisps exiting his lips with every word. "He wants to impress Fangtom in hopes of replacing Fangdam. That's why he volunteered to be the head in this experiment."

"Well then we better follow his orders," Steve chimes in excitedly. "If he gets promoted to Lieutenant, we could get promoted too!"

"Zane."

"Not yet, Ayane." I reach over to place my hand on her shoulder to keep her from readying her bow. The muscles underneath my gloved-hand are taut, she's angry, which is understandable. However, we need as much information we can get if we are to counter successfully with a coup d'état.

These two men below us are Serpentine, as well as Montgomery, and most likely the rest of the caravan. But…how many more? Does the entire village of Monsoon consist of transformed Serpentine? Are Sasha and Cole in the metaphorical belly-of-the-beast as we speak? And furthermore, how did the Serpentine acquire this power? If memory serves, none of the tribes had this capability.

So then…how?

"Victory to the Serpentine!" Steve hurrahs joyfully.

"You mean victory to the Fangpyre," Smirks corrects, wearing his namesake. Steve looks to him curiously and Smirks rolls his eyes. "Listen genius, we Fangpyre are the only ones with the means to transform into humans because of the splicing of our vampire genes during the mutation executions that occurred a month ago. If the experiment here in Monsoon proves a complete success, our tribe could be the pioneers in helping with the conquest of Ninjago!"

"Then we Fangpyre are on our way up to the top!?" Steve's eyes exude a hopeful twinkle and Smirks claps a hand on his shoulder.

"You bet we are little brother!" He cheers, then removes his cigarette from his mouth and holds it between two fingers. "But that's not all," he grins wickedly. "Did you hear about the proposal General Fangtom gave to King Skales?"

At Steve's rapid shake of the head, Smirks continues with a laugh. "We may have our females yet! You see, our cunning general had taken it upon himself to start studying human behavior. And he has found out that not all humans are the happy-go-lucky twits we have known them to be. He has seen the hopelessness and depression that some humans face in their lives. And those humans are looking for a way out, particularly the females."

Smirks' grin turns most predatory and I watch with growing repulsion as his pupils constrict into fine slits, revealing the contemptible reptile within. "Dear brother, our females will come to us voluntarily. No kidnapping or hypnotism required. We will offer them a way out from their pitiful human lives and give them a chance to start a new beginning, a rebirth! Why, General Fangtom has already put the wheels in motion. He has taken the DNA of a powerful human government official and founded an organization dedicated to helping despondent and lonely human females. He has called it…Genesis."

"Then…" Steve's mouth falls agape in shock momentarily before realization dawns and he perceptibly swallows. "Not just the generals will be able to have mates, but…everyone," he ends with awe.

Smirks laughs again. "Precisely! Think how fast our numbers would expand then! The world's surface would be littered with Serpentine eggs in no time! And get this! King Skales was so enamored with the idea that he immediately made General Fangtom his right-hand! Hahahahaha!"

"My god… Oh my god…" Ayane's strained whisper diverts my attention to her and I observe worriedly as she covers her mouth with a trembling hand, her eyes wide and disbelieving. "Zane… Zane…"

I immediately react and grip her shoulders the best I can while still holding onto my shurikens. I turn her to face me instead of the two vilely disguised Fangpyre. "Do not despair, Ayane. We will find a way to stop them. You have to believe that!" I say in an urgent whisper.

Thankfully my words reach her and she nods her head. "I do… I do, Zane. It's just…" She peers desperately at me, her eyes portraying both rage and melancholy. "They plan on taking advantage of despondent women! It's despicable!"

I nod grimly and switch my gaze briefly back to the celebratory duo in the clearing before focusing calmly on Ayane once more. "We will take care of the ones here, and then we shall find the ones they replaced and return them to their homes."

"Yeah, but where could they be? Where did the Serpentine hide them?" She asks fretfully. I know she's anxious to take action, to right the wrongs of our enemies, but I try my best to keep her calm.

"Shhh, let us continue to listen. They may leak something else."

Ayane's gaze hardens in resolve and I eye her critically. What was once a simple incapacitation of two incompetent humans has been rightfully reversed. It is obvious we will have to slay these two morphed Fangpyre, but before we play the Grim Reapers, we will heed more of their rambunctious chatter.

"But brother, isn't the experiment already a complete success?!" Steve suddenly exclaims. "I mean, look at us! When we absorb a human's DNA, we absorb their memories and personality traits too! Infiltration was child's-play! Plus, we can revert back to our original forms whenever we want to!"

Puffing one last time on his now diminutive cigarette, Smirks flicks away the extinguished butt and regards his fellow snake with a surprisingly somber expression. "Unfortunately no. Haven't you noticed the annoying drawbacks to doing this? We can only absorb the DNA of human adult males, and the fact that we kill them by doing so is another bothersome setback since we have to dispose of the bodies discreetly." He sighs and shakes his head ruefully as grief from my EF pierces my CPU.

No…

"So annoying…" Smirks sighs, but soon gets over his lapse of aggravation and smiles gleefully. "As for the women and children, all the men are history now, so I wouldn't be surprised if we're given the order to kill them off soon."

At that exact moment, I feel a sudden rush of wind and see the disturbed rustling of leaves, and come to realize with alarm that Ayane is no longer by my side.

"Ayane!" Without hesitation, I leap from my perch and up into the open air just in time to see her release a single holy projectile during her descent. The beam of light pierces the side of Smirks' skull before he can turn, and the concentrated power behind the shot results in instant decapitation. Dark green blood gushes from the massive neck wound and splatters messily onto the fallen snake's younger brother.

Immediate rage and resentment shadows over Steve's face, and his human façade is promptly dropped as he reverts back into his Fangpyre form. Ayane lands atop of the wooden roof of the caravan before I do and moves forward to engage the enraged Serpentine as he jumps from his seat.

"FILTHY NINJA-GYAHH!"

I join the pair with my shurikens held at the ready, but halt my assault at the Fangpyre's guttural cry. Ayane had utilized the spiked nock on her bow's tip to impale the snake through the stomach mid-charge. With one arm outstretched, Ayane grips her weapon strongly and keeps the Fangpyre's futile attacks at bay. Green blood gathers and drips from our foe's red maw as he stubbornly tries to push forward despite his mortal wound, claws and fangs swiping and snapping wildly at the air.

The struggle lasts only a moment more before a steady ray of light erects from the Fangpyre's back, effectively skewering him. The reptile's body falls limp with nary a growl and Ayane retracts her weapon. She breathes heavily, her shoulders rising and falling with each breath as she stands over the enemy.

"By Amaterasu's light, we cannot let this happen, Zane," she growls shakily. "We just can't."

"I know, Ayane," I say quietly. Just then, my senses prick and I rush to push Ayane forward and off the side of caravan to the ground. The first gunshot since we've been here rings out harmlessly into the atmosphere as we take cover behind the side of the planked transport.

The thundering of hooves snaps my attention and I take into account that the caravan's horses were now loose and running amok, scattering and disappearing into the surrounding forest.

Hmm, they must've been freed after Ayane's killing blow to the first Fangpyre. The trajectory did align with the bolt latch that held them to the caravan. My dear, you definitely have remarkable aim.

"Eight flankers and one rearguard, Zane!" Ayane yells informatively, another divine arrow already cocked along the ethereal string of her bow.

Two mounted men soon gallop into the clearing right in my line of sight and I throw both of my shurikens before either of them can lift their rifles to fire. My spinning blades slice cleanly through their jugulars and dark green blood gushes from their necks as they fall from their horses and tumble to the ground.

Only seven left now…

"Idiots! Fight smart! We have the advantage! We have the guns!" I hear one of the men roar from the opposite side of the clearing. More clops of hooves sound from the other side and a cacophony of voices engulf the air.

"How many are there?!"

"They killed four of us already?!"

"Bring their heads to General Fangtom!"

"Send a message to Fang-Suei!"

"Call for reinforcements!"

I frown darkly behind my hood and catch my shurikens without looking as I sense them sail back to me. I look to the surrounding forest quickly then turn to Ayane. "We can utilize the density of the forest to our advantage if we fallback. They will not be able to aim well in there."

Ayane's eyes are distant and slightly fearful. She looks about herself in a confused manner. "Zane…" she says warily and turns her nose upward, "…do you smell that?"

My eyebrow lifts at her unorthodox statement and I lean against the side of the caravan to chance a peek around the corner. The transformed Fangpyre are all on horseback, some stationary while others trotted about, but all are still shouting their differing opinions at once.

Oh yes, such stellar organization…pathetic…

But what is slightly troubling, is that I only count six not seven. Is the one unaccounted for on his way back to Monsoon to report the situation and bring back reinforcements? If that's the case then we cannot possibly stay here for long. We'll have to rout the enemy quickly, inform Sasha and Cole to abort their mission, and get out of here to return to the Destiny's Bounty.

I am pulled from my ponderings by Ayane's literal pull to my arm.

"Zane, get away from there!" Her whisper is strict and urgent, and she pulls me as far from the caravan as possible while still utilizing it as a shield.

"What is the matter, Ayane?" I ask, somewhat startled. Her vexation is apparent, and I sense that it has nothing to do with our enemies on the opposite side of the glade.

"Zane, don't tell me you don't smell that horrendous stench coming from the caravan?"

Perplexed but willing to placate her, I sniff the air experimentally. My eyes widen, however, when I catch the putrid odor wafting from our enlarged wooden defense.

I peer at the transport inquisitively with more than a little distain. "It smells like…rotting flesh…"

Time itself seems to slow as all the information we've learned thus far comes together like pieces of a puzzle. And they form one tragic picture.

"They said they…needed to dispose of the bodies…discreetly," Ayane mutters sadly. "Zane…how big do you think that hole is? How many men did the Fangpyre kill?"

"Seeing is believing," I say lowly. "At the moment, we only have partial evidence. Thus it goes without saying that we need to open these caravan doors and find out what exactly lies within. But first…"

I meet Ayane's eyes and she nods firmly. We have to put aside our emotions for now and deal with our current situation. She tilts her head back and I follow her gaze skyward. The sun shines brightly overhead, making one believe that the black showers never tormented the heavens a mere hour ago and a half ago.

"We won't need the forest to protect us…" She says and lifts her platinum bow, the silvery nuance of the weapon majestically catching the sunlight. "I'll simply remove their sense of sight completely. Then we'll see how good a shot they are."

I watch with amazement as her body begins to pulsate with white and gold light. She looks at me. "Better cover those beautiful eyes of yours for a few seconds, Zane. You'll know when to make your move."

"Very well, let us do away with these fiends then."

Wasting no time, Ayane jumps high into the air and I shield my eyes as instructed. I soon hear one of the transformed Fangpyre shout.

"There's one! Shoot her down now!"

"Solar Flare!"

Ayane's powerful shout echoes throughout the clearing and the Fangpyre scream their dismay as a deafening sound of shimmering pierces the heavens.

"THAT LIGHT!"

"AAARRGGHHH! MY EYES! I'M BLIND!"

That's my cue!

Snapping my eyes open, I whirl around the caravan just in time to see multiple Fangpyre being thrown from their horses. Only two manage to stay on their panicked steeds, but those who don't, I target first. Striking vital areas of the body ensure a quick death…so that's my course of action. Keeping my shurikens in hand, I set their blades spinning and charge the recovering Fangpyre. Their discombobulating demeanor works well in my favor as they more or less stumble into my attacks.

I let my weapons slash through flesh and bone as they were meant to as I spin from one foe to the next, my body encased in ice, snow, and blades. The cocking of a readying clip distracts my attention, and not taking any chances, I steer the last standing Fangpyre in front of me and effectively use him as a human shield—well, snake shield technically—and a loud *BANG* cracks from a barrel.

Green blood splashes heavily on the front of my hood as the blind and vehement rifleman shoots his ally square in the face. An instant fatality.

"Did I get 'em!?" The mounted snake smirks, eyes white with blindness.

"Oh yes," I snarl, dropping the now lifeless corpse to my feet. "I would say you most certainly did. And now…"

An arrow imbued with holy light pierces the smirking Fangpyre right through his left eye, and he too falls from his mount and to my feet. "We got you," I finish coldly and look about me for anymore enemies.

Spotting none, only the fallen six, I turn to Ayane as she leaps off the roof of the caravan.

"Idiot," she growls, eyeing the snake that fell last with utter contempt. "Why risk shooting, when you can't even see?" She then jogs up to me. "Are you alright, Zane?" She asks worriedly and pulls back my soiled hood. Her fingers gently wipe away some of the blood that had managed to smear my skin.

"Yes, I am fine," I reply easily, dispelling my weapons. "However, we must move quickly. The seventh Fangpyre unaccounted for troubles me. We are not safe here."

She nods solemnly and uses the back of her hand to wipe her brow free of perspiration. "Then…let's get these doors open."

"Yes." I know we have both resigned ourselves to see the worst. But, given how emotional and pure Ayane is, a part of me wishes to preserve that purity and spare her any heartache that would surely come from seeing innocent people slain. I touch her shoulder lightly to stay her from stepping towards the possibly enormous casket. "Ayane, you can wait here if you want," I say softly. "I can check the caravan alone."

Her shoulders stiffen and she shakes her head sharply. "No Zane, I have to see. Besides…" she turns her head and glances up at me over her shoulder, the lovely shade of mint green gleams with a quiet strength, "…it's much too late to protect me from the harshness of reality."

I sigh as she steps out of my grasp. "Let's go."

The wooden doors to the caravan are bolted shut with the assistance of a simple padlock. And summoning a meager iota of my power, I deftly finger a single ice needle and use it to manipulate the uncomplicated mechanism within. I keep my features blank as the stench of decomposition drifts through the small lines of the wooden planks, and when the lock falls and the doors open with a decrepit creak, the smell of death and decay hits me full-force and seems to seep into the very fabric of my robes.

And the sight…hammers the metaphorical nail in the coffin.

Men's bodies—old and young—completely fill the interior of the caravan. They were carelessly stacked on top each other, the Serpentine showing as much care for the corpses as one would show to stones. Entry wounds consist of quarter-sized puncture holes on the side of the neck, no doubt made from the bite of a Fangpyre. And dried and crusted blood stained a trail down the insipid columns, proving conclusively of just how severe the bites were.

Flies fly about as maggots crawl through ears and mouths. The disgusting macabre is almost more than I can bear, and if I'm having trouble coping then…

I'm unexpectedly shoved aside by Ayane, but I right myself quickly at seeing her frantically close the doors of the caravan. Her entire frame shakes with violent tremors and her breath comes out as ragged pants.

She wraps her arms around herself and closes her eyes tight, taking several tumultuous steps back. "No, no, no… How could they? How could they do this?"

"Ayane…" I am already moving towards her when I sense it…the unmistakable prick of danger. My eyes shift to the right, and that's when I see him. Montgomery. In the shadow of the trees, mounted on a gray stallion. His lips twist into a sneer as he raises his rifle to take aim, and a crimson forked-tongue darts out as he cocks the clip.

Panic and desperation seizes me by the throat and I shout Ayane's name as I run to her. But…I am too far away…for some reason, I am just too far away…

*BANG!*

My vision turns red as I watch Ayane's blood burst from a hole in her shoulder like a geyser, the bullet tearing through her flesh effortlessly. And when she falls forward to her knees, rage soon sinks its teeth in me and something inside my circuitry snaps…and as a result…I see red for an entirely different reason. Gritting my teeth, I reroute myself towards the transformed Fangpyre. Montgomery—no, Fang-suei—has already reverted to his original form when he launches himself from his horse, meeting my charge with both heads' fangs gaping wide and claws outstretched.

We fall hard to the ground as he lands on me. I deflect the slashing of claws with an elbow and land a well-timed haymaker on one of the attacking heads, causing the jaw to fracture and be knocked back by the force of the blow.

Dark green blood sprays my face, but I know the red and white serpent is far from finished. A flash of claws has the right side of my face stinging with pain, but my agony is promptly replaced by fury and my element agrees wholeheartedly with me. Sub-zero temperature fills my hands and I grip both clawed-hands tight when they make a swing for my face again.

I let the frigid coldness exude from my appendages and instantly freeze the claws in my hand.

"Huh?! NO!"

All the way up his arms, my ice travels, until both are frozen and locked with mine. Sensing the direness of his situation, Fang-suei lunges forward, fangs prepared to deal a blow, but I react faster and use the strength in my legs to kick his body off me.

His frozen arms separate from his torso and Fang-suei screams in rage as he's flung backward onto the grass. I get to my feet hastily and he gets to his just as quick. Still holding his glaciered limbs, I walk calmly towards him as he scowls at me. Stopping just a few feet away, I strengthen my grip and pulverize the arms into dozens of crystal shards. I dust the last remaining flecks of chilled snake off my hands and settle into a stance durable enough to incorporate my preferred style of martial arts: tae-kwon-do.

Never mind summoning my shurikens, I will decimate this Fangpyre with my bare hands.

Fang-suei scoffs a laugh and growls. "Hmph, arms are overrated. We were a lesser species once upon a time after all." Both heads are still active, though the one that received my punch looks the worst out of the two. Green blood still drips from the injured one's mandible and said lower jaw is dislocated and hangs at an unusual angle.

My eyes narrow and I relax my stance and stand up straight.

Fang-suei guffaws. "Gahahahaha! You do realize that Ninjago is doomed, don't you?" He taunts. "It's not just the Fangpyre that underwent mutation. No… All of the tribes are stronger with enhanced abilities!" I begin to make my way towards him again, one calm step at a time. "You will not stop us this time, ninja. None of you will! The human race will crumble! Ninjago will be—GAH!"

Having heard enough, I grab both despicable snake heads and lean in close as my powers seep into their cavernous maws. "Please, do me a favor…and chill."

The widening of reptilian eyes is the last I see of Fang-suei as I do to his heads what I did to his arms. Watching indifferently as the frozen chunks of snake drop from my hands, I leave the dismembered corpse where it is and rush back to Ayane, dispelling my power in the process.

"Ayane!"

I find her sitting up and leaning against the caravan. I anxiously kneel beside her and gently pull down her mask. She looks at me somewhat dazed and blinks slowly.

"I...was careless… I'm sorry, Zane… Are you okay…? Your face…" She reaches for me with a bloodied hand and I take it. I do not know what I look like at the moment, nor do I really care. All I care about right now is her.

"I-I am…I am fine, Ayane," My voice quivers. I know that it is imperative to stay calm, but… My eyes find the hole in her right shoulder and I release her hand to use both of mine to staunch the flow of blood. "Your wound… Are you able to heal yourself?"

She nods weakly. "I'm a little drained, but I should be able to manage it…" She closes her eyes in pain. "Give me a few minutes. I've…never been shot before…" Her eyes reopen themselves and a small smile touches her lips. "Hansuke once asked me what I thought it would feel like to get shot. I didn't know then…but I know now…heh…"

Her jest brings calm to my circuitry, the constant pulses of trepidation from my EF, minimal. "Yes dearest, the next time you speak with him, you can report that it was most unpleasant and that you will never endure such pain ever again. I promise you won't. I promise, Ayane."

Fear was sent skyrocketing to my CPU just then, my EF now fluctuating with so many different emotions: distress, worry, and apprehension at the forefront. From now on, I need to be by her side at all times during battle. I just…cannot bear to see her like this.

"Zane… Zane, look at me…" But I can't. My eyes have zeroed-in on her shoulder, my gloved-hands drenched in her blood. I could have prevented this… I… Slick fingertips touch my chin, and I am gently guided from the sight of blood to Ayane's stern face, although my eyes flicker to my hands every few seconds.

The haze has lifted from her eyes, and shine with the clarity and strength that I am familiar with. "You cannot protect me from every single thing, Zane."

"Yes, I can."

"No, you can't."

"Yes, I—"

"No, please listen…" Her hand moves from my chin to my cheek and I lean into it, despite it being wet with her blood. I want to always be able to feel her touch—her warmth—no matter what. "Me getting shot was not your fault. It was mine… I thought I'd be able to deal with seeing any horror, but…" Her body begins to shake again, but then she takes a deep harsh breath to calm herself. "I let my emotions rule me, and that's why I got shot. I just have to get stronger, train harder. So that next time, when the roles are reversed…I can save you."

"Ayane…" I cannot help myself now. I envelop her in my arms and pull her close, away from the hull of the caravan. I mirror her actions and place my palm on her cheek, and she leans appreciatively into my touch despite the blood soaking it. I then lower my lips to hers wantonly, and block everything else out: the horror, the fear, the devastation. Nothing will stop me from savoring this moment. Nothing will stop me from keeping her alive.

Pure and sanctifying warmth soon engulfs me, and I can feel the torn and serrated skin on my face mend itself. Every ache and pain in my matrix ebbs away and my hold on her tightens. I never really understood how her powers can heal a cyber-organic organism such as me, but I like to believe that it is her love for me that makes it possible.

I taste her once more before unhurriedly pulling away. Her eyes are still closed blissfully and her cheeks are beautifully flushed. The whitish-gold of her hair shimmers and sways about her serene face until her power dissipates. I lean back further to check her right shoulder, and am relieved to see the wound perfectly healed and gone. However, the tear in her clothes made by the bullet reveal the star-shaped scar marring the upper quadrant area, just adjacent to her clavicle, the skin red and puckered.

I place a chaste and heartfelt kiss to the new blemish and hug her tight. She returns my embrace and mumbles into my shoulder. "We should get out of here, Zane. We have to report this."

I kiss the top of her head. "Yes, you're right. We need to—"

(Zane! Ayane! Can you two hear me?!)

Ayane and I break apart abruptly at the interruption of Cole's authoritative voice emitting from both of our PMSs. I retrieve mine from my sash and press down on the flashing black button. "Yes, we can hear you, Cole. What is it? Is something wrong?"

(Well I would think so. Since some wacko just galloped through town shouting "The Ninja are coming! The Ninja are coming!")

My eyes widen. The missing seventh.

(Now the entire village is in an uproar and all the men looked to be armed. This has Serpentine written all over it, so I'm about to issue the convergence-)

"No!" I looked to Ayane gripping her PMS, her face stricken and alarmed. "Cole, that won't work! The villagers aren't hypnotized! The men—the men are all transformed Fangpyre! Only the men!"

(What?! What are you talking about?! How is that possible!?)

"There's no time to explain," I interject. "Just know that you don't have to hesitate when engaging the men. They are Fangpyre."

(But what about the women and children?!) Sasha's voice crackles urgently over the line. (Some of them are out and about too! And if we start fighting the men—Fangpyre or not—even more pandemonium will ensue!)

Ayane and I share a worried glance.

(Montgomery! What about Montgomery?!) Cole shouts. (Surely he can calm them down!)

"No, he cannot, Cole," I state regrettably, eyeing the caravan. I know that it is quite possible that the real Montgomery could be inside or already buried with countless others. "He is dead. All of the men who inhabited Monsoon…are dead."

(Oh no…) Sasha whispers. (Rosemary…)

(Shit…) Cole curses lowly.

I think quickly. "Ayane and I are on our way to Monsoon now." I get to my feet and Ayane follows my lead. "The Fangpyre do not know of your identities as Ninja, they only know that Ayane and I are here. So keep your positions until we get there."

(Alright. A preemptive strike might be our only hope for surviving this. That just leaves the dilemma concerning the women and children… We have to call for backup-)

Another voice soon crackles over the line, sounding most angered.

(Cole! Zane! Ayane! Sasha! Get your asses back to the Bounty ASAP!)

(Kai?! What's wrong?!) Cole demands strictly.

(The Serpentine! Those bastards… They came out of nowhere! They have us completely surrounded!)
Power of Aura Chapter 15

PHEW! And that concludes the interludes, ladies and gentlemen! Gotta love major cliffies! Teeheehee! The last two chapters will be in the POVs of Lloyd and Dominique. Now, I'm going to make this as short as possible, but I feel I need to consult with you all about something. In the original rough draft of this series, there was a book entitled: "Genesis" which I had planned to come after the book entitled: "The Catalyst". The plot for "Genesis" was to be told entirely by the Serpentine generals, King Skales, and the female OCs that would join Genesis and become their mates. The reason why this book got scrapped was because I thought that no one would take interest in an entire book where the Ninja and Kunoichi make no appearances. But my two betas have brought it to my attention that the book could possibly bring in a wider range of readers who like the Serpentine and want to hear their side of the story. So, I've decided to leave it to votes. Go to my profile on FFN or here or BOTH and cast your vote on whether or not you would like for me to reinstate the book entitled: "Genesis" or just omit it and have it be casted as one of those "behind the scenes" things and let the story unfold with just the Ninja and Kunoichi at the helm.

Now, if you DO want "Genesis" to be reinstated into Trials and Tribulations then I would like to ask for a little help. Please give me some female OCs! And these OCs have to have tragic and depressing backgrounds, enough so that they have a reason to join "Genesis" and want to start a new life. In these character sheets and bios, I ask that these young women be 17 years or older. And please, do not be shy of details and descriptions. These are YOUR OCs, and if I decide to use them then you will receive full credit for your character and best regards from me. And if you want, you can even include which Serpentine you wish for your OC to be paired with. I will list them now just in case anyone forgot their names: King Skales (Hypnobrai), General Acidicus (Venomari), General Fangtom (Fangpyre), and newly appointed general, after Skalidor's demise, General Bytor (Constrictai). Please feel free to share your ideas for "Genesis" too. If you have any special instructions for me on how you would like your OC and chosen Serpentine to get together, then please don't hesitate to include those prompts as well. Lookin' forward to hearing from you guys!

Please read and review!

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Elemental Dragon Names and Descriptions

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 11, 2015, 10:52 AM

Lloyd’s Dragon: Tengri

He shrieks to signal his deadly approach and has scales as turquoise as jade carvings and green as forest emeralds. He utilizes his Flare breath occasionally, but prefers the intoxication of CQC (Close Quarters Combat). His golden, razor-sharp claws and flashing white teeth make him a fearsome combatant.

Kai’s Dragon: Ryadron (Flame)

He howls like a banshee when scorching fire and his scales shine and glow like blood-red rubies under flames. His mane and tail consist of pure conflagration that shimmers and flicks off embers. When enraged, he ignites his entire body and attacks by charging and twirling, creating a blazing inferno.

Jay’s Dragon: Virtozz (Wisp)

Somewhat like a chameleon, Jay’s dragon changes shades of blues depending on his mood. He is very intelligent with dexterous claws. He is actually a competent crafter. He is the best flyer as well as has the loudest roar of the dragons. In combat, he can summon a single bolt of lightning to zap enemies from an extremely long distance for precision hits or utilize his Thunderstorm breath to strike multiple enemies on the battlefield.

Zane’s Dragon: Zoxsom (Shard)

He is a white dragon with scarred pearlescent scales that glow like the moon under water. He is quiet and dangerous, thorough and precise. His Blizzard breath consists of both freezing winds and chillingly sharp icicles. His wings are impeccably silent, allowing him to stealth-kill many of his enemies by dive-bombing them and slashing with deadly accuracy.

Cole’s Dragon: Tetra (Rocky)

Despite his earthly tones, his scales give a lustrous shine of bronze, black, and gold. He harbors deep feelings for Nagendra, the water dragon, but unfortunately the dragoness rebuffs him out of stubbornness and pride. He is the cunning leader of the dragons and utilizes brute strength above all else. The thick armor and horns along his head and snout allow him to charge through almost anything, and the heavily spiked-ball on his tail is utilized quite often in combat for strategic jabs or just relentless pummeling. 



  • Mood: Rage
  • Listening to: Disturbed....Can you blame me...
  • Reading: Seekers: The River of Lost Bears
  • Watching: Seinfeld
  • Playing: Devil May Cry....Again, can you blame me...
  • Eating: Chicken
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew

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VelvetPersona
Sondreia
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Greetings and salutations everyone!!
I'm no artist when it comes to drawing, but I love art in general and all it entails. A friend of mine from fanfiction.net suggested I come here and post some of my stories about Ninjago, so that's what I'm going to do!!
I think I'll remain anonymous about the details of myself, but that may change in time.
Pleased to meet you everyone!! :D
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VelvetPersona:iconvelvetpersona:
How is everyone liking the new season of Ninjago so far?
Wed Apr 1, 2015, 1:02 PM
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ConspiracyToCosplay Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Dear God, the sweet girl reading this is kind and I'm proud of her. Please help her live life to the fullest and bless her in her chosen field. Now, you're on the clock. In 9 minutes something will make you happy. Please share this with 15 girls you love. Remember,only for *girls*. If I don't get this back I'm obviously not a close friend. Now, I have a game for you, it's been played since 1977. Once you read this, you have to send it to 15 people. Your next 5 days will be like this: Day 1 - you will wake up to the biggest shock of your life. Day 2 - you will cross paths with an old friend you have missed. Day 3 - you will find yourself with a lot of money. Day 4 - your day will be perfect. Day 5 - the love of your life will kiss you. ....if you don't forward this, your next 5 days will be the exact opposite. Don't break this. Send it to 14 friends in 10 minutes. It's not that hard. Whoever sent this to you must care about you :Heart:
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Mayspring5 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014
I tagged you!!!!!!!
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redwallfvs Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2014  Student General Artist
Heeeeyyyy~!
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snakesskin Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oi, sondreia dear, send me your email~
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VelvetPersona Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014
lol, here ya go! sondreiag@gmail.com
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snakesskin Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
t.co/GnHkRfHMC4. See if that works :3
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Pokeninjagirl Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy birthday!  :cake:
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VelvetPersona Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014
Thanks! :)
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Pokeninjagirl Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
NP!  ^^ How are you doing so far? 
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VelvetPersona Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014
I'm doing well. Had a great day with my bf and I'm fully recovered from my accident and surgery. Life is great! How are you?
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