Challenges

By Luellon

Billy fought the urge to run. He knew wolves could out run humans; it would be a hopeless chase. So Billy stood there, ready to fight. A fight with only one outcome: his death.

The wolves charged! He braced himself. Then he noticed the wolves weren't after him; they were pursuing some deer in the distance.

The lead wolf howled. Run with us, a voice said, Join the Pack! Billy looked around for the origin of the voice. The wolf looked at him. Run with us! Join the Pack!

Dumbfounded Billy ran, all the while wondering where the pack was leading him.

"Come on," Adam said,"do something scary." Adam frowned. "It's bad enough I get stuck with you, again."

You have done much with the Ninjetti power

" Well Tommy got the falcon, Rocky got an ape, and Billy got the wolf. Compared to them me and the frog were not very intimidating."

But doesn't that help if your enemies underestimate you?

Adam thought for a moment,"Yea, it does." Adam scratched his head, embarrassed, "Sorry about my pouting, but my friends gave me alot of grief before."

Do not fear what your friends think of you, but what you think of yourself.

Alex panted as she stopped running. Maybe I'll lose a few pounds.....

The owl screeched. It flew in circles around a bundle of grass. The bundle began to burn. The smoke was surrounding Alex. She gasped and choked. She fell to the ground. I need air!

Alex coughed. She tried to get oxygen from lying on the ground. But then she noticed a gust of wind was pushing the smoke to the ground. Alex could not breath.

She couldn't move. No oxygen was getting to her blood; she would pass out soon. Her lungs felt like they were going to burst. A human can't survive this!

Then she heard the owl screech. Not a human. Wrong way to think, Alex. An owl. She felt the energy. She saw the energy swirl around her and felt the change.

Alex flew up, away from the smoke in her owl body. She flew toward the Temple.

Trini watched the panther walk away from her. You must learn, Trini. You fight Victoria as your ancestors did, but you must be the last. You must defeat her. You must kill her. The feline nimbly climbed a tree. You must change your perspective.

The panther pounced, aiming straight for her! Trini jumped out of the way. I have studied you and I predicted the move you would do, just as you have to Victoria. You have studied her abilities; you know your enemy well. You will sacrifice alot for your honor.

"If I die fighting Victoria, then I'll give up the rest of my life. My friends, family, my dreams and any plans I had for the future."

Will you give up your soul?

"Huh?"

Have you forgotten, Trini, that whomever kills Victoria loses their soul and gains hers?

"So, if I die my body will become the vessel for Victoria's soul? I'll become Victoria?" Trini asked fearfully.

Yes.

The wolves lead Billy to a cave. Their den, he realized as he entered. He saw a mother with two cubs. One of the cubs was napping; the other was running around and wagging its tail.

Both cubs are different. One is daring and energetic and her brother is quiet and lazy. Being quiet helps when stalking prey, and being energetic helps chasing the prey. Both are assets to the pack's survival.

"What does this have to do with me?" Billy asked the lead wolf.

"You see yourself as a lone wolf. You think you are so seperate from your packmates, that you sometimes feel alienated from them because of your intelligence. You feel you have no one else to howl to when you feel hurt or depressed.

Billy nodded, knowing fully well that what the canine said was true.

Go for a walk, Billy. Think of what I have said. The pack is here for you.

Billy got up, not wanting to over stay his welcome, and walked out of the cave.

Billy walked for awhile. He found a berry bush. He heard a growl behind him. He turned to see a brown bear on its hind legs. Billy ran before the bear could strike. The bear chased him. The bear gained on him quickly. Billy tripped on a root. He crashed to the ground.

I need help! Billy grabbed a stick and hit the bear with it. "Help!" The bear roared. Then Billy remembered what the wolf had told him. I need to call the pack, but how? I don't have the lungs for it. Billy saw the large paw coming toward his head. I need the wolf! Dulcea said our quests were to be able to turn into our spirit. Billy felt the change. He scratched his arm and saw furr. He tilted his head back and howled at the moon.

Billy heard the howl of the pack and the wolf spoke to him. You have passed your test, Billy. You have learned to accept your own pack and yourself for being apart of that group. Your strengths make up for their weaknesses, and their stregths make up for your weaknesses. Then suddenly Billy was at the Temple.

Adam asked,"What do you mean fear what I feel about myself?"

You feel some people are better than you. Like you said, Tommy seems more intimidating. He is open with his talents. But you hide yours. You are more intimidating because your enemy can't guess your next move. The frog hopped over to another lilypad. Watch.

Adam looked and energy shot out fromt the frog. A sphere materialized above him. Scenes from his Ranger days were displayed. He saw himself overcoming the Mirror of Regret and gaining his confidence back, fighting putties and winning, battling the Lantern monster and defeating his foe, and fighting Tengas as the Black Ninja. Adam saw himself as the Green Zeo Ranger battling the Piano monster, the pitcher monster and numerous cogs. You defeated all your enemies, successfully.

"Yeah," Adam said finally convinced.

You have accepted yourself, now accept the frog.

Adam felt his fingers become webbed feet. He turned into a frog and splashed into the water. A green streak of light took him to the Temple.

"If my body gets Victoria's soul when she dies, then what happens to my soul?"

It ceases to exist.

"Everyone's soul goes to some sort of afterlife when their bodies die. I.........I wouldn't have that?" Trini started to cry as the memories of her mother telling her about heaven, how she would see all her ancestors when she died, and live in perfect bliss. She would be denied that for what? A feud she never started? A killing to save her family's honor? Trini wiped her tears with the back of her hand.

No. The panther shot energy into the air and a picture of children playing on a junglejim appeared. For them. For the ones who are defenseless. The picture changed to teens at the Juice Bar, laughing, having fun. For the ones who are hope for your planet's future. The image flickered and some army officers appeared. For the ones who would fight invain.

"This has nothing to do with my family anymore, does it? This has to do with the whole world. I have to preserve everything that's innnocent. Everything good."

Yes. Will you fight for them? Will you sacrifice your soul for them?

A chance to save the future? A chance to make a difference in the survival of her planet? Would she give up her life to save billions? Would she give up her soul for everyone? "I will fight. I will make the sacrifice."

Suddenly Trini found herself in the Temple.

Trini embraced her mother. "Trini, I love you and I'm proud of you."

"I know."

"Trini you're the best friend anyone could ever have," Alex said as she hugged Trini.

" You too, Alex."

"Good luck, Trini." They hugged.

"Thanks, Adam."

Billy stood away near the boulders outlining the Temple. Trini went over to him.

"Why do you have to do this?"

"Billy, Victoria will never leave me alone. I can't live a peaceful life with her always attacking people near me."

"There's nothing I can say that will change your mind?"

Trini shook her head. "Billy, I have a confession to make. I can't leave here without telling you this.........I love you. I always have and I always will."

"Then I want you to know this. The reason I left with Cestria wasn't because i was enamored with her. I never was." He sighed sadly," Ever since we returned from Aquitar, I was getting self concious about my peers. I kept thinking everyone looked down at me for being smart."

"So you went to Aquitar because there everyone praises you for your intellect."

"Right."

"So basically, you left me for a planet full of fish who like brains?"

"No, Trini. You didn't let me finish."

"Sorry."

"I felt so bad about myself that I didn't feel that I was good enough for you. So I left. And I'm sorry I did."

"Oh, Billy." They embraced and kissed for the last time.

On the Veiwing Globe in the Power Chamber, the Turbo Rangers, Tanya and Rocky, along with Jason, Kim, and Zack watched helplessly as Victoria Soulless plunged her sword into five policeman that were trying to apprehend her. Their bodies fell to the ground as if bowing at her feet. She laughed vilely over her victims, relishing their pain and enjoying their agony as they died from their wounds.

Trini watched from the shadow of a tall building. She'd just arrived. How can anyone with a soul do that? Even Zedd never went that low.

Soulless It rang in her ears like a chant. Soulless Soulless Soulless Soulless

Mesmerized, Trini whispered," Soulless." She gasped. "She doesn't have one." Soulless. Soul-less. She has no soul. She used the story about her killer gaining her soul as a front. She was afraid someone might kill her, so she makes up this story so no one has the confidence to challenge her. And without their strong will she knows she can win. " I can fight her. I have to."

Trini walked toward the villianess. Her body was liquid steel as she walked determined toward her adversary; she walked with a commanding aura that the birds on the tree flew away. Victoria looked up sensing her precense. "Well, hello, Trini. How was your little trip? I couldn't find you for days. And I looked all over for you. Then I got bored, so I thought, why not have some fun?"

Trini did not answer. She grabbed the blade of Victoria's sword. She looked into her eyes. " I challenge the Nemesis Grid."

"Now, Trini. You sure you want to do that? My soul will go into your body if you kill me. And your spirit will be but a memory."

"See, Victoria I know your secret."

"Ohh, please share."

"You........have.......no.......soul."

Victoria screamed in outrage and swung her sword. Trini rolled away and stood in a Kung Fu stance. Then a ball of light pulled them in and Trini knew she was going to fight to the death.

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