Children of the GodsChad Riley
It's relatively hard to go through the world inconspicuously when you posses unparalleled beauty. It's even harder when you also possess the lower body of a serpent. Fortunately, Bleu never sought anonymity. However, she thought as she approached the tiny home, comfort can be a strong argument for conformity. With but a secondÕs concentration, her beautiful green tail shifted and shortened into two shorter, but equally stunning legs (If she did say so herself). Another second and they newly formed limbs were covered in a stunning aqua dress that were made of thousands of infinitely fine scales. They reflected the light as molten metal. A golden comb rest in her trademark blue hair and she pushed the door open.
"You are still looking at that damn rock." She said as she entered.
The brown-haired youth looked up sheepishly, "It's so weird that it only took a couple of hundred years for this to happen," He said.
"YouÕll get used to it, Karn."
"IÕm sorry," a gruff voice from the other side of the room said, "You must have us mistaken for someone else."
He came forward, his fur was long and unkempt. She could smell the disease on him. If he werenÕt immune heÕd be dead. He regarded her coldly. Then sniffed loudly and looked away.
"DonÕt call me that, witch!" He growled.
"How about Scruffy?" She taunted. His eyes narrowed and she took an involuntary step back. "IÕm s-sorry, Bo. I know its hard, I had lived for ten thousand years before you and Karn became immortal guardians, IÉ" She stopped short of saying ÔI told you soÕ, "have had regrets too. You just have to take it one decade at a time."
Karn grinned. He could still see the humor in the immortal sorceressÕ views. He only wished Bo could find something, anything to laugh about.
The greatest thief in the world thought back to when they had defeated the dread Goddess Myra. Ryu, Nina, Ox, Bo, Gobi, Bleu, Mogu, and himself, Karn had battled Myra, Sarah, and Zog. As she died, the goddess attempted to recreate the world. Bleu, herself a ÔgoddessÕ quickly gathered the power that had been released and commanded them each to help her expend it. A wish, something that would give her focus so that the roiling power within didnÕt consume her.
Mogu wished for his people to be free, safe and unharmed by the greed of mankind. It was sad, really, they didnÕt realize it at the time but they would never see him again. Gobi merely wanted to be allowed back to his position back home. Karn chuckled as he remembered the heroÕs welcome that the Fish Clansman had received. However, the riches he took back with him more than served as their economy. Like the Underclan, they all but disappeared.
Ox wished for his wife and child to be safe and happy. Ryu and Nina, they wished for peace and understanding in their lifetime, and to be together. Karn himself had wished to live long enough to see all the great civilizations and all the treasures of the world. He has been around for almost two millinia now. Bo wished to forever protect the planet. He never really knew if Bleu had wished for anything.
BleuÕs voice shook him out of his reverie, "Karn, make us some tea."
He looked and saw that both Bleu and Bo were sitting at the table. He smiled and turned to the stove.
"I canÕt believe theyÕve been gone so long." Bo sighed, he had calmed down considerably.
"IÕm sorry Bo," Bleu said, an uncomfortable silence ensued.
"YouÕre sorry?" Bo said at length, his brow furrowed with confusion, "Whatever for, Bleu? You havenÕt done anything to me."
"I donÕt think I did you any favors by not telling you about immortality. Its not something mortals think about often in less than glowing terms."
"Have you not always been immortal Bleu? How would you know about the experiences?"
"I began as a conqueror you know, I had the short sighted view that since I was eternal that I could run things better than a mortal could. They worshiped me as a goddess. It went to my head. I became what I had hoped to protect the world from."
"This is true, your legends do begin as an evil goddess who disappeared only to return to save the world centuries later." Karn said as he poured the tea.
"I have not made many friends. And the few I have I cherish. I didnÕt tell you what youÕd be giving up because I thought if you, and Karn too," she nodded at the thief as he handed her a cup, "If you two were immortal like myself IÕd have friends that wouldnÕt go away after a few decades. I was selfish."
The forest clansman scratched his chin. He hadnÕt thought of that, she had been rather silent as they had requested immortality. He remembered how much time the three had spent together afterwards. It was only for the last century that his own depression strained the friendship.
"You are forgiven Bleu, though I had believed at the time that I was prepared. I knew that I would out live all that I loved. However, I thought time would dull the pain. I felt that my duty to the world would sustain me. I did not expect the peoples to stop needing me. To turn away to the next religion that came along and pledged happiness with little sacrifice."
"People need to believe, Bo, they just sometimes forget that hard easier isnÕt necessarily better."
"Well, yes. The world was saved again wasnÕt it."
"Yes, Another Ryu and another Nina."
"Really? Then, they have come back?" Bo stood.
"Not really, there was another Bow to."
The immortal ranger sniffed, "Really? I was replaced? Who took KarnÕs place hmm?"
"No one could take my place, Bo." Karn laughed.
"No, but we tried." A young womanÕs voice from the doorway brought the three to their feet.
Before them stood the heroes. Patty the thief, Katt the warren, Prince Jean, Rand the "Hammer", Bow, Spar the Treeman, Sten the Highland General, and Nina and Ryu."
"You knew my ancestor?" Nina asked.
"Yes," Bo said as he regarded her. "She looked a lot like you. She would be very proud of you."
"?" Ryu looked quizzically at them.
"Ah, a man of few words, that sounds about right," Karn laughed.
"WhatÕs that supposed to mean?" Ryu asked.
" Do you really want to know?" Bo asked them.
The nine young heroes nodded in unison.
"Well, okay." The old ranger motioned for them to enter. With a wave of her hand, Bleu summoned seats for them. Then, remembering BoÕs hygiene of late, she cast a cleaning glamour at him. Bo started for a second, then glared at her. Bleu smiled sweetly and motioned for him to go on. He growled and sat back down. Then he regarded his guests again. They looked at him with awe. He tried to wave it away as you would a gnat, but they just stared at him, eagerly awaiting his next word.
"It all started centuries before you were born. There were five dragon clans. The most powerful of the five clans were the Dark Dragons and the Light Dragons. Ryu, a child of the Light Dragon clan was playing in his village with his sister SaraÉ."
The sun set on the little island. The Old RangerÕs voice could be heardover the crashing waves and cries of the gull. His stories enrapturing the heroes. Above them, in the palace of the Dragon God, Nina and Ryu smiled. Things had worked out better than they had hoped. Numamba and Daisy sat listening to the Old RangerÕs tale. The Dragon God smiled as he sat on the celestial throne.
"They will be with us soon." Nina said to her Prince.
"What did Karn mean by ÔMan of Few WordsÕ?" Prince Ryu asked.
"!" Nina teased.
The Gods laughed and then listened to their children.