Dream a Little Dream: Book 1: Chapter 2

As Crys woke up she realized that her wounds were healed and that her energy was back. Sitting up she looked at the others and smiled. "I'm fine thank you." She turned to Mia, her face serious.

"Mia, I hate to ask you this so soon after your Grandfather passed away." She paused as that shock registered and Mia had regained control of her emotions. "But I need to know if he ever told you if he finished his research on the Ronin Warriors."

Mia looked a little surprised at the request but answered. "No, in fact he had just uncovered most of the scrolls dealing with the Ronin and the Dynasty and was still transcribing them. I fear that the knowledge that we need to win this battle and the battles to come are now lost when Sekhmet destroyed that building.

Ryo and Yulie went over to comfort Mia as Crys looked on, the sadness in her eyes relaying the fact that she knew far more than she was telling at the moment. "Your Grandfather's knowledge is not lost Mia. It is part of the reason I am here; I have that knowledge within me. I know what battles you will be facing in the future, I know that there will be changes in the guard and changes in alliances."

"The opponents you face now are nothing compared to the ones you will face in the future. I will tell you all I can, when the time is right so that you do not fret over what is to be."

Crys stared into the fire that had been built and was soon into a meditative state. In this state she felt the knowledge of the staff and it's powers come welling through her as the Ancient had promised. Thanking him quietly she felt a hand on her shoulder and as she looked up she saw Cye standing over her.

"I'm standing first watch tonight, You seemed to be a little more awake than the others so I thought you might like to keep an eye out with me." Smiling he helped her up and as they sat on the hood of Mia's jeep they talked softly in the night for several hours.

Cye didn't ask anything about what they would be facing, but the knowledge of computers and of the world in her time and universe was enough to keep him busy. He would talk to the others, but he felt that they would be able to trust her. Something about how open she was and how she wanted to help gave him an idea.

Taking off into the night he left her to watch over the group while he headed off at top speed in the opposite direction of town to get something. She didn't mind standing watch, it wasn't as if she were defenseless and she would get the team to help train her and sharpen her rusty skills in the times when they had a break.

She had given them all a lot to think about. What she had told them about her knowledge had made her a prime target for Talpa and she could feel in her bones that this time it wouldn't be Mia that Talpa and his goon squad would be after.

The morning came and as the Ronin woke up for the day they all noticed that Cye was gone. Looking at the still awake and very alert Crys that started to get defensive about the situation. Had she already betrayed them while they were asleep?"

Kento had grabbed her from behind and unfortunately for him the softer parts of the armor allowed for her to use a hip throw to get him off of her. "I am not your enemy. How many times do I have to pound that into your thick skulls? I told you all that Cye left in the middle of the night to get something and that he said that he might not be back until after dawn." Fighting with circular movements she knew that eventually they would get through her defenses, and when they did she was going to be in trouble.

Mia wasn't about to stop the guys and when Kento finally tackled her to the ground and pinned her she glared up at him. "No wonder you guys have such a hard time getting it together. You don't trust yourselves, you don't trust each other and you sure as hell don't trust your armor to tell you that your friend is still alive."

She barely managed to get that out before she saw Kento's fist cock back to come crashing down on her face. As she closed her eyes to the blow she suddenly felt the weight leave her body and Kento's yelp of pain as he crashed into what sounded to be a tree.

As she opened one eye to check the situation she could only grin as Kento was trapped against the tree, one arm pinned by the Torrent Yari. Taking the hand stuck out to her she stood a little shakily and when she got her balance back she looked around to see the guys looking at Cye in shock.

"You guys ought to learn some manners. Crys is our guest and you went ahead and treated her like this?" He was in his sub armor and almost out of breath as his hair flopped in his face from running all night long.

"We thought she had done something to you man." Kento finally pulled the Yari out from its position in the tree and gave it back to Cye. "I mean she knows so much about us, who's to say that she isn't a member of the Dynasty and is spying on us."

The others nodded until Cye pinned them all with a look. "Look, I sat up with her on first watch last night and we talked for hours. She is genuine in her desire to help us win this battle against Talpa and his tin goons. I believe that she is being sincere and so I left last night to get her something that she could wear other than the shreds of clothing she has been wearing and something that she might be able to use for a weapon."

Walking Crys out of the circle he looked at Mia and Yulie with a look that questioned the two as to why they didn't step in to help Crys. Not getting an answer from either of them he let Crys get changed behind the jeep and turned around to do some more verbal skull knocking.

"I can tell that she at least managed to surprise you all with what she can do, but most of her fighting techniques have been honed in street fight situations. She knows how to use a knife so I gave her one of my Wakishaki Blades for the meantime."

Looking over at Whiteblaze he found that the tiger had slept through the whole thing. "Look over at Blaze will ya, do you honestly think that a girl that can be easily bested by one of us would be able to do anything to anyone of us with him around?"

By this time Rowen, Ryo, Kento and Sage were looking abashed at their actions. Sage should have known better, she had given her life's blood as surety for her word, turning towards the area Crys had been hiding behind to change and what he saw surprised him.

Black jeans that were loose for her and an old t-shirt that had a shadow of a dragon imprinted on it and on her shins, insteps and in appropriate places were small pieces of lightweight armor. What surprised him the most was that she had managed to attach the blade across the small of her back in the style of some of the female warriors of the Ninja clans.

The others turned to see what had Sage so transfixed and they were also a little surprised. Crys smiled at Cye and bowed. "Thanks for the spares Cye, I know that breast plate you lent me is really going to help."

"You're wearing a breastplate under that shirt?" Mia asked quietly.

Crys nodded. "Yeah, since my bra got shredded I am willing to bet that Cye figured that I wasn't going to want to go bouncing around while fighting. Throws me too far off balance."

"Hey Mia-san, Could I borrow a brush, I need to put my hair back up so that it isn't in my way." Indeed she had taken her hair down and with it loose in the light of day it was easy to see that she had reddish brown hair. Off set by her gray eyes she realized that she indeed looked different from the others. "I was also going to ask you guys if you wanted to help me sharpen my almost nonexistent skills."

"Why would you need that? You seemed to do ok while fighting the Dynasty, and then us." Ryo asked.

"Because I was taking too many hits. If I had been in street fights on a daily basis at home..." And her voice caught at that point as she thought about everything and everyone she had left behind to come here and not even of her own free will.

"If I had been in those street fights like I had been back a few years ago I might have done better. But I can't keep getting healed. It is a waste of time and energy. Something we have precious little of.

The wisdom of her words was clear to all of them as she started stretching out. "Sage, Ryo, you will help me with some of my blade techniques. I know how to street fight and I know a little of the Martial Arts, but beyond that I am not the best choice on the battlefield.

While she rattled off her explanations and talked with the other Ronin, Mia had lent the hairbrush and pulling it back with one ponytail holder she wrapped the long mass around to form a tight bun with the second holder that was wrapped around her wrist.

She looked very different now than she did when they first met her. Mia thought that it was her self-assurance with the people coming forward. The guys thought it was her spirit and her looks didn't hurt anything either.

Cye stepped forward and took a ready stance; he had completely stepped out of his armor and was standing in his street clothes as he faced off with Crys. "I'm going to test her and see what she does remember from her street fighting days."

Sage knew that of all of them, Cye could be the most gentle beside himself. As they watched as he took a loose ready stance. They were surprised when she didn't pull the knife for her stance.

Instead she took a stance that was fairly low to the ground and looked swept back as one arm held the forward guard and the other hand seemed to be ready to defend or strike. Crouched like that they knew that she had been in a rough neighborhood where if you were somehow knocked down, you were as good as dead.

Looking over her guard arm her eyes hardened as she forced herself to not narrow her vision down to this one opponent. Granted this was a test, but there were four other people in the clearing that could jump in at any time.

Cye noted the tension in her body as her eyes hardened at him. He wasn't certain if her muscles still had the spring to react swiftly from that position but he would soon find out.

Moving swiftly from the forward position he came in for a quick attack. He was certain that he was going to connect when his punch connected with dead air. Looking below in his surprise he realized that she didn't have to use the spring of her crouched position to dodge. Instead she had rolled out of the way and was in a variation of her starting stance as she came out of the roll.

He was impressed by her speed and agility. The only one that had been that effective that close to the ground was Kento, and even the warrior of Hardrock had been getting used to other forms of battle. He was a little more used to aerial combat and water tactics but that still didn't change his basic skill sets for this. Cocked back he studied her and he wondered just how she would deal with an attack coming down from above.

Leaping as high as he could he set himself up for a stomp kick that would have done some serious damage had she not rolled out of the way and swept him as soon as he touched the ground. She had a good eye for timing and as this was a street fight anything went. So far she was dodging and evading him to buy herself time. That was when he realized that if she weren't bound to finish this fight out she would have tried to severely hurt him so that she could run.

She was panting for breath, she was out of shape and was amazed that her body would even give her this much. Most street fights that were one on one were usually over with in the first minute.

Cye flipped back to his feet to see her back in a low stance and looking more dangerous now that she was getting tired. This was going to end soon and if she didn't draw the knife soon he was going to be thoroughly surprised.

Looking for an opening he tried some grappling moves Kento taught him and found that as strong as he was, she was extremely flexible and able to release herself from most of his moves. What he hadn't noticed though in the flurry of moves was that she had drawn the blade and now that they were in close combat was in the perfect position to use it.

He had brought her arms up behind her back and as he moved, found that she had scored a trace mark that slit his shirt open and left a cut across his chest diagonally.

As he backed off and gave up the fight he smiled slightly as he and Sage watched her clean the blade with the spare cloth she had taken from her sleeping pants. This girl was interesting all right. Once the blade had been placed back in the sheath she looked over at Cye worriedly "You ok? I was trying to keep the blade from biting too deep."

As she walked over to him she was surprised to see him armor up into his sub armor. Looking around she smacked her forehead. "Duh, Your element is the water, I should have figured that you would use it to speed up your healing."

Cye chuckled and started into the river before turning around and floating on his back to watch them all. "You didn't fight too badly. You get tired easily and so that wouldn't sit you too well in a battle."

"Well kindly keep in mind that I am not wearing a mystically powered armor either." She smiled stiffly back at him. "Most street fights are over with in a minute when they are one on one. I knew you wanted to test me so I held out."

Ryo and Kento could only shake their heads as they listened. Sage was listening to the side but had no comment. He had seen some small flicker of potential in her, he wasn't certain what it was, but something about the way she fought in a circular motions and with as little of her own energy and strength as possible spoke of some training in the Akido style.

Her concern for Cye's wound put her in good light with everyone. There was no way they could have guessed that she didn't want to hurt him. The truth was that she didn't like to fight. She had left that life behind several years ago and was trying to rebuild now to a new life that she had started by moving away from the abusive life she had lived before.

Once everyone was ready to go they all piled into the jeep with the exception of Ryo and Yulie as they both rode on Whiteblaze. The jeep was crowded and with Sage in the front seat that left Rowen, Kento, Cye and Crys to sit in the back seat. Rowen and Cye sat on either side of Crys while Kento sat on the other side of Cye.

They were headed back into the city to try to find a way into the citadel and Crys could only start to get worried. "Be careful guys, Talpa is bound and determined to pull you all into a trap. The fact that we have to go through this pea soup fog to get the wall cloud has been proving all of my hunches right so far.

"Wrong mortal. The master has ordered us to take you instead." The cloak of shadows was thrown over them and Crys was picked off before she could even draw her blade for defense. "Ryo, Kento!!!!" She hollered.

"Crys!" They all replied.

When the darkness lifted the group was one member short and a faint laughter echoed through the air. "Foolish Ronin, the master has plans for your little friend."

"Dais come out here or am I going to have to find your corner and make you come out!" Kento shouted back at the voice.

The Ronin had taken a protective circle stance around Mia and Yulie. The mood was tense as everyone could only wonder what would happen to the girl that wasn't even there from their own world.

<Previous Next>