Raven's Wing: Chapter 19

Mia got into her jeep and drove out of the driveway. As she drove she could see the two friends and tiger jogging in the same direction. As she passed by them she waved at them. Shary returned the favor. Soon they arrived at the mansion. Shary, Sage and Blaze went through the back door as Mia came through the front. They all meet in the living room where all their friends were waiting for their return.

White Blaze had fairly pounced on Ryo when he saw his friend again and they were wrestling on the floor in the open area with White Blaze mock growling and the others laughing at the antics of the pair. Sage looked at Shary and murmured mentally ~You ready for this?? You will be asked a lot of questions~

She looked over at him, meeting his eyes and nodded. ~I know. I'm ready. As long as you're here, it'll be alright.~ She offered him a soft smile. Something that was becoming an occasional habit.

~I will not be able to be here for you all the time. But the bond is always there, no matter the time or distance. You know that.~ Sage put his hand on her shoulder and gave it a quick squeeze before they got seated.

Rowen and Sage looked like they had been in a rather serious discussion when the guys came in. Cale, Dais, Sekmet and Kayura were all there and it looked like they were rehashing student reaction to the new teachers that were they. It had been hard coming up with acceptable names for them, but in the end they managed and got the classes taught. Cale had been with the Kendo club when the afternoon's events transpired so he was the first on the scene. After that everyone knew what the story was.

Shary was perched on a large floor cushion, staring down at her ring. She kept her ears open as the story was told. All the words seemed to just filter through her mind. Something riled both gangs up to the point where they were out for blood. Unfortunately, they thought Ryo was from the other gang and jumped on him. Only when the Warlords arrived did the fighting cease but the injury was done. The dim light shimmered off the symbol in the middle of the ring. Yin-Yang. The same name of her armor. She still wasn't sure why she had to bear it. Sighing to herself she ran her hand through her hair, glancing at the bands on her wrists.

~Asking the silent questions Yang??~ The very quiet question floated up from her mind.

~I guess you can say that. I don't understand Yin, why am I supposed to bear this? Why not someone else? From what I can tell these armors are passed through the bloodline. More or less. What has that got to do with my family?~

~Something again to meditate on. Your armor may hold the answer, or maybe it is an answer that you already have. Remember the old phrase "know thyself"? Maybe and that is a maybe this is the start of something for you to journey through. I am there for you and I will help you as I can. You know that Yang~ His voice was quiet as the water on the pond and soothing as watching the deer. He did not want her to get upset and he knew that his quiet would help her stay under wraps until she was able to keep her focus all the time.

~I know Yin. Domo arigato. For everything.~ She sighed softly and leaned back some. ~I figure that this is something I have to find out on my own, like a journey of some sort.~

~I can't think of a better journey for you right now. This one will give you a lot to think about. Here it comes.~ His soft mental warning was the prelude to the Questions session that was about to happen for Mia's benefit.

"Shary, I noticed that when you are nervous you play with that ring. I know how much it means to you but how does it tie into everything we know about you??"

"This?" She looked at her ring and hesitantly pulled it off. "I bought it a few years ago. guess... it just felt like... something I needed. The little symbol in the middle means balance..." she looked up at her. "yin-yang... here." she hands the ring to her.

"Something to remind you that there was a balance to everything?" Sekmet spoke up and for once wasnít being facescious. More like he truly understood what she was looking for in the trinket.

"I guess you can say that. Something like that... I got it before I meet Sage-san... and now I can't picture myself without it."

Sage nodded to show that he vaguely remembered seeing it all those years ago back in his Grandfather's dojo. The only time she would take it off was for sparring, even then it was a fight as she had become rather attached to the ring and did not like to remove it. Sage usually stepped in at that point and got her to remove the ring just for the match and then they both would get it back to her.

Sage at one point was able to wind some thread around the band so that it would not slip off her finger easily but not so tight that she couldn't get it off. Her young fingers were too small for the band and so he knew she loved that ring and made the wrapping out of soft thread in a small design that was special to her.

Once she got the ring back she slipped back on. She always felt comforted by it and momentarily rubbed the symbol at the center. She looked up and nodded to them. "Any more questions?"

"I do have one. Do you remember anything about the guy that pulled your from the car wreck that killed your family?" Mia tried to be as tactful as possible with the question but there was no way around it. That person may be a vital link in the puzzle before them as to why Damion wanted her.

"Not really... he was strong, and I felt comforted by him. There was something else..." she closes her eyes for the moment, trying to remember. "Call me crazy... but I remember something about his skin... felt more like scales..."

Sage and Mia's eyebrows went up as they looked at Sekmet "You know anything about this Sekmet?" Sage's eyes almost glowed as his look almost burned with its intensity. Sage wanted to be at the bottom of this mess so that life could go on. If Sekmet did know something this was going to be a most interesting night in deed.

The Warlord slowly shook his head. Until know he never meet this girl. "I never met her until now."

"No... I don't think it was him... I don't but it's like I meet him before... aye. I can't remember that well..." rubs her temple tiredly.

Sage knew the ways of the mind and knew that if she had seen the face even in a fleeting glimpse she would have it in there somewhere and looked at her. He really did not want to push her but he nudged her side of the bond. ~If you saw him once, it is there. Need help Yang?~

Sage's face had given away nothing, he looked like he was paying attention to Mia and the others as they talked. The only clue that Sage might not be all there was the slight gleam in his eyes that had the spark of another intelligence.

~Yes. Please, help me remember.~ She didn't look at him but if was almost like she did. She wanted to find out who her rescuer was. Maybe this would help with some of the puzzle of her life.

~Open up sis cause here I come. Hope there is nothing you have to be embarrassed about cause I am going to go through everything, and I do mean everything. You even start to turn colors and the other will wonder about you before you can get the explanation out.~ Sage's eyes twinkled slightly with a merriment that was meant only for Shary.

He still enjoyed teasing his battle sister but it was the tease now that was also a warning that everything had to be looked at.

~Peacock. Here you go.~ She opened her mind to him, letting him look through. ~Go ahead. But be careful.~

Sage growled at her slightly as he entered her mind. There were a lot of emotions swirling around in there and confusion as he worked his way through the deepest memories of her youth. He would toss up all of the images for her to see and then put them away in her mind.

This was a lot harder than it looked for Sage. Normally he did not have to worry about the risk of getting lost in anotherís mind as he never went deeper than absolutely necessary to heal them. However this was different. Not only was she his Battle sister, but also she was the closest thing to family here in the city that he had now that he found her again. He was not about to loose her again and as he looked around he realized that there were quite a few pleasant memories of her past with him at the dojo. He was tempted to swipe the memory of that awful name but left it as that. A temptation.

He was in danger of loosing himself in her mind each step he took farther into her mind, but he did not care this time around. He said that he would help her however he could and if that meant getting lost in her mind helping her to see all of her memories from birth to now then so be it.

Outside of her mind his body could tell that he was being watched but he knew that it would not be long until they all found out that he was not there in his own body. He just hoped that they would recognize that him not being there would mean that they would have to leave him alone until he came home.

Looking around in her mind again he saw a dark and well-shadowed corner. Not liking shadows he headed for the corner of the mind and pulled out every single memory he found there. Tossing them out to her he felt her stiffen instinctively against these memories. Ones that she had forgotten held horrors for her. She would have to deal with them now.

Looking around her found the memory of the scaly skin feeling and looked around it for the other memories of the person that went with the memory. He soon found it and tossed them out at her conscious mind. He knew that the others had noticed that she was not acting normally for her own quiet self and her subtle stiffening had alerted them all that something was not quite right as Sage was usually the first on the scene when she started having problems with her memories. The fact that Sage was not physically responding meant that he was elsewhere. None of them having the bond or the training he had, they had to trust her to not have a complete problem and let her work through them.

The memories came full force and her hands tightened into fists. All of a sudden it felt like she was trapped in something that was burning up. She was wet and scared. Death was surrounding her, broken glass and flames licked at her dress. She smashed her arm through the window, deep gashes appearing on her right arm. She screamed for help, trying to pull herself out but her clothes were caught.

Someone pulled her out and carried her away. The explosion was heard and she went into tears. The person held her tightly and rested his hand on her shoulder. The skin glowed and the symbol was formed. Then he held her arms and the wounds slowly healed. He seemed to growl very softly deep in his throat and looked down at her with bright, sapphire blue eyes.

Shary looked up at sleep started to take over her. Weakly she looked up at her rescuer but he vision was turning dark. He was large frame and mainly white. But what threw her off was that he was protecting her from the rain with a pair of leather soft wings. In her mind the term dragon popped up. But then she fell into a deep sleep. Only to wake up in the hospital...an orphan...

~Start talking sister. I can't stay in here much longer. I am already in danger of losing myself in here. You know that as well as I do. I do not know anything about this but the others might.~ Sage's energy was starting to fall off fast as he kept her going as well as kept his mind and himself separate within her mind.

His own body was leaning back in the chair eyes closed as it he were merely listening with his eyes closed. But Sage, Nikki, and Shary knew better. If she did not get the memories out and into the open he would be lost to them forever, inextricable from the depths of Shary's mind.

"I remember... about my rescuer... he's a dragon... a dragon saved me. And he also gave me the symbol but I still don't know why he saved me! Why am I allowed to live when my family died?" She wanted answers right now but it would be no use getting upset right now. As least she knew who to look for now.

Mia nodded and started typing into the small computer on her lap and Sage was drawing sleepier. ~Damn. Help me outta here. You may be my battle sister but that does not mean I get to live here.~

Sage was starting to fight harder, but his energies had been almost exhausted. When he had left Mia's house on that run he had been far more tired than he would ever admit. Now he knew that he didn't have the energy to get back to his own body and it was starting to worry him.

~Okay just relax and let me get you out.~ She closed her eyes to concentrate. It was like she was having him lean on her and following the same path he took she helped him into his own mind. She chided him a bit but only because she was worried about him. ~I told you to be careful. But at least you're out now." She gives his cheek a brief caress and enters back into her own mind. Slowly her eyes open and she looks up.

Sage was wiped out. He had no energy to get up so he just stayed back in the chair and listened to the conversations as they swirled around him. He tapped the Halo Crystal for the energy to keep his mental shielding up as he felt the others trying to tap him to find out what the heck happened to drain him like that. Normally Sage fairly snapped with quiet energy. Now it was like he was fading into the wall.

Ryo, Rowen and the others were a little worried and they looked to Shary for the answers to what is going on.

She nodded to them silently, letting them know that he was okay. "I guess some of us are more tired than others right now," she said softly, yawning behind her hand. "Excuse me. What I said about the dragon... did it help any in any way?"

Mia was still typing and clicking away at the data in her computer but the Warlords, Nikki, Carrie and Kayura were all in a small tight conference. None of the Ronins had any idea as to what was going on since they had not had quite the background in otherworldly beings that Mia, and the others had. Maybe thought this time around the Warlords would be able to come through for them.

Nikki looked at Shary with half lidded eyes and was more surprised than ever at what she saw. Not only had her bond with Sage strengthened but she saw that her own power focused down to a much narrower band and she felt different to her extended senses. During the girl's afternoon out something had happened to her that Sage knew about that had narrowed her focus and power. There was a decisive split that was starting to form in her aura and it worried Nikki.

"Shary-san. DO you know what a soul memory is??"

"Soul memory?" she searched her thoughts but it drew a blank. "No, Iím afraid not. What is it?" she asked politely.

Nikki sat in front of Shary and smiled. "Well a soul memory is something that you might remember as a memory, but you know that it never happened in your life. Usually they pop up as recurring dreams, but they are also a part of the wide subconscious base of knowledge known as Archaic Knowledge.

Your soul remembers things from one life to the next. Sometimes those memories surface and they are confusing. I am just wondering if you might have any disjointed memories like that.

"Oh... okay. If it'll help everyone out then okay. Let's do this." She gave her a small smile and relaxed some more. "So, what do you need me to do?"

"With Sage as weak as he is I am not sure if you want to do this. You will need someone to help you should something ugly come up. You seem to trust Sage the most and I know that your Bond with your battle brother is the stronger than even his bond with the other ronins." Nikki smiled slightly at the looks of shock that appeared on the faces of the ronins around him. Sage noticed but did not care right then.

~I can be here if you need it, just need to change to my armor if I am going to push myself like that. You want to try to deal with so much in one night?? I don't think you should, you still have slight problems dealing with old memories.~ Sage's tone was soft but not weak indicating that he was trying to keep up for her sake as he wilted further into the couch.

Shary stayed silent for the moment, thinking hard on what Sage and Nikki told her. She wanted this to be done with but she also didn't want her 'brother' to wear himself so thin. He was right about the memories, if she got him stuck in her memory than what about Nikki? She didn't want that to happen. Still...

~Sage... you should rest.~ "Nikki... I'm ready. If something does come up I'll just have to face it down. No use trying to run away from it when I can face it now. Besides, I would like to find out about this right now rather than later. If you don't mind."

Kayura cocked her head at the girl and thought a moment. "Shary, if you don't mind, I am going to have someone monitor you anyways. I know that Sage will try to extend himself if you do this alone. Instead, since you are the child of balance, I will have Cale "listen" in. If Sage doesn't mind, I think that his polar opposite will fill in well enough."

Sage managed to wave his hand in the go ahead. He was so tired and weak, but he was not about to let go yet. Not with Shary pushing herself so hard. He trusted Cale to help her through the shadows, but if something were to happen and she got stuck. No one was going to stop him from armoring up to get the energy to go in after her.

Shary also nodded her head. It would be weird with Cale anchoring her but it was safer and a good idea nonetheless. She nodded to Nikki, showing that she was ready. Slowly she let out a deep breath, slowing her heart rate some.

Cale, when he was not teaching class at the Highschool; ran around in a dogi and so he simply sat down in the lotus position and dropped almost immediately into full meditation. Once he was in the calm shadows of his own mind he gently reached out to Shary. He knew that his mind was completely different from the others in the fact that it felt dark and uncertain. Nothing could be farther from the truth for Cale. He was a shadows person by nature and it was in the darkness that he understood everyone. All were equal in the comforting shadows.

~Shary?~ His deeper mental tone touched her. Where Sage's tone was light and tenor, Cale was the complete opposite. His tone was dark and in the bass range, somewhat at odds with his own speaking voice. ~Relax and settle into meditation. You will need the calm of the glades that Sage showed you today to open your mind completely for Nikki.~

Cale's voice may have been dark and bass, but it was also warm and certain. As if he had done this before and so he extended his own confidence to the girl he wished to link with.

~Alright.~ Her own tone was like a muted gray and seem to fall between the two. She moved herself to a more comfortable position on the floor cushion and took another deep breath for measure. She slowly slipped into her deep meditation, and carefully opened her link up. It was strange to feel two of her friends touch her mind but it also kinda of familiar. ~What now?~ she asked softly.

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