A Fiery New Flavor (Satsu/Mia Watanabe)
Title: A Fiery New FlavorAuthor:
Right, I actually went and checked to be sure this time… Buffy the Vampire Slayer
and all associated characters belong to Fran and Kaz Kuzui. Because I'm drawing from elements of both the original Japanese and adapted American versions, I'm going to disclaim both Toei Company and SCG Power Rangers for the collective blend of Samurai Sentai Shinkenger
, Power Rangers Samurai
, and Power Rangers Super Samurai
that I'm using here. Not mine, don't sue, et cetera.Summary:
When the International Watchers' Council approaches Satsu Shiba after she's been called, she turns them down on account of having a greater destiny to fulfill. They think she's being hyperbolic. Oh, how little they know…Joe's Note:
For some reason, Saban had a serious hard-on for a faithful translation of Shinkenger
into Power Rangers Samurai
. The problem is… well, there are concepts that just don't adapt neatly. Like a boy who's whiter than Wonder Bread - and whose father is equally white - being the head of a Japanese house that dates back seventeen generations. So I decided to have a bit of fun with a plot point common to both incarnations: the 'true' eighteenth head of the Shiba House. Oh, and timeline-wise? This is in fact a direct sequel to Once a Ranger
. In PR canon, if Power Rangers Operation Overdrive
occurs during BtVS S6/AtS S3, then Power Rangers Jungle Fury
is the season that would line up with BtVS S7/AtS S4 and Power Rangers RPM
and Power Rangers Samurai
take place simultaneously in the year after 'Chosen'/AtS S5 (with the former occurring in a separate dimension while the latter occurs in the prime reality).
"Now you'll see how wicked I can really be!"
Mia Watanabe grimaced as Fiera let out a maniacal cackle before releasing another wave of energy darts, making her Turtle Folding Zord shudder and groan. If there was a way things could get any worse, the Pink Samurai Ranger couldn't think of it. Jayden was so badly hurt that he couldn't fight and the Claw Armor Megazord had taken so many hits that it had separated into its six component zords. If they couldn't beat Fiera together as a team, then how-
"Huh?" Fiera's confused exclamation made Mia look up as a loud roar rent the air, and the Lion Folding Zord launched itself at the Nighlok. Biting down hard, the zord growled and unleashed a gout of fire across Fiera's skin before turning and kicking off of her as it leapt back down to the ground. "Who's in the Lion zord?"
"It can't be Jayden."
"Yeah, he's still on the ground."
"Then what's going on? Who's in his zord?"
While Antonio and Kevin were evidently trying out for Captain Obvious, Mia had to admit that Emily had a very valid question. Given that the zords were bound to them and guided through the use of their Symbol Power, it wasn't as if any old person could sneak into a zord - even after it had been brought up to full size with the Chō Symbol - and take it for a joyride. It would take someone with very strong Fire Symbol Power to control the Lion zord… and there weren't many people who fit that bill.
Racing forward again, the Lion zord deftly avoiding Fiera's next round of flying energy feathers before unleashing rope-like flames that wrapped around the Nighlok, making her scream as she thrashed and fought her confinement. As the other rangers let out various exclamations of surprise, Mia frowned and watched the Lion zord put some distance between itself and Fiera. No, this definitely wasn't Jayden. Even if she couldn't see him laying where they'd left him… the style was all different. Hard. Vicious.
"Megayaiba, hatsudou!" Mia's jaw dropped as the words echoed through the Turtle zord's cockpit. She had no clue what they meant, considering she spoke only English and a smattering of Mandarin and the person's words were neither, but Mia knew one thing: it was a girl speaking. There was another girl ranger out there, and she was kicking some serious butt! Yeah! Girl power! "Gokaku Daikaen!" The back end of the Lion zord closed even as its legs flipped up into rigid wings, and the zord was bathed in fire. Jetting forward, the zord plowed into Fiera… and then out the other side, landing on all fours and skidding to a stop as the Nighlok spun in a circle before collapsing to the ground and exploding. "Kore nite ikken rakuchaku."
Silence reigned over the battlefield and Mia watched as a figure in red and black emerged from the top of the Lion zord's head, staring out over the city. It looked like the Red Samurai Ranger… but again, Jayden was on the ground, making that impossible. "This doesn't make any sense."
It was something she could ponder further at a later date, though. Because as Emily was quick to point out… "We need to help Jayden!"
Touching down on the roof of the shrine that overlooked the courtyard where had vassal had been left, Satsu Shiba watched as the other five Shinkenger landed and reverted back to their civilian forms. Five? Frowning, she counted the heads again and came up one higher than she should have. There'd been that glint of blue and gold before they powered down… and they'd been piloting Daikai-Shinkenō when she arrived. Perhaps rather than just repairing the Ebi Origami, Master Ji had somehow managed to bond it to a new vassal for her? Interesting.
"Jayden, are you okay?"
"I'm okay. I'm okay."
Satsu lowered herself to one knee as she watched the Shinkenger gather around Jayden, helping to him to his feet. ShinkenYellow was… younger than Satsu had expected, almost as young as the Slayer herself. It probably had something to do with the fact that one of the others was calling her 'Emily' while her dossier listed her name as 'Serena'. Something she could sort out later, though. ShinkenBlue and ShinkenGreen appeared to be the Kevin and Mike she'd been anticipating, the spare boy was completely unfamiliar but expectedly so, and ShinkenPink… Satsu licked her lips. Even if the girl was quite obviously of Chinese ancestry - which didn't surprise her too terribly much, given that Watanabe House was known for their exotic tastes - her bone structure was to die for, and Satsu itched to run her fingers through the girl's glossy black hair. All work and no play made Satsu a dull girl, after all, and Mia was someone she wouldn't have to keep certain secrets from. And here in California, her parents - and their sabotage - were an entire ocean away…
And if Mia was straight or didn't like Japanese girls or just plain didn't like Satsu? That'd be fine too. She'd come to Panorama City to take her rightful place as the head of Shiba House and assume control of the Shinkenger, not to get laid. Oh, and possibly slay some vampires in between fighting the forces of Master Xandred now that she had a second, 'sacred' calling. Satsu snorted as she thought back to the strange visitors she'd received a few months previously. They'd been so arrogant, so sure that she would drop everything and come with them because she'd been 'Called' to be a vampire slayer. Never mind that she'd only been Called because of their own actions, or that she had a life of her own to live. They'd continued to talk at her - never truly with her - for almost an hour and a half, only to have things come to an abrupt end when Satsu pulled out her ShodoPhone.
There had been three of them: a cute blonde, a brunette, and a redhead. The blonde and redhead - the original Slayer and the witch who'd empowered Satsu among others - had done most of the talking; Satsu remembered wondering if the brunette was deaf or mute or something, right up until the ShodoPhone came out. The brunette had simply said 'I see' and declared the discussion over, passing Satsu a business card before telling the others it was time to go. And Buffy and Willow had stopped talking and left, both of them… almost scared of the brunette, it seemed to Satsu. But despite putting the full weight of her family's resources behind the search, Satsu to this day had no idea who 'Faith Lehane' was, what sort of power she might hold over her peers, or what the pink pterodactyl in the corner of her business card might mean.
Perhaps she'd give the task of researching Faith to her new vassals as a way of assessing their skills?
Throwing Jayden's arms over their shoulders, Kevin and… Satsu decided to go with 'ShinkenGold' for now… eased their injured companion to his feet. Kevin caught Emily's eye before nodding in the direction of the nearby street. "Call Master Ji and have him meet us with the SUV. There's no way he can walk all the way back to the Shiba House."
That was probably her cue. Because while there was always the Uma Symbol - and the potential of an awesome entrance on horseback - Satsu was really more of a padded leather seat sort of girl. Jumping off the top of the shrine, she landed nimbly and dismissed the rigid armor of Mega ShinkenRed, the whoosh of energy halting the others in their tracks. Drawing herself up, she waited to see what would happen. It took the Shinkenger a moment to turn Jayden around to face her but even then, he opted to take a page from her book and remain silent. Finally, Mia broke the standoff. "I thought I saw a Red Ranger atop the Lion zord, but… how is this possible? What's going on? Who are you?"
"I actually worked with my retainer and the kuroko to choreography this amazing introduction for me, but Master Tanba forgot to get his passport renewed and so I left them all back in Tokyo when I flew over." Releasing the rest of her transformation, Satsu reached up to run her fingers through her brown locks. Bleh. Helmet hair. Once she was sure she was presentable, she met Mia's eyes and offered a small smile. "My name is Satsu Shiba. And I'm the eighteenth head of the Shiba House."
Scoffing loudly, the mystery sixth Shinkenger looked from her to Jayden and back. "That's impossible. Everyone knows that Jayden is the eighteenth head. That's why he's the Red Samurai Ranger and-"
Satsu rolled her eyes at the boy's words and then waved one hand dismissively. "Yes. A gaijin is the head of the Shiba House and heir to several centuries of samurai tradition. That makes perfect sense." Approaching the sextet, she raised her ShodoPhone and drew the two kanji for Naoru before pushing them into Jayden, sealing some of his smaller wounds and putting a bit more color in his cheeks. With that done, she crossed her arms over her chest and scowled at her placeholder. "Really, Jayden? Rangers? 'Samurai Rangers', even? And zords? What have you been teaching my vassals while I've been away?"
"Don't think of it as me not teaching them well, Princess." Jayden offered a wan smile and then winced, reaching down to grab at his ribs. "Think of it as me leaving something for you to do when you got back."
Chuckling softly, Satsu shook her head as she thought back to the last time she'd heard that nickname: the little games of make believe that they'd played during her occasional visits to the States in her youth. "The princess ends up saving the gallant knight. Now why does that sounds familiar..?"
Jayden let out a laugh that turned into a groan as his ribs protested. "Yeah, yeah. Now let's go, Princess ShinkenRed. I need to get back to the house before my body decides it's done with being vertical, and I'm sure Master Ji would love to see you again."
"Sounds good to me. And I like Princess ShinkenRed. Think I'm going to use that… which I think makes you Heimin ShinkenRed." Sweeping Jayden up into her arms so she could carry him bridal style, Satsu ignored the dumbfounded looks of the others as she began walking toward the street. "Can we stop somewhere on the way and grab something to eat? I'm starving."
It wasn't until she was most of the way to the street that she heard the patter of shoes against the flagstones, and then Mia appeared at her right. "If you want, I can cook you something when we get back to the house."
Satsu bit her lower lip, trying to find the best way to vocalize the thought running through her head. After all, it wouldn't do to insult the pretty girl she might want to ask out as some point. "No offense, Mia-chan? But the members of Watanabe House have been giving the Shinkenger food poisoning for seventeen generations now. I'm not brave enough to see if you're the one who breaks that curse."
From Satsu's left came a snort of laughter, making her eye Emily curiously. "She's not."
"What? You caught instant rice on fire once. While it was in water."
Hmm. So her potential love interest really was a Watanabe at heart. Hardly a disappointment, considering Satsu hadn't expected any better of the girl. And from the glass-is-half-full school of thought, maybe they could put her to work developing biological weapons to use against the Nighloks…