Nature's Last Stand

Joan was walking down the street when she noticed a poster on the wall. She went over to it to see what was on it.

"S.O.S.?" She thought.

"Hey there." Someone asked her. Joan turned around and she saw a girl with a light to medium tan. She had wavy, medium length, dark chestnut brown hair and deep blue eyes. She was wearing a green SOS t-shirt and jeans. "Are you thinking about joining up?"

"I don't know what it is though." Joan replied.

"It's the 'Save Our Swamp: Wetland and Aquatic Body Conservation Group'. They're having a meeting today." She explained.

"I'm a little interested." She admitted.

"I'm Christina, one of the top members of the organization." The girl replied.

"I'm Joan." She answered.

So, the two went to the meeting. The ones there were dressed rather casually for it. A table with various snacks was set up in the center of the meeting area. In addition, a projector was being brought up and was connected to a computer. That moment, a man in semi-formal attire came up to the podium.

"I would like to thank everyone for coming to this S.O.S. meeting." He stated. "We have a few issues to deal with." A satellite picture of the Chesapeake Bay appeared. "We have noticed an increase in the number and size of large algae blooms in the Chesapeake Bay. I'm worried that they will continue to grow at an alarming rate due to excessive nutrients in the water. When they die, decomposing bacteria will use almost all the oxygen to decompose the dead protists."

"Huh?" Joan whispered to Christina.

"Algae is not a plant." She replied. "It's a protest."

"I didn't know that." She answered.

"Didn't pay attention much in biology?" Christina asked.

"Ahem." He stated; the two shut up. "Any who, this is a problem because it kills all life in the water and the fisherman who depend on the fish for jobs will become unemployed. It's bad enough that irresponsible people are overfishing and overhunting animals just to throw most of it away."

"In other words, Joan, it'll cost $10 just to get a Filet-O-Fish." Christina whispered to her.

"If there is any way to address this problem, we need to imply those measures as soon as possible." He said. "We don't want things to get any worse." Then, the projector, as well as the televisions in the facility, was hijacked. Then, a dark-skinned person appeared. He had a head piece of buffalo skin and horns with bright feathers around it and all the way down the back. He had face paint on. Two black stripes on his chin and two blue stripes on his cheeks. "Me and my big mouth."

"Greetings." the man said pounding his fist into his chest. "I am Glooskap, the hero of nature." He put his fist down. "I have seen all of the destruction that man has done to our mother. This is unacceptable. Therefore, I shall send my kachinas across the land and destroy all civilization." This shocked the people and frightened them. "But you," He pointed to the screen. "who call yourselves, conservationalists, you still care about her. That will be your salvation. That is why I send this warning to all groups such as yourself in all lands." He spread his arms out as eagle volant. "Now, paint a circle with blue, organic paint around your town as a sign of your presence. Upon seeing it, my kachinas shall pass over you as spare you from nature's wrath. You'll be given a few days." Then, the equipment returned to normal. Everyone was stunned.

"Okay…" the man stated. "Get the blue paint, meeting adjourned." He zipped out the door and the people began to panic.

"Joan, this is terrible." Christina stated. "What do we do?"

"I don't know." Joan replied.

"I'll start by getting paint. See you later." She said.

"Nice meeting you." Joan replied as Christina left. She noticed a rat come up to her foot.

"Joan, listen. We need you at the lair, now." It said. She could already tell it was John.

"Okay." Joan replied as she followed. When they arrived, they saw Maria, Cheyenne, and Hikari playing children's card games. They noticed her come in.

"Hey, Joan." Maria said. "Who's the guy?"

"It's John." She replied. He was in his human form at the time.

"Really?" she asked.

"Yeah." Joan answered.

"I doubt it." Cheyenne added.

"It truly is me." John stated. "I am solid here." She stood up and walked to him.

"Yeah, right." She said. "I can stick my hand right through you." She went to poke him but he batted her hand aside. "Oh my god, he IS solid.

"Hey, is it possible to do card games on motorcycles?" Hikari asked. Everyone else looked at her with confusion.

"Uh…" He answered. "It's possible in the hideout when you go downstairs. My question is, why do you want to do that? It's not very practical."

"Because it's more extreme." She answered and a teardrop behind each of their heads.

"Anyway," he continued. "The reason I called you here was because of a vision."

"A vision?" Maria asked.

"A vision. Many towns and cities are destroyed by nature." He explained.

"Oh," Joan added. "I heard that Glooskap was going to send his kachinas to destroy civilization in a few days."

"This is what I feared." He answered. "We must find him."

"How are we going to do that?" Maria asked.

"I am able to use manna tracking. Which I can track the manna signatures of various people and creatures."

"So, it's kind of like radar?" Cheyenne asked.

"Yeah, I'll need more power for a wider range. I can't detect him." He added. Hikari added power. "I still can't detect him." Joan added power too. "I can't…" Before he could finish, Maria added power. "Wait, stop…" His head, literally exploded from all of the power. He was still standing. "I found him. He is at Chimney Rock."

"Where's that?" Cheyenne asked.

"It's in the Great Plains. It's a random rock spire." He answered.

"We'll need to go there." She replied.

"I wish you luck and godspeed." He answered as the girls headed out. The girls headed out to the Great Plains. It took them a few days to arrive.

"Let's see now." Hikari stated. "Where is…"

"Ahh, those are cute Prairie Dogs." Maria said commenting on some of the babies exploring.

"I never thought I would hear a girl call a rodent cute." Hikari commented.

"Maria," Cheyenne scolded. "We need to focus with the task on hand."

"So, where exactly is Chimney Rock?" Joan asked.

"I heard it was somewhere in Kansas." She answered. "And we're in Kansas."

"One question." Maria added.

"What?" Her friend asked.

"What's with all those people gathered at that random rock?" She asked pointing to it. They turned, seeing Chimney Rock and a whole army of kachinas, numbering 1500 if one would count them.

"Holy crap." Cheyenne stated. "That's a whole army."

"Maria, is it time to transform?" Hikari asked.

"Shouldn't we contact John?" Maria asked.

"He's out of range." Hikari answered. "We're on our own."

"But, it'll have to be on standby." Cheyenne answered. At that moment, Glooskap came out on top of Chimney Rock, looking out at all of the kachina followers. He was shirtless and had leather moccasins.

"My brethren," Glooskap spoke to the kachinas. "Through this long history of the Earth, man had agreed to keep balance with nature. They have failed to keep that promise they had made in the past. They hurt her, rape her, strip her of her resources and give nothing back. It is just that they should be punished, but they should live to learn from their mistakes, not to underestimate her supporters. They have done enough harm to Mother Earth. They shall pay for the crimes of abusing their right to civilization. It is time to take up arms. Lay siege, go forth, and free our mother from man's tyranny."

The kachinas roared cheering from his short dialogue as they grabbed their spears, arrows, and axes. They spread out in all directions. Seeing the threat, the girls transformed. They ran across the beautiful grassland that stood between them and Glooskap. He looked down from the rock and slid down it.

"What do we have here?" He stated to them. "I thought humans would cower in fear, but they sent out ruthless commandoes to fight me."

"We are not ruthless." Maria stated. "You're the one who's the cold-blooded killer."

"Didn't you hear my speech?" He answered. "I commanded them to them to destroy civilization, but not to take a single life."

"How can you do that?" Hikari asked.

"Force the people out and burn what is left." He replied. "I am not going to let anyone stand in my way."

"We are telling you to back down!" Hikari aggressively stated.

"This is what man rightfully deserves." He said, grabbing his tribal spear and tomahawk. "Now, prepare to feel the full wrath of nature's fury."

He gave out a battlecry as the girls went forward. He pole-vaulted over them and as he landed he lashed out a vine whip at them. Cheyenne and Maria were struck followed by Hikari and Joan. Cheyenne fired arrows at him. Most of them missed but one struck his leg. He flinched as he took the arrow out on threw it back at her near supersonic speed. She barely dodged it.

Hikari charged forward and Glooskap raised his spear in defense. She attacked and defended against his attacks. While he did the same thing, she threw a water ball at him and it hit and knocked him back. He stomped on the ground and the rock underneath Hikari catapulted her into the air. She fell onto the ground hard, knocking the wind out of her.

Joan came up. Glooskap changed his weapon to the tomahawks. Joan lit her rapier ablaze, she was able to make a cut on him. But he leapt over her and entangled his weapon in her clothing and threw her to the side.

Maria came up and she blew some wind creating a tornado. It sucked him into the vortex, but she underestimated how much energy she put into it. She got sucked in too. Cheyenne slapped her forehead.

"Oh brother." She thought to herself. The two got incredibly dizzy and the tornado spat them out. Maria was able to land on her feet while he landed hard on his butt. He started to get back up.

"It's time for a three-way attack." Maria said rallying the girls.

"I don't think so." he replied switching to his spear. He leaped as they charged. He landed striking the spear into the ground. The rock began to rumble as he summoned an earthquake. The girls fell backward as he threw sharp leaf projectiles and blades of grass. In turn, the girls fired projectiles in return.

The earthquake subsided as the battle was in a stalemate. The girls had a hard time getting back up and they were helping each other up. Meanwhile, Glooskap was catching his breath. But he was surprised that it wasn't the fresh air he was breathing a while ago. Looking up, he was shocked at the devastation. He realized their fighting had destroyed that section of the grassland. A light wind blew and a newspaper landed at his feet. It was an old Earth Day paper. He looked out to the horizon and a single tear rolled down his face.

"Okay," Maria stated as all four were back up. "Now, we can fight back with our own…"

"STOP!" he shouted. "NO MORE!" The girls were confused.

"Hey, why did you tell us to stop?" Hikari asked.

"This fighting has caused our mother much pain and suffering." He replied dropping his spear. "We must no longer fight."

"Give us a good reason." Cheyenne added.

"Many humans when they were in the tribal state cherished and revered nature. Those people were very respectful to it and they were in peace and harmony." He explained. "But when civilization came to man, they had forgotten their natural roots, about her and neglected her."

"Okay…?" She said. "What was the point?"

"If they had civilization taken away, then humans would return to tribal stage." He added. "But this is causing more pain to our mother than happiness. Henceforth," He pulled out his tomahawks and threw them on the ground. "I will bury the tomahawk and from this day forward. I will fight no more."

"So, you going to call your kachinas back?" Maria asked.

"It is the wisest decision, I have realized that when fighting for a cause, never forget why you are fighting in the first place." He added. "Let us use diplomacy, not war, to find a solution." That moment was when he called off the military strikes on civilization.

So, they headed back to Maria's hometown where they and Glooskap had peace talks at the Obama Conference Center. It would have been easier, and more peaceful, if there weren't that many reporters and cameramen.

"So, it is agreed that conservation groups are to get additional funding for education and there will be more development for ecologically-friendly technology and methods." Maria stated.

"And in return, I will supply one kachina per conservation group to help them in their crusade." He answered and the two shook hands. Some of the people cheered. "I will leave, Kogucha, with the SOS group in your village."

"Well, we'll probably see him soon." Hikari stated.

"Oh hello, chaps. A peaceful day, isn't it?" the tadpole kachina stated walking up.

"Wait," she stated. "Don't tell me this is…"

"Kogucha, at your service." he answered.

"Oh great." Hikari sai slapping her forehead.

"I wonder if it is time for tea and crumpets." He exclaimed.

"Are you sure this guy isn't British?" Hikari asked.

"I'm not from Britain." he replied insulted.

"Whatever." Hikari replied.

"As for me, Maria." Glooskap stated. "I will go into exile o the North for I have no place here." He walked off, northward.

"Bye, Glooskap." She replied. John got her attention in his rat.

"Well done." he stated. "You and your companions have save many lives today."

"Thanks." Maria replied.

"But there is one more thing you have to deal with." He explained.

"What's that?" she asked.

"The Press." he answered.

"Oh." she thought unenthusiastically. "That." The four girls left the conference building and then were flooded with cameras and questions from the reporters.

"You four, what is the name of your group?" one of the reporters asked.

"Uh…" Maria answered. "Hold that thought." The four got into a huddle. "Girls, what do we do?"

"Well, come up with a name for our group." Cheyenne answered. "Isn't that obvious?"

"But what do we name it? I didn't expect the question." She replied.

"How about Mach 4?" Hikari asked.

"That sounds too much like a metal band?" Maria answered.

"What about Sky Girls?" Cheyenne replied.

"That name is already taken." She stated.

"How about the Fantastically Awesome Girls?" Joan asked, the other three looked at her. "What else do you got?"

"We're waiting." the reporter stated. "Hurry up! You're wasting time!"

"Be patient." Hikari replied sternly to him. "We're trying to come up with a good name."

"Since Maria's been leading, why not let her pick?" Joan asked and turned to her. "What do you say?" Maria thought about it.

"How about what the title of the story says 'Female Crusading Virtue Girls'?" Maria asked.

"That's a bit of a mouthful." Cheyenne commented.

"We could just shorten it up to 'Virtue Girls'." Hikari answered.

"Okay." Maria replied.

"Sounds good to me." Joan added.

"All right." Cheyenne said. They broke the huddle.

"Okay, we are known as the Virtue Girls." Maria announced. "We won't be taking anymore questions." The press was very upset not to get anything else. Lots of people were extremely please on what happened, but not everyone was happy with the peace talks. The politicians and some of the rich instantly disliked the girls as well as much of the law enforcement.

Later, each of the girls was given a communicator device with headphones which looked like an iPod. In addition, Maria was given an instant translator that one can put over their mouth, all done by Jonathan. The journey will take some interesting turns in the adventures ahead.