Wind and Thunder: Chapter Two

The Whirlwind King

 

Ashley sat at her computer station in Ops while Tommy leaned over her, his hand on her shoulder. “How’s it coming?”

 

She sighed as her fingers danced across the keyboard. Various technical diagrams flashed across her computer screens. “Okay I think,” she said. “Just a few bugs to work out in the fusion program.”

 

Tommy kissed her head. “You’re doing fine, dear.”

 

Ashley smiled and leaned back, placing her hand on his. “Thanks,” she said. “I just wish Jakanja wouldn’t have shown up this soon.”

 

Tommy nodded. “I’d say we’re doing well, all things considered.”

 

She looked back to him. “Have you talked to Simon?”

 

Tommy shook his head. “Not since Bear Lake.”

 

“He looks up to you, ya know,” Ashley said. “That’s why he’s hurt. And angry.”

 

“I know,” Tommy said with a sigh. “I’ll try to talk to him again…”

 

Ashley smiled and kissed his hand. “You’re doing fine, dear,” she teased.

 

***

 

Simon walked along the city streets of Angel Grove North with his hands in his pockets and his head hung low. His mind was abuzz with a mix of thoughts and emotions.

 

He had another fight with his father earlier in the day, which was becoming more and more of a common occurrence as he struggled for his independence.

 

He still treats me like a kid, but I’ve already seen more than he ever will, Simon thought as he continued down the road.

 

Tommy still thought of him as a kid too, despite all he’d accomplished against the Org and during the Mogralord war.

 

Simon was tired of being thought of as a child. He deserved to be in red more than anyone and intended to prove it.

 

***

 

Lothor kneeled in front of Tao Zento, a centipede creature with an exoskeleton covered with dark war paint. The creature’s body was barely visible beneath the dozens of arms he crossed over himself. Tao Zento stayed hidden within a secret chamber on the Jakanja ship. Lothor was the only one who knew of his presence.

 

“There are only three who oppose you,” Tao Zento said in a deep booming voice. “Never has this rock been so poorly defended.”

 

Lothor kept his head low. “They’re skilled in Ninjetti. Trained by the Dragon Ranger.”

 

Tao Zento glared at his follower. “I want to hear nothing more from your mouth, unless it’s a report of victory.”

 

***

 

Justin was volunteering at Angel’s Haven Children’s Shelter in Angel Grove West. He helped some of the kids with a game of basketball, even though he wasn’t very good at it.

 

Justin had grown up at the shelter and volunteered to give something back to the place that raised him. His mother had died during child birth, and his father left him at the shelter to move from military base to military base.

 

It was through the shelter that Justin had met Rocky DeSantos, the former Blue Tenma Ranger.

 

***

 

Rachel looked at her agent and arced an eyebrow. “Is this the best you could do?”

 

Her agent smiled and leaned back in his chair. He was an older man with short dark hair graying around his temples. His name was Clint. “I knew you’d be thankful,” he said sarcastically.

 

Rachel was in the process of starting a local singing career. The beginnings weren’t going so well.

 

“Rachel, Rachel,” Clint said as he leaned forward. “You’re going to go places someday…but for now…”

 

“For now I’m supposed to sing to a bunch of kids at the youth center,” she said skeptically. “Don’t get me wrong, I like working with kids, but…”

 

“It’s a job,” Clint said. “It pays…and it’s all you have at the moment. Besides, don’t you have a friend that volunteers there?”

 

Rachel sighed. “Yeah…I suppose it could be fun…”

 

***

 

The Jakanja ship had set down on the surface of the Earth’s ocean like a giant buoy. Lothor stood on the bridge with his arms crossed over his chest. “Zergain,” he said while addressing his generals. “Ready one of your troops. The Rangers die tonight.”

 

“Zergain?” Chubo asked with disbelief. “My army is ready  to-”

 

“Quiet,” Zergain spoke with a deep metallic tone. “You had your chance and failed. You’re nothing…”

 

“Big talk coming from someone smaller than my hand,” Chubo said.

 

Zergain’s faceplate opened to reveal a small ant-like creature crouched inside the head. The creature used the body suit as a Ranger would a zord.

 

The ant raised his fist to Chubo. “We’ll see how much my size matters when this fist goes-”

 

“Enough!” Lothor shouted.

 

The two generals snapped back to attention as Zergain’s face plate closed.

 

“Zergain,” Lothor said again. “Send one of your warriors down. I don’t care which, as long as he brings me results.”

 

***

 

Simon walked towards the edge of the basketball court while Justin stood coaching the kids from the sidelines. Simon moved towards his friend.

 

“Hey Justin,” Simon said. “Wanna head to the dojo in a bit?”

 

“For what, man?” Justin asked.

 

“Practice,” Simon said. “We need to stay sharp.”

 

Justin shook his head. “I was getting together with a few people after work. It’s Friday, ya know. Can’t it wait until after the weekend?”

 

Simon wrinkled his brow. “After the weekend?”

 

“Yeah,” Justin said with a smile. “The weekend is the time for relaxing, hanging out…”

 

“Justin,” Simon said firmly. “We have a lot more to worry about now than what movie to watch on a Friday night.”

 

Before Justin could answer, Simon noticed the other teen was not wearing his wrist communicator. “Where’s your communicator?”

 

“In the car,” Justin said. “I didn’t want it to fall off or break or anything during-”

 

“It never comes off,” Simon said sharply.

 

“Come on, Simon,” Justin said defensively. “Lighten up. I get that this whole Ranger thing is serious but-”

 

“Then act like it,” Simon said.

 

Justin narrowed his eyes. “I liked you a lot better before I found out about your spandex fetish…”

 

Simon bit back his tongue, shook his head, and walked away.

 

***

Zergain’s soldier stomped through the upper city streets of Angel Grove with a long staff slung over his shoulder. The blue-armored warrior was a magnetic creature with the ability to manipulate polar energy fields. His name was Jishakumon.

 

The mechanical creature stood on the edge of a walk way and looked down at the citizens below. He extended his hands and fired jagged pulses of cyan-tinted energy that enveloped everyone below.

 

Half of the people were charged with positive polar energy, while the other half were charged with negative polar energy.

 

The result was chaos.

 

People with opposite charges clashed against each other as identical charges pushed them away. Bodies went bouncing across the streets as the monster charged several buildings with polarity fields. Citizens were slammed against the buildings.

 

Cars and other vehicles fell victim to the polarity fields as well, crashing into one another and running down innocent bystanders.

 

***

 

Simon leaned against a building with his arms across his chest as he stared down at the playground below. Justin and Rachel were both working with the kids in some kind of circle game. Simon did not know what the game was, nor did he care.

 

His communicator toned, and he looked down at his teammates, realizing neither one of them was wearing their communicators.

 

“Fine…” he said. “I’ll take care of it myself…” Simon ducked into a corner and activated his communicator. “This is Simon, go ahead.”

 

“Simon,” Tommy said. “One of Lothor’s goons isn’t too far from you. It’s a magnet monster of some kind.”

 

“I’m on it,” Simon said.

 

The ranger lowered his communicator and looked to his two teammates still playing with children. This is my chance…he thought as he ducked down an alley and ran.

 

***

 

Jishakumon stalked through the streets as his polarity fields caused havoc all around.

 

Simon leapt out as if from no where and tackled against the monster. He slammed the creature to the ground and somersaulted to his feet while arming his morpher.

 

“Let’s go, tin grin,” Simon said as he readied his bracer. “Senpu…Ninjetti change! Ha!” A cyclone of energy whirled around Simon as he morphed into his Ranger form.

 

“Hurricane Red!” he shouted as he snapped into a fighting stance.

 

The monster extended his hands and fired a pair of jagged energy bursts that slammed against Hurricane Red with bursts of spark. The Ranger was thrown through a warehouse wall and went skidding across the ground inside.

 

Jishakumon walked into the warehouse with his staff in hand, ready to finish off the Ranger.

 

Hurricane Red rose to his feet and fell back into a defensive stance.

 

“So,” he said. “I take it you’re the quiet but deadly type, huh?”

 

The magnet creature twisted his wrist, and a strong polar force pushed Hurricane Red backward and slammed him against the side of a car. Jishakumon increased his energy output and pinned the Red Ranger down with magnetic force. Dozens of spare parts, bikes, and other devises were magnetized and pulled to the car, crashing against Hurricane Red and pinning him against a vehicle.

 

***

 

Tommy and Ashley were at the forward control monitor in Ops. Ashley was sitting at the keyboard while Tommy watched the monitor, standing with his arms crossed in front of his chest.

 

Ashley shook her head. “The others still aren’t answering…”

 

“Keep trying to raise them,” Tommy said.

 

***

 

Justin and Rachel walked towards the parking lot. Justin finished filling Rachel in on his brief exchange with Simon.

 

“Well,” Rachel said. “You just have to try and see where he’s coming from.”

 

Justin shook his head. “I don’t have to…”

 

The two heard the tone of a communicator come from Justin’s vehicle.

 

“Crap,” Justin said as he and Rachel ran to answer.

 

***

 

Jishakumon walked over to Hurricane Red and lifted a bladed staff, preparing to strike the Ranger down.

 

Hurricane Red struggled to break free, but he was still pinned against the car.

 

“I don’t suppose we could just call this a tie?” the Ranger asked as he continued his struggle.

 

Jishakumon swung the weapon downward, and Hurricane Red braced himself for a blow that never came.

 

A volley of H-shaped throwing stars slashed against the villain’s weapon, sparking and knocking the staff away.

 

Justin flipped through air, spun and screw kicked the monster away from Hurricane Red. Justin landed and snapped into a fighting stance. “Back away from the bird…”

 

With the creature knocked away, the bikes and metal objects pinning Hurricane Red collapsed to the ground.

 

“Guys!” Hurricane Red shouted as he ran over to Justin and Rachel.

 

“Simon…” Rachel said. “Why’d you go at this alone?”

 

Simon opened his face plate so the others could see his face.

 

“Because…” His voice was thick with shame. “I just…didn’t think you guys wanted this.”

 

“Simon,” Justin said as he shook his head. “That’s crazy. Look, we’re sorry we weren’t wearing our communicators. We just-”

 

“No,” Simon said as he shook his head. “It’s my fault…it wasn’t really you I was mad at. I just snapped.”

 

“Listen boys,” Rachel said as she placed a hand on each of their shoulders. “No more tension from this point on. We’re a team. We have enough trouble with Jakanja trying to kill us…we can’t be at each others’ throats too.”

 

Jishakumon rose to his feet and picked up a steel girder. He threw the girder at the rangers, and they rolled out of the way to avoid being hit.

 

“What do you say we talk about this later?” Simon asked before closing his faceplate.

 

 “Sounds like a plan, Red,” Justin said while he and Rachel readied their Gyro Morphers.

 

Jishakumon extended his hand and fired a blue magnetic energy pulse that exploded with a burst of flame and smoke. When the smoke cleared…the Rangers were gone.

 

“What…” Jishakumon started to say, when he noticed a shower of light slowly drift from the sky.

 

The villain turned and saw the Rangers, morphed and ready. They snapped into their fighting stances.

 

“Power of Air…Hurricane Red!”

 

“Power of Earth…Hurricane Yellow!”

 

“Power of Water…Hurricane Blue!”

 

“Hurricane Task Force, Power Rangers!” they shouted together.

 

“It’s time to rake care of business,” Hurricane Red shouted. “Air Style! Air Gallop Jutsu!”

 

The Red Ranger leapt up and ran across the air currents towards the creature. He somersaulted forward through the air and slammed a volley of flying sidekicks against the monster, pushing it back.

 

Hurricane Red finished off the combination with a final sidekick that sent Jishakumon flying backwards off his feet and out of the warehouse.

 

The three Rangers leapt towards the creature, angling their descent towards the monster’s head while unsheathing their swords.

 

The Rangers’ blades slammed against Jishakumon, but the monster armed a fist blade and slashed across their armor, knocking the team backward.

 

“Talk about thick-skulled,” Hurricane Yellow said as he and the others rose to their feet.

 

Jishakumon extended his right gauntlet and fired a gatling cannon, spraying blasts that exploded against the Rangers’ armor.

 

***

 

Ashley ran a detailed scan of Jishakumon as Tommy stood by her.

 

“It’s one of their Mecha Corp.” Ashley said. “I’m trying to find its power source.”

 

Detailed images of the monster flashed before her screen.

 

“There,” Tommy said as he stabbed his finger against the monitor, just below the right side of the creature’s chest.

 

“That’s it,” Ashley agreed.

 

Tommy opened a comm line with the Rangers. “Guys, this is one of Jakanja’s Mecha Corps. soldiers. Its power center is just below the right side of its chest.”

 

Tommy looked down to Ashley and kissed her hand. “Good work.”

 

She smiled. “I do try.”

 

***

 

The Rangers rose to their feet and armed their weapons.

 

“Hawk Blaster!” Hurricane Red shouted.

 

“Lion Hammer!” Hurricane Yellow twirled his hammer-ended staff.

 

“Sonic fin!” Hurricane Blue shouted.

 

“Let’s bring ‘em together,” Hurricane Red said as they combined their weapons into a single cannon.

 

“Storm Striker!” they shouted. “Fire!”

 

The cannon fired a crackling spherical energy pulse that punctured through Jishakumon and exploded, tearing the villain into scrap metal with a burst of flame.   

 

***

 

Chubo laughed at Zergain. “Your first warrior was a failure! Ha!”

 

“Oh, I’m far from through,” Zergain said as he turned to Kapri.

 

She smiled and opened a palm pilot, activating several keys.

 

“Copy giant…launch,” she commanded.

 

***

 

Lothor’s ship launched a giant-sized missile that shot across the shore and landed on the city streets. The missile changed shape into a generic, humanoid form and scanned the remains of Jishakumon.

 

Using a combination of dark magick and nanite technology, the copy giant transformed into a replica of Jishakumon.

 

“Not good,” Hurricane Blue said as she and the others stared up at the giant monster.

 

Hurricane Red activated his communicator. “A zord or two would be handy right about now…”

 

***

 

Ashley called up an image of three zords, each suspended in an underground hiding place. “Guys,” Ashley said to the Rangers through her comm line. “I’m sending in some big time back up: your Storm-zords.”

 

“Use your Gyro Morphers to mobilize them,” Tommy commanded.

 

***

 

Hurricane Red lifted his Gyro Morpher closer to his faceplate. “Storm-zords, mobilize!”

 

The Storm-zords passed through a trio of holographic entry portals. Hurricane Hawk flashed into existence by sliding through a plane-shaped portal and blasted off into the skies. Hurricane Lion stomped through a portal disguised as a giant faris wheel. Hurricane Dolphin teleported through a portal disguised as a boat.

 

The zords grouped up and charged into battle. The Rangers looked up at their new zords with astonishment.

 

“We have to pilot these things?” Hurricane Blue asked.

 

“Yeah we do!” Hurricane Red said with excitement. “Let’s go!”

 

The Rangers leapt into their cockpits as the zords moved forward towards the villain.

 

Jishakumon leaned forward and fired a magnetic energy burst that hurled a cloud of metal and debris towards the zords. Explosions sparked across the Storm-zords’ armor upon impact.

 

The impact shook Hurricane Blue within her cockpit. “This is hard enough without magnetic face throwing things at us…”

 

Hurricane Red set his sites on the monster and throttled his zord forward. He scrolled down his weapon menu and found an appropriate attack. “Wing blade, ignite!”

 

The zord’s wings vented gas, and a magick flame ignited the gas, causing the zord to zoom forward like a fiery comet. Hurricane Hawk flew circles around Jishakumon, surrounding the villain with a cyclone of flame.

 

Hurricane Red smiled beneath his helmet as he watched Jishakumon struggle within the flames. “Can’t stand the heat, stay out of the fire!”

 

Hurricane Blue scrolled down her weapons menu, then locked her sites onto Jishakumon. “Looks like you could use some cooling off…”

 

A powerful torrent of water shot forth and slammed against Jishakumon as the dolphin zord slammed a nose dive against the creature.

 

Jishakumon was knocked several steps backward, but retaliated by firing thick wire cables from his arm. Each cable was tipped with a magnet. One of the cables snatched onto the dolphin zord, and another grabbed hold of the falcon zord. Jishakumon twirled the two zords around and slammed them repeatedly against each other.

 

Hurricane Yellow moved his lion zord in to help his friends.

 

“Lion tornado blast!” he shouted as the turbine mane of his zord started to spin. Hurricane Lion shot a powerful straight-line cyclone that kicked up piles of dirt and debris, which slammed against the monster.

 

“I’m going in,” Hurricane Yellow said while activating his thrusters.

 

The lion zord dashed through the cyclone and slammed against the monster. Jishakumon’s body overloaded and fell backwards before blasting to pieces.

 

 “Yes!” Hurricane Yellow shouted.

 

The monster’s fragments suddenly energized with magnetic power and pulled themselves back together again. Jishakumon reassembled himself.

 

“Not fair,” Hurricane Red cursed in his zord.

 

“Guys,” Tommy’s voice said over their communicators. “Bring your zords together to form the StormMegazord.”

 

Ashley uploaded the fusion program into the zords’ systems.

 

“Alright…” Hurricane Red said. “Storm-zords assemble! Whirlwind Fusion!”

 

The three zords transformed and started to combine. The lion zord formed the chest, body, left arm, and legs. The dolphin formed the Megazord’s right arm, and the hawk flew in and formed the head.

 

“StormMegazord!” Hurricane Red shouted from his cockpit. “Senpuujin!”

 

Jishakumon fired a volley of jagged magnetic blasts that exploded around Senpuujin as the Megazord walked through the blasts.

 

The Rangers saw only one weapon on their display, and they called on it. A medallion shimmered into existence Hurricane Red’s control panel. Ashley’s voice came through their communicators. “These Power Discs hold programs for your zords weapons,” she said. “Lock and drop them into your control panel to form your Power Spheres.”

 

“Gotcha,” Hurricane Red said as he reached forward and took hold of the disc.

 

“Power Disc,” he said as he inserted it into his console. “Lock…and drop.”

 

The Power Disc entered the Megazord’s system and formed a Power Sphere.

 

StormMegazord’s chest plate opened, and Power Sphere No. 1 hovered out. The Sphere itself opened, and the Megazord’s weapon formed. The weapon was a snake-like, double-edge sword.

 

“Serpent Sword!” Hurricane Red shouted.

 

Jishakumon stomped towards the Megazord while arming his magnet staff.

 

See ya!” Hurricane Red shouted. “Serpent Sword, Triple Strike!”

 

The Megazord emitted two holographic duplicates that stood by the original’s sides. The saber of each Megazord energized and slashed through the villain one-by-one. The strikes tore through Jishakumon with massive bursts of spark that ripped apart his armor. The monster’s energy overloaded and exploded with a massive sphere of flame.

 

The StormMegazord returned to one.

 

“Woo-hoo!” Hurricane Yellow shouted.

 

“Yes,” Hurricane Blue said with relief.

 

Hurricane Red smiled beneath his helmet.

 

To be continued…Chapter 03