Wind and Thunder: Chapter Eight

Hidden Trauma

 

“I can’t believe it, Ashley.” Tommy paced back and forth across the floor in Ops. “No matter what I do, my past as the Green Ranger always comes back to haunt me.”

 

“You were under a spell, Tommy,” Ashley said.

 

Tommy waved his hand dismissively. “I’ve heard it all before, and I’ve been saying the same thing to myself for almost eight years. It doesn’t change the fact that I was evil. I killed people. Like I killed Blake and Hunters’ parents.”

 

“Do you think they know it was you? That you were the Green Ranger?” Ashley asked.

 

“I don’t know,” Tommy said. “It would make sense, but I don’t see how they could have found out.” Tommy sat on the couch and slouched his shoulders down. He was so tired. “I did this to them. To Blake and Hunter. I made them the way they are today. So full of hate and anger.”

 

“You don’t know that…” Ashley walked over and sat next to Tommy. She placed a hand on his shoulder.

 

Tommy shook his head. “To have to lose both their parents that way, when they were so young…that kind of thing changes people.”

 

***

 

Hunter and Blake struggled to push open a large iron door leading beneath the Ikkazuchi Way’s campus. Blake clenched his jaw and pushed as hard as he could while the door slowly opened centimeter by centimeter. “Have I mentioned how much I hate this place?”

 

The door finally opened enough for the two Thunders to squeeze into a small room, cluttered with toppled equipment and broken computers. The room looked as if it had been ransacked.

 

Hunter snapped a few glow sticks and tossed them into the room for illumination.

 

Blake shook his head as he looked around the room. “You think Jakanja did this when they attacked?” He sniffed a laugh. “They probably got pissed because they were too stupid to use the computers. Either that or they saw their reflections in the monitors and got scared. I could see that happening.”

 

“No,” Hunter said. “The Ikkazuchi did this. They were probably worried Jakanja was after their secrets, so they destroyed the archives.”

 

Blake noticed a small closet in the corner. He stopped in his tracks and froze. His face grew even more pale than normal. “This wasn’t always a lab…”

 

“Hm?” Hunter asked.

 

Blake shook his head. “Nevermind. Let’s just get what we need so we can finally be done with this god-forsaken place.”

 

His mind flashed back…

 

Five-year-old Blake cried and screamed as his father dragged him by the arm into a small chamber beneath the Ikkazuchi Way. The more Blake struggled, the tighter his father squeezed. 

 

Blake let his legs collapse from beneath him. So his father lifted him by the arm and dragged him across the floor’s sparring mat. Lee tossed Blake onto the center of the mat.

 

“Stand up, boy,” Lee said firmly. “You have a proud tradition to follow. I know you are too young to understand. But someday you will thank me for this.” Blake continued to sob. “I said stand!”

 

Lee kicked his son in the ribs. Blake wailed and screamed while curling into a ball. “No son of mine will be controlled by fear and weakness. You must grow up. Learn to embrace your fears. Embrace the shadows. Let darkness become your friend. I know you are too young to understand-”

 

“I want mommy!”

 

Lee reached down and slapped the back of his hand across his son’s face. “That cow of a woman is no longer a part of our lives. Your mother hated you. And hated your brother. She only kept him to spite me! She hates you because you are weak, Blake. But we can change that.”

 

Lee lifted Blake by the arm and dragged him towards a corner. Blake kicked and screamed in protest, but Lee ignored his son’s cries. He opened a closet in the corner, tossed Blake inside, and slammed the door shut while locking it.

 

The closet was pitch black and cold.

 

Blake sprang towards the door and banged on it as hard as he could. “Lemme out, lemme out, lemme out!”

 

“You go through this door a child, Blake. But one day you will step out a man. Just as I did,” Lee said.

 

Blake pounded on the door until his hands bruised. He cried and screamed until his voice went hoarse. He was alone. In the darkness. He slumped onto the floor and rolled into a fetal position. The room was so quiet. He could hear his every breathe and heartbeat.

 

His imagination got the better of him. He imagined giant, spider creatures crawling down the walls around him, unseen in the darkness. They were likely huge with dripping fangs. Inching closer to him. Inch by inch. Everywhere. The hairs on his neck stood on end. His heart leapt with fear, and he shot to his feet, which made him even more frightened.

 

The spider was chasing him. He ran back, and the imaginary spider followed, right at his heels, but out of sight. So close. Hissing on his neck. He could feel it. He would have screamed. He wanted to scream. He tried to shout for help. But his voice caught in his throat.  

 

His heart pounded like a drum. He crawled into a corner and hunkered down. But imaginary spiders crawled down the sides of the walls. He wanted to run, but more imaginary spider creatures hung by threads all in front of him. If he moved, they would catch him. They were everywhere. Everywhere.

 

Fear crippled him. He stood still, tears streaming down his face. He could feel the imaginary spider in front of him. Less than an inch from his face. But hidden in darkness. Staring. So close he could have reached out and touched the creature.

 

Blake wanted to go home. He wanted to crawl into bed with his brother for protection. He wanted to cry and scream and shout. He wanted to run. He wanted to scream. Just to scream.

 

***

 

Marah followed Zergain through the woods near the Ikkazuchi Way. This was one of the few time she actually left the ship, and she hated every second of it. “Would you slow down Zergain! Not all of us have artificial legs that never get tired.”

 

“I’ve offered to make you a pair.”

 

“But I like my legs.”

 

“Then stop complaining about them.”

 

“It’s not my legs I’m complaining about, it’s the fact that they’re tired!” Marah grumbled as she tried to avoid tripping on a fallen branch. “Why are we out here, is what I want to know. Aren’t we supposed to be on the same side as the Thunder Rangers now?”

 

“Hmph. That remains to be seen,” Zergain said. “They have secrets they’re keeping. When I find out what those secrets are, Lothor will have no choice but to recognize me as his greatest general. The most powerful of the Seven Spears of Darkness.”

 

“If you’re so powerful, why’d you have to drag me along with you.”

 

“…”

 

“I didn’t catch that, Zergain.”

 

“Just be quiet.”

 

***

 

Hunter pulled a small data pad out from beneath a fallen desk. He dusted off the pad and looked at its casing. The devise had a holographic projection lens and a power-supply terminal, covered in a panel etched with the Ikkazuchi lightning-bolt crest. Hunter opened the power terminal, but it was empty.

 

“Found it,” he said. “It’s power supply is gone.”

 

“Great,” Blake said sarcastically. “I don’t suppose it uses Energizer batteries.”

 

Hunter shook his head.

 

The room’s lights suddenly kicked on, and a computer monitor blinked to life. The Thunders turned to see various technical diagrams and specifications scroll across the screen. Hunter and Blake stepped towards to the computer.

 

“Is that what I think it is?” Blake asked.

 

Hunter nodded.

 

Blake leaned in closer. “Someone’s transmitting this to us now. Think it’s him?”

 

“Yes,” Hunter said.

 

Blake sniffed sharply. “I don’t trust him.”

 

“Me either,” Hunter said. “But he gave us our powers. And his goals are the same as ours.”

 

***

 

Justin and Rachel ran alongside Simon to the Ikkazuchi grounds.

 

“So do we even know what we’re looking for?” Justin asked.

 

“Not exactly,” Simon said. “Any kind of library or computer system that might have information about this It thing Jakanja and the Thunder Rangers want.”

 

“But Jakanja demolished the school,” Justin said.

 

Simon nodded. “I know…but there might be something left behind. We have to at least look, and I didn’t get very far last time I was here.”

 

The rangers ran towards the edge of a cliff that looked down upon a wide valley. They saw Marah and Zergain walking side-by-side through the valley.

 

Rachel squinted so she could see them better. “What are they up to?”

 

“Nothing good,” Simon said. “Let’s go say hi.”

 

Simon leapt down towards the valley, and the other rangers followed. They landed on the ground and snapped into fighting stances.

 

“You don’t belong here, Jakanja,” Simon said. “Go back to your ship.”

 

Zergain looked to Marah. “I’ll handle this…” He turned back towards the rangers. “You may have beaten my puppets, by my mech is more than you can handle!”

 

“I don’t think so,” Simon said as he and the rangers readied their morphers.

 

“Senpu…Ninjetti Change! Ha!” Cyclones of energy circled around them as they morphed into their armor. They snapped into fighting stances.

 

“Power of Air…Hurricane Red!”

 

“Power of Earth…Hurricane Yellow!”

 

“Power of Water…Hurricane Blue!”

 

“Hurricane Task Force…Power Rangers!”

 

Zergain pulled a pair of single-handed blades from his shoulders. The Rangers unsheathed their sabers, and the opponents circled around each other while watching for weaknesses.

 

The Power Rangers leapt forward and somersaulted through the air while chopping their blades towards the general’s head. “Hur-ri-cane!”

 

Zergain thrust his blades out in an X-shaped pattern that blocked the Rangers’ swords. The villain swung his swords outward and slashed across the Rangers’ armor with bursts of spark that whipped them off their feet. The Rangers crashed against the ground and rolled backward.

 

The general aimed his swords and fired a rapid pulse of blue energy blades that speared towards the Rangers just as they rose to their feet. The blades exploded against their armor with a shower of sparks.

 

***

 

Hunter and Blake heard a rumble come from above ground. A small tremor shook dust from the ceiling and caused the lights to flicker. The teens looked to the ceiling.

 

“What the hell’s going on up there?” Blake asked.

 

“Let’s look.” Hunter put the data pad into his pocket and led the way out of the underground chamber.

 

***

 

Zergain stalked towards the fallen Power Rangers. But he stopped in his tracks when he heard footsteps come from the distance. “The Thunder Rangers…” He could not allow the Thunders to catch him on Ikkazuchi grounds. He looked to Marah. “Come! We have to take cover.”

 

Zergain dashed to Marah and grabbed her by the arm before she could protest. He lifted her up and leapt behind a large boulder for cover. Marah frumped, slapped Zergain against his armor, and opened her mouth to sass him. But he covered her mouth with his gauntlet. 

 

The Thunders ran into the valley and stopped nearby the Power Rangers. Blake sniffed sharply. “You have be kidding me. You guys again?” He looked to Hurricane Red. “You really that eager for another ass kicking?”

 

Hurricane Red tightened his grip on his sword. “I was about to ask you the same thing.”

 

“Okay, let me just see if you’ve ever beaten us.” Blake held up a finger and looked aside in a mock gesture of thought. “Wait, wait, I’m thinking…ummm…no. Don‘t believe you have.”

 

“Stop,” Hunter told his brother. He lifted his brace. “Let’s just do this.”

 

The Thunders armed their morphers. “Gorai…Ninjetti Change! Ha!” Dark energy lashed around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms. They snapped into fighting stances.

 

“Power of Shadow…Crimson Thunder!”

 

“Power of Lightning…Navy Thunder!”

 

“Hidden Task Force…Thunder Rangers!”

 

The Thunder Rangers extended their morphers. “Tsunami Cycles!”

 

Lighting and shadow energy lashed out in front of the Thunder Rangers and took shape, forming a pair of sleek motorcycles with armor shaped like lightning bolts.

 

The Power Rangers stepped back into defensive stances. “No fair,” Hurricane Yellow said. “Why do they get bikes?”

 

The Thunder Rangers swung onto their cycles and throttled forward. The Tsunami Cycles’ speed took the Rangers off guard. The bikes bashed against the Rangers and knocked them off a cliff.

 

The Rangers crashed against the ground below, and the Thunders rode off the cliff to follow. Their bikes fired bolts of lightning that lashed out around the Rangers and whipped across their armor with bursts of spark.

 

The Tsunami Cycles landed on opposite sides of the Power Rangers and throttled forward. The cycles past the Power Rangers and slashed across their chests with bursts of spark. The Thunders spun their cycles around and popped wheelies that slammed against the Rangers and knocked them off their feet.

 

Hurricane Red and Hurricane Blue rolled into crouched fighting stances and armed their rifles. “Storm Blasters!“ They fired golden energy spears that exploded harmlessly around Crimson Thunder’s cycle.

 

Crimson Thunder’s bike fired a jagged bolt of shadow energy that exploded against the two Rangers’ armor with bursts of spark.

 

***

 

Zergain and Marah had peaked out from behind the boulder to watch the battle. Zergain cursed beneath his breath. The Thunder Rangers were already more powerful than he cared to admit. Now it seemed their new equipment doubled that power. He would never gain Lothor’s favor at this rate.

 

“Those blasted Thunder Rangers…”

 

Marah rolled her eyes. “Oh calm down, Zergain, really. Talk about an inferiority complex.”

 

Zergain grumbled quietly. “You’d have one too if your body was the size of a hand.”

 

***

 

The Thunders opened their throttle to full. Their tires scorched the dirt as they zoomed past the Rangers with a massive shockwave. The shockwave blasted around the Rangers with a wave of fire that thrashed their armor and sent them flying off their feet.

 

The Thunders skid their bikes to a halt and looked back over their shoulders. They watched with amusement as the Power Rangers tried to pull themselves off the ground. Smoke still rose from the three Rangers’ armor.

 

Crimson Thunder looked over his shoulder. “I hope you’re paying attention, Zergain.”

 

Zergain cursed beneath his breath. “They saw us?”

 

Marah shrugged. “Well you didn’t exactly pick the best hiding spot.”

 

“Oh be quiet,” Zergain mumbled.

 

The Thunder Rangers lifted their morphers to their face plates. “Thunder-zords, mobilize!”

 

“Crimson Insectazord!” Crimson Thunder shouted. A massive zord rolled through the mountains on tread wheels. The armored zord was modeled after a horned beetle. Thunder Crimson dashed alongside his zord and leapt into his cockpit.

 

“Navy Beetlezord!” Navy Thunder shouted. The navy-armored zord rolled across the mountains like a tank. The zord was modeled after a stag beetle. Navy Thunder ran alongside his zord and leapt into his cockpit.

 

“Oh come on!” Hurricane Yellow shouted. “They ripped off our zords?! Those hacks! Posers!”

 

“Name call later. Zords now.” Hurricane Red activated his communicator. “Storm-zords mobilize!”

 

The Storm-zords passed through a trio of holographic entry portals and charged into battle. The Power Rangers leapt into their cockpits. 

 

“Alright,” Hurricane Red said. “They may have ripped off our zords, but we have the originals. Let’s show these Thunder punks what Storm-zord power can do!”

 

Hurricane Hawk swooped through the skies to attack.

 

“Wing Blade, Ignite!” Hurricane Hawk vented gas from its wings, and magick flame ignited the gas into a trail of fire that enveloped the zord like a comet. The hawk dove and circled around the Crimson Insectazord to create a cyclone of flame.

 

The Insectazord throttled through the flames and swerved around to swing its cannons at the Red Ranger’s zord.

 

“Thunder Cannons!” Crimson Thunder fired a missile payload that shot through the air and exploded around Hurricane Hawk with massive bursts of flame.

 

Hurricane Red tried to maneuver through the attack. But several missiles exploded against his zord’s armor with massive bursts of spark that sent the zord flying out of control. 

 

“Simon!” Hurricane Blue shouted. Through the corner of her visor, she saw the Navy Beetlezord throttle towards Hurricane Lion. “Justin watch out!”

 

Navy Beetlezord rammed against Hurricane Lion and grabbed the zord with its stag pincers. The claws tightened, sparking against the yellow-armored zord.

 

The impact rocked Hurricane Yellow in his seat. “Lion Tornado Blast!”

 

Hurricane Lion’s mane spun like a turbine and fired a straight-line cyclone of energy that swept the Beetlezord away. Navy Beetlezord tumbled across the ground and landed on its back.

 

“Hell yeah!” Hurricane Yellow shouted.

 

Hurricane Lion stomped towards the fallen zord. But the Beetlezord vanished from sight with a burst of static.

 

Hurricane Yellow looked through his viewport, expecting the Beetlezord to reappear and attack. 

 

But Navy Beetlezord reappeared behind Hurricane Dolphin and fired its stag claws like a grappling hook, which caught around the dolphin. Navy Beetlezord spun and swung the zord around in a circle.

 

The force of the spinning pinned Hurricane Blue against the side of her cockpit. “I’m gunna be sick!”

 

Navy Beetlezord released its grasp on Hurricane Dolphin, and the zord smashed against the ground and skid backward.

 

“Blake,” Crimson Thunder said. “Upload the fusion program. We’re going to combine.”

 

Navy Thunder smiled beneath his helmet. “Those Hayate brats won’t know what hit ‘em.”

 

“Thunder-zords assemble!” Thunder Crimson shouted. “Thunder fusion!” The zords flashed with lighting and shot through the air while changing shape. The two zords combined into a giant robo. The stag claw formed a piece of chest armor, and the Insectazord’s horn formed a helmet.

 

‘ThunderMegazord!” the Thunder Rangers shouted. “Gouraijin!”

 

***

 

Ashley looked to Tommy. “They have a Megazord. How is that possible?”

 

“I don’t know,” Tommy said.

 

“It has to have been Billy,” Ashley said.

 

Tommy shook his head. “It wasn’t him.”

 

“Then who?” Ashley asked.

 

***

 

“Storm-zords assemble!” Hurricane Red shouted. “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!” the Power Rangers shouted. “Senpuujin!”

 

The Megazords stomped towards each other to attack. StormMegazord lunged a punch towards the ThunderMegazord. But Gouraijin blocked the blow and smashed a backfist against the StormMegazord. Senpuujin stumbled backward, and ThunderMegazord slammed a kick against the Megazord’s armor.

 

Gouraijin continued its advance, forcing the StormMegazord back with a series of punches that sparked on impact, bashing against Senpuujin’s armor.

 

“Power Disc!” Hurricane Red inserted a disc into his console. “Lock…and drop.”

 

StormMegazord’s chest plate opened and shot out a Power Sphere. The sphere opened and released the Megazord’s saber.

 

“Serpent Sword!” Hurricane Red shouted.

 

StormMegazord stepped forward and slashed its sword across ThunderMegazord with a series of strikes that sparked on impact. But ThunderMegazord seemed completely unaffected by the attack. 

 

Hurricane Red narrowed his eyes beneath his helmet. He watched the blade slash repeatedly against the ThunderMegazord without any result. “Come on…we can’t even put a dent in that thing…”

 

Senpuujin chopped its sword towards the ThunderMegazord’s head. But Gouraijin caught the blade and twisted the sword downward. ThunderMegazord used its grip to pin the Megazord’s saber down and kick away Senpuujin’s feet. StormMegazord collapsed and skid across the ground, kicking up dirt and stone.

 

***

 

“Is that new Power Disc ready?” Tommy asked.

 

Ashley nodded. “It will be in a second.” She opened a comm line with the Power Rangers. “Guy’s, I’m sending you a new Power Disc. It’s for the Spin Blade. It can cut through practically anything.”

 

***

 

The Power Disc materialized on Hurricane Red’s panel. But just as soon as it appeared, it vanished. “What the-”

 

The Power Disc materialized on Crimson Thunder’s control panel. “Power Disc!” Crimson Thunder inserted the disc into his console. “Lock…and drop.”

 

ThunderMegazord’s chest plate flipped down and shot out Power Sphere No. 4. The sphere opened and released the Spin Blade, an axe that resembled a flower with razor-sharp petals that could spin like a saw.

 

***

 

“They’re using our same exact weapon system,” Ashley said. “They intercepted the Power Disc.”

 

“I don’t like this,” Tommy said. “Not at all.”

 

***

 

ThunderMegazord swung the blade and fired a spinning saw of energy that exploded against StormMegazord, thrashing its armor with a massive burst of sparks. 

 

Gouraijin moved in and slashed against the StormMegazord with a series of strikes that sparked against armor. The ThunderMegazord was relentless in its attack and gave Senpuujin no time to defend itself.

 

Power overloads sparked on the Power Rangers’ consoles and tossed them about their cockpits. They did not even have time to access their controls.

 

“Spin Blade!” Crimson Thunder shouted. “Whirling Strike!”

 

The Spin Blade spun and crackled with energy. ThunderMegazord chopped the blade down a long arc that exploded against the StormMegazord and thrashed its armor with a series of sparks and explosions.

 

StormMegazord crashed back-first against the ground as secondary explosions tore across its armor. The attack knocked the Rangers within their cockpit as their consoles sparked around them. The impact knocked them unconscious.

 

To be continued…Chapter 09