Wind and Thunder: Chapter Ten

Battle in Demon City

 

Simon rubbed the back of his head and sat up on the dirt ground. He spotted Justin and Rachel not too far away. The teens were in a ravaged park within Demon City, formerly known as Angel Grove Central.

 

“Guys,” Simon called to the others. “You okay?”

 

Justin groaned as he sat up. “Depends on which body part you ask.” He looked over his shoulder. “Rach?”

 

“I’m okay.” She sat up slowly while rubbing her temples. “What happened?”

 

“I don’t know.” Simon climbed to his feet and looked around the decimated landscape. “Some kind of trap set by Jakanja. The weird part is…it looked like the Thunders got caught in it too.”

 

Justin rose to his feet. “Then where are they? And why would Lothor turn on them when they were about to kick our butts…again.”

 

Rachel tried to activate her communicator. All she heard was static. “I can’t get through to Ops.”

 

Simon tried his communicator as well. The result was the same. “There must be too much interference in this area. Let’s get moving and see if we can find a clear signal.”

 

“Where are we, anyway?” Justin asked.

 

“It looks like this used to be Greenwood Park,” Rachel said. Patches of sickly yellow grass dotted the dirt ground, which was covered with dust. Several twisted black trees reached towards the crimson sky like necrotic fingers begging for death’s final release. “It’s hard to imagine…”

 

Simon nodded. “Let’s just get out of here as fast as we can.”

 

***

 

Hunter extended his hand and helped his brother to his feet. The Thunders were on the opposite side of the former Greenwood Park.

 

Blake cursed beneath his breath. “Don’t tell me we’re back in this hell-hole.” He rolled his hands into fists. “When we find Chubo, I’m going to fry him. Literally, blast him with lightning until he fries.”

 

A voice suddenly came from behind the Thunders. It was Chubo. “Don’t be so quick to act, Thunder Ranger.”

 

Blake snapped around and thrust his palm at the villain. “Lightning Bolt!”

 

He fired a blast of navy-tinted lightning at Chubo. The villain twirled his staff like a propeller to block the blast, which sparked around his weapon.

 

Chubo laughed and lowered his staff to his side. “Don’t you Thunders see? Look around you…this earth is corrupt…just like the message calls for. The perfect place for the Final Prophecy to be born.”

 

Blake narrowed his eyes and kept his guard up. “That’s why you brought us here?”

 

Chubo laughed. The villain turned to Hunter. “You haven’t told him yet, have you, Crimson Thunder? You haven’t told him what has to happen for the Final Prophecy to be born.”

 

Blake turned towards Hunter. “What is he talking about?”

 

Hunter shook his head. “It’s nothing.”

 

“Ha,” Chubo laughed. “Yes, nothing…” The villain aimed his staff towards the distance. “You will find the Power Rangers there. Make your last fight with them a good one, Thunder Rangers.”

 

***

 

Simon, Justin, and Rachel moved past the edge of the park and entered a field of broken concrete and piles of rubble that were formerly buildings. Simon kept trying to activate his communicator, but all he heard was static.

 

“Anything yet?” Justin asked.

 

Simon shook his head. “Still too much interference.”

 

A voice shouted from behind them. It was Blake. “That’s the least of your problems.”

 

The rangers turned to see the Thunders standing on top of a rubble pile.

 

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!”

 

Together they shouted: “Hidden Task Force…Thunder Rangers!”

 

The rangers armed 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!”

 

Together they shouted: “Hurricane Task Force…Power Rangers!”

 

Hurricane Red unsheathed his sword and stepped back into a defensive stance. He looked to the Thunders. “We’re through trying to reason with you. This is ending right here, right now!”

 

Navy Thunder unsheathed his staff. “I couldn’t agree more.”

 

The opponents dashed at each other so fast they appeared as streaks of motion. The opponents clashed back and forth across the landscape with blurs of speed.

 

Hurricane Red and Crimson Thunder landed on top of a rubble pile. Hurricane Red chopped his blade at Crimson Thunder’s head. But Crimson Thunder blocked the blow, parried the sword aside, and dashed past the Red Ranger while slashing him across the chest with a burst of spark.

 

Crimson Thunder turned and slashed Hurricane Red with a powerful blow that sparked across his armor and whipped his body through the air.

 

Hurricane Red flipped through midair and landed on a toppled building. He snapped around, armed his weapon, and aimed it at Crimson Thunder. “Hawk Blaster!”

 

The Red Ranger triggered darts of red energy. But Crimson Thunder twirled his staff to deflect the blasts, which sparked against his weapon.

 

Crimson Thunder lowered his staff and armed his own weapon. “Horn Blaster!”

 

Crimson Thunder fired a volley of shadow bolts that exploded against Hurricane Red with a shower of sparks that knocked him from the building and sent him flying through the air.

 

Nearby, Hurricane Yellow and Hurricane Blue swung their blades at Navy Thunder. The Thunder Navy Ranger parried their blows and dashed past them. He turned and swung his staff in a twirling pattern that knocked each Ranger away with a burst of spark.

 

Hurricane Yellow rolled across the ground and rose into a crouched fighting stance. “Gyro Blades!” he snapped a volley of H-shaped throwing stars that streaked towards Navy Thunder.

 

The Navy Thunder Ranger twirled his staff and deflected each blade. The deflected throwing stars streaked aside and exploded against Hurricane Blue’s armor with a shower of sparks.

 

Navy Thunder placed his right fist against his left palm and faced Hurricane Yellow. “Lightning Style! Lightning Chain Jutsu!”

 

Navy Thunder leaned forward and fired a whip of lightning from the stag horns on his helmet. The Navy Thunder Ranger snapped his head back and swung Hurricane Yellow off his feet. Navy Thunder used the chain lightning to swing Hurricane Yellow around the air and throw him against the side of a wall.

 

***

 

Kane clutched tightly onto his big sister’s arm. They slowly walked through a grove of dead trees. The dry bark around them seeped with black ooze that dripped into puddles of muck around them.

 

“Sis…” Kane whimpered. “I’m scared.”

 

“Me too,” she said.

 

The siblings heard the sounds of battle come from nearby. Kane’s eyes lit up. “It’s the Rangers! It has to be!”

 

He ran towards the sounds as his sister chased after him and yelled. “Kane wait! This is how we got into trouble in the first place!”

 

***

 

Crimson Thunder aimed his Horn Blaster and triggered a volley of shadow blasts that exploded against the Power Rangers with a shower of sparks that whipped them off their feet. 

 

The Power Rangers crashed against the ground as the Thunder Rangers regrouped.

 

Navy Thunder aimed his staff at the fallen Rangers and stalked towards them. “You three never stood a chance.”

 

“Never stood a chance?” Hurricane Yellow rolled his hands into fists. He was tired of being mocked. “Never stood a chance?!”

 

Hurricane Yellow charged and swung his blade towards Navy Thunder’s head. Navy Thunder blocked the blow and parried the sword aside.

 

The Navy Thunder Ranger  stepped forward and used his Stag Breaker to grab hold of the Yellow Ranger. The stag claw tightened around Hurricane Yellow’s waist and sent tendrils of navy-tinted lightning that lashed against the Ranger’s armor with bursts of spark.

 

The Navy Thunder Ranger tossed Hurricane Yellow aside.

 

Hurricane Red and Hurricane Blue rolled into crouched fighting positions. “Gyro Blades!”

 

They snapped off volleys of H-shaped throwing stars that exploded against the Thunder Rangers’ armor with a shower of sparks that knocked them back several steps. The attack gave Hurricane Yellow a chance to roll backward and regroup with his friends.

 

The Rangers regrouped and armed their individual weapons. Hurricane Red tightened his grip on his blaster. “Let’s bring ‘em together!” They combined their weapons into a single cannon. “Storm Striker! Fire!”

 

The Storm Striker fired a spinning pulse of energy that exploded against the Thunder Rangers with a massive burst of flame and sparks that sent them flailing through the air.

 

Hurricane Red lowered the cannon and pressed forward with the attack. He pounced through the air, grabbed Crimson Thunder and Navy Thunder by their necks, and slammed their backs against the side of a toppled building. The Red Ranger kicked against their chests to somersault backward through the air and regroup with his teammates.

 

The three Rangers somersaulted through the air and swung their Storm Blades down while shouting: “Hur-ri-cane!”

 

They chopped their blades across the Thunders with bursts of spark that snapped their bodies backward.

 

Chubo watched from a nearby overhang as the Thunder Rangers fell. “Hmph.” He looked to the distance. “Toxopod!”

 

A shell erupted from the ground and sprouted to form a humanoid snail-like monster called Toxopod. Toxopod spat a stream of flame that crashed against the Power Rangers and knocked them onto the ground.

 

Hurricane Red used his sword to steady himself and rise to his feet. “Can’t help but think this guy looks familiar.”

 

“Really? I don’t see it,” Hurricane Yellow said sarcastically. “Is it the snail shell or the slug face?”

 

Toxopod stepped closer to the Rangers. “I am Toxopod, father of Toxipod.”

 

“Gotta love his originality,” Hurricane Yellow joked.

 

Toxopod’s shell hummed with power. “It was my son’s sacrifice that allowed this moment…with the energies he gathered, the taint of this Demon City will spread!”

 

Toxopod’s shell fired a flare of energy that splashed against the black clouds above. The clouds started to twirl and spread beyond the boundaries of Demon City.

 

Hurricane Blue looked up towards the skies. “What’s happening? What did he mean by spreading the taint?”

 

***

 

Black clouds spread from Demon City and engulfed Angel Grove in a matter of hours. The clouds did not stop there either. They kept spreading and would eventually cover the globe. And along their path, the clouds seeped up large amounts of heat from the city.

 

Tommy and Ashley had the dojo’s heater up as high as possible, but to no affect. They gathered all the blankets they could find and dressed in layers while gathering in Ops. They curled up on the couch with Tommy’s 4-year-old son Tyler between them.

 

Young Tyler shivered. “Daddy, ‘ts cold.”

 

“It’ll warm up soon, pal,” Tommy said as he rubbed his son’s arms to make heat.

 

Ashley opened a laptop and set the computer on her lap. “These clouds are spreading everywhere…I can’t explain it. They’re draining all the heat from the city and spreading beyond Angel Grove.”

 

“Any luck getting a hold of Simon and the others yet?” Tommy asked.

 

Ashley shook her head. “No. Their signals are still completely blocked.”

 

Tyler slowly pulled his hand up from beneath his blanket. Shivering, the boy opened his hand, and small flames danced across his palm. The fire gave off heat that was not absorbed by the spreading clouds of Demon City.

 

Tommy and Ashley sat quietly in shock and stared at the flame.

 

“Um, Tommy?” Ashley asked. “Has he ever-”

 

“No,” Tommy said. “This is the first time I’ve seen him do…that.”

 

“What does it mean?” she asked.

 

Tommy shook his head.

 

***

 

Toxopod snapped a volley of shell-shaped throwing stars that exploded against the Power Rangers’ armor. The attack distracted them while a wave of Kelzaks charged in to attack.

 

The Kelzaks armed their bladed tonfa and dashed past the Power Rangers while slashing against their armor with bursts of spark. The Rangers were taken off guard by the attacks, which came from every direction before they could defend themselves.  

 

Navy Thunder watched the battle and scoffed with annoyance. “Why did they get in the way? This is our fight.”

 

Chubo stepped up from behind the Thunder Rangers. “The Power Rangers are already goners. Now you have to destroy your real target.” The Thunders turned to face Chubo as the villain kept talking. “The world is slowly rotting…so it’s time to do what you have to do.”

 

Crimson Thunder looked away from Chubo. Navy Thunder shook his head with agitation. “What are you talking about? The Hurricane Rangers are ours. Defeating them is our-”

 

“You’re supposed to fight all right,” Chubo said. “But the Power Rangers aren’t your real targets. Isn’t that right…Crimson Thunder?”

 

Navy Thunder turned to his brother. “What is this freak show talking about?” He turned towards Chubo. “I am so over you.”

 

Crimson Thunder kept his gaze lowered. He slightly lifted his head to look at his brother’s back. He coiled his hand into a fist and shouted a cry of despair.

 

Crimson Thunder slashed his staff across his brother’s back with a burst of spark that knocked Navy Thunder off his feet.

 

Navy Thunder crashed against the ground and rolled into a crouched defensive stance. “Hunter, what the hell?”

 

Crimson Thunder held his staff forward in a fighting stance. “Fight me, Blake.”

 

“Are you crazy?!”

 

Crimson Thunder pounced forward and swung his staff through a series of blows that Navy Thunder dodged. The Navy Thunder Ranger caught his brother’s staff and twisted the weapon downward. “What are you doing?!”

 

Crimson Thunder twisted his staff away and swung the weapon through a butterfly pattern that sparked against Navy Thunder’s chest and whipped him off his feet. 

 

Nearby, the Power Rangers fought back against the Kelzaks. They noticed the Crimson Thunder Ranger attacking his brother.

 

Hurricane Red twisted a Kelzak’s arm behind its back and held the grunt. He looked over his shoulder towards the siblings. “Do you guys see that, or am I just going crazy?”

 

Hurricane Yellow smashed a tornado kick across a grunt’s head. “Yes to both.”

 

Hurricane Blue blocked a grunt’s tonfa and snapped a crescent kick across its head. “I don’t believe it…”

 

Toxopod lunged forward, grabbed Hurricane Yellow by the neck, and smashed a backfist across the Yellow Ranger’s helmet. The blow knocked the Yellow Ranger off his feet and sent him tumbling across the ground.

 

Hurricane Yellow pulled himself to his feet as the other Rangers regrouped around him.

 

Pockets of steam suddenly erupted from the ground nearby the Rangers. Toxopod laughed at the sight of the steam. “That gas courses through the earth beneath your feet, Rangers…Take a whiff.”

 

Three Kelzaks somersaulted through the air and chopped their bladed tonfa at the Power Rangers. The blades slashed across their armor with bursts of spark. But they disappeared as empty uniforms that crumpled to the ground.

 

“Ha!” Hurricane Red somersaulted through the air and slammed a flying sidekick against a grunt.

 

The Kelzak crashed onto a mist geyser that spewed gas into its face. The grunt trembled and rose back to its feet. Its body shook with uncontrollable rage.

 

The Kelzak charged mindlessly through the ranks of its fellow grunts. The insane Kelzak chopped at every soldier in its path with a flurry of strikes that sparked across grunts and knocked them off their feet.

 

“Note to self,” Hurricane Yellow said. “Stay away from the psycho-inducing psycho gas.”

 

Close by, Crimson Thunder swung his staff at his brother. Navy Thunder dodged the blow. But Crimson Thunder twisted his staff around to chop against Navy Thunder’s shoulder. Crimson Thunder pressed his staff down hard and forced his brother to his knees.

 

Navy Thunder grabbed hold of the staff and looked up to his older brother. “Why are you doing this?!”

 

Crimson Thunder twisted his staff away and slashed across Navy Thunder’s chest with a burst of spark. The Crimson Thunder Ranger swung his staff around for another blow that sparked against Navy Thunder’s chest and knocked him onto his back.

 

Crimson Thunder lifted his staff and stood over his brother.

 

Navy Thunder shook his head frantically. “Stop it!”

 

Chubo laughed from nearby. “Do it, Crimson Thunder! Finish him off!”

 

Nearby, Kane and Mindy ran to the scene. Kane’s eyes lit up with excitement. “It’s the Power Rangers! They’re going to save us! See, sis, I told you so!”

 

Kane ran closer to the fighting.

 

“Kane, wait!” Mindy ran after her brother.

 

But bursts of mist erupted from the ground around them. They skid to a halt and screamed. Mindy tightly hugged her brother.

 

Crimson Thunder heard their screams and looked towards them. The Crimson Thunder Ranger leapt through the air and pushed the children away from the mist. He looked towards the steam rising from the ground. And he stuck his head into the gas.

 

The Crimson Thunder Ranger shouted as the steam filled his lungs. The mist coursed through his body and ignited his veins with a burning rage that clouded his vision and mind.

 

Crimson Thunder looked to the skies and screamed.

 

Mindy and Kane whimpered with fear and crawled backward away from the Ranger. Crimson Thunder heard and snapped his head towards the kids. His body shook with rage, and he slowly stalked towards the children.

 

Nearby, Hurricane Yellow bashed a spin kick across a grunt. He looked towards Crimson Thunder. “He’s lost it!”

 

The Yellow Ranger and Blue Ranger leapt through the air and slammed against Crimson Thunder to pull him away from the children. Mindy and Kane quickly rose to their feet and sprinted away.

 

Crimson Thunder screamed and swung his staff through a wide arc that slashed across the Rangers’ armor with bursts of spark that whipped them off their feet.

 

“Hunter!” Navy Thunder shouted. He ran forward, jumped onto Crimson Thunder’s back, and tried to hold down his brother’s arms.

 

Crimson Thunder screamed at the top of his lungs and shrugged off Navy Thunder. The Crimson Ranger turned and swung his staff through a series of strikes that sparked across Navy Thunder’s armor and knocked him off his feet.

 

Navy Thunder crashed against the ground and hit his head hard with enough force to power down his armor and knock him unconscious.

 

Nearby, Hurricane Red slammed a roundkick against a grunt’s head. “Guys, let’s get Blake out of here and regroup.”

 

The Power Rangers leapt to Blake’s side, and Hurricane Red lifted the teen into his arms. The Rangers leapt away with streaks of motion.

 

Crimson Thunder looked to the empty ground and howled with rage.

 

***

 

Blake’s vision slowly blurred into focus. He saw Justin, Simon, and Rachel leaning over him. Rachel was holding a cloth down on his forehead. Blake swatted her hand away and rolled aside. “Get away from me!”

 

“Just calm down, Blake,” Rachel said. “You’re hurt.”

 

“Don’t tell me to calm down!” Blake frantically shot to his feet, but a wave of vertigo knocked him back down. He clenched his jaw. “Dammit…”

 

“Blake,” Simon took a cautious step towards the older teen. “You’re just going to hurt yourself.”

 

Blake shook his head and slowly rose to his feet. Another wave of vertigo hit him, and he rubbed his forehead to try and fight it off. “Just leave me alone, you Hayate brats.” He cursed beneath his breath. “Hunter…”

 

“Why was he attacking you?” Justin asked.

 

“The Final Prophecy,” Blake said. He looked towards the distance and rolled his hands into fists. “That’s all the Jakanja care about. That’s all he cared about!”

 

“Who?” Rachel asked.

 

“Our father!” Blake shouted. He turned and slammed his fist against a tree trunk. “He used us! Just like Jakanja used us! The Ultimate Secret was his obsession! He knew this would happen . Knew Hunter and I would have to…” He slammed another punch against the tree. “Damn him! And damn the Jakanja!”

 

“What’s the Final Prophecy?” Simon asked.

 

Blake narrowed his eyes and looked down at the creek. “The Ultimate Secret. He didn’t know what exactly It was…he only knew It was the key to becoming the greatest warrior in existence. The most powerful…”

 

He told them the story…

 

Lee dashed across the desert landscape in Egypt at night. A city burned near the horizon behind him. Lee, a Gouraijer with the Ikkazuchi, had burned the city to cover up his assassination of a high-ranking government official. No one would know the Ikkazuchi was involved.

 

He ran to a stop and removed his mask when he traveled far enough away from the city. He turned and looked at the city burn in the far-off distance. He admired his work.

 

Suddenly, a meteor shower lit up the night sky above. He looked up as streaks of comets shot across the stars. Lee knew the meteor shower was far from normal. It stirred something inside of him as if conveying a message. The longer he watched, the more the message became clear. It was almost as if the meteor shower was a message from the cosmos, instructions on revealing the Ultimate Secret.

 

“It drove him insane,” Blake said. “Mom left him, and the two of us moved away. But he kept Hunter. And then…” His fists tightened. “Your sensei killed our mother!”

 

Simon shook his head. “When?”

 

“Seven years ago, when he was the Green Ranger,” Blake said. “Dad was injured and faked his death. He took the opportunity to move deeper into the shadows. Hunter and I were officially adopted by Sensei Omino with the Ikkazuchi. But our father continued to raise us. He turned us against each other every chance he had. And now I know why…”

 

Eleven-year-old Blake and 12-year-old Hunter clashed swords on the Ikkazuchi courtyard. Their father crossed his arms over his chest and watched. He was disappointed.

 

“You call that fighting?” He grabbed them by their uniforms and tossed them to the ground. “Stop swinging your blades as you would your toys! No wonder your mother was so ashamed of you both.”

 

Blake screamed and pounced at his father. The child swung his blade, but Lee grabbed Blake by the wrist. Hunter moved to his brother’s defense and swung his blade at his father. Lee grabbed his eldest son by the wrist and tightened his grasp on both siblings. “Good. Anger…rage…these are your weapons.”

 

Lee pushed his sons to the ground. “That is all for today.”

 

Their father turned and walked away towards the Ikkazuchi dojo.

 

Blake curled up on the ground and narrowed his eyes. His body shook with anger as he tried to bury his sadness.

 

Hunter pulled himself to his feet and extended his hand towards Blake. “Come on, little brother. It’s okay…”

 

Blake looked up to his older brother standing above him. He wiped his tears away and took his brother’s hand.

 

Sensei Omino was just as bad…until your sensei killed him too.” Blake shook his head and looked away. “Dad was finally killed not too long ago while on a mission for drug dealers.” He wrinkled his nose with disgust. “Drug dealers. Then Jakanja came. They wiped out our school. That’s when Hunter and I decided we would rebuild the Ikkazuchi, turn it into an organization that was respected. We would use the Ultimate Secret to do it.”

 

“How did you get your powers?” Rachel asked.

 

“Someone gave us these morphers,” Blake said. “We don’t know who he is. He’s the one who told us your sensei was formerly the Green Dragon Ranger, the one who killed our mother and our Sensei Omino.”

 

“If that’s true,” Simon said, “if Tommy really did that…he was under a the control of Bandora, a witch just as bad as Jakanja.”

 

Blake glared at Simon. “That’s no excuse! Stop trying to validate what he did!”

 

“What about you, Blake,” Justin said. “How many people were killed or injured because of one of your attacks? Or because you helped Jakanja?”

 

Blake shook his head and looked away. “Stop talking.”

 

“How many?” Justin asked.

 

“Shut up!” Blake shouted at them. His body trembled, and Rachel noticed  tears well up in his eyes. “We had to do this! You don’t understand! We had to!”

 

Rachel shook her head. “How come? Your father’s not around anymore, Blake. His obsession didn’t have to become yours.”

 

Justin nodded. “There are other ways to rebuild the Ikkazuchi, if that’s what you want. You don’t have to let yourself be-”

 

“I said stop talking! Just shut up!” He shook his head and looked off. “I have to think. Hunter…why would he do this. He’d never hurt me. He’d never…”

 

“Maybe that’s why?” Simon said.

 

Blake looked to Simon and raised an eyebrow. “What?”

 

“He knew Jakanja was turning you two against each other,” Simon said. “Maybe he thought one of you would have to kill the other. So he threw himself into that mist so he would lose control…lose control so much that you would have to kill him to stop him. So he would die, and you would be the one to keep on living.”

 

Blake’s face turned pale. “No, that’s not…he wouldn’t…No! Just shut up!” He backed away, tripped over a stone, and fell into the creek. “Shut up!” he turned around, splashing up water, and shouted into the distance. “Hunter! Damn you for doing this! I can’t…” He shook his head. “I can’t…”

 

Rachel slowly walked towards him while stepping into the water. She crouched down next to him. “Blake,” she said softly. “Let us help you save your brother. Neither of you has to die. You’re free of your father. You’re free of Jakanja. Make your own path.”

 

Blake narrowed his eyes and looked to Rachel. Something about her eyes gave him a moment of calm; a brief second of clarity. He reluctantly nodded.

 

***

 

Simon, Justin, Rachel, and Blake walked across the ruins of Demon City in search of Hunter. A shower of sparks suddenly exploded around them and knocked them to the ground. They looked up to see Toxopod stalk towards them.

 

“Rangers…” Toxopod growled. “I didn’t get to finish pulverizing your bodies into dust…”

 

“It’ll be different this time, shell face!” Simon shouted. “There are four of us now!”

 

The four teens armed their morphers.

 

“Senpu…”

 

“Gorai…”

 

“Ninjetti Change! Ha!” Energy surged around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms. They stood together and snapped into fighting stances.

 

“Stag Breaker!” Navy Thunder armed his pincer claw.

 

The Rangers dashed forward to attack. Hurricane Red leapt to the villain’s side and smashed a roundkick against its body. Hurricane Yellow smashed a flying spin kick across the creature’s head, and Hurricane Blue moved in low with an elbow strike to the monster’s gut. 

 

“Ha!” Navy Thunder used his pincer claw to grab hold of Toxopod and push the villain backward. The Thunder Ranger tightened his claw’s grip and sent tendrils of navy-tinted lighting along the claw’s blades. The lightning lashed out and exploded against the monster with bursts of spark.

 

Navy Thunder used his Stag Breaker to lift the monster overhead and hurl him through the air.

 

“Let’s bring ‘em together!” Hurricane Red shouted. The Power Rangers assembled their three weapons into a single cannon.

 

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

 

The cannon fired a spherical pulse of crackling energy that ripped through Toxopod and exploded with a burst of flame that tore his body to shreds.

 

A scream suddenly came from a toppled building nearby. The Rangers turned to see Crimson Thunder staring down at them. The Crimson Thunder Ranger had heard the battle and tracked it down. He leapt to the ground below.

 

Crimson Thunder howled with rage and charged towards the Rangers. He shoved Hurricane Red, Hurricane Yellow, and Hurricane Blue aside and dashed towards his brother.

 

Crimson Thunder swung his staff through a series of strikes that sparked against his brother’s armor. The Crimson Thunder Ranger pressed on the attack with a mindless rage that lacked any form.

 

Navy Thunder caught his brother’s staff, twisted the weapon down, and held it beneath his arm. “Hunter, stop! You don’t have to do this! We…we don’t have to do this! Father is gone!”

 

Crimson Thunder shouted a blood-curdling cry and slashed his staff across Navy Thunder with a burst of spark.

 

The Power Rangers regrouped nearby.

 

Hurricane Red led a charge towards Navy Thunder’s aide. “Hunter, stop! You‘ve got to get it together!”

 

Chubo stepped in front of the Power Rangers and blocked their path. “Rangers…you’ve gotten in the way of my plans for the last time!”

 

The general armed his staff and changed towards the Rangers to attack.

 

Meanwhile, Crimson Thunder chopped his blade towards Navy Thunder’s head. Navy Thunder crossed his forearms to block the blow, which sparked against his forearm armor.

 

Crimson Thunder pressed his staff down, kicked Navy Thunder’s legs off the ground, and knocked Navy Thunder onto his back.

 

Crimson Thunder leaned down and pressed his staff against his brother’s neck. Navy Thunder held the staff at bay. The brothers’ faceplates were mere inches away from each other.

 

“Kill me…” Crimson Thunder grumbled. “Kill me, Blake!”

 

“No!” Navy Thunder shouted.

 

Crimson Thunder lifted his staff and speared the weapon towards Navy Thunder’s faceplate. Navy Thunder caught the staff and kicked Crimson Thunder backward. The Crimson Thunder Ranger crashed against the ground and rolled to a stop.

 

Navy Thunder rolled to his feet and looked up to see his brother aiming the Horn Blaster. Crimson Thunder triggered a volley of shadow bolts that exploded against Navy Thunder’s armor with a shower of sparks that whipped his body backward.

 

Crimson Thunder shouted at the top of his lungs and charged at his brother to attack.

 

Navy Thunder narrowed his eyes beneath his helmet. “Hunter…” he whispered as he unsheathed his staff. “Hunter!”

 

Crimson Thunder chopped his staff. Navy Thunder parried the blow and spun past his brother while slashing him across the chest with a burst of spark. Navy Thunder turned and slashed his brother across the chest with a diagonal blow that knocked him off his feet.

 

Crimson Thunder crashed onto his back.

 

Navy Thunder aimed his staff towards his fallen brother’s neck. He leaned down close and pressed his staff against his brother’s collar bone.

 

Crimson Thunder snarled. “Do it, Blake!”

 

Navy Thunder screamed at the top of his lungs and lifted his staff.

 

“Don’t do it Rangers!” a voice shouted.

 

The Thunder Rangers turned to see Kane run onto the scene with his sister at his heels.

 

Crimson Thunder grabbed Navy Thunder by the throat and hurled his brother aside. The Crimson Thunder Ranger climbed to his feet and slowly walked towards the children with awkward, wobbly steps.

 

Mindy pulled at her little brother’s sleeve to get him to run, but he stood his ground. “You won’t hurt me, I know it. You saved us before! It’s just the mist, it’s making you bad…but I don’t want you to be bad…”

 

“Kane!” Mindy shouted. “We have to run!”

 

Kane shook his head. “He won’t hurt us, sis, he’s a Ranger…”

 

Mindy grabbed tightly onto her brother’s hand. If he wasn’t going to run, she was going to stand with him. They faced the Thunder Ranger together.

 

Crimson Thunder stopped in his tracks at the sight of them holding hands. His mind flashed back.

 

Blake curled up on the ground and narrowed his eyes. His body shook with anger as he tried to bury his sadness.

 

Hunter pulled himself to his feet and extended his hand towards Blake. “Come on, little brother. It’s okay…”

 

Blake looked up to his older brother standing above him. He wiped his tears away and took his brother’s hand.

 

Crimson Thunder dropped his staff. He shook his head and took several steps backward as if he was afraid. He shouted at the top of his lungs and grasped the sides of his helmet.

 

His armor powered down, and Hunter collapsed onto the dirt.

 

“Hunter…” Blake powered down his armor and ran towards his brother. 

 

“No!” Chubo shouted and started to waddle towards the Thunders. But the Power Rangers blocked his path.

 

The three Rangers somersaulted through the air and swung their Storm Blades down while shouting: “Hur-ri-cane!”

 

They chopped their blades across Chubo with massive bursts of spark that tore across his armor.

 

Hurricane Red landed and ignited his blade with strands of red energy that danced in the wind. “Storm Blade! Blazing Slash!”

 

The Red Ranger swung his sword through a powerful arc that slashed across Chubo with massive bursts of spark. 

 

Nearby, Blake stood near his brother. Legs wobbling, Hunter slowly rose to his feet and walked towards Blake. Hunter nearly fell, but grabbed onto his brother’s arms for support.

 

“Blake…” Hunter said while trying to catch his breath. He was exhausted, mentally and physically. “I’m sorry. Father…he was a pathetic man. You know that…I…”

 

He collapsed to his knees. Blake kneeled down next to Hunter, and the two brothers held onto each other. Blake started to cry and buried his face in his brother’s shoulder.

 

The Rangers watched with relief as they moved over towards Mindy and Kane. Hurricane Red’s communicator beeped.

 

“Finally.” He lifted the morpher to his faceplate. “This is Simon, good to hear you guys.”

 

“You’re in a clearing,” Ashley said through their communicators. “And whatever you did…the cloud coverage has receded back to Demon City.”

 

Hurricane Blue looked to Hurricane Red. “Must have happened when we destroyed Toxopod.”

 

Hurricane Red nodded.

 

Chubo struggled to his feet nearby. “Toxopod!”

 

He hurled an enlargement scroll into the air. The scroll expanded to a giant size and unfolded. The symbols on the scroll started to glow with dark power that sent tendrils of energy to the ground below. The energy surged through Toxopod’s remains and resurrected the monster as a giant.

 

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. 

 

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

 

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.

 

“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!”

 

ThunderMegazord and StormMegazord stood side by side and faced off against Toxopod.

 

***

 

Tommy and Ashley watched the battle through the main monitor at Ops. Tyler was still at his father’s side.

 

Tommy shook his head with amazement. “So they’re fighting alongside each other now?”

 

Ashley shrugged. “I’m sure they’ll have quite a story to tell.”

 

Tyler’s eyes lit up at the sight of the Megazords on the display. He tugged on his father’s sleeve. “Daddy, I wan’ one.”

 

***

 

Toxopod spat a stream of fire that twirled around the Megazords and sparked against their armor. The villain laughed while watching the two Megazords struggle to break free from the flames.

 

Hurricane Yellow struggled against the heat in his cockpit. “We are not getting beaten by a snail.”

 

Hurricane Red looked through his viewport towards the ThunderMegazord. “Thunders, let’s do this together.”

 

“Right.” Crimson Thunder tightened his grip on his controls.

 

Navy Thunder snorted. “Just try to keep up with us.”

 

The Megazords extended their arms and spun like drills to create tornados that scattered the flames. 

 

Toxopod took a step back and used his shell-tipped staff to steady himself. “How…”

 

“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.

 

The Power Rangers commanded their Megazord to power up its reflexes and speed. “StormMegazord, lightening up!”

 

The Megazord’s armor retracted and folded back, decreasing its own density to form a slender humanoid robo.

 

“Senpuujin, lightening mode!” the Rangers shouted.

 

Toxopod charged towards the Megazords to attack. The villain swung his staff towards his enemies.

 

ThunderMegazord stepped forward, used its forearm to block the blow, and slashed its blade across the villain with an x-shaped pattern that sparked on impact.

 

“Spin Blade!” the Thunder Rangers shouted. “Whirling Strike!”

 

The Spin Blade spun and crackled with energy. ThunderMegazord chopped the blade down a long arc that exploded against Toxopod with massive bursts of spark.

 

StormMegazord leapt onto ThunderMegazord’s shoulders and pushed off to leapt towards the monster. StormMegazord slammed a flying sidekick against the villain, pushed off, and backflipped back towards the ThunderMegazord.

 

The StormMegazord’s feet landed against ThunderMegazord’s hand, and ThunderMegazord pushed StormMegazord back towards the monster.

 

StormMegazord leapt past the monster while slashing through its body with a burst of spark. The Megazord landed in a crouched fighting stance and turned to watch the monster erupt with bursts of flame and spark that consumed its body.

 

Below, Kane and Mindy shouted with excitement.

 

ThunderMegazord and StormMegazord, back in its armored form, stood over the kids. ThunderMegazord reached down and scooped them up.

 

Hurricane Red sighed with relief and leaned back in his seat. “Let’s go home guys.”

 

Mindy and Kane stood behind Crimson Thunder in his cockpit.

 

The Megazords stomped away from Demon City.

 

***

 

Chubo stepped onto the bridge of the Jakanja ship. “Lothor…I-”

 

Lothor turned and fired jagged bolts of arcane energy that lashed around Chubo and exploded across his body with bursts of spark. The evil leader snarled and increased his power output.

 

***

 

Centhrax had hovered away from the bridge and into his private chambers, a dark room with four stone pillars in the center.

 

The villain spat webbing from its mandibles and fashioned a cocoon around his body. He suspended his cocoon between the four pillars.

 

“Sleep…” the villain hissed. “Sleep…”

 

To be continued…Chapter 11