Ultimate Origins: Chapter Nineteen

City at War: SPD

 

Hunter leapt across the rooftops while on patrol. He stayed in Little Tokyo, while his Ikkazuchi ninja spread into Angel Grove North and Angel Grove West.

 

His communicator toned repeatedly, but he ignored the noise. He didn’t have time for the Rangers. Not anymore. The city was dying, and he had to save it. He planned to uproot evil from every alley in Angel Grove, and restore the Ikkazuchi Way’s honor in the process.

 

A grapping line suddenly wrapped around the ranger’s legs, and he crashed face-first onto the rooftop.

 

Hunter unsheathed his sword and cut the rope while twirling to his feet. He looked towards his attacker: Chiyome, of the Hand.

 

“You…”

 

“Lower your sword,” Chiyome said. “I don’t want to fight. If I did, I would have brought at least three dozen Jonin.”

 

“Not if you wanted to lull me into a false sense of security.”

 

“Hunter, this is pointless,” Chiyome said. “I realize our last meeting was rather…unpleasant for you. But that was when my brother Sasaki led the Hand. Now I am in control. And I’ve expanded our operations into the United States. Here, into Angel Grove.”

 

“This city is already crowded with lunatics like you,” Hunter said.

 

“I know. And I want them gone, just as much as you do.”

 

Hunter slowly lowered his sword. “Why?”

 

“I want to restore the Hand’s honor, just as you want to restore the honor of the Ikkazuchi Way,” she said. “We are two broken branches, that when tied together, can become even stronger.”

 

“Why should I trust you?” Hunter asked.

 

“The only way you’ll trust me if you give yourself time,” Chiyome said. “The Hand and Ikkazuchi have had many different relationships. Allies. Enemies. One group feeding its people into the other, and vice versa,” Chiyome said.

 

“For this relationship,” she continued, “let the Hand serve the Ikkazuchi.”

 

“You expect me to believe you’d take orders?”

 

“Yes,” Chiyome said. She kneeled. “My life is yours. I await your orders.”

 

***

 

The massive DECA Base stood in Angel Grove North. The fortress housed the Earth Branch of SPD, along with the Silver Guardians Billy Cranston had created in 2006. SPD acted as a galactic police force, fighting meta-level criminals and gangsters. Cranston had assigned each SPD unit a Ranger team.

 

The Earth’s SPD Rangers sat in a briefing room near the top floor of the base. The six teens sat around a circular table with a holographic projector at its center.

 

Commander Kruger stood nearby. The leader of SPD’s Earth Branch, the commander was a blue-furred humanoid with the face of a K-9. He was a member of the Anubiseijinn race from the planet Sirius.

 

Kruger activated the holographic projector, which displayed an image of Chiyome.

 

“This is Chiyome, leader of the Hand,” Kruger said.

 

Z tilted her head at the sight of the girl. “Is that her holo-disguise?”

 

“I bet she has green skin,” Bridge said. “She looks like she should have green skin. Or maybe teal. Yes, definitely green or teal. Or beige.”

 

“That’s not a holo-disguise,” Kruger said. “She’s human.”

 

“Isn’t that a little below our pay grade?” Sam asked.

 

“No, not at all,” Kruger said. “And this is why….”

 

He shifted the image to a group of Jonin. “These are her soldiers. They’re called Jonin. Twisted ninja shaped with demonic energy.”

 

“Ah,” Bridge said. He looked to Sam. “Looks like it’s actually above our pay grade.”

 

“Demons?” Syd asked. “We don’t do demons.”

 

The DECA Rangers typically fought enhanced criminals, while leaving demonic or inter-dimensional threats to Jet Force. They had spent the past year crushing a meta-level criminal network supplied by the villain Aburera.

 

“Demons or aliens, it doesn’t make a difference,” Nat said. “We can handle it. What’s their game plan?”

 

“They’re new to the city, so they’re still expanding, establishing their power bases,” Kruger said. “They’re focused mostly northwest, in Little Tokyo and spilling into Angel Grove North and Angel Grove West.”

 

“The Black Thorn and Purple Dragons both operate out of those areas,” Sky said. “This is going to lead to a gang war if we don’t stop it.”

 

“Right,” Nat said. “We should hit the streets. Work our contacts.”

 

“There’s no need,” Kruger said. “We already have a considerable amount of intel. For being an organization of ninja, the Hand is making its presence rather obvious.”

 

“That’s handy,” Bridge said.

 

Sam smacked his own forehead. “I cannot believe you just said that.”

 

Kruger quietly growled a sigh. “We believe the Hand plans to hit a Purple Dragon stronghold tonight.”

 

“OK then,” Nat said. “Let’s go fight some demon ninja.”

 

***

 

Tourists chuckled at the name of the Purple Dragon gang. But the locals knew better. The Purple Dragons had dominated the city’s gang crime for years. They had looted and killed, and their victims included the younger sister of Jason Scott, the former Tyranno Ranger.

 

A few dozen of the Purple Dragons gathered in an abandoned warehouse to gamble and divide the spoils of their latest crime wave. Boxes of flat-screen televisions, computers and jewelry cluttered the floor.

 

A tattoo artist drew a new dragon mark on one of the gang member’s arms. The gang member winced and glared at the girl. “Watch what you’re doing, skank. You wouldn’t be hard to replace.”

 

The artist glared at the gang member. “Go fuck yourself.”

 

She plunged her needle into his arm. He screamed and stepped back, and the surrounding gang members laughed.

 

Their laughter stopped when a throwing star cut through the air and sliced through the neck of the tattoo artist. She dropped to the ground, and another volley of blades cut through the air, striking down Purple Dragons left and right.

 

The gang members pulled out their guns and fired, shooting aimlessly into the shadows.

 

Ikkazuchi and Hand ninja leapt down from above and sliced through the gang members. Their swords cut through flesh and bone and sliced through guns. They slaughtered the gang in a matter of seconds.

 

The warehouse doors slid open following the carnage.

 

Hunter stepped into the room with his sword held at his side. Chiyome followed. She laid a hand on his shoulder.

 

“See…” she whispered as she looked across the room. “We make a great team. This partnership is our destiny.”

 

Hunter pulled away. “I still don’t trust you.”

 

“I followed your orders to the word,” Chiyome said.

 

“That’s not enough,” Hunter said. “You’re looking to establish a power base in the city. Even if you aide me, you’re only helping yourself by clearing away your competition.”

 

“Do you really think I care about scum like the Purple Dragons?” Chiyome asked. “Do you honestly believe I think of them as ‘competition’? They are beneath me. They are beneath you.”

 

“They kill every day,” Hunter said.

 

“So do you.”

 

“It’s different.”

 

“I see…” Chiyome stepped further into the room, looking from body to body. “Different, indeed.”

 

Sirens suddenly wailed outside.

 

Hunter narrowed his eyes. He recognized the siren sound as the Silver Guardians.

 

The two DECA patrol cars and patrol bike crashed into the warehouse. The vehicles skid to a halt as the six rangers filed out with their weapons drawn.

 

Nat raised his sidearm at Hunter and Chiyome. “I wouldn’t recommend moving.”

 

Hunter glared at the ranger. “And I wouldn’t recommend aiming that gun at me.”

 

“You…” Nat said. He had never met Hunter but recognized him from holo images. “Please tell me you’re an evil clone or possessed by an alien. You can’t possibly be with the Hand.”

 

Hunter narrowed his eyes at the ranger. “This is your only warning. Leave. Now.”

 

“You can’t be serious,” Nat said.

 

Chiyome glanced over her shoulder. “Jonin!”

 

Dozens of demonic ninja dropped to the floor. The ninja fell into rank behind Hunter, who stepped forward and armed his morpher.

 

Gorai…Ninjetti Change! Ha!” Energy surged around his body as he morphed into his Ranger form.

 

Nat, Sky, Bridge, Syd, and Z flipped open their badges. “SPD...” They thrust their badges forward. “Emergency!”

 

Sam armed his Throttle Brace. “Emergency…DECA Break!”

 

Energy shimmered around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms.

 

Crimson Thunder thrust his palm forward. “Shadow Bolt!”

 

He hurled a crimson-tinted shadow bolt that exploded around the DECA Rangers as they dove for cover.

 

DECA Break rolled into a crouched position as Jonin surrounded him.

 

A Jonin slashed its sword towards the Ranger’s head. DECA Break caught the sword arm and smashed a roundkick against the grunt’s side.

 

Three more Jonin charged at the Ranger. DECA Break blocked a sword swing and smashed a back-fist blow across the grunt’s head. He slammed a sidekick against the second ninja’s gut. And he snapped a jumpkick upside the third ninja’s head.

 

DECA Red rolled away from the Jonin and armed his D-Magnums. He rose into a crouched position and opened fire at the Crimson Thunder Ranger.

 

Crimson Thunder leapt upward to avoid the blasts, and he angled his descent towards the Red DECA Ranger.

 

DECA Red spun to full height and fired at the Crimson Thunder Ranger. The high-yield bullets sparked harmlessly against the Thunder Ranger’s armor.

 

Crimson Thunder landed while chopping his staff across the Red Ranger’s armor with bursts of spark. He swung his blade upward through a diagonal strike that sparked across the Red Ranger’s armor and whipped his body backward.

 

DECA Red crashed against the ground hard. The other five Rangers regrouped around him as he rose to his feet.

 

Crimson Thunder pounced at the DECA Rangers. “Shadow Style! Shadow Clone Jutsu!”

 

Five shadowy clones split from the Crimson Thunder Ranger and surged towards the DECA Rangers in blurs of motion. The black, crimson-tinted shades dashed back and forth across the Rangers while slashing them with bursts of spark.

 

Crimson Thunder followed with a wide swing from his staff. The staff fired a crackling burst of crimson-tinted shadow energy that exploded against the DECA Rangers.

 

The Crimson Thunder Ranger holstered his staff and placed his right fist against his left palm. “Shadow Crisis!”

 

He thrust his hand forward and fired a bolt of twirling shadow energy that thrashed across the Rangers with ripping explosions and bursts of spark. The impact hurled them off their feet, and they crashed through the warehouse walls. 

 

The Rangers crashed onto the street outside. By the time they pulled themselves to their feet, the Hand were gone.

 

***

 

Hunter and Chiyome regrouped on top of a skyscraper.

 

“I don’t understand why you and the others have let those DECA Rangers sully the streets,” Chiyome said.

 

“We’ve stayed out of each other’s way,” Hunter said.

 

“Can you say the same for Jet Force?” Chiyome asked.

 

Hunter said nothing.

 

Chiyome nodded. “INET is evil. And the INET Rangers are pawns of that evil. Grunts.”

 

“I don’t prattle,” Hunter said. “What do you want?”

 

“I already told you-”

 

“What do you want?” Hunter asked.

 

Chiyome smiled. “Eventually I’ll want them dead, but we’ll do things your way, for now. One of my ninja found this at the scene of the Purple Dragon warehouse.”

 

She handed him a folded-up piece of paper.

 

“What is this?” Hunter asked.

 

“Our next target.”

 

***

 

Nat slammed his fist against the briefing room table. “He kicked our asses in less than 30 seconds.”

 

“You weren’t prepared to face a Power Ranger,” Kruger said. “It’s understandable.”

 

“But it’s not excusable,” Sky said. “How did he have so much power?”

 

“There’s a distinct difference between the Ranger teams of Dr. Cranston and Tommy Oliver,” Kruger said. “INET Ranger powers energize the Body. The Hurricane Powers energize their users’ Animal Spirits.”

 

“Is that supposed to mean something?” Nat said. “I don’t care if he gets his powers from an Animal Spirit or a coin he found in a cereal box. We have to take him out.”

 

“You’ll get your chance,” Kruger said. He pulled up an image of an abandoned factory. “We think this is where the Hand will strike next. It’s a big target, within their current expansion area.”

 

“What is it?” Syd asked.

 

“A factory,” Bridge said. “Abandoned.”

 

“Yes, we see that,” Sam said. “But what’s inside?”

 

“Various alien factions are holding the biggest black market auction since we defeated Aburera,” Kruger explained. “This would be a target of ours even if the Hand wasn’t involved.”

 

“What are they planning?” Syd asked.

 

“The same thing they had planned for the Purple Dragons,” Kruger said. “They plan to kill everyone who shows up and take all the spoils for themselves. I want you to go undercover, infiltrate the auction and intercept the Hand when they arrive on site.”

 

“We should call in Jet Force,” Bridge said. “I know I say that every other week, but I actually mean it this time.”

 

Nat waved his hand dismissively. “We don’t need the Birds, we can take care of this. We know what we’re facing, and this time, we’ll be waiting for them in advance.”

 

“Still, it wouldn’t hurt to have at least one extra Ranger around,” Sam said as he casually looked to Kruger.

 

“I’ll be off site, but close,” Kruger said.

 

Syd sighed with relief. “Good.”

 

“That’s not the word I would use,” Kruger said. “This is an unfortunate shift of events, Rangers. I fought with Tommy Oliver against Sauron’s forces, and in the Mogralord War. I swore I’d do everything I could to keep SPD out of his way, regardless of Dr. Cranston’s feelings on the subject.”

 

“He’s not giving us much choice,” Syd said.

 

“That’s exactly my concern, Syd,” Kruger said. “Dismissed.”

 

***

 

Kruger sat behind his desk and opened a comm line with Tommy Oliver at the Hayate Way. He explained everything to Tommy, and the former Dragon Ranger’s face tightened with each word.

 

“We haven’t been able to reach Hunter for two weeks,” Tommy explained. “Something happened to him in Japan. We’re not sure what, but we think the Hand is manipulating him somehow.”

 

Kruger let out a low growl of concern. “That’s what I was afraid of. Even if he’s under the Hand’s control, we can’t ignore what’s happening.”

 

He leaned back in his chair. “Tommy, you know I have no ill will towards you or your Rangers. And neither does my team. They’ve never cared about playing politics. But they have to move forward with this operation. And your Rangers can’t interfere. If they do, the situation will likely escalate beyond my control, or yours.”

 

“Hunter’s a Ranger,” Tommy said. “I can’t sit by and do nothing.”

 

“I’m sorry, Tommy,” Kruger said. “You’ll have to leave this one to us. If we succeed in capturing Hunter, I’ll do my best to get him back to you. You have my word.”

 

***

 

Dozens of aliens, thugs and criminals gathered in the abandoned warehouse that night. They mingled in front a stage set up for the auction—the grandest auction since the defeat of Aburera.

 

The various buyers stood according to their factions. The Purple Dragon and Black Thorn gangs gathered towards the rear of the massive room. They were human and preferred to keep their distance from aliens.

 

The alien groups spilt according to race. Some wore holographic disguises or genetic modifications to blend in with the human population. Others preferred to live in their natural state. 

 

Nat and Sam walked through the crowd. They wore regular streets clothes, passing as either aliens in holo disguises or humanoid aliens, such as Kerovians or Eltarians. 

 

“You sure this will work?” Sam asked.

 

Nat nodded. “Even the Hand can’t be crazy enough to attack this place with a frontal assault. They’re ninja. Ninja are sneaky.”

 

“They weren’t very sneaky back at that warehouse,” Sam said.

 

“True,” Nat said. “But even if they do attack head-on, the trap will work.”

 

The crowd quieted down as the auctioneer walked onto the stage. He had wrinkled, tan skin, stubby spikes across his eyebrows and jawline, and black, shaggy hair. “Welcome, welcome,” he said as he walked to a podium. “We all know why we’re here. Tonight, I have troves of treasures to present to you. Battle Gears, combat stims, mystical weapons and armor-”

 

An impatient buyer blasted a light from the ceiling. The light crashed against the stage and sparked next to the auctioneer.

 

The auctioneer swallowed a nervous gulp. “Yes, well…we’ll start with our first item: scavenged from Japan, the Satan Sword of Shadow Moon!”

 

Two scarcely-dressed women walked onto the stage while carrying a display case. The case held the golden-hilted, ruby-bladed sword of Shadow Moon.

 

“Let’s start the bidding at-”

 

The warehouse windows shattered as Chunin, Genin and Jonin leapt into the warehouse, followed by dozens of Ikkazuchi ninja.

 

Sam looked to Nat. “I finally get to say ‘I told you so’,” he said. “I never thought that would actually happen.”

 

“Yes, this is truly a cause for celebration,” Nat said as he and Sam rushed towards the stage.

 

Aliens fired blasters and guns at the ninja, who landed in the crowd and attacked. They slashed through every thug and criminal in their path as they cleaved towards the stage. About half the aliens and thugs stayed to fight. The other half scrambled towards the nearest exit.

 

Chiyome and Hunter dropped their disguises within the crowd and hopped onto the stage.

 

As soon as they landed, electric current charged from the stage and suspended them in place. Their bodies convulsed as the voltage kept them from moving.

 

The auctioneer and scarcely-clad girls dropped their disguises: they were Bridge, Syd, and Z. Their uniforms insulated them from the current flowing beneath their feet.

 

Bridge twisted Hunter’s arms behind his back and cuffed him. “Sorry about this. Well…a part of me is, anyway. Mostly, I’d say you had this coming.”

 

Syd and Z cuffed Chiyome.

 

Two Chunin leapt through the air towards the stage and aimed their descent towards the three rangers. But energy blasts whipped the ninja from the air before they could strike. The rangers looked up to see Sky in position, with his blaster aimed forward.

 

Nat and Sam leapt onto the stage to join their teammates.

 

“Good work,” Nat said. He looked across the warehouse, where criminals and ninja slaughtered one another. He flipped open his badge. “Commander, we have Hunter and Chiyome. We could use some containment-”

 

Crimson-tinted, shadowy energy suddenly circled around Hunter. He snapped free from his cuffs, kicked Nat aside, and leapt from the stage. The ranger twirled in midair and thrust his palm forward. He fired an invisible Kiryoku blast that knocked Chiyome from the stage.

 

Nat cursed beneath his breath and activated his badge, as did the other rangers. They morphed into their Ranger forms. DECA Blue leapt down from the rafters to join them.

 

They started to run after Hunter and Chiyome, but Jonin leapt onto the stage to block their path.

 

DECA Red armed his D-Magnums and blasted through several of the grunts. The Red Ranger ran to the edge of the stage and leapt through the air after Chiyome.

 

***

 

Silver Guardian SUVs sped across the streets to form a perimeter around the warehouse.

 

A crimson-clad Chunin landed on the hood of an SUV and stabbed his sword through the windshield, spearing the driver through the throat. The SUV swerved out of control and smashed against a second SUV, tipping the vehicle over. The toppled vehicle skid across the pavement and bashed against the side of a third SUV.

 

A patrol car sped towards the entrance of the warehouse just as a group of 13 aliens fled onto the streets. One of the aliens armed a dull-gray suit of mechanical armor and charged at the patrol car.

 

The car smashed against the alien, but the criminal dug its armored hands into the vehicle, spun, and hurled the car through the air. The car crashed through the warehouse with a ball of flame.

 

The alien chuckled with satisfaction, until an Ikkazuchi throwing star slashed open his throat.

 

An Ikkazuchi ninja landed on top of the alien, dropping the thug to the ground. The ninja turned to face an incoming wave of Silver Guardians and snapped a volley of throwing stars at the soldiers.

 

***

 

Silver Guardians filed into the warehouse, only adding to the chaos. Criminals opened fire at the Guardians, and ninja snapped volleys of throwing stars at the soldiers. The Guardians scrambled for cover and returned fire.

 

Chiyome started to run, but the six DECA Rangers surrounded her. DECA Red aimed his blasters at the girl. “This is what happens when you piss us off.”

 

“What, you make empty threats?” Chiyome asked. “You won’t shoot me.”

 

She pulled a piece of stolen tech from beneath her robe. The device, a Combat Gear from the auction, resembled a flatted, white helmet. She hurled the Gear towards the nearest Jonin.

 

The Gear smacked against the back of the ninja’s head and pulsed with power. A wave of energy surrounded the grunt and formed a suit of high-tech ninja armor. The suit was black with red-orange trimming. The white helmet snapped around the villain’s head, and a black facemask covered the ninja’s face. His eyes glowed yellow.

 

New Bitmap Image“The Night Stalker armor,” Chiyome said. “You shouldn’t let your enemies leave these types of things lying around.”

 

“I’m learning that,” DECA Red said.

 

Night Stalker lunged at the Rangers and slashed them aside before they could defend themselves.

 

DECA Red rolled across the ground and rose to his feet. He looked back towards the villain just in time to see Night Stalker charge forward.

 

The villain swung its blade towards the Red Ranger’s head.

 

DECA Red ducked beneath the sword and smashed the handle of his gun against the villain’s chest. Rising to full height, he hopped and smashed a jump roundkick against the villain’s side.

 

The villain spun with the blow and swung his sword through a wide arc. His blade slashed across DECA Red with a burst of spark, whipping him off his feet.

 

DECA Break moved in with a jumpkick Night Stalker blocked. The villain slashed his blade upward with a powerful swing that slashed across the Ranger’s armor with a burst of spark.

 

The other Rangers attacked but were no match for the villain’s speed.

 

Night Stalker bashed a spinning heel kick across DECA Green’s helmet. He blocked DECA Blue’s punch and cut the Ranger to the ground. And he swung his blade through a butterfly pattern that hacked DECA Pink and DECA Yellow, blade sparking across their armor with each blow.

 

DECA Red rolled into a crouched position and swung his D-Magnums forward, opening fire with high-yield, explosive rounds.

 

Night Stalker swung his sword fast enough to deflect each bullet. He swatted the last bullet towards DECA Red, and the bullet exploded against his armor with a burst of spark.

 

***

 

Kruger walked towards the warehouse with his badge in hand.

 

“Sir, we’ve lost control of the situation,” a Guardian reported through Kruger’s comm link. The fighting’s spilled over into neighboring blocks. The Hand isn’t letting anyone escape.”

 

The commander growled and armed his badge.

 

“Emergency!” He thrust the badge forward. “DECA Shadow!”

 

***

 

Night Stalker kicked DECA Red upside the head. The blow whipped him off his feet, and he crashed against the ground.

 

A trio of Jonin leapt through the air and angled their descent towards the fallen Red Ranger. DECA Red rolled aside just as the ninja landed and stabbed the ground.

 

The Red Ranger spun to his feet and blasted the Jonin aside.

 

Night Stalker leapt through the air from behind DECA Red and chopped his blade towards the Red Ranger’s head. A dark form suddenly blocked the blow and kicked Night Stalker back. It was DECA Shadow.

 

DECA Red turned to face the black-armored Ranger. “Boss…”

 

“Nat,” DECA Shadow said. “Things are going well, I see.”

 

“Perfectly.”

 

Night Stalker swung his sword towards DECA Shadow. The Shadow Ranger dodged and slashed across Night Stalker with a burst of spark. The Ranger pushed forward with a kick against the villain’s gut, and swung upward with a slash that sparked across Nigh Stalker’s armor.  

 

DECA Blue, DECA Green, DECA Yellow and DECA Pink punched and kicked their way past ninja and thugs to regroup around DECA Red.

 

“Let’s take things up a notch,” DECA Red said. “SWAT Mode on!”

 

The five core DECA Rangers activated their SWAT armor: vests, leg guards, arm guards, headsets, and blaster rifles called D-Revolvers. The five Rangers slid their badges into their D-Revolvers, powering up the weapons.

 

“D-Revolvers!” DECA Red shouted. “Fire!”

 

The DECA Rangers opened fire with rapid pulses of orange-tinted energy that sparked through Jonin, blasting through the ninja’s twisted bodies.

 

DECA Break stepped back and armed his Throttle Brace. “Electric Fist!”

 

The Ranger slapped his palm against the ground. Tendrils of electricity lashed from his hand, snaked across the ground, and shot up to exploded around the Jonin.

 

DECA Shadow spun and slashed his saber across Night Stalker’s chest with a burst of spark. He smashed a sidekick against the villain, then smashed the pommel of his sword against the ninja’s faceplate.

 

“D-Sword Vega!” DECA Shadow shouted as he stepped back into a fighting stance. His sword howled and pulsed with energy. “Vega Slash!”

 

The Shadow Ranger charged at Night Stalker and swung his blade through a streak of energy. The slash ripped across Night Stalker and threw him backward as secondary explosions tore across his body.

 

A burst of crimson-tinted energy sparked against DECA Shadow and hurled him off his feet.

 

The Shadow Ranger crashed against the ground and skid backward. The other six Rangers regrouped around DECA Shadow and helped him to his feet.

 

Crimson Thunder walked across the warehouse floor towards his opponents. Around him, the last of the alien criminals fell at the hands of the ninja.

 

DECA Shadow stepped back into a defensive stance. “Hunter…this isn’t you. Your friends are worried about you.”

 

Crimson Thunder would have attacked instantly. But he noticed Chiyome injured on the floor nearby. He hurled a bolt of crimson-tinted shadow energy that exploded near the DECA Rangers’ feet with showers of sparks and smoke.

 

When the smoke cleared, Crimson Thunder, Chiyome and the ninja were gone.

 

***

 

Hunter lowered Chiyome onto a rooftop. She shook her head and gently moved his arms away. “I’m fine…”

 

She sat up and pushed herself to her feet. “That voltage took more out of me than I thought.”

 

“That was a disaster,” Hunter said.

 

“No,” Chiyome said. “We killed many of our enemies and gained a new warrior: the Night Stalker. We’re almost ready.”

 

“For what?” Hunter asked. “What do you want?”

 

“This game again?” Chiyome asked. “I want only to-”

 

“What. Do. You. Want.”

 

Chiyome sighed and smiled with admiration. “The heart of this place. Demon City. Our enemies will be gathering there. All of our enemies. We need to strike first, before that happens.”

 

“Strike?” Hunter asked.

 

Chiyome smiled and stepped closer to the ranger. “You’ve sensed the evil in that place, just as I have. We can thrust the blade of the Hand and Ikkazuchi into the heart of Demon City.”

 

She slowly reached out her left hand and laced her fingers with Hunter’s right hand. “Do you want to crush evil? Or do you want darkness to rule you forever?”

 

She stepped even closer.

 

“This is the right thing to do, Hunter,” Chiyome whispered. She leaned in and ran her fingers through the back of his hair. “You must trust me…”

 

Hunter wrapped his arms around her slender waist and pulled her close, kissing her deeply. She leaned back, and Hunter kissed his way down her neck.

 

Yes…she thought to herself and smiled.  We will attack Demon City…kidnap the son of Tommy Oliver…and you, my precious Thunder Ranger, will be reborn. Let the Sabbath begin.

 

To be continued…Chapter 20