Ultimate Samurai: Recap
The Road So Far
Tommy Oliver’s younger brother, Teddy Oliver, learned his boyfriend Bryce secretly belonged to an underground race known as the Vorlock. When Teddy tracked down the Vorlock, he found them slaughtered. A dying Vorlock whispered the name of the ones responsible: Gedoushuu.
Demons of the Sanzu River, which flows through Hell, the Gedoushuu aimed to spread misery and despair through the mortal world. Doing so would raise the level of the Sanzu River and flood the Earth.
The Vorlock Emperor Kraigen — seemingly a survivor of the slaughter of his people — gave Bryce the sword Urimasa, which he used to transform into the demon Juzou. Juzou says Bryce no longer exists — he took over the boy completely. And Tommy says that since Bryce became Juzou willingly, nothing can reverse the transformation.
Teddy and Juzou fought, and the battle broke the demon’s sword. A strange new Gedoushuu, Serrator, took the damaged weapon and promised to repair it.
Serrator feigned obedience to the Gedoushuu leader Master Xandred. But when Xandred learned Serrator had no plans to stay loyal, he attacked, with the Rangers caught in the middle of the fight. Teddy tried to use a sealing spell to trap Xandred, but the spell didn’t work, prompting Tommy to doubt whether he should have recruited his brother, not originally meant to carry the mantle of Samurai Red.
Regardless, the battle injured Xandred, and he retreated into the waters of the Sanzu River to heal.
Chapter 37: Ultimate Samurai
A Crack in the World: Secret of the Sword
PART ONE: Wedges of Despair
Tommy called Teddy and the Samurai team into Ops. Ashley pulled up a map of Angel Grove City on her monitor as they gathered around her computer.
“You guys need to see this…” she said.
Five dots appeared on the map. The dots formed a line that stretched across the city.
Tommy looked to his team. “This is every point Serrator’s attacked,” Tommy said. “It forms a pattern…”
Bradin shook his head. “I’m not getting it.”
“He’s up to something,” Tommy said. “Some kind of ceremony.”
“To do what?” Teddy asked.
“We’re not sure,” Tommy said. “But we think it might have something to do with the Second Seal.”
Bradin arced an eyebrow. “Second Seal to what?”
“The Dark One’s prison,” Tommy said. He explained the Hellfire Club’s plan to break the Seven Seals of the Dark One’s prison, and how they already broke the First Seal a year ago during the Sabbath.
“You think this is connected?” Teddy asked.
“Maybe,” Tommy said. “Even if it’s not, it can’t be good. Demonic ceremonies don’t exactly end well.”
Anna looked closely at the map. “Do those places have anything in common?”
Ashley shook her head. “Not that we can tell. There’s the mountaintop where he first appeared, Monalua Island, the coast, the hospital and the warehouse…”
Tommy nodded. “It looks like there’s a gap in the line in Angel Grove North. I bet he’ll attack there next.”
“That doesn’t exactly narrow it down,” Bradin said.
“No, but it’s the best lead we have,” Tommy said. “We need to be alert, guys…We need to stop whatever’s happening before everything falls apart.”
Serrator grinned as he looked out the viewport of the Gedoushuu ship. “Just one more wedge…” He tilted his head towards the water. “Rokuro…are you there?”
The monster Rokuro climbed up the ship and looked through the viewport. Its massive head and body looked like a tangle of tendrils, with a maw of jagged teeth.
“You summoned me?” the monster asked with a deep, phlegmy voice. “Do you have need of my sickness?”
Serrator handed the monster a compass. “Take this…Use your power on any human you want at the location it shows you.”
The monster grabbed the compass and dropped into the river.
Serrator lifted his fan in front of his face and giggled with evil glee. “Finally…the sweet scent of despair…everywhere.”
Serrator walked across the deck to leave the ship and enter the mortal world. But Shitari waddled in front of the villain to block his path.
“I know…” Shitari said. “I finally know what you have planned…”
“Oh?” Serrator asked.
“I remember what you told me on the shore…” Shitari said. Serrator had spoken ill of the Gedoushuu condition: “Born of the Sanzu River. Unable to live in the mortal world, and unable to live within the very Hell through which our river flows. We starve for the feelings of pain and suffering we are denied.”
“You plan to change that,” Shitari said. “You’re setting up an Urami Gandou Genshi — an Underside Alter Reversal.”
“Very impressive,” Serrator said with amusement. “You’ve figured me out…”
“Figured you out too late,” Shitari said. “You know if you use this spell, you may very well destroy the human world, we Gedoushuu, and the Sanzu River?”
“That’s a small price to pay for even the smallest taste of Hell,” Serrator said.
“The smallest taste?” Shitari asked with disbelief. “Very well…You won’t even be able to complete the Urami Gandou Genshi. You would need someone who isn’t human or Gedoushuu to-”
A realization struck the squid-like demon. “Juzou…You can’t possibly…”
Serrator laughed. “Very impressive, yet again…”
“That man will not help you,” Shitari said.
“Are you so sure about that?” Serrator asked. “He has a weak spot…and I hold it in my hands.”
Serrator clawed Shitari aside and laughed. The villain walked past the squid-like demon and headed towards the mortal world.
Shitari climbed to his feet. “Damn you, Serrator!”
A dozen Susukodama dangled from the ceiling and echoed Shitari with squeaky, high-pitched voices. “Damn you Serrator, damn you Serrator…”
Dayu sat in the woods and stroked one of the Susukodama. The tiny creature echoed the giggling voices of its brothers and sisters on the Gedoushuu ship.
“Damn you Serrator, damn you Serrator, damn you Serrator…”
The demon gasped. She lifted her shamisen and started to walk off. But Juzou held his blade in front of her to keep her back.
“Leave Serrator alone until he’s returned Urimasa.” Juzou said.
“He’s deceiving you too…” Dayu said. “There’s no way he’s repaired your sword.”
“I’ll take it back from him. No matter what,” Juzou said. “And if you get in my way…”
“Oh?” Dayu asked as she lifted her shamisen into a defensive stance. “Do you think you would be able to cut me down so easily?”
Juzou glared silently.
Dayu sighed and lowered her weapon. “Very well...go see for yourself…”
Juzou looked over his shoulder. “Kiros…”
The Vorlock Knight Kiros dropped from the treetops and kneeled. “My prince…”
Juzou no longer corrected the Vorlock. He held his sword over his shoulder and started walking off. “Come…”
Lal stood on the mountaintops outside Angel Grove. She crossed her arms over her chest and stared towards the city while waiting.
The Vorlock ninja Vaelel dropped to her side. “I have found them…”
“Where?” Lal asked.
“In the woods,” Vaelel said. “Kiros still follows your brother like a lapdog.”
“How are they still alive?” Lal asked. “Kiros, and my brother?”
“The Gedoushuu named Serrator,” Vaelel said. “He revived them both.”
“But why?” Lal asked. “The Vorlock slaughtered our people. Why revive two of them?”
Vaelel shook her head. “I learned all that I could.”
“You’ve done well,” Lal said.
“What now, my lady?” Vaelel said.
“Now? We wait,” Lal said. “The return of my brother and his former consort will have quite an…adverse effect on the Red Ranger. When he’s at his weakest, we will strike. And I will finally have my revenge.”
Serrator walked through the Vorlock tunnels.
“Juzou…” he whispered. “You are the key to making my wish come true. I wonder what you would think if you knew the truth of your blade…”
The villain stepped into a chamber lined with heated stones. He walked to the center of the chamber and held his hand over the earth. His palm pulsed with energy that stirred the dirt below.
The blade Urimasa rose from the ground, and Serrator grasped the weapon’s handle. “You’ve repaired quite nicely…Now all that’s left is the last wedge.”
Rokuro stood on a rooftop and looked at his compass. The needles stopped spinning, marking the block ahead as his target.
“Time to cause pain and sorrow…” he said.
The Ayakashi leapt towards the streets.
The alarms blared in Ops. Ashley pulled up an image of the Ayakashi’s attack within Angel Grove North. The attack fell along the line of Serrator’s other strikes.
Tommy narrowed his eyes. “This is it,” he said. “Whatever he has planned? It’s time to stop it.”
Rokuro spat swarms of insects across the landscaped plaza. The insects flew down the throats of men and woman, who collapsed with severe pain as the bugs tore at their stomachs.
Rokuro laughed and spat another swarm of the demonic bugs.
The insects chased screaming men and women and plunged into their open mouths.
Anthony ran to the scene from beneath a pedestrian bridge. “Gedoushuu!”
The Ayakashi turned to face the ranger. “Do you have need of my sickness?”
“I think I’ll pass,” Anthony said as he armed his morpher. “Samurai scribe! Ha!”
His kanji symbol wrapped around him with a burst of golden light as he morphed into his armor.
The Gold Ranger leapt through the air and landed while slashing Rokuro with a burst of spark. The monster clawed at the Gold Ranger. But Samurai Gold ducked and slashed the creature.
The Gold Ranger pressed forward with a flurry of slashes and kicks, forcing the monster back several steps.
“What did you do to these people?” the Gold Ranger shouted.
Rokuro twisted and used its back of thick tendrils to block a trio of strikes that sparked on impact. The Ayakashi turned, batted the Gold Ranger aside, and spun backward to gain distance.
The monster laughed as he stood among the fallen men and women, who squirmed and groaned with agony.
“I’ve simply sent them bugs of pain,” the Ayakashi said. “That is my sickness. It rampages in their stomachs. Feel for yourself!”
The monster spat a swarm of insects that flew towards the Gold Ranger.
Samurai Gold slashed his blade through streaks of golden energy that cut the bugs from the air with bursts of spark.
Another wave of insects swarmed at him. He slashed as fast as he could, but the wave forced him backward as he struggled to keep up.
Suddenly, Samurai Red dashed in front of the swarm. He lifted the flat side of his Fire Breaker like a shield, and the insects splattered against the blade.
Samurai Green and Samurai Blue leapt onto the scene from behind Rokuro while kicking his back, knocking him to the ground.
The Green Ranger and Blue Ranger landed alongside Samurai Red and Samurai Gold. The Pink Ranger and Yellow Ranger ran to them, and they regrouped.
The Ayakashi climbed to its feet and called for reinforcements. “Nanashi!”
The grunts appeared and fanned across the plaza to attack the Rangers. The Rangers split up and returned the charge.
Samurai Blue dashed past Nanashi while slashing his sword through elegant arcs that sparked on impact and knocked grunts aside. He parried and struck with precision and power.
The Yellow Ranger hacked through a wave of Nanashi, blade sparking through their bodies as they whipped aside. She spun past a grunt while slashing its gut with a burst of spark.
Samurai Pink parried the swords of a wave of Nanashi that past her. She turned and struck back, slashing her sword through wide arcs that sparked against grunts and hurled them off their feet.
Nearby, the monster opened its jaw and spat another swarm of insects. The bugs flew towards Samurai Red, Samurai Gold, and Samurai Green.
The Green Ranger spun his Symbol Disc and transformed his sword into a spear. “Wood Spear! Leaf Vortex!”
Samurai Green twirled the weapon around his body through streaks of green power, emitting waves of leaf-like energy that blew the bugs from the air.
The Red Ranger hopped through the vortex and snapped his massive sword into a cannon. “Fire Breaker! Blaster mode!”
Samurai Red blasted a wave of fiery energy that shot towards Rokuro.
Suddenly, Serrator dropped in front of the monster, blocked the fiery wave with his claws, and slashed the energy blast to pieces with massive bursts of spark.
“Serrator!” Samurai Red shouted.
He armed his Samurai Seal, morphed into Super Samurai Red and dashed at Serrator. The Ranger stabbed his sword, but Serrator sidestepped and grabbed the weapon.
“Samurai Rangers…” Serrator said with maddening agitation. “Stop interfering.”
“We know about the line…What are you planning?” Samurai Red said.
“Ah,” Serrator said. “You’ve found me out as well. You’ll learn the truth soon enough!”
Serrator knocked the sword aside and clawed Samurai Red with a burst of spark. The blow knocked the Red Ranger to the ground, and he tumbled across the pavement.
Samurai Red rolled into a crouched stance as his teammates regrouped around him.
Serrator pulled out his closed fan and held the weapon like a dagger. “Soon, I will drive the final wedge…”
“Wedge?” Samurai Red asked.
“A wedge made of human suffering, lamentation and screams!” Serrator shouted, his voice mad with delight.
“What are you talking about?” Samurai Red demanded.
Serrator turned to the Ayakashi. “Rokuro…continue your work.”
Rokuro started to walk off.
“Stop!” Samurai Red said as he and the others started to charge towards the monster.
But Serrator stood in their way. “I told you to stop interfering!”
He thrust his hand and fired bolts of electricity. The blasts exploded against the Rangers with showers of sparks. Samurai Green and Samurai Blue took the blunt of the damage.
Samurai Gold somersaulted through the air from behind his two teammates.
He landed while chopping his saber, which Serrator parried. The Gold Ranger chopped again, and Serrator parried. But Samurai Gold grabbed the villain by the wrist and twisted him into an arm lock.
Samurai Gold held the villain from behind. “You’re the one who’s in the way.” He looked to his teammates. “Go get that Ayakashi.”
Samurai Red gripped his sword. “Ryan, Bradin, help Anthony. Anna, Kirsten, you’re with me.”
The Red Ranger, Yellow Ranger and Pink Ranger ran off to chase the Ayakashi. Samurai Blue and Samurai Green dashed towards Serrator to help Samurai Gold.
Rokuro cornered a group of screaming men and women in a parking lot, beneath an overhang at the base of a building.
The Ayakashi laughed as he stalked towards them. “Do you have need of my sick-”
Explosions sparked against his back and sent him staggering.
Samurai Red ran to the scene with his Bullzooka, along with Samurai Pink and Samurai Yellow. The Red Ranger triggered another energy blast that sparked against the monster and knocked him several steps backward.
The Red Ranger kept his aim on the monster. “Anna, Kirsten, get these people to safety…”
The two Rangers ran to help the civilians, while Samurai Red stalked towards the monster.
Serrator moved with speed and ferocity. He spun and twisted while parrying the Rangers’ swords and clawing them with bursts of spark. Every time the Rangers swung or slashed, the villain spun aside and parried, or dodged completely, only to counter with swipes of his claws.
The villain swatted Samurai Gold and Samurai Green aside with massive bursts of spark that whipped them off their feet. They crashed and rolled across the pavement.
“Guys!” Samurai Blue said as he crouched next to them to help him up.
Serrator lifted his fan to strike again. But he stopped when he felt a blade press against his back. “Well, well…Juzou…”
In his human form, Juzou stood behind Serrator while holding the tip of his sword against the villain’s back.
The Rangers started to climb to their feet. But Kiros appeared and blasted them with a volley of arrows, knocking them to the ground.
Serrator looked over his shoulder. “Glad tidings to you …”
“Serrator…” Juzou said with a glare. “You know why I’m here…You know what I want.”
“Urimasa, correct?” Serrator asked. “What perfect timing. I was just about to drive the final wedge.” He aimed his fan towards the injured civilians sprawled across the ground. “Look…”
Juzou looked to see the ground beneath the civilians start to pulse with purple-tinted light.
Serrator twisted away from Juzou and stood near the injured men and women. “Juzou…I have but one wish. I have spent all of what you would call time imprisoned, robbed of feeling. I never felt the sweet sensations of Hell. I never knew the joy of despair. Not until I heard a mortal woman scream for her life. That fear…that agony…was pure. The only purity in a rank and disgusting world. My wish…my wish is to taste the human world’s finest lamentation and suffering. To see that. To feel that!
“To do so, I will open the human world using the Urami Gandou Genshi spell. Sharpening human lamentation and suffering, and then driving it into the ground as a wedge. It will create a large crevice in this world. And if the center of that crevice is split open, Hell will show its face and spill into your realm!”
The villain held his arms wide and laughed with joy at the thought.
Juzou tightened his grip on his sword. “What are you? You’re no Gedoushuu…”
“Very wise…” Serrator said. “I am Ishar. One of the Forsaken, imprisoned before the Wheel of Time began to spin, and freed during the Sabbath! While my brothers and sisters plot to free the Dark One, I want nothing more than the feeling of despair of Hell on Earth.”
“Why not just break the Seals?” Juzou asked.
“The Dark One had his time. I want nothing of his brand of order or control. I want only the purity of the finest suffering and despair, uncontrolled, and unbridled!”
Rokuro lashed its tentacles across Samurai Pink and Samurai Yellow, knocking them backward.
The monster spat a swarm of insects that shot towards the Rangers.
Samurai Red swung his sword through a wave of fiery energy that incinerated the bugs.
Samurai Yellow and Samurai Pink leapt over the fire wave and armed their weapons.
The Pink Ranger fired a wave of pink wind energy, and the Yellow Ranger fired a blade of yellow seismic energy. Their blasts combined and exploded against Rokuro, hurling him off his feet.
Samurai Red slid his Spin Sword into his Bullzooka. He armed the Tiger Disc in the Samurai Seal and spun the disc. “Bullzooka, charge!”
He fired a massive energy blast that punctured through the monster with a burst of flame. Rokuro crashed against the ground as his energy overloaded and exploded.
Rokuro’s bugs died when he did. His victims breathed heavily as their pain subsided.
Serrator watched the Ayakashi’s victims climb back to their feet. “So…They’ve defeated Rokuro? Still…the pain he caused should be enough.”
Rokuro reassembled and grew giant. “Damn you, Rangers!”
Samurai Red flipped open the black box on his sword, inserted his Super Disc, and slapped the device shut. The Super Disc allowed him to summon the Megazord.
“Samurai-zords, rise up!” Samurai Red shouted.
The zords appeared, and Samurai Red leapt into his cockpit. His slid his blade into his control console. “Origami assemble!” he shouted. “Samurai fusion!”
The five Samurai-zords shifted shape and combined. “Samurai Megazord!” the Red Ranger shouted as Samurai Yellow and Samurai Pink joined him in the cockpit. “Shinkenou!”
The Samurai Megazord unsheathed its sword and stomped towards the monster.
Rokuro lashed its tendrils like whips, which wrapped around the Megazord’s neck and arms. The whips tightened and sparked against the Megazord’s armor.
Samurai Red placed his hand over his control console. “Lion fire blast!”
The Megazord’s lion chest opened its jaws and fired a torrent of flame. The fire exploded against the monster and tore apart the tentacles.
Below, Samurai Gold, Samurai Green, and Samurai Blue ran towards the civilians while shouting at them to flee.
Kiros snapped a blade boomerang at the Rangers. The weapon slashed their backs with bursts of spark, whipping them to the ground.
Serrator watched as waves of despair washed across the pavement with ripples of purple-tinted energy. The energy seeped into the ground.
“The wedge is in,” the villain said. “All that’s left-”
Juzou lifted his blade to Serrator’s throat. “What does this have to do with me?”
“Everything…” Serrator said. “The one to slice the crevice must be someone between humanity and Gedou. Someone like you. Someone who reeks of the sorrow of a broken heart…and that sorrow is only amplified by your power, and the power of your former mate. That heartbreak…that despair between two beings of such great power…makes you the perfect weapon to strike the blow that cracks the Earth. Why else would I retrieve someone as useless as Kiros, if not to ignite the feelings of loss and anger between you and Samurai Red even further!”
Kiros looked towards Serrator and narrowed his brow. “What…”
Serrator laughed. “Your presence is a reminder of Juzou’s former life as the young Vorlock Prince…a constant reminder, nagging at the torn hearts of Juzou and Samurai Red.”
The three Rangers climbed into crouched positions. Samurai Gold unsheathed his Barracuda Blade. “This guy’s nuts.”
“I was going to say ‘bat-shit crazy,’” Samurai Green said. “But ‘nuts’ works too.”
Samurai Blue unsheathed his sword. He tightened his grip with anger, enraged at the thought of Serrator manipulating Teddy’s feelings. “We take him out. Now.”
The three Rangers charged to attack.
Serrator simply laughed and extended his hand. His palm fired bolts of lightning that exploded against the Rangers with massive bursts of spark that knocked them off their feet.
“Be good and stay back, little Samurai,” Serrator said.
The Samurai Megazord slashed Rokuro with bursts of spark, and then slashed again, forcing the monster back several steps.
The Ayakashi spat a wad of shadow energy that exploded against Shinkenou, knocking the Megazord back a step, and rocking the Rangers within the cockpit.
Samurai Yellow and Samurai Pink pulled their swords from their control consoles. The Yellow Ranger slid the Beetle Disc onto her sword’s hilt, and the Pink Ranger slid the Shark Disc onto her sword’s hilt. They swiped the discs.
The two zords appeared and charged towards the Ayakashi. The Swordfish Origami fired missiles of hydro energy, and the Beetle Origami fired crackling blasts of orange energy. The energy blasts exploded against the monster with massive bursts of spark that tore across its body.
The monster cursed beneath its breath and staggered backward. “You…damn you…I will give you my sickness!”
Rokuro spat a volley of insects that swarmed towards the Megazord.
Samurai Red snapped the Tiger Disc into the black box on his sword. “Tiger Origami!” he shouted, summoning the zord. “Equip!”
The Tiger Origami surged with energy and combined with the Megazord, forming a tiger-headed helmet and four cannons that mounted on the Megazord’s shoulders.
The Megazord leaned forward and charged as its cannons spun like drills. The drills punctured through the swarm and tore the insects apart with bursts of spark and flame.
“Battlewing, equip!” Samurai Red shouted.
The Tiger Origami detached and combined with the Beetle Origami and Swordfish Origami to form the Samurai Battlewing. The Battlewing slid onto the Megazord to form a winged suit of armor.
“Battlewing Megazord!” the Rangers shouted. “Descending strike!”
The Megazord shot into the air. The Battlewing pulsed with power that washed across the Samurai Megazord Saber until the blade glowed white hot.
The Megazord dashed downward and landed while chopping through Rokuro with massive bursts of spark. The monster’s body split in half and incinerated with a massive flash of white-hot flame.
Serrator extended his palm and fired bursts of yellow energy that sparked against Samurai Gold, Samurai Green, and Samurai Blue, whipping them to the ground.
The villain lowered his hand and turned towards Juzou. The young demon warrior stood uneasy, with his jaw clenched and his hands rolled into fists.
Serrator’s demonic smile widened. “Juzou…” He pulled the blade Urimasa from his cloak. “Your sword is repaired…as I promised. Take it…Bring Hell to this world…”
Nearby, Samurai Red, Samurai Yellow and Samurai Pink ran to the scene. They stopped in their tracks when they saw Serrator hand the sword towards Juzou.
Juzou looked towards Samurai Red and narrowed his eyes. “I’m not interested…All I want is my sword.”
“No, no,” Serrator said as he stepped back. “Urimasa exists for this reason, and this reason alone. If you use this blade as I intended, the souls within will be freed.”
Juzou narrowed his eyes. “The souls…?”
Serrator extended the blade towards Juzou. “This blade…is forged with the souls of the Vorlock…”
The Vorlock tunnels, nearly one year ago
Emperor Kraigen silently cursed the incompetence of his army. Their first strike against the surface had ended in disaster.
The villain wasn’t foolish with pride as others who had tried to take over the city. He knew he needed more power to defeat the Samurai Rangers. His forces could not sustain a prolonged conflict against the heroes.
Emperor Kraigen returned to his private chambers and opened a secret doorway. The doorway led to a stairwell of stone, which circled down into a pit of heated rock. Kraigen descended the deep stairwell to the very bottom.
The villain stepped onto the rock and kneeled. He pulled a dagger from his robes, slit open his palm, and dripped his blood onto the stones.
The darkest of his ancestors had used this pit to worship and pray to demons. Kraigen followed this proud tradition. He’d never spoken with the demons — no one in his family had — but he believed they could hear him and grant him power.
He needed their power now.
The villain whispered an incantation in Latin. He expected to finish the incantation and return to his chambers, as he did every night. But this night, the ground stirred.
Crimson light glowed from the cracks and crevices within the stone floor.
From the surface rose Serrator.
Kraigen took a step back and reached for his sword. But Serrator blasted the weapon away with a burst of spark.
The Forsaken laughed. “You would attack a demon to which you pray?”
“What…what are you?” Kraigen asked.
“You may call me Serrator,” the villain said. “I have come to give you that which you seek. Power.”
“Power?” the emperor asked.
“Yes…great power,” Serrator said with twisted amusement. “You Vorlock are surely twisted creatures, but creatures of potential. I can give you the power to unlock that potential. To re-craft your race.”
“You speak in riddles,” Kraigen said.
“No, you mortals are simply slow witted,” Serrator said with a small laugh.
The Forsaken extended his hand, which pulsed with purple-tinted shadow energy. Kraigen grasped his gut and staggered backward with pain.
“What…” the emperor muttered as he collapsed to his knees. Pain surged from his belly through his chest and tightened. “What are you…”
“Unlocking a dormant power,” Serrator said. “It seems you have the ability to breathe new life into the dead…New, powerful life.”
Kraigen gasped as his body shuddered with burning power.
“Yes…” Serrator said. “Quite painful.”
The Forsaken lowered his hand, and the pain stopped.
Kraigen breathed heavily and climbed to his feet. “What…what would you have in return?”
“Simple…” Serrator said. “Slaughter your people. But hand me the life of one. Your Prince Brai. The rest will be reborn by your new power.”
Serrator laughed as he told the story. “Of course, not even one as foolish as Kraigen would slaughter his own people at the word of a demon alone. So he tested his power. He killed Cye-Axe and brought the warrior back to life. Reborn, Cye-Axe grew stronger. More powerful. Kraigen wanted this for the rest of his people. So he slaughtered them all!”
Cye-Axe led an army of Anglars down the Vorlock tunnels. They hacked and sliced anyone who moved. Blood splattered across the stone as they pressed forward.
Cye-Axe didn’t let the screams of the dying unnerve him. He knew they would return — only stronger.
The warrior slashed his way through a central chamber and spotted Lal ahead. She knitted her brow as she stood cornered, with her back against a wall.
“Cye-Axe…” she said. “What sort of madness is this?”
“Not madness,” Cye-Axe said. “It’s for the greater good and glory of our people.”
“Greater good?” Lal asked.
“They promised us great power,” Cye-Axe said.
“Who? Who, you madman?” Lal asked.
“The Gedoushuu,” Cye-Axe said.
He plunged his sword through her gut.
Serrator laughed. “Kraigen’s powers weren’t limitless. He could resurrect no more than two or three people every nine days. So he began to bring the Vorlock back to life, one-by-one. Or so he thought. He thought he had the power to resurrect his people, but in reality, he simply re-animated them with demonic energy in place of souls. They have their bodies and minds, but inside their bodies, they are soulless batteries of demonic power.”
The Forsaken twisted his grip on Urimasa. “I trapped their souls in here. In this blade. And used the weapon as a catalyst for you to transform into Gedoushuu. The perfect weapon of misery for my warrior of despair! A blade stained with lamentation, worthy of cracking the world!”
Serrator stepped closer to Juzou. “Take the weapon. Release the souls inside. Grant my wish…”
Suddenly, a wave of shadow energy rippled across the ground, which bulged as if about to explode.
Samurai Red grabbed his nearest teammates and dove aside. “Get back!”
The ground erupted with a massive column of purple-tinted shadow energy that shot into the sky. The stream of power churned while spanning half a city block, demolishing every building and vehicle in its path.
Across the city, five more pillars of energy erupted from the ground and stabbed into the sky, each from one of the five points of Serrator’s other attacks.
Serrator floated into the air as the pillar of power churned behind him. He smiled down at the rubble and laughed as he watched Juzou struggle to push himself to his feet.
“Juzou…I will wait. I know you will break this world,” Serrator said with amusement. “Samurai Rangers…there is no stopping me.”
PART TWO: With One Stroke
The energy pillar cast a purple hue across the ruined cityscape. Rubble and dust blanketed the plaza area.
Teddy’s vision blurred slowly into focus as he regained consciousness. He pushed himself up and looked to see his teammates — Anna and Kirsten — out cold. He couldn’t spot Ryan, Bradin or Anthony.
He crawled towards the girls. “Anna!” he shouted as he moved to her side. “Kirsten!”
They each stirred slightly and groaned with pain.
The pillar tossed Ryan, Bradin and Anthony onto the other side of the war-torn plaza. Bradin climbed to his feet and helped Ryan up. “You okay?”
Ryan nodded. “Where’s Teddy?”
Nearby, Anthony sat up against a wall. He winced and grabbed his leg, which ached with pain, as did the rest of his body.
Through the corner of his eye, he saw Juzou sprawled on the street. The demon warrior lay still and didn’t move. But his body stirred as he breathed.
Anthony narrowed his eyes and stood.
“Bryce…” he said.
His mind flashed back to one of his first conversations with Bryce.
“Hey, Bryce,” Anthony said. “Hold up.”
He caught up with Bryce near the park, where they had finished a picnic with Teddy. “I just wanted to say it was nice meeting you. You don’t seem like a crazy stalker or anything, so I guess I approve.”
“I…” Bryce hesitated. “I’m not sure what to say to that.”
Anthony shrugged. “I’m just trying to say you seem nice. And Teddy really likes you.”
Bryce nodded. “And I like him.”
“Good, good,” Anthony said. “The thing is…his last boyfriend really screwed him over, and I don’t want to see him go through that again. So…don’t hurt him. Ok?”
“I won’t,” Bryce said. “I promise.”
“Good,” Anthony said with a smirk. “Because if you do, I’ll have to kick your ass. It’s just a friend thing I’m obligated to warn you about.”
He patted Bryce on the arm. “I’ll catch you guys later.”
Anthony rolled his hands into fists. Bryce had lied. Hid his identity. And turned himself into a demon. His mere existence brought Teddy nothing but pain, and now threatened the entire world.
The teen grabbed his morpher. I can end him right here…
He could stop Serrator’s plans. He could save Teddy from being forced to fight Bryce yet again. He could end everything. Yet he hesitated.
Could he really strike someone down in cold blood? Anthony remembered the look in Bryce’s eyes when Serrator explained the fate of the Vorlock — their souls sealed in the demon blade Urimasa. Those eyes looked human, filled with anger at the fate of his people.
Is Bryce still in there somewhere? He thought.
The teen lowered his morpher. He turned his back to the fallen demon and tightened his grip on the device. Are you seriously going to walk away from this?
Anthony shook his head. I’m not a killer...and if there’s any chance…
He walked away from Juzou and silently cursed himself with each step.
The rangers regrouped and joined Tommy and Ashley in Ops.
Tommy looked to his team. “So let me get this straight. Serrator is a Forsaken, but he’s not trying to break the Seals.”
“No, just the Earth,” Bradin said.
Ryan sighed. “Is it sad I find that a relief?”
Tommy shook his head. “It just goes to show you how bad things are in the grand scheme of things.”
Ashley pulled up a map of Angel Grove on her computer. The map showed the six points of Serrator’s attacks, which formed a line.
“Those geysers aren’t stopping…” Ashley said.
Bradin crossed his arms over his chest. “There has to be a way to shut them down.”
“If there is,” Teddy said, “it has something to do with Juzou…If Serrator was telling the truth, Juzou’s the key to everything.”
“That’s true,” Anna said. “But considering what he said about Urimasa…”
“What if he cooperates?” Kirsten asked. “If that sword really does have the spirits of his people…”
Anthony shifted uncomfortably near the back of the room. “Guys, I’m…I have to tell you something.”
“What is it?” Teddy asked.
“Earlier…back at that geyser…Juzou collapsed. But I…let him go,” Anthony said. “He was unconscious. Completely helpless. I could have ended him. But I just…couldn’t bring myself to do it.”
He looked to Teddy. “I’m sorry, Teddy.”
“Don’t be sorry…” Teddy said. “You would have been killing him in cold blood. We’re Rangers…we don’t do that.”
“Maybe we should,” Anthony said.
Bradin shook his head. “I wouldn’t even go that far.”
“Really?” Ryan asked. “That may have been our best chance to finish him.”
“So you would have been a coward and stabbed him while he was out cold?” Bradin asked.
“I…” Ryan said. “I don’t know.”
“No,” Teddy said. “You wouldn’t have. I know you, Ryan.”
“You guys are missing the point,” Anthony said. “I hesitated when I shouldn’t have. Now the whole world’s in danger.”
He looked to Tommy. “Maybe you were right. Maybe I’m not ready for this.”
Anthony grabbed his jacket and stormed out the door.
Juzou walked through the mountains near one of the entrances to the Vorlock tunnels. He hesitated and looked downward. Each day he remembered more and more of Bryce’s life in the tunnels beneath the city.
A part of him felt…sorrow at the thought of the Vorlock souls trapped within Urimasa.
The demon rolled his hands into fists and dismissed the feelings as broken fragments from the body he wore.
Nearby, the Vorlock Knight Kiros followed Juzou into the mountains. “My prince…”
“I told you,” Juzou said, his voice as cold as ice. “I am not your prince.”
“And yet you come here…” Kiros said. “You have the prince’s memories. You have the prince’s body. Tell me, how is it you are not Prince Brai?”
Juzou’s body burst into purple flames as he shifted into his demon form. “I am Gedoushuu.”
“Then I ask again, Gedoushuu,” Kiros said. “Why return here?”
The demon warrior lowered his head and said nothing.
Ryan started to leave the dojo when Bradin spotted him. “Hey…where are you off to?”
“To find Anthony,” Ryan said. “I just talked to him…He’s going after Juzou alone.”
“Is he for real?” Bradin asked.
Ryan nodded. “This is my fault…I should have been supportive like you guys, but instead I snapped at him.”
“You didn’t exactly snap at him,” Bradin said. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you do that.”
Suddenly, the alarms blared throughout the dojo. Bradin and Ryan rushed into Ops, along with their teammates, Tommy, and Ashley.
Ashley pulled up a map of Angel Grove. The map showed the geysers, as well as the new attack, at the exact center of the line.
“It’s Serrator,” Ashley said.
“Guys,” Bradin said, “Anthony’s gone after Juzou.”
Teddy sighed. “We can’t let him try to take Juzou alone. Bradin, Ryan, go find him. Anna and Kirsten, we’re going after Serrator.”
Serrator held Urimasa and walked through the war-torn streets just north of Demon City. He approached a pile of rubble, which hissed and steamed with heat.
“Hell is being torn…” Serrator whispered with glee. “This is the perfect place to strike.”
The Forsaken lifted the blade, which throbbed with the energies of the Vorlock souls. “Come to Urimasa, Juzou…”
Juzou left Kiros behind and walked through the woods in the northern edge of the city. He moved down a wooden stairwell and entered a forested park, next to small neighborhood.
The demon stopped when he noticed Anthony standing on the trail ahead. “Samurai Gold…”
“Are you going to do it?” Anthony asked. “Take your sword and break the world?”
“Are you here to stop me?” Juzou asked.
Anthony armed his morpher. “That’s the general idea…”
Teddy, Kirstin and Anna ran towards Serrator. The demon laughed as he faced the teens. “Samurai Rangers…Only three of you?”
“Serrator…” Teddy said. “Hand over Urimasa.”
“It pains me to hear you speak so lightly of my masterpiece,” Serrator said.
The demon thrust his palm and fired a crackling burst of energy. The three rangers dove aside as the blast exploded against the ground with bursts of spark and fire.
“Samurai scribe!” the teens shouted as they morphed and rolled into crouched fighting stances.
The Rangers unsheathed their swords.
“Nanashi!” Serrator shouted.
The Gedoushuu grunts scrambled to the scene and charged to attack.
The three Rangers returned the charge.
Samurai Red hopped forward and chopped through the grunts’ front lines with bursts of spark.
Anthony gripped his morpher. “I’m not the kind of guy who likes to hit first. So…are we doing this?”
“You’re a curious one,” Juzou said.
Juzou pounced and kneed Anthony in the gut, knocking him to the ground. The demon unsheathed his sword and chopped towards Anthony’s head.
Two blades appeared as if from nowhere and blocked the blow. Ryan and Bradin kicked Juzou in the gut, knocking him back several steps.
The demon grabbed his gut and scowled at the teens. “You dare…”
“That was a dirty shot,” Bradin said as he shifted into a defensive stance.
Ryan helped Anthony to his feet. “Anthony, I’m sorry about earlier. What I said…You did the right thing before.”
Bradin shifted his blade. “Doesn’t matter much now.”
Bradin charged to attack, and Ryan followed. They slashed and swung their blades. But Juzou parried and dodged each swing and strike.
The two teens chopped their blades towards Juzou’s head. Juzou lifted his sword, blocked their blades, and knocked them aside.
The demon leapt through the air and landed several meters behind Anthony. The villain sheathed his sword and started walking into the woods.
Anthony climbed to his feet. “After him.”
“Good call,” Bradin said they charged after the demon.
Samurai Red swung wide, and his sword slashed three Nanashi to the ground with bursts of spark.
Samurai Yellow and Samurai Pink twirled their blades nearby. They parried, dodged, and slashed Nanashi to the ground with ease.
The three Rangers slashed through the last of the Nanashi. The grunts collapsed and exploded into small bursts of flame.
Samurai Red charged through the flames while morphing into Super Samurai mode.
“Bullzooka!” he shouted as he armed his rifle.
The Red Ranger leapt forward and triggered bursts of energy that shot towards Serrator.
Serrator swatted the energy blasts aside with bursts of spark. He thrust his hand and extended his claws like spears, which stabbed the Red Ranger from the air with bursts of spark.
Samurai Red crashed against the ground as Samurai Pink and Samurai Yellow ran to his side.
Serrator lifted his hand to strike again. But he stopped when he heard footsteps come from nearby. He looked to see Juzou walk towards the scene.
“Juzou…I’ve been waiting for you,” the villain said as he held the sword towards the demon. “Urimasa is here.”
“Wait!” Samurai Red shouted as he jumped to his feet.
Serrator swung his hand wide and blasted the three Rangers with bursts of spark that whipped them off their feet.
He turned back towards Juzou and lifted the sword. “Here…”
Juzou knitted his brow. The demon reached out and grabbed the sword by the handle. He lifted the blade from Serrator’s hands and tightened his grip. He felt the weapon’s power stir.
Serrator stepped aside, giving Juzou a clear path towards the pile of debris that sizzled with heat and smoke. “Now, hurry Juzou…release the souls, and grant me Hell.”
Juzou stepped towards the debris and grasped his weapon with both hands. He narrowed his eyes and lifted the sword, slowly. The saber stirred and whined, vibrating with power.
Nearby, Samurai Gold, Samurai Green, and Samurai Blue ran to the scene.
“Stop!” Samurai Gold shouted.
Serrator thrust his hand. His claws extended like tendrils that wrapped around the three Rangers and hurled them through the air. They crashed and tumbled next to their teammates.
Samurai Red climbed to his feet. “Juzou, stop!”
The Red Ranger slid his Spin Sword into his Bullzooka and fired a surging energy blast.
Serrator moved in front of the blast, which he caught and intensified with lashes of electricity.
“I won’t let you interfere with my plans!” the Forsaken shouted.
He hurled the amplified energy blast, which exploded against the Rangers with bursts of fire and lightning that knocked them backward. They crashed against the ground, and the impact knocked them from their armor with bursts of light.
Serrator looked to Juzou. “Now!”
Juzou lifted his blade. Twisted his grip. Chopped the weapon — and spun while slashing through a streak of purple energy that tore Serrator’s body.
Serrator screamed and staggered backward as secondary explosions sparked along his wound. The Forsaken dropped to his knees. Tendrils of shadow energy lashed from the deep cut in his chest.
“Juzou…” he cursed with a whisper. “Why?”
Juzou lowered his blade. “I’ve known the truth about Urimasa for quite some time. Did you really think you could wipe away my mortality, and still make me care?”
The demon stabbed through Serrator’s chest with a massive burst of spark. Tendrils of energy lashed from the wound, and secondary explosions tore across the villain’s chest. “This is what it means to fall to Gedoushuu…”
Juzou pulled the sword free with a burst of spark. “It has its original edge. I guess I should thank you.”
Serrator gasped with pain and collapsed.
Nearby, Dayu leapt towards the scene. She landed near Serrator and laughed. “Serrator…it looks like your reliance on human emotion failed.”
She kicked the fallen Forsaken.
Serrator struggled to breathe as he lifted his hand towards Juzou. “Juzou…you truly are…Gedoushuu…”
The demon smiled, and his eyes flicked with purple flame. “Which is why it was foolish to have me do this.”
The demon turned and slashed through a streak of purple energy, which cut through the pile of rubble with a flash of light. The resulting explosion severed the line of magick connecting the wedges of despair from Serrator’s attacks. Each geyser dimmed slowly and faded completely.
“No…” Serrator said. He crawled to his feet as tendrils of shadow energy started knitting his wounds back together. “No! My Hell!”
The villain spun and fired sporadic bursts of lightning. The lighting tore across the landscape with massive bursts of spark and flame that hurled debris through the air.
Juzou and Dayu jumped clear and leapt from the scene.
The rangers stood and armed their morphers. “Samurai scribe!”
They morphed into their armor as explosions and flames ignited around them, blocking them from sight.
The flames cleared, revealing Super Samurai Red holding his Bullzooka, and the other five Rangers holding the Fire Breaker in blaster mode.
Serrator thrust his hand at the Rangers. “Damn you!”
The Forsaken fired tendrils of lightning that exploded around the Rangers.
The Rangers stood their ground and triggered a pair of energy blasts. The blasts exploded against Serrator with massive bursts of flames and sparks.
Serrator screamed as flames tore across his body. He absorbed the flames’ energy and used it to grow giant. He stretched his massive arms and shouted a cry of insanity and rage.
The six Rangers quickly called on their zords and leapt into their cockpits. They assembled their Megazords: the Samurai Megazord, Claw Battlezord and Bull Megazord.
Samurai Red piloted the Bull Megazord, leaving Samurai Gold in the Claw Battlezord, and the other four Rangers in the Samurai Megazord.
Serrator extended his hand and fired bolts of lighting that exploded against the zords with massive bursts of spark and flame.
The Bull Megazord stomped through the flames and swung a punch at Serrator. But Serrator swatted the punch aside and clawed the Megazord with bursts of spark.
The Claw Battlezord slashed its sabers at the Forsaken. But Serrator parried the blow and clawed the zord with a massive burst of spark. Secondary explosions thrashed the Claw Battlezord and knocked it back several steps.
The Bull Megazord opened fire with its shoulder cannons. But the blasts sparked harmless against the Forsaken. Serrator clawed the Bull Megazord, knocking it backward.
The Samurai Megazord slashed its blade at the villain. Serrator caught the blade, twisted downward, and clawed the Megazord with a burst of spark.
The Forsaken formed a yellow energy bolt in his palm and smashed the bolt against the Megazord with a massive burst of spark that hurled it backward.
The Claw Battlezord moved in, and the Bull Megazord armed its cannon.
The Claw Battlezord armed claw-shaped fist weapons. “Claw Megazord! Claw Pincer Slash!”
The Bull Megazord powered up its cannon. “Bull Megazord Blaster! Charge!”
The Bull Megazord fired a roaring pulse of energy, and the Claw Battlezord swung its pincers through streaks of golden energy.
But Serrator tele-skipped back and forth through bursts of shadow to avoid the strikes. With hyper speed, he stabbed his claws against the Claw Battlezord repeatedly, with bursts of spark that tore against armor.
Serrator swatted the Claw Battlezord aside with a wide blow that nearly tore the origami in two.
The Bull Megazord fired beams of energy Serrator tele-skipped to dodge. The villain swatted the blaster aside, clawed the Megazord, and lifted his claw for a powerful blow.
A burst of spark exploded against Serrator from behind and knocked him back several steps.
The villain turned to see the Samurai Megazord, equipped with the Octozord.
The Bull Megazord and Claw Megazord regrouped around the Samurai Megazord.
Samurai Red pulled the latest Symbol Disc from his buckler — the Giga Disc. He snapped the Disc into his Samurai Seal. “Origami assemble!” he shouted. “Giga Fusion!”
All the Rangers’ zords shifted and pulsed with energy. They combined to form a massive, heavily armored Megazord.
“Samurai Gigazord!” the Rangers shouted. “Shinken Ha-ou!”
Too massive and heavy to walk, the Gigazord drove forward with the cart of the Bullzord beneath its feet.
Serrator formed a sphere of yellow energy in his palms and hurled the blast at the Gigazord. The blast sparked against the zord’s armor but didn’t halt its advance.
The Gigazord drove forward and chopped its blade towards Serrator. Serrator lifted his arms and blocked the blade with his wrists.
The Gigazord’s shoulder pinchers chopped down and stabbed Serrator, knocking him back several steps. The Gigazord slashed its blade upward, and the weapon sparked against the Forsaken and whipped him off his feet.
Serrator crashed and tumbled across the ground. He rose to his feet, and the knitted wound from Juzou’s blade started to throb with shadow energy. The villain cursed beneath his breath. He didn’t expect the power of Juzou’s sword to affect him so adversely.
Then he remembered — weapons forged by Forsaken could critically injure other Forsaken. He made Juzou’s blade.
Samurai Red kept his hand over his control console. “Now, guys!” he shouted. Together, they called out: “Samurai Gigazord! Giga Blast!”
The Gigazord swung its sword through a circle, forming a ring of kanji symbols that glowed with power. The Gigazord whined with energy that channeled into its helmet. The helmet fired a beam of energy that shot through the kanji ring, intensified, and stabbed towards Serrator.
Serrator caught the blast, which thrashed his body with massive bursts of spark and flame.
“Damn you…” Serrator said. “Damn you, Samurai!”
He hurled the blast at the Gigazord. The massive bolt of energy exploded against the Megazord with a massive shockwave that hurled it backward.
Weakly, Serrator stalked towards the Gigazord while holding his claw forward. Secondary explosions sparked through his body, and his chest wound throbbed with flashes of shadow energy.
“At least…at least I can send you to hell!” he shouted.
Samurai Yellow looked to Samurai Red. “What do we do?”
Samurai Green shook his head. “We need a new attack.”
Samurai Red pulled his sword from his control console. “Channel all your power into the Megazord,” he said. “He’s wounded…we can take him.”
The other Rangers pulled their blades from their control consoles. They spun their Symbol Discs. “Gigazord Saber!”
The saber pulsed with golden light.
Serrator lunged and clawed towards the Gigazord. But the Gigazord slashed the villain back with a massive burst of spark.
“More power,” Samurai Red shouted as he spun his Symbol Disc. “Everything you have…”
The Rangers spun their discs.
The kanji symbols of all their zords burned onto the blade of the Gigazord Saber. The symbols glowed brightly and bled together into a powerful white light that splashed across the streets.
The light nearly blinded Serrator as he staggered backward.
The Rangers spun their Symbol Discs, pouring more power into the Gigazord’s blade.
“Gigazord Saber!” the Rangers shouted. “Slash of Inferno!”
The Gigazord Saber chopped through a streak of white light that cut the Forsaken in half. The wound burned with white light that dropped the villain to his knees.
Serrator laughed as the wound tore at his body. “This pain…this pain!”
He exploded with a massive burst of fire that sent a ripping shockwave down the streets.
The Rangers would have celebrated — but Samurai Red slumped against his control console and lost consciousness.
To be continued…Chapter 38