Chapter 12: Ultimate Jungle Fury

The Violet Fist

 

PART ONE: Jealousy

 

Rain poured outside the RinJuken Akugata dojo. Rageku walked inside, followed by Camille.

 

Rageku laughed softly as she approached Kata. “It’s been a long time, Kata.”

 

“So, Rageku…” Kata said. “You brought this rain?”

 

“A slight drip of water, and nothing more,” Rageku said as she walked towards Jarrod. She took him by the chin. “So….This boy is the leader of the RinJuken?”

 

Kenma of the Sea, Rageku,” Jarrod said. “I hear you can ward off any enemy’s attacks. That you can use your opponent’s Ki against him. I’d like to learn this technique…”

 

“Kata, you’re raising quite the delicate RinJuken user,” Rageku said.

 

Rageku,” Camille said. “Even if you’re a Kenma, I can’t let you say such things about my lord, DaiShi.”

 

“Camille, no need to cover for him,” Rageku said. “I can easily see who’s worth teaching. No matter how strong, unless the potential is there, there’s a limit. Camille…I see the potential in you.”

 

Kaya scoffed. “You’re saying this woman is stronger than the young lion?”

 

“That isn’t the case?” Rageku asked.

 

“What nonsense,” Kata said as he walked from the room. 

 

“That…That can’t be,” Camille said.

 

“Camille,” Rageku said. “Prove me right. Defeat the one who calls himself DaiShi. Show me your power.”

 

“I would never!” Camille shouted. “There’s no way I would do that!”

 

“If you’re going to avoid battle, then leave!” Rageku shouted.

 

“I won’t do that either,” Camille said. “The only one who can give me orders is DaiShi.”

 

“What a troublesome girl…” Rageku said. “Very well then…”

 

The Kenma swung her staff towards Camille. But Jarrod whipped his cloak, which slapped the staff aside.

 

Rageku laughed softly. “Nice block…”

 

“Is that the extent of your power?” Jarrod asked.

 

“What a rude boy,” Rageku said.

 

A tendril stabbed Jarrod’s back. The tendril pulsed with purple energy and drove the teen to his knees.

 

Camille opened her eyes wide with horror. She saw the tendril retract into the robes of Rageku.

 

Rageku…what have you done?” Camille asked.

 

Ringi Rabu Shouwaku,” she said. “I’ve injected him with a poison that reacts to Rinki.”

 

Camille rushed towards Jarrod. But Rageku lashed out with dozens of tendrils that snapped her back. Several tendrils wrapped around Jarrod and pinned his arms to his sides.

 

“You will be dead within the day,” Rageku said.

 

Camille narrowed her eyes and climbed to her feet. She morphed into her armor with a burst of green light.

 

The Shaded lashed out with her tongue spear. Rageku dodged and whipped the Shaded aside with a burst of spark.

 

Camille rolled into a crouched position and armed her sai blades. But Rageku dashed forward and placed her staff against the Shaded’s neck before she could attack.

 

“Calm down,” Rageku said. “This is my lesson.”

 

“Lesson?”

 

“Yes, Camille,” Rageku said. “You will fight the opponent of my choosing, using all of your power. And you, Jarrod, will witness her true strength. Strength that is greater than yours.”

 

***

 

R.J. sat on the roof of the Black Sash dojo and stared into the distance. His older brother by adoption, Rick, took a seat next to him.

 

“You’re looking better,” Rick said.

 

R.J. nodded and said nothing. His gaze looked cold and distant. 

 

Rick sighed. “We’re going to have to talk eventually.”

 

“Are we?” R.J. snapped. “You knew. This whole time. And you never told me any of it. About my real parents. This exorcist crap. For how long?”

 

“He just wanted to protect you,” Rick said.

 

“For how long?!” R.J. demanded.

 

“Since I was 12,” Rick said. “That’s when he started training me…”

 

R.J. scoffed. “So he tells you everything and leaves me in the dark. You always were the favorite.”

 

“It’s not like that at all,” Rick said. “He wanted to keep you safe for as long as he could.”

 

“That worked out well,” R.J. said sarcastically.

 

Rick knitted his brow. “Look, I lost a father too. We’re both grieving. But we have bigger things to worry about. Do you know what’s happening in the world? It’s all escalating. Cops shooting innocent kids, terrorists blowing up buses, politicians driving society into collapse…it’s all them. Demons.”

 

“I doubt it’s all because of demons,” R.J. said. “Don’t be a drama queen. And don’t try to change the subject.”

 

“I’m not,” Rick said. “Dad wanted to keep you away from that evil as long as he could. But now he’s gone. So you can either sit here and pout, or you can carry on his fight.”

 

“Do you hear yourself right now?” R.J. asked as he stood. “‘Carry on his fight’? If he wanted me to carry on his fight, if he cared about me a tenth as much as he cared about you, he would have told me this bullshit himself.”

 

R.J. stormed off, and Rick called after him.

 

“R.J., wait! Faust is still out there. You should-”

 

“Bite me, Four Eyes,” R.J. said as he left the roof.

 

Rick adjusted his glasses and sighed.

 

***

 

“And then Enzo blasted him with lightning, and Rika shot these electric foxes at him!” Evan said, his eyes alight with excitement.

 

“Wow,” Lilly said as she shuffled his hair. “You guys were busy. Maybe you should form your own little Ranger squad.”

 

Evan wrinkled his nose and smiled. “I don’t like tights.”

 

“They’re not tights, kid,” Lilly said. “They’re…”

 

She hesitated, looked to Theo, and arced an eyebrow.

 

Theo shrugged. “Don’t look at me…”

 

She looked to Casey, and he shook his head.

 

“I have no idea…” Casey said.

 

“Well…” Lilly said. “They’re still not tights.”

 

Suddenly, the dojo’s alarms beeped. They looked towards the television and saw an image of Rageku in giant form off the coast of Angel Grove West. 

 

“Speaking of spandex…” Lilly said.

 

***

 

The Rangers arrived at the docks and saw the giant Rageku. The Kenma carried her staff over her shoulder and laughed as she waded through the ocean.

 

“Is that…a jellyfish?” Blue Jaguar asked.

 

Fog surrounded the Kenma and blew across the shore.

 

The Rangers slapped their right fists against their left palms. “Geki Beasts, emerge!”

 

They thrust their fists and fired waves of energy shaped like their animal spirits. The spirits expanded and grew giant. The Rangers leapt into the air and entered their Geki Beasts, which solidified into zords: The Geki Tiger, Geki Cheetah and Geki Jaguar.

 

 Geki Beasts unite!” the Rangers shouted. “Jungle Fury Fusion!” The three zords shifted shape and combed to form a Megazord.

 

“Jungle Pride Megazord!” the Rangers shouted. “Geki Touja!”

 

The mist thickened, blocking Rageku from sight. Geki Touja stomped towards the ocean. But the Kenma appeared behind the Megazord.

 

She laughed softly.

 

“Behind us!” Red Tiger shouted.

 

The Megazord snapped around and stomped towards the monster. Geki Touja lunged with a punch.

 

At the same time, Rageku shifted into a gelatinous form, dropped to the ground, slid across the street, and rose into her solid form behind the Megazord.

 

Rageku twirled her staff and stabbed the Megazord’s face with a burst of spark. The impact whipped the Megazord off its feet, and it crashed onto its back.

 

“What was that?” Yellow Cheetah asked.

 

Geki Touja climbed back to its feet.

 

Rageku laughed mockingly at the Rangers. “Come. Try again…please.”

 

Geki Touja lunged and launched a volley of punches. But the punches passed harmlessly through the monster’s gelatinous body, which jiggled with each strike.

 

Red Tiger rolled his hands into fists. “OK…How about this?”

 

The Rangers slapped their right fists against their left palms. “Geki Waza! Dai Gan Gan Ken!

 

The Megazord extended its arms and spun its upper body like a drill. Geki Touja’s spinning punches bashed repeatedly through the Kenma’s head.

 

Rageku’s body burst and splashed onto the streets. The gel reformed, slid up the Megazord’s legs, and covered its back. Rageku took solid shape and grabbed onto the Megazord.

 

“You are a failure…” she said. “You’re not qualified to take part in my lesson…”

 

She squeezed, igniting bursts of spark that ripped through the Megazord and into its cockpit. The impact blasted Geki Touja into its separate zords, and tossed the Rangers onto the streets.

 

The teens crashed with enough force to knock them from their armor with bursts of light.

 

***

 

Adam leaned over the ledge of a rooftop and looked out upon the city. He grasped onto the feather of Kujaku, which he kept all this time. Even after all these years, he still remembered her, missed her, and cared for her deeply.

 

Kujaku…” he whispered. “What am I doing?”

 

The wind blew, and he sensed the disturbance in Angel Grove West. Adam narrowed his eyes. He recognized that presence: The Kenma.

 

The former ranger dashed towards the coast. He knew he couldn’t fight, not full force, at least. The older you grew, the less your body could withstand The Power.

 

Still, he and the Kenma had unfinished business.

 

***

 

The rangers climbed to their feet. Casey ran to the railing that looked out upon the ocean. But he spotted no sign of the Kenma.

 

Lilly shook her head. “We couldn’t even touch her.”

 

“It’s like she turned her whole body into…goo,” Theo said.

 

Suddenly, Rageku appeared normal-sized and walked towards the teens.

 

“It’s my RinJuken Jellyfish-Fist,” she said. “Remember that.”

 

The rangers slid into fighting stances.

 

Rageku swung her staff and fired a burst of air. The wind blew the rangers off their feet, and they crashed onto a lower level of the industrial park.

 

Rageku walked to the railing of the upper level and looked down upon the teens.

 

“Tell me…” she said. “Where is your master? Where is the Lion Ranger of the Heaven Illusion Star?”

 

“Right here!” Adam shouted as he ran towards the Kenma from behind.

 

The villain turned to face the former Ranger. “Ah, just as expected. It’s been a long time, Lion Ranger.”

 

Rageku….” he said. “You’re freed.”

 

“Very much so,” she said. “No thanks to you, Lion Ranger.”

 

“How did you-”

 

Rageku waved her hand dismissively. “No questions, Lion Ranger. There’s nothing so complicated that you need to ask. I want what all demons want. Power. And RinJuken is the path to power!”

 

“You called out to Jarrod…” Adam said.

 

Rageku laughed. “Yes, the son of the foolish DaiShi. Do you know our history, Ranger? The story of the true DaiShi?”

 

“I don’t care,” Adam said. “Release whatever hold you have over Jarrod. Disband the RinJuken. And leave.”

 

Rageku laughed. “We Ten Kenma served the Mogralord, the Great Beast of Hell. Through him, our bodies filled with Rinki! But when the Mogralord set his sights upon Earth, he used mortals to do his bidding. The Gorma became his eyes, quite literally — through those ridiculous third eyes of theirs. Through the Mogralord, the Gorma learned to churn their Ki into Rinki. DaiShi became…jealous. As did some of the other Kenma. But they remained loyal. Then the Gorma reappeared and once again became the favored of the Mogralord. It was then that DaiShi could no longer stand his servitude…”

 

***

 

Hell, years ago

 

The shrine of the Mogralord spanned endless miles within the pits of Hell. The Great Beast of Hell lived somewhere deep inside the shrine, but rarely showed himself to his followers.

 

Spirits floated through the shrine, and lesser demons marched aimlessly through its gates, etched with symbols of demonic beasts and animals.

 

The demon DaiShi stood near the main gate and rolled his hands into fists. His upper body looked covered in a mane of black flame. He wore mystical armor etched with the symbol of the lion, and his face looked lion-like, with black fur and eyes that burned with golden fire.

 

Mogralord!” he shouted into the shrine. “Show yourself, Great Beast of Hell!”

 

The ground trembled, but no one answered. “You would use mortals — mortals — as your favored soldiers?! We have spent an eternity under your training! And you repay us with-”

 

The Mogralord’s presence stabbed through DaiShi’s mind and drove him to his knees.

 

Know your place…” the Great Beast of Hell whispered into the demon’s mind.

 

DaiShi rolled his hands into fists and stood. He felt the Mogralord pull back and become silent.

 

“Is that all?!” DaiShi shouted. “Is that all?!!”

 

Silence answered.

 

***

 

DaiShi retreated to his chambers and met with four of his fellow Kenma.

 

“We have served the Mogralord since we climbed from the fiery pits of this Hell,” DaiShi said. “He has rewarded us with great power. But what good is such power when unused? The Mogralord, the Great Beast of Hell, once again uses mortals as his army. Mortals! We are demons! He should unleash us upon the human world with a fury like never before! We should be his chosen army!”

 

The demon shook his head and punched through the nearest wall. “No more. Now…the time has come for us to break free. To forge our own clan within the Nine Circles.”

 

The door burst open. The demon Maku walked into the room while carrying the severed head of a Kenma. He bit off the face and tossed it aside.

 

DaiShi,” Maku said with a powerful, rumbling voice. “You’re an idiot!”

 

Maku thrust his hand with a burst of Rinki that bashed DaiShi against the wall.  

 

Maku…” DaiShi cursed. “You would continue to follow the Mogralord blindly?”

 

“No, you fool, but I keep my mouth shut about it!”

 

DaiShi’s followers pounced at Maku. The Bear-Fist demon tore them apart with splatters of black ichor.

 

***

 

“Thus began the RinJuken rebellion,” Rageku said. “We destroyed the demons loyal to DaiShi, who went into hiding, deep within Hell.”

 

“You must be very proud,” Adam said. “I already told you. I don’t care. Release Jarrod and disband the RinJuken…”

 

Nearby, Camille walked to the scene along with Jarrod, who she practically needed to carry. Rageku’s tendril kept his arms pinned, and the Kenma’s poison weakened his every step.

 

Rageku laughed softly and looked towards Camille.

 

“Camille…” she said. “You’ve come. Good. The opponent I have chosen for you is this man: the Lion Ranger of the Heaven Illusion Star! The Ranger of Light! Thus begins your training…”

 

Jarrod narrowed his eyes. “Camille…against the Lion Ranger…?”

 

“You want to fight someone?” Lilly shouted at the Kenma. “Fight me!”

 

“Leave Adam alone!” Casey shouted.

 

Rageku waved her hand dismissively. “Be quiet and watch.”

 

She stabbed her staff against the ground with a burst of blue energy. Gel formed beneath the rangers’ feet and slid up their ankles, trapping them in place.

 

The Kenma looked towards Camille. “Camille, fight to your heart’s content. Or else…”

 

Jarrod winced and dropped to his knees. The poison spread further through his body, discoloring his skin into a pale purple hue.

 

DaiShi!” Camille shouted as she kneeled at his side. “The poison…”

 

Camille looked towards Adam and narrowed her eyes.

 

Adam shook his head. “You don’t need to do this. She’s using you. Manipulating both of you.”

 

Camille stood and shifted into her Shaded form, with chalk-white skin and hair, and solid-black eyes except for green irises.

 

She stalked towards Adam. “I am the warrior who fights for the love of DaiShi. RinJuken Chameleon-Fist. Camille.”

 

She dashed forward and morphed into her armor with a burst of green light.

 

She launched a flurry of punches and spin kicks Adam blocked and dodged.

 

Rageku stood next to Jarrod. “Jarrod…Watch carefully, and see what true strength is.”

 

Camille snapped a back-fist strike. Adam grabbed her arm and twisted it behind her back.

 

“You’re sloppy,” Adam said as he pushed her to the ground.

 

Adam looked to Rageku. “This is between you and me. Let go of your hold on them.”

 

“My hold?” Rageku said. “You naive little man. They act of their own free will. The will of RinJuken!”

 

Camille climbed to her feet. Ringi!  Mugen Reppa!

 

She opened her jaw, lashed out her tongue, and stabbed it through her gut. Her technique burned her own cells and blood to increase her power.

 

She leapt through the air towards Adam. Ringi! ZenKaido Ran!

 

She lashed her tongue through a volley of spear strikes that punctured the ground with bursts of spark. Adam dove aside and rolled across the ground.

 

Camille’s body glowed with Rinki and shot towards Adam. She tackled him to the street with a massive impact that kicked dirt and debris into the air.

 

Adam knew he could trigger a burst of light to incinerate her completely. But he risked killing himself in the process.

 

Rageku laughed softly. “You looked down on her strength,” she said to Jarrod. “How foolish.”

 

Camille leapt through the air and landed in a fighting stance, as did Adam.

 

Adam staggered backward and nearly collapsed but managed to stay on his feet.

 

Camille glowed with a dark-purple aura that covered her body like flame.

 

“I will protect my lord…” she said. “I will protect him!”

 

She lunged with a flurry of punches that bashed Adam’s gut. She snapped a crescent kick that bashed him off his feet.

 

“Adam!” Casey shouted.

 

Rageku looked to Jarrod. “Your existence is her source of power, and also her weak spot. For you, she will use any means necessary. She is prepared to throw away her life, at any moment. That is her strength. Her next attack. With its power…it could kill her.”

 

Camille slid into a fighting pose. “The ultimate Ringi…”

 

Jarrod narrowed his eyes. He tightened his hands into fists and struggled against the tendrils that bound him.

 

His aura flared with dark-purple light, and he snapped from the bindings with bursts of spark.

 

Camille charged at Adam and swung a punch. But Jarrod dashed at her and grabbed her fist before it could connect.

 

He grabbed her in an embrace.

 

“Jarrod…” she whispered.

 

“You’ve shown me your power, Camille,” he whispered.

 

Camille powered down her armor.

 

“Jarrod…” she whispered again.

 

Her eyes rolled back as she passed out from her exertion. Jarrod lowered her to the ground.

 

Rageku noticed that Jarrod’s skin showed no signs of her poison. “How? How did you beat my Ringi Rabu Shouwaku?”

 

“If it reacts to Rinki and seals Rinki, then I just had to create a Rinki more powerful.”

 

“What?!”

 

Jarrod stepped into a fighting pose. His aura flared with black-and-gold light as he morphed into his armor. The morph triggered explosions of Rinki that burst into flames around him.

 

The shockwaves knocked the rangers from the gel and hurled them through the air. They crashed and skid across the ground.

 

Adam climbed to his feet and faced his former student. “Jarrod…”

 

“Park,” the villain said. “You escaped death today. Next time I see you. You will die.”

 

He looked to Rageku. Rageku! Behold my power.”

 

He dashed through a blur of motion and tackled Rageku. He bashed her against a building, tackled her through the air, and smashed her into the ocean.

 

They stood in the shallow water, and Jarrod pommeled the Kenma with punches and palm-heel strikes, forcing her back before she could defend herself.

 

Rageku stepped back and shifted into her gelatinous form. Jarrod’s punches passed through her harmlessly.

 

Rageku solidified and lifted her staff against the Shaded’s neck.

 

“Is that all you have? You have much to learn…” Rageku said.

 

She twirled her staff and slashed Jarrod with bursts of spark that whipped him off his feet. The villain splashed into the water.

 

Rageku laughed and lowered her staff.

 

Slowly, Jarrod climbed to his feet. “I see…RinJuken Jellyfish-Fist wards off an enemy’s attack. A Fist that wins without force. But…there’s an opening in your movement.”

 

“You believe you have seen such a thing?”

 

The Shaded stepped into a fighting pose. Ringi. Rai Gou Dan.

 

He hurled bolts of Rinki that burst through the Kenma’s gelatinous form.

 

Jarrod charged with a burst of black energy that exploded against Rageku with massive bursts of spark that hurled her off her feet.

 

Rageku crashed and rolled to her knees.

 

Camille leapt through the air and landed beside Jarrod.

 

Rageku looked up to face them. She laughed softly.

 

Camille narrowed her eyes. “What’s so funny?”

 

“Quiet, girl,” Rageku said. She looked to Jarrod. “You were overflowing with power, correct?”

 

Jarrod nodded.

 

“You didn’t get that power through some naïve desire to save Camille. It was through your desire to be better than her. Stronger. Your jealousy of her power made you stronger.”

 

“Did you mean to teach me that from the beginning?” Jarrod asked.

 

“Jealousy is power,” Rageku said. “That power…is RinJuken. Now…will you follow my lessons?”

 

“If those lessons lead to power,” Jarrod said.

 

He kneeled before Rageku, as did Camille.

 

“You two will burn your bodies with jealously,” she said. “Through that suffering, you will know strength. Through that suffering, you will know power.”

 

***

 

PART TWO: ShiGeki is Mine Alone

 

Hours passed. Adam walked into the dojo to find Rick packing a bag of equipment.

 

“Going somewhere?” Adam asked.

 

“To find my brother,” Rick said. “With Faust still out there, I need to be prepared. There’s no telling what he’s capable of.”

 

“Can’t you call the Knights of the True Cross for help?” Adam asked.

 

Rick shook his head. “I contacted them and told them what happened, but they didn’t believe me. They trust Faust too much. He’s been helping the church for 1,000 years. But they barely know me…so they think I’m possessed and trying to frame him. I wouldn’t be surprised if they sent exorcists after me.”

 

Adam nodded. “OK. Then let me and the others help. We have a better chance of finding your brother if we all work together.”

 

“I didn’t think you trusted me,” Rick said.

 

“I’m starting to,” Adam said. “The way you worked with Kyle, Enzo, Evan and Rika…You turned them into a team.”

 

Rick chambered his gun. “I just did what I had to.”

 

Adam nodded. “I’ll get the Rangers…”

 

***

 

In their Shaded forms, Camille and Jarrod entered the throne room of the RinJuken Akugata dojo.

 

Kata and Rageku stood on the main dais and looked down upon the teens.

 

“Now,” they said in unison. “We will conduct the RinMei Ceremony.”

 

RinJuken Lion-Fist user…” Kata said. “Come forth.”

 

Jarrod walked to the dais and lowered his head.

 

“As leader of the RinJuken, you require an army,” Kata said.

 

“A real army,” Rageku said. “Forced to obey your will.”

 

“Our enemies fester,” Kata said. “The First Demon, Azmodai, lays claim to these lands. His children form the backbone of his forces.”

 

“You will steal one of these children, and they will become one of us. RinJuken. The first of your new army,” Rageku said.

 

Jarrod knitted his brow. “Where will I find these children?”

 

“One of them has broken free from his father’s hold. This boy carries not only the blood of demons, but the blood of werewolves,” Rageku said. “Capture him, increase your strength, and deal our enemy a weakening blow.”

 

“With this honorable fight, with the first foe you crush and turn into your minion, you will become the true leader of the RinJuken,” Kata said.

 

Jarrod nodded. “It will be done.”

 

“Excellent,” Kata said. “And now, a gift from we Kenma.”

 

Kata and Rageku stepped towards two stone statues embedded in the wall. They placed their hands against the statues and flared their Rinki, which gave the figures life.

 

The two beetle-armored warriors stepped onto the dais.

 

geki-vr-butokageki-vr-wagataku

 

Rinki Sentinel Butoka comes from me, and my power,” Kata said of the white-armored monster.

 

Wagataku is my reflection,” Rageku said. “They move using the Rinki we infused into their bodies. If anyone tries to interfere with your honorable fight, they will act as sentinels to drive them off.”

 

Kata looked to Camille. “And Chameleon-Fist user…”

 

“Yes,” Camille said as she lowered her head.

 

“You will act as the witness. You will watch over the entire battle,” Kata said.

 

Camille smiled. “I am spoiled by this delightful duty. I understand.”

 

***

 

R.J. crouched on a rooftop and waited. He saw two young men follow a girl down a dark alleyway.

 

The teen shook his head at the sight of the girl. “How stupid can you be…?”

 

The men broke into a run and chased after their victim.

 

R.J. pounced at them.

 

He tackled the lead man and hurled him through the air. The man smashed against the wall and crashed to the street.

 

The second man charged at R.J. The teen bashed his elbow across the man’s head, kneed his gut, and hurled him aside.

 

“Come on,” R.J. said as he rolled his shoulders. “That all you got?”

 

The men climbed to their feet. Their eyes shifted to solid black, demon possessed.

 

R.J. smirked. “That’s what I thought.”

 

The demons charged. R.J. snapped a spin kick that bashed them off their feet.

 

The teen lifted a demon by the shirt, elbowed his face, and tossed him down the alleyway.

 

R.J. snarled and faced the second demon, who climbed to his feet. The teen pounced and kneed the demon upside the head.

 

The demons scrambled to their feet and ran.

 

“You better run!” R.J. shouted.

 

“They weren’t running from you,” a voice said from the shadows.

 

R.J. looked to see Jarrod and Camille step from the darkness, flanked by the Rinki Sentinels Butoka and Wagataku.

 

Jarrod and Camille assumed their Shaded forms, hair and skin chalk white. Jarrod’s eyes looked solid black except for his golden irises, and Camille’s eyes looked solid black except for her green irises.

 

R.J. narrowed his eyes. “You’re…like me.”

 

“Do not insult Lord DaiShi,” Camille said. “We are nothing like you. We are RinJuken.”

 

Jarrod rolled his hands into fists. “Rin Amantini. Son of Azmodai. Your life will belong to me…”

 

“OK, you’re psycho,” R.J. said as he stepped into a fighting stance. “My life belongs to me and no one else. So back off, freaks.”

 

“Show me your true face,” Jarrod said. “Wolf…”

 

R.J. snarled and shifted into his Shaded form. His skin and hair became pale white, and his eyes glowed purple and wolf-like. He growled, revealing his fangs.

 

“Show me your power,” Jarrod said.

 

R.J. pounced to attack. He swiped his claws at Jarrod. But Jarrod grabbed the teen’s wrist and kicked him backward.

 

R.J. staggered, and Jarrod punched him to the ground.

 

“Pathetic…” Jarrod said. “You’re not worthy of-”

 

R.J. shot to his feet, grabbed Jarrod in a chokehold and pushed him backward. The teen kneed Jarrod’s gut, elbowed his head, and clawed his chest; the impact whipped Jarrod off his feet.

 

Jarrod grinned as he rolled into a crouched stance. “Better…I will add your power to my RinJuken.”

 

“Stop!” Casey shouted as he ran to the scene along with Theo and Lilly. “Leave him alone!”

 

R.J. snarled at the rangers. “I don’t need you to fight my battles for me…” he growled. “Go away!”

 

Jarrod pounced and swatted R.J. aside. The villain glared at the rangers.

 

“Rangers…” he said.

 

He knew the Kenma wanted him to subdue R.J. But Jarrod wanted nothing more than to best the Rangers in battle and prove his strength; his power over them. 

 

Jarrod rolled his hands into fists. His aura ignited like purple and black flame. Rinki Gai Sou.

 

He morphed into his armor with a burst of dark light.

 

“With the ferocity of the lion… RinJuken, DaiShi.”

 

The rangers armed their morphers. “Jungle Beast! Spirit unleash!”

 

Energy wrapped around them as they morphed into their armor.

 

“With the strength of the tiger…Jungle Fury Red Ranger!”

 

“With the stealth of the jaguar…Jungle Fury Blue Ranger!”

 

“With the speed of the cheetah…Jungle Fury Yellow Ranger!”

 

“Savage Task Force!” the Red Ranger shouted. Together they called out: “Jungle Fury Rangers!”

 

The three Rangers charged to attack.

 

But the Rinki Sentinels activated and dashed through blurs of motion. They stabbed Red Tiger and Blue Jaguar with bursts of spark that whipped them off their feet.

 

Yellow Cheetah slid past the monsters. But she hesitated when she heard their blades thrashing her teammates’ armor.

 

“Casey! Theo!” she shouted.

 

DaiShi glared at the Yellow Rangers.

 

“I’ll start with you…” he said.

 

Yellow Cheetah armed her Elephant Hammer. She stepped into a fighting stance and twirled the ball and chain.

 

“Try me,” she said. “Geki Waza! Dan Dan Gan!

 

She snapped the mace at her enemy.

 

DaiShi grabbed the chain and pulled, snapping the Yellow Ranger towards him. He swung a punch. But the Yellow Ranger grabbed his wrist and used it as leverage to flip over him.

 

The Yellow Ranger landed and swung her mace. DaiShi caught the mace; Yellow Cheetah pressed forward with a kick the villain blocked with his ankle. 

 

DaiShi bashed the mace from Yellow Cheetah’s hands and swung a high crescent kick. The Yellow Ranger somersaulted beneath the blow and rolled to her feet.

 

Geki Waza! Da Da Dan!” She swung a volley of rapid punches DaiShi blocked.

 

The villain grabbed her fists and twisted, forcing the Ranger to her knees.

 

Geki Juken Cheetah-Fist…” DaiShi said. “Where is this speed you speak of?”

 

“Right here, you bastard.”

 

She hopped and used both legs to kick DaiShi back, breaking his hold.

 

The Yellow Ranger landed and slapped her right fist against her left palm. “Geki Waza! Shun Shun Dan!

 

She thrust her palms and fired a wave of energy shaped like her animal spirit. 

 

Jarrod leapt through the energy wave and bashed his palm against Yellow Cheetah’s chest, hurling her backward. She smashed through a nearby building.

 

“Lilly!” Blue Jaguar shouted.

 

R.J. scrambled to his feet and ran towards Jarrod. But Camille blocked his path. She kicked his gut and knife-hand chopped the back of his neck, dropping him to the ground.

 

“You will wait until my lord-”

 

R.J. sprang to his feet with an uppercut that bashed Camille’s chest. She staggered backward.

 

R.J. pressed forward with a swipe of his claws. But Camille grabbed his wrist, twisted his arm behind his back, and smashed him to the ground.

 

“You will wait until DaiShi is ready for you, little wolf,” she said.

 

Blue Jaguar broke away from the Rinki Sentinels and leapt towards Jarrod.

 

The Blue Ranger armed his two Geki Fans and landed while twirling them through a series of strikes DaiShi dodged. 

 

The villain countered with a kick and punch the Blue Ranger blocked with his fans. Blue Jaguar stepped back and spun with a swipe of his fans; the weapons slashed DaiShi with bursts of spark.

 

The Blue Jungle Fury Ranger leapt upward.

 

Geki Waza! Chuu Chuu Zan!

 

He landed while chopping DaiShi’s shoulders with bursts of spark. DaiShi grabbed his wrists and hurled him aside.

 

“Your mentor once told me I lacked something. Something that you three possessed. Tonight, I prove him a fool,” DaiShi said.

 

Red Tiger knocked Butoka aside and dashed to face Jarrod.

 

“So…” Jarrod said. “The last one is you. The Tiger-Fist user. I still remember you as a clumsy boy, foolish and soft spoken. You are no tiger.”

 

“I’ve beaten you before.”

 

“By luck,” Jarrod said. “Face me now. GekiJuken versus RinJuken.”

 

“What happened to you, Jarrod?” Red Tiger asked.

 

“I have become strong.”

 

“Strength is-”

 

“Do you want to prattle, or do you want to fight? Frightened, weak, boy.”

 

The Red Ranger tightened his fists. He charged to attack and armed his Shark Sabers, his latest weapons.

 

He swung the swords through intricate patterns. DaiShi blocked and dodged without needing to take a step.

 

Red Tiger bashed the hilts against DaiShi’s chest with bursts of spark. But the villain didn’t budge.

 

The Red Ranger twisted his grip and swung the weapons at the villain’s sides. DaiShi blocked and punched the Ranger’s chest with a burst of spark. He punched again, and again, each blow sparking on impact.

 

The final blow knocked the Red Ranger off his feet. He rolled into a crouched stance and combined his sabers into a single sword.

 

Geki Waza! Nami Nami Zan!

 

He swung the sword through a streak of energy that slashed towards DaiShi. But the Villain used his elbow and knee to trap the blade.

 

DaiShi punched Red Tiger through the air. Before the Red Ranger crashed, DaiShi pounced with a volley of punches that sparked on impact and hurled the Ranger father backward.

 

“You aren’t even trying…” DaiShi said. “All three of you. Attack as one.”

 

Camille knitted her brow. DaiShi. The Shaded. Remember why we’re here. To-”

 

“Attack as one,” DaiShi said again.

 

The Rangers regrouped.

 

“Claw Cannon!” they shouted as they summoned their weapon. They poured their Geki into the bazooka.

 

Geki Waza!” they shouted. “Geki Geki Hou!

 

The cannon fired a twirling pulse of orange-tinted energy.

 

DaiShi thrust his palm and caught the blast, which thrashed and sparked his hand.

 

He hurled the blast back at the Rangers; it exploded with massive bursts of spark.

 

“Weak, pathetic ones,” DaiShi said. “At least give me your screams!”

 

He hurled a wave of gold-and-black energy shaped like a lion. The lion tackled the Rangers with bursts of spark and flame.

 

The impact knocked Theo and Lilly from their armor.

 

But Red Tiger still stood.

 

“You still stand?” DaiShi asked.

 

Red Tiger didn’t answer. He charged to attack.

 

DaiShi uppercut punched the Ranger’s gut, knocking him from his armor and to the ground.

 

“Another trip. Another fall. Still pathetic,” DaiShi said. “You and your friends. I believe I will kill them first…and make you watch.”

 

Casey rolled his hands into fists and climbed to his feet. His Geki flared, with a renewed intensity that thrashed like jet flames.

 

He screamed with a force that shook the streets and charged through a burst of speed.

 

The ranger swung a punch.

 

But his powers faltered. His injuries too much, he lost consciousness and collapsed.

 

***

 

R.J. took advantage of the distraction caused by DaiShi’s defeat of the Rangers.

 

He ran.

 

He ran from the RinJuken. He ran from the Rangers. From his brother. From his past. From the ghost of his father.

 

Why didn’t you tell me…he thought. Why?!

 

The teen leapt onto a nearby rooftop. To his surprise, he found Adam Park waiting.

 

R.J. narrowed his eyes. “You following me?”

 

“Yes,” Adam said.

 

“That’s not very smart…” R.J. said.

 

“Maybe not,” Adam said. “But you’re brother’s worried about you. I’m just trying to help.”

 

“I don’t need help,” R.J. said. “So don’t pretend like you care. You don’t have any reason to.”

 

“There’s a war going on,” Adam said. “The RinJuken. The other demons. They’re trying to use people like you…like Jarrod…and there’s no stopping them.”

 

“Is that supposed to be a motivational speech?” R.J. asked. “Because it sucks.”

 

“There’s no stopping them because of people like you,” Adam said. “You face tragedy, and you blame everyone for it. You hide from it. And you lash out, instead of doing something about it. You’re a coward.”

 

R.J. lunged and punched Adam to the ground. “Screw you! Who the hell do you think you are?!”

 

“Am I wrong?” Adam asked as he climbed to his feet.

 

“I’m no coward, you son-of-a-bitch,” R.J. said.

 

“Then prove it,” Adam said as he pulled a bracer from his jacket. The golden-edged, purple bracer looked like the head of the wolf.

 

R.J. knitted his brow. “What is that?”

 

“A morpher,” Adam said. “You can’t use Geki. You’re Shaded. But you have…your own kind of power. ShiGeki. It’s similar to Rinki. But it’s not tainted by evil.”

 

I’m tainted by evil,” R.J. said.

 

“It’s in your blood,” Adam said. “And if you hide from it, it will control your whole life. But if you face it? Use it for something good?”

 

“You mean like being a Ranger?” R.J. asked.

 

“This morpher was meant for someone with ShiGeki, and the spirit of the wolf,” Adam said. “Is it yours? Or are you too afraid?”

 

R.J. shifted into his Shaded form and lunged. He gripped Adam by the neck so hard his nails dug into the former Ranger’s skin.

 

Adam didn’t even flinch. He stared ahead. Cold.

 

R.J. grunted and let go. “I’m tired of being used.”

 

“Then fight back against those who would use you. The RinJuken. The demons. The Hellfire Club.”

 

“Join your little team?” R.J. asked. He scoffed. “Not going to happen.”

 

“I didn’t say anything about joining my team,” Adam said. “I’m not even sure if I’d welcome you.”

 

R.J. narrowed his eyes. “Is this some sort of reverse psychology-

 

“A friend of mine led a Ranger team,” Adam said. “One of his students went dark and killed a lot of people. Another joined a group of assassins and almost wiped out all of Angel Grove East. I want to keep that from happening again by helping people like you. Shaded. But for you, it might be too late.”

 

R.J. snarled. “You’re wrong.”

 

“Then prove it!” Adam shouted.

 

R.J. grabbed the bracer. 

 

Below, Camille and an army of Rinshi caught up with the teen. She morphed into her armor and looked up to face him. 

 

Rin Amantini!” Camille shouted. “You will submit to the will of DaiShi! This time, you will not escape!”

 

“I don’t plan on running…” R.J. said as he turned to face the villains.

 

He armed his bracer. “Jungle Beast! Spirit, unleash!”

 

His violet aura flared around him as he morphed into his Ranger form.

 

“With the courage of the wolf! Jungle Fury, Violet Ranger!”

 

He leapt from the roof, landed and charged towards the Rinshi. GekiJuken! Wolf-Fist!”

 

He bashed through the Rinshi with a volley of elbow and knee strikes. The Violet Wolf Ranger struck hard and fast, with close-range attacks that pommeled the grunts.

 

Ban Ban Shuu! The Wolf Ranger leapt onto a grunt’s back and elbowed his head, dropping him to the ground.

 

He snapped around with a spin kick that bashed two Rinshi off their feet.

 

The Ranger leapt through the air. “Geki Waza! Rou Rou Shuu!

 

He spun with a flying axe-kick that bashed a Rinshi’s collar bone; the grunt collapsed to the dirt.  

 

Violet Wolf slid into a fighting stance as another wave of Rinshi approached.

 

He kneed a grunt in the gut, elbowed a Rinshi across the head, and spin-kicked two grunts off their feet.

 

The Ranger hopped with a knee to a grunt’s chest, landed, spun, and elbowed a grunt’s head.

 

Violet Wolf somersaulted backward through the air and landed while kneeing a grunt to the ground.

 

Camille leapt towards the Ranger and spat a volley of darts. The Ranger blocked and kicked the darts from the air with bursts of spark before they could connect.

 

Camille landed, armed her sai blades, and charged.

 

The villain slashed her blades through a volley of strikes. But the Wolf Ranger used his forearms to parry and block her strikes.

 

Rin...” Camille said as she pressed her attack. Her sai blades sparked against the Ranger’s arms. “You are one of us. You should be with us!”

 

“I’m not one of you,” the Wolf Ranger said as he hopped over a leg strike and blocked a second swing. “And I never will be!”

 

He lunged with an elbow strike. Camille crossed her sai blades to block; The Ranger’s elbow shattered the blades and bashed Camille backward.

 

The villain staggered but stayed on her feet. “You…” Camille cursed beneath her breath. “That strength…”

 

The Violet Wolf hopped forward and kneed Camille’s face. The blow whipped her off her feet, and she crashed against the dirt.

 

The Wolf Ranger landed and slid into a defensive stance.

 

Camille climbed to her feet and rolled her hands into fists. “You…Damn you!”

 

The villain charged at her opponent.

 

The Violet Wolf Ranger snapped a switch on his bracer. “GekiJuken Wolf-Fist! Geki Waza! Gon Gon Ken!

 

He channeled his ShiGeki through his bracer, which pulsed with violet energy. The energy enveloped his fist with an aura like amethyst flame.

 

The Violet Wolf Ranger lunged with an energized punch that bashed Camille’s faceplate.

 

Geki Waza! Shou Shou Geki!

 

He swung an energized uppercut that smashed upside her head and hurled her backward through the air.

 

***

 

Jarrod watched from a distance. He saw Camille climb to her feet and flee. He felt R.J.’s power ebb and flow through the entire block.

 

“That strength…” he whispered.

 

He never felt anything greater, not even from the Kenma.

 

The villain turned and walked away.

 

***

 

Adam returned to the dojo and met with Rick. Adam explained everything, about how he tracked down R.J., and R.J. accepted the powers of the Wolf Ranger.

 

“You’re serious?” Rick asked.

 

Adam nodded.

 

“Huh…” Rick said as he adjusted his glasses. “Where is he?”

 

“He didn’t come back. But he will. He just needs time to take it all in.”

 

“I see…” Rick said. “What about the others?”

 

“I think we both agree they can’t go to the True Cross Academy,” Adam said.

 

Rick nodded. “Faust will return eventually. And he may have agents there. Demons…But Kyle and the others…they still need training.”

 

“What did you have in mind?” Adam asked.

 

“I’ll re-open the Southern Cross Cathedral,” he said. “In secret. I can train Kyle and the others there. And you and the Rangers will be close enough to keep an eye on things.”

 

Adam nodded. “That sounds reasonable.”

 

“Good,” Rick said. “We’ll do what we can to make this work.”

 

***

 

Rick stepped out of the dojo to find his brother waiting. R.J. stood with his hands in his pockets and his head down.

 

“So…” he said. “You’re headed back to the monastery?”

 

“How did you-”

 

“Werewolf hearing,” R.J. said. “Comes in handy. Listen, I…I’m going to fight these RinJuken. Then the Hellfire Club. Anyone who tries to use kids like me as puppets.”

 

Rick nodded. “Dad would be proud of you.”

 

R.J. nodded, not sure if he believed that. “Good. Because at the end of it all…When it’s all said and done…I’m killing Azmodai. The bastard who killed our father.”

 

***

 

Days passed. Jarrod walked into the chambers of the RinJuken Akugata dojo. Kata and Rageku stepped back with disbelief.

 

“You would return without your trophy?” Kata asked.

 

“I will not be finishing the ceremony,” Jarrod said.

 

“What…” Rageku said.

 

Suddenly, stomping came from outside the dojo. Jarrod didn’t look startled or surprised.

 

JSG-MagaMaku, the Kenma of the Earth, stomped into the room.

 

Rageku took a step back with fear. “You’ve…revived Maku?”

 

Maku rolled his hands into fists. He screamed with rage, and his body flared with Ki that burned more intense than simple Rinki.

 

He thrust his hand with a Ki burst that blasted Kata and Rageku from the dais.

 

The villain laughed at the sight of them fall. “Kata…Rageku…How good to see you again. Ha!”

 

He stomped onto the dais and took a seat, casually, draping his arm over his knee.

 

Kata climbed to his feet. “So sudden…Why did you revive him, young lion?”

 

“I need his power,” Jarrod said. “Power you do not have. His DoRinki.”

 

Maku grunted with amusement and looked upon the chamber, inspecting his new home.

 

“Starting today, I will once again lead the RinJuken,” Maku said. He looked to Jarrod. “Boy…You will be nothing more than my subordinate. Do you understand?”

 

Jarrod hesitated, and then kneeled before the Kenma. “I understand…Master Maku.”

 

The villain laughed and slapped his knees.

 

***

 

Camille walked through the dungeon beneath the RinJuken Akugata dojo.

 

“That Maku…He’s taken over the RinJuken…” she whispered with contempt.

 

“Isn’t that interesting?” a voice whispered from the shadows.

 

Camille snapped around. “Who’s there?”

 

“No one suspicious,” the man said as he stepped from the darkness. With tan skin and golden blonde hair, he wore robes of red and gold, with a high collar of crimson. “For now, you may call me…Long.”

 

Camille knitted her brow. “How did you get in here?”

 

“Oh, I’ve been watching you for some time. And I have good news,” he said. He leaned in close and smiled. “I thought I’d let you hear, Camille…”

 

“Good news?” Camille asked.

 

“Yes…” Long said. “Jarrod will obtain DoRinki and defeat the Kenma, Maku. And he will retake his place as leader of the RinJuken. I know the way…”

 

“Tell me,” Camille said. “How?”

 

“Now, now,” Long said. “No need to rush. First…watch the RinRinshi that Maku summons. Watch him closely. In the meantime, there’s no need to worry Jarrod about this yet…Let Long’s words remain in Camille’s heart alone…”

 

The stranger stepped backward and pulled up his hood. He shimmered with golden mist and vanished from sight.

 

To be continued…Chapter 13