Chapter 21: Ultimate Jungle Fury
Fall of RinJuken
Jarrod walked through the mountains towards the Kenma’s hidden lair. Camille followed, with a look of concern.
“Jarrod…do you really think your DoRinki is enough to challenge the Kenma?” she asked.
“We’ll find out soon enough,” he said.
They approached a small cavern with dozens of Rinshi scattered outside. Jarrod didn’t break his stride as he passed the Rinshi and entered the cave, where Maku and Rageku waited.
Maku growled with annoyance. “So…You’ve come back. Traitorous bastard. You think you’re a match for me now? You still wish to prove yourself?”
Maku stood and rolled his hands into fists.
Jarrod narrowed his eyes and stood in a wide stance.
Maku scoffed. “Brat.”
Maku surged with DoRinki and charged at Jarrod with a flurry of claw swipes. Jarrod dodged each swipe, and caught the last.
The teen smirked, pleased with his power.
Maku grunted dismissively and lowered his hands. “A waste of time. No…I will finish what I started. I will finish the RinJuken Rebellion!”
Rageku bowed submissively. “I will join you…”
“I don’t need you!” Maku snapped. He started to walk away as he spoke to Jarrod. “Brat…Watch my fighting well. And learn what it means to plot against me.”
The rangers brought the stone prison to the Black Sash dojo, where they met with Adam and Miki.
Casey knitted his brow with concern. “Are they OK in there…?”
Adam nodded. “I can still sense their Life Force. But it’s faint…”
R.J. rolled his hands into fists. “And we can’t break the Ringi until Maku is defeated?”
“That’s our best guess,” Miki said.
“Guess?” R.J. asked.
Adam nodded. “It should work. With Maku gone, he can’t hold the spell.”
“Then let’s do it,” Dom said with excitement. “That’s what we have Rhino Steel for, right?”
“You’ve been a Ranger for how long?” R.J. asked. “Two minutes?”
“As opposed to your five?” Dom asked.
“Boys, put away the measuring sticks,” Lilly said.
Theo looked to Adam. “Even with KaGeki…are we strong enough to fight Maku?”
“That all depends on you,” Adam said. “You have the potential. You just have to fulfill that potential.”
Jarrod stood in the Kenma’s cave. He rolled his hand into a fist and stared ahead. He thought of the Kenma, who manipulated him, and DaiShi, who slaughtered his foster family. He’d destroy them all, and in the process, grow stronger.
“Jarrod…” Rageku said. “That look…You look just like Maku.”
“Maku?” Jarrod asked. “I have surpassed him in every way. He is nothing…”
No…Jarrod thought. Maku cannot push me past my limits. For that…I need a stronger opponent. A worthier opponent…
Saying nothing, he walked from the cave, and Camille followed.
Maku led a wave of Rinshi through the streets of Angel Grove East. People scream and ran at the sight of the monsters.
Maku laughed at them. “Bugs. Let me hear your screams! Be smeared in despair!”
The Rinshi leapt and attacked anyone who moved. They kicked men and women to the ground, bashed them with staffs, and punched them off their feet.
Suddenly, Violet Wolf leapt to the scene. He kneed a grunt backward, elbowed a Rinshi’s head, and elbowed another grunt’s chest.
“Back off!” he shouted.
But the grunts swarmed around him.
The Violet Wolf Ranger lunged with a flurry of elbow and knee strikes.
The RinJuken attack spread across several blocks.
Dozens of Rinshi swarmed into a plaza and attacked pedestrians.
In Jungle Master Mode, Yellow Jaguar dashed to the scene and clawed through the grunts with bursts of spark.
“Run!” she shouted to the civilians as she hacked through another wave of Rinshi.
In Jungle Master Mode, Blue Jaguar leapt into the plaza a block away. He clawed and kicked through a wave of grunts before they could attack the civilians.
His Claw Booster hacked and slashed with massive bursts of spark.
Casey ran onto the streets and narrowed his eyes. He reached out with his Ki to narrow in on the strongest sense of Rinki.
“Maku…” he whispered as he ran down the nearest alley.
Rinshi crashed through the windows of an office building and attacked the workers.
White Rhino leapt into the building. He armed his Rhino Blade and chopped and hacked his way through the grunts.
“You guys sure are stubborn,” he said with a side-kick that bashed a grunt backward.
Violet Wolf, Yellow Cheetah, Blue Jaguar and White Rhino regrouped in the streets after defeating the Rinshi.
“Where’s Casey?” Yellow Cheetah asked.
“I think he ran after Maku,” Blue Jaguar said.
Suddenly, they felt an immense spiritual pressure come from further down the street.
“Do you feel that?” White Rhino asked. “Or am I getting a migraine?”
“It’s DoRinki,” Blue Jaguar said.
Ahead, Maku stalked slowly onto the scene. His body ebbed with spiritual power.
He scoffed at the sight of the Rangers. “I stand at the top…I will knock down any who try to reach me.”
He thrust his arms outward with a flare of DoRinki. The shockwave tore through the street and hurled parked cars and debris at the Rangers. They dove aside as secondary explosions thrashed their armor.
Casey ran several blocks away as he followed the strongest DoRinki presence.
“Maku!” he shouted.
“Maku?” a voice asked from the rooftops.
Casey stopped and looked up to see Jarrod on top of a low building. “Jarrod…it’s you.”
“You were expecting Maku? Do you think he’s the strongest? My DoRinki surpasses his…”
“Even if you have become stronger…so have I,” Casey said.
“Very well…” Jarrod said. He flared with a black-and-golden aura as his armor wrapped around his body. “Then defeat me, if you can.”
Casey armed his morphers. “Jungle Beast! Spirit, unleash!”
He morphed into Jungle Master Mode and armed his Claw Booster. The Ranger slid into a defensive stance and faced Jarrod.
The opponents pounced at each other and clashed in midair. Their blows and blocks burst with spark as they launched volleys of back-hand strikes and punches.
They struck with enough force to knock each other back. They somersaulted backward through the air and landed on the street.
Jarrod slid into a fighting stance. “Tiger-Fist…indeed you are stronger. But…you still have a ways to go.”
Jarrod hurled a bolt of DoRinki.
Red Tiger clawed through a streak of orange energy that shattered the DoRinki into pieces.
“Jarrod…” Red Tiger said. “So do you…”
The Red Ranger slid into a fighting stance. He felt his KaGeki surge through his body. He felt…confident. He felt in control.
He lived most of his life as the kid getting picked on, who snapped and fought back with unexpected bouts of anger. But now he led a team of Rangers, as Red Tiger, Master of the Tiger-Fist.
“If you think you can still hurt me…if you think you can still intimidate me…you’re wrong,” Red Tiger.
Jarrod rolled his hands into fists. He wanted one thing: Power. He never wanted to feel weakness. He never wanted to feel loss. He wanted to rise above it all, become the most powerful Beast-Fist user, and crush DaiShi.
The opponents charged at one another. Jarrod launched a flurry of back-fist strikes and punches Red Tiger blocked. The Red Ranger launched a flurry of strikes of his own. But Jarrod blocked the blows.
Red Tiger snapped a high spin-kick. Jarrod ducked and swung an upper-cut. But Red Tiger blocked with a burst of spark.
The sound of their blows thundered across the block. They attacked with a power and fierceness that shattered nearby windows.
Red Tiger clawed through a streak of orange energy that slashed Jarrod with a burst of spark. He pounced with a Claw Booster punch that smashed Jarrod’s chest; the impact forced him backward as his feet skid across the street.
“What movements…” Jarrod whispered. “Your KaGeki has truly changed you. But not enough.”
Jarrod surged forward with a burst of DoRinki. He punched Red Tiger with a burst of spark that hurled him off his feet.
The Red Ranger crashed, tumbled backward, and flipped into a crouched stance.
Jarrod stalked towards his opponent.
“Red Tiger…” Jarrod said. “Defeat Maku.”
Red Tiger tilted his head. “What…?”
“If you defeat Maku, his RinJuken Rebellion will end,” Jarrod said. “And my rise to power will begin. A new rebellion.”
“Rebellion…against what?” Red Tiger asked.
“A world gone mad,” Jarrod said. He powered down his armor and started to walk off. “If you wish to fight me…become stronger. Worthy enough to challenge me…”
Violet Wolf, Blue Jaguar, Yellow Cheetah and White Rhino swarmed around Maku with a volley of blows. The demon blocked and clawed them aside one-by-one.
White Rhino and Yellow Cheetah regrouped and snapped spear-hand strikes. But Maku blocked and punched them backward with bursts of spark.
Blue Jaguar and Violet Wolf moved in from behind. Maku punched them aside.
The demon laughed. He thrust his arms and fired a shockwave of DoRinki, which hurled the Rangers off their feet. They crashed and skid across the street.
Slowly, Blue Jaguar climbed into a crouched stance. “Just what you’d expect from a Kenma…”
Maku lifted Blue Jaguar and Violet Wolf by their throats. He released his grasp and punched them with bursts of spark.
From behind, Rageku watched the battle. “No matter how hard the bugs struggle...they have yet to damage Maku at all.”
Maku punched Blue Jaguar and Violet Wolf off their feet. They crashed next to Yellow Cheetah and White Rhino.
The Yellow Ranger climbed to all fours. “I guess they don’t call him the strongest Kenma for nothing…”
Violet Wolf shook his head. “We can’t even put a dent in that damn armor of his.”
“We’re no match…” Blue Jaguar said.
“That’s the spirit,” White Rhino said.
Maku hurled a bolt of DoRinki. The blast exploded against the Rangers and hurled them backward. They crashed through a building and landed on the other side.
Maku laughed as he stalked towards them. “Take that, you brats. So you will never appear before me again, I will grind every bit of you, down to the hair, into dust!”
He hurled another DoRinki blast.
But a red streak slashed past the blast and shattered it into pieces.
“What…?” Maku grumbled.
Red Tiger stood in a fighting stance.
“Casey!” Blue Jaguar shouted.
Red Tiger breathed heavily. His KaGeki flowed through his body as his spiritual pressure intensified.
“Maku…” Red Tiger said. “I’m the Jungle Fury Red Ranger…the one who will stop you!”
He surged forward with a burst of KaGeki and punched Maku with a massive burst of spark. The impact hurled the Kenma off his feet.
Red Tiger looked to White Rhino. “Dom! Give me your Rhino Blade!”
White Rhino tossed the weapon to Red Tiger. The Red Ranger snapped the fist weapon onto his right hand, and attached his Claw Booster to the weapon.
The Red Ranger’s body ignited with KaGeki.
“KaGeki…KenSan!” He snapped open the blade and charged at Maku.
Maku stumbled to his feet. “GekiJuken brat…”
The demon returned the charge.
The opponents clashed and exchanged blows with massive bursts of spark, each blow and block sounding as loud as a cannon fire.
Red Tiger swung a flurry of slashes that cut Maku with bursts of spark and forced him several steps backward.
The Red Ranger chopped with a burst of spark that forced Maku to his knees.
“Damn you!” the demon growled.
The demon lunged and slashed his claws. Red Tiger somersaulted over Maku and landed behind the demon.
Maku snapped around with a back-hand strike Red Tiger blocked.
The Red Ranger parried the demon’s claw aside and launched a flurry of strikes that slashed Maku with bursts of spark.
Red Tiger thought of Evan. Rick. The other Shaded, trapped in stone. This demon caught them. Put them in danger. Put everyone in danger. But no more.
Red Tiger stabbed through Maku’s body with a massive burst of spark.
Maku growled and lifted Red Tiger by the head. He smashed his forehead against the Red Ranger’s faceplate, and the impact whipped him backward.
Red Tiger rolled quickly to his feet.
Maku grabbed his wounded gut as secondary explosions tore through his body. The demon dropped to his knees and collapsed.
Red Tiger walked to his teammates. He handed White Rhino his weapon back.
“That was sick…” White Rhino said.
Red Tiger tilted his head. “Thanks…?”
Behind, Maku climbed slowly to his feet. “How…impudent!”
The Rangers slid into fighting stances and flared with Ki.
“Claw Booster!” the three core Rangers shouted as they summoned their bazooka.
“Gon Gon Ken,” Violet Wolf said as he armed his bracer.
“Rhino Blade!” White Rhino shouted as he armed his fist weapon.
“Geki Gouitsu!” they shouted.
They fired blasts that combined into a single energy pulse, which punctured through Maku with a massive explosion of spark and flame.
The impact hurled the demon backward, and secondary explosions ripped through his body. Barely alive, Maku crawled to all fours.
“You damn…bugs. All…of you…” His body flared with DoRinki as he climbed to his feet. “I will always be at the top. In the past. And in the future. Always! I am the strongest, an absolute being!”
Maku expanded and grew giant with a burst of DoRinki.
“Maku…” Rageku whispered as she watched. She placed her hands over her chest. “What is this uneasiness I feel…What will happen to the RinJuken…?”
Golden mist flared behind Rageku and took shape to form Long.
The stranger smirked. “Your RinJuken is over.”
Rageku turned to strike, but stopped when she recognized his spiritual pressure. The demon gasped and took a step back.
“It’s you…” she whispered.
“The role of you Kenma…is over,” he said. “Hatred. Jealousy. Rage. Jarrod has learned them all from you three.”
“I know who you are…” Rageku whispered. “One of the Forsaken…”
Long smirked. “Not just any Forsaken. Founder of GenJuken. The First Fist.”
His body flared with golden light as he shifted into a monster form, with golden armor engraved with dragons.
Rageku staggered backward with fear.
Long stalked towards her. “There is nothing more to learn from the Kenma. This…is my farewell gift. To show my gratefulness.”
Rageku lashed out with fear and swung her staff. Long lifted his hand and suspended the Kenma in invisible energy.
The immortal punched through Rageku’s chest with a massive burst of spark that sent her staggering backward.
Her staff fell and snapped in two.
“What…” she whispered as her body turned to jelly. “What do you have planned for Jarrod…?”
Sparks ripped her apart as she evaporated into nothingness.
Geki Fire and Geki Touja Wolf surrounded Maku with kicks and punched the demon blocked and dodged.
Maku punched the zords aside with bursts of spark.
Geki Touja Wolf recovered and elbowed Maku with a burst of spark. But the demon swatted the Megazord aside.
Geki Fire swung its fist at Maku. Maku blocked and punched the Megazord twice, each blow sparking on impact and forcing the Megazord back a step.
Camille watched from the streets below. She clutched her chest and thought of Jarrod.
“Where…” she started to whisper. But Jarrod appeared from behind her.
“Camille…” he said.
“Jarrod!” she took him by the arm. “Where did you…”
“Not now,” Jarrod said as he looked towards Maku. “Now…is the time to watch Maku die. The end of the old. And the beginning of the new…”
Above, Maku stomped into a fighting stance. “Don’t underestimate me, bugs!”
The demon surged with a shockwave of DoRinki that hurled the Megazords through the air.
Maku grunted with amusement.
Suddenly, the streets shook from the distance. Maku looked to see the Rhino Steel Zord charge onto the scene.
White Rhino stood on the zord and held his control dagger forward.
“Rhino Steel is here, bitches!” he shouted. He thrust his dagger and twisted. “Juken KyoJin!”
The zord pulsed with energy, shifted shape, and assumed a humanoid form, armed with a sword and shield. The White Ranger dropped into his cockpit.
“Rhino Battlezord!” White Rhino shouted. “SaiDaiou!”
Maku charged with a flurry of punches Rhino Steel blocked with its shield. The Battlezord lowered its shield and slashed Maku with a burst of spark that sent him staggering backward.
The villain growled and lunged with a punch Rhino Steel blocked with its shield.
The Battlezord chopped its sword. But Maku caught the blade.
The demon growled as he tried to twist the sword aside. “RinJuken will surpass GekiJuken…Surpass all the Mortal Fists! Your GekiJuken was never a match!”
“I’m pretty sure GekiJuken is about to kick your demon ass,” White Rhino said.
Geki Fire and Geki Touja Wolf stood behind White Rhino and placed their hands on its shoulders.
“GekiJuken is the Fist of Justice…” Blue Jaguar said.
Yellow Cheetah nodded. “There’s no way it can lose to someone like you.”
“Combine our five powers,” Red Tiger shouted.
Geki Touja Wolf and Geki Fire flared with Ki that poured through Rhino Steel and blasted Maku with a massive shockwave.
The impact hurled him backward, and he crashed through building after building with the force of a massive cannonball.
“Now!” Red Tiger shouted. “Geki Beasts, assemble!”
Rhino Steel reverted to its rhino form, and the zords combined into the Jungle Fury Ultrazord.
“SaiDai Geki Fire!” the Rangers shouted.
The Ultrazord charged towards Maku with immense spiritual pressure that shook the streets.
“Geki Waza! Fire SaiDai Totsugeki!” the Rangers shouted.
Geki Gazelle, Geki Penguin and Geki Wolf spun through streaks of energy that slashed through Maku with bursts of spark.
The Ultrazord rammed Maku with its horn and a flurry of energized punches that hurled him backward.
Maku collapsed as secondary explosions ripped across his armor.
Maku climbed to his feet as tendrils of power lashed his body with bursts of power. “Me…? Defeated? I will never believe it! Never! I am the ultimate, strongest, most powerful-”
He exploded with a burst of flame that incinerated his body into ash.
Jarrod crossed his arms over his chest and watched. “Maku…he sought power and aimed for the top…”
He turned and walked off, and Camille followed.
So did a cloud of golden mist.
The rangers returned to the dojo to find Rick, Kyle, Enzo and Rika back to normal.
“Rick!” R.J. shouted as he ran to his brother and hugged him.
“Rin…” Rick said, surprised at the display of affection. He hugged back.
R.J. cleared his throat and backed away, embarrassed. “I’m just…glad you’re OK. Don’t be a dumbass and get yourself trapped again, OK?”
Casey knitted his brow. Rick. Kyle. Enzo. Rika.
“Where’s Evan?” Casey asked.
Rick’s face paled. “We don’t know. He was with us when the Kenma attacked but…”
He shook his head.
Casey looked to Adam. “Adam?”
“We can’t find him…” Adam said. “He’s gone…”
DaiShi leaned back in the RinJuken Akugata dojo and cracked a twisted smile. At his feet lay Evan, unconscious in his Shaded form.
“Now…” he whispered. “We have work to do, boy. I, the true successor of the Mogralord, will burn this city to the ground, as it was meant to be four years ago.”
Camille followed Jarrod across the city rooftops. In the distance, they spotted INET’s Lightspeed Rescue units clean up after the massive giant battle. But they ignored the commotion.
“The Kenma are gone…” Camille whispered. “What will you do now, Jarrod?”
“Rise above them,” he said. “Rise above DaiShi. Become the ultimate power…”
Suddenly, Long shimmered into view with a swirl of golden mist.
Jarrod snapped into a fighting stance, but Camille held him back. “Jarrod. Wait…”
Long smiled at Camille, and then looked to Jarrod. “At last…we meet face to face.”
“Who are you?” Jarrod asked with a growl.
“You may call me Long,” the villain said with an amused bow. “I have come to offer you…guidance…”
Jarrod flared with DoRinki. “I will never serve another again!”
“No, no…” Long said as he backed away. “You misunderstand. You have turned away from the RinJuken. You have shown your true power. Now…I offer you a way to take the next step. To carve your own path.”
Jarrod narrowed his eyes. “Speak faster and to the point.”
“I offer you the power of Genki. The first Ki. The first fighting art, developed before the turning of the Wheel of Time: GenJuken. With GenJuken, you can surpass the power of natural beasts by harnessing the power of mythical beasts. This is your destiny. To walk the Infinite Path.”
“The Infinite-?” Jarrod rolled his hands into fists. He lost his patience.
The Shaded punched towards Long. But Long vanished with a cloud of golden mist and reappeared behind Jarrod.
“Think of what I am offering you, Jarrod,” Long said. “A Ki that has not been used since space/time began. The secrets of the First Fist. Tell me…in your quest for more power…can you pass such an opportunity?”
Jarrod cursed beneath his breath. The Kenma tried to use him as a pawn. So did DaiShi. And now Long? No.
“You are right about one thing,” Jarrod said. “I will carve my own path.”
He grabbed Long and in a chokehold and forced him to his knees.
“Show me this Genki…” Jarrod said. He tightened his grip. “Show me a power than can kill DaiShi…”
To be continued…Chapter 22