Ultimate Power Rangers Recap

 

The Mogralord. The Great Beast of Hell. Destroyed by Earth’s champions years ago. Now, a Demon Tablet promises the power to become the next Great Beast of Hell, a power sought by others. The Dark One’s prophesies spoke of men waking as beasts…Could the Demon Tablet provide the link to that prophesy, and break yet another Seal of the Dark One’s prison? Does the Tablet hold the power to recreate the Second Countdown to Destruction?

 

Shaded Relics: Chapter 25

Bandora’s Box

 

PART ONE: Sixth Circle

 

Phlegyas smashed through the gates of Dis. Simon leapt off the creature’s back and landed on the streets, which sizzled like burning asphalt. Buildings of black stone and steel stretched as far as the eyes could see. Fire burned from within the seams of the structures.

 

Caskets hung from awnings and ledges to encase the souls of heretics. The caskets pulsed with fire.

 

Phlegyas roared with rage as the city’s guardians flew towards him. The guardians — Fallen Angels — armed massive broadswords that glowed with power. The winged creatures wore black armor that contrasted their white wings. Their armor covered skin of various colors. Some looked red, and others looked blue or orange. Their eyes burnt bright yellow.

 

Out of the Fifth Circle, Simon felt his anger subside. He looked up to see the Fallen attack.

 

The Fallen Angels swung and chopped through streaks of energy that tore through Phlegyas. The massive demon howled with rage and swatted several Fallen from the air. But the demonic host pressed forward and forced Phlegyas from the gates with bursts of power.

 

Then, the host turned its attention to Simon. They snapped their wings and shot towards the ranger.

 

Still in his Shaded form, Simon shifted into a defensive stance and flared with an aura of black light, tinted red.

 

“Come on!” he shouted at the Fallen Angels. 

 

A streak of blue energy tackled Simon from the side, smashed through several buildings and skid to a halt on the other side of the block.

 

Simon tumbled across the street. He rolled into a crouched stance and looked up to face his attacker, a blue-skinned Fallen.

 

The Fallen lifted his hands. “Wait!” he shouted. “I don’t wish to fight, Soul Eater.”

 

Simon cursed beneath his breath. “I guess that title’s catching on. I don’t care for it…”

 

“But you should,” the Fallen said. “A title is everything. A simple title name can inspire great fear and respect. What if I told you…my name was Brajira?”

 

Simon arced an eyebrow. “I’d say who the hell cares.”

 

“Of course, but if I told you my full name, that would command respect. Fear. And Awe.”

 

“Somehow I doubt that.”

 

“Do you?” he asked. “For my name is Brajira, Right Hand of Lucifer.”

 

***

 

PART TWO: King of Dragons

 

Ryuuon stood within the lair of the Jaryuu Tribe. The villain grabbed a dagger, slit his forearm, and bled into a vial. He slid the vial into a complex machine and waited.

 

The machine covered most of the rear wall. It churned and whined with power, and a small chamber slid open, revealing a massive tube. The tube filled with bio-matter, which took shape and formed a Dragonoid.

 

The Dragonoid staggered from the tube and nearly collapsed. Its scales slid from its body, with drips of goo and ichor.

 

“Master…Ryuuon…” the Dragonoid hissed. “My…body…”

 

The grunt collapsed and splattered into a puddle of slime.

 

Weak with fatigue, Ryuuon leaned on his table and breathed heavily. “I knew it. My body is at its limit…I can’t create anymore Dragonoids…”

 

The villain cursed his lingering humanity. A former scientist and adventurer, he sought treasures and power, and eventually turned his ambitions to becoming more than human. Becoming dinosaur. He found the right relics and genetics to make the transformation happen, and grew his army from his body.

 

But his body had limits.

 

Ryuuon grabbed his sword and trembled with rage. He slashed through his machine with massive bursts of spark. Secondary explosions tore through the cavern with shockwaves that shook the base.

 

“I need more power…” he said as he staggered from his base. “No matter how dangerous the Precious.”

 

The villain heard laughter come from the shadows. He turned to see Quester Gai and Quester Rei step forward.

 

“How are we feeling today, King of Dragons?” Rei asked mockingly.

 

Gai laughed. “Underneath all that dragon scale…you’re still only human.”

 

Ryuuon grabbed his sword. “Leave, Questers. Or I will-”

 

“Now, now…” Gai said. “Be nice, Ryuuon…We have information you will find…useful.”

 

***

 

Shane and his team gathered in the SGS Situation Room. Max appeared on the monitor, speaking from the zord holding bay.

 

“Guys…we have a big problem,” Max said.

 

Will sighed and crossed his arms over his chest. “Sounds like a typical work day.”

 

“I’m serious,” Max said. “Ryuuon’s appeared. He’s after Bandora’s Box.”

 

Eiji arced an eyebrow. “You mean Pandora’s Box?”

 

“No,” Max said. Bandora’s. DaiSatan gave her a box infused with all the qualities of evil. Cruelty, deception, misdirection, etcetera, etcetera. During her first war back in the dinosaur days, she used the Box to graft evil powers onto her chosen Dark Warlords. She did the same thing when she attacked back in 2001. She recruited four men and gave them power from the Box. Kayl, Warlord of Deception; Secmet, Warlord of Venom; Dayus, Warlord of Illusion and Gurail, Warlord of Cruelty. Of course…Bandora eventually recruited Tommy as the Evil Green Ranger, and he took the Warlord of Cruelty title for himself…but that’s beside the point. Anyway, the Box has resurfaced, and so has its key. You’ve got to stop Ryuuon from getting that key.”

 

“Do you have the location?” Shane asked.

 

“I’m patching it through to your Trackers now,” Max said.

 

Shane looked to his teammates. “Find Ryuuon. Stop him from getting the key,” he said. “Move out.”

 

***

 

Ryuuon stalked towards ruins filled with stone columns. A pedestal sat in the center of the ruins, topped with a globe of rock.

 

“This is it…” he grumbled. “The key…”

 

He unsheathed his sword and slashed the globe in half. The top half slid off, revealing the key.

 

Ryuuon stepped closer to the pedestal. His weakened body shivered with anticipation.  “With this…I will once again have the power to destroy humanity.”

 

Ryuuon…” a voice said from behind. High Priest Gajah stepped into the ruins. “You look weakened. A pity…but I cannot let you have that key.”

 

“Gajah…” Ryuuon said as he turned to face the demon.

 

I will take that key, and destroy it,” Gajah said. “Just like I will destroy all the Precious.”

 

“Destroy?!” Ryuuon stepped in front of the pedestal to protect it from Gajah.

 

“If you rely on the power of the Precious, you will be destroyed, Ryuuon,” Gajah said.

 

“You fool…” Ryuuon said. He lifted his sword towards Gajah. “I will destroy you first.”

 

Ryuuon lunged and swung a flurry of slashes. But Gajah side-stepped and dodged each blow. The demon hopped back to gain distance.

 

Ryuuon tightened his grip on his sword. “Gajah…That speed. How…?”

 

Gajah opened his mouth and spat tendrils of black smoke. The smoke thrashed and whipped Ryuuon with massive bursts of spark that whipped him off his feet. The villain crashed and tumbled across the ground.

 

Gajah stepped to the pedestal and lifted the key. “Your body is failing, Ryuuon. That’s your human limit.”

 

Gajah took the key and walked away, leaving Ryuuon alone.

 

***

 

The six Titan Rangers ran to the ruins. Titan Red used his Overdrive Tracker to guide them.

 

Ryuuon appeared over here…” he said as they hurried to the scene.

 

“This Precious…” Titan Yellow said. “How dangerous is it?”

 

“Dangerous enough,” Titan Blue said. “A group of witches found the Box and key after the original Rangers destroyed Bandora’s palace. They hid both for safe keeping; they knew the Box still had the essence of evil inside. If Ryuuon opens that box…he unleashes that evil.”

 

Titan Silver’s Drive Detector beeped with alarm. He lifted his staff to his side. “I’m picking up a relic signal. This way…”

 

They started in that direction, but stopped when they saw Gajah step out from behind a column. The villain grinned with fiendish delight.

 

The Rangers stepped into defensive stances.

 

“Gajah…” Titan Red said. “What are you doing here?”

 

The demon lifted the key. “Is this what you want, Titan Rangers?”

 

Titan Pink flipped open her Overdrive Tracker and scanned the key. “Hazard Level 800…”

 

Titan Red armed his blaster and aimed at Gajah. “Where’s Ryuuon? Did you two partner up?”

 

“Poor Ryuuon…” Gajah said. “He’s finished. Just like you. Neither of you are worthy foes…”

 

Titan Red shifted his grip on his blaster. “Get the key. Move out!”

 

The Red Ranger fired orange energy bursts that sparked around Gajah. The others rushed towards the villain, surrounded him, and pounced to attack. They slashed their weapons. But Gajah dodged and swatted the blades aside.

 

Titan Blue and Titan Yellow chopped at the demon. Gajah caught the weapons, pushed the Rangers backward, and blew clouds of black smoke that thrashed their armor and whipped them off their feet.

 

The Rangers regrouped, and Titan Silver helped Titan Blue and Titan Yellow to their feet.

 

Gajah floated upward and spread his arms. He dove and slashed past the Rangers with massive bursts of spark, knocking them several steps backward.

 

The demon hovered behind the Rangers and turned to face them.

 

The Rangers snapped around and fired at the demon. Gajah caught the blasts, combined them into a single sphere of power, and hurled the bolt like a cannonball. The blast exploded against the Rangers with bursts of spark that knocked them off their feet.

 

Slowly, Titan Blue climbed into a crouched stance. “What’s going on? He shouldn’t be that powerful…”

 

Gajah lowered himself to the ground and thrust his palm. Invisible energy blasted the Rangers with showers of sparks that hurled them backward.

 

Gajah laughed at the sight of his fallen foes. The villain lifted the key in his palm.

 

“Key,” he said. “Show me the way to Bandora’s Box.”

 

The key glowed with purple energy and spun like a compass. The key pointed to the east, and Gajah walked off.

 

“Wait…” Titan Red called out. He climbed to his feet, but felt too weak to follow the villain.

 

The Rangers heard laughter come from behind a pillar. They looked to see Ryuuon crawl towards them. The villain used the pillar for support and climbed to his feet.

 

Ryuuon…” Titan Red said. “What’s so funny?”

 

Titan Pink stepped towards the villain. “Gajah’s completely powered up. Do you know why?”

 

“Gajah…is going to destroy all the Precious,” Ryuuon said as he started to limp off.

 

“Destroy?” Titan Blue asked. “Not capture?”

 

Titan Red walked towards Ryuuon. “Gajah said your body was at its limit. Is that true?”

 

Ryuuon growled. “I, Ryuuon, have taken the DNA of the dinosaurs and used it to enhance my life. To cure my cancer. I…” He collapsed to his knees. “Is this how I will die?”

 

The villain grasped the blade of his sword. “Look carefully, Titan Red! Seeking power…and being destroyed…that is the fate of an adventurer!”

 

The villain stabbed himself in the chest. His body pulsed with fiery energy and started to melt like lava. Ryuuon screamed as he collapsed and liquefied, until only his helmet remained.

 

The Rangers powered down their armor and walked towards the remains.

 

Kelsey shook her head. “I can’t believe he did that…”

 

“His body was at its limit,” Jake said. “He must have decided to end himself instead of…”

 

“Rotting away,” Will said.

 

Jake nodded. “Yeah…”

 

Rose leaned down and used her Tracker to scan the helmet. “I’m getting a Hazard reading.”

 

Eiji arced an eyebrow. “His helmet’s a Precious?”

 

Their communicators toned, and Shane flipped open his Tracker. Max appeared on the small screen. “Guys, I’m getting a new signal. Now that the key’s powered up, the Box is giving off an energy reading. You need to head over there now.”

 

Eiji lifted the helmet. “What do you want us to do about this?”

 

“I’ll send a team to contain it and store it,” Max said. “You guys don’t have time. You’ve got to move. Now.”

 

***

 

The rangers moved out on Max’s orders and walked through the wilderness.

 

“The Box should be in these mountains,” Rose said.

 

Jake nodded. “We’d better hurry…”

 

“Wait a minute,” Shane said.

 

Jake stopped and turned towards his leader. “What is it?”

 

“I’m…not sure,” Shane said. “I’ve fought Ryuuon quite a few times. And I just have this feeling…that something’s wrong.”

 

***

 

An SGS caravan pulled to a stop in front of the Bank, the storage facility for Precious collected by INET. The building looked like a massive globe of concrete, with no windows, on top of a multi-storied base. The globe itself extended as high as a skyscraper.

 

The SGS field team carried a container — with Ryuuon’s helmet — into the building. 

 

***

 

Gajah entered a dark cave and walked towards a pedestal.

 

His mouth twisted into a grin. “I’ve found it…”

 

He thrust his hand with invisible energy that tore the pedestal apart with bursts of spark, revealing Bandora’s Box. 

 

The demon walked towards the broken pedestal. “Bandora’s Box…The essence of evil…the breath of DaiSatan…”

 

“Stop!” a voice shouted from the cavern entrance.

 

Eiji, Jake, Will, Kelsey and Rose rushed into the cave.

 

Gajah turned to face the Titans. “Where is Titan Red?”

 

“Occupied. Why?” Eiji said as they armed their morphers. “We’re the fun ones.”

 

“Very well…” Gajah said. “You think the five of you can stop me? Then come…attack me at once.”

 

The villain extended his arms to his sides. Waves of wind whipped around him and kicked up pebbles. He thrust his hands and fired the wind at the rangers.

 

The wind surrounded the rangers and nearly knocked them to the ground. But Gajah raised his hands, and the wind lifted the rangers off their feet. The cyclone thrashed them around as they crashed into each other and flailed out of control.

 

Gajah snapped his hands downward; the winds died, and the rangers crashed.

 

The demon laughed. “Peons…”

 

Jake crawled slowly to his feet. “That power…how?!”

 

“Let me tell you, as I send you to Hell,” Gajah said. The villain spread his arms wide, and his chest rippled, revealing three turbines in his body. The turbines spun and crackled with energy. “This is my new power.”

 

Eiji narrowed his eyes. “That idiot…he put Ryujinn engines inside his own body?”

 

Gajah turned away from the fallen rangers and walked towards the pedestal.

 

***

 

Max met the SGS field team in the Bank. The former ranger took the box containing the helmet of Ryuuon and carried it to the nearest shelf.

 

Ryuuon’s helmet,” he said as he shook his head. “I never would have thought…”

 

He set the relic on a shelf and collapsed the containment box. He started to activate the shelf’s containment field, but the helmet rolled from the shelf and clattered onto the floor.

 

“So…” a voice said from the helmet. “This is where the Titans store their Precious…”

 

Magma flowed from the helmet, took shape and rose to form Ryuuon. His body sizzled with heat and steam.

 

Ryuuon!” Max shouted as he stepped into a defensive stance. He rubbed his left wrist, really missing his morpher.

 

“The Jaryuu Soul Transmission!” Ryuuon shouted. “My greatest, secret ability!”

 

“Cute,” Max said as Silver Guardians filed into the room.

 

The Guardians opened fire. Their bullets sparked against the villain’s body. But Ryuuon lunged and swatted them aside one-by-one. He lifted the last two Guardians by their throats, slammed them together, and tossed them aside.

 

On instinct, Max pounced with a round-kick. Ryuuon blocked and punched Max gut. The blow knocked Max to the floor, and he slipped into unconsciousness.

 

Ryuuon laughed softly and walked to the control console in the center of the room. He started to activate the panel. But a cable shot into the room, wrapped around him and pinned his arms against his body.

 

 “What?!” he grumbled as the cable snapped him backward.

 

The villain turned to see Shane holding the cable, attached to his tracker.

 

Ryuuon…” Shane said. “I knew you wouldn’t die so easy.”

 

Ryuuon rolled his hands into fists. “It looks like I’ll have to kill you for the Demon Tablet…Titan Red!”

 

Ryuuon snapped from the cable and turned towards the console. He activated a sequence that snapped open several containment shelves, revealing various artifacts.

 

Ryuuon moved towards the nearest one — Kamen Rider Kuuga’s crossbow.

 

“Have a taste of this Precious!” Ryuuon shouted as he triggered bursts of jade energy.

 

Shane leaned back; the blasts sparked against the wall besides him as he slid his tracker across his arm, igniting his morph into Titan Red.

 

The Red Ranger pulled out his blaster and fired orange energy bursts that sparked around Ryuuon.

 

Ryuuon thrust his palm and hurled a fiery energy bolt that bashed Titan Red’s chest and knocked him several steps backward.

 

The villain reached for two Precious: the broadsword of Goldar and boomerang blade of Scorpina.

 

Ryuuon charged and swung the weapons. Titan Red side-stepped and dodged as they scrambled across the floor.

 

Titan Red dove beneath a sword swing and rolled into a crouched stance.

 

Ryuuon chopped his sword. But Titan Red used both arms to cross block the sword and twist it into a lock. He spun and bashed his elbow against the villain’s chest with a burst of spark, then again, and again.

 

Titan Red twisted away and side-kicked Ryuuon with enough force to hurl him off his feet.

 

Ryuuon smashed through the wall and flung outside. He crashed and tumbled across the street below.

 

Titan Red leapt after the villain, armed his Drive Lance, and chopped towards Ryuuon. Ryuuon rolled to his feet and used the broadsword and boomerang blade to cross-block the blow.

 

The opponents pressed their weapons against each other.

 

Titan Red moved forward and twisted the blades into a lock. “What’s your end game?”

 

“The Demon Tablet…” Ryuuon grumbled. “With it, I can become the next Great Beast of Hell!”

 

“What?” Titan Red said. “If you do that, you’ll become a monster!”

 

“Perfect!” Ryuuon said. “I will completely wipe out my humanity, and become the ultimate beast to conquer this world!”

 

Ryuuon slashed the Drive Lance aside and swung towards Titan Red. Titan Red blocked. But Ryuuon slashed the Drive Lance aside with enough force to knock Titan Red off his feet.

 

Titan Red rolled into a crouched stance just in time to lift his weapon and block Ryuuon’s blades. Ryuuon pushed down hard, so low, that his blades pressed against the Red Ranger’s shoulders.

 

Titan Red twisted his staff, stood and knocked the blades aside.

 

Ryuuon spun, swung both sabers, and slashed Titan Red with a massive burst of spark that whipped him off his feet.

 

Titan Red tumbled and stood, just as Ryuuon advanced with a volley of slashes. Titan Red tried to dodge, but each blow slipped past his defensive and struck his armor with bursts of spark. Each slash forced the Ranger further and further backward.

 

Ryuuon swung upward, slashing Titan Red with a burst of spark that hurled him off his feet.

 

The Red Ranger crashed through a table that splintered beneath his weight. Breathing heavily, he rolled into a crouched position and swung his Drive Lance into a defensive stance.

 

Ryuuon jumped straight upward. He lifted his blades, which energized with fiery, golden power. “Jaryuu Roar!”

 

He landed and chopped the blades through streaks of power that snapped the Drive Lance in half while slashing Titan Red with massive bursts of spark.  

 

The blow knocked Titan Red to his knees, and he collapsed.

 

Hmph.” Ryuuon walked to Titan Red and stomped on his back. “Looks like this is it…”

 

“Why…?” Titan Red asked. “Why try so hard to shed your humanity?”

 

“Humans are weak and foolish,” Ryuuon said. “They trample others without a thought. Those who do not kill each other wither away with disease and age. I…will surpass that.”

 

The villain lifted his foot.

 

Titan Red started to climb to his knees. But Ryuuon kicked the Ranger upside the head, knocking him back to the ground.

 

Ryuuon armed Kuuga’s crossbow. “Farewell…Titan Red.”

 

***

 

Gajah lifted Bandora’s Box, inserted the key and opened it. The Box ebbed with shadow energy that leaked from the opening like steam. Gajah sucked in the steam and drank of the power.

 

His eyes flared with shadow, and he dropped the empty Box to the ground. “Such energy…such power. Now…I give form to the greatest evil.”

 

Gajah opened his mouth and blew purple smog, which shifted and took shape to form a monster: Desprada.

 

bou-vi-desperado

 

The creature fired beams of purple energy. The Rangers morphed just as the blasts stabbed their armor with bursts of spark.

 

Desprada clawed through a streak of purple energy that slashed the Rangers with bursts of spark and whipped them off their feet. The impact knocked them from their armor with flashes of light.

 

“The last to leave Bandora’s Box is despair. Thus, I give you…Desprada,” Gajah said. The villain looked to the creature. “Desprada…where is the Ryujinn’s treasure?” 

 

The monster grumbled and walked off. Gajah’s lips curled into a twisted smile as he followed.

 

Slowly, the rangers climbed to their feet.

 

Eiji shook his head. “What the hell is the Ryujinn’s treasure?”

 

“It can’t be…” Jake said. “He’s after the Ryujinn Heart and Mind.”

 

Rose flipped open her tracker. “Max…”

 

Mr. Voice answered. “This is the worse-case scenario we’ve feared…Gajah plans to use all Precious as power to make himself stronger.”

 

***

 

Max climbed to his feet and narrowed his eyes after hearing Mr. Voice’s report. First Ryuuon. Now Gajah.

 

“Well…” Max said as he walked to the Bank’s control console. “I didn’t think I’d have to do this so soon…”

 

He couldn’t let the Negatives get their hands on all the Precious. And ultimately, he couldn’t allow the Precious to remain with INET either.

 

The former ranger activated the bank’s self-destruct sequence.

 

Max helped the injured Silver Guardians to their feet. “Come on…” he said. “We’ve got to get out of here…”

 

***

 

Ryuuon aimed Kuuga’s bow at Titan Red. “Humans are weak. You understand this now, yes? This is why I abandon my humanity.”

 

Titan Red climbed slowly to his feet.

 

Ryuuon triggered jade energy bursts that whipped Titan Red backward. While falling, the Red Ranger pulled out his blaster and fired orange energy bursts. The blasts sparked against Ryuuon and knocked the crossbow from his hand.

 

Titan Red crashed and snapped his weapon to blade mode. He climbed to his feet. “Not yet, Ryuuon. Not yet!”

 

The Red Ranger charged and chopped his blade through a streak of red energy. Ryuuon lifted his blades and blocked, but the impact forced them backward as they skid across the ground.

 

“How…?” Ryuuon asked. “How do you still have this power?”

 

Titan Red ignored the question. “Someday…I might be like you. I might lose my adventurer’s soul and seek power…”

 

He parried the villain’s swords aside and slashed Ryuuon with a burst of spark. “But right now, I have the adventurer’s spirit!”

 

He shifted into a fighting stance.

 

Ryuuon did the same. “I won’t lose. Not until I have achieved my dream!”

 

The opponents screamed battle cries and charged at one another. They past each other while slashing their weapons through streaks of power, and then skid to a halt, stopping back-to-back.

 

Explosions sparked through Ryuuon’s body, and he collapsed, dropping his sword.

 

Titan Red lowered his blade and turned to face his opponent. Sparks thrashed his Accel Suit, driving him to his knees as his armor powered down with a flash of light.

 

He looked to see Ryuuon, whose body rippled with power. His armor and scales pealed back with flashes of light, revealing his human form.

 

“No…” Ryuuon said as he scrambled to his feet. His body trembled with panic. “No! I am a dragon! The King of Dragons!”

 

“No…” Shane said. “You’re human.”

 

“Shut up!” Ryuuon shouted as he ran towards the Bank. “Shut up!”

 

Shane ran after Ryuuon. His communicator toned, and he answered. Max spoke through the device.

 

“Shane, stay clear of the Bank,” Max said. “I’ve rigged it to blow.”

 

Shane knitted his brow. “No,” he said. “I’m going after Ryuuon.”

 

***

 

Ryuuon scrambled to the Bank’s central control console. Alarms blared as the destruction sequence counted down. But he ignored the sounds. The villain searched frantically for the inventory listing of the Demon Tablet.

 

“It’s here…” he muttered. “It has to be here!”

 

Shane barged into the room and grabbed Ryuuon. He tried pull Ryuuon away, but the villain gripped the control console so tightly, his knuckles turned white.

 

“No! Let go!” he shouted. “I will abandon this body, and evolve into the Great Beast! That’s my dream…My dream!”

 

Shane pulled Ryuuon aside and punched him to the floor.

 

“I have a dream too,” he said as he looked down upon Ryuuon. “To protect the Precious. Everyone has their own dream. Their own treasure. To fly into space. Cross time. Have infinite energy. The Precious are born because of that. They’re people’s dreams. And that’s what I protect.”

 

Ryuuon climbed to his feet. “Protect people’s dreams? You fool!”

 

“Maybe I am a fool…” Shane said. “But, Ryuuon, the only ones who dream…are human. You…who continues to dream…are human! Everyone who challenges their dream is an adventurer.”

 

He extended his hand to Ryuuon. “Let’s go. There isn’t much time.”

 

Ryuuon narrowed his eyes and pushed Shane away. The villain ran to the control console. “No! I will not rot away as a naive mortal!” He searched through the inventory, list after list. “It’s gone…It’s gone! Where is the Demon Tablet?!”

 

***

 

The Precious Bank rumbled. Explosions tore from the core; the building collapsed into rubble with a wave of concrete, debris and smoke.

 

***

 

Gajah and Desprada walked through the clouded streets. The demon narrowed his eyes. “So…They made the first move by destroying the Precious. Still…nothing will stop me from becoming a god.”

 

***

 

PART THREE: Heresy

 

Simon narrowed his eyes at the Fallen Angel Brajira. “Lucifer…he exists?”

 

“Of course he exists,” Brajira said. “I was the first to join him, and his cause.”

 

“That’s clearly gotten you far,” Simon said as he raised his black sword.

 

“You don’t understand,” Brajira said. “You mortals were a flawed-”

 

Simon flashed forward and swung upward, slashing Brajira with a burst of spark that whipped him off his feet.

 

“I don’t have time to understand!” Simon shouted. “Only fight!”

 

Brajira flapped his wings to keep from falling, and landed in a crouched stance.

 

“Foolish Ranger,” he said. “I can help you escape from this place. Isn’t that what you want? All I ask in return, is that you take me with you. I have…skills…you would find quite useful. Besides, if you keep flashing that sword, you’ll attract the attention of the other Fallen Angels.”

 

Simon smirked, and his black eyes gleamed with bloodlust.

 

“Well…” he said. “When you put it that way…”

 

He swung his blade through a streak of black light that tore through the nearest building with a massive burst of flame. Fiery debris flew through the air like comets and smashed through surrounding buildings and structures.

 

Above, the Fallen Angels arced through the air and dove towards Simon.

 

Simon shot towards the Fallen with the speed and force of a supernova.

 

To be continued…Chapter 26