Shaded Relics: Chapter 26

Forever Adventure Spirits

 

PART ONE: Fallen

 

Simon twirled through midair and slashed Fallen Angels. His blade flashed with dark power and hacked through wings and bodies, splatting black ichor across the City of Dis.

 

His red-and-black eyes glimmered as he smiled with madness. 

 

“Come on…come on!” he shouted as he dashed back and forth through their ranks. “You want to stop me! You want to keep me in this place?! Give it your best try!”

 

A trio of Fallen circled the ranger and snapped spiked chains. The chains punctured through Simon and held him in midair.

 

Another trio of Fallen snapped chains that stabbed through the ranger’s spiritual body. Then another. Then another.

 

The ranger flared with black light that snapped several chains, but more punctured through his limbs, chest, and gut.

 

The Fallen grasped their chains and dove downward, dragging Simon. They landed and smashed him to the ground.

 

Simon rolled into a crouched stance and fired a TK pulse, blasting several Fallen through the air. But trios of Fallen charged and plunged spears through the ranger, holding him in place.

 

The blue-skinned Fallen, Brajira, walked towards him.

 

“I tried to talk…I really did…” Brajira said.

 

The Fallen Angels twisted their spears and forced Simon to his knees.

 

Brajira bent towards Simon and whispered into his ear. “You’ve seen the horrors of this place. And you’ve lived on the planet that allowed these horrors. So tell me…have you seen enough to help me break the world?”

 

***

 

PART TWO: We are Titans

 

Will, Eiji, Rose, Jake and Kelsey ran through the ruins of the Precious Bank. Smoke clouded the air, and fire burned from the debris. But they didn’t care. They searched and called for the chief.

 

Max ran towards them. “Guys, get out of here! It’s not safe!”

 

Kelsey shook her head. “But Chief…”

 

“We’ll bring in Recue Force,” Max said. “They’re equipped for this kind of thing.”

 

Will narrowed his eyes. “How did this happen?”

 

“It was…” Max hesitated. “A self-destruct sequence.”

 

“Self-destruct?” Eiji asked.

 

“It couldn’t be helped,” Max said. “We evacuated everyone…but Shane went in after Ryuuon.”

 

“Couldn’t be helped?” Jake asked as he shook his head. “That’s typical SGS…”

 

Eiji cursed beneath his breath as he thought of Shane. “Dumbass…Why would he run after Ryuuon?”

 

Nearby, Rose noticed a glimmer in the rubble. She reached down and lifted Shane’s Overdrive Tracker from the debris. She clutched tightly onto the morpher.

 

“Eiji,” she said as she stood. “Put out these fires. We’re searching for chief.”

 

Eiji flipped open his wrist morpher and mobilized his zords. “Rescue Fire. Rescue Aider. Rescue Patrol. Launch.”

 

His zords sped to the scene. Eiji morphed, entered his cockpit, and assembled the FlashPoint Megazord. The Megazord armed its shoulder cannons and fired flame-retardant chemicals that splashed across the scene.

 

Max and the other rangers waited on a pile of rubble. They watched as the Megazord extinguished the flames in the debris.

 

But before they could act, they saw Desprada stalk towards them from the smoke.

 

“Desprada…” Kelsey said.

 

“He came for the Bank…” Jake said. 

 

Rose stepped forward. “We have to protect this place until Chief’s safe,” she said as she pulled out her Tracker. “Ready?”

 

They armed their morphers. “Overdrive! Start up!”

 

They slid their Trackers across their arms and sparked their morph into Titans. The four Rangers rushed into battle.

 

Above, Titan Silver looked towards the battle from his viewport. “Well that didn’t-”

 

Gajah hovered in front of the Megazord’s viewport.

 

“Gajah…” Titan Silver cursed.

 

The villain extended his hands and fired tendrils of energy that thrashed the robo.

 

Max watched from below. “Gajah…He’s trying to absorb the Siren Builder’s energy!”

 

The other Rangers overheard as they fought Desprada. The monster slashed Titan Blue off his feet, and he tumbled across the ground.

 

The Blue Ranger rolled into a crouched stance and looked towards Gajah and the Megazord.

 

“Gajah…if he pulls this off…” He bolted towards the Megazord.

 

But Desprada fired bursts of energy that sparked against Titan Blue and knocked him down.

 

Above, Titan Silver struggled with his controls. “I can’t move this damn thing…”

 

Gajah siphoned a massive stream of energy from the Megazord’s Neo-Parallel Engines. The discharge ignited secondary explosions within Titan Silver’s cockpit, and the kickback knocked Eiji from his armor.

 

Max knitted his brow as he watched. “That bastard sucked the engine dry…”

 

Gajah smiled with fiendish delight as he felt the energy flow through his veins. “So…this is what your Precious feels like!”

 

He thrust his hands and fired tendrils of lightning that slammed against Siren Builder with massive bursts of spark, knocking the Megazord down.

 

The impact knocked Eiji from his cockpit, and he tumbled across the ground.

 

“Eiji!” Titan Pink shouted as she and the others ran to his side.

 

Titan Blue and Titan Black looked towards Gajah, armed their blasters, and opened fire. Gajah swatted the blasts aside and hurled bolts of lightning at the Rangers.

 

The bolts thrashed their armor with massive bursts of spark that whipped them off their feet.

 

Gajah floated downward and hovered above the debris. He extended his hands, which glowed with shadow power. “I’ve found it…The Ryujinn’s treasure cannot be destroyed.”

 

The rubble stirred, and a relic rose from the debris.

 

Nearby, the rangers climbed to their feet.

 

“That’s the Ryujinn Heart!” Titan Yellow shouted.

 

Gajah grasped the Ryujinn Heart. His eyes glimmered with insanity. “After I consume this…I will take my time, devouring the Precious of your other vehicles.”

 

Mr. Voice spoke with Max through his communicator. “We can’t let Gajah compromise the other Driver-zords. We’re sealing the holding bay.”

 

When the bay sealed, the rangers flashed with energy that knocked them from their armor.

 

Kelsey landed on all fours. “Our suits? Why…?”

 

Eiji shook his head as he climbed to his feet. “The same thing happened to me.”

 

Max ran towards the rangers. “SGS sealed all the zords,” he said. “Without their engines online, you can’t channel their power.”

 

Gajah laughed as he landed next to Desprada. He lifted the Ryujinn Heart and waved his palm over it. The villain chanted a spell, causing the Heart to pulse with shadow energy.

 

The Ryujinn Heart shifted into pure energy, and Gajah inhaled the energy.

 

The villain staggered and clutched his chest as he felt the power pour through his body. He pulsed with purple-tinted shadow energy as his skin rippled.

 

“The Heart’s power…is incredible. It is changing my body…into a god’s!” he shouted.

 

The villain looked to his monster. “Desprada…The Ryujinn Brain is not nearby, it seems…Find it. And bring it to me.”

 

Desprada nodded and walked off.

 

Gajah spread his arms and floated as he whispered a demonic incantation. Dozens of Karths flashed to existence and dropped to the ground, followed by hundreds more. 

 

Gajah hovered away, leaving the Karths to attack Max and the rangers. The grunts closed in, slowly.

 

Kelsey shook her head. “Mr. Voice basically abandoned us.”

 

“We have to run,” Jake said.

 

“No,” Rose said. “Chief might still be here somewhere.”

 

“Give it up,” Eiji said as the Karths surrounded them. “He’s gone.”

 

The Karths lunged to attack, and the rangers struggled to fight back as the assault separated them from one another.  

 

***

 

Gajah floated towards the Ryujinn Island, which surfaced during the Titan Rangers’ first joint mission.

 

“How nostalgic…” he whispered. “My island...”

 

The villain landed on the island and surrounded himself with strings of shadow energy. The strings solidified and formed a cocoon that encased the demon.

 

Gajah closed his eyes. “Hurry…” he whispered. “With the Ryujinn Brain…”

 

***

 

Rain poured across the city. Gajah’s Karths multiplied and spread throughout the streets. They covered block after block and attacked everyone who moved.

 

A pair of Karths stalked towards a group of civilians who cowered with fear. But bullets sparked through their backs and knocked them to the ground.

 

Kelsey lowered her blaster.

 

“Run,” she told the civilians.

 

They scrambled to their feet and fled.

 

Another group of Karths marched from around a corner.

 

Kelsey knew she couldn’t take them all. So she ran and ducked into the nearest alley. She crouched and waited for the grunts to pass.  

 

***

 

Rose entered the darkened SGS base beneath the museum. The situation room looked empty, lit by emergency lights only.

 

“Is anyone there…?” Rose called out. 

 

She leaned against the briefing table and lowered her gaze. “Am I the only one who made it back?”

 

She activated the panel and tried to open a comm-line with Mr. Voice. “This is Rose…has Chief called in?” No one answered. “Why did you seal the zords so quickly…you left us defenseless.

 

Still nothing.

 

She faced the screen where Mr. Voice typically appeared. “Would you answer!

 

Still nothing.

 

Rose gripped her morpher. “Coned bastard…”

 

She swung her morpher and smashed the screen, which cracked on impact.

 

***

 

Eiji staggered into an abandoned building and collapsed. He had used his demon power to fight a group of Karths, and the strain exhausted him.

 

The ranger cursed beneath his breath. This is what I get for hopping into spandex…

 

Slowly, a pale light shined through the window.

 

“Eiji…” a voice whispered.

 

Eiji looked up to see a ghostly image of his mother.

 

“You…” he whispered as he sat up.

 

“Eiji…” his mother said as she couched next to him. “Are you tired?”

 

“You could say that…” Eiji said.

 

The ghost reached out and placed her hand along her son’s face. “You’ve done so well…carrying out your family’s mission. And making your own path as well. So…take your time and rest…”

 

Her voice sounded hypnotic and lulled Eiji into a state of relaxation.

 

“Thanks…Mom…” Eiji said as he leaned back, rested his head against the wall and closed his eyes. His mother’s presence made him feel peaceful, and he let that feeling wrap him in comfort.

 

“But…” he whispered as his breathing slowed. “I feel like I’m forgetting something. It’s not a mission. Something else…”

 

His mother smiled. “Could it be…an adventure?”

 

Eiji knitted his brow. “That’s…right.”

 

He opened his eyes and found the room dark, and his mother gone.

 

The ranger climbed to his feet and straightened his jacket. “Was that really you?” He waited but heard no answer. Still, he smirked. “OK…Another adventure it is.”

 

***

 

Rose heard a scream come from the museum above SGS headquarters. She ran upstairs and found a group of Karths stalking a girl, who carried a Precious container.

 

Rose pulled out her blaster and shot the Karths with bursts of spark.

 

The ranger moved towards the girl.

 

“Are you OK?” Rose asked.

 

“I’m fine,” the girl said.

 

“What are you doing here?” Rose asked.

 

The girl ignored the question and handed the container to Rose. “Here. Please…protect this.”

 

Rose knitted her brow. “Is that a Precious?”

 

Suddenly, another group of Karths swarmed into the building.

 

Rose grabbed the girl by the arm and moved towards the exit. “This way. Hurry…”

 

They rushed outside and took cover on a pedestrian bridge that led away from the museum. The Karths rushed outside to run after the girls, but they went the wrong way.

 

Rose waited until the Karths left before standing. She looked to the girl with the relic container.

 

“Who are you?” she asked. “And why do you have a Precious?”

 

The girl stood. “SGS stored this Precious in a different location that the rest, to prepare for the worst.”

 

“How did you know that?” Rose asked. She knew everyone in SGS and didn’t recognize the girl.

 

“Please,” she said. “Just believe me.”

 

Rose nodded and took the box. “OK…I’ll keep it safe.”

 

Suddenly, waves of Karths appeared on both ends of the bridge and rushed towards the girls.

 

Rose narrowed her eyes. “It’s OK,” she said to the girl as she handed over the box. “Stay back.”

 

The ranger circled around the girl and bashed the Karths. She moved with skill and experience, with elbow strikes, knife-hand chops and kicks that bashed the enemies backward.

 

But the bridge gave her little room to maneuver. A Karth kicked her back, and a second Karth grabbed her neck. The ranger struggled to break free as the Karth pressed her back against the railing.

 

Ketsu! A small barrier bashed the Karth’s head and knocked it away.

 

Rose looked to see Eiji rush onto the bridge. The ranger plowed through the Karths with flurries of punches and kicks.

 

“Eiji…” Rose whispered.

 

She heard fighting come from the plaza below, and she looked to see Jake fight through another group of Karths.

 

“Jake!” Rose shouted.

 

She saw Kelsey at the center of the plaza. The ranger swung her sidearm and blasted Karths off their feet. Will stood at her side and kicked any Karth that moved in too close.

 

After bashing past the last of the grunts, Rose, Eiji, Jake, Kelsey, and Will regrouped at the fountain near the center of the plaza.

 

“Everyone…” Rose said with a smile. “You came.”

 

Eiji nodded. “I didn’t let you draft me to get my ass kicked.”

 

 Kelsey noticed the stranger sitting on the steps with the Precious container.

 

“Are you OK?” Kelsey asked.

 

The stranger smiled and nodded.

 

“Good,” Kelsey said. “So…What’s in the box?”

 

The stranger opened the container, revealing a relic.

 

Jake widened his eyes with recognition. “That’s the Ryujinn Mind!”

 

The stranger nodded. “The Ryujinn Heart and Mind are special to Gajah. If he takes both into his own body…he’ll evolve.”

 

Eiji shook his head. “How do you know that?”

 

Suddenly, explosions sparked across the plaza. The rangers looked to see Desprada walk onto the scene.

 

Jake stood protectively in front of the stranger. “He’s after the Brain.”

 

Will rolled his hands onto fists. “No way in hell he’s getting it,” he said. “I found a little something…”

 

Will hurried beneath the stairwell and pulled out the Drill Crusher.

 

“The Drill Crusher!” Kelsey shouted.

 

“I pulled it from the wreckage and stashed it here…” Will said as he armed the rifle and faced Desprada.

 

Kelsey shook her head. “But you can’t use it without your Accel Suit. The kickback could kill you…”

 

“I still have to do this,” Will said as he aimed the weapon’s mixer head. “I have to protect my treasure…and that’s you guys.”

 

The ranger braced himself and faced Desprada. “Here it comes, you demon freak.”

 

Will triggered a burst of energy that hurled him backward, and he crashed into a fountain with a splash.

 

The blast exploded against Desprada with a wave of energy that transformed him into stone.

 

Slowly, Will climbed to his feet and winced as he grabbed his injured shoulder.

 

He looked towards his teammates. “What are you staring for? You want an adventure? Get over here…”

 

 Kelsey smiled. “You sound like Chief…”

 

She ran towards him, and Rose followed. “We’ll all protect our treasure.”

 

Eiji sighed as he Jake walked towards them. “You guys are so sappy.”

 

“Just a bit,” Will said. “Let’s get this done.”

 

Desprada shattered from his stone casing.

 

Will aimed the blaster, and the rangers stood alongside him, placing their hands against his shoulder to help brace him.

 

“Drill head!” Will shouted as he shifted the weapon to drill mode. Together, they shouted: “Go!”

 

They fired a burst of energy that kicked them backward; they skid across the plaza but stood their ground.

 

The blast exploded against Desprada with massive bursts of spark. But the monster kept moving forward, barely fazed.

 

Will muttered beneath his breath. “One more time…” The drill spun with power. “Go!”

 

They triggered a blast that knocked them backward; they smashed against a wall.

 

“Fire again!” Rose shouted. 

 

“Go!” Will shouted as he triggered another blast.

 

The drill-shaped blast punctured through Desprada with massive bursts of spark. The monster staggered forward as secondary explosions tore through his body. He continued his advance, slowly, step-by-step — until he collapsed and exploded into pieces.

 

***

 

Gajah snapped open his eyes within his cocoon. The villain had felt the destruction of his monster. And he knew who to blame.

 

“Damn Titans…”

 

***

 

“We really did it!” Jake said as they walked across the plaza.

 

“Will…” Rose said. “That was great.”

 

“Ah, Rose, use codenames during missions,” Kelsey joked.

 

“Well…” Rose said. “We’ll make an exception. Just today.”

 

Suddenly, shadow energy flared, and Desprada grew giant.

 

Eiji narrowed his eyes and stepped back. “We really should have seen that coming.”

 

Rose shook her head. “We can’t fight that without our zords.”

 

“Then what do we do?” Kelsey asked.

 

“It’s OK,” the stranger said. “You’ve bought him enough time.”

 

“What?” Will asked.

 

“To protect the Ryujinn Mind, he’s been following Desprada,” the girl said.

 

“What does that even mean?” Eiji asked.

 

Desprada looked to the rangers below and swiped its claws. But suddenly, explosions sparked against the creature and knocked him backward.

 

The rangers looked to see the BattleFleet Megazord stomp onto the scene.

 

“The BattleFleet Megazord…” Rose said.

 

Jake shook his head. “Wasn’t it sealed?”

 

“Who’s piloting it…?” Will asked.

 

Shane leaned forward in the Megazord’s cockpit. “Titans. Move out!”

 

Stunned, the rangers looked towards the Megazord.

 

Eiji smirked. “Shane…you son-of-a-bitch.”

 

“He really is the Immortal Fang,” Jake said.

 

“Chief!” Kelsey called out with a smile.

 

Will shook his head with a smirk. “Stealing the grand entrance. You never change…”

 

Shane spoke with them through his communications systems. “You guys going to let me fight alone?”

 

“Alright guys,” Will said. “Board the Megazord, and defeat Desprada. Move out!”

 

Kelsey smiled.

 

“He’s doing his Chief voice again,” she said as they followed.

 

Jake looked over his shoulder as he ran towards the Megazord. That girl with the Ryujinn Mind…where’d she run off to?

 

***

 

Un-morphed, the rangers climbed into the BattleFleet Megazord cockpit.

 

“Shane…” Rose asked. “How did you escape?”

 

“Last-minute teleportation burst from one of the relics,” Shane said. “A piece of the old Command Chamber.”

 

“And the zords?” Rose asked.

 

“Max and his staff had to remodel the Neo-Parallel Engines,” Shane said. “We knew you guys could give us the time we needed. Now…Let’s take out Desprada.”

 

They grabbed their controls and shouted as one: “First Gear, in!”

 

The rangers watched Desprada stalk towards them.

 

“BattleFleet Megazord!” Shane shouted. “All cannons, fire!”

 

The Megazord opened fire with a full cannon barrage that blasted Desprada with massive bursts of spark. But the monster didn’t slow its advance.

 

Desprada thrust its claw and fired tendrils that punctured through the BattleFleet Megazord. The monster retracted the tendrils, pulling the Megazord closer, and chopped the robo with bursts of spark.

 

The BattleFleet Megazord staggered backward. Desprada thrust its claw and stabbed the Megazord with a massive burst of spark. The blow sent the Megazord skidding backward through the streets, smashing through building after building.

 

The BattleFleet Megazord skid to a halt.

 

Shane knitted his brow and leaned forward. “Focus on the attack!”

 

The Megazord whined with power as its engines intensified.

 

Jake glanced at his power monitor. “The power’s rising!”

 

“How…?” Will asked.

 

Shane thrust his controls forward. “Hyper-Charge Attack!”

 

The Megazord’s fists spun like drills, radiated with golden energy and shot at the monster. The fists punctured through Desprada with massive bursts of spark.

 

Desprada collapsed as secondary explosions tore through its body. Then, with a final explosion, the monster burst into ash.

 

***

 

Gajah felt his monster’s destruction. The demon narrowed his eyes. “I will just have to take the Ryujinn Mind myself.”

 

Gajah crackled with energy and burst from his cocoon.

 

***

 

Max appeared on the Megazord’s communications console. “Looks like with Desprada defeated, Gajah’s coming himself…”

 

Jake knitted his brow. “He must be after the Ryujinn Mind. But it’s with that girl somewhere…”

 

The girl’s voice spoke from the comm. “Don’t worry,” she said. “I have the Mind. It’s safe…”

 

“You?” Kelsey asked with surprise.

 

“But how…” Rose said.

 

“It doesn’t matter,” Shane said. “We’ll get to Gajah before he even comes close.”

 

***

 

The BattleFleet Megazord reverted to its trailer mode, the Drive Voyager, and sailed towards the Ryujinn Island. The zord docked against the land mass, and the rangers ran onto the shore.

 

“The Ryujinn ruins…” Jake said. “So Gajah’s returned here.”

 

Eiji looked around the rocky terrain, void of life.

 

“Sorry I missed it the first time,” he said sarcastically. 

 

Kelsey started ahead. “Will’s screw up brought it to the surface.”

 

“No need to remind everyone,” Will said.

 

They walked towards the site of Gajah’s torn cocoon. Gajah floated into the air, throbbed with a burst of shadow energy, and shifted into a monster form.

 

The demon laughed, a low guttural sound, as he glared at the rangers.

 

Bou-vi-gajadom

 

Shane narrowed his eyes. “Gajah…what have you done?”

 

“My name is Gajadam now…” he said. “The Ryujinn Heart and Mind were more than weapons…they were the remains of the Ryujinn God!”

 

Jake shook his head. “That’s just myth.”

 

“Is it?” Gajah grumbled. “Then feel the power of legend!”

 

Gajah lifted his hand and summoned bolts of lightning that exploded around the rangers, hurling them off their feet.

 

Eiji rolled his hands into fists. “Even if you ate the Heart…you’re not getting the Mind, you demon whack-job.”

 

Gajah laughed. “I am. You’re fools for coming with your vehicles!”

 

The demon extended his hand and fired bolts of lightning that splashed across the Drive Voyager.

 

“No!” Kelsey shouted. “He’s stealing its energy!”

 

“Don’t worry,” Will said. “Shane wouldn’t come here without a plan. Right?”

 

Gajah grumbled with annoyance and lowered his hand. “That vehicle…it contains no Precious!”

 

“No Precious?” Jake asked.

 

“That’s right,” Shane said. “Max and his team worked hard to get it done. They’ve removed all the Precious from the zords’ engines.”

 

“How?!” Gajah shouted. “It shouldn’t be able to move!”

 

“We removed the final limit on the Neo-Parallel Engine,” Shane said. He looked to his teammates. “Your zords are all safe.”

 

“Does that mean we can morph?” Kelsey asked.

 

Shane smiled and nodded. “That’s right.”

 

Gajah growled. “Bastards…What are you so happy about?”

 

The demon spat a bolt of fire that exploded around the rangers with massive bursts of flame.

 

Gajah tilted his head back and laughed.

 

But when the flames cleared, Shane and the others still stood. They snapped into their fighting poses.

 

“Titan Red!”

 

“Titan Black!”

 

“Titan Blue!”

 

“Titan Yellow!”

 

“Titan Pink!”

 

“Titan Silver!”

 

“Overdrive Task Force!” Shane shouted. Together, they called out: “Titan Rangers!”

 

Gajah stepped closer to his prey. “Do you really think you can defeat me?”

 

They pulled out their trackers.

 

“Overdrive! Start up!” They swiped their morphers across their arms and sparked their morph into Titans.

 

Titan Red snapped. “Attack!”

 

The rangers leapt through the air to attack.

 

Titan Red tackled Gajah and smashed him to the ground. The demon spat tendrils of power that lashed around the Red Ranger, sparked against his armor, and knocked him backward.

 

Titan Silver, Titan Yellow, and Titan Pink charged at Gajah and fired their blasters. Gajah vanished, and the blasts passed through nothing but air.

 

Gajah reappeared behind the three Rangers and bashed past them with massive bursts of spark.

 

Titan Blue and Titan Black leapt through the air and chopped their blades at Gajah. The demon grabbed the blades, whispered an incantation, and turned the swords into stones.

 

The two rangers stepped back, and their swords dropped to the ground. Gajah pounced and slashed the Rangers with bursts of spark that whipped them off their feet.

 

Titan Blue and Titan Black tumbled, and their teammates regrouped around them. Titan Red helped his teammates stand.

 

Titan Silver cursed beneath his breath. “Our attacks don’t work on him…”

 

“No…” Titan Red said. “But he doesn’t have the Ryujinn Mind. He’s incomplete. We can stop him…”

 

Titan Black placed his hand on his leader’s shoulder. “I think so too.” He unsheathed Titan Red’s Drive Defender and snapped it into blade mode. “I’ll be borrowing this, by the way.”

 

Titan Black held the blade in a reverse grip and charged.

 

“Fool.” Gajah lifted his hand and fired bursts of energy.

 

The blasts sparked against the Black Ranger’s armor, but he continued his advance. He lunged and slashed the monster with bursts of spark.

 

Gajah clawed the Ranger’s chest and grabbed his neck. “Die, Black!”

 

“Not…today!”

 

Titan Black shifted his weapon to blaster mode and fired at point-blank range. Explosions tore the monster’s chest with bursts of spark that knocked him several steps backward.

 

“Drive Slammer!” Titan Black shouted as he summoned his two-handed hammer.

 

The Black Ranger bashed Gajah’s chest with a burst of spark.

 

The other Rangers armed their weapons and charged. One-by-one, they dashed past the demon and slashed him with bursts of spark.

 

Titan Red turned and chopped his blade through a streak of red energy, slashing the demon with massive bursts of spark. The attack sent Gajah staggering backward as secondary explosions tore through his body.

 

Gajah collapsed with a final explosion of fiery power.

 

Slowly, the Rangers lowered their weapons and walked towards their fallen opponent.

 

Titan Silver looked towards Titan Red. “You realize he’s not dead, right?”

 

Gajah snapped to his feet. “The power of Gajadam will surpass Gajah!”

 

The demon spread his hands and whispered an incantation. With a ripple of energy, he expanded and grew giant.

 

Gajah spat a bolt of fire that exploded around the Rangers and hurled them through the air.

 

Titan Red crashed and rolled into a crouched stance. He flipped open his Tracker.

 

“Driver-zords, mobilize!”

 

“LAUNCH SHIFT, ON! DUMP! SPEED! GYRO! DOZER! SUB! GO. GO!”

 

The Driver-zords launched and sped towards the scene. Titan Silver ran into the Drive Voyager, and the other Rangers dashed into their cockpits.

 

The Red Ranger pressed the “robo” key on his tracker: “FUSION SYSTEM, ON!”

 

He pressed the numerical keys for the individual zords.

 

“DUMP!”

 

“GYRO!”

 

“SPEED!”

 

“DOZER!”

 

“SUB!”

 

The Red Ranger swiped the tracker’s wheel, sparking a charge: “TITAN FORMATION!”

 

The five zords combined to form a giant robo.

 

“DriveMax Megazord!” Titan Red called out. “Titan Robo!”

 

Titan Silver piloted the Drive Voyager onto the shore, and the DriveMax Megazord leapt on top of the vehicle.

 

“Go!” Titan Silver shouted as he fired the Drive Voyager’s jets.

 

The zord blasted towards Gajah.

 

“DriveMax Megazord Saber!” The other Rangers shouted. “Titan Slash!”

 

The robo energized its saber and chopped towards Gajah. But Gajah grabbed the blade and tossed the Megazord off the Drive Voyager. The Megazord crashed and skid across the island with massive bursts of spark.

 

Gajah thrust his hands and fired bolts of lightning that thrashed the Drive Voyager. Secondary explosions blasted the vehicle into its individual zords.

 

Gajah laughed. “Vehicles with no Precious can do nothing…”

 

The DriveMax Megazord climbed to its feet.

 

“Ultrazord fusion!” Titan Red shouted.

 

The Red Ranger pressed the “robo” key on his tracker: “FUSION SYSTEM, ON!”

 

He pressed the numerical keys for the individual zords.

 

“DRILL”

 

“SHOVEL”

 

“CEMENT”

 

“CRANE”

 

“SONIC”

 

The Red Ranger swiped the tracker’s wheel, sparking a charge: “ULTRA TITAN FORMATION!”

 

The robo leapt into the air, and the Driver Sonic attached to its back. A new helmet and chest piece snapped into place.

 

“DriveMax Ultrazord!” the Rangers shouted. “Ultra Titan!”

 

The zords combined, and the Ultrazord snapped into a fighting stance.

 

“Silver, you too,” Titan Red shouted.

 

Titan Silver joined the others in the cockpit, and the Ultra Titan faced off with Gajah.

 

“First Gear, in!” they shouted.

 

Their bodies pulsed with energy as their power poured into the Neo-Parallel Engines. The entire zord glowed with golden power.

 

“Attack!” Titan Red shouted.

 

The Ultrazord leapt forward with a flying side-kick that bashed Gajah and knocked him several steps backward.

 

“What…What is this power?!” Gajah shouted.

 

“Right now…the power of the Ultra Titan…is ourselves!’ Titan Red shouted.

 

“It can’t be…” Gajah growled.

 

“People’s dreams are potential,” Titan Red said. “Those feelings become Precious. And the Parallel Engines? They convert Precious into real power…So when you remove the final limits…”

 

Titan Pink looked to her hands. “The Parallel Engines take each of our feelings…”

 

“Our hopes…our dreams…” Titan Yellow said.

 

“And turn them into power,” Titan Blue said.

 

“It’s like we’ve become Precious ourselves,” Titan Yellow said.

 

Titan Black rolled his right hand into a fist. “Let’s go…Precious Troops!” He looked to Titan Red. “That’s right. I can be sappy too.”

 

Gajah growled. “Humans are Precious?! It can’t be!”

 

The demon fired bolts of lightning. Ultra Titan shot above the blasts, which exploded through the ground.

 

“Ultrazord, sonic strike!” the Rangers shouted.

 

The Ultrazord’s chest plate radiated with heat and fired an energy blast shaped like a bird. The fiery blast punctured through Gajah with massive bursts of spark and flame.

 

Ultra Titan dove towards Gajah and extended its arm.

 

“Ultra Titan!” they shouted. “Drill Attack!”

 

Gajah lifted his arms, grabbed Ultra Titan with invisible energy, and hurled the Ultrazord aside.

 

“Silver,” Titan Red said. “Call your zords.”

 

“Right,” Titan Silver said. He flipped open his wrist morpher. “Rescue Fire. Rescue Aider. Rescue Patrol. Launch.”

 

His zords sped to the scene, and he dashed into his cockpit. The other Rangers disassembled the Ultrazord, and split into their individual cockpits.

 

Titan Red gripped his control wheel. “Use all the zords to destroy Gajah’s Ryujinn Engines!”

 

The individual zords opened fire with a massive barrage. Energy blasts tore through Gajah with massive bursts of spark.

 

The demon staggered backward. “You bastards…Humans’ dreams are nothing more than the search for power! All you’ve done is create your relics, forces of destruction!”

 

“Precious aren’t forces of destruction,” Titan Red said. “They’re proof for the future that humans were alive! We lived! We breathed! We dreamt! And we fought! That’s the soul of an adventurer! Gajah…let’s go!”

 

The zords throttled forward through surges of energy. They surrounded Gajah, and one-by-one, smashed the monster with massive bursts of spark.

 

Within his chest, Gajah’s Ryujinn’s engines overloaded and exploded with massive bursts of flame that tore through the demon’s body.

 

Gajah collapsed to his knees. “It can’t be…”

 

A final explosion burst from his body with a massive eruption of flame. The shockwave shook the entire island.

 

Titan Silver slapped his wheel. “Take that, you demon son-of-a-bitch.”

 

The island shook with massive tremors and started to sink.

 

“The island is sinking,” Titan Red said. “Move out!”

 

The zords mobilized and blasted from the island as it submerged into the ocean.

 

***

 

His defeat reverted him back to his human form. Gajah crawled into the ruins and entered the room of his tomb. “Damn Titans…”

 

The villain opened his casket. “Defeating me…again. With their foolish dreams.”

 

Gajah crawled into his casket.

 

“Someday…” he said as black ichor dripped from his wounds. “I will revive.”

 

His casket slid shut.

 

***

 

The rangers regrouped in Max’s office. Will crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the wall.

 

“No more Gajah. No more Ryuuon. Not a bad way to end the day,” he said with a smug grin.

 

“But Dark Shadow’s still out there,” Rose said.

 

“And the Questers,” Eiji said. “Not to mention the fact all your relics blew up.”

 

Jake shook his head. “Not all of them,” he said. “That girl got the Ryujinn Mind to safety.”

 

Kelsey looked to Max. “Who was she, Max?”

 

Max arced an eyebrow. “Who was who?”

 

Rose knitted her brow. “That girl who took the Ryujinn Mind to keep it from Gajah.”

 

Max shook his head. “I have no idea what you’re talking about…”

 

Shane smirked. “Looks like the adventure’s not over yet.”

 

***

 

The strange girl walked from the ruins of the Bank towards Angel Grove South. She carried the Precious container holding the Ryujinn Mind, which she opened.

 

She tossed the Mind aside and slid something from the bottom of the container — the Demon Tablet.

 

Her body shimmered into its true form, that of Mesaana, a Forsaken.

 

“Idiots…” she muttered with an evil smile. “That couldn’t have been easier.”

 

A voice called to her from above. “You have something for me?”

 

A figure leapt from the rooftops and landed in front of Mesaana. The man stood tall with golden hair that flowed across his white jacket, and he carried a thick silver sword with a golden pommel.

 

He gave a mock bow. “I am Sir Arthur Angel. Paladin of the Knights of the True Cross.”

 

Mesaana sighed. Mortals really annoyed her sometimes. She handed him the tablet. “The Demon Tablet. As promised.”

 

Arthur took the tablet. “Such an evil name for an object that will do the work of the light. Don’t you think?”

 

Mesaana arced an eyebrow. “Not really, no.”

 

Arthur looked taken aback. “Yes, well…the Knights of the True Cross thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. You have served us well.”

 

A crooked smile crossed her lips. “Right…I’m sure we have served you very well.”

 

***

 

PART THREE: Uncontained

 

The Fallen Angels etched demonic runes onto the ground to contain Simon’s power. But the ranger flared with black light that incinerated the ruins and hurled the Fallen through the air.

 

Brajira skid backward as he used his wings to stay balanced.

 

The villain thrust his hand and channeled waves of wind that pinned Simon in place. Brajira thrust his other hand and encased Simon in a tomb of stone.

 

The Fallen Angels regrouped, ignited their spears with fire, and etched runes onto the stone casket.

 

Brajira smirked. “Now…Are you going to behave?”

 

“I swear to god…” Simon said from within the casket. “I’m going to tear you apart, you winged son of a bitch.”

 

“Yes, of course you are,” Brajira said as he stepped to the casket and placed his hand on its surface. “We’ve been watching you for some time, Ranger. You’re something of an enigma. A decedent of the First Angel, and the First Demon. Quite the convergence. That makes you special. And powerful. Why do you think the Forsaken have shown such an interest in you? They want to use you, Simon. Manipulate you.”

 

“And I suppose you just want to give me a nice pep talk and send me on my way?”

 

“I want to work with you,” Brajira said. “To help you. You may not know it yet…but we are kindred spirits. We are both fallen.”

 

“I’ve known you for five seconds…and you’ve already made the Top 10 List of people I want to kill.”

 

“That must be quite the list,” Brajira said. “Let me tell you a little story, Simon. Before the turning of the Wheel of Time-”

 

Simon burst from the casket, grabbed Brajira and smashed him to the ground.

 

“A story?!” Simon shouted. “A story?!”

 

A wave of Fallen surged towards him. But he lifted his hand with a TK blast that hurled them backward.

 

“I’m done with stories!” Simon shouted.

 

“You don’t understand…” Brajira said. “You won’t make it through Hell alive. They will hunt you. Some want you dead. Others-”

 

“Want my power,” Simon said. “Heard it. Go fuck yourself.”

 

“You don’t understand the forces at play, here,” Brajira said. “As powerful as you are, you’re not strong enough to-”

 

Simon bashed the Fallen’s face to the ground. “I care about one thing, dirt bag. Owen. Some demon nut job has his soul. Who is it?”

 

“Haven’t you guessed yet?” Brajira asked.

 

Simon bashed the villain’s face to the ground. “Start talking or I keep bashing. That shade who said he has Owen. Who is he?”

 

“Lucifer,” Brajira said. “He’s waiting for you, Simon. He has been for years…”

 

To be continued…Chapter 27